Posts tagged education

I am tentatively planning on coming to Chicago the weekend of July 11th with a day or two added on one side of the weekend.

I have a place to stay.  One of my closest friends from college recently bought a loft in downtown Chicago.  Obviously, I want to spend time with him.  I’d love to do a dinner or lunch with Tumblrs and/or something else fun in the city.

Would any of #education be available then and there?

Letter: Dumb ol' Jeb » Naples Daily News

Dumb ol’ Jeb W

ant to know how dumb Jeb Bush is? Let me tell you. Bush has partnered with Bill Gates, publishing companies and others to implement Common Core in exchange, essentially, for money for his next political campaign.

But he doesn’t realize that the Common Core curriculum is designed to indoctrinate our children into progressive, anti-American ideologies which will result in no future voters for the “evil, rich, business-owning” Republican Party. He is unwittingly arranging the demise of his own party. What a fool.

All that money coming into his campaign coffers has blinded him to the perils threatening the future of our children and our country. Shame on you, Jeb Bush, and any other Republicans who are pushing Common Core on the good people of this nation.

This letter to the editor had me cracking up for a number of reasons.

Meet the Teacher Who Inspired Darren Aronofsky's 'Noah'

The most popular guest at the Paramount Pictures premiere of “Noah” on Wednesday night in New York was decked out in a bright pink ensemble with matching boots.

Vera Fried, who admitted that her wardrobe came from a Suits for Less discount store, isn’t a trained actress. She’s Darren Aronofsky’s former seventh-grade teacher.

The director of “Noah” contacted his old instructor three decades later to thank her. “She inspired me in the seventh grade to become a writer,” Aronfosky told Variety. “She said, when you write your first book, dedicate it to me.” And he did: there’s a inscription to Fried in his “Noah” coffee table book.

Fried, who is now retired in Delray Beach, Florida, from a lifetime of teaching in Coney Island, N.Y., said she wasn’t familiar with Aronofsky’s work when he reached out.

“I didn’t hear from him for 33 years, and then he sent me the unpunctuated email,” Fried says, noting that the teenage Aronofsky used to punctuate perfectly.

I watched an interview with this guy, and in describing how he was inspired as a 7th grader, he said it was because he had “a magical teacher.”  So, he gave her a part in the movie.


In general, value-added models use statistical formulas to generate estimates of how much a particular school or classroom teacher contributed to student learning, as measured by standardized-test scores. Tennessee’s version is known as TVAAS. It is included as one factor in a teacher-evaluation system that was rolled out, somewhat bumpily, in the 2011-12 school year.

Under state rules, a teacher with five or fewer tested students is graded on a “schoolwide” measure, based on the progress of all students in the school. Those teachers with six or more tested pupils receive an individual value-added estimate based on those students’ progress.

In the case of plaintiff Mark Taylor, an 8th grade science teacher, the value-added score was based on just the 22 students in his regular science class. They represented fewer than 16 percent of the total number of students he instructs, because he also has four sections of students who take an advanced course that does not conclude with a standardized exam.

The union says that the state has “no rational basis” for basing the measurement on only a fraction of a teacher’s students, and that the “arbitrary and irrational” categorization of teachers into groups with different evaluation rules violates teachers’ due-process and equal-protection rights under the U.S. Constitution.

In an interesting wrinkle, the lawsuit cites as evidence comments made by the developer of TVAAS, the North Carolina-based researcher William Sanders. Mr. Taylor’s parents were apparently acquainted with Mr. Sanders through Sunday school classes, and queried him by email whether TVAAS results based on one course were appropriate to use for evaluation purposes.

“For an overall evaluation of the effectiveness of the teacher to facilitate student academic progress, of course not,” Mr. Sanders replied, according to copies appended to the complaint.


Tenn. Teachers’ Union Takes Evaluation Fight Into the Courtroom - Education Week

Let me emphasize this part: “For an overall evaluation of the effectiveness of the teacher to facilitate student academic progress, of course not,” Mr. Sanders replied, according to copies appended to the complaint.”

OF COURSE NOT!!!!!!!!!

timegiraffes asked:

Hi there, I'm a university psychology student. Referring to the autism increase post, you're right in that a lot of the increase is attributed to the inclusion of Aspberger Syndrome in the autism spectrum. AS is also something that gets miss diagnosed at a relatively frequent rate. Personally, I find it irresponsible to report such statistics if the media isn't going to explain them, because it just fuels the ridiculous "vaccines cause autism" thing which is both insulting and careless.

Thanks for the information!

"A judge last week allowed 11 teens and their parents to become third-party defendants, a novel ruling that could have broader consequences when bullying is litigated. The judge and lawyers say it’s the first time a New Jersey judge has been asked by a school district to add students as defendants in a bullying case.

“As difficult as it is for my client, we’re very pleased with the message that the decision sends,” said Brian Cige, a lawyer for the now-18-year-old plaintiff identified in court documents only by his initial, V.B. “There needs to be personal responsibility for both kids and their parents for their behavior.”


NJ schools can bring alleged bullies into lawsuit - Education Week


De Blasio, who made universal prekindergarten the centerpiece of his first months in office, announced that the expected pool of those applying to teach prekindergarten in September should top 8,000, far more than the 1,000 new teachers he says is needed. Another 1,000 would be needed the following year when the program expands further.

