Things I learned in 2nd Grade

I went to an extraordinary elementary school, at an extraordinary time. Presidio Hill School in San Francisco during the 1960 was directed by Katherine Fromer, who was also my second grade teacher.

Things I Learned in 2nd Grade from Katherine Fromer and still practice

1. Plant and grow food from a seed.

2. Make things from the natural elements.

3. Weave baskets, beads and threads

4. Identify plants by looking at their leaves.

5. Forage for food.

6. Read for pleasure and knowledge

7. Look to native American writings for spiritual growth.

8. “There are many paths up the mountain.” Sequoyah

9. Be kind and patient to those who act out. They are merely crying out for attention.

11. When you can’t pay attention, rest and play.

12. Dance is a form of celebration.




We’ve got to be that light

A heartfelt thank you to teachers across America for their unwavering dedication to the next generation.

Dr. Jeff Goldstein, Center Director
National Center for Earth and Space Science Education

John Boswell
Symphony of Science

Symphony of Science Remix
Keynote Address “Science – It’s Not a Book of Knowledge … It’s a Journey”
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) National Conference
March 2011, San Francisco, CA

4 Guidelines for Assessment Using Rubrics

Notes from workshop from the WASC Assessment Leadership Academy presented by Mary Allen. Mary Allen writes on her hand out “Developing and Applying Rubrics” June 14, 2011 WASC Assessment Leadership Academy

1. “Rubrics provide criteria for assessing students’ work. …Rubrics can be used to provide formative feedback to students, to grade students, and/or to assess courses and programs.”

2. There are two kinds of scoring for rubrics:

  •  Holistic scoring = results in one overall score
  • Analytic Rubrics = separate, holistic scoring of specified characteristics of a product or behavior

3. Rubrics can be useful to conduct program assessment or course assessment or General Education Assessment.

4. Rubrics can be calibrated between raters to insure inter-rater reliability for assessment.

  • Have two people score independently and both scores are recorded
  • Have pairs of readers collaborate to come up with a unified score
  •  Collect evidence and remove identifying information
  •  Develop and pilot the rubric
  • Select exemplars of student work that have a variety of quality – to include gamut of quality from terrible to excellent.
  • Discuss how you will score and conduct sample scoring to discuss.
  • Create a spreadsheet and enter scores and review results immediately after scoring.
  • If there is a big discrepancy in rating between two readers then the rubric should be cleaned up.

Ground Rules:

  • Don’t disclose information about a particular student or faculty member.
  • Acknowledge the creators of the rubric.
  • Do not make norm-referenced judgement– do not grade on the curve

The value of a college degree

Many students believe that if they receive a college degree they will “get a good job”.

They are anxious to “get the degree” rather than getting the education.

This mindset is analogous:

getting a degree is like getting  a plane ticket,

rather than qualifying them for a passport

Data Analytics

In the blog post from “eLearning Roadtrip” called Data Change Everything the author lays out a case for investment and innovation.

We’ve seen what data analytics does for business and I’ve heard from reliable sources that the for-profit online universities are having some success with this field. The Apollo Group (University of Phoenix) hired top wiz kids from Yahoo to lead new e-learning initiatives in their San Francisco office.