Suggested Reading for January 4, 2012

suggestedreadingIt’s a new year! What blogs or news sources should I be reading? Let me know in the comments… In the mean time, here’s stuff I’m already reading.

I couldn’t agree more strongly with this piece about gender and children’s toys. And it happens to be funny, to boot. Read it, please.

Here’s a news item from USA Today about the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation that recess never be withheld from children for any reason. Sad that it needs to be said, but glad there’s someone to say it. For a more in-depth piece, read the AAP’s actual statement, which goes into the myriad benefits recess provides.

This little item, about giving a 13-year-old his first iPhone and making rules for its use. Not necessarily exactly how I’d do it, but I like that it’s done with love and guidance and understanding and humor. A little wisdom in the ultra-complex Kids and Technology conversation.

From Teacher Tom, who I can’t seem to stop linking to:
A great model of how open-ended projects can actually work. Note how this approach, which lets children have more control over process and product, actually takes MORE planning. “Emergent Curriculum” doesn’t mean laissez-faire, anything goes; it actutally requires quite a lot of thought and expertise, compared to traditional perscriptive curriculum. I’m going to make my curriculum students read this article this spring. Some useful musings on when to step in when kids are doing something wrong, and when to watch and wait. Particularly useful to teachers, who wonder how it looks to others (i.e., parents) when we watch and wait. And a column that’s a great answer to the question, “What’s your teaching philosophy?” This also makes me hopeful for the “Oh, you’re a preschool teacher” conversation, which never goes quite how I hope it will…

Did you know this poem, “On Children,” by Kahlil Gibran? Maybe everyone knows this poem but me. Yeah.

Finally, not read but to watch: a great TED talk about what our kids are learning about gender from watching movies. Not precisely the analysis I would have expected—less critical of what girls are learning, and more critical of what boys are learning. Smart and compassionate and useful.

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