November is “Catching Fire” Month on!

Catching Fire, the film adaptation of the second book in the international bestselling trilogy The Hunger Games, comes to the big screen on November 22. This installment of the equally popular movie franchise, which tells the story of a dystopic future where the 12 districts of Panem rebel against a totalitarian Capitol, is one of the most highly anticipated movies of the season.

Students love The Hunger Games, but their fascination doesn't simply have to be an obsession with popular culture. Great teachers like yourselves recognize the potential to transform something entertaining into something educational, harnessing students' interests to engage them in productive learning.

In the spirit of turning popular culture into a …


Private School Begins Testing Students for Drug and Alcohol Use

Anti-drug programs are nothing new to schools, but one private school in Illinois is taking zero tolerance to a new level. The Huffington Post reports that Catholic high school St. Viator, located in a Chicago suburb, recently started screening students for drugs and alcohol in an effort to combat the dangerous effects of drugs and underage drinking. Every week, the school uses a computerized lottery system to randomly test between 10 and 20 students. According to the school principal, Rev. Corey Brost, “We want to give kids a good reason to say, 'No, I can't drink, St. Viato…


Pediatricians’ Advice: Kids Should Spend Less Time Online

According to new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), kids are spending too much time on cell phones and computers. The Huffington Post reported that the AAP feels children should not have computers in their bedrooms and that their media and Internet consumption should be limited to two hours a day. This two-hour limit would include all television viewing and time spent on social network sites like Twitter, with the only exceptions being schoolwork that requires computer usage. The recommendation has been issued to try to combat…


A Community Effort to Improve Literacy (Peter DeWitt)

"On average, professional parents spoke over 2,000 words per hour to their children, working class parents spoke about 1,300, and welfare mothers spoke about 600. So by age 3, children of professionals had vocabularies that were nearly 50% greater than those of working-class children and …


Dallas School District to Provide Free Meals for All Students

With 159,000 students, the Dallas Independent School District has a lot of mouths to feed. According to the Dallas Morning News, the district has participated in the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) free meal program since 1980. Over the last three decades, families have had to apply for free or reduced price breakfast and lunch, because eligibility was determined by income. In Dallas, these applications are now a thing of the past as the USDA now offers a no-cost meal option for all; beginning this year, no families in the district will need to submit applications. Meals are now free…

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