Monthly Archives: December 2011

Inter-disciplinary reading of the news

We tend to box the world into disciplines for students — “math” “science” “geography” “politics” — and I think that does a disservice, especially at the middle school level. The world is far more interesting when it’s explored in its … Continue reading

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Be careful not to oversimplify

A friend of mine recently posted this on her Facebook page: It’s funny (apparently, it’s going viral), and it may be useful as a way to put budget numbers into some perspective… but it’s also an oversimplification that does not … Continue reading

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Food: fancy or simple?

I think the question of what we eat and where our food comes from in the 21st century is an important one. I just watched a fascinating 10 minute TED Talk called Cooking as Alchemy that got me thinking about this topic. The video … Continue reading

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Where do (145 pound) baby giraffes come from?

This is the story of how one question can grow into a far more interesting exploration of the world in which we live — in this case, the animal world. My family just got back from a few days in … Continue reading

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Applied Math: Seasonal Workers for Amazon.com

There’s math everywhere — especially in the news. Here’s a good example: Yesterday, I read a fascinating article in the Wall Street Journal about seasonal workers at Amazon.com. Apparently, Amazon makes nearly 40% of its annual revenue during the fourth … Continue reading

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Following the Presidential Race (for Middle School Students)

When I started my morning the way I often do, by reading the front page of the Washington Post’s website, I noticed two things that I’d like to bring to the attention of middle school students: First, I’m betting most … Continue reading

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Bringing the news to life using Google Earth

Here’s an example of how students can bring the news to life using Google Earth. Driving in my car today, I heard a compelling news story on the BBC about a hospital fire in Kolkata, India. The video below shows … Continue reading

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