The King and I (Part II) Or…Getting to know you [better].

Remember my last post where I was going to ask questions? Here was the assignment:

I listed topics we will cover during the rest of the semester, such as self-motivation, self-management, interdependence, self-awareness, life-long learning & critical thinking, and emotional Intelligence. I asked them…

  •  What are you curious about? 
  • What problems or issues are important to you? 
  • What topics matter to you? 
  • What questions do you wish you could answer?
  • What questions or issues are not listed?

OK, Ready for the answers… (well, questions, really):

  • Will we be discussing how negative influences affect our self-management?
  • How can we avoid these negative influences?
  • Will we be doing any group assignments?
  • A lot of our journals seem like repetition. I know it’s not a question but I’m curious as to whether the journals are going to start changing a bit.
  • I hear the term – critical thinking – all the time – what is it?
  • We have already been over some of the things that I would like to have help with or would like to learn, but the things that I’m curious about is probably more about college. More into detail with the and how. I’m kind of confused about some things, maybe it’s something I could talk to more with my advisor, but if we would take a little more time to explain like paths that I or my classmates are going, it would help me.
  • The problems and issues that are important to me are thinking positive. I have a big problem with that, and sometimes I’ll stress myself out just because I think of all the bad things and none good.
  • Just as in the last two, I think the topics that matter to me would be more about college and also how to keep a positive outlook and some things to help me think positive. I wish I could really answer this because now I watch motivational videos a lot to make me think positive and think about ways around the bad things going on in my life, but I can’t answer to myself how to keep myself positive most of the time. Actually, I’m probably procrastinating, now that I read this.
  • Is medical marijuana legal on campus?
  • How can we help feed, give water to, provide healthcare for, and teach struggling countries without digging ourselves (The U.S.) into a hole?
  • I always wonder about people saying, we are going to run out of that resource or this. My question is; ‘does technology become advanced to be able to produce and sustain all resources?’
  • If I think I’m taking too many classes, is it better to just fail than drop the class and not have to pay back my financial aid?
  • Do you think everyone has their own disability from someone else’s perspective?
  • How did the mortgage people able to give big loans to people with minimum wage jobs? My family lost our house because we couldn’t keep up – seems unfair. Will we talk about money and finances in this class?
  • Am I really dependent on the guy sitting next to me? Weird.
  • Why is minimum wage so low; I have three jobs now, and I need to get another. Do you have any ideas?
  • I’m really overloaded. When I registered for all my classes I didn’t have a job. Now I have two, and I’m really having trouble keeping up. Should I quit school or just take less?
  • Will we have someone talk to us about big money careers? I’m sick of scraping by.
  • The topics that matter to me are how to read a d___ textbook. How come I was not showed this in high school? I could do much better if I was.
  • Why are there so many essays and papers?
  • How come we have to get so much material online?
  • I paid my tuition with a credit card and now I’m behind paying them. Does this mean the college will drop me if they find out? I don’t know who to talk to.
  • What if I don’t like a person in my group?
  • If I have a problem with another professor, would you go with me to talk to them?
  • Will we have employers or colleges come talk to us about jobs?
  • Do you know of any jobs that would work well while I went to school? Are we going to discuss this?
  • Do you give job references?

Next week should be fun!  We’ll have a lot to talk about for sure.  I don’t think I’ll get everything answered in one class, but I’ll try to incorporate things into class.

So, I guess they don’t know what they don’t know.

 

The King and I…

      “It’s a very ancient saying,

      But a true and honest thought;Anna

      That if you become a teacher,

      By your pupils you’ll be taught.

      As a teacher, I’ve been learning;

      You’ll forgive me if I boast,

      And I’ve now become an expert on the subject I like most…

     Getting to know you.”                                              [Cue music…]https://youtu.be/1o1t-PhkFAQ]

(Are you singing yet?!)

OK, now that I have your attention, this submission is NOT about a King, or about Anna, but it IS about getting to know you (or better, getting to know your students, and them getting to know you.

Seriously, I’ve found myself wondering why this student is always late to class; why this one always forgets to bring a pencil; or why that student just can’t read the assignment before class. OK, now take this one step further – why do I breeze into class, load them with a ton of content that leaves little time for thinking, questions, or even a conversation about the what – how – why – what’s next – why do it – why are we learning this – why am I teaching this?

