Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Back to school comics - Calvin and Mafalda

Sad but true - how the other half live, the bigger half unfortunately!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Great computer games - Ayiti: The Cost of Life

Not an incredibly intricate or information heavy game designed by the Global Kids Playing 4 Keeps Program right here in Brooklyn. The strength of the game is that it introduces children to the horrible situation in Haiti and very simply drives home the message that in some unfortunate circumstances, hard work and education are sadly not enough. Some people are in situations where help is direly needed and - for at least a while, until they can get back on their feet - international help and attention is the only way to return a family to normalcy.

Play Ayiti here and let me know what you think!

"The reality for most people living in Haiti (especially true after the earthquake) is that it is extremely hard to survive in Haiti. I don't think they want to be completely fatalistic, but this is teaching a very important message; hard work does not automatically translate into success in Haiti. My students clearly learned this from the game." Educator Cliff Lee on Educators Using Ayiti

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

L'equip petit - Playing for fun

Makes me think of my days as MS Soccer coach at Charlotte Prep. First season we went 0-10! These guys really get it, it takes a lot of great people around you to create this, and I'm happy for them. Thanks Greg at World Soccer Project for sharing the link with me. Enjoy the big team!

l'equip petit from el cangrejo on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

**11** Teachers who made history

Great list of 10 incredibly influential teachers throughout history from

Love the list, but would obviously have to say that on a true top ten teacher list - c'è Maria Montessori!

Charged with improving the learning situation for 60 needy students in the Roman slums, Montessori created a transformational methodology that continues to improve the education of children worldwide. What she learned and shared through simple child observation is being proven again and again in research studies and classrooms today. A true genius and educator of students and teachers, Montessori taught us all to respect and empower the child. Her advice "One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child." could help ed-reformers get back on the right track today.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Yinhatil Nab'en Conference

Just returned from a two-week trip to San Mateo, Ixtatan, in the northwest Guatemalan highlands. Visited the Yinhatil Nab'en (Seeds of Wisdom) School as part of the Ixtatan Foundation.

I was there for a conference about turning the project into a world-class school that can transform the community in positive ways. This is the school today.

Its tough to summarize the issues that have high potential for growth at the school. Most of the issues are those typically involved in education development in rural and indigenous settings. As the school grows over the next 5 years and finds its way in the mountains, its definitely worth noting and applauding that the project, founded by Beth Neville-Evans, has transformed secondary education in San Mateo and the at-large Chuj community. By building this school and association from nothing, the Ixtatán Foundation has changed the lives of this, and every new generation of Mateanos. The creation of opportunity and choice that comes with the school and its projects is truly transformational.

The Yinhatil Nab'en School is a great school that has weathered even greater storms. The people that are involved, both in the US (the Ixtatan Foundation is based in Charlottesville) and in San Mateo are talented and working incredibly hard to take the school and the foundation forward. The fact that the potential for growth is being identified and that the conference brought together such an impressive slew of educators (ahem, even I was there) points to the school and project's imminent growth.

For c'è montessori, aside from continuing to support the School and students that I worked with while I was in San Mateo in 2007, plans for a Primary Montessori 3-5 classroom are underway! In the next couple years, c'è montessori ixtatán will begin to serve a community that has never experienced pre-k school. It will transform primary education and allow young moms (there are many in San Mateo) to finish school while their children are being educated and cared for. The development of the program will be available for all to see on this blog, our youtube channel and elsewhere soon!