Tag Archives: tools

Moody Mondays, and Early Childhood Education as Health Care for the Entire World

This early childhood ed. org. in DC has been, and is still, doing what Joseph Biden proposes to do on a larger scale in the US, which ought to have been done a long time ago, in THIS galaxy:

They needed cribs back in 2012, but now you can donate online:

I had the opportunity, thanks to Alice Burton, to be able to meet last night with some wonderful people working with vulnerable infants and todlers in DC. The group is called Jubilee Jumpstart: http://www.jubileejumpstart.org/

 

So, it turns out that the health of us all depends even more heavily on the health of these littlest of human beings, friends, and please help remind all of our fellow human beings, that an ounce of prevention (via early education) is worth a pound of cure (in later health, prison, and lost productivity/creativity, etc.).

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items in support of literacy and hope that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different sources of information on the impact of early childhood education on later adulthood health issues (physical and mental).

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how you found each of the sources,

4.) Share this or another post on the relationship between childhood healthcare and education to later outcomes, and let us know where to find the post here in these comments, please.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!

ShiraDest

Preptober for NaNoWriMo 2020 CE

October, 2020 CE = 12020 HE

 

Stayed on Freedom's Call: Cooperation Between Jewish And African-American Communities In Washington, DC

Stayed on Freedom’s Call: Cooperation Between Jewish And African-American Communities In Washington, DC

Moody Monday: What I learned from my last NaNoWriMo about Writing

I’m still finding notes from earlier story and novel projects, and think it is a good idea to review lessons learned from drafting and editing my previous two practice novels, before I start drafting my next WiP, which I think (or hope) that I’m nearly finished planning.

My second practice novel, started on Wattpad,  was easier to track the deadline on the NaNoWriMo2015 website before I set up my own spreadsheet.  It taught me several things about managing Depression (actually PTSD -> anger->depression…).

First: Making a deadline feels good, even if it is Just/Only YOUR deadline. You DID it.
Second: Physical activity every day, like running  or dance, etc, is, at least for me, imperative (and also read, and have a sun lamp, if you live farther from the equator than the 35th parallel…).
Third: Making a deadline a second time, better than you did the first time, proves you can repeat the feat, thus showing discipline and perseverance. This helped me feel like less of a waste of oxygen while I can looked for a way to use that to help other folks.
Fourth,  the actual writing lessons:
Writing 1.) When writing your first/second/fifth practice novel, be sure to have a physical workout routine, preferably involving boxing gloves, AND several people to talk to about all of the crap your writing will drag out of you.  (Remember NOT to use the gloves on the people…)

Writing 2.) For me, at least, plan the ending first…
Writing 3.) Plan setting, time and weather for each scene, not just the plot!!
Writing 4.) Outline by scene, not by # of words (I outlined by 300wds, which ended up driving me nuts toward the end…)
Writing 5.) Do not write a chapter per file, it is a formatting nightmare to insert 18 files (one for each chapter) into one ‘book’ file on an exhausted day 28!
Writing 6.) Lay out the chapter plan on one large calendar in the same notebook (if at all possible) as the planning notebook (and resist the temptation to plan each chapter on small scraps of paper!! You cannot believe the number of scraps I now have floating around…).
Writing 7.) Start on day one, and don’t punish yourself for not planning ahead. A planner is not a pantser, and I, a planner, felt annoyed trying to write stream-of-consciousness just because I had 2000 words to finish That Day.

Better, I learned, to take the day to plan out the next two scenes and write them the next day, at least for me.

I found that when I knew the time of day and year and weather as well as what the MC was supposed to do in the next couple of scenes, I could just imagine the flow and zap, 2000 words came out of no where (I did NOT say 2000 Good Words, but that is for the next 3 or 4 re-writes!!!).

and

Writing 8.) Set a new notebook aside for the 30-Day 50k challenge, because it will turn into at least a year, and probably 80k words. Before it goes back down to 60k again.

In Solidarity with All Kind People,
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,

modified from original 2015 post,

some Action Items in support of literacy and writing that you can take right now:

1.) Download some advice on novel writing, maybe from two different websites,

2.) Read about NaNoWriMo,

3.) Share your thoughts on the value of each person writing a book, perhaps as an update on your GoodReads reading,

4.) Write a novel that references a classic book, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.

Other ideas welcome on how to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness, & #EndMoneyBail, starting with improving these four parts of our good #PublicDomainInfrastructure:

1. #libraries,

2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,

3. #UniversalHealthCare, and

4. good #publictransport

Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!!!, Walk !

#PublicDomainInfrastructure #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19

ShiraDest

 September 2020, High Holidays of 5781, 12020 HE

Spanish Sunday is now: fitting in by your own definition as Universal (self) Health Care, and building community via local currencies

We need a Universal health care system, but in the meantime, take care of yourself, and your mental health, by letting yourself fit in to your own universe: you get to choose who you are, since you are always there with yourself (and so you’d better get to like yourself).

For me, contribution is a major part of meaning, and that is what I want to have when I look back upon my life: contributed in some long-term meaningful way to humanity, just in some small area, in my own small way, but as much as I possibly can.

Here is where I am in my study of caring for myself as part of caring for others (so as not to be a burden to others): I measure my value by asking myself how I’ve contributed.  Here is a large part of my answer thus far:

 

I recall giving a class on Community Cooperation that had far more impact than I’d expected, generating heated discussion, and thanks.  I was surprised that folks thanked me for bringing up the topic of Community, and protection of the most vulnerable members of society, but I was also grateful to have been able to make that impact.  To reach people who otherwise may not have seen Community in that light.

I think it was actually the class I taught in 2011, but this class, in 2010, taught me how to teach in Community:

Page 1 of Handout:

Community Empowerment via Local Currencies “Mifnei Tikkun Ha-Olam”
Shira Jones, DC Beit Midrash, DC JCC, 16 August 2010, Ki Tetse
In Ki Tetse, Aliyah 5, (24:1-24:4 of Dvarim), a man is required to write a Get in order to divorce his wife.
Rabban Gamliel: Mishnah Gittin 4:21
“At first, a man would convene a court in a different location [from where his wife was living]and cancel the get [he had sent and not inform her of his actions]. Rabban Gamliel the Elderpassed a law prohibiting men from doing so, in order to repair the social order Mipnei TikkunHa-Olam.”
Other uses of the principle of Tikkun Ha-Olam occur with an apparently similar aim, accordingto Jill Jacobs2, namely the aim of protecting society and the most vulnerable members ofsociety.
In this vein, money which is created by and issued in and for the local community alsoconstitutes an act of Tikkun Olam, benefiting the most vulnerable members of society.
Local currencies are forms of money created by communities for local circulation in thosecommunities. These locally created forms of money accomplish three main objectivesrelated to protecting vulnerable members of society.
•When issued on the basis of local goods or services, they increase the amount of moneyavailable in local communities, further empowering communities to create sustainable localbusinesses and making more money available for loans, donations and local projects;
•They encourage buying local, thus keeping resources in local communities and reducingsupply and distribution chain travel distances, thereby reducing carbon emmissions;
•When issued on the basis of real goods or services, local currencies incentivize long-terminvestment in the local economy, rather than short-term investment in capital markets.
These currencies return monetary decision-making to communities directly affected bymoney (while by contrast, monetary decisions are generally made outside the community),and retain more overall money in the local community. Local currencies are often referred toas Green MoneyGreen MoneyGreen MoneyGreen MoneyGreen Money Green Money Green MoneyGreen MoneyGreen Money for reasons related to both Governance and Economic Benefit of Money.
1Drawn from “Annulment of Marriage”, Judith Hauptman, http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/annul.html
2Jill Jacobs, The History of “Tikkun Olam”, http://www.zeek.net/706tohu/index.php?page=2
Shira D. Jones, destinie_jones@yahoo.com, DC Beit Midrash, “Green Money, Tikkun Olam”

Page 2 of Handout:

