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Ellen Siminoff
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Blog Entries by Ellen Siminoff

Boys and Girls Interrupted

69 Comments | Posted January 19, 2012 | 01/19/12 06:47 PM ET

Things couldn't be going more swimmingly in Mrs. Paige Turner's literature class. She's teaching her own personal favorite, A Day No Pigs Would Die -- the ultimate tear-jerker. Mrs. Turner is overwhelmed at how emotionally invested her students have become in the story, and she revels in the...

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All Classes Great and Small

6 Comments | Posted December 27, 2011 | 12/27/11 12:06 PM ET

Ask a stranger off the street to tell you what's wrong with our current education system and you're likely to hear the following: It's all about a lack of funding for supplies and teacher salaries, not enough days out of the year spent in class and the inferiority of public...

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It's All About the Benjamins

1 Comments | Posted December 12, 2011 | 12/12/11 05:27 PM ET

We would all like to make plenty of money. Money good. Poverty bad, right? And of course, once we have it, we would all love to know how to manage that money so that it grows, rather than turns into old Porsches and beach home rentals.

Unfortunately, many of us...

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Your Grammar Is Not Married to Your Gramper

Posted November 29, 2011 | 11/29/11 05:35 PM ET

Poor grammar is ugly. To any lover of the English language who values a correctly constructed sentence, it can signify a lack of intelligence or effort. Are many of us limiting ourselves in terms of potential success by u'sing apo'strophes every time we see an 's?

Much of the problem...

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Making Math More Than a Numbers Game

Posted November 17, 2011 | 11/17/11 07:17 PM ET

Many non-engineers/computer programmers have pretty dismal recollections of math class. They recall having recurring nightmares of negative exponents, the Pythagorean Theorem and coordinate geometry. The letter x was the enemy, and even he wasn't nearly as bad as the evil math overlord, f(x).

Of course,...

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Is Cursive ... Cursed?

Posted November 11, 2011 | 11/11/11 10:43 AM ET

Over the past couple of decades, there has been a steep and swift decline in the quality of our nation's handwriting, especially that of our youth. The reason is obvious -- technology and typing are "in," penning just about anything by hand is "out." Over 40 states in the U.S....

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Immigration Nation

Posted November 7, 2011 | 11/07/11 04:41 PM ET

Illegal immigration has long been a hot button topic, almost since the inception of the federal law passed in 1875 that finally drew a distinction between legal and illegal immigrants. Back then the law applied to relatively few individuals (the law was originally intended only to keep out...

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Discouraging Internet Plagiarism

Posted October 28, 2011 | 10/28/11 11:40 AM ET

Suppose a student is faced with a choice. Spend several hours reading, researching and pondering the decline of the Byzantine Empire, then another hour or two applying that newfound knowledge and careful, critical thinking to the writing of a 500-word essay -- or copy and paste...

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Why Students Should Care About the Nobel Prize in Economics

Posted October 19, 2011 | 10/19/11 02:50 PM ET

Christopher Sims and Thomas Sargent won the Nobel Prize in Economics for research on measurement in macroeconomics. While some intellects might not follow The Dismal Science this year, this research has particular relevance for students today.

Sims and Sargent (working separately) created real tools...

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In Defense of The Hunger Games

Posted October 12, 2011 | 10/12/11 06:08 PM ET

Like many, I sit on various email lists. I received an email recently that I thought merited some discussion.

A proud parent proclaimed that her sixth grader wanted to read The Hunger Games, a bestselling novel for young adults. She had gone to Amazon.com and quoted their review,...

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"Imagine" Finding a Song That Moves You

Posted October 6, 2011 | 10/06/11 03:35 PM ET

In your school there exists a grey-haired lady. She has scars on her heart and soul. Each year some bratty kid reminds her that the poetry she teaches is useless. It has "no relevance in real life." Being kindly, that grey-haired lady feels the pain. Pity her. Then, stop. Do...

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