Saturday, October 25, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
Healthful diets rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and other vegetarian foods help children stay healthy and trim. Unfortunately, many kids don’t always have the chance to eat healthful meals—at least not during the school day. The meaty, cheesy fare many schools serve is fanning the flames of the obesity epidemic.
That’s why PCRM is working to improve school lunches. PCRM tracks school policies across the country and makes suggestions for improvements, rewards innovative food service professionals, provides nutrition resources for parents and schools, and promotes changes to federal nutrition policy to make healthful food more accessible.
Resources for Schools and Parents
School lunch offerings have slowly improved over the last several years, but most schools have a long way to go. PCRM offers resources for parents and schools at www.HealthySchoolLunches.org, including helpful links, book titles, and downloadable booklets and fact sheets. And more nutrition tips and healthful recipes for students, parents, and the whole family are available at www.NutritionMD.org.
The past year saw several important steps forward. The number of medical schools using animal laboratories has fallen from more than 100 when we began 20 years ago, to 25 in 2005, to about 15 last year at this time, and to just 10 today. The latest to end these cruel exercises were Washington University, New York Medical College, Saint Louis University, Stony Brook University, Duke University, and Texas A&M.
As of late last year, dogs are no longer used in medical education at any U.S. school. And we are pushing hard on those 10 remaining schools to end their use of other species—pigs, ferrets, and others—in medical coursework. Not only can the animals breathe easier, but the students can, too. No one will ask them to choose between their ethics and their careers.
Read whole article:
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Experience the powerful and stunning imagery of the Hubble Space Telescope at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex during Eye on the Universe: The Hubble Space Telescope.
Featuring the Blue Angels!November 8 and 9, 2008
With the backdrop of America's launch facilities, the aerial stage soars with the premiere military aircraft of today and yesterday. F/A-18 Super Hornet, F-16 Viper, B-25, A-10 Warthog, P-51 Mustang and many more.
September 24, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
GreatSchools is an independent, nonprofit organization that empowers and inspires parents to participate in their children's development and educational success. Parents choose GreatSchools to find the ideal schools, get expert advice, share stories and find answers to their parenting and education questions. In the past year alone, more than 35 million people visited GreatSchools.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Levitt Letter (September 2008, p. 26)
By Judy Siegel-Itzkovich, www.JPost.com
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Visit Teacher Tube to see some great presentations about InspireData and data literacy.
Learning to think. Learning to learn. These are the essential skills for student success. Research in both educational theory and cognitive psychology tells us that visual learning is among the very best methods for teaching students of all ages how to think and how to learn.
Organise and analyse information
InspireData™ 1.5 - The visual way to explore and understand data
Developing Data Literacy with InspireData™ lesson plan book
Now Universal! -- Inspiration®, InspireData™ and Kidspiration® now support Mac OS X on Intel
Inspiration® in the Classroom: Curriculum-based Activity Plans
Inspiration® 8 — the visual way to think and learn
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Free trial for 10 days of Online Courses.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
World Wise Schools Supports Geography and Global IssuesThe World Wise Schools program offers free cross-cultural educational resources online including podcasts, videos, stories, slide shows, and electronic newsletters. Each resource reflects Peace Corps Volunteer experiences overseas and builds in U.S. children a greater understanding of the world around them. Educational materials produced by the program promote cross-cultural understanding, awareness of global issues, and the ethic of community service. They include writings by Peace Corps Volunteers and returned Peace Corps Volunteers, online narrated slide shows, monthly podcasts, a monthly educational electronic newsletter, and award-winning Destination videos. These resources may be found at http://www.peacecorps.gov/wws.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
- Pinocchio's Mom -- who believes that her child, unlike every other child in the universe, never ever tells a lie of any kind.
- Caped Crusader -- believes his ideas or principles should be embraced by everyone.
- Ms. "Quit Picking on My Kid" -- even when the parent admits that her child's behavior was unacceptable, she will argue that everyone else's was, too.
- The Intimidator -- who wants what he wants, and he wants it now.
- The Stealth Zapper -- she may appear innocent, but her words and actions can sting.
