- Like a duck to water
- Birds of a feather flock together
- Free as a bird
- Birds eye view
Saturday, November 26, 2022
Wednesday, November 23, 2022
The timing of it is such that it has hit a lot of holidays: starting with Halloween, then spanning my Thanksgiving and Christmas, with the return being hopefully at the start of the new year.
I did this purposefully to take advantages of the Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks, because ahhh... the calendar as decided by the teacher's school year!
One of the many books I read during this span of time was Hope: A User's Manual by MaryAnn McKibben Dana. I got it for a friend of mine who is troubled by the global climate crisis and how we always seem to miss our mark. As can happen with climate conversations, the level of doom and gloom can get you down.
I wanted to give my friend "hope." Given "hope" has been a frequent theme in my own book choices, I felt I could use another dose of it myself, and got myself a copy as well.
The thing I really liked about this book (and something that made it fascinating to be reading it while sequestered at home during election season earlier this month), is that it referenced hope through the lens of so many things.
Included in this list: elections, insurrections, social justice, systemic racism, climate change, pandemic pandemonium, and more. Many of these things are the exact concepts that (over the last half dozen years) still feel so heavy on me. Hope: A User's Manual met my post-hospitalization-hibernation well. I utilized this time to sleep, recover, and reflect on it all along with many other things. The author admitted early on the mere writing of the book, during the pandemic, was an attempt to "write herself back into a sense of hope" [p. 11].
I needed that book too.
MaryAnn McKibben Dana paints hope as different than optimism, toxic positivity, pithy platitudes, gaslighting, perfectionism, or over-romanticized nigglings and notions.
Instead, hope is a "muscle to be exercised" [p. 22].
It is active not passive.
It sometimes is quiet, and sometimes it gains fire from an anger that burns within.
It can sometimes stem from joy and laughter and play.
It can often times be uncomfortable--but we don't grow through comfort.
It is a story we cultivate.
It's the micro-movements we make.
It's the breaths that stablize us.
It's the beauty in nature that surrounds us.
It's the small beacon of light on a dark day.
It's the hard things that don't get fixed quickly or sometimes even in our generation, but that improve over time.
It's the collective good fight to create a better world.
It is grace, compassion, self-kindness, and perseverance.
To me, hope has a lot of the same power as gratitude.
Gratitude is what alters your perspective toward what you have, not what you need. It can inspire you to give to those who need appreciation. It can lead you to give to grow your thankful heart.
May you have a Thanksgiving holiday filled with gratitude, friendship, countless blessings, and hope.
Photos from https://www.townandcountrymag.com/leisure/arts-and-culture/g22701713/happy-thanksgiving-quotes/?slide=9; Additionally, from the same website gallery: Slide 5, Slide 2, Slide 12, Slide 16, Slide 21, slide 22, Slide 25, Slide 29, Slide 32; Banner created at www.canva.com
Saturday, November 19, 2022
Maybe because it's starting to get late in the fall season...
Or, maybe because the beauty of autumn and the color spectrum of leaves always causes me to take pause...
Or, maybe because I simply have leaves on my mind (see my last post)....
This image and quote combination from 1000 Hours really spoke to me.
Save time this season for more of this:
Wednesday, November 16, 2022
Ever since yesterday when I heard the news of it being 8 Billion Day, I've periodically checked in on WorldOMeter's website. It shows the current population numbers in live time, with numbers changing by the second. It's amazing to see the incredible jump from this time today versus the same time yesterday!
Watching the trajectory historically as we gain each additional billion is fascinating. The graph below--as well as the data in the chart I made--were from Population Education's website and their post by Marian Starkey [July 6, 2022] entitled "8 Billion and Growing: World Population Milestones Throughout History." Both data visualizations are eye-opening and jaw-dropping when you think of how that rate has increased over time. The startling point too is how flat the line on the graph was for population growth from year 0 to 1800 (which you can see on the graph shown here).
While it's looking like United Nation projections don't have us hitting 9 million until 2037 (15 years, a bit of a bigger jump than what we just saw between 7 and 8 billion), there clearly are ramifications across almost every field of study and interest. Of course, there are the environmental impacts of an ever-crowding planet. Technology and medicine have made it possible to have fuller, richer, healthier, and longer lives. Growing population means we need to have the resources available for us to live here on our planet as well as to provide us with food for all of these growing people.
