Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Interesting to go beyond the traditional education experience. Detention - choose a magazine picture and write about it. Not just a fun activity. Tell stories about pictures. Creative. Two different stories from same picture. Practical applications. Design - Broadway Middle School faculty room. So many practical things from every chapter.

Type of book that can used in whatever setting. So much meaning for life. "Fresh meat on old bones." Learn to think outside the box. Don't venture to go beyond. Draw an apple tree--not correct for teacher. Programmed to do things certain ways. "Took my mind on a journey." Meaningful quotes. Will be used when giving scholarships to students. We have gotten so caught up in "stuff." We have forgotten how to be empathic, how to relate. E-mail, text too impersonal. This book brought the back human being.

Book was affirming. Told me a lot of what I already know. Best part for me and most affirming: what kids tells me every single day which is, "We never waste our time when we listen." That's how we find out everything we need to know. We expect them to listen. If we change the ratio of talk to listen, students have a lot to teach us about what they need. We forget to ask kids what they need and how to deliver it. Have PDP and invite kids in. Ask them, "Why are you strugglin with...?" Refreshing to read and realize what I intuitively know is right. Daniel Pink is so articulate and can put it in a way we can understand.

Would like to hear what kids thought about it.

Reaction so far has been: I'm at a time of my life where I am thinking about the future. This book fits in perfectly. Book has given me places to start.

Describes the opportunities. The sky is the limit. Design/art. More opportunities for right-brained people.

This could be a course for students.

Power of the book to make you self reflect. Not a lot of books do this. Makes you delve into your own personal life. Extremely powerful in making you self reflect.

While I didn't necessarily agree with everything, mapped out to understand where it came from. Different point of view.

"The book is a right-brained book for left-brained people."

Assuming DP is correct in that the Western world needs to re-invent itself, we need to a) teach this, and b) evaluate it given the limits of NCLB.

Education system needs to catch up with this. Needs to be a turnaround into right-brained, creative solution for some of our problems. Mind-boggling.

We need to listen. We need to listen to students. We also need to listen to teachers. For example, this experience would not have happened without listening to teachers.

Our Blog


This image was created using the Wordle site which creates “word clouds from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes." (Source: Wordle site) Additionally, Wordle can be an excellent classroom tool:

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Message from Dan Pink

Thanks for taking time to read A WHOLE NEW MIND. I'm honored. You're setting a great example -- both for kids and old kids like me. Over the years, I've found that this is how both real learning and real social change takes place -- conversation by conversation. I appreciate your stoking the fires of conversation. Hats off to you and all you do. I'm grateful. Cheers, Dan Pink

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wrapping It Up

Now that we have had a tour of Daniel Pink's Six Senses, we need to think about the implications of A Whole New Mind in our lives. We will be discussing this in greater depth on Wednesday, May 27. We are looking forward to seeing you there and hearing your thoughts on this very important topic.

Chapter Reaction: Meaning

Please comment if you would like to share your overall impression/reaction to the chapter "Meaning."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Many of us daydream about winning the lottery and quitting our jobs. Play the 20-10 game as described on page 237 of A Whole New Mind. Did the results provide any insights to the meaning of your work?

Meaning: Labyrinth

The rector of Trinity Episocopal Church shared this information about their labyrinth:

THE LABYRINTH - a Ministry of Spiritual Presence

It is in a spirit of gratitude and thanksgiving we thank everyone for all the support of prayer and special gifts to this new ministry to all theChurch and surrounding community. The Holy Spirit is among us and at work to move forward in promoting the knowledge and purpose of this spiritualand healing ministry of the Labyrinth. During the Lenten season, on Friday evenings the newly opened Labyrinth created a special place and time to prepare ourselves for Easter. In response to the uncertain and stressful times in which we find the world, community, church, and ourselves, and our resulting need for strength and renewal, Trinity has opened her doors for ourselves and the Elmira community. The labyrinth is a Christian-based ministry and yet made available and inclusive of many religious traditions. You are invited to gather for Spiritual centering, empowerment and heavenly guidance. One walks the labyrinth with intention. The labyrinth is a place created for specific purposes, which include but are not restricted to spirituality, creativity, growth, problem solving, team building, stress management, rejuvenation, decision making, and meditation. The labyrinth invites one into sacred space and provides a temporary abandonment of the ordinary world for the realm of a deeper understanding of the Holy. Have you been down to actually see the Labyrinth? It is located in the lower level of our Parish Hall. You may access the Labyrinth from the First Street parking lot door. Just go down the stairs once you are inside the door. Starting in the month of June, the Labyrinth will be opened with the following schedule: First Tuesday of the month, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM; Second Thursday of the month, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM; Third Friday of the month, 7:00 - 9:00 PM.


