Carnival of Education: 209th Edition!

school1 Welcome to the 209th edition of the Carnival of Education!

In a way, every good school is like a big Science Fair; in every room, and for each lesson, teachers have a lesson plan hypothesis – and often, more than one, on a daily basis. Each hypothesis is tested using a group of students variables, some dependent, and some independent, and we all know how changeable kids are, whether we force them to change or they change all by themselves! That’s science, folks.

Each classroom also has its share of outside influences, or interruptions, heating/cooling problems, fire drills, intruder alerts, illness, stubbornness, etc. controlled variables, and we try our best to BE in control, don’t we!

Our purpose is to find out if our hypothesis is correct.  What is the hypothesis, you ask?  I’ll tell you at the end of the post.

Let’s take a stroll down our school’s hallway science fair and see what we’ve got!

Darren was shown proof positive that encouraging students helps them become better people when he had a visit from some former students who were doing very well, indeed, in The Kids Are All Right posted at Right on the Left Coast: Views From a Conservative Teacher.

Clix takes a stand on classic literature, and leaves no doubt as to WHERE she stands! Read about it on This is where I make my stand posted at Epic Adventures Are Often Uncomfortable.

Dave Saba wants to make sure that every child has a great teacher.  One of his friends submitted his post A Science Class Saved, at American Board.

If you go to Jose Vilson’s blog, you can read the poetic roast opus dedicated to a recently retired teacher and colleague.

Dave’s superintendent doesn’t believe the achievement gap can be closed.  Dave begs to disagree.

Dr. Mark Stock, of the Stock Mark Report, would like to know how your school uses technology.

Teacher in a Strange Land’s Nancy Flannigan blogs about teacher quality and effectiveness as she sits in a room with over fifty Teachers of the Year.  Her question?  “How Do Teachers of the Year Define Quality Teaching?

Ms. Teacher sounds off on bad teachers, and also swears that she did not  go into teaching to make your child’s life miserable!   Please do not tell her to “shut up.”  helium

Many teachers would like to integrate some technology into their lessons, but aren’t sure just how to do it.  Matthew Needleman gives us all some useful information about “How To Plan a Technology Lesson” at Creating Lifelong Learners.

“For a good time,” head on over to Scheiss Weekly.  Mamacita (Jane Goodwin) has posted some hilarious graphs, lifted straight out of Graph Jam.

Class Scene has a great post up about how a good yearbook should include ALL of the students, not just the jocks, cheerleaders, and popular kids. A yearbook is a community project!

Over at Detention Slip, Hall Monitor talks about the school that hired a pole dancer. to induce the students to sign up for a pole dancing class for PE.  He’s right when he says that the UK really seems to have a handle on their students’ career paths.

Do you need some new writing prompts for your students?  Check out RayRay’s blog.

Corey Bower’s principal blamed her for the “unpleasant puddle” all over her students’ desks!  You can read about this ridiculous assumption at Thoughts on Education Policy.

How horrible does this sound:  “Within the school system, the ‘gifted’ label is increasingly viewed as a liability.”  It sounds mighty horrible to me!  Read about it on Class War, over at The “More” Child.

mentosgeyserTween Teacher’s students knew the right answers; they just didn’t have the skills to bubble them in correctly! She always wonders if technology is changing the way teenagers think!

Over at Learn Me Good, Mister Teacher is having a Blogiversary!

Mike is a graduate student, and he might want to go to law school.  OR, he might want to become a teacher.  I hope he becomes a lawyer who specializes in helping teachers who are being used as scapegoats by so many school systems nowadays!  Click over to The Liberal Artist and give him some advice!

Mrs. Bluebird wants to know what it takes to get middle school parents INVOLVED!

Right here at Steve Spangler Science, people are using our huge science fair project library like gangbusters!  It’s that time of year, folks!

Commuting, or living on campus?  That’s a debate that isn’t new; it’s been going on for a REALLY long time!  Find out how long, over at The Collegiate Way.

Distiller’s Corner believes that society needs both conformists and nonconformists.

globeAdministrators at a Bronx elementary school interrogated a class of 7-year-olds about their teacher, and threatened them with suspension if they told their parents.    Under Assault: Teaching in NYC tells us all about it.

The Core Knowledge Blog writes about a Maryland school that is thinking about eliminating parent conferences altogether, while  parents who live in Colorado might soon get unpaid leave for attending their children’s parent conferences.

Tom, at Stories from School, defends the Master’s Degree.

