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Developing Preschool Language and Literacy Webinar: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - 3:00–4:30 PM ET 2:00–3:30 PM CT

With states and jurisdictions across the country increasingly emphasizing reading proficiency in the primary grades, the development of preschool literacy skills has become an important topic of interest to education stakeholders. And as states develop new policies and practices around preschool literacy, policymakers and practitioners need an understanding of the research on early literacy to inform their work.

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Creativity is Not a Muse, it’s a Choice

Creativity is Not a Muse, it’s a Choice | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

I strongly believe that Creativity is more of a choice than it is a muse.

 

When you make an active choice to be creative, your life changes. When you get up in the morning and look in the mirror and say “I’m creative” you’re choosing a path, and, you’re telling your brain how to behave. Good things will flow from that choice, trust me. When you make that creative choice, creativity, over time, becomes something that’s part of your being, your personality, how you think and act — all you do. When you integrate it into your life and mind, elusive creativity shows up more often and stays longer.

 

If you say, on the other hand, “am I creative?” or even worse, “I’m not creative” your brain will listen and will process challenges with no momentum. And, you’ll be living life tentatively, with fear, and with no confidence — and that’s no way to live. If creativity is a muse, you’ll have told it to go somewhere else. If you think this way now, that you are not creative, remember that creativity is not just about artistic talent, at its root it’s the human capability of solving problems. If you’ve ever solved a problem, you are creative.

 

So, young people, creative people, I urge you to make the choice. Say it out loud. Write it down in your idea notebook (which you must have with you at all times). Pick a time, every day, to remind yourself of your choice. Maybe it’s the morning mirror, maybe it’s an oak tree you pass, maybe it’s the door to your home, maybe it’s the first taste of coffee or tea. That’s your reminder moment, your re-choice moment. Pick your moment now.

 

Try this for a month and see the difference in your creative results. I’d wish you luck, but when you make this choice you no longer need it. I’ll just say — happy trails to you, until we meet again.

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The Innovative Educator: 20 Things Students Want the Nation to Know About Education

The Innovative Educator: 20 Things Students Want the Nation to Know About Education | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

Excerpt from The Innovative Educator

 

It's rare for education reformers, policymakers, and funders to listen to those at the heart of education reform work: The students. In fact Ann Curry who hosted Education Nation's first *student panel admitted folks at NBC were a little nervous about putting kids on stage. In their "Voices of a Nation" discussion, young people provided insight into their own experiences with education and what they think needs to be done to ensure that every student receives a world-class education. After the discussion Curry knew these students didn't disappoint. She told viewers, "Students wanted to say something that made a difference to you (adults) and they did. Now adults need to listen."

 

Below are [five of the twenty] sentiments shared by these current and former students during the segment.

 

1. I have to critically think in college, but your tests don't teach me that.
2. We learn in different ways at different rates.
3. I can't learn from you if you are not willing to connect with me.
4. Teaching by the book is not teaching. It's just talking.
5. Caring about each student is more important than teaching the class.

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‘That Used to Be Us’ by Friedman and Mandelbaum - Review

‘That Used to Be Us’ by Friedman and Mandelbaum - Review | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

In “That Used to Be Us” Thomas L. Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum join a growing number of foreign policy thinkers warning that America’s position abroad cannot endure without a renewal of the domestic sources of American prosperity and strength.

 

The concerns are justified. The United States faces the most profound set of challenges since the 1930s, when an economic depression and the breakdown of the British-led international order raised basic questions about our domestic politics and international strategy.

 

“That Used to Be Us” represents an effort by Mr. Mandelbaum, a professor at Johns Hopkins University and one of the country’s leading public intellectuals, and Mr. Friedman, a columnist for The New York Times whose three Pulitzer Prizes only hint at the global influence of his work, to describe the rocky conditions of the present day and prescribe a way forward. This may be an American crisis, but as Mr. Friedman and Mr. Mandelbaum eloquently explain, it is not just an American concern. Nor is it simply a matter of improving the living standards of future generations in this country. Because of the unique — and at this point irreplaceable — American role in providing important public services across the globe, the world as a whole will become a much poorer and more dangerous place if Americans fail at the task of national renewal.

