A Rule of the Park (Boston Tales)

My daughters wandered off the playground and onto a path at the park. Francine was playing with the water fountain, and Carolina was curious about two dogs running nearby. She toddled over to see the dogs.

The dogs were with a woman – she was wearing a sweatshirt with a large red H – Harvard. I saw another woman walking nearby – she was wearing a Yale sweatshirScreen Shot 2017-06-04 at 7.08.46 AMt. I never know any fashion trends. I had on a plain black top, plain black pants, and flip-flops.

One of the Harvard woman’s dogs went really close to Carolina – the dog’s mouth looked disgusting. Large pointed teeth, drool, and matted fur (from the drool). The dog was grey – it wasn’t that big. I picked up Carolina, and Francine continued playing in the water fountain.


The woman turned to me.

She said,”My dogs are really friendly. My 2 year old niece plays with them all the time.”

I said,”It’s not that – it’s just that it’s a rule of the park to have dogs on a leash.”

Signs are posted all around the park that say: Leash, curb, and clean up after your dog. Each sign has a visual of the silhouette of a man with a do
g on a leash and a bag in his hand.

The woman turned to her dogs,”Come on. Come on.” She leashed her dogs and brought them to her car in the nearby parking lot. My daughters and I stayed at the water fountain. The woman then walked back towards us and approached me. “You know – it’s not a rule of the park, but it’s a complete waste of water to let your daughter play with that fountain.”

I just looked right at her, but I didn’t say anything. I was wearing sunglasses, but I still did my best penetrating stare.She walked back towards her car. As she was opening the door, another car pulled up. The driver was a woman, and she had a dog in the backseat.

The Harvard woman began to talk to the second dog lady who was getting out of her car. She was talking loudly – she was broadcasting from the parking lot, and she wanted me to hear her

“You better leash your dog. This little mom over there is hyper about her kids being by a dog that’s off leash. She’s going around saying it’s a rule of the park. I’m actually leaving. Maybe you want to go to.”

Harvard woman then got in her car and drove off. The second dog lady walked her dog to a field a ways away from the water fountain. She played with her dog, off leash. She was not near us. We went back to playing with the water fountain.

Scientific Literacy at the Roslindale Farmers’ Market

While wandering through the booths filled with edible greens, baked goods, and handmade soaps at the Roslindale Farmers’ Market on this muggy Saturday morning, I spotted a sign with the word “Literacy” and magnetically fluttered towards it like a moth drawn to light.

The sign read:

Boston University ALES: Advocates for Literacy in Environmental Science

Boston University ALES: Advocates for Literacy in Environmental Science

Attached to the sign was a table with scientific instruments and props. And behind the table were the ALES themselves!

Three of the ALES with their scientific tools at the Roslindale Farmers' Market

Three of the ALES with their scientific tools at the Roslindale Farmers’ Market

I learned that the ALES are a group of Boston University graduate student scientists who travel to various locations (including public schools) to promote science by providing explanations and demonstrations of what scientists do. Their goal is to create public awareness of the contributions that scientists make to society. They strive to show that scientists do not exist  in “ivory tower” laboratories, but rather solve problems and study phenomenon presented by the world. The ALES certainly proved their capability to meet their objectives through their delightful demonstrations this morning.

The demonstration below served to personify soil by showing that it is a breathing entity that exhales carbon dioxide.

The breathing soil with a CO2 monitor

The breathing soil with a CO2 monitor

Maple woods, like the strips seen here, makes up the floors of bowling alleys.

Maple woods, like the strips seen here, makes up the floors of bowling alleys.

The prop above shows the growth of various maples. A member of the ALES informed me that maples are used to construct the floors of bowling alleys.

133 year old Red Spruce

133 year old Red Spruce

I learned that some species of trees do not deal well with shade, but they grow very quickly with enough sunlight. However, species that can tolerate shade often outlive sun-worshipping species. The BU ALES explained this as “Tortise and the Hare” syndrome. I also learned that I can classify the Red Spruce as a “tortoise” because it is able to withstand shade.

The BU ALES offered a variety of fungi to grow at home.

The BU ALES offered a variety of fungi and plants to grow at home.

Finally, the BU ALES offered goody bags of plants and fungi to grow in your home, and they explain to you how to create appropriate soils and containers for your goodies.

The 20 minutes or so at the BU ALES booth enriched my meager knowledge of environmental scientists, and I will definitely be contacting them in the fall to arrange for them to visit my classroom. I cannot wait to learn more from them and enhance my scientific literacy. Thank you to the BU ALES for promoting literacy in our community!

The Boston University Advocates for Literacy in Environmental Sciences are available for school visits and public presentations. Please contact ales@bu.edu for more information.

From English Language Learners to Cross-Cultural Scholars: Perception, Practice, and Policy

Please click to download my latest presentation: From English Language Learners to Cross-Cultural Scholars: Perception, Practice, and Policy. I will be presenting this tonight as a guest lecturer in a course for graduate students in reading and speech/language pathology at the MGH Institute of Health Professions.It contains an outline of practices for teachers of English Language Learners based on the National Board Standards, and it also provides a very brief overview of the SIOP model.

Presentation

The front page of my latest presentation.

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards: Mission Accomplished (Almost)

Over the past two years, I have been working towards my National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification in English as a New Language – Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood.

Electronic Portfolio SubMISSION: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

At 6:34 am on this Memorial Day Saturday, I completed my electronic submission. Yay, Me!

  • Entry 1: Assessment: 14 page essay + 20 pages of student work
  • Entry 2: Scaffolding: 14 page essay + 15 minute video
  • Entry 3: Interaction: 14 page essay + 15 minute video (passed in 2012 through Take One!)
  • Entry 4: Professional Accomplishment: 25 pages of writing and documentation + 2 page reflective summary

The Examination

Well, I just have a 6-essays-in-3-hours assessment center exam to complete on Saturday, June 29 that will test my knowledge of: “the relationship of language domains in the English Language”;

Domains of English Language Development

Domains of English Language Development

the linguisitic structure of English (phonology, vocabulary, grammar, and discourse) in planning instruction;

Hook Model of Processes Involved in Reading and Writing, including phonology, vocabulary, grammar (which encompasses morphology, syntax, and phonology, often complemented by phonetics, semantics, and pragmatics), and discourse

Hook Model of Processes Involved in Reading and Writing, including phonology, vocabulary, grammar (which encompasses morphology, syntax, and phonology, often complemented by phonetics, semantics, and pragmatics), and discourse

factors influencing second language acquisition and strategies that can enhance second language acquistion“; “academic language associated with concepts common to curriculum”; “description of performance objectives designed to develop students’ knowledge of academic language”, adaptation of text and identification of content goals and supplemental resources for text; and definitions of terms related to English as a New Language and their instructional implications.

Lightbown, P. M., Spada, N., Ranta, L., & Rand, J. (2006). How languages are learned (Vol. 2). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Will this be me in 2014?