Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I see dead people...

Just kiddin'.

But as a social studies teacher, I love this idea via Free Technology for Teachers.  Facebook for Historical People!!

Using this template (which does not create an acutal Facebook account) - kids can write about historical people in a manner they are likely already using!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I didn't want to do it....

I have enabled comment moderation on this blog.

It's not that I am swamped with comments or anything - unless your name is SPAM.  In that case - you are a dedicated reader and follower!!

But I don't want to go through having to take it down and they are pretty persistant.

So I still want to hear from you if you are a living being who cares about what I write.  Or wants to push back.  Or share some of your stuff.  And I don't want you to have to enter those silly nonsense words to prove it.  It will just take me a bit to make your comment public.

So come on now folks - let's beat them at their own game and comment more than SPAM!

Can writing keep us well?

That was the group writing prompt posted over at Confident Writing this summer.  I came upon it again today and thought it timely.

Writing can keep us well.  It can help us get out our thoughts - in the most raw and basic form.  And then they can be refined and molded to send the message we want to deliver to the person (people) we want it delivered.

Or it can never be seen again.  My mom teaches my nieces and nephews that when they are angry - they need to write it down and then shredd it.  Words never to be seen, never to be uttered.  Get it out of your system and let it go.

Or it can be read aloud.  Two of my nieces are writing books this summer.  They like to read them aloud to show progress and to share their thoughts.  Funny how their characters sound/look a lot like them.  They hear that in each other - but never in themselves.

It can be frustrating - I am writing web page text.  Not fun.  The words don't sound right and when they are translated to the web, don't look like.  But nothing worth doing is ever easy.  Ask any teacher.

Writing helps me be well. And still. And creative.

What does it do for you?

Friday, August 06, 2010

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Not Your Mother's Kindle!

I don't hide it.  I am a slave to my Kindle.  You all know it because you have read about it here and here and here.

My mom has one.  My sister-in-law has one.  My aunt has one.   We can just swap Kindles the way we used to swap books.  I thought we were ahead of the curve.

And then they launched this...

You can read more about it here via Kindlerama blog.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Not Your Father's Principal

When I presented at the NYSCATE Leadership Summit in mid-July I was very disappointed to learn that my session was up against a leader that I truly wanted to see: George Couros.  George is a K-12 principal for a district outside of Alberta, Canada and is truly inspiring.  (Visit his blog and you will see why! I am especially partial to his post on "Play")

George recently presented at the Reform Symposium, an online conference.  You can catch his presentation on a fantastic school movement called "Identity Day" here.  It's a long session (just over 2 hours) but incredibly inspiring!  On Identity Day, everyone within the school community shares their passion.

George had me at "Relationships are central to everything...and are more important than academics."  But beyond that it is that they start with what is in the best interests of the students and work backwards from there.  He share the link to Daniel Pink's trailer for Drive in which he asks "What's your sentence?" a powerful force to have students write and think about.

How are you transforming learning? What's your sentence?

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Not Your Father's Research Paper

Via The History Channel This is Not Blog - integrating technology into the old fashioned research paper.  In two posts based upon a recent presentation, Nate talks about how he integrates tools such as Diigo, RSS Feeds and Zotero into his student research paper assignment.

The first post gives an overview of the session and the second post shares the slides.

I  have made a personal summer goal to learn more about Diigo and integrate it into my work as I think it has some great potential.  I'd love to hear how others are transforming the research paper!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Not Your Father's Book Report!

Via Free Technology for Teachers, a fantastic alternative to the traditional book report can be found at Book Trailers for Readers.

In addition to some great trailers on YA lit that you can share with your students, there are links to book blogs and other goodies.  It is also a great model for what you could create within your school to promote reading and have students create reviews!!

How are you transforming the traditional book report?