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Marty Brooks responds to readers Inquiry

>Dear Ms. Edwards:

Thanks for this note. I’d like to make a few comments about the link you attached. The math wars, like the whole language wars of the past decade, are based on a false dichotomy: traditional education v. progressive education. Good instruction focuses on the needs of the child – every child, one by one – and no one approach meets the needs of all children.

The math issue is interesting in that the battle seems to be pitched around algorithmic fluency v. conceptual understanding. They are not mutually exclusive. Both are essential for mathematical literacy. Students who learn algorithms procedurally without conceptual understanding aren’t truly fluent because although they are able to answer questions correctly on tests (when the questions are posed in the precise format the students are used to seeing), they often have difficulty knowing whether to (and how to) apply that algorithm to new and different situations. Teaching for conceptual understanding helps children develop efficient strategies for computing. Understanding the concept that underlies the algorithm helps students know how and when to apply it, helping them to become more proficient in solving new, differently presented problems and/or more complex problems.

Programs don’t teach children, teachers do. Good teachers vary their instruction – and their materials – based on student response.

Respectfully,

Marty Brooks

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Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

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ABOUT SAINT PATRICKSaint Patrick is believed to have been born in the late fourth century, and is often confused with Palladius, a bishop who was sent by Pope Celestine in 431 to be the first bishop to the Irish believers in Christ.

Saint Patrick was the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland who is credited with bringing christianity to Ireland. Most of what is known about him comes from his two works, the Confessio, a spiritual autobiography, and his Epistola, a denunciation of British mistreatment of Irish christians. Saint Patrick described himself as a “most humble-minded man, pouring forth a continuous paean of thanks to his Maker for having chosen him as the instrument whereby multitudes who had worshipped idols and unclean things had become the people of God.”

Saint Patrick is most known for driving the snakes from Ireland. It is true there are no snakes in Ireland, but there probably never have been – the island was separated from the rest of the continent at the end of the Ice Age. As in many old pagan religions, serpent symbols were common and often worshipped. Driving the snakes from Ireland was probably symbolic of putting an end to that pagan practice. While not the first to bring christianity to Ireland, it is Patrick who is said to have encountered the Druids at Tara and abolished their pagan rites. The story holds that he converted the warrior chiefs and princes, baptizing them and thousands of their subjects in the “Holy Wells” that still bear this name.

There are several accounts of Saint Patrick’s death. One says that Patrick died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, on March 17, 460 A.D. His jawbone was preserved in a silver shrine and was often requested in times of childbirth, epileptic fits, and as a preservative against the “evil eye.” Another account says that St. Patrick ended his days at Glastonbury, England and was buried there. The Chapel of St. Patrick still exists as part of Glastonbury Abbey. Today, many Catholic places of worship all around the world are named after St. Patrick, including cathedrals in New York and Dublin city

Why Saint Patrick’s Day?
Saint Patrick’s Day has come to be associated with everything Irish: anything green and gold, shamrocks and luck. Most importantly, to those who celebrate its intended meaning, St. Patrick’s Day is a traditional day for spiritual renewal and offering prayers for missionaries worldwide.

So, why is it celebrated on March 17th? One theory is that that is the day that St. Patrick died. Since the holiday began in Ireland, it is believed that as the Irish spread out around the world, they took with them their history and celebrations. The biggest observance of all is, of course, in Ireland. With the exception of restaurants and pubs, almost all businesses close on March 17th. Being a religious holiday as well, many Irish attend mass, where March 17th is the traditional day for offering prayers for missionaries worldwide before the serious celebrating begins.

In American cities with a large Irish population, St. Patrick’s Day is a very big deal. Big cities and small towns alike celebrate with parades, “wearing of the green,” music and songs, Irish food and drink, and activities for kids such as crafts, coloring and games. Some communities even go so far as to dye rivers or streams green! ( http://www.st-patricks-day.com/about_saintpatrick.asp )

photo’s by ArtChick Photo’s shot at Irish Eyes on Ridgewood Ave

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More Vox populi :Ridgewood is starting to look like NYC in the 1970’s

Ridgewood is starting to look like NYC in the 1970’s. Out of control spending, rogue employees and elected officials, failing education system and lack of maintenance in the town.

NYC cut police officers and firefighters also in a effort to cut spending. The results of that remains in the minds of those who had to travel to NYC to work during those frightening years. Crime rose 60% in just 2 years. Burned buildings were everywhere. Even today the city still hasn’t recovered from the population loss from those years. It took a good 15 years and federal help for the city to control its spending. They realized the problem lied in poor spending habits, non-working employees and outside political influences.

Im not saying Ridgewood is going be as bad as NYC was, but it could very well be a smaller version of it. Do the residents a favor, instead of cutting essential services such as Police, Fire, EMS, Sanitation and other quality of life services, look at things that we either don’t need or need to cut back on. Example: Rear yard garbage pickup. We also need to stop several projects that we CANT afford. Example: Parking Garage, Bank Ban. I would much rather have a second firehouse instead, i like my house not charred.

If you look at how the finical collapse of NYC started, you will see a smaller but similar problem that Ridgewood has today. But lets not make the same mistakes they made when stabilizing the budget.

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