To learn more about the Day of 8 Billion and how 8 billion people impact our planet, check out these sites:
- "How Big Is a Billion" benchmarks from Population Education so you can begin to wrap your head around just how big IS 8 billion??!
- Click this GTG archived link from back in February of 2015 (way back when there were only 7.3 billion people) to see Population Education's 7 minute map-animated video of population over time from 0 to current day and projected to 2050
- Also from February 2015 and my "Framing Education Around Population" post about Population Education, find the map of what countries would look like if their land mass matched their population.
- Population education's "Day of 8 Billion – 9 Interesting Population Questions and Answers"
- Pam Wasserman's August 2022 Population Education blog post entitled "8 Billion People on the Planet by November… and 13 Other Takeaways from the 2022 UN World Population Prospects"
- Population Education's "Teaching in a World of 8 Billion" for class simulations, lesson plans, and other resources.
- Population Riddles you can use in class with to get your students math minds bending around these really big numbers.
- Counting Populations: Millions & Billions, a population unit for K-5 students.
Intro image from https://thelatch.com.au/current-world-population/, Population graph from https://populationconnection.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/1800-2100.png; chart created from data on https://populationconnection.org/blog/world-population-milestones-throughout-history/, video from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vL1_kCX6qg
Saturday, November 12, 2022
Once again, proving just how beautiful, rewarding, and powerful nature can be.
Wednesday, November 9, 2022
- Homeschool With Moxie's "11 Amazing Social Studies Videos & YouTube Channels"
- A Page Out of History's "11 YouTube Channels for Social Studies"
- HelpTeaching's "10 YouTube Channels for the Social Studies Classroom"
- Reading Middle Grade's 14 Best Science YouTube Channels for Kids"
- Mrs. Jump's Class' ""Science Videos for Kids to Use in Your Primary Classroom"
Image created at www.canva.com
Saturday, November 5, 2022
Video from https://youtu.be/JTgy7gl2x2s and image from https://www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org/blog/2022/10/6/the-begley-cohen-test-for-film-and-tv and https://www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org/flipthescript
Wednesday, November 2, 2022
Therefore, landing on the following tweet by Brendan O'Sullivan was like finding the Holy Grail of maps as he pointed to Laura Pellegrino's curated Google file of well over 100 mapping blackline masters.
Saturday, October 29, 2022
Wednesday, October 26, 2022
Instagram post from from https://www.instagram.com/plasticpollutes/channel/ and clipart from http://clipart-library.com/free/leaf-clipart-transparent.html
Saturday, October 22, 2022
This year for Halloween I'm going as a hospital patient, Patients gown. Surgical mask. Hospital bed included. It's my second-needed surgery of 2022, and I'm eager to get it on the backside of me so that the days ahead can be back to being mine!
There's a lot of reuse in my costume (though I get it's not for everyone)! This is always a great goal in this often-time consumer-meets-consumables Halloween holiday.
As you are plotting and planning your Halloween ahead, these two articles from GreenCitizen may be just what you need to help you reduce and reuse, and get yourself a new-to-you look for this spooky season:
- "How to Have Sustainable Halloween Costume This Year?" - Here you will find 10 ways to think outside the pre-packaged costume box to help you create your own ingenious outfit.
- "Eco-Friendly Halloween Decorations Let's Make It Green This Year!" - Here you will find a slew of ideas for decorations, food, and costume ideas that will tread lightly on your environmental impact to the planet.
Wednesday, October 19, 2022
I've posted time and again about being an avid and voracious reader. [As of right now, I'm on book #48, well-poised to hit #52 books for the year.] Fiction, nonfiction, it doesn't matter. It's all part of my day and who I am.Kindle app. It leaves me always having a book in hand, able to travel light and read wherever I might be. Additionally, it's there, easy to hold, and no need for turning on a light if I wake up at 2 am and need to quiet my overthinking "mom/daughter/spouse/teacher" brain.
For a lion-share of this past year, I've been using the Libby app. Libby ties with your local library through your library card to let you borrow ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, and more. Sometimes you have to wait a few weeks by placing your request on hold until a copy is available for the 2-week download. Upon retrieving your book, you have some choices as to how you would like to read it. It funnels seamlessly into your Kindle app, and best part: your reading streaks continue on. [As of this writing, I'm at 123 weeks in a row and 205 days in a row... as my husband would say, I'm governed by these and my my Apple Watch fitness circles! Yes, I am Pavlovian!]
