December 12, 2007

Carnival of Education: Fortnight 'til Christmas edition

Welcome to the first (and hopefully not last!) Colossus-hosted edition of the Carnival of Education. Muchas gracias to the Education Wonks, fellow members of the illustrious Watcher's Council, who asked us if we'd be willing to host one!

Inside the School & Classroom:

Man, this middle school conference set-up sounds pretty pathetic. No wonder Aahz at Philaahzophy is quite unhappy with his offspring's schooling thus far.

Principled Discovery notes that school is safer than home, and has Bureau of Justice stats to prove it.

Music teacher Nancy at Teacher in a Strange Land details how she's dealing (and has dealt) with religiously-themed songs during the holiday season.

The Young Writers' Blog has a couple entries this time out. Rebecca contemplates her visit to a Brooklyn school to teach a writing workshop to "level 1" writers. Dan reflects on procrastination and deadlines regarding his playwriting.

Ms. Mize of Random Thoughts of a Teacher describes her experience in a French language immersion classroom. Yeah, why were the kids speaking English??

The Baglady recounts a sixth grade lesson from her days in Hawaii -- the "Cost of Living in Paradise." Reminds me a lot of a unit I had back in 'ol Metro Studies class.

Pat over at Successful Teaching hears that employers want her "to teach the students how to work as a team." Hence, we read how she introduces cooperative learning to her students.

Ah -- school newspaper and yearbook deadlines. I know 'em well 'cause I ran my school's yearbook for eight years. January and February are trying times! "Richie" over at Bellringers shares her anecdotes regarding such.

Mamacita at Sheiss Weekly reminisces about the days she baked cookies for the kids her hubby has now in HS calculus. ¡Qué sabroso que suena!

Education Technology:

Bill over at The Tempered Radical discusses the use of wikis by students.

Ever hear of "Show Beyond"? Me neither. It's a "free web application that allows you to create slideshows with audio." Larry Ferlazzo highly recommends it.

Standards:

The illustrious Education Wonks write that US students aren't comparing well with others. It ain't pretty.

Judy at Consent of the Goverened dissects the state of Connecticut's proposed requirements for high school graduation.

Shiloh Musings cogitates on how Israelis must take four separate exams in order to pass English. They say the testing system there "resembles Frankenstein's monster on steroids, but [it's] a lot more expensive." Ouch.

EduWonkette muses on the NYC Comissioner of Schools' rationale for closing some schools. (There's a "High School for Social Justice"? Whoa.)

Higher Ed. Tidbits:

David Ng confabulates college study habits during exam time. As a comicbook aficionado, I liked the dude who wore a bedsheet as a cape and shouted "I AM CAPTAIN PROCRASTINATOR!"

The Campus Grotto is offering tips on how to up that college admissions essay. A key line: "The admissions essay is even more important if your grades aren't top notch." Indeed!

Inside Teaching:

Scenes from a Battleground pontificates about days off teachers get in Britain to celebrate the "Cult of INSET."

Hey teachers -- in that emotional/philosophical "rut" that usually pops up at least once per year? Check out Wakish Wonderz's post about what a "true" teacher is!

Sharp Brains muses over Memory, Cognitive Abilities and Executive Functions.

EdWiz wonders if the charter school movement is returning to its progressive roots. The big issues: capacity and professionalism.

Going to the Mat says "Public Education Is A Business Deal -- Parents Are Becoming Better Consumers." He writes "The problem of course is that in a public school setting, the marketplace does not exist to move your child to a different service provided, except for the demand to have the child moved to another class." If I may add, this situation varies from state to state. Here in Delaware we have [public] school choice (statewide) and a bevy of charters. You can choice your child into any [public] school in any district, provided there's room (which there usually is).

One of my favorite all-around (but especially education) bloggers -- that's Darren at Right on the Left Coast -- asks "What Does CTA Do For Its Teachers?" I totally dig where you're coming from, D; I've written a few posts in the past asking similar questions about the national NEA.

Uber ed-blogger Joanne Jacobs offers up "All Brains are Gray and Wrinkly" which cites Richard E. Nisbett's research that race is pretty much irrelevant when its comes to IQ.

