Archive for the 'Carnival of Education' Category

Welcome to the 91st Carnival of Education

Wednesday, November 1st, 2006

Welcome to the 91st Edition of the Carnival of Education.  Thanks for stopping by.  We’re glad you’re here.  Sit back, relax awhile and read some of the best writing on topics in the realm of education.

The Carnival begins with this week’s most memorable (to me) post.  It is a “host’s choice” for this week.  I believe that many of us veteran teachers have had experiences similar to Mamacita’s at Scheiss Weekly and we know what she means when she describes some classes as “magical.”  In this post, “It Was Magical,” she writes about a magical class and a magical student. 


Jill at Essential Blog presents Children’s Choices: book recommendations for students by students. Jill has an appreciation of the International Reading Association/Children’s Book Council’s Children’s Choices project. You can find some great new books tested and approved by kids nationwide. There’s a bonus reflection on how students might be able to share resources and information to get personalized project-based work done.

Along the lines of children’s books is my post about “My Favorite Read-Aloud Picture Books for Children.”

And speaking of memorable books, OKP at Line 46 wrote “No Pay But Love Returned” about attending a “night at the library” where a favorite author spoke. OKP provides us with a reminder of how books and authors touch our lives — long after we’ve read them (or even met them). By the way, this is OKP’s first time at the Carnival of Education. Welcome!

California LiveWire wonders if freebies from textbook companies are bribery.  Considering the cost of textbooks, are the freebies really free?

And while we’re on the topic of textbooks, Michelle at Texas Ed: Comments on Education from Texas submitted “Educational Research Analysts.” She writes that people are still trying to influence Texas textbooks for ideological reasons.

IB a Math Teacher writes about his own textbook woes when his textbook disappeared when he was absent:

. . . I check the number of the book she has and find out that the book she has is checked out to me. She does have a nice book cover on it, though, one of the fabric kind that you find at Target. I thank her for practicing “safe text”, but tell her she shouldn’t be stealing the teacher’s textbook while he is gone.


Since so many teachers are women, they AND their students would be wise to check out this post by ZenKitty at Echoes of Cold Moon.

Ms. Cornelius at A Shrewdness of Apes writes about slacker teachers who attack other teachers for making them look bad.  If you know a slacker teacher, please raise your hand.  OK, I thought so!  Ms. Cornelius, I’ll join you in that glass of merlot.

Do kids that like math not do well in math?  That’s the topic Alexander at This Week in Education discusses.

Ms. M at Ms. M’s Apples provides great ideas for interactive notebooks in “Notebook Toolbox.”  This is also Ms. M’s first submission to the carnival.  Welcome to the carnival!

Laurie at Trivium Pursuit gathers information on Don Potter and intensive phonics.  

Brad at HUNBlog suggests “A Gedanken Experiment for Teachers.”  I remember having a similar exercise in one of my education courses. It’s one of those things that makes you go “HUH?”

Mr. R at Evolving Education discusses “‘What Works’ in Math and Science Education Reform.”

NYC Educator experienced an identity crisis last week.  Please see if you can help him out.  Talk about a stolen identity! 

And speaking of NYC Educator, he will be the host of next week’s Carnival of Education.  Submissions are due by 6:00 p.m. (Eastern) Tuesday, November 7th.  Send submissions to nyceducator (at) gmail (dot) com, or use this handy dandy submission form.

Mr. Lawrence at Get Lost, Mr. Chips writes about a program in some of the high schools called “Child Development” where would-be teachers get a chance to work with some pre-school kids, create lesson plans and learn about disciplining them. It’s a great “starter program” for anyone curious as to whether or not they have the patience – or ability – to follow such a career path!

IB a Math Teacher at Three Standard Deviations To The Left makes an assessment at the “End of Quarter 1.”  There are some familiar students mentioned – like Mr. ButYouWouldn’tHelpMe and Ms. IKnowThatIHaven’tDoneWellButI’llGetBetter.  You recognize THEM, don’t you?

The District 299 Chicago Public Schools Blog asks “How’s the ‘High School Transformation Initiative’ Going?”

