Thursday, December 31, 2009

New York Tmes Multimedia Resources

For the next couple of days, I will share some of my favorite pod/vidcasts which are helpful (directly or indirectly) for SAT prep.

NYTimes Podcasts...

  • NYT Science Times: David Corcoran, a science editor, explores the topics addressed in this week's Science Times.
  • NYTimes Tech Talk: A look at the latest technology news and Internet trends with J.D. Biersdorfer, Bettina Edelstein and Pedro Rafael Rosado. The Tech Talk Homepage
  • More NYTimes Podcasts...
NYTimes Videos

NYTimes Slide Shows

NYTimes Blogs (MUST READ)
  • The Choice A blog for high school students, parents and counselors about applying to — and paying for — college.
Some of my favorite NYTimes Blogs
  • And the Pursuit of Happiness Maira Kalman's illustrated column about American democracy. (GORGEOUS!)
  • Dot Earth Andrew C. Revkin on climate change, the environment and sustainability.
  • Economix A blog that considers economics as the study of everyday life.
  • Idea of the Day From the Week in Review, daily posts highlighting the most interesting writing from across the Web.
  • The Learning Network Teaching and learning, with The New York Times as a resource.
  • The Lede NYTimes.com follows the day's news stories as they spiral off into unexpected directions.
  • Paper Cuts The editors of the Book Review, on books and other forms of printed matter.
  • Pogue's Posts Quick hits from the technology columnist David Pogue.
  • Schott's Vocab A miscellany of words and phrases that encapsulate our times.
  • TierneyLab Science columnist John Tierney checks out new research and rethinks conventional wisdom.
  • Wordplay Jim Horne writes about The Times's crossword puzzle, its themes and clues.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

National Constitution Center: We The People Stories

For the next couple of days, I will share some of my favorite pod/vidcasts which are helpful (directly or indirectly) for SAT prep.

National Constitution Center: We The People Stories Podcast

The National Constitution Center invites you to participate in a national conversation about the Constitution, its history and its contemporary relevance. Our programming features nationally recognized leaders debating and discussing the Constitution, our rights and responsibilities as citizens, and everyday politics.

We The People Stories Podcast does not have its own blog. However, you must check out the NCC Constitution widgets and online exhibits--invaluable for APUSH & US Gov't students!

Obama Speech on Race at the National Constitution Center (podcast replaced by video and online exhibit)

Anthony Lewis on the First Amendment shares his latest work, Freedom for the Thought That We Hate.

Legacy of 1808: a Year Long Series Marking 200th Anniversary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade (podcast date)
  • 3/11/2008 A Historical Perspective
  • 5/28/2008 Traces of the Trade
  • 6/18/2008 “Iron Ladies of Liberia”
  • 6/26/2008 The Emancipation Proclamation Defined
  • 7/15/2008 The Lincoln and Douglas Debates
  • 8/20/2008 Modern-Day Slavery
  • 8/27/2008 Slavery and the Literary Imagination
  • 11/19/2008 Delta Blues
  • 1/13/2009 Deconstructing Reconstruction
NCC Interactive Constitution widget

NCC Constitution Timeline widget

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The WordSmart WordCast Podcast

For the next couple of days, I will share some of my favorite pod/vidcasts which are helpful (directly or indirectly) for SAT prep.

The WordSmart WordCast Podcast

The WordSmart WordCast is a weekly podcast comprised of a carefully selected set of vocabulary words based on the theme of the week. Each week's theme is designed to offer a selection of words that will be useful in everyday life and test preparation. The five weekly words make this the perfect word of the day podcast for your work week. Recent episodes include: erudite, moraine, plenary, haruspex, and denizen.

Warning: there is no supporting blog for the podcast. However, if you look at the episode's Show Description in iTunes (right click the episode-->Show Description), you have a detailed description of the episode's key points. If you like the show, you can go to the product's website, where you can read WordSmartMom's comments on SAT prep and college admissions.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Podictionary

For the next couple of days, I will share some of my favorite pod/vidcasts which are helpful (directly or indirectly) for SAT prep.

Podictionary - An daily podcast for logophiles (lovers of words), podictionary covers a new word for a minute or two in each episode.
In preparation for the Olympic Games in Vancouver, Dr Hodgson (a proud Canadian) is researching words associated with winter sports. He is also rerunning some older episodes:

Sunday, December 27, 2009

5 percent in Congress lack college degree

5 percent in Congress lack college degree By JUSTIN ANTHONY MONAREZ, Scripps New Service

WASHINGTON - Rep. Solomon Ortiz, D-Texas, never completed a college degree, but he holds the same rank as other formally educated members of Congress. The only credential that mattered was winning the election...(Read more)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Teachers Defying Gravity to Gain Students’ Interest

Teachers Defying Gravity to Gain Students’ Interest By KENNETH CHANG, NYTimes

Educators took flight, and starred on video, all in the name of science and math.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Selected Shorts

For the next couple of days, I will share some of my favorite pod/vidcasts which are helpful (directly or indirectly) for SAT prep.

SELECTED SHORTS can be heard on Saturdays 8pm on KQED 88.5FM.

SELECTED SHORTS: Spellbinding short stories by established and emerging writers take on a new life when they are performed by stars of the stage and screen. Whether we present stories around a lively theme, the favorite works of a guest author or a special collaboration with a museum or publication, each Selected Shorts event is a unique night of literature in performance. Hosted by Isaiah Sheffer.