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First Arctic Ozone Hole Recorded | Global Warming & Stratosphere | LiveScience

First Arctic Ozone Hole Recorded | Global Warming & Stratosphere | LiveScience | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
Unprecedented loss of ozone over the Arctic earlier this year created the first ozone 'hole' over the North Pole, similar to the infamous one that opens up every year over the Antarctic, scientists say.
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Occupy Together

Occupy Together | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

Welcome to OCCUPY TOGETHER, an unofficial hub for all of the events springing up across the country in solidarity with Occupy Wall St http://tinyurl.com/6lx6doy. As we have followed the news on facebook, twitter, and the various live feeds across the internet, we felt compelled to build a site that would help spread the word as more protests organize across the country. We hope to provide people with information about events that are organizing, ongoing, and building across the U.S. as we, the 99%, take action against the greed and corruption of the 1%.

 

We will try our best to provide you with the most accurate information possible. However, we are just a few volunteers and errors are bound to occur. Please be patient as we get this site off the ground and populated and please contact us if you have any info on new events, corrections, or suggestions for this site. You can contact us at info[at]occupytogether[dot]org http://tinyurl.com/6c7rsbc.

 

We will only grow stronger in our solidarity and we will be heard, not just in New York, but in echoes across this nation.

 

For more information about us, the movement, and answers to questions, please check out our FAQ http://tinyurl.com/6c7rsbc.

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North Carolina Turns Its Best Students Into Good Teachers

North Carolina Turns Its Best Students Into Good Teachers | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
John Williams III of Durham, N.C., is an example of the state’s success in taking its best students and turning them into public school teachers.

 

It is a pretty good bet that any program that treats teachers like star athletes is not going to last. A few months ago, as part of hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts, the North Carolina General Assembly voted to phase out the fellows program — which has a $13 million annual budget — over the next few years. (There have been reports that the House speaker, Thom Tillis, a Republican, is reconsidering; his office did not respond to several calls and e-mails.)

 

It may not matter. Budget cuts have been so severe, pretty soon no one is going to be able to afford to teach. Anthony White, 26, another fellow, has been a math teacher for five years at Southern High Schoolhere. Like Mr. Williams, he had his choice of jobs but chose a school that serves a poor black neighborhood, a place where he felt that his work would stand for more. “Coming up,” Mr. White said, “I never had a black male math teacher.”

 

When Mr. White started, he was making $35,000, and five years later he is still making $35,000.

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Common Core Standards in One App

Common Core Standards in One App | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
View the Common Core State Standards in one convenient FREE app! A great reference for students, parents, and teachers to easily read and understand the core standards. Quickly find standards by subject, grade, and subject category (domain/cluster). This app includes Math standards K-12 and Language Arts standards K-12.
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Temperature Rising: With Deaths of Forests, a Loss of Crucial Climate Protectors

Temperature Rising: With Deaths of Forests, a Loss of Crucial Climate Protectors | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
Trees, natural carbon sponges, help keep heat-trapping carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. But insect and human threats are taking a heavy toll on them.

 

Experts are scrambling to understand the situation, and to predict how serious it may become.

 

Scientists say the future habitability of the Earth might well depend on the answer. For, while a majority of the world’s people now live in cities, they depend more than ever on forests, in a way that few of them understand.

 

Scientists have figured out — with the precise numbers deduced only recently — that forests have been absorbing more than a quarter of the carbon dioxide that people are putting into the air by burning fossil fuels and other activities. It is an amount so large that trees are effectively absorbing the emissions from all the world’s cars and trucks.

