Archive | Community Involvement

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Graduation … to what?

It’s graduation time! Celebrations of educational accomplishments are both appropriate and welcome in June…but only if they are warranted. Have you noticed that just about anywhere folks talk or write about the importance of literacy in becoming well-educated they always add the word skills after their focus? It is common when one discusses “reading,” regarded as […]

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School’s out. Education is in.

Memorial Day! Summertime! School’s out. Now what?! The largely quiet local school now echoes the footsteps of maintenance workers and custodial staff. There’s a radio playing somewhere down the long, newly-polished hall. Office folks are relaxed in going about their work. Lots to do, but no worries about interrupting or interfering with teaching or learning. All […]

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At a Loss for Words

The English language is a word magnet and vocabulary generator. English speakers pick up terms from other languages and even create new words almost effortlessly, and before we know it, a new word or phrase is considered fully English! The best part is that every new word adds power to the English language, multiplying its potential […]

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Take It Apart, Then Put It Back Together 

Today, Stefan Åge Hardonk Nielsen, an English teacher at Vonsild School near Kolding, Denmark, is leading his young students in translating simple English picture books into their native Danish language. These U.S.A. focused books were originally published in English for “new readers” of any age, but are deemed appropriate content for all children ages birth though early primary. Mr. Nielsen’s students […]

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Girl Power: History Lessons and Challenges

I’m enjoying Women’s History Month. It is supported by The U.S. Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum with abundant research and memorabilia to showcase and educate about women’s  abundant contributions to the world. […]

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Your “Mother” Language

This week the United Nations invites us to celebrate International Mother Language Day. I’m guessing most of us are unaware of this invitation, especially those of us in the U.S., where celebrating our mother language is a bit like fish celebrating water. Why celebrate something that seems omnipresent? Indeed, those of us who hail from the good ole […]

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Listening to Littles as They Learn to BE

Given the primacy of language in children’s development, one of the historically common ideas that we should all immediately scrub from our thoughts is… Children should be seen, but not heard. Perhaps “HOGWASH!” is the best response to such self-serving silliness. The premise that children should remain quiet until spoken to by parents and other adults […]

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Curiosity Drives Discovery

Curiosity is the emotional engine that drives learning. That would make curiosity probably the most important tool in a parent or teacher’s toolbox for rearing and teaching children. But if you think you can force a child to be curious about something, think again. Curiosity is an intrinsic desire to gain knowledge and understanding which resides […]