The SELECTED SHORTS holiday season special begins with a tale of domestic bliss, Ron Carlson's "The H Street Sledding Record," a happy, un-sappy story about a family celebrating the Christmas season with fresh, intimate rituals. Keith Szarabajka reads. Next, John Cheever's "Christmas is a Sad Season for the Poor," is an hysterically funny tale of holiday charity gone wrong, read by Malachy McCourt. The program closes with a literary stocking-stuffer: the great American humorist James Thurber got it into his head to re-write Clement Clarke Moore's beloved poem, "A Visit From St. Nicholas" in the style of Ernest Hemingway. SHORTS host Isaiah Sheffer delivers a suitably manly reading.

Voice of America

For the next couple of days, I will share some of my favorite pod/vidcasts which are helpful (directly or indirectly) for SAT prep.

VOANews is sponsored by the US State Dept. VOANews' original mission was to "teach the world" about Democracy, American Culture, and the English Language. Since then, VOANews has expanded its coverage to international news in multiple languages. An amazing resource!




VOAVideo: In London, A Multi-Cultural Christmas

At Christmas, Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus. Although it's a religious festival, non-Christians also celebrate the season with lights and decorations. In a multicultural country like Britain, many join -- in their own way. Selah Hennessy brings us this report from London.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Grammar Girl

For the next couple of days, I will share some of my favorite podcasts which are helpful (directly or indirectly) for SAT prep.

Grammar Girl :: Quick and Dirty Tips ™

Grammar Girl has tips and grammar exercises to help you learn and remember all the grammar rules on punctuation, word choice, and more. Some of the most recent episodes:

A personal favorite:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

this i believe

For the next couple of days, I will share some of my favorite podcasts which are helpful (directly or indirectly) for SAT prep.

The "this i believe" essays are approximately the same length as a standard SAT essay (300-500 words) . Note the examples and concrete details each person uses in response to the prompt: "What do you believe?"

Two of my favorite essays:

Be Cool To The Pizza Delivery Dude « Sarah Adams This I Believe
We know them. We depend on them. We call them out on cold, rainy nights. Now, NPR listener Sarah Adams tells us why her life philosophy is built around being cool to the pizza delivery dude.

Finding Prosperity by Feeding Monkeys « Harold Taw This I Believe
Forget the cake and presents. Listener Harold Taw has his own unique birthday tradition – one prescribed by a Burmese monk. By faithfully following it, Taw believes he’s helped his family to prosper.


Special Feature: Reflections On Giving

We can give with our money, we can give of our time, we can give with a smile and an open heart. In this season of giving, our essayists offer their beliefs on the importance of connecting and sharing with each other. Happy holidays from This I Believe.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Dr. Oliver Sacks!

Oliver Sacks - Musicophilia - Amnesia and Music

Oliver Sacks, author of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and An Anthropologist on Mars, discusses the story of Clive Wearing, an eminent English musician and musicologist. After contracting a form of encephalitis, Clive was stricken with an acute case of amnesia. His musical ability, however, remained undiminished. The story related in the video comes from Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, Dr. Sacks's latest book. For more information, visit http://www.oliversacks.com/ or http://www.musicophilia.com/

READ: A Neurologist's Notebook: The Abyss : The New Yorker by Oliver Sacks 09/24/07

In addition to this inability to preserve new memories, Clive had a retrograde amnesia, a deletion of virtually his memory.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Best American Series 2009

...hmmm, what should I read during Christmas vacation?

Best selling authors handpick the year's finest writing in short stories, comics, mysteries, essays, travel, science and nature, sports, and nonrequired reading.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Family Portraits of all 56 ethnic groups in China

China are inhabited by an indigenous population
of ethnic Vietnamese people (or Kinh).
They are referred to in Chinese as the Jīng (京族)

Family Portraits of all 56 ethnic groups in China (reposted from ChinaHush and ChinaGate])

[ChinaGate] This is a “Family Portrait” of China’s 56 ethnic groups. Chen Haiwen, a photographer, recently lead a team of 14 photographers to create a book entitled, “Harmonious China: A Sketch of China’s 56 Ethnicities.” The team spent one year travelling all over China to complete the project. They ended up taking over 5.7 million photographs.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Early Admission: Decision Week

Early Admission: Decision Week, NYTimes blog: The Choice

High school seniors who applied early to colleges this fall begin to receive decisions this week.

Running Tally on Some Colleges’ Early Admission Figures, NYTimes blog: The Choice

During the week of Dec. 14, The Choice is keeping a running tally of some colleges’ figures on early applications, and acceptances, under binding early decision programs and non-binding early action. (updated frequently)

Answers to Your Questions as Application Deadlines Near By EVELYN B. WHITE, NYTimes blog: The Choice

Ms. White answers questions about the number of colleges to which an applicant should apply; how a college sizes up an applicant’s high school and the mechanics of transferring.

