Saturday, January 29, 2011

Life Long Learners Club (LLLC)

     In order to walk the walk, our faculty and staff model the life long learning concept to our students.  Any member of the faculty and staff can offer up a class to the rest of the faculty and staff.  Classes in pie baking, physical fitness, dancing, yoga, knitting, technology tips, coffee cupping, and jogging are some of the classes/activities offered at school since September.  Classes are usually offered at the end of the school day.  
     The LLLC provides a forum for adults to teach other adults.  What a great form of professional development, and inexpensive.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

In Case You Missed His Voice

     As soon as I heard mention of the name Ted Williams my ears perked up.  Growing up following Yankees and Red Sox clashes, I was acutely aware of the legendary Ted Williams (aka The Kid).  Well, this Ted Williams — same name, different person — caught my ear when someone pointed me to a video-gone-viral.  As one seventh grader said to me when I asked him if he had seen the video of the guy with the great voice, "Oh yeah, it's a beautiful success story.  Neat." I knew I should share it with you.
     See what you think.  Here it is

Friday, January 21, 2011

Brain: The Inside Story Exhibition

     If you are planning to be in New York City between now and August 15, you must visit the American Museum of Natural History and see the exhibition Brain: The Inside Story.  When I saw the exhibition with our 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students, I quickly became convinced that this is a perfect way for students and adults to get the inside story of our body's most important organ.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Reprise of “Is Good Best?”

     In the fall of 2003 I wrote “Is Good Best,” an article that cited a survey that asked Japanese parents “In one word, describe what you want most for your children.” The answer given most was “success.”
     Fast forward to Amy Chua’s Battle Hymn of a Tiger Mother, a book about her Asian-American parenting experiences.  The book has caught the eyes and ears of many western culture parents.   Clearly the cultures are different.  Click over to this Sunday's NYTimes Styles Section and read Kate Zernike’s “Retreat of the ‘Tiger Mother’” and in the Sunday Magazine read Judith Warner’s "No More Mrs. Nice Mom."
     Oh, by the way, that survey cited eight years ago in my article also asked U. S. parents the same question and the answer given most often was “happy.”

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Caldecott, Newbery, and Other ALA Awards

     The American Library Association (ALA) announced this year's winners.  A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Erin Stead (illustrator) and Philip Stead (writer) for the Randolph Caldecott Medal and Moon Over Manefest by Clare Vanderpool for the John Newbery Medal were announced on Monday.
     Read about all of the awards and honors by clicking above on the ALA link.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Follow up on Switch

     At the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Annual Conference in February, one of the keynote speakers will be Dan Heath, author of the popular book Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard.  I blogged about the book in June after falling in love with it.
     Get a copy of the latest issue of Independent School magazine and read editor Michael Brosnan's interview with Heath.  You will love the interview and what Heath has to say.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

How to Find the Bright Spots

     Last summer I referred to the book Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath.  One of the techniques that they cite in their book is how important it is to look for the bright spots in an organization (or a report card), i.e. looking for what is going right.  
     Here, I'll let Dan explain.  Click on the three-and-a-half minute video below.  It's excellent advice.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Mind in the Making - Ellen Galinsky

     If you are raising, teaching, or studying children, you will want to shepherd a copy of Ellen Galinsky's Mind in the Making.  Among other essential life skills, she has grouped her research into seven critical areas that children need most:

  1. focus and self control (link to a cute 3-minute video)
  2. perspective taking
  3. communicating
  4. making connections
  5. critical thinking
  6. taking on challenges
  7. self-directed, engaged learning

     I can't wait to hear her talk at this year's American Montessori Society Annual Conference in Chicago.  So much of her work and philosophy are in concert with Dr. Montessori's work.  If you can't make it to Chicago in March, you may want to watch this interview with Katie Couric.