Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Financial Fallout for an Institutional Lack of Moral Courage

Update from an earlier story we discussed in class last year

As a result of former Penn State Football coach Jerry Sandusky's     (age 69) sexual abuse and assault of a number of innocent children over the past few decades; Penn State has paid $59.7 million dollars to 26 young men who were abused. Sandusky is serving a 30 to 60 year state prison sentence due to his conviction of 45 criminal counts of child abuse. 

There was an earlier report to Penn State authorities from a janitor who witnessed the sexual abuse of a young boy in a Penn State shower room by Jerry Sandusky. It was "looked into" by the Penn State authorities but no legal action was taken with law enforcement. Years later an assistant coach, Jim McCready witnessed a similar act and reported it to authorities and law enforcement was involved. 

Final Comment: There is no amount of money that can buy back an institution's integrity when it was lost due a lack of moral courage from the institution's leaders....

Monday, October 28, 2013

Weekly Activities October 28 to November 1.

Monday and Tuesday: (Focus) Public Speaking. The assignment is to draft a 2 to 3 minute impromptu on the topic of their cadet innovation project (Big Idea Project). They are to rehearse the content of the speech to include the timing. They will give the speeches in class on Monday and finishing them on Tuesday.

Wednesday: (Focus) Uniform Inspection.  Senior Naval Science Instructor conducts a weekly personnel inspection assessing: appearance in uniform, cadet knowledge, and bearing. This event is a test where they receive a grade.

Thursday: (Focus)  Thinking About Associations: What People and Organizations and Areas of Interest are Related to their Big Idea Project. Prior to the development of a future research plan for their cadet innovation project, the students will be brainstorming what individuals, what organizations, and what other related areas of interest are related to their Big Idea Project. They will graphically depict this brainstorming session with a mindmap graphic. The intent is start to make associations with the people and organizations they can research to determine the potential to network with them in the future. Additionally, I want them to determine what associated areas or interest can be linked to their innovation concept for their project topic.

Friday: (Focus) Assessment of In Class Association Assignment and Initial Research Link. 
Instructor reviews student association brainstorming graphic and discusses student progress on their project at this point. They are also required to provide an on-line link that they have discovered in their initial research.

Monday Back to Public Speaking and Reconnecting

Public Speaking is a critical skill for a Senator Cadet! Whether it is a big project classroom presentation, a job interview at McDonald's, an impromptu speech in English class, presenting your answer and thought process in Math class, or a chance meeting with someone important to your future. Those that can speak in a public setting (as listed above) in a clear well thought out manner with enthusiasm and confidence will stand out and be sought after by many organizations. The picture listed above is of a BMHS student giving a speech as a member of the Center For Youth Leadership (CYLF) at a public event with her state senator in attendance. 

Impromptu Speech

For today (Monday), you will be given the following task: 
Develop an impromptu speech about your "Big Idea" (your innovation project) that is 2 to 3 minutes in length.

You are not limited to but, cover the following areas in your speech

  • Describe your Big Idea
  • What effect does your Big Idea have on others?
Be prepared to give your speeches on Tuesday and the remainder on Wednesday which is uniform day. 


On Tuesday in class with the aid of a computer (class computer or BYOD/ Smart phone), show me a quality link on the Internet that is connected to you Big Idea.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Classroom Activities for Week of 21 to 25 October 2013

Monday: (Focus) Review the BMHS Schoolwide Rubric: Problem Solving / Critical Thinking / Innovation Rubric as a Tool To Guide You In Your Big Idea Project (STEM-S Innovation Project).

Using the BMHS developed schoolwide rubric for Problem Solving / Critical thinking / Innovation (Revision 6/2013) we discussed the use of this rubric to guide our (individual student and teacher) efforts in their year long Cadet Innovation Project (AKA Your Big Idea Project). We discussed the criteria and how the criteria would be sequenced during the project. We also discussed the assessment criteria (basic, developing, goal, exemplary) that they (the student) would use to assess themselves and that the teacher would use to assess to meet their Innovation project expectations.

Tuesday: (Focus)  Getting Connected: Technology Admin for Upperclassmen).

I will select three students to assist in administrative support technology functions required for students to use the class blog (Senator's Cadets) and conduct the higher level of research required for their innovation project. I use a number of Google applications so they need to be connected.

