Friday, June 28, 2013

Digital Citizenship

Here are some links and resources about digital literacy and citizenship.  I can't promise that they are all great, but they are a place to start.  Please comment and add to this post with suggestions, advice and ideas.

Common Sense Media

The Teaching Channel:  Digital Literacy in the Classroom

Digital Nation (This is less a curriculum or a teaching tool and more of an exploration of the digital world we live in and its promises and pitfalls).

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thursday, June 27th, afternoon

If you’d like to review the edifying video shown for our opening moment today, here it is:

Lorrie began her presentation with a disclaimer (and she should seriously consider a side career as a stand-up comedian): “I didn’t get to present on workshopping. I’m damn good at presenting a workshop.  Instead, I had to follow Kate’s moving story about her mother. My mother is not in the same state of integrity . . .” Lorrie clearly explained the steps for presenting an action research inquiry. We also learned that she secretly wishes her Bichon would say “I love you.” She remained strangely poised as mysterious music and voices began emanating from the speakers; perhaps this was all orchestrated to keep us laughing.

Rebecca presented to us about Google Sites, beginning with an entertaining video illustrating our inherent fear of the instability of text in this digital age.  We then learned how to create a Google Site of our own for our portfolios. The last several hours found us all dutifully working through various aspects of the portfolio requirement and bombarding the "supreme fellows" with our questions. We concluded with Michalah's closing moment: Obvious to you. Amazing to Others." It's a privilege to be spending the week with all of you, really.

Day 4!!!

Day 4!!!

Hosts today are Alisha and & Michalah, who decided we needed some unhealthy snacks - DONUTS from Tony's, which were AHMAYZING!!! And fruit...less exciting!

We began the day with ten (15) minute tech presentation by Brigid - She presented on Diigo, a social bookmarking site that allows you to post stickies on the web page, annotate text as you go, and see what others are loving! Click here to set up your account!

We kicked off learning biographies early with Jen's fabulous (and humorous) presentation about her family and her evolution into the success that she is today. Alan went next sharing about his totem pole - building upon a heritage and history which led him to teaching. Alberto told his story - where he came from, how he made it, and looking ahead to where he's going. Mary shared her story through musicals and videos. Renee shared her life through Frog and Toad's eyes - the ups and downs, as well as Guster Yellowford's rendition of a sun drop and pinecone. Thank you to everyone for sharing from your heart, sharing from your books, sharing from your movies, and sharing about your lives and lessons. We are all better for having heard and learned with you. 

Kate shared about her mother, and the memoir she'd written in her honor. We read and chatted, and are eager to see how the piece will develop.   

 (FROG - from frog and toad!)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Day 3 morning

 The opening moment was Night Moves by Bob Seger.  The guests for the day were Lorrie King and Patricia Valley.  We were reminded that the blog is constantly being updated.  Please feel free to add comments to posts.  Add whatever seems relevant.  Tech moment- we added the SMWP resources page and learned about "Jog the Web."  Instructions are on the first page.  It organizes pages and gives you a place to ask questions.    Autobiographies were shared by several people.  Gail talked about her challenges with writing.  Julie W. compared her learning to a beehive.  Rachel loved Anne of Green Gables and shared her thoughts through cemeteries,  Christina connected stories through doors, lines and places.  Michalah shared her life through travel. Tisha wrote her life lessons through her son, Xander.
Day 3- Afternoon

I was awed by the presentations of the various learning portfolios.  Tony spoke of the importance of place and the ties to family.  Alicia spoke quite powerfully about the constant , never-ending worries and joys of being a parent.  Michelle spoke eloquently about how teachers impact students every day, even when they are completely unaware of it.  Ellen's thoughts on how the small moments in our lives are often so powerful was both humorous and poignant.  Marianna's thoughts on the constant juxtapositions that exist in our families- the funny parts, the annoying and rude parts- were wise and loving.  We need to celebrate these moments of our lives as they define us.

