Thursday, December 30, 2010

One Opinion on Use of Technology by College Freshman

  
     Here is a thoughtful entry among six that are part of a piece in a past Sunday Opinion section of  the NYTimes:
"Devices have become security blankets. Take the time to wean yourself.
Start by scheduling a few Internet-free hours each day, with your phone turned off. It’s the only way you’ll be able to read anything seriously, whether it’s Plato or Derrida on Plato. (And remember, you’ll get more out of reading Derrida on Plato if you read Plato first.) This will also have the benefit of making you harder to reach, and thus more mysterious and fascinating to new friends and acquaintances.
When you leave your room for class, leave the laptop behind. In a lecture, you’ll only waste your time and your parents’ money, disrespect your professor and annoy whomever is trying to pay attention around you by spending the whole hour on Facebook.
You don’t need a computer to take notes — good note-taking is not transcribing. All that clack, clack, clacking ... you’re a student, not a court reporter. And in seminar or discussion sections, get used to being around a table with a dozen other humans, a few books and your ideas. After all, you have the rest of your life to hide behind a screen during meetings."
— CHRISTINE SMALLWOOD, Ph.D. student in English and American literature at Columbia
     Read all the "Advice for freshman from the people who actually grade their papers and lead their class discussions." by clicking on the entire piece "Ditch Your Laptop, Dump Your Boyfriend."

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Crazy English

     
     If you like words and are fascinated with the English language, click over to this website I stumbled upon.  


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Louis Sachar's Newest Book

     I was first introduced to Louis Sachar through his main character Stanley Yelnats — that's Yelnats, Stanley spelled backwards — in his Newbery Medal and National Book Award winning book, Holes.  
     Well, he did it again!  Read The Cardturner, A Novel About a King, a Queen, and a Joker.  This book is the real delightful "deal."  At the same time, you will learn about the card game of bridge.
     Get to know Louis Sachar.  Click on the video.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Learning Flow When Kids Are in Their Element

      From time to time I share one-page stories about kids, education, and parenting that I have written over the years.  Amusing but usually with a point, these pieces are a quick read.  Here's one on the kids in their element.


    It has always amazed me how kids might struggle with reading, writing, and certain school work; and yet, can zoom through infinite song lyrics or lines in a play.
   This past spring, I experienced what some might respond to by saying, “You did what?  Two days and three nights with 23 fourth and fifth graders on an island in one house?  You are crazy.”  I have to say, when you experience this kind of concentrated child development class you learn a lot, I mean a lot.
   For instance, after a day of rain, hanging around in the house on the island. . . more 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tad Hills: Author & Illustrator

     This past week, author and illustrator Tad Hills demonstrated his talent for writing and drawing to our preschoolers, first, second and third graders, oh . . .  and teachers, too, at a morning school assembly.  Seated in front of an easel and Tad's dog Rocket, everyone was enchanted with his stories and drawing techniques.
     The basis for How Rocket Learned to Read, his most recent book, is his beloved dog Rocket, who sat dutifully by as kids asked a gazillion questions.  Check out his books, which include those show above.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Kid Internet Abuse (Part II)

     In case you missed my previous post and the NYTimes, "As Bullies Go Digital, Parents Play Catch-Up" article, here are two quotes from the article that say quite a bit about what's going on in our students' (and parents') cyber world.



1)  After Marie learned the identities of her son’s cyberbullies, she did not call their parents. She was so incensed that she communicated only through official go-betweens, like the police and prosecutors.  But some parents prefer to resolve the issue privately, by contacting the bully’s family. Psychologists do not recommend that approach with schoolyard bullying, because it can devolve into conflicting narratives. With cyberbullying, a parent’s proof of baldly searing digital exchanges can reframe that difficult conversation.  Parents who present the other parents with a printout of their child’s most repugnant moments should be prepared for minimization, even denial.
2)  Christine called the boy’s mother. “I asked her to get her son to stop,” Christine said. “She apologized, and her son wrote us a letter of apology. ” But the boy’s father disagreed. “He refused to put limits on the kid,” said Christine, who works in marketing. “ ‘Oh, no, he needs total freedom and he can use his best judgment.’ ”


Monday, December 6, 2010

Can Parents Catch Up Using an Inter Net? (Part I)

