Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Educational Links 3/22/18

31 Surprising Facts About Learning

Some Teachers Who Are Assaulted by Students Don't Tell Anyone, Study Finds

Meet 4 Women Revolutionizing STEM in the Classroom

Why an 'interleaving' curriculum could improve knowledge retention

What are the keys to Effective Student Collaborative Learning?

The changing role of literacy today, part 2

Ed Department Set to Abandon IDEA Site That Crashed

“How Smart Do You Make Others Around You?” Has Been A Useful Question For Me To Ask In Class

Several days ago, I saw a tweet from Amy Fast sharing a quote from author/researcher Shawn Achor:
Before, we could only ask questions like “How smart are you?” or “How creative are you?” or “How hard do you work?” But now, we can ask the bigger questions: “How smart do you make others around you?” “How much creativity do you inspire?” “How much does your drive become contagious to a team or family?”
In other words, according to his research,  a person’s future individual success depends on one’s effectiveness with those last three “bigger questions.”

Films About Jesus

Jesus is honored among all major religions as a teacher, ethicist, prophet, or mystic. This is Holy Week for those who believe in the orthodox principles of Christianity, in the deity of Jesus and remembering His passion and resurrection. There are also many groups of Christians who may not agree on all the details of this faith, and their kids might be in your classes. It takes a delicate touch to provide respect for all kids' beliefs during discussions of major religions.

We respect the rights of all people to have beliefs. I am not recommending showing films about Jesus or not showing them in your class; that is a decision for your school.

But beginning in Middle School, at least in the State of California, there are many passages from the Bible, and the New Testament in particular, that are considered worthy of literary consideration. The Book of Job, the Psalms, the Sermon on the Mount, parables. The King James version, which last year celebrated its 500th birthday, is considered a masterpiece itself. It is said Shakespeare made a contribution to it. 

And this is a pretty good time of year to show portions of the Jesus story if you're going to. Even the History Channel, liberal bastion of cable TV, frequently shows the television film of "Jesus of Nazareth" in entirety, Jesus being a central person of historical interest. That's why this is the year 2012.

Mary, the mother of Jesus in "The Passion of the Christ."
Jesus, although He was Jewish,  is usually portrayed looking like a European, generally with a British accent, except for "The Passion of the Christ," which was in Aramaic (the Hebrew spoken at the time of Jesus) with subtitles. That's a pretty amazing idea and accomplishment, if you can find it in you heart to forgive Mel Gibson for being a flawed human and all after he produced that remarkable movie. The production has accuracy in costuming, music, and portrays basic Catholic theology, except possibly about Pontius Pilate, the Roman who deserved no sympathy for his decision.
"The Passion of the Christ" 2004
"The Passion of the Christ," is bone crushing in the accuracy of suffering. The perspective of Mary the mother of Jesus is unique in this movie version, and serves to present why many Christians have a special devotion to her. What age of child should see this? I can't say, but it is very intense, particularly when Mary flashes back to Jesus falling as a little boy as He carries the cross. Use your own judgement.
"The Kings of Kings" 1961
"The Greatest Story Ever Told" 1965

Several Bible-themed movies came out in the sixties with blue-eyed Jesus actors quoting the King James Bible. Jeffrey Hunter was in the "Kings of Kings," a remake from the Cecil B. DeMille's 1927 version. 
Max von Sydow played Jesus in 1965 in "The Greatest Story Ever Told." The films are sympathetically presented, especially toward poor little misunderstood Judas, who is frequently the most interesting character. These films have a respectful mood if not accuracy, and for the viewer who is looking to connect with the words of Jesus quoted in the Bible, these films are very effective. Children who are familiar with the story should be okay with the crucifixion scenes which are not too graphic, but kids have to be prepared.

As children watch a film about Jesus, it is very intense. Jesus is a lovable and sympathetic character whether He is considered in a religious sense or not. Kids really have to be prepared for the story to transpire. I was invited by a friend to a theatre full of viewers from her Baptist church to see "The Passion of the Christ." All adults, all in tears (both men and women) by the end. It is just a really tough and sad story for both believer and non-believer.

