Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Educational Links 7/20/17

Project Based Learning is a Roller Coaster

The Search for Real-World STEM Problems

Why losing control of your classroom is a good thing

'Too often, bullies are empowered by schools that fail to effectively sanction them'

10 Summer Learning Apps and Games for Tweens and Teens

First Day of Class Activities that Create a Climate for Learning

Encouraging good judgement in students

Students need good judgment to successfully navigate the sea of information in their academic lives, as well as for the social and emotional choices and decisions that they will inevitably face. For all of this, students require the executive function of judgment to monitor their understanding and interpretation. Judgment is critical for thoughtful consideration of their choices and the consequences of their actions. In this post, I'll suggest ways that you can activate your students' neuroplasticity to strengthen their brains' developing neural networks that support judgment.

Nature, My Garden and Me: Gray Hairsteak Butterfly Basking In the Butterfly Garden...

Our Butterfly Garden/Wildlife Habitat supports a surprisingly high number of different butterflies--I am just an amateur and usually photograph about 16 
different butterfly types every year here in our garden in the High Desert of SoCal.

The tiny gray hairstreak, the male that is, will bask on a flower, tree or plant to check for likely females. Kind of like standing on the corner watching all the girls go by.

While at rest, the butterfly often moves the hindwings together in a rubbing motion.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Educational Links 7/19/17

Traditional assessment rewards the wrong behaviors-here’s why

Betsy DeVos Calls for New Way Forward on Sexual Assault, But No Specifics

The Best Source Of Education Research Is Your Classroom

Motivating Students to Read

Can Processing Speed Ever Improve?

Podcast: Interview With…Me On Parent Engagement

Why Americans Think So Poorly of the Country's Schools

Asked to assign letter grades to their children’s schools, the vast majority of parents—generally around 70 percent—issue As and Bs. If those ratings were compiled the way a student’s grade point average is calculated, the public schools would collectively get a B.
When asked to rate the nation’s schools, however, respondents are far less sanguine. Reflecting on public schools in general, a similar share of respondents—roughly 70 percent—confer a C or D. Again calculated as a GPA, America’s schools get a C or C-.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Educational Links 7/18/17

Warming Up with Rug Partners

He Attended His Daughter’s Kindergarten Class For A Day. His Top 10 Observations Are Hilarious!

Going Bare: Forget the Pinterest Ready Room

Best Professional Development Websites and PLNs for Teachers

Betsy DeVos Tells a Top Critic: Obama Civil Rights Approach 'Harmed Students'

Why Kids With Executive Functioning Issues Have Trouble Starting Tasks

The Three Dimensions Of Student Achievement

When a student is finished with school and moves into adult life, she will be judged not by her ability to perform on a test of basic skills, but by the quality of her work and character. This holds true regardless of what career or life role she chooses. Quality work and character are the keys to a successful life. So why are they not the primary focus of schools? 

Flutterbyes and Fighter Planes--in the Low Desert of SoCal

Visiting the Butterfly House at The Living Desert in Indio, California. Buckeye Butterfly
Janet photobombing a Tiger Heliconian butterfly.
Doris Heliconian.

Another phenomenal adventure! This time in the month of April to the Low Desert of California to see the Butterfly House at the Living Desert in Indio, and the Palm Springs Air Museum in Palm Springs. My friend from high school, Janet, went with me.

Janet and I are both retired teachers, and now have time  to develop butterfly gardens. Lots of good info here with the Winged Wonders.

Butterfly Pavilion, the Living Desert

The Butterfly Pavilion was like a lovely Victorian Conservatory, filled with all the flowers butterflies love as though they were the favored, special guests at a high tea. 

Grey Cracker and Hamadryas laodamia .

Here is a nice buffet of fruit--banana, oranges, and watermelon.
Grey cracker enjoying Tang in a sponge.v
Apparently butterflies also greatly enjoy orange flavored Tang. 
Gracias por saludos de cumpleaƱos, mariposa.

A lovely Malachite butterfly landed on my hat--it was my birthday and I accepted its best wishes.

This Julia Butterfly is enjoying milkweed, a plant loved by all pollinators, and essential for the endangered Monarch.

