08 August 2006

The Carnival Of Education -- Week 79: Special "Readin', 'Ritin', 'Rithmetic" Edition

Welcome to the 79th edition of the Carnival of Education—my, how time does fly!

In honor of our first shot at hosting this Carnival, and because it's getting to be that time for many of us to go back to school, all of us at LiveWire bring you the special 3 R’s edition of the Carnival of Education: Readin’, ‘Riting, and ‘Rithmetic. For the occasion, I made a special trip on Tuesday 8/8 to Bodie State Historical Park in eastern California, an authentic gold-mining ghost town, to take pictures of their old schoolhouse to include in this Carnival.

OK, not really--I already happened to be going there, but you should all still feel special that I thought of you and this Carnival.

For a look back at past Carnivals, please visit the Carnival of Education archives.


READIN’: Books, programs, and lesson ideas.

Campus Watch discusses summer reading assignments for incoming college freshmen, everything from graphic novels to hiking memoirs to Brave New World.

Our own ms-teacher, fresh from an out-of-state conference to prepare her for the REACH program she will be teaching this year, discusses background and data on direct instruction, and provides links for further exploration.

The HUNBlogger completes a book meme started by Benjamin Meyers over at Faith and Theology, reflecting on the books that have had the most impact in his life. Wisely, he chooses the Norton Anthology of Poetry to keep him company on a desert island, a book that had a big impact on me in college, if for no other reason than it weighed a ton. (OK, bad joke, but between Norton and McMillian, my chiropractor could have gone to Hawaii for a month.)

Andrew Pass at The Current Events in Education suggests asking students to pretend that they are pieces of pollution and to keep a travel diary as they float down the Mighty Mississippi. Really! Conjures up visions of...well, something offal awful. The exercise is part of Pass’s effort to get students to think—and write—ecologically. He also is currently reading Tim Russert's book Big Russ and Me: Father and Son: Lessons of Life, and reminds us why it is important for us to always know the janitor's name.

Realizing that the days of copious amounts of technology funding are long gone, dave over at the eponymous FriendsOfDave.org has decided to start a new website devoted to reviewing educational technology. Bob Sipchen, take note. Oh, and as an added bonus, the educator with the greatest number of approved reviews on the site on September 7, 2006 at 12:01am Pacific time will get a $50 American Express gift card. Sounds good to me!

Joy in the Morning discusses developing children's interests; specifically, how as a homeschooling parent, she has been privileged to help her twins explore and learn more about the world around them in their fifteen years of life.

Trinity Prep School provides very good reasons as to why reading the classics is good for us.

The Scholar discusses House Bill 7087, recently passed in the state of Florida. This piece of legislation puts a new spin on how history should be taught.

Paul of PaulsTips.com gives suggestions on how to develop a more sophisticated taste, beginning with opera and classical music and finishing with philosophy.

Mark Montgomery over at TextbookEvaluator.com discusses New Jersey's online textbook evaulation tool, giving a link to the tool as well as discussing its relative merits.


’RITIN: Rants, letters, lists, and reflections.

With a new school year starting (or for some, has already started), elementaryhistoryteacher shares a wonderful geography lesson which discusses Natural vs. Man-made features.

David gives to us (and to his wife) a much needed link in making our
lives as educators a bit easier. Teachers, recycle your lesson plans! posted at The Good Human.

Coach Brown proposes that as teachers we should focus on teaching every student how to become good academic readers, but that too often, we only focus on English Language Learners. When he suggests something different, the terms racist and white-male comes into the picture.

ChemJerk debates a job offer for a position that would take him out of the classroom and put him in charge instead of supervising science instruction. He shares the thoughts that led to his ultimate decision, thoughts that he hopes will help other teachers facing a similar situation. To find out what he ultimately decides, check out his post.

Over at Right on the Left Coast, Darren’s attention has been caught by school dances, and specifically, why he always requests to babysit the drunks rather than have to watch students have sex on the dance floor. He discusses how the music itself is, in his opinion, part of the problem, as well as societal justification for why such music and dancing are acceptable. My students would call me a prude (if most of them knew what the word meant, anyway) but after spending two years as an activities director, I agree with him.

