Blogs on Home-to-School Connections

Blogs on Home-to-School ConnectionsRSS
Matt LevinsonMay 31, 2012

"Your clicks have consequences," says Clay Johnson, author of The Information Diet. Johnson writes about the impact of consuming a poor information diet, "unhealthful information deep-fried in our own preconceptions."

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Teachers who love hands-on learning and the DIY movement are a match made in heaven -- and nowhere is this better represented than the Maker Faire. I'm lucky enough to have participated in this event three times, as both a visitor and a maker, and it's still challenging to describe this celebration of people-powered technology, art, science and ingenuity, where you are as likely to encounter fire-breathing robots as you are fluffy electric cupcake cars. Since 2006, Maker Faires have been held annually in the San Francisco Bay Area, and there have been Maker Faires in Austin, Detroit and New York, with community-organized Mini Maker Faires sprouting up around the country. And the 7th annual Bay Area Maker Faire is this weekend, May 19th and 20th -- get tickets now!

Whether you can experience a Maker Faire in person or not, you can certainly take inspiration from the boundless enthusiasm and creative risk-taking of everyone who participates -- and don't forget to be a maker yourself. Here are some videos to inspire you.

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Danielle Moss LeeMay 17, 2012

As we glide through the month of May, I know that many teachers and students are steadily dreaming of how to spend their summer vacations. Some will be off to sleep-away camp, some will travel to faraway places, and many others are still trying to figure it out. But for many families, the summer will also bring a level of anxiety. In the age of budget cuts, the opportunities for quality programs and government subsidized summer jobs will be few and far between. According to the National Summer Learning Association, many low-income and underserved students will face two to three months' summer learning loss in reading and math, while affluent and better resourced students may show slight gains in reading over the summer because of their access to summer enrichment.

What does this mean?

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As a clinical psychologist, I don't have strong opinions about whether or not homework should be given. I have doubts about its value, but I believe in deferring educational decisions to those who teach our kids. My concern is not homework, per se, but homework policy and its effects on some kids. I believe that anywhere from 10 percent to 25 percent of all children have such serious problems completing their assignments that, on balance, the overall effect of demanding that they comply does more harm than good. In speaking to countless parents and teachers, the feedback I get is nearly universal. Everyone has a homework horror story to tell.

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Dr. Joe MazzaMay 8, 2012

Everyone is on Twitter these days, so why not your school district? Twitter provides an easy platform to keep your followers updated -- moment by moment, if necessary! -- about developing situations, sudden brainstorms and calls to action. Following are 12 reasons to get your school district tweeting this summer so that you can hit the ground running at the start of the next school year.

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Matt LevinsonMay 3, 2012

What parent wants their child to fail? Well, when it comes to the use of technology, failure might just be the best option.

In fact, failing early and often provides fertile ground to educate kids around responsible use. The question is how best to handle online transgressions -- and when or if to involve the school?

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Dr. Richard CurwinApril 27, 2012

Ineffective communication between parents and teachers can be a major obstacle when trying to solve problems with students, but fortunately it can be improved. Let's first examine the two major causes of communication dysfunction.

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Lisa Michelle DabbsApril 19, 2012

Reading poetry is inspirational! And teaching it can be even more so. If you haven't thought about using poetry in your daily work with students, I really want you to re-think that whole idea today.

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Dr. Joe MazzaApril 18, 2012

As more and more people join the world of Twitter (460,000 signups per day), school parents and teachers are more commonplace on this global social media tool. According to a recent Pew Internet Study, 84% of all Twitter users are between the ages of 18-49. Why is this important to school officials? The age range includes the majority of our school parents.

As more and more people join the world of Twitter (460,000 signups per day), school parents and teachers are more commonplace on this global social media tool. According to a recent Pew Internet Study, 84% of all Twitter users are between the ages of 18-49. Why is this important to school officials? The age range includes the majority of our school parents. Read More

Matt LevinsonApril 9, 2012

"Parenting is not for the faint of heart," novelist Harlan Coben writes. Let's face it, parenting is really hard, especially when parents feel that "a vast and frightening Internet culture is hijacking their kids," as New York psychologist Ron Taffel notes.

"Parenting is not for the faint of heart," novelist Harlan Coben writes. Let's face it, parenting is really hard, especially when parents feel that "a vast and frightening Internet culture is hijacking their kids," as New York psychologist Ron Taffel notes. Read More