November 2008 Archives

Do you know anyone with A.D.H.D.? According to The New York Times, most kids now say they do: Michael Phelps. The Olympic superstar has become a point of pride for students and families who are affected by attention problems. As Harold S. Koplewicz, director of the New York University Child Study Center explains, "There is a special feeling when someone belongs to your club and the whole world is adoring him." Many patients, doctors, educators, and parents indicate that the present understanding of A.D.H.D. as a deficit leads to low expectations and low self-esteem. ...


Math for America, a non-profit that recruits math teachers, believes teachers could learn a thing or two about classroom management from stand-up comedians, according to New York magazine. Comedians, like teachers, struggle in front of tough crowds and their bad jokes can flop just like a lesson plan, but a good comedian knows how to get a laugh. In order to help math teachers connect with their audiences, the non-profit is offering after-school classes in improv comedy taught by an alum of Second City—the improv comedy troupe that launched the careers of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Amy Poehler. ...


Teens and children may not be wasting their time on social networking sites after all, according to a recent study from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Though young people aren’t learning the quadratic equation or the cause of the Civil War from sites like Facebook and Myspace, researchers found that they are “picking up the basic social and technical skills they need to fully participate in contemporary society,” reports news Web site DailyMe. "It is not a waste of time for teens to hang out online," Mizuko Ito, the lead researcher for the 3-year, $3.3 ...


The decision by the Newton, Mass., school district to add two additional early release days to the school calendar—beyond the existing four—has some parents upset and worried, reports The Boston Globe. The school says it needs the time for teacher professional development. The parents say their children are being robbed of valuable lesson time. Sharon DeCarlo, executive director of instructional programs in Newton, explained that teachers need planning time in order to provide quality teaching. “This is not time when teachers are off doing their own thing,” said DeCarlo. “The purpose [of the professional development] is for teachers ...


Disparate teacher dress codes within Jefferson Parish, La., have some public school teachers in an uproar, according to the Times-Picayune. While a number of principals allow teachers to wear jeans and capris to school, others forbid denim and require pants that cover the ankle. Meladie Munch, secretary treasurer of the Jefferson Federation of Teachers, opposes the inconsistency. "We're one school system, and all employees need to be treated the same." The current district code states only that clothes should be "neat, laundered, properly fitting, and appropriate to the job," leaving principals to determine their own specific rules. "At one school, ...


The embattled Dallas Independent School District has come under fire for assigning fake social security numbers to newly hired foreign nationals for at least four years, The Dallas Morning News reports. Adding to the controversy is the fact that 26 of the numbers assigned were already in use by real people living in Pennsylvania. An internal report issued by the district in September described the process of assigning fake numbers to speed up the hiring process, mostly of bilingual educators from Spanish-speaking countries. The fake numbers were replaced once employees got real Social Security cards. “You can’t just arbitrarily ...


Math teachers can now point their students to a new role model and say, "See, math does pay off!" Surprising election-season standout Nate Silver, the insanely accurate statistician behind election polling Web site FiveThirtyEight.com, was obsessed with math as a child, reports The New York Times. Mr. Silver started FiveThirtyEight (named after the number electoral votes up for grabs in a presidential election) in March of 2008. His predictions were remarkably accurate. He was within one percentage point of the popular vote and correctly called 49 of 50 states and all of the resolved senate races. Before his foray ...


Children who practice their musical instruments may outperform their peers in a number of fields, according to a Harvard-based study. Science Daily reports that the study showed students who have played a musical instrument for three years or more scored higher on tests measuring verbal ability and visual pattern completion—skills not normally associated with musical instrument training. Researchers Gottfried Schlaug and Ellen Winne compared 41 eight- to eleven-year-olds who had studied an instrument to 18 children who had not. Both groups participated in general music classes at school, but the instrumental group received additional private lessons. The instrumental children ...


This election season electrified Americans like no others in recent memory. Adults showed up to vote in record numbers, but perhaps most noticeable was the enthusiasm seen in young people--even those too young to vote. Students around the country held mock elections, ran mock campaigns, and even volunteered their time for real campaigns. Teachers used their excitement as a jumping off point for lessons in politics, race relations, and civic engagement. Now that President-Elect Barack Obama has won the election, the media is seeking student reactions. Local 12 in Cincinnati, Ohio spoke to students at St. Francis de Sales school. ...


A member of the Texas State Board of Education is accusing Barack Obama of sympathizing with terrorists. In her November 2 post on the Christian Worldview Network Web site, Cynthia Dunbar wrote that "those with whom Obama truly sympathizes" are plotting to "take down" America. Dunbar further alleges that Obama has no respect for the Constitution and will institute Martial Law once the "planned effort" is underway. The Texas Freedom Network, a watchdog group that monitors the board, released a statement on Monday asking Dunbar to retract her comments. Dunbar responded, "I don’t have anything in there that would ...


The 30-year-old classrooms without walls experiment might be coming to an end in Maryland, The Baltimore Sun reports. Born out of the progressive cultural shifts of the 1970s, classrooms without walls were part of a movement to rethink the traditional structure of schools and to encourage collaboration and interdisciplinary learning. But today the experiment is being looked at as a "failed relic" out of keeping with new academic objectives and mandates. Many teachers and students simply find the open space loud and distracting. Several Maryland counties are advocating an end to the program and are allocating funds for the major ...


Advertisement

Recent Comments

  • Nancy Flanagan: A team of NEA-affiliate consultants: Ellen Holmes (ME), Jim Meadows read more
  • Tisha Rinker: Who was the presenter? read more
  • Susan Morrison: PD several times per week? Gasp! Are teachers to read more
  • Nancy: What a fantastic story! I hope the students are enjoying read more
  • Sclgoya: Education change, like fossil formation (http://www.k5geosource.org/content/dd/fossil/pg1.html (first page only)), can read more

Archives

Categories

Technorati

Technorati search

» Blogs that link here