Monthly Archives: February 2009

Girl poet takes on the Taliban with her pen –

Students really can make the world a better place. I am so grateful to see stories like this!

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Are You Going to Finish Strong? – Video

You play the game the way you practice. Are you going to finish strong?

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Why teenagers can’t see your point of view – life – 05 February 2009 – New Scientist

Teenagers might have a new excuse for ignoring their parent’s orders. Their brain’s ability to adopt the viewpoint of others is still budding, new research suggests.

Known as theory of mind, the ability to infer another’s perspective – emotional, intellectual, or visual – improves with age. Studies of infants, toddlers and children have documented gradual improvement in this skill with age.

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5 Sources for Free and Legal Images | The Blog Herald

Everyone knows that almost any blog post is better with images. However, getting them can be a difficult matter. With a maze of licensing and fair use issues making it hard to decide what is and is not legal to use, many bloggers don’t wish to use images that they have not taken themselves.

But while using your own images is always the best way to go, there are several great sources to help you find and locate images that you can use as part of your blog posts. In fact, there are some very neat tools designed specifically to help you correctly license and use other people’s photography, art and more.

The best part of all is that these tools are free. They will not cost you a dime to use and, if used correctly, can let you fill up your blog posts with as many images as your heart desires.

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(usually barefoot) meg – Louis CK “Everything’s amazing, nobody’s happy”

This video, forwarded to me by @skardalien, is funny and true.

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Expecting more from Middle School students – asking the right questions.

Today, as a long and difficult day of teaching pushed to an unsatisfying end, I asked students to end a brief break by returning to their seats no later than five minutes past the hour.  They didn’t.  Instead they continued lingering in the hall outside of the classroom long past the time set by me.  Their conduct is, in my opinion symptomatic of satisfaction with mediocrity.  A deal has been struck; only I’m not OK with the deal, and I doubt students’ parents are either.  

I walked out and told them I would not be teaching their after-school activity.  Dramatic?  Perhaps.  Demanding?  I hope so.  

My feeling is that students’ conduct shows a significant lack of respect for me as their teacher.  Their passivity in ignoring my request is simply unacceptable.  But I’m not sure the students will see it that way.  So tomorrow I intend to ask them to respond in writing to these questions, compliments of Alex and Brett Harris in their book Doing Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations:

  • What areas of my life do I not care about that I know I should care about?  
  • In what areas have I settled for just getting by when I know I could do better if I really tried? 
  • In what areas have I decided that things “will always be this way” without ever putting in the kind of effort that  really changes things?  

I hope to precede the writing with brainstorming, followed by a socratic seminar.  I really hope that students can move beyond lazily meandering their way through school without really thinking about what they are doing.  Its all in the attitude.   


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