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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Don’t Make it Look Easy

November 27, 2013

By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff Lately, I’ve been able to look at the approaching holiday from a range of perspectives. My kindergartener got to make butter and hold a Thanksgiving feast. My third grader got to sing songs about turkeys. And I got to go to three grocery stores and wait in checkout lines. It’s my turn, of course, and every parent comes to gain new appreciation for their own parents when they have to figure out how to fit a turkey and six pounds of mashed potatoes into a refrigerator. This year, though, I’m not making it all look so easy. I’m asking my eight-year-old to help me plan the day. We’ll work backwards from mealtime and figure out… Read More

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Learning with Lego

November 22, 2013

By Sarah Vander Schaaff Lego is synonymous with STEM. That’s what the representative from Lego Education told me and a room full of parents who were eager to hear about our school’s new partnership with his company. I was, I admit, a little concerned. How was the science teacher going to keep track of thousands of Lego pieces? I can’t seem to do that and I only have two kids losing them behind cushions. Rest assured, Lego Education bricks, unlike most retail ones, can be replaced a la carte. With that concern addressed, I was able to focus on how Lego Education is in fact synonymous with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. We watched three videos (and you can too… Read More

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Need More STEM Talent? Find an Artist.

November 15, 2013

By Sarah Vander Schaaff If you hear the word “STEM” and think of a plant, you may be my kindred spirit. But having spent some time writing this blog, I now know that STEM is an acronym for “science, technology, engineering, and mathematics,” and it’s a field on many people’s minds. Finding young people with potential to excel in STEM-related careers is a national priority, but where we look for such talent may be expanding. A study published this past February by Barbara Kerr and Robyn McKay in the Creative Research Journal (Searching for Tomorrow’s Innovators: Profiling Creative Adolescents) suggests we may find future STEM innovators not only in high level math and science classes, but also in the arts…. Read More

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What is a Psycho-Educational Evaluation?

November 7, 2013

By Sarah Vander Schaaff A few weeks ago, we featured an interview with a mother who had a problem when it came to her third grader’s reading ability: “The school representatives could not explain,” she said, “the discrepancy between his reading fluency and his CogAT scores.” The standardized test scores earned him a spot in advanced reading and yet he struggled with reading fluently. Her intuition told her something was wrong. She finally turned to a private psychologist to have her son evaluated. After two and a half months of meetings, interviews, tests and waiting, they discovered their son was dyslexic. That diagnosis changed the family’s lives, the mother said. They had a better understanding of how to help. They… Read More

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