Saturday, May 31, 2014

Math Tips from Google (and a comment about Algebra 2)

I love this comment about Algebra 2:

Click here to see more tips on Google

Let's skip Algebra 2, take a course in ethics and add another course in a language.   How about visiting

Friday, May 30, 2014

A whale that talks?

I RECENTLY posted a comment about "Teachers need to present new information to students -- new to the student's culture."   Here's another example:  an animal who talks?

We know about a gorilla that learned to communicate 

We know about dolphins

What about a beluga whale?   Could this whale have tried to speak human?


Teachers: We are charged with exposing students to other cultures. Here's a sound that many lovers of (c)rap music might not know (sent to me by the people behind EEWANA)

One of the functions of school is to expose students to new idea ("new to me and my family and culture" even if the idea is thousands of years old).    I was 42 years old before I heard of Borobudur.   (Tip:  the spelling is  O O U U   borobudur)

Nil showed me this music...
What have I neglected to show my students?   I am motivated to show you something about Turkey because a new REGION is emerging.  It's more than "the Middle East" and more than "Eastern Europe" or "North Africa"... it's EEWANA.   This singer is from Turkey, which is the center of
EEWANA.  (CLICK HERE to learn more... about TOJDE) I have never heard of her and I doubt if many of my students have taken time to explore mideastern music.  I found this link because a colleague of Ugur Demiray, a translator named Nil Goksel, posted this video on her Facebook wall.  That's the sort of purpose of a teacher, to be a filter.   "Here's what my net caught today" is that reason why I invite students to follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Here is the LINK that Nil posted

Here is Nil's Facebook page... she is an able translator and she is my "net" for finding remarkable singers.  She did it once.  She might do it again.  She also has translated Richard E. Clark into Turkish. 

Thanks to Nil, I have this link:

Look at these articles that she put into Turkish

We are also responsible for the environment that the students experience in our classrooms, so let's post lots of quotes to inspire them.  Here are some links to lists of quotes from Forbes

  • 100 Best Quotes On Leadership - Forbes

    Oct 16, 2012 - Below are my top 100 leadership quotes of all time. (Have a favorite quotethat didn't make my list? Share it out in the comments section below!).
  • Top 100 Inspirational Quotes - Forbes

    May 28, 2013 - I write about wholehearted leadership and employee engagement. ... So in the spirit of self motivation, here are 100 inspirational quotes. 1.
    You've visited this page 4 times. Last visit: 5/6/14
  • Top 100 Ideas And Quotes For First-Time Leaders - Forbes

    Apr 2, 2014 - As a refresher on the fundamentals of leadership, this highlights 100 of the best ideas and quotes for first-time leaders from my New Leader's ...
  • Empower and Lead Forbes 100 Best Quotes On Leadership

    Sep 10, 2013 - Below are my top 100 leadership quotes of all time. (Have a favoritequote that didn't make my list? Share it out in the comments section below!).
  • 100 Best Quotes On Leadership - Forbes - via Mars-ax ...

    6 days ago - The first 10 here: A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.
  • 100 Best Quotes On Leadership | Innovation and ...

    Nov 25, 2013 - Below are my top 100 leadership quotes of all time. | Innovation and ... From - November 25, 2013 10:47 AM. A great quote ...

  • Do the right thing.  Click here and give a hit
    and share this sound with a teenager

    This is the sort of help that I get from Nil and Ugur  ... they are academic
    people in Turkey who expose me to Turkish culture...

    and then I can share these elements with my students.

    Wednesday, May 28, 2014

    Education Documentary Filmmaker Erik Friedl delivers a story about Los Lobos and Music at Highland Park High School in Los Angeles

    By bringing in the community and bringing in music, we can help yong people find their passions and it changes the school."   -- Enrique Gonzalez, principal, Highland Park High School

    Louie PĂ©rez of Los Lobos drops by for a visit to Highland Park High School in Los Angeles. Louie is joined by fellow mentors Luis Torres and Luis Ruan as they creatively mix it up with the students, sparking new directions and ideas about music, school and life. 

