Yak’s Corner

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Front Page Talking Points


Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.

See what’s fresh in styles, accessories and electronic learning for the new school year


1.gifChoose a story or photo that reflects summer. List at least three ways you enjoy this time of year.

2.gifNow find an item that shows a new month and season are coming soon.

3.gifRead an article related to a school subject you like and tell what you learn or why you picked it.

It's nearly time – or already time in some areas – to swap beach towels for class supplies, at least on weekdays. Malls and online shops feature new electronics, study aids, backpacks and fall fashions for back-to-school shoppers. Some vibrant backpacks are so bold and bright, with neon colors and tropical prints, you nearly need sunglasses. Others feature action scenes from Star Wars and Captain America. One brand, Tylt, next month introduces an Energi 2.0 style (about $100) with a rechargeable battery and three ports for charging to three devices at once.

To save money and still stand out, students can decorate a plain backpack with stickers from bands, teams, cool stores and other giveaways. Target offers a new line of stickers, rub-on transfers, tassels and other personalizing accessories designed by Bethany Moda, a 20-year-old video blogger from California with a big following.

In education technology news, virtual reality (VR) headsets or goggles that simulate 360-degree locations and scenes are an exciting frontier, as shown in the video below. They're just in a few schools, but educators see countless ways to engage students’ interests if they become more common. In a 2016 survey of 1,000 American teachers in grades K-12, more than 60 percent say they like to use VR in classrooms. Uses could include seeing chemical reactions or geologic formations, watching actors recreate scenes from classic books, experiencing simulated activities such as flying with the Wright Brothers or sailing with Columbus, or taking virtual field trips to a state capitol, Congress or colleges. Four suburban Detroit elementary schools have VR labs in a pilot program that includes realistic biology lessons without sharp tools or specimens. "I like to be able to dissect the objects, take them apart and look at them closer than you can with a textbook," fifth-grader Bailey Fitzgibbons of Macomb Township, Mich., said last spring after a lesson about the human eye.

Girls’ footwear: "The tall boots are still going to be popular but what’s really in are the short ankle boots. We call them booties." -- Melinda Merrill, executive at Fred Meyer chain in Portland, Ore.

Offbeat items: Emoticon locker magnets, freezable lunch bags with an ice pack built-in, sneaker stickers and rub-on designs

Industry executive says: "Technology influences the must-have items for back-to-school. More lists now include tablets and laptops." -- Traci Gregorski of Market Track, consumer research firm in Chicago

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2016
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