Dan Pink discusses the labyrinth as a "metaphor for our times" (AWNM, page 227). To get a better sense of how labyrinths free the right brain, visit a labyrinth. There are two publicly available labyrinths in our area:

  • Our Lady of Lourdes on West Church Street has a publicly accessible labyrinth in the lawn on the west side of the building.
  • Trinity Episcopal Church on North Main Street in Elmira also has a labyrinth. Starting in June, it will be available to the public the first Tuesday of the month from 6-8 pm, the second Thursday of the month from 2-4 pm, and third Friday of the month from 7-9 pm.

You can also view this YouTube video which provides more information about the history and significance of the labyrinth:

If you do visit one of the labyrinths, feel free to share your experience in the comments.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Chapter Reaction: Play

Please comment if you would like to share your overall impression/reaction to the chapter "Play."


Try Dr. Thorson's Humor Scale. What was your result? Share if you wish.


View the following video depicting a laughter club in Pune, India:

What is your reaction? Do you think you could benefit from a laughter club?

Monday, May 18, 2009


On page 187 of A Whole New Mind, Daniel Pink quotes David Collinson, a British management scholar. "In 1940 John Gallo was sacked because he was 'caught in the act of smiling,' after having committed an earlier breach of 'laughting with the other fellows,' and 'slowing down the line maybe half a minute.' This tight managerial discipline reflected the overall philosophy of Henry Ford, who stated that 'When we are at work we ought to be at work. When we are at play we ought to be at play. There is no use trying to mix the two.'”

I fear Henry Ford would have a hard time in our world today. Read this article from the Boston Globe. What would Henry Ford think? What are your feelings about play at work?

Chapter Reaction: Empathy

Please comment if you would like to share your overall impression/reaction to the chapter "Empathy."


In the chapter on empathy, Daniel Pink mentions how "[e]mpathy can be a powerful force in medicine" (169). Read this article from The New York Times about a doctor who takes time for empathy and how she is rewarded. Have you had an experience with an empathetic physician? Conversely, have you have an experience with a doctor who was not empathetic? How did these experiences make you feel? How does empathy figure in your own daily life with your students, co-workers, etc?

Saturday, May 16, 2009


These tests are fun and might surprise you. Share your reactions.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Chapter Reaction: Symphony

Please comment if you would like to share your overall impression/reaction to the chapter "Symphony."


Read the "Web 2.0 Meets Music Appreciation" entry on Daniel Pink's blog and view the YouTube video. In what ways is this video a symphony of a symphony?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Story: Postcards

A comment was submitted asking about photo sources for the digital postcards. My recommendation would be Flickrcc. The photos included in the web app are Flickr photographs with Creative Commons licenses. You can also search Flickr itself for Creative Commons licensed photos.

What is Creative Commons? CC is a non-profit organization that "provides free licenses and other legal tools to mark creative work with the freedom the creator wants it to carry, so others can share, remix, use commercially, or any combination thereof." There are a six different licenses that artists can assign to their works. There is a great slideshow on the CC website with information about copyright law, sharing creative works , and how CC helps to create "an enormous and unprecedented stimulation of creativity and production of knowledge." (Source: Creative Commons FAQ.) Think of the global implications of Creative Commons for our students--and ourselves!


Go to StumbleUpon, a random web site generator. Pick a random web site and see where it takes you. (Click the "Stumble" icon in the upper left corner.)

Try at least 8-10 links. What cool things did you "stumble upon?"