      In the spring of 2002, I wrote an article for Independent School magazine titled "Internet Abuse," which at the time, provided educators and parents with a snapshot of how our students were caught in the middle.  
     How things have changed since that article was written!
     A recent article in the NYTimes, "As Bullies Go Digital, Parents Play Catch-Up," does an excellent job of presenting an update on kid Internet abuses.  It is a long article, but one that is well worth reading, and if you have the time compare what I wrote in 2002 to what is reported in the December 5, 2010 article.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Teachers Learning Together

      Teachers learning is constant in our schools. It has to be. Teachers learning models for our students how the process works. Teachers learning together is good for the profession.
     A year ago, I had the opportunity to return to the faculty of the New York State Association of Independent School’s (NYSAIS) Beginning Teachers Institute (BTI) — a three-day, mid-October workshop for teachers new to teaching and independent schools. Like other state and regional association new teacher workshops, the Institute’s objectives are to support and reassure new teachers during their first weeks of teaching . . . 
     Read my entire article in "Independent Teacher" by clicking here.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

How Do You Handel a Food Court Chorus?

    There are different ways in which children can be introduced to classical music.  The video below presents one way George Frideric Handel's most famous piece caught unsuspecting diners off guard.  Notice the enchanting looks on the faces of the children who were intently listening.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Conversations with Middle Schoolers

     I thought that it might be good to follow up on my last post with an article I wrote a while back on talking to middle schoolers.  


     "On Middle School Children and Their Parents" is here for you to read.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Blessing of a B Minus

     I picked up Wendy Mogel's newest book The Blessing of a B Minus the same day I decided to watch the 1977, Oscar-winning, Woody Allen movie "Annie Hall."  Both are a mix of Jewish culture and Americana; the movie is about adults and the book is about adolescents.  In either case, you can't go wrong reading or watching.
     Mogel's Talmudic psychology is excellent advice for those parents who are in the throes of raising teenagers.  The personal cases she cites and the experiences raising her two daughters are perfect for convincing the most reluctant believer of how Jewish religion and raising children are compatible.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Brave New World-Wide Web

     Can we keep up with our students when it comes to technology?

     Kind of like the popular short video "Did You Know," "A Brave New World-Wide Web" needs to be shared with all teachers and school administrators.  Freightening though it is, this 4:20 minute video gives you a real insight into technology's impact on schools today — the operative word is "today."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

One Crazy Summer

     One Crazy Summer the newest young adult book by Rita Williams-Garcia just may be the next Newbery Medal winner.  Even though you will have to wait until January to find out if it does win the prestigious book award, you can read the book now.  I loved it!



Wednesday, November 10, 2010

7 x 13 = 28?

   "Dad, I need help on my math homework."
  
    How often have parents been confronted with having to help their child with a math assignment?  And, when both child and parent sit down at the table, Dad is teaching the algorithm the way he learned it, and it makes no sense to the child.


    Click on the video below and see how 7 x 13 can equal 28 and how the calculation is in the eye of the teacher.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Leadership for the Right Reasons

    This week I attended the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) Annual Heads' Conference where the keynote speaker was Dr. Ned Hallowell.  I never fail to be inspired and educated by his words of wisdom.
     I had the good fortune to sit with Dr. Hallowell and spend time with him talking about leadership in our schools.  The interview is published in the fall issue of Independent School magazine.  Visit the NAIS website and the article, "Leadership for the Right Reasons" to read what Dr. Hallowell so eloquently says about leadership.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Letting Go

     I love watching fifth graders — that's just about the time this happens — casually but insistently slide away from their parents while entering school, transmitting the message, "I am growing up, and I (think) am ready to be more independent."  This can come as a surprise to many parents.  
     "Confessions of a Helicopter Mom" is a cute essay from last Sunday's NYTimes Magazine.  Some parents have a tough time letting go when it is time.  

Sunday, October 31, 2010

More on E-book Revolution

     I am closely following our transition from books to e-books.  It is happening faster than I could have imagined.  Much like the disappearance of record stores and movie rental stores, book stores are anticipating a similar fate.  "Quick Change In Strategy For a Bookseller" in the NYTimes caught my eye with these quotes:

  1. "In the first five months of 2009, e-books made up 2.9 percent of trade book sales. In the same period in 2010, sales of e-books, which generally cost less than hardcover books, grew to 8.5 percent, according to the Association of American Publishers, spurred by sales of the Amazon Kindle and the new Apple iPad."
  2. "Carolyn Reidy, the chief executive of Simon & Schuster, said in an interview that e-books currently made up about 8 percent of the company’s book revenue. She predicted that it could be as high as 40 percent within three to five years."
     Also found in the same paper is an article about author Pete Hamill - "Pete Hamill , Patriarch of Print, Goes Direct to Digital."  This well regarded, well read author will not be printing his next book, They Are Us, but will have it published digitally.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Learning Learning Differences

