End of the year round-up

I read a lot of stuff over the course of a year and here are some of the more interesting things I found that hopefully are thought provoking, engaging, and just plain fun! I leave you this pile to sort through at the end of the year – a potpourri sort of like those tables of lost and found items we have in our hallways, but hopefully of some value to you.

National standards for the U.S. (for those of you in the States and those who care about such things in Canada!) were released last week for English language arts and math. They have been getting some good press in general, but also some expected critique. It will be interesting what happens from here. Here is one thoughtful Christian teacher’s thoughts about them.

Here is a great video by Dan Meyer about engaging kids in thinking about math from the TED Talks people:

Who are the Ted Talks people, you may ask? They are a bunch of “crazed learners”  (my words) – people who get together to be stimulated by ideas – my kind of people! 596 talks of less than 20 minutes each are available from TED’s annual California and England conferences. Believe me, as a speaker it is tough to boil it all down to 20 minutes or less, but here are the best speakers in the world doing it. Also available in podcasts via ITunes. See the video below of Sir Ken Robinson speaking about educational change as an example.

Sir Ken Robinson gave a popular TED talk entitled “Do schools kill creativity?” and here is the follow-up video entitled “Bring on the learning revolution”:

Living in denial – why is it so hard for us to grasp that our kids may be having sex?

Does going to Sunday School as a child make a difference? David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group states: “…the study shows that most American adults recall frequent faith activity when they were growing up. Moreover, it provides clarity that the odds of one sticking with faith over a lifetime are enhanced in a positive direction by spiritual activity under the age of 18. And it raises the intriguing possibility that being involved at least a few times a month is correlated with nearly the same sticking power as weekly involvement – especially among teenagers.”  Read more here.

Do you have a fixed or growth mindset?  I’d encourage you to read the book, Mindset by Carol Dweck,  to learn more about yourself and how our teachers may or may not view kids – tremendous implications for education.

A very helpful Slideshare (Slideshare is an online, open source Powerpoint that you can download) on CyberBullying –that includes the latest online stats related to teens.

Twittering is not Frittering! Want to do a lot of up to the minute learning? Sign up for Twitter and read what people are reading, thinking, re-tweeting (that’s when they recommend you look at something they found interesting – be it website, article, movie, etc.). Here are a few educators I find interesting to follow: Tom VanderArk, Gary Stager, Wesley Fryer, Scott McLeod, and Dan Pink.

Here is a very useful website by a principal for principals that has lots of forms, surveys, handbooks, etc. that could make your life easier!

A very helpful and well written review of Avatar from a Christian perspective in the March 2010 Christianity Today.

Good stuff from Wired magazine – my new favorite!  Articles: Do You Speak Statistics? and  Instant Karma – How Twitter + Dopamine = Better Humans.

I live in a happy town (here is the article and video)  and right on the heels of that happy announcement  came this– “Holland, Mich., Metro Area Best at Meeting Basic Needs”. Come and join us – it is a great place to live!

Why soda should have no place in a Christian school.

Are incentives a good thing? Maybe you have read Dan Pink’s book, Drive by now (see earlier post) – if not, read it! Here is another recent article on the topic from Fast Company: The Curse of Incentives.

I find this shocking – 40% of our food is wasted everyday!

And hopefully this will leave you laughing! Is immigration just a south of the border issue? This one is for our Canadian brothers and sisters – enjoy!

Thanks for reading Nurturing Faith and recommend it to a friend!

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