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The week before I began my first year as a teacher, I walked into my first classroom and noticed there were no student desks in the room. There were no books, supplies, shelves, people, or anything other than a large, wood-fading teacher’s desk. Upon that mammoth teacher’s desk sat a concrete sculpture of a very realistic turtle with two glass eyes, about the size of your standard pet turtle.
While many language skills and comprehension strategies are embedded in daily lessons, teachers know that the overall purpose of each lesson sequence is to understand content related to a theme. The reason for reading a text is clear: The text is worthwhile. It is complex and rich.
I attended and spoke at the annual International Dyslexia Association (IDA) meeting in Dallas. IDA remains the best interdisciplinary conference for all professionals, advocates, and families concerned with reading, writing, and language difficulties.
When we think of the growth mindset, the two characteristics most often mentioned are intelligence and effort. What is just as relevant, but often overlooked, is intellectual curiosity. Sophie von Stumm and her colleagues have described it as “the hungry mind” and “the third pillar of academic success,” which are perfectly appropriate.
Much has been said about the state of American manufacturing in the last year, and a series of recent reports present an intricate picture that takes us beyond some of the confusion and common misconceptions. Except for the understandable decline in manufacturing during the recent recession, manufacturing productivity since 2000 has been surprisingly robust. Ball State University’s report even suggests that growth in manufacturing going forward is steady and on an upward path. With all of the news of outsourcing in areas such as textiles, furniture, and apparel, how can this be?
When most of us hear the word brilliant, we think of rare individuals who are exceptional in ways that set them apart. But what if that kind of thinking has held us and our children back? What if we reframed our focus in education to discovering, cultivating, and nurturing the brilliance in every child?
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