kitchen table math, the sequel: 8/24/08 - 8/31/08

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Concepts First, then Accurate Vocabulary: Better Student Learning

A news release from Stanford describing Bryan Brown and Kihyun Ryoo's research:

To talk about photosynthesis, you need to know a little Latin, a bit of French, some Greek, a word coined by a pair of French chemists in the 19th century, and a word of ancient origin that has been adopted and adapted by scientists around the world.

There's photosynthesis—New Latin. And glucose—a French modification of a Greek word. There's chlorophyll—coined by French scientists Pierre-Joseph Pelletier and Joseph Bienaim√© Caventou. And chloroplast—part of the so-called International Scientific Vocabulary.

Those words are just part of the scientific vocabulary teachers will soon be writing on whiteboards in fifth-grade classrooms across the country to explain the process by which green plants convert water, carbon dioxide and sunlight into carbohydrates and oxygen.

Usually, elementary school students are expected to learn the concepts and lexicon of photosynthesis—and other scientific subjects—simultaneously.

But according to a recent study by Bryan Brown, an assistant professor of education at Stanford, and Kihyun Ryoo, a doctoral candidate in Stanford's School of Education, students who learned the basic concepts of photosynthesis in "everyday English" before learning the scientific terms for the phenomenon fared much better on tests than students taught the traditional way.

Brown and Ryoo, who published the results of the study in the April 8 online issue of the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, called their method the "content-first" approach.
Go read the whole release, and Link to original article, Teaching science as a language: A content-first approach to science teaching

Monday, August 25, 2008

get a head start on your child's SPANISH MENU

Back from vacation & entering vacation from the vacation mode, or trying to. (Not Andrew. Andrew is desperate to get back to school. Has been insistently typing "bus" and "school" on his AlphaSmart.)

Don't know whether I've mentioned that I have a thing for templates.

Good templates are few and far between, I find. Yes, there are a gazillion free templates on the web, but most of them look like he**.

That situation has now changed, thanks to Google's new template gallery.

They've got everything:

decent letterhead
personal monthly budget
road trip budget
my wedding checklist
wedding vendor payment list
monthly household budget
baby feeding diary
lost pet flier
classic resume
elegant resume
interview preparation (includes "Examples of leadership" AND "Examples of teamwork")
Avery business cards
Avery business cards
business plan with social impact statement
meeting notes
meeting notes
Black Scholes option pricing model
loan amortization schedule
S.W.O.T. analysis
WACC calculation
net worth
stock portfolio tracker
fantasy football draft

And then there's the stuff for school:

And, most importantly, templates that will enable your child to turn in projects equal in "creativity" to the ones handed in by kids whose mothers own Quark:


restaurant menu

complete Student and Teacher list here

bonus points:
in case you happen to be a research scientist in need of research science templates--

correlative statistics
hypothesis testing (includes two-tailed z test and chi-square test)
scientific article

* courtesy of The Aspen Institute