The Teachers' Scrounge

News and comments from the world of public education. A middle school math teacher shared what he learned today.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Teacher Sells Ad Space on Exams!

This is creative! A Pocatello, Idaho, high school cut back on paper supplies for teachers. So an economics teacher approached a local pizzeria with a proposal: Buy me paper, and I'll put advertisements for your establishment on the handouts, worksheets, and tests that I print on your paper. See more details here.

I think I could work out something about product placement in word problems. Kinda like, "Would Becky save more money at Wal-Mart or HEB?"

UPDATE: Seems it's been done before.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Economy Attacks Chicago Private School

Wow... I've served on the school board of a private school, and I can't imagine how to handle this situation. Marian Catholic High School in Chicago had 300 students who were behind in tuition payments. (Student population: 1,500+; Delinquency: $750-$5,000; Annual tuition: $8,000) The school-wide delinquency was $450,000. So after sending out notices last week, the school pulled 300 kiddos out of class Monday (the start of the new quarter), told them to call their parents to settle the bill, or to get picked up. By lunchtime, 100 students were sent home.

Here's the full story.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Robo-Teacher in Japan

As you may know, Japan was been leading the way in developing robots to address their labor shortage. (Your higher-order thinking question of the day... how do other industrialized countries address their labor shortages?) A recent AP article describes the demonstration of Teacher-Bot. They say it's not intended to replace the classroom teacher (so... what is it intended to do?), and "it still can't do much more than call out names and shout orders like 'Be quiet.'" (Hmm... I had a substitute teacher like that once.)
The robot teacher, called Saya, can express six basic emotions — surprise, fear, disgust, anger, happiness, sadness.
Yeah, I guess that about covers it... shout, "Be quiet," and express disgust. It's ready for middle schoolers in the neighboring district -- the one with a teaching shortage.

(Yes, the photo is actual Saya in actual [demo] classroom.) Her PDAS was "proficient."

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Engaging Students, Strengthening Cores

New idea sweeping classrooms in the north -- replacing desk chairs with yoga stability balls.

The idea is that students are more alert and focused when sitting on these inflatable balls used for exercises and posture.

Here's a longer story.