Technology -> Schools -> Our kids

So when I ran across the article below, it made me think back to the 2012-2013 school year, when a school district in the city I live spent the better part of $200,000 for iPads for an elementary grade level that was under-performing with their reading skills.

If I was a member of that school district, I would have some serious questions for the school board. I know that no amount of technology is going to teach a child the way a hands on approach can. I see that with the reading teacher for my children. The only technology she uses is a smart board that allows her to go through the photocopied, phonics worksheets she has created from scratch. It helps keep all the class on the same page and it allows for a succinct delivery of the decoding of the English language.

As Schools Jump to Tablets, Questions Linger Over Impact on Writing and Reading Skills.

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Making a rhyme all the time

So if someone has asked me before the thought of kids had come in to my mind how my poetry skills were, I would have laughed. Aside from love endearing penmanship attempts that helped win over my love, I would have said “eh, ok”.

Here I am juggling around an active pre-pre-schooler and a first-grader and I find myself singing to them the silly songs I make up to emphasize an idea or a point. The thesaurus and I have become very good friends.

I ran across this blog (see link below) and the message there seemed to drive home an underlying plan that I myself had not written down.

10 Ways to Raise a Reader by Matthew Brown

Reading, reciting and singing Mother Goose rhymes to our children might seem old-fashioned today, but it is an excellent way to help children get ready to read. Nursery rhymes are more than just short stories or songs;

Baby’s Hungry: A Daddy’s Perspective on Nursing (and Nursing in Public)

The Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies

by Jay Parr

I was about twelve, riding the DC Metrobus home from school, when a woman started complaining loudly about another woman breastfeeding her baby on the bus. I didn’t see anything, so I don’t know if the nursing mother was covered up or not, but that’s irrelevant here. The complaining woman made her way up to the driver, a taciturn and tough-looking man who looked like he would as soon cut your throat as say hello (I remember him because he drove that route often). He focused on the afternoon traffic as the woman complained, until he came to a light and she demanded, “Well? Aren’t you going to do something?”

The driver looked out at the cross traffic for a moment, absently drumming his fingers on the fare box, then turned to the woman and shrugged.

“Baby’s hungry.”

I can’t say for certain that the woman immediately…

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Being an EDU-Parent: When the Teacher with Terrible Practices Called

Being an EDU-Parent: When the Teacher with Terrible Practices Called

Last week I received a call from one of my son’s teachers about his inability to sit and copy verbatim power point notes for 45 minutes straight. To add insult to injury, this teacher went on to describe how he gives his students a “notes quiz” to prove that they wrote down every word which also gives kids a free 100 as a grade. I listened to him, a friend of mine no less, with these thoughts racing in my head…

I wonder how much bedtime reading takes place here?

My wife and I tag team the reading activities in our household. I am a big proponent of literacy for children, actually I wonder who would be against that. Nevertheless, our older child has taken an active role in teaching our youngest phonograms (Based on the Spalding method of explicit phonics) and has begun to construct “homework” activities for her, here at home.

Homework Time

Little sister learning Spalding explicit phonics from her big brother.

I confess that I don’t weave any Royals into the stories we read here at home, for now, we just stick to the classics.

C
 

Teacher with terminal brain tumor

http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/living/2014/01/25/ac-pkg-foreman-teacher-with-terminal-brain-tumor.cnn.html

Death, as morbid of a subject as it can be is one the things in this life we can all count on. Whether by illness, accident, violence, our time in this world can be fleeting.

When we struggle with the loss of a close relative or friend, sometimes, introspectively, we look at our own life and challenge ourselves to determine if the decisions we have made are the right ones (well as least I do).

I look at my parents lives, yes they are still living, 50 plus years of marriage, still seeking to impact not only each other’s lives, but those of family and community.

With my previous post, and now this one, I thought I would seek to explore myself in a way which is slightly uncomfortable given my nature.

I write this as I ponder the fragility of this life. Last year we almost lost my older sibling to a massive heart attack. The shock of being asked by doctors if I am the one that can make end of life decisions was disconcerting. The answer was that I was not the one who could make the decisions. And, given the outcome, I don’t know if I would have made the right one.

My one question that I raised to my sibling over the Christmas holiday was simple. “Why do you think you are still here?”

You have to understand that my question comes from the realization that it was a miracle that allowed him to recover. The doctors told me at the hospital that he was down with no oxygen for 30 minutes, that they did not yet know the severity of the brain damage. Yet here he was sitting across from me with no obvious sign of previous health issue with the exception of the scar running down his sternum.

I wonder if that life event has changed me. Has it let me savor these moments with my children more? Has it allowed me to hold onto that feeling of warmth those many moments after I have hugged my wife?

I sit here typing this as I listen to my son in the distance with his Spanish tutor and I wonder what memories we will make this day?