Why This Blog? Why Now? Why This title?

I am no longer blogging under duress. This part remains true: I had a blog once and I lost the password...and then, I gave up. I really am not a giver-upper, but there is a point of diminishing returns to anything that takes energy, passion, and vision and yet, doesn't work out. So, off I go again, wish me luck! AND knock on wood I have had luck. And it is sort of fun.

P.S. Why this title? I read this phrase today 6/16, don't remember where. I liked it. I'm using it. I might change it. It may or may not have relationship to the content.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


So I tried Glogster
which is a tool that helps you create "poster like" presentationy things with embedded video etc. One way to get your point across. One more way for kids to present ideas. It took a minute to figure out, and like many things, I will loose the momentum of my learning curve through non-use of Glogster. In other words, it was fun while I was creating it, but without purpose it is nothing.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Designing Google Apps Introduction

By the title of this post you might think I'm already off and designing an introduction to google apps for older students at REMS....not so... I'm making plans for students to design their own introduction. This is, of course, all inspired by my latest reading..."Teaching Digital Natives, Partnering for Real Learning" by Marc Prensky (I wrote a little about this last time).  I finished the book and have decided to do the following:

  • Use guiding questions as a lead in to everything
  • Ask kids to think about learning as Verbs (see Prensky's book) and the tools of learning as Nouns
  • Ask kids to think about what makes powerful thinking, powerful questions
  • Ask kids to consider their role and a teachers role a little differently
  • Connect all to student passions
For more information please visit my wiki...I'd appreciate the feedback and suggestions
We'll see if this ever gets off the ground and to what degree. AND in the words of Prensky, "There are very few principles more important to learning and doing anything than continuous improvement." pg 159
AND in the words of Linda Darling-Hammond (which have become a REMS phrase to live by)....Revise and Redeem your work.
P.S. Mr. Prensky might be my newest crush...Jill you will know what I mean:)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Before Labor Day and Beyond

A couple of things;
Thing 1
I got to go on a fabulous underground mine tour with some fabulous teachers. It took us a while to get there as I feel I got us lost, but thanks to the kind people at the information center before Hartsel (we were headed for Victor and Cripple Creek), and some lemonade from the Veterans of Foreign Wars, we made it just fine. (actually, we didn't stop for lemonade, it sounded good in the telling--that is called literacy license. I did, however, buy a bluebird pin from the nice people at the visitor's center)

The mine tour took us 1000 ft down and out guide was very knowledgeable about the ins and outs of hard rock mining. The most surprising thing to me was that burros lived their entire lives in the mine--from birth, working a lifetime, and finally, death without seeing the light of day. I marvel at the sacrifices of man and beast to mining.

Thing II
I've been reading this book, Teaching Digital Natives; Partnering for Real learning by Marc Prensky. I suppose I am behind the times as it has been out for a while and read by many. I am struck first by how closely his ideas resemble what Expeditionary Learning ought, in my opinion, to be, and at the very least we have the vehicle for promoting his idea of partnerships in real learning. I think often the "real" part is missing. That may be a function of elementary school and the headiness of some of the standards. I say we (REMS ELOB School) does some of this and we need to do more...with more intentionality than we have managed thus far.

I created a Wiki in the hopes that some collaboration around this idea of partnership pedagogy (so named by Prensky) might get off the ground. I don't know much about Wikis...read, I don't know anything about Wikis, but here is the URL if you want to leave a comment and/or give me some tips. Thanks for listening.