Monday, December 31, 2018

Stinkin’ Thinkin’

“What would happen if you weren't successful on this one thing?”

I’m a worrier. I worry about the things I worry about. I can’t help myself. But that worrying can cause what I call - stinkin’ thinkin’ and it can put me into a state of paralysis.

I worry about what might happen and then I’m unable to act, in any way. I don’t act in a positive or negative way. I just am frozen. I want to do something, but I can’t.

For some reason, the hardest thing for me to do is to remember to think about what would happen if I’m not successful. I’m really trying hard to change my thinking so that I take risks. I know the risks may seem silly to you when you look at the things I’ve tried this year but for me, they were huge. I made the risks bigger than they should have been.

This is what I want my students to see. I want them to see that I made the obstacles in my mind bigger than they should have been.

I’ve always wanted to draw but I know I’m not good like my oldest sister is. My sister-in-law is a wonderful artist. I don’t want to draw anything big but I want to draw little things. So, I started to draw in my journal and when I started writing to my parents, I started to do some envelope art. Sometimes I have trouble getting started, but what will happen if I don’t succeed? I can just toss the paper. I haven’t even wasted time because it is good practice. I really like how some of my drawings have turned out.

I wanted to knit a sweater, but I kept putting it off. Finally, I made it and I love how it turned out. I love wearing it. But I had to remind myself that if I wasn’t successful, I would just have to rip out the yarn and use it for something else. I enjoy the act of knitting so the time I spent making it was relaxing. I feel this way every time I start knitting a new project and have to remind myself that the only thing that can happen is that I have to rip it out and start on something else.

I went to a faculty holiday party last week and I was so excited to go. Then when the time came, I didn’t want to go but I went anyway. I figured the worst thing would be to not see anyone I knew and have no one to talk to. I went anyway and saw some people I knew. I talked with many that I didn’t know so I guess it was a successful evening.

How do you help your students get over this stinkin’ thinkin’? Please share.

Photo by Jaredd Craig on Unsplash


Friday, December 28, 2018

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 12/28/18

Here are some interesting sites that I’ve found this week, thanks to my PLN. As a teacher, I feel we have to keep up to date concerning research in our field and current issues in the education system. I hope some of these inspire you, inform you, and even have you asking questions. Thank you for coming by and visiting!

Note: Each resource is labeled with a level and subject area to make it easier to use.

Levels:  E: Elementary; M: Middle; H: High; G: General, all levels; SN: Special Needs; T: Teachers

Subject Areas: LA: Language Arts, English, Reading, Writing; M: Math; S: Science; Health; SS: Social Studies, Current Events; FA: Fine Arts; Music, Art, Drama; FL: Foreign Language; PE: Physical Ed; C: Career; A: All

Grammar Bytes – “grammar exercises with an attitude” (L:H;SA:LA)

Tinycards – companion to Duolingo for learning languages, multimedia flashcards (L:G;SA:FL)

Why Do We Get Sick – a YouTube video from SciShow Kids; “Getting a cold or flu can be sort of scary. But sometimes the more you know about something, the less scary it is!” (L:E;SA:S )

Zero Noise Classroom – “The free noise level display and stopwatch for the cooperative classroom. It helps students be aware of the noise level in the classroom during cooperative learning activities, and moderate it accordingly. When time is over, the percentage of time that the noise level has exceeded the optimal level is displayed, so the teacher can use that value in gamification techniques.” (L:G;SA:A)

IditarodEDU – educational resources to prepare for the 2019 Iditarod. (L:G;SA:A)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Offensive Songs and Stories

Recently I heard that a radio in Cleveland was banning the song, “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” I couldn’t believe that we have come to this.

According to the article,

“The song, first penned by Frank Loesser (Guys and Dolls) in 1944 as a duet for him to sing with his wife at parties. Loesser later sold the song to MGM for use in 1949’s Neptune’s Daughter, in which the song plays seriously between Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalban, and gender-swapped for humor between Betty Garrett and Red Skelton. In the years since, the duet has become an enduring holiday classic, sung by everyone from Dolly Parton and Rod Stewart to Michael BublĂ© and Idina Menzel to Chris Colfer and Darren Criss on an episode of Glee.”

There is nothing date-rapey about this song when it was written. It is a good old-fashioned holiday song. In fact, it was supposed to be romantic, but people can turn almost anything into something offensive if they really try. It all depends on the context it is used and how it is used.

If a rapist plays this song while raping someone, I would find it offensive too.

Words mean different things now than they did many years ago. Years ago I could use the word “gay” without it having to do with anything about homosexuals. The word “bad” used to mean not good but now it could mean great depending on how it is used.

I remember how some people tried to say that the story of Little Red Riding Hood was about sexual predators and the story of the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe had to do with child neglect!

One time on a trip, my friend was highly offended by the song YMCA by the Village People. I like the lyrics, but they don’t specifically talk about gay people.  It could be targeted to gay people, but I think over time it has become more than that. It is a fun song and if you take it in the context that the song is about the YMCA, it is a good song.

I remember my parents not letting me hear a lot of the Beatle’s songs because they felt they revered to drugs too much. But once I got to be an adult, I made my own choices.

I think it is important to teach students to look at lyrics and stories and to see how they can be viewed from different perspectives. This is a good way to teach students to do critical thinking.

What do you think about song lyrics and their impact? Please share.

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash