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Presidential Trivia

I just finished reading Smithsonian Book of Presidential Trivia. Great book! It is fun, informative and great for grades 4-12. Great gift for your favorite student or teacher.

The Smithsonian Book of Presidential Trivia is full of fun facts about U.S. Presidents. Both adults and children will enjoy this easy to read book. It is a great addition for school and classroom libraries. The book is formatted in a series of questions and answers. For example: “Which battle-tested president was sickened by the sight of blood?”

There are over 300 questions that teachers could use for class warm-up activities or for those five minutes at the end of class when you want to keep your students thinking. You could also divide your students into teams to see which team could get five questions answered first.

One of the things that is unique about this book is that the questions also have a photo from the Smithsonian Collection. I think I know a lot of trivia about presidents, but I was stumped by some of the questions. This might help make your students curious about history.

Let’s get back to the question about blood. We know that it must be a president who was in battle. You know that the bloodiest war in U.S. History was the Civil War. So if you guessed President Grant you would be right.



School Dress Code?

I think educators may enjoy this:

“Banned are sheer and see-through clothing, ripped jeans, one-shouldered, strapless shirts or clothing exposing bare midriffs. Also listed are “excessively short” skirts, dresses or shorts cut more than 3-4 inches above the knee.”

No, Major League Baseball dress code for the press.

See http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=Ag18rjmSo.dja_NdXeQi0qU8R9MF?slug=ap-mlb-mediadressguidelines for the full story.





Learning from Play

My grandson and I were playing on my new iPad the other day and we tried out the BrainPOP app for the iPad. I had looked at BrainPOP some time ago, but since it was for younger students I didn’t pay too much attention to it. As I played along with my nine-year-old grandson, I realized some of the featured movie potential.

Each day BrainPOP has a featured movie. The movies are available on the web at: http://www.brainpop.com/. You can even embed the movie in your blog, wiki, or website as I have done at: http://www.anewadventure.org/?page_id=366.

The movies of the day topics vary from the arts, science, history, economics and others. After you watch the movie you can take a ten-question quiz. I couldn’t help but think these would make great warm-up activities for upper elementary and middle schools. In Michigan we have our state test in October, and the movies would be a good way to review test-taking skills.

The questions usually contain the follow:

  • Defining a word by how it is used in the context of a sentence
  • Identifying if a sentence is fact or opinion
  • Facts on the topic of the day

I would use it with my class to look at all the multiple-choice answers and have students tell:

  • why some choices were wrong.
  • why some answers might be right.
  • what they think is the right answer

Not only would they review test-taking skills but the students would also have the opportunity to review the content areas. Try it and let me know what you think.


Top Ten Reasons Daniel Pink Should Follow Jimwenz on Twitter!

This is a shameless attempt to get Daniel Pink to follow me on Twitter. This effort started because my good friend, Tom Daccord (@thomasDacord), said that Mr. Pink is following him on Twitter. I am a huge fan of Mr. Pink’s books and have posted about them my blog and on Twitter. As a fan, I would like to share my thoughts and ideas with Mr. Pink. (And I thought this might get a few laughs from my friends. Also, I will take Tom’s bragging rights away from him!)
Please retweet this message.

10. He talks so much about A Whole New Mind that co-workers drove from Michigan to Pennsylvania to hear Dan speak.

9. He is helping Dan Pink send his children to college by buying his books and telling his friends and co-workers to buy them.

8. Jim loves to tell “stories.” ( A Whole New Mind).

7. He focuses on “Strengths Not Weaknesses” (Johnny Bunko).
6. Jim has been a subscriber to Wired since the first year it was published. (Dan has contributed numerous articles to Wired and is a contributing editor).

5. Today Jim is better than he was yesterday! (Drive – http://www.danpink.com/archives/2010/01/2questionsvideo)

4. Jim thinks that Al Gore’s speeches as Vice President were outstanding. )See Dan’s bio http://www.danpink.com.

3. Jim started his fourth career when he was 62 years old because there is “No Plan” (Johnny Bunko).

2. He thinks Dan is the greatest artist ever. See page 129 A Whole New Mind.
And the number one reason is:

1. He has “Drive”!

All kidding aside, if you haven’t read A Whole New Mind, Johnny Bunko, or Drive, you should add them to your reading list.

So I am asking all of my friends to re-tweet or link to this post. I know it is a shameless promotion but I had to do it. I’ll let you know what happens.

Jim (Twitter- jimwenz)


Recently I was tagged in a Twitter meme entitled “7 Things You Don’t Really Need to Know About Me” by Kathy Schrock. So here are seven pieces of trivia you may not want to know.

1. Hard to believe, but I have finished two marathons.
2. My favorite TV show is 2.5 Men.
3. I first met Kathy Schrock in Geneva, Switzerland.
4. Building model airplanes and hydroplane boats from balsa wood was an early hobby.
5. ee cummings has always been one of my favorite poets.
6. The hardest physical thing I ever did was riding my bicycle across the Rockies from Grand Junction, CO to Golden, CO.
7. I was a certified instructor on a ropes course even though I am afraid of heights.
Now I just have to email the following and my job is done!