- The Uncivil Libertarian -- fights for what he insists is his child inalienable right to any or all of these: passionate embraces, obscene messages on shirts, the F word on its many forms, hazing, bullying, fighting, and visible underwear. (Most teachers and administrators think not.)
- No Show's Dad -- one kind of parent seems to think that attendance isn't mandatory, but optional.
- Helicopter Mom -- who hovers constantly, ready to whisk away any problem or inconvenience that might befall her child.
- The Competitor -- every encounter with the teacher is a contest, like a World Federation Wrestler.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
The effort is part of our Book Donation Campaign, a multi-year effort of the U.S. Department of Education, First Book and a host of major U.S. book publishing companies to promote literacy and supply books to children in need. Since June 2006, we have collaborated to distribute nearly 3 million children's books to schools, libraries and literacy organizations serving low-income youth across the country. Later this month, the Department and First Book will announce the availability and subsequent national distribution of the remaining 300,000 Random House books earmarked for the Book Donation Campaign. Schools, libraries and organizations interested in obtaining books available through the Campaign are encouraged to register online at www.firstbook.org/register.
Country seminars to be offered in 2009 include:
Terms of the award include: ▪ round-trip economy airfare ▪ room and board ▪ fees ▪ program-related travel within the host country (ies). Participants are responsible for a cost share, $400.00. Updated application forms are now available. The Summer 2009 application and reference form deadline is September 12, 2008.
Those Qualified To Apply:
Elementary School Teachers in the fields of social sciences, humanities, including languages;
Middle or High School Educators in the fields of social sciences, humanities, including languages;
Administrators or Curriculum Specialists who have responsibility for curriculum in the fields of social sciences, humanities, including languages;
Librarians, Museum Educators or Media or Resource Specialists who have responsibility for curriculum in the fields of social sciences, humanities, including languages; and
Faculty or Administrators from public or private, 2- or 4-year institutions of higher education whose discipline is related to the social sciences, humanities, languages and/or area studies.
For additional information, please contact Gale Holdren: http://email@example.com; Program Assistant: Michelle Ward: http://firstname.lastname@example.org.
The application package is available, you may apply online at http://e-grants.ed.gov/egWelcome.asp
We would like to introduce you to a magazine called Biophotonics International. It is the world's leading magazine dealing with photonics solutions for the medical and biotechnology industries.
It contains the information you need to apply the latest in imaging, optics, lasers, microscopy and many other light-based techniques to your work.
Best part: It's Free. Simply go to the website: www.photonics.com/bio/WBIHS8/ and click on New Subscription. Complete the form and submit to start receiving your monthly copy of Biophotonics International.
BioPhotonics International is going to feature articles that present reviews on the latest technology in the next coming months. Make sure that you don't miss them.
Thank you for your time,The Staff of Biophotonics International
What does "effective teaching" mean and what is the Department doing to promote it?
What is the link between effective teachers and student achievement?
What can we do to overhaul the recruitment, training, and compensation of teachers, especially those teaching critical subjects like math and science?
How can we populate America's high need schools with effective teachers?
What is the Teacher Ambassador Fellowship Program and how will it contribute to the field?
What questions should parents ask to ensure their child's teacher is high performing and effective in the classroom?
How would key programs and initiatives-like the Teacher Incentive Fund, student loan forgiveness programs and the Adjunct Teacher Corps-help to fill teaching shortages in high-need schools and subject areas critical to America's competitiveness and economic viability?
Ways to Watch: Education News is available on local education, government or public access channels; TLC (The Learning Channel); some PBS member stations; the Dish Network and DirecTV; BYU Television (DirecTV, Dish and via local cable providers); and Channel One. To learn more, please visit www.ed.gov/edtv.
Archived Webcasts: Education News is available via archived webcasts. To view and learn more, please visit www.connectlive.com/events/ednews.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Learning Magazine's 2008 Teacher's Choice Award for the Family
Visit the Learning Magazine web site: http://www.theeducationcenter.com/
2008 Teacher's Choice
Award for the Family
April 16, 2008
With communication at our finger tips it is absolutely critical that a person be literate in these technologically advanced times. When I opened my email this morning, I thought about how important it is to be able to read and write. My business activities require this skill, as well as my personal life. Though I typically forget this isn’t something that comes by nature alone, this morning I realized this isn’t the case and wondered what the best way to obtain this skill is.
