TLNers blog good

Let’s catch up with some of our ‘official’ (onsite) bloggers at the Teacher Leaders Network, and some other TLNers who share their insights at different blogosphere locations.

Remembrance of classrooms past — TLN blogger Renee Moore has kept classroom journals for many years, and their potential as a powerful tool for reflection becomes obvious when you read the excerpts Renee has shared in a blog entry titled, simply, “Remembering.” Many of us have begun journals, only to falter in our commitment after a few weeks or months. Renee shows us what we’ve missed.

He’s no flake — Bill Ferriter, TLN’s “Tempered Radical,” can’t get enough of educationally useful web tools. He’s been a Pageflakes fan for awhile, so imagine his excitement when he discovered a new Teacher Edition of the high-end RSS news and blog feeder. Bill’s the real deal, a full-time classroom teacher, and the Flake team would do well to read his critique of the new service.

Compared to what? — Strange lands, indeed, and exotic students, too. Nancy Flanagan devotes her latest TLN blog to a consideration of international student-achievement comparisons, playing off the research and commentary of ed-data nerd Gerald Bracey. Nancy finds what a lunching professor calls Bracey’s “little feel-good stories” pretty compelling. Do international comparisons really tell us anything, or are they just another vehicle “to paint all public schools as abject failures”?

Travel is educational — Susan Graham supposes that it’s possible for commuting parents to spend quality time with their kids in the car, but is that what’s really taking place in the custom minivans and SUVs where kids have their own built-in DVD players and personal audio ports? “It is quite possible to drive cross-country with potty stops being the only interaction with the other occupants of the car,” Susan notes. In her TLN-branded blog at Teacher Magazine, “A Place at the Table,” our middle school FACS teacher plays off a Washington Post story describing just such a vehicle, complete with its own table, where the kids can do their homework. That’s a good thing, Susan thinks — but whatever happened to Twenty Questions?

How to “how to” — Marsha Ratzel, who led Kansas into the Teacher Leaders Network, is thinking reflective-teacher thoughts at her “Reflections of a Techie” blog. Her sixth graders are wrapping up the algebra unit and headed for geometry. Might there be an opening here to “engage the artistic side with math”? As is so often the case, Marsha has found a cool web resource to push the thinking along — a wikiHow wiki on “how to draw an impossible triangle.” And, hmm… what if they wrote their OWN how-to wiki…..?

Eduholic goes to a meeting — Emmet Rosenfeld still has something of a rosy glow in the wake of his major Washington Post article (2/17) recounting his year of pursuing National Board Certification (and his reaction when he didn’t make it on the first round). Emmet also writes at Teacher Magazine, but under his own brand. Like all good meetings, you’ll hear stories from other eduholics, too. “Hello, my name is Teacher….”