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09:11 PM on 12/06/2012
get rid of corporate/republican/business "team based learning" and "team problem solving" and go back to the traditional classroom with emphasis on educating the individual....
08:59 PM on 12/06/2012
There is one good way to increase vocabulary and it exceeds all other approaches and it is wide reading. Teachers cannot teach good vocabularies, research has shown over and over across years and years the strong, positive correlation between reading and vocabulary. After wide reading to grow a good vocabulary, because the language of good literature and quality expository text is more sophisticated than the vernacular, would be parents who are good language models who talk frequently and interactively with their children. If the parents promote reading, if the parents have good vocabularies and discuss topics and ideas of breadth and depth with their children, they are exposed to good vocabulary. Vocabulary is not primarily a function of what teachers do, though they can do a little, it is really not that much in the total scheme of things. Because our society has become so culturally shallow and we overutilize communication modes that emphasize soundbites, our vocabularies are stagnating, as are other cognitive skills and now we are blaming our teachers, and making every effort to hold teachers accountable for many instances of learning that once took place in the course of living life and growing up in a literate home.

Yes, indeed, poverty has a pervasive and deleterious influence on learning that is difficult to grasp unless one has had direct contact with the condition.
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c-tom
Badges we don't need no stinking badges
10:20 PM on 12/06/2012
The language of even mediocre literature builds vocabulary. The wider read the better but even just reading about vampires will help with vocabulary.
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pjkozy
truth only comes in one flavor
08:57 PM on 12/06/2012
What do they say... reading is fundamental.
08:55 PM on 12/06/2012
It don't make no difference no how.
08:53 PM on 12/06/2012
I used "uber" and "cogitate" when speaking to my fourth graders today, among many other words of which I didn't even make a mental note. I have a strong vocabulary and enjoy finding a "just right" word--something that my students also enjoy doing while using a thesaurus or synonym app.
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Jay Daterman
Dump The Teapot
08:52 PM on 12/06/2012
Too bad so few people particularly young people read books anymore. Reading is a superb way to acquire a broad and subtle vocabulary.
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rafey
09:14 PM on 12/06/2012
Reading, writing and face to face communication. Body language is 90% of communication. Our young people fail in this respect and it make them look really dumb and immature, even if they aren't.
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Karma2U
Blessed are the Peacemakers
08:52 PM on 12/06/2012
Read more - tweet less.
GHO
Sooner or later you run out of other peoples money
09:05 PM on 12/06/2012
...and text less, and Xbox less, etc...
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angelcakesinc
Check your privilege
03:45 AM on 12/07/2012
Video games used to be so much more educational. Used to be you couldn't get anywhere in many of them without being able to read. Now everything's all voice acted and the games just hold your hand throughout the whole experience.
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RyanLee Spencer Billow
A secular nation is a free nation.
08:43 PM on 12/06/2012
Anyone who is involved in education to any degree knows that standardized testing is probably the worst metric to use when evaluating not just students, but also teachers and schools themselves. If there was anyone involved in the system who had an ounce of courage, they would scrap standardized testing and use some other method to evaluate the educational well being of America.
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Graywolf48
If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu
08:47 PM on 12/06/2012
Such as?
08:51 PM on 12/06/2012
Why not ask the colleges and universities how they do it.
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RyanLee Spencer Billow
A secular nation is a free nation.
09:18 PM on 12/06/2012
I honestly don't know. What I do know is what doesn't work. Testing doesn't work because it steers class focus away from actual education and towards rote memorization and drilling, two methods that are contrary to any and all models of actual education. Take that in combination with the fact that most kids just flat out do not care about the testing, no matter how good they're doing in their classes, and you have a lethal combination. Of course, there are plenty of other reasons to go into, but this isn't really the best format to use.

Personally, I'd prefer any method that treats the students as the individuals that they are, rather than reducing them down to numbers.
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rotorhead1871
who are you jivin' with that cosmic debris?...
08:56 PM on 12/06/2012
I am sure all educators are scared to death of testing which monitors their capability or capability of their students....especially if it has anything to do with pay or job retention. they will argue just as above..so goes the world of pure education...except the real world demands functional education and knowledge....something educators do not understand...and there is the rub!!
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RyanLee Spencer Billow
A secular nation is a free nation.
09:14 PM on 12/06/2012
When did the people who educate our children become the villain in this poorly written story? I've got news for you, teachers work their fingers to the bone, despite what the media would have you believe. All you've proven is that you're secure in your media bubble and your preconceived notions. But hey, have a good time villainizing the people who work endless hours for terrible pay only to be spat on in thanks.
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Riddler This
Engineer, accountant, analyst, independent.
08:41 PM on 12/06/2012
I was homeschooled so I can't say anything from first hand experience so on that cue I will simply state what how I see the problem:

1) Society. There is a broad and unhealthy disregard for science and math in America that is perpetuated by the media, organizations, and some religious or political affiliations that is exceedingly detrimental to the nations education.
2) Government. The government can do a lot to help curious minds stay curious. Simply investing in NASA has a huge effect on society in terms of how they view science and engineering. Successful space missions create future scientists and engineers.
3) Family. The family is huge. The majority of successful students have a large support base found in their family. --I know this one first hand.
4) The child. As the child becomes older the child needs more responsibility in terms of education.
5) Teachers.-Good teachers is what we need!

