Saturday, March 18, 2017

Educational Links 3/19/17


LeVar Burton Tackles the Educational Crisis Through Reading

English Language Learners--The Deep Dive

Decisions, Decisions: Deciding Which School is Right for Your Child

Classroom Management Tips to Tame Helicopter Parents

Getting Beyond the Teacherpreneur

English-Language Learners: How Schools Can Drive or Derail Their Success

Robust School Choice and Strong Public Schools – Can U.S. Have Both?

​The school choice debate has been painted in the starkest terms by partisans on both sides – especially during the contentious confirmation of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. But the reality on the ground is far different.

Not every city that embraces school choice has abandoned its public schools, and not every person with qualms about ​that embrace ​is in the pocket of teachers unions.

Women's History Month: Patsy Mink

Patsy Mink was born and raised in Hawaii, the island of Maui.  Her grandfather emigrated from Japan, making her the sansei generation (first generaton is nisei.) In Hawaii, maybe even more than the 'Mainland,' your status due to race and ethnicity is very upfront. But that hindered Patsy Mink not at all.
As a teen in Maui, she was student body president--the first girl, an Asian American, winning just after the attack on Pearl Harbor. She learned how to build coalitions then, and continued for decades in Hawaii and the U.S. Congress. She boldly stood for equally for all, no matter of race, ethnicity, or gender. She was amazing. Maybe her years at the girls' school in Maui, Maunaolu Seminary, was the confidence-creator. Her family hugely believed in her, too.
Her political career contributed much to education and civil rights.
Check out her story, how much can a girl accomplish!

Patsy Mink

American National Biography Online: Mink, Patsy

Maybe vote for Patsy to be on the $20 bill instead of Jackson.
Women on the 20s 

Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation

Hawaii's Patsy Mink Honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom

Documentary: Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority 


Book Review: Song of the Swallows (March 19 when they return to Capistrano)

"Song of the Swallows," las golondrinas, is a picture book which won the Caldecott Award in 1949. Written and illustrated by Leo Politi, the story highlights Hispanic customs in San Juan Capistrano, California, that blend nature, Catholicism, and the history of California from a child's perspective.

Juan is the main character, a boy of about seven or eight years old. He attends the school by the Mission, and is a friend of the bell ringer/gardener, grandfatherly Julian. Julian is the only adult mentioned in the book, the Mission is the only setting. The story occurs in the timelessness of childhood, so we don't really know if the illustrations depict the 1940's or not. There is no clue by the clothing, activities, or countryside. The Mission and garden are not dated. There are no automobiles, but even today in coastal California, you might go miles without seeing a motorized vehicle. And there is no clue from the birds; swallows don't follow fashion dictates. One of the main attractions of "The Song of the Swallows" is this untainted marvel-of-childhood quality.

Julian tells Juan about the settling of California by Father Serra and the Franciscan friars. Every fourth grader in this state (myself included) studied this period of California history, and created model missions, maybe even visiting a Mission. There are over twenty missions up and down the California coast, with many cities named after the nearby Mission, i.e., San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and, of course, San Francisco.  I've seen a few and the facilities are well maintained and beautiful.

There is no controversy in this book about the treatment of the Indians by the Franciscans.
A 1985 stamp immortalizing Father Junipero Serra

The following link is a balanced biography of Father Serra. 

Father Junipero Serra also has a statue in the United States Statuary Hall, in Washington, D.C.

Politi's portrayal of Mission San Juan Capistrano.

You can purchase this model of San Juan Capistrano for a Grade Four project.

Julian, the St. Francis look-a-like.
Julian, in little Juan's eyes,  is portrayed almost St. Francis-like with the beautiful garden and hummingbirds, pigeons, sparrows and other birds being comfortable around the gentle soul.

