Wednesday, August 20, 2008

185th Carnival of Education

The Ticonderoga pencils stand sharpened, the seating chart ready and the bells, well, they are a ringin’.

We’re back to school all right. No more salsa and chips by the swimming pool at two in the afternoon. No siree, Missy. We are ramped up, ready to go and primed for the new year.

But my feet–which haven’t seen the inside of a high heel shoe in almost 12 weeks–throb. Oh yeah, we’re back in school all right and look who’s joined us…

There’s Travis from Stories from School: Practice Meets Policy standing over there by the frig in the teacher’s lounge admonishing teachers to purge their educational refrigerators before school starts. There’s no room for that toxic-aged tuna sandwich or that educational Muda.

Now while you’re throwing out the tuna and pondering the whole Muda thing, you might want to fly on over to Teacher in a Strange Land and see why Nancy Flanagan thinks first time flyers and new teachers are a lot alike. Then take a peak at Alex Landis’ list of qualities that make for a great teacher. See how you rate.

But pah-leese, don’t think you need to be a hero. Check out what eduwonkette has to say about “Whatever It Takes.”

And while we’re at it, let’s see if you have it. “It?” you ask. Well, head over to Scenes from the Battleground and see what Old Andrew has to say about it.

Jose over at The Jose Vilson lists when he knew he was a certified teacher. You know, things like “I explain to a prospective teacher the pros and cons of teaching using a Venn diagram in my mind.”

And since we’re in the rating groove, let’s go ahead and take a quiz. Great Schools challenges us to take the “Are you smarter than an 8th grader?” quiz. And, no, I didn’t take it yet… it had the word “math” and “science”… need I say more? It’s enough to make my head explode.

And speaking of head explosions… Jasmin’s head got all explodey at Insanity Ensues over some brouhaha over a dress code issue in North Carolina.

But wait! Before our heads explode and we lose important brain matter, let’s exercise our brains and hustle on over to SharpBrains and play the Spot the Difference. Let’s all sing together (you know, like in Sesame Street. You know you want to)… “One of these things is not like the other thing…”

And speaking of things (and we all know how I feel about things don’t we?). Well, it’s a good thing we’ve got this picture thing going because apparently our kiddos are reading less not more even though they have more opportunities to read on line. Extra, extra read all about it on what we know and don’t know about reading and the web from our friends at Britannica Blog.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, wait until you hear about what my daughter had to tell me this weekend… and I’m not kidding around either.

And neither is Looneyhiker at Successful Teaching who thinks we need to do more about bullies–especially cyberbullies.

Well, let’s just send in the clowns. Yep, you heard that right. The Hall Monitor over at DetentionSlip is talking about clowns and wondering why a rodeo clown is the most qualified person we can find to educate kiddos about bullying.

Jeez Louise, what is with you people and clowns? Is there a problem with my hair again? Do I look like Bozo? No? Are you sure? I think I need a cup of coffee. OK, OK, OK, so the transition doesn’t work well, but it’s late and … oh well, let’s just head over to the coffee machine and join the discussion on the fab-u-lous Olympics. A Voice From The Middle is talking about the true Olympic winner in swimming, and it wasn’t (gasp) Michael Phelps either.

What’s wrong with NYC Educator? He looks like he needs a bit of moral support. Yeah, he caved and bought his daughter her own television--one that’s better than his.

Hey, was that the lunch bell? Lightly Seasoned is here, but not eating? What?! No money after buying school supplies for your classroom? Jeez Louise! Here, take half my sandwich then I won’t have to move to Mars when it’s time for the staff fitness weigh-in.

What? You don’t know about the Mars thing? Well, where have you been, girlfriend? Cherish over at Faraday’s Cage is where you put Schroedinger’s Cat (don’t ya, just love the name of that blog?) has a nifty post, “Does this planet make me look fat?” Even if math and physics make you cringe, you’ve got to go there just for the fun link where you can pop in your weight (with no math, no less!) and decide which planets to avoid (you can bet your-you-know-what that you’ll never find me on Jupiter, but go ahead and book me a ticket to Mars). I can’t remember when I’ve been so easily amused.

OMG, I want to know how in the Sam Hill I ended up in the lunch with all the math nerds. Mr. Teacher just popped in his latest YouTube video with Darth Vader explaining the Pythagorean Theorem. May the force be with all of us after that one.

For all my math-challengeness, A over at It’s the Thought that Counts had a really, really, really (did I mention really?) interesting post on why we learn math. I actually found myself nodding my head in agreement and saying “Amen” to his comment that “If math can be taught as something that’s interesting, rather than as something that’s useful, it changes the way students look at it.”

Whoa, why are the lights flickering? Did someone forget to pay the humongous electric bill? Is that DesertJim at the Teaching Excellence Network discussing how energy costs are impacting schools?

Whew! Glad the lights are back on. Oh, I guess it was just Mr. Teacher fiddling with the lights. See those guys over there? Aren’t they part of the new mentoring program to help us? Yep, there’s Instructify with some tips to help improve on-line learning while Garnet is offering tips for profreding ones wrok in his post @edu. Ms. Ward is giving some handy dandy tips at Teacher et cetera on incorporating memoirs in the secondary classroom and homeschooler Steph W. at Life Without School examines how standardized tests mismeasures intelligence.

Hey, did someone see Larry Ferlazzo? I hear he’s pieced together some very useful websites to help teach about 9/11. If you’re a new teacher (or even if you’re not), you might want to check out Catching Sparrows teaching tips. And if you ever wondered about the differences between young students and older students in college, head over to see what Mamacita has to say. And, boy, does she have a lot to say about that.

Rats! There’s that bell again. We better get going, but before we do, we all (yes, every blessed one of us) need to stop by Mrs. Bluebird’s classroom and read about the Pinball Wizard. It will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside…a feeling I don’t get very often.

Oh no, there’s the tardy bell. This time I’ve really gotta go. Have a fan-tab-bu-lous new year! And, hey, don’t forget to meet us at the next carnival hosted by SharpBrains. You can use this handy, dandy form.

“I’ve got this feeling that there’s something that I missed…”

And, if I did, my apologies. Until next time…


Anonymous said...

Thank you for including my article in this edition of your Carnival!

Unknown said...

Why on earth are you wearing high-heeled shoes?

Mister Teacher said...

Thanks for sitting through my video during your lunch break! I'll stop flicking the lights on and off now. Well, in a couple of minutes...

Melissa B. said...

Hope you have a great school year, and that everything is back on track for you before the you-know-what hits the proverbial fan! We go back, sans Cherubs, Monday. I've been going in a little every day this week, to get ready for the getting ready. Kiddos start the day after Labor Day. It's an endless cycle, but I'm a masochist, so I fit right in!! Thanks for the Carnival update--I've really got to get back to submitting!

Travis A. Wittwer said...

Bellringers, many thanks for the inclusion of my post in your carnival. It is a pleasure to be listed. And, your opening carnival statement...."Ticonderoga pencils" right on. School is just around the corner.

loonyhiker said...

You did a great carnival this week! I love how you make a story out of it and I'm not sure I could beso creative!

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