     Dr. Joyce Pickering, Executive Director Emeritus of the Shelton School in Dallas, Texas — the nation's largest private school for learning-different students — is someone you want to learn more about.  Having heard her in two different presentations this past week at the American Montessori Society Conference in San Diego, CA, I recommend you bring her to your school/area (Montessori and non-Montessori) to talk to your faculty and families. Here are the two sessions I heard:

What is a Learning Difference and How Does it Feel was very similar to Dr. Richard Lavoie’s “F.A.T City” video.  You can never really know how a child who has a learning difficulty feels until you experience either the DVD or Dr. Pickering’s talk.  Here is a link to the slides.

Science & Art: A Montessori Approach to Teaching Students with Varied Learning was her keynote address on traditional philosophies compared to the Montessori philosophy.  Dr. Pickering's eloquent and passionate presentation helped those assembled see the genius of Dr. Montessori’s approach. Here is a link to the slides.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Carefully Teaching Children

     I bumped into two beautiful resources that send a distinct message of helping us understand the subtleties of how we unwittingly teach prejudice to our children.  Contained in author Ashley Bryan’s African Tales, Uh-Huh, a compilation of short fables, one beautiful story “Why Frog and Snake Never Play Together,” shows how ingrained family practices are passed on from one generation to another.
     Such is the case with the moving and graphic song from South Pacific, “You Have to Be Carefully Taught.”  Click over and read the prophetic lyrics from Rogers and Hammerstein’s brilliant play.



Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Pacifier

     From time to time I will share one-page stories about kids, education, and parenting that I have written over the years.  Amusing but usually with a point, these pieces are a quick read.  Here's one on the pacifier.






     Maggie, the youngest Simpson, is the pacifier’s greatest champion.  Never speaking and whenever the camera focuses in on her face, Maggie is working the pacifier without stopping.  Wiggling between her cheeks, her pacifier makes a squeaking sound, and her eyes are wide, taking in all that is going on around her.  Her work is identical to the many toddlers I see passing through our school doors or those riding on the subway in their parent’s arms or in a stroller on the street.  

     Known by its Latin name, binkius pacivium, the pacifier has provided little ones comfort after a satisfying meal, or during a relaxing nap or while their parents are busy, or during a long car ride. . . more

Saturday, October 16, 2010

How Good is Montessori Mathematics?

     Manipulatives in mathematics have been consistently good for teaching children mathematics.  Montessori mathematics is known for using manipulatives from the youngest children to middle school students.  Here is an excerpt from a study that was initiated by the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) USA:

"A significant finding in this study is the association between a Montessori education and superior performance on the Math and Science scales of the ACT and WKCE [Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination]. In essence, attending a Montessori program from the approximate ages of three to eleven predicts significantly higher mathematics and science standardized test scores in high school."
     Click here to access the entire study "Outcomes for Students in a Montessori Program."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

GoGoNews

     With a mission of "To educate, expose and entertain the little minds in our lives - one day at a time." GoGoNews is a neat kid-oriented website resource that describes itself as . . .
"GoGoNews was born out of a desire to inform children of the world around them in an educational and non- threatening way. Since its inception 4 years ago, GoGoNews has provided children with general knowledge as well as a consciousness and awareness of the world regardless of geography or culture. GoGoNews provides parents and educators with subject matter to start a conversation with children and a safe means by which to deal with the harsh realities of the world we live in."
Give it a click and see what you think.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Hole In The Wall

"Education scientist Sugata Mitra tackles one of the greatest problems of education — the best teachers and schools don't exist where they're needed most. In a series of real-life experiments from New Delhi to South Africa to Italy, he gave kids self-supervised access to the web and saw results that could revolutionize how we think about teaching.
Sugata Mitra's "Hole in the Wall" experiments have shown that, in the absence of supervision or formal teaching, children can teach themselves and each other, if they're motivated by curiosity."

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Research on Study Habits of Children & Adults

     “Every September, millions of parents try a kind of psychological witchcraft, to transform their summer-glazed campers into fall students, their video-bugs into bookworms. Advice is cheap and all too familiar: Clear a quiet work space. Stick to a homework schedule. Set goals. Set boundaries. Do not bribe (except in emergencies).”