The Envelope, Please: Six Applicants Speak, NYTimes blog: The Choice

In a series of posts, seniors from high schools around the country are blogging about their college selection process. Meet the Students: Corey Rockower Faithlynn Morris Nicholas Geiser Tyler K. Calder Beth Zak-Cohen Jordan Mackey

Read all of the Early Decision articles from , NYTimes blog: The Choice ...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

New Rules for Colleges on Defaults

New Rules for Colleges on Defaults By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, NYTimes

Starting in 2012, colleges seeking federal student-aid programs will be judged on how many students default within three years of starting repayment, instead of two.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Illegal Immigrant Students

Illegal Immigrant Students Publicly Take Up a Cause By JULIA PRESTON, NYTimes

With many illegal immigrants lying low to avoid a continuing crackdown, immigrant students have become the most visible supporters of a legislative overhaul.

American Dreamer: The Story of Sam

Last June, thousands of undocumented students held mock graduations in several states and Washington, D.C. Most of them were brought to the U.S. as small children by their immigrant parents. Despite being raised in American culture, these students cannot legally work because of their immigration status. And most cannot go to college, prompting cries for congressional passage of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors or DREAM Act. Latino USA in conjunction with Long Haul Productions, brings us the story of one of those recent graduates.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Seeking Your Questions as the Jan. 1 Application Deadline Looms

Seeking Your Questions as the Jan. 1 Application Deadline Looms By JACQUES STEINBERG, NYTimes blog: The Choice

As the clock ticks toward the Jan. 1, 2010, deadline for applying to many colleges, Evelyn B. White of Thomas Dale High School in Chester, Va., is seeking your questions on this year’s application process. Ms. White’s first answers are scheduled to appear in the Guidance Office feature on The Choice beginning Monday Dec. 14, and will continue through Dec. 18.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Taking the Magic Out of College (Harry Potter and the Ivory Tower)

Taking the Magic Out of College By LAUREN EDELSON, NYTime OpEd

Dreamily, I imagine my future self: a year older, strolling to class past this very same scene. I’m about to ask about science research opportunities when he points to a nearby field and mentions the sport students play there: a flightless version of J. K. Rowling’s Quidditch game — broomsticks and all... (read more and the response A Sequel: Harry Potter and the Ivory Tower )

Friday, December 11, 2009

Obama Accepts Nobel Peace Prize

VOAVideo: Obama Accepts Nobel Peace Prize

U.S. President Barack Obama has formally accepted the Nobel Peace Prize at a ceremony in Oslo, Norway. VOA White House correspondent Paula Wolfson reports the president spoke at length about the circumstances that push nations to war, and prompt them to seek peace.

VOA Special Report: The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize

Many VOA stories about the awarding of Nobel Peace Prize to President Barack Obama.

Kudos to VOANews for gathering and disseminating differing responses from domestic and international sources!

WhiteHoue.gov: Remarks by the President at the Acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize (text)

News English Lessons: World Split Over Obama Nobel Prize

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

COP15 on YouTube



COP15 on YouTube

This December in Copenhagen, Denmark, the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 (also known as COP15) will take place. Delegates to the conference are set to negotiate the successor to the Kyoto Protocol.

The Danish government's ambition for COP15 is to enter into a binding global climate agreement to reduce the amount of man-made greenhouse gases which have a negative effect on the earth's climate system.

To mitigate the effects of climate change, it is the Danish government's view that we all must act and do our part. Here on YouTube, we invite you to "Raise your voice", and we will make it heard inside the conference meeting rooms where leaders of the world are gathered at COP15.

The "Raise your voice" channel is part of a collaboration between the Government of Denmark and Google/YouTube to focus on increasing awareness of climate change.

Monday, December 7, 2009

How One College Evaluates a Transcript 1 & 2

How One College Evaluates a Transcript by Ann McDermott, Holy Cross, NYTimes: The Choice Blog

“How do you decide who gets in?” It’s a question we’re asked all the time at the College of the Holy Cross, a Jesuit liberal arts college.

Shedding Further Light on How One College Decides by Ann McDermott, Holy Cross, NYTimes: The Choice Blog

It’s worth repeating that, while vital, the transcript is just one component of the application. In addition to a student’s academic qualifications, we do everything we can to understand the person behind the application and how they’ll thrive at Holy Cross.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Harvard Law School Suspends Program Giving Students Free Tuition

Harvard Law School Suspends Program Giving Students Free Tuition By TAMAR LEWIN, NYTimes

One Harvard official said the suspension was “really a function of the endowment going down drastically.”

Saturday, December 5, 2009

SAT v. ACT, as Chronicled by Fortune magazine

SAT v. ACT, as Chronicled by Fortune magazine By JACQUES STEINBERG, NYTimes: The Choice Blog

In a short article posted on its Web site, Fortune writes of the “undeclared war for market share and mind share” between the College Board (which owns the SAT) and American College Testing (maker of the ACT).

Friday, December 4, 2009

Average Debt for Graduating College Seniors Rises to $23,200

Average Debt for Graduating College Seniors Rises to $23,200 By JACQUES STEINBERG, NYTimes: The Choice Blog

Yet another study has been released that will provide scant comfort to those college applicants, and their parents, who intend to take out loans to pay for their education. Students who graduated from college in 2008 with loans carried an average debt of $23,200 — an increase of nearly 25 percent, or $4,550, when compared with those who graduated just four years earlier. These figures appear in the latest study by the Project on Student Debt, an initiative of the Institute for College Access and Success, a nonprofit organization.

