|Marriott's SmART Board||
A little disconcerting when just anyone can access your Weebly account. Not sure why your password and username are saved into my home computer, but you might want to change one or the other. By the way, what are your thoughts on identity theft?
Question of the Week: What if you were given the opportunity to have direct input into your Citizenship Report Card?
Here's the deal. You have a report card coming up for citizenship, and I had this crazy idea that maybe, just maybe, I would allow you to influence the marks I assign in the categories of Work Habits and Personal/Social Development. For these two standards, you will receive a score of 1-4 indicating your efforts and current standing in relation to those to "life" categories. There are some factors to consider...one of them being that, for some of you, the only time I see or interact with you is in homeroom. Therefore, wouldn't it make sense if you could offer some information to help me make a better decision?
What you need to know & consider before telling me what you deserve:
Work Habits: This standard applies to the general work habit stuff. I will be considering things like - Have you completed the blog postings? Do the postings you have done reflect any effort? Do you come to class on time? Do you have good attendance in general? Do you participate actively and willingly in class (when we do have discussions)? Citizenship requirements are minimal, so if you have made no effort to complete blog postings - then you are not going to be able to convince me that you deserve a 3 or 4.
Personal/Social Development: This standard applies more directly to Emotional Intelligence. I will be considering - How are your peer to peer interactions on a daily basis? Peer to teacher interactions? Quality and depth of blog postings? What is the extent of your contributions to our school community as a whole? Are you enthusiastic and positive about school? Do your choices and decisions reflect an understanding of the Seven Habits? Is the quality of your character evident in everything that you do?
This week, for your posting, you have the opportunity to influence my decision. Based on the Criteria above - write me a statement indicating what you deserve in the categories of Work Habits and Personal/Social Development. Include examples where possible (ie. I have completed all of the blog postings or I helped to organize and advertise our Halloween dance and that shows that I am contributing positively to our school community.)
Keep in mind that I also get a say - so just because you say you deserve a 4 doesn't mean I will be in agreement.
Be PROACTIVE - Take this opportunity to convince me!
Question of the Week: In what ways can students approach all aspects of their lives at school more proactively?
Being a Proactive person is important; no, not just important: critical. Every single day of our lives we are confronted with choices and decisions about what to do next, how to respond, etc., and much of our character can be determined by the way we react (or don't) in these situations. Especially, Junior High school presents a boatload of opportunities for us to be proactive - regarding our schoolwork, studying, behaviors, attitudes, relationships with peers & teachers and more. In this week's posting, you are asked to post a list of 5 ways that you can approach your time at school proactively. Your list should consider proactive approaches to things like friendships, and doesn't need to exclusively focus on the strictly educational components of your schooling experience.
You can use the questions below to help guide your response. Also, make sure to add a comment about how taking this proactive approach might contribute to changing our school climate for the better.
List 5 specific ways that you might choose to approach aspects of Junior High proactively.
-Proactive approaches to homework?
-Proactive approaches to relationships?
-Proactive approaches to attitudes?
-Proactive approaches to peer interactions?
-Proactive approaches to in-class actions and behaviors?
How do you think a shift towards proactivity might impact our school in a positive way?
Question of the Week: How do we respond to the things that happen to us in our daily lives?
Being in control is a nice feeling. I mean, when I am in control, that means that I usually have a pretty good chance of getting the outcome I want. It also means that if I don't achieve the preferred outcome, I only have myself to blame. Unfortunately, the truth is, there are a lot more things that are beyond my control than otherwise. For example, who my family is: outside of my control; where I was born: outside of my control; whether my kids sleep through the night: outside of my control; suddenly having to go pee while in a 6 foot fishing boat in the middle of a lake... whether or not YOU do your blog postings ..the zombie apocalypse...you get the idea. In the grand scheme of things, we rarely have complete control over anything, which means how we respond to all of these things becomes all that much more important.
The things we CAN control, such as our choices, attitudes, responses and actions are incredibly important in defining who we are now, and who we will become. Likewise, it is important for us to recognize that we can't control everything to ensure that we aren't spending an excessive amount of time worrying about things we really have no control over. The expression "Roll with the Punches" applies to those who are able to take things in stride, who, rather than reacting, worrying or panicking about all of those things they can't control, focus on those things that CAN be controlled and attempt to live live rather than letting life live them. Perhaps something for the rest of us to work towards?
