Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Carnival Of Education: Week 106

Welcome to the 106th edition of The Carnival Of Education! We are delighted that the Midway has returned home.

This Valentine's Day collection of exhibits from around the EduSphere represents a very wide variety of political and educational viewpoints. Unless clearly labeled otherwise, all entries were submitted by the writers themselves.

If you have a website and are interested in hosting an edition of The Carnival Of Education, please let us know via this email address: edwonk [at] educationwonks [dot] org.

Thanks to everyone who helped spread the word about last week's midway over at This Week In Eduction. As always, links to the midway are much appreciated while trackbacks are adored. Visit the Carnival's archives here and see our latest EduPosts there.

Next Week's Carnival midway will be hosted by History Is Elementary. Writers are invited to send contributions to: historyiselementary [at] yahoo [dot] com , or use this handy submission form. Submissions should be received them no later than Midnight (Eastern) 9:00 PM (Pacific) Tuesday, February 20, 2007. Please include the title of your post, and its URL, if possible. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the midway should open next Wednesday morning.

Let the free exchange of thoughts and ideas begin!


The subject of military recruiters visiting public high schools during school hours has become a subject of controversy in a number of areas around the country. Recently, a number of faculty members at the high school where Ms. Cornelius works received an email from local recruiters asking to visit classrooms.... See what Ms. Cornelius
has to say on the subject. Agree or disagree, your thoughts will be provoked!

Have you ever considered what it means to have a right to an education? An easy concept to consider, but not necessarily so easy to articulate. Consider taking a look at this
well-articulated consideration of this basic human right by Principled Discovery.

New York's governor Eliot Spitzer has shaken things up with his plan to reform those schools that have been labeled as underperforming. Edspresso's guest blogger Whitney Tilson
has the skinny on Sptizer's plan.

The AFT's NCLBlog has
its own take on the touchy subject of teacher evaluation. (Don't miss that last paragraph about the individual who nearly took a job teaching migrant children.... and migrating with them between Florida and Maine.)

sounds the clarion call for A Truer Assessment of Success in Education. (Disc. We can't help but agree with HUN on this one.)

How should elementary schools address the topic of homosexuality? Should they even address it at all? Darren over at Right on the Left Coast
takes a look at one recent incident. (Consider checking out what's going on among the commenters.)

What sort of education did founding father and second President of the United States John Adams receive? And what type would he receive now? Even though it is several months old, we believe that this
thought-provoking contribution by Mike Bock of Alone on a Limb is well-worth a look.

Alexander Russo asks
a good question: If Wal-Mart and a major union can come to an arrangement over health insurance, why can't the National Education Association (NEA) be a bit more open-minded regarding School Choice?

While structuring the post around a set of business-related math "story problems," Rightwingprof
makes his case for the need of students to have a thorough grasp of fundamental reasoning ability over the so-called "critical thinking skills" that are emphasized by the proponents of what has been called, "fuzzy math."

Unions and Collective Bargaining:

Would you believe a round-up of EduPosts related to teachers unions and teacher unionism?
Believe it!

Friends of Dave
asserts that a recent deal struck between C.T.A., (California's largest teachers union) State Superintendent Jack O'Conner, and Governator Governor Schwarzeneggar will benefit the union while doing little or nothing to help the kids.

Inside This Teaching Life:

One of U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings' favorite expressions is, "In God we trust, all others bring data." Over at Line 46,
they succinctly show us what that means to the working public school teacher, while I Thought a Think has been toiling away deep down in the Data Mine.

the names of students been getting more.... unusual lately? (It's comforting to know that we weren't the only ones who've been wondering about that.)

With five instructional days now having been lost due to inclement weather and with test-taking time drawing nigh, Thespis Journal reflects upon
the importance of keeping focused amid the euphoria that many feel when yet another "snow day" is announced.

I can't even begin to think about all of the time and money that I've wasted over the years attending worthless workshops masquerading as "professional development." Connecting the Dots
has a few ideas about what makes for good professional development and how EduBlogging can make a positive impact. Meanwhile, the numerous boneheads non-teaching-teaching-experts who infest inhabit the "professional development industry" have caused teacher Aquiram to ask, "Is Professional Development Necessary?"

Peer-coaching is one of the newer professional development methods that are being implemented around the country in order to help both novice and veteran teachers learn about changing curriculum and its delivery.
See what happens when a Washington science teacher visits a colleague and teaches a lesson. Here's a sample:
Her kids and I rolled marbles down meter sticks and measured distances. The chaos of this---excited children, small moving objects all over the floor, different approaches to taking measurements---was almost more than she could bear. I imagine it's just my temperament and background, but the kind of buzz generated by kids working on something doesn't bother me. "Should I stop them and guide them to the right answer?" she asked.
A colleague of IB a Math Teacher has received a letter from the parent of a child who has been recently diagnosed as having ADHD. Read the letter. What's not being said by the parent?

Who's to blame when the education system doesn't serve the very students that it's designed to help? Polski3 points out that failure is a team effort.

How are students like cactus? Check-out this reader-submitted entry and be pleasantly surprised.

Teaching and Learning:

Dana of Huffenglish has
some tips for teaching Shakespeare's immortal "Romeo and Juliet." (I've always wondered about Juliet's nurse myself...)