    Directed, filmed and edited by Erik Friedl

    All inquiries about the programs welcomed by Principal Enrique Gonzalez at 323-254-3421 or via e-mail:

    "I'm going to come back!  This is a great bunch of kids"
    Private and corporate donations may be made to: 
    "Highland Park High School Music Department"
    Highland Park High School
    928 N. Avenue 53

    Los Angeles, CA 90042

    Tuesday, May 27, 2014

    Look to in Turkey to find new directors and stories that are powerful. (Recommendation from Ugur Demiray, proposer of Eastern Europe, West Asia, North Africa Distance Education Council)

    What should we look at?  What topics should grab our attention?   Sometimes we teachers need someone in another continent to tell us what is popular and what is needed and what is "current."  My professor friend Ugur Demiray suggested the follwoing film to me

    I could not watch the short film, but a previous film that he sent to me made me cry.  There are some skilled storytellers who can put powerful stories on the screen in Turkey...

    This suggestion comes from Ugur Demiray, who has proposed a Eastern Europe, West Asia, North Africa Distance Education Council...    

    THINK Global School (a listing on Wikipedia) --

    Here's what appears on Wikipedia.   WOW

    THINK Global School is an independent high school that travels the world, giving students the opportunity to study in 12 different international cities over the course of 4 years. The school is non-profit, co-educational, and non-denominational. The school was created by travel photographer Joann McPike, who contributed the founding donation.
    During the 2010-11 school year, the students studied in StockholmSwedenSydneyAustralia; and BeijingChina. During the 2011-12 school year, they studied in CuencaEcuadorChiang Mai,Thailand; and BerlinGermany. The 2012-13 school year included a fall term in Buenos Aires,Argentina; a spring term in BostonUnited States; and a two week intersession in Bhutan. The 2013-14 school year is planned to include a fall term in Hyderabad, India, a spring term inHiroshimaJapan, and a two week intersession in Tanzania.
    The school was granted full authorization as an IB World School by the International Baccalaureate Organization in April, 2012. THINK Global School will graduate its first class of IB Programme students during the 2013-2014 school year.

    Here's one way to reach out to a class in Brazil and invite students in the USA and France to connect with teenagers in Florianopolis ... write a long email message and send articles

    I wrote this email to Jair because I forgot to turn on my Skype and connect with his class.   Here is my attempt to connect with the students....


    Hello Jair and hello to his many students.

    I missed our SKYPE appointment and I plan to prepare for next Monday or whenever you have another chance to talk by skype.   PLEASE Professor Jair, try me again.  My lack of planning is best attacked by sending an email to my mobile phone   and I will get a reminder such as  "Hey steve, skype in one hour" ...

    I am very happy to talk by skype but I have little discipline to remember to set an alarm on my phone.

    TWO ARTICLES about consumers.
    I'm writing to you with two complicated articles... because I believe that Jair will carry you and help you find the joy in these articles.

    How can we learn more?  By connecting our hearts and minds.   

    How can we find something powerful and LIFE CHANGING to read?  by asking teachers to recommend something "real"

    I have asked a friend (and paid him) to translate Littky's book into Spanish.   I just paid someone to translate Littky's first chapter into Portuguese.  I'm attaching for your students the ENGLISH version of the book and the FIRST CHAPTER of the book

    Students, please take time to flip through the book.  Look at the photos, look at the quotes.   I will send separately the WHOLE book, but here is the first chapter.   NOTE TO JAIR>... I hope you have a way to share this information with your students.

    Here are the LINKS

    PORTUGUESE chapter

    ENGLISH chapter
    This is a great author.   Look for him.

    Read the first chapter in English, (well, try it) and then read the article in Portuguese.  My student Victor Fernandes (his email is above) (who lives in Florida) has told me:

    The teachers pretend to do their job
    The students pretend to pay attention.
    The author wants to change this situation.

    That is a PERFECT description and summary of this chapter.

