Monday, April 30, 2012


Maybe I mentioned this earlier... ISTEP is coming up.

We reviewed again today.  It's crazy how much stuff we covered this year.  Some classes did a good job retaining it.  Others... not so much.

We played a little Pictionary today.  See if you can figure out what any of these are:

Did you get them?  I thought they were pretty clever.

I'll give the students a review guide tomorrow, and post it on here as well.  As always, I don't know what's going to be on the test - but it's probably a good idea to take a couple "refresher" days.

If you want the extra credit for the blog today, think of two social studies terms and draw quick pictures of them.  See if I can guess them tomorrow.  Have the adult you discussed the blog with sign the paper.  Make sure your name is on it as well.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sorry Everybody...

Once again, I don't have any extra credit for you.  I had meetings yesterday so I couldn't post, and I'm entering grades today.

You may want to check your grades - they're pretty much up to date.  I have a couple bellworks I'll still need to enter, but the Venn Diagram and China Map are entered.  (Unless your class didn't get the China Map finished.)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

No E.C. Blog Today

There's no extra credit blog post today.  Go enjoy your free time.  Chat about something else.

I will remind you that most classes have the map for homework.  I'll give about 5 minutes during bellwork to finish up, but if you're more than 5 minutes behind - you should probably work on it at home.

(This does not apply to 4th hour since we didn't have class today.)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Human Capital and China

A good example of a young lady who took her human capital and turned it into financial capital:

The Hinduism/Buddhism Venn diagram is homework.

We'll finish up the China maps in class tomorrow.

If you want the extra credit for today's blog, discuss the following questions with an adult:

1.  Give some examples of Angela's human capital.  (You may want to refer back to the first chart I posted yesterday...)
2.  What do I mean when I say she turned it into financial capital?
3.  What are you doing to increase your human capital outside of the school day?

After you discuss those questions, write two sentences mentioning what you discussed, and have the adult you discussed it with sign the paper.  Then, write down roughly how many minutes this extra credit assignment took.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Human Capital

Today we studied human capital.  Students looked at the term, and explained some charts.

Image credit:

The students listed a job and gave examples of human capital that fit that job.  (For example, if they chose teacher, they gave examples of Knowledge: curricular content, math for grading, technology/computer knowledge - such as SMARTboard, document cam, etc...; Skills & Abilities: interpersonal, classroom management, technology; Creativity: classroom decor, lesson plan creation; Life Experiences: student teaching, travel experience.)

Then they went around the class, sharing their examples with three others.  They did a really good job with this activity - listing various jobs, and being very accurate about what skill sets, and knowledge bases were needed to succeed in them.

We also looked at another graph from the Department of State:

Human Capital FSA Countries
 Image credit:

If you want the extra credit for today for reading the blog, discuss the following questions: What job did you choose for the bellwork assignment?  Give examples of human capital needed for those jobs.  Why might a company want to invest in increasing the human capital of it's employees?

When you are finished discussing the blog, write a brief definition of human capital, and how you are investing in your own human capital.  Then, have the adult you discussed the blog with sign the paper.  Finally, write down the number of minutes it took you to complete this. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Categorizing Hinduism

We started the quiz today after I gave students a little bit of time to study.  Well, I gave them a little time to study, and then I gave them a mini-review lesson on Hinduism.  This question appears on the quiz: "How would you define Hinduism, polytheistic, monotheistic, or pantheistic?"  I realize that leaves the door open to students saying, "well I wouldn't define it in the first place..." or some such answer - but I let them know that it's a trick question and that they should give reasons why Hinduism sort of fits all three categories.

I put the following on the board:

I mentioned that it's easy for people from our culture to think of Brahma as the "good" god and Shiva as the "bad" god - since Brahma creates, and Shiva destroys - but that Indians don't think of it like that.  Because their culture believes in reincarnation, the universe is also following a path of birth, life, death, and rebirth.  Shiva destroys in order to allow Brahma to start creating again.

So, we discussed how Hinduism could be viewed as polytheistic - because they obviously worship many gods.  Then I posted these pictures:

I mentioned that the three gods (and really all the Hindu gods) made up Brahman - the eternal spirit/essence/god of everything.  If those gods are actually a part of God - then that would make Hinduism monotheistic right?  Because Hindu worshipers are actually worshiping Brahman - singular.

Then I posted this picture:

I made the point that during creation Brahman becomes part of everything, and everything is part of Brahman.  As such, that would make Hinduism pantheistic - since Brahman is inserted into creation...

