Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ellen Galinsky Interview

     I had the good fortune to sit with author Ellen Galinsky at the American Montessori Society (AMS) Annual Conference in Chicago last week where she was a keynote speaker to over 3,000 educators. Right after she spoke, I interviewed Ellen for a future article in Montessori Life, the quarterly magazine for AMS.  
     Bright, delightful, and thoughtful, Ellen and I spent much of our time talking about her work and research on her latest book Mind in the Making. What I appreciated most about our time together was how she drew many of her anecdotes and inspiration from her life as a child and parent. I am eager to get started on writing up the interview. Stay tuned.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Norman Rockwell, Cameras, and Kids

     The Norman Rockwell Exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum is fascinating.  So many of his subjects are about children.  This particular exhibit focuses on the photography behind the paintings and the preliminary work he did for each of his paintings.  When you click on the link you will get a snapshot—no pun intended—of how he used photographs to walk him thorugh his paintings.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Conroy's Reading Life

     If you like books, Pat Conroy's My Reading Life is essential reading.  He mentions all of the classics that influenced his life and writing.   The chapters titled "The Teacher" and "The Librarian" alone are well worth adding the book to your collection.
     Also, having flown in F-4s as a Radar Intercept Operator in the Marine Corps, I was immediately hooked by his early best seller, The Great Santini.  The double-Oscar nominee movie staring Robert Duvall, Blythe Danner, and Michael O'Keefe is Conroy at his best.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Montessori Transitions Into, Within and Beyond

     So, what is Montessori pedagogy all about?  While I can't describe it all in one blog post, you can click to an article I wrote in the latest edition of The Parents League of New York Review 2011 and read "Montessori Transitions Into, Within and Beyond" to get some insight into this wonderful way of educating children.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Just for a Laugh

     Click on this short video.  It's well worth it.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Fringe and Shel Silverstein

     Today's 2nd Annual Fringe Festival at my school closed the afternoon session with poems being read by faculty members.  I got to read two great poems by Shel Silverstein.  "Sick" is a classic and everyone enjoyed hearing it.  And, "No Difference" is one of my favorites.  It has such a good message. 
     Check out his website; it is excellent.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

M. C. Escher

     When I taught geometry, I loved to introduce students to the work of Dutch, graphic artist M. C. Escher (1898-1972).  His tesselations and intriguing art capture the interst and imagination of students and adults alike.  This two-minute Waterfall video is one example.  
     Head over to the Escher website to see and learn more about his work.

Monday, March 7, 2011

In-House Professional Development

     I never met Lynda Barry, but I caught up with her work in a faculty and staff writing workshop today.  After being introduced to her book What It Is, we saw a short video featuring Lynda.  The book and video got me wanting to write.  
     One of our teachers led us in an exercise where we chose a word that was written on a slip of paper and many slips were placed in a paper bag.  Upon reaching into the bag and choosing a word, we were to write down the first five things that came to our heads based on the word we chose.  Then we had to choose one of the five and write about it.  The room was stone quiet.  Everyone, and I mean everyone, wrote for five minutes.  Those who chose to share their work helped all of us understand that writing can be fun.
     I love faculty and staff meetings that are inspirational, helpful, and not led by the head of school.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fringe Festival — Right Here!

     Each year faculty and staff at my school apply for Summer Travel Grants.  Two summers ago, one faculty member was awarded a grant to travel to Scotland and experience the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  She not only enjoyed the experience, but she was inspired to bring the idea home and start a Fringe Festival at our school.  Now, each year one weekend in February or March (this year it is next weekend, Saturday, March12) the school community comes together to enjoy the talents of teachers, students, staff, and parents.
     Here is a clip of the Best of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival . . .