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August 13 2017

Back-to-School Reading for English-Language-Learner Teachers

From reports about efforts to create quality learning materials for ELLs to tips on how to help students develop literacy skills, here are some stories that caught our eye this month.

July 02 2017

Mitchell Chester, State's Education Commissioner, Dies at 65 - Education Week

Massachusetts Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Mitchell Chester has died.

Comment on cherry clafoutis by Emily

I love your blog but I have to say that I personally did not like this. It wasn't like custard it was very eggy. Like having a fruity omelet. I've never had traditional clafoutis so maybe I will try one of the more traditional recipes next time and see if I like it more.

June 25 2017

Comment on easy drop berry shortcakes by Molly

I just made these and they were a hit! Barely used any sugar with the strawberries, added vanilla bean paste to the cream, and had to use granulated sugar for the shortcakes, but they were amazing! I found the biscuits perfectly sweet and everything. THANK YOU DEB!

June 18 2017

Comment on easy drop berry shortcakes by C.P.

We made it tonight and absolutely LOVED IT! The person I ate it with (who hates shortcake and generally every dessert that isn't chocolate) couldn't stop complimenting the biscuit. It's just. so, so, so good.

Thanks for another winning recipe, Deb! (Though I feel like that's cheating a bit, since I can't remember the last time I used a recipe from this site that *wasn't* a winner. You are so talented!)

Comment on scalloped tomatoes with croutons by Eve

I made this for a community pot luck dinner last night and it was devoured! I doubled the recipe and used a 9 x 13 glass pan. Can't wait to try it with fresh summer tomatoes.

Comment on zucchini bread by Katie

Do you have a suggestion on how to make this into a Lemon Zucchini recipe? I always find it tricky adding lemon to a recipe because just zest won’t do it, additional liquid is problematic, accounting for the acid and baking soda interactions gives me headache, and lemon extract can come out too artificial. Any help is appreciated! :)

June 11 2017

June 04 2017

Comment on strawberry graham icebox cake by Meredith

I’ve made it both ways (depending on availability) and the Seville was better, but I tend to prefer a less-sweet cake (so do Germans, they make cheesecake with half the sugar)

May 28 2017

May 21 2017

April 02 2017

Mono Ansa dress

I sometimes have a strange ‘gotta-have-it’ urge for a pattern that at first glance doesn’t really seem to be my usual thing. That was definitely the case with Named’s new Ansa dress, and I’m happy to report that my inkling was true and I lurrrrve this dress.

I bought the pattern at the same time as the Ronja dungarees, and sewed them one after the other. Named patterns are just such sewing joy, and I need those sorts of projects when sewing time is scarce. I really agonised about whether to sew to the top or dress first, but haven’t sewn a fun dress in a while and I have an event next weekend that it may get cracked out for.

Based on the finished measurements I cut a size 40/12. The waist has a couple of inches of ease and the bust and hips are even looser, so I figured I could fit as I sewed. I found the waistline tucks a tiny bit lower than my natural waist, so took a cheeky dart out of the shoulder line to hike the whole thing up a bit. I also took two inches off the length and sewed the side seams at a slightly larger seam allowance, and the fit’s pretty perfect!

Sewing it up was quick and fun, even all the tucks and darts (eight in all) which I used to avoid like the plague. If a pattern has a lot of dart/tuck markings on multiple pieces, personally I find it much more manageable to deal with preparing each piece in turn, i.e. I cut the back, marked the darts and immediately sewed those before moving on to cutting out the front. Unfortunately most of the design details get totally buried in this print, but the silhouette and the drama from the butterfly sleeves (easy-to-set raglans) make up for it.

The fabric is a lovely viscose challis from Minerva. It’s now sold out; I bought the last of the reverse colourway, probably to make the top version of this pattern! Challis has a natural springy stretch which makes it very comfy to wear, but you just have to be extra careful about not distorting it at the cutting stage. I lay the folded fabric out on my cutting mat then give it a quick press with a warm iron to get it flat and on-grain.

Nothing too fancy going on in the construction or finishing: I overlocked most of the seams, French seamed the side seams, and the neckline is finished with bias facing which I handstitched down.

I feel like this dress is made for dancing, so hopefully she’ll get a spin soon!

March 16 2017

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The concert will make Matthew the world’s youngest ever conductor!

Matthew’s performance will form part of NSO’s ‘Animal Magic!’ show which will also feature Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky and Peter and the Wolf by Prokofiev.

Neil Bennison, music programme manager at the Royal Concert Hall, said young conductors like Matthew are rare.

Successful conductors have to be team managers, leaders, motivators and diplomats, and these people skills take time to develop and require a level of maturity that only comes with years of experience.Orchestras can be pretty merciless to conductors for whom they have no respect, so you’d have to be a supremely confident young maestro to win over a lot of hardened professional musicians.

Derek Williams, NSO conductor and Matthew’s music teacher, added: 

I spotted Matthew’s musical talent very early on in his musical tuition as I’ve been teaching him violin for five years. There aren’t many children who have the ability to conduct a 75-strong orchestra from memory and it’s a really incredible thing to witness.

Can we be honest for a moment and say that it’s rare to hear anything positive on the news, especially when it comes to black children? Matthew Smith is definitely making history. This young man is talented. I hope he does well and goes far.


March 12 2017

District Chief Is Targeted for Comment About Trump - Education Week

Maine's Republican Party is accusing a school superintendent of pushing a political agenda after he suggested an attack on several black students was the result of President Donald Trump's stance on immigrants and minorities.

Tool Aims to Help Schools Better Identify English-Language Learners

A new Regional Education Laboratory tool aims to take some of the guesswork out of the home-language survey process used to identify students who need extra support to learn English.

March 03 2017

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February 26 2017

February 19 2017

Steep Learning Curve on K-12 as State Leaders Take New Seats - Education Week

At a pivotal time for education policy, half the nation's state legislatures have at least one new education committee chairperson, and a quarter of schools chiefs are less than a year into the job.

AFT President Urges Big-City Mayors to Shield Immigrant Students, Families

The American Federation of Teachers is concerned about recent federal immigration raids that swept up hundreds of undocumented immigrants, President Randi Weingarten said.
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