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Dr. Yvonne Fournier

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Top Stories by Dr. Yvonne Fournier

Dear Dr. Fournier: I read your March 8th article and agree with your advice.  I’m an architect and trying to imagine how the new technology will manifest itself in the school facilities.  If classrooms become more like wi-fi media centers (no more eggcrates) and media centers more like retail bookstore environments, what sort of resistance do you anticipate coming from educators and stakeholders?  It seems like everyone is ready for a paradigm shift, but not sure about acoustics or control over students.  What do you think? Dana D. Orlando, FL Dear Dana: ASSESSMENT: The resistance will not only come from the educators, but the parents. Remember, aside from people who make it their business to follow educational, technological, and statistical trends, the rest of the country is in the dark. Is it any wonder, then, that the default response for most parents is ... (more)

Homework: It's the Result of Classroom Failure

Dear Dr. Fournier: I've never seen homework like what my 10-year-old son and daughter bring home. It's not like anything I did called "homework" when I was in school in the mid 70s. I had the twins late in my life (when I was 40), so something must have changed between the time I was in school and today. It's triple - sometimes quadruple - the amount I had to do. They come to me telling me they don't know how to do parts of their homework. I ask them to think about what they learned in class on the parts they say they can't do and they tell me the teacher hasn't taught it yet. ... (more)

Interrupt the Pattern of Homework Despair

Normal 0 0 1 555 3165 26 6 3886 11.1282 0 0 0 Dear Dr. Fournier: Last year, both my son’s attitude and execution concerning his homework was a disaster, and I am afraid the pattern will repeat itself this year. For the homework to be neat and well done, I had to sit with him. If I didn’t have the time or energy, he would rush through. Last year, his teacher didn’t ask for his homework everyday, so my son began to gamble on not hav­ing to turn his homework in. When he did turn in his homework, he got low grades and I received notes on his messy papers as if it were my fault. I ... (more)

To Redshirt, or Not to Redshirt? That Is the Question

Normal 0 0 1 721 4113 34 8 5051 11.1282 0 0 0 Dear Dr. Fournier: Our child has a summer birthday, and will be 5 in August. He just made the cutoff this year to get into kindergarten. If I do enroll him, I am worried that with such a late birthday he will struggle to compete with the older children in his class. I don't want to hurt my son's self-esteem, but I have looked at some numbers online, and it seems like more and more children are failing kindergarten. What should I do? Kelly S. Little Rock, AR Dear Kelly, Assessment “Let's get to children earlier” sounds great as... (more)

Parents Mean Well But Could Do More Harm

Dear Dr. Fournier: School has started and after only a couple of weeks, my son is having trouble with homework. I do not want my wife and I to get into last year’s shouting matches with him. It seems like every time I try and help him, he gets angry and defensive. What can we do to get our son to let us help him with his homework? James C. Austin, TX Dear James: Many parents have heard their children in frustration say this about homework, “I don’t know how to do it!” The natural inclination of parents is to respond this way: “Then let me help you do it.” Unfortunately, thi... (more)