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Lessons In Manhood: A Boys’ School Turns Work Into Wonders

Listen to the Story  All Things Considered

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At East Bay School for Boys, sometimes the sparks of inspiration result in, well, actual sparks.

 

This summer, All Things Considered has been taking a look at the changing lives of men in America. And that means talking about how the country educates boys.

In Berkeley, Calif., a private, non-profit middle school called the East Bay School for Boys is trying to reimagine what it means to build confident young men. In some ways, the school’s different approach starts with directing, not stifling, boys’ frenetic energy.

“I think boy energy has been misunderstood,” says Lisa Hayle, a language arts teacher at the East Bay School. “Instead of squelching their enthusiasm for things, at our school we channel it and work with it.”

The East Bay School is not a traditional boys school, aimed at reinforcing typical ideas of what it means to “be a man.” The school’s director, Jason Baeten, says that the goal is instead to create an educational space where boys can make mistakes, be vulnerable and learn to be self-reliant.

Baeten says, “We all came together and decided what we wanted our graduates to look like, what qualities we wanted them to have. So, things like: respects women, flexible, resilient — all of these.”

One of the ways that the school is trying to upend tradition is by re-inventing shop class for the 21st century. In fact, they don’t even call it “shop.” At the East Bay School for Boys, it goes by a different name: “work.”

David Clifford, the school’s director of innovation, explains why: “We moved away from the language of shop because it has a history behind it, where for decades now, shop has been considered second or third tier in education, where first tier is academics.”

Shop classes have dropped off the curriculum at high schools nationwide. In Los Angeles, for instance, around 90 percent of traditional shop classes have been eliminated.

Now, something called “career and technical education” still exists. In fact, this week President Obama signed a law encouraging the expansion of such programs. But the most popular classes nationwide are health science, information technology and business — not vocational, blue-collar training like carpentry or auto shop.

At East Bay, “work” is one of the six main classes all boys take, right alongside math and language arts. Boys build their own cubbies, desks and benches. One student, Jaden Yu, is building a massive metal hammer as part of a larger project in which boys imagine themselves as superheroes.

Yu says that his superhero mission is to fight poverty, and the hammer is his weapon. “What this is for is destroying old buildings so that new ones can be rebuilt. Old buildings that aren’t being used, so that new ones can be built for homeless people, people who need it.”

And they tie this work into a larger curriculum, too. In one instance, boys built replica Civil War officers’ chairs which were paired with biographies of the officers who sat in them.

Clifford says teaching these kinds of hard skills is vital, for boys and girls. Not only do they graduate knowing how to use a table saw and welder, but Baeten says the work fosters creativity and resilience.

Those tools are sometimes dismissed as “soft skills” by educators pushing a greater emphasis on hard academics. But Baeten says those kinds of skills, including empathy, are central to the school’s mission. “The real important part about being a man is taking accountability for your actions, living your life really fully in a really present way and loving people fully.”

As a private school in the Bay Area, though, East Bay is not cheap. Families pay more than $21,000 a year to send their sons here. But they’ve also made an effort to make sure their vision of masculinity isn’t just for the privileged. More than half of students here get some type of tuition assistance. More than 70 percent come here from public schools. And nearly half of the boys here identify as non-white or mixed race.

The East Bay School’s program is new, having only opened classes in the fall of 2010. The school’s holistic view of boyhood — spanning academic to social development — is still evolving.

The big question is: Can aspects of East Bay’s more holistic approach to educating boys work elsewhere, especially in America’s public middle schools? The statistics can be sobering for a boy in public school. Boys drop out of school and get suspended at much higher rates than their female counterparts. Federal statistics show that among those who are suspended multiple times and expelled, 75 percent are boys.

In one of the waiting rooms of the Chicago Civic Opera House, Urban Prep graduates dance and let off some steam before the school's commencement ceremony begins.


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August Calendar – Interesting!

Calendar August 2014
Sun Mon Tues Wed Thur Fri Sat





1  2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31

August will have 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays.  This happens only once every 823 years.  The Chinese call it ‘Silver pockets full.