How do Green or Local Currencies provide (get, keep and grow) these benefits?
Governance of Money
Economic Benefit of Money
By increasing overall levels of available money, theyprovide more opportunities for community participationin economic decision-making and project development.
By increasing overall levels of available money, theyprovide more resources for donation, loans to theunemployed, the vulnerable, local businesses, etc.
By keeping more resources in local communities, theyallow greater (practical) economic priority-settingparticipation by more members of those communities.
By keeping more resources in local communities, theystop the draining of local resources to distant areas (sothe wealth is no longer accessible to the community).
By providing a stake in local institutions, localcurrencies provide incentives to ensure transparencyand accountability in local community institutions.
By providing a stake in local institutions, localcurrencies provide incentives to invest in long-termlocal production and to upgrade local infrastructure.
Local Currencies in Washington, DC:
Anacostia Hours, issued and accepted in Mt. Rainier, MD and accepted by some DC businesses
http://www.anacostiahours.org
Potomacs, exchanged and accepted at local businesses in Petworth, DC
TakomaTime, a Time Bank3 issuing Time Dollars in Takoma Park and Adams Morgan, DC
The Catalyst Bank, a Time Bank issuing Time Dollars in DC and VA
http://community.timebanks.org/group.php?mode=curr&sid=f0f0291be3a33d7b7729da4e03f57948
Currencies which are issued by community based institutions are generally easier to obtain,particularly for vulnerable members of the community who have difficulty accessing market-based (jobs or credit) means of obtaining more scare Federal money.
Local currencies also tend to allow greater levels of inclusion to members of the localcommunity in the decision-making processes of those currencies, while General PurposeMoney, such as the US Dollar, tends to have far more closed (non-inclusive) and lesstransparent and less publicly accountable decision-making processes. This lack of inclusionshuts out most of the direct stakeholders from governance, preventing most money usersfrom having a voice in money, which so vitally affects all of our lives.
Community-based currencies expand the number of Direct Currency Stakeholders who canexcercise participatory decision-making power over money. Thus more people can create,keep, and grow their own resources, to the benefit of the entire community, by building,using and investing in local community institutions.
3With thanks to Deborah Hittleman Flank for information on both Time Banks listed here…
Shira D. Jones, destinie_jones@yahoo.com, DC Beit Midrash, “Green Money, Tikkun Olam”

DC Beit Midrash Sources for 16 August class:
Mishnah Gittin 4:2
“Annulment of Marriage”, Judith Hauptman, http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/annul.html
Jill Jacobs, The History of “Tikkun Olam”, http://www.zeek.net/706tohu/index.php?page=2
http://www.anacostiahours.org
http://community.timebanks.org/group.php?mode=curr&sid=f0f0291be3a33d7b7729da4e03f57948
Shira Destinie A. Jones, Mphil dissertation, 2010, University of Bath, http://opus.bath.ac.uk/18960/
Bio Blurb:
Shira Destinie Jones is a native Washingtonian, teacher of mathematics, Hebrew, and Greekfolk dance, and singing enthusiast with 12 years of Unix expertise. She holds a Master ofArts in Teaching Secondary Mathematics, a Masters of Philosophy in economic social policy,and is a published poet and author working to help restore the balance of justice in our damaged world.
(Now I am grateful to be working to build a Kinder world…)
Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
29 February, 12016 HE

 

So, it turns out that …  More on my continuing striving with stuff next week, friends:

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items in support of literacy and hope that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different resources to translate the word “Hello” into your favorite language.

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how you like each of the resources you found,  perhaps as an update on your GoodReads reading,

4.) Write a blog post or tweet that uses your favorite word, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!

ShiraDest

September, 12020 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)

Study Saturdays, gullible or not, and what’s belief got to do with change and health, anyway?

Remember how inspiring the slogan “Yes, We Can,” became? It had to do with belief: if you do not believe a thing to be possible, for most people, you will not attempt it (and even those of us who throw ourselves into the breach still do so in the hope that our disbelief is wrong…): belief and hope are intertwined with mental health and healing, are they not?

Here is a gathering of thoughts from my study of my earlier journal entries, to see if I’d changed:

A classmate at Annapolis told me that they’d taken out the definition of ‘gullible’ in the dictionary and replaced it with my photo one day. I was furious, because shipmates aren’t supposed to bilge each other, and that to me was bilging.

But I want to believe that a better world is possible, a kinder world:
Perhaps the Universal Declaration of Human Rights would be a good ‘summation’ of what I want to see in the world?

[An aside: what I personally want may be quite different from what others want, of course. I would personally like to see a world where every person is free to travel anywhere, and where every person has a key to a very small flat -consisting of one room, well insulated, with a small kitchen, a bathroom with a shower, and a bed. For free, with absolute lifelong rights. Also free would be brown rice (or similar equivalent grain), green leafy vegetables, and dried beans. That is the bare minimum that a person needs to live, and that (along with free Public Library borrowing rights and Health Care) should be totally free without question to every person at all times. Whether they work or not, deserving or not. No paperwork, no hassles. But for anything else a person may want, above this (deliberately quite Spartan and barebones) minimum, a person must contribute to society -i.e. work.  That is what I would like to see eventually, not going into political views…]

I look back 20 years on, now I see that I’ve always been accused of being gullible and naive, yet to be gullible, I think, is not from foolishness or stupidity, but from a stubborn refusal to believe that anyone could be dishonest.

Read, Write, Run, Teach !   ShiraDest,   16 February, 12016 HE

(update Edit from 2008 LJ entry: Yet every time I’m taken in by those who talk of dedication to ideals, and every time, I have wanted to believe. I went to Cambridge, as I came back to Bath, expecting nothing, yet finding other dedicated souls in places I had not looked before. Perhaps it is the expectations, desire to believe, desperation for drive, which brings the disappointment. Perhaps it is not only drive, not even a little rest, but mostly detachment that helps one fulfill full potential, live up to that long grey line. To be able to report with pride to those who have gone before us that we lived up to our calling.
No, work and determination must play the largest part, along with reflection.

(maybe this is why my fellow JROTC cadet Mahlon called me “overmotivated” all those years ago… I wonder if that’s why Monica and the other kids assumed I was dating my Tanzanian running partner at the DC Army National Guard youth camp, and Dawn thought I was dating my friend Shedrick from the NAI flight camp; wonder if their perceptions have changed over the years, despite little contact;)
Yes, hearing what you want to hear and believing it…
(But it’s hard to say ‘No, you are not being entirely truthful’…)
Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
22 February, 12016 HE

 

  More on my continuing striving with self- study next Saturday, friends:

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items in support of literacy and hope that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different reasons to study your thoughts.

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, if you feel safe enough.

3.) Share your thoughts a book from your GoodReads reading list on self-reflection,

4.) Write a blog post or tweet that explores, tells a good story, or otherwise makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!

ShiraDest

September, 12020 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)

Tr Tuesdays is now “True compassion” Tuesdays, on legal & financial self-defense, from Dr. King’s words we all should have read back in 1968 (or at the age to ‘get it’…) during Sukkot/Tabernacles…

Predatory Landlords, Debt, and Repairing the World

Here is an unfortunately still relevant post on tenants being evicted via bogus service papers, in the District, now, despite MD’s 2016 update requiring more evidence to file against debtors, apparently:

 

Dr. King said that,

“True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. ”

The question is how does such “restructuring” happen?

Following up on my earlier post regarding debt as a problem of financial self-defense, particularly in the case of apartment renters who are forced to live in a lemon or face Breach of Lease, Biblical Law may have something to say about the long term consequences of artificially pushing people into debt (talking about otherwise frugal folks who do not spend profligately).

I respectfully submit that we have had one possible tool in our hands for several thousand years, and it may need to be examined in the context of our present debt crisis -the release of debts, both short term and long term, at different times.  Below is a handout from one of several talks I gave on the relationship between debt and community building, this one from the book of Deuteronomy: DCBM20August_Reeh_Class.

AfterNote: while debts do “expire” at different times in each state and DC according to the type of debt, only two states actually “extinguish” expired debts, and only Maryland prohibits lawsuits being brought against debtors for already expired debts!              Lawmakers in every country need to act to prevent this sort of financial and emotional bullying (in the case of landlords, offering apartments which do not suit, and then reneging on promises to fix issues, while in other cases, offering credit knowing that those who accept are at a relative disadvantage).
In the USA, each state regulates how long one can be sued for a debt, but even then, if the debtor does not know to defend, or is unable for some reason to go to court even if h/she knows, oftentimes creditors sue illegally and win. Now this cannot happen in MD, but the original creditors are still free to harass up to and beyond the Statute of Limitation (‘expiration’) of the debt.

