Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Cybercriminals Strike Schools Amid Pandemic | The Pew Charitable Trusts

Cybercriminals Strike Schools Amid Pandemic | The Pew Charitable Trusts

Cybercriminals Strike Schools Amid Pandemic




Just days before the Aug. 3 scheduled start of school, officials at the Athens Independent School District in East Texas received a shock.
Cybercriminals had attacked the district’s entire computer network, encrypting all the data and demanding $50,000 in ransom for its release. Access to everything from teacher communications to student assignments was blocked.
“It was terribly disruptive, to put it mildly,” said Toni Clay, the district’s spokesperson. “We no longer had access to any student information, such as schedules, email addresses, anything that would be stored. Internally, we had no staff information. It was all frozen.”
The plan had been to begin school online for three weeks and then transition to a hybrid model of both virtual and in-person classes. Instead, officials ended up delaying the start of school completely for a week.
Athens is one of at least 16 school districts, from California to New Jersey, that have been victimized in a rash of ransomware attacks since the end of July.
Some have been forced to push back school reopening dates. Others that already started school have had to cancel classes for a day or more.
The attacks have placed a heavy burden on school administrators as they grapple with whether it’s safe for students and teachers to return in person and whether schools are prepared to handle social distancing and other requirements.
School information technology staffs, meanwhile, have been consumed with the transition to CONTINUE READING; Cybercriminals Strike Schools Amid Pandemic | The Pew Charitable Trusts

What We Know About Coronavirus Cases in K-12 Schools So Far - The New York Times

What We Know About Coronavirus Cases in K-12 Schools So Far - The New York Times

What We Know About Coronavirus Cases in K-12 Schools So Far




Schools are not islands, and so it was inevitable that when students and teachers returned this fall to classrooms, coronavirus cases would follow them.
But more than a month after the first school districts welcomed students back for in-person instruction, it is nearly impossible to tally a precise figure of how many cases have been identified in schools.
There is no federal effort to monitor coronavirus cases in schools, and reporting by school districts is uneven. One independent effort has counted more than 21,000 cases this school year.
While some districts regularly disclose their active cases, others have cited privacy concerns to withhold information, a move that has frustrated parents, educators and public health experts trying to assess the risk of exposure in schools and the potential impact on the larger community. Eleven states do not publish information on school cases, leaving many of the nation’s students and parents in the dark. CONTINUE READING: What We Know About Coronavirus Cases in K-12 Schools So Far - The New York Times

Blockchain Education, A Ticket To Digital Serfdom – Wrench in the Gears

Blockchain Education, A Ticket To Digital Serfdom – Wrench in the Gears

Blockchain Education, A Ticket To Digital Serfdom




What is blockchain?

Those in power will say:

Blockchain is a secure way for people to own and control their digital footprint, the data they create living through devices and wearable / implantable / ingestible technology in “smart” environments. In essence, it is a digital ledger that keeps track of EVERYTHING across a decentralized computer network that is said to be permanent and secure. Picture a real time account book that keeps track not only of your monetary assets (bitcoin – this is how much folks understand blockchain); but also civil records like birth certificates, marriage certificates, and court proceedings; voting records; property ownership; certifications and education credentials; health information, including DNA, bioinformatics, and data from wearable technologies; public benefit access like food stamps; and now even one’s movements (geolocation data) and social interactions via QR code health passports and contact tracing.

What I say:

Whether we know it or not, when we agree to have our lives linked to blockchain, we are agreeing to live in a behaviorist panopticon. In exchange for convenience and limited privileges, we give up our free will. The future being handed to us is one that will be shaped by surveillance, artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, machine learning, and feedback loops. We risk swapping our vibrant human spirits, beautiful in their passionate creativity and flawed vulnerability, for sanitized digital twins that will be managed as human capital by callous technocrats to profit social impact investors. Before we walk through the door of digital identity, realize it opens onto a maze designed to disorient, confuse, and control us.
The reason it’s important to talk about this now is because states are setting up task forces on blockchain government. Illinois convened a blockchain working group in 2018. California issued Blockchain in California: A Road Map this July. An August webinar sponsored by the Rhode Island Israel Collaborative on their big-data Covid reopen partnership started with a discussion about the timeliness of moving to blockchain systems and digital governance. All of this is being spurred by the push to virtualize social interactions in response to the lockdowns we’ve experienced over the past six months. With this great rush to adopt emerging technologies, it is important to grasp the bigger picture.
The NAACP spent time considering the racial implications of this technology in 2019 and adopted a resolution that opposed linking blockchain identity to receiving any public service, including education. That resolution passed first in California and later at the July 2019 national meeting in Detroit. You can see the resolution CONTINUE READING: Blockchain Education, A Ticket To Digital Serfdom – Wrench in the Gears