I happen to read an article somewhere recently about getting students thinking by turning an assignment into a question to help me get to know the students and what they are thinking – or what they are already thinking about. See, 90% of my First Year Experience (FYE) class students are first generation college students. They don’t know what they don’t know, but I cannot answer if I don’t know what they are thinking about, where they are, and what issues and concerns they have at this point in the semester.

I’m going to try this experiment in my FYE class; not the typical assignment to ask them to ANSWER questions. Nope, this will be different. I’m asking them to ASK questions.

So, here’s my assignment:

Class:  We are one-fourth the way into the semester. Listed below are topics we will cover during the rest of the semester:

  • Self-motivation
  • Self-management
  • Interdependence
  • Self-awareness
  • Life-long learning & critical thinking
  • Emotional Intelligence

What are you curious about? 

What problems or issues are important to you? 

What topics matter to you? 

What questions do you wish you could answer?

What questions or issues are not listed?

Think carefully about this assignment.  Although there are no wrong questions, some questions are better than others. Generally, yes/no questions aren’t going to be as interesting to consider as issues and questions with many possibilities.

 The questions you raise will help to shape the direction of the rest of our semester and what topics we will cover more in depth. So, take a little time to think about questions.  Even if you think the issue has nothing to do with anyone else in class, it probably does.  So if you are puzzled by something, please include it.

 There is no special format – it can be written or video. I look forward to your “questions”!

I think I’m going to like this…Stay tuned.

 -Chris

‘Final’ Projects & “I’ll finish up…really”

“Oh, and I need (deserve?) an A.”

In most of my classes, I’ve learned the hard way to not give students too many points before they get to a final exam or final project. Yep, in one of my first semesters, I did just that. Students who turned in all the weekly assignments had enough points to get a B in the class. Yikes! Needless to say, most of the student taking the final exam were those who didn’t complete all the weekly assignments. So how do I get students to complete all the assignments and think ‘completion’?

In the “Pathways to Prosperity” study by the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2011, it states that only 29 percent of those who start two-year degrees finish them within three years, and just 56 percent of college students complete four-year degrees within six years.

The United States has the highest dropout rate in the industrialized world, according to a Harvard analysis of data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Oh, there are high-profile cases of dropouts-made-good like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, but the majority who don’t finish are not so fortunate.

I’ve tried a lot of things- incentives, including food, prizes, free assignments…it seems if they aren’t going to finish, they aren’t going to finish. So, what to do?

Here’s what I’ve tried this semester:

  • $1 Million Bill (fake) – for being engaged in class and contributing to the discussion (my call). If they get $10 Mil, they get a prize. The prize can be a drink at the snack bar, homemade cookies, YC logo cups – it can even be a kazoo.
  • Late assignment coupons (not new, but Mark Shelley is on the right path). I just want to see the assignments; even if they are late. Yep, some points may be taken off if they are really late, but I’m getting at least something.
  • Early Alert system – this has really helped for students who have seemed to fall of the surface of the earth. One student missed 2 weeks of class, did not respond to any of my emails, or calls. She just had some family stuff and ‘forgot’ to call or email me (!!)
  • Personal notes – One student was quite surprised that I mailed her a note that I was concerned about her. She said it was the first note ever from any teacher (!!). Yep, I felt good about that one.
  • Have fun in class! For one class we went outside. For another class we had it in the snack bar. For another class we took a short walk during class and had our discussions that way.

I’m happy to say that out of 20 students, I’m finishing with 18, and they are all passing at this point. I’m going to stay positive and believe that they will all complete successfully.  I can’t guarantee the “A”, but most will be pleased with their grade.  Did what I do in class help?  Perhaps.

Being Good Citizens and Digital Citizenshttps

Monday afternoon I read a Blog from Edutopia on what students really need to know about digital citizenship in a Blog by Vicki Davis. Edutopia, founded by the Hollywood guy, George Lucas (Star Wars fame) says it’s a K-12 site, but I’ve gleaned many a suggestion off this site for many a thing. Vicki’s Blog really hit home with some really good advice because we had a conversation in class regarding digital bullying and privacy protections.

eagle scout badgeDigital communications today is everywhere and in everything. If you don’t participate or include it, you won’t be successful. I just assumed that most – if not all – of my traditional age students would be savvy to digital anything. But to have a student share in this day and age that they don’t understand how someone used their information and pictures in a very wrong way is surprising. I guess I just thought they understood digital citizenship, how to protect your information, copyright, and professionalism. Don’t students understand that the professionalism of academics vs. how they interact in social situations is different? I assumed they would. Don’t they understand that unintentional statements or actions in our global business and social environment can have some really bad unintended consequences? I assumed they would. Evidently, they don’t have the skills to work out problems either. Do we have to remind them to be intentional on what they share? Evidently so.

