In order to gather more audit samples from a large variety of age groups and authors, I challenge you to publish a blog post with a post or comment audit.
1. Select a blog post or blog comment to audit (Professional or Student)
2. Take a screenshot or copy and past the post or comment into your blog post (be sensitive whether you want to reveal any names or references)
3. Include or link to the rubric you use to assess the quality of post or comment
4. Audit the post or comment by describing your train of thought regarding the level of quality you would assess your chosen post or comment
5. Suggest how you would coach the author of audited post or comment to improve
6. Tag (at least) three educators and challenge them to audit a post or comment
7. Leave a comment with the link to your audit post on Langwitches
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
"Probably the most important--and most difficult--job of an instructional leader is to change the prevailing culture of a school...A school's culture is a complex pattern of norms, attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, values, ceremonies, traditions and myths that are deeply ingrained in the very core of the organization." - from "The Culture Builder" by Roland S. Barth
From that same article was this E.B. White quote:
"A person must have something to cling to. Without that we are as a pea vine sprawling of a trellis."
What I have been seeking-- something external to support the growth of our school and to use as a roadmap formyself--is a structure to cling to.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
4th grade Social Studies-
Monday, November 21, 2011
Although I read a lot of blogs, I've never attempted to post an Edublog Award nomination before. I feel generally incapable of bestowing the title of "best"....at least for the most part. I'm not sure if that's just a personality thing or if I don't pay enough attention to what I'm reading, but what has moved me to do this in 2011 is a few of the student bloggers I am working with in 5th grade. Out of the class of 15 are 3 who are really putting extra effort into their blogs. I would really like to nominate each of them for "best student blog" because I think that they all deserve recognition. But "best" isn't about recognizing all the good ones, is it? So, I have thought long and hard, and I have decided which student blog is getting my nomination. And while I'm at it, I thought I'd try to sift through the other excellent blogs I read to give a nod to some that really speak to me.
- Best individual blog- Tech Transformation Maggie Hos-McGrane tackles many of the deeper issues surrounding edtech that I grapple with, and she does it in a style that is concise, to the point and always makes me think.
- Best individual tweeter- @courosa He shares a lot of good stuff. He seems to make a genuine effort to really connect with a wide range of people. He's helpful and has a good sense of humor. Those are the things I look for in a "best" tweeter.
- Best student blog- Sarah S Despite having several students who I feel have poured heart and soul into their blogs this year, I had to choose just one to nominate. I chose Sarah S. because her writing is excellent, she covers a wide range of topics, and she illustrates almost every post, creating many of the images herself. Sarah is a very quiet girl, and I have enjoyed getting to know her better through reading her blog. We blog in class twice a week, but Sarah puts in extra effort, working on her blog at home to make it shine, both in written content as well as other items of interest, such as polls, Wordles and widgets. I am proud to nominate this blog for an Edublog award, and I hope to bring attention and visitors to this high-quality example of a student blog.
- Best ed tech / resource sharing blog- Langwitches What I appreciate about this blog, and what I think distinguishes it from other ed tech/resource sharing blogs is that blogger, Silvia Tolisano, doesn't just share a resource- she documents each and every step she takes in using tech resources with students, including step-by-step how-to's and wonderful photographs. Not only have I learned a ton from reading this blog, I often use it as a working resource, going back to search and re-read, as I'm planning lessons or trying to implement ideas of my own.
- Best teacher blog- Elementary My Dear, Or Far From It I like this blog because it's real. I appreciate the honest self-reflection from first grade teacher, Jen Orr, who tells it like she experiences it. This year she is writing a series of posts about her students, in an effort to spend time thinking about what makes each student unique and special. That's the kind of teacher she is.
- Best free web tool Google Apps for Education We couldn't do many of the things we do at our school if not for Google Apps. Just having student emails allows us to access many other web tools.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
I was intrigued by the exploration of note-taking styles described in the post "The Official Scribe: It's All About Learning Styles & Collaboration" by Silvia Tolisano. We (the 4th grade teacher and I) decided to try a similar lesson while watching a movie about the Geography, Culture and History of Florida.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Portfolios give students a chance to develop metacognition, set goals and internalize what "good work" looks like. Blogs offer a platform for creativity, communication, connection and the practice of digital citizenship. "Blog-folios" are the best of both worlds- using a blogging platform to develop writing skills, provide opportunities to connect with an authentic audience and increase reflective practices. Instead of using the entire site as a portfolio, students will use the category "portfolio" to designate those selections that represent high-quality work and reflection.
As educators, we are in the business of helping each child bloom into the flower that he or she is meant to be. The goal is to help students reach high academic standards while developing their unique selves, growing at their own rates and discovering their personal passions. Blogs are a space for sharing ideas in almost any format, a place for self-expression, connection, and reflection- literally a platform to explore, document and record the growth of the learner. The tool (blog) is transformative in that it allows instant publishing and the possibility of an authentic audience, as well as bringing in multimedia communication and creation. It is also transformative in that, unlike many school assignments or projects, blogging is a long-term "project" that incorporates many different "subjects" and skills.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
"You can genuinely teach only who you are. In these demanding times, it is easy to slide to a place of feeling as if you are never enough. But who you are every day, how you create meaningful learning experiences for students, the positive energy you choose to bring to your work is enough. It is more than enough: It is an enormous gift to the world around you. By maintaining a focus on reflective capacities that expand and improve your personal practices, your influence on others expands as well. Just remember to place your own oxygen mask securely in place before assisting others."