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Thinking back to the kick-off of our book study, share your reaction to the Drawing on the Right Side of Your Brain exercise. What did your drawing look like? Where you able to “quiet” your left brain? How did the exercise make you feel?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


PicLits is a “creative writing site that matches beautiful images with carefully selected keywords in order to inspire you. The object is to put the right words in the right place and the right order to capture the essence, story, and meaning of the picture.” (Source: PicLits website) PicLits are a beautiful synergy of photo and text. Just for fun, create your own "PicLit" or simply browse the gallery. Here is mine:

PicLit from
See the full PicLit at

Chapter Reaction: Story

Please comment if you would like to share your overall impression/reaction to the chapter "Story."


You may have heard of six-word memoirs. "Once asked to write a full story in six words, legend has it that novelist Ernest Hemingway responded: 'For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.' In this spirit of simple yet profound brevity, the online magazine Smith asked readers to write the story of their own lives in a single sentence." (Source:

Write your own story. Can you write your own six-word memoir? See examples at the Smith magazine site (click the links under "Share a Story with Us" in the left sidebar) or see examples with visuals at the NPR Six-Word Memoir gallery. If you are comfortable sharing, please submit your “memoir” as a comment on our blog.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Design: Doodle 4 Google

Google is hosting a competition called Doodle 4 Google in partnership with the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. They invited K-12 students to re-design the Google homepage logo around the theme "What I Wish for the World." Vote for the National Finalists here.


Daniel Pink says that, “Reading short stories is a fine way to sharpen your Story aptitude” Collections of short stories are readily available in most libraries. Daniel Pink mentions the One Story literary magazine in the book. Another source of short stories is the Fifty-Two stories blog from Harper Perennial (publisher) which is “celebrating the thriving art of the story by sharing a new one every week.”

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Dan Pink says, "Story is high touch because stories almost always pack an emotional punch.” View the Digital Postcards at Create your own digital postcard. Add a caption. Send it to if you would like to share with the whole group. We will post them on the blog.

Updated to Add:
A great source for photo effects is Flickr Toys. You can make your own motivational poster, trading card, photo mosaic, among many other fun things. Upload your own photo to play then save the morphed picture to your computer or network. then you can send it to as an attachment. We are looking forward to seeing your postcards!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Chapter Reaction: Design

Please comment if you would like to share your overall impression/reaction to the chapter "Design."


Daniel Pink says, "Design has become democratized." One example of this is the number of customizable products on the market today. Go to one of the following sites and play--"build your own" product:

After you have designed your own sneaker, car, motorcycle, tote bag, and/or video camera, return here and respond to the following:

Henry Ford once said, "People can have the Model T in any color--so long as it's black." What would Henry Ford think of the customizable products available to consumers today? What other parts of our world have become customized? How important is a customized product to you?

Friday, May 8, 2009


Read Allison Arieff's "By Design" blog post "Designing Through a Depression" Read the comments as well. Some of the comments are contradictory to Dan Pink's feelings on design. How important is design to you?

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Check out ID Magazine's "Product of the Week" blog. (Make sure you click "Next" at the bottom of the page to see more designs.) Do any of these designs appeal to you? Why? Are any of these designs unappealing to you? Why?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Keep your own design notebook. Think of Daniel Pink's Michael Graves toilet brush and look for examples of good design in your environment. Share what you are finding by either describing items that you are seeing in your environment OR sharing links of items you found online. Why do these items appeal to you? What is intriguing about their design? Which of Pink's senses do the items appeal to?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Chapter Reaction: High Concept, High Touch

Please comment if you would like to share your overall impression/reaction to the chapter "High Concept, High Touch."

Rainbow Project

Read this 2006 article from Business Week or this article from Time magazine for more information about Robert Sternberg and the Rainbow Project. Do you think the Rainbow Project assessment would have been a more accurate reflection of your aptitudes than the traditional SAT?

Just for fun, check out the New Yorker Cartoon caption contest.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Chapter Reaction: Abundance, Asia, and Automation

Please comment if you would like to share your overall impression/reaction to the chapter "Abundance, Asia, and Automation."