Friday, February 9, 2018

Listening to the Symphony 😀


I happen to love listening to classical music. So, while I was listening to the radio recently, I heard
"Thoughts While Attending the First Symphony in the Series My Wife Wanted to Buy," a 5-minute piece published by the New Yorker Radio Hour. See what you think.


Friday, January 26, 2018

Know WHEN


Looking for perfect timing? Daniel Pink's newest book When will give you some great, research-based information. One of my favorite—of many—parts of the book is when he talks about the advantage of taking breaks in the workplace. Like his books A Whole New MindDrive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, and To Sell is Human, When is an easy-to-read and convincing book. Go to his website to learn more.

If you have six minutes, check out this Face the Nation interview with Pink about When.

Back in 2010, I had the pleasure of interviewing the author myself. Here is a link to the Montessori Life article "Drive to Montessori: An Interview With Daniel Pink."


Saturday, January 13, 2018

A School's Way To Fight Phones In Class

From NPR website
Listen to this excellent NPR story, “A School's Way To Fight Phones In Class: Lock 'Em Up' ” by Tovia Smith. (January 11, 2018)

Here is how the story begins . . .

“Any teacher will tell you, class has never been the same since kids started coming to school with cellphones. Ancient Roman history will pretty much never win the day when competing with Snapchat and Instagram.

And sneaky as kids think they are, teachers know exactly what's going on when students look up with those zombie stares and constantly ask: 'Can you say that again?'


‘You can see that they're not listening to you,’ says history teacher Tony Patelis, at Newton North High School in Massachusetts. ‘They're looking down, and they tell me they're checking the time, even though the clock is on the wall.’ ”

Friday, December 29, 2017

Motivated Kids v. Kids With High IQ

On the QUARTZ website, the article “Highly motivated kids have a greater advantage in life than kids with a high IQ” by Rebecca Haggerty (Associate Professor of Professional Practice, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism) posted December 19 is a must-read piece.

Here are a three callout quotes:

"If there’s a secret sauce to winning at life, the motivational kids seemed to have found it."

"Giftedness can come in many forms. Why are we hung up on IQ tests?"

"What message are we giving kids? You don’t have to suffer through your job to get to the weekend. You can enjoy what you do in life."

You won't be surprised to see the names Dweck and Duckworth when you read.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Power of Telling Stories

"It is important to take the time to tell stories in our classes. It is even more important to provide an environment for our students to have the opportunity to tell their stories in class. Telling their stories helps students build and understand their own identities." 

This quote is from "Stories: Listening, Telling, Teaching, and Learning," an article I recently wrote for NAIS's Independent Teacher. Within the article, you will also find some links to on-stage story telling from True Tales Live, a Moth-like venue in Portmouth, NH.


Friday, December 1, 2017

The Wonder of Wonder

Having read the book Wonder by R. J. Palacio when it first arrived in book stores in 2012, I am not surprised that it remains number one on the NYTimes middle reader bestseller list. When I saw the newly released movie this past week, it was equally gripping. Watch the movie trailer below to get a glimpse of the power of the story.

I also recommend the follow-up book Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories by the same author.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Winnie, A. A. Milne, and son Christopher Robin


Winnie The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh by Sally M. Walker is an excellent book for children and adults.

Remember "Return to Pooh Corner" by Kenny Loggins?

And now the movie . . .


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Leadership: About Being a Boss


Photo Illustration by the NYTimes
The NYTimes October 27, 2017 article "How to Be a C.E.O., From a Decade’s Worth of Them" by Adam Bryant talks about his years writing the Corner Office column. Here’s a sample of what Bryant's excellent article has to offer about leadership.

Leadership, Part I - Leaders, for example, need humility to know what they don’t know, but have the confidence to make a decision amid the ambiguity. A bit of chaos can help foster creativity and innovation, but too much can feel like anarchy. You need to be empathetic and care about people, but also be willing to let them go if they’re dragging down the team.”

 “Leadership, Part II - . . . if you were to force me to rank the most important qualities of effective leadership, I would put trustworthiness at the top. A close cousin of trustworthiness is how much you respect the people who work for you.”

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Top Books To Read


I stumbled upon this fascinating article "Top Experts Always Recommend These 4 Books." Author Eric Barker's Time magazine article is excellent. Even though it was written in June of 2015, I think you will appreciate what the author has presented, and I am sure you will compare what he has listed with what you have read and which books sit on your bookshelf.


