Sunday, April 24, 2016

Today's reads, views, and links

Though I wasn't a huge Prince fan in the '80's - I was too much of a metal head to appreciate his music early on, there is no denying the impact he had on pop culture.  It wasn't until later in high school when my tastes in music diversified beyond hair metal and death metal, that I actually came to appreciate Prince's music - "Diamonds and Pearls" and "7" remind me of my senior year and college.

With his passing last week, my wife has been playing Prince non-stop on iHeart radio via her iPad all weekend.  In just doing a little research on Prince and some of his best work, I've come across a couple of great finds.

First, a great read analyzing how "Little Red Corvette" is one of the best one-night stand songs ever.  I didn't really appreciate the song's complexity until I listened to it in greater depth after reading this article.  I mean, come on, I grew up in the '80's, so I know all too well the one-night stand/sex crazed songs: Warrant's "Cherry Pie," Bullet Boy's "Smooth Up In Ya," Cinderella's "Shake Me," Bon Jovi's "In and Out of Love," Van Halen's "Panama," Motley Crue's "She Goes Down," and Guns N' Roses, "Anything Goes."

But how Prince examined the other side of a one-night stand - the insecurities and guilt - is territory never treaded in any of the '80's bands I worshipped.

Second, the NFL Network released this short doc on Prince's epic Super Bowl performance.  Watching him in the pouring rain and actually singing and playing his guitar (as opposed to lip-syncing) is a reminder that Prince's monumental talent is one that might not come along again in terms of attaining upper-echelon popularity.  I mean just name the top performers today - Jay Z, Beyonce, Cold Play, Kanye (God forbid), Taylor Swift, Katie Perry . . . Can any of them actually sing live (yes, quite a few actually), but can they play as many instruments as Prince did AND write their own songs.


Plus, you have to love it when the stage manager tells Prince, "It's raining.  Is there anything we can do?"

To which Prince replies, "Can you make it rain harder?"


Here is a great tribute of Adam Levine playing "Purple Rain."


Another great challenge - and this one I used in class last week -

Bill Nye's Forecast challenge.

What I love about this is that Nye brilliantly uses ethos, pathos, and logos in his challenge to climate change skeptics.


Pedagogy trumps curriculum.


This is a good reminder in this day and age of "teacher-proof" curriculum.  What matters most? HOW things are taught, not WHAT is taught.


Four Educational Web Tools That Allow You to Make Interactive Lessons.

Of course, this blogger's #1 site is TED Ed, which is one of my most used tools.

But the others are interesting too.


I saw this on Twitter and broke out laughing.  You know this writer has been waiting his or her (could it be a her?) their entire life to be able to write this headline!


Will tough grading prepare students for this real world?  This author doesn't think so.

The older I become, the more I am inclined to believe him.


If you are like me at all, you are constantly finding new ways for formative assessment.  I struggle with this, especially when it comes to "exit" slips.  Usually, the block ends and I haven't done a very good job wrapping the lesson up.  I get formative assessments in terms of the number of texts I get from students who haven't understood the assignment or have questions.  I need to do a much better job.

Here are 10 great ideas for formative assessments that would work great for exit slips.

And speaking of closure activities, here are 22 more ideas.


A local high school gets it right when it comes to prom.  This is amazing!


Finally, this is hilarious.

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