Use the questions below and the content above to help guide your response:
What will happen if we spend our time & energy worrying about things we can't control?
Do you know anyone who feels like a victim all the time (like everything is out of their control?)
How difficult is it to stay focused on the things that we can control?
Can you think of an experience where you worried about something you had no control over? What was the outcome?
Do you know anyone who lets go of things "like water off a duck's back"? Do you find inspiration in that person?
Question of the Week: How important is it to focus on using positive language with our peers?
My daughter tells me I'm beautiful; she tells me often.
Now, under most circumstances, as a fully grown adult male, beautiful isn't really an adjective that I'm used to hearing about myself, nor is it even on my top ten list of things I'd like to hear about my appearance. Nevertheless, when it comes from my 2 year old daughter, there is a distinctly warm and fuzzy feeling attached. The truth is, she doesn't have all of the language tools at her disposal to offer a more gender-appropriate compliment, but it doesn't matter. At 2, she has gone out of her way to say something to me that she knows to be positive, (regardless of whether or not it's true or relevant,) and there's something about that that feels really nice.
The activity we did in Citizenship last week was, in many ways, very similar to the comments from my daughter. There are too many times in Junior High, where you are hearing things said TO you or ABOUT you that are rude or mean or hateful, and not nearly enough opportunities for you to hear what other like about you. What's more, is that technology has made it so easy to say things that are mean or rude without us really having to face the consequences.
Writing positive comments about your peers in Citizenship ultimately accomplished 2 things. First of all, hopefully the comments gave you a little boost. After all, hearing positives about ourselves, regardless of their origins (as with my daughter's comments), makes us feel good. Even if comments are vague, or simplified, or coming from someone who doesn't know us well, there is value in hearing that we are perceived as being "nice" or "pretty." Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, every one of you, even if you did not take the activity very seriously, made an effort to write POSITIVE comments about your peers. This, in itself, speaks volumes for the type of people that you are, and shows that you are all capable of finding something nice to say to someone else - even if you don't know them. As my daughter would probably say: "That's really very beautiful," and it is, isn't it.
Based on this posting and the activity from the past week, please take a few minutes to respond. Use the questions below to help guide your response.
How does it feel to hear someone say something negative about you?
How does it feel to hear someone say something positive about you?
What made the in-class activity difficult or easy for you?
Does making someone else feel good have benefits for you as well?
Question of the Week: How do the 6 facets of wellness fit together in my life?
Wellness is a pretty complex concept and a broad topic to define. When you think of wellness, what do you think of? Staying healthy? Personal growth? Balance? or something else entirely? The truth is, wellness is comprised of several different aspects of our lives, so unless all of these aspects are balanced, there are going to be some areas where our wellness suffers. The following Power Point and activity looks at the 6 facets of wellness, and will help you to get a picture of your overall wellness.
Use the Wellness Wheel Activity (done in class) to help guide your response. Consider the following questions in your posting.
Which facets of your wellness (sections of the wheel) are fullest?
Which facets of your wellness have the least color?
Do you believe the results accurately reflect your wellness?
What steps can you take to improve the balance in your life?
Question of the Week: What does my "digital tattoo" say about me?
It's a pretty crazy time that we're living in. You might not even realize how much digital information about you is floating around in cyberspace...some of it accessible to you and others, and some of it hidden from you...but still out there. And while it is pretty cool how much we can do on the internet, many of the forums where we share information about ourselves aren't very well protected and consequently, the information, pictures and details of our lives end up as permanent parts of the public domain.
The important thing to be aware of in all of this, is how all of this sharing can come back to us positively or negatively. More and more employers, and even college admissions departments are looking at facebook pages and using google searches as means of background checking employees and students. And what are they finding out about us? Do we really want anyone to be able to find out our likes, interests and hobbies? Do you want a future employer knowing that you spent the weekend in the hospital with alcohol poisoning, or that you got arrested for fighting in the 7-11 parking lot? Do I want strangers able to find and comment on pictures of my daughter? Everything that we (or others) put online adds "ink" to our digital tattoo and allows others to make inferences about us. Unfortunately for us, it doesn't always even matter whether the inferences are correct or not.