Juan learns of the mystery of the swallows. How do they know to arrive on St. Joseph's Day? (March 19.)  It has nothing to do with Joseph, the stepfather of the Savior  (of Jesus, Mary and Joseph fame.) It just coincides with the season the swallows migrate to their familiar habitat.

Happy birdie family, happy boy.
Juan wonders about the nests
Why is there a St. Joseph's Day? In the worship schedule for Catholics, each day has one or more saints honored throughout the year at daily Mass with a feast day, or worship service. For example, many communities have the blessing of the animals on October 4, the feast of Francis of Assisi, to honor his saintly lifestyle that was so peaceful that it is said that even wild animals were gentle with him and birds would perch on him. Francis also propagated peace, forgiveness, and taking care of the poor.  Francis lived in twelfth century Italy, and wrote some lovely prayers.

Happy kids enjoying the beautiful Mission and the birds.
 As the birds get comfortable, the child personifies the male and female birds as the nest is built, the female incubates the eggs, and the male serenades her with sweet, twittering song. Then both the parents diligently feed the hatchlings, like a happy family.

 The children thoroughly enjoy the presence of the birds, the  spring season, and the safety and contentment of the belief system supplied by the Mission. It is interesting, though, in  the story that parents, priests, nuns, teachers or any other adult besides Julian, the grandfatherly gardener, do not make an appearance. Not even an older brother or sister.

In due time, the swallows migrate to a mysterious island for the winter. The human inhabitants of Capistrano will wait for their return. Juan and the other happy kids are very excited when the birds return. The birds actually fly to Goya, Argentina.

The swallows leave Capistrano on their mission to a mysterious island.

Leo Politi
 Leo Politi, although an Italian-America, wrote warmly of the Hispanic culture in Southern California. He authored several children's books. I met him when I was in college in Los Angeles. He was very encouraging to a young English student.

This year in San Juan Capistrano, the swallows are sort of hiding from the big to-do that the residents of Capistrano throw on March 19, St. Joseph's Day.  Now the occasion is kind of a mixed metaphor, with a large variety of traditions celebrated, but still a beautiful day out in a remarkably lovely part of the world.

Pat Boone - When The Swallows Come Back To Capistrano 

This is a wonderful, cheesy song about the swallows returning to Capistrano by Pat Boone recorded in the 1950's, with great pictures of the little birds.
Singing with Pat.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Educational Links 3/18/17

'Skinnying' Down the Common Core Standards into Six Buckets

15 Ways To Get Your Groove Back After A Tough Week In The Classroom

What to Do When a Student Self-Harms: Teachers Share Their Advice

Uses and Misuses of Technology to Achieve Learning Standards

What Happens When Principals and District Administrators Sit in the Student’s Chair?

The 5 top priority classroom practices

Is It ADHD or Immaturity?

Several studies in recent years have found that children who are among the youngest in their class are diagnosed with ADHD at a much higher rate than their older classmates.This suggests that a significant percentage of kids with ADHD are being misdiagnosed just because they are less mature. It raises important questions about how kids are being diagnosed, and how to avoid misinterpreting the behavior of children who might be having trouble meeting expectations just because they are younger.

Women's History Month: The Original Glee Girls

The Marvelettes in a 1963 promotional photo.Clockwise form top left, Gladys Horton, Katherine Anderson, Georgeanna Tillman, and Wanda Young
These girls were in their high school glee club when they were signed by Motown. They were the first successful girl group for Motown. 

I like the integrated audience way back in 1961. BTW the Beatles did a cover of this song (what an amazing compliment for the girls from Detroit; the Beatles very much appreciated black artists--young women artists, too.)

So we celebrate Women's History Month with encouragement to teens everywhere to sing, sing, sing. 

The Marvelettes - Please Mr. Postman 

And the Beatles homage to the Marvelettes, with John Lennon requesting to 'delivah da lettah, the sooner the bettah.' And a little British humor.

 Please Mr. Postman - The Beatles

Wishing Your Irish Eyes Be Smiling

The Irish eyes of my grandmother, Mary Mangan, 1919, Denver, Colorado.