     “The findings can help anyone, from a fourth grader doing long division to a retiree taking on a new language. But they directly contradict much of the common wisdom about good study habits, and they have not caught on.”

     “Of course, one reason the thought of testing tightens people’s stomachs is that tests are so often hard. Paradoxically, it is just this difficulty that makes them such effective study tools, research suggests.”

     Read more from this captivating article “Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits” by Benedict Carey in the NYTimes Science Section.

Monday, October 4, 2010

34¢ ? Really?

     Technology continues to follow Moore's Law where the number of transistors per square inch on a microchip double every 18 months.  Three things happened that cause me to write this post.  


  1. Constant thoughts about how do we keep up with technology in our schools.
  2. I was listening to NPR's Morning Edition, and this one piece caught my ear.  "If China's Currency Rose, Would U.S. Get Jobs Back?"  It talked about how much cheaper it is to buy goods from China.
  3. I wanted to purchase an AC charger for my iPod, and I went to the Apple site.  There it was for $29.00.  "Aaah, let me try Amazon and see if they have it for less" was my next thought.  I found the AC charger with a DC charger AND connecting cable all for 34¢.  Right, 34¢!  Of course, shipping and handling was $2.53, but 34¢.

     I don't have to tell you that when I received the products, I was not surprised to see what country was stamped on each item.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Trustee Responsibility


     Here is a question and an especially eloquent response extracted from the NAIS Head of School Listserve.  I post this because it is a leadership question trustees and heads inevitably have to grapple with at some point in the life of a school.



THE QUESTION (Posed by the President of NAIS, Pat Bassett)

We’ve had the query below from a school head: Any responses would be appreciated.

I am the head of a PS - Grade 8 school in an area where our independent secondary schools begin at a variety of grades including before grade 8. Our graduates typically do well in any of the schools they choose whether they start in grade nine or earlier. I am wondering if those of you in similar situations have any expectations set for trustees, faculty, or administration whereby their children complete the program at your school and begin secondary schools in grade 9.  Thank you for your input.

Cheers.
 PFB

THE RESPONSE (Posed by a head of school)

Pat,

This had been an item at our school for many years.  We are Prek-12 and over time there have been board members who have taken their children out after 8th grade for a variety of reasons: they want a bigger pond, need more athletics, want more rigor and the list goes on and on.  This invariably caused hurt feelings on the part of school people.  Teachers felt that we had made a huge investment in the child and then another school would reap the benefit and our Upper School teachers felt slighted.  From my perspective, I want trustees who bleed burgundy and white (our school colors) and I made it an issue with my board chair.  I felt that we needed trustees who would commit to our mission as a Prek-12 school.  The fact that I pressed the point did bring about some trustees resigning and others expressing deep resentment.  The matter was ultimately handed over to the Committee on Trustees and the group came up with a standard, which was not a rule that trustees had to keep their children in the school to graduation, but more of a query to each individual asking them if they were good ambassadors for the school.  Asking the question that way relieved the stigma and much of the tension.  Now when asked on their annual board evaluations if they are good ambassadors for the school, individuals have had to admit that if they don’t experience the complete range of our program, it does not put them in the best position to advocate for our school and without hard feelings those folks have decided to move on.

I hope this helps.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lice


    There's been a lot of talk about head lice since the beginning of school.  The newspapers, listserves, and general conversation among parents abound.  You must read this excellent article from the health section of last week's NYTimes.  "Parents, Relax.  Don't Keep them From School.  It's Just Lice" by Jane Brody gives some pretty sobering facts about these little critters.  For one
"In one study of more than 600 samples of presumed lice or eggs submitted by teachers, parents, nurses and physicians, about two-thirds turned out to be dandruff, scabs, dirt, plugs of skin cells, hair spray droplets, other insects or eggs that were no longer viable or already hatched."

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Beloit College Mindset List for Class of 2014

     I discovered this list while watching the evening news.  Here is what the website says:
     "Each August since 1998, Beloit College has released the Beloit College Mindset List. It provides a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college this fall. The creation of Beloit’s Keefer Professor of the Humanities Tom McBride and former Public Affairs Director Ron Nief, it was originally created as a reminder to faculty to be aware of dated references, and quickly became a catalog of the rapidly changing worldview of each new generation."
     So, here are the first three items in the list of 75:
"Most students entering college for the first time this fall—the Class of 2014—were born in 1992.