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The Russian Educational System

A Visit to a Russian School

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Amongst the many views of extravagant buildings,  crisp landscapes, lovely waterways, systems of locks and dams, clean cities, twenty-hour days and gorgeous sunsets, we were allowed to spend a few moments at the sweetest little school in a quiet quaint town in Russia.  In a simple building, a day of summer school was adjourning.  I was so excited to meet the Russian children.  I couldn’t wait to find out how this meek little school ticked.  The group of 30 tourists were lead into a classroom where a lovely Russian teenage girl read her practiced speech in English.  The room was small but fit all of us in the seats quite nicely and we listened intently.   Many questions followed about the daily regime of the children as well as their parents.  Everyone was interested in education as we are all a part of it.

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After we left the classroom, we were shown to the even more minute multipurpose room to watch a skit and learn about the arts that children of this school learn.  The art teacher spoke in Russian so an interpreter was needed.  Children are learning to make items from their rich history to continue traditions.  The school is located in Kirillov where one of the oldest museums of Russia exists.  Visitors were allowed to purchase the art of students.  We purchased a green and white lace  piece created by a young boy in the school.

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What did I learn about the Russian Educational System?   The system is set up by the state and is free to everyone.  Private schools have been established in the last few years.  Compulsory education begins at age 6 in kindergarten, then primary school for four years,  general education for five years and then secondary education for two to three years.  Russian general education is aimed at the moral, emotional, intellectual and physical development of the student.  Students are in school about 34 weeks with breaks similar to the American School System.  School is in session from September 1 to beginning of June.  The system aims to develop abilities that will help students make good life decisions.  There is a state test in June after general education is completed to determine whether the student will be admitted to secondary general education, vocational education or to non-university level higher education.  Students have access to iPads daily at all levels.

Students that make the best grades in secondary education get to continue into college for free and it continues to be free while their grades stay good!

Kirillov, City in Russia

The Kirillo-Belozersky Museum of History, Archi- tecture & Fine Arts (31735; Sobornaya pl 1; admission R50; 9am-5pm Tue-Sun), occupying a nonworking 14th-century monastery of the same name, is the reason to visit the small town of Kirillov, 130km northwest of Vologda. Legend has it that the monastery’s founder, Kirill, was living at Moscow’s Simonovsky monastery when he had a vision of the Virgin Mary showing him the towers of a new monastery. One of Kirillov’s many marvellous icons depicts this vision. Massive walls surround four main areas: the large Assumption Monastery, the small Ivanov Monastery, the Stockaded Town and the New Town. The regular admission ticket includes the churches and cathedrals and exhibits on regional history and the history of the monastery. In the tranquil village of Ferapontovo, 20km northeast of Kirillov, is another well-preserved monastery(49161; admission R60; 9.30am-5pm). The great Dionysius came here in 1502 to paint frescoes on the church’s interior (he did it in an amazing 34 days) and Ivan the Terrible is said to have frequented and enjoyed this church. The frescoes are a highpoint of Russian mural art and were the main reason Ferapontovo received World Heritage listing in 2000. Don’t come on wet or very humid days as the museum may be closed to protect the artworks.
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GED Practice $100 Summer Special

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Changing The Paradigm

The idea of getting away from high stakes testing is extremely important.  Testing tied to monies for schools or even grades creates cheating, lying and often little learning.  Our focus needs to be on processing, thinking, creating and solving problems.  What are we teaching in schools and why?  Educators need to answer that for their own sanity as well as for our children’s sake.  Why are we continuing to jump through unnecessary hoops to get students to be the highest students in their courses that lead to what?  What do students need to know and why?  I totally believe in what Sir Ken Robinson believes which was so greatly expressed at the Ted Talks several years back.  This is what we need to consider as teachers and parents.

 

Changing Education Paradigms - click here to enjoy a new mind set on education.

 

Please watch and send any thoughts or comments to scarl@passionineducation.com.


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ACT Student Guide

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Math Teacher Opportunity

If you are looking to earn your Single Subject Foundational-Level Math Credential, please take advantage of this offer. Jon

Jonathan R. Dueck
Director, STEM Education
Fresno County Office of Education
559.497.3792
jdueck@fcoe.org

Greetings All Interested CI 161/FLM Course Teachers,

REGISTER NOW for the CI 161/FLM Summer Course!

MSTI is offering CI 161/FLM during June/July 2014 as a Fresno State extension course and will provide a $700 fee scholarship to non-matriculated students (who will pay only $75 a unit). Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.