"Jesus of Nazareth" miniseries 1977

My preferred film about Jesus to view with children is the television miniseries, "Jesus of Nazareth." (1977). It is frequently on television at the Christmas and Easter seasons. Visually, there are lots of references to famous works of art, and the music is sort of mysterioso in a supernatural sense that a good something, maybe a miracle, is going to happen; that something supernatural isn't always sinister. Jesus is compassionate, powerful and somehow one-of-the-guys while being divine. Peter is great with his bumbling, yet strong and sincere personality. Mary was a little young being portrayed by Olivia Hussey. Judas was indecisive until he was creepy and betrayed his best friend. I personally don't think Judas was sorry after he did that. Laurence Olivier portrayed Nicodemus.

Nicodemus quoting Isaiah 53 as Jesus is on the cross.
 Being a miniseries, the important parts of the story are portrayed because there is time for them. The Sermon on the Mount is well worth sharing with kids, particularly since important modern leaders such as Ghandi and Martin Luther Kingreference this, and other portions of Jesus' statements. One of my very favorite scenes from any film is this portrayal of Jesus giving a parable (which are also part of the standards for literature.) Peter and Matthew the tax collector also have a moment.
Jesus hangin' with His homies, for which He was criticized severely.

Here is the Prodigal Son, put up on youtube.

 The person who put up this video also included a little music, not from the film.

I would like to share a song that I still find marvelous. This was written during the Jesus Movement of the early 1970s and presents the case for Christianity at its most basic and radical. Which pretty much describes the Jesus Movement, and how Jesus happened in my life then, too.  Enjoy.

"Jesus Is All That We Need."
 Gary Arthur
The Way

Good ole fashioned Jesus music from good ole fashioned Jesus People @1972

Cheesy Jokes and Serious Thoughts About Easter

Confession is good for the soul, it is said. And I confess I do love the 'chocolate' holiday season from Halloween to Christmas to Valentine's Day to Easter. Cadbury has the queen of treats, the Creme Egg, appearing only at Easter. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

I'm not alone. It is just too much fun decorating baskets with that eternal Easter grass (it never goes away, it's like glitter), and coloring the eggs the old fashioned way with vinegar, etc. The images of bunnies and chicks and ducklings are cute, even better than Santa who has a list and checks it twice. No unconditional love from him! And this is an outside sport, temps in the 70s, with light breezes, egg hunting, spring clothes and bonnets, blooming Easter Lilies. Well, at least here in SoCal.

Here's an article about how to dress your kid for Easter. The tradition began as  symbolic of a new spiritual start. Now what is it?

did see a puddy tat!
Not one of Woodstock's, I'm guessing.

The secularization of this holiday makes it acceptable to everyone. Afterall, anthropologists say that all peoples celebrated the return of spring after the difficulties of winter.

Coaxing a smile from Eeyore.
Familiar pop-culture figures dominate all holidays now, and this is a word that used to mean 'holy-day.' Have we lost anything by this transformation?  Is the concept of the sacred now forbidden? Teachers carefully appreciate the separation of church and state in a public school. But everywhere?

Easter is the most secularized of the holidays in the USA, and ironically, the most important for Christians acknowledging the death and resurrection of Jesus. Question: how can we honor the rights of all and permit our students to express their beliefs in public and private?

This is not a student of mine. He is a model.
Here in SoCal this year it has become a fashion statement for middle school boys to wear rosaries as necklaces.

 And not only the latino kids. I've asked some of them what it means to them; sometimes they say it means they are Mexican, sometimes they tell me it is about their faith. Some say they just think it looks cool. So far, this practice has not been considered a dress code violation. In other places, it is dress code.

Amarillo ISD Student Wears Rosary Beads, Violates Dress Code, Arrested 

Can I wear clothing that communicates a political or religious message? 

So why so serious, MzTeachuh, and where are the silly Garfield jokes? OK, here we go.