Patricia Valley offered so many thoughtful ways for us to incorporate writing across the curriculum.  I think we all know how these methods are helpful, but just reading about them in a book is never as meaningful as actually practicing them.  Giving us time at the end of the day to experience some writing techniques we can use in the classroom was quite helpful.

I chose to close with a poem by Mary Oliver, as I feel her work so powerfully captures how deeply tied we are all to this world we live in.

Recipe for Blueberry Lemon Bread

1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 tblsp. butter
1 1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
2 tblsp lemon zest
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups of blueberries

1/3 cup sugar
3 tblsp. lemon juice

Oven at 325.  Coo for approx. 1 1/4 hours.  Combine dry.  Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs, add lemon zest.  Add dry alternating with milk.  Fold in blueberries.  Pour in loaf pan and bake.

For glaze- mix sugar and lemon juice and bring to a boil.  Poke holes in bread and pour over bread.  Cool.

It's best to use wax paper on the bottom of your bread pan as it is apt to stick.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Day 2

Today's opening moment was a video poem read by Taylor Mali.

It was a beautiful, hot day for the Southern Maine Writing Project  
Marathon around Gorham.  Groups descended upon the streets where they  
stopped at Gorham locations to write a brief 10, 15 or 20 minute piece  
of writing.  Groups shared their writing during their stops as well as  
back in the classroom.  Fellows from all over the country participated  
in the writing marathon!

Back in the classroom, Brigid showed the class how to use Google Plus access E-Anthos open mic via, a platform through which fellows posted pieces of writing for comments as well as commented on the writings of participants nationwide.  What a great platform to share out work!  Rebecca  
demonstrated how to use Evernote, an electronic notebook that  
can be used via the internet.  It had some great features such as:   
audio, videos, photos, text, and organization of tags. Evernote can even be used to maintain student portfolios.

Tomorrow the first learning autobiographies will be presented.

All-in-all a very hot but productive day!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Day 1

Today, the richness of the response to Graves' "Testing Is Not Teaching" suggested that the book is still relevant.  We were inspired by his words and had a lot to say about his ideas regarding long, slow thinkers (maybe you were reminded of a long, slower thinker you know and love) and the shortness of time in the classroom.  Like Ken Robinson, though we were inspired by his words, we were also frustrated by the lack of answers.  How do we find the time we need to teach well when time in the classroom is so short?  How do we address the shortcomings of our school structure when we are so busy addressing the needs of our individual groups of students?

Though we might not have answers to these questions, we do have answers to other questions. Questions like, what is the recipe for those scones?  (Plus 1/3 c. chopped crystallized ginger and 1/2 c. chocolate chips).

The experienced google docs gang threw out some some really great ideas for using this tool in the classroom -- and for troubleshooting some of its pesky quirks (thanks, Alberto, for shift-command-V!).  A thoughtful conversation about the pitfalls of technology, student and teacher choice, and differentiation ensued.  As in all things, balance is key -- and for those of you who cringe at the thought of a digital portfolio, paper is a-okay.

...lemming, nasturtium, hermitage, metastasize, cajole, incredulous Frank, Ethel Gannaway, under a mushroom, beside a tyrant on a balcony, "who ate the last oreo?", spilling soup, looking for a parking spot in midtown Manhattan on a Friday night...   Don't forget all those wonderful ideas from the Writer's Toolbox!  They may come in handy tomorrow when you are on the town for the writing marathon.

In the fuggy heat of the afternoon, we sweated over our writing.  Even with the air conditioning, staying comfortable was a challenge.  But the energy -- the writing energy -- in the room sucked us along its stream, taking us to the forgetting place, where external discomforts become minor and the interior life finds its way to the page.  Soon, the day came to a close with the word-playful "Bulbous Bouffant" and a simple exit slip, which if you didn't get a chance to respond to before you left yesterday, you will find here.