Putting That $23,200 Average Student Debt Figure in Context By JACQUES STEINBERG, NYTimes: The Choice Blog

The averages are lower for public colleges ($20,200), higher for private nonprofits ($27,650), and much higher for for-profit schools ($33,050).

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Number of Students Studying Abroad on Rise Globally



VOAVideo: Number of Students Studying Abroad on Rise Globally

A Washington-based educational institute says the number of university students who study abroad is on the rise. The Institute of International Education reports a 60 percent increase in the number of students studying outside their native country since the year 2000. VOA's Laurel Bowman has more.

Friday, November 20, 2009

thisibelieve: Devotion To The Common Good

thisibelieve: Devotion To The Common Good
Mrs. John G. Lee - Farmington, Connecticut

From the 1950s series, League of Women Voters president Mrs. John G. Lee tells how star-gazing with her father eventually led to her desire to help make the world a better place for humankind, and honor the worth and dignity of each individual.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Milpitas SAT 11/19/09

Milpitas SAT class Thu Nov 19
Test 3--Essay plus two WR sections

Homework for Tue Nov 24
Test 4--the WHOLE TEST

Bring the book to class!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Selling Lessons Online Raises Cash and Questions

Selling Lessons Online Raises Cash and Questions By WINNIE HU, NYTimes

A venture by some teachers has led school officials to ask who owns materials developed for public schools.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Milpitas SAT 11/17/09

Milpitas SAT class Tue Nov 17
Test 3--all three CR sections

Homework for Thu Nov 19
Test 3--Essay plus two WR sections

Bring the book to class!

Monday, November 16, 2009

China Is Sending More Students to U.S.

China Is Sending More Students to U.S. By TAMAR LEWIN, NYTimes

American universities are enrolling a new wave of Chinese undergraduates, according to the annual Open Doors report.

Obama's Town Hall Meeting in Shanghai


Remarks by President Obama at Town Hall Meeting in Shanghai (by question)


VOA News Special Report:

President Obama in Asia

All VOA News stories and videos related to the President Barack Obama's first Asia trip began November 12, taking him to Japan, Singapore, China and South Korea. The historic 10-day journey includes bilateral and multilateral meetings, a town hall-style meeting in China and a visit with U.S. troops stationed in South Korea.

Related Links

Saturday, November 14, 2009

You gotta read this . . .

I ask some Literature Analysis and SAT students about their favorite novels. Here's a quick list, plus links to Google Books' overviews, previews, and reviews.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Two-Year Colleges, Swamped, No Longer Welcome All

Two-Year Colleges, Swamped, No Longer Welcome All By LISA W. FODERARO , NYTimes

A surge in applicants has forced all but one of the city’s two-year colleges to limit admissions for the first time.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Milptas SAT 11/12/09

Milpitas SAT class Nov 12
Test 2 WR 6 (469-474), WR 10 491-493, Test 1 Sect 10,
plus Test 2 Essay (pg 451); Discussion of "25 min Essay"

Homework for Tue Nov 17
Test 3--all three CR sections

Bring the book to class!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The R.O.T.C. Dilemma

The R.O.T.C. Dilemma By MICHAEL WINERIP, NYTimes

The ban of the program at the elites is in its 40th year. Yet the students are hardly antimilitary. The opposite, in fact. Is it time to bring R.OT.C. back?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Milpitas SAT 11/10/09

Milpitas SAT class Nov 10
Review Test 2 CR 4 (458-462), CR 7 (475-480), CR 9 (487-490)

Homework for Nov 12
Test 2 WR 6 (469-474), WR 10 491-493, Test 1 Sect 10,
plus Test 2 Essay (pg 451)

Bring the book to class!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Which Founding Father is on your Mixtape?


WH.gov: Lin-Manuel Miranda Performs at the White House Poetry Jam

Saturn Smith: Which Founding Father is on your Mixtape?

"At a May 12 evening of Poetry and Spoken Word performances at the White House, Broadway writer Lin-Manuel Miranda performed a piece from his upcoming hip-hop concept album, The Hamilton Mixtape. The White House put video of the event online last week, and... it's absolutely worth 4:27 of your time..." (more)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Test-Takers’ Rights

Test-Takers’ Rights By RACHEL AVIV, NYTimes, Published: October 26, 2009
● If a section runs more than five minutes over, students won’t receive a score, and a makeup is required. If a section runs more than five minutes short, a makeup is offered but not required. Once the offer is accepted, the original score is canceled.

● You are allowed to bring snacks and drinks, but keep them out of sight. You can reach for them only during breaks, which are given hourly.

● Desks must have at least 12 by 15 inches of writing surface.

● Chairs must be four feet apart; no partitions or study carrels allowed.

● If there’s a problem with your desk or seating, say something as soon as you get in the room. If a problem emerges while taking the test, ask the proctor kindly to make it stop.

● Once notified of a problem, a proctor is required to send a report to the Educational Testing Service. If you feel your score was affected, senda complaint by the Wednesday after the test day to testcenter@info.collegeboard.org. But the score won’t be changed. The best you can hope for is a refund or free retake.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Proctor, Please Get Off the Phone

Proctor, Please Get Off the Phone By RACHEL AVIV, NYTimes

Screening out distractions during the SAT.