Don't smile before Christmas?? Say what? That's what Joel at So You Want to Teach? was offered as advice for this time of the year. I liked Joel's entry in particular 'cause it seems he and I are a lot alike. I joke around all the time and it's served me quite well in my 17 years in terms of class management and academic achievement. He writes,

Laughter makes learning more memorable. If you have a natural sense of humor, then you can really increase learning by throwing in a few laughs here and there. It works!

Perfectly stated! Elsewhere on his blog, Joel serves up "50 Reasons to Love Your Job as a Teacher." Great list! A few stuck out for me: #13 (My coworkers are great); #15 (When I am finally able to actually teach, I feel very rewarded when that little light bulb goes off); #22 (I love getting to know the kids and I especially love having siblings come up and watching the family grow; it is a real privilege to be part of people’s lives like that); #30 (I seem to be good at it ); and #49 (It’s something like a mix of game show host, stand up comedian, dad, vaudeville juggler, and sports play-by-play commentator).

RAD or "Reactive Attachment Disorder" is a relatively new diagnosis particularly found in foster children. Mrs. T examines the disorder and what can be done about it.

Arts for all!! Gary Stager makes the case for the maintaining of the arts in school. Count me in your corner, Gar. I'm a right-brained fella myself.

Kindergarten math success the greatest predictor of future academic success? So says a new study by the Journal of Development Psychology. Creating Lifelong Learners delves into this study.

The Science Goddess over at What It's Like On The Inside digs an article in Edutopia about "Building a Better Teacher." I agree with her -- too many teacher prep programs are woefully inadequate. Mine wasn't all it could have been, that's for sure.

Dave Saba fills you in on how more $$ can get flowing into education over at American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence.

Homeschooling:

Dawn over at Day by Day Homeschooling has been perusing the teacher blogs lately. She came across a post that got her to think about the differences of experiences between students at traditional schools, and those who are homeschooled.

Linsey at the Parenting Squad gets asked if "school has let out early" when she's out during the day with her daughter. Nope -- she homeschools! Here's a bit of why she decided to go the homeschool route.

Labels. Schools use 'em (tracking, heterogeneous grouping, etc.), but what's it mean for homeschoolers? Stephanie at Life Without School takes a look.

Henry at Why Homeschool gives ... well, one reason why: simple politics. He discusses an interesting new book by Gil Sewall, head of the American Textbook Council. I met Gil once back in 2000 when he came to speak to the Delaware Textbook Assessment Committee, of which I was a member. He's quite knowledgable.

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That's it! Thanks for stopping by! Next week's Carnival will be back at the Education Wonks. Submissions can be sent to: owlshome [at] earthlink [dot] net. You can also use the ever-handy submission form The deadline is Tuesday, (December 18th) no later than 9:00 PM (Eastern) 6:00 PM (Pacific).

Posted by Hube at December 12, 2007 06:37 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Wow, thanks for the double linkage here! Great job with the carnival...

Posted by: Joel at December 12, 2007 07:19 AM

I appreciate the link and the fact that Delaware has total public school choice. Such a choice, however, does not exist everywhere and may only work for small geographic areas, like Delaware or a county. But even then school systems may not permit such movement of students without a massive red tape maze.

Posted by: Matt Johhnston at December 12, 2007 10:03 AM

Mucho appreciado for including my post. I'll link to this when I get home today.

Posted by: Darren at December 12, 2007 02:31 PM

Thanks for featuring my thoughts in your carnival. I'm currently debating the wisdom of handling my daughter's education myself.

Posted by: Aahz at December 12, 2007 03:51 PM

As always lots of great stuff here. Thanks for including my entry… Nice to know that you had the "privilege" of running your school's yearbook for eight years. Non-publications people think I'm crazy when I tell them about yearbook dreams (or nightmares)… but I've yet to run across an adviser who hasn't woke up in the middle of the night because of one of them… but I digress… again, great job! And, thanks for calling me Richie.

Posted by: Richie at December 12, 2007 07:37 PM

Thank you very much for including my post!

Posted by: Justine at December 12, 2007 10:21 PM

You did a great job! Thanks for the link.

Posted by: Batya at December 12, 2007 11:48 PM