The Ten Best Posts of 2007

Hard to believe that 2008 is almost here, isn’t it? In looking back over my blog posts for the past year, I thought it would be fun to compile the 10 Best Posts of 2007. I used a few different criteria, including number of comments, the amount of traffic (visitors) that a post generated, and of course, whether or not I liked it. Here’s what I came up with – take a look and see if you agree!

1. Ten Steps to Outstanding Student Presentations
Presentations are a great way for elementary students to focus on one area of research that interests them. In this post, I outline exactly how to get started with presentations.

2. An Honest, Behind the Scenes Look at Montessori in Action
I really enjoyed writing this post, and I like the responses that it got. Sometimes we forget that we’re all just human, and nobody’s perfect. This is my ode to messing up, forgiving yourself, and trying to do better the next time. Isn’t that what we all do?

3.Discovering the Potential in Every Child
I was inspired to write this post by one that I found at another site. It was focused on adults – how to find the right career by looking at the things you’re good at and that you enjoy doing. I thought the topic was just as applicable to children, and ended up with a pretty decent post because of it.

4. Why Our World Needs Montessori
Cha-ching! We have a winner! This post simmered in my mind for months before it came to be. I worked with a professional writer on it because I wanted every word to be perfect. It ended up being even better than I ever imagined, and I will always refer back to it as being one of the best, most comprehensive explanations of Montessori that you can find.

5. Unchallenged and Disenchanted: The Dilemma of the Gifted Child
This post is fascinating to me. Since one of my friends (thanks, Nathania!) submitted it to StumbleUpon, I got a ton of traffic to it. Like, thousands and thousands of visits. (StumbleUpon is a site where people can submit recommended websites and review and rank them. When you search for certain terms, you’ll be referred to recommended sites). But, when I re-read it, it looks to me like I was just summing up the Time magazine article on gifted children. I don’t know that I really added a lot of extra information. But people really liked it!

6. Children Are the Heart of Montessori
I think this is my personal favorite. I sort of gave into that kind of heart-tugging emotion that we all have beneath the surface when we think about children who are suffering. Dr. Montessori saw her mission of peace as a global one, and I think we should do the same.

7. Cursive vs. Printing: Is One Better Than the Other?
This was a fun one to write. I knew it would be somewhat controversial, but what fun is it if you don’t ever take a stand on something? I came out in favor of printing, but several of the people who commented made great points about cursive. I definitely learned a thing or two.

8. How Children Can Benefit from Adult Conversations
The idea for this post came to me when I was reading the book that I quote in the post, Sibling Rivalry by Robert Bly. The general theme of the book is that our society keeps people in perpetual childhood by a combination of materialism and self-absorption, effectively making us a society of siblings rather than grown-ups. It’s a fascinating book, and while I didn’t agree with every conclusion he made, I do recommend it.

I worked hard on this post. I started it, and then added to it and polished it over a couple of weeks. This was a new approach for me; most often I start a post and put it on my blog in the same day. It was nice to take some time on this one, and the results were worth it. This was another StumbleUpon winner, and all of you left some great comments as well.

9. If John Taylor Gatto and Maria Montessori Could Meet
Ah, John Taylor Gatto. Irascible, incorrigible, and completely unafraid to speak the truth that very few others will: the emperor of traditional education isn’t wearing any clothes. Gotta love the guy. I don’t know how he really feels about Maria Montessori; he doesn’t really mention Montessori in any of his books (at least the ones I’ve read). But I felt like the gist of this post really is true: they would actually agree on a lot of things.

10. Should Parents Tell Their Kids the Truth About Santa?
This was another “pet” post that I thought about a lot beforehand. Such a sensitive topic! Everyone has their own childhood experiences, as well as their adult ideas, that shape the way they think Santa should be approached. I didn’t plan on changing the way the world views Santa, but hopefully this post gave people some interesting ideas to ponder.

Thanks for a fantastic year in blogging! I owe everything to all of you, dear readers. I am truly grateful for your participation and encouragement.