Saturday, February 3, 2018

Educational Links 2/4/18

Assistive Technology for Reading

12 Websites to Find Images for Student Projects or Visual Lessons

How to help children build a positive presence online

The Educator's Room Podcast

Tch Talks 24: Inviting Curiosity and Socratic Questioning Into The Classroom

20 Of The Best Tutoring Apps For Teachers

11 Simple Signs a Child May Have a Psychiatric Disorder

A group of mental health experts from around the country, alarmed at the number of children struggling with undiagnosed psychiatric disorders, has formulated a list of 11 simple signs that a child might have a mental illness.

Black History Month: Madam C. J. Walker

Madam C. J. Walker driving her own car.
Her passengers were members of the NAACW-National Association of Colored Women.
Madam C. J. Walker is a fascinating person, having come out of extreme circumstances to resiliently develop not only a mind-bogglingly successful business but a vibrant self-vision that provided impetus and momentum for overcoming devastating obstacles.

At first, it was a family affair of survival, then she was involved with community--church and local organizations of support. Her first husband died, but Sarah (later Madam C.J.) worked and worked and worked. She saw herself worthy of opportunities. Her daughter went to college. 

She had such a dynamic entrepreneurial identity that she and her team (including second husband C. J. Walker) built an empire.

Sarah aggressively supported groups to encourage the black community, particularly women, through magnanimous philanthropy. 

How smart and confident would you have to be to do this? 

I really love how she drives her own new, fancy car in the pic!

Here is the current link to her products and business!

Madam C. J. Walker Beauty College

Other links for info.

Madam C.J. Walker Biography

Civil Rights ActivistPhilanthropistEntrepreneur (1867–1919)

Madam C. J. Walker

Aww Garsh--Love Songs For Valentine's Day # 16

Bruno Mars - Just The Way You Are Lyrics 
Ohhhhh ohhhhhh ohhhhhh ohhhhhhh
[Verse 1:]
Oh, her eyes, her eyes
Make the stars look like they're not shinin'
Her hair, her hair
Falls perfectly without her trying
She's so beautiful
And I tell her everyday
I know, I know
When I compliment her she won't believe me
And it's so, it's so
Sad to think that she don't see what I see
But every time she asks me "Do I look okay? "
I say
When I see your face (face face...)
There's not a thing that I would change
'Cause you're amazing (amazing)
Just the way you are (are)
And when you smile (smile smile...)
The whole world stops and stares for a while
'Cause girl you're amazing (amazing)
Just the way you are (are)
[Verse 2:]
Her lips, her lips
I could kiss them all day if she'd let me
Her laugh, her laugh
She hates but I think it's so sexy
She's so beautiful
And I tell her everyday
  Oh you know, you know, you know
I'd never ask you to change
If perfect's what you're searching for
Then just stay the same
So don't even bother asking if you look okay
You know I'll say
When I see your face (face face...)
There's not a thing that I would change
'Cause you're amazing (amazing)
Just the way you are (are)
And when you smile (smile smile...)
The whole world stops and stares for a while
'Cause girl you're amazing (amazing)
Just the way you are (are)
The way you are
The way you are
Girl you're amazing (amazing)
Just the way you are (are)
When I see your face
There's not a thing that I would change
Cause you're amazing (amazing)
Just the way you are (are)
And when you smile
The whole world stops and stares for awhile
Cause girl you're amazing
Just the way you are

Friday, February 2, 2018

Educational Links 2/3/18

Does Algebra Do More Harm Than Good? Community Colleges Rethink Requirements

Keep Your Calm with These 15 Time-Saving Tips for Grading

The Teenage Smartphone Problem Is Worse Than You Think


Music That Focuses the Brain

Net neutrality repeal widens opportunity gap for students

11 Essentials for Excellent Digital Portfolios

Portfolios have many benefits: They can aid students in metacognition, reflection, and ownership of learning. But if they’re handled poorly, students and teachers may feel that portfolios are a waste of time. And while some see portfolios as excellent qualitative measures instead of standardized tests, we know that the subjective nature of portfolio assessment can make it an unreliable comparison between schools.

Black History Month: Dream Deferred


By Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?

      Does it dry up

      like a raisin in the sun?

      Or fester like a sore—

      And then run?

      Does it stink like rotten meat?

      Or crust and sugar over—

      like a syrupy sweet?

      Maybe it just sags

      like a heavy load.

      Or does it explode?

Cheesy Jokes and Serious Thoughts for Valentine's Day

What did the boy bird say to the girl bird?

