A brown belt for Big Guy – not that it’s important
Mon, 12/03/12 – 12:49 | Comments Off

It was testing week in karate and, as usual, Big Guy was under the gun. Not as much as he used to be, when he didn’t have a clue and had to frantically cram, but …

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Food

Picky eaters and allergy-safe cooking — the two aren’t necessarily unrelated.

Girl Gone Wonk

From policy to politics, this rant’s for you.

News

The day’s events in a family way — unless something else amuses me.

School days

From preschool to kindergarten — so far

Simple Gifts

Inexpensive homemade gifts, creative parties and low-cost projects, for Christmas and beyond. Many are easy enough for children to help.

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Articles tagged with: school trends

Spiraling (out of control) math
Friday, 12 Aug, 2011 – 11:41 | Comments Off
Spiraling (out of control) math

Last year, it brought  “mean, range and mode” to second grade. Later we saw estimations that caused many a kid to howl “why can’t I just solve the problem?” instead of rounding addends  to get …

A SWAT for needing extra time to do what we used to do in 6
Thursday, 30 Jun, 2011 – 18:44 | Comments Off
A SWAT for needing extra time to do what we used to do in 6

There’s an impressive list of organizations backing the TIME Act – a bill pending before Congress that would provide grant money to schools that extend their schedules by at least 300 hours a year. There’s …

In defense of gaming – or something like it – in the classroom
Wednesday, 23 Feb, 2011 – 16:50 | Comments Off
In defense of gaming – or something like it – in the classroom

Why is it that Boots can “die” endlessly on Mario and still go back for more, yet he used to get frustrated to near tears if he wasn’t the first to answer a question in …

A SWAT for cramming for kindergarten
Thursday, 17 Feb, 2011 – 17:01 | Comments Off
A SWAT for cramming for kindergarten

You know what they say about kindergarten being the new first grade?
Well, forget it. It turns out that advanced kindergarten is life in the slow lane. The real competitors in the “get your kids ahead …

When Dora is outlawed, only outlaws will wear Dora
Thursday, 6 Jan, 2011 – 18:16 | Comments Off
When Dora is outlawed, only outlaws will wear Dora

The guys’ backpacks are camouflage. Their lunch boxes, though, are Buzz Lightyear. We have a camouflage model left over from last year, and since only one guy takes his lunch these days that means they’d …

No wonder we’re confused about education reform
Monday, 1 Nov, 2010 – 22:02 | Comments Off
No wonder we’re confused about education reform

Today’s news reminded me of the joke we used to rib the mathematically inclined with during my college days: Yesterday I didn’t know what an engineer was. Today I are one.
In this corner, we have …

Class-size reduction does work. Phonics too!
Wednesday, 27 Oct, 2010 – 22:33 | Comments Off
Class-size reduction does work. Phonics too!

The guys’ school had a problem at the beginning of the year, and we’re lucky that the district had the money to solve it.
Boots’ kindergarten class the first week of school had 27 kids. So …

THIS is second-grade math?
Friday, 1 Oct, 2010 – 13:17 | 2 Comments
THIS is second-grade math?

Rhonda, Tom, Liz and Miguel all have 4 shells. If they each find 1 more shell, does the mode change? If so, what is the new mode? – Page 64, Macmillan/McGraw-Hill “California Mathematics,” Second Grade.
Big …

Diving off a cliff into second grade
Thursday, 9 Sep, 2010 – 11:14 | Comments Off
Diving off a cliff into second grade

It’s not so much the academics, though the weekly spelling list now is 20 instead of 12 and the words are harder for Big Guy to wrap his head around.
“Witch? That’s not W-I-T-C-H, because I …

School lunch do-gooding takes a goofy turn
Tuesday, 13 Apr, 2010 – 19:06 | Comments Off
School lunch do-gooding takes a goofy turn

Foods made with white sugar, fructose, corn syrup, or any thing ending in “-ose” are banned – presumably, this doesn’t apply to lactose – but peanut butter laced with honey is OK.
Crackers …

What can we do to create 21st Century schools? Just look to Central California
Friday, 2 Apr, 2010 – 18:29 | One Comment
What can we do to create 21st Century schools? Just look to Central California

Forget all the discussion about where we’re going to live when Dad gets out of the Army. As far as I’m concerned, it’s settled. We are moving to Madera County.
Yes, that Madera County, the one …

Recess and rules
Monday, 15 Mar, 2010 – 16:53 | 2 Comments
Recess and rules

It started out ugly yesterday afternoon, but it ended with a peace accord that made all sides happy.
Big Guy and a friend from school were playing tag at a park when another kid came along …

Taking away the cupcakes a sure way to kick up a ruckus
Wednesday, 14 Oct, 2009 – 22:37 | 2 Comments
Taking away the cupcakes a sure way to kick up a ruckus

Note to the West Babylon School District in Long Island: Thank you for your concern for children with food allergies, but your ban on home-baked goodies doesn’t help them in the least.
Sure, you specified that …

If a school asks, I’m happy to tell
Sunday, 4 Oct, 2009 – 20:41 | Comments Off
If a school asks, I’m happy to tell

Amidst the announcements about the fall carnival and the homework assignments this week came a blue sheet from the school district titled “Budget Survey.”
Among other things, it asked parents to rank 10 items in order …

Charter schools not an automatic cure, research shows
Tuesday, 16 Jun, 2009 – 20:00 | Comments Off
Charter schools not an automatic cure, research shows

Here’s one that should shock U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan out of his school-boy crush on charter schools or, at the least, make him pause before he forces the nation to go steady with the …

Digital text books a great idea, but by this fall?
Tuesday, 2 Jun, 2009 – 20:30 | 4 Comments
Digital text books a great idea, but by this fall?

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s push to put free digital textbooks in Californias high schools by this fall is so enticing on so many levels, the biggest of which is in the fewer number of trees that …

Stand-up desk perfect for kid who hates sitting
Friday, 17 Oct, 2008 – 11:05 | Comments Off
Stand-up desk perfect for kid who hates sitting

To know Big Guy is to watch him squirm. And twist. And jump. And do anything but sit in one place for longer than a split second.
He’s lucky right now, because his kindergarten class moves …