Thursday, March 30, 2006


Any MUPs In The House?

Are You A Grup?

New York Magazine's, Adam Sternbergh defines the current "cool" adults and wo-iz-me, I didn't make the cut (given his list of 'stages of gruptitude'). Darn...and after reading the article, you'll reflect back on being the 'odd kid' out in high school.

"He owns eleven pairs of sneakers, hasn’t worn anything but jeans in a year, and won’t shut up about the latest Death Cab for Cutie CD. But he is no kid. He is among the ascendant breed of grown-up who has redefined adulthood as we once knew it and killed off the generation gap." (By Adam Sternbergh -NYM Forever Youngish)

So what if you're in your late 30s, you think you're cool and hip and you're NOT a grup? What are you?


A Mom Un-Phased by Grups! Light humor of course :)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


A Diverse Toolkit

What would you add to an online toolkit focused on diversity? That's one question I'll be posing at an upcoming conference. I also have some colorful goodies planned for the breakout workshop session I'm presenting on diversity...sponsored by NYSAIS. More and more, I'm finding that attendees don't want to sit through LONG winded lectures with no real, new news. I'm working on it. And if you haven't taken Harvard's Implicit Association Test you should. It's an EYE opening [literally] experience.
(comes via Malcolm Gladwell's Book, Blink)

Thursday, March 23, 2006


When The Unexpected Happens

I don't think I've ever cried while reading a blog post. Now don't get me wrong. I've come close and I've been moved beyond words. But after reading a post at Amy Loves Books tonight...well, the rest is history.
Amy writes a heartfelt letter to and about her 9 year son and it the most touching piece I've read in a long time. Here's a small section from Amy's post entitled, TO MY SON, "I've been frightened for you, sitting in the ER while you got shots or x-rays or stitches. Once, you were hospitalized for pneumonia and I crawled into your oxygen tent and curled up like a cat until my body fit inside the metal hospital crib, just so I could be where I could touch you."

Pull heartstrings whydontcha.


Does This Look Familiar?

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Keep Your Technology Babe! Old School Is Where My Heart Is

What Every Teacher Should Know About Technology By Bernie Poole
Ed-tech professor Bernie Poole identifies six essential technology-related skills every good teacher should possess -- or acquire. (this comes via a blogger, and I darn it-can't remember who)

The unfortunate part of this article is that there are still some, but certainly not a lot of teachers who are back in dinosaur land re: technology. It's true and it's like the elephant in the room syndrome because it's too close to pour the bathwater out with the bambino.

But comments like, "My day ends at 2:30." "They don't pay me enough to learn technology." "Kids in groups? Huh? I gotta have my rows girl." That is the past and this is now. What's even more unfortunate are those teachers would never read a commentary like this because, another likely response, "what's a blog?" is their claim to fame.

Please know, this is no disrepect to the teachers (like the ones I had) who prided themselves on the perfect little rows, with the perfect handwriting on the board...AND to whom, being smart, meant being quiet and neat. No I'm not talking about them...or am I? ;)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


My First Grader Has No Friends

When your first grader has no friends (like mine) there are ways as a parent to help out.

The obvious tips...speaking to your child's teacher about the situation, or setting up play dates with kids from the class is always recommended. But my belief, (at an early age) is kids need to learn the art of "how to win friends and influence people."

Here are some strategies I try to give my first grader...who at this moment is 'friendless.' And, not a day goes by when I'm not reminded of that fact.

1) You can't always be the mommy when playing house. Rotate that job.
2) Telling on everyone in the class is NEVER going to win anyone over. My daughter tells on kids if they look at her, or someone else the wrong way.
3) Stick with kids in your age group. If you're playing with the 3rd graders during recess, (like my daughter does) what are your own classmates to make of it?
4) Bring games to school that involve not just yourself. Jumprope is fine but kids should bring in longer ones for everyone to play with.
5) Lastly, try being nice (and not just to the teacher). Explain to kids that a little charm goes a long way and lasts a lifetime.

