BIG Questions Institute Bi-Weekly Update
November 8, 02023, No. 159 (Read online)
Making the Most of Uncertainty
One of the resources we often cite in our work in schools is a piece titled "Our Brains Were Not Built for this Much Uncertainty" from the Harvard Business Review. The tl;dr version is that when familiar patterns in life begin to fall apart or appear less controllable, our brains react with a threat response, and the negative impacts on our mood and our productivity can be profound.
In liminal, in-between times such as these when so many narratives of how we live on the planet are breaking, uncertainty can become paralyzing. And as we're seeing on almost a daily basis, a common response is to narrow our gaze, to try to stop the bleeding of change, and to hold on more tightly to the remnants of what used to "work."
Even when it's obvious that much of what we're holding on to won't "work" any longer.
But might we learn to see uncertainty as an opportunity, not a threat? To use it as a spark to create new narratives that are more just and relevant and healthy for all living things?
What if, as mythologist Martin Shaw asks, we "reframed 'living with uncertainty' to 'navigating mystery'?"
As he says:
Arguably, nowhere do we need more of "the hum of imaginative voltage" than in schools. Nowhere is the narrative more uncertain and tenuous than the one that suggests that an "education" in a time of intense change and complexity is something that is delivered to students based on the past and not experienced by students in real life with a focus on the future.
And honestly, to suffer (as we must) through the liminal and not contribute to the creation of what comes next is indefensible, especially in education.
This is our moment to collectively write the next story of education, not out of a sense of fear, but with wonder, awe, and curiosity.
What will we imagine and create together?
Homa and Will
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The newsletter was shortened for publication here. To read the full text, follow this link -> https://ckarchive.com/b/xmuph6hrx5lw5trnppvnqc0w0ezll
Saturday, November 11, 2023
Monday, August 21, 2023
Next Books to Go is August 22. Hope your summer is filled with good people and good books!
Monday, August 14, 2023
Next Books to Go is August 15. Hope your summer is filled with good people and good books!
Monday, August 7, 2023
Next Books to Go is August 8th. Hope your summer is filled with good people and good books!
Tuesday, July 25, 2023
Next Books to Go is August 8th. Hope your summer is filled with good people and good books!
Saturday, July 8, 2023
On Sunday, 7/9, "I’ll be Jim Freeman’s guest on his “Target Ship Radio” program on @womrwfmr to talk about “Cape Cod & The Portland Gale of 1898,” plus he’ll be playing some of my favorite tunes.
Jim’s on from 1-4 pm; I’ll be on at 2.
On Cape, you can listen at 92.1 or 91.3 FM, or worldwide at WOMR.org."
Thursday, June 15, 2023
Welcome to the 2023 Summer Reading webpage!
This year's theme is Find Your Voice!
We are setting the stage for a summer full of fun adventures, and lots and lots of reading! Please enjoy this taste of what's to come!
We will continue to add to this page as summer approaches! Summer Reading sign-up officially begins on June 17th!
|Summer Reading 2023 Kicks off June 17|
Friday, June 2, 2023
The Favorite Poem Project Reading for National Poetry Month at the Franklin Library - 04/29/23 (audio)
FM #1002 = This is Franklin Matters Radio, number 1002 in the series.
This session of the radio show shares the audio of the Favorite Poem Project Reading held in the Franklin Public Library on Saturday, April 29, 2023. This was the second poetry event at the library for April’s Poetry Month.
Each reader introduces themselves, announces the poem and author, and briefly why it is their favorite (or among their favorite).
The reading runs about 30 minutes. Audio file -> https://franklin-ma-matters.captivate.fm/episode/fm-1002-favorite-poem-project-reading-04-29-23
Thanks to Camille Bernstein and jamele adams for conducting the workshop at the first April event.
Thanks to all the poetry readers who stepped up to share.
This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but we can't do it alone. We can always use your help.
How can you help?
If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors
If you don't like something here, please let me know
Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements. I thank you for listening.
If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com
The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana" c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.
I hope you enjoy!
You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"
|The Favorite Poem Project Reading for National Poetry Month at the Franklin Library - 04/29/23 (audio)|
Sunday, April 2, 2023
"The poem that each is trying actually to communicate to us lies in the words. It is at least the words that make it articulate. It has always been so."
Choice of 2 Poetry Writing Workshops1 - FOUnd POETRY with Camille Napier BernsteinOR2 - “I WRITE – You Do, Too” with jamele adams
Favorite Poem Project™ with Steve Sherlock and Camille Napier BernsteinChoose a favorite published poem that you have long treasured or recently discovered. Read it for a recording celebrating National Poetry Month for later inclusion on Steve’s podcast.Note: Poems may not be ones you or family members or friends have written.Limit: Five minutes reading time.
|Two poetry events at the Library for April to celebrate "National Poetry Month" - Apr 8 & Apr 29|
Monday, March 27, 2023
|Franklin SEPAC presents a workshop on the science of reading and IDEA Law|
Thursday, February 2, 2023
- February: Read a book set in your home town/ city, or state
If you are looking for a fun, unique reading challenge to take on in 2023, the Massachusetts Center for the Book has you covered.