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Sign Up to Have a Celebrity Visit Your Class for Anti-Bullying Month - Transforming Education for the 21st Century

Sign Up to Have a Celebrity Visit Your Class for Anti-Bullying Month - Transforming Education for the 21st Century | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
Seth Godin’s doing it. Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Mark Victor Hansen’s doing it. Countless Nickelodeon and Disney Channel Stars are doing it.
 
If you're in the TED21C learning network, chances are you're not a teacher in Hollywood, California and the opportunity to bring a celebrity to your classroom doesn't come around too often. October is anti-bullying month and celebrities want to discuss it with your students live! It doesn't cost a dime or take a lot of work either.  

You can sign up below for a star to do a 30-minute Skype visit to your classroom. During that time the celebrity will take about 15 minutes to discuss their personal experiences with bullying and then they'll spend the rest of the time with questions, answers, and discussion where the kids can share their own experiences and ask their own questions. 
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All Aboard: Google Bus Seeks Start-Up Ideas

A bus branded with the Google logo will be traveling across Egypt, scouting for the next generation of technology entrepreneurs.

Google’s new initiative, Ebda2, which means “Start” in Arabic, is the latest in a string of seed and mentorship programs designed to support the wave of entrepreneurial ventures sweeping across Egypt. The revolutionary spirit that had youth demanding job creation and speaking out about their political concerns through social media has also encouraged them to start online businesses, experts say.
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REL Northeast and Islands: Policy Challenges Webinar: Supporting the Transition to the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics

REL Northeast and Islands: Policy Challenges Webinar: Supporting the Transition to the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

WEBINAR

Thursday, October 6, 2011

3:00-4:30 PM EDT

Register Now

 

Nearly all jurisdictions in the Northeast and Islands Region have adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Yet, as states and districts seek to implement the CCSS, policymakers and practitioners need to understand the foundational research and initiatives behind the standards, as well as learn how to build students’ knowledge so they will graduate high school able to succeed in college and in workforce training programs.

 

In this webinar, Dr. Francis “Skip” Fennell, a mathematics education expert and member of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel, will bridge research to practice as it relates to implementation of the CCSS initiative in the area of mathematics. He will clarify links between the CCSS and the National Mathematics Advisory Panel Report recommendations and provide an overview of the research foundations and policy considerations for educational leaders and practitioners to understand and implement the CCSS. He will discuss the new expectations for mathematical competency embedded in the CCSS and share practical strategies for building students’ foundational mathematics knowledge, particularly as they move through elementary and middle-school grades. Webinar participants will be able to submit questions to Dr. Fennell through an online chat room.

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What Is Naturalism?

What Is Naturalism? | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
The dogma of naturalism, which claims to embrace the scientific spirit, can actually lead us into an unscientific view of the world.

 

Many contemporary philosophers describe themselves as naturalists. They mean that they believe something like this: there is only the natural world, and the best way to find out about it is by the scientific method. I am sometimes described as a naturalist. Why do I resist the description? Not for any religious scruple: I am an atheist of the most straightforward kind. But accepting the naturalist slogan without looking beneath the slick packaging is an unscientific way to form one’s beliefs about the world, not something naturalists should recommend.

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21st Century Education Remix

21st Century Education Video

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Earth in the Balance: 7 Crucial Tipping Points | Climate Change, Land Use & Ocean Acidification | LiveScience

Earth in the Balance: 7 Crucial Tipping Points | Climate Change, Land Use & Ocean Acidification | LiveScience | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
Humans must stay within certain boundaries if they hope to avoid environmental catastrophe. Tipping points include climate change, ocean acidification, land use and the ozone hole.

 

Humans must stay within certain boundaries if they hope to avoid environmental catastrophe, a leading group of environmental scientists says. Crossing those limits may not rock the Earth itself, but would lead to harsh consequences for human existence on the planet as we know it.

There are two kinds of boundaries, the researchers proposed in October 2009. "One represents a tipping point — you cross that and irreversible, catastrophic bad stuff happens," said Jonathan Foley, an ecologist at the University of Minnesota. "The other would involve more gradual changes, but still well outside the range of anything we've seen in human history."