There are two components of literacy, the first is writing. I believe this is the harder part of literacy. One that I believed came from much practice. But as I researched how to learn to write, the number one thing I was guided to do was read. From reading you can obtain better skills at writing. It was not suggested to read one specific thing, but to read anything from comic books, to newspapers, to fiction. Reading alone helps the brain recognize how words and phrases should be placed.
The second part to literacy is reading. Reading is something I have learned to enjoy. And something I have learned to appreciate as the best way to increase knowledge in anything. I once heard that it takes reading 30 books to become an expert at something. And as I started to discuss this with people, those who I had looked up to for knowledge had been individuals who had followed this criteria for expertise.
Obviously you already know how to read, if you have gotten to this point. But the real point is to continue to work on your literacy so that you may better your communication. Since globally communication is becoming a larger part of everyday life, it is critical to continue to better your skills in this area. Reading is the best way to do this.
Doubleday Book Club
April 8, 2008
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
After spending years exploring the link between longevity and nutrition, Dr. Mindell discovered that many of the world's longest living people have something in common: "They consume regular daily helpings of a tiny red fruit that just happens to be the world's most powerful anti-aging food: the goji berry."
A must-read for every educator, parent or anyone who cares about our children's future. (Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence)
In The Disciplined Mind, Howard Gardner argues that K-12 education should strive for a deep understanding of three classical principles: truth, beauty, and goodness.
Education in the Future
The Singapore Miracle
Monday, September 1, 2008
The panel was charged with providing recommendations to the President and U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings on the best use of scientifically based research to advance the teaching and learning of mathematics. Expert panelists, including a number of leading mathematicians, cognitive psychologists, and educators, reviewed numerous research studies before preparing a final report containing guidance on how to improve mathematics achievement for all students in the United States.
The National Math Panel's final report, issued on March 13, 2008, contains 45 findings and recommendations on numerous topics including instructional practices, materials, professional development, and assessments. Please visit http://www.ed.gov/MathPanel for the executive summary and full report.
U.S. Department of Education's Teacher Initiative
March 20, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Interestingly, the US Department of Defense (DoD) included 10.3 million dollars in its FY 2006 budget for a New Defense Education Act (DoD, 2005) and business and community leaders are once again making reference to Sputnik. For example, the American Electronics Association recently released a document entitled "Losing the Competitive Advantage: The Challenge for Science and Technology in the United States." Their argument broadly addresses US competitiveness in a global economy, but includes the concern that US students will be unable to participate in a technological society without an increased emphasis on math and science. In a similar vein, Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft, in a speech focused on the failure of American high schools, remarked that
When I compare our high schools to what I see when I'm traveling abroad, I am terrified for our workforce of tomorrow. In math and science, our 4th graders are among the top students in the world. By 8th grade, they're in the middle of the pack. By 12th grade, US students are scoring near the bottom of all industrialized nations.
Gates is likely referring to the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Studies (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2003). The 1995 TIMSS showed significant performance gaps between American students and students in other countries (e.g. gaps of 1.5 standard deviations between American students and students in Singapore) with twelfth graders performing significantly below the international average. The 2003 TIMSS shows American students in the fourth and eighth grades performing above the international average with no change for fourth graders between the 1999 and 2003 administration, but significant improvement for eighth graders.
2007 PEARSON Merrill/Prentice Hall
Pearson Education, Inc.
Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, USA
Pearson Education Ltd.
Pearson Education Singapore Pte. Ltd.
Pearson Education Canada, Ltd.
Pearson Education -- Japan
Pearson Education Australia Pty. Limited
Pearson Education North Asia Ltd.
Pearson Educatión de Mexico, S.A. de C.V.
Pearson Education Malaysia Pte. Ltd.
HOOTSTEIN (1995) interviewed eighth-grade teachers about the strategies they used to motivate students to learn U.S. history. The 10 most frequently mentioned strategies were: having students role-play characters in historical simulations (mentioned by 83% of the teachers), organizing projects that result in the creation of products (60%), playing games with students as a way to review material for tests (44%), relating history to current events or to students' lives (44%), assigning students to read historical novels (44%), asking thought-provoking questions (33%), inviting guest speakers from the community (33%), showing historical videos and films (28%), organizing cooperative learning activities (28%), and providing small-scale hands-on experiences (28%).