What do you need if your Cadbury Creme Eggs suddenly disappear?

You need an eggsplanation.

Where does the Easter Bunny get his eggs? From Eggplants.

How is the Easter Bunny like Kobe Bryant?

They're both famous for stuffing baskets.

Q: What does the Easter Bunny get for making a basket?
A: Two points, just like anyone else.

Q: How can you tell where the Easter Bunny has been?
A: Eggs mark the spot! 

Did you hear the one about the fifty-pound jelly bean?

It was pretty hard to swallow.
The President and Melania cheering on the eggstraordianry balancers.

Why do we paint Easter eggs?

Because it is too hard to wallpaper them.

What does the White House do when there are too many undiscovered Easter eggs on the South Lawn?

Call an eggsterminator.

I am a huge fan of the Cadbury Creme Egg Bunny, and was charmed when I found one I could buy as an Easter Bunny. A stuffed one that cackles like a chicken, not a real one.

So, enjoy these animal actors. Why is there no Emmy or Oscar for animal actors?

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Educational Links 3/21/18

The Characteristics Of A Highly Effective Learning Environment

Courage To Change: What It Takes to Shift to Restorative Discipline

How to Find Free Music for Classroom Projects

Download: Growth Mindset Activities for Kids

Serving Gifted Students in General Ed Classrooms

While gifted students might excel in certain areas, we must differentiate their learning to address other academic areas along with their social and emotional needs.

Teaching Is Understanding Child Development

Child Development Tracker

Use the Child Development Tracker to get insights on the stages of growth.

Child Development

 T. Berry Brazelton, M.D. 

Middle Childhood Development

 Developmental Issues With Pre-Adolescents 

Adolescent Stages of Development 

  Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development 

I like Piaget and his beret.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Educational Links 3/20/18

How Creativity is Measured—And Why It’s So Difficult

Calling All Cloud Gazers: NASA Needs Your Help!

Ten Common Learning Myths That Might Be Holding You Back

How to Know if Coaching Is Working

The 30 Best Science Websites for Grades K-12

Designing Engaging Assignments

Arts-Focused Field Trips May Boost Standardized Test Scores, New Research Finds

Most people would probably say enjoying a colorful Matisse painting at a museum is the polar opposite of filling in test bubbles using a grey 2H pencil. But new research backed by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA suggests that frequent art-related field trips by students may actually be a catalyst for significantly higher standardized test scores in both English and math. The surprising connection runs counter to previous studies, which found engaging with the arts had little to no impact on academic performance in other subjects.

Women's History Month: The White Rose, Sophie Scholl

Image 1
They were college students writing pamphlets using what Americans would call First Amendment Free Speech. But Sophie, her brother, her boyfriend and like-minded college students were in Germany in the 1940s.

Being serious about their faith, Sophie and family were Lutherans, they took seriously the social gospel that meant opposing Hitler's regime through passive resistance. Her boyfriend was on the Eastern Front and witnessed atrocities to Russian troops and Jewish populations. Many Christians spoke out against the increasing malevolance of Nazism. 

Sophie and her brother were arrested and actually beheaded through the use of a guillotine in February, 1943.  The nation of Israel has recognized her as 'Righteous Among the Nations,'an honorific used by the State of Israel to describe non-Jews who risked their lives during the Holocaust to save Jews from extermination by the Nazis.

Hans Scholl (left), Sophie Scholl and Christoph Probst, leaders of the White Rose resistance organization. Munich 1942 (USHMM Photo)
The White Rose: A Lesson in Dissent

75 Years Ago Today: The Incredible Story of Hans and Sophie Scholl

Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (Full Film)

Writings and leaders who inspired Sophie Scholl:

Cardianal John Henry Newman

Quotes of Sophie Scholl

Somebody, after all, had to make a start. What we wrote and said is also believed by many others. They just don't dare express themselves as we did.
Stand up for what you believe in even if you are standing alone
How can we expect fate to let a righteous cause prevail when there is hardly anyone who will give himself up undividedly to a righteous cause?

Image result for statue sophie scholl