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Disruptive Leadership

Listening to a TED Radio Hour podcast, "Disruptive Leadership," I was enthralled with the speakers—Sheryl Sandberg, General Stanley McChrystal, educator Bunker Roy, entrepreneur and writer Seth Godin, and leadership advocate Drew Dudley—who presented segments from their on-stage TED Talks.

While the whole podcast is a worthwhile 53-minute listen with tons of sage advice, I thought you might like to view Drew Dudley's 6-minute Talk since it is so powerful and uplifting, especially when he talks about "lollipop moments."



Sunday, October 1, 2017

Aesop's Fables


Aesop's Fables are fascinating stories for children of all ages . . . and adults, too. To get a hold of a book of Aesop's Fables, you can download a copy free from iBooks or Google Play or you can just go to this Library of Congress website.

Recently, I read to preschool children, Jerry Pinkney's The Lion & the Mouse. This beautifully illustrated book has no words, so you can "tell" the story in your own words. Children loved it.

From amazon

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Our Responsibility as Teachers

"Commentary: As school year begins, a message to teachers" by head of school Susan Kambrich is a must-read piece from the Times Union paper in Albany, NY.

From the article:
"It is easy to react emotionally and often angrily when confronted with conflict, racism, and bullying. Instead of reacting, let's work together this year to respond to hate by arming our children with ways to be empathetic and curious about others and the world, and giving them the ability to think critically about injustice."

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Technology Dilemma

Pedro Veneziano - NYTimes
In Clayton Christensen's book Innovator's Dilemma he discusses how "disruptive technology" can be both helpful and terrible at the same time and how we can navigate to the helpful side.

As an example, look at our technology habits when it comes to communicating—texting, phone, tweets, Instagram, YouTube, etc.—with one another and where it is leading our younger generations.

Along with Christensen, here are three excellent resources to read to learn about the insidious, ill-side of technology.

The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age by Catherine Steiner-Adair (2013)

"Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation" by Jean M. Twenge from The Atlantic

"Save Your Sanity, Downgrade Your Life," by Pamela Paul in the Sunday NYTimes 

Friday, August 18, 2017

The 33 Traits Of Inspirational Leaders

From the Forbes website:

"But what makes an inspirational leader? This infographic identifies 33 distinct and tangible attributes that are statistically significant in inspiring others." Read more at "The 33 Traits of Inspirational Leaders."


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Ethan Bortnick — a Young Inspriation

Who is Ethan Bortnick? Here is an excerpt from his website bio:

“Recognized by the Guinness World Records as 'The World’s Youngest Solo Musician to Head-line His Own Concert Tour,' 16-year-old Ethan Bortnick has been performing around the world, raising over $50,000,000 for charities across the globe.

When he was just three years old, the Hollywood, Florida native asked his parents for piano lessons and discovered an uncanny ability to hear a song once and play it back note for note – the musical equivalent of a photographic memory. He soaked up the music of such diverse artists and composers as Beethoven, Mozart, jazz pianist Bill Evans, Little Richard, Billy Joel and Elton John, and began creating original compositions at age five. A few years later, Ethan began making television appearances and touring, connecting with audiences in countries such as Japan, Brazil, Canada, South Africa and Australia.”

Get to know him better by watching this YouTube video.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Learning to Read

Children love to listen to stories.

I have the privilege of volunteering for United Way's K-Ready Readers, a program that gives me the pleasure of reading to a group of 3-, 4-, and 5-year old children each week.

So, this past week, I thought of my former Brooklyn neighbor and friend Tad Hills and his dog Rocket when they would come to my school and read Rocket books. How the children loved that experience.

Well, I read How Rocket Learned to Read and the children loved it. Just maybe Tad, Rocket, and I inspired and brought these little ones a bit closer to reading on their own.

Thank you, Tad and Rocket.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Visit Understood to Understand


Visit the website Understood for learning and attention issues and learn more about--
"Parents want the best for their children. We do, too. For the first time ever, 15 nonprofit organizations have joined forces to support parents of the one in five children with learning and attention issues throughout their journey.

With the right support, parents can help children unlock their strengths and reach their full potential. With state-of-the-art technology, personalized resources, free daily access to experts, a secure online community, practical tips and more, Understood aims to be that support."

Here some of the topics discussed:
  • “I’m Concerned My Child Might Have Learning and Attention Issues. Now What?”
  • “6 Steps for Requesting a School Evaluation”
  • “How to Organize Your Child’s IEP [Individualized Educational Plan] Binder”
  • “Getting My Child to Listen (Without Yelling)”
  • “Am I Cheating?” Why I Felt Ashamed to Use Dyslexia Accommodations”