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The Boys Are Not Alright January 17, 2011

Posted by alwaysjan in Food for Thought, Teaching.
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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.

Christmas is a Wrap January 2, 2011

Posted by alwaysjan in Entertainment, Holidays.
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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  GremlinsDeuce 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 refill 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.”

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