And here is a Monarch--not on milkweed, of course.
The Living Desert

The Living Desert’s mission is desert conservation through preservation, education and appreciation.
The objectives of The Living Desert are:
  • to preserve a portion of the Colorado Desert in its natural state;
  • to foster, through interpretive exhibits, programs and publication, an awareness of, and an appreciation for, the variety of plants and animals in worldwide ecosystems;
  • to build up under controlled conditions, populations of various species of desert animals and plants threatened with extinction in the wild state;
  • and to foster through cooperative research and educational programs, biological studies contributing to the protection of desert species in a wild state.
The corsair, the mural and me.

Janet and I also visited the Palm Springs Air Museum. I've been before to see a static display of an F-4 Corsair from WWII because that's what my dad flew. It is still there, and the marvelous plane hangar wide and tall mural of a Corsair landing on an aircraft carrier.

Bomb bay.
Janet and I decided to join the docent on a guided tour of the inside of a B-17.  (BTW, my dad's first cousin, Blake Treece, was the radioman on a B17 during the D Day invasion. They went down over Caen, France.) The docent climbed the ladder up, Janet followed, and I realized we would have to crawl to get to the standing area. As mentioned, Janet and I are retired and both have what I would term 'grandma' knees--but that didn't stop us! I am very proud, we crawled through the small passage to a narrow, even tiny bridge through the bomb bay--between where the bombs would have been--then to the cramped area packed with communications equipment. It was really interesting. And then a ladder down and out.

B 17--you can see the lower ball turret on the bottom. Big guys need not apply.

The Air Museum was filled with students enjoying special programs, veterans, and planes, artifacts, and info on all wars from WWII to Korea to Vietnam and just opening a hangar with the Cold War. The docents are veterans. Sometimes there are flights and displays in the air, and you can book a ticket if you like.

Palm Springs Air Museum

The Palm Springs Air Museum is a living history museum dedicated to educating the public about the role Air Power played in preserving American liberties and way of life. The Museum preserves, exhibits, and flies aircraft from World War Two, Korea, and the Vietnam Wars. Most of the aircraft are in flyable condition.

Nature, My Garden and Me: Dragonfly Basking in Butterfly Garden

This is our Butterfly Garden/Wildlife Habitat and dragonflies have lived in our yard for several years. But this dragonfly loves the tall cypress shrubs and rests on each of the four in turn. Doesn't seem to be enthralled with being videoed, though!

Khaleesi, Mother of Dragonflies
Update 7/18/17
It seems my dragonfly that is always present surveying 'her' territory in the front, is female, from the info online. So, I've given thought to a name, since we are seeing so much of each other. Dragonfly? Hmmm, dragons? How about, Khaleesi, Mother of Dragonflies?

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Educational Links 7/17/17

10 Classroom Management Tips to Follow

Why True STEM Learning Begins at Home

12 Excellent Chemistry Apps for High School Students

Different Types of Dyslexia

Trump intervenes to grant rejected Afghan girls entry to U.S. for robotics contest

Auditory Processing Disorder: What You’re Seeing

Social-Emotional Learning Boosts Students’ Scores, Graduation Rates, Even Earnings, New Study Finds

Social-emotional learning programs have positive long-term effects, helping students well into their futures in areas like college completion and sexual and mental health.

Teaching Is Seeing The Happy 'I Got It' Face

 1. Helping Struggling Readers 

2. 5 Fun Ways to Help Your Kids Learn Math Online 

3. Teaching Reading to Teens with Learning Disabilities 

4. Top 10 Skills for High-School Students 

5. Helping Newcomer Students Succeed in Secondary Schools and Beyond 

6. Helping your child

Many parents want to help their child or children with their English but are not sure what they can do to help. In this section you'll find lots of expert advice about helping your child learn English.

7. Helping kids learn to succeed 

You did it!

8. Parental Involvement in School 


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Educational Links 7/16/17

Using Music As An Emotional Tool

Has new public funding for a church playground emboldened parochial schools seeking vouchers?

Betsy DeVos Invited to Address Annual Special Education Conference

4 Terrific Teacher Communities for Summer PD

Build Critical Reading Skills With Useful Chrome Extension

This Week’s “Round-Up” Of Useful Posts & Articles On Ed Policy Issues


In the inclusive classroom, special and general educators complement each other. Before inclusive education was part of the educational landscape, special and general educators had different roles. Here are a few ways that the roles of special and general educators have evolved.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Educational Links 7/15/17

Will Virtual Reality Drive Deeper Learning?