Ms. Davis’s blog was about students being good digital citizens and how it impacts all learning and communication. She talks about the “9 Key Ps” of digital citizenship and communication: Passwords, Privacy, Personal Information, Photographs, Property, Permission, Protection, Professionalism, and Personal Branding, and how to use these keys.

So, in today’s class after Sheila Jarrell talked about student records, transcripts, the importance and responsibility to ensure that information is correct, we talked about “digital citizenship” and what that means to them. We were all over the place! Even at week 11 in the semester, most did not really understand copyright, or rights of themselves and others who create intellectual property, or the importance of citation. They did not seem to get why they can’t use an image from Google and not go to the actual source to see if there is permission needed (oh, and then cite it).

I asked them what they have posted of Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn right now – lots of sharing. Some had cell phone numbers and PO Boxes; even birthdays and addresses. Then I asked if they would share this with a co-worker. “Probably.” Would you share it with your supervisor? “Maybe Not.” Would you share it with the world? “No.”   I asked why. Responses were “Only my ‘friends’ will see it” – to “It doesn’t matter” – to “My privacy settings are good.” Really?!! Oh my goodness!

OK, so then we talked about information they saw or read on their media – what do they do with it? Well, they share it – they forward it – they respond to it – they slam it – whatever you can imagine, it’s done. Being a good digital citizen also means not using others’ information or property as well. Yep, that was confusing too. Frankly, I’m shocked. I will say, they did have a lot of knowledge on viruses and malware, but several of them had been hacked. Don’t ask me about their passwords (!!).digital think

The last part of class was that I could find them with little or no information. How surprised they were when I found them, their families, their addresses, and even their cell phones in a matter of minutes. So, if I can do this, what about a potential college, or an employer? We talked about what that employer might see and read. Some were deleting information immediately. (The conversation about where it goes will have to wait!)

Citizenship – digital citizenship – are abilities and awareness that students need to navigate the world, including communication in forms that have not even been created. Citizenship is what we do to fulfill our role as an inhabitant of the earth. Yes, I guess I expected these skills when they came to college and I, for one, was surprised that they didn’t have them. I wonder what experiences your students have had in your classes about citizenship .

Adaptability & A Theme Park – Part 2

In last week’s post I told you about my FYE103 Class and the “Adaptability” exercise involving a Theme Park presentation at a City Council Meeting and the groups involved in the discussion and decision.

Groups were given a Flip chart. They had 20 minutes to determine their position/arguments and address following questions to present to the town council:

  • What would your group like to happen to the land?
  • How does your decision affect the others in the scenario (i.e., people)?
  • How does this affect the environment in the short- and long-term?  What are your interests and priorities?

Each group presented to the town council (the class). A panel of ‘expert evaluators’ critiqued positions by asking questions of each group. They had 20 minutes to determine their position/arguments and address following questions to present to the town council:

  • What would your group like to happen to the land?
  • How does your decision affect the others in the scenario (i.e., people)?
  • How does this affect the environment in the short- and long-term?  What are your interests and priorities?

Group #1  –  A co-op of Family Commercial Farmers who own the land and are torn between cultivating it and selling to developers.

Group #2 –   A group of local conservationists who wish to preserve the land for endangered species and recreational activities, such as bird watching, hiking, etc. This land was given to the City by a founding family who wish it preserved for all wildlife, but did not state thus in the will.

Group #3 –  A Lumber Company that wants to harvest timber from the land. This company harvests the timber sustainably, and currently has harvesting rights with the landowners on the same property as the one wishing to be developed.

Group #4 – A group of townspeople who want the Theme Park and tourism revenue generated by it. One is the Mayor of the town; under pressure to lower taxes and increase tourism or business. One is a small business owner who would like to see increased business diversity and revenue. One is the Chamber, one is an unemployed lumber worker laid off because of dwindling timber supply.

So, what happened?! 

