Thursday, June 22, 2017

Today's Reads, Views, and Links

Father Mike is one of my favorite people.  I watch his videos on Facebook and now I've discovered his podcast.  And to think he is just over at Duluth.

This one is particularly rich.  It's his homily right before UMD finals.  It's called "A Blur."

There is so much I'm stealing from this to use in school next year.  It's well worth your listen.


Integrating Physical Art into Digital Creations Expands Creativity.

Duh.  Right?

Of course it does!  How is this news to anyone?

This article focuses on a classroom where the teacher not only has her art class do physical projects, but she also has them add digital creations to their physical projects to expand them and to create new paths into creativity.

I think this is vital for our students today.

"Old world" skills are more vital than ever.  The world is lacking for pipe fitters, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, and so on.

But these professions can be even more enhanced by "new world" digital skills.

There is a great example from Don Tapscott.  He talks about knowing a colleague who bought a gold mine.  The only problem?  His geologists couldn't find any gold.

The solution?  The owner decided to conduct the Goldcorp Challenge.  The owner opened up his geology data and published it.  The challenge?  Take the data and find out where the gold is.  The prize? Half a million dollars in prize money.

The result?  He found billions of dollars of gold.  Well, the contestants found the gold.

In his business he has "old world" workers - gold miners, but he also used "new world" skills to discover where the gold is.

These are the skills we need to teach all of our kids.

Here is the Don Tapscott TED Talk where he mentions the Goldcorp Challenge


I love this - from one of my favorite people in eduction - George Couros

This is exactly what I preach: Catch students doing something right.


I saw this on Facebook a few months ago.  This shows the importance of balance.  I'm amazed at how nature/God strives for balance.  Yet, humans tend to throw that out of balance.  Why is balance so hard?

Here is an article looking more in depth at the impact of wolves on the park.


I won't go into too much depth here, but this is a great read: 10 risks ever teacher should take with their class.

Number four is my favorite and one I have the most success with.


Who doesn't want to read this?

1.  Fostering a sense of belonging.  Ashley Beito and Darla Boen.  They are my aerobics teachers, and we have a total sense of family in our morning sessions.  

2.  Getting to know students personally.  Mr. Gilbertson.  He was one of my math teachers in high school.  He always went out of his way to know me and encourage me.  Later in life when in retirement he bagged groceries at Brent's and whenever he saw my parents, he always had nice things to say about me and always asked about me.  

3.  Supporting academic success - Coach Bryan Thygeson.  He always seemed to put our academics on the same level as athletics.  I've never forgotten that.

4.  Attending Physiological needs - Mr. Schnabel, BSU.  I always felt protected in his class.  I'll never forget when I had a question about my history minor and I met him in his office.  He wasn't sure about an answer, so he called the education department.  They tried giving him the run around, but he chewed ass (on everyone from the poor work study to the head of the department) until he had a solid answer for me.  I was sold on him forever after that.

5.  Knowing students' names.  Dr. Diane Drake.  She was a master of this.  I don't know how she did it, but by the end of the first week, she knew us all by name.  I'll never forget it.

6.  Displaying care and concern during office hours.  Dr. Helen Bonner.  She was always willing to meet with me at BSU and help me out.  She was so genuine and kind.  I'll never forget it.

7.  Knowing and understanding students. Mrs. Amy Christianson.  She understood the importance of personal passion and student buy in.  The fact that she connected my personal passion for writing with English is the reason I am a teacher today.  

8.  Creating interesting and applicable lessons.  Mr. Bob Matzke.  He will always hold a dear place in my heart for his 9th grade history class and his 10th grade current issues class.  Something about his lectures, corny jokes, classic "Beep" and "Bop" review game, captivated my passion for history.

9.  Addressing student concerns during course time.  Mr. Mike Mueller.  He never missed an opportunity to turn a mistake or error into a "teachable" moment.  I recall the day he let us watch the news during the Challenger disaster.  

10.  Expressing care verbally -  Reese.  Without a doubt.  Whether it was on the choir trip or when I observed her in class, she went out of her way to verbally praise and support kids.

11.  Expressing care non-verbally - H and Mrs. Semanko.  Without a doubt.  They two have always been my rocks on second floor.  I know that if I ever had a problem, whether it was with who would take my LINC class or if I needed someone to show up at my house with a gallon of gas, I could count on these people.

12.  Projecting a "feeling of care" - Coach Mumm.  Anyone who witnessed his "Honorary Teacher" night last year knows this.  I just saw this last week.  The Vigens, Coach Mumm, and I were killing time between a wedding and reception at the Nail.  A former student walked in and recognized Coach Mumm.  He came up and hugged him and in two seconds they were talking about old times in the weight room.  That's amazing.

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