    My student Victor has asked me to send him more articles to read.  I'm thinking about some TED talks (first in English and then also in PORTUGUESE).  I think it is a good method to PUSH ourselves to read an article in another language and try to GUESS the meanings, then go to our native language and get the real story.

    In future emails, I will send the translations of TED talks for you to analyze in ENGLISH and in Portuguese

    This was my comment on FastCompany's website
    My student Victor has recently completed a training program about teeth.  He plans to create a book using CREATESPACE (actually, he will make a children's book with his cousins Leo and Luiza) to explain WHY we need to attack the monsters in our mouth.   This is a project and he will write in Portuguese and then try to translate into English.  Then I will check his English and then I put the information in Createspace and he will be AN AUTHOR.   I suggest that you each think about something that you are an EXPERT about and try to write a book in English (and Portuguese) ... this will be a way for me to learn some portuguese via translation method.

    THIS IS A LONG LETTER to say "Welcome to the Email School of English"  ... we can do many things via Email and I invite Jair's students to contact me, to contact Esraa in Egypt, to write to Davit in Armenia and to write to Davi and Victor (they are cousins).

    Here are the email addresses.  PLEASE WRITE TO THESE PEOPLE to practice your English
    Jair Luiz Alves da Silva Filho

    Jawaan Samuel, 

    victor fernandes

    EGYPT:  Esraa Abdalla

    FRANCE Davi Barreiros <321contagious"">, 

    DAVIT in ARMENIA    Dav Dave

    I have also included Will Sutherland in this list because he could perhaps welcome  students from Brazil in his sailing school (which is really a "life skills" school).

    Davi Barreiros (yes, he has a Brazilian name) is at Will's school and Davi can tell you something about his progress at the school.


    The goal is to PULL people into your world.  Pull people into your email box.   And send them questions to "wake us up."     My student Jawaan Samuels is the FIRST FLORIDA TEENAGER to write to Esraa in Egypt.

    NOTE TO JAIR:  I hope you will share this long email with your class.  I will attach books for them to look at (ebooks) and they can reject or skip whatever they like.  I hope that Victor, Jawaan, Davi and other students will write to you, Jair, and offer to help your students with their English....  perhaps your students can offer a place for people to watch the WORLD CUP...?  a sofa, perhaps?    I imagine that some teenagers in Florida could fly to Florianopolis for a week and trade "English Lessons for the World Cup Experience in Brazil"  watching the world cup on TVs in Florianopolis.   what a fun idea.   I wish I could hop on a plane and experience the moment with you.

    Please ask each of your students to write to me and I will try to match their interests with my info.   HERE is  my Orkut

    Here is my Facebook page..   look for students who were in my previous classes and you can write to them, such as
    Thomas Q
    This is the beginning of the book that Victor
    is writing for children

    my facebook

    I look forward to future SKYPE calls from Jair.   Please, students, remind Jair to text me and you can text my smartphone by sending an email to

    Steve McCrea
    Founder, Visual and Active Teacher Training

    Mobile  954 646 8246

    contact me at +1 954 646 8246. ... Get links to free materials available from TRANSFORMTeaching.ORG

    A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.   Margaret Mead

    If people are coming to work excited, if they're making mistakes freely and fearlessly, if they're concentrating doing things, rather than preparing reports and going to meetings - then somewhere you have leaders. - Robert Townsend 

    Three questions to give to a professional: "Tell me how you came to become a ___________? When did you know that this was your talent? What did you do to develop your talent?"

    I met a musician recently.  I asked her how she found herself part of three bands.   She admitted that she had just quit one of the bands be

    So I quoted to her the tenth principle from Austin Kleon's "Steal Like an Artist":  Creativity is Subtraction.   She agreed.

    Here's what she told me:

    My path

    by Radha Windham

    I've been asked by one of my fans to trace my development as a musician.   

    When I was twelve i took piano lessons.  Then I got interested in other instruments
    By the time I was 15 I hadn't played piano for two years and when I tried the piano again, I found I still remembered a lot of what I had learned.

    I started learning really complicated pieces on the piano.

    I also taught myself a lot of guitar after taking a few lessons from teachers.
    After learning to play by myself, I wanted to get more instruments to produce the sound that I wanted to hear.  I wanted to play with people to get that sound.

    I wanted to learn drums and the teacher asked me if I had ever played before, he said I was a natural.

    we rehearsed 

    I found an Elvis impersonator and he wanted to create  a cover band.  He plays a guitar and so I play the drums in that cover band.

    I went on to make a teen band (with some local teens).

    Then I saw an ad on Craigslist:  

    they were looking for a female 23 to 30 and I'm 17.  

    the bank leader sent me six songs.  I memorized them and then I did the audition, all in about two days.   I was really nervous.... but they told me, "you have the part!"

    Radha is under the "o"

    so suddenly i was in three bands.     ... So when it became obvious that I had to actually travel for gigs (we're being booked by a national company), I realized that I had to get out of one of the bands.   

    That's my story so far...

    Radha Windham  

    You can find her band at  

    What questions can we teachers ask to spark the generation of a testimonial?

    What can we ask to empower a person to share their path to "how I find my bliss"?

    What do we teachers do best?  "Tell me how you came to become a ___________? When did you know that this was your talent?  What did you do to develop your talent?"


    Friday, May 23, 2014

    Tony Wagner's 9-minute video highlights Thomas Friedman's formula CQ + PQ > IQ

    Quotes from the video

    start watching at 44 minutes.  There is a short film embedded in the video.   fascinating.   "What am I doing to prepare my child to innovate?"   Children should be ready to innovate, ..... not everyone needs to be ready for college." 

    "Everyone is here for a reason.  If you don't use your talent, you are taking away from the world.  You need to play your part in the ecosystem."   Minute 51:49  Jodie Wu

    "Design thinking is about asking the right questions, more about Art than about Science."   President of Olin College of Engineering  

    Take time to hear Tony Wagner's point...   Thomas Friedman is in the short video, too, talking about CQ + PQ > IQ    Curiosity and Passion are more important than Intelligence.

    Thursday, May 22, 2014

    Introducing Matt Blazek's book about Projects

    You can get a list of sample pages from Matt Blazek's ebook called Projects for Portfolios

    The book of sample pages is available from

    Here are some of the pages that might inspire teachers to contact Matt and get the CD of projects

    This is from the "Greek Gods Newspaper" Project

    From the "Create a Facebook page for Zeus" Project

    See the Blazek Video at

    This project involves Twitter

    One of the "fill in" posters in the book

    A powerpoint about a Greek God

    See the video

    Website "Choices" lets students match their interests with careers.... (but Dennis Littky recommends getting the kid into an internship ... and Will Sutherland prefers to use the QBE approach -- Qualified by Your Experience)

    Interests:  "What are you interested in?"

    "What are your passions?"

    What floats your boat?  What spins your wheel?  (I heard this phrase in New Zealand at Stonefields school)

    This is a system used in Florida, recommended to me by Maria Antonieta Espinosa, a counselor at Doral's Ronald Reagan High School.
    for University Students, too
    (The students at that school recently collected more than 10 boxes of magazines to share with an after school program in Florida City -- thank you!)

    I recommend this site for "an inventory of interests."

    You can also check your "big five personality" so that you can see how your personality might fit with your interests.  The two are different.   If you are interested in animal medicine and you are "open to new experiences", then you might practice in Africa or in a "coop clinic."  If you are "closed," then you might stay in the USA and practice in a traditional animal hospital. 

    This person might want to consider a
    traditional place of work.  She is
    probably easy to work with, but she
    prefers a conventional, 9-to-5 work
    environment.  Calm, conscientious,
    agreeable and extraverted....
    Here is an example of a person's profile in the Big Five personality test

     Go ahead, try 

    What is the next step? to test your methods and your ideas against a difficult, uncomfortable place and workspace. and to see how a school connects students to internships.