Archive for March, 2010

The search for a primary school

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

I know it’s still early but I can’t help obsessing about¬† grade schools . My latest discovery is Xiangyang primary school. All I know about it so far is that it has a website and that it enjoys a reputation as a ‘ happy school’ (the website lists ‘positive mood’ and ‘light burden’ as ‘school aims’).¬† One mom told me that she didn’t want to send her son there because she had heard that key middle schools were reluctant to accept kids from Xiangyang school because they were ‘too happy’. To me this sounds promising.

Pre-school and play

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

This article on homeschooling complains about the drilling, testing and busy-work that goes on in American kindergartens. What interested me was this quote:

While middle-school, high-school and university education in Asia is famously competitive and demanding, most Chinese and Japanese schools (according to the Alliance for Childhood report) remain play-based until about second grade.

This matches my own experience. My kid’s kindergarten (which goes from ages 2-6) seems very lax. There are no signs of tests, drills or homework. I’m told that this all changes next year when Max starts ‘da ban’ and the pre-school starts preparing the kids for grade 1. We’ll see.

More Math

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Steven Strogatz on algebra, square roots and geometry

Happy Women’s day

Sunday, March 7th, 2010


more blurry pics (taken with my cell phone) of Zoe’s school day performance after the jump:


Teaching Technique

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

What makes a teacher great? No – it doesn’t just come naturally.

If you are a teacher follow this link and watch Bob Zimmerli work wonders with a simple ‘thank you.’

I sure wish someone would do this kind of ‘what works’ investigation of the university classroom.