For these students, Benny Hill, Sam Kinison, Sam Walton, Bert Parks and Tony Perkins have always been dead.
1. Few in the class know how to write in cursive.
2. Email is just too slow, and they seldom if ever use snail mail.
3. 'Go West, Young College Grad' has always implied 'and don’t stop until you get to Asia…and learn Chinese along the way.'”
     When you're at the site, you can look back and see the list for previous classes.  Very interesting.




Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Gendered Experience


     Be sure to get a copy of the fall issue of Independent School magazine.  With a theme of leadership in independent schools, there is one article in particular that you must read.  Martha Haakmat, Middle School Head at Brooklyn Friends School and Susan Feibelman, Upper School Head at Packer Collegiate School present an insightful, sobering article on the state of women in leadership roles in our schools.  Here is a sentence that, I believe, captures the essence of their well written, well researched article:

     “To truly break with the system of gender discrimination in independent schools, school leaders — current administrators and boards — need first to acknowledge the problem as a serious issue that undermines the quality of schools and their ability to fulfill their missions well.”

     If there was ever a time to have a balance of women and men in leadership roles in independent schools, it is now.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Current Events Test

     Check your knowledge of current events by taking this short test presented by the Pew Research Center.

     I'm not sharing my score!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Parents Finding Hope

     I was first introduced to the dreadful disease progeria when I read the international bestseller book When Bad Things Happen to Good People some 25 years ago.  Author and Brooklyn-born Rabbi Harold Kushner told the personal story of his son, Aaron, who was born with progeria and subsequently died.  Rabbi Kushner eloquently looked for answers to why this happened.  Listen to his recent interview on "Morning Edition."
     While clicking through TV channels Friday evening, I happened upon the ABC News program "20/20" where Barbara Walters devoted the entire show to two families with children who have progeria.  The show reported that today, the 68 children in the world who share an average life expectancy of 13 years are the beautiful children of the world, and the interviewed parents conveyed a message that is inspirational beyond belief.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Head of School Notes

     Over my career as a head of school, I have enjoyed reflecting on the job and writing about my impressions on being a head of school.  I wrote articles for The Head's Letter and The Trustee's Letter, which are monthly publications for heads and trustees of independent schools.  Here is a library of those articles.  You can click on the article link to read the full article.


"Education Voucher System" (June 1994) - While offering opportunities, pursuing vouchers should be handled with care.  
"Effective Heads of School" (March 1995) - Klingenstein Fellows list their thoughts on qualities of effective heads.
"The Head Outside of the School" (November 1996) - The head's job often goes beyond her/his own school community.
"Head 'n Hand" (March 1998) - The best part of the job, greeting students, teachers, and parents each morning.
"Words Work" (October 2000) - Hearing a sermon on giving up summer time to helping others can inspire.
"Choices, Changes, Transitions" (February 2003) - Insights about moving on to the next opportunity.
"A Turn in the Barrel" (April 2004) - At some point every head is on the firing line.
"Transference Revisited" (December 2004) - A look into the mysteries of transference as presented by Dr. Ned Hallowell.
"A Head of Eeeshmail" (October 2005) - The challenges and nuances of using email can be daunting to school leaders.
 "Learning and Living Leadership" (January 2007) - Heads at an annual conference sharing their thoughts on leadership.
"Taking Care of Employees" (April 2007) - When trying to balance budgets, we cannot lose sight of taking care of faculty and staff.
"Whose Decision Is It?" (December 2007) - Board or head's decision?  Written with my Board Chair.
"When is it Time to Leave?" (January 2010) - Is there a perfect time when heads should leave their school?
"30% . . . Really?" (May/June 2010) - 30% of a head's time should be devoted to caring for the board?


Friday, September 3, 2010

Hyperbole or Happening?

     In a recent NAIS Heads' Listserve exchange, one head of school offered this library of videos.  Most are short and can help instigate discussion for faculty meetings.  Also, the likes of Pink, Dweck, Robinson, Heath, and others can lend perspective to what is presented.






"Pay Attention" - 7:42






"Shift Happens" – 7:38 (6:11 in actual running time) 6/21/10   similar to above but better graphics, more intrusive music (Both mention job changes . . .)


"It’s Not on the Test"  (Tom Chapin song) - 2:08


Sir Ken Robinson - 19:00 (TED presentation on Creativity, similar to his NAIS presentation)







Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Gutenberg v. E-book in Book Evolution

      I was astonished — actually, no I wasn't — when I read Robert Pinsky's review of The Book in the Renaissance by Andrew Pettegree (Yale University Press) and how identical the evolution of printed books was to the evolution of e-books.  See what you think; here is an excerpt from the review:


     "Apparently, it took decades before some people figured out how to make money from this remarkable invention. For decades after Gutenberg, it was not even clear that print would become a success. How do you market books? How many should you run off at one time? Piracy was a problem, as were texts changed, mutilated or combined in unauthorized editions. Many printers were ruined, trying to exploit the new medium."