Student Trauma Is Real. But Connection Can Heal.

Summer Learning Happens at Home

The Difference Between Dysgraphia and Expressive Language Issues

Afghan Girls Robotics Team Allowed To Enter U.S. For Competition

What Happens When the Teacher is the Bully?

Prospects Seem Dim for Trump School Choice Initiative This Year

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos came to Washington primarily to do one thing: Use the power of her office to expand school choice, her passion for decades.
Members of her own party appeared to deal a major blow to that goal Thursday, when the House panel charged with overseeing education spending approved a bill that doesn't include two of DeVos' big budget asks: using an education research program to offer school vouchers, and allowing Title I dollars to follow students to the school of their choice

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Educational Links 7/14/17

The Impact of a Visiting Artist Program

Class Participation: What Behaviors Count?

How Sensory Processing Issues Can Affect Motor Skills

As Schools Tackle Poverty, Attendance Goes Up, But Academic Gains Are Tepid

At a Glance: 5 Factors of Emotional Intelligence

Transitions Welcoming ways to start the day!

‘It’s Not My Problem!’ Why Charter Schools and Districts Need to Work Together on the Politics of School Closure

District budgets are badly strained when many of their schools are under-enrolled. This is one of the biggest reasons that districts with growing charter enrollment hit financial hurdles. Meanwhile, charter schools can’t expand without access to facilities, and in a growing number of cities, suitable facilities are in very short supply. Understandably, charter leaders bristle when they are blamed for budget woes that may be easily solved by consolidating under-enrolled schools. And understandably, district leaders think they wouldn’t have the under-enrollment problem if charter schools weren’t pulling away students.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Educational Links 7/13/17

How Small School Districts Are Making Personalized Learning A Reality

I don't usually include two pics in the daily blog, but this was really special.

Text-to-Speech Tool Supports Literacy Growth

How Accessible Is Gifted Education in Your State?

Assistive Technology for Auditory Processing Disorder

Programs that teach students how to recognize their emotions, solve problems, and form healthy relationships may continue to show positive benefits for students months, or even years, after they complete them, a new meta-analysis finds. 
Students who completed social-emotional learning interventions fared better than their peers who didn't participate on a variety of indicators—including academic performance, social skills, and avoiding negative behaviors like drug use, finds the analysis, which examined follow-up data from dozens of published studies on specific interventions.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Nature, My Garden, and Me: Adorable Squash Bee Wakes Up After Sleeping I...

Our veggie and herb garden is home to a vibrant community of bees and other pollinators. Here is a squash bee just waking up after sleeping all night in a zucchini blossom which has just opened up in the morning light. The squash plant is in a container--a plastic trash can with holes drilled in the bottom, lots of earthworms inhabit the composted soil.

Educational Links 7/12/17

8 Tips For Teachers Frustrated With Technology

Personalized Learning: Modest Gains, Big Challenges, RAND Study Finds


Goodbye, big structures. Hello, dirt and sticks. Old-fashioned fun is back in style.\

The Difference Between Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Traditional Education

Does My Child’s 504 Plan Have to Be Reviewed at the Beginning of Each School Year?

6 PD Reads You Shouldn’t Miss

Feds Find Fewer States Meeting Special Ed Obligations

Less than half of states are meeting their obligations to appropriately serve students with disabilities under the nation’s special education law, federal education officials say.
In an annual review, the U.S. Department of Education found that only 22 states deserved the “meets requirements” designation for the 2015-2016 school year. All other states were placed into the “needs assistance” category.

Summer Activity: Way Too Hot? Read These

1935 film about Jack London’s book “The Call of the Wild,” featuring Clark Gable and Buck.

Any book set in Alaska by Jack London will give you goosebumps even if is July and 100 degrees F. These other snowy books on this list will help you cool off, too.

Snow blockade 1881

The Long Winter – Laura Ingalls Wilder - PDF, EPUB, FREE DOWNLOAD EBOOK AND AUDIOBOOK 


The real Balto.




The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto 





  Alone: The Classic Polar Adventure – Richard Evelyn Byrd - PDF, EPUB, FREE DOWNLOAD EBOOK AND AUDIOBOOK 


Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage  

1914-1916 Endurance expedition