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May. 9th, 2007

Looks like the Chorizo won that one.

If this is what 5 1/2 games up looks like, God help us if Milwaukee wins the pennant.


Apr. 18th, 2007

Courtesy of Wonkette.com

Apr. 5th, 2007

I swear I'm not that biased, they just make it so easy

Fool me once shame on....ah...me? (uncomfortably long pause) you fool me twice, we can't get fooled again. So, in the spirit of The Who and the Bush family, I give you Neil.







http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/1/8/125556/7027

un-fucking-believable. No ,wait, totally plausable and par for the course.

Apr. 3rd, 2007

Opening Day

The children of Wisconsin never had a chance, did they?

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Mar. 31st, 2007

Unit Outlines: Economics

The Economics of Our Lives
Unit Outlines

Matthew Larkey
Metropolitan State University
Michael Boucher
Social Studies Education Methods
March 30, 2007.

Unit Plan 1 (one week)

Unit Topic: Economics
Grade Level: 11th grade
Lesson Title: What do you NEED to be happy?

________________________________________________________________________

Learning Objectives:
In this unit, students will:
• Objectively analyze what products they feel they need to improve the quality of their life
• Create cost-benefit charts for their needs
• Develop a plan that will help them achieve their needs
• Learn about the relationships between governments, companies, and consumers

Culturally Responsive Teaching:
This lesson will focus on the students’ perceived “needs” and how the attainment of these needs will improve the quality of their life. We will also briefly discuss the role of sports, music, and advertisements as instruments of influence. This lesson will also address the different learning styles of the students so that all students are reached at their level of expertise.

Materials:
• Chalkboard, chalk
• Paper, pencils
• Hand-out readings

Readings:
• “An Introduction to McDonaldization” in The McDonaldization of Society by George Ritzer.
• “Selling in Minnesota” in Nickel and Dimed; On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich

Activities:
• Have students write down what products they need to lead a happy life (2-5 minutes)
• Have students compare their results with a neighbor (1-2 minutes).
• “A butterfly flaps its wings in Madagascar…” Introduction to concept of globalization
• We will examine the cause and effect relationship by inventing an event (such as a tree fell across the road, I missed the bus, etc) and follow the chain of events that ensue.
• Students will make up their own cause-effect relationships to share with class
• Readings in class, dissecting as a group.

Assessments:
• As a class, have students volunteer their answers and we will post them on the board and compare our answers.
• Students ask each other, “How will you get these products? “
• Students will construct a cost-benefit-method chart. On the left will be products they need to make them happy, in the middle will be how they plan on getting this need, and on the right will be where they will get these products? “ I will ask students to share some of their creative work.

Homework:
• Students will be required to complete cost-benefit charts for this week.
• Students will need to select a COUNTRY, CORPORATION, or PRODUCT to track throughout this course. The student will be periodically asked to relate our new learning to their product/country/corporation.

*What products do you need to be happy?
*How will you get this product?
*Where is the product located?
*Where was the product made?

**************************************************************************************

Unit Plan 2 (One Week)


Unit Topic: Economics
Grade Level: 8th grade
Unit Title: How do our purchases adversely affect others?

________________________________________________________________________

Learning Objectives:
In this unit, students will:
• Analyze if or how their purchase affect others around the world or in their community.
• Critically examine two music videos on the diamond trade
• Identify regions of the world that are exploited for their natural resources.

Economic Concepts
• Fixed and Variable Costs of Production
• A Winner Take All Market
• Supply and Demand


Culturally Responsive Teaching:
This lesson will address the personal spending habits of the students, or their desired spending habits. It will also address how these spending habits positively and negatively affect others around the world. Additionally, the music of contemporary musicians will be used to help illuminate the topic for us. Lastly, students will have the opportunity to offer their suggestions on other products or art forms that speak to this subject matter.