I’ve heard this story several times over the past few years.  It’s still a touching story and a good idea for a class activity.  Surfer Sam and Friends writes about it.


EdWonk asks, Is It Time To Dump The “D” Grade? posted at The Education Wonks.  Seems there’s a lot of confusion – sometimes between schools in the same district – with one getting rid of it and the other keeping it.

Darren at Right on the Left Coast saw some changes in his union rebate check. The numbers were a lot different from last year’s. Why the difference? He posits an idea.

The Hall Monitor’s field trip to a school board convention shows in a series of posts that blogging gives a newspaper more scope.

Matthew at Going to the Mat asks,”What are we teaching kids about elections?”  Powerful lessons are being learned, and the kids who are learning these lessons will be tomorrow’s leaders.  This post is another host’s choice.

Dr. Homeslice talks about unions and strikes and what too often can happen. 

Saugerties Teacher Association (STA) and the school board have come to an impasse after only 27 months of negotiations. I mean, come on….aren’t you in for the long haul? I don’t think you’ve given these negotiations an honest chance! Come on, what’s another year of fruitless and infuriating talking that you’ll never get back?

Beth at NCLB: Let’s Get it Right tells about a puzzling situation in which an increase of 3.9 million hours of data collecting and reporting is part of the “Paper Reduction Act.”  Sounds about par for the course, doesn’t it?

Scott at Get on the Bus writes about how the going gets rough for Fordham, the nation’s chief champion of charter schools, when criminal charges come down against the founder of a top charter school it sponsored.


Wenchypoo presents The College Conundrum (L-O-N-G) posted at Wisdom From Wenchypoo’s Mental Wastebasket.  She discusses the pros and cons of going to college considering the recent study that showed college graduates earn approximately $23,000 more per year than non-graduates.

Margaret at Poor Starving College Student writes that private donations to public colleges and universities are necessary.

Joerg at Atlantic Review tells about “When German Universities were Models for American Universities.”

Edspresso provided us with a twofer.  John Dewey gives us the inside scoop on schools of education in “More on Constructivism,”  and Jennifer talks about “A National Curriculum in Australia.”


NerdMom presents 7th Heaven and Schooling posted at Nerd Family. In this post NerdMom discusses some of her reasons for homeschooling.

The Learning Umbrella realized that their homeschooling needed to change.  They developed goals by asking themselves these questions:

What do you think an educated person is?  What can they do?  What do they know?  What attitudes do they have?  And then – how do you get to be that person?  Where are you weak, strong, etc? 

That wraps up the 91st Edition of The Carnival of Education!  Thanks to EdWonk at The Education Wonks for giving me the opportunity to host this week’s Carnival of Education.

NYC Educator will be the host of next week’s Carnival of Education. Submissions are due by 6:00 p.m. (Eastern) Tuesday, November 7th. Send submissions to nyceducator (at) gmail (dot) com, or use this handy submission form.

You can find Carnivals 1 through 90 at the Carnival of Education ARCHIVES.

Please take time to visit the education writers featured in this carnival.  If you are so inclined, remember that comments and trackbacks make bloggers happy.  -)

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Submissions for the Carnival of Education are due!

Monday, October 30th, 2006

The Median Sib (yes, that’s me!) is hosting this week’s Carnival of Education.  Submissions are due on HALLOWEEN (Tuesday, Oct. 31) no later than 6:00 p.m. Eastern.  Send submissions to carol (at) themediansib (dot) com, OR use this handy submission form.  Come on, folks!  If you’ve never submitted something before, now’s the time to give it a try.  If you’ve written something the past week in the area of education, send it in!

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The 90th Carnival of Education – Check it out!

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

The Current Events in Education is hosting this week’s Carnival of Education.  Check it out HERE or HERE – it’s posted twice.  -)  

I will be hosting next week’s carnival.  So get those submissions to me ASAP!

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The Carnival of Education # 89 is Up

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

The 89th Carnival of Education is hosted this week by Margaret at Poor, Starving College Student.  Be sure to click over and read some of the best writing about the world of education.

