So, how are you?
I mean, really, how are you?
I used to ask this question of my gifted kids.
We came to an understanding that “fine” was not an acceptable response.
That when I asked how they were doing, I was really interested.
That I wasn’t interested in just exchanging pleasantries, I really wanted to know.
So, how are you?
This fall marks the start of my 25th year as an educator, and as we get into the thick of it, here are ten things that are going on Inside of Brian’s Brain.
BIRDS AREN’T REAL!
Yes, you read that right. Birds aren’t real. This was one of my summer time obsessions. It’s part Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus and part Flat Earth Conspiracy Theory. Let’s just say that they have some interesting ideas about how birds have been replaced by surveillance drones and lots of ideas about what the truth is. You want to believe that it is satire, but what if it isn’t? It’s a great chance to utilize CAPES for some critical thinking.
I learned about this from Austin Kleon’s blog post. Cunningham's Law states "the best way to get the right answer on the internet is not to ask a question; it's to post the wrong answer.” Now I am not in support of post incorrect or false information on the internet, but how could you use this in your learning environment? Instead of giving the right answer to our students or posting a question, what could happen if we posted the wrong answer and had them prove that it was wrong. Hmm… I need to think about this some more. I would love to hear what you think about it.
My Mom has always said, “Everything depends on how you look at it.” I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and working on a whole bunch of new activities related to perspectives and point of view. I was blown away by this video from Taylor Tries of Juggling From Above. I now have a new and even deeper appreciation of juggling.
RUBE GOLDBERG + DEDUCTIVE REASONING
My mind was literally blown when I saw my first video from Joseph’s Puzzle Machines. Which Door Will The Ball Hit? combines a set of six rather intricate Rube Goldberg like machines with a guessing game! With over 13 Million Views you may have seen this one already, but I see something new every time I watch it.
PUMPKIN SPICE ALL OF THE THINGS!
Nothing says Fall quite like a Pumpkin Spice Latte. When Starbucks first introduced the PSL back in 2003, I doubt that they had any idea the phenomena that it would become. Now there’s pumpkin spice just about everything. Don’t believe me? Apparently, Pumpkin Spice Toilet Paper actually exists! I have so many questions! What’s something you have seen that just shouldn’t be pumpkin spice flavored? What’s something yet to be pumpkin spiced but should be?
I MADE A MIXTAPE!
I sort of took the summer off from just about everything. I thought that the fall was really going to be different when we returned. I feel like there’s been a whole bait and switch in a lot of ways. I feel like we paid for this but they gave us that. Therefore I give to you a new mix tape called THIS AND THAT. It’s inspired by songs like Olivia Rodrigo’s brutal which uses a riff from Elvis Costello’s Pump It Up. It’s where you think you getting one thing, but you are getting another. Sometimes both are good.
A BLAST FROM THE PAST
Often I forget about activities that I have shared before. For example, I used to talk about periodic tables of things other than elements a lot. Then I decided to put it in the vault. That was 3 years ago, but this year, for whatever reason, I keep getting emails from people asking about it. It’s weird. In case you forgot about it like I did or you have never seen this before, here’s the collection of nearly 200 tables that I assembled on a Pinterest Board. At some point, I am going to revise and update it. If you know of something that should be added, please share!
IN SEARCH OF GREAT TEACHERS
EdCuration is looking for some great teachers to join their Certified EdTrustees Program. It is totally FREE and will provide you with the tools to understand what makes quality instructional resources. As an EdTrustee you will be able to pilot instructional materials for you content area and grade level at no cost. It seems like a fantastic opportunity for some professional learning as part of a growing community.
Personally, I am looking for a group of middle school and high school educators. I have realized that most of the teachers that I reach are at the elementary level. I am interested in expanding that, but I am going to need some input from you. If you are interested or know someone who might be, send me an email. I would love to hear from you.
It was Mr. Rogers who emerged as last year’s winner of Quote Madness. I will be starting up a new season of Curious Quotes next month, but I need your help. Do you have a favorite quote that you would like a slide for? How about a theme or concept that you are teaching this year? Send me an email and let me know what you would like to see added to this year’s collection.
LOOKING FOR PROFESSIONAL LEARNING?
Finally, if you are in need of some professional learning, I would love to help. I have started back with some in-person events, but if you are not quite ready for that, don’t forget that there’s Increasing Student Engagement from Gifted 360 available as a self-paced online learning experience.
Ok, that’s it. I know. It was a lot. So, thanks for reading all the way down to the bottom of the page.
I really appreciate it.
I really appreciate you.
I really appreciate all that you do.
And, yes, I really want to know.
How are you?
I would love to hear from you.