Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Carnival Of Education: Week 33

The thirty-third edition of The Carnival Of Education is now open for your reading enjoyment. We hope that you'll find that this collection of writer-submitted posts is representative of the very wide range of thoughts and ideas that are to be found in the EduSphere.

As always, those entries selected by the editors appear at the bottom of the page, just above the Carnival archives.

Any successful carnival is a team effort. Please consider helping to spread the word. The more readers who know about this collection of exhibits, the more that will "drop-in" and visit the midway. Trackbacks, links, and casual mentions all help.

A number of sites have been very helpful in publicizing and/or hosting the midway. We thank them for their continued support. If you would like to guest-host an edition of the Carnival at your site sometime in the future, please contact us at owlshome [at] earthlink [dot] net.

Your comments, constructive criticism, and suggestions are always heartily welcomed.

An Invitation: Writers of education-related posts are encouraged to contribute to the 34th edition of The Carnival Of Education. Please send your submissions to owlshome [at] earthlink [dot] net no later than 9:00 PM (Pacific) 11:59 PM (Eastern) Tuesday, September . Barring unforeseen circumstances, the midway should open here at The Wonks next Wednesday morning.

Let's take a peek at this week's midway.

Do you look on Mondays with suspicion? Or do you just view "them" with just a little trepidation? Perhaps you are like me and would rather remove all Mondays from the calendar... But the first day of the work-week sometimes brings surprises, and last week's Carnival host Ms. Frizzle's Monday didn't fit the stereotype.

The teaching of advanced high school science often presents its own very special challenges. Some might even say that it's similar to the training of thoroughbreds. Consider taking a look at The Science Goddess's strategy for winning
that high-stakes race.

As a practicing classroom teacher, I would like somebody to tell me, once and for all, if the flag-pledge is illegal or not. In a well-constructed entry,
Coach Brown takes a look at the impact of the latest court decision declaring daily public school classroom recitations of The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag as unconstitutional.

At Get on the Bus, they wish to see the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance
restored to it's original purpose.

Number 2 Pencil has a great
roundup of posts from outside the EduSphere that addresses the Court's ruling. Don't miss the lively discussion going on among the commenters.

If your school day involves the unexpected sighting of a semi-colon, administrators ranting in your classroom, the repeated use of the "N word," spending an hour in the Boss's Office, and finally, a reference to a classic '80s movie icon, then you know that
you're having the type of day that Mr. Babylon had this week.

Did you ever have one of those days? Nothing seems to work right. Somebody tells you that your "fly" is open. Maybe you received an unexpected certified letter. Perhaps you came to regret not coming to a "full-stop" as that police cruiser came-up behind you. See what one of those days
can sometimes mean for a Texas classroom teacher. (And yes, the smell of electronics burning-up is like none other.)

We've all been thinking quite a bit about the recent disaster that has befallen the people of New Orleans. Over at The Art of Getting By, Janet has some thoughts about Hurricane Katrina that
really should be read. Here is a sample:

Then I stated thinking about it from a teaching perspective. It occurred to me that it was just around this time last year that I was teaching a different batch of students all about the tsunami. If I had been teaching four years ago around this time I would have September 11th on my plate. The students, while engaged, are a bit distant from the whole thing and I wondered why. Then I realized that within their eight-year-old lives there have already been at least three major tragedies. So while in some ways this is very sad, what is even sadder is that this must seem like second nature to them since it's all they've ever known.
Many times, we've lamented the fact that our district doesn't permit students to maintain school-sponsored blogs. But some of us are lucky enough to work in more progressively-minded school districts. Bud the Teacher attended a conventional writing workshop and ended-up helping create a brand-new blogging community. They have plans for a workshop devoted to EduBlogging! Some guys have all the luck....

In observance of a recently signed law, schools all over the country have been observing "Constitution Day," with a variety of assemblies, lessons, and other activities. But did you know that one college's observance consisted of an essay contest about why Constitution Day is unconstitutional? Over at the wonderfully named Ticklish Ears,
they have all the details.

In a
well-researched post over at Scholar's Notebook, they also take a close look at some of the issues surrounding the law requiring schools to observe Constitution Day.

Because Constitution Day did fall on a Saturday, many schools are holding their legally-required observances during this week. At CrossBlogging, they have information about the
law's background and resources for teachers.

The fact that so many people don't bother to learn more about the Constitution was on the mind of TFTD, who has a thought-provoking idea: since just about everything else requires some sort of examination and licensure,
why not voting? (You may need to scroll down to read the entry.)

As a teacher who works in a remote part of Canada, Clarence is very interested in the use of technology as a tool for teaching kids. Unlike us here in California's so-called "Imperial" Valley, Clarence's students are able to write school-sponsored blogs. See
how he has tied together student blogging with the popular computer game SimCity. (Be sure to read part I first. It is here.)