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Carnival of Education # 88 is Up and Running

Wednesday, October 11th, 2006

Click over to The Education Wonks to read this week’s Carnival of Education. As always there is much to read. I’m running late to work now because I got so caught up in reading some of the great posts that are highlighted there.

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Children Who Have Never Heard of 9/11: Ignorance or Innocence?

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006

I was initially shocked at what I learned this morning as I worked with a group of six third graders. The lesson was about writing personal narratives. I selected the book A Picnic in October (written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Nancy Carpenter, published in 1999) as the read-aloud for the lesson. The book is an excellent example of a personal narrative written from a child’s perspective. On the next to the last page there is a drawing of a family looking up at the Statue of Liberty with the New York City skyline in the background. The twin towers of the World Trade Center are prominent in the illustration.

When I finished reading that page aloud, I asked the children, “What do you notice in this illustration?”

Silence. Slowly answers began to straggle in.

“The sailboat.”

“The mother’s long skirt.”

“They’re all looking up at the Statue of Liberty.”

“The tallest building in the world.”

Finally, “The twin towers.”

I jumped on that response. “The twin towers,” I repeated. “What do you know about them?”

Silence. Then hesitantly a little boy replied, “There are two of them.”

More silence. I prompted, “The twin towers were part of the World Trade Center in New York City.”

At last one child said tentatively, “Two planes hit them and they were gone.”

The faces of the other children remained blank. It was obvious that the questioning and comments were not ringing a bell of memory or recognition for them. That can’t be, I thought. And so I persisted. I asked a few more questions, but soon it was obvious that, except for the one child who had vague knowledge of two planes hitting the twin towers, the children knew nothing of September 11, 2001.

These children are third graders – 8 years old. In 2001 they were toddlers of three. More than likely their families sheltered them from the horror of that day – as they should have. However, in the ensuing five years, these children have not been told or taught the events or lessons of that day.

As the children left to return to their classes, and as I thought about the lesson further, my incredulity slowly waned, but it didn’t go away. Is ignorance about an event that has so sharply defined the world we live in a good or a bad thing? Or is it simply the way it is? I am glad those children have retained their innocence about today’s dangerous world. At what point, though, do children need to know such things?

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Children’s T-shirt Slogans – a Microcosm of School Culture?

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006

I believe that T-shirt slogans could be a microcosm of school culture. They certainly have their own “little world” of catch phrases that showcase attitudes, ideas and opinions. I’ve written about t-shirt slogans before. I’m sometimes amused and other times flabbergasted at the things parents allow their children to wear to school. Second grade girls wearing heels or see-through blouses. Third grade boys with pants so big they’re in danger of falling down. However, it’s the t-shirt slogans that continue to keep me entertained.

Here is a sampling of t-shirt slogans I’ve noticed this past week at school.

“Born to be wild.”

Okay, that’s fairly innocuous. However, I’ve noticed a trend towards t-shirts slamming sisters. I haven’t seen the corresponding slogans slamming brothers – just sisters. I believe in good old healthy sibling rivalry. Being one of seven children, I’ve experienced enough of that myself. However, I’m not so sure that the following t-shirts are particularly healthy.

“3 Things I’m Good at:
*Video games
*Watching TV
*Annoying my sister

“If you think I’m annoying, you should see my sister.”

Have you noticed how the word “annoying” is becoming overused?

According to my 5-year old granddaughter the following t-shirt contains a BAD word – the dreaded “S” word for preschool and kindergarten children.

“Do you want to know how to keep stupid people busy? (see back of shirt)”
And on the back of the shirt: “Do you want to know how to keep stupid people busy? (see front of shirt)”

Be careful! I had a bowl of attitude for breakfast!

Then there are the typical – the silly – the nonsensical – the brandnaming:

“Know what I mean, Jellybean?”

“Will work for jewelry.”

“It’s time to duel! Yu-Gi-Oh!”

“Real blond”


“Soul Sister”

If t-shirt slogans are a microcosm of school culture, then school culture is, at the same time, silly, sarcastic, mean, brand-conscious, defensive, arrogant, and sweet.