CI 161/FLM – Required 3-unit methods class for individuals who hope to earn a Single Subject Foundational-Level Mathematics (FLM) Credential
- Course #50667
- Instructor of CI 161/FLGS: Dr. Lance Burger (burger@csufresno.edu)
- Dates/Times: Summer 2014: Monday – Friday, July 16 – August 1, 2014; 6:00 PM – 8:50 PM (time listed on the registration form is NOT the correct time)
- Location: Fresno State’s Science II Building, Room 207 (S2 207)

REGISTRATION Information/Process:

(*Please use Adobe Reader, if possible, when opening up the attached document.)

1. Please completely fill out the registration form.

2. Please make checks or money order payable to Fresno State. The Continuing and Global Education (CGE) office cannot accept check/money order payments made out in any other way. If you wish to make a payment using a credit card or cash, the Continuing and Global Education staff will explain the payment process when participants arrive in their office. Participants may also call the CGE main office for additional information at (559) 278-0333.

3. For your convenience, I can submit your payment and registration forms to the CGE office. In order for me to do this please submit the required items to me by Monday, June 30 to room ED 250 and have the student assistant place it in my “MSTI” box. Otherwise, the registration form and payment deadline, for CI 161 – Methods and Materials in Secondary Teaching is Monday, July 21. The CGE office will accept registration forms/payments after the deadlines but a $10 late fee will apply. Registration forms and payments will NOT be accepted after the conclusion of each course.

4. The CGE office summer office hours will begin on Monday, May 19, 2014. Offices are open Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. CGE is located in the Education Building on the far lefthand side, first floor in Room 130.

Additional Information:

You will be responsible for purchasing your own parking permit. A summer parking permit is $44 and is valid from 5/19/14 to 8/8/14. You can purchase the summer pass from the Police Department Service Center (campus map link: http://www.fresnostate.edu/map/). Here is a direct link to the Fresno State Parking Permit website for more information: http://www.fresnostate.edu/adminserv/police/traffic/permits/student.html

Also, if you haven’t done so already, please fill out the MSTI information form by clicking on this link: http://tinyurl.com/MSTIParticipantForm

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you,
May

May Lee
Administrative Assistant and Career Counselor
Mathematics and Science Teacher Initiative (MSTI)
5005 North Maple Avenue, M/S ED2
Fresno, CA 93740-8025
Office: 559-278-1082
Fax: 559-278-0107
MSTI Website: http://www.fresnostate.edu/kremen/teachmathscience/


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Why Mentorship Matters

Posted by Ariel Sacks on Thursday, 05/01/2014Center for Teaching Quality CTQ

It’s spring: I feel alternately exhausted from the year that’s moving quickly to a close, and a sense of renewal that takes its cue from the seasonal weather and the end of winter.  It was a perfect time to visit my mentor, Madeleine Ray, who advised me during and beyond my time as a graduate student at Bank Street College. Seeing her teach, and being reminded of her values and sensibilities, always feels a bit like going home. And that makes me want to share some advice, especially meant for beginning teachers who plan to stay in teaching for a substantial amount of time.

Try to find a true mentor, and keep in touch.

There will be many educators who will help you learn things, big and small, deliberately or unknowingly, about teaching.  An eye for picking up on these lessons and techniques when they come your way is very important. But to find a mentor, you have to find someone whose teaching you deeply respect, whose methods help you fulfill the higher purpose you have for being an educator. A mentor inspires and equips you to be the educator you set out to be.

I believe that all teachers want the best for their students, but we do not all value the same things in our students.  Values are a part of teaching and teaching methods derive from a combination of the needs of students, the values of the teacher, and the values and conditions of the larger organizations and systems in which we carry out our work.  If teaching is a calling, then we must take time to understand what we feel called to do and why.

A mentor should be someone who understands why you teach and who helps you connect your teaching methods with this purpose. If you are lucky enough to find someone who helps you do this, talk to this person a much as you can! Keep in touch. It’s okay to take the initiative and let someone know you want to learn from them.  It’s a good skill.

In addition to all of the opportunities you’ll have to learn from colleagues in the teaching field, you’ll also have many pressures that come from outside your classroom and collegial networks. These pressures may or may not move you in the direction of your goals as a teacher; they may or may not be in line with your educational values. If you succumb to every pressure, you surely won’t meet your goals, because these pressures are almost always shifting and competing with one another, for reasons that have little to do with students, and everything to do with the adult world.

When the pressure becomes at odds with your values and goals, as an educator who came to the profession to stay a while, to humble yourself and learn to make a difference for students and their communities–that is when you’ll appreciate the opportunity to talk with someone you consider a mentor.  You’ll appeciate being in the presence of a teacher who has weathered the storms longer than you have, and who has stayed true.

