After discovering the PS22 Chorus on YouTube, Anne Hathaway showed up at their Winter Recital in December to personally invite them to perform at the awards show. Needless to say, there was a lot of screaming.
In 2006, musical director Gregg Breinberg started posting videos of the PS22 Chorus’s rehearsals on the web, and when Tori Amos, Perez Hilton and eventually Oprah discovered these videos, they became an Internet sensation. Breinberg is particularly fond of arranging choral renditions of rock and pop songs. Their most popular video is of “Just Dance” by Lady Gaga, with almost 4.5 million YouTube hits.
Now Breinberg and over 60 10-year-olds are in Hollywood preparing for Sunday’s performance. The PS22 Chorus will be singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
I have been a huge fan of Mr. B and the P.S. 22 Chorus for a few years now. (I like Tori Amos, not so much of a fan of Perez Hilton). The videos posted by Mr. B. on behalf of the chorus he leads are amazing. The voices always sound beautiful, and there always seems to be hope ringing through the music. The kids’ personalities shine through in every video, and their excitement is contagious. This is the number one thing that I am looking forward to with the Oscars this year. I haven’t even seen most of the movies up for awards, but I’ll be watching for these kids.
Larry’s looking for a little help developing lesson plans on this topic. It would be a good way to network to help him with it you have any ideas.
There are some very good visuals posted there, and that is probably where I would start.
This is also why I get so frustrated with people who claim to be education reformers that push for the privatization of schools. It is also why I think there’s a lot that needs to be done for our students in the poorest areas. Public education is supposed to be the great equalizer. If you we are not providing the same quality learning opportunities for all of our children, then it cannot be an equalizer on any realm. It is an un-equalizer.
The day J. finally came to school without things in his pocket. Oh, how we celebrated.
The day M. realized a black man was running for president, and that meant HE could be president.
The first time G. sounded out a word, and we ran and showed every teacher in the building.
When I didn’t feel well and K. told me to make sure I ate broccoli and carrots.
The field trip, when my class collectively stopped on their own, to dance to the steel drum music.
Watching Obama’s inauguration with my class, and they looked to me during every period of clapping so I could explain what was being said. That these little kiddos gave up their recess to continue watching.
When A. connected what we were learning in math, to fantasy football.
When B. stood up to a 6th grader for picking on her friend, used her words, and got a teacher.
The first time M. read a book to her mom.
The time I had to buy the groceries for L.’s family
The look on T.’s face when I bought him some school pants that actually fit him.
Counting by 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s while exercising.
Jump Rope songs.
Making boats and studying why they sank or floated
When my students wanted to write letters to thank Rosa Parks
When R. said he kicked butt at math, and to “bring it on”
When my class beat the rest of the school in their martial arts tournament — and we were the youngest
Y’s face when I really showed up at his basketball game, even though his dad did not
Making sure H got the accommodations that were appropriate for his disabilities
When my students learned that yes, they did live in Ohio, even though the name of their city was different
Students at-risk of joining gangs, coming to my room in the morning to ask for advice, students that were never in my class
The pride my students feel when we celebrate their progress
I know this is late for President’s day, but if you click on one of the oval carvings on the desk you can listen to some of JFK’s Secret Recordings (now public) on things like space, civil rights, Cuba, Vietnam, etc. Definitely a great primary resource for some social studies / history courses!
There are several other cool parts to the site, but I’ll let you explore for yourself!
In light of the regular attacks on teachers unions, I thought a “The Best…” list highlighting their benefits would be useful.
These attacks are exemplified by this satire at “Ed Tweak”:
Davis Guggenheim today received an Oscar nomination for best adapted screenplay, for his heart-wrenching film Waiting for Superman. The movie screenplay, based on the book “Teacher Unions: Spawn of Satan,” combines the documentary and horror genres in a way never before seen. It tells the story of five children as they try to escape from unionized teachers who are, in fact, zombies and vampires.
I’m very interested in hearing suggestions about additional articles I should include.
Please click the link to see the resources. Also, on a side note. I love twitter. I @ mentioned Larry asking for these kind of resources and a few hours later I had a direct message with this link!
The uprising in Madison is symptomatic of a simmering rage among the nation’s teachers. They have grown angry and demoralized over the past two years as attacks on their profession escalated.
The much-publicized film “Waiting for Superman” made the specious claim that “bad teachers” caused low student test scores. A Newsweek cover last yearproposed that the key to saving American education was firing bad teachers.
Teachers across the nation reacted with alarm when the leaders of the Central Falls district in Rhode Island threatened to fire the entire staff of the small town’s only high school. What got their attention was that Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and President Obama thought this was a fine idea, even though no one at the high school had been evaluated.
The Obama administration’s Race to the Top program intensified the demonizing of teachers, because it encouraged states to evaluate teachers in relation to student scores. There are many reasons why students do well or poorly on tests, and teachers felt they were being unfairly blamed when students got low scores, while the crucial role of families and the students themselves was overlooked.
Teachers’ despair deepened last August when The Los Angeles Times rated 6,000 teachers in Los Angeles as effective or ineffective, based on their students’ test scores, and posted these ratings online. Testing experts warn that such ratings are likely to be both inaccurate and unstable, but the Times stood by its analysis.
