Monday, June 1, 2009

The Student Nation

Just discovered The Student Nation (from The Nation). Check it out. Also: resources for the classroom.

$chool Reform

The Nation's Dana Goldstein comments on Obama's visit with Sharpton, Bloomberg, and Gingrich in the Oval Office. If the education conversation right now has two main sides: the Education Equality Project and The Broader, Bolder Approach to Education, it appears as though Obama has chosen his.

What will this mean for the future of public education? Or should I say privatized education?

Little Ones Do Green Art

Via NY Times: At Beginnings Nursery School in Manhattan, students and teachers use discarded items from their Materials Center to create art projects. Every school should have one!
“Every school has its own version of a supply closet, but I don’t think this is the same thing,” said Robin Koo, a studio art teacher at Beginnings.

With thousands of loose objects on display, the Materials Center is organized as precisely as a research lab. Metals, plastics, wood and fabrics each have a designated section. Natural materials overflow from bookcases, including seashells, snakeskin coils and an unidentified animal skull that mysteriously showed up last week in a Pampers wipes box.

Beginnings Nursery spent less than $3,000 to create the center last year after buying the brownstone where it has occupied the two bottom floors since 1984. The bright, airy attic — once an office for the Union Square Greenmarket — was spruced up with leftover classroom furniture and sky-blue paint.

Jane Racoosin, director of Beginnings, said the found objects were used to encourage children to represent their ideas through exploration, part of the Reggio Emilia educational approach that has been adopted by a growing number of American preschools. Teachers stop by the Materials Center every day, with no limit on what they can take back to their classrooms. The preschool has 210 students, ranging in age from 18 months to 5 years.