Garfield is one of my closest friends. The alarm goes off around 4:30 am, I reach for the laptop and see what Garfield is up to. As a substitute teacher, I would bribe the class with his jokes. I'd draw his picture on the board, put the questions to the riddle up and tell the kids I wouldn't give them the punchline unless...the whole class could be complete 15 minutes of work, or be good until recess, or clean up the class. Whatever needed to be done. The rascaliest students really wanted the joke, so everyone would cooperate. I told them I wasn't sure if it was even legal to keep a punchline from them, it seemed like cruel and unusual punishment (but I never had to withhold a punchline ever.) Humor is a great break in the authoritarian regimen; and puns do teach language arts in their multiple meaning words. Oh, the punchline: let me call you Tweetheart. Maybe to be current I should change the riddle to, 
''What did the boy bird text to the girl bird?'
Let me call you Tweetheart.

''What did the boy bird text to the girl bird?'
“Humor is a very important component of emotional health, maintaining relationships, developing cognitive function and perhaps even medical health,” said Allan Reiss, MD, who directs the Center for Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences Research at Stanford  

Most of us know the ancient proverb, 'A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.' 
Leave it to Stanford to use an MRI to prove it! They hooked up kids and showed them funny and nonfunny material. I wonder how these jokes would do.

If you don't like cheese, don't read these!

Here is some more silly:

Did you hear about the romance in the tropical fish tank?
It was a case of guppy love.

What did one piece of string say to the other piece of string?
Please be my valentwine!

What did the French chef give his wife for Valentine's Day?
A hug and a quiche.

What did the farmer give his wife for Valentine's Day?
Hogs and kisses. 
What did Frankenstein ask his girlfriend?
Won't you be my Valenstein? 

What is serious about this holiday is that some of our students are in difficult circumstances due to stressors in their families. They can't write a valentine to mom or dad or other relatives. They may be in the middle of a family break up, in foster care, or suffered a great loss. Our job is to be aware of this, first of all, and maybe have an additional activity to take the edge off the intensity of the student's actual life. Maybe valentines to mail to troops overseas, or to a local nursing home or hospital. Maybe a writing project to write an anecdote of  a time someone showed kindness and love to the student. This could be emotional, but also cathartic. Life is tough, and the facade of the perfect family life is very difficult at times for many kids. Recalling a time of warmth and stability can be a positive moment on a dark day. I've had unique class situations where we could share such a writing project in discussion, and the other students were very supportive.

                                             Thanks, Garfield and other silly souls for 
                                                             keeping it real. Real silly.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Educational Links 2/2/18

3 often overlooked, but completely logical, ways to effectively engage parents

8 Ways to Help Older Kids Develop a Sense of Imagination

3 teacher-vetted edtech resources for cross-curricular lessons

Praising the Process

Helping Kids with Processing Issues

      4 ways to get the most from your PLN

Teacher Tip: A Simple Technique to Help Your Child Read Fluently

As educators, we often say that reading fluency is the bridge between decoding and reading comprehension. Fluent readers can read text smoothly using the right tone and expression.
Fluency is a challenge for lots of kids. That’s especially true for grade-schoolers who are starting to read more complex text. Even kids who have good decoding and word recognition skills can struggle with fluency.

Black History Month: George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver (front row, center) poses with fellow staff members at the Tuskegee Institute (now known as Tuskegee University) located in the U.S. state of Alabama. 1902

George Washington Carver's rise from poverty to a celebrated scientist is just one of the remarkable qualities of his life.

He was born into slavery in 1865, kidnapped at one week old by the KKK, returned to the white family that would later raise him as a son, and was later refused college admission because he was black. He persisted and not only graduated but became a professor. But, in my opinion, these details aren't the most unusual facts about him

He was fascinated by the natural world, and began the study of botany even as a child. With persistence, he graduated from an agricultural college and later became the first black faculty member. He had been the first black student. That's remarkable, but not the most remarkable thing about him.

The eminent educator, Booker T. Washington, invited Carver to the Tuskegee Institute when it first opened in 1896. Carver accepted, and continued there for over forty years until his death. He was internationally recognized. Henry Ford invited him to Dearborn to speak many times (he accepted) and Thomas Edison offered him a fortune to work at Edison Laboratories (he refused.) That's not common.

George Washington Carver chose to remain at Tuskegee because he felt he had a vocation to help the black poor in the South. He is viewed as a 'folk' saint due to his choice to live humbly, with impeccable morality, and frugally when he could have been very wealthy (he left $60,000 to the school when he passed away.) He lived his personal faith for service of his students.