Milpitas SAT 11/05/09

Milpitas SAT class
Intro "FIST OF NO ERROR"
Review WR Sect. 6 & 10 & Essay

Review CR 5 & 9 SC Vocab
Focusing Essay: May 2008-1 prompt


Homework for Nov 10
All three Critical Reading Sections for Test 2

Bring the book to class!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Obama Puts Spotlight on Education Grants

Obama Puts Spotlight on Education Grants By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG, NYTimes

To mark the first anniversary of his election, President Obama planned a trip to Madison, Wisc.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Milpitas SAT 11/03/2009

Intro to Milpitas SAT class
Schedule
Intro to SATVerbalPrep.net
Intro to POE
Review of Test 1 Section 2:1-15

Homework for Nov 5
Essay prompt pg 389
WR Sect. 6:1-35 pg 407-412
WR Sect. 10:1-14 pg 429-431
Bring the book to class!

Monday, November 2, 2009

M.B.A.’s Guide Socially Concerned Entrepreneurs

I.H.T. Special Report: International Education
Special Report: International Education

M.B.A.’s Guide Socially Concerned Entrepreneurs By NAZANIN LANKARANI, NYTimes

Business school students have turned toward courses in social entrepreneurship.
Read Comments

What value is an international focus for a business degree?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

College App Essays: What Do You See?

App Essays: What Do You See?, NYTimes

Conceptual images as the basis for admissions essays.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Cautionary Advice Before Hitting the Early Decision Button

Cautionary Advice Before Hitting the Early Decision Button By Elizabeth Pleshette, NYTimes Blog: The Choice
"If I ruled the world – and who am I kidding, my children don’t even listen to me — I would do away with colleges’ binding early decision programs, or at least the versions many colleges implement today. In my perfect universe, all high school seniors would be allowed to have their choices evolve naturally. If a student has a first choice, let her articulate that in January of her senior year, after she has done all the work and submitted applications to all of her schools."

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New Meaning for Night Class at 2-Year Colleges

New Meaning for Night Class at 2-Year Colleges By ABBY GOODNOUGH
"Virtually every state is dealing with enrollment booms at community colleges, the American Association of Community Colleges says, with some in California reporting increases of 35 percent. The demand comes amid deep cuts to higher-education budgets, but also at a hopeful time for community colleges: President Obama recently announced a $12 billion plan to increase the number of community college graduates by five million by 2020.

“It shines a spotlight on a sector of higher education that by and large has been viewed as the lowest rung on the ladder,” Dr. Fifield said. “Now we have the president of the United States talking about community colleges as an engine that will drive and sustain economic success in this country.”

Classes at Midnight: Rising Enrollment’s Impact on Community Colleges By Jack Kadden, NYTimes Blog: The Choice

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Colleges Are Pushed to Convert Loan System

Colleges Are Pushed to Convert Loan System By TAMAR LEWIN, NYTimes

Most of the nation’s 5,000 colleges and universities have not taken the necessary steps to adopt a new lending plan, nor has Congress given it final approval.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Debating the Merits of Leaving High School Early to Go to College

Debating the Merits of Leaving High School Early to Go to College By Jack Kadden, NYTimes Blog: The Choice

What should you do if you’re a high school junior who feels that spending one more year in high school would be a waste of time? A thread on College Confidential raises that question.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Helping Teenagers Find Their Dreams

Helping Teenagers Find Their Dreams By EILENE ZIMMERMAN, NYTimes

If you’re anxious to guide your children to the ideal career choice, remember how often adults change professions before finding the right fit.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

In Praise of Amy Tan and San Francisco's Literary Life

In Praise of Amy Tan and San Francisco's Literary Life by Bruce Weber, NYTimes

An event to honor the novelist Amy Tan captured San Francisco literary life in a nutshell, especially its sense of community and school spirit.

*Amy Tan's Anxiety Tip of the Day (and other fun stuff)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

College Costs Keep Rising, Report Says

College Costs Keep Rising, Report Says By TAMAR LEWIN, NYTimes

The average annual cost of tuition and fees at four-year public colleges rose 6.5 percent from last year, to $7,020, the report said.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

NYC Teen Iron Chef Competition

Serve.gov: NYC Teen Iron Chef Competition

Students from 11 New York City schools competed in the first Teen Iron Chef competition of culinary skills and talent organized by HealthCorps, Family Cook Productions and Urban Assembly School of Music and Art.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Book Report: 'Admission Matters: What Students and Parents Need to Know About Getting Into College'

Book Report: 'Admission Matters: What Students and Parents Need to Know About Getting Into College' By Rebecca R. Ruiz, NYTimes The Choice blog

“Admission Matters,” by Sally P. Springer, Jon Reider and Marion R. Franck is a direct and human companion to the college admissions process . . .The authors seek to minimize the hype surrounding the admissions process. They spend a lot of time describing the intensity of competition today and the fallacy of associating the quality of a school’s education with its selectivity. (Read more)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The NEW NYTimes Learning Network BLOG!

The award-winning Learning Network was created in the fall of 1998. In October 2009, it was re-launched it as a Times blog.
Current features:
  • Lesson Plans — Daily lesson plans based on New York Times content.
  • Student Opinion — News-related questions that invite response from students age 13 and older.
  • Word of the Day — Vocabulary words in the context of recent Times articles.
  • 6 Q’s About the News — An activity in which students answer basic questions (Who, What, Where, When, Why and How) about an article.
  • News Quiz — Interactive daily news quizzes on current top stories.
  • Student Crossword — Topical puzzles geared toward teens.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Saturday Arts 2009.10.17

Schools Adopt Art as Building Block of Education By WINNIE HU, NYTimes
A growing number of newly built or renovated public schools across the country are incorporating art in their buildings to inspire and teach.