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Carnival of Education, Edition 86 at The Education Wonks

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

Be sure to check out this week’s Carnival of Education over at The Education Wonks. As always, there’s great writing about and from the world of education.

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Professional Development that makes a difference

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

I would venture to say that the one thing that most educators would agree on is that most professional development activities are a waste of time. Boring presenters, along with irrelevant materials and topics are common complaints. I understand that planning and providing quality professional development is not an easy task. It’s a task I don’t want, which is not good since that’s part of my job. Anytime you get a room full of teachers together, you have a wide range of needs and interests – even if they all teach the same grade level or the same subject. There are the veteran teachers who want to learn something new, and there are the beginning teachers who are struggling to survive. It is truly rare to attend a professional development meeting or activity that is both practical and beneficial. Yet each year school districts require a certain number of PD days for teachers. Most teachers are still refining the skill of determining – prior to attending – which offerings will be applicable and interesting and which won’t.

Last Friday I attended a day of professional development that met the 4-part criteria of being challenging, helpful, applicable and engaging. It was our monthly meeting of the district’s reading specialists. There are about twenty of us in the group. At last month’s meeting, we each wrote a question that we needed answered in order to do a better job as reading specialists. After we shared our questions with each other, we put the similar questions together and came up with a total of four questions which were then written on the board.

Then we wrote our names beside the one question that we were most interested in – thus forming our “action research teams.” On Friday we spent the afternoon with our teams researching our questions. Our goal is to have answers to our questions and the research to back up our answers by the end of the school year. We will then share the information with the other teams.

It sounds simple. Maybe that’s why it worked so well. It was one of the most productive meetings I’ve ever attended, and here’s why:

(1) The questions were generated by the people involved.
(2) The questions (goals) were important to the people involved.
(3) Committee time was spent researching answers to the questions. We didn’t spend our time talking about how to find answers. We spent our time finding answers.

I actually enjoyed the afternoon when we met with our action groups and researched our question. My group met in the curriculum director’s office. She was out for the day and meeting there was her idea. There we had access to her computer for internet research, along with a wealth of books and journals for other research.

At the end of the day, I felt we were well on our way to a solid answer – one that was concrete and would be helpful not only for our group but for the other reading specialists as well.

Would the same plan work with other groups? It depends on the groups’ needs. It’s a good idea, though. Just imagine! Professional development that is challenging, helpful, applicable and engaging! Wow!

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Thursday Thirteen – Thirteen Things I Learned From Hosting the Carnival of Education

Wednesday, September 20th, 2006


On Wednesday I hosted the Carnival of Education. It was quite a learning experience – a GOOD learning experience. Here are 13 things I learned:

1. There were way more submissions for the carnival than I thought there would be.
2. It took me approximately 8-10 hours of work to get the carnival ready to be published.
3. I am a visual, hands-on learner as evidenced by the fact that I had to print out every single submission so I could read it and highlight what I wanted to quote in the carnival. I just couldn’t organize it all online.
4. There are always people who don’t follow the directions for submitting posts for the carnival.
5. There are a LOT of wonderful blogs out there that I wouldn’t have known about if it weren’t for the carnival.
6. I proofread and proofread and proofread again, but there were still mistakes found after the carnival was published.
7. In this week’s carnival, there were two incorrect links that I didn’t know about until commenters told me.
8. Both incorrect links were because of errors on my part, and I corrected them as soon as I knew about them.
9. Just because a person is a teacher doesn’t mean that person can spell. One submission had a really good quote, but I didn’t use it because there was a glaring spelling error in it, and I didn’t want to link to a spelling error in an education carnival.
10. Some people submit material for a carnival that has nothing to do with the topic of the carnival.
11. Most people wait until immediately before the deadline to submit their posts.
12. Hosting the carnival more than quadrupled my traffic for the day. Actually it quintupled (is that a word?) my traffic.
13. Hosting the carnival was fun, but exhausting. I hope to host it again, but not for awhile.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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