More than pizza

Cinnamon sticks at Domino’s.
Pizza-shaped apple pies at Papa John’s.
Now chocolate chip cookies (almost as big as pizza) at Pizza Hut.

This is the latest pizza chain to add dessert.

Cut into eight, pie-shaped slices, the giant cookies are intended to be shared – a good thing, if you look at the nutritional info. Michelle Obama would flip.

Superheroes aging up

Spiderman, Iron Man, Captain America, and other Marvel superheroes have always generated significant licensing dollars for toys and children’s clothes.

But now, adults are wearing Thor and Hulk tees, too.

And Barbie?

There’s no avoiding the pink plague as a new line of clothing and accessories target juniors, just in time for the First Day of School.

Who said teens were too old for Barbie?

Welcome, Dora and Friends

Tomorrow is the launch of the new Nick program, Dora and Friends in the City.

This series spin-off features more Spanish and a larger group of kids.

The focus: friendship and community service.

Live action Barbie

Barbie – yes, the doll – is headed toward the big screen.

The debut film, slated to go into production at the end of the year, is to be a live-action comedy. (That is not a typo.)

Next gen Ms. Frizzle

Ms. Frizzle will re-emerge via computer generated animation on “The Magic School Bus 360.”

First broadcast on PBS in 1994, the teacher who made science fun for a generation of students will start appearing in 2016 via Netflix.

I wonder how much other STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programming we’ll be seeing by then.


This fall, we can expect to see more schools offering a BYOD or BYOT policy.

Schools that are successful with the Bring Your Own Device (or Bring Your Own Technology) approaches develop ground rules for students and train teachers on how to enhance education with mobile tech.

BYOD has the potential to save schools money and improve learning outcomes, but we’ll see what happens.

The fourth grade shift

Research published in the journal Developmental Science has triggered a tsunami among middle school educators, just as we gear up for the school year.

We’ve always highlighted the fourth grade shift: when kids who were learning to read begin reading to learn.

According to new research from Dartmouth, that theory might not be true. Some automatic progressing appears to begin earlier, while other automatic word processing skills develop even after fifth grade.

Will this change what we expect from middle graders and impact how we teach? Not yet, but the questions beg more research.