Carol, over at Bellringers, wonders if any of you might qualify for the Have Some Whine With Your Cheese Award, or maybe the (my personal favorite ) Big Fat Stupid Head Blog award.  Hey, now, we all have those days!

Christina’s Classroom recommends Google Maps for those early childhood classrooms.

Pat, at Successful Teaching, gravitates toward the kids nobody else can stand.

magnetAdventures in Ethics and Science’s Dr. Freeride (Janet D. Stemwedel) asks us “What’s Shaking?” This is a grand reminder that much science education happens in the car. It’s a nice post on conversations between a scientist mom and her two kids, on geology learning.

Robert Pondiscio doesn’t think much of Alfie Kohn’s educational philosophies, and he submits Daniel Willingham’s post at Encyclopedia Britannica Blog to show us why.  Apparently, Stuart Buck at The Buck Stops Here pretty much agrees.

Over at A Teacher’s View, Michael Mazenko talks about Bill Gates’ Education Fix.

The Education Optimists have something to say about the stimulus bill.  And how, they do!

Mr. McGuire at The Reading Workshop don’t want no cheese on his burger.  But he does have something to say about grammar!

Listen and Learn discusses the colors red, yellow, and green, and has a song to help your preschoolers remember that RED means STOP!

microscopeSarah Ebner, at SchoolGate, believes that the Oscars help teach our students that not everybody can win, and that it’s possible to lose gracefully.

Larry Ferlazzo gives us a list of things to consider when it’s time to apply for an educational grant.

Over at Let’s Talk Babies, Lisa Mitchell thinks that,  with the economy in bad shape, it might be a good time to talk to your children about money.

Rebecca Haines, at Instructify,  thinks children will benefit more from a trip to a museum than from a standardized test, but even the museums are tailoring their exhibits to conform to state standards!

Zeno, of Halfway There, visited his old campus and discovered that you can’t go home again.  However, if the students there read your blog, they might think you’re a minor celebrity!

Elementary History Teacher is tired of parents who want to know if she’s going to teach THEIR version of history!

Teaching immeasurable skills:  check out what Joanne Jacobs has to say about this issue.

mentosgeyser2It can’t be denied that many of the teacher “prep” courses we all had to take in college were pretty stupid.  NYC Teacher goes one further, though, and wonders who should be teaching the teachers in the first place? And who should be teaching our students?

GuusjeM is an excellent school librarian who thinks kids might be interested in writing for electronic publications, since she herself is doing it!

History interventions on re-teaching material the students did not do well on?  Polski3 has something to say about that.

Pastor Jeff tells us to encourage people to begin their own line of “Godly heritage” if their parents did not do it for them.  Good idea, Jeff.  So often our students come from families so broken and dysfunctional, they’ve lost all hope of ever having a decent loving family, but they can always make sure THEIR kids have a family they can take pride in.

A Shrewdness of Apes posts about the basketball game that finally ended with a score of 100-0.  Sportsmanship, anyone?

Scholastic, one of the biggest booksellers in the schools, has apparently treated hundreds of long-time, loyal customers so shabbily, many are cancelling their accounts and going elsewhere.  Catch up on the heated discussions on the A-Z Teacher Forum Scholastic thread.

sciencefairThe Science Goddess blogs at What It’s Like on the Inside, and on the subject of grading, she is wishing teachers could all just GET ALONG!

Now, if my HYPOTHESIS was “There are no two teachers alike, but most of them go above and beyond the call of duty to help their students find success,” then I believe my conclusion, based on observation, over time, of all the variables and their purposes,  would have to be that my hypothesis was correct.

Let’s all remember that no subject is ever isolated; no subject exists only within the four walls of a classroom.  Everything is connected to everything else, and the more connections we help our students find, the more wonder they will discover in the universe.  And, along the way, so will we.

Remember, too, that it isn’t necessary for students to always understand immediately and thoroughly.  Often, we will suddenly understand something at forty that was a complete and total mystery at nine.  Discovering the meaning of things is important, but it doesn’t have to be instant.  Encourage your students to branch out and read and ask questions.  Remember, too, that sometimes the best questions have no easy answer.  Also?  “I don’t know YET” is a good answer.  Now, encourage your kids to get out there and learn!

Are we ever old enough to understand everything we’ve learned?  I don’t know yet.

Last week’s Carnival of Education may be found here, and next week’s Carnival host has yet to be announced.

13 replies
  1. Nancy Flanagan
    Nancy Flanagan says:

    Whoa! One humongous Carnival–well done! I especially like the exploding Coke–it kind of reflects the way I’m feeling at the moment. Thanks for including the Teacher in a Strange Land.


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