Worrrrrd up!

It is Friday afternoon–and incidentally my second day back to work after a looong vacation— so I think I’ll blog about my favorite superheroine WordGirl, the recent recipient of a Parents’ Choice award. I can’t wait for season two when the show will be on five days a week. More vocabulary for everyone! And just for fun, here’s another children’s television classic for your Friday viewing pleasure.

It’s All-Stars time! (Part 2)

We have our winners!

This morning we picked our nine READ 180 All-Stars for 2008 – three elementary-age, three from middle school, and three high schoolers. We’re in the process of notifying the winners and their teachers, and will have an announcement with the names in a couple weeks.

We’re floored every year by these kids’ stories. Students who could hardly read or write anything, and are now thinking about college. Students who would sit in the back of class and cause trouble because they didn’t see any value in school, and who, after learning to read, had a renewed sense of self confidence.

Continue reading It’s All-Stars time! (Part 2)

Rockin’ the vote

One of the things that’s really exciting to me about Election 2008 is how connected people – I’m mostly talking about young people here – are to the candidates.

This story in today’s New York Times puts it all out there.

Instead of watching local television news or reading news stories about the campaign, people under 30 are watching videos or reading transcripts of speeches, sharing them via e-mail and blogs with friends, and interacting with the campaigns on social networking sites like Facebook or Myspace.

Continue reading Rockin’ the vote

In Our Feeds

News that caught our eyes this morning:

Bad News from California (The Economist) – From Fresno, CA comes a troubling portrait of the changing Hispanic family in America. As Hispanic-Americans find themselves living more and more squarely in the “hyphen,” how are American social mores and social (in)justice impacting the “vaunted Latino family?” (Thanks to Joanne Jacobs for drawing our attention to it)
Boys’ Learning Gap (The Press Democrat – Santa Rosa, CA) – A terrific piece about the gender gap in American schools through the lens of the Sonoma County school system. Nice piece with some great quotes from teachers and students–our favorite point? “(Boys) bodies look different when they read . . . they are physical, they move their body more, they physically respond to what they are reading.”
Technology Counts (Ed Week) – The annual Ed Week Technology Counts issue is one we always read cover to cover…this year, we’re psyched to read Andrew Trotter’s piece on Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, “A School Where STEM is King.”

The Internet is Making Research Better

We think a lot about research here at Scholastic–particularly in conjunction with teaching kids the 21st Century Skills they’ll need in order to process information and critically think in our constantly changing world. We’re committed to helping kids see the difference between “searching” and “researching”…and to giving kids a sense of how real research can happen in a digital world.

To that end, I am thoroughly in awe of Footnote’s newest projectdigitizing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC. Footnote hired National Geographic photographers to shoot the entire memorial, closely enough to identify all 58,256 soldiers’ names etched into the wall. Then, they made the photographs searchable and linked every image of every name to data culled from the National Archives about the fallen or missing soldier.

Continue reading The Internet is Making Research Better

Stop the presses! Teachers say they’re underpaid

This just in: Teachers in Arizona wish they made more money and didn’t have to work second jobs.

The Arizona Republic on Sunday printed 14 of about 600 e-mails State Superintedent of Instruction Tom Horne received in response to a request for teachers opinions on how he could make their jobs easier. The responses printed in the newspaper (identified by school, not by teacher’s name) were almost all, as you might expect, about pay.

Continue reading Stop the presses! Teachers say they’re underpaid