May we look to our collective good, as one Human Race, and to the potential of each and every Human Being.

Read, Write, Dream, Walk !
ShiraDest

my resume: JonesPolicyResumePublic
June 26th, 12017 HE

 

So, it turns out that ‘gutter service,’ aka tossing the papers in the gutter and telling the court the person was served, still happens despite what I read about some jurisdictions raising the bar for filings, and that default judgements are still rendered on faulty bases.   This is where both knowledge of the laws around specific debt-related issues, by locality, and the transportation and health to get there are critical. 

More on my continuing striving with legal and financial self-defense education next week, friends:

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items in support of literacy and legal/financial self-defense that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different resources to tell the SoL in your state for the 4 types of debt,

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how you found and whether or why (or why not) you trust each of the resources you found,

4.) Write a blog post or tweet about it, or just, tell a good story, that makes a difference.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!

ShiraDest

September, 12020 HE

(The current lesson plan since this post, and the second most recent lesson plan…)

Turkish Tuesdays, and Being an American when it hurts

The Turkish book I’m currently reading is mentioned below the short incident on Judging on the Side of Merit.

 

I was thinking of an episode of a show, Magnificent Century, from Turkey that has been quite popular in many Spanish-speaking countries, and how much I love an early episode showing the entry of the young Sultan Suleyman (The Lawgiver, to the Turks, but known in the west as:) The Magnificent.  His new subjects shout as he rides by: “Remember that you are not greater than God!”  and the young ruler takes his duty seriously, alleviating several glowering injustices on his first day as Sultan.  Yet, I had some experiences when I lived in Turkey that show how defensive any ordinary person can be, seeing another person who seems to represent some injustice. 

I wonder how I would react now, to this same situation:

 

I was just reading the comments of the founder of NVC on reactions in a refugee camp.  It struck me that those reactions were the same as the reactions to me in Izmir.  When I lived in Izmir (in 2005, from March to November), teaching English, one day one of my neighbors saw me walking up the stairs toward our building, and she took my arm (as women often do in Turkey) to walk with me and talk.  But her talk was more of a harangue.  She let loose on me about how my government was blaming them for a genocide which they insist did not happen, and that it was all very hypocritical, particularly when the US operates Guantanamo.  I was thunderstruck that she would hold me, a person who had left my country of origin to find a job elsewhere, and to whom she could direct this rant only because I was one of the rare expatriats to spend the time and effort to learn Turkish, responsible for the Apology request.  So, unfortunately, I responded defensively, pointing out that I personally had nothing to do with my government policies, did not agree with much of those policies, and had not voted for the administration then in power!  None of those defensive arguments changed her speech.  Now I see that, like the man in the camp, she needed to vent.  I wonder if, had I allowed her to vent, simply listening and validating what she needed to say to any random American, would that incident and relationship have ended more positively?
Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
 from: 20 March, 12016 HE

So, it turns out that people all around the world can be both kind yet also defensive, sometimes at the same time. There is a Jewish concept called Dan LeChaf Zechut: Judge on the Side of Merit, or as we’d say, Give the Benefit of the Doubt.  I shall try harder to do that these days.

Oh, and I’ve just started a kids story called Küçük Kara Balık by Samad Behrangi in Turkish: page 1, and I’ve already got 5 words to look up!

September 29, 2020 –page 1

1.67% “So far, I get that an old fish tells his 12 kids & grandkids a story.
derinliklerinde
Irmakta (hmm: https://elon.io/learn-turkish/lexicon… … ırmak…)

kayadan, … kaya
vadinin… vadi
akmak: https://context.reverso.net/translati…

More on my continuing striving with Turkish next week.

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items in support of literacy and hope that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different resources to translate the word “Justice” into Turkish.

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how you like each of the resources you found,  perhaps as an update on your GoodReads reading,

4.) Write a blog post or tweet that uses a Turkish word, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans) !

ShiraDest

September, 12020 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post was scheduled, and the next lesson plan…)

Constructivist ideas: How Elmer Fudd might teach maths

I wrote this paper as part of my Master of Arts in Teaching degree work in 2002.  I still think that many students would benefit from these ideas, if teachers or tutors or mentors were allowed to work more individually, and given more time and support for all of their hard work.

How Would Elmer Fudd Teach Math?

Elmer Fudd is a hunter. Most ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) diagnosed children are hunters, as defined by Thom Hartman in his series of books “Hunter in a Farmer’s World.� These children tend to change topics and interests often, moving their focus of attention, sometimes boisterously, from one activity to another rapidly. Standard/traditional teaching techniques, such as lecture, and rote memorization, have been shown not to suit these types of learners well. This paper will argue, on both pragmatic and philosophical grounds, in favor of the combining of constructivist teaching methods with traditional methods. Pragmatically, a person who is able to gain and use knowledge on his own, examining ideas critically and taking initiative, will be a more productive member of society, and more useful, in general. Philosophically, every person has the right and responsibility to take initiative both to care for herself, and also to contribute to the collective thoughts of society. In order to pursue either responsibility or freedom, knowledge of the available options, and how to increase those options, is necessary. John Dewey, in his essay on “The Child and the Curriculum� decried the evils of dumbing down material for all children, leading to dull-brained thinking, and passivity. Both hunters and farmers, to be responsible for their own lives, must be able to take initiative, think critically, and apply newly learned information. Traditional teaching is being shown to fall short with the vast majority of students in this regard, as well. Constructivism, which can be defined as the forming of a mental model in response to being placed in an environment that stimulates active wondering, is a useful alternative to the traditional style of education which also answers both of these objections. Note that the use of constructivist techniques is meant to be in addition to, not instead of the standard teaching methods. One suggestion is to devote two or three days per week to constructivist style teaching, with the remaining days devoted to standard lecture methods. Since all are generally familiar with the traditional style of teaching, usually defined by lectures, recitations, and memorization, little time will be spent on descriptions of that teaching format. Lecture will, however, be defined as that style of instruction in which the lecturer disseminates information, orally or also in written format, either via handouts, or by writing on a board or overhead. This style of teaching will be defined, further, as the dissemination of information in verbal, written, or both formats, without interruptions or intermittent questions, or when all questions are saved for after the instructor has completed with giving out the bulk of information to the class. To summarize, lecture is defined here as the push of information from instructor to learner without substantial breaks during the lecture for questions, exchanges of information, or class participation.

If, as social reproduction theorists agree, education is a primary element in perpetuating and creating the type of society we will have in the future, it is incumbent upon us to ensure that all of the talent available in our society is developed to the fullest. Education is the vehicle that will take us there. We are obligated to create a society in which all are truly free to participate, and this is only possible when all members of society are fully trained in critical thinking. Whether we are born with all knowledge, as Socrates believed, or must learn it afresh, questioning and initiative are crucial parts of participation in any free society. John Dewey, in his treatise “Democracy and Education,� pointed out that in order to truly learn something, the learner must absorb an idea, and take ownership of it. These concepts: ownership of an idea, putting information in context, and providing thought-provoking educational experiences, are at the heart of Dewey’s writings, and of the constructivist movement. Only by asking “why, and how, and from where,� can the learner fully internalize a piece of information. He also felt that learning a particular subject in isolation from its context and the surrounding applications is not a complete way of learning the subject. This is in direct opposition to the traditional method of teaching each course as a subject unto itself. Geometry, as one example, is taught in complete isolation from other courses, and removed from its context. When geometry is taught in conjunction with art, or other applications, student understanding is enhanced. This context is, in fact, one part of how a teacher must, according to Dewey, provide learning experiences that encourage questioning, observation, and wondering, which leads to more thought, surrounding the subject to be learned. So how, then, does a mathematics teacher provide contextual and concrete experiences, when faced with such abstract topics as linear algebra, and matrix equations? How would Elmer Fudd, our hunter par excellence, teach them?

