Archive for October, 2009

A new fascination

Posted: October 26, 2009 in Learning...
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Actual Hazards and Perceived Threats

Actual Hazards and Perceived Threats


I found my renewed interest in these fantastic informational pots of gold when I saw Susanna Hertrich’s Risk infographic. Ms. Hertrich’s infographic was probably most interesting to me because of my nerdy interest in sociology and the psycho- and sociological impacts of fear (and fear-mongering).

Since that time, I’ve subscribed to a couple great websites that focus on infographics. Chart Porn is a great resource for getting a gift basket of meaningful infographics on an almost daily basis. On a more light-hearted note, sites like Surviving the World are great for the occasional  homemade chart/graphic fun.

I can think of easy excuses to add infographics into other curricular areas… but it’s time to brainstorm meaningful ways to use infographics in the world language classroom.

Off the top of my head for my Germans:

  • Sports: Look at the sports that are popular (or anything else cultural) and show the popularity by size of the ball. (My crystal ball says that there will be big soccer balls all around…)
  • History: Upper-level: show the number of people per state that tried to escape East Germany… and perhaps the number that came from the west via different colors
  • Popularity: Popularity of anything: music, movies, food… by state, age group, country

What else…


Regarding the Rivalry

Posted: October 6, 2009 in Theory

Tonight is the big Vikings/Packers game  on  Monday Night Football. The night that Favre plays  in the dome against the Packers. Granted, it’s not Lambeau field, but it’s  a pretty  big deal. I  got plenty of comments from  my beloved students today while I was wearing my Packers jersey.

On a (somewhat) related note, the other day we were asked to talk  about one thing we really enjoyed/were good at. Being funny (and not wanting to waste a bunch of time talking about myself), I said that I love to watch and cheer for the Packers.  After everyone shared, the leader  then asked us to make the connection between the thing we  do well and ourselves as a teacher. (i.e. if you like gardening, perhaps it shows itself as you carefully tend to the needs of students to help them grow.) I started to put it together, but today,  wearing the jersey in the middle of this rivalry, it became even more clear.

I am a die hard fan. I will cheer you on in the best of times and in the worst of times. I will wait and support through the losses so we can all enjoy the wins. I am a die hard fan and, I have to admit, I have little time  for fair-weather fans.

So I made a PowerPoint to explain this to my kids… and to talk about integrity. We talked about fair-weather fans, fair-weather friends, and fair-weather everything else.  It was a quick 5 minute talk, but a nice segue  into the (even more brief) note that I am here for them if they need something… even if it’s just to be a connector to the person/people/help they really need.

It’s crazy where educational philosophy can pop up in life. I love football.