Monday Minute

November 5, 2018

Towards a More Civil Society

Yesterday, "CBS Sunday Morning" had a story that included the fact that former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has retired from public life. One thing that she wanted to leave as a legacy was to re-invigorate civics education in schools. To that end, she was instrumental in the creation of a website called iCivics.org At our conference, Molly Joll and Sarah Alberson from Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Valparaiso presented on this website. There are many complex simulations that could be very useful in social studies and language arts classes, or as a type of enrichment.

World Kindness Day

Whether you plan to do something for World Kindness Day on November 13 or not, some of the activities and downloads on this page could be used at any time. (This particular page is sponsored by the publisher hoping you'll purchase more copies of Wonder.)
Big picture
Next week marks a concentrated world-wide effort to network with other classrooms. It's not too late to register and plan for connections in a variety of ways. In addition, there is actually a Skype calendar with different activities throughout the year.

Great Math Resources from Richard Byrne

Richard Byrne recently re-shared this list of ten good math resources for teachers and students. While he often shares technology tips and sites, he has recommendations for almost any subject, and is a great one to follow. He is a former classroom teacher who was so successful in his side efforts that he left teaching to consult full-time.

Something Different: A Book Review

One of my favorite recent reads is a middle grade novel called Squint, by Chad Morris & Shelly Brown. This book has it all: humor, pathos, character development, bullying, service learning, and many possible connections for teachers and students. Readers will enjoy the way Flint's comic reflects what is going on between him and McKenna. At times, you might think you know what is going to happen, but then the story takes another turn. There are numerous, wonderful metaphors that relate to vision and seeing.

Flint is a hero, but a flawed protagonist. His realizations of his own strengths and weaknesses could be such a boon to students who read this. When his physical vision improves, his perceptions of his relationships sharpen as well. None of the characters are all bad or all good, which Flint eventually realizes. The power of the friendship between Flint and McKenna is transformational in so many ways. I can't count the number of times that I have thought, "If only that student had one good friend or one supportive adult." What a difference that would make.

I would love to see teachers use this book with students; there is so much they could learn. What if they took on #DannysChallenge? What if they reflected on their actions toward others and considered the power of forgiveness?

generationOn Indiana Update

This week's update is full with so many activities! It includes Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, #GivingTuesday, elections, and more. In addition, you can see a lengthy list of generationOn Indiana mini-grants given to schools in the state, learn about a recent project at Boston Middle School, and see where you will be able to interact with generationOn Indiana consultants at upcoming conferences.

The Newsletters are Coming!

Our fall, 2018 print newsletter will be delivered to the mailing service tomorrow. Look for highlights from our conference, including follow ups from some of our great presenters! We will also share the digital link on our website.

Time's Up!

Please forward this to staff or anyone else who might benefit from the content. As always, we welcome your contributions and suggestions! Past editions of the "Monday Minute" and our newsletters are available under the 'Publications' tab on our website.