Check it out today! https://www.massbook.org/readingchallenge
|Massachusetts Center for the Book has a 2023 Reading Challenge|
Monday, January 2, 2023
What is "One Book, One Community?"
The goal of the Franklin Library’s One book, One Community program is to help build a better sense of fellowship through a shared reading experience.
What are we reading?
Beginning January 1st, 2023, we'll be reading Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Octavia Butler, adapted by John Jennings and Damian Duffy. The novel, first published in 1979, is Butler’s most celebrated, critically acclaimed work and tells the story of Dana, a young black woman who is suddenly and inexplicably transported from her home in 1970s California to the pre–Civil War South. As she time-travels between worlds, one in which she is a free woman and one where she is part of her own complicated familial history on a southern plantation, she becomes frighteningly entangled in the lives of Rufus, a conflicted white slaveholder and one of Dana’s own ancestors, and the many people who are enslaved by him.
During numerous such time-defying episodes with the same young man, she realizes the challenge she’s been given: to protect this young slaveholder until he can father her own great-grandmother.
For more about the book and this reading https://vbuchanio.wixsite.com/onebook
|One book, One Community -> Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation|
Saturday, November 12, 2022
Thursday, October 27, 2022
Friday, October 21, 2022
Thank you for your ongoing support of this initiative; Franklin has a reputation as a town that grows readers and it's events like this that keep the spirit alive.
- Pamela Allard
- Daniel Moriarty
- Erin O'Leary
|Author Leslie Connor scheduled to visit Franklin's 3 middle schools next week|
Saturday, October 1, 2022
Exciting news! We'll welcome @LeslieConnor29 to HMMS in October - this will be her second tour of the middle schools and our first IN PERSON author in two years!
Be sure to read before her visit @EscapeIntoFictn @FrkPublicLib https://t.co/kl8A7N2HWK
|Author Tour scheduled for Middle Schools Oct 25-27|
Wednesday, September 21, 2022
"The Library of Congress kicked off the 2022-2023 school year by welcoming two teachers to its Capitol Hill campus. Jacqueline Katz and Caneshia Mills will work closely with staff in the Library’s Center for Learning, Literacy and Engagement to make primary sources from the Library’s collections more accessible for teachers, students and families throughout the United States.
Jacqueline Katz, a high school science teacher from Princeton, New Jersey, will serve as the Library’s Albert Einstein Fellow.
Caneisha Mills, a middle school history teacher from Washington, D.C., has been named the Teacher-in-Residence at the Library. "
|Teachers to Advance Accessibility of Primary Sources for Educators|
"Massachusetts schools for the first time will face a requirement to screen young students for dyslexia and other potential learning disabilities at least twice per year under a policy state education officials approved Tuesday.
Taking aim at what Education Secretary James Peyser dubbed a "wait-to-fail strategy," the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted unanimously in favor of regulations setting statewide standards for districts to monitor student literacy progress.Many Bay State schools are already performing some kind of dyslexia or learning disability screening, but officials said the existing framework is dotted with gaps. Now, schools will be subject to the same requirement to assess every kindergartener, first grader, second grader and third grader at least twice annually using state-approved tools to gauge their "reading ability and progress in literacy skills."
"The Department is supporting schools with a variety of funding opportunities. The Department has offered a competitive grant twice in the last 18 months to support the purchase of early literacy screening assessments and the associated professional development, awarding over $471,955 total to 27 school districts. A similar grant will be offered again in the current school year to support schools that do not yet have an appropriate screening measure in place or are in need of training. The Early Grades Literacy Grant and Growing Literacy Equity Across Massachusetts Grants also provide funding to school districts to purchase an approved screening assessment and the associated professional development if needed. Student Opportunity Act (SOA) guidance identified early literacy screening as a key evidence-based practice, and the Department encourages school districts to use SOA funding to support this cost."
From the "backup" doc shared by Tracy https://www.doe.mass.edu/bese/docs/fy2023/2022-09/item3.docx
Friday, August 26, 2022
Shared from Twitter -> https://twitter.com/EscapeIntoFictn/status/1562446370036142080
Where is Escape Into Fiction? 12 Main St in downtown Franklin or visit them on the web at -> https://escapeintofiction.com/
|Escape Into Fictions sets up teacher wish lists|
Wednesday, July 27, 2022
○ Use this log to record the books you read and return to your ELA teacher in the fall.
○ This is a great way to connect with new teachers and peers.○ We recommend that students take brief notes on their favorite title to keep their memory fresh.
○ Students should read or listen to one of her books this summer.
Continue reading the 2 pager -> https://www.franklinps.net/sites/g/files/vyhlif4431/f/news/middle_school_summer_reading_2022.pdf
|Franklin Middle School - Summer Reading Recommendations|
Thursday, July 14, 2022
Ms O'Leary has a brief video to promote reading during the summer
Shared from Twitter -> https://twitter.com/HMMSLightning/status/1547267299173928961
|Horace Mann Middle School "Books to go" open 11 to 1 Thursday|