November 22, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

Archives for May 2007

TV Violence Doesn't Lead to Aggressive Kids, Study Says

This article originally appeared in SLJ’€™s Extra Helping.

By Joan Oleck, 05/23/2007

Violent television does not lead to violent children, says a new research paper from the Media Institute, countering a recent, much-heralded report from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) stating that the opposite is true.

“Television Violence and Aggression: Setting the Record Straight,” refutes an April FCC report that called for laws to curb certain television content for children.

“The debate is not over,” writes Jonathan Freedman, author of the paper and a […]

“And Tango Makes Three” Prompts Serious Challenge in Massachusetts School

A Southwick, MA, school librarian says she fears losing her job after introducing a class of second graders to And Tango Makes Three (S & S, 2005)—the fictionalized children’s picture book based on two real-life male penguins at New York’s Central Park Zoo. In the book, the penguins share a nest like other penguin couples and together nurture a fertilized egg, then raise the chick.

Johanna Habeisen, a library media teacher now in her 11th year at Woodland Elementary in southwestern Massachusetts, […]

Space, the Final Frontier: Media Centers for the 21st Century

Pat Kyle, librarian at the Washington International School (WIS), was presented with a rare opportunity. A private PreK–12 institution in northwest Washington, DC, WIS had committed to a five-year redesign of the school in which she would take an active role, helping build a brand new media center.

Having participated in a design workshop at my Building Learning Communities Summer Conference (www.novemberlearning.com/blc) last year, Kyle understood how a properly designed space, one that thoughtfully integrated online learning and collaboration and content […]

Give Peace a Chance, an Interview with Ibtisam Barakat | Under Cover

Ibtisam Barakat on her new memoir, Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood

When the Six-Day War started in 1967, you were three years old and living in the West Bank. In your memoir, you describe fleeing from the Israeli attack—when suddenly, in the middle of the night, you became separated from your family. What do you remember about that experience?

The image is of a child alone against the canvas of the night. I felt fear for my life. I cannot […]

A Revolution in Library Service | The Gaming Life

Gaming is more than just a lure into the library

The first time I saw a group of teenagers hanging out at the library hours before our gaming program was to start, I knew we were on to something amazing. I never imagined that such a strong bond between these teenagers and the library would develop over dance pads, Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, Twister, and Pictionary.

While story times have always attracted the preschool and elementary crowds, many older children and teens have […]

Getting to Know You| Consider the Source

There’s more to history than facts and dates

I was talking with Myra Zarnowski the other day—you may know her from Making Sense of History (Theory and Practice, 2006)—the book that shows teachers how to use literature and hands-on experiences to get kids excited about history.

Zarnowski is chair of the Early Childhood Education department at New York’s Queens College, and she gave her students a copy of my article on the importance of putting things into context just as they […]

Reuniting Church and State| Scales on Censorship

Is it appropriate to have religious representation on your review committee?

My district insists that a clergy member sit on our materials review committee. It just so happens that this particular member almost always votes against retaining challenged materials. Is it important to have religious representation?

It’s up to the school board to decide the makeup of the materials review committee. The religious community is so strong in some districts that it’s wise to include them. Don’t assume that every clergyperson […]

¿Habla Inglés? | First Steps

To learn a second language, a child needs to really know his first one

“My three-year-old doesn’t watch much television,” a Spanish-speaking parent recently said. “My friends say that’s why he’s not learning English—because he doesn’t watch enough TV. Is that true?”

Obviously, the mother’s question was motivated by her desire to help her child. But if you’re like us, you may have to restrain yourself from shouting, “No!” Having an immediate, research-based answer to parents’ questions is a challenge for […]