Friday, August 28, 2009

Links and Things

I am trying out links and things. This is me practicing. I need a lot of practice.

This is a link to runbetsyrun; my daughter's running blog.

I am also trying to post a picture. Here goes!

This is a picture of my kids and their significant others at a family wedding on Lake Michigan.

Fred (Betsy's boyfriend), Ted (my son), Tom (my other son), Sarah (Tom's girlfriend), Nina (Ted's girlfriend), and Betsy (my daughter).

I need more practice with picturing......
I love this picture! It reminds me of ME on a bad hair day!

One more thing to try because I want to be like Holly.

This is not from the family wedding in Michigan, but I like this video. It makes me laugh!

Monday, August 24, 2009


I had a few minutes today to play around with the new tools we are learning. I went to and looked around. I saw some pretty cool things and saw how teachers are using voicethread in their classes. I can't wait to learn more about it as I am already thinking about how I might use this tool in my class. I wonder if you can put voicethread and music together? I think I will go back and explore some more.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

google docs - interesting

Today I played around with google docs. It is much easier than I thought. I was able to send my doc out for editing by others and I could watch as they were making their editing remarks. How cool is that! I am beginning to see the possibilities on how to use this in my READ 180 class; especially with struggling writers. One huge problem I have with my READ 180 students is that when they write they write once and then they are done. They think revision means to fix a spelling error. I really have to work hard at teaching them this is editing and not revision. Google docs would be an easy way for them to practice revision and get better at it.

I probably won't jump in right away with this, but it is something I will try to use maybe after Christmas. I still have many new things to learn about google docs.

Day 4 reflection

The week is done already? Last night a friend asked about my class. I said I've learned so much in just three days, but my head was spinning. I like that I can go home in the afternoon and play around with what I have learned in the morning.

I did a class blog last year with my students. I developed a rubric for scoring their comments. I did this all as a pilot to see how kids responded to blogging and how to evaluate what they were writing. I really wanted my students to respond to my thinking. I wanted them to comment on my thinking and respond with their own thinking. It took awhile to get my 6th graders away from commenting with "cool dawg". When I refused to accept that type of comment and modeled what exactly I was looking for, I got better responses. I shared my rubric for commenting on the blog with another 6th grade teacher and she used it too. We got together to revise it and will try it again this year. We still have a few questions for Steve K. and will be asking for his input this year as well.

I am so consumed with learning the other tools like RSS and igoogle that I have not really thought about how I might use those tools in class. I always need to see examples of how tools have actually been used with students. Then I process it and think how I can adapt it for my students and my teaching style. At any rate, I am ready to learn new things today.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Delicious - yummy new tool for me

When I first started working with Delicious I was a little lost. However, I got on a roll and I know I will be going back to this a lot. I've added a lot of new sites and I can't wait to go back and explore in depth some of them. I have to admit, I've heard Steve K. talk about delicious before this class and just thought he was referring to his usual morning snack. The more he talked about it the more I realized he was referring to some technology tool. Now, I have a better idea what delicious is all about. There is so much out there! I found a wonderful site on grammar that I think middle school students would like. It is has almost everything you would ever want to know about grammar but more importantly it looks fun.

How will I use this with kids? Am I ready to use this somehow in my classroom? I think right now I will use it personally and probably this year do a little more with blogging. Lynne can appreciate this....I once jumped off the very top of Frye's Leap. It took me 6 different trips to the leap with my family with everybody jumping and teasing me to jump. After 6 trips watching, studying, and thinking I probably could do it----I finally did! I have made many jumps since and think No Big Deal. Maybe all of this technology stuff will come to be No Big Deal to me too!

My Hopes for Today - 3rd Day

I'm just moving on hoping to get a quick learn on how to bookmark on delicious today. I impressed my daughter with what I have learned so far, but my sons were not all that impressed. I have a portaportal I set up a few years ago. That seemed easy enough for me to do, but now I am wondering how is that different from delicious?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Brand new laptop and multi-tasking

It is 4:30 on Tuesday and I am using my new Macbook, watching Oprah (regular bacon is better for you than turkey bacon), keeping an eye out my window watching for my elderly neighbor as I already had to help him back to his house today after he went out for a walk, and believe it or not texting back and forth with my son. Now that is muti-tasking!

This course must be working for me. I had the confidence to go ahead and change my password on my new apple, figured out how to change the network while I am at home and after this post I am going to investigate about how to print from my new laptop.

I guess I am not all that different from some of my students. I just need the motivation to learn(discussions in class about the importance of new tech skills in our professional and personal lives), confidence to try new things (calm, caring instruction from our two teachers), and time to practice and play (still summer vacation!).

update on new tricks

The way class was conducted this morning really matched my learning style. I could read and reread at my own pace and then when I was ready (when my confidence was up) I could go ahead at my own speed and try new things. Holly and Henry are great seat mates as I tend to talk myself through things when I am learning something new. They have been very patient and helpful! I will go home and play with this RSS thing.

I will have to be careful about filling the RSS feed with too many interesting things! I am thinking I will have to put in what is relevant and important to me as a teacher and personally. Figuring out what is important as opposed to what is interesting; hmmmmm, sounds like what I am always trying to teach my reading students.

So far so good. It is good for me to be a learner again; especially right before school starts.
My hopes for today are to learn how to use Really Simple Syndication (RSS) and I would like to know more about adding a link while blogging and why people do that? Sometimes I see links all over the place for every little thing! I am interested in the igoogle site after watching Holly navigate around her site yesterday. My biggest hope and goal is to conquer this apprehension I have around new technology.

I thought the conversations yesterday were interesting and I am looking forward to hearing more from people and entertaining new ideas. I woke up this morning looking forward to class.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Learning New Tricks

The day I turned fifty I took time out to reflect on all the lessons and tricks I have learned during the past fifty years. There are too many to write about in this blog. The day I turned 51 I took time to think about all the lessons and tricks I have yet to learn! I am always open to new learning, but I must admit not always confident. Technology is not a huge comfort area for me. It moves too fast and I find myself still thinking about and trying to learn some technology that is "so yesterday" as my own kids often remind me.

I am excited to learn new tricks in this course. I will make myself a promise to be a little more self assured to try new things. My mind is racing already with new ideas about how to incorporate meaningful SSR with my reading intervention kids. I read a interesting blog about letting kids read blogs written by kids during SSR time. I am in intrigued by a comment I read in the blog about how we are always concerned with kids creating content and how it is just as important for kids to consume content. This really challenges my SSR assumptions and forces me to think outside the box. I'm thinking I will play around with this new trick this year.