August 2008 Archives

My 13-year-old is now on page 105 of The Power of One. This is truly amazing! That's about 25 pages ahead of his younger brother and possibly a record for the number of pages he has ever read in any book. This competition may be working. Stay tuned......


In a recent entry I talked about motivating my non-reader 13-year-old to read a book titled The Power of One. I received some thoughtful suggestions from readers of this blog for how to motivate non-readers, such as sharing the reading of the book aloud occasionally or just talking about the characters in the book with him. Nobody, however, recommended the use of competition. Yet competition is exactly what appears to be having a positive effect. His 10-year-old brother (who is a big reader) picked up a copy of the same book and started reading it. This prompted his older brother ...


The good news in the math world is that girls appear to be performing as well as boys...the bad news is that there is still waning interest among girls in certain math-related subjects as they move through high school. That is the conclusion of a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of California, Berkeley. See Education Week's coverage of the study, "Stereotype of Mathematical Inferiority Still Plagues Girls." Have girls really made this much progress in math? Why or why not?...


Are educators motivated by coping with the challenges they face? Or do they want to transform their environments into something better? A recent commentary in Education Week examines those questions specifically regarding school principals. What motivates them? And which type of principal is better for struggling schools, a coper or a transformer? "The contrasts in how these two groups talked about being a principal were often stunning," writes Jean Johnson, the author of the article and the executive vice president of Public Agenda and the head of its Education Insights Division. The commentary is based on Public Agenda’s latest ...


The folks over at SmartTeaching.org recently compiled a list of the "100 Best YouTube Videos for Teachers," a compilation organized into nine categories: history, science, language, arts, inspiration, classroom management, how-tos and guides, technology, and humor. I wasn't particularly impressed with a couple of the motivation-related videos I watched, but I barely scratched the surface of what's available. You should take a look and if you find motivation-related material that is worth noting, let us know....


I have been encouraging, pushing, and prodding my 13-year-old son for years to read more. He has declared numerous times that he hates to read because it is boring and a waste of time. I have countered that reading allows you to travel to times and places you could never actually visit, it helps you understand the world around you, and becoming a better reader will eventually help you land a better job in the future. The last argument seems to attract the most attention. He has brushed off my arguments for years as typical parental blather. But maybe, just ...


There are very few events that capture the concepts of determination, perseverance, and motivation better than the Olympics. Unlike Kevin, I'm not a big sports fan, and I very rarely keep up with athletics in general, but every time the Olympics roll around, I find myself glued to the television, marveling at the absolutely amazing things people are capable of. I put more hours of TV-watching in during the Olympics than I do at any other time of year (well, except for Shark Week). I know of at least one program that is working to harness the awe-inspiring power of ...


I have a confession: I am a public radio addict. It started a few months ago when a friend sent me a link to a show he thought I might like, and since then it's spiraled a little bit out of control. I've subscribed to dozens of podcasts and my radio dial has barely moved from my local public radio station. The reason I'm telling you this is because I stumbled across a video a few weeks ago that I would like to share. It's Ira Glass, the radio host of This American Life, talking about the creative process and ...


I was glad to see in the July 31 Baltimore Sun that even in a time when school districts and local governments are strapped for cash, some programs are still deemed important enough to warrant continued funding. Baltimore's YouthWorks program, which employs thousands of students during the summer, received about $300,000 from the state government in funding this year, which contributed to the program finding work for about 6,500 students--up from 5,400 last year, says the article. This program not only boosts the workforce in Baltimore, but also exposes teens to a myriad of careers and allows ...


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