Now conservative governors and mayors want to abolish teachers’ right to due process, their seniority, and — in some states — their collective bargaining rights. Right-to-work states do not have higher scores than states with strong unions. Actually, the states with the highest performance on national tests are Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Vermont, and New Hampshire, where teachers belong to unions that bargain collectively for their members.
This is an article worth your time. Please click the link to read the entire article.
What’s the single most alarming educational crisis today? That’s easy. It’s our failure to pay more attention to the academic field of whichever educator happens to be speaking at the moment.
Just listen, then, and learn that while there may be other problems, too, the truly urgent issue these days is that we’re just not investing in math and science instruction the way we should be — with predictably dismaying results. No, it’s that kids are outrageously ignorant about history, a subject that ought to be, but never is, a priority. No, it’s that even in high school, students still can’t write a coherent paragraph. No, the real emergency is that reading skills are far from what they should be. No, it’s that music and the arts are shamefully neglected in our schools. And so on.
Now there may be some truth to all of these assertions, and the overarching tragedy is our failure to commit to — and adequately fund — education itself. How unsettling, then, to be overwhelmed by a cacophony of claims by educators from different departments forced to compete for attention.
(Let it also be noted that, if we look carefully, not all of these statements are actually comparable: Saying that a specific subject is underfunded or ignored is different from saying that students are doing poorly in that subject, and vice versa. And saying that either of those things is true with respect to an ideal standard is different from saying that it’s true relative to what happens in other subjects.)
What interests me at the moment, though, are not empirical claims about who’s getting what — or the competence that students do or don’t possess in a given discipline — but value-based beliefs about what matters most. Does one subject merit special attention, deserve more dollars, constitute the core of what we expect our schools to offer?
My students that come to me for math on Mondays, usually understand the material by the time they take their tests. However, they often make simple mistakes which lowers their grades.
With multiplying double digit numbers, they had 3 common mistakes.
The first was carrying the wrong number.
PPT’s Solution: The number in the back of the line goes on the bottom. So if they multiply 29x32, and they start with 2x9= 18, the 8 is in the back of the line and it goes on the bottom and they carry the 1.
The second was adding a number that they carried in twice. This would happen, for example with the above problem, when they multiplied 3x2, they would add in the 1 from the 18 they had when they multiplied the one’s place numbers.
PPT’s Solution: After you’ve added a number that you carried, cross it out so you remember that you used it. It will still be there for you if you check your work.
The third mistake was less common. When moving to the 3x29, some students forgot to put their 0 before multiplying (since the 3 really represents 30).
PPT’s Solution: Leave some space under the equal line, and put the 0 on the second row (where you would do the 3x29 part) in before you do any multiplying.
They understood why they needed the zero, but they occasionally forgot it.
I also told them they could write “Back on the bottom” on their tests. I’m looking forward to seeing their grades after their classroom teacher grades it.
While at work today, delivering reading interventions to a group of Kindergarden students, I was administering a spelling test. Our goal for the week was to learn the sounds for ‘ch/tch’ ‘sh’ and ‘th.’ As I read each word aloud I begin a sentence, and allow the students to finish the sentence to…
Ah, teachable moments can be pretty powerful. Sounds like you handled it really well without hurting the self-esteem of other kids.
Bonus for those of us on Tumblr: you can publish directly to your blogs from Storify.
One of my favorite things to do when traveling is to visit city’s museums. I have been to the Art Institute in Chicago, the Louvre in Paris, The British Museum, the National Gallery in London, and many others.
I don’t pretend to be an art expert, but looking at art has provided me many moments of great joy.
Today when I stumbled across Google’s Art Project, I felt that same joy.
“Explore the events and people that shaped African American history with our activities, printables, biographies, and more.” education.com includes resources about the Civil Rights Movement, the leaders that shaped African American history, and important information to teach students about culture and diversity.
Among their resources, they include a great Black History Month Book List.
1. Free to Be You and Me - Marlo Thomas and Friends
2. Poetry for Young People: Maya Angelou - ed. by Edwin Graves Wilson
3. Duke Ellington: His Life in Jazz with 21 Activities - Stephanie Stein Crease
4. Rosa Parks: Courageous Citizenship - Ruth Ashby
5. Still I Rise - Roland Laird and Taneshia Nash Laird
The combination of deficient decoding skills, lack of practice and difficult materials results in unrewarding reading experiences that lead to less involvement in reading related activities. Thus, a situation coined “The Matthew Effect” often occurs – the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
Advantages of Reading
In other words, those with poor reading skills do not want to read and, therefore, their reading does not improve. Contrarily, those who can read fluently read more and benefit from all the other advantages that reading offers. For example, developing automatic word recognition, general language skills, vocabulary, familiarity with complex syntactic structures and improving background knowledge.
Reading Enriches Vocabulary Not Speech
Since words found in print tend to be less common, a person’s vocabulary develops due to language exposure through reading not through oral language. Spoken language tends to be repetitive and, therefore, full of high frequency words. In contrast, less frequent words, which are still important for daily functioning, tend to be found in print and not in spoken language. As a result, speech is lexically impoverished compared to written language.
Low Frequency Words in Children’s Books
Interestingly, words in children’s books are considerably rarer than those used in speech in prime-time adult television. In addition, magazines have about three times as many opportunities for new word learning than prime-time TV and adult conversation. Hence, conversation is not a substitute for reading and does not enhance vocabulary growth.
(Click to continue reading)