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Showing posts from 2016

The Braden Bin - 8/26/16

What I'm Reading:http://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Creating-Birds-of-a-Feather.pdf

A great article on connecting with students whom may be difficult to connect with due to cultural differences.  But, how can you find similarities with students who are so different from you?  Read this article and find out!

What I'm Watching - Alan Watts - Why Your Life is Not a Journey

Alan Watts - Why Your Life Is Not A Journey from David Lindberg on Vimeo.


An absolutely  beautiful rendition of Alan Watts speaking on enjoying the journey of life rather than focusing on the end point of everything you do.  Some very interesting and thought provoking points on education he makes in this video as well.

What I'm Watching *Bonus!

This has NOTHING to do with ANYTHING but what it does have to do with is placing a rubber chicken into a fan and it is totally worth watching...


Guys, a 6 second video of a rubber chicken being "put" into a fan has 376,000 views.  How does that m…

The Braden Bin - 6/24/16

What I'm Reading: Teaching the Teachers

Some things that stuck out to me...

I, in no way, was really prepared to be a teacher my first year.  Thankfully I had a great and supportive group around me at Isle of Hope elementary school in Savannah, GA!  
I loved the part about how good teaching can erase some of the negative effects of poverty on children.  I couldn't agree more with that.  Unfortunately, recruiting and retaining "great" teachers at high poverty schools is very hard.  You have to have a desire to work with our kids and not all people have that.  

That's ok.  
I want to hire people who want to work with our students. Our students deserve that. 

Traditional forms of Professional Development sucks.  Teachers, for the most part, HATE it.  Ok, when I was a teacher, for the most part, I HATED it.  But, then again, I wasn't the best student when I was in school.  I think it's just the way it is delivered.  
I think this guy explains it all better than I e…

She Doesn't Hold it Against Us

We had an appointment with the doc today to discuss options moving forward regarding Avery's fight against cancer.  Despite her 14th round of chemo, her cancer doesn't seem to be affected much by it.  Perhaps I can update you in a later post about all of that but before I do, I want to talk about love.

Avery has a port and she HATES getting it accessed.  I hate having to hold her legs so she doesn't kick the nurses and I hate the fact that my wife has to hold her arms so she also doesn't hit the nurses while they are attempting to access her.  She screams until she can hardly breathe.  She cries until she can hardly cry.  Sometimes another nurse has to assist us in holding her down because she is doing everything in the power of her little body to stop us from "poking" her.  Anytime I've had to witness this, which isn't as often as my wife has, part of my soul is ripped from my body.  It's really hard being a father whose job it is to protect his…

The Braden Bin - 6/9/16

Quote that's got me thinking:  "When teachers talk to teachers, good things happen."
I'm not sure who to give credit to for this quote but I first heard it from Plano ISD's superintendent Dr. Binggeli during his first "speech" to the administrators in the district.  That was at the beginning of the year, and here I am, in the first week since teachers and students have left for the summer, still pondering it.  I think for too long the teaching profession went like this - This is my classroom, these are my students.  I'll do my thing and you'll do yours.  Good luck and good riddance!  Now, the teaching profession is moving in the direction of collaboration, sharing of resources and ideas, etc.  Educators are realizing that much can be learned from their comrades.  #AmIrightTOTY?  What I'm Reading:High School Suspensions Cost the Country $35 Billion Annually, Report Estimates This is a pretty fascinating study and while the concept is abstract, …

The Braden Bin - 5/20/16

#Truth


What I'm Reading:Low-stakes Writing 

Love the idea of letting students...just....write.  Get them comfortable writing, not worrying about process or product.  Just write.  

What I'm Reading *Bonus: How to Use Snapchat to Tell the Story of Your School


I really think this is going to work out better than Twitter in terms of telling a story.  Twitter is great for professional learning and networking and I don't plan on putting that away anytime soon (follow me @Mr_Braden).  There are so many possibilities with Snapchat and I am really excited to learn more about them!  What I'm Watching:  
We talk about "grit"  being one of the key ingredients to success.  Educators rack their brains on the reg about how to instill it into their students.  I don't have any answers, just this awesome scene from one of my favorite movies.   Is it too early to be excited for college football season?  #GoIrishWhat I'm Watching *Bonus:  
How awesome is this little moment t…

The Braden Bin - 5/13/16

What I'm reading:  
That's Right, $63 Million for a Football Stadium...for High Schoolers
As a lover of sports, I kind of get it.  As an educator, I don't.  Perhaps it's because the next burb over has THIS to play in now.  Maybe they think it will entice people to move there?  Honestly, I'm very happy Plano residents didn't have to make that decision in a recent bond election. Anyways, it's nice to get recognition in the New York Times, but I wonder if they wish it had more to do with, I don't know, something educational? 