Humans have already pushed the planet beyond some of the limits, such as those related to climate change and the nitrogen cycle. But some scientists who responded in the journal Nature questioned the threshold idea, and others commented that such limits seem arbitrary. Still, many applauded the idea of limits as benchmarks or starting points.

Here are the seven planetary boundaries that have been put on the table for discussion.

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Hechinger Report | Educated nation?

Hechinger Report | Educated nation? | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
To any objective observer, the facts underlying the debate had changed radically—but word had somehow failed to spread across the hall to the ostensible leaders of the political debate. It has long been known that early childhood is a critical time for brain development, but the extraordinary photos of neuron development captured by Patricia Kuhl, of the University of Washington, made this all the more clear. Using cutting-edge magnetic resonance technology, she showed that in the first months of an infant’s development, the brain synapses grow from frail connectors between the speaking and listening parts of the brain into super-rich highways, and then they are “pruned” back—all through usage. If the infant brain isn’t stimulated by usage in this key phase, neuron development is permanently lost. In short, Kuhl was proving graphically the “use-it-or-lose-it” model of brain development.

At the same time, the work of Harvard’s Jack Shonkoff showed that if a child doesn’t have a controlled, supportive environment in the early years, an overdose of stress can hinder the development of the brain and other organs. Taken together, we now have an explanation for how growing up poor in an unstimulating environment can permanently handicap a child’s ability to learn.
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Twitter-Mining Captures Global Mood Patterns | Wired Science | Wired.com

Twitter-Mining Captures Global Mood Patterns | Wired Science | Wired.com | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

An analysis of mood patterns distilled from half a billion tweets has produced a civilization-scale picture of how moods rise and fall in tandem, over time and across the world.

 

The details seem intuitive: positive feelings peaking in the morning, dipping during work and rising at day’s end; negativity accumulated over the workweek dissipating late on Friday afternoon. But they’ve proved surprisingly tricky to measure.

 

“There’s a whole generation of lab work that’s been inconclusive,” said sociologist Scott Golder of Cornell University, co-author of the tweet analysis published Sept. 29 in Science. “Every study would have something different to say about what they saw in their subjects’ affective rhythms.”

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Declaration of the Occupation of New York City | NYC General Assembly

"New York City General Assemblies are an open, participatory and horizontally organized process through which we are building the capacity to constitute ourselves in public as autonomous collective forces within and against the constant crises of our times."

 

Excerpt from the Declaration...

 

"We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.

 

- They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.
- They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.
- They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.
- They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization."

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Reasons for Reason

Reasons for Reason | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
The inability to agree on the principles that underlie our beliefs is at the root of our political discord. And it can't be solved by voting.

 

But what counts as “legitimate”? There’s the rub. A legitimate challenge is presumably a rational challenge. Disagreements over epistemic principles [or the assumptions that allow us to accept knowledge as certain] are disagreements over which methods and sources [used to derive knowledge] to trust. And there we have the problem. We can’t decide on what counts as a legitimate reason to doubt my epistemic principles unless we’ve already settled on our principles—and that is the very issue in question. The problem that skepticism about reason raises is not about whether I have good evidence by my principles for my principles. Presumably I do.[1] The problem is whether I can give a more objective defense of them. That is, whether I can give reasons for them that can be appreciated from what Hume called a “common point of view” — reasons that can “move some universal principle of the human frame, and touch a string, to which all mankind have an accord and symphony.”[2]

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A Night at the Opera by William Matthews

... They have to hit the note
and the emotion, both, with the one poor
arrow of the voice. Beauty's for amateurs.
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Teachers Teaching Teachers, on Twitter: Q. and A. on 'Edchats'

Teachers Teaching Teachers, on Twitter: Q. and A. on 'Edchats' | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
Teachers are taking professional development into their own hands with Twitter "edchats." In this post we explain, and interview four hosts of some popular weekly chats.

