Volume 19, No.3

Spring 2005

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  • Some Favorite Books for Young Children

    By the editors of Rethinking Schools

    In December, with the support of the Peppercorn Foundation, Rethinking Schools sponsored a writers’ retreat near Portland, Ore., for a number of early childhood educators from around the country. We […]

  • Framing the Family Tree

    How teachers can be sensitive to students' family situations

    My seven-year-old daughter came home from school with a handmade calico tie for her dad for Father’s Day. The oversized tie was carefully cut from the blue and orange fabric […]

  • Welcoming Kalenna

    An early childhood teacher strives to make all her students feel at home

    By Laura Linda Negri-Pool

    When I was a child, our home was filled with the sounds of Spanish, mariachi music, and boisterous conversations. At home, my Nana cooked enchiladas, menudo, and tamales. During family celebrations we broke piñatas, danced, and […]

  • Strawberry Fields Forever?

    An early childhood teacher draws on her past while teaching children of migrant farmworkers

    By Cirila Ramírez

    When I was a child, my mother couldn’t help us with our homework. She had gone to work as a maid in a Mexican hacienda at age 11 and hadn’t learned to […]

  • Testing Lang

    By Amy Gutowski

    Lang was a student of mine last year, an eight-year-old with big brown eyes and a shy, quiet nature. He hated writing; putting pencil to paper was a brutal task […]

  • Holding Nyla

    An inclusion classroom becomes the stage for learning and acceptance

    By Katie Kissinger

    Nyla* came into our Head Start classroom wheeled by her special aassistant and surrounded by three early intervention (EI) specialists. I could barely see her for the equipment, adults, and […]

  • What About Play?

    When "screen time" and drills replace open-ended play, kids lose out

    By Sharna Olfman

    The ideas presented in this article are discussed at greater length in Dr. Olfman’s upcoming book Childhood Lost: How American Culture Is Failing Our Kids (Praeger Press) in which some […]

  • Confession

    Not only do my students play in the classroom, but it's good for them

    By Seth Shteir

    I confess: My students play with blocks. Despite the current obsession with standards and standardized testing, some of us are still letting children play in our classrooms. Those of us […]

  • Exploring Our Urban Wilderness

    A second and third-grade teacher helps his students discover the natural world in their urban environment

    By Mark Hansen

    My students’ home terrain consists — at least on the surface — of houses, streets, schools, and stores. Like many urban kids, the bit of unpaved, unfenced nature my second […]

  • Heather’s Moms Got Married

    Second graders talk about gay marriage

    By Mary Cowhey

    Last spring, my second graders gathered on the rug, discussing the impending 50th anniversary of the historic Brown vs. Board of Education decision. I asked how their lives would have […]

  • ‘Is This Just Regular English?’

    An English teacher examines how tracking affects her students

    By Esmé Schwall

    They were in their seats before the bell rang: 28 spit-polished 10th graders waiting silently in their chairs. In my four years of teaching, I had never encountered a room […]

  • The Recruitment Minefield

    Critical literacy activities can protect students against predatory military recruiting

    By Bill Bigelow

    Emiliano Santiago. Not many of our students know his name. But they should. Santiago joined the Oregon Army National Guard on June 28, 1996, shortly after his high school graduation […]

  • Integrals and Equity

    A math lesson prompts new awareness for prep school students-and their teacher

    By Megan Staples

    An AP calculus class at a prestigious boarding school doesn’t seem a likely venue for student reflection on privilege and wealth. But when I taught a group of academically inclined […]

  • No Child Left Untested: Closing the Door on Our Kids

    By Wayne Au

    I was rummaging through a desk drawer the other day and came across an old Polaroid picture from two former students. The handwritten caption on it read, “Unsuspected picture to […]

  • We Are the World

    A call for solidarity among teachers around the world to combat forces of globalization and privatization

    By Mary Compton

    At a recent conference in the north of England some two or three hundred local politicians, directors of education, and a smattering of trade unionists and teachers attended a conference […]

  • What Can One Elementary Teacher In Anytown, U.S.A. Do?

    By Mary Cowhey

    Do not presume that students live in traditional families with both married heterosexual birth parents. Name a wide variety of configurations possible in the diversity of human families. Part of […]

  • Our picks for books, videos, websites, and other social justice resources 19.3

    Check out these valuable resources, reviewed by Rethinking Schools editors and Teaching for Change colleagues.

  • Short Stuff 19.3

    As Seen on TV Sylvan Learning Center, the nation’s largest tutoring company, is adding a new component to its widespread advertising campaign. Sylvan’s parent company, Educate Inc., gained another popular […]

  • Strange Stuff 19.3

    Abstinence Inaccuracy Federally funded abstinence-only sex education programs are leaving students misinformed, according to California Rep. Henry A. Waxman’s recent Congressional study. The study examined the content of sex education […]

  • Student Voices 19.3

    Students Share Perspectives on Their Small School

  • 10 Points to Consider Before Signing a Military Enlistment Agreement

    From the website of United for Peace & Justice Do not make a hasty decision by enlisting the first time you see a recruiter or when you are upset. A […]

  • Tips for Teachers

    By Laura Linda Negri-Pool

    My own experiences of marginalization, invisibility, and outsider status propelled me to find ways to implement curriculum and environments that embrace, validate, and honor the life experiences and cultures of […]

  • Resources on Family Diversity

    All Families Are DifferentBy Sol Gordon (Prometheus Books, 2000) 50 pp. $10.50 Clinical psychologist Sol Gordon provides an adult voice in this book for readers ages seven and up. Families are defined […]

  • Do You Get the Point?

    By Herbert Kohl

    Consider the following sentences: A woman, without her man, is nothing. A woman: without her, man is nothing. It’s all in the points—the periods, commas, semi-colons, and other punctuation marks. […]

  • The Tsunami and Other Disasters

    By the Editors of Rethinking Schools

    The Dec. 26 tsunami swept away the lives of more than 200,000 people and ravaged the livelihoods of millions more. Throughout the world teachers and students discussed the tsunami and […]

  • California’s Grassroots Grow

    By Amalia Oulahan

    Sacramento On Aug. 13, 2004, the California Supreme Court settled a historic case— Williams v. the State of California. The Williams decision validated the concerns of many Californians that the state had fallen […]

  • Book Review: Messing With Texas

    Leaving Children Behind kicks up dust in the lone star state

    By Wayne Au

    Leaving Children Behind:  How “Texas-style” Accountability Fails Latino YouthEdited by Angela Valenzuela State University of New York Press, 2005  313 pp. $73.50 “Everything is bigger in Texas,” the saying goes. Apparently it’s true. […]