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An Article Worth Reading Several Times for Several Reasons PDF E-mail
Monday, 22 March 2010 09:13

Chris Tovani is the author of I Read It, But I Don't Get It: Comprehension Strategies for Adolescent Readers (Stenhouse, 2000) and Do I Really Have to Teach Reading? (Stenhouse, 2004). Although I am a long time fan of her work, I think she REALLY nailed it with her latest article in the March issue of Educational Leadership: "I Got Grouped".

In this article, she reinforces some ideas about tracking that are explored in Kelly's recent blog entry and Lara's recent post. But I am most impressed by her explanation of the role EXPECTATIONS play in student learning or lack thereof.

This is an article worth reading and reading and reading ... followed by an examination of the daily messages we send our students and then changing and changing and changing.

"I Got Grouped"

Cynthia Moore

Other People's Children PDF E-mail
Friday, 19 March 2010 08:20

What's up with the "passing out of pink slips frenzy" of late? This editorial perfectly articulates my response to that question: "Pink Slips...Part of Disturbing Trend"

Basically, anything goes for "other people's children". A cynical position, yes ... but certainly a hard one to debate with the number of school closings and teacher cuts increasing daily in urban schools all across the country.

Here are some note-worthy quotes from the article:

"It is as if we have all tacitly agreed that when it comes to public schools, there are our children and then there are other people’s children, who just so happen to be largely poor, black and brown. Other people’s children need uniforms, authoritarian disciplinary policies and uninspired curricula. Other people’s children are taught by Teach for America “graduates” who have five weeks of training under their belts. Other people’s children are best evaluated by tests of highly questionable validity. Other people’s children have their schools closed."

"We tell ourselves that success is the result of intelligence and hard work, and yet we willfully ignore the widening differences in resources, teacher pay, and curricula increasingly found between our suburban and urban schools."

"In our poorest communities, where teachers need the most support and students need the most innovative curricula, we find instead instruction driven by the tyranny of statewide tests."

And if you've found your way on to this website, your search for "innovative curricula" probably just ended. :)

Tuesday, 16 March 2010 21:32

Most Pebble Creek teachers have already taught the New Orleans unit for this school year. However, I am excited to inform some of you and remind others that a new drama series about New Orleans called TREME will air on HBO in April.

This series is from the creators of the critically acclaimed "The Wire" of which I (along with millions of other Americans) was a HUGE fan! The forums for TREME, on the HBO website, are also great sources for read-alouds and are written by "everyday" people.

The season premiere is on Sunday, April 11th and a trailer of the series as well as other information is available here:  Treme

Cynthia L. Moore

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