Sunday, May 31, 2009

Students Relying on Loans Wonder Whether Forgiveness Will Last

Students Relying on Loans Wonder Whether Forgiveness Will Last
By JONATHAN D. GLATER, RON LIEBER, TARA SIEGEL BERNARD and PAUL SULLIVAN, NYTimes
While the federal government says most of its loan forgiveness programs are secure, state programs, which depend on state budgets, face uncertain futures.
Interactive Feature: State Contracts and Loan Forgiveness

Saturday, May 30, 2009

2009 SCRIPPS SPELLING BEE CHAMP!

SCRIPPS NATIONAL SPELLING BEE

Speller No. 110, Kavya Shivashankar, 1st place

Age 13, 8th grade

School: California Trail Junior High School

Hometown: Olathe, Kansas


Kavya enjoys practicing her violin, bicycling, swimming, and learning Indian classical dance. She names Nupur Lala, the 1999 Scripps National Spelling Bee champion, as her role model and the inspiration for her spelling career. She has plans for her future career as well: She looks forward to becoming a neurosurgeon. Kavya participated in the 2006, 2007, and 2008 national finals—tying for 10th, 8th, and 4th place, respectively.

Friday, May 29, 2009

HYPERCUBES!


BoingBoing: Hypercubes Posted by Rudy Rucker, May 20, 2009 9:19 AM
(Rudy Rucker is a guestblogger and SJSU Mathematics professor. His latest novel, Hylozoic, describes a postsingular world in which everything is alive.)
I think it was the hyperdimensional mathematician Tom Banchoff who told me how to make this model. You cut out 28 cardboard squares and tape them, four at a time, to make seven partial cubes. These partial cubes have no tops or bottoms, they're like square tubes. And then you tape the seven partial cubes together as shown in the photos, making a very cool shape.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

8th Graders’ Exam Is Delayed

8th Graders’ Exam Is Delayed By JACQUES STEINBERG, NYTimes
The College Board said schools’ finances led it to put off the unveiling of a new standardized test intended to help eighth graders prepare for rigorous high school courses and college.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Psst! Need the Answer to No. 7? Click Here.

Psst! Need the Answer to No. 7? Click Here. By LISA W. FODERARO, NYTimes
As Web sites are transforming the way undergraduates study, some wonder whether they encourage cheating and undermine learning.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

German Fossil Found to Be Early Primate

German Fossil Found to Be Early Primate By JOHN NOBLE WILFORD, NYTimes
Fossil remains of a 47-million-year-old animal have been determined to be an extremely early primate close to the emergence of the evolutionary branch leading to humans. Scientists said that Darwinius masillae would help illuminate the early evolution of monkeys, apes and humans.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Apple’s Years With and Without Steve Jobs

Interactive Feature: While You Were Out: Apple’s Years With and Without Steve Jobs NYTimes
Sam Grobart looks at what effect the departures of Steven P. Jobs have had on Apple and its products.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Making a Magazine With MagCloud

Audio Slide Show: Making a Magazine With MagCloud, NYTimes
College students produce a fashion magazine more cheaply and easily using MagCloud, a new self-publishing site from Hewlett-Packard.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Hit in School, Maggots and All

A Hit in School, Maggots and All By NATALIE ANGIER, NYTimes
Think kids dislike science? Forensics proves otherwise.
Video: Popular Science?

Friday, May 22, 2009

FANIME!

FanimeCon will swing into downtown San Jose for Memorial Day weekend, May 22 through May 25, 2009. It's the largest anime convention in Northern California, immersing over 10,000 attendees in the world of Japanese animation and related arts. Anime fans can rejoice as Fanime offers a chorus of different events, including live concerts, engaging panels, thrilling competitions, non-stop video screenings of anime and Asian cinema, plus guests of honor from around the world. It's a non-stop symphony of epic proportions!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Journalism School

J-Schools Play Catchup By BRIAN STELTER NYTimes
Journalism students seek to fix what’s broke. Journalism schools struggle to show them how.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Special Report: Team Program Is an Experiment in Active Learning

Special Report: Team Program Is an Experiment in Active Learning (April 29, 2009) By SONIA KOLESNIKOV-JESSOP, NYTimes
SINGAPORE — Team-based learning, an educational method primarily conceived for business schools, was developed in the early 1980s by Larry K. Michaelsen, now a professor of management at the University of Central Missouri in the United States. An alternative to traditional lecturing, this method uses a mix of individual and group processes to solve problems.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Special Report: Taking Europe’s Medical Students Beyond 2010

Taking Europe’s Medical Students Beyond 2010 Published: April 29, 2009 By ALICE PFEIFFER, NYTimes
PARIS — France’s ferociously selective medical education system is set to undergo radical change in the autumn of 2010. Last overhauled in the wake of the student revolts of May 1968, the system now entitles any student with a science baccalaureate, or high school diploma, to attend university medical classes. Real selection for medical studies occurs only after the first year, with an exam that up to 90 percent of students fail.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Special Report:International Education: Educators Open Up to Gender Studies

Special Report:International Education: Educators Open Up to Gender Studies (April 29, 2009) By ALICE PFEIFFER, NYTimes
LONDON — Since their emergence from the feminist movement in the 1960’s, gender studies have spread to hundreds of universities worldwide. From Cambridge, England, and Stanford, California, to the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Sana University in Yemen, gender has become a growing subject in academia. Even the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has a gender program. Multidisciplinary by nature, the courses often encompass race and class studies.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Special Report: O.E.C.D. Study Maps Shifting Ideals of Excellence (April 29, 2009) By ALICE PFEIFFER, NYTimes
PARIS — In a world that is being profoundly transformed by information technology that is evolving far faster than educational methods and curriculums, how well is tomorrow’s work force being trained for the challenges and opportunities ahead? A new report on shifting notions of excellence in education in more than 60 countries sheds some light on an increasingly skill-focused academic and professional environment and reveals what could be termed a more practical approach to intelligence.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Special Report: International Education: Why the Earnings Gender Gap in Business?