Peace Education, Not Patriotic Education - LA Progressive

Peace Education, Not Patriotic Education - LA Progressive

Peace Education, Not Patriotic Education



The President’s call to “restore patriotic education in our schools” via the creation of the “1776 Commission” aimed at controlling public school curricula once again set off my alarm bells. As a dual German-American citizen, I grew up in Germany and by design of the education system became very familiar with my birthplace’s history. 
As a social scientist, I study processes of polarization, dehumanization, and demonization of others. I know from both personal experience and professional expertise that peace education counters those conditions which lead to violence. 
Trump’s call for “patriotic education” is dangerous. 
Our schools need peace education to help contend with this moment of reckoning with racial and other forms of inequality in a genuinely inclusive way
Instead, our schools need peace education to help contend with this moment of reckoning with racial and other forms of inequality in a genuinely inclusive way – and give our children the best opportunity to learn from the disastrous mistakes of the past.  
As Germans we are still grappling with a genocidal history where both victims and perpetrators of the Holocaust are alive. I remember reading a children’s novel in school depicting the rise of the Nazis through the eyes of a German boy and his Jewish friend who tragically dies in a bomb raid huddled in the doorway of a bomb-proof bunker. The families who once happily lived alongside his family in an apartment building denied him entry, because it was their patriotic duty to protect the “German race.” His parents had already been arrested and most likely sent to be killed after those same neighbors reported them to authorities. 
Later, in formal history classes, I got an unfiltered curriculum that laid bare that ordinary Germans CONTINUE READING Peace Education, Not Patriotic Education - LA Progressive

California schools launch anti-racism plan, flouting Trump's threats

California schools launch anti-racism plan, flouting Trump's threats

California schools launch anti-racism plan, flouting Trump's threats




SACRAMENTO — The California Department of Education announced new anti-racism lessons and teacher training for school districts on Monday, days after President Donald Trump decried the notion of teaching slavery as a founding tenet of the U.S. and called for a more “patriotic education."
Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond pointed to the police killing of George Floyd in May, bullying of Asian American students amid the coronavirus and a spike in anti-immigrant rhetoric and antisemitism since the 2016 election as reasons for the project.
“We have continued to watch unspeakable acts of racism play out on our television screens, whether it be police brutality or those who want to hold on to symbols that represent hate against African Americans that go back to slavery,” Thurmond said at a news conference announcing the optional materials. “At times, it just is so heartbreaking. Sometimes I’m not sure what to do. But in those moments, I’m reminded education continues to be one of our most powerful tools to countering hate.”
Last week, Trump said he would sign an executive order to establish a "1776 Commission,” a nod to the 1619 project, a New York Times Magazine production named after the year that the first slaves arrived in Virginia. The project has been adapted into a curriculum guide for schools to use, and focuses on the history of slavery as the root of systemic racism in the U.S.
Trump and other Republicans have tried to discredit the project and called similar teachings in schools a “twisted web of lies.” The president threatened to defund California schools that teach the 1619 Project in a tweet earlier this month.
Thurmond dismissed those threats on Monday, and supported the use of the 1619 Project in California schools. Trump does not have the power to mandate state CONTINUE READING: California schools launch anti-racism plan, flouting Trump's threats

DeVos under investigation for potentially violating Hatch Act because of Fox News interview - POLITICO

DeVos under investigation for potentially violating Hatch Act because of Fox News interview - POLITICO

DeVos under investigation for potentially violating Hatch Act because of Fox News interview
The Education Department's YouTube channel includes the interview, which was also touted in an official message from the agency.




The Office of the Special Counsel has started investigating Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for potentially violating the Hatch Act, after she slammed Joe Biden in a Fox News interview and her agency promoted it through official channels.
The head of investigative watchdog blog Checks and Balances Project Scott Peterson said in an interview that OSC Hatch Act attorney Eric Johnson told him he had been assigned to investigate the matter.