The Irish Tenors (John McDermott, Anthony Kearns and Ronan Tynan) - When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

There's a tear in your eye

And I'm wondering why

For it never should be there at all
With such pow'r in your smile
Sure a stone you'd beguile
So there's never a teardrop should fall

When your sweet lilting laughter's

Like some fairy song

And your eyes twinkle bright as can be
You should laugh all the while
And all other times smile
And now, smile a smile for me

When Irish eyes are smiling

Sure, 'tis like the morn in Spring

In the lilt of Irish laughter
You can hear the angels sing
When Irish hearts are happy
All the world seems bright and gay
And when Irish eyes are smiling
Sure, they steal your heart away

For your smile is a part

Of the love in your heart

And it makes even sunshine more bright
Like the linnet's sweet song
Crooning all the day long
Comes your laughter and light

For the springtime of life

Is the sweetest of all

There is ne'er a real care or regret
And while springtime is ours
Throughout all of youth's hours
Let us smile each chance we get

When Irish eyes are smiling

Sure, 'tis like the morn in Spring

In the lilt of Irish laughter
You can hear the angels sing
When Irish hearts are happy
All the world seems bright and gay
And when Irish eyes are smiling
Sure, they steal your heart away

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Educational Links 3/17/17

How Socioeconomic Diversity In Schools Helps All Students

Stop Hoping for Better Students and Focus on Better Teaching in Your Classroom


California's new K-12 school performance dashboard misses the mark, critics say

Helping Students Become Better Writers Through Brainstorming

Updating an Age-Old Class Activity

Why Aren't More Charter Schools Opening?

The number of new charter schools plummeted in the 2015-16 school year, with 329 new charters setting up shop, compared to nearly twice that many—640—that opened just four years earlier.
Why have the numbers of new charter schools dropped off so sharply in recent years, even as student enrollment in charters (now more than 3 million children according to some estimates) continues to increase year over year?

Everything You Need For St. Patrick's Day (Except the Green Beer)

Illumination from the Book of Durrow

Teachable Moment: How the Irish Saved Western Civilization

Cheesy Jokes and Serious Thoughts for St. Patrick's Day

Teachable Moment: Brian Boru in the Irish (Brian Bóramha i nGaeilge) 

Alan Stivel and his harp.

Festival of Irish Arts and Music Day 1 

Festival of Irish Arts and Music Day 2 

Celtic Circle of Joy--Living Your Dream 

Festival of Irish Arts and Music Day 3

Festival of Irish Arts and Music Day 4

 Festival of Irish Arts and Music Day 5 

Teachable Moment: The Irish Diaspora 

Irish STEM and Other Surprises for St. Patrick's Day

Women's History Month: Farrah Fawcett

Farrah was more than a pretty face and iconic pin-up poster.

Farrah was scouted by Hollywood agents while a college art student in Texas. Like thousands of girls, she was beautiful, could model, and the camera loved her. What was different about Farrah, aside from her extra-brilliant smile and actual acting ability, was her astonishing courage.

"Charlie's Angels" made Farrah famous. During the Seventies lightweight television show, she was actually nominated for an Emmy and Golden Globe for the only season she starred with Jaclyn Smith and Kate Jackson, with whom she remained friends for decades.

Farrah's popularity right then would have been enough for most women (along with the 20,000,000 copies sold of her red bathing suit poster.)

 Farrah's swimsuit makes the Smithsonian

Farrah in "The Burning Bed."

But she left "Charlie's Angels"  for movies, and then in 1984 made a very different choice, a television movie called "The Burning Bed." This was the actual story of an abusive couple in Michigan that ended with the wife setting fire to her husband's bed while he was in a drunken stupor. He died. She was not convicted of murder due to the newly diagnosed battered woman syndrome.