Acting is a powerful teaching tool, particularly for learners who learn by moving around and using their bodies. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, in the novel Herland, advocated movement and play as the most effective means of learning. Acting is play at its best, allowing both the actor and the audience to engage an idea actively, both consciously considering the idea, and subconsciously, through the artistic side of the brain, simultaneously. One application of Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences involves acting out, or becoming an equation. Mr. Fudd would probably use this technique to teach young hunters how to determine the trajectory of a bullet aimed for a rabbit, during rabbit season. Given the equation ‘X + 3 = 5’, two students stand for the variable X, another student for the plus sign, four other students each stand for the numbers one through four, and a student forms the equals sign, standing opposite the plus sign student. Five other students, each standing opposite a ‘number’ student, represent the numbers one through five. The evenly matched pairs of students show that the equation has been correctly solved. There are many possible variations on this theme, leaving out the plus and equal signs, or the variable, for a more clear solution of the equation, or if fewer students wish to participate.

Other uses of acting involve allowing one particularly gifted student to demonstrate a technique or concept, by becoming the concept. For example, an especially rambunctious pupil was having difficulty in one of my high school mathematics classes with the concept of reciprocals. After explaining the idea of inverse fractions several times, I asked him to do a handstand. To the delight of both the demonstrating student and the rest of the class, the concept became much clearer as I pointed to the inverted student, and explained that we were to do the exact same thing with our fraction!

There are, of course, down sides to the use of acting as a teaching technique. One rather pointed example is the use of my overly athletic student to illustrate the concept of reciprocals. When I asked him to stand right side up, after completing my explanation of reciprocals, he promptly fell over, landing with a crash on the floor. While Elmer Fudd might have approved, the guidance counselor in the office next to my classroom did not. Although the student was not injured in his fall, the noise certainly did create a distraction, both for my class and for others in nearby rooms. This leads us to another pitfall of acting as a teaching technique. Acting can often be a noisy and fast-paced activity. It is not easy to maintain proper teaching decorum over a classroom full of students, whether children or adults, even, when somewhere else in the classroom, one or more individual students are moving around, making noise, or even standing silently in a distracting pose –on one’s head, for example. There must be a focus on the idea to be learned, in order for the experience of acting to be of educational benefit, and that focus can easily be lost in the hustle and bustle of a group of actors showing off in front of a crowd. An additional concern with acting is that it does require imagination. Not everyone will benefit from acting out or watching the portrayal of a concept, since not everyone learns through movement or body language. Acting may thus be a waste of time for non-kinesthetic based learners. While they may enjoy the show as a form of entertainment, which is arguable valuable for education in itself, these students will miss the point of the actual lesson, unless non-acting based methods are employed, in addition to acting, to illustrate the concept being taught.

Elmer Fudd would undoubtedly use acting at least occasionally,
as one of the tools in his armory of young hunter training techniques. Beyond being enjoyable for restless young hunters, who are constantly on the lookout for rabbits and ducks to capture, acting as a teaching method can enhance the learning pleasure and effectiveness for young farmers as well. Mr. Fudd would be certain to remind all of the students to “be vewy verwy quiet,� and to be respectful of classmates in the entire building. To ensure that the point of the lesson is addressed in the skit, he would also be likely to give a short synopsis of the concept being illuminated by the skit, either before or after the performance. In addition to illustrating the pure mathematical concept under discussion, a skit can unobtrusively tie in the context, historical, social, or scientific, for which the math was developed. A group of students working on units of measure may take the opportunity of Patriot’s Day to enact a short skit on the Battle of Marathon, “running� the distance in miles, meters, and even cubits. This brings not only context, but passion and creativity into the classroom: two things that Jonathan Mooney and David Cole, co-authors of “Learning Outside the Lines,� point to as essentials for learning, and for life itself.

Acting also provides a perfect methodology for team teaching. Teaming up with one or more teachers to combine several classes for a short time, with a specific purpose defined can work nicely, if planned out well beforehand. As pointed out by Theodore Sizer in the first book of his “Horace Trilogy,� Horace’s Compromise: The Dilemma of The American High School, team teaching can cause confusion and even be counterproductive, if a central focus and teacher coordination are not maintained. As an example, several students for a class that is studying arachnids in science, and cartesian coordinates in math, can act out the myth of Arachne’s contest with Athena. A history or social studies class could even join in, if enough room is available. Each student can take turns at the loom, and keep samples of the weaving. The geography, language, attitudes, and clothing of ancient Greece can be taught through this skit, as well as the grid coordinate system, of course, using a real cloth example. Latitude and longitude lines can be compared to the X and Y axis, referring to the warp and weft that the students created with their own hands. Not to mention the unfortunate Arachnid. J

Another well-respected constructivist technique that Elmer Fudd would likely have occasion to use is that of building things. It is generally acknowledged that if one is able to build a working item, of almost any kind, then that individual has mastered the principles involved in its making. While this may sometimes be up for debate, it is undeniable that to build a thing is to involve some practical application of at least a few concepts. Practical application is often the best way to understand a concept, and also gives the satisfaction of having produced a tangible object when completed. Vocational schools are often popular for this very reason –they allow students the opportunity to see results built by their own hands very soon. The shorter time frame between learning concepts and putting those concepts to use can be a great help and motivator for a young person (or an adult) who is apt to ask “why are we learning this?�

Theodore Sizer, in his chapter on agreement (between teacher and those taught) in Horace’s Compromise: The Dilemma of The American High School, argues that sometimes letting students discuss what interest them, and then pointing out the curricular application in that topic, can be more effective than doggedly sticking to the prepared lecture. If that happens to be building an electronic circuit, as it was in my Algebra1A class, one day, then building a hands-on model for display can be more instructive than any textbook work, or lecture. As it happened, on this particular day, we were actually reviewing graphs and charts. A student interrupted my lecture to comment about his heartbeat, so I took the opportunity to return to the topic of the day by explaining how to graph a heartbeat in terms of beats per minute. I then asked the class to draw a series of graphs, from flatliners to 70 beats per minute. The gregarious student, stymied that I had redirected his comment, began to talk about his electronics project with several of his classmates. I used this conversation as an opportunity to review the solution of single step equations, using Ohm’s Law as a starting point. At least for that particular student, this proved to be more interesting, and he came back after class for several days in a row to work out the equations needed to determine how to build his circuit.

Rousseau and Elmer Fudd would very likely agree on one thing –Emile, like Mr. Fudd’s students, will learn best by doing, and experimenting, and building. From tree-stands to bows, arrows and quivers, and maybe even muskets and balls, young hunters under either of these two hands-on teachers would learn by doing and building.

Even practical application has its down sides. Take the case of a hands-on map-building project, described on the world wide web site http://www.nsta.org/programs/laptop/lessons/h2.htm which points to several pages displaying constructivist lesson plans for mathematics education. This project used laptops and GPS (Global Positioning System) units. The project set before students the objective of mapping a park and its surroundings on a student-created topographical map. Students discussed and were taught the general elements of cartography, then provided equipment and one adult guide for each group of students, and encouraged to discover for themselves the challenges of mapping out an area. This is a wonderful idea, but how many school districts will realistically be able to implement such a project, given the expense of a laptop, GPS unit, and even a simple topographical map? Any one of these items may be beyond the reach of a school district, particularly in an inner city struggling for basic funding of any kind.

Even in cases where money is not an issue, many schools face the problem of limited space. At least one Middle-High school in New Hampshire uses trailers for temporary classroom space, and even shares space with a neighboring school. Given constrains like these, it may be difficult to find the room needed to spread out enough to build individual projects, store them, or even manage to transport them through the halls, crowded as they generally are. Floor space, table space, storage when not being worked on, even the extra bodies needed to move large projects can be a hindrance to hands-on projects in the classroom.

Where money and space are no problems, one last great objection can be made: time. It certainly can take much more time to build a model pyramid in a geometry class than to simply explain the angles involved. Measuring its angles, determining a proper size for the base, lining up each side of the pyramid on top of the base, fitting them all together, and cleaning up the mess when done, all takes more time than a lecture. Explaining each step of the process, before, during, and after the work of building the structures adds to that expenditure. This does not count the time involved in obtaining the materials to be used in building the project, or even the time spent in determining what materials are to be used for the project. All of these tasks take away from time needed to cover the required material.

