Google and social media use algorithms to feed us information that confirms our biases, which means we need to work to find the truth. I recently geeked out when I found a search tool and a Chrome extension from Media Bias Fact Check (MBFC) that makes it easy to find unbiased, quality journalism in just a few simple steps.
Simple Step 1
Install and use the chrome web extension from MBFC. See video below for instructions.
Simple Step 2
Learn how this search engine uses MBFC’s rating system. See video below for instructions.
Below is a screenshot from my Facebook page that shows how the Chrome extension works. The bar below the picture indicates that according to MBFC The New York Times is rated as left-of-center in terms of bias, with a high level of factual reporting.
Use your new knowledge by taking this quiz on fake news. See if you can beat my score of 100%! :)
Like many people, I have struggled with depression and anxiety for most of my life. Growing up, I thought that slapping a smile on my face and hiding my struggles was the right thing to do. I told myself that once I was older my depression and anxiety would go away. I even thought that getting my dream job of teaching at the K-2 level would cure me of all of my insecurities and worries.
Unfortunately, being in my dream job only exacerbated my issues. I could not shake the feeling that I did not measure up to my colleagues. So not only did I feel inadequate in my personal life, but I now felt inadequate in my professional life.
How do they have it all so together? Where do they find the time to put binders together for every unit? What is a ‘craftivity’? Why can’t I seem to get my stuff together?
It wasn’t until I reached rock bottom one day in February a couple years back that I figured out that I needed to make a change. Thus the reason for my new mantra: “Good for them, not for me.”
As teachers, we seem to find new ways to be hard on ourselves. We strive to be our best for ourselves, but more importantly, for our students. We compare ourselves, knowingly or unknowingly, to our peers and colleagues.
We need to give ourselves a break.
You are doing a great job. You are meeting the needs of your students. You are working hard. You are contributing to the greater good of the building. You matter. You make a difference in more ways than you will ever know.
Of course, there is always room for self-improvement, but I would challenge you to take five minutes each day to reflect on all of the amazing things you do for your students and for your building. Celebrate those small victories. Reach out to a colleague to ask for help with a problem you’re having in the classroom. Keep a notebook on your table to jot down a quick sentence anytime you see a light bulb go off in a student’s head or when something happens that brings a smile to your face.
Let’s celebrate the victories of those around us, but not let those same victories diminish our own self-worth.
Good for them, not for me.”
In other words, lift up those around you and remember that what works for them might not work for you. Find what makes you feel successful and happy. Chase that feeling and never look back.
By: Nicole Cody, Orchestra and Music Theory
Below is an outcome and strategies/assessments from our current unit in Music Theory. I think this part of this unit displays some of the ways I use learning together, metacognition, real world assessments and making connections for new learning in my classroom.
We are studying a movement from the Mozart Missa Brevis that Jason's choirs and my chamber orchestras are collaborating on for a performance in March. This is my "affective" outcome. I work hard to make sure I'm teaching more than just skills and knowledge in both my orchestra and Music Theory classes. Sometimes I think it is difficult to connect to the "real world" when teaching abstract materials, but the more deeply I study a piece before I teach it, the more I find meaningful connections that relate to other subjects and our overall understanding of the world and our place in it.*
"Students will reflect on the relationship between the movements in music and our understanding of life’s chapters."
1. Assign students to bring in the most recently read or favorite chapter book. Write down the main point of each of the first 5 chapters. Why did the author separate those main points into separate sections? Do they connect or are they totally separate? Linear? Topic related? Other?
2. Listening exercises (learn collaboratively)- Are these parts of the whole? Students will listen to select movements from various pieces of music from different eras, styles and composers and decide: Are these parts of the same whole? Why or why not? What musical evidence supports your answer?
3. Assign each student one of the other movements of the Mozart Missa Brevis. Ask them to extract the most important melodies, and list other important melodic material, rhythmic material, compositional techniques: anything they think might connect to another movement. Discuss as a class what "threads" unify this composition.
4. Your life’s chapters:
1. Think about your parent’s (or a sibling) lives. Chart an approximate timeline. Fill in as many details as you can. Where would you say new chapters opened and closed in their lives?
2. Chart your own life’s chapters. How would your chart change if you were sharing this with a family member, with your best friend?
Reflect: Was it easier to chart your life or your family member's life? Do you think your family member would chart their life different? How can we use this understanding of self-perception vs. outer-perception to understand a composer's work?
* Bold added by Allysen because I wanted to say "Love this!".
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