Saturday, March 18, 2006


The Verbal and Written Word

Spring Break is here and so is the drama. Yesterday, my students had a great field trip to a NJ newsroom and someone made an inappropriate comment in passing(unbeknownst to me). I'd rather not discuss the content because of the sensitivity. But the same way we stress to students to "WATCH WHAT THE WRITE ONLINE." We should also be sending that same message with their MOUTHS and what comes out of it.

My 6 year old daughter, says the craziest things sometimes. For example, upon my return from NJ yesterday, she said "Mom, do they speak english in NJ?" But, she's 6! So comments made like that one, are always forgiven. But the older a student gets, the less tolerance adults have for unintended insults. We have to impress upon our high school students to WATCH WHAT COMES OUT OF THEIR MOUTHS. Or better yet...(you fill in the blank)

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Meet My 5 on 5 Team

I've had several requests for my broadcast journalism student's work. Here is one completed by them (some of them only) having used the Visual Communicator software. It's not CNN; but these students have much to be proud of.
***WARNING*** It's a LONG broadcast; but these cubs created their commercials as well. Watch the ending.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


We All Can Identify With Jason

I love this post from Vicki Davis at the Cool Cat Teacher blog. She provides an uplifting profile on Jason McElwain...the 3-point shooter student who won the basketball game for his team.

Gosh...what a great story. I could almost hear Jason, during the game PLEADING TO HIMSELF, "Please coach "LET ME PLAY!"
Boy. The power of our will is enormous. And with all the bad news in the world, a story like this provides hope.

This quote from Vicki gave me goose pimples and it's so true. "You never know what will happen when you give a kid a chance!"

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Fun With Chem

I received a teacher request to find Virtual Chem Stuff and was amazed at how much is out for teachers, students and parents. No more excuses that "My school doesn't have a lab." Here's one.


Thursday, March 09, 2006


It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

It's Science Fair time again for our students. And as last minute "touchings" make their way onto those bulky, pain-in-the-neck tri-fold boards, here's a site that could be helpful to parents, who suffer most during this time. (got it via chicken spaghetti)

Friday, March 03, 2006


Trimester 2 Has Ended-Journalism Projects Completed

YAY! Hats off to my Beginning Journalism Students. You outdid yourselves.

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Adding The Finishing Touches To The Broadcasts

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An Interview With Our Basketball Star

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006


The Boy Brain

Yaaaaay!!!!!!! I'm psyched that I'm learning how to inspire my 6 year old son to want to read. It's not easy. But I have to say...."A little challenge goes a LOOOONGGG WAY." Moms should work over-time when it comes to figuring out another way to engage boys in learning. Here's what I did today...
I wanted to increase the vocab. piece so I put a chart together and a dictionary for my son. Please know that my son HATES the idea of looking up words...unless there's a catch. So....what do I do? I provide the catch. He had to look up 3 words in the dictionary and initially he whined about it. Now that there's a connection between researching snake terms with a story about "scaring his reading teacher" one could only imagine his exhuberance about finding all of the SSSSS words. This essay took him way over the time I alloted for him. I think I'm getting somewhere. One day at a time....I know.

On another note...If you don't already know, Malcolm Gladwell has entered the blogosphere. Bravo! FINALLY! All good writers need the KOOL-AID! Gladwell is taking his readers' suggestions. I...being one of them, wrote to him stressing that he needs to BLOG. His response was, something to the effect that "I don't have much to blog about." Duh....well, at least he wrote back.
Nevertheless, I thought about Gladwell today while I was "winning" with my son over, and read Gladwell's...Mea Culpa because I've been transfixed with THE BOY BRAIN tonight. As the mom of a boy, Gladwell's leap of faith was ALL ABOUT THE CHALLENGE. It's proof to myself that, boys NEED a hands-on educational challenge. Who will put them up to it? is the question. Here's a portion of Gladwell's reasoning for his blog..."In the past year I have often been asked why I don’t have a blog. My answer was always that I write so much, already, that I don’t have time to write anything else. But, as should be obvious, I’ve now changed my mind. I have come (belatedly) to the conclusion that a blog can be a very valuable supplement to my books and the writing I do for the New Yorker."

A challenge sometimes sparks action.

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