For your posting this week, consider your own "digital tattoo." Try searching yourself on google and use the questions below to help guide your response.
If you run a smart google search on yourself, what do you find, and what inferences can you make about your 'online persona'?
Do you have facebook? twitter? any other profiles on social media?
Are there comments, pictures etc. that you have posted that you don't really want just ANYONE to be able to see?
Is there anything Ellen could use to embarrass you on national TV?
Question of the Week: What will being born in a "digital age" mean for me?
Yeah, I remember our first family computer. I guess that would have been when I was around 10 years old. It was in our spare bedroom in the basement, because no one ever went down there, and no one really used it. It only had 2 colors: black and orange.
My dad's friend gave him a floppy disk with a list of DOS codes for about 50 games. This meant that if I wanted to play a game, I had to turn on the computer (about a 15 minute process) and then type in a 20 character code at the C:// screen. That would load me up an action packed, thrill-a-minute game, like "Donkey" or "Pipe Dream." (see screen shots below).
It's pretty safe to say that a lot has changed in my life time. Now, 20 years later, I can watch tv (netflix) anywhere on my wife's ipad, and I can check my emails instantly at home. I still don't know if I can say I was born in a digital age....but you can. The question is, how much is this going to change you and how much is it going to change your life? What innovations are you going to use daily in 20 years that will make you look back and shake your head at the pathetic and hilariously inadequate iphone 5 of 2013...
In this week's posting, consider the content of the videos below and respond to the question of the week with some of your thoughts on being born in the "Digital Age" and what that will mean for you as you grow up. Use the questions below to help guide your response.
What technology do you expect to see?
What kinds of things are going to be possible that aren't possible now?
What will this mean for you in terms of future career possibilities?
Question of the Week: What is a good name and logo idea for our team in next week's Winter Carnival?
Uh oh! Next week is our Derek Taylor Junior High Student Convention (Thursday Feb 21st) and Winter Carnival (Friday Feb 22nd). It has been brought to my attention that each homeroom needs to come up with a team name and logo to be displayed on the day of the Carnival. (There is a prize for this). I am thinking that some kind of name that cleverly ties into Emotional Intelligence might give us an early advantage...but anything will work.
Your posting for this week is SO EASY it's actually ridiculous. By next week we need to be working on putting together our "dogsled" and our team banner or flag, so we need the name and idea now.
Please respond with an idea for a team name, and a basic description of what you think our log should be. I will help design the logo if you guys come up with the idea. - - GO!
Question of the Week: How does living a life of integrity benefit you and those around you?
Have you ever done something that you knew was not "the right thing to do," but nobody was around so you figured you could get away with it? Most of us have done this, some more than others. This doesn't mean you're a bad person, but if you're like me, when you've been in these situations, you've probably felt some guilt afterwards because you knew that you could have behaved differently.
Essentially, Integrity means: Doing the Right Thing, even when nobody's watching, and it is a real foundational element of good character.
For most of us, doing the right thing comes fairly naturally, but for whatever reason, when people aren't around, or it seems like we might be able to get away with it, some of us slip up. Having integrity means that our internal desire to do right is able to overwhelm our desire to let it slide or get away with something. Check out the video below.
Consider the following everyday scenarios that you might have found yourself in: Have you ever...
Paid for something in cash and the clerk has given you incorrect change, (more than what you should get?)
Opened a car door in a parking lot and dinged a vehicle beside you?
Been hit fairly in a dodgeball game?
Been unprepared for a big test or exam?
Now the question is, how did you respond in these scenarios? Did you behave in a way that demonstrated integrity? Did you fight the urge to experience a small personal gain in favor of doing what you knew was right? We are not perfect, we all make mistakes and do things that we will regret later on, but maybe if we can learn from some of these mistakes, we can start to practice integrity a little more consistently. Check out the example of integrity shown below...on one of the biggest stages in the world.
For your response this week, consider the idea and definition of integrity. If possible, share an example or scenario where you have been put into a situation where you made the choice to act with integrity. Consider the following questions:
How did it make you feel?
How did this affect the others involved?
Is acting with integrity always the easiest thing to do?