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Beyond the most basic intro, to really "do twitter" you have to just go ahead and do it. Twitter is a garden of sorts. To plant a garden, at some point, you have to get in there and get your hands dirty. There's no "right way/wrong way"...there is just your way which you can only figure out by figuring it out. You can read guidebooks, ask an expert, learn from your mistakes... eventually you come to realize that, with attention and care, you have gardened your way to a decent little patch that makes YOU happy.
But that doesn't mean that MY garden- with it's marigolds and tomatoes, usually in need of weeding- would be the right garden for YOU. For example, if you were planting a vegetable garden, you would be likely to choose vegetables that would be useful and valuable to you and your family. It's the same with your twitter garden. The power of twitter lies in the opportunity to build a useful and valuable network, of like-minded (or different-minded) interesting people. My twitter network consists mainly of educators. Many educators on twitter use the term PLN- personal learning network and use twitter for their own lifelong learning.
I'll happily share with you how I manage twitter today (which might change tomorrow or next week). I currently like Tweetdeck for these reasons:
-I like to be able to view multiple columns showing different streams. It's easy to add and change them, too.
-I like the "edit then retweet" capability which the web RT doesn't offer.
-I tweet from multiple accounts, and that is very easy to do in Tweetdeck where I can be logged-in as more than one tweeter. (I have also tripped myself up this way by tweeting from the wrong account. Oops!)
Just in case you were wondering, what I don't like about Tweetdeck is the newer "deck.ly" feature which lets you go over 140 characters. It just doesn't sit right with me- the whole genre of twitter is 140 characters or less. I have disabled it on my Tweetdeck. Go to "settings" and uncheck "Use Deck.ly for sending long updates."
A few more thoughts:
•Filtering the mad, mad world of too-much-information is a high art. Again, everyone does it differently BUT (since you asked my opinion)- don't habitually re-tweet articles you haven't read or at least skimmed. Being a good filter, and only sharing what you think is truly worthwhile and relevant builds your credibility.
•Follow celebrities if it makes you happy and adds something to your twitter stream, but that's not really the "twitter thing." Twitter is about having lots of different interesting people to talk to and listen to. Choose who you follow thoughtfully, just as you would decide what to plant in your garden. For more on this idea, read this great post, "Curating People" by self-proclaimed "mayor of the internet" ijohnpederson.
Because I know you really want to know, these are the celebrities I follow (at least right now)-
Dan Millman (author of The Way of the Peaceful Warrior)
None of them follow me back. They also don't tweet much and, most likely, someone else tweets for them anyway.
•Be yourself. If it's interesting to you, share it. Follow real people who interest you, and add something to the conversation. Give and take.
One last analogy :) -- Think of twitter as a giant cocktail party. Who do you choose to talk to? The spammer who is just there to sell something or get you to join an MLM scheme? The self-promoter who talks incessantly about herself? The person who has nothing original to say and only repeats what he has just heard someone else say? Or the interesting person who listens and adds something intelligent to the mix? Be that person.
Great minds must think alike. Just after I wrote this, Silvia Tolisano shared with me a new presentation she created on personal learning networks, also using the idea of the garden as a point of reference.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
by Mrs. B's 2nd grade
It all started with a story. We read "Fast Food on the Fly," a story about bats, in our Wordly Wise book. We were so interested that we decided to write reports about different kinds of bats. We each chose our own bat, and they were all from Australia. We used the computers to research our bats, and we made a bat cave in the hallway where we displayed our reports.
We decided to create an ABC video to give people information about bats. Mrs. B and Ms. H showed us an example. Then we took a bat quiz. Next, we worked with a partner to brainstorm ideas using the alphabet organizer. We printed out the organizers with all of our ideas. Some letters were easier than others so we had to do more research to come up with a fact for each letter.
Once we decided the best fact for each letter and assigned the letters we used Pixie to write and illustrate our ideas. We went over them and checked to make sure they were correct and looked good. Then we recorded ourselves reading our facts. Finally, we published our video, and we are so excited to share it with you!
Ayden: We met our goal by finishing the video and teaching everyone about bats. I learned facts about bats that a lot of grown-ups don't know.
Elad: I did this before when we did the values report because I had to look in a book. I can use this again when I do another report or project.
Eliana: It was important that we taught people new information about bats. I learned to work together without arguing.
Griff: I see a relationship with this project and the president reports because we had to research on the computer for both. In both of them we were teaching people. I feel that I learned a lot about bats. I see that there is so much I didn't know about bats.
Jona: Our class did really well. We edited and revised it. We had to take our time in order to make it really good. We used the computer and used typing skills. I learned more about bats and I liked using technology.
Natan: We worked well together.
Mrs. B: I was very pleased to see the growth from our very first project, the fire safety and prevention video, to this project. I think you are going to be very prepared for 3rd grade.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Dear ThinkQuest Coach,
We noticed you enrolled in the ThinkQuest International Competition 2011, but have not yet enrolled any teams.
Enrolling a team is easy! Just follow these steps:
- Log in to your ThinkQuest account.
- Click the "Competition" tab.
- Click the "Enroll a Team" button.
- You can come back and edit your team later if any information changes.
As a bonus, you will be entered in the Coach Sweepstakes when you enroll your first team. Each month, one lucky coach will receive an Apple® iPad™ 16GB.
For additional assistance with team enrollment, visit Online Help.
Oracle Education Foundation
Um... thank you for your concern and offer of additional assistance? Really?