Royal Fireworks Press Blog

The Relevance of Walden Today by Anne Faigen

Posted on: 10/16/2015

When I began to write Finding Her Way, I had a distinct purpose in mind, grounded in my classroom experience. A teacher of high school honors English, I had always enjoyed the lively discussions related to my students’ reading of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. Everything about Thoreau’s life intrigued them. Working a few weeks a […]

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The Problem of Evaluation by Michael Clay Thompson

Posted on: 08/17/2015

I’ve always had a certain mistrust of evaluation. Haven’t you, too? The warning signs are plentiful. Do you remember that wonderful paper you wrote that the professor misunderstood or criticized, not because it was bad but because it jangled his preferences? Do you remember the papers you tried to grade (think about that word: grade), […]

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Reading Is Not a Spectator Sport by Steve Loe

Posted on: 04/14/2015

In my novel The Glimpsing Book, one of the main characters, Henrietta, reflects: “The reader cannot just read words without truly thinking about them. It would be like eating without digesting. True reading is very active. A reader brings his or her own story to the author’s story. What a combination that makes! Millions of […]

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No Less than the Trees and the Stars by Stephanie Tolan

Posted on: 06/01/2014

We are grateful for Stephanie Tolan’s permission to post this powerful piece here. In the more than thirty years I have written and spoken about the needs of gifted children and adults, I have shared a lot of my personal life. But after the last piece I wrote (in The Deep End, December 2012), that […]

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Why Teach about Genocide? by Brian Crawford

Posted on: 02/07/2014

As a teacher, I always need to know why I am teaching a lesson before I teach it. It is not enough to engage students in work that is merely interesting; there must be some lasting understanding at stake. Having taught about and written a novel on genocide (The Weaver’s Scar), I have often wrestled […]

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Common Core and American Nonfiction: Some Thoughts by Michael Clay Thompson

Posted on: 12/02/2013

The Common Core standards have been adopted in the majority of states, to our relief or disappointment, depending upon our understanding of the standards. My impression is that some of the negative reactions to Common Core have not so much to do with the standards themselves as with how they are interpreted or implemented. Let […]

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Advocacy for Gifted Education Should Be a National Priority by James J. Gallagher

Posted on: 10/30/2013

As we seek support for educating gifted students, we must accept the fact that our advocacy efforts have been largely unproductive. At the federal level, the Javits legislation has been a bone tossed to quiet us, and state efforts have not been much better. We need a persistent and convincing effort to change our environment. […]

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The Venn Diagram: Is It Analysis? by Shelagh Gallagher

Posted on: 09/16/2013

Bloom’s taxonomy (and its re-articulation by Anderson, et al.) contains a wealth of detailed information about different levels of thinking. Unfortunately, the taxonomy is rarely presented in enough depth to appreciate its nuances. The purpose of this post is to take a closer look at the category of analysis. A picture of two balloons, one […]

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Assessing the Cult of Assessment by Michael Clay Thompson

Posted on: 05/01/2013

Those new to the MCT language arts curriculum might be puzzled by the absence of sets of stock worksheets and assessments, which other curricula commonly include as the things for students to do. Many programs feature activities that center around pencils, in which students sit silently to fill in blanks, connect matchings, write short answers […]

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Education: It’s Not on the Test by Dr. Thomas Kemnitz

Posted on: 02/25/2013

This is such a great time to produce educational materials. With digital photography and printing, iBooks and ebooks, it is possible to do so many more exciting things now than it ever was in the past. I was struck by the enhanced possibilities that technological change has fostered when I came to write the Greek […]

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Michael Clay Thompson Wins Gifted Education Award

Posted on: 12/13/2010

Michael Clay Thompson has won the prestigious Richard W. Riley Award for “superior services to the gifted community.” Given by the South Carolina Consortium for Gifted Education at its annual conference, President Marva Tigner presented the award to Michael for his unique contribution to teaching gifted children, both nationally and locally. His grammar, vocabulary, writing, […]

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