“We’ll investigate matters in your complaint,” Johnson told Peterson, recounting the conversation. “The incident seems very well documented.” Johnson also told him that because of remote work prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, the timeline for the investigation is uncertain.
DeVos would become one of the most high-profile Trump officials known to have been investigated for violating the Hatch Act. Depending on what OSC finds, she would be the second member of the Trump Cabinet to be found to have violated the law. At least 12 Trump senior officials have violated the Hatch Act, according to the OSC, the independent agency that probes possible violations. In most cases, the office decided that the violation was minor enough to merit only a warning letter. Only one case, that of former senior counselor Kellyanne Conway, was sent to President Donald Trump for action, and he didn’t act on it.
DeVos criticized Biden on Fox in the interview, which is also posted on the Education Department's YouTube page, in early September when she was asked about Biden’s promise to roll back DeVos’ school choice policies, some of which he previously supported in the late 1990s. CONTINUE READING: DeVos under investigation for potentially violating Hatch Act because of Fox News interview - POLITICO

A Pivotal Moment for U.S. and Public Schools? (Part 1) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

A Pivotal Moment for U.S. and Public Schools? (Part 1) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

A Pivotal Moment for U.S. and Public Schools? (Part 1)




As a historian I often wonder whether individuals knew at the time something occurred that it was momentous, a historic turning point in the flow of events and their lives.
*Did President Herbert Hoover know in late-October 1929 following the crash of the stock market that the Great Depression would begin shortly afterwards and last over a decade. And he would be blamed for it?
*Did Rosa Parks know when she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on that Montgomery (AL) bus that she would become the icon for the bus boycott in that city and for spurring a civil rights movement?
*Did Milo Cutter, one of the St. Paul (MN) veteran teachers who founded the first charter school in the nation, know in 1992 that City Academy would be in the vanguard of a movement that nearly three decades later would have over 7,000 schools enrolling over three million students?
*Does a college-educated, unemployed Millennial saddled with debt in the midst of the 2020 pandemic know that her odds of getting a decent-paying job, accumulating as much wealth as her parents and grandparents did are against her and that she may end up poorer than both?
The answer to the four questions is no. In the middle of an event that is in CONTINUE READING: A Pivotal Moment for U.S. and Public Schools? (Part 1) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

NYC Educator: Yet Another Life-Altering Email from the Chancellor

NYC Educator: Yet Another Life-Altering Email from the Chancellor

Yet Another Life-Altering Email from the Chancellor




Dear Colleagues, 

Seven months after your endless caterwauling forced us to close our school buildings, this morning we began welcoming our  3-K, Pre-K, and District 75 students back for in-person learning. I’ll be sitting here in my office making phone calls, ordering take out, and watching YouTube videos. I have people to do work for me. It’s the best!


Today’s beginning of the reopening process marks a the third time we’ve tried this, which has been a huge disaster not only for the public perceptions of Blaz and me, but also for the more than 400,000 families who look to our schools to anchor their children’s lives. If they don’t get sick, die, or transmit the virus to their families, and manage to survive, I keep clinging to the hope that all of this stuff we pull off at the very last minute—will make our children’s lives better. 


It is also a moment to congratulate all of you noisy bastards for publicizing every damn mistake Blaz and I have throughout this entire ordeal. Maybe that’s why we drove you to the verge of striking, and condemned you to the utter terror you’d feel returning, particularly considering the loss of nearly 80 of our colleagues.  From our luxurious, well-ventilated Tweed offices with multiple air conditioners and purifiers, things look pretty good for us, so we still can’t be bothered with your petty concerns.


Yet through all of our indifference, your restraint is remarkable: no one has thus far bombed our offices or, to the best of my knowledge, burned us in effigy; even as we’ve still failed to hook up more than 300,000 students with devices and Internet connections; and while we pulled off successful creation of Regional Enrichment Centers for children of front-line workers; we’ve wasted thousands of hours of work and neglected countless details to enable New York City schools to safely reopen starting today, as opposed to a CONTINUE READING: 
NYC Educator: Yet Another Life-Altering Email from the Chancellor

Teacher Tom: He Didn't Like to Get Muddy

Teacher Tom: He Didn't Like to Get Muddy

He Didn't Like to Get Muddy



He didn't like to get muddy, but he liked playing with the kids who liked to get muddy. This meant that he often appeared to be outside of their play. Adults would sometimes pity him when they spied him at the fringes or hiding behind trees in order to avoid getting splashed, but he resisted their efforts to coach him, insisting "I am playing with them." Sometimes, a particularly incensed adult would scold the other kids for not including "everyone," but they would all, the mud-lovers and the mud-avoider alike, blankly stare the way children do when they find themselves "in for it," but don't know why. It reminded me of Wally's shrugged line from the old Leave it to Beaver television program: "Ah, don't worry about it Beav, sometimes grown-ups just like to holler at kids." 

