Blogs on All Grades

Blogs on All GradesRSS
Ainissa RamirezApril 21, 2014

What do rubber, penicillin, Teflon and Velcro have in common? They were all found by accident. This happens in science all the time -- accidents play a significant role in scientific discoveries. Some believe that nearly a third to half of all inventions were found by serendipity.

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Dominic O'BrienApril 21, 2014

As a student, I had great difficulty concentrating during lesson time and consequently didn't retain much knowledge. I was diagnosed with dyslexia and had the symptoms of attention deficit disorder. Academic information just didn't get through to me. Here are samples of reports that my teachers sent home when I was ten:

  • "He tends to dream in the middle of a calculation which leads him to lose track of the thought."
  • "Has not paid much attention. Appears to know more of the Universe than the Earth." (This was a veiled reference to daydreaming from my Geography teacher.)
  • "Terribly slow. Often cannot repeat the question. Must concentrate."
  • "Unless Dominic really shakes himself up and gets down to work, he is not going to achieve any success . . . he is painfully slow."
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Monica BurnsApril 18, 2014

When children are told to "go home and study," many aren't quite sure what this means. "Do I stare at the pages of a textbook? Should I redo old homework problems? Will I remember this new list of vocabulary words if I read them over and over?" Giving students the tools to develop study skills is one step in the right direction.

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Every year, the stress of school reaches a fever pitch during standardized-testing season. Whether it's the SAT, APs or end-of-grade testing, teachers race to re-impart all the knowledge covered, parents dump boulder-sized practice books onto the dining room table, and students who were happily coasting along become acutely aware that the academic equivalent of Judgment Day is nigh.

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Joshua BlockApril 16, 2014

I remember the first time we put a brush in my then two-year-old daughter’s hand. Perched on the edge of tiny a red chair at her wooden table, she quickly realized she could use the blueberry juice we had placed in a cup to create unique marks on the page. It was inspiring and moving to see my high-energy child sit, entirely absorbed and focused, as she discovered and explored this new ability.

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Steve GardinerApril 16, 2014

Watching a classroom of students working is fascinating. There are students who are engaged, who focus on the task and forge ahead. They get the job done on time, every time. There are other students who start working but get distracted. They work briefly, but as soon as the work becomes difficult or challenging, they give up. They look for help, or they refuse to even try.

What is the difference?

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Patrick Cook DeeganApril 15, 2014

All of us are reliant upon the sun for energy, the earth for food, trees for air, and water for drinking. But when we go about our busy lives, it is easy to take the water, air and plants around us for granted. The practice of mindfulness takes us off autopilot, allows us to pause, experience the present moment and give gratitude for all the elements of the natural world that support our daily lives.

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Denise Pope, Ph.D.April 11, 2014

Stories of cheating in schools often make national headlines and are frequently met with widespread shock. How could such actions occur on the campuses of elite colleges and high schools? What's going on with kids these days?

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Heather Wolpert-GawronApril 10, 2014

So many laws and opinions about education seem to stem from memories of teachers who have had a negative impact on our lives. Now, I'm not denying that there are those teachers out there who made us really happy we didn't wake up as them every morning. Let's face it, those folks are in every industry. But when I think back at all of my teachers (and I remember every one of them), I have so many of them to thank for their positive influences on me.

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Dr. Richard CurwinApril 10, 2014

In the responses to several of my previous posts, many comments focused on the debate of whether children need rules, or whether children are better off with free choice and have the ability to make correct decisions when free to do so. Summerhill by A.S. Neill is offered as a shining example of that school of thought. In a 1999 New York Times article "Summerhill Revisited," Alan Riding posited why the results of Summerhill were not as glowing as A.S. Neill described in his landmark book.

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