A New Arts School Prepares for Its First Act NYTimes
Student and faculty voices from the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria, Queens, share their thoughts on the first day in the brand-new facility.

A Modern Spin on Spirituality By SONIA KOLESNIKOV-JESSOP, International Herald Tribune
The outdoor exhibition ''Li Chen: Mind.Body.Spirit'' in Singapore shows how the sculptor melds a contemporary style with his study of Buddhism and Taoist philosophies.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Guidance Office: Answers from the President of the College Board Part 5

Guidance Office: Answers from the President of the College Board Part 5, By Gaston Caperton, NYTimes The Choice Blog, October 16, 2009

This week in the Guidance Office, The Choice is featuring answers to select reader questions by Gaston Caperton, who has been president of the College Board since 1999. The board is the nonprofit association of 5,000 schools and universities that is best known for overseeing the SAT and Advanced Placement programs.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Guidance Office: Answers from the President of the College Board Part 4

Guidance Office: Answers from the President of the College Board Part 4, By Gaston Caperton, NYTimes The Choice Blog, October 15, 2009

This week in the Guidance Office, The Choice is featuring answers to select reader questions by Gaston Caperton, who has been president of the College Board since 1999. The board is the nonprofit association of 5,000 schools and universities that is best known for overseeing the SAT and Advanced Placement programs.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Guidance Office: Answers from the President of the College Board Part 3

Guidance Office: Answers from the President of the College Board Part 3, By Gaston Caperton, NYTimes The Choice Blog, October 14, 2009

This week in the Guidance Office, The Choice is featuring answers to select reader questions by Gaston Caperton, who has been president of the College Board since 1999. The board is the nonprofit association of 5,000 schools and universities that is best known for overseeing the SAT and Advanced Placement programs.

On Wednesday, Mr. Caperton discourages students from taking SAT prep courses, in favor of hard work in tough courses in school. His answers are scheduled to continue throughout the week.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Guidance Office: Answers from the President of the College Board, Part 2

Guidance Office: Answers from the President of the College Board Part 2, By Gaston Caperton, NYTimes The Choice Blog, October 13, 2009

This week in the Guidance Office, The Choice is featuring answers to select reader questions by Gaston Caperton, who has been president of the College Board since 1999. The board is the nonprofit association of 5,000 schools and universities that is best known for overseeing the SAT and Advanced Placement programs.

On Tuesday, Mr. Caperton, he explains how applicants can withhold some test scores from some colleges, and how the College Board considers requests by those taking the SAT who wish to use a computer on the essay portion. His answers will continue throughout the week.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Guidance Office: Answers from the President of the College Board, Part 1

Guidance Office: Answers from the President of the College Board, Part 1 By Gaston Caperton, NYTimes The Choice Blog, October 12, 2009, 2:29 pm

This week in the Guidance Office, The Choice is featuring answers to select reader questions by Gaston Caperton, who has been president of the College Board since 1999. The board is the nonprofit association of 5,000 schools and universities that is best known for overseeing the SAT and Advanced Placement programs.

On Monday, Mr. Caperton answers questions about minority access to higher education, and whether there is a place for “reflection in the AP testing process.” On Tuesday, he explains how applicants can withhold some test scores from some colleges, and how the College Board considers requests by those taking the SAT who wish to use a computer on the essay portion. His answers will continue throughout the week.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Leaner Times at Harvard: No Cookies

Leaner Times at Harvard: No Cookies By ABBY GOODNOUGH, NYTimes

With the value of its endowment down by almost 30 percent, Harvard is learning to do without, including the free cookies at faculty meetings.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

SAT Oct 2009

Week (0r Two) Before the Test

  • Gather all your completed SAT Practice Tests into ONE pile.
  • Review a completed test every evening before the Night Before the SAT Test.
  • Look-up any difficult vocabulary.
  • Note how you used POE (Process of Elimination) to get the right answers.
  • Analyze your wrong answers, and adjust your POE.
  • Re-read NYTimes The Choice Blog: For Those Withholding SAT Scores, Advice on Completing the Common Application By Jacques Steinberg
The Night Before the Test
  • Don't cram for the SAT!
  • Follow you normal Friday Night Homework routine.
  • Go to bed early.

Day of the Test:
  • Wake up fifteen minutes early to focus your thoughts.
  • Eat breakfast
  • Bring Student ID
  • Bring pencils, calculators, ear plugs, water, energy bar, etc.
  • Arrive early--use the spare time to encourage yourself and your friends to do your best.

During the Test

  • Stand up and stretch!

Essay:

  • Read the Prompt
  • Read the Quote
  • Read the Prompt again.
  • Think for 1 minute (don't write).
  • Brainstorm. Focus, focus, focus your examples. Organize. (2 minutes)
  • Write (20 min)
  • Intro Paragraph:
  • Thesis plus preview of your examples
  • 3 body paragraphs. Topic sentence plus 3-4 sentences of concrete detail.
  • Transition between paragraphs.
  • Conclusion.
  • Fix errors and upgrade vocabulary (2 min).