Friday, August 27, 2010

Grandparents

     I've been thinking a lot about grandparents and the role they play with their daughters and sons and grandchildren; and I came across this absolutely beautiful Grandchildren link.  Take a few minutes and read a few of these.  
     By the way, you don't have to be a grandparent to appreciate these precious notes.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Race to Nowhere

     Here is another documentary on education in the U.S. that will be released the end of September, "Race to Nowhere."  Very different from "Waiting for Superman."

     See what you think.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Waiting for Superman

     On Monday, I am going to see the preview of what may be a revolutionary film on education.  "Waiting for Superman" is a documentary about the state of education in our country.  Here is a quote from the advance information:

"Waiting for 'Superman' examines the crisis of public education in the United States through multiple interlocking stories – from a handful of students and their families whose futures hang in the balance, to the educators and reformers trying to find lasting solutions within a broken education system.
The documentary features leaders in the field of education, including philanthropist Bill Gates; Geoffrey Canada, President of the Harlem Children’s Zone; Washington, D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee; and Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) Founders David Levin and Mike Feinberg. Grammy Award-winning artist John Legend composed the film’s end title song, 'Shine'."

     Take a minute to view the trailer; I believe it is a movie we all must see.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Monticello

     What impressed me most about visiting our third President, Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello, was when the tour guide — a guy that could have come straight from central casting in Hollywood — said that Jefferson taught himself to be an architect and devoted his life and house-building resources to building a home that was dedicated to education.  The structure was not as majestic as I had pictured in my mind, yet it’s breathtaking view of Charlottesville and the University of Virginia, which he founded, was impressive.
     If you visit Monticello, try to go in the spring, and make sure you have a meal at Michie’s Tavern and try the fried chicken; the establishment is truly revolutionary with wholesome, southern cuisine.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Chicken in Brooklyn?

     Brooklyn gets lots of recognition for all kinds of activity, but here is one to top the list.  Daniel Pinkwater's newest children's book Beautiful Yetta the Yiddish Chicken is a delightful book for both children and adults.  To hear Pinkwater and Scott Simon read from it, listen to this NPR Weekend Edition Saturday clip
     Jill Pinkwater, wife of Daniel, is the illustrator.  In case you did not know, Daniel has authored over 80 children's books.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Writing Resources

    This summer our faculty and staff are reading William Zinsser's book On Writing Well.  It's one of those books that helps you learn that maybe there's more you need to learn about writing before you write your next piece.  To supplement Zinsser's good advice, I am clicking on The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) and "Grammar Girl" podcasts.  Check them out.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Curriculum + Wiki = Curriki

     Reading "$200 Text Vs. Free. You Do the Math." in the "Bright Ideas" of the Business Section of the Sunday Times, I discovered Curriki. Here is their mission:
     "Curriki is more than your average website; we're a community of educators, learners and committed education experts who are working together to create quality materials that will benefit teachers and students around the world.
     Curriki is an online environment created to support the development and free distribution of world-class educational materials to anyone who needs them. Our name is a play on the combination of 'curriculum' and 'wiki' which is the technology we're using to make education universally accessible."
     Check it out.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cash You . . . Spend or Save?

With school ended for the year and the summer solstice only days away, things begin to calm down for teachers.  For a brief moment, there’s not so much going on, with more time for relaxation and thoughtful reflection.  When that happens, I think one’s easy-going demeanor passes on to the people around and enables them to profit from one’s disposition.  Such was the case one recent Saturday while I was “relaxed,” taking my mother grocery shopping—a one-hour, weekly event that she loves and holds dearly . . . click here for more

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Rob Evans' Latest Book


     The following is quoted from Rob's website page that describes his latest book, Seven Secrets of The Savvy School Leader.


"School leaders today are working harder than ever, longer than ever, dealing with ever greater complexity, and sacrificing ever more of their personal and family time to their work. How can we make school leadership more doable and offer hope to both experienced and beginning leaders? Offering solid advice for overcoming even the most daunting of leadership challenges, this book is both a survival guide and a road map for excellence."

     If you are a head of school or principal get a copy.