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On the trail of The Silver Spider, Part 2: the Sipan Spider

What exactly is the silver spider? Like everything else in my novel, it’s a grain of reality that’s been put through the filter of my imagination. In 1990, I worked on an archaeological excavation in Peru… Continue reading…

Clear expectations

In my last post, I wrote about the power of self-assessment, in which a student uses a grading scheme to award him or herself a grade rather than simply receiving a grade from an outside authority. The logical follow-up is the topic of setting clear expectations for what type of work will earn a good grade. Continue reading …

The Boater’s Barter Economy

Out on northern Tonga’s remote Kenutu island, we had it all: a lush, uninhabited paradise, turquoise anchorage, vibrant coral reefs. If only we weren’t running low on supplies…
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The power of self-assessment

Self-assessment is a powerful learning tool, as I was just reminded when going over a writing assignment with my fourth grade son. Self-assessment means that the student uses a detailed rubric to grade his own work.
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On the trail of The Silver Spider, Part I: genesis of a novel

I began to sketch the preliminary concept of a suspense novel when we were at sea for twenty-eight days straight, sailing from the Galapagos Islands to the Marquesas. Thirty-five feet of fibreglass - our floating home, Namani - doesn’t leave a lot of room to pace, but plenty of room for an imagination full with observations on the fun, fascinating world of cruising sailors. Continue reading…

Comparing apples and oranges?

I’ve been asked to use my experience as a teacher to compare children who have hands-on home schooling experiences with “regular” kids. Are they so different? Do they have special qualities? The answers are framed in the context of sailing children, but apply equally to children from any non-traditional educational settings.
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Children should be allowed to get bored, expert says

By Hannah Richardson, BBC News education reporter, 23 March 2013
Reposted here from bbc.co.uk/news

Children should be allowed to get bored so they can develop their innate ability to be creative, an education expert says. Dr. Teresa Belton told the BBC cultural expectations that children should be constantly active could hamper the development of their imagination.
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