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Monday, October 27, 2014

What’s "Halloween" Mom? Learn More To Give An Answer.

Halloween, a contraction for All-Hallows-Eve, falls always on 31st of October and traditionally is tied to the days that follow All Hallows Eve - November 1st, All Saints Day, and November 2nd, All Souls Day. They are connected by both ancient and religious traditions.

One of them was Samhain holiday. The ancient Celtics used the day to mark the end of the harvest season when the earth was at its most barren, before the snow falls and winter begins. The Celtics also believed that this transition between the seasons was a bridge to the world of the dead. This tradition was based on the belief that the souls of those that has passed on were migrating and out and about in the world.
Harvest Season, 2014
To keep those souls away, many would light bonfires.
There are also less scary traditions. In England, children still recite a jingle as they go door-to-door.
The sky is blue
The grass is green
Have you got a penny for Halloween?
If you haven't got a penny,
A ha'penny will do.
If you haven't got a ha'penny,
Then God bless you.

Halloween leads us to Nov. 1, All Saints Day, when many Christian churches celebrate the very best among us. Since there are so many Catholic Saints, it was necessary to create one day to honor all of them. The Feast of All Saints can be traced back to Pope Gregory III, who lived in the 8th century. Today, there are thousands of saints or those who will be.
Modern Halloween has become less about literal ghosts and ghouls and more about trick-or-treating, pumpkins, costumes and candy. Over the millennia the holiday transitioned from a somber pagan ritual to a day of merriment, costumes, parades and sweet treats for children and adults.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

On a Sunny Saturday Across The Brooklyn Bridge and Through the History

Brooklyn Bridge, October 2014
It was a challenging biking for a 7-year-old Basia and me from Manhattan-to-Brooklyn and back. We accessed The Brooklyn Bridge bike line from City Hall on the Manhattan side of the East River, cycled across through a very narrow path, crowded with bikes and people, but we reached our goal, Jane's Carousel, a relic from 1922, located in the completely redone Empire-Fulton Ferry section of Dumbo, Brooklyn. 
Jane's Carousel, Dumbo, Brooklyn, October 2014
It took two decades for resident Jane Walentas and her husband, David, to restore the Jane's Carousel. When it finally moved into its new home. Jean Nouvel designed a glass structure around the carousel for kids to ride its brightly colored, Philadelphia - made horses all year-round.
Jane's Carousel, Dumbo, Brooklyn, October 2014
Brooklyn Bridge from Brooklyn Bridge Park, October 2014
When relaxing on the grass we admired the Brooklyn Bridge once again and quizzed our knowledge about the history behind it.

Quiz your knowledge about Brooklyn Bridge:

Learn facts about the Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge, October 2014
Getting Back to Manhattan was easier and the view was very scenic. We accessed the Brooklyn Bridge Pedestrian Walkway via an underpass on Washington Street. The underpass is about two blocks from Front Street in DUMBO.
Brooklyn Bridge Park, October 2014

Thursday, October 23, 2014

What’s Response to Intervention (RtI) Model?

The Response to Intervention (RtI) model provides districts and schools with a useful tool for helping all subgroups of underperforming students to achieve.
RtI is a monitoring system recommended under the reauthorization of the federal Building the Legacy: IDEA2004—Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (Outside Source). Although originally designed for special education, RtI provides a practical model for continuous progress monitoring, carefully tailored instruction, and frequent, accelerated interventions that move students on a strategic path to success. RtI can help teachers determine if students are learning as expected, or if not, whether they require early intervention services. It can also help teachers determine student eligibility for special education services. A more detailed discussion about the instruction and intervention aspect of RtI can be found at Response toInstruction and Intervention RTI2, Recommendation 2—Instruction, Assessment, and Intervention, TCSII.
The intent of universal access is to meet the needs of all students, including English Language Learners (ELL), with reading difficulties, students with disabilities, and advanced learners. All SBE-adopted programs have been designed with additional ancillary materials that are to be used with and beyond the basic program that include extra support for struggling readers and ELL. In cases where students have processing difficulties (e.g., auditory discrimination input difficulties) or lack specific academic vocabulary, as in the case of many new immigrants and bilingual students, lectures and auditory discussions will not provide equal access. These types of instructional methods must be supplemented with multiple support strategies. For example, teachers can use realia and flash cards to reinforce vocabulary, slide shows, hands-on materials, and aides or tutors to help students learn the material.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Is homework too easy?

Homework at the 2nd grade, Oct. 2014
“Is homework too easy?”
Homework at the 2nd grade, Oct 2014
“Many students find homework too easy, report says.”
Basia at the 2nd grade after the homework is done, Oct.  2014
Basia at the 2nd grade after the homework is done, Oct. 2014
Basia at the 2nd grade after the homework is done, Oct. 2014
“The Homework Trap: How to Save the Sanity of Parents, Students and Teachers”, 2012, Paperback –By Kenneth Goldberg

Monday, October 13, 2014

Biking Along With Your Kid – Great Adventure, Exercise and Education of all Kinds

Today was a good, relaxing Columbus Day perfect for a bike ride, so we went ahead and took advantage of an East River Greenway which runs along the East Side from The Battery and past South Street Seaport to East Harlem. Some places were narrow due to sinkholes being blocked off by protective fencing, requiring slower speeds. The main idea was to have a great time but apart from that to provided outdoor and environmental education. Today adventure shown Basia how to be safe and responsible on a powerful vehicle while realizing its full potential.
We went through the safety rules first.
All biking should be taken seriously in terms of safety by wearing a helmet and following the rules of the road.
We talked about environmental benefits.
Biking is a wonderful activity. It saves on gas consumption and doesn't add pollution to the air. In fact, cycling is becoming so important and so mainstream that many cities are now adding bike lanes to their major roads and thoroughfares.
We tried to find all health benefits.
Biking is great exercise. It works all parts of the body since you have to be able to balance yourself while at the same time power the bike. And, of course, your rear end really gets a workout having to stay on the little seat while traveling. It is good for posture and helps to strengthen the back, arms and legs. Plus, biking is terrific for the mind and soul. It encourages your mind to wander, freeing up all the day's clutter.
We thought about social benefits.
Biking is a great exercise because the whole family can easily participate.
We looked for objects of our interest.
When biking you can travel around and see whatever your heart desires. It is your ticket to see the world. Recreational cycling allows you to enjoy the little things that you would not normally see. It allows you to be at one with nature when cycling for fun or in a park-like setting.