For grade-school teachers, September has traditionally been a time for that annual ceremonial rite known as Open House. For me, it's always brought a measure of anxiety coupled with keen anticipation. Whether you are a parent or teacher, Polski3 has some tips for having a successful
Open House Experience.

The goal of the No Child Left Behind Act is what it says. Here in California, there are a number of schools that still have a long way to go in order to fulfill the federal mandate but paradoxically satisfy the state's requirements. Friends of Dave
shows us how even though some schools may be getting a pass from the state, too many kids are still being left behind.

For those of us who help children do math, the teaching of fractions is often a monumental headache. But over at Math and Texts,
they have a graphic that illustrates how to divide with fractions. Now if I have an apple pie that I want to cut into 5 equal pieces, what's the best method to use?

After a hiatus, the Ruminating Dude is back with the big news that he is now a chemistry teacher. As his predecessor taught chemistry for over thirty years and may have been around the chemicals a little too long and has left the Dude with some
mysteries that need solving.

Along with great teachers, a good school principal is the key element of an outstanding school. But bad principals often get in the way of good teaching, which hurts kids. With all the emphasis on improving teacher quality, Diane Weir asks a very good question: Why is so little being done to
improve the quality of school administrators?

In the United States, there is a strong tradition of local oversight of a community's school's through elected school boards. But given the new climate of standards and increased accountability, is this the way to go in the 21st century? Going to the Mat
takes a look at this thought-provoking question.

For all of you who are wondering what's really on teachers' minds at some point during most school days, you should
take a look at this post from Mamacita over at Scheiss Weekly. (Essential vocabulary needed: teacher, dream, lavender)

At our junior high school, the administration chose to eliminate both the Art and Shop programs in favor of hiring one remedial math teacher. At The Common Room,
they examine how the EduCracy's emphasis on getting higher test scores is cheating students out of a well-rounded education and prescribe a remedy to this sad situation. Consider taking a look at this bonus post submitted by reader Henry C. which takes a whimsical look at Politics as practiced at Home.

Over at The Super's Blog, the Super (that's short for superintendent) has issued a satire news release poking fun at the Bush administration's voucher efforts on the heels of Katrina.

Parents that choose to homeschool have had to endure a long and arduous struggle in order to win the right to teach their children in the home. Over at Kay Brooks, she lets us know that even now
roadblocks are being put in the way by certain officials who simply don't like the idea of parents homeschooling their kids.

My goodness, I've waited for a parent to ask me this for nearly 14 years: "What's the single best thing I could do that would make your job easier?" Even though no parent has ever asked me that, (and probably never will) Lennie, over at Education Matters,
makes a suggestion with which most teachers would agree.

At Me-ander, Muse
reminds us about one of the best things about being a teacher. (Ed's Note: Thanks, we needed to hear that.)

Steve Pavlina's blog is always an informative read.
In this week's entry, Steve has some tips for helping folks that are introverted become a little more outgoing. Don't forget to take a look at the discussions going on in the commenting threads.

And now for some entries that have been selected by the editors:

Sitting-in for the vacationing Joanne Jacobs, Michael Lopez
raises some issues on the subject of cyberbullying, a term that I first heard last year.

Alexander Russo's This Week In Education has a
roundup of Hurricane Katrina-related links involving the storm's impact on schools and students.

Over at Education At The Brink, they have
some surprising news: The federal aid package for the victims of Hurricane Katrina may include vouchers (up to $7500) for private schools. I have to admit that this one leaves me scratching my head...

At the United Federation of Teacher's Edwize,
they are telling us that in New York City the situation is worsening with regards to contract negotiations between the union and the city's department of education. (Could there be a strike in the future?? Let's hope that it doesn't come to that.)

And Finally, we here at The Education Wonks
humbly submit for your approval our take on an Alabama public high school that has structured its curricula in such a way that students who wish to graduate must take junior ROTC.
Carnival Archives

The first edition can be seen here, the second, here the third, here the fourth, here, and the fifth, here the sixth, here the seventh, here the eighth, here the ninth, here the tenth, here the eleventh here the twelfth here, the thirteenth, here the fourteenth, here the fifteenth, here, the sixteenth, here the seventeenth, here the eighteenth, here the nineteenth, here, the twentieth, here, the twenty-first, here the twenty-second, here the twenty-third, here the twenty-fourth, here, the twenty-fifth, here, the twenty-sixth, here the twenty-seventh here, the twenty-eighth, here the twenty-ninth, here the thirtieth, here the thirty-first, here, and the thirty-second, over there. To get to EdWonk's main page, (with a variety of education-related posts) please click here.

This midway has been registered at TTLB's Carnival Roundup.