I knew that this boy was aware that the separation between himself and his friends during these muddy games was his own doing. I knew this because he told me: "I like to play with those guys, but they're getting muddy and I don't like getting muddy." He wasn't asking for them to change their game for him, nor did he seek my advice, so I didn't offer it. If he wished they would play something else, he didn't express it, although the moment they would leave the muddy area, he would leap right into the center of whatever game they were playing. As long as we adults stayed out of it, he chose the role of an actively silent observer, constantly watching, moving around for different views, getting closer when the group conversation dropped into quieter tones, then racing to a distance when the splashing started. He didn't want to miss anything, but the mess. 

In other words, he didn't begrudge them their fun, nor did he CONTINUE READING: Teacher Tom: He Didn't Like to Get Muddy

Patriotic Education and the Politics of Lies – radical eyes for equity

Patriotic Education and the Politics of Lies – radical eyes for equity

Patriotic Education and the Politics of Lies



Not long after my daughter started losing baby teeth and going to bed excited about visits from the Tooth Fairy, she confronted me in our upstairs bonus room while I sat working at my computer.
“You and Mom are the Tooth Fairy,” she asserted, with no hint of asking.
When I admitted such, she replied, “Why did y’all lie to me?”
I can still recall that moment vividly—just as I can one of my moments of having to face the disconnect between mythology and reality concerning my father.
During my first year of marriage, we lived in the converted garage of my parents’ house, and one night we were awaked by my sister yelling and pulling the screen door off the hinges to our room. My mother had found my father collapsed and covered in blood in their bathroom.
I rushed to help him. In the next few hours, our roles shifted and would continue to transform until he died a couple years ago, very frail and worn down by both the myth and reality of his invincibility and job as provider.
As a parent and grandparent, coach, and career-long educator, I have had to CONTINUE READING: Patriotic Education and the Politics of Lies – radical eyes for equity

CURMUDGUCATION: FL: How To Punish A School Board

CURMUDGUCATION: FL: How To Punish A School Board

FL: How To Punish A School Board




Miami Dade County Public Schools have been having some issues lately, and the public has them on the ropes.

They decided to hand their virtual schooling over to K12, the cyber school giant founded by William Bennett with funding by junk bond king Michael Milken. It's an odd choice, given that a quick Google reveals the many, many problems with the business, from faking enrollment in California to faking teachers in, well, Florida. They've had a long run of disasters. At one point the NCAA said they wouldn't accept a K12 diploma. They are hugely profitable, and built some exuberance under the Trump regime, which helps them throw a big ton of money into lobbying.

In fact, throwing money into things may be the explanation for how they got the Miami-Dade job in the first place. Turns out that they appear to have made a $1.57 million dollar contribution to the Foundation for New Education Initiatives, a nonprofit to help fund programs for the district, and chaired by Alberto Carvalho, the district superintendent.

So K12 got the job, and failed hard. Hard enough that Wired magazine wrote about their "epic series of tech errors."

The rapid pivot to, and even faster pivot away from, K12 amounts to a case study in how not to deploy a massive new software project. It also illustrates how, in a few intense weeks of summer decisionmaking, a charter-school curriculum written by a for-profit company was chosen and installed, with little scrutiny, across one of the largest districts in the country.


It was every kind of disaster, and so the board voted to scrap it-- at 2 AM after  CONTINUE READING: CURMUDGUCATION: FL: How To Punish A School Board

SSPI Launches "Education to End Hate" Initiative - Child and Adult Care Food Programs Online Courses - Nutrition (CA Dept of Education)

SSPI Launches "Education to End Hate" Initiative - (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Launches New "Education to End Hate" Initiative to Combat Bias, Bigotry, and Racism




SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond on Monday announced a new, multifaceted “Education to End Hate” initiative designed to empower educators and students to confront the hate, bigotry, and racism rising in communities across the state and nation. Under a new effort outlined during a virtual press conference, the State Superintendent said that the California Department of Education (CDE) will lead a series of strategies—including educator training grants, partnerships with community leaders, and virtual classroom sessions—that leverage the power of education to create a more just society.
“We do not need any more evidence that our country is facing two pandemics: coronavirus and hate. It feels like every day we are seeing heartbreaking examples: more anti-Semitic behavior, bullying of Asian American students because of our President’s rhetoric, Islamophobia, discrimination of our LGBTQ neighbors, and violence directed at people of color,” Thurmond said. “It’s time to double down on our efforts to combat all forms of hate, bias, and bigotry. By digging deeper into the complexities of our diverse and difficult histories—not denying or ignoring them—I believe education can provide the pathway to healing, understanding, and racial and social justice.”
The State Superintendent’s “Education to End Hate” initiative has three components:
Educator training grants: The CDE will award up to $200,000 in mini-grants to local educational agencies (LEAs) to support educator training in the areas of anti-racism and bias. The grants will be funded by contributions from an ongoing philanthropic partner, the S. D.  Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. Organizations with extensive experience in leading related educator trainings—including Equality CaliforniaExternal link opens in new window or tab. the National Equity ProjectExternal link opens in new window or tab., and the Simon Weisenthal Center’sExternal link opens in new window or tab. Museum of Tolerance—have already agreed to partner and offer professional development and resources through this program. More details on grant guidelines and the application process will be released to school districts soon.
“The Simon Wiesenthal Center is the preeminent organization fighting anti-Semitism, bigotry, and hate globally. Its Museum of Tolerance (MOT) is a proud and trusted partner to schools throughout California in advancing anti-bias education, inclusion, and equity through unique professional development programs and educator resources,” said Rabbi Meyer H. Hay, Executive Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Museum of Tolerance. “Committed to confronting hate and promoting human dignity and respect for all, the MOT has also adapted its experiential content for virtual programs for educators, students and parents.”
Virtual Classroom Series: Throughout the month of October, the CDE will host a series of virtual classroom sessions broadcast live throughout the state that will be designed to engage students, educators, and families in a wide-ranging dialogue about the many forms of bias young people across California face—and ways schools can lead efforts to end discrimination.
Roundtable with leaders: In the coming days, the State Superintendent will convene a public roundtable discussion among leaders from prominent racial and social justice organizations, educators, and state lawmakers to brainstorm additional ideas for ways schools can influence the change necessary to ensure a physically and emotionally safe learning environment that is inclusive for all students.
Several lawmakers, who have each worked on multiple fronts to advance equity, on Monday expressed their commitment to supporting this initiative, including:
  • Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino), Chair of the Senate Education Committee
  • Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), Chair of the California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus
  • Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco), Chair of the California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus
  • Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus
  • Assemblymember Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara), Vice Chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus
“Sometimes in our darkest hour is when we do our best work. We know that racism and hate are taught, and we know that children are born loving everyone. You learn what you live, and unfortunately racism and hate are still being taught in living rooms across the state of California and across this country,” Senator Leyva said. “If we learn about each other, the hope is that we won’t hate each other. The hope is that we will know that we have more in common than not. I want to thank State Superintendent Thurmond for always taking on these big issues.”
“In a time when President Trump is attempting to convince Americans that discussing issues like race, gender, and sexual orientation are counterproductive to American ideals, California must take a stand,” Senator Wiener said. “Education is critical in combating hate and bias against LGBTQ people. I am proud to see that California is once again leading the fight against hate.”
"The pandemic brought with it a rise in hate against Asian Americans. We have seen this happen in other moments of national crisis and that's why I have worked on policies to address bullying and discrimination faced by our students," Assemblymember Chiu said. "The additional resources and strategies that Superintendent Thurmond has announced today will help ensure that our schools continue to be a safe place to learn."
“We know our children face racism and bigotry in their lives. Classrooms should serve as safe learning environments that allow students to process and understand these difficult experiences,” Assemblymember Gonzalez said. “Superintendent Thurmond’s initiative will help ensure students, parents, and teachers are prepared with the tools they need to confront racism, bigotry, and hate-based violence and to facilitate honest conversations about the realities students are facing every day.”
“Hate, bigotry, and racism should never be a part of our schools. As children continue their education during a challenging time, we must ensure their well-being is protected,” Assemblymember Limón said. “I applaud the efforts of the CDE and State Superintendent Thurmond to continue prioritizing and taking action on this issue.”
An archived broadcast of the full press conference can be viewed on the CDE’s Facebook page.
# # # #
Tony Thurmond — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100
SSPI Launches "Education to End Hate" Initiative - (CA Dept of Education)