Be Enthusiastic (Regularly)
A history teacher generated a great deal of interest by enthusiastically explaining to his students that during the Middle Ages, the Mediterranean Sea was the center of the world. Mediterranean seaports were major trade centers and places like England were outposts of civilization, but this changed drastically with discovery of the New World and the emergence of new centers of trade and culture. His presentation included references to maps, reminders about the primary modes of transportation at the time, and characterizations of the attitudes of the people and their knowledge about other countries and trade possibilities.
Another teacher brought ancient Israel alive by enthusiastically telling his students about David as the slayer of Goliath and ancestor of Jesus, Abraham leading his people to the Promised Land, Moses as the man who presented the Ten Commandments and led the people out of the wilderness, and Solomon as a wise man and builder of the (first) temple. This lesson included locating Jerusalem, Israel, and the Sinai peninsula on a map and speculating about whether the (third) temple (at the time of Jesus it was a second temple -- destroyed by the Romans in 70CE) might be rebuilt in modern Jerusalem (noting that a major Moslem temple is located next to the spot occupied by Solomon's temple.) In each of these examples, the teacher was able to parlay personal interest and detailed knowledge about a topic into an effective presentation that sparked interest and elicited many questions and comments.
First Jerusalem Temple (temple for all nations)
Romans destroy Jerusalem Temple 70 C.E.
Ruins of Second Temple
Induce Dissonance or Cognitive Conflict
If a topic is familiar, students may think that they already know all about it and thus may listen to presentations or read texts with little attention or thought. You can encounter this tendency by pointing out unexpected, incongruous, or paradoxical aspects of the content; by calling attention to unusual or exotic elements; by noting exceptions to general rules; or by challenging students to solve the "mystery" that underlies a paradox.
One teacher used dissonance to stimulate curiosity about the Persian empire by noting that Darius was popular with the people he conquered and asking students to anticipate reasons why this might be so. Another teacher introduced a selection on the Trojan War by telling students that they would read about "how just one horse enabled the Greeks to win a major battle against the Trojans." Another introduced a video on the fall of the Roman Empire by saying , " Some say that the factors that led to the decay (decadence) of the Roman Empire are currently at work in the United States -- as you watch the video, see if you notice parallels."
Romans of Decadence
United States history is full of opportunities to create dissonance, especially in students whose prior exposures have been confined to overly sanitized and patriotic versions of the subject. Exposure to topics such as the Trail of Tears, the Japanese Internment during World War II, or CIA involvement in undermining foreign governments can be startling eye openers for students, especially if approached not just as past history but as grist for discussions about whether such things might still happen today or what their implications might be for current and future government policy.
In 1838 the Cherokee were stripped of their rights and forced to move against their will on 'The Trail of Tears.'
Japanese Internment Camp (World War II)
Religious (private) - typically are funded through a combination of tuition and fees, fundraising campaigns and money from a larger religious body. They are owned by nonprofit entities and controlled by boards mostly made up of people whose religious affiliations match the schools.
Magnet (public) - typically have a special curriculum or teaching method. They draw from cross-section of a city or town rather than specific neighborhoods.
Home schooling - means teaching your child at home, either alone or in conjunction with other home-schooling parents. You own, you control, and in most areas, you pay for materials and equipment.
Public - typically are funded mainly through a combination of local, state, and federal funding, "owned" by the public, and controlled by the local board of education.
Private - are funded mainly through a combination of tuition and fees charged to parents and fundraising campaigns, owned by non-profit organizations (although not always), and controlled by boards of alumni, parents, staff and interested citizens.
Charter - are also public and in most states are funded with a combination of local, state, and federal money, but they are "owned" and controlled by independent groups of citizens. They can lose their public funding if they do not meet performance goals.
Special programs within schools - more and more schools run special programs for a subset of students, such as foreign language and International Baccalaureate programs.
Accelerated Schools (K-8) - provide students with enriched instruction based on entire school community's vision of learning. (gifted children)
The Coalition of Essential Schools (K-12) - students and teachers should be active partners in creating meaningful learning.
