More on Ask Abouts – and designing a better classroom

Yesterday, I wrote briefly about Ask Abouts, prompts from a teacher for parents to ask their child about what’s happening in class, and I got this related idea from a teacher and parent in Elgin, IL: “I am doing this [Ask Abouts] with [my son’s] teacher…she calls them ‘Conversation Starters.’ [My son] brings this home every Friday with five questions. At dinner, or whenever, we have this dialog with him. As a 2nd grader, it is great for him to practice giving us details about something new he is learning…we do not need to return anything, but we sign his planner that we had this conversation.”

Other bit of news: Get your thinking caps on. This from a writer for Slate: “I am leading an interesting project for Slate magazine I wanted to let you know about. Next week, Slate will be kicking off the third installment of its ‘Hive’ project, a contest in which readers submit their ideas to solve an interesting problem. Previous Hives have taken on energy efficiency and urban transportation. This time, we want readers to design a better classroom, one suited to the way children are – or you think should be – taught.”

This writer continued: “We’d love to have innovative entries from everyone from schoolchildren to teachers to academics to architects to simply curious and engaged people with no involvement in schools except that they once went to them…Entries will be judged by readers and a panel of judges, finalists will be highlighted, and the winner will be announced in November. The contest is being sponsored by Coca-Cola, which may actually build a classroom based on the winning design.”

Next week, when I get the link to the kickoff story and requirements for entry, I will post and tweet. More soon!

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