Tuesday, June 21, 2011

30-day Photo Challenge

My DEN friends, @nsharoff and @McTeach, tweeted it, Melanie Holtsman blogged it, and I visited the White Peach Photo site where it all started.

Much as I want to participate in a 365 photo a day challenge, I take it too seriously and am too stressed out. I get one or two photos behind, it soon becomes a week, and 'whomp' I drop out. I thought, instead, that I would try a different photo challenge, since it's summer, and maybe I can "git 'er done" as Larry the Cable Guy would say.

'Course, I'm already behind ... it started yesterday with a Self-Portrait. Mine will be there today and I'll be all caught up and no stress!

Join me, if you will, and take some mighty photos. Click the link to join the group.

... now to find my camera to take today's shot.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Teacher Appreciation Week

Yes, I've been out of the loop for a bit but am inspired to include today's topic thanks to the DEN. The Discovery Educator Network remembers its STAR DEN members with daily notes and small tokens every day of this week. Since I'm no longer in the classroom it's really my only recognition as a teacher. I don't need it 'cause I LOVE what I do, but it sure is nice to hear. A simple pat on the back from people I respect and who indicate they respect me and the choice I made to be a teacher.

As part of teacher appreciation week, we were asked to fill out a form answering the question, "Would you share with us what being a part of the DEN means to you?". Theis wordle says most of how I feel but it can't express the attachment I have to the DEN, all the teachers who have touched my heart, and the amazing legacy of learning I have enjoyed as a member of the DEN.

Thank you to everyone who is part of the Discovery Educator Network!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Uncle Sam works for GUSD!

Preparing a presentation for one of the PTA groups on cyberbullying and cybersafety I wanted to include something at the end that was relevant but light-hearted, memorable yet cute, with the emphasis on the C U T E.

Enter acapela.tv and Uncle Sam is revitalized for GUSD. Okay, not the real Uncle Sam, but a very clever impersonator. This video hit the parents' funny bones and gave a lift to the serious tone of the evening. I saw the principal at our district Tech Fair last week and got a big hug. I think this did the trick.

There is a limit to the length of the speech and I think I hit that limit, but using Twitter made it easy to trim. Take a look for yourself and then take time to make your own. Oh, and be sure to have some fun while you're learning!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

It Happens Every Year

Last May, after our offices moved from the hillsides of the north end of the district to our "new" offices in the basement of the administration building, I first noticed it. (Yes, I miss the windows but no one can really find the basement, either.)

Driving down the streets toward the freeway I sense the lavender hue among the trees. Within a day or two it is stronger and the light from the setting sun highlights the flowers. The jacaranda trees are blooming again, a beautiful annual ritual.

Pronounced [jak-uh-ran-duh] it is described as any of various tropical trees belonging to the genus Jacaranda, of the catalpa family, having showy clusters of usually purplish flowers. (Pronunciation and definition from dictionary.com)

Seeing the blossoms each day for about three weeks makes me feel happy, cozy, even peaceful. Is it that I realize the school year is almost over or that the cool of Spring is moving into the warmth of Summer? Well, those may be true, but I think it's more that the color purple is one of my all-time, deep down favorites. I'm glad they stay in bloom so long. Their longevity cheers me.

Especially because, when I am old, I shall wear purple! (Jenny Joseph, 1932) and share my own happy, cozy, peaceful feelings.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Verizon Thinkfinity and me

It's been a few weeks (months?) since I posted a blog. Time got away from me with a few interruptions from life ... lol. All is better for now and I am in the beginnings of my first online class. A bit of a learning curve as Blackboard is new to me but really quite fun to use.

The class is about Verizon Thinkfinity and offers learners a deeper discovery of the Thinkfinity program. Free resources through amazing partnerships all offered by the Verizon Foundation. Very cool.

Below is a link to the flash video of the newly re-constructed site. I was first trained on the old site so here is my opportunity to move forward again. As one of our site techs uses as her email signature, "The trail of learning never ... ever ... ends."

What is Thinkfinity?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Paul E. Glott is a polyglot!

When new students, fresh from another country, entered my classroom I worked hard to learn basic comments in their languages. They would giggle as I tried to say the words and recognize that I knew it wasn't easy to learn a new language. When they accomplished a task I was able to say, "Good work!" or, "Very good work!" in words they understood, and that made them smile.

I only wish I'd had THIS tool back then. Paul E. Glott thinks about what you've typed into his notebook and translates it into the language you choose. He posts the words with type and also speaks them so you can hear the proper inflections. You can get your own widget at acapela.tv and learn to your heart's content. Try it!

Monday, January 25, 2010

DEN SCIcon2010

Saturday, January 9th was the Discovery Education SCIcon2010. A virtual conference based at Discovery's headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, the southern California in-person was held at the Corner Bakery in the Irvine Spectrum. It was a good turnout and everyone had a great time. It was a day of videos, presentations, and downloadable pdf files. Truly a plethora of information and I can't wait for the next one.

All of the SCIcon2010 sessions are available in video format, as well as all the handouts, at the DENSCIcon web site.

I was unable to attend in Irvine so I logged on at home. Technical difficulties with the audio plagued the webinar, but Brad's livestream session worked great. By the way, Brad and other DE 'scientists' hold monthly DE Science classes at the site and the next class is Tuesday, February 2, 2010.

There are links to the other sites as tabs on Brad's Science in Action blog. Just click the DENSCIcon2010 tab or any others to find wonderful information for science. I was never much for science when I was in school but it was never taught science this way.

Many of the resources are available without logging into DE - what a bonus!
Think Green, Learning Lab, and Science Homework Help

I hope you have a chance to look at them and consider some at-home investigations and experiments. Just think of Boris Karloff in his la-bor-a-tor-y ... ok, ask your folks about him.