While it is important to cover all of the required material, it is equally, if not more important to help learners absorb what is being covered. Rousseau would have argued that less is better, and that anything covered must always be done through building. As with his example of Robinson Crusoe, whatever is taught must be taught through experience and practical experimentation. Elmer Fudd might have to remind Emile, though, that the consequences of firing a musket improperly could be rather permanent, and so, learning to read is a necessity in order to avoid fatal experimentation. Thus, not everything is best taught by hands-on methods. Reading the directions can be both more efficient, and even life-saving. Keeping that in mind, Elmer Fudd would have to balance the impatience of young hunters against the cautiousness of young farmers. Mr. Fudd would also remember to balance the need to inspire passion in both groups against the need to cover all of the requisite mathematics to be able to count the number of days from duck season to rabbit season. That is required by the standard curriculum guide for all of the mathematics classes. One possible solution would be to set up a schedule ahead of time displaying the start of both seasons, with a few planned hunting expeditions for the classes. Most days, Mr. Fudd would likely cover the standard math, using lecture format. He could then periodically remind his students that once they have learned enough of the required math, they would be able to more effectively go on their planned hunting expeditions. In the meantime, as an optional homework project, individual students could be allowed to research and build model rabbits or ducks to show off to their classmates, and explain the various uses rabbit and duck parts could be put to after their expeditions. Mr. Fudd would always make sure to point out the various mathematical topics and principles that were used in the creation of these models, and tie them into the ongoing classwork. That would give the students a context into which to put both the previous, current, and upcoming classwork and homework. He would also allow the students to help planning the expeditions, which would
keep all of the students engaged in and looking forward to both the upcoming trips, and the ongoing classwork which is in preparation for those trips. That way a smaller number of projects could be stretched across more lecture format classes, while holding the attention of the young hunters in the classroom.

Two teachers at Nashua Senior High School, a tenth through twelfth grade public school in Nashua, NH, have found less glamorous, but equally useful hands-on applications for their students. An algebra teacher assigns a project allowing her students to use various equations to create a fold-out fan, then decorate the fan to taste. The other teacher, teaching an advanced placement calculus course, shows the application of integrals and the area under the curve by assigning a wine-glass project, in which more complex equations are applied to the building of a wine-glass out of available materials. Each of these teachers is reinforcing concepts learned with practical application, demonstrating knowledge, and allowing for personal creativity.

If Elmer Fudd were teaching basic mathematics, he would undoubtedly use a set of model rabbits. They would fill a variety of functions, from illustrating whole numbers, to holding the place of the target when demonstrating how a parabolic equation describes the trajectory of a musket ball fired during rabbit season. These model rabbits are one example of manipulatives that can be used in the classroom to help learners construct models of concepts under discussion. Blocks are another type of manipulatives, as are geometric shapes such as trapezoids, cubes and spheres used to illustrate three dimensional modeling. Other forms of manipulatives include the Jewish custom of baking cakes in the form of various symbols to be learned. This is traditionally done to illustrate that learning should be sweet, but can also be seen from another point of view. In addition to its tasty quality, and the benefit of being able to touch and feel the symbol, which does drive it more effectively into the memory, there is an additional intangible quality. Nel Noddings, in her essay on “Caring,� stresses that a teacher is first and foremost a care-giver, in the role of giving care to those being helped to learn. She also asserts that the more time and the more individual subjects spent with learners by each teacher the more that teacher will be able to help model and connect with those learners. This modeling of thought and connecting with the learner is an essential part of teaching. Nothing connects people better than the sharing of food.

A mathematical application of the sweet concept mentioned above could take the following form. Bake cakes for a class studying number theory in the shape of the symbols for infinity, existence, and, or, and not. Then, draw the symbol for Does Not Exist up on the board. Elmer Fudd would proceed to point out that, much like a rabbit during duck season, there is no cake for that particular symbol since it Does Not Exist! J

Another application of the use of manipulatives in the classroom is the use of Lego and Erector Set blocks. From multiplication and division, to fractions, to set theory, blocks are an inexpensive way of providing hands-on explanations for kinesthetic and visual learners. They can also be used for short building projects that allow spatial-pictorial learners to use as three-dimensional spaces upon which other concepts can be built. For instance, as the container for the imaginary duck who will travel in a parabolic arc when falling during duck season.

Even the use of manipulatives, tasty and space-saving though they can be, has its downside. To many critics, they can often appear to be used unneccessarily. Why play with blocks when explaining a concept on the board will do? Then there is the ever-present spectre of funding. Manipulatives of any kind will certainly cost more money than simply drawing on the board would cost. Then there is the additional custodial cost of cleaning up after the class that used manipulatives, quite often. Anyone who has had the experience of being forced to pick up hundreds of tiny Lego pieces, or had to vacuum a floor full of cake crumbs can attest to the fact that manipulatives can certainly make a mess. That leads us to our major objection to the use of manipulative teaching aides: squandering of time. It is still far more efficient, in terms of material coverage, to use a lecture and memorization based teaching format than to explain a concept, pass around blocks, collect the blocks, and determine whether the concept was solidified by the use of those blocks. More material can be covered, and arguably more clearly, by simply writing and telling the information. What is handed out in lecture format can also more efficiently be tested on a written examination. Both the objective and the result of the use of those manipulative materials may be more difficult to define, and will certainly take longer to attain than by using standard techniques of lecture and multiple choice or single answer testing.

Elmer Fudd would likely resolve the issue of the use of manipulatives in the classroom by occassionally buying a rabbit shaped dog biscuit, using it to demonstrate trajectory in the solution of parabolic equations, and then feeding the biscuit to his hunting dogs. As that is not a luxury most teachers have, however, other suggestions will also be forthcoming. One possibility is to use a chess board and only one piece as a manipulative. As an example, in a geometry class that was studying various coordinate systems, there were several students who enjoyed playing chess. On a day when part of the class was continuing to work on the previous day’s lesson, these particular students, who had completed the assignment, were given a two-part challenge. The first was to attempt a solution to a well-known problem in the world of chess, known as The Knight’s Tour. The second part of the challenge was to explain what the Knight’s Tour had to do with coordinate systems. In this way, a knight was used as the manipulative, and the chess board as a grid coordinate system. In solving the Knight’s Tour, where the objective is to land the knight on each square on the chess board only one time, what the students were doing was solving a mapping problem, unbeknownst to them!

A more cerebral technique in the constructivist repertoire is the use of discussion. During a class discussion, facilitated by the instructor, learners formulate their own ideas of the concept in question. This allows them to take personal possession of the concept, and make the idea their own. This is something that Dewey has asserted is essential to the learning process, and Elmer Fudd would have to agree. In class discussion also allows Howard Gardner’s interpersonal learners to work together, bouncing ideas off of one another, and fine tuning their understanding of the topic as they discuss it. Thom Hartman, in his book Complete Guide to ADHD, suggests a wonderful exercise for the interpersonal learners in the classroom. This technique is often called “Peer Mentoring.� Even Elmer Fudd, who doesn’t like talking very much, would highly approve of it. The instructor first gives a five minute summary of the lesson for the day. Even young hunters can sit still for that amount of time without getting too bored. Then, the class can break up into small groups. Those students who understood the short summary can each take a group, and teach the other students in that group. Another form of discussion, used by a senior calculus teacher at Nashua Senior High School, is partnering. His students break into pairs and work on a set of problems collaboratively. The problem sheet is signed by both students, and discussed the next class session after being graded. Still another, more conservative, perhaps, synthesis of lecture and constructivist methodology is the use of the Socratic method. While presenting ideas or information, asking learners, during each step, questions drawing on previous material, and pointing up the patterns that are forming in the new material as each new problem is presented can draw out the critical thinking skills and curiosity at once. One example is doing factoring, then finding zero roots of equations, and watching for the patterns that emerge as each equation is graphed. Students often work out for themselves that the zero roots will turn out to be the intercepts well before being told. In discovering these things for themselves through questioning, they are sharpening both their intellect and their self-esteem.