Carol over at The Median Sib reflects on NOT thinking about the start of school, her new classroom, or anything else that might remind her that she has to go back to work all too soon.

the rain over at ithoughtathink pulls a Colbert and tells you all you need to know about the July 26th issue of Education Week, summarizing the articles on state standards, what isn’t the matter with Kansas, how reading to children even under the age of two can help their reading comprehension later on, parenting, what was the matter with Georgia’s state superintendent, NEA contributions, and a number of other issues. the rain also ponders the results of the annual salary survey, specifically wondering why the average librarian has a higher salary than the average teacher. I’m not a statistician, but I would guess that for a number of reasons, the average librarian is likely older, has more years of experience, and a lower turnover rate than the average teacher, resulting in a higher average salary.

La Maestra offers up a delicious fifth round of her weekly Jargon
Jungle
. She also writes about the role of a principal, focusing on how the job has evolved and why it has become so difficult to attract and retain qualified, competent people to the job.

Miss Dennis at Your Mama’s Mad Tedious has a few some "rather complicated and lengthy" words to say to the New York powers in charge of teacher licensing about bureaucratic red tape that is keeping highly qualified teachers out of the classroom. "No qualified teacher should have to put up with such nonsense," says the redoubtable Miss Dennis.

Anonymous Educator plans to “start a fantasy league based on student performance in each of 5 major subject areas: math, science, foreign language, English, and history.”

Thespis Journal gives a mouth-watering review of “The History Boys,” now playing on Broadway: “Any teacher who teaches his pupils with passion, fervor and boundless enthusiasm will find himself reflected, at times, in several of the characters on stage. Thespis Journal also gives a chilling commentary on what seems to be an increasing tendency in some school districts: “to force good teachers from their classrooms for baseless allegations that usually involve age, disability, and a smorgasbord of other tidbits of idle chitchat.”

Mr. Person over at Text Savvy loves analogies, and compares Pink Dot (an L.A.-based home-delivery service) to customizing content in education.

Bob Sipchen's weekly column over at LA Times's School Me! deals with community day schools and other alternative educational placements. After an interesting and insightful look at the operation and student population of community schools, Sipchen poses the question, "Should students be shipped to special schools at the first sign of trouble?"

3 Standard Deviations takes issue with One Big Year's Blog's post entitled The Last Great Tech Generation, which states that as students are using more and more technology, they are in fact understanding it less and less. 3SD points out that while "some technologies are useful to know, some...makes others obsolete." He points out that while he could write the HTML for his blog by hand, he prefers to use Blogger instead, to expedite the process. I don't know about him, but I'm writing this Carnival in Notepad, to copy and paste into Blogger later. Call me old-school.

TriviumPursuit posts a letter they received from CHASK and NATHHAN regarding a request for donations to help provide support mothers who have discovered they are carrying children with severe disabilities. The page gives details as well as an explanation of how to donate.

This Week In Education reviews the term "high stakes" as used in an EdWeek article by Bess Keller, and TWIE's belief that the test results lack enough consequence to qualify.

Matt Johnston discusses a commentary from Joanne Jacobs's sub, Michael Lopez, on technology in the classroom, concluding "White board versus chalk board? Who gives a damn--just teach my kids something."

TexasEd sympathizes with Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs becoming dumping grounds, but wonders when any student will have time to participate in such programs considering that Texas now requires students to have four years of math and four years of science in order to graduate.

Finally, kderosa explores the new phenomenon of Kid Writing, and how she feels that it is the "educational equivalent of teaching kids how to swim by throwing them into the deep end of the pool with a sack of lead strapped to their backs."

’RITHMETIC: Statistics, studies, and things that just don't add up.

Right Wing Nation takes issue with students becoming “information artisans”, pointing out the seemingly obvious fact that in order for students to be able to synthesize information, they have to first have information to synthesize.

