Wednesday, January 30, 2008

more for the unit plan

So we have to write a unit has to have an essential question, a unit question and content brain keeps spinning on it and this is this morning's brainpower.

EQ: Why do we eat what we do?

GQ: Where does our fruit come from?

CQ: What Spanish speaking countries produce and export fruit to the US?
What is the cycle from seed to your table?
What is the historical context of this type of trade?

I am so weird...having grown up on a farm and now speaking Spanish, this food thing is really high on my list of essential things I can guide kids to know more about....the Spanish tie-in has a lot to do with my experience touring farms in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. I see so much potential for kids = "Wow that is what a pineapple plant looks like!"

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My brain is positively spinning with ideas for class!

That is a good sign.

Where does your food come from?--a virtual field trip

  • has to take place in a spanish country
  • must include 35 images
  • cannot be longer than 14 minutes long
  • must have three activities
  • barter
  • transportation
  • a meal
  • must be subtitled
  • must have music

Wat makes a memory?

  • photography
  • dance
  • artwork
  • music

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Empathetic Teacher

For an upcoming LAW session, I've prepared the following notes.


Students pack up to leave my room before the bell.


Classroom management

Give bad news with empathy. "I am so sorry you failed this test."

Replace demands with alternatives. "Would you prefer to study for the next exam after school or during a learning lab?"

Adults play more of a facilitator or counselor role rather than judging or punishing.

The sooner a child learns a lesson, the less costly the lesson is. Be firm. Life in the real world is tough.

Empathy or sorry as a response reduces the chance that a student will focus on adult anger. Inward reflection is encouraged rather than emotional reaction.

Give children and opportunity to develop a new plan. "What's your plan?"

Friday, January 25, 2008

ubiquitous computing evaluation consortium

The first round of discussions begins with this:

Since the early 1990s, school districts across the United States have invested tens of billions of dollars in educational technology. As a result, computers have become an integral part of the learning experience in many elementary and secondary schools.

As more schools integrate 1-to-1 computing into the classroom, it is increasingly important to determine how the devices are used, how ubiquitous computing changes the learning experience, and how teachers integrate available technology into curricula.

--ubiquitous computing evaluation consortium

To answer the questions posed in this introduction, I chose to read the following articles:

Article One:

--The goals of ubiquitous computers are to: reduce economic inequity, raise student achievement through specific interventions and transform the quality of instruction.

--Bette Manchester, who oversees the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, has said, “There needs to be a leadership team that looks at things through three different lenses: the lens of curriculum and content; the lens of the culture of the building; and the lens of technical needs.”

Article Two:

--Teachers who believe that students are capable of completing complex assignments on their own or in collaboration with peers may be more likely to assign extended projects that require laptop use and to allow students to choose the topics for their own research projects. Teachers who view technology as a tool with a wide variety of potential applications are more likely to use laptops often with students. Those teachers who believe that there are adequate software and Internet-based resources available to to help teach their particular content area may use laptops with students more often than teachers who believe that there are simply not enough high-quality materials available.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

my blogging experience

I started blogging in July 2004 after coming home from ten days in Venezuela and deciding, finally, to get a divorce. I started with a secret blog, cryptically titled on LiveJournal. After a few weeks I realized I had a lot to say and a lot of people to say things to (being the youngest of six!) and began my blogger blog, Reverse Brain Drain. This became my daily and or weekly outlet. I had been a girl who lived her life on pieces of paper for so long. Scribbled notes and dog-eared journals and someone who loves pens. Here was a neat and tidy space for me to write. Madeleine L'Engle, who was a friend of my older sister, gave me this advice when asked how to be a better writer. "Write every day." Blogging became a saving discipline. I survived my divorce and began blogging in earnest.

From Reverse Brain Drain, I moved to Typepad (the now-defunct Brusselleans), and finally Wordpress (Amity, etc). I also updated Algo Delicioso and Spanglish for a long time, but finally morphed everything into one site at Amity, etc.

So it's been a few years since I started this blogging habit. My main blog earns me money with BlogHer ads. It's not a lot, but I am the type to have multiple streams of income and this is the ideal way to do it. My other habit is photography and my photo sites are found on Flickr and the Center for Fine Art Photography.

Oh yeah! I have a site for school and my students for the past few years have developed their own blogs for my classes.


This is the first post for my most recent re-invention in the blogosphere.


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