Child and Adult Care Food Programs Online Courses - Nutrition (CA Dept of Education) - https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/nu/cacfponlinecourses.asp



NYC Educator: UFT Executive Board September 21, 2020--Mary Vaccaro Becomes UFT Education VP--First Day Back for Young Students

NYC Educator: UFT Executive Board September 21, 2020--Mary Vaccaro Becomes UFT Education VP--First Day Back for Young Students

UFT Executive Board September 21, 2020--Mary Vaccaro Becomes UFT Education VP--First Day Back for Young Students




Roll call 5:50

Minutes--approved

UFT Secretary LeRoy Barr--Thanks us for voting. Says there is a vacancy in Educational Vice President. Taking nominations tonight. 

Karen Alford--nominates Mary Vaccaro.  Mary is an impressive woman, would be phenomenal in this seat. Has taught in many places in many levels, is knowledgeable, has directed curriculum, taken DOE on and made sure teaching and learning was part of negotiation for reopening. Certain this is the right thing to do and she is the person to fill these shoes. Honor and privilege to nominate her.

Barr--Asks for other nominations.. As chair, casts one vote for only nominee.

Marry Vaccaro--Honor to rep UFT as VP of education, thanks Karen. Moving to follow in footsteps of women who've held this position. We want to make sure that DOE has great education policy. Look forward to working with you all.

UFT President Michael Mulgrew--Moment of silence for Edie Shanker, widow of Al. Passed yesterday. 

Moment of silence for Ruth Bader Ginsburg, someone who constantly strived to make our country a better place. 

National--clear that everything is about the nomination. We believe this nomination will be pushed through. Election clearly most important thing. Senate stimulus package was tuition tax credits for private schools. We know how much is at stake in November and we and our retirees are ready to stand tall.

Our focus has to be getting our schools up and going. Six months and six days since we had in person learning, wants to thank d75 staff, early childhood all teachers  CONTINUE READING: NYC Educator: UFT Executive Board September 21, 2020--Mary Vaccaro Becomes UFT Education VP--First Day Back for Young Students

Education Matters: About those 2000 subs, we are missing 1500 (draft)

Education Matters: About those 2000 subs, we are missing 1500 (draft)

About those 2000 subs, we are missing 1500 (draft)




I don't like saying the superintendent lied but when one bluffs they should understand it may be called. She said we had 2000 subs some trained in DHR ready to go but the reality is we have closer to 500 as daily over a quarter of jobs go unfilled.



Now I want to be fair, some positions are harder to fill than others and if somebody fails their test in the CONTINUE READING: Education Matters: About those 2000 subs, we are missing 1500 (draft)

Russ on Reading: Picture Books for Older Children? Of Course

Russ on Reading: Picture Books for Older Children? Of Course

Picture Books for Older Children? Of Course




One of the ways that teachers are meeting the challenge of online instruction is through picture books and the read aloud. This is a good idea in many ways, but are picture books appropriate for older students, say fifth grade and up? The answer is YES, OF COURSE. The reasons are many, but I wish to highlight just one of those reasons today. Picture books make a great introduction to many, many complex ideas. They can help to build needed background knowledge for new topics, introduce content specific vocabulary with illustrations to assist the learning, and may serve to engage students in a topic of study that they may not have even known they were interested in prior to the picture book read aloud.

Year ago I noticed my colleague, Peggy Burke, had a copy of a comic book titled, Your Brain and You on her desk. I asked her why she had a comic on her desk and she told me that she was reading it because she had signed up for a seminar titled something like, New Discoveries about the Functions of the Brain for Educators, at Harvard University. Peggy said she really didn't have much current background knowledge on the brain, so before attending the seminar she thought that this picture book could give her some the of the basic anatomy and vocabulary related to the topic. 