What is the most unusual fact about him? He promoted good relations among the races despite the treatment he received, and he consistently, diligently used his genius to benefit others. Always. That's extremely unique.

His first teacher, after his adopted mother, gave him the following instruction. It appears he really nailed it.

"You must learn all you can, then go back out into the world and give your learning back to the people."

You may also enjoy this post.

What Happens When You Help A Little Kid?

Aww Garsh--Songs for Valentine's Day #15

Bill Whithers - Just the two of us (ORIGINAL SONG)

  I see the crystal raindrops fall
And the beauty of it all is when the sun comes shining through
To make those rainbows in my mind when I think of you sometime
And I want to spend some time with you

Just the two of us
We can make it if we try
Just the two of us

Just the two of us
Building castles in the sky
Just the two of us
You and I

We look for love, no time for tears
Wasted water's all that is and it don't make no flowers grow
Good things might come to those who wait, not for those who wait too late
We've got to go for all we know

Just the two of us
We can make it if we try
Just the two of us

Just the two of us
Building them castles in the sky
Just the two of us
You and I

I hear the crystal raindrops fall on the window down the hall
And it becomes the morning dew
And, darling, when the morning comes and I see the morning sun
I want to be the one with you

Just the two of us
We can make it if we try
Just the two of us

Just the two of us
Building big castles way on high
Just the two of us
You and I

Let's get it together, baby

Black History Month: Marian Anderson

Marian Anderson
'Marian Anderson's Future Fund' was the name of the extra offering her church used to pass around so the little girl with the big voice could have singing lessons. Her dad bought her a piano when she was a very young, and after he passed away when she was eight, her mom raised her and her two little sisters. That's a lot of faith put into a young person.

Marian Anderson did not let anyone down. She not only used her very unusual gift for extreme  excellence in opera, receiving international acclaim, but used her very unusual gift for grace and morality in the confrontation with baseness and racism.

She used a cash award from the city of Philadelphia to start an award for young people. Not for young people only of her race or profession, but young people of her humanitarian dispositions.

Even when accosted by racism in her own country, such as separate accomodations while touring, she was the perfect lady.  The most famous incident of racism was in the nation's capitol when she requested to rent a certain hall for a concert in 1939. The Daughters of the American Revolution, who owned the hall, refused to rent to her because they had a segregationist policy. The First Lady at the time, Eleanor Roosevelt, resigned from the DAR because of their attitude, and arranged for Marian Anderson's now famous concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial twenty-five years before Dr. King's speech there. I could also be a member of the DAR from three out of four of my grandparents,  but would rather not for the same reasons.

American Experience Biography: Marian Anderson

Eleanor Roosevelt and Marian Anderson

Easter morning 1939

Marian Anderson's Easter Sunday Lincoln Memorial concert on April 9, 1939 from the UCLA Film & Television Archive's "Hearst Metrotone News Collection."


 A short film about the life and career of singer Marian Anderson up through 1950. Transferred from original 35mm print. Footage from this subject is available for licensing from 


Langston Hughes wrote about Marian. Marian Anderson: Famous Concert Singer. with Steven C. Tracy 1954

Marian Anderson singing as Ulrica in Verdi's Opera.

This is an article from NPR.

Avedon And Marian Anderson At Smithsonian 

Marian Anderson 


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Educational Links 2/1/18

Here Is The Google Doc To Make Connections and Plans For Read Across America Day!

20 Reflective Questions To Help Students Respond To Common Core Texts

Ten Overlooked Google Docs Features


Helping Strangers May Help Teens’ Self-Esteem

Learning to Self Manage

“Never give up!” “Be determined.” “If you dream it, you can achieve it.” We often see inspirational messages such as these coating school classrooms, broadcasting the idea that willpower equals success.
But the ability to exercise self-control — even with a specific, self-imposed goal in mind — is tough, even as it develops with age. New research illustrates just how precarious willpower can be for young people: Middle school students who want to achieve a goal and who actively agree to suffer a consequence if they don’t achieve it may still be unable to change their counterproductive behaviors. It’s a reminder for teachers that simply encouraging students to “stay focused” may not help those students cultivate positive habits.

Aww Garsh: Songs for Valentine's Day #14

Song from the Broadway play and movie Music Man--

Matthew Broderick & Kristin Chenoweth - Till There Was You (The Music Man)

but made really famous by Paul McCartney and the Beatles when they were just boys. And such a sweet guitar accompaniment by George Harrison.

The Beatles - Till There Was You