Catapult Learning EduBlog

National Pi Day Classroom Activity Incorporating STEM and the Engineering Design Process

Pi Day is celebrated each year on March 14 (3/14) as a fun way to commemorate pi (π). March 14th is also Albert Einstein’s birthday. The date represents the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter — the number that begins with 3.14. The holiday’s official website describes pi as an “irrational and transcendental number” whose decimals “continue infinitely without repetition or pattern.” In 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution designating March 14 as “National Pi Day” to encourage schools to observe the day with age- and grade-appropriate activities that teach students about pi in a [...]

2019-03-14T17:45:32-04:00March 14th, 2019|

[Webinar] Creating Safe and Supportive Learning Environments

Explore various aspects of school climate and culture that foster safe and supportive learning environments and promote the social emotional well-being of the students. The most effective social and emotional learning (SEL) requires a strategic, systemic approach to creating learning environments that invite cultural competence, promote equity, foster growth mindsets, and cultivate safe and supportive schools.

2019-03-18T12:17:19-04:00March 7th, 2019|

[Webinar] Using the Engineering Design Process to Engage Students

Explore STEM and examine how to provide students with authentic opportunities to engage in meaningful problem solving. In this recent webinar, provided in partnership between Catapult Learning and the National Catholics Educational Association (NCEA), you will also examine how to facilitate inquiry-based lessons that hone key skills, including habits of mind, that your students need to succeed in the 21st century, and apply this new learning to reflect on specific ways to infuse STEM principles in your specific content areas, whether you teach in STEM-related fields or in the humanities.

2019-03-18T12:13:27-04:00February 27th, 2019|

The Importance of Empathy in Our Work with Students with Special Needs

A debate currently rages about the nature of autism. Within this debate are two important questions: Is autism a disorder to be treated? Or should society be treated to fit the needs of everyone? Like other writers who try to avoid falling into the pit of political despair, this blog will serve only to say what Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would say—“It doesn’t matter!” for our day-to-day activities. I know what you’re thinking—“What a crock!” “Take a stance!” “Stir the pot!”—but my goal is not to figure out everything there is to know about people with autism, whether you see it [...]

2019-03-01T21:38:09-04:00February 1st, 2019|

When Your Child’s Behavior Becomes Extreme

When children refuse to clean up their toys or eat their vegetables, most parents know how to best handle the situation. But what if a child’s reaction to appropriate consequences is extreme, escalating to physical aggression and even property damage and making the home unsafe? This type of conduct could be the sign of emotional/behavioral issues that need to be addressed for the best interest of the child, parents and other members of the family. When children act out in these ways, it can be very disconcerting for everyone involved. Parents often take on blame and can feel too ashamed [...]

2019-03-01T21:31:42-04:00January 19th, 2019|

3 Tips for Effective STEM Instruction

STEM is an engaging, hands-on learning experience driven by inquiry-based learning. Students develop their skills in collaboration, problem solving, and critical thinking to tackle challenges and objectives. With growing career opportunities in STEM-related fields, and the applicability of those 21st Century skills across academic and career disciplines, there is increased attention placed on STEM instruction. Catapult Learning offers supplemental STEM programs and professional learning to support the implementation of effective STEM instructional practices and curriculum. We asked one of our coaches, Jodon Orimaco, to share a few tips he offers to the schools and districts he supports. 1. Organize [...]

2018-11-08T06:50:21-04:00November 8th, 2018|

How to Foster a Growth Mindset in the Classroom

Teaching isn’t simply about getting students ready for tests. As educators, we know our work goes way beyond that to prepare them for a successful life. In every classroom, teachers have the power and platform to become positive influences, even role models and mentors – especially for students who lack these examples elsewhere. Fostering a growth mindset is key to creating a healthy learning environment where students flourish academically, behaviorally and socially. It also helps them develop an understanding of how to think about and evaluate success. Here are three tips on how to promote this type of thinking in [...]

2018-11-05T14:19:27-04:00November 5th, 2018|

Strategies for Developing Core Values at Your School

Every school has its own culture that expresses shared values and expectations for students, faculty and staff. As the principal, you to set a positive example for others as they contribute to a productive learning and teaching environment. Core values help communicate your school’s story – its mission, standards and desired outcomes. Establishing those ideals provides the foundation for building the type of atmosphere you want to foster. These standards also offer a way of thinking about which educational philosophies or initiatives your school supports. Well-established core values can help strengthen a school community. However, determining what those should be [...]

2018-10-24T10:00:22-04:00October 24th, 2018|

Create a Culturally Responsive Classroom (Monthly Steps)

In May 2018 I wrote about Culturally Responsive Teaching. To be a culturally responsive teachers we ourselves must be culturally competent. According to The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, “cultural competence means to be respectful and responsive to the health beliefs and practices—and cultural and linguistic needs—of diverse population groups. Developing cultural competence is also an evolving, dynamic process that takes time and occurs along a continuum.” What is a Culturally Responsive Teacher? Let’s start this school year by reidentifying the definition and importance of being a culturally responsive teacher. The Diversity Toolkit: Cultural Competence for Educatorssays, “Cultural competence is the ability to successfully teach students who [...]

2018-10-03T14:17:38-04:00October 3rd, 2018|

Back-to-School Tips for Superintendents (Part 2)

The new school year is well underway. As superintendent of your district, your leadership sets the tone for how the months to come will unfold. You likely have already visited your schools and made contact with all of your principals and teachers. They know you are there to help, offering guidance and assistance any way you can. Routines such as regular sit-downs with your principals and their leadership teams and attendance at faculty meetings can establish your availability as a source of support. Now that the foundation for the year is set and internal connections are [...]

2018-09-18T12:59:01-04:00September 12th, 2018|