My wife is smirking at me. She’s feeling her oats. Yup. Yesterday was her last day of school. As a fourth grade teacher, the last week of school for her is usually pretty brutal and starting today she can relax a bit.
My summer? Pretty busy. Over the next eight weeks, I’ll have the chance to meet all sorts of people around the country. That’s a good thing, I suppose. I like busy.
But right now she’s rubbing it in just a bit.
Cause she knows. She knows I love to read and that summer has traditionally been the perfect time for me to race through my summer reading list. This year, it’s going to be tough.
For as long as I’ve been in education, I’ve had a summer reading list. One of my early mentors (Thanks Mr. Ortmann!) “forced” me to do it and I learned to love the idea. Develop a list of professional and fun books. Commit to reading them. Talk about the content with others.
Of course, in all of the years that I’ve been doing it, I’ve never actually finished the original list. Schedules change. Books aren’t as good as I had hoped. A couple of years ago, I went on a Civil War binge and got completely sidetracked.
But the idea is still a good one. It makes us better educators. And isn’t that part of the job?
So . . . the 2014 Summer Reading List: Read more
What I know about economics and personal finance? Think of the smallest possible measuring container and what I know about economics and personal finance would probably come close to filling that container.
Think of that Sam Cooke song – “Don’t Know Much About History.” Replace history with economics. That’s me.
I never had an official econ course in my life. Yeah. I know. If it makes you feel better, I have had some economics workshops and I know a lot of very smart economics people. (Looking at you Brian Richter.)
So this morning was a huge learning opportunity for me. Angela Howdeshell from the Kansas Council for Economics Education spent two hours with our social studies PLC group.
Angela shared all sorts of great ideas and free goodies with teachers. She highlighted some of the handy stuff on both the KCEE site as well as the national economics site.
And she shared a site I hadn’t seen before. Read more
Like many families, mine spends part of every evening re-hashing the day – sharing experiences, discussing current events, solving the world’s problems, and arguing whether the X-Men are actual super heroes.
Earlier this week, during a discussion about school, my daughter blurted out:
I really don’t do anything at school. I’m asked to learn stuff that doesn’t mean anything to me in ways that are incredibly boring.
She and I have had this discussion before. She plays the game very well – straight A’s, great test scores. She knows the rules. And the traditional view of school would suggest that because she has a nice GPA she actually knows something. But every time I hear about worksheets, answering questions at the end of the chapter, or high school students reading out loud from the textbook to one another, I’m not convinced. Research is telling all of us that these sorts of instructional strategies don’t impact long-term learning.