 

Like other groups with shared interests, from epidemiologists to James Joyce fans to locked-out N.F.L. players, teachers are turning to Twitter to collaborate, share resources and offer each other support.

 

Many, in fact, are using it to take professional development into their own hands, 140 characters at a time.

 

Each week, thousands of teachers participate in scheduled Twitter “chats” around a particular subject area or type of student. Math teachers meet on Mondays, for instance, while science discussions happen on Tuesdays, new teachers gather on Wednesdays and teachers working with sixth graders meet Thursdays. (Jerry Blumengarten, Twitter’s @cybraryman1, posts this helpful list [http://tinyurl.com/2dc7eoo] of educational chats.)

 

By using hashtags — that is, words or phrases preceded by the # symbol, like “#Scichat” for science educators — users can organize, search and find messages on a particular topic all in one place.


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Climate Reality

Climate Reality | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
Join our project to reveal the complete truth about the climate crisis.

 

Have you had a chance to check out the Climate Reality Project’s short video called Grassroots? If not, I would highly recommend giving it a look. The message of the video, four and a half minutes long and narrated by our Chairman, Al Gore, is very straightforward: Against all odds, grassroots movements in the past have successfully pushed their leaders for wide-scale political change. Now it’s time for everyday citizens to join another grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis.

 

We’ve recently seen a great example of this grassroots movement in action. On Saturday, 350.org followed up on the momentum of 24 Hours of Reality, with a global day of action called Moving Planet. From Hanoi to Paris to San Francisco, people got moving to support bold solutions to the climate crisis. Get a sense of the stunning energy and scope of this event by checking out their photo album featuring images from around the world.

 

As former Vice President Gore says in our video: “Many people get the feeling their voices don’t matter. That one person can’t make a difference. That the money of the special interests is going to determine the result no matter what. But when enough people join, then it will change.”

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Creativity on Display but Who is Left Out & at What Cost?

Creativity on Display but Who is Left Out & at What Cost? | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
The debate over museum entry fees was reignited following the news that both the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) Boston and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York—already the country’s most expensive museums to visit—were both raising their general entry fees, from $20 to $25. Earlier this year, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced a hike in its suggested admission, also from $20 to $25.
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6 Poets, 6 Questions

Six poets participated in a six-question interview in which they were asked about their own poetry, what books they're reading, and how they engage with social media like Facebook and Twitter. Featuring Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Matthew Dickman, Cate Marvin, Cathy Park Hong, Ilya Kaminsky, and Evie Shockley.

The Six Questions

- How do you begin a poem?
- What poets do you continually go back to?
- Has your idea of what poetry is changed since you began writing poems?
- Are you on Facebook or Twitter? Does that fit into your writing life, and if so, how?
- Do you have a writing group or community of writers you share your work with? Who are they?
- What are you reading right now?
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On Ducking Challenges to Naturalism

On Ducking Challenges to Naturalism | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
If it is true that all truths are discoverable by hard science, then hard science should be able to discover that to be true. But it can't.

 

In response to the question posed in my previous essay in The Stone — “What is naturalism?” — Alex Rosenberg defines it as “the philosophical theory that treats science as our most reliable source of knowledge and scientific method as the most effective route to knowledge.” His post, “Why I Am a Naturalist,” nicely exemplifies one of my main complaints, by leaving it unclear what he means by “science” or “scientific method,” even though it is crucial for what he is committing himself to as a “naturalist.” Still, there are clues. He describes “the test of knowledge that scientific findings attain” as “experimental/observational methods,” which suggests that theorems of mathematics would not count as scientific findings. The impression is confirmed by Professor Rosenberg’s phrase “mathematicians and scientists,” as though he doesn’t see mathematicians as scientists. That’s bad news for his naturalism, for mathematical proof is just as effective a route to knowledge as experimental/observational methods. Of course, since the natural sciences depend on mathematics, Rosenberg desires to find a place for it — but admits that he doesn’t know how.

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