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

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 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.