Archive for February, 2005

It seems like a lot of us (doc students) learned to read with Dr. Seuss. My favorite was “Marvin K.Mooney Will You Please Go Now!”. Later, someone told me it was about Richard Nixon. I wonder? I liked them all, though. “Fox in Socks” was my other favorite book–I liked the tongue twister aspect.

What was your favorite Dr. Seuss book? Or other favorite children’s book?


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Book Quiz!

I took the book quiz. My “book” is Anne of Green Gables, which I have never read, but maybe now I will.

You’re Anne of Green Gables!

by L.M. Montgomery

Bright, chipper, vivid, but with the emotional fortitude of cottage
cheese, you make quite an impression on everyone you meet…

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

It’s a fun quiz! (except, like most quizzes, the results are only partly true).


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Click here for the story City schools to ax scripted reading program despite gains

Good article on DI and why it’s on its way out in Chicago.

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I was just reading my NCTE Inbox for February and there is an interesting article and highlight about how Bush would like to expand his NCLB plan into the high schools so that all students are tested from 3rd to 11th grade. As teachers in Texas, we are familiar with this since students are already being tested through 11th grade. I am attaching an article from USA Today and pasting the highlight from NCTE that talks about the organization’s resistance to this push. After reading both pieces, I am wondering why some people might be for the testing for grade 3-8, but against testing in grade 9-11? I am also wondering if more people vote/speak out against it, might this have an influence on the testing in Texas? What do people think?

http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2005-02-09-no-child_x.htm – USA Today Article

NCTE Urges Governors to Oppose High School Testing Plan NCTE is among more than 40 national education and other organizations to ask members of Congress and governors to change the punitive testing measures in the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law and to oppose President Bush’s plan to expand testing of high school students. 

The group’s letter to elected officials calls attention to its “Joint Organizational Statement on ‘No Child Left Behind’ Act” that was distributed to members of Congress in October. That document stresses this point: “Overall, the law’s emphasis needs to shift from applying sanctions for failing to raise test scores to holding states and localities accountable for making the systemic changes that improve student achievement.”    

The letter also reads: “We urge you not to extend the NCLB mandated annual math and reading tests to two additional high school grades. While we welcome the President’s focus on improving student achievement in high schools, two more years of testing will not accomplish this important goal but could instead lead to narrowing curriculum and increasing the number of students who drop out.”

NCTE is sending the letter to the National Governors Association in advance of the 2005 National Education Summit on High Schools to be held February 26–27 in Washington, D.C. Governors, business executives, and education leaders will attend the summit, which is expected to draw public attention and to spark political movement around such issues as K–college continuity, improving teaching and leadership, increasing the rigor of what is taught, and supporting students’ efforts to meet high standards.

NCTE also is asking each of its affiliates to send its own message to governors, senators, and representatives, and is asking INBOX subscribers and members of affiliates, SLATE, and the Education Advocacy Network to send a version of the letter to their governors, senators, and representatives. To find out how you can get involved, click here.  

For more information about the 2005 National Education Summit on High Schools,
click here.

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Literature as Exploration Author Louise Rosenblatt Dies at 100

Utah ed bills may rattle D.C.

Dartmouth to study how people learn reading, math:
A $22 million grant will establish new center

“Opinion: New SAT Writing Section Scores Low”
Chrisitan Science Monitor

Her field of dreams came true

Wanted: 30,000 teachers
Florida will address a dire shortage by turning to “a gold mine” – its community colleges.

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I’m an old lady, and here I am participating in a blog! This is really exciting to me, and I can’t help but think about the possibilities for kids and how new literacies such as this have the potential of reaching some of those students for whom school doesn’t work well. The old notion of who is a proficient reader and writer could be completely turned on its head if all students have the opportunities to use these new nonlinear hypertexty kinds of tools rather than just pencil and paper and books. Don’t get me wrong–for me, nothing will ever take the place of having a book in my hands–but for kids, it could be different. And maybe should be?

Just late Saturday night musings (marinated with a touch of pinot noir and good food).

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Great Reading

I thought we could also post good books we are reading, either in our courses, or independent study, or research, or for fun….
I’m reading a great book for Nancy Roser’s “Children’s Literature” class. It’s Vivian Paley’s “The Girl With the Brown Crayon.” (Paley, 1997). It’s about how a teacher fosters a passion for books and thinking by sharing Leo Lionni books in her kindergarten classroom. The children offer wise, intelligent, thoughtful responses to the books and actively participate in literary conversations. Here is my favorite quote, where she talks about inventing a classroom (p.50):

“I too require passion in the classroom. I need the intense preoccupation of a group of children and teachers inventing new worlds as they learn to know each other’s dreams. To invent is to come alive. Even more than the unexamined classroom, I resist the uninvented classroom.”

–Vivian Paley.

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