Writing Section

  • The Fist of No Error (see sidebar)

Critical Reading

  • POE (process of elimination)
  • Avoid answers that are too extreme (narrow, general, always/never, etc)

Sentence Completion--1 Blank

  • Cover the answers.
  • Read the sentence.
  • Note trigger words (ex: conjunctions, prefixes, modifiers, negation) which change the meaning of the sentence.
  • Read the sentence again, substituting your own word in the blank.
  • Match your choice with the supplied answer choices.
  • Not sure of the meaning? Look at the root--is similar the root similar to the root of a word that you know?
  • Use POE to target the correct answer.
  • Yes, the word you don't know can be the correct choice.

Sentence Completion--2 Blanks

  • Cover the answers.
  • Read the sentence.
  • Note trigger words (ex: conjunctions, prefixes, modifiers, negation) which change the meaning of the sentence.
  • Read the sentence again, substituting your own word in the blank.
  • Uncover the first column of words. Match them with your choice in the first blank (two answers should be retained, the other three should be dismissed).
  • Not sure of the meaning? Look at the root--is similar the root similar to the root of a word that you know?
  • Uncover the second column of words. Match them with your choice in the second blank (the target choices in the 1st blank are usually synonyms of each other; and the second blank is usually opposite of each other; OR the target choices in the 1st blank are antonyms of each other and the second blank is are synonyms).
  • Remember: there is only one correct answer!).

Short Parassage (new)

  • Read the questions first.
  • The short passage questions are usually about the tone, main idea, or inference.
  • There is usually one dual short passage set per SAT test.
  • Each of the four questions compare/contrast both passages.
  • Draw a quick Venn Diagram to organize the info.
  • The dual passages may not contradict each other (i.e. +/-), but one passage may be general, and the other passage may be more specific. Remember WHAT the topic is about, and the AUDIENCE.

Long Passage

  • Read the blurb (who? what? where? when?)
  • Skim & underline for information (Proper Nouns, Unusual Punctuation, Lists)
  • Mark-up the passage as per the Questions (Beware of stealth EXCEPT and Inference Questions)
  • Read the passage critically (why? how?)
  • Answer the questions via POE

Dual Passages

Dual Passage--Intro

  • Draw a Venn Diagram
  • Read the blurb (who? what? where? when? audience? type of text?)
  • Fill out the Venn Diagram

Dual Passage--Passage 1

  • Skim & underline the First Passage for information (Proper Nouns, Unusual Punctuation, Lists)
  • Mark-up the passage as per the First Passage Questions (Beware of stealth EXCEPT and Inference Questions)
  • Read the passage critically (why? how?)
  • Answer First Passage questions ONLY via POE
  • Skip all Second Passage and Dual Passage Questions

Dual Passage--Passage 2

  • Skim & underline the Second Passage for information (Proper Nouns, Unusual Punctuation, Lists)
  • Mark-up the passage as per the Second Passage Questions (Beware of stealth EXCEPT and Inference Questions)Read the passage critically (why? how?)
  • Answer Passage 2 questions ONLY via POE
  • Skip all Dual Passage Questions

Dual Passage--Dual Passage Questions

  • Update Venn Diagram (tone +/-) (note if there is a switch in tone/argument)
  • Answer Dual Passage questions via POE
  • Finish!

After the Test

  • Don't just go home--celebrate with a special lunch or snack.
  • Go on to your next task!

GOOD LUCK!

Friday, October 9, 2009

For Those Withholding SAT Scores, Advice on Completing the Common Application

NYTimes The Choice Blog: For Those Withholding SAT Scores, Advice on Completing the Common Application By Jacques Steinberg

As high school seniors and their counselors get deeper into fall, they will surely find themselves wrestling with the fine print and ramifications of the College Board’s new Score Choice policy.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Stress, the Tears, the Moods: 11th Grade, Through a Parent's Eyes

The Stress, the Tears, the Moods: 11th Grade, Through a Parent's Eyes By Caren Osten Gerszberg , NYTimes Blog: Mom U.

Occasional reflections on the admissions process by Caren Osten Gerszberg, the mother of a high school junior.

While taking a walk the other day with my daughter Nicole, a nearly 16-year-old high school junior, I launched into a conversation about stress. What I was I thinking? The discussion about how to reduce the stress in her life — “Maybe you should drop an honors class or cut piano from your schedule?” — became stressful in itself, with one of us ending up in tears...Read more

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Student-Athletes Once Again

Student-Athletes Once Again By JONATHAN ABRAMS, NYTimes

The players union estimated that 10 percent of the N.B.A., about 45 players, including several elite names, took college classes during the off-season.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Prepaid College Savings Plans Might Not Cover All Costs

Prepaid College Savings Plans Might Not Cover All Costs By SEAN D. HAMILL, NYTimes

The stock market slump and rising college costs have combined to drive all but two of the nation’s 18 such funds into the red.

