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Looking for a Special Way to Give Thanks…

and remember special ties that bind ….as well as learn more about those that you love and care for in your life?  How do you do this?  Sit down with a few questions in a quiet comfy spot, have your recording tool in hand and get ready to do something very special…. listen and record.  Listen with your heart, soul and eyes and you will create the most treasured gift this holiday season.

stotyTo find out more about how to do this, and a project that has taken this on in a big way, visit Story Corp — an NPR program that is celebrating it’s 10 year anniversary.  Thousands of people have sought out the Story Corp booth as it travels around the country to record their stories for a special archive of story telling that has become the largest recorded oral history ever.  If you have not listened to STORY CORP on NPR, make a point to do so.  I can promise you that you feel touched by these stories told by people like you and I — sharing personal stories of thanks with sincerity and humility and compassion.  Some of my favorite stories include children talking with and listening to their elders.  There is something magical about the little voices asking simple questions and the compassionate older voices sharing their stories so tenderly with their young interviewer.

This Friday is the National Day of Listening.  It is a special opportunity for you to sit down with someone that you care about and interview them.  The recording will become part of the Story Corp archive.  If you’re not ready to make this archival worthy….but you have always wanted to capture those special stories of your grandparents, aunts, uncles — or those you’ve been touched by, simply record it with your phone or other tech tool.   I can assure you, this oral history will be treasured always.

On this Thanksgiving, make a special point to listen and give thanks for those around you and the special ways they have made you who your are now and in the future.  I am eternally grateful for those who have taught me to take the time to listen intensely and with my whole heart to those in my life.  Remember, listening is an act of love.

Wishing you all the best on this special holiday weekend.

Warmly, Mrs. Reagan

#storycorp, #npr  # thanksgiving



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Learning Math in Today’s Classroom

arithmeticAre you confounded by your child’s math homework?  Do you sometimes wonder if the math your child is now learning in elementary school involves math concepts that you learned in secondary math classes? Do you ever question your own math ability when you can’t help your child complete a stem and leaf plot, a proof statement or a place value problem?

Over the past three years, our staff has fielded a variety of parent questions about the supposed  “new math” that is taught, grades K-5.  Our district math curriculum is set by the state of Michigan which follows the national mandates for math education.  This ensures that all schools throughout our nation are preparing all learners to know and understand math facts AND understand how to apply use math to create sophisticated algebraic equations.

Why?  Society demands this.  All of us now need to know how to develop macros equations for spreadsheets and for a variety of other work projects.

Keith Devlin, an NPR math expert explained it best:

“….Computers do arithmetic for us,  but making computers do the things we want them to do requires algebraic thinking. For instance, take a computer spreadsheet. The computer does all the calculations for you automatically. But you have to write the macros that tell it what calculations to do — and that is algebraic thinking.

You cannot become good at algebra without a mastery of arithmetic, AND arithmetic itself is no longer the ultimate goal.  Thus the emphasis in teaching mathematics today is on getting people to be sophisticated, algebraic thinkers.”

You can find the entire article by clicking on the link below:

The Way You Learned Math is So Old School

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Happy December 12!

12According to an article I read today in the TIMES, “Sunday is the twelfth day of the twelfth month, which makes it a 12/12 day, which makes this the perfect weekend to get yourself a copy of the Duodecimal Bulletin, Celebrator of all things Twelvish.”

This group, along with several mathematician friends of mine, argue that the world would be so much more divisor, multiplier and everything friendly if our counting systems was built around twelves rather than tens.  To find out why, read this entertaining and informative article by Robert Krulwich, a science writer for a variety of publications.

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savethewordsWhile driving home from work last week, I listened to a segment on NPR’s All Things Considered which was featuring a man who’s mission is to save words from dying.

Edward Ong, the word saver, created a site that allows visitors to “adopt a word.”  The terms of adoption are simple: The word’s new family agrees to use the word as frequently as possible in conversations throughout the days and weeks ahead.

If you are interested in adopting a word, visit SAVE THE WORDS. You’ll find yourself reaching for a dictionary for a definition or two!

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A Wise and Thoughtful Six Year Old

dr. joeThis past week, I listened to a StoryCorps feature about a doctor who runs a clinic for homeless people in Miami.  Dr. Joe learned one of life’s most important lessons while treating a mother and her small children at a Salvation Army Shelter.  I thought I would share this inspirational story with you.  It is a reminder to me why the thoughts and actions of children often help me look at life more positively!

To read or listen to this story, click on the passage below:

Dr. Pedro “Joe” Greer has been practicing medicine for more than 25 years. He’s devoted most of that time to helping Miami’s homeless and poor — many of whom know him as simply “Dr. Joe.”

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Santa is a Science and Technology Wizard

Raise your hand if you think Santa uses magic to find the just right gift for every boy and girl?  If you thought this, as I did, you will be amazed to learn that there is new santa techevidence to suggest that it looks like magic  but is in fact advanced technology that allows him to create scientific tools to help him get his job done.

Examples of these tools are:  Terahertz wave radiation scanner, metamaterials that allow for lightbending, heads-up display glasses, and much more.   Although some of these gadgets are being tested in labs currently, most of Santa’s tools are hundreds of years more advanced that what we have access to today!

You can listen to Gregory Mone, editor for  Popular Science, share these tools on NPR:  Santa Claus Relies On Robots, Gadgetry Many more examples are shared in Mone’s new book, The Truth About Santa: Wormholes, Robots, and What Really Happens on Christmas Eve.