Just for Fun
As part of her ongoing effort to promote healthy eating and lifestyle choices, First Lady Michelle Obama will appear on the November 10 episode of Sesame Street,in which she helps Elmo and his friends plant a vegetable garden and explains to Big Bird that, even though they're both tall, that doesn't mean they're related. Check it out here:
Yes, we are now officially "cool."
Seems like everyone these days wants to be like Michelle Obama--even a little, furry, red muppet! Mrs. Obama recently joined Elmo in a PSA to encourage parents to set healthy examples--such as eating healthy foods, reading books, and getting regular exercise--for their children. Sesame Street has always used adult-muppet interactions on the show to model good parent-child interactions for parents who may be watching the show along with their children. It's good to see the First Lady taking part in that tradition, and leveraging her status as a role model to help parents make good choices.
As a fan of singer Neko Case, I was already disappointed that I didn't act in time to get tickets to her two sold-out concerts in Washington, D.C., this week. But now I'm even more bummed. The New Republic reports that U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan attended and introduced Case at last night's performance. Apparently, Case is a friend of Tim Tuten, who, in addition to owning a popular Chicago music venue also oversaw communications for the Chicago Public Schools and has followed Duncan to Washington. Case reportedly also made positive remarks about the Obama administration's education policies.
This is not really relevant to early education, but nevertheless pretty awesome.
Now: Would it be too much to hope for a Neko Case cameo on Sesame Street? Perhaps a quick glance at last year's Feist appearance can make the case for how cool that would be.
UVA cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham is at it again, with a new YouTube video about the connection between content knowledge and reading comprehension. You never knew cognitive science could be so much fun!
If you read this blog, you probably already know how important it is for parents to talk to their babies and small children and engage them in conversation. Little Anders Gross and his mom, Lindsay, demonstrate below. Note that while Anders is still working on his language skills, he's already quite proficient in the 21st Century Skill of vlogging.
Happy New Year!
Damon Weaver, whose Joe Biden is My Homeboy video rocketed him to national fame during the presidential campaign, is a student at K. E. Cunningham/Canal Point Elementary, a 528 student PK-6 public elementary school in Florida's Palm Beach County School District. Despite the impressive recording studio on display in this video, this is hardly an affluent school: More than 96 percent of the school's students are economically disadvantaged. Nearly 70 percent of the student body is African American, and over 25 percent is Hispanic. Unfortunately, the school's academic performance is not very impressive. Only 45 percent of the school's fourth graders are proficient in reading--well below state averages--although 78 percent are proficient in math. The school failed to make adequate yearly progress under NCLB for the 2007 school year because its students fell short of achievement targets. It received a grade of "B" on the Florida state accountability system.
Early Ed Watch is going to be taking off the next few days to allow us to enjoy some turkey and all the fixings with family and friends. But we'll be back next week with more early education coverage, including this New America event. In the meantime, the holiday spirit has got us thinking about some of the things we're grateful for this Thanksgiving:
Whichever way you're voting today, I think we can all agree that these political babies are adorable. Since they can't vote, please remember them when you do.
Photos courtesy of flickr users Ladd, dwyeropolis, stirnaman.photo, and Brian Finifter, used under a Creative Commons license.