  • Station One: Collect Student email addresses to establish connectivity to them
  • Station Two and Three: Assisting their registration to classroom blog as a member, having them make a test post (comment), and downloading the free App Blogger to their smartphones since we use them in class (BYOD) as additional computers. 
  • Find a quality secondary source from the Internet that pertains to your Innovation project. 

Wednesday (Short Day): (Focus) Uniform Inspection.  Senior Naval Science Instructor conducts a weekly personnel inspection assessing: appearance in uniform, cadet knowledge, and bearing. This event is a test where they receive a grade.

Thursday: (Focus) Welcome Back NJROTC Video and Military Ball Brief. The Commander of Naval Service Training Command and a Powerpoint Brief for our annual Military Ball.
  • Welcome Back NJROTC Video: CDR, NSTC welcomes cadets back and talks about the expectations for cadets in our citizen development program to set the example and discussions on avoiding substance abuse, hazing and bullying, sexual harassment and assault prevention, proper conduct and behavior, and safety in the form of Operational Risk Management (ORM).

  • Military Ball Brief: Educate the cadets about our annual event

Friday: (Focus) Stretching for Stress Management and Team Communication Drill.

Stretching: Due to the weather there will be no outdoor activity, but we will conduct a student led group stretch for the purposes of maintaining flexibility and as a form of stress management.

Team Communication Drill: Each class is broken down into 3 person teams. They participate in a competitive air hockey competition where it is single elimination. Two team members (as observers) direct the third team member who is blind folded to play the game. They are interdependent of one another and need to function as a team to be effective. After a winner is announced, then we conduct a group debrief discussion on the whiteboard. (See picture below)

Safety Brief for the weekend.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


TIME TO ACTUALLY GET STARTED ON YOUR BIG IDEA PROJECT!!! You are going to actually give "birth" to your big idea that is going to have an impact on the world... home... school... neighborhood...community...church...team...organization...city... state... country...or the globe.


Class ActivityBased on our last class and blog entry, you were tasked to be ready to state your innovative big idea in today's class. 

1. Look at the whiteboard in the front of the class, and you will see five different colored papers with an innovation category (STEM-Social) written on each. 

Innovation Categories and Corresponding Colors: 
Science: Red, Technology: Orange, Engineering: Blue, Math: Brown
Social: Green

2. Take two minutes and confirm what category you are curious or passionate about (this guidance is not new to you). Go to the back of the room and take a small colored piece of paper associated with the innovation category your big idea originates from and return to your seats. 

3. Teacher will groups students by their innovation category (colored piece of paper) into small fishbowl (circular) groups. 

Group interaction: 

Small Group: One person at a time presents their "big idea" to your group and each person provides feedback, not agreement or disagreement to their idea. They rotate until each person has presented their idea and received & provided feedback. 

Large Group (Class): Once small group interaction is done then, they will each present their idea to the entire class which provides their idea to exposure to the potential collaboration with other ideas from other categories. 

4. Each student will write their big idea on their colored piece of paper and turn it into teacher by the end of class. 

The Big Idea Journey has begun, you have taken the first step....

When Was the Last Time You Heard a Reporter Offer a Balanced (Albeit Emotional) Perspective?

Current Affairs Update: We have talked about the Affordable Healthcare Act...the Debt Crisis...the Housing Crisis...the Debt Ceiling...considerable discussion in the media about what is wrong with our country and unfortunately depending upon the political slant of the particular news channel you will often hear the media blame one particular party or another. 

Word / Concept Bank:
Apolitical      News Media   Freedom of Speech    Fourth Estate  Press   Bias    Media Bias

Let's watch a video (with some biases of its own) that talks about the cost of Media Bias on our Elections: 

Classroom Activity / Associated Homework:

1. Form into three separate groups.

2. Watch the first video which is of a MSNBC media reporter getting emotional but voicing what appears to be a balanced perspective of blame towards both parties and the demand for the POTUS to step up and lead the country to start to fix this crisis.

3. Review & Discuss the Word / Concept Bank as a class.

4. Watch the second video on Media Bias which gives a look at how a CNN Reporter (typically viewed as a liberal reports about the Tea Party (grassroots ultra Conservative Republican party group).

