Video of the Week: "Why do we have to wear sunscreen?"

Summer is in full swing, and it's been really hot here in San Jose. As I spend time at the beach and the pool, I'm intrigued by the different responses I see to wearing sunscreen, which had me thinking about why we wear sunscreen at all. 

Here are few of the things I'm thinking: 

  • Do you wear sunscreen? Why or why not? 
  • Do you follow the recommendations that are made in this video? 
  • How does this video use ethos, logos, and pathos in this video to help convince you that sunscreen is the way to go? 

"The world is much more like an algebraic equation" - Kristin Levine

I'll let the words of Kristin Levine from her novel The Lions of Little Rock (pg. 269-270) speak for themselves: 

"[Mr. Harding, the math teacher,] pulled out a pencil and started to write on a blank piece of paper before me. "I think what's happened, Marlee, is that you've realized the world isn't an addition problem." 

He wrote 3 + 4 = 7 down on the paper. "We tell kids that sometimes. We pretend the world is straightforward, simple, easy. You do this, you get that. You're a good person and try your best, and nothing bad will happen. 

"But the truth is, the world is much more like an algebraic equation. With variables and changes, complicated and messy. Sometimes there's more than one answer, and sometimes there is none. Sometimes we don't even know how to solve the problem."

He wrote x^2 + 4x - 21 = 0.

"But usually, if we take things step by step, we can figure things out. You just have to remember to factor the equation, break it down into smaller parts."

I stared at x^2 + 4x - 21 = 0. Pictured it factored into (x - 3)(x + 7) = 0. Imagined the solutions, x = 3 and x = -7, and felt a little better.  

Video of the Week: "How to Find a Wonderful Idea"

I love OK Go and the amazing things they do with Rube Goldberg machines and other crazy antics during their music videos. So naturally, when their TED Talk came across my screen, I had to stop and watch.

Here's what I'm thinking about: 

  • How does their math redefine the ways we see failure? 
  • How do we develop sandboxes in our classrooms in which our students can play?
  • When is it right to plan out our projects, and when should we just jump right in? 

Video of the Week: "NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant Commercial"

Just over a week ago, the Golden State Warriors won the NBA Championship! Shortly after the conclusion of the game, Nike aired this ad: 

I love the power of this commercial's ending. Here are some of the things I'm wondering: 

  • What effect does it have on sports professionals to hear commentators say negative things about them? 
  • What effect does the negativity of commentators have on us as listeners? 
  • When have you heard someone say something negative about you? How did that impact you? 
  • How does playing this right after the completion of the game impact the advertising strategy? 

On another note, I'm reading Carol Dweck's Growth Mindset right now, and I can't help but draw the comparisons. Kevin Durant definitely has not let the negativity of others stop him from continuing to learn and grow. What a great example of a growth mindset! 

Video of the Week: "The Reflection in Me"

The past two weeks have been a big detox for me as I unwound myself from the anxiety of the end of the year, graduation, and moving. But I'm back with a beautiful video of the week written by Marc Colagiovanni and illustrated by the wonderful Peter Reynolds as they seek to "empower children of all ages to find the courage to look inside and love themselves as they are" (FableVision).

Here are a few things I'm wondering after watching this video: 

  • Make a list of the similes in this story. Which is your favorite? What makes these effective for storytelling?
  • What do you need your reflection to say to you? 
  • How might you be a positivity mirror for those around you? (I think this would be a really powerful mentor text for students to follow either as an exercise for themselves or for their classmates. Perhaps this will be a beginning of the year activity for me.)
  • Do you ever "preach to yourself" like this?