The Carnival has come to the North Carolina mountains! Welcome, one and all. I am grateful to EdWonk for allowing me this opportunity to host the Carnival. By the way, how do you like my specially-commissioned Carnival 28 artwork? It was provided by our resident artist.
Let’s get right to this week’s posts.
As a university professor, I am well aware that many students come to college ill-prepared for the challenges that await them. The folks at Education Matters, are on the case, with a report out of Illinois, as well as some suggestions for improvement.
Speaking of preparation, it’s getting to be that time for us to prepare for our classes. The Science Goddess over at What It’s Like on the Inside invites us to join her on her search for the “Lesson Plan Holy Grail.” She’s already made some discoveries. And on the subject of preparing for our classes, Mrs. Ris at Mentor Matters has the initial installment of her series on “Characteristics of Effective Teachers.” She plans fourteen of these little gems, so be sure to check back with her regularly.
Back to preparing kids for college — let’s not lay all the blame on the students. The ultimate story of a parent from hell can be found at Scheiss Weekly. You gotta read it to believe it, and even then, you’ll shake your head in amazement.
We move from parental involvement in high school to parental involvement in college, where we discover that one college now has its very own PTA. Jonathan Dresner has the details over at Cliopatria
The Carnival’s new friend, Scott Elliot, at Get On The Bus has a touching story involving a $10 bill, his daughter, and a teachable moment on the subject of human nature.
Josh at MultipleMentality submitted a post on a little nostalgia trip he just took. I’ll let him introduce it himself:
An editorial in USA Today about how schools are taking the fun out of reading inspired me to write about an experience where my 6th grade reading teacher did the same to me. The only difference is: she failed.
I’d like to point out that I’m preparing this post on my laptop while I sit on the living room couch. That’s because my desk is covered with papers, receipts, and other stuff. Why am I telling you this? Because Steve Pavlina has looked into my psyche and figured out why my desk is such a mess:
I see the accumulation of clutter as a form of procrastination — when you procrastinate on deciding where things should go, they pile up. If you know exactly where an object goes, and its location is convenient, you’ll usually put it away and avoid turning it into clutter.
If you are starting out the school year with a clean desk, check out Steve’s advice on how to keep it clutterless (is that a word?) throughout the year.
If the past couple of weeks are any indication, the “Evolution vs. Intelligent Design” debate probably won’t be dying down for quite some time. Why should things be different at the Carnival? Gordon at Damn the Man give us his perspective this week.
J.D. at MathAndText shows us a classic example of how not to present data in a math textbook. And in case it matters, my favorite is the purple bar.
Speaking of math texts, is it possible that textbooks are actively avoiding positive male stereotypes? Yes, it is. Is there somewhere you can find out more? Yes, there is. Catherine at KitchenTableMath has quite a lot to say about this. Would you say she’s steamed? Well, go find out.
Just when you thought we were done with questions, Lennie brings us one more: who should pay for a child’s education? He invites you to add your own answer to the conversation. Well, OK. Mark Lerner may not have an answer to Lennie’s question, but he sure has an interesting story of somebody paying for education by donating money to a DC charter school (and you’ll never guess who the donors are).
Lennie’s question relates to the thorny issue of school choice. And school choice is also on the mind of Matt at Going to the Mat. He examines the current models of school choice, finds them wanting, and proposes an intriguing alternative.
Mike McDaniel is a high school teacher who, in his former life, was a police officer. He has submitted a provocative article on school security (I’ve backdated it on my site). Punch line: he proposes that “gun-free school zones” are no longer keeping our schools safe from would-be attackers, and maybe those attackers need some incentive to stay away. On the other hand, while it may be that English teachers aren’t packin’ heat, their colleagues over in the Chemistry department are loaded for bear. James at Ruminating Dude fills us in on high school Chem teachers and things that go boom.
It might be that Mike in Texas has found another dangerous substance in our schools. Ticky tack! (This isn’t a material we run into much at the college level, I guess). Anyway, read about his experience and share your own life’s lessons here.
posthipchick wasn’t too thrilled with the recent results from the California Standardized Tests. I’m not sure I blame her. Her analysis of the results is certainly not encouraging.
Moving back east, we get an update on teacher pay reform in Minnesota from the folks at Minnesota Education Reform News. The reviews are decidedly mixed. Pay for teachers is also on the mind of The Education Policyist. He weighs in on the subject of “Pay for Performance.”
My goodness! Pay for educators is shaping up to be the hot topic this week. Rhymes with Right tells us how the state legislature in Texas is concerned with pay raises and retirement benefits. Oh. You thought I meant teachers’ pay and benefits? No, I didn’t mean that at all.
The uber-Carnival-master at The Education Wonks, is not amused with MTV’s series High School Stories: Scandals, Pranks, & Controversies. EdWonk thinks that teens are going to draw the wrong lessons from this TV show. Personally, I don’t think MTV has been the same since the days of Pat Benatar and (dare I say it?) Duran Duran. But that’s just me.
We’re all concerned about the state of English education in our schools today. As it turns out, that nation of Thailand is also interested in how well its students are learning English. Interested Participant has the story here. And be sure to follow the link near the end of the post for what I can only describe as a surprise ending.
As both a college educator and a dad who homeschools, motivating students of all ages is a prime concern of mine. Thus my interest in this post on using “Rewards and Prizes” by the Headmistress. Is this a bad time to admit that we’re rewarding our homeschooler with a trip to Chuck E. Cheese’s once she has enough good school days?
One of our emphases this year in homeschool is reading and writing, so Bud the Teacher’s suggestion for a creative writing activity struck a chord with me. And what better way to encourage both writing and family togetherness than a trip to the grocery store? Here’s my favorite suggestion from Bud’s post:
Many different groups use the grocery store as a place to sell things or share information. Think of a group that would never show up in front of the grocery store. Write about what happens on the day that they do.
The possibilities are endless. Go read the rest of his ideas, and don’t think you need to be a homeschooling parent to do engage in this sort of activity.
I spent part of today figuring out how many tests to give in my CS2 class, and now I find out that I might be doing serious damage to my students’ brains with those tests. Don’t believe me? Then you haven’t read Number 2 Pencil in the past couple of days. She did the detective work and brings us the scoop.
I’m pleased to bring to you a newcomer (I believe) to the Carnival: The Colossus of Rhodey, who tells us a story of a school that is banning certain hairstyles. Yes, you read that right — hairstyles! Go and read.
Just in time for back-to-school, my good friend Robert over at BrightMystery brings us The official brightMystery back-to-school tech guide. My only quibble, Robert, is with the cell phone. Couldn’t you at least mention that they ought to put them away during class?
OK. We’ve finally reached the end of what I believe has been an enjoyable carnival. But I’m sure you’ve been wondering: “David, you’re from North Carolina, you’re interested in education, and what the heck, you receive a paycheck from the state yourself. So what are your thoughts on the North Carolina lottery?” I’m glad you asked. I humbly submit my own post here at Ticklish Ears, where I reveal my brilliant alternative to the state lottery. I’m just wondering why nobody else has thought of this.
Thanks to all who submitted entries this week. And thanks, of course, to EdWonk, for letting me host this week. I’ve just gained a tremendous new respect for his weekly efforts putting this Carnival together. By the way, who do I see about my paycheck?
Next week, the Carnival returns to The Education Wonks. They should receive submissions no later than 9:00 PM Pacific time, 12:00 midnight (Eastern), Tuesday August 23, 2005. Please send your submissions to: owlshome[at]earthlink[dot]net. The midway should open next Wednesday morning.