1 Thing Wednesday: Podcasts

Has there been any one thing you have come across recently that has gotten your brain bubbling with excitement?  Recently I’ve been having fun geeking out on…

PODCASTS

(…and there are so many good ones!)

Freakonomics RadioTGIM LogoSchool of GreatnessTim Ferriss Show

Podcasts, short for “portable, on-demand broadcasts,” which can come in video or audio form, have been in existence for some time now (learn more about the history of podcasts here).  Podcasts are typically produced as episodes in a series, and are published on a regular basis.  They allow for you to get information such as news, listen to interviews, or be entertained on your schedule.  Personally, I tend to listen while at work, cooking dinner at home, or even when I am exercising.  Podcasts actually keep me more motivated on a run around the neighborhood than a music playlist would.  During those times I have been able to learn more about a variety of subjects directly or loosely related to my work in education ranging from recent research on supporting student literacy, to information about social media marketing, news about the world, and even nutrition.

Below are some of my favorite podcasts that I just cannot miss each week.

  • Freakonomics Radio: As an off-chute of the empire built upon the Freakonomics books by Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt, this podcast features Dubner exploring the “riddles of everyday life, and the weird wrinkles of human nature” each week.  The stories are insightful, well-researched, and engaging.
  • TGIM by Shopify: This podcast, produced by Shopify, is beautifully produced and worth listening to for that reason alone.  It presents short vignettes and stories to illustrate a general strategy to help entrepreneurs enhance their businesses.  Though I am not an entrepreneur, I find that much of the advice I have encountered for entrepreneurs is very applicable for educators as well.
  • The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes: Created by a former professional Arena Football player who has since re-branded himself as a motivational speaker, author, and entrepreneur, this podcast features uplifting interviews with leaders in various industries.
  • The Tim Ferriss Show:  Sometimes called “The Human Guinea Pig,” Tim Ferriss has taken the same approach he used in creating books such as The Four Hour WorkweekThe Four Hour Body, and The Four Hour Body to deconstruct world-class performers, athletes, and business people.  Each episode presents a deep conversation that always has me hooked.

While most podcasts producers have a website hosting them, they are much easier to consume when you use a program/app such as iTunes, Stitcher, or SoundCloud.  (Stitcher is my personal favorite, because I’m an Android phone girl, myself, and Stitcher is available across platforms–iOS and Android.)

This summer, as you find yourself kicking back at the pool, or running around the block, check out a podcast or two.  Next, tell me what you think of my recommendations comments below.  Do you have any others you think I would like too?

Until next time,

Ms. W.

Introduction to Argumentative Writing: Monday, September 29th, 2014

Though we had taken a few moments during last week’s lessons to briefly discuss argumentative writing and the characteristics of quality writing, today we delved headlong into it. First, the students had the opportunity to share what they remembered of the characteristics of quality writing from last week. Then, I shared with them the six general writing traits we tend to focus upon when writing:

  1. Ideas
  2. Organization
  3. Word Choice
  4. Sentence Fluency
  5. Voice
  6. Conventions

The students were then shown a couple more examples of argumentative writing in action.  The students listened to the first two minutes of the most recent podcast from the Freakonomics blog entitled “Fitness Apartheid.”  Should residents of an apartment building who pay a discounted rate be able to partake in more luxurious amenities?  We took a moment to have a brief discussion on both sides of the issue presented within “FItness Apartheid.”  Next, the students read a written example of argumentative writing at work (text can be found in the PowerPoint below).

We ended class today with the students choosing 3-5 of the topics they found the most interesting.  They then narrowed those down to two with which they will create a Circle Map to brainstorm.  These will become the foundation of the argumentative essays they will be writing in class this week.

Here are two more links to even more argumentative writing topics:

Homework:

  • Read for 30 minutes.
  • Complete the Circle Map of two topics (except 3rd period)
  • Study for Wednesday’s lesson 4 vocabulary quiz

PowerPoint: 9.29.14 Characteristics of Quality Writing and Intro to Argumentative Part 2