Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Lakota Way: Thoughtfulness

The great thing about the United States, well, at least what I think is great about the United States, is that there are many, many cultures within its borders. We know it is horribly wrong to try to kill off a culture and get those people to assimilate into another culture. Instead, our cultural differences should be celebrated and shared! We should learn from other cultures, rather than shy away from them and treat them as inferior. Learning from other cultures can do nothing but help build empathy. Example:  We can learn from the Lakota culture that it is good to be thoughtful before responding. When a question is ask, or an issue arises, or there is some sort of problem, the Lakota way is to think about what has happened silently, reflect and process the situation before responding.  At times, in Euro-American culture (white America), we tend to respond instantly in a situation, without thinking it through. Something happens and we instantly fire back or respond or spout off, without care or concern for the other person's feelings. When there is a problem or disagreement, this can be especially harmful because when responding with emotion/anger, things can be said that are hurtful. The situation can become worse and feelings can be damaged.  I am as guilty as anyone, as just recently, there was a problem and I responded instantly in a very emotional way, which did nothing but make the situation worse and people feel bad.  I would encourage everyone to adopt the Lakota way. Before lashing out or ripping someone or immediately responding with emotion, think the situation/issue through. Process what is happening and look at the situation through their eyes, rather than just your own. 

Adopt the Lakota way for handling problems. Be respectful and thoughtful. This, I challenge to you.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Current State of Things

Hello!  A year ago, we were sprinting towards the epic battle of Agincourt and closing out the "Realm" experience. I had a blast last year and talk about and share the things we did quite often. It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in my Throne desk, sipping Iced Caramel Latte's, thinking up new twists to throw your way in your Houses, excited for you to walk into class and begin the fun. You were busy working and learning to build up your army with soldiers, knights, Black Knights, wizards, magic potion and perhaps, even the mythical Direwolf or Dragon! I learned a lot last year and hopefully,  you learned some things as well, at least that school can be fun and exciting and unique. 

Next year, I will be teaching at Dakota State Univeristy in Madison, SD. I'm exciting to work with college kids who want to be teachers.  I will be sure to share with them stories of the Realm and the magic that happened!  

I appreciate the comments left on WSG every so often. I enjoy hearing from my past students and seeing what they are up to. So keep doing that! 

I hope all is well and that you have had a good school year. Enjoy summer and keep in touch! 
-Dan Klumper

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Menagerie of Memories

click the picture to make it larger
I do not have a classroom anymore. Instead, I have a cubicle at the headquarters of the Sioux Falls school district. One thing I really liked to do is make my classroom unique, an extension of myself. I liked decorating it in a cool way and making it a place where kids felt a strong creative vibe. I loved my room last year with the my throne desk, nintendo controller back wall, and Mario scene. So without a classroom, I decide that I better try to apply the same concept to my cubicle. Even though I will not be in my cubicle much, I still want it to show who I am, a place that reminds me of the past and future. 
So, I brought with me some artifacts that have great meaning in my life. The picture above shows what artifacts made the cut and joined me in Sioux Falls. Can you figure out what the artifacts are? Some are school related, some are life related. But all of them mean a great deal to me. You could call them my favorite things, actually. It's my Menagerie of Memories. And I would like to show it to  you. 
Perhaps I'll post the answers soon..

-Dan Klumper


So this morning, everybody at my house woke up, ate breakfast, and then went off to school. Well, everyone except me. It's weird that I am at my house right now and not at the Middle School, or the Intermediate school since that's where I would have gone had I stayed in Brandon. I dropped Olivia off at the middle school and felt a pang of sadness because I was dropping her off, but not going in with her. I think the sadness came from the fact that I got to spend so much time with her last year at school and now I no longer have that. Pulling through the middle school parking lot made me think about last year and how much I enjoyed teaching and getting to know everyone. It made me think about all the years that I taught there and all the great memories and great kids. So yeah, it was weird. Enjoy your day at school! There's nothing quite like the first day of school. It's truly a unique phenomenon that is not understood by outsiders.  Work hard and do your best. Be respectful and be confident. That's all anyone asks.
To a great year!
-Dan Klumper

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Future of Water for Sixth Grade

My new iPhone case. Sweet huh? 
Students, teachers, parents, visitors, aliens, and anyone else, hello! Greetings from the Water for Sixth Grade Headquarters. With all the changes over the course of the last few months, some may be wondering what the future holds for Water for Sixth Grade. That would be a great question. I am here to answer that. I started "WSG" 8 years ago with the hope of creating an online presence for my students. A place they can access anytime to find helpful things such as information, assignments, due dates, reminders, review tools, review games, fun stuff, goofy stuff, serious stuff, etc.  I wanted to have the online communication tool because in our world, we have the ability to communicate like never before. So we must use the tools to our advantage! WSG has been visited over 660,000 times in it's history. It has been used by teachers and students all over the USA and beyond.  It has become a high quality resource for any student and/or teacher interacting with the Ancient World. I am no longer teaching Ancient Civilization so I will not be in need of this site for that purpose. However, I do not want all the hard work to build this site to go to waste, so I am going to keep Water for Sixth Grade in play, but change it's purpose slightly. The angle I am taking with WSG moving forward is a link between me and my former students, who I care about so deeply. I will post from time to time to give updates on what I've been up to in my new job and just the happenings of my life. Since it is a blog, visitors can of course comment, so I would love to hear from you from time to time!

I hope all is well. The new school year is upon us which means loads of potential before you. Embrace the challenge of a new school year and the opportunity to improve as a person. Keep the curiosity to learn alive and always do your best.

Keep in touch!
-Dan Klumper
WSG CEO and President

Friday, July 24, 2015

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Farewell, my students...

You and my desk are my two favorite things. :) 
Students, a letter to you. Please read. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

6th grade: A Reflection

Welcome to the Realm...

Take a trip down memory lane and watch the game trailers for all six "Realms" we played this year.