Monday, October 5, 2009

M.I.T. Taking Student Blogs to Nth Degree

M.I.T. Taking Student Blogs to Nth Degree By TAMAR LEWIN, NYTimes

Dozens of colleges are embracing student blogs on their Web sites, seeing them as a powerful admissions tool.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Book Bike



ALA: The Book Bike

Attending the Banned Books Read-Out on September 26, 2009, was Gabe Levinson, operator of the Book Bike. The concept is simple: Levinson travels around Chicago giving away books. He spoke to AL Focus about his efforts and motivation. The Book Bike's web site, somethingtoread.net, is currently under construction.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Widow's Mural for Health Care

USNico: A Widow's Mural for Health Care
A mini-documentary about artist Regina Holliday, and her very symbolic and both public and personal view of the health care system in the United States.

Regina Holliday's Medical Advocacy Blog
Details about the creation of the Mural and people's responses to the Mural.

Open Salon sWell: Regina Holliday & The Art of Health Reform
"These days you'll find Regina Holliday on NW Connecticut Ave, painting her mural on the side of a gas station across from a CVS Pharmacy and near Politics and Prose bookstore."

DC9T Flickr Set: 73 Cents Mural Washington DC
"Regina told us her story in person, accompanied by the notebook of her husband?s medical record, which she was only allowed to get on paper, at $0.73 a page."

Friday, October 2, 2009

Science Friday 2009.10.02

Fossil Skeleton From Africa Predates Lucy By JOHN NOBLE WILFORD, NYTimes
Scientists said that Ardi, short for Ardipithecus ramidus, was the earliest known skeleton from the human branch of the primate family tree.

Finding Order in the Apparent Chaos of Currents By BINA VENKATARAMAN, NYTimes
Scientists have made strides in making images of the underlying mechanics of flowing air and water.
Red Planet May Be Better Known as the Wet One By KENNETH CHANG, NYTimes
Scientists, using images taken by a camera on a Martian orbiter, discovered signs of water ice in craters far from the planet’s poles.

Interactive: Beautiful Universe Astronomy Quiz, NYTimes
Take an astronomy quiz illustrated with images from an exhibit celebrating the 400th anniversary of Galileo's telescope.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

China Celebrates 60th Anniversary of Modern State's Founding


On October 1, China celebrates the founding of the People's Republic with great fanfare. Over the past sixty years, the world's most populous country has transformed itself from a struggling poor civilization to an industrial and military power with few rivals.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

San Jose Mercury News: Road to College

Road to College by San Jose Mercury News

Our new special section has tips and stories to help you navigate the path to higher education.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read

100 Banned Books
In honor of Banned Books Week, Gottesman Libraries proudly presents The 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1900-2000.

Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.

Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular—provides the foundation for Banned Books Week. BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.

Monday, September 28, 2009

New York Times Sunday Magazine: The School Issue 9.27.2009--Part 2

New York Times Sunday Magazine: The School Issue 9.27.2009
The magazine's education edition looks at challenges and changes in the way we learn.

The Way We Live Now

The College Calculation By DAVID LEONHARDT
How much does a college education — the actual teaching and learning that happens on campus — really matter?

Consumed: Trash Talk By ROB WALKER
Attracting consumers by educating them on the value of their junk.

Questions for Mark Yudof: Big Man on Campus By DEBORAH SOLOMON
The president of the University of California system talks about the cost of education.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

New York Times Sunday Magazine: The School Issue 9.27.2009--Part 1

New York Times Sunday Magazine: The School Issue 9.27.2009
The magazine's education edition looks at challenges and changes in the way we learn.

Preschool: Can the Right Kinds of Play Teach Self-Control? By PAUL TOUGH
Can imaginary play teach children to control their impulses — and be better students?

Junior High: Coming Out in Middle School By BENOIT DENIZET-LEWIS
How 13-year-old kids are dealing with their sexual identity — and how others are dealing with them.

High School: The Inner-City Prep School Experience By MAGGIE JONES
At the SEED School, the assumption is that inner-city students will learn more if they spend the school week living away from home. But can you leave the neighborhood behind?

College: When Your Dorm Goes Green and Local Text by CHARLES WILSON and Photographs by SAMANTHA CONTIS
Students at Warren Wilson College are taking higher education back to nature.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sân Khấu Việt Cali: “Dream and Life”

Based on true stories of once successful immigrants suddenly facing financial insecurity, divorce and suicide in the current economic crisis, SKVC performers stage the bilingual Vietnamese-English drama “Dream and Life” on Saturday, September 26, at 2:30 pm. Playwright /Artistic Director Van Pham Mai and Consultant Director Dr. Victoria Rue want the play “to provide hope and help in the midst of cultural and economic upheaval.” Since the drama is reality-based, each actor contributes to the script by writing their own scenes.

Dream and Life is presented as part of ARTiculate! Expressions of Global Arts and Cultures at Evergreen Valley College, September 21-26. Check their Events Schedule for further details. Teacher Jennifer's note: as an EVC aluumni, I am proud to support this festival.

Dream and Life
Evergreen Valley College Arts Theater
3095 Yerba Buena Road,San Jose, CA 95135
Driving Direction: http://www.evc.edu/maps/index.htm
Saturday, September 26, at 2:30 pm.
Tickets: $10/Student & Senior
$15 General Admission

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Videos Created on the Meaning of Democracy



Democracy Video Challenge

What is democracy? That is the question more than 900 people from 95 countries answered by submitting original, short videos to the first Democracy Video Challenge. The competition was sponsored by several private groups in the United States as well as the U.S. State Department. Six winners were selected from different regions of the world.

Democracy Video Challenge on YouTube

2009 Winning Videos: