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?)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Cheating Confirmed Through Stats

Freakonomics Author Devises Algorithm to Catch Cheaters

Eyes on your own paper.
(AP Photo/Vietnam News Agency, Tran Le Lam)

1)  In what ways can the use of statistics provide evidence for action?  What are the limits of statistical knowledge?  

2)  Why might the students' parents feel differently than the professor?  The same?  Why might a Chinese student feel differently than an American?  

3)  Is statistics math or science?  How is this connected to social relationships?  
4)  In what ways would this story be reported differently if the researcher was not well-known?  How might this be different   

5)  What are some basic assumptions about cheating in general and in academics specifically?  In which subject would cheating be most beneficial for you?  

Extension Activities:

1)  Students can write a satirical story making cheating in sports analogous to academic cheating.   

2)  Students can develop their own statistical models for cheating in a classroom of their choice.  

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Half Off Appetizers for Jews and Arabs who Dine Together

Israeli Cafe Hopes to Bring Communities Together

All we are saying is give chickpeas a chance.

1)  How could the cafe owner measure the success or failure of his endeavor?  How might we find out the true origins of hummus?  How might the owner find out if people are abusing the system?    

2)  Why might an American teenager feel differently about this than an Israeli teenager?  In what ways would this story be different if it happened 75 years ago?  Why might the yemenite (Arab Jew) feel differently about this than

3)  In what ways is this connected to environmentalism?  Sports?  Cheating on a test?

4)  What if the cafe owner had chosen pizza as the item?  Hot dogs?  In what ways would this story be different if it happened 75 years ago?  20 years from now?  

5)  What are the short-term consequences of this promotion?  To what degree can this affect official policy of the Israeli government?  What are the underlying assumptions about Israeli culture in this piece?

Extension Activities:

1)  Students can research the Christmas football match during WWI and draw connections to this story.

2)  Students can identify foods that could bring conflicting groups together and compile an "international peace cookbook".

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Writing with The Evil Hand

Teacher Forces 4 Year Old to Change Hands When Writing

A child in Oklahoma was told to stop writing with his left hand, because it had associations with evil.

1)  What evidence might be most convincing that one hand is better than another?  To what degree can we judge the historical record on this subject?

2)  Why might a baseball player feel differently about this story than an author?  Why might Paul McCartney feel differently than Barack Obama?

3)  In what ways is this connected to art?  To what degree is this connected to recess?

4)  How might this have been different if it was pro-left-handedness?  The same?

5)  Is this significant to you?  What are the basic assumptions about "handedness"?  What are the long-term effects of this story on the child?    

Extension Activities:

1)  Students can create an "Opposite Hand Day" and journal their experiences.

2)  Students can chart the handedness of their classmates and compare it national characteristics.  They can then make predictions about the future.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Librarian Bans Book for a Cause

Banning Books in Support of Literature

1)  What makes a librarian "trained"?  What is the most convincing evidence that a book is inappropriate?   

2)  In what ways would a student view this differently than a teacher? Why might a German librarian feel differently than the author about this article?

3)  In what ways is this connected to studies of the internet?  In which course would this article be appropriate to read?    

4)  To what degree would this have changed if it was written by an administrator?   A Republican candidate for the Presidency?  Democratic?  How might the author have changed their methods to produce the desired results?  

5)  To what extent is this significant?   What are some assumptions about freedom of speech universally or in your society?  

Extension Activities:

1)  Students can research the most banned books of all time and predict what kind of book might make the list in the next 5 years.  

2)  Students can try this experiment in their school and blog about the observations.  

AoK:  English Language 

WoK:  Language