Welcome to the midway of the 140th Carnival of Education!  As a novice EduHost, I decided to copy the EduWonks Carnival Format closely.  Why mess with excellence, right?  Besides, a common format casts attention to the ideas of the authors who have taken the time to write for this week’s wild ride!

So, with no further adieu [Farewell?  Heck no!  This post goes on forever!], here’s the very latest roundup of entries from the smartest carnies (the toothed and toothless) in the EduSphere.  Unless clearly labeled otherwise, all entries were submitted by the writers themselves.

Folks interested in hosting an edition of the C.O.E. (and isn’t that really a part of our responsibility as regular readers and contributors?) should please let our constant carny hosts at the Education Wonks know via this email address:  owlshome [at] earthlink [dot] net.

Thanks to everyone who helped spread the word about last week’s midway, which was hosted by Greg Laden at Evolution:  Not Just a Theory Anymore.

Next week’s Carnival will be hosted by The Education Wonks.  Contributors are invited to send their submissions to: owlshome [at] earthlink [dot] net, or to use this handy submission form.  Entries should be received no later than 11:00 PM EDST (8:00 PM Pacific) on Tuesday, October 16th.  Please include the title of your post and its URL, if possible.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the midway should be open next Wednesday morning.

Let the free exchange of thoughts and ideas begin!

Time Sensitive Entries: 

The first slot in this week’s COE goes to Lynn Aleshire over at Homeschool2.0 Blog who reminds us that there is one heck of a Web 2.0-a-la-palooza happening in Cyberspace as we speak in her post titled K12 Online Conference: Web2.0 Uses for Homeschooling.  If you’ve never checked out the K12 Online Conference, you’re crazy.  It’s the best click you’ll make all day.  Kind of like Digital Woodstock—-lots of creative thoughts and free love—-only no one is wallowing naked in the mud.   

Blogs that Intrigue Me: A few weeks back, The Red Pencil did a bit of an EduSurvey on the blogs that Carnival Goers read regularly.  I thought that was a neat way to get to know more about some of our fellow Carnival-Junkies—-so I figured I’d start this entry by spotlighting submissions from blogs that drove my thinking as I assembled this COE:

Nancy Flanagan—the original Teacher in a Strange Land and fellow founding member of the Teacher Leaders Network—has had more impact on my thinking than any other educator in cyberspace.  This week, she tackles a touchy topic:  What kinds of conversations should teachers have with their students about the war in the Middle East?

The Education Wonks have long been one of my favorite reads, no matter what they’re writing!  This week’s Carnival submission is no exception as they take on nonsensical attacks against harmless schoolhouse traditions in Banning Lil Ghosts and Goblins at the Schoolhouse Door.

cate3 presents what could be the “Post of the Carnival” for me in Do genius children need special programs? found on Why Homeschool.  I couldn’t agree more with the assertion that many public schools are turning a blind eye to the development of our brightest children in their quest to close the gap….and I’m a public school teacher!

My good friend John Holland—another Teacher Leaders Network colleague who happens to be a remarkable artist as well—tackles the difference between “best practices” and “what works in schools” in chaos theory and the imagination in our classrooms posted at Circle Time “Lead From The Start”.

I often love to read blog entries that present a viewpoint that differs from my own because they challenge me to refine and revise my thinking and to consider new ideas.  I found that opportunity in Mark Montgomery’s submission: No Graduate Left Behind: Bush Administration Pushes Accountability in Higher Education found on Great College Advice.  Mark explains why increased accountability won’t work at the college level but is perfectly fine for K-12 education.

rightwingprof presents a slightly more spirited explanation of why accountability in colleges just plain won’t work in Get Your Salts posted at Right Wing Nation.    “Most student charges are crap attempts to boost a grade they did not earn,” he writes, “Unlike in high school, where whining will get the teacher pulled onto the red carpet, at the university, you’ll be sent packing, unless there really is something fishy going on.”

EduPolicy and EduPolicy Makers:

Matt Johnston–an insightful policy blogger that has made his way into my feed reader—tackles the consequences of high school exit exams that students just can’t seem to pass in The Politics of Exit Exams posted at Going to the Mat.

Joanne Jacobs–always good for a provocative news story sure to spark commentspresents Make-believe lynching of a little girl, the sad story of a Civil Rights lesson gone horribly wrong in a K-1 class run by Grambling University.

Woodlass describes the NYC school system as a “statistics infested business group” in Ideologies that kill posted at Under Assault: Teaching in NYC.  For better or for worse, this kind of sounds like most school systems, doesn’t it?

There ain’t much I like more than a woman who can talk dirty—-only I’m an Ed Policy geek, so that means a woman who can parse statistics to reveal political chicanery like the eduwonkette.  This week, she presents The Turnaround at Evander Childs: A NYC Small School Trick?—the story of a NYC high school success story that isn’t quite what it seems.

