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Don’t Like Amy Chua? Try David McCullough, Jr. Blog Amy Chua certainly understands using the art of provocation. The upcoming publication of her new book, co-authored with husband Jeb Rubenfeld, has provided plenty of fodder for extreme reaction. Its hard to say what nuance readers will find in the book itself -- it wont be out until next week. There certainly was more to Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother than threats to burn stuffed animals and tales of teeth marks on the piano. David McCullough, Jr. caused a similar uproar with his You Are Not Special commencement address a few years ago. His new book, to be published in April, goes b...

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Take the Kids to Outer Space for Spring Break Blog If youre not heading out of town in search of warm weather, spring break can be a bit of a dice roll weather-wise. In many areas, you cant count on consistently appealing weather for outdoor activities. You might just jump start an interest in astronomy with a trip to a local observatory or planetarium. Many universities Physics departments have public stargazing and educational programs that give kids school-age and older a chance to look through a telescope. UT Austin maintains a partial list of public telescope programs. Go Astronomy lists planetariums both large and small. As ...

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You Can’t Call Will Fitzhugh a Thomas Gradgrind for Caring About Content Blog Discussion Critics of school reform who take aim at the current overreliance on standardized testing often add a red herring attack on the idea of using the Common Core Standards as an outline of what students need to learn. These critics skills-based approach denies the necessity of building a significant knowledge base in order to develop critical thinking skills. Its easy enough for educators who are resistant to change to paint a caricature of supporters of the Common Core as people who advocate for drill and kill and dont value literature or the arts. This misrepresentation shrinks from h...

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Engage the Kids in STEM with a Valentine Treat from the Bad Astronomy Guy Blog Valentines Day isnt just for chocolate. Show the kids this astonomical eye candy compiled by Phil Plait, creator and host of the Bad Astronomy website. The pictures are fascinating, and Plaits commentary is a great combination of informative and amusing. A National Science Teachers Association reviewer recommends Plaits book for high school students, but his approachable prose will draw many curious middle schoolers into further exploration of the physical sciences and invite them to think critically about scientific myths, hoaxes, and legends.

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$35 for the iPod-Sized Raspberry Pi Computer Gets Kids Programming Blog Discussion $35 for hardware and a free Scratch software download from the MIT Media Lab can transform kids from software consumers to programming hobbyists. Faculty at the University of Cambridges Computer Science Department were concerned that incoming students lacked the programming knowledge of previous classes of students had gained by messing around with writing simple programs on cheap computers like the Commodore 64. Advances in home computing had enabled most kids to merely consume, rather than harness, computing power. So they started the Raspberry Pi Foundation to design an afforda...

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