School Class Size & School Lunches
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A Teacher Discouraged by Large Class Size

A Teacher Discouraged by Large Class Size | School Class Size & School Lunches | Scoop.it
Received as a comment:   As a 1st grade teacher with 28 students, I can empathize with the parents concerns; however, we have been forced to become managers rather than teachers. The class is ...
Ashli Meginnis's insight:

After reading this blog and some of the comments, it made me think about my future as a teacher. It seems that the large class size and mentality of the education system are pushing this teacher away from the profession. The teacher says that she has a class of 28 students and feels as though she is a classroom manager more than a teacher. She feels that she needs to keep the students constantly busy in order to keep control of them. It seems that because there are so many students in her class, it is easy to get off track and even harder to get back on track. In my first grade class, I don't remember it being almost a class of thirty students. I believe my class was about twenty students or less. I think that smaller class sizes could help students to do better in school. Smaller classes create less distractions and allow for more room to do well in school.

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Twitter / USD232Food: Here's a shot from our Garden ...

Twitter / USD232Food: Here's a shot from our Garden ... | School Class Size & School Lunches | Scoop.it
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I am very impressed by this salad bar at this high school. This is way healthier than anything I had offered in my schools growing up. Most of the foods that were offered were either fried or greasy. There were very few healthy options. I think that having healthy options is great for students because eating healthy allows students to have more energy which could lead to better efforts and grades in school. Providing healthy choices, like this garden bar, in schools could also help to hinder the obesity crisis we have here in our country. Having healthy options for school lunches would do more good than harm, in my opinion.

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Uproar Over School Lunches

Students launched a YouTube-fueled rebellion against the new government healthy meal guidelines.
Ashli Meginnis's insight:

This video was very interesting. I can understand why many students are reluctant to eat the "new and improved" school lunches. I think the hesitation is mainly due to the fact that many of these students have grown up eating less-healthy foods due to our current culture. A lot of kids these days don't eat as healthy as they can or should due to the availability of unhealthy foods. I know that if I were still in high school and they introduced a healthier menu many of my fellow students would not be happy. I would most likely be guilty of it too. I remember the school lunches that were provided to me and my fellow students and they were, by no means, "healthy". The foods were many times greasy or fried and fruit and vegetables were an option, not a requirement. That being said, as an adult, I do see the need to introduce healthier foods to schools. I think it is necessary to students' educations as well as to hinder the obesity epidemic. I think that many students do not understand the need for healthy foods and believe that the more healthy foods are introduced, the more students will begin to come around and take part in the healthy school lunch initiative.

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American Schools Are Missing 389,000 Teachers | ThinkProgress.org

American Schools Are Missing 389,000 Teachers | ThinkProgress.org | School Class Size & School Lunches | Scoop.it

Over the last five years, the number of students enrolled in K-12 schools has gone up by 1.6 percent, and to keep up with that growth, the country would have needed to hire an additional 132,000 teachers, according to analysis from the Economic Policy Institute. But instead, over that period the U.S. slashed 258,000 jobs in local education, a group mostly made up of teachers (although one that also includes counselors, administration, and aides). That leaves the country with a deficit of 389,000 educators.

 

“A ‘teacher gap’ of this magnitude means not only larger class sizes, but also fewer teacher aides, fewer extracurricular activities, and a narrower curriculum for our children,” EPI’s Heidi Shierholz writes in the report. It also notes that the gap between hired staff and student needs is probably even wider, given that the number of children living in poverty increased over that period, which would mean an increased need in support services. The U.S. just hit a record in the number of homeless students in its schools, and in 17 states the majority of students are now poor.

 

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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Ashli Meginnis's insight:

It is so crazy to me that there would be such a large cut in teacher's jobs while the student enrollment is continuing to raise. You would think that the more students there are, the more teachers they would hire. But due to budget cuts, teachers were one of the firsts to go. This obviously causes class sizes to become larger and, in turn, not allowing that one-on-one time with the teacher. Teachers do not fully get to understand and know their students when they have such large classes. I feel that it is so important for a teacher to know their students in order to be able to adapt to their specific needs. It is much harder to accomplish this when the class sizes continue to grow. While it's not the teachers fault that their classes continue to grow, it is likely that their ratings will drop as their student's work starts to go downhill. I have always felt that I do better in a class where there are less students rather than a class with a large roster. In smaller classes, I feel more noticed and I also feel that my specific needs are met.

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Kids upload and unload on school cafeteria lunches

Kids upload and unload on school cafeteria lunches | School Class Size & School Lunches | Scoop.it
An online campaign designed to get kids interested in the quality of their school lunches has produced an unprecedented peek into their world, with students, most of them teenagers, uploading more than 7,000 photos of the food served up daily in...
Ashli Meginnis's insight:

This article discussed the topic of school lunches and students' views on what they are offered. An online campaign asked students across the country to upload pictures of the food they are served at school and then vote whether or not they would eat it or throw it away. It states in the article that a majority of the foods that were pictured on this campaign were actually very unhealthy. And surprisingly, most students voted that they would throw the unhealthy foods away. It was also evident that the older the students were, the better food they were offered. For example, college students were included in this campaign and the food that they were offered seemed a lot healthier than the food elementary and middle schools were offered. Some of the food described in the article sounded awful and very unhealthy. I think it is necessary to offer a well-rounded diet in order for students to get the nutrition they need. Thinking back about the food that was offered during my elementary, middle and high school years, I am a little disgusted that school officials would elect to serve what they did. Now that I am in college, I have a way better selection of healthier foods and also feel more satisfied at lunch time.