And so it is with many picture books, they provide outstanding introductions to a wide variety of topics. I have found Gail Gibbons books particularly effective for just this purpose. Her book, The Monarch CONTINUE READING: Russ on Reading: Picture Books for Older Children? Of Course

Listen to this – 2020 #4 | Live Long and Prosper

Listen to this – 2020 #4 | Live Long and Prosper

Listen to this – 2020 #4




THE NEED FOR SCIENCE
Standardized tests are generally a waste of time and money, but they do show what states require schools to emphasize in daily instruction. It’s no surprise that there’s been an “overall decline” in the time spent teaching science…which is not tested to the extent that reading and math are.
In Indiana, for example, all children in grades three through eight are tested every year in English/Language Arts and Math. Science is tested only in grades four and six, and then not again until subject area tests in high school (Social Studies is tested only in grade five before high school). Students in grade three have an additional reading test tied to a grade-level promotion.
There are standards for science in every grade, of course, and teachers are required to teach those standards every year, but the fact that they’re not tested tells the teachers and the students that they are “not important” and are CONTINUE READING: Listen to this – 2020 #4 | Live Long and Prosper

A VERY BUSY DAY Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... The latest news and resources in education since 2007

Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... | The latest news and resources in education since 2007


A VERY BUSY DAY
Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...
The latest news and resources in education since 2007
 
 

Big Education Ape: THIS WEEK IN EDUCATION Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... The latest news and resources in education since 2007 - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2020/09/this-week-in-education-larry-ferlazzos_19.html




Everything You Wanted To Know About Classroom Management But Were Afraid To Ask
ernestoeslava / Pixabay I have over 2,100 frequently revised and updated “Best” lists on just about every subject imaginable, and you can find them listed three different ways in three different places (see Three Accessible Ways To Search For & Find My “Best” Lists ). I’m starting to publish a series where each day I will highlight the “Best” lists in a separate category. Today, it’s on Classroom
Tuesday’s Must-Read Articles About School Reopening
geralt / Pixabay Here are new additions to THE BEST POSTS PREDICTING WHAT SCHOOLS WILL LOOK LIKE IN THE FALL : As Schools Go Remote, Finding ‘Lost’ Students Gets Harder is from The NY Times. Learning Curve: Teacher Resigns Rather Than Expose Her Family To COVID-19 is from NPR. They Work Full Time. They Attend School. They’re Only Teenagers. is from The HuffPost. Duval Schools’ laptop gap impacts
“Strategies for Promoting Student Collaboration in a Distance Learning Environment”
Strategies for Promoting Student Collaboration in a Distance Learning Environment is the headline of my latest Education Week Teacher column. Another teacher and I share strategies to encourage student collaboration in a remote or hybrid learning environment, including through group presentations and class-created “norms.” Here’s an excerpt:
Most Popular Posts Of The Week
I’m making a change in the content of the regular feature. In addition to sharing the top five posts that have received the most “hits” in the preceding seven days (though they may have originally been published on an earlier date), I will also include the top five posts that have actually appeared in the past week. Often, these are different posts. You might also be interested in IT’S THE THIRTE
World Teachers’ Day Is On Oct. 5th – Here Are Related Resources
Jorgeduardo / Pixabay World Teachers’ Day, held annually on October 5th since 1994 – when it was created by UNESCO – celebrates teachers worldwide (in the United States, National Teacher Day is Tuesday in the first full week of May). You might be interested in The Best Resources To Learn About World Teachers Day .
Everything You Wanted To Know About Assessment But Were Afraid To Ask
Wokandapix / Pixabay I have over 2,100 frequently revised and updated “Best” lists on just about every subject imaginable, and you can find them listed three different ways in three different places (see Three Accessible Ways To Search For & Find My “Best” Lists ). I’m starting to publish a series where each day I will highlight the “Best” lists in a separate category. Today, it’s on Assessment:
Zoom Adds Features For Educators
Alexandra_Koch / Pixabay Zoom announced, and shared instructional videos, today about some new features for educators (none of which I thought were really that very useful). They had also previously announced that today was going to be the day they introduced a self-selecting option for breakout rooms (see ON SEPT. 21ST, ZOOM IMPLEMENTS A FEATURE TO ALLOW PEOPLE TO CHOOSE THEIR OWN BREAKOUT ROOMS
How Could I Have Not Known That Google Offers Free A.I. Powered Feedback On The Pronunciation Of Any Word?
I wanted to confirm today that I was pronouncing the word “hubris” correctly (why I wanted to say that word is a topic for another blog post). So, I searched “How do you pronounce hubris?” And something like what you see in the image at the top of this blog post appeared. You can click on the audio to hear it – at regular speed or slow. AND you can record yourself saying the word and it will give
New Study Finds That Teacher Leadership Results In Improved Learning For Students
TheDigitalArtist / Pixabay Echoing previous studies highlighted in The Best Posts, Articles & Videos On “Teacher Leadership” — Contribute More! , a new study, The association between teacher leadership and student achievement: 
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