Se Hace Camino Al Andar has been thinking about students and writing. Here's a taste
I am painfully aware that my students, my freshmen in particular, have not done nearly enough writing, either low-stakes or high-stakes. Part of it has to do with too-short class periods and trying to squeeze in both reading and writing. I'm reading Anthem with both of my freshmen classes, and they are sharing one class set of the book, so I'm unable to assign outside reading, unless I make copies of the book. Note to self: Next time, use two different but thematically related novels and switch off with the classes. In the meantime, I need develop low-stakes and high-stakes writing assignments or exercises. Along with this, I need class time to model or teach the writing lessons. Low stakes writing exercises are relatively easy to do--it can be incorporated into each day's Do Now or as end of period reflection, in the form of journal entries or responding to a prompt. For Anthem, there are three themes I want to touch upon: individuality, identity and conformity.
Get the rest right here.

One teaching technique that is in wide use is that of "Think, Pair, Share, Write." But here is a new application:
using it in a blog! Student blogging is also on the mind of Barry over at Staring at Empty Pages.

Math teacher jd2718 offers a post with a title that says it all:
Puzzles: How to modify problems - an example while Let's Play Math has the latest Math Quotes of the Week.

Reading specialist Carol of The Median Sib went into a classroom recently in order to give a demonstration lesson and
gives us a refresher on the finer points of reading aloud to students.

Anyone who spends anytime at all working in the classroom soon learns about the challenges that are presented by kids who exhibit symptoms of ADD/ADHD. In a recent interview conducted by Alvaro Fernandez over at the Sharp Brains blog, Professor Bradley Gibson of Notre Dame University
has some thoughts about a working memory training program for kids with attention deficits.

"Reaching" the child with autism is a sublime challenge for any teacher. In a
highly-readable submission, see how one homeschooling parent engages her son's interest through his love of ceiling fans!

Mark Montgomery of Textbook Evaluator has
the latest installment of his ongoing review of Belinda Williams' Closing the Achievement Gap: A Vision for Changing Beliefs and Practices. (We'll leave it to the reader to decide whether Montgomery is a fan or not...)

From The Classroom:

College instructor Mamacita of Scheiss Weekly is showing us the high price that her students
have been paying because so many had teachers that cared so much about hurting their students self-esteem while caring so little about their academic abilities.

With possible murder on her mind, History Geek
would like to know why one rude female student even bothers to come to class.

NYC Educator has been saddled with the type of "new" classroom that would cause most teachers to
pull their hair out in clumps. He has our sympathies.

When you were a kid, did teachers who confiscated illicitly passed notes read them aloud to the class? Some teachers do while others do not. See
what happened when Chanman of Buckhorn Road intercepted a note that featured a student's calling him the "N" word...


It appears as though there may have been
some shenanigans going-on during the run-up to test-taking time in one of Dayton, Ohio's public schools. Scott Elliott of the Dayton Daily New's EduBlog Get on the Bus is pouring daylight on the whole episode. (Be sure to follow the links.)

Of Interest To Parents:

Guidance Counselors aren't just for breakfast struggling students any more but
are for all students.

some advice about instructing one's children in the matter of dollars and cents.

The Psychology of Education
has the lowdown on what the goals of a productive parent-teacher conference ought to be and why many parents and teachers are apprehensive about the encounter.


Issues related to the teaching of the fine arts to homeschooled children
are addressed in this contribution by . (We gotta say that is a catchy name for a blog...) While Sprittibee links to a site that features lesson plans for teaching the fine arts.

Higher Education:

Here are five
six little-known ways to save money on textbooks.

Instead of simply using those infamous "Roots of all academic evil," (otherwise known as Wikipedia and Google) College Stylings
offers some tips on better use of other internet research tools.

The importance of prioritizing one's time is the subject of
a post by Maximizing Four Years: A Practical Guide for the Proactive Student.

If you (or your child) still hasn't applied to college, it may not be too late. (But you've got to hurry!)


OnLine Education DataBase
has ranked the top 25 non-Google non-Yahoo search engines.

Here's a chance
to learn a little Chinese right in the comfort of your home.


On the subject of EduPodCasting: Dan asks,

Valentine's Day In The EduSphere:

High school teacher Ms. SuperScience has written
a few timely verses for her students...

College Way has an unorthodox way of commemorating Valentine's Day while at the College of Your Choice:
distribute a pickup-load of those annoying cute little Valentines that we all use to get when we were kids.

Inside The Blogs:

While considering material for a workshop to be delivered at his old school some 20 years later, Arvind Devalia
has written down 10 things that life has taught him. (And, if you were to write 10 things that life has taught you, what would they be?)

Beware the Fake University Degrees that are
based upon "Life Experience."

And finally: This, like most of our journeys around the EduSphere, has been both enjoyable and informative. Our continued thanks to all the contributors whose submissions make the midway's continuing success possible, the folks who donate their time to help spread the word, and the readers who continue to make it A Free Exchange of Thoughts and Ideas
This midway is registered at TTLB's carnival roundup. See our latest EduPosts here, and the complete Carnival archives (soon to be updated) over there.