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A Thousand Cuts: Larger Classes Hit Young Children Especially Hard

A Thousand Cuts: Larger Classes Hit Young Children Especially Hard | School Class Size & School Lunches | Scoop.it
This article is part of a Huffington Post series on the global impact of austerity -- "A Thousand Cuts" -- from affordable housing funds lost in San Francisco to increasing class sizes in New York, food inspector cuts in Canada, disability benefits...
Ashli Meginnis's insight:

This article focused on one specific student's experience with large class sizes and it showed that a smaller class size was more beneficial to students than a large class size. During her second grade year, this student flourished in school. She would tell her mother how much she loved going to school. However, when she went into third grade, her class count went up eleven students, not including herself. The student began struggling in her classes, math especially. Her grades began to fall. And she also began to dread going to school. Her mother said she would fake illnesses just so she didn't have to go. The student also told her mother that she wanted to switch classes. When asked why, the student said that there were too many students in her class and she felt that the teacher did not give her the attention that she needed. This is why I believe it is so important to take class size into consideration. I think that kids suffer at the hands of officials who just want to save money by firing teachers. Firing teachers creates a larger class size and therefore, less one-on-one time with the students. My elementary school classes were probably around 20-25 students. I can't imagine being in a class with 31 other students. Today, I value the relationship my teachers were able to have with me and my fellow students because I feel it allowed me to get the extra help I needed in order to succeed.

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Steve Zimmer (LAUSD) on Why Class Size Matters

Small class size isn't about protecting teachers' jobs or making their work easier -- it's about providing every student with quality attention in the classr...
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I really enjoyed watching this video. I believe that class size does matter in more ways than one. Steven Zimmer explains that while a smaller class size would create more jobs for teachers, it is more important to think about the students when regards to this issue. In this video, Zimmer talks about the number of complaints from parents they have received regarding large class sizes. I believe that large class sizes impact the relationship that the teacher can have with their students. Teachers are not only there to teach, they are also there to connect with their students in order to create a healthy and effective learning environment. Students do not get the individual attention they need and deserve in order to be successful in school if they are in large classes. It is easier for the teacher to have smaller classes in order to provide the necessary learning environment needed by the students. This made me think of the many classes in my college career that I have taken where there were over 100 students in the class. While in those classes, I never felt that I had any type of relationship with the teachers or professors. In fact, in most of these classes it was recommended that the students talk to the teacher's aid's in order to receive any feedback or help for the class. In these types of classes I always wished that the class size were smaller because I felt that I could have had a better learning experience. This is why I believe it is very important to have smaller class sizes. 

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Class Size vs. Teacher Quality

Class Size vs. Teacher Quality | School Class Size & School Lunches | Scoop.it
This article is part of a Huffington Post series on the global impact of austerity -- "A Thousand Cuts" -- from affordable housing funds lost in San Francisco to increasing class sizes in New York, food inspector cuts in Canada, disability benefits...

Via Mel Riddile
Ashli Meginnis's insight:

This was an interesting article to read. It talked about how it is theorized that class size doesn't really matter, but more depends on the quality of the teacher. In the article, it describes a study that was being done to test this theory. Researchers developed a simulation where they tested whether or not class size matters. The researchers assigned more students to stronger teachers and less students to weaker teachers. The findings were that there was a slight improvement on student performance when in a larger class taught by a stronger teacher. While I still believe that it is important to have smaller classes, this research surprised me. I wasn't expecting a stronger teacher with a larger class to improve student's performance. I enjoyed having smaller classes when I was in elementary and middle school and believe there is a lot to be gained by being in a smaller class. However, if this simulation could actually be proven in a real-life situation, maybe I would be willing to change my tune.

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Twitter / CUSDNutrition: This week we hav student focus ...

Twitter / CUSDNutrition: This week we hav student focus ... | School Class Size & School Lunches | Scoop.it
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I thought this tweet was very interesting. I think it is really cool that they allowed these students to taste test the school lunches that they have chosen to serve for the following year. Not only do these students get to taste test, they are also allowed to approve or disapprove the food that they taste. I think that this is a really interesting tactic to use when introducing new foods to students. I think that if the students are able to taste and choose what they would like to see in their school cafeterias, they would be more likely to eat all of their lunches. This would lead to less waste and hopefully, a more balanced diet for students. I know that if my peers and I were able to taste test and choose what we would like to have on our school lunch menu, I would feel like I had a voice in my school. It would make me want to buy lunch and eat what I helped to choose to serve.

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U.S., suppliers settle over school lunch beef linked to recall

U.S., suppliers settle over school lunch beef linked to recall | School Class Size & School Lunches | Scoop.it
US-USA-SCHOOLLUNCH-SETTLEMENT:U.S., suppliers settle over school lunch beef linked to recall
Ashli Meginnis's insight:

Reading this article disgusted me. It is awful to believe that this company would mis-treat and improperly inspect cows that were used for human consumption. It especially disgusts me that a lot of this, possibly unhealthy, meat was served to students. I feel that there needs to be more regulations implemented in order to ensure that healthy food is provided for students in school. It is so important to a student's growth to eat healthy. Eating healthy not only helps the body but also helps the brain grow. The brain is so important to take care of while a child is growing up. The brain grows well into adolescence and eating right is one main thing that allows the brain to remain healthy. The meat that was distributed to schools across the country could have potentially caused a lot of widespread illness. Thankfully, however, that didn't happen. I believe that if there were more regulations on what is served in schools and how that food is raised, things like this wouldn't happen and the health of our country's students wouldn't be at risk.

 

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