Then you can quote Isaac Newton and say, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

[photo: Madeleine Ray teaching her Children's Literature course at Bank Street College. She always makes students form a circle, and she always begins class sharing unusually neat books].


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Ed Tech Is Poised to Go Mainstream

By Sari Factor

Six hours a day. That’s how much time the average teenager spends online, according to a June 2013 study by McAfee. These are “digital natives,” a generation that has grown up online and connected.

Just think about it: students born in 2007, the year the iPhone was launched, are already in first grade. Students born during the dot-com boom of the late ’90s are in high school.  These students have never known a world without the Internet. They’re communicating 140 characters at a time, establishing completely new ways of consuming news and information.

Clearly, dictating to digital natives that they “power down” in school is a huge turn-off. Yet many adults express concern that students won’t be able to learn as effectively in classrooms that are fundamentally different from their own experiences. Educators are increasingly breaking through that resistance to create a learning experience using technology to engage today’s learners and improve outcomes, with benefits that include:

Personalizing the learning experience – Digital natives have grown up surrounded and stimulated by media, and they consume information very differently from the previous generation of students. Netflix NFLX -0.05%, playlists and DVRs have fueled their personalized entertainment, and technology makes personalized learning possible too. Any teacher can tell you how difficult it is to customize instruction for every student. Inevitably, they end up “teaching to the middle,” leaving some learners behind and failing to challenge those who have already mastered a concept. Technology allows teachers to tailor instruction to meet individual student needs, making learning more accessible and enabling all students to maximize their potential.

Learning how to learn – Being a lifelong learner is the most important attribute for success, and will grow in importance in our dynamic and competitive world. Today’s students will change careers multiple times throughout their lives – many studies suggest Americans will hold between fifteen and twenty jobs over the course of their careers – and the jobs these graduates will hold may not even exist yet. Knowing one’s own learning style and developing the self-discipline and grit to grasp new skills throughout a lifetime will be critical for digital natives – especially in the fast-paced, distracting information landscape that is their natural habitat. Using technology to conduct research and acquire new skills can help these students develop the most essential capability in the information economy: how to learn.

Putting students in charge –Technology-based platforms and tools can provide students constant feedback so they understand how they’re progressing relative to their own goals, their peers, and their teachers’ and parents’ expectations. A clear road map of progress can be motivating for the student and immensely valuable for the teacher, who can intervene early or help a student advance more quickly. By empowering students and making them directly responsible for their progress, online learning encourages habits of resourcefulness that will serve students well once they leave the classroom.

Helping students disconnect from the Twitter-verse and spend more time on task – The more time students spend focused on their course work, the better their academic performance. With online learning, no one can hide in the back of the classroom, so every student is accountable. Rich multimedia content and interactive activities in many of today’s technology-based curricula offer familiar, friendly terrain for digital natives and can keep students more engaged and focused on their work. Over time, students get better at shutting out distractions and staying on task, even when they’re not in school – an extremely valuable skill in this media-saturated age.

Encouraging constructive communication – Digital natives are growing up in a social media landscape where multi-directional dialogue is commonplace. Yet the classroom too often remains a one-way street where the teacher imparts knowledge and students are expected to absorb it. Technology can help broaden the discussion by connecting students and teachers, and by opening the doors to outside voices that can lend additional knowledge and expertise to the classroom.

The Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation forecasts that 50% of high school classes will be online by 2019. For some, this may sound worrisome, but resistance to education technology will begin to break down as people see how eagerly today’s digital natives embrace learning online. The use of technology presents an undeniably radical shift in the business of education, but skeptical and concerned adults alike should take comfort in the fact that in many ways, ed tech also embodies a return to the basics. The skills that technology-based instruction can impart to today’s digital natives – self-reliance, perseverance and resourcefulness among them – have a distinctly retro feel. In an increasingly distracted, text and tweet-addled, short attention span world, these skills will be indispensable for the students of today and tomorrow.