In Part I – Group discussion and presentations were WOW! The discussions were incredible.  Without being told to, they came up with various slogans:  “Adapt or Die”; who needs Timber anyway? Jobs-Jobs-Jobs!  Say No to Development!   Remember, your house is built from our land! Save the wolves – and their friends! What kind of business do you want here? How to have fun with your kids. Progress is coming!  They had some group members on the computer looking up statistics and articles on their behalf.  Right away, two of the groups talked about how they could work with other groups to provide “development with a heart”, and would share the property.

In Part II – Each group was given 5 minutes to not only rebut any negative statements, but to find a way to work with at least ONE other group on this project.  Well, not only did they do this, but they ALL came up with ways to work with ALL groups!  Here’s how:

  • Group #1 Co-op Farmers would  grow and harvest crops for the food service in the Theme Park in exchange for a large enough area to do this (5 acres); they would work with Group #2 to have them help with growing and taking care of the land and its animals;  they would work with Group #3 to buy the timber to both build raised beds in the gardening area, but also a planting shed, and fence between them and the Theme park; they would work with Group #4 to have a pick-your-own area for locals, and locals get special prices into the Theme park and its restaurants.
  • Group #2 Conservationists would provide personnel in particular Eco-areas of the Theme Park, as well as guided tours in exchange for 20 acres and the park being open from 9 am – 6 pm daily, and not at night so as to not be light-polluting to birds and other wildlife; they would allow Group 1 to grow and harvest crops for local eateries; they would allow the Timber Company to not only harvest usable timber, but also build benches and other structures for birdwatching and other wildlife viewing.  They would also provide activities and classes for the Theme park on endangered species.
  • Group #3 Lumber Company would work with Group #4 to provide ‘green’ buildings and work to leave as many trees as possible on the land; they would work with Group 1 to only clear what was on their 5 acres; build their raised beds, and also provide mulch for crops and walkways; they would work with Group 2 to provide mulch for walkways and structures for animal watching.
  • Group #4 Theme park developer decided to work with the town to use sustainably harvested timber on their buildings, but also crops from the Farmers Co-op in any eatery or food service on the park grounds.  It would also provide an eco-themed activity for Group #1 and #2 for all patrons into the park.  They would also give local residents a discount, and only be open daylight hours.

I was impressed by the way they discussed and analyzed this information, but especially impressed by the way all groups wanted to work with others – not because I told them to do so.

 

Adaptability & A Theme Park

Adaptability:park 2

  • (Latin: adaptō “fit to, adjust”) is a feature of a system or of a process. Adaptability in humans is a personality trait, and refers to how long it takes a person to adjust to change over time (as opposed to an initial reaction). Adaptation is about leaving – or being forced from – your comfort zone.

Adaptability is about change. Every second of every day, we are adapting to change – and we must. As Henry Louis Menken … said “Change is not Progress”. You can change and still not adapt to differences to move forward.  Adaptability is always values-based, and yet values can change throughout your life. When you meet a situation for the first time that requires you to adapt in some way, your “line in the sand” is always your values.

So, what does this have to do with a Theme Park? Well, in my FYE 103 class, a lot. In discussing adaptability, I didn’t want to just show a movie or PowerPoint, so I used a “Theme Park” as a way to think about our values – our adapting to others’ views – our adapting to change, which is what college is all about (especially that first year). Here’s how it was laid out:

park 1The Park: Theme Park developers from New York want to construct a theme park on a particular large tract of land in your town, which is a natural habitat for an endangered species of wolf. This tract is also adjacent to other large tracts – one owned by a sustainable timber company, which offers both jobs and recreation for the town, and the other a long-time family farm. Your town has struggled to bounce back from the recession a few years ago, and some businesses have closed or cut back. The town’s population is approximately 10,000, but is on the outside edge of a large metropolitan ‘hub’ with a variety of big-box stores, small business, shopping, hotels, cinemas, and the like with a population of about 55, 000.

The Community Council is meeting tonight. As you can imagine, there is a lot of debate, angst, and accusations in your community. There were basically four groups attending the Community Council to make a presentation on their view:

  1. Three-generation family farm who own the land and are torn between cultivating it and selling to developers.  One of you has a child who wants to attend college abroad; thus, there is pressure for immediate income. One of you has an elderly parent who needs income
  2. Conservationist group who wish to preserve the land for endangered species
  3. A Lumber company that sustainably harvests timber from the land, and has a current agreement for this property to harvest a portion of the timber
  4. Townspeople who want the tourism revenue generated by either a natural preserve or amusement park

Process

Groups were given a Flip chart. They had 20 minutes to determine their position/arguments and address following questions to present to the town council:

  • What would your group like to happen to the land?
  • How does your decision affect the others in the scenario (i.e., people)?
  • How does this affect the environment in the short- and long-term?  What are your interests and priorities?