Materials:
• Kanye West music video, “Diamonds of Sierra Leone” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6B8nlkUlbM,
• NAS music video, “Shine On ‘Em” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fFfFSX-D9w&eurl
• Printed lyrics of these songs.
• Conflict Diamond Documentary http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZrSc7d7g88
• Computer and projection (I supply that)

Readings:

• “ Why Do Drug Dealers Live With Their Mothers?” in Freakonomics by Steven Livitt and Steven Dunbar

Activities:
• Group think, Where do diamonds come from? Who profits from the sale of diamonds? How much do Diamonds cost?
• Watch Kanye’s video, follow along with the lyrics, process at end of video
• Watch NAS’s video, follow along with lyrics, process at end of video
• What were their messages (Venn Diagram on the board)
• Watch documentary on diamond trade in Sierra Leone.
• Read Freakonomics Chapter in Groups, as class, dissect new knowledge as it pertains to Supply and Demand and Market Forces.


Assessment:
• Students will complete a Venn Diagram for the videos and below the Venn diagram, list things that were mentioned in the documentary that were not in the music videos.
• Students need to draft a list of 10 Products that adversely affect others in the world and our community AND how we can limit this bad impact as citizens.
**************************************************************************************

Unit Plan 3 (Two Weeks)

Unit Topic: Economics
Grade Level: 11th grade
Unit Title: Why do the Twins get a new stadium when we don’t have textbooks?
The dollars and sense of an Education

_______________________________________________________________________

Learning Objectives
• Explore the idea of using public funds for financing private enterprises
• Explore issues of school funding and the use of monetary resources by school district
• Compare sets of data related to school funding and develop a realistic budget for what it costs schools to provide a sound basic education
• Students will learn the correlation between the cost of an education and potential earnings.
• Students will learn how to do a cost benefit analysis graph
• Students will learn the relationship between school budgets, property taxes and education.

Economic Concepts:
• Government Regulation and Unforeseen Consequences
• Incentives matter
• Consumer Behavior and Cheating


Culturally Responsive Teaching:
This lesson will use the real figures from Minneapolis Public Schools 2007/08 budget to create a new budget that meets their needs as urban learners. This budget directly affects the students and we can tie this information to the budget proposal for the Twins new stadium. Students will also learn what the average annual income for high school dropouts, high school graduates, college graduates, and postgraduates typically are and assess where they would like to be along that continuum. Students will also learn what various educations typically cost and other resources available to them if they cannot pay for all of the costs.

Materials:
• 2007/08 Minneapolis Public Schools Budget (hand-out and transparency)
• Twins Stadium Budget (hand-out and transparency)
• Graph on U.S. mean income based on education level.
• Hand out and over head, Cost of education for Minnesota Colleges, universities, and Tech Schools
• Cost-Benefit spreadsheet.

Readings:
• “What Do School Teachers and Sumo Wrestlers Have In Common?” in Freakonomics by Steven Livitt and Steven Dunbar
• Minneapolis Public School Budget 2007/08
• Minnesota Twins Financial Agreement with Hennepin County

Activities:
• Writing prompt: If you had 235 million dollars to improve the community, how would you spend it?
• Share writing/ideas with neighbor, then as a class discussion.
• How much money do you need a month to survive and be happy?
• As class to submit their answers (anonymously) on paper and we will chart the information on the board.
• Cross-reference the classes financial needs with graph on U.S. mean income based on levels of education.
• Examine MPS budget for 2007/8
• Examine Twins Ballpark cost and the county’s contribution
• Discussion, “should we pay for private businesses, why or why not?
• What does it cost to go to school?
• Hand out information on Minnesota Schools, Have students answer

Assessment:
1: Students will be paired in groups (selected by the teacher) and come up with their own budget for the 2007/08 school years for their school. They will be allocated a sum of money and decide how to spread that money around the school. They will be required to make a chart (pie, bar, or other, I will demonstrate) and explain to the class why they are funding some things and not others.

2: Students will create a cost benefit chart, which will take into account:
What they want to do for a living.

How much money they want to make.
How much schooling it will take to get that job?
How they will pay for the schooling.

3: Students will draft a letter to express their thoughts on stadium and school financing. We will submit these to the publication of the students’ choice.
We can also organize an organization of concerned students among other
Minneapolis public high schools and create a weblog to discuss issues
With other students and community members.

My Efolio

This is a link to my efolio. It contains my educational philosophies, work experience, education, references, and work samples. enjoy! Matt.

http://matthewlarkey1.efoliomn2.com/


Mar. 30th, 2007

hometown: Bagdad

brilliant video weblog on the lives of 20 somethings in Bagdad.

http://www.hometownbaghdad.com/


Mar. 22nd, 2007

John Maynard Keynes would be proud

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