I think the point I was getting at was - so often we answer quickly without giving much thought, when oftentimes more thought is necessary.

What is it: polytheistic, monotheistic, or pantheistic?  It's complicated.

If you want the extra credit for reading today's blog entry, discuss the blog with an adult.  When you're finished, write your name, and the two things you discussed on a piece of paper.  Have the adult you discussed it with sign the paper.  Turn it in in the extra credit tray.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Trying to Save You Time

If you want the extra credit, study for the pop quiz that will be happening tomorrow...  (It would have been a pop quiz if I had given it today like I'd had planned... but plans sometimes change, so the kids know about it.)

I would study the chart, Venn diagram, and any other religion papers you think would be useful.

This will be a visual quiz, with questions that look like this:

Image credit:
What religion are these people?
How do you know?
What do you think they are reading?

After you have studied for 5-10 minutes, write me a note telling me who you studied with.  Have them sign the note, and turn it in for extra credit.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Nontheism and Geography

Today we discussed the difference between nontheism and atheism using Guatama Buddha's Parable of the Poisoned Arrow.  To get the extra credit today, relay the parable to an adult and tell them what it represents, and why Guatama Buddha taught it.

When you are finished discussing the blog, write your name on a scrap piece of paper.  Then write the phrase, "Who was it that shot me?"

Finally, have the adult you discussed the blog with sign the paper proving that you read and discussed the blog with them.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Geography Games

Tomorrow we'll be playing the geography games.

In order to get the extra credit today, play Asia or Africa 5 times.  I know it might take longer than it usually does, but after all - it's extra credit.  Make sure you play the middle "countries" column.

When you're finished, print off or write out the scores and have a parent sign it.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Four Noble Truths

1. Everyone suffers
2. We suffer due to desire/wanting
3. There is an end to suffering
4. The eight-fold path is the way to end suffering

Today we discussed the first of the Four Noble Truths at length - do we agree with it or not?  General consensus was yes, it is true.  Suffering is a part of life.

I asked a few questions and most classes had some good discussion before finishing the review guide.  We talked about whether we only believe it's true because we've never met someone who hasn't suffered.

I also asked how many students suffered because there was something they wanted to do, and they weren't allowed.  Many raised their hands and talked about video games, and staying up late.  I brought up Joseph Kony and child soldiers and asked if a kid that went through that would have the right to be offended.  Would he be justified in saying, "Not being allowed to play a video game?  That's not suffering.  You have no idea of what real suffering is."

To get the extra credit, read and discuss the blog with an adult.  Have the adult sign a scrap of paper and write the following on it: "I am trying."

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Walk

Who was this Siddhartha Guatama anyway?

Today we discussed his life story - focusing on his being brought up as a sheltered Prince, and the walk he took when he realized there was suffering in the world.

We looked at where Nepal is in relation to Indiana.

In most classes we also discussed some concepts of Buddhism such as The Middle Path (or Middle Way), The Four Noble Truths, and enlightenment.

In order to get the extra credit for reading and discussing today's blog, discuss the following questions with an adult. 

1.  Why was Siddhartha affected so much by what he saw on his walk?
2.  What did he see?
3.  Was the King wrong in sheltering his son?
4.  What does the term "enlightenment" mean?

Once you have discussed the questions, write a the following on a scrap of paper: "Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread."  Put your name on the paper, and have the adult you discussed it with sign it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Bellwork question:  "What causes suffering in the world?  Give plenty of reasons for your conclusions.  It must be in paragraph form.  Aim for at least 8 sentences."

Buddhism addresses the issue of suffering.  It's interesting that as a religion, it doesn't address the issue of God.  In fact, there are people who profess to be both Christian and Buddhist at the same time - worshiping the Christian God, and following the teachings of both Christ and Buddha.  (I'm not making this up.  Here's one example.  Here's another one.)

Some Christians I've talked to have found this mixing of religions to be disingenuous - and they believe following the teachings of Christ should be what make you Christian, and that no other teachers are necessary.  My Buddhist-Christian friends view it as no different than learning from an atheistic math teacher, or taking Oprah's good advice.  They feel that as long as Buddhism isn't teaching about God, they are not compromising their faith.

Granted, there are academics that agree with them as well.

At any rate, we'll discuss it more tomorrow.  Today we just touched on suffering in general and then watched a video featuring "The Man in the Blue Shirt."

In order to get the extra credit for the blog, please read and discuss it with an adult.  If you're not sure what to discuss, you could ask questions about suffering.  What causes it?  What does Buddhism teach about it?  Do you agree or disagree?