Theodore Sizer in Horace’s Compromise: The Dilemma of The American High School strongly suggests that there must be connection among the various subjects in order for them to be taught or learned fully. In this regard, Sizer agrees with Sidney Hook, who, in his Education for Modern Man, points out that a broad understanding of the connections between subjects is necessary in order to develop the ability to imaginatively interpret information. This connection can be simulated, even if a subject is being taught in isolation from other subjects, via the use of classroom discussion. Interdisciplinary connections can be drawn, for instance between mathematics and the sciences, to give context and a wider sense to the individual unit being taught in any particular lesson. Applications from various fields can be discussed to shed a broader and more practical light on the lesson from many angles, which Mr. Fudd would use to keep the interest of the young hunters in the class.

Another method that Elmer Fudd might try of using discussion in his mathematics classroom is drawn from the book The Elements of Teaching, by James Banner
Jr. and Harold Cannon. They give an example of a teacher who assigns her class to do individual reports on some topic, and also takes a topic on which to do a report, herself. By presenting her report orally along with each of her students, she sets an example, and also provides her students an opportunity to learn how to give constructive feedback. Mr. Fudd could assign various reports on how to determine the altitude of a duck in flight, or the acceleration of a rabbit, and himself present the report on how to determine the angle at which to hold the musket when aiming at the duck.

Locke felt that one ought to reason with children more and more as they grow older. Based on this, Locke would quite likely agree with Jane Martin who asserts that critical thinking is a basic subject that should be added to the traditional “3 R’s� as a foundational learning objective in education. When a student explains the reasoning behind an answer, that student also learns how to apply the same sort of reasoning to other areas. This practice in discussion and critical thinking, as Friere and Scheffler would agree, is crucial to the stability and perpetuation of a free society.

The biggest objection to the use of discussion as a teaching tool in mathematics classrooms is the response “What is there to discuss about mathematics?� Most people see mathematics as an either or type of proposition. Either an answer is correct, or it is not correct. Many students feel that if they obtain a correct answer when working out a mathematical problem, there is no reason to show how they obtained the answers. Since many students are not accustomed to showing their work, and certainly not to explaining the logic by which they obtained the answer verbally, there is a good deal of resistance to overcome in discussing mathematical concepts.

Elmer Fudd would certainly try some of the discussion techniques mentioned earlier, such as peer mentoring, and reports for oral presentation. He would also likely request verbal explanations of the logic behind various answers. Most importantly, he would discuss whether it was duck season, or rabbit season!

Drawing seems to be a somewhat more radical application of constructivism, when applied to the teaching of mathematics. For visual students though, who must see and draw things in order to learn about them, being able to draw rabbits and ducks may prove helpful. Drawing will certainly be more fun for artsy types of students. Elmer Fudd would probably permit drawing, as long as it was of relevant lesson-appropriate content, such as the trajectory followed by a musket ball toward a rabbit.

The major question in an objector’s mind will be “How, exactly, do you draw x + 3 = 10 ?� Some possible solutions to this question follow. One is to have artistic students draw a representation of a binary search. This is a pattern in which the area or set of numbers being searched is narrowed down by half each time through the search pattern until a solution is found. This search algorithm can be used to illustrate both relationships among whole numbers, as well as the concept of infinity.

Music is another tool that Elmer Fudd would undoubtedly reach for. Who does not remember how the songs of SchoolHouse Rock taught us about bills, and the Preamble to the Constitution? It is also a well-known fact in the advertising industry that songs work to keep information with us longer than any other form of advertising media. While it could be objected that students above a certain age will not want to be seen singing songs, particularly in school, once the stigma is overcome, music can be an effective teaching tool. In some circles, music may even be a badge of pride. The downside is that the music that emanates from one classroom may be heard as noise to another classroom taking a test at the time. And of course, due to the requirement to “be vewy quiet,� one can not sing while hunting.

A final example will serve to present a unified approach to the use of constructivist teaching methods in mathematics education. Given a lesson objective of teaching circumference and the area of a circle for a one to two week unit, Elmer Fudd could start this way. Before class begins, the following word problem is to be placed on a side chalk board:

It is rabbit season. Mr. Fudd has only one dog, Fido. Fido needs to be trained to follow a rabbit when hunting. Prior experience has taught Mr. Fudd that rabbits typically follow a figure eight patter, when running to their rabbit holes. To ease training, and to avoid tiring out poor Fido, Mr. Fudd wants to build a fenced in area in which to let the rabbit loose, and teach Fido to follow it. To expedite recapturing that rascally rabbit when done, Mr. Fudd also wants to make a net to cover the entire area of this fenced in clearing. He has determined that the radius of his small clearing is 25 feet. Determine how much fencing and how much netting Mr. Fudd needs, and explain your answers.

As the class arrives, our genial Mr. Fudd greets various students, takes attendance, and settles the class down to begin his lecture:

“Hello, class. Our lesson for this week will cover ciwcumfewence, and the awea of a ciwcle.� On an overhead, or front facing chalk or white board, he would write:

C _= (is defined as) the perimeter, or distance around, a circle.

D _= diameter _= the distance across a circle; the center chord

R = ½ D, == D/2

At this point, Mr. Fudd could draw a picture of a circle, label a starting point, and proceed the entire distance around the circle, even providing a hypothetical distance in both meters and yards, to tie in the connection with previously learned units of measure and conversion. To help the pictorial learners, he could hold up an embroidery hoop, borrowed, no doubt, from Mrs. Hen. The wing nut on the hoop provides a convenient start and end point, illustrating well the distance around a circle, and what happens to the space inside the circle as that distance is changed, by adjusting the tightness of the wing nut.

He would also want to draw another circle, this time dividing it in half with a line to demonstrate that a diameter always bisects the circle. Having shown circumference and diameter, Mr. Fudd is now free to explain that there is a special ratio that links these two values: Pi.

Pi _= the ratio of the C to D _= C/D

Pi is a fixed constant; =~ to 3.14

If we know either C or D, we can find the other

That lecture portion of the lesson should take approximately twenty minutes to deliver. To help the visual-spatial and interpersonal learners, he could then allow another ten minutes for students to partner up and discuss, then write or draw an explanation of Pi to hand in for classwork credit. Since Elmer Fudd is a hunter himself, he would likely prefer to move around the room, encouraging the various groups of students as they work, rather than remaining at the front of the classroom.

Once their ten minutes of group work was done, Mr. Fudd could point out the problem that was written up on the side chalk board before the class arrived:

“Ok, how would you go about helping Mr. Fudd train Fido? Lets look at the pwobwem on the boawd, and I want you to wite down what values you need to detewmine, why you need to detewmine each value, and what units each value and both of youw answews will be in.�

While the students are starting on that problem, which they can either finish in class, or as a homework assignment, Mr. Fudd could give them a heads up on an extra credit assignment. In collaboration with each other, the students could be allowed to put on a skit at the end of the second week. This skit would help them to solidify or review their understanding of all the material on circumference, area, and Pi being covered this week, and allow for more creativity on the part of the remaining learning styles, such as musical and artistic and kinesthetic students. They could be allowed to decide who among them would actors, set builders, scene painters, choreographers, and music masters. Allowing the students to organize the skit, with the stated caveat that the skit must relate to and help explain the use of Pi, area, and circumference, teaches them organizational skills, teamwork, and the underlying mathematical material, all at once. Discussion of both the problem and the skit could either be used to wrap up the remaining ten to fifteen minutes of the class, assuming a fifty minute class period, or held over to the next class meeting.

Lesson Handout: Circumference and Area of a Circle

Teacher = Mr. Elmer Fudd

Substituting = S. D.

C _= (is defined as) the perimeter, or distance around, a circle.

D _= diameter _= the distance across a circle; the center chord

R = ½ D, == D/2

(See mosaics, courtesy Mr. Wile E. Coyote…)

C=440yd ~= 400 meters

(See Hoop, courtesy of Mrs. Hen…)

Pi _= the ratio of the C to D _= C/D

Pi is a fixed constant; ~= to 3.14

If we know either C or D, we
can find the other.

Skit Handout:

This is an extra credit assignment for which you should collaborate with your classmates. You may put on a skit during class next Friday, that will serve as a review of circumference, area of a circle, and the meaning of Pi. You must decide who will be actors, who will build the set, what sort of scenery needs to be drawn, and what music to use. All of this must relate to and help explain the uses of Pi, area, and circumference as you would use them in your own lives. Have fun, and Good Hunting!