Hollywood took up the charge in defending vulnerable women in     Johnny Belinda (1948 film) 

with Jane Wyatt (Oscar winner for it), but Farrah's performance was viewed by millions in their own homes not too many years after the actual situation had been national news. She was nominated for an Emmy and Golden Globe.

Farrah Fawcett by Andy Warhol

The dramatization is noted as influential in changing the law, 

Violence Against Women Act 

and inspiring a country song by Martina McBride, 

Independence Day

She had left the glamour girl roles permanently. She earned respect (and Golden Globe and Emmy nominations) through many diverse roles from Nazi-hunters to rape victims to child murderers. 

Farrah Fawcett Awards

But the most challenging role was yet to be filmed. 

Farrah was diagnosed with cancer in 2006, and in 2009 the TV documentary "Farrah's Story," chronicling her battle with the disease aired on NBC.  She posthumously earned her fourth Emmy nomination as producer Farrah's Story (2009) 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Educational Links 3/16/17

'The single biggest factor in educational underachievement is deprivation – funding must reflect that'

10 Ways To Help Kids With Learning Differences That Could Benefit All Students

Autistic educator discusses learning styles, importance of early real-world experience

Poetry Across the Curriculum

'Dear Parents...If you want to rescue your child's education, you need to tell government "enough is enough"'

No Income Tax For Teachers? California Bill Aimed At Keeping Educators In Classroom

If Immigration Agents Come Knocking, Schools Must Follow These Steps

Following the lead of dozens of school systems around the nation, Broward County, Fla., school leaders passed a resolution that affirms that they will do everything they can to protect undocumented students who are on school grounds or participating in off-site school-related activities.
As is the case elsewhere, Broward County's memo makes clear that federal agents seeking student information, or access to students, need to produce a warrant or another court document signed by a judge, and the school district's attorney must review the order.

Women's History Month: Rosie the Riveter

"We Can Do It!" by J. Howard Miller
Who knows where the misinformation began that women were not intelligent, capable or resilient started from? It has always mystified me anyone would think that; I was raised by bright, hardworking women and taught by brilliant Catholic nuns, so you can understand my confusion.

The image of Rose the Riveter is just the girl next door to most of us, though the poster was designed during World War II to validate women joining the workplace as young men joined the war. My mom, aunt, and grandmother worked as telephone operators rather than in factories, but that was still rather progressive. My father's sister, Aunt Maxine, joined the WAVES, as he joined the Navy.

Rosie the Riveter 

 Rosie even had music. This includes shots of the assembly lines and aircraft.

 Rosie The Riveter by The Four Vagabonds

To be fair we should recall all the ladies who worked in factories during the Industrial Revolution, the girls and women who pioneered the West, all the females who chose to immigrate to our great country and endured various ship rides to create homesteads, farms, communities and cities; the relentless mothers, sisters, daughters and wives who continue to love, work, struggle to care for families and loved ones in roles at home and in military service.

Maj. Shawna R. Kimbre, USAF

News: Inspiring Change: Air Force female mavericks 

Rosie flies fighter planes now, and designs them.

                                                                Yep, we can.

Teachable Moment: How the Irish Saved Western Civilization

Finnian of Clonard imparting his blessing to the "Twelve Apostles of Ireland"

 1. Who Saved Civilization? The Irish, That's Who! 

2. Hearts And Minds Aflame For Christ: Irish Monks—A Model For Making All Things New in the 21st Century 
3. It Takes a Monk to Save a Civilization 

4. Europe and the Irish Monks 

5.  St. Columbanus, Missionary to Europe

St. Brendan, from German manuscript

6. St. Brendan: Did An Irish Monk Come To America Before Columbus?

6a. Did the Irish Discover America?

7. Irish Monastic Schools 

Plus, who else but a remarkable group of people could keep a wonderful sense of humor while painstakingly copying scripts for years and years? Meet Pangur Bán, the Irish cat.

Two Translations of a Poem from the Old Irish