Zeno presents Why work when you could teach? posted at Halfway There—-an exploration of an effort to cut retirement benes for California teachers.  (Haven’t I heard this one before?)  According to Zeno, the attitude towards teachers in the California General Assembly can be summed up in one catchy phrase: “Why bother giving teachers decent retirement benefits if they’re all lazy bastards anyway?”

Amanda Regan presents Unable to educate posted at The GOOD, The BAD & The MISCHIEF—a touching tale of her desire to pursue an education that she can’t afford.  At first, I thought this was going to be a forgettable click in my digital day…but by the end, Amanda had skillfully gotten me to think about the role that the government should play in promoting adult learning.

Who would have ever guessed that teachers in Israel go on strike too!  That’s what I learned this week from muse who presents The Strike! posted at Teaching English in Binyamin.  I guess poor working conditions for educators is one of those Universal truth kind of things, huh?  Like death, taxes and annoying Nicole Ritchie stories on Entertainment Tonight….

Are you buried under your college tuition bills?  Then you’ll be interested in Tracy Coenen’s viewpoints presented in Larger student loans a concern for U.S. economy? posted at FRAUDfiles.  While she agrees that college loans may be burdensome, she also argues that college is a choice—and funding that choice depends on responsible financial behaviors and planning.

In a profession where alternatively certified (or uncertified!) teachers are becoming the norm, jd2718 presents Teaching isn?t a temporary job? or it shouldn?t be posted at JD2718, suggesting ways in which teachers at the school level could (should?) support the new teachers in their buildings.

Dave Johnston shows readers how to read between the lines of all of those education articles you stumble across in the local paper with Wrong on so many Levels posted at Friends of Dave.  Who would have guessed that NCLB would reveal our nation’s desperate need for a standardized exam for journalists?

Scott McLeod presents Surveillance society, safe schools posted at Dangerously Irrelevant—-an exploration of the consequences that rapidly advancing technology can have on individual freedoms.

I almost didn’t read Dave Saba’s Talent Competition | American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence posted at DoE- Dave on Ed.  You see, I’m a certification snob and I’ve got issues the “E” part in ABCTE…so I was thinking about using one of my author’s exemptions to overlook his piece.  Glad I didn’t.  Dave makes some great points on simple things schools and districts can do to recruit math and science teachers.

R.Pettinger presents Economics Essays: Should 50% of Students Go to University?—an honorable mention winner for “Post of the Carnival.”   In it, Pettinger questions the seemingly unquestionable:  Our determination to make college kids out of everyone that comes through the doors of our schools.

Teaching and Learning:

Chris Wondra’s tackling technology this year—-and he’s recording what he’s learning in posts like What I Learned from Slideshare and Project Playlist: Shift Happens on his blog at Chris Wondra . com.  As he says, “I wanted to share links to and descriptions of a few great free web applications I’ve begun using in my classroom this year.”

The Science Goddess has devised a packet of materials for introducing students to the critical elements of constructed responses in her classroom—-and she’s decided to share them with you in this week’s submission titled Constructing Written Responses in Science!  (As a Language Arts teacher, I’ll be sending this post along to every content area teacher in our building.)

Greg Laden presents Welcome to the Eighth Century posted at Greg Laden.  In it, Greg tackles another topic that teachers tend to avoid—-Presenting biblical topics in an objective way within the context of Western Civilization classes.

Moneywalks presents Overcome your worst fear: Learn How to Save posted at moneywalks—an interesting entry that might be useful in meeting the financial literacy objectives that we all tend to skip because they’re just not tested!

Judy Aron presents Homework Insanity – How Homework Is Hurting Families posted at Consent Of The Governed.  “This is a commentary about how Homework is hurting family time,” Anron writes.  While her ideas resonated with me at times, they didn’t always fit my reality in places.

When was the last time you got your double word score on?  Well there’s no time like the present argues Annette Berlin, who wrote about 5 Language Arts Games you can play with your scrabble set on Homeschooling Journey this week.  I’ll be looking for a Zed all night now!

Summer presents Kids Getting Their Education From the TV posted at Mom Is Teaching—an interesting look into what passes as Educational Television in some families! (Close Captioning available for the literate-ly impaired.)

Michael Umphrey explores the growing folk culture and private literature that is being produced by today’s high school students—and banned by today’s teachers—in Is it time to eliminate English from the high school curriculum? posted at Michael Umphrey’s Blog.

Curious about “unschooling?”  Then you’ll definitely be interested in What is Unschooling: It’s About Trust posted by Marjorie at Life Without School.

Pat predicts groans as she presents 3 Steps to Effective Parent/Teacher Communication posted at Successful Teaching.  Don’t tune her out just yet, though…especially if you’re a new teacher. “This has been a successful strategy that I have used in my classroom for over 20 years,” she writes.