Music I'm jamming to:    Mr. Little Jeans - Good Mistake


 What I'm Watching:   Avery had her 3rd lung surgery (4th surgery overall) last week.  We recently learned that it was a successful surgery, the tumor was removed and there were clean margins!  Anyways, before her first surgery, the doctor warned us that it would be important for her to use exercise her lungs in the first few days after the surgery in order to help them heal.…

Birthday

It's my birthday tomorrow.  I don't want to do this, but I have no choice.  It's all around me.  Literally coming at me from every direction imaginable.  It's ok.  I'm alright with being "that guy".  I've decided that I will write about my days in the life of an educational leader but when the time strikes, I will write about my personal life.  This is one of the times I am taking a little bit of time to write about what's going on in my life.

Tomorrow, my family and I will wake up early and head up to Paris, Texas.  We have some family in Paris but we aren't going there to see them, although we do plan on making a stop.  We are going to see a family we have grown close to throughout Avery's treatment for Hepatoblastoma.  They just lost their little one to Neuroblastoma.  Tomorrow is her funeral.

I have a student who fought and beat Leukemia several years ago.  I didn't know her when she was fighting and I didn't know her when sh…

The Braden Bin - 4/22/16

Some cool things that happened this week:

-  Jason Wheeler (@JasonWheelertv), a news anchor/reporter came to Barron to talk with our 5th grade students about public speaking.  They SOAKED up EVERYTHING he said.  Yeah, it's crunch time for those 5th graders with STAAR science and math and reading retakes coming up but taking a break from that grind every now and again is good for the soul, right?



-  We hosted a social media parent session titled "Your Children and Social Media".  Thursday night at 6:00 pm we had 54 families attend.  How about them apples!?
-  We talked about many of the apps we have noticed our children are using.  Mostly, the intent of the session last night was to give information to our parents about the apps and how they can MENTOR vs. MONITOR their children in the era of social media.  It was AWESOME!




Here's the slideshow we made.  I'm more of a non-scripted kind of fella so you will notice that the presentation is very minimal.  It was such…

The Braden Bin - 3/25/16

What I'm Reading:The Massive Difference between Negative and Positive Leadership

Great article from Fortune.com that I would HIGHLY suggest reading, leader or not.  I will highlight some of my favorite quotes below..."Weak leaders focus on all the things that are going wrong.  Great ones bring out the best in us.""Authentic leaders, by contrast, try to bring out the best in people.  They aim to see others' potential, to empower people to take responsibility for their actions, and to work together to make things better for all people."  "...recent scientific research shows that positive approaches to empower people is a must-have leadership trait."  


Tweet of the Week:  


It's been really windy this week.  Yesterday we supposively had 40mph wind gusts and today I thought they were the same.  I even sent a buddy of mine, who graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering the same picture I posted above and then said..
&quo…

The Braden Bin - 3/18/16

What I'm watching:




It's March and being that March is my favorite time of the year, I thought I would post an old high school basketball video.  Thanks Coach Otis for posting this in your Facebook!  This was my freshman year of high school.  This is a HUGE game every year because it is between two county rivals, Michigan City and LaPorte.  LaPorte is my high school.  Guys, this is a HIGH SCHOOL REGULAR SEASON basketball game.  Look at the people!  That is Indiana High School basketball at its' finest.  When I compare Texas High School football with Indiana High School basketball, most of the time, I just get eye rolls.  Really?  Look at that video and tell me that's not crazy! Greg Tonagel, who hit that game winning shot, was my idol.  He was every young Slicer's idol.  Slicers are my high school's mascot.  What's a slicer?  Good question.  Anyways, he went on to play at Valparaiso University and now is the head coach at Indiana Wesleyan University.  As a ma…

The Braden Bin - 3/4/16

What I'm Reading - Election Guide:  5 Education Takeaways From the Presidential Candidates 
Juuuuuust in case you are as confused as I am on who to vote for, EdWeek put out a nice election guide for us education minded folks.  When it seems as if the candidates speak about everything other than education, it's nice to know that each has their own version of a "plan".  
What I'm Reading (Bonus) -  So, Google's up to something again and this one I am VERY excited about.  Think of the implications this could have on education.  On igniting that fire in our kids for reading!  I can't wait to try it!  What I'm Watching - Plato's Allegory of the Cave by Alex Gendler

I think this video draws some very interesting parallels to our current political system.  I particularly like the quote, "Most people are not just comfortable in their ignorance but hostile to anyone who points it out.""As we go about our lives, can we be confident in what we thi…

The Braden Bin - 2/26/16

What I am watching:  

A few weeks ago, I posted a video from El Dorado High School in El Dorado, AR.  The video is titled "Students react to being called important".  It hit home like a ton of bricks.  I watched it and shared it with my staff smack dab in the middle of a highly emotional week for me.  I was able to share the video during a staff meeting but wasn't really able to say anything afterwords due to man tears.  Luckily, one of our counselors, Ms. Carreno and our 5th grade team leader, Ms. Wisler had my back.  We wondered what it would be like if we did this with elementary aged students.  Would they get it?  Would they understand what we were telling them?  Turns out, they got it.  Turns out, they understood.  Without further ado (if you haven't watched it already), here is Barron's edition of Students react to being called important!  