The announcement is the latest in recent weeks — following ones on prekindergarten applicants and another on obtaining the necessary classroom space — seemingly meant to fill in details of the previously vague prekindergarten ideas de Blasio trotted out during his mayoral campaign. The show of readiness also appeared intended to impress Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has said that a city’s plan needs to be “operationalized” before it can receive state funding.

"The classrooms are ready. The teachers are ready. New York City is ready to make history," de Blasio said. "It’s well-established there is a need to fix our schools and that early childhood education is a fundamental way to do that."


Mayor says New York City is ready for pre-K - Education Week

Early childhood education is the BEST way to improve schools, IMHO.

At the beginning of the year, someone bought for me Animal Masks off of my Amazon wishlist

I used them earlier in the year for retelling some of our stories that had animals in them.   Two weeks ago, we did a farm theme, so the animals that were farm animals I put in the dramatic play area.  I’ve also been trying to incorporate emergent writing in more of my centers, so I had these cute clipboards I found in target in each center.   

I took a picture of four of my kids sitting in the farm with animal masks furiously writing their demands to the farmer (think of the Click, Clack, Moo series).  For once, I actually had a picture I could put up.   Unfortunately, I messed up uploading the pictures to my computer and the file was corrupted.

But the kids LOVE them, and get so excited when we use them.   So I wanted to make sure to post about it and thank whoever bought them.  I didn’t get a name with them, so I just wanted to say THANKS!!!!!  You brought a lot of joy and imagination to my classroom this year.

(Whispering) If you want to buy something for my classroom, my wishlist is here.   I had a few hundred dollars worth of children’s books damaged in my flood and my insurance doesn’t cover replacement cost.  I put a lot of stuff on there so people could pick something that they themselves enjoy, but if you want to see what we need most have it sort the item by priority)

ETA: The link should be working properly now.

Hard Topics, Justice, and Compassion in Pre-K

A while back, HONY posted this portrait of a preschool teacher who lost her job for (according to her) discussing topics like the apartheid and asking students to make cards for Trayvon’s mom.  

Many people responded to my reblog or sent me asks to find out what my “thoughts” as I had mentioned were.  I waited to post my response because I wanted to think it through and to make sure any disagreements I had were not another hammer landing on this lady’s head if it were linked to by any bigger sites discussing the post.

Before I cautiously share my opinions, I must preface this post with the fact that I don’t know this teacher, her students, or how those discussions and activities came to be.  

Read More

Class Mantra:

There’s no such thing as a girl toy or a boy toy.

There’s no such thing as a boy book or a girl book.

Colors aren’t boys or girls.

Girls are not better than boys.  Boys are not better than girls.

It is okay to be a boy and a girl and be friends.

Is the toy fun?  Does it help you learn?  Does the book interest you? Did you find out anything you didn’t know before? Do you like the color?  How does your friend treat you?  How do you treat your friends?

These are the things that matter.

Hey everyone, my school has a mentoring program for our 5th and 4th grade students who are considered at-risk or just need someone to talk to for various reasons.   One of the goals of the program is to get them thinking of their future (college in particular).  Anyone know of a college/university feature search that helps you narrow down colleges?  I’d like to take my mentee on a virtual tour of places that might interest her just to get her excited/motivated.

The Disturbing Transformation of Kindergarten | TRUTH ABOUT EDUCATION

Play is essential in kindergarten – in fact in any child under the age of 5. Through play, children build literacy skills they need to be successful readers. By speaking to each other in socio-dramatic play, children use the language they heard adults read to them or say. This process enables children to find the meaning in those words.

There is a wide range of acceptable developmental levels in kindergarten; so a fluid classroom enables teachers to observe where each child is and adjust the curriculum accordingly. Two major studies confirmed the value of play vs. teaching reading skills to young children. Both compared children who learned to read at 5 with those who learned at 7 and spent their early years in play-based activities. Those who read at 5 had no advantage. Those who learned to read later had better comprehension by age 11, because their early play experiences improved their language development. Yet current educational policy banishes play in favor of direct instruction of inappropriate academic content and testing; practices that are ineffective for young children.

In frustration of the new schedule that we have to follow this school year, (that I don’t feel allows me enough small group instructional time), I’ve begun squeezing in learning activities in other places:




naptime (I always did it then, now I just do a lot more)

waiting for the bathroom

dismissal walk

I do things like use photo cards to build oral language while we walk or when they finish eating.   I do phonemic awareness activities like beginning sound, onset rime blending, deletion, rhyming, syllables, and I’ve started adding in word problems.   I probably could have done this all along, but there’s also something to be said for allowing the kids to have their time and to socialize.  So I try to balance it.  

This morning I was doing my usual, and I guess I was being a little bit louder than normal, because the kids at the next table over (also pre-K) started answering along with my kids (choral responses are less pressure and allows the other kids exposure to things they don’t know).  Every time I stopped (mostly to think of more questions) the kids asked for more.   When it was time to leave the cafeteria, two of the girls came to me separately to ask if we could do it again tomorrow morning.

And now it is 7:50 and I’m making a list of compound words for tomorrow.