Miss A presents Intervention Strategies posted at Confessions From The Couch, saying, “One of the ways that my school handles NCLB is additional paperwork for the teachers. We have to come up with intervention strategies. These are tentative plans that I have for interventions. I don’t like them very much, but it is one way to meet the requirements of my school and district.”

Know anyone graduating with a degree in Engineering sometime soon?  Then they might be interested in Dhawal’s Options After Engineering posted at After-Grad.com.

Bogusia Gierus is a math teacher.  Period.  But she’s teaching science this year.  (Doesn’t this happen way too often?)  She’s thinking through different methods of science instruction/planning in Teaching Science – Various Methods | Nucleus Learning posted at Nucleus Learning—and she needs your advice!

Too bad that Bogusia wasn’t a science teacher teaching math this year.  If she was—-or if you are—-check out How to solve math problems submitted by Denise and posted at Let’s play math!.  It’s a great entry that includes a 4-step method for solving math word problems and 2 pdf handouts to use with your students.

Mister Teacher presents Accountable Counting posted at Learn Me Good—an interesting expedition into the master plans in Dallas to teach kids to be accountable, to disagree disagreeably and to learn to spell their own names!

Ronit presents a must read for parents of teenagers, Teen(r)age: In Search of Love and Uniqueness posted at Ronit Baras, saying, “Many parents report frustration and doubt regarding their parenting when their wonderful children reach teen age. They dread this period and express tension and even fear. Instead of getting closer to their growing children, their child’s first teen birthday marks the formation of “the generation gap”. Teens become emotional, irrational and mysterious. Parents ask themselves “Why do teens behave the way they do? Is it hormonal? Why are they so emotional? Is it normal?””

Ken DeRosa presents How to Effectively Manage a Classroom posted at D-Ed Reckoning—an interview with an urban educator sharing tips for establishing positive patterns of communication and reinforcement in your classroom. 

Inside This Teaching Life:

Carol Richtsmeier presents Clock hours & Bong Hits For Jesus posted at Bellringers—a calculation of exactly how many hours she spent in the classroom last month.  The bad news:  It was a lot.  The good news:  She’s looking at the bright side of things!

Joel presents Less Stress: Declutter Your Desk posted at So You Want To Teach?, saying, “In my continuing series of 25 Tips For Less Stress, we come to the beginning of my week of decluttering your life.”  (After seeing a photo of his workspace, I’m concerned that Joel may have been abducted at birth by Mr. Clean and those evil-looking Scrubbing Bubbles!)

Towards the end of our COE submission window—-when my eyes were growing fatigued and my mind was going a bit numb (That happens at about entry number 45)—-I came across this gem from Scheiss Weekly detailing the joys of living in the neighborhood where you teach.  It made my day, Mamacita G!

If there’s one thing that teachers love more than being hip, it’s understanding what all the hip kids are talking about in the hallway, right?  That’s why eric hebert’s  13 Must Read Blogs For College Students – College Degree.com posted at college degree should be subtitled 13 Must Read Blogs for Those Somewhat Insane Teachers who are Spending Their Careers Preparing College Students.

Life in Schools:

Any educator that has spent more than a few years in schools has probably wrestled candy bars and cokes from the hands of students at all hours of the day, right?  After all, our schools often make more money from the sale of junk food than they do from the sale of wrapping paper and magazines!  The craziness of feeding kids junk for profit is tackled this week by Education and Its Discontents in an entry recommended by Redkudu.

oldandrew presents Excuses, Excuses: Part 3 posted at Scenes From The Battleground, introducing us to “Mr. Crapteacher” in what felt like a frustrated entry detailing the excuses students use to get out of classroom troubles.

Right on the Left Coast gets all touchy-feely on us this week with his thoughts on PDAs—-those awkward moments when students snog openly between classes—-recorded in this entry titled Public Displays of Affection at School.  (I don’t know about you, but I never quite know how to act when a kid needs a tissue to wipe off his fogged glasses before completing his bell-ringer.)

Anyone who has ever worked in a high school will relate to the week that graycie describes in Today’s Homework: HOMECOMING aka CRAZY WEEK posted at Today’s Homework.

You think kids don’t come to school with insurmountable challenges that teachers have to somehow address before education can begin?  Then check out IB a Math Teacher’s submission So Far I’ve Learned posted at 3σ → Left.

Marcella Chester presents Overreaction To The Irate And The Clumsy? posted at abyss2hope: A rape survivor’s zigzag journey into the open, saying, “The harm done when police or security guards use the “got to show them who has the power” model of law enforcement can include breaking a high school student’s wrist over fallen cake.”

And Finally:  This, like nearly all of our journeys around the EduSphere, has been both enjoyable and informative.  We continue to thank all the contributors whose submissions make the midway’s continuing success possible, the folks who give of their time to help spread the word, and the readers who continue to make it A Free Exchange of Thoughts and Ideas.

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