Boomers: Save ‘Til It Hurts

Own Your Tomorrow. OK, so even though that’s the tagline for Charles Schwab’s new advertising campaign, the message also rings true for the millions of Americans age 50 and older who need to keep their saving for retirement on track and take their financial future into their own hands. As part of an Opinion Leader speaker series at the Washington, D.C., headquarters of AARP, incoming CEO Jo Ann Jenkins and Charles Schwab Foundation President Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz discussed the roles that employers, schools and …

What It Takes to Help Students Graduate

By Lester Strong We had good news this year in education. U.S. graduation rates are up by 6.5 percent since 2001. For those of us who work to improve children’s potential to graduate, it’s a validation that we’re making strides. Still, many problems remain that impact graduation rates in this country. One major challenge is that many children are still not reading proficiently by the end of third grade. In fact, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, students who …

A Handy Trick for Learning to Read

“Aoccdrning to rscheearch…” We all bring different experiences and backgrounds to our reading.  Our comprehension skills, vocabulary and language fluency all factor into what we take away from the series of letters and spaces on the page in front of us.  But the foundations of how we decode those characters comes from our learned ability to translate “letters into sounds” and “sounds into words.” And so, most of us can “read” the subtitle of this blog as “According to research…” …

Celebrating 100 Days of School on the Wall

Today my class of Experience Corps students celebrated their 100th day of school!  When I got to school the teacher had placed “100th day of school” signs all over the walls.  To celebrate, the children made crowns with a “100″ featured prominently on the front, and decorated their headband with 100 hearts, numbers, triangles, dots, letters-whatever they were moved to create.  And even if they didn’t get 100 “somethings” down on the paper, when the adults stapled the bands to fit …

The Essential Agreement of the Classroom

  Maintaining discipline in a classroom of elementary school kids is seldom easy.  My teacher has a number of tactics that she uses.  When a couple of kids aren’t paying attention or picking at each other, she says, “I’ll wait.”  She then silently pauses her lesson, the room gets quiet, and the kids that aren’t focused realize all eyes are on them and they settle down. If things get worse and more kids “don’t have their eyes on the speaker …