I'm not trying to say my homeschooled education was any better than anybody who was not homeschooled, but for instance; I had specific times to do my school work and I had no one to distract me, no TV, video games, phones, etc. In between my school I had other activities. And my parents played a huge role in guiding me and teaching me.

I really advocate homeschooling and anyone who believes there is a "social" issue with it simply lacks knowledge on the subject matter.
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rafey
09:20 PM on 12/06/2012
I would have to agree simply based on my personal observations over a lengthy period of time. And yes, we need good teachers, the kind they had in my day (well over 50 years ago) but they won't work for the ridiculously low wages they are currently paid. They also won't work under current circumstances in which they must tow a bureaucratic line, which they know will only be a disservice to the students. In my book, teachers should be paid what athletes are paid and vise versa! Our values are upside down and we shall all pay the price.
10:04 PM on 12/06/2012
The only good teachers are foreign teachers, but their credentials would not be recognized here...because their degree is "unaccredited". Well this is what your "accredited" degrees from US schools produce, incompetent teachers. While teachers overseas with their "unaccredited" degrees are producing students that can beat our students hands down. As a foreigner, I can tell you what the US needs.....more humility. That would be a good place to start.
10:16 PM on 12/06/2012
Wow...to call that a gross generalization would be bordering on understatement.
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Riddler This
Engineer, accountant, analyst, independent.
11:53 PM on 12/06/2012
I wouldn't say the only good teachers are foreign. I've had my share of bad foreign-born teachers just as I've had issues with fellow American teachers.

Humility won't get us far; we need work ethic.
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sageparadox
This has made a lot of people very angry...
08:34 PM on 12/06/2012
In raising my son, his mother and I never baby talked or talk to him like a little child. From the beginning we spoke to him like an adult and from the an early age of 2 on up, he has surprised people with how well he can express himself through speaking. We always tried to keep a balance where we are always challenging him, but not causing to much stress for him.
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rafey
09:27 PM on 12/06/2012
Actually, so-called 'baby talk' serves a timely biological purpose in terms of securing a solid base for communication comprehension in one's native language that will serve the human well in later life. Those who are deprived of this show it in rather bizarre behavior later in life that tends to be detrimental to them. That said, I also think that many folks tend to extend the 'talk' far beyond the usual time for its useful purpose and Americans especially have a tendency to talk down to children and young adults, not thinking them capable of constructive thought. That, too, is a disservice that extends itself in negative repercussions.
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mazzo
01:39 AM on 12/07/2012
"but not causing to much stress for him." OR "but not causing too much stress for him."

to vs too

Speaking as an adult to your son is a great start, but reading helps build vocabulary, spelling and comprehension skills. It's all important. I hope your use of "to" vs "too" was just a typing error. ;)
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sageparadox
This has made a lot of people very angry...
09:16 AM on 12/07/2012
That reminds me. Do you think it is TOO early to warn him about the grammar Nazis that he might run into online? ;)
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David in Dallas
Enjoy life! Pop the cork on some good Champagne.
08:33 PM on 12/06/2012
The GOP does not want citizens to be well educated. In Texas wwe spend $18 billion on attracting companies to come here - with low paying non-union jobs, and we slash the education budget by $5 billion. Makes cents to me.
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Jay Daterman
Dump The Teapot
08:48 PM on 12/06/2012
Lol. Clever! F and F
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anfractuous
Like you care.
08:19 PM on 12/06/2012
Well, Duh!
08:16 PM on 12/06/2012
eventually, the American people have to decide whether the politicians get to keep hammering kids and teachers with monumental piles of tests or simply allow for great teaching, deep learning and tons of reading - the two cannot exist simultaneously- look at the countries that are blowing us into the weeds- they have 2-3 stand. tests in a child's lifetime!!!
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RyanLee Spencer Billow
A secular nation is a free nation.
08:45 PM on 12/06/2012
Thank you! Someone with sense finally says something! The very existence of these tests and the weight that they place on schools and teachers makes it all but impossible to do anything but teach to the test, which prohibits critical thinking and advanced problem solving, which is what students need the most right now.
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coyotetrickster
We were born before the wind.
08:08 PM on 12/06/2012
The sad truth is that about 44 million adults in the United States (almost ¼ of the adult population) possess literacy skills defined as "Level 1," They are not able to complete a job application, decipher a medicine label or read a story to their children. More than 60% of those individuals did not finish high school. This will make it difficult for these adults to prepare their children to be ready for school.
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lilrockdiva
Run Tell That!
08:06 PM on 12/06/2012
If you give a child a book...