Month: September 2013

Music strengthens the mind.

Music plays an important role in virtually all societies. Nevertheless, in times of economic hardship, funds for music education are often amongst the first to be cut…. This is particularly worrying given both anecdotal and limited research evidence suggesting that music… Read More ›

Peanut allergies

What can possibly be so controversial about peanut allergies? Plenty, apparently. According to an article in yesterday’s Jamaica Plain Patch, “peanut products are still served in many school cafeterias” and “almost half of children who have food allergies have been bullied.” This… Read More ›

For life?

Overheard in the hallway: Two freshman girls are talking very seriously. “You know, freshman year is the most important,” says one. “If you mess it up, it will hurt you for the next three years.” “Yes,” says the other, “and… Read More ›

Technology uses in education

The esteemed Diane Ravitch, who is always worth reading even when her focus can seem obsessed, wrote an article recently for Scientific American, reprinted today in Salon, entitled “Three Dubious Uses of Tech in Schools.” So what was I expecting? From my perspective, the… Read More ›


You don’t mind spending an hour or two on a Neal Stephenson novel, do you? OK, so Anathem is slightly over a thousand pages long…but it’s not much over a thousand. I mean, it’s not as long as Cryptonomicon, which clocks in at 1168 pages. Anathem is… Read More ›

Real Talk for Real Teachers

The full title of Rafe Esquith’s latest inspiring book is Real Talk for Real Teachers: Advice for Teachers from Rookies to Veterans: “No Retreat, No Surrender!” There’s rarely any need for a three-tiered title, but in this case I think it’s… Read More ›

Kill the apostrophe!

Youve got to read James Harbecks essay, “Kill the Apostrophe!,” appearing in The Week this week. (“The Week this week”? That certainly sounds odd. Oh, well.) After reading it, youll be convinced, as I was, that apostrophes should just go away. Many of… Read More ›

Tricks? Not here!

My colleague Donna Gonzalez and I have discovered that we often have similar points of view. One pet peeve we have in common is that we sometimes hear students (or even teachers!) talk about “tricks” for solving math problems. Making… Read More ›