Saturday, August 29, 2015


This past Sunday I read an article in the NYTimes ("Dinner and Deception" by Edward Frame) about waiting on tables that included a mnemonic waiters use, "raise on the right and lower on the left"; it is used when they are clearing and serving tables. That got me to think about how helpful mnemonics can be for children and adults. Here are a few of my favorites:
  • I before E except after C or when sounded A as in "neighbor" and "weigh" (helpful when spelling words when letters I and E come together)
  • Red, right, return (where the red buoy should be upon returning to port)
  • Roy G. Biv (colors of the spectrum — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet)
  • Please excuse my dear aunt Sally. (order of mathematical operations — parenthesis, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, subtraction)
  • Red sky in the morn, sailors take warn. Red sky at night, sailors delight (when referring to weather forecasting)

Friday, August 21, 2015

Leadership: The Power of Telling Stories

One of my favorite books is Robert Coles's The Call of Stories: Teaching and the Moral Imagination, a book I discovered during my work with the Klingenstein Center at Teachers College. Well, here is an excellent article by Julie Winkle Giuliani, "What's Your Story? Leadership and Storytelling" that I discovered in BoardSource's SmartBlog on Leadership.

I love the closing quote in the article by Howard Gardner — "Stories are the single most powerful tool in a leader's toolkit."

Friday, August 14, 2015

What's Worse . . . Failure or Success?

". . . we, as teachers, go out of our way to say we need students to take risks in the classroom, and yet we don't practice what we preach because we are concerned about failing in front of our colleagues. If we feel this way...why do we expect students to feel differently? Isn't it hypocritical to expect differently from them?"

This quote is from the Education Week article by Peter DeWitt, "What's Worse . . . Failure or Success?" Give it a read and see what you think.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Appreciating Classical Music With a Chuckle

Whether you like classical music or not, please watch this TED Talk and share it with friends. Entertaining, instructional, and filled with much humor and thoughtful analysis, Zander is a master at getting people, including children, to appreciate classical music and "shining eyes."