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Showing posts from May, 2022

When will we be safe in school again?

Sofia told me they talked in her 5th grade class this morning about what happened in Texas yesterday. “Do you feel safe at school?” I flat out asked her when I picked her up after school. “The teachers told us they have had active shooter training, so that makes me feel better,” she told me.  “I’m sure that school in Texas had active shooter training, too,” I said.  We don’t need training on what to do when an active shooter enters our schools. We need active shooter prevention. If you need any more convincing, keep scrolling.  Number of people killed in mass shootings in the US since Sandy Hook The number of people killed in mass shootings in the US since Sandy Hook, the tragic Dec. 14, 2012 shooting at a Connecticut elementary school in which 20 children and six adults were killed.  Number of people killed in mass shootings Thurston High School. Columbine High School.  Heritage High School

What is Socratic Seminar?

Socrates believed that wonder was the beginning of wisdom. He’s often known as the father of philosophy and his methodology entailed engaging his fellow citizens in philosophical conversation and asking probing questions of his students until his students experienced self-actualization.  One of the convictions that he upheld was that human wisdom begins with the recognition of one’s own ignorance, as one of his famous quotations is, “The only wisdom is knowing you know nothing.” His process of teaching students by asking question after question is known as the Socratic Method.  In 2013, I attended “What Up Socrates?” at the MATSOL conference, presented by Torii Bottomley, BSFS, MAT, of Boston Public Schools . Inspired by data-documented success she has seen with her ELLs on MCAS, my colleagues and I created a partnership with her and she coached us in integrating Socratic Seminars into our ELD 4 / 5 classes at Fuller Middle School. And it has been an integral component of my ESL instru

Why You Should Travel with Little Kids

I took my first cross-country road trip when I was six-weeks-old. My parents loaded me up in an old Ford Wagoneer and drove me home from my dad's hometown of Pittsburgh, PA, to my hometown of Ojai, CA. After that, we traveled back and forth between the East Coast and the West Coast every summer of my life. A few times we flew, but most years we loaded up the car with the suitcases, the dogs, and the children and drove 3,000 miles across the country. This early exposure to travel instilled within me a joy of seeing the world, and since that first trip I have visited 34 states and 14 countries. And I hope to share that same joy with my own little ones. Traveling with children can be hard--it disrupts their nap schedules, may involve crossing timelines, and definitely pushes everyone beyond their comfort zones. But seeing different countries and different parts of our country as children gives them a greater appreciation for cultural and regional differences, and it widens their exper