Archive for May, 2010

The Answer Sheet: Week of May 22

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Did you take the Quiztory last week? Now it’s time to check your answers:

1. What was Adolf Eichmann called by his classmates as a child in Linz, Austria? The little Jew

2. How did P.T. Barnum prove the strength of the Brooklyn Bridge a year after it first opened? He ushered 21 elephants back and forth across it.

3. When was the so-called evolution law, a result of the case of State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes, repealed? 1967

4. How many complaints of witchcraft were made in Connecticut between 1638 and 1697? 43

5. How long did it take to construct the Bismarck, Germany’s famed battleship? Three years

Related Link Resources
On This Day: Israel Announces Capture of Nazi War Criminal Adolf ...
On This Day: Brooklyn Bridge Opened to the Public
On This Day: Tennessee Educator John Scopes Indicted for Teaching ...
On This Day: Alse Young Hanged for Witchcraft in Connecticut
On This Day: British Royal Navy Sinks German Battleship Bismarck

Quiztory: Week of May 22

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Test your students’ knowledge of the notable events covered in findingDulcinea’s “On This Day” column this week with Quiztory. It makes a fun extra credit assignment.

1. What was Adolf Eichmann called by his classmates as a child in Linz, Austria?

2. How did P.T. Barnum prove the strength of the Brooklyn Bridge a year after it first opened?

3. When was the so-called evolution law, a result of the case of State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes, repealed?

4. How many complaints of witchcraft were made in Connecticut between 1638 and 1697?

5. How long did it take to construct the Bismarck, Germany’s famed battleship?

What’s Coming Up?

Next week, “On This Day” will examine the first climbers to reach the peak of Mount Everest, the Johnstown, Pa., flood and the Fenian raid into Canada. We’ll also take a look at the duel between Andrew Jackson and Charles Dickinson, Lou Gehrig, the “zoot suit riots” of Los Angeles and the Tiananmen Square demonstration.

Related Link Resources
On This Day column

Schools Around the World: South Korea

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Lee Jin-man/AP

After a visit to South Korea in early 2009, President Barack Obama applauded its education system, noting that students in South Korea attend school for an entire month more than American students. Obama suggested that the U.S. should consider changes to a school calendar, “designed for when America was a nation of farmers,” in order to remain globally competitive, according to The Korea Times.

In 2007, the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) ranked South Korea first in reading scores, and fourth in math among all participating countries. According to the BBC, “South Korea has made rapid progress since 2000, says the report—with its pupils improving by the equivalent of a whole school year.”

Yet there are glaring flaws in the South Korean system. In May 2005, teens staged a protest in Seoul after five students were driven to suicide by academic pressures, The New York Times reported.

“Schools are driving us to endless competition, teaching us to step on our friends to succeed,” Shin Ji Hae, a 16-year-old girl, said in a speech before an approving crowd of students. “We are not studying machines. We are just teenagers.”

(more…)

Related Link Resources
The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times
The Independent
U.S. Library of Congress
Change.org
BBC
The Korea Times
findingDulcinea

The Answer Sheet: Week of May 15

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Did you take the Quiztory last week? Now it’s time to check your answers:

1. What journalist published an article in McClure’s magazine exposing Standard Oil’s ruthless practices? Ida Tarbell

2. Why was Charlie Chaplin barred from reentering the U.S. in 1952? He was considered a security risk.

3. How many days did it take for the ash from Mount St. Helens to circle the globe following the volcanic eruption in 1980? 17 days

4. Where was Amelia Earhart originally planning to land on her first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean? Paris

5. Harvey Milk gave his most famous speech in opposition to what proposition? Proposition 6, or the Briggs Initiative

Related Link Resources
On This Day: Standard Oil Ordered to Dissolve
On This Day: Charlie Chaplin's Body Recovered After It Was Stolen
On This Day: Mount St. Helens Erupts
On This Day: Amelia Earhart Embarks on Solo Atlantic Flight
On This Day: Harvey Milk's Killer Avoids Murder Conviction With ...

Quiztory: Week of May 15

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Test your students’ knowledge of the notable events covered in findingDulcinea’s “On This Day” column this week with Quiztory. It makes a fun extra credit assignment.