Another transformational part for me is that I'm no longer buying the free to $5.99 books over at Kindle. I'm actually reading the best sellers and award winning books that I don't want to buy for $13.99 a pop, unless it's a really special or important title for me. I was reading some good books--now I'm reading some great books! That right there has me diving into more books too. Plus, my reading budgetary expenses have dropped significantly!
Plus, as a person who was always good at getting books from the library (but never great at getting them back TO the library), this is perfect because I can either ask to digitally renew it, or it just disappears from my phone or iPad. Only once did they not let me renew a book due to the waiting line. So, I just put it back on the list and I will grab it once it comes back available.
Another perk for my Kindle friends is the fact that you can still highlight notes in the book, and those will be saved in your Kindle app, even once the book moves on.
For my digital reading friends out there, if you haven't found Libby yet, it's time. It'll open up both your Apple and Android devices in new ways for a varied assortment of reading material.
During the fall, it almost seems like every day of October, the colors shift so subtly yet significantly--sometimes changing right before your eyes day by day.
Here's what is predicted nationwide for the week ahead:
Additionally on the website below the interactive map are details as to why leaves turn the colors that they do. It showcases the science and chemistry behind the colors that we see on our leafy trees... and why those same leaves fall to the ground.
Makes you want to get out there to go see them while you can!
Saturday, October 15, 2022
Almost exactly a month ago on September 14th, outdoor-apparel company Patagonia released new of their new, one and only shareholder: Mother Earth.
Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, has long been donating 1% of Patagonia's profits to environmental causes. Not only previously green in their donations, but Patagonia is known to be green with their other company efforts as well, including their nature-centric vision and emphasis on repairing items. But in September of this year, Chouinard decided 1% was not near enough, and raised the bar another 99%, stating "the Earth is now our only shareholder." All money not going back into the business are profits that will be spend donating to tackle the climate crisis.
[Psst...Patagonia is worth $3 billion!]
In honor of Patagonia's 50th year since he found it, Chouinard wanted to make a move to make a statement. Not wanting to sell the company in order to donate the money to the environment [and not wanting take the company public], he decided that he'd "go purpose" versus "going public." The company stocks are managed by the following two entities: Patagonia Purpose Trust and Holdfast Collective. The former gains the voting stocks with the plan to protect the company's core values. The latter is the nonprofit fighting against environmental hazards and fighting for nature. The Holdfast Collective also gets the non-voting stock worth $3,000,000,000. 1% will continue to go to grassroots environmental activists, just as before.
It's a bold and innovative way to do business. May more companies continue to follow suit, thinking of a world bigger than themselves and their own personal profits.
Wednesday, October 12, 2022
Saturday, October 8, 2022
Here's his short on Green Technology--click here to find 3 more Green Tech shorts:
Other topics in the Humble Media Genius suite include the following, with videos, games, information, and more:Harvard's Berkman Klein Center to compile classroom curricular resources for teachers for grades 1-3.
Ruff Ruffman has the right mix of humor, quirkiness, and information to engage kids and stress the importance of being safe, being respectful, being responsible, and making good decisions both online and off!
Wednesday, October 5, 2022
Hurricane Ian made landfall at a high Category 4 storm, doing major damage in Fort Myers with its 7 foot storm surge. [The sustained winds were only two mph short of being a Category 5 storm.] Ian tied for the 5th strongest hurricane to make landfall. It then crossed Florida, doubled back over sea gaining strength and hit South Carolina as a Category 1 storm. In Florida, more than 2.3 million lost power. Areas of Florida got 12 to 28 inches of rain. Hundreds of flights were canceled in the domino effect of airfare cancellations. It has become the 6th deadliest US Hurricane since 1980 with just over 100 deaths, and it is Florida's biggest storm since 1935. Financially, the total damages range in the neighborhood of $68-100 BILLION. Capital B. Capital "all" letters.
Climate change gets credit for intensifying the rainfall, making Hurricane Ian's rain 10% worse due to greenhouse gas pollution, thanks to life beyond the Industrial Revolution. Climate change often also gets credit for warming the oceans which only serves to intensify the growth and power of the storm.
This video from NOAA SciJinks shows how hurricanes form. It's the perfect informative video for both young and old.
