Podcast 57: Arne Duncan Doughnuts in the Teacher’s Lounge!

Items, Events, Calendar, Eclectic Stuff (truc et chose)

  1. Arne Duncan of the Chicago Public Schools will become the next Secretary of Education.  (Sources:  Education.com, Wikipedia, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Washington Post, Time, U.S. Department of Education, MSNBC, World Magazine )
    • Arne Duncan & Arne’s Older Brother?  Maybe not …
    • Has made teachers reapply for their positions.
    • Advocates school of choice and charter academies.  (Started 75 new charter schools in Chicago.)
    • Has replaced faculties in wholesale moves.
    • Advocates the incorporation of technology in education.
    • Has not taught in the classroom.
    • Appointed to the CEO position by the mayor of Chicago.
    • Has a degree in Sociology.
    • High-stakes testing will likely continue.
    • Supports performance pay.
    • Secretary Spellings supports the selection of Arne Duncan.
    • Ideas considered for Chicago Public Schools:  an all-gay high school, pay students for grades, and boarding schools.
    • Advocates longer school days.
  2. Alightlearning is looking for votes and support for a software venture that will incorporate technology and education.  They are competing for a $10,000 grant to start-up their venture.  Generalized information is available on the website.
  3. Jim Politis of the National Substitute Teacher Alliance passes along his Holiday greetings.
  4. NMSA ’09 Invitation Video
  5. Michigan Association of Middle School Educators Annual Conference March 12 & 13 at White Pine Middle School in Saginaw Township.
  6. Ohio Middle School Association‘s Annual Conference will be February 19-20 in Sandusky, OH.
  7. Shawn got a Kindle.  Did Troy get a Kindle?  (Thanks Teresa!)
  8. MIT Vocab Contest!:  Have your students produce a video defining standard SAT vocabulary words.  For every 5 videos uploaded one iTunes download will be awarded up to 1000 downloads per the event in total.  In other words, get ‘am in early and often if you’re looking for the iTunes motivator.  Only 1000 available for the entire WORLD!  Oh, and check out the website.
  9. Stupid Spam that got stuck in the filter:  “Hello! All would like to congratulate on coming Christmas!”  Thanks buddy …  from Russia.  We worked hard at it this year.  Spammer of the Week:  maf-ioz.ru (Address has been slightly altered.)


149 Parenting School-Wise Tips by Carol A. Josel

  • Catagories:  Motivation, Goal-Setting, Organization, Reading, Writing, Revising and Editing, Spelling, Homework, Memory Techniques, Note-Taking, Studying, Test Prep, and Test-Taking.
  • #1  “Remember that motivation is as important as ability.  Keep the focus on motivation.  Without hard work, talent is of little service.”
  • #19 “Station sticky-note reminders on bathroom mirrors, doors, and other easy-to-see places.  Goals require a due date.  Well placed reminders help the process.”
  • #37 “Establish a ‘Drop Spot’ for gathering all school materials at day’s end.  A bedtime reading book and the lunch that’s waiting in the refrigerator are the exceptions.  This way everything is hassle-free and ready to go in the morning.”
  • #67 “Advise keen attention to the ending.  It is as important, if not more so, than the lead.  It must satisfy or it will leave the reader disappointed with the whole piece.”
  • #88 “Provide after-school ‘down time.’  A dose of physical activity and a nutritious snack, such as peanut-butter smeared apples, provide the energy needed for the upcoming homework/study session.”
  • Newsletter Sample (one of my favorite parts & not necessarily for the students):  A Gavi-Good Recipe
    Chicken Pot Pie

    2 chicken breasts,a store-bought roaster, or package of pre-cooked chicken
    one package of frozen peas and carrots, thawed
    one 10-oz can of cream of chicken soup
    one store-bought pie crust, such as the Wholly Wholesome brand
    Steps to Take:
    1. If not using pre-cooked or roaster chicken, cook chicken breasts in pot of boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes.
    2. Chop chicken into cubes.
    3. Mix chicken with thawed peas and carrots.
    4. Stir in can of cream of chicken soup.
    5. Place mixture in Pam-sprayed pie plate.
    6. Top with pie crust.
    7. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until crust is golden.

All’s Fair in Middle School Scramble:
In the quest to find the perfect middle school for her 10-year-old daughter, Aimée Margolis has zig-zagged across Manhattan for 11 school visits, grilled pre-teenagers at a school fair on music classes and the preferred attire at dances, and compiled a dog-eared folder full of notes.
Then there is the bathroom test. Ms. Margolis casually slipped away for what appeared to be a quick pit stop. She carefully occupied a stall, waited for a cluster of students to walk in, and listened.
Unlike another school, whose impressive tour was undercut by a dismal bathroom test in which Ms. Margolis heard students poking fun at teachers, making grammatical mistakes and using “trash mouth,” Clinton’s bathroom-goers revealed themselves to be articulate, friendly nonswearers who at least momentarily refrained from gossip.
Too much testing cuts into learning

THE GOAL of the Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993 was to make schools more accountable to their neediest students and to the public. Students must demonstrate competence by passing an English and math test, the MCAS, in order to graduate from high school. But now, passing merely two tests is no longer enough, and an ever-increasing number of tests and retesting opportunities has been imposed upon school systems. Consequently, testing has transformed urban schools into testing and test preparation centers.
The Department of Education requires high schools to schedule 28 days of testing, amounting to 15 percent of the 180-day school year.


Storybooks On Paper Better For Children Than Reading Fiction On Computer Screen, According to Expert

Clicking and scrolling interrupt our attentional focus. Turning and touching the pages instead of clicking on the screen influence our ability for experience and attention. The physical manipulations we have to do with a computer, not related to the reading itself, disturb our mental appreciation, says associate professor Anne Mangen at the Center for Reading Research at the University of Stavanger in Norway. She has investigated the pros and cons of new reading devices.
Mangen maintains that reading on a screen generates a new form of mental orientation. The reader loses both the completeness and constituent parts of the physical appearance of the reading material. The physical substance of a book offers tranquility. The text does not move on the page like it does on a screen.

Website Of The Week:

We’re trying to help kids prepare for the SAT by offering fun and free videos about SAT vocabulary, made by YOU!

We’re offering $600 in prize money to the video that receives the most number of votes. $200 of the payout will go to the maker(s) of the video and $400 to the class or school club of his/her choice.

And to make this viral, we’ll give out 1 free iTunes download for every 5 videos you submit or referrals you provide.*

Contest begins January 1, 2009. Sign up to be notified when the contest starts.


NMSA ’08

Formative Assessment: What is It And How Can It Improve Student Learning?

Handouts will be available on NMSA web site. (Presenter didn’t prepare for this, “I can’t think of everything”.)

Knowledge base for formative assessment.
The Big Picture
The Process of Formative Assessment

The Big Idea: Use of evidence of learning to adapt instruction to meet student needs.

How People Learn (NRC, 2000)
Knowing what Students Know, (NRC, 2001)

Laurie Sheppard is the guru on this stuff.
Congnitive & Constructivist Learning Theories:

Metacognition is important in formative assessment.

Reformed Vision of Curriculum:
All students can learn
Challenging Subject matter at HOT & problem solving.
Equal opportunity for diverse learners

Classroom Assessment
Challenging tasks
Learning Processes as well as learning outcomes

Shout Outs:

  • Thanks Teresa for the Kindle on FaceBook!  Troy needs one!
  • Michael Cohen, thanks for finding us on FaceBook!