Website I frequent:  Wonderopolis 

This is kind of a hold on from my days in the classroom.  Wonderopolis - somebody pose…

The Braden Bin - 2/19/16

Quote I'm Pondering:  


“We spend the first year of a child's life teaching it to walk and talk and the rest of its life to shut up and sit down. There's something wrong there.” - Neil deGrasse TysonI'm doing a fun little thing on Voxer with some of my AP bros.  I just said, AP bros.  #DealWithIt.  One of us presents a topic and we all say a word to describe it and give a brief reason why we chose that word.  If any of you watch PTI on ESPN they do a segment called "What's the Word".  So, what word would you chose to "describe" that quote?My word:  Conformity - Of course we have to teach our children how to follow the law and be contributing members of society.  I think we try to mold them and conform them into something that children just aren't.  Maybe some are happy to conform, and that's fine, but what about those that aren't?  I've seen too many "nonconformist" children that have a hard time being told to shut up an…

The Braden Bin

What I'm watching:  Students react to being called important 

Thanks to @K1counselor for sharing this on Twitter!It really is a powerful video.  It shows how the words we chose to use each and every interaction with our students really are impactful, both negatively and (hopefully) positively.  We will be trying our hand at this in the upcoming weeks.  I hope to have a video to show soon!  Website that has caught my attention:  www.choose2matter.org/ Again, thank you @K1counselor for sharing this website with me!  From the website:  "When people choose to accept that they matter and that their actions count, lives and learning change, and the world changes."  I couldn't agree more!  What I am reading:  Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad I am really just getting into this book but I dig what I see so far.  It peaked my interest because one of my favorite movies, Apocalypse Now, was "adopted" from this book.  I put adopted in parenthesis because Heart of Darknes…

The Braden Bin

Welcome to the second installment of The Braden Bin, formerly known as Friday Finds.  Yep, week two and the name has already changed.  For those that know me know that it is likely to change a few dozen more times.  Just the way I am.  I'm comfortable with it.

(Haha, by the way, I actually changed the title AGAIN, while writing this blog.  It was Ben's Bin.  Oh me oh my.)

Music I'm Jamming To:  Coming Home by Leon Bridges

A blast from the past out of Ft. Worth,Texas.  That's right, not Detroit in the '60s...Ft. Worth, Texas - 2016.  Most of you probably have heard of him already but if you haven't, I'd suggest getting on the bandwagon now.  This guy is amazing and is only going to gain more popularity.  I cannot wait for his next album to come out.If you are into Vinyl, I strongly suggest picking this one up.  Bonus:  Lisa Sawyer by Leon Bridges

What I'm watching:  German Coast Guard - what are you sinking about...

Did you LOL?  I know I LOL'd when I f…

Friday Finds

I'm going to try a new experiment.

Every Friday, I'm going to tell you about some things that have peaked my interest throughout the week.  Some of the things that I share with you will be education related, some will have absolutely nothing to do with education.

The reason I am doing this is that when I find something new that I like, I get so passionate about it it's hard for me to not blab about to everybody I see, every time I open my mouth.  This will provide me that release.  I hope you enjoy!

Feel free to comment at the bottom!

Friday Finds (yo) !
Article I've enjoyed:  Why It Never Helps to Pass The Buck by Michael Hyatt  Outlines 6 Battle Tested Leadership Lessons from the Navy SEALS  A SEAL he talks about is Jocko Willink who continues to pop up on my twitter feed, podcasts that I listen to and articles that I am reading which seems interesting to me.  Pretty fascinatingly rough and tough dude.  Check him out.  

Music that's rocking my socks:  La Belle Fleu…

Let's Go Fishin'

Today, I had a teacher send me an email.

The contents of said email were, and I quote...."Are you up for a challenge?"  Followed by this picture...


Come to find out, the class is holding a contest.  
The Goal:  Pull out (with a rather flimsy fishing pole) all of the fish.   The Winner:  He/She who can do it in the shortest amount of time.  
I can't wait to see the extensions she is going to be able to do with her students with the data gathered from this fun contest!  
Anyways, being the ultimate competitor (sore loser) that I am, and the fact that I am basically a professional deep water fisherman...


I thought, "What the heck, let's fish!"  and walked rather briskly down to the room.

I did alright.  Finished in 3 minutes 7 seconds and am sitting pretty comfortably in 2nd place.  No excuses.  It took me a minute to figure it out and besides...it was my first time playing, OK!

While walking back to  my room, my brain starts to process what just happened and…