Hello and welcome to the inaugural issue of Inside Brian’s Brain! Thank you for your interest in my work and for joining me on this journey.
Here’s is what you can expect. My goal is to provide you with some free instructional resources related to better serving your gifted students on a monthly basis. While I tend to post ideas on my blog on a more regular basis, I have realized that often some of what is being posted somehow gets lost in the information overload that is life in 2019.
I have found that I gain so much from other individuals and groups that have regular email newsletters, and rather than trying to consume all that is posted on social media, I have discovered it is much more palatable when focusing my attention on the highlights and choosing which resources to explore further.
With all that in mind, here are the things that I have been focusing on for the past month.
ANNOUNCING A FREE SPRING TRAINING!
I am trying something new for me that I am really excited about. I am hosting a FREE webinar on Monday, April 8, 2019 at 3:00PM ET. I am calling the session HIGH FIVE! Brand New and Ready to Use Lesson Ideas to Make Your Students’ Thinking Spring Forward. In this one hour session, I will present a collection of five activities designed to inspire creativity and critical thinking during the last weeks of the school year. If you are not able to attend the event live, a recorded version will be available from April 9-15, 2019. Registration for this event is limited. Visit brianhousand.com/springtraining and sign up today.
ICYMI: In Case You Missed It
During 2019, I have been making a concerted effort to share more on my blog. Here are three recent posts that were the most popular.
TED TALKS: 30 Day Challenge - I watched and reviewed a TED Talk a Day for 30 Days. Here is what I learned in the process.
Everything Is Alive! - A creativity activity inspired by the podcast of the same name.
Slow Down & Savor the Cheese - To quote Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” This is especially true when presenting curious content. Here are some lessons that I learned from talking about Cheese Mountain.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY FIGHTING FAKE NEWS!
April 1, 2019 marked the first birthday of my book Fighting Fake News! Teaching Critical Thinking and Media Literacy in a Digital Age. Honestly, I could not think of a better release date for a book on fake news. I look forward to the day when books and frameworks like this are no longer needed. To celebrate the book and the importance of thinking critically, here is a free companion website with slides and activities from the book for you to use in your classroom.
SOME OF WHAT I HAVE BEEN READING
I have been really trying to spend less time reading information online and more time reading books. I came to the realization that a large part of the time that I used to spend reading had become hijacked by my digital devices. Although, I do still like to read books in a digital format because it is so much lighter to carry multiple books this way. Here are three books that I have really enjoyed in the past month.
Show Your Work! 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin Kleon
Honestly, I do not know how I lived so long without reading anything by Austin Kleon. He is a master at synthesizing practical information and theory related to creativity and packaging it in a way that is insightful and just plain fun to read. I am really looking forward to his next book Keep Going which releases this month!
Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant
After viewing the TED Talk: The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers, I was inspired to read Adam Grant’s book. As is the case with books by Malcolm Gladwell and others, I both felt myself nodding along with what resonated with me and also feeling frustrated that I had not written this book. There is really nothing new here, but instead Adam Grant provides a great set of stories and a useful synthesis of research. I have also really come to appreciate his podcast WorkLife. It is definitely worth your time to listen to.
Perhaps the most life altering book for me in recent history is The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. I first became obsessed with Marie Kondo thanks to the Netflix series Tidying Up. While I do enjoy my fair share of HGTV style shows, this one really presented something that was much more personal and compelling. While I was traveling, my wife, Angela, took the plunge into the deep end that is the KonMari method of organization by tackling her closet. I read this book while traveling back home, and the following weekend, took control of the closet clutter. I have learned that unless it is bringing me joy, then it probably does not need to be a part of my life. This applies to a great deal more than just material possessions.
THE ROAD AHEAD
I have been intentional quiet lately on my blog and social media because I have been doing some deep work on a new project that I intent to launch in May. I do not want to say much more about it right now. Just stay tuned for something that I am really excited about.
I am home for most of the month of April working except for a one day gifted parent / teacher event in Torrance, California. The end of May through September are shaping up to be very busy. You can see the full list of upcoming events at brianhousand.com/talks.
Thanks again for joining me on this journey. Feel free to forward this email to anyone else that you think would be interested. If they want to sign up to receive their own email newsletter they can do so HERE.
I will be back next month with a lot more new content and ideas. Thanks for all that you do to serve the needs of your students and the children that you work with.
Brian Housand, Ph.D.