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Thursday, April 2, 2009

One False Move...: Part Six

Last night during an easy-going chat with daughter #2, college student, Dad's princess on odd days, and friend, I summarized the four major ideas that I contributed to the Obama Administration Department of Ed. Let me elaborate: 1. Inner-city schools do not enjoy domestic homework support at the... Sign in to see full entry.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

''One False Move...": Part 5 -- Matching Phonemes with the ABC's

One of the most important jobs of every K-1 teacher is to make sure that students who enter 2nd grade know the alphabet. In native language classrooms this seems obvious; does not pose the problems we see later in the failure to increase vocabulary before / after entering kinder, failure to learn to... Sign in to see full entry.

Monday, March 30, 2009

...One False Move...: "A Breakthrough!"

Today at lunch I asked my friend, a Geography teacher who has been fired, "when a teacher says "'Sit down, now!' does the student need to have studied inferencing skills and other metacognitive strategies to gleen that he or she must, quite soon, sit down?" "No" he responded. "Then why" said I, "are... Sign in to see full entry.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

"...One False Move...": Part 3 Teaching Background Knowledge

I have to laugh at the irony. Me, after thirty-five years as a teacher, I discover, in my retirement year, what is important to teach to teachers. According to the world's foremost leader in reducing the 4th grade reading gap, E. D. Hirsch, we should be providing "...explicit, coherent, and... Sign in to see full entry.

"...One False Move...: Part 2 The Pink Slip Experiment

"... the effort a student devotes to self-consciously finding the main idea is activity that occupies attentional space and sutracts from the child's mental resources available to construct meaning." -E.D. Hirsch Vis-a-vis the "Red Bead Experiment" I can more easily dscribe the catastrophe facing... Sign in to see full entry.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

"One False Move..."

The administrators are acting out in their efforts to stay off -- or get their schools off -- the SINA list. (That is the list of failing schools id'd by the federal government as being a school that can't or won't teach; a school that does not demonstrate adequate "safe harbor" advances in Reading... Sign in to see full entry.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Certain subjects: math and reading, are "...all-purpose, formal skills which, once learned can be applied to all subjects and problems...universally applicable to all circumstances of life." -E.D. Hirsch It sounds plausible, if it didn't it wouldn't have engrained itself so deeply into the American... Sign in to see full entry.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


An attempt to "...provide explicit, coherent, and carefully cumulative approach to a broad range of knowledge and language" for pre-schoolers wll include the various nursery rhymes and sing-song poems we all learned as children. We accumulated 45 million words by the time we achieved the... Sign in to see full entry.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Excluding "Random Reading Passages" from National Standardized Tests

Yesterday on the bus ride home I read the Op Ed piece in the New York Times by E. D. Hirsch. I was startled to find that he had written it, knowing as I do his past prescription for narrowing the "4th Grade Reading Gap". He has always been on the side of "...providing explicit, coherent, and... Sign in to see full entry.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Japanese Blocks for Middle Schools on the Horizon

This week President Obama made an Education speech. I had missed it, of course, as I was in class, but the next morning as my daughter was driving me to school -- we have Sirius Radio in the truck only -- we heard a very important clip of his speech. The Obama Administration, to its credit, has as... Sign in to see full entry.

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