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Hello Hillsboro: New teaching ideas rate an A
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Monday night’s School Board meeting was a real eye opener for those who were not aware of all the developments involving the School District’s involvement with the Common Core State Standards for curriculum.

For quite a while, most folks have been aware of the efforts to bring new curriculum ideas into a broad program that would be consistent throughout school districts in the entire state.

However, after hearing the presentation at Monday night’s School Board meeting by six local teachers who are heavily involved in the project, I must say I’m impressed by the overall effort that includes both students and teachers.

Each one of the moderators, assisted by helpful charts and headlines provided by a power-point projector and screen, had a different report to present on the progress being made by both faculty and students.

Being a writer most of my life, I was especially interested in reading teacher Chris Koopman’s presentation that actually covered both the creative writing and reading aspects of the subject.

After summing up his thinking by stating, “Students need to read more in writing class and write more in reading class,” he explained how connected the two efforts really were and outlined a few resources for students and teachers to use.

As examples of authors that could be used for teaching writing, he chose Leonard Pitts Jr., Rick Reilly, and Stephen King. That last one, of course, stands out as a good reason to keep from day dreaming in class, if for no other reason, to avoid an embarrassing nightmare!

The two others have a broader range, including newspaper and magazine column writing.

I especially recall worthy, syndicated columns by Pitts in major papers.

Koopman described what he labeled “star” revisions that would prove helpful to young writers when editing their work before final acceptance: Substitute, Take out, Add, and Rearrange.

It sure reminded me of early news editing classes in my long-ago days. Very impressive for future writers to learn in Elementary School today.


Here are some laws we all break from time to time!

Law of Probability: The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

Law of Random Numbers:  If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal, and someone always answers.

Law of the Alibi: If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the very next morning you’ll have a flat tire.

Law of Close Encounters: The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don’t want to be seen with.

Law of Biomechanics: The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

Law of the Lockers: If there are only two people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

Law of Logical Arguments: Anything is possible if you don’t know what you’re talking about!