Each group presented to the town council (the class). A panel of ‘expert evaluators’ critiqued positions by asking questions of each group.

Group #1     A co-op of Family Commercial Farmers who own the land and are torn between cultivating it and selling to developers.

One has a child who wants to attend college out-of-state; thus, there is pressure for immediate income.  One has an elderly parent who needs income.  One is aging yourself and could use the money for your retirement funds.

Presented information on:

  • Statistics on farm-to-market increased sales
  • Statistics of people who want fresh, organic produce – to buy and at restaurants
  • Farming areas that are changing in the news – stories of developers changing the landscape, but keeping local flavor

Group #2    A group of local conservationists who wish to preserve the land for endangered species and recreational activities, such as bird watching, hiking, etc. This land was given to the City by a founding family who wish it preserved for all wildlife, but did not state thus in the will.

This time it’s wolves but your group has won cases before on other endangered animals as well.

One is the one spearheading this organization, is the former landowner’s great grandson. One is the Club President; most of you are wealthy, powerful members. One  is a hired lobbyist for this group. Most other members are also members of the Sierra Club and other conservationist organizations.

Presented information on:

  • Statistics on conserved land given by individuals; surrounding land of the Nature Conservancy; Sierra Club; Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
  • Statistics on other conserved land developed in a good way – one that conserves land as well as developing for business
  • Stories of land that has been preserved and why; or land that is shared and why

 Group #3     A Lumber Company that wants to harvest timber from the land

Your company harvests the timber sustainably, and currently have harvesting rights with the landowners on the same property as the one wishing to be developed.

One is the company’s right-of-way representative, and believe the developers are encroaching on neighboring land for which harvesting rights have been in place for a 100 years.  One is a landowner on whose property the Company harvests timber. One  is the spouse of a nearby lumber-mill employee whose mill has seen decreasing timber in an increasing population.

Information presented:

  • Company reputation for sustainable timber harvest; you even give away Christmas trees to the local population
  • Growth of population in the area; lack of available housing
  • Cost of construction materials; lack of building materials nearby, thus making new construction and remodeling expensive
  • Statistics/articles on timber companies sharing resources with landowners, developers, and conservative groups
  • Loss of job in the area with loss of timber jobs

Group #4 – A group of townspeople who want the Theme Park and tourism revenue generated by it.

One is the Mayor of the town; under pressure to lower taxes and increase tourism or business. One is a small business owner who would like to see increased business diversity and revenue One is the Chamber One is an unemployed lumber worker laid off because of dwindling timber supply

Information presented:

  • Stats on revenue being generated by tourism development and theme parks
  • Articles on theme parks and types of businesses added because of it
    • Areas like Disneyland and Disney World; 6 Flags, and the surrounding areas
  • Increased jobs from tourism and / or theme parks
  • International tourism

We had “Experts” in our audience who asked questions of the 4 groups:

Expert #1                                                                                                          

A farm1representative from the Family Farmer Co-op member who owns land in the next county, but on the opposite side of land to be developed.  They have been approached by these developers as well; they are torn between keeping and cultivating your land, or selling.

He/she chose to keep your farm because of the resurgence of the farm-to-table movement in recent years, and you have seen a marked increase in sales to local grocers and restaurants. They know that several farmers sell overseas, and it’s been a real boon to the co-op too. Membership has increased to include both grocers and restaurant owners in your area, and you are getting pressure from them to leave it as it is – great farmland.  They also have Co-op members who have given up farming – their kids don’t want to take it over – some went to work in town to send their kids away to college; some have aging parents; some are aging themselves and could use the money.

Expert #2                                                                                                                             

A local Chamber of Commerce Director who would like to see the land preserved, but who also has seen increased tourism revenue generated by either both natural preserves and amusement parks. This type of development could be a real boon to the area, but would like to see it scaled back a little, and understand the mixture of feelings from the townspeople.  He/she has Chamber members and friends who own small businesses or manage some of the big box stores – and some involved with the entertainment industry who have put some pressure on you to increase traffic and revenue in the area.  This person is considering running for Mayor next term, so you want to maintain good relationships with whoever ‘wins’ this debate.

