The Boys Are Not Alright January 17, 2011Posted by alwaysjan in Food for Thought, Teaching.
Tags: Boys and Video Games, Compacting the Curriculum, Education, How Boys Learn, Teaching, Teaching Boys, TED, The Boys Project, Zero Tolerance
If women are from Venus and men are from Mars, then girls and boys are light years apart. Nowhere is this more evident than at school. I recently came across a 12-minute video, Gaming to Re-engage Boys in Learning, that features a former third-grade teacher, Ali Carr-Chellman, discussing why so many boys are turned off by school from ages 3-13. Ms. Carr-Chellman, who now teaches at the Penn State University College of Education and is a game designer, cites three reasons why boys have such a difficult time in school. The statistics cited, “For every 100 girls…” are from The Boys Project.
As a teacher and the mother of two boys, I found this fascinating. This year I applied for and received my first grant that provides funds to add more high-interest books for boys to the classroom library. I wrote about boys’ reading preferences in Boys Book Club.
Just last Friday I told my boys I was going to bring in my son’s old Spawn action figures, so they could play with them during Friday Club. But first, I needed to confiscate all of their weapons. There was a collective groan, so when I watched this video, I had to laugh.
WARNING: You might never look at boys the same, and that could be a good thing.
Top Ten Words for 2010 January 4, 2011Posted by alwaysjan in Blogging, Food for Thought.
Tags: Austerity, Gaslighting, Humor, Merriam- Webster, Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Merriam-Webster's Top 10 Words for 2010, Nonversation, Top Ten Words, Top User-Submitted Words for 2010
I was at my favorite bookstore (and it wasn’t even raining!) when I saw a poster listing the Top 10 Words for 2010 – the first being “austerity.” Gee, who saw that coming? The Top 10 Words are (drumroll please):
You can go to Merriam-Webster’s Top 10 Words for 2010 for definitions, uses, and lists from years past.
I was most pleased though that I knew all of the words on the list, not that I have much occasion to use these gems in casual conversation with children who still believe in the Tooth Fairy. I have to admit that until President Obama used “shellacking,” I’d never heard of that unless it was hobby-related. And “doppelganger?” How 2009 is that?
I love words and wordplay, so I had to go back and review words from previous years. Geez, there was a word from 2009 and I didn’t have a clue what it meant. It was like getting hit with a cold fish in the face. Just see if you can spot it, smarty pants. I’ll give you a hint – it’s not “furlough” cause I’ve already got five of those babies under my belt.
What I found way more fun though was Merriam-Webster’s Top 10 User Submitted Words beginning with “nonversation.” (The site is riddled with ads so hit Skip to Page on the top right. The Top 10 User Submitted Words are on the left hand side under the title “Nonversation.” You can hit Next to see all of these words.) “Talk about a nonversation!” is going to be one of my new buzz phrases. Though most are cyber-related, “gaslighting,” a word those who know a thing about Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) are on a first-name basis with, is on that list also. Finally!
I wouldn’t say that things are a changing as I write this, but look how much has changed since 2004!
Merriam-Webster’s #1 Word of the Year for 2004:
1. Blog (noun)
[short for Weblog] (1999) : a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer
Christmas is a Wrap January 2, 2011Posted by alwaysjan in Entertainment, Holidays.
Tags: Christmas movies, Christmas Traditions, Humor, Personal, Rare Exports, Rare Exports Trailer, Stocking Stuffers, The Bishop's Wife, The Real Santa Claus
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As much as I love Christmas, once the lights come down and the decorations are carted back upstairs, I feel an overwhelming sense of relief.
Oh, the foot? My son bought that one year for Halloween at the 99 Cent Store. It’s become a family tradition to put it in the foot of one of the boys’ Christmas stockings as a stocking stuffer. In my house we’re big on traditions. These are the lasting memories that are the stuff of childhood (and later on – therapy).
Unfortunately, our annual tradition of going to see a really inappropriate movie on Christmas Eve was crushed when we showed up to see Rare Exports only to be told it didn’t start until Christmas Day. In past years, movies have included Gremlins, Deuce Bigalo Male Gigolo, and Bad Santa. What can I say? I live with men. As much as my husband enjoys Love Actually, you can only watch it so many times. Ditto on It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story (though Darren McGavin’s character always reminded my husband of my father).
This year my friend Nora introduced me to The Bishop’s Wife which stars Cary Grant as an angel (think early George Clooney). The movie was released in 1947 when what a woman wanted most was a new hat. The coolest thing the angel does is make it so that the non-believer’s bottle of brandy automatically refills after it’s been poured. Now that’s the spirit of the season!
The day after Christmas we did make it to Rare Exports (Click Here to watch the trailer) to learn the story behind the Real Santa Claus. It was actually a rather clever movie though it could kill tourism to Finland faster than you can say “dead reindeer.”