Thriving Teens

Educational ideas for teen empowerment: reducing drop out rates, robotics, personalized learning, parent resources, ways to collaborate and get involved, etc. will be shared. Want ideas to support the teens in your life? Read on! Flag as Inappropriate

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New skills needed for 21st Century success
Steven Weber July 20, 2013 at 10:03 am
Excellent article! Thank you for sharing your thoughts! Our school is increasing our focus on the 4Read More Cs this year. I like your statement about "transfer" - I think that is what learning is all about! Our students need to be equipped with content knowledge, soft skills, adaptability, and more! Thank you for pushing my thinking!
Very insightful of you, Jeanne! You are absolutely right...as parents we need to be on the lookoutRead More for "teachable" moments that can extend our children's learning experience. Risk-taking in safe environments is a fantastic way to build confidence and skills. And aren't MadLibs silly fun? :)
How wonderful that your school is focusing on the "soft skills" of the 4Cs. Sometimes it'sRead More easier to stick with content, but these 21st Century skills are foundational for our youth. Wiggins and McTighe have done great work in backwards design (UbD) that encourages us to begin with open-ended essential questions and then reverse engineer through assessment to aligned learning activities. There are lots of essential questions free online...great conversation starters at home or at school...for all of us learners! Thanks for your note, Steven!
Cool Car Show as Family Outing
Jeanne Gustafson June 30, 2013 at 08:16 am
I tried this on spring break, Maureen, and I think it was harder for me than for my son, but it wasRead More worth it! He had a much easier transition back to school and we spent some great quality time together doing things like playing board games and drawing--just usual, relaxing things.
bradmara July 2, 2013 at 08:00 am
Great topic! We suspended our tv service for the summer. Kids still have access to computers butRead More makes them mindful of what they will watch & when (family movie, etc).
Let's help our teens graduate!
Steven W July 29, 2013 at 07:18 am
That number does seem awfully high, but exactly where does the blame lie? I know in my daughtersRead More case, we moved here halfway through high school. Due to some issues, she attended Overlake Specialty School for her junior year, transferring to Juanita half-time for the first half of her senior year, and fulltime for the second semester. This is where the district put her. She passed all of her classes (finishing with a 3.4 GPA) but did not "graduate" because she did not pass the math exit exam. That exam covered material she should have learned in her Junior year / first semester of Senior year. But given her situation, she was never taught that material and has now joined the ranks of the 29%. Thankfully, she is off for Job Corps (leaving tomorrow actually) where she will have the opportunity to either earn her GED or HS Diploma while learning a trade, but not every child has that opportunity. How many other children are a part of the "dropout" rate that completed their classes but, for whatever reason, didn't test well on the material they were never given? I suspect people are going to see that 29% and think our children are just dumb, but it's not always the child...
Ken Mortland July 29, 2013 at 08:10 am
Steven: That number is distressingly high and the causes are many and varied. Many of thoseRead More students will continue being served by a school district and working on their diplomas. The economic impact of life without a diploma is huge and well documented. Nationwide the eventual rate of students without diplomas or GEDs after age 21 is only 10%, but that number is also distressingly high. As Maureen says, it's an issue that warrants our full attention.
Hi, Steven, Thanks for the comments. I agree. For many students there are extenuating circumstancesRead More that limit their ability to earn their diploma on schedule. Congratulations to you and your daughter for pursuing another educational option! As Ken mentions, this issue is urgent and warrants serious attention. We only get one chance to raise a child!