Expert # 3  farm2                                                                                                                         

A retired Lumber Company Executive who understands the needs of population boom in the immediate and surrounding areas and the lack of affordable housing. He/she has seen timber prices increase substantially, but they are also an avid outdoors person who understands that conservation and conservative timber harvest can and do work.   This person has stayed in the area, but have seen taxes increased because of the lack of new business and jobs available, and have considered moving. This person has friends still working at the Lumber Company. He/she knows the Mayor and the Chamber Director.

So, what happened?

Part I: Group discussion and presentation. OK – now the fun begins.  WOW! The discussions were incredible.  Without being told to, they came up with various slogans:  “Adapt or Die”; who needs Timber anyway? Jobs-Jobs-Jobs!  Say No to Development!   Remember, your house is built from our land! Save the wolves – and their friends! What kind of business do you want here? How to have fun with your kids. Progress is coming! 

They had some groups members on the computer looking up statistics and articles on their behalf.  Right away, two of the groups talked about how they could work with other groups to provide “development with a heart”, and would share the property.

Anyway, Part II will explain who adapted to whom and what, and what finally occurred during the Council Meeting…stayed tuned!

Tangents

Tangent2Todd’s message referring us to Harvard’s Teaching & Learning last week was interesting – and Joe Blatt’s “Three Puzzles of Pedagogy got me to thinking. He states his second mystery is “the paradox of preparation.  I can’t go into a class session without a detailed map of the points I want to convey, plans for discussions and other activities I hope students will find engaging, and an explicit list of the ideas I want students to leave thinking about.” He states further that this preparation gives him the “chance to be more spontaneous.”

I agree, especially when you have class two times a week for 1-1/2 hours. It goes fast!

Going off on tangents – sometimes – is a good thing. I make detailed notes on each class; then I go back and rank my notes – yes, rank them according to the time I have. What’s the most important topic / things I want students to know when they leave class? Oh, I want to give them interesting content, sure, but also some great resources or links to find out more.

But most of all, I want to give them inspiration to go beyond what’s written in the textbook – what’s on the PowerPoint or Video or Prezi – what’s beyond the discussion in the class or online.   I want to give them a reason to look further – to go beyond that day or class’s learning – to be inspired by a story.

So. Think about “tan·gent”; from the Latin tangent, or “touching; from the verb, tangere. Some definitions:

  1. A straight line or plane that touches a curve or curved surface at a point, but if extended does not cross it at that point.
  2. A completely different line of thought or action. “He quickly went off on a tangent about wrestling”
  3. Mathematics: the trigonometric function that is equal to the ratio of the sides (other than the hypotenuse) opposite and adjacent to an angle in a right triangle.

 

 A straight line or plane that touches a curve or curved surface at a point, but if extended does not cross it at that point.

 Think about this in terms of teaching. How many times do we focus on our “point”, and approach it in many ways; bending and curving our way to ‘touch’ students – without crossing – so that they come into their own understanding to the subject. Sometimes when I ‘go off on a tangent’ – I may seem like I’m wandering in the beginning. It may be a personal observation or story. It may be an event that I can then tie back into my subject. I always have the plan to come back to the subject.

 A completely different line of thought or action. “He quickly went off on a tangent about wrestling”

Sometimes, a totally different or new thought expands the subject and the class lesson – Students thing about a topic in a whole new way. For example, if I’m teaching horticulture and the zones of plant species, my tangent may go to farm-to-table, or hunger, and the effects on plant diversity. The subject is still horticulture, but the tangent enhances my subject. In teaching business, my tangents are usually about entrepreneurs and how they change the local economy (for good and bad). I might go off on a tangent – or tell a story of owning my own business – on how certain business changed the economic landscape. Again, the topic is the same; my plan is in place, but the tangent makes is interesting and more in depth.

Mathematics: the trigonometric function that is equal to the ratio of the sides (other than the hypotenuse) opposite and adjacent to an angle in a right triangle.

OK – I’ll have to ponder this one! In Business Communications, we have a ‘trial’ on a current event. SO, I guess I’ll take off on a tangent equal to the “right side” opposite [to the affirmative side] and adjacent to an angle [uncommitted side] in a right triangle [OK, I’m really lost!] Perhaps this one won’t work!

tangentSo, try going off on a tangent in your class. Make sure that class plan is in your pocket, but allow yourself the freedom to be spontaneous. Who knows, your students may just have some fun learning.