Sari Factor is CEO of Edgenuity, an online and blended learning company based in Scottsdale, Ariz., currently used by nine of the 15 largest school districts in the U.S. Follow on Twitter @Edgenuityinc

 

 


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First Total Lunar Eclipse of 2014: The Complete Skywatcher’s Guide

By Joe Rao, Space.com Skywatching Columnist   |   April 14, 2014 05:00pm ET

Editor’s Update for 6 am ET, April 15: The peak of the first total lunar eclipse of 2014 has ended. For our latest story and the amazing photos of the lunar eclipse, read: Under a Blood Moon: 1st Total Lunar Eclipse or 2014 Wows Stargazers: Photos

No enthusiastic skywatcher misses a total eclipse of the moon, and if weather permits tonight, neither should you.

The phases of the April 14-15 total lunar eclipse are shown with GMT timestamps in this NASA image from a video guide. The total lunar eclipse will affect two NASA spacecraft orbiting the moon since they rely on sunlight for power.
The phases of the April 14-15 total lunar eclipse are shown with GMT timestamps in this NASA image from a video guide. The total lunar eclipse will affect two NASA spacecraft orbiting the moon since theyrely on sunlight for power.
Credit: NASA

The spectacle is often more beautiful and interesting than one would think. During the time that the moon is entering into and later emerging from out of the Earth’s shadow, secondary phenomena may be overlooked. You can alsowatch the eclipse live on Space.com, courtesy of NASA, the Slooh community telescope and theVirtual Telescope Project.

 

Observers that know what to look for have a better chance of seeing the stunning eclipse, weather permitting. This first total lunar eclipse of 2014 is set to begin tonight (April 14) into the wee hours of Tuesday morning (April 15). The lunar eclipse is set to begin at about 2 a.m. EDT (0600 GMT), and it should last about 3.5 hours. The eclipse should be visible, weather permitting, through most of North America and part of South America. [Total Lunar Eclipse of April 15: Visibility Maps (Gallery)]

This NASA graphic shows where the total lunar eclipse of April 14-15, 2014 will be visible from. The lunar eclipse coincides with April's full moon and is the first of four total lunar eclipes (a tetrad) between April 2014 and September 2015.

This NASA graphic shows where the total lunar eclipse of April 14-15, 2014 will be visible from. The lunar eclipse coincides with April’s full moon and is the first of four total lunar eclipes (a tetrad) between April 2014 and September 2015.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Here is Space.com’s full guide for what to expect during all stages of the eclipse:

Diagrams explain how eclipses work.
A series of four total lunar eclipses in a row is called a tetrad. See how four blood moons of a total lunar eclipse tetrad work in this Space.com infographic.
Credit: By Karl Tate, Infographics Artist

Stage 1 @ 12:53 a.m. EDT: moon enters penumbra — The shadow cone of Earth has two parts: a dark, inner umbrasurrounding by a lighter penumbraThe penumbra is the pale outer portion of Earth’s shadow. Although the eclipse begins officially at this moment, this is in essence an academic event. You won’t see anything unusual happening to the moon — at least not just yet.

Earth’s penumbral shadow is so faint that it remains invisible until the moon is deeply immersed in it. We must wait until the penumbra has reached roughly 70 percent across the moon’s disk. For about the next 45 minutes the full moon will continue to appear to shine normally although with each passing minute it is progressing ever deeper into Earth’s outer shadow.

Stage 2 @ 1:39 a.m. EDT: Penumbral shadow begins to appear — Now the moon has progressed far enough into the penumbra so that the shadow should be evident on its disk. Start looking for a very subtle light shading to appear on the moon’s left portion. This will become increasingly more and more evident as the minutes pass; the shading appearing to spread and deepen. Just before the moon begins to enter Earth’s dark umbral shadow the penumbra should appear as an obvious smudge or tarnishing of the moon’s left portion.

Stage 3 @ 1:58 a.m. EDT: Moon enters umbra — The moon now crosses into Earth’s dark central shadow, called the umbra. A small dark scallop will begin to appear on the moon’s left-hand (eastern) limb. The partial phases of the eclipse begins, the pace quickens and the change is dramatic. The umbra is much darker than the penumbra and fairly sharp-edged.