1. What journalist published an article in McClure’s magazine exposing Standard Oil’s ruthless practices?

2. Why was Charlie Chaplin barred from reentering the U.S. in 1952?

3. How many days did it take for the ash from Mount St. Helens to circle the globe following the volcanic eruption in 1980?

4. Where was Amelia Earhart originally planning to land on her first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean?

5. Harvey Milk gave his most famous speech in opposition to what proposition?

What’s Coming Up?

Next week, “On This Day” will examine the Wars of the Roses, the capture of Adolf Eichmann and the first U.S. telegram. We’ll also take a look at the “Scopes Monkey Trial,” witchcraft in Connecticut in 1647, the German battleship Bismarck and the Dodgers’ and Giants’ move to California.

Related Link Resources
On This Day column

Need Funds for a School Project? DonorsChoose.org Can Help

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Henny Ray Abrams/AP
Charles Best of DonorsChoose.org.

Just about every public school teacher can relate: There just aren’t enough learning materials and supplies available in our schools. Ten years ago, one teacher set out to change that by creating DonorsChoose.org, a Web site that matches donors with public school teachers requesting donations for school projects.Though the program started in New York, it has since expanded around the country, first to North Carolina in 2004. According to Matthew E. Milliken, reporting for The Herald-Sun, DonorsChoose.org “has funneled $3.6 million from nearly 19,000 contributors to North Carolina educators.” Across the country, more than 195,000 donors have given almost $47.9 million. Most of the money goes to classroom supplies (41 percent of all requests, Milliken writes), books (27 percent) or technology (22 percent).

In the Durham, N.C., school district, school administrators encourage teachers to try DonorsChoose.org. At J.D. Clement Early College High School in Durham, the Web site helped fund books, calculators, a laptop for a special-needs student and a new rug.

“It’s just been a nice way for us to provide for our students in ways that we couldn’t have before,” Kendra O’Neal-Williams, the principal at J.D. Clement, told The Herald-Sun. “We didn’t have the funds to—nor did the parents have the funds to—purchase this specific technology.”

DonorsChoose.org was started in 2000 by Charles Best, a social studies teacher in a Bronx high school. According to the DonorsChoose.org Web site, Best “sensed that many people would like to help distressed public schools, but were frustrated by a lack of influence over their donations.”Best sought to change that by making a $1 donation just as appreciated and valued as a $100 donation: Regardless of the amount, every donation receives photos of the project it funded, a thank-you letter from the teacher and a report showing how every dollar was spent. In what the organization calls “citizen philanthropy,” every donor receives “the same level of choice, transparency, and feedback that is traditionally reserved for someone who gives millions.”

Choice is integral to DonorsChoose.org’s mission. In a video on YouTube, Best shares the story of one donor who only wanted to contribute money that would support the preservation of salmon in the Pacific Northwest. He explains how he did a keyword search on “salmon” on the DonorsChoose.org Web site and came up with five classroom projects on saving salmon in the Pacific Northwest.

The variety of projects is impressive, making “the ability for a citizen philanthropist to express a really personal passion” and “find classroom project requests matching their passion” one of the organization’s key features, according to Best.

Best isn’t the only one who thinks DonorsChoose.org is worthwhile: Stephen Colbert, host of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report,” is a DonorsChoose.org board member. Colbert hands out $100 “philanthropic gift certificates” to every guest of “The Colbert Report.”

Related Link Resources
The Herald-Sun
DonorsChoose.org
YouTube

The Answer Sheet: Week of May 8

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Did you take the Quiztory last week? Now it’s time to check your answers:

1. Who succeeded Hitler as president of the Third Reich? Karl Doenitz

2. Under what law was Margaret Sanger, women’s rights activist and birth control advocate, arrested and prosecuted in 1916? The Comstock Law which made it illegal to distribute information about contraceptives.

3. Which ethnic population was largely responsible for building the Central Pacific railroad, and for what reason did this group go on strike in 1867? The Chinese went on strike because non-Chinese workers were paid better.

4. In what way did farming practices give rise to the Dust Storms of the 1930s? Farmers over-harvested the land and allowed livestock to overgraze it. A drought began in 1931, killing many crop yields. The dust storms began because there were few crops and very little grass to hold the dry soil in place.