Constructivist teaching methods strive to supplement lecture methods by filling in the gaps that lecture leaves open, such as body-kinesthetic and interpersonal learning. Constructivist techniques also emphasize critical thinking and learning how to find and interpret information based on a broad range of connections. Matthew Miltich, in his recent article for the NEA Higher Education Journal entitled “All the Fish in the River: An Essay on Assessment,� likens ideas and knowledge to fish to be caught. He defines the educator’s job as that of helping the learners to learn how to catch those fish for themselves. As asserted by Theodore Sizer in his section on teachers in in Horace’s Compromise: The Dilemma of The American High School, one needs a broad base of knowledge both to teach and to learn effectively. The fish require a broad net. As our society becomes more completely industrialized, and moves into the post-modern information age, a larger and larger percentage of our population will have to be well educated to provide a workforce that will allow our businesses to continue to function. Even from this strictly Machiavellian point of view, we can no longer allow the large numbers of our learners to slip through the educational cracks. It costs too much to import trained workers. That requires us to adopt new techniques in educating our learners to the minimum level necessary (which continues to rise, as the technological complexity and business requirements rise) to contribute to the workplace. From the more idealistic standpoint, ours is a democracy, and to be a full participant in a democratic society, one must be able to analyze and debate the issues, which requires training in critical thinking and analysis. Also required to function in a democracy, is the ability to draw connections between even pieces of information that may seem only remotely related to one another. As Jack Dewey points out in Burned Out: A Teacher Speaks Out, both learners and teachers must be exposed to a wide variety of topics within a subject. Good critical thinkers must also be able to draw upon and make for themselves the connections between traditionally separate concepts, much in the same way as connections must be inferred between such traditionally separate subjects as mathematics and history and science. The connections are there, but are made unapparent by the strict division of subjects in modern schools. While Jack Dewey may or may not be correct in arguing that cross-disciplinary certifications is the answer to the connections problem, there are certainly connections between each of the various subjects that are taught in schools, and there is certainly room for both traditional and constructivist methods in math teaching.

Action Items in support of education and hope that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different teaching or learning styles.

2.) Share your findings with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on learning, teaching, and Elmer Fudd!

4.) Write a blog post or tweet that uses rabbits, tells a good story, or just starts to make a difference. I’m working on that through this blog and my #WiP: #WhoByFireIWill. Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind?

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!!!, Teach and Learn !

ShiraDest

September, 12020 HE

Book review: The History of Black Slavery in Pueto Rico -still relevant in the USA today… Revista: Historia de La Esclavitud Negra En Puerto Rico

Historia de La Esclavitud Negra En Puerto RicoHistoria de La Esclavitud Negra En Puerto Rico by Luis M. Soler

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This extensive and not easy to read, but well worthwhile history of slavery in Puerto Rico, shows the importance not only of where we have been, but also what tools we have now and how to evaluate them in the light of past and present situations. The author comments that a Cooperative could have saved the small coffee producers of Puerto Rico, though not on whether that would have enabled the liberation of their enslaved workers. Yet this is a step forward in the analysis of both labour relations and the history of People of Color in the Americas.

I now also know that the family of my enslaved 5xGreat Grandfather Miles Manzilla could even have originated in Spain itself, potentially. Our shared origins are important to know, both for understanding why enslaved workers would have defended their masters during Indian attacks, and also in deciding how to relate to our history of enslavement today. What feelings remain to be resolved on all sides?

P. 15 del pdf = P. 21 del libro
La Corona y los esclavagistas se creaban liberales y generosos, evidentemente, pero sus

esclavos no compartieron ese sentimiento!
The Crown and owners thought themselves generous, but their slaves disagreed!

P. 25=32: Ya sabîa Bartolomé de Las Casas pero no de Fray Antonio de Montesinos a favor de los

indigenes.
Dominicans vs Franciscans ??

P.33 Las Ordenanzas No Fueron Cumplidas… (The Orders of the King to protect the

Indigenous/Indian/Native Population Not Obeyed…)

but “Como si los indios fuesen africanos!” -Nice, Thanks. Now I know which part of my blood

sits higher…

P.33=P.40: At least he admitted his error before he died; Al menos se admetîa su error antes

de su muerte.

Updates online… (Courtney, Richard H., Ruth A., Michelle, Thomas and Mel will certainly like

this book, and Akshat Liked an early update…)

P.77pdf=P.86 del documento: The author thinks that a Cooperative would have saved small

producers in PR from the falling coffee prices (due to Cuban overproduction)…

P.109pdf=P.119 book: Pardos must be like me: morenos claros ?

P. 111pdf=P.119 book: Alot of English testimony from ship captains: 14 British citizens sold

into slavery by contrabandists, apparently never freed (though 7 were identified!!).

P. 126 So France had a Black Code, too? Of course, where did the southern colonies/states

(USA) get them from…

3 November, 1839: Pope Gregory XVI condemned the Slave Trade? and Baltimore, and Maryland…

In summary, there was not only lots of Mestisage, but a good bit of back-and-forthing of slaves between PR and the English and French-speaking colonies. Thus, entirely possible that Miles Manzilla, Sr’s family was of Spanish colony origin.

Read, Write, Run, Teach !

updated from orig. post:  18 February, 12016 HE

View all my reviews

Day 15 Lesson Plan: High School in 5 months; Escape Tools, 12020 HE (Holocene Era), St. Sophia’s Day, Last day of 5780: Hebrew Calendar

To escape from bondage in southern MD, the hero of my #WiP would also have had to schedule his project carefully, dividing his escape plan  into manageable chunks. 

Calendars, especially calendars like The Holocene Calendar, which have a year Zero (another invention for which we can thank the Arabs for transmitting to us from farther east), make scheduling far easier!  Oh, wait, first, you have to know how to count, right…

Happy Rosh HaShannah tomorrow, for those celebrating the start of another year on the ancient Hebrew Calendar, and May All be Inscribed for a Happy, Sweet, and Healthy year of 5781!     Since this calendar begins at the traditional creation of the civilized world, complete with a city within two generations, there is no need for a year Zero.

And lastly, but certainly not least, best wishes for a very happy Feast Day of Saint Sophia, to our Greek and other Eastern Orthodox friends, and to our Roman Catholic friends as well!!  Today is the feast and name day for many girls and women who carry the name Sophia as one of their names, and to all of them, best wishes for another happy and healthy year!

Day 15 Lesson Plan, Tuesday, 26  February, 2019 Grammar: Ending a Sentence… Math: US measurement conversions Day15ExitSlips

