Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Humans Hunger Hammurabi

Here's a quote from a book I'm reading:

 “...when children’s families are involved in school, the children earn higher grades, attend school more regularly, complete more homework, demonstrate more positive attitudes and behaviors, graduate from high school at higher rates, and are more likely to enroll in higher education than students with less involved families.”

It comes from the book: Bridging Multiple Worlds: Case Studies in Diverse Educational Communities.  (page 47)

I give that quote because I had a couple students who said to me today, "Geez, Mr. Habecker... my mom was wondering why you keep that blog in the first place.  It's basically what we did in class."

You're right.  And I want to say "THANK YOU" to all the moms and dads and step-moms and step-dads, grandparents, and uncles and aunts that are reading this thing.  It is what we're talking about in class.  The more we partner together, and talk about what we're doing in class - the better.  This way, too, you get to see what we're talking about - and if you disagree with what I'm saying you can say, "man, your teacher is wrong on this account!"  As a social studies teacher, I teach some pretty controversial topics.  I work hard to keep bias out of my presentation, as well as my writing on here.  But even then, it might creep in a little bit.  This way, you can read it and continue to instill your beliefs and values into your child.  I don't want to hide behind a classroom door.  I want to work with you to give your child the best education possible.  I know that's what you want too, so again I say thanks for reading.

That said, two hour delays REALLY shorten classes.  We did a paper today for bellwork comparing the Capitol of The Hunger Games to Pyongyang in North Korea.  We compared their governments, standard of living, the fear they used to stay in power.  ...  I'm going to see if I can attach it for the students that weren't in school today...

For the bellwork, they read an excerpt from a CNN article.  You can read it by clicking THIS LINK.

We also looked a picture that was posted on NPR's website.  Here's the picture: 

Article found HERE

Then (in some classes... stupid two hour delay...) we tied it all together by comparing Hammurabi, The Hunger Games, North Korea, and The USA... (I'm not going to have you discuss this with your kid though because we didn't get to it in every class...)

To get the extra credit, discuss the following questions with your family:
1.  What type of government do they have in both North Korea and The Hunger Games?
2.  How else are North Korea and The Hunger Games similar?
3.  What is the picture I posted on the blog depicting or showing?
4.  Why might North Korea want to limit the contact that their citizens have with other countries?

To get the extra credit for reading the blog, write the following quote on a piece of scrap paper: "I am no bird, and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will."  Students: have the adult you read this with sign the piece of scrap paper.  Adults: by signing the paper you are stating that you really did read the blog and discuss this stuff.

An interesting side note: a student asked me, how do you know that the students really are reading and discussing the blog?  I said because there's a different code word or phrase at the bottom of it every day.  He asked if the parents could just write that down and sign off on it.  I said, I supposed that they could.  Ultimately though, I believe that people want what's best for their kid.  Maybe there are a couple parents out there that are teaching your kids that cheating pays off, but I don't believe it.  I believe the majority of you are hard-working, dedicated people who want their kids (and step-kids, and grand kids, and nephews and nieces...) to succeed.  Again, I say thanks for all you do. 


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