The 5 Habits Framework

1) Evidence (How do I know what's true?)

2) Perspective (Who might think differently?)

3) Connections (What other areas of knowledge are connected?)

4) Supposition (How might it be different if..?)

5) Significance (Is this important?)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sub's Letter to Parents Sparks Debate

Kirksville substitute teacher scolds doctor, wife for daughter’s lunch which included marshmallows, pickles

A grade-school substitute teacher in Kirksville sent this note home with a student this week.

Read more here:

(Justin Puckett/Facebook)

1)  What evidence is most convincing in configuring a healthy lifestyle? What is the best way to determine thee truth in this story?  In what ways do we have access to that info?  What word used in the note is most convincing?  In the parents' post?

2)  Why might a grandmother feel differently about this issue than a parent? Why might Michelle Obama think differently than this doctor?  What are their motivations?

3)  In what ways is this connected to politics?  In what ways is this issue connected to psychology? Math?

4)  What if it was the regular teacher that wrote the note?  What if he'a doctor of nutrition?  Pediatrician?  Dentist?

5)  In what ways is this relevant?  What are the long-term effects of this note on the district?  The children?

Extension Activities:

1)  Students can develop a healthy diet using only processed/fast/junk foods.

2)  Students can research the limits of parenting philosophies as they relate to the well-being of children through recent examples.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Prank Caller Reaches UK Prime Minister

Prank Caller Reaches UK Prime Minister

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron talks to US President Barack Obama on the telephone from his office in Downing Street, London, Thursday Nov. 8, 2012.
(AP Photo/Peter Macdiarmid, Pool)

1)  What evidence would be compelling for a task force devising a policy for greater phone security?  Why would a Head of State need security for communications?  What evidence might be David Cameron have had that made him hang up?

2)  Why might PM Cameron's family have a different perspective on this issue than the Obamas?  Similar?  How is my own experience limited in this story?  How is it related? 

3)  How is this connected to hacking?  How is this connected to the NSA scandal?  How is this connected to science?  Twitter?

4)  What if the PM gave out his personal phone number to the public?  Would this story have been reported 25 years ago?

5)  Why is this story significant?  Why might this be remembered 10 years form now?  

Extension Activities:
1)  Students can research the "Phreaking" incident and chart it's significance to modern communications.

2)  Students can develop a spectrum of acceptable pranks and carry out a benign joke at school.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Worst Passwords

The List of Worst Passwords

That's the worst password, according to SplashData. It's probably also a bad idea to leave it on your keyboard.

1)  What evidence makes this story more funny than concerning?  What evidence would be most compelling in getting you to switch your passwords monthly?      

2)  Why might a Google executive view this differently than a member of the Tea Party?  Who would you want to have your phone's lock code the least?

3)  In what ways is this connected to math?  How might we connect this to psychology?

4)  How would internet use be different if there were no more passwords?  What if thumbprints were the only acceptable form of identification?  

5)  Is this more relevant to to the banking industry or social media companies?  What are the legal ramifications of hacked passwords?

Extension Activities:

1)  Students calculate the chances of discovering PINs and Passwrods accidentally depending on the numbers of variables.
2)  Students study the Enigma Project and connect its success to the Allied Victory of WWII.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

World's Richest Man Increases Stake in New York Times

World's Richest Man Buys Stake in New York Times

Carlos Slim attends the finals of the Mexican soccer league last May. He owned both teams, Pachuca and Leon.
(AP Photo/Christian Palma)

1)  How is the world's richest person determined? How should wealth be determined?  What are the most important numbers in the article?

2)  Who might have differing opinions are how Slim acquired his wealth?  The average Mexican citizen?  Bill Gates?  The grand children of John Rockefeller?  The editor of the New York Times?

3)  How is Slim like Jeff Bezos?  Rupert Murdoch?  William Randolph Hearst?  How are they different?  How is this connected to your educational experience?  How is this connected to geography?

4)  How might this story be different if he was not the richest man?  What would happen if Bill Gates had increased his stake in a media company at the same time?

5)  Is your news biased?  Is it reflecting the views of a billionaire?  What are the positives and negatives of media companies being funded by very few individuals?  Is it better to read clearly biased news or no news at all?

Extension Activities:

1)  Students can research how media companies (local to international) are funded and what they do with their money? 

2)  Students can watch Citizen Kane and rewrite a scene (or the movie) set for today's time.