Archive for the ‘Parents’ Category

“School administrators may want to be even more aggressive in calling for weather-related closures. A new study conducted by Harvard Kennedy School Assistant Professor Joshua Goodman finds that snow days do not impact student learning. In fact, he finds, keeping schools open during a storm is more detrimental to learning than a closure.”

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-01-impact-days-student.html#jCp

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“No Girls Allowed…”

Posted: December 3, 2013 in Gaming, Parents, Technology

girlInteresting article at Polygon on gaming and as stated: “Unraveling the story behind the stereotype of video games being for boys.”

Excerpt: “If the selection at the average retailer is anything to go by, girls don’t play video games. If cultural stereotypes are anything to go by, video games are for males. They’re the makers, the buyers and the players.

There is often truth to stereotypes. But whatever truth there may be, the stereotype does not show the long and complicated path taken to formulate it, spread it and have it come back to shape societal views.”

For my 2 wonderful daughters who are big time gamers!!!  See the article here – No Girls Allowed.

Diane Ravitch doesn’t think America is overrun with bad teachers, but there is too much poverty. Airdate – 03/03/11

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Angela Maiers poses some wonderful Parent-Teacher Conference questions at her blog.  Her personal experience in gaining answers met mixed results, but she explains how these questions do not fit into the aspect of data that has high priority in schools.  However, the questions are what I want to know the answers to as a parent.

The questions:

  • Who is my child to you?
  • Who are they as readers, writers, community members?
  • What makes them unique?
  • What are they passionate about?
  • How do they add value to your class and the wider community?
  • What makes you proud?

Read Angela’s article to learn more:  Parent Teacher Conference: “The Morning After”

Our local Waldenbooks is closing, is closed, it’s going away, gone.  We are in a changing world where media has become available at the click of a mouse.  I can’t say I don’t understand why the store has closed.  Trends seem to make this inevitable especially in small town America.  So, what to do?

We still have a library if you want a good book, and the library card is cheap!  My kids love to go to the public library.  They also loved to go to Waldenbooks, but those days are over.  Our family has a Barnes & Noble account online, and we order books from Amazon, etc., but there is something about the tactile process of perusing a new book.  It gives you time to get the idea of what it is about, it stimulates your imagination as you look at the cover art, and now we will have to drive several miles to get that opportunity.  Sure there is a used bookstore in town; yes, there are new books at Walmart, but well, you know.

I grew up in a place where there was no bookstore.  The library was “the bookstore” and it was a 15 mile drive one way, but my Mom took us there, often.  I spent time in schools that had huge libraries compared to the middle school and elementary libraries my children attend today.  My home has more books, on shelves, available to my two youngest kids than they have at their elementary school.  So, what’s my point?

Waldenbooks has closed, and I think maybe the library might too!  Oh it won’t happen all at once, but the Kindle and other handheld devices are bringing a slow death to the printed word.  Is this bad?  If the power goes out, yes!  That will never happen:  Haiti.  Not every child has access to a Kindle nor can go to a Waldenbooks or Barnes & Noble, but for now they can go to the library.  As we know there are more than books, there are computers hooked to the internet, and there are people.  The greatest resource are the people.  Hopefully, if a kid lives 15 miles away they have a mom, dad, grandparent, someone who will take them there, to the library.  Hopefully.

I just watched the film Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles.  It is a wonderful film with a great message.  I especially appreciated how technology was used to solve mounting problems throughout the story.  This parallels challenges we face in education, and the movie shows that through perseverance and ingenuity one can accomplish many things; however, the key to success is having faith in and depending upon others.

Wikipedia provides the following summary of the movie:

“Written by Zou Jingzhi, the film tells the story of Gouichi Takata (Takakura), an aged Japanese father who, ever since his wife died, has not been in good terms with his son. When he learns that his son is diagnosed with liver cancer, he decides to travel to the Yunnan province in China in his son’s place to film Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles, a traditional item in the local nuo opera (), in which his son is a leading scholar. He hopes that by doing so, he might finally gain the forgiveness of his son.

The title of the film is an allusion to the fabled story of Guan Yu‘s perilous solo journey to reunite with his sworn brother and lord Liu Bei, as told in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. It is a story about brotherly love and loyalty much told in Chinese folklore and operas. The film draws the parallel between the folk tale and Takata’s quest to fulfill his son’s wish.”

It is a subtitled movie for English speaking folks, it is rated PG, and runs 1 hour 47 minutes.  If you have not had the opportunity to see this film, find it ASAP and enjoy!

A good friend and colleague, Larry LaShell, shared the following video with me today:

Web Link

I needed this today. Thanks Larry, you made a difference by passing this on!

Home Schooling The following Time article sheds light on the recent Second District Court of Appeals in Los Angeles ruling. In part, the article states:

“Parents of the approximately 200,000 home-schooled children in California are reeling from the possibility that they may have to shutter their classrooms — and go back to school themselves — if they want to continue teaching their own kids. On Feb. 28, Judge H. Walter Croskey of the Second District Court of Appeals in Los Angeles ruled that children ages six to 18 may be taught only by credentialed teachers in public or private schools — or at home by Mom and Dad, but only if they have a teaching degree. Citing state law that goes back to the early 1950s, Croskey declared that “California courts have held that under provisions in the Education Code, parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children.” Furthermore, the judge wrote, if instructors teach without credentials they will be subject to criminal action.”