5. Discuss your impressions as a group and your HOMEWORK is to make an individual blog entry (minimum of a paragraph) of your opinion whether or not you think their is bias in our news media? and why?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What Does Courage Look Like?

You have heard of the Navy SEALs from SEAL Team 6. We look at athletes who play hurt and still perform as being courageous. These are people who make a choice to participate in the activities that put them in challenging situations. How about a 15 year old girl? Can she be courageous? How many of you heard of Malala?

She has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, listen to her message and attitude:

What Is The Message Malala teaches us? What do you think of her message...?

Small Group Discussion: Break up into small 3 person groups and discuss. Be prepared to discuss in class afterward. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Changed the Name..Your Big Idea Project

I called it your Cadet Innovation Project (CIP), but I am not sure if we need a Name Change. We talked about Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Social oriented projects you can choose and develop in order for YOU to change the school, your community, city, state, country, or the World???





Here is a video that talks about Social Innovation and the creation process: 

Here is a video on the importance of STEM Education: 

So What Is Your Big Idea To Change Somebody's World...?

Is it related to: 

Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, or a Social Topic...?

Homework for the Long Weekend

1. Watch both videos for background. 
2. Determine your first guess on YOUR BIG IDEA for your Innovation Project and Bring it (Your Big Idea) to class on Tuesday. 


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

What Did Your Group Get Done...? Camouflaged Socializing vs Getting Something Done

As we hear Ashton's words of wisdom, what do you think??? 

  • Do you need to be some other than you are to be successful?
  • Opportunity looks like Hard Work. (Agree or disagree)
  • Being SMART, THOUGHTFUL, and GENEROUS is what...?
  • Is your present state of productivity (getting your work done) the way it is?

What does the phrase WORK ETHIC mean? (Click on the hyperlink)

Think of what Ashton said in relation to the INDIVIDUAL work ethic of each of you during this assignment so far and the GROUP work ethic of your debate group. 

How would you describe your group's performance so far?

Period 2?
Period 4?
Period 6?
Period 7?

Sunday, October 6, 2013


Learning to Debate In Class

1. Watch the Link Above the Picture.

2. Re-watch the Affordable Healthcare Act Video from the previous post.

3. Form up into two debate groups FOR and AGAINST the Affordable Healthcare Act. Two students (one male & one female)  will be the moderators and will structure and run the debate. Debaters Conduct research on Monday night and be prepared to debate on Tuesday in class.

4. Each Debate Team will present an Opening Statement (2 minutes) and two main points (1 1/2 minutes each). Each team will use some visual aid during the debate. There may be an opposing question and answer period if there is time available. 

5. We will also assess the group dynamic of each debate team to determine a baseline for future group work. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

What is Going On With Our Government???

What is Going On with our Government...?  Debt Ceiling...Debt Crisis....? Sequestration....Obama-care...Housing Bubble...Hedge Funds....Unemployment and Underemployment....

WORD / CONCEPT BANK: Lets discuss what some of these terms mean

3 Branches of Govt          3 Levels of Govt      Budget     Debt     Deficit     Taxes     
Types of Taxes     Politics     Healthcare    Insurance Companies   Premiums   Uninsured  Underinsured   Pre-exisitng medical condition     

Question: How do people pay for Healthcare? (Use salary or receive a job benefit)

Lets take a look at this thing they call the Debt limit...

Now lets look at Affordable Healthcare or Obama Care...

Now lets take a look at the federal government shutdown...

This video is the stereotypical "Its politics and its boring and I am sure it will just get fixed..."

This video is a more balanced overview: See how it impacts on a family...?

Final Comment:  One of the reasons the citizenry of America are in this situation is because many Americans remain uninformed about what the government they elected is doing or not doing. If individual citizens take a "what is in it for me" attitude instead of "what is best for our country" attitude than this problem will continue to get worse until our country's stability is further eroded. This attitude can manifest itself in the politicians who represent us at the local, state, and federal level. If a politician supports and votes for issues primarily because of "what is best for my political party" instead of "what is best for our country" this will accelerate our national issues at home and abroad. 

Homework: For tonight

1. Watch the Affordable Healthcare Video (9 minutes) with an Adult in your House and Discuss its impact on you.

2. Make a blog entry in the comment section (at end) of this posting that captures the main point of your discussion at home about the video. (Include what period you are in and first name only).