Lesson Plan, 6-9pm, Tuesday, February 26th, 12019 HE
In our Learning Toolbox:
1.) Scheduling your test/hour/day/month/year/project by dividing into smaller chunks, and
2.) From https://hiset.ets.org/s/pdf/2016_taag.pdf: “The formulas needed to answer certain
questions will be provided via a formula sheet. Test takers should know some formulas prior to testing.”
Some of these include: a.) distance-rate-time, b.) Pythagorean theorem, and c.) quadratic formula.
Those three formulas will not be provided on the formula sheet.
Vocabulary:
Copy into your notes, and Mind Map each word:
Reading Comp. Vocab. Grammar Vocabulary Math Vocabulary Test-taking
Skills
conclusions Punctuation,
introduction to…
Measurements skim the
passage
fact period 12 inches = 1 foot,
3 feet = 1 yard
divide time/#
of questions
opinion comma 1 pound = 16 ounces
2000 pounds = 1 ton
look at the
context
assumption (i.e. ‘he
must have done
something…’)
semicolon About
around
nearest
Note how
punctuation
divides up sent.
observation colon expand observe words!
conclusion quotations/quotes Small to Greatest
empire = Area = ft2
Math- translate
problem into…
6pm: Spend one minute imagining x.
Write one or two sentences explaining what you think or feel when you
think about the Turks. (  Or you can review yesterday’s lesson on decimals in Damascus, which is not at all part of Turkey…   You do not have to show me, so please raise your hand if you want me to correct
your sentence(s)… Ms. Jones)
6:02 Continue on work from your folder (on Reading/Literature/Science/Social Studies).
7pm: Stand up & Stretch, if you wish…
7:00 to 7:07 Reading Comprehension
7:07 to 7:15 we will have our Grammar lecture, using this passage
7:15 to 7:25 we will have our math lecture, also using this same passage.
7:25-7:30 We will do the first question/problem from each online worksheet together, then
you finish the online activities from all three lectures individually on the classroom computers,
on your laptop or, on your smart phone.
7:00-7:07 Reading Comprehension: What is an assumption, and how can it be
distinguished from conclusions in a passage?
“Between 1300 and 1326, a popular and powerful Muslim leader named Osman
established a small state in Anatolia, which” are present-day Turkey. His successors
greatly expanded the kingdom, making the Ottoman empire one of the most powerful
states in the world during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. the empire were at its
greatest from 1520-1566, under the rule of Suleiman the Magnificent. (Today’s reading comes from
Master the Hiset, p. 283, and the video clip comes from ) (To see a historical drama about this time period, see Magnificent Century…)
Does there appear to be an assumption in this reading passage?
Where might it be?
What is a conclusion, and where is it usually found?
What might the conclusion of this passage be?
Is it in the usual place?
7:07 Grammar: Ending a Sentence: Why do we need punctuation?
An example (from https://howtospell.co.uk/punctuation-is-important)
i.e.: I collect silver, paper, hats and chairs.
I collect silver paper, hats and chairs.
I collect silver, paper hats and chairs.
Let’s find the punctuation marks in our reading above…
What is the pronoun agreement in this paragraph?
Is there punctuation in this passage?
Where is it?
Where are the Grammatical errors?
Rules: Every sentence must end with a period, question mark, or exclamation point
Please write one sentence using any punctuation… (i.e. “Lincoln wrote his speech on the back of
an envelope.”)
7:15 Mathematics: Measurement (from small to great…)
How many feet are in one yard?
What are square feet? How many feet are in one square yard?
How do we generally measure the size of a location/place area of the world? (but
don’t worry, we will cover the topic of Area next month…)
Let’s convert 6,160 yards into feet.
How many yards are there in 18,480 feet?
Now, let’s do the first online Grammar worksheet question together:
https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/grammar/punctuation-the-comma-and-the-apostrophe/
introduction-to-commas/e/three-ways-to-end-a-sentence
and then,
Let’s do the first online math worksheet problem together:
https://www.khanacademy.org/math/cc-fifth-grade-math/cc-5th-measurement-topic/cc-5th-unit-conversion/e/conver
ting-units–us-customary7:30
1.) Please do the rest of our online grammar worksheet from Khan Academy:
https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/grammar/punctuation-the-comma-and-the-apostrophe/
introduction-to-commas/e/three-ways-to-end-a-sentence
and
2.) Please do the remainder of online math worksheet on Khan Academy:
https://www.khanacademy.org/math/cc-fifth-grade-math/cc-5th-measurement-topic/cc-5th-unit-c
onversion/e/converting-units–us-customaryMathematics work online and/or in books from 7:45 until 8:45.
8:40 Exit Questions:
1. Write one sentence explaining the difference between the period,
question mark, and exclamation point.
2. 36” = x’ 1.) translate and 2.) solve for x
3. Would you prefer the math lesson to be with the Reading/Grammar
lesson, or separate, at 8pm?
4. Please write one sentence explaining what a square yard is.
8:45 Turn in Exit Slip, Dismissal

Action Items in support of literacy and civilisation in general:

1.) Write a novel that both tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.

2.) Write blog posts pointing folks to non-profits that offer pro Bono legal aid and free financial education for those most needing it, such as The Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation, in South Carolina.

3.) Draw or caligraph something helpful on your COVID-19 face mask, in favor of Universal Health Care.

4.) Write songs or music that get people thinking about public transportation, like the song ‘Walkin to New Orleans’ by Fats Domino

Other ideas welcome on how to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness, & #EndMoneyBail, starting with improving these four parts of our good #PublicDomainInfrastructure:

1. #libraries,

2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,

3. #UniversalHealthCare, and

4. good #publictransport

Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!!!, Walk !


#PublicDomainInfrastructure #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19
ShiraDest

Can learning languages help local education? Libraries, nurses and mass transit certainly can…

Anna J. Cooper was a strong advocate for education, especially in Washington, DC, and one of the first Black women to earn a PhD. August 10th is her birthday, and as she fought to make the dreams of Black students possible, we must fight to make all of our collective dreams possible for a safer, kinder world.  So dream, and write your dreams in a language all your own, if you have to.   Then, expand your world by learning two more languages.

(My personal dream has always been to save and enrich all lives, and my dream for the world is to see a Tiny House or at least a small well-insulated room with kitchenette and bathroom, with potable water, green vegetables, brown rice and dried beans and solar/windpower with backup pedal power for every man, woman and child over maybe, the age of 10, world wide, free for that person’s use from birth to his/her death with no charge, no questions, and no way to lose that right.)  See four suggestions for ways that our Community Colleges can help all of us make the dream of a kinder world come true:

So, I journal in Spanish and Biblical Hebrew, which inspire me to look to examples like Amelia, of El Ministerio del Tiempo, and Ruth, of Biblical fame, as inspirations to persevere.

Spanish has always been my favorite language, especially in the bilingual South West. As an adult education instructor at the Continuing Education division of the San Diego Community College District, that proved helpful for me as an instructor, and also, of course, the ESL classes help our students from many nations contribute in the USA.

Every local educational institution has room for improvement, particularly when seen from both faculty and student perspectives. I posed some questions, recently, about ideas for implementing (on a shoestring budget ) projects that would have been helpful to our students when I taught in North campus involving

1.) a small library or study area,
2.) workshops by CA Promise Program graduates,
3.) an on-site nurse paid for by mediCal, and
4.) access to public transportation:

1.) Many of my students told me they didn’t have a quiet place to study.  While I know that space is in very short supply on the North campus, I wonder if a small area, possibly in the multipurpose room when it’s not being used, could be set aside with cubicles or movable small desks and a small movable lending library like the tiny libraries?

2.)   I wonder, on the assumption of course that having graduated and started a new career as a professional with a bachelor’s degree anyone can be found who will have time, if any students having graduated with a bachelor’s degree after getting their first two years of community college paid for through the California promise program or with the San Diego promise program, could be persuaded to come back either as tutors, mentors, or even just to give workshops in the areas in which they got their educations?  Particularly accounting majors or paralegal/pre-law majors who could give small workshops on dealing with debt in California including California statutes of limitations, or financial planning workshops or how to do your own taxes if you only need to do the 1040EZ, etc?  One-on-one tutoring, and also mentoring,  that supportive help, especially for our high school equivalency students, could be both useful and inspiring.  Seeing successfully graduated professionals with a bachelor’s degree who came through the community college system and are willing to spend individual time with them, even if only a couple of hours a week, could make a difference.  Could interns or SCORE volunteers put a program like this together?  Do we track or stay in touch with students who finish the California or San Diego promise program once they finish their bachelor’s degrees?

3.) Many of my students worked two jobs or for other reasons never had time to see a doctor even when they were ill. I wonder if it is possible to pay, through the Medi-Cal system, for a nurse to be on-site, perhaps based out of the office  of each campus, a couple of days/evenings a week?

4.)  One of the biggest problem areas that I saw for my car-free students was that neither the continuing ed, nor the  faculty Union was able to get the transit authority to enforce acceptance of continuing ed student IDs for the monthly bus and rail pass discount.  In planning for post-Covid-19 classes, will we have any resources to address public transportation discount and access issues?

I imagine that some of these ideas may be a little overwhelming, because I understand that time and resources are extremely limited, but once in a while, as Dr. Rivera-Lacey noted: we do have to dream.

Some possible action items that you can take right now include:
1.) Call your local City Council members, and ask them to increase library funding,
2.) Donate to ProPublica for probono legal and financial education for all,

or, please share your ideas for improving local libraries and education!

Let’s #EndPoverty , #EndHomelessness, & #EndMoneyBail starting by improving these four parts of our good #PublicDomainInfrastructure 4:
1. #libraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!!!, Walk !


#PublicDomainInfrastructure #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19
ShiraDest

September, 12020 HE