As the minutes pass, the dark shadow appears to slowly creep across the moon’s face. At first, the moon’s limb may seem to vanish completely inside of the umbra, but much later, as it moves in deeper you’ll probably notice it glowing dimly orange, red or brown. Notice also that the edge of Earth’s shadow projected on the moon is curved. Here is visible evidence that the Earth is a sphere, as deduced by Aristotle from Iunar eclipses he observed in the 4th century BC. It’s at this point that deep shadows of a brilliant moonlit night begin to fade away. ['Blood Moons' Explained: What Causes a Lunar Eclipse Tetrad? (Infographic)]

Timetable for the 12 stages of the eclipse: AKDT = Alaskan Daylight Time. HAST = Hawaiian-Aleutian Standard Time. (Arizona does not observe daylight time, so use PDT). An asterisk (*) indicates p.m. on April 14, but all other times are a.m. on April 15. D

Timetable for the 12 stages of the eclipse: AKDT = Alaskan Daylight Time. HAST = Hawaiian-Aleutian Standard Time. (Arizona does not observe daylight time, so use PDT). An asterisk (*) indicates p.m. on April 14, but all other times are a.m. on April 15. Dashes means that the moon has set below the horizon.
Credit: Joe Rao/Space.com

Stage 4 @ 2:49 a.m. EDT: 75 percent coverage — With three-quarters of the moon’s disk now eclipsed, that part of it that is immersed in shadow should begin to very faintly light up, similar to a piece of iron heated to the point where it just begins to glow. It will become obvious that the umbral shadow is not complete darkness. Using binoculars or a telescope, its outer part is usually light enough to reveal lunar seas and craters, but the central part is much darker, and sometimes no surface features are recognizable. Colors in the umbra vary greatly from one eclipse to the next, Reds and grays usually dominate, but sometimes browns, blues and other colors can be spotted.

Stage 5 @ 3:01 a.m. EDT: Less than five minutes to totality — Several minutes before (and after) totality, the contrast between the remaining pale-yellow sliver and the ruddy-brown coloration spread over the rest of the moon’s disk. This may produce a beautiful phenomenon known to some as the “Japanese lantern effect.”

Stage 6 @ 3:06 a.m. EDT: Total eclipse begins — When the last of the moon enters the umbra, the total eclipse begins. No one knows how the moon will appear during totality. Some eclipses are such a dark gray-black that the moon nearly vanishes from view. The moon can glow a bright orange during other eclipses.

The reason the moon can be seen at all when totally eclipsed is that sunlight is scattered and refracted around the edge of Earth by the planet’s atmosphere. To an astronaut standing on the moon during totality, the sun would be hidden behind a dark earth outlined by a brilliant red ring consisting of all the world’s sunrises and sunsets. The brightness of this ring around Earth depends on global weather conditions and the amount of dust suspended in the air. A clear atmosphere on Earth means a bright lunar eclipse. If a major volcanic eruption has injected particles into the stratosphere, the eclipse is very dark.

 

Moon Master: An Easy Quiz for Lunatics
For most of human history, the moon was largely a mystery. It spawned awe and fear and to this day is the source of myth and legend. But today we know a lot about our favorite natural satellite. Do you?
Full Moon over Long Beach, CA
0 of 10 questions complete

 

Moon Globe
12″ Moon Globe. Buy Here
Credit: Space.com Store

Stage 7 @ 3:46 a.m. EDT: Middle of totality — The moon will shine anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 times fainter than it did just a couple of hours ago. Since the moon is moving to the north of the center of Earth’s umbra, the gradation of color and brightness across the lunar disk should be such that its lower portion should appear darkest, with hues of deep copper or chocolate brown.  Meanwhile, its upper portion should appear brightest, with hues of reds, oranges and even perhaps a soft bluish-white. [10 Surprising Lunar Facts]

Observers away from bright city lights will notice a much greater number of stars than were visible earlier in the night. During totality, the moon will be seen just a couple of degrees away from the star Spica in the constellation Virgo. Although Spica is one of the 21 brightest stars in the sky, before the eclipse begins the moon will almost seem to overwhelm the star with its light. But during totality, Spica will become much more conspicuous and its bluish color will contrast strikingly with the eerie, ruddy moon.

The darkness of the sky could be impressive. The surrounding landscape may take on a somber hue. Before the eclipse, the full moon looked flat and one-dimensional. During totality, however, it will look smaller and three-dimensional — like some weirdly illuminated ball suspended in space.

Before the moon entered the earth’s shadow, the temperature at the lunar equator on its sunlit surface hovered at 260 degrees Fahrenheit (127 degrees Celsius). Since the moon lacks an atmosphere, there is no way that this heat could be retained from escaping into space as the shadow sweeps by. When in shadow, the temperature on the moon  plummets to about minus 280 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 173 degrees Celsius), which equates to a drop of more than 500 degrees Fahrenheit (300 degrees Celsius) in only about two hours.

