Saturday, August 30, 2008

No Child Left Behind and Bloom's Taxonomy

Mastering Low-Level Content from Scott McLeod on Vimeo.

the first days of school

The first week of school ended yesterday and I feel very positive about my classroom environment and my students. The learning space is structured with a large square in the middle of the room surrounded by chairs, and computers along the outer wall. There are cabinets in the corner full of art supplies, a counter space with plants and a bowl of fruit, and two bookshelves full of print resources. I have a lot of shelves to display my realia from the Spanish speaking world.

Everyone seemed genuinely happy to be in the room and I had no discipline issues whatsoever! I took everyone's picture for a visual seating chart to be created.

My room has no clock and my campus has no bell system. I wrote the class times on the board and instructed my students (in Spanish!) to set their cell phone alarms for the right time to leave. This made them so happy. Cell phones are verboten in my school but in my room, they are used as a tool.

I had several students express how happy they were with the new room. Last year's room was small and confining with few resources. This year it is resource-rich.

A few highlights:

I was showing the Spanish 4 class the Amiguitos wiki when my elementary school teaching partner called on Skype. It happened while I was projecting the wiki and so she appeared LIVE and began to chat with us. The 4's were thrilled with the "flattening" between high school and elementary school.

One of my Spanish 2 sections was also viewing the wiki, both the welcome video and the video that my elementary teacher partner made with her first grade class and sent to us. Mrs. Y then called us on Skype. She arranged her students in front of the camera and I did as well. My class asked them how many kids were in the class. "14!" "!5!" "No 14!" My Spanish 2's giggled at the first grade antics. Then they proceed to teach the first graders the numbers from 1-15 in Spanish. Both sides of the conversation were a bit giddy and giggly and "Wow!" The exchange lasted about 6 minutes (long enough for first graders and Spanish 2's on a Friday afternoon). It felt completely successful in terms of teachers managing distance interactions in an education, collaborative way. It was definitely my moment of the week.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

What I did with the last day of my summer vacation

I joined two Nings thanks to Julie Lindsey. (See 'em on my sidebar, cool!)

I also updated my professional wiki with my educational philosophy. Read it and weep.

The grad school wiki went bye-bye....instead I'll continue to add content to my professional wiki and call it good.

More to do...will update later.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Check the Alitas Collaboration Wiki for the most recent updates.

Soon, I'll be updating the Grad School Wiki.

My MSAD21 Wiki is gaining weight, depth, breadth.

The Exploration project was approved by the department head.

I'm officially a mentor as of yesterday--I'm teamed with the new French teacher. We worked on curriculum during our first session. Yay, Maine Learning Results.

My friend J. from Panama/E. Dixfield was approved to volunteer ever Wednesday in my classroom.

The computers will be imaged tonight and powered up.

The classroom configuration is complete...will post pics soon.

I'm proposing parent education nights for tech....the tech director liked the idea! Now to make tutorials....will have my students do it.

Ordered the first trial run of food for the class: one crate apples, one crate oranges, trail mix, and peanut butter. Now need to figure out the water--I want a cooler in my room. Also need a fridge.

(Food is BIG in my both my cultures...yankee and latin.)

Having a great day prepping for school and the summer bash we are throwing...the end-of-summer bash.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Cool stuff

Via a Vicki Davis tweet:

  • Glogster. Seems like a cool site for incorporating multimedia elements in a poster-sized presentation.

Via a Sue Roseman tweet:

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Tech Institute '08 was GREAT. My mind is really churning and the focus is so good for me. I worked on the Exploration wiki (sorry, it's for my advisees and is closed!) today as well as update the Hall of Fame on the MSAD21 Spanish wiki. I created the Tools page and organized the Projects page. I also wrote out the first week plan for the incoming freshmen and made a slide show using 280 Slides. It worked--not that snazzy of themes but it worked.

Still need to create student work links for this year. I also need to email the Alitas participants...but something tells me everyone is quite busy and waiting a few weeks is fine. There is no rush, as we have nine months to do some sort of distance collaboration. Other to-do's include writing out the Spanish 4 beginning unit on screencasting using Jing. They'll make the tutorials in Spanish for all of the applications we'll be using this year. I know, brilz.

At some point I need to find the really old photojournalism websites made at Woodland High. That was a very creative group and I want to include some of the work in the Hall of Fame. It makes for a great student sample.

What else, ¿que más? The Tech Institute was GREAT. I loved working in a room with smart, funny, real committed co-workers. We all chose to be in that space together, to work together. Choosing that is very powerful. There was so much collective knowledge in the room that everyone worked super-efficiently. And we played GOOD MUSIC and laughed at jokes and just goofed with each other, playful like kids. It was nice.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

summer tech '08

Tax dollars at work! The Summer Tech Institute '08 is a four day professional development event. I'm lovin' it!

First I learned how to make a movie (youtube link coming soon). Then I learned how to make a podcast.

Today I worked on the MSAD21 wiki and collaborated with 6 other DHS staff members--it was so much fun to all hang out and work together. I spent a LOT of time over at Vicki's wikis--learning how she sets things up and making things work for my scenario. I spent a good chunk of time on Google Calendars, and embedded one for each class! (I love how the language can be changed to Spanish--so immersive!)

My grad class in the fall will be filmed and I've been asked to help with that--should be fun to edit.

It's hard to believe school is almost here...I am very excited about the new school year and all the great things that will happen!!


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