Core Knowledge (K-8) - focus on teaching a common core of concepts, vocabulary, skills, and knowledge.
Direct Instruction (K-8) - aims to improve achievement significantly over current levels by using highly prescribed curriculum and instruction.
Edison Schools, Inc. (K-12) - for profit educational management company that operates public schools nationwide using research-based school design.
International Baccalaureate (Pre K-12) - develop whole child, including cultural capabilities, through study of prescribed international curriculum promoting thinking and transdisciplinary skills.
Montessori (Pre K-8) - develop culturally literate children by nurturing their intelligence, independence, curiosity, and creativity.
Multiple Intelligence (Pre K-12) - design instruction so that it supports student's natural abilities and talents in order to access a broad range of human potential.
Paideia (K-12) - foster more active learning and better use of teacher and student time.
School Development Program (K-12) - meet the needs of urban students by improving educators' understanding of child development and fostering healthy relations with families.
Success for All (Pre K-8) - structured research-based reading program designed to teach all children to read well in the early elementary years.
Waldorf (Pre K-12) - children learn best through experience that awaken multiple senses and focus on capabilities.
2004 Armchair Press, LLC
FREE organizes more than 1,500 lesson plans, primary documents, science animations, math challenges, and works of art, literature, and music from the Library of Congress, Smithsonian Institution, National Archives, National Science Foundation, NASA, National Institutes of Health, National Gallery of Art, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and other federal agencies.
See resources by subject (http://www.free.ed.gov/sitemap.cfm) or topic (http://www.free.ed.gov/sitemap.cfm?page=alpha).
Teaching Ambassador Fellows will be selected based upon their record of leadership, impact on student achievement, and potential for contribution to the field. Highly qualified K-12 public school teachers who have spent at least three years in the classroom are eligible to apply. Teachers must be currently practicing in and employed by a public school district to be eligible. To ensure collaboration at the school and district levels, teacher applicants must have the full support of their school principals.
Applications are due by April 7, 2008. Teaching Ambassador Fellows will be named by early summer for the 2008-2009 school year.
Please read the detailed information found at http://www.ed.gov/programs/teacherfellowship to learn more. Be sure to click on all of the links to review the following: Program Overview (http://www.ed.gov/programs/teacherfellowship/programoverview.html)Eligibility (http://www.ed.gov/programs/teacherfellowship/eligibility.html)Applicant Info (http://www.ed.gov/programs/teacherfellowship/applicant.html)Application Instructions (http://www.ed.gov/programs/teacherfellowship/applicationinstructions.html) FAQs (http://www.ed.gov/programs/teacherfellowship/faq.html).
Thursday, August 28, 2008
For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries. (Robert Jastrow)
Dr. Robert Jastrow, is the director of Mount Wilson Observatory and was founder and director for twenty years of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. He authored books which explore the universe; Red Giants & White Dwarfs, and Until the Sun Dies.
The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB 2002) contains sweeping changes in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. All students including those with mild disabilities are to be held to the same curriculum and assessment standards. Federal aid is contingent on an increase in proficiency in math, reading, and science among all students. States must maintain goals and assess results for various categories of students based on poverty, ethnicity, disability, and limited English proficiency.
The Teacher to Ranger to Teacher (TRT) Program offers a solution, by linking National Park units with teachers from low income school districts. Under this program, selected teachers spend the summer working as park rangers, often living in the park. They perform various duties depending on their interests and the needs of the park, including developing and presenting interpretive programs for the general public, staffing the visitor center desk, developing curriculum-based materials for the park, or taking on special projects.
Then, during the school year, these teacher-rangers bring the parks into the classroom by developing and presenting curriculum-based lesson plans that draw on their summer's experience. In April, during National Park Week, teacher-rangers wear their NPS uniforms to school, discuss their summer as a park ranger, and engage students and other teachers in activities that relate to America's national parks.
For additional information about the Teacher Ranger program go to http://www.nps.gov/wupa/forteachers/trt.htm.
January 26, 2008
In what might be considered its swan song, the Council for Basic Education conducted a survey and found NCLB producing "academic atrophy" in social studies, history, geography, civics, languages, and the arts. A little more of this, and we can declare, "No Education Left." (p.166)