 

 

Moon Map
Laminated Moon Map.Buy Here
Credit: Space.com Store

Stage 8 @ 4:24 a.m. EDT: Total eclipse ends —The emergence of the moon from the shadow begins. The first small segment of the moon begins to reappear, followed again for the next several minutes by the “Japanese lantern effect.”

Stage 9 @ 4:41 a.m. EDT: 75 percent coverage—Any vestiges of coloration within the umbra should be disappearing now. From here on, as the dark shadow methodically creeps off the moon’s disk it should appear black and featureless.

Stage 10 @ 5:33 a.m. EDT: Moon leaves umbra—The dark central shadow clears the moon’s upper right hand (northwestern) limb.

Stage 11 @ 5:53 a.m. EDT: Penumbra shadow fades away —As the last, faint shading vanishes off the moon’s upper right portion, the visual show comes to an end.

Stage 12: Moon leaves penumbra —The eclipse “officially” ends, as the moon is completely free of the penumbral shadow.

Editor’s Note: If you snap an amazing picture of the April 15 total lunar eclipse, you can send photos, comments and your name and location to managing editor Tariq Malik at spacephotos@space.com.

Joe Rao serves as an instructor and guest lecturer at New York’s Hayden Planetarium. He writes about astronomy for Natural History magazine, the Farmer’s Almanac and other publications, and he is also an on-camera meteorologist for News 12 Westchester, N.Y. Follow us @Spacedotcom,Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.


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All the Children are Above Average

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“Where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.”

UnknownThose are the closing words Garrison Keillor spoke each night on his radio show A Prairie Home Companion. He was summarizing the fictional hometown Lake Wobegon – a special place. It’s an interesting concept – this idea that “all the children are above average” and, I believe, can be a detrimental one when viewed through the lens of government-mandated testing.

From No Child Left Behind to the Third Grade Reading Guarantee, from OTES to PARCC Assessments, these Federal and state mandates share a common theme – all expect our children to be above average, by their standards. Our federal and state policy makers expect all children to perform at a specific level.

It’s a model of educational conformity at its finest. The “ideal” of what each child should be able to achieve.

Here’s my problem – children aren’t widgets.

Lake Wobegon, as wonderful as it sounds, is fictional.

Each child we have the blessing to educate is unique. Each child, as I recently heard from education thought leader and bestselling author Sir Kenneth Robinson, “is a fountain of possibilities.” The young people in our schools can’t be considered to be outputs. As educators we must cultivate the right conditions for learning; we must find each child’s passion, talent, and creativity. As educators we must capitalize on the great diversity in our schools and guide young people to find their talents with an eye toward using these to positively contribute to society.

I am not opposed to accountability or assessments; I believe we should continually assess students on individual progress. I believe data is essential in directing instruction and evaluating performance. Statistical analysis is necessary at a classroom and building level. I also believe that we must take individual differences, developmental differences, and life experiences into account.

There is no – none, zero, zilch – assessment that can accurately assess all children.

There is no one-size-fits-all test, fix, or easy way to measure student academic performance. It is difficult, challenging and messy work. We must abandon the idea that we can fix education with more money, a new program, and a piece of legislation. You can’t legislate learning any more than you can legislate love; learning is organic, it happens when passion meets opportunity, when a great teacher creates an amazing experience for students to embrace.

Let’s commit ourselves to the monumental challenge of making educationpersonal for each child. Let’s tap into the passion, talent, and drive of parents, communities, and our dedicated educators nation-wide and explore every opportunity to motivate each individual student in our care. We must celebrate our diversity – the amazing differences in background, experiences, talents, abilities, and beliefs – and capitalize on opportunities to prepare each student for success after public education. We know we need a diversified workforce to drive our economy. We don’t need every student to be the same; we need every graduate to have skills, passion, and desire to be ready for productive lives as adults.

Our current school structure works very well for a certain segment of our population; it fits their personal learning styles and they flourish in the experiences a traditional school offers. Our current structure is inadequate and antiquated for some students in our education system – we must seek different opportunities to cultivate the personal styles and needs for these students. As Ken Robinson reminds us, “we all started with the miracle of birth and each life is a unique, unprecedented moment in history.”

Each child is gifted in some unique way; each child has a passion, each child is creative, and every student in our schools deserves the opportunity to write his or her own compelling and engaging success story – utilizing a unique voice no government mandate or standardized test could possibly measure.

All of our children are above average . . . just not in the same areas.


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