“You want good test scores? You want a good school?” NYC Educator asks rhetorically (and sardonically). “Just keep the ESL students out.”

Mr. R> at Evolving Education is disgusted with a move in the UK to prevent teachers from calling students “clever.” “I agree,” he says, “that mocking cleverness does not help our society, but how does changing the word itself change what people do or how they feel?” And over at A Shrewness of Apes, Ms. Cornelius ponders the same issue, asking why being smart is negative, and wondering if praising students for being smart actually discourages them from pursuing knowledge.

What does the existing research tell us about the correlation between teacher math knowledge and student math achievement? “Not much,” says Dr. P. over at EduInsights.

Patrick Coffee at TreatmentOnline.com discusses information from two separate studies that examined media's effects on children.

In her blog, Diane Weir discusses her frustration with students being removed from an advanced math program, despite meeting the appropriate requirements to remain in it. She challenges us to consider what we've done lately to effect change at the local level, using her own advocacy for students as an example.

Elias, this week's Down Under blogger, discusses the place and value of rote learning in education, and questions why many educators feel it is a bad thing.

At The Buck Stops Here, Stuart has another view about the recently published DOE report that has flooded the educational blogways.

Is it possible to boost test scores of bilingual students? Polski3
wants to know and provides interesting insight as to why some ELL students, despite our best efforts, may never improve.

The good folks (and our fair Carnival coordinators!) over at EdWonks discuss the frustrations that come from NCLB and The Spellings' decree that a teacher will be considered underperforming if "only" 34 out of their 35 students pass their standardized tests. Those "onlies" will get you every time, won't they?

And last but definitely not least, Robert Teegarden over at Edspresso responds to Andrew Coulson's editorial on why federal school vouchers are a Bad Idea [tm], commenting that while competition is good, "kids are not shackled at the moment by some outside, foreign force and need the intervention and protection of the government to free them from restraint; they are enslaved by the very same state governments and unions; they are enslaved to schooling, conditions, and environments that said governments and unions would not (and do not) tolerate for themselves, let alone their own children."

****

Thank you everyone for your submissions! As this was our first time hosting a Carnival, we may have made a couple of errors--please contact us at californialivewire@yahoo.com and we will correct them as soon as possible.

The Education Wonks will host the 80th edition of the Carnival of Education. Submissions are due no later than 8:00 PM (Eastern) 5:00 PM (Pacific) on Tuesday, August 15th, 2006. Contributors may use the submission form at this URL:

http://blogcarnival.com/bc/submit_5.html

Submissions may also be sent to: owlshome [at] earthlink [dot] net.

All images copyrighted 2006 by La Maestra.

30 Comments:

At 12:20 AM, Blogger Miss Dennis said...

Thanks for all your work! I haven't had a chance to read it all yet, but I like the three r's theme. My r this week is definitely rantin'. That's the first time I've been called "redoubtable." Ha ha hee hee. Love it.

 
At 6:45 AM, Blogger Mr. Person said...

Nice work. Lots of good readin'.

 
At 6:54 AM, Blogger Thespis said...

Great Job!

I'm certain that everyone appreciates it!

Thank you.

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Thespis Journal

 
At 7:24 AM, Blogger Andrew Pass Educational Services, LLC said...

First, thank you very much for putting this together. It was fun to read it and I'm looking forward to going back over it and using the links to check out many of the blogs. I can't imagine how many hours goes into putting this together. I also learned something new: last week I submitted an entry very late on Tuesday thinking that I had made the deadline. I didn't but you posted it today with my next entry. Thanks!!

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http://www.Pass-Ed.com/blogger.html

 
At 10:14 AM, Anonymous Mark Montgomery, Textbook Evaluator said...

Thank you for all your hard work. The Carnival is interesting reading, and a helpful tool. I look forward to future editions, and hope that you will host again!

 
At 1:09 PM, Blogger Ben McFerren said...

hi,

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Wow, there's quite a bit here. Thanks for hosting and I love the theme with the custom pictures.

 
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