The Power of Paper

As schools adopt laptop/tablet programs it is important to remember the power of paper. While computers provide amazing opportunities for students to discover and explore beyond the brick and mortar walls of the classroom, a simple piece of paper is still a powerful educational tool. Studies prove there is a hand to mind connection made when students take handwritten notes. Writing information down, in their own words, helps students understand and remember concepts. Paper also allows students to illustrate ideas and draw diagrams which further aide understanding. Students should use technology to help them deepen the learning process, not to do the work for them. For example, when reading Romeo and Juliet, googling a map of 16th century Verona and clothing styles of the time period can help the reader visualize and give context to the text. However, it is important for student’s to absorb what they are reading and form their own opinions before being influenced by online summaries. … [Read more...]

How Soon is Too Soon?

I like to watch my kids sleep.  My own biological children, not my students.  The latter would probably put me on some kind of watch list.  Anyway, I like to watch my own children sleep.  They are so peaceful and this time in their lives seems to be going so fast. (If you need a soundtrack for this blog try Fiddler on the Roof, “Sunrise, Sunset”.)  When they are asleep I get all of the gratification of being a father and none of the sass.  I actually feel like I do some of my best parenting when my kids are sleeping. So, the other night around midnight, I poked my head into my 5 year old daughter’s room.  In a related story, I also like to walk around my house in the middle of the night.  Makes me feel like the king of my castle in a way that I rarely do when the rest of my people are up and around.  I noticed that my daughter’s school uniform was lying on the ground and I walked over to pick it up.  I noticed that she had a pin on the front and turning it over I realized that this … [Read more...]