Do you ever think about the fact that the US has created and legitimized a system of institutionalized inequality by funding schools through property taxes? That basically a child’s education is only as good as the value of the property in their neighborhood. Funny how education is so often viewed as an equalizing factor when there is nothing equal about it.
Free French language resources, Harry Potter from the Internet
I’m pretty comfortable reading French but my listening and verbal skills need to be improved. While helpful, RFI’s le journal en français façile is too short and not the kind of sustained contact that I need. I have a few French language books, grammar workbooks, and audio CDs (having friends who work for academic publishers is awesome because they’ll send you free stuff). However, many friends have told me that reading the Harry Potter books in a foreign language (well, one that you already kinda know) is one of the better ways to improve your language skills. So for the past hour, I’ve been putting together my version of a-not-quite-immersion program designed to improve my ear and accent.
Harry Potter en français:
- Download the free Kindle version of Harry Potter à l’Ecole des Sorciers available via Amazon Prime.
- This person records herself reading each chapter and uploads the video to Youtube as part of an awesome project to make free audio books for blind people. Listen while you read or convert the video’s audio to mp3 for later listening.
- Optional: if necessary, order/download/borrow the English version for reference. I only have books 6 and 7 (all the other ones are at my parents’ house, I think) so I ordered a used paperback from Amazon for $3.42 including shipping.
I’ve experimented a lot with audio and text resources in the past few years, and I’ve found these to be the best:
- RFI’s daily newscast in simple French - includes French translation as text. RFI also has an iPhone app that lets you listen to the newscasts.
- Native French Speech (also available as podcast) - short conversations about French topics and includes the French translations when you create a free account.
I know that I need to start speaking and writing in French but I think that’s easiest when done on a regular basis, and with someone who is fluent (or close to it), which isn’t really possible right now, so any other suggestions for resources or general advice is greatly appreciated!
"Standardized tests can’t measure initiative, creativity, imagination, conceptual thinking, curiosity, effort, irony, judgment, commitment, nuance, good will, ethical reflection, or a host of other valuable dispositions and attributes. What they can measure and count are isolated skills, specific facts and function, content knowledge, the least interesting and least significant aspects of learning."
"African American adolescents tend to have more success in school if their parents instill in them a sense of racial pride, reducing their vulnerability to the effects of racial discrimination from teachers and peers."
all the more reason my kids are gonna be the obnoxious ones in class like
"For many men it is unthinkable that women could possess a technical competence equal to their own. Women would have to be paragons of competence to be accepted by male colleagues (Cockburn, 1985, 188)"
Finn, Geraldine. Voices of Women, Voices of Feminism: Limited Edition. Fernwood Publishing; Halifax. 1993. (pg. 113)
Relevant: a recent study that found women face persistent gender bias in the sciences:
Science professors at American universities widely regard female undergraduates as less competent than male students with the same accomplishments and skills, a new study by researchers at Yale concluded.
I’d wager that you’d find similar results if you conducted the same experiment in other fields.(via downlo)
Boredom and Stress
1. Boredom drains our energy, and leads to feelings of apathy and listlessness.
2. It eats away at our motivation, and stops us from performing at our best. That, in turn, increases our levels of stress.
3. Boredom at school and work affects all ability levels – there is very little difference in how bored people feel, and how often they feel bored in these environments.
4. It is the second most common suppressed emotion (after anger). When we suppress our emotions it creates stress in our body and minds. This undermines our immune system and makes us more susceptible to illness and disease.
5. Boredom is exacerbated by having fewer people around you (for example, if you are a shift worker or you’re studying at home, alone). It could also be a greater source of stress for more extroverted individuals.
6. It may be partly due to our increasing need for constant stimulation – which also makes it harder for us to relax.
7. When we feel bored we tend to withdraw, or to become impatient, irritable, short-tempered, hostile and aggressive around others. That puts a strain on relationships.
8. Boredom often leads to participating in higher risk activities. These are stressful in themselves, and also have stressful side-effects. (For example, dangerous driving, or experimenting with drugs.)
"The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice."
"Sadly, children’s passion for thinking often ends when they encounter a world that seeks to educate them for conformity and obedience only."
Help one of my students pay for their AP exam! Thank you!!
Dear followers, teachers, and the Tumblr #education community,
My name is Ray Stoeser and I am a second year English teacher at Crockett Technical High School in Detroit, MI. This year I had the amazing opportunity to be the AP Language and Composition instructor for our school. I work with some of the most amazing students you could meet. Their hunger, passion, and dedication to their education is truly special.
At the beginning of the year, the school told me they would be covering the cost of the AP exams. We are a high poverty school and even the reduced $57 fee per exam is hefty for some of our students’ families. When the time came to order the exams, I was informed that the school was out of funds and would be unable to pay for the exams. I was heartbroken. How was I going to tell my 22 students that they were not going to take the exam for which they had worked so hard to prepare?
With less than 24 hours before we had to order the exams, I told the administration to order all 22 exams. College Board wasn’t going to send the bill until mid-June so that gave me some time to find some donations.
On May 16th the students took their exams and returned to my class excited and confident about their results!
That being said, we still need to pay the bill. My class and I are accepting donations and/or sponsors for the exams. I have 22 students and the exams are $57 each. We would graciously accept any denomination. Also, if you would like to pick one of the 22 students and sponsor their individual exam with a $57 donation that student would be happy to send you a personalized “thank you.”
To donate please click here.
Thank you for helping these students take one step closer to college!!!
If you have any questions and/or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.
To donate please click here.