Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Meet Tatiana and Krista

As I approached the bagel shop on my way to buying the Sunday paper and procuring requisite breakfast croissant and muffin, I saw and heard a set of one-year old twins fussing in their stroller right outside the shop. I surmised the parent was inside. As I got closer, I made eye contact, they settled, and their mother came out of the shop and positioned the stroller so the boys could see inside. I obliged the twins, held the door opened, and continued my conversation with our eyes. Mom completed her purchase, said thank you, and exited the store.

Little did I know that I would soon meet Tatiana and Krista Hogan another set of twins when I got home and began reading the NYTimes Magazine. These beautiful four-year old twins are conjoined. Read the article "A Mind of Their Own" and watch the video to see their remarkable lives and learn about how their brain works.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

World Peace

Recently, my son introduced me to long-time Virginia teacher John Hunter who founded the "World Peace Game" an extraordinary 3D board game that can be played by students from fourth grade through adults. My son, John, and I talked for nearly two hours about his 34-year career in education and future plans for the Game. Click over to his website to view the trailer to his award wining movie "World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements."

Better yet, click on his TED Talk right here. John is clearly a very special educator and person.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Moon Over Manifest

Having finished Clare Vanderpool's 2011 Newbery Medal book, Moon Over Manifest, I want to recommend it to you. The story takes place in Manifest, Kansas over one summer in 1936 but spans a generation of from 1918 through 1936. The intricately woven story takes in all of the characters in 12-year old Abilene Tucker's world.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Ultimate Forgive

Stop and think about what is the most one person could forgive another person for in life. This StoryCorps story has to be right at the top of the list of one person forgiving another.
Listen to this beautifully touching, 3-minute
story about Mary Johnson and Oshea Israel, and pay particular attention to the last five words spoken.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Helpers and Hinderers

You'll be fascinated by this video. Here is the introduction given

"Kiley Hamlin, Karen Wynn, and Paul Bloom of Yale University have found that infants as young as six months of age can tell the difference between who is helpful and who is not. Children get so much information from others and they learn which information to trust, and which not to trust. For more information, visit Families and Work Institute."

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Peace Starts at Home

"One of the most challenging relationships is that between a mother and stepmother," says Ellen Gottlieb, organizer of the Peace Starts at Home Peace Summit, an event dedicated to bringing mothers and stepmothers together. "Children of divorced parents need a peaceful, stable and healthy environment in which to thrive. We are making that possible where it wasn't before." Ms. Gottlieb added.

If you live in the New York City area, please join the panelists and me.

The Peace Summit will be held

this Wednesday, May 18th

7:00 to 9:00 p.m

at PS 29 in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn

Monday, May 9, 2011

Faculty & Staff Summer Reading

Each year, I look forward to a book or two that is suggested/recommended/assigned (take your pick, depending on individual school cultures) to read over the summer months. Here are the books from which our faculty and staff will choose to read:

[Clicking on "Google Books" will take you to Google Books, where you can read summaries, excerpts, and reviews of the books. Clicking on "More info" will take you to a site for more info.]

Mind in the Making
- Ellen Galinsky (Google Books / More info)
Ignite Student Learning - Judy Willis (Google Books / More info)
The Element
- Sir Ken Robinson (Google Books / More info)
The Brain That Changes Itself - Norman Doidge (Google Books / More info)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Voice in Technology

I admit that I am a TED Talk junkie. So many good stories come across these 18-minute clips. When I saw film critic Roger Ebert's TED Talk that was presented in March, I was touched by his message. Also, John Hunter took part in the presentation. I had coffee with John in Charlottesville, VA recently, and his own TED Talk will be posted soon. For now, watch this very impressive Talk and hear Ebert's voice in technology.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Technology in Schools Update

"What Do Kids Say is the Biggest Obstacle to Technology at School?" is an excellent piece and cites the "Speak Up 2010" survey. Above is a chart from the survey and here is a quote from the survey:

"iPads. Interactive Whiteboards. Netbooks. Video games. Although educational technologies are being implemented more and more in classrooms across the country, we don't often stop and ask students - or their parents - what they think their technology needs are. But the newly-released Speak Up 2010 survey has done just that. The project surveyed almost 300,000 students (along with 43,000 parents, 35,000 teachers, 2000 librarians and 3500 administrators) from over 6500 private and public schools last fall about how they're using - and how they want to be using - technology for learning. The results are pretty fascinating, as they show great adoption of technology among even very young students, but lingering resistance on the part of school administrators to sanction some of those tools into the classroom."