Archive for December, 2004

Analyzing Teaching

Review: 2-part CD-ROM Analyzing Teaching is based on videos of classroom experiences. The format is quite nice since it is all on the CD-ROM: the videos, the introductions and even a reflective journal which can be printed from the application. There are 4 different lessons analysed on the CD-ROM: 3rd Grade Language 7th Grade English […]

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Titanic

It was good to see Titanic again - it is a great movie. Once again we see the amazing folly of man - and the over-importance men place on size and power. (I liked the scene where Rose comments to the Captain that Freud would have enjoyed analysing their emphasis on size and one of […]

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Falun Gong

I am still trying to figure out why the Chinese are so scared of Falun Gong. Here in Singapore we occasionally get leaflets via letter box from the 'organisation' (they point out clearly they are not a religion nor a political group). The one that arrived yesterday told us of the 'miraculous' healing experiences in […]

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Visit to a Motivated Classroom

Visit to a Motivated Classroom is a US production by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. It is a 30 minute video with supplementary Viewer's Guide. The lesson is on pre-calculus mathematics - sine and cosine rules, to be specific. The title caught my eye, since the lack of student motivation seems to be […]

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Boring rows and columns

Many traditional classrooms have desks lined up in rows and columns that are sooo boring. The students have little chance to interact with each other (this is of course discouraged) so when they are asked to discuss something, they find it very strange. Where is the colour, the life, the fun, the interest in the […]

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“Singapore Math”

It wasn't so long ago that Googling singapore math would bring up my own maths website (Interactive Mathematics) in the number 1 position. But since the US got onto the "Singapore model" of "excellent math teaching" the term "Singapore Math" has taken on a whole new meaning. The TIMSS data (Third International Mathematics and Science […]

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Sarawak

The Mulu Caves in Sarawak are awesome. They are huge - the capacity is measured in 'number of 747s that will fit in'. The beauty of the surrounding area was better than expected. A strong memory is the millions of bats that circle their way out of the caves at sunset. I especially liked the […]

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A Hard Day’s Bomb

Feeling that I needed a dose of nostalgia, we watched The Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night" yesterday. When I first watched it (in my pre-teen days) it was when Beatlemania was in full flight - and they could have produced a terrible movie about the Beatles and we would have loved it. Well, they did […]

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Birth dearth?

The local Singapore paper ran an article about the rapid drop in fertility rates over the last decade being "bad news" for the world. The article argued that since many countries have dropped below the magic 2.1 fertility rate (under which the population will not sustain itself), then we would become extinct. They also rubbished […]

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The Polar Express - Performance Capture CGI

We caught "The Polar Express" with Tom Hanks playing a multitude of roles. The CGI (computer graphics imaging) is very interesting. They developed a new technique for the movie - "Performance Capture" - where real actors wore a device which allowed 72 motion cameras to detect tiny facial movements and store the huge amount of […]

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