If you are in a position to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, here are some resources:
- FEMA's "Here's How You Can Help Hurricane Survivors" website
- Read World Central Kitchen's story of how they've provided hot meals during the storm and support their cause.
- CDP: The Center of Disaster Philanthropy's recovery and support network--you can funnel your donations directly to the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season's relief.
- Team Rubicon's Disaster Response--Donate to help support military veterans who serve as first responders to come in and assist during the humanitarian crises that arrive when disasters hit.
- Verified Hurricane Ian GoFundMe fundraisers
Saturday, October 1, 2022
I ran into this quote the other day and it really spoke to me.
Wednesday, September 28, 2022
As I was perusing my way through the National Geographics Resource Library, I found myself tumbling through so many amazing finds. I think of it much like the stereotypical story I tell my 5th graders about getting lost in the YouTube sea of crazy cat videos when we discuss digital citizenship and prepare them for their 1-to-1 iPads in Middle School. We've all done it. But NatGeo's are definitely more fascinating.
In it you get a history of plastics, its merits and obvious overuse, but it also gives you some amazing graphics on how much plastic has shown up since its inception in the 1950s. (Spoiler alert: WOW!) Also, it takes about some new takes on plastic-eating microbes and bioplastics. It's 5 minutes and 45 seconds worth of watching to remind you to rethink your plastic usage.
Image screenshot from https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/science-101-plastics
Saturday, September 24, 2022
However, we all feel a little lazy sometimes. And sometimes we NEED to be a little lazy. We can't be on the go all the time. We need time spent lounging in a hammock, taking an afternoon nap, reading a good book, watching entertaining shows, or just being a couch potato.
What if there was a way to work on saving the planet while being a little bit lazy? It's an enticing thought. We can't all be 24-7 activists. And even those out there who are busy changing the world, they need time to sleep.
I think that's why the United Nations "Lazy Person's Guide to Saving the World"appeals to me so much! It leaves me thinking, "Hey! I can do this!" Sometimes big things (like saving the planet or addressing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals) just feel too big!
Here's an overview, but be sure to check out there website!
- Level 1: Sofa Superstar - Things you can do from your couch
- Ideas here include online versus paper statements, staying informed of the issues (and staying away from "alternative facts"), turning off lights that aren't in use, and more!
- Level 2: Household Hero - Things You Can Do From Home
- Ideas here include taking shorter showers, eat less meat, turning down your thermostat, and more!
- Level 3: Neighborhood Nice Guy - Things You Can Do Outside Your Home
- Ideas here include avoiding impulse buys, bringing a refillable water bottle, getting vaccinations, and more!
- Level 4: Exceptional Employee - Things You Can Do at Work
- Ideas here include mentoring younger folks in your field, carpooling when possible or take public transportation, reducing waste, and more!
Wednesday, September 21, 2022
Over the course of the documentary, the viewers are keyed into many different aspects of the coral species and how they affect the world around them. It would be trivial to watch this documentary and not mention how extreme coral bleaching is being stressed. Coral bleaching occurs when the water temperature rises 2 degrees above the water's average. Bleaching is a stress response, almost like a fever in humans, that causes the coral to purge itself of the phytoplankton living in the coral. This will most likely result in its death. A fact that shook me to the core is that 50% of the Earth's coral had died in the thirty years before this documentary was released. The fact that hit me hardest though was how we are living in the era where we could see the last coral reef bleach. If we don’t act, it will. Chasing Coral puts into words just how close we are to the collapse of our maritime ecosystem. I believe Chasing Coral pushes the depressing and cautionary message that if we let this ecosystem fall, so too will the remaining terrestrial ecosystems. This will, in turn, lead to the downfall of Earth.
The producers of Chasing Coral all believe that the world is in desperate need of reefs which in turn means they have a shared bias; but, that does not mean that the message they push is flawed. The only other perspective that could be offered is one of indifference to the life of the ocean, and that in my opinion is immoral. As a person raised in science and who has gone to “green schools” his whole life, this documentary hit me hard. My whole life has been entangled with animals and for something as pivotal as coral to be going extinct sends a wave of apathy down my spine. Although the documentary saddened me to watch, I highly recommend it. This documentary should be watched by everyone because as a species we have to come together and look at the science in order to create a world where life can thrive. Earth is the only planet we know with life. As the dominant species, it is our duty to bring security to said life, from the terrestrial to the sub-nautical.