5. What motivated the Soviets to impose the Berlin Blockade? Following WWII, the Soviet Union feared that Germany could again become a military power and wanted to keep it weak.

Related Link Resources
On This Day: V-E Day Ends WWII in Europe
On This Day: FDA Approves the First Birth Control Pill
On This Day: Transcontinental Railroad completed
On This Day: Dust Storm Sweeps Across the Great Plains
On This Day: Soviet Union Ends Berlin Blockade

Schools Around the World: Turkey

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who led Turkey to independence in 1923, enacted many country-wide reforms that he hoped would modernize Turkey, which was then known as the “sick man of Europe,” according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

In addition to separating “mosque and state,” and giving women the right to vote, Ataturk mandated that every child attend primary school, the Council reported. He also changed the script from Arabic to Latin, to facilitate Turks learning other European languages. Decades later, in 1997, Turkish Parliament passed a Basic Education Law and lengthened compulsory education from five to eight years, according to UNICEF.

In Turkey, schools are coeducational but boys have higher rates of enrollment and literacy than girls across all grades. Although a 2002 study showed increased enrollment of girls since the 1997 reforms, “[t]raditional reluctance to send or keep the girl child in school still persists in the lower income bracket and rural areas,” UNICEF reports. Gender differences in schooling are also more pronounced among certain ethnic groups. For example, “43% of Kurdish-speaking girls from the poorest households have fewer than two years’ education, while the national average is 6%,” according to The Guardian.

(more…)

Related Link Resources
Council on Foreign Relations: Turkey for High School Teachers
The Library of Congress: Country Studies: Turkey
The Organization for Cooperation and Economic Development
Al- Noor: The Challenges of Education in Turkey: A Viewpoint

Quiztory: Week of May 8

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Test your students’ knowledge of the notable events covered in findingDulcinea’s “On This Day” column this week with Quiztory. It makes a fun extra credit assignment.

1. Who succeeded Hitler as president of the Third Reich?

2. Under what law was Margaret Sanger, women’s rights activist and birth control advocate, arrested and prosecuted in 1916?

3. Which ethnic population was largely responsible for building the Central Pacific railroad, and for what reason did this group go on strike in 1867?

4. In what way did farming practices give rise to the Dust Storms of the 1930s?

5. What motivated the Soviets to impose the Berlin Blockade?

What’s Coming Up?

Next week, we’ll examine the Supreme Court’s decision to end segregation and another decision to dissolve Standard Oil. We’ll also take a look at the marriage of Louis XVI to Marie Antoinette, Amelia Earhart’s solo Atlantic flight, Harvey Milk’s alleged killer’s “Twinkie defense” and Cynthia Anne Parker’s kidnapping by the Comanche.

The Answer Sheet: Week of May 1

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Did you take the Quiztory last week? Now it’s time to check your answers:

1. What famous media magnate tried to prevent the 1941 release of the classic film, “Citizen Kane”?  William Randolph Hearst

2. What company was behind the first commercial jet flight, and what became of it? The British Overseas Airway Corporation was the first company to fly a jet commercially. The 1952 flight of the Haviland Comet was a success, however three subsequent Comet flights crashed, compelling British authorities to ground the fleet.

3. How did cooperation between the War Department and U.S. media blunt the impact of Japan’s “balloon bomb” attacks on the U.S. during World War II?  The media complied with a government request to censor information about the balloon bomb campaign in hopes that the Japanese would believe it was ineffective. After six people in Oregon died, the government informed the public about the threat.

4. In 1970, what was the announcement by President Nixon that led to protests at conservative Kent State University, which ended with four students dead? President Nixon announced the invasion of Cambodia.

5. What cause did both German and American investigators cite for the Hindenburg explosion at the time of the incident? Sabotage. The Hindenburg was a symbol of Nazi Germany.

Related Link Resources
On This Day: "Citizen Kane" Premieres in New York
On This Day: First Commercial Jet Flight Takes Off
On this Day: Japanese Balloon Bomb Kills Six in Oregon
On This Day: Kent State Students Shot by Ohio National Guard
On This Day: The Hindenburg Crashes