Finally, write the following on a scrap piece of paper: "Siddhartha Guatama."  Put your name on the paper, and have the adult you discussed it with sign it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Intro to Buddhism, Went Over Test, Shout Out to J.L.

We had our introduction of Buddhism today...  Granted, it was a brief introduction because I asked the students what they knew about it, and their answers were generally, "Nothing," or "IDK."  They'll know more by tomorrow.

We went over the test.  There were a couple students who argued some points back from me...  We mainly focused on the essay questions.  (I gave 4 questions, and they had to answer 2.)  One question was, "How did the demand for natural resources lead to exploration, colonization, and the eventual exploitation of human life?  Trace the path back to the source making connections as you go.

After we discussed it, I had the kids draw a quick picture depicting the question.  They did this in less than five minutes.  Really, I think it answers the question pretty well.  I didn't collect them, but a couple found there way to my desk.  Here's one:

It might not be high art, but you get the point.

We actually spent the most time discussing the first essay question - whether or not nonviolent, noncooperation would work against the Capitol.  What do you think? 

To get the extra credit today, explain the picture to the adult you discussed the blog with, and then tell them whether you think nonviolence would work, or if the Districts would have to fight a war... or neither one.  Explain your reasoning.

Finally, write the following quote on a piece of paper and turn it in to get the extra credit: "We are what we think."  Then, have the adult you discussed the blog with sign the paper.  Make sure your name is on it.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Differences/ Tests Passed Back

So, today we came up with a list of differences between The Hunger Games book and movie.  We broke it apart into two lists: things that were taken out of the movie, things that were put into the movie.  Here's some of what we came up with:  *Spoilers for those parents who haven't read the book/ seen the movie*


Madge - mayor's daughter
Haymitch falling off the stage
Peeta never got a prosthetic leg/ no tourniquet
Rue talking about the other districts
Katniss was supposed to yell out Peeta's name, but she whispered it
At the end where Katniss tells Peeta she doesn't really love him
Doesn't knock out Peeta (with the "magical potion...")
Haymitch sending them the feast of lamb stew, etc...
Avox girl being lifted into the hovercraft.  (Avoxes in general)
All the water sources drying up, and Katniss being dehydrated
Rue already had leaves on Katniss
Ear injury/ going deaf
Hand injury (her leg was injured, but she didn't burn her hand)
Coat on fire

Katniss didn't get the pin from the store
Peeta didn't mark Cato's hand with a bloody x
Katniss didn't get bread from District 11
Rue chewed up the leaves
Careers didn't find Katniss in a river, they found her in a tree

Everyone was clothed all the time
Daylight when chased by mutts
Mutts were supposed to look like dead tributes
When Cato died, he died in like... 5 seconds
Katniss cut the branch during the Anthem
Cato didn't have body armor...

Dogs were supposed to jump out and chase Cato first.
Flavius/ Octavia/ Venia mostly taken out

Seneca (weird beard/ head gamemaker) locked in room with berries.
Got pin from market
Rebellion in District 11
Took longer to walk in the woods
Gamemakers - like everything...
District 4 kid (curly hair) getting killed
Rue stealing the knife
Peeta tells Katniss to hold his hand on the chariot
Claudius and Caesar explaining things that were happening

Backpack = orange and black
Haymitch watching the father from the Capitol give his son a present
"That's mahogany!"
Haymitch talking to Seneca to change the rules (give the audience a love story)
Gale ignoring the games

I'm a little bit sad because this is probably the last day we'll talk about the book or movie in here.

At any rate, the final class of the day we came up with 5 main reasons we think the director made changes, and we tried to place each change into one of the categories.  T= Save time  A= Appropriate/ make PG-13  R= It wouldn't look real/ it would look fake  K=See into Katniss's head  F= Forshadowing what might happen in later books.

To get the extra credit, read through the list and put 5 changes into one of the categories.  Write them down on a piece of paper along with the letter of the category they belong in.

I've posted grades.  If you still have access to STI, feel free to check them out.  I passed back the tests today.  Don't forget to bring them back tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Buzz

I hope you're all having a fantastic spring break!  Exotic Goshen, Indiana has not disappointed.

I just wanted to let you know that the Education Blog Carnival hosted by Bellingringers accepted/ published my post: Does That Make Me Racist.

I'm pretty excited about it.  If you're interested in anything education related, you should check it out.  It's a nice mix of funny, serious, legitimate and sarcastic posts dealing with current educational issues.