Special Report: International Education: Why the Earnings Gender Gap in Business? Women Work Less (April 29, 2009) By ALICE PFEIFFER, NYTimes
PARIS — The worlds of finance and big business are notoriously dominated by middle-aged men. But recent research suggests that this may not be for the usually suspected reason — a glass ceiling molded from male prejudice. The research, by Marianne Bertrand, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and two Harvard economics professors, Claudia Goldin and Lawrence F. Katz, provides a statistical explanation: women with children fall behind because they work less, the study says.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Special Report: Discomfort at U.S. Medical Schools

Special Report: Discomfort at U.S. Medical Schools (April 29, 2009) by PAUL SULLIVAN, NYTimes
NEW YORK — The United States’ standing in the world ebbs and flows, but one thing remains strong: the reputation of its medical schools and the physicians they produce. Whatever the international criticisms of its financial regulatory system or past foreign policy, the United States has long been perceived as the go-to place for state-of-the-art medical care.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Many Teachers in Advanced Placement Voice Concern at Its Rapid Growth

Many Teachers in Advanced Placement Voice Concern at Its Rapid Growth By JACQUES STEINBERG, NYTimes
A survey of more than 1,000 teachers of Advanced Placement courses in American high schools has found that more than half are concerned that the program’s effectiveness is being threatened as districts loosen restrictions on who can take such rigorous courses and as students flock to them to polish their résumés.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Number of Students Leaving School Early Continues to Increase, Study Says

Number of Students Leaving School Early Continues to Increase, Study Says By JENNIFER MEDINA
Almost six years ago, the city settled a lawsuit focused on the schools’ practice of pushing some students to leave.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Goal Is College. Hurdle Is Finding Financial Aid

Goal Is College. Hurdle Is Finding Financial Aid. By JACQUES STEINBERG, NYTimes
Amid a confluence of rising tuition, exceptional competition for scholarships and his family’s financial troubles, Brennan Jackson is out to raise the $25,000 he needs to start college.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Maze of Options on Health Insurance for College Students

A Maze of Options on Health Insurance for College Students By WALECIA KONRAD, NYTimes
Coverage under their parents’ policy for full-time college students is no longer a given, but there are other ways to make sure a child has adequate health insurance.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Why Isn’t the Brain Green?

Why Isn’t the Brain Green? By JON GERTNER, NYTimes
Decision scientists are trying to figure out why it’s so hard for us to get into a green mind-set. Their answers may be more crucial than any technological advance in combating environmental challenges.

  • Video: Brain Dance Dancers from Moses Pendleton’s troupe, Momix, contemplate the green mind. The troupe turns ideas into action as they form their bodies into the first of several images created for this issue.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Students’ First Lesson: Beware Loans’ Fine Print

Students’ First Lesson: Beware Loans’ Fine Print By GRETCHEN MORGENSON, NYTimes
Private student loans have become more attractive in this economy, but financial disclosures in the market are uneven.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Community Colleges Challenge Hierarchy With 4-Year Degrees

Community Colleges Challenge Hierarchy With 4-Year Degrees By TAMAR LEWIN
While they offer cheaper bachelor’s degrees closer to home, community colleges risk distraction from their traditional mission, critics said.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

AP Econ 2009

Interactive: Econ 2009
Test your knowledge of economic theory with these questions from past Advanced Placement exams.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

THE PROM

Florida to California, Prom Dresses Selling By CHRISTINE HAUGHNEY, NYTimes
Even in parts of the country hardest hit by the recession, families are spending whatever they can to make sure their teenagers make it to the prom.

Slide Show: Paying for the Prom
Online Photo Says ‘It’s My Dress, Pick Another’ (May 3, 2009)
A Prom With All the Glitz, but Every Dollar Squeezed (May 3, 2009)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Big Think: Peter Singer on the ethics of wealth



Big Think: Peter Singer on the ethics of wealth
Philosopher Peter Singer discusses whether Americans should give more, and why we should behave morally. Join the conversation at Big Think.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

SAT May 2009 (Short Passage Update)

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.
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

  • Pi is never ends, but you have just completed the SAT.
  • Don't just go home--debrief over pie or pizza.
  • Go on to your next task!

GOOD LUCK!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Plan to Change Student Lending Sets Up a Fight

Plan to Change Student Lending Sets Up a Fight By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN, NYTimes
Private lenders are moving against President Obama’s plan to redirect billions in bank profits to needy students.


April 15-April 30: No special posts for History Thursday, Science Friday, Saturday Arts, and Sunday Lit. I am leading a workship at CATESOL and I will be taking MATESOL comprehensive exams. Thanks!