Monday, August 30, 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Diurno con llave nocturna--Neruda

For level 3.

Son las nueve de la mañana
de un día enteramente puro,
a rayas azules y blancas,
recién lavado y estirado,
justo como una camiseta.

Todas las briznas olvidadas
de leña, de algas diminutas,
las patas de los insectos,
las pálidas plumas errantes,
los clavos que caen del pino,
todo reluce como puede,
el mundo tiene olor a estrella.

Pero ya viene el cartero
escupiendo cartas terribles,
carras que debemos pagar,
que nos recuerdan deudas duras, cartas en que
alguien muriò
y algún hermano cayò preso
y además alguien nos enreda
en sus profesiones de araña,
y luego traen un periòdico
blanco y negro como la muerte
y todas las noticias lloran.
Mapa del mundo y del sollozo! Diario
mojado cada noche
y quemado cada mañana
por la guerra y por los dolores,
oh geografía dolorosa!

Ya la tarde rota se arruga
y vuela como papel muerto,
de calle en calle en calle va,
la orinan los perros errantes,
la persiguen los basureros,
le añaden aliños atroces,
tripas de gallos, excrementos,
zapatos irreconocibles
y es como un Fardo el viejo día:
sucio papel y vidrios rotos
hasta que lo tiran afuera,
lo acuestan en los arrabales.

Llega la noche con su copa
de enredaderas estrelladas,
el sueño sumerge a los hombres,
los acumula en su subsuelo
y se lava el mundo otra vez,
otra vez regresa la luna,
la sombra sacude sus guantes
mientras trabajan las raíces.

Y nace de nuevo otro día.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Room painted, books organized, supplies in order.

New programs installed. New music in the cd player.

New faces. It's a yearly thing.

Usually I feel great anticipation. This year I am just ready. I am prepared and ready and juggling the myriad other things in my life. I am trying to do this with a smile.

Tomorrow I see the kids for the first time. That is the best part of my job. The kids.

The major bummer of today was not having access to educational sites because they had been blocked at the venue.

I get so frustrated when teachers cannot access what they need.

But tomorrow the kids come and I am reminded why I love this job. Not because of cool tools but because learning is awesome. Learning in action is awesome.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

comments on a useful course

EDU572, Technology as a change agent, has been a very useful course.

After reading Reeves, I realized the need for a one-page plan for my courses. These plans outline essential skills and concepts that are needed for mastery of a level. The document is aligned to the Maine Learning Results.

After reading Liberating Learning, I realized I need to advocate more for evironmental learning design--basically setting up spaces that are alive and not ignored due to being plugged in. I don't think interactive is quite the word--I think there exist separate values of different types of learning spaces. Face to face time in a living environment is superior to on-line learning in my value system.

Thinking out loud in a very informal grant proposal allowed me to focus on real data collected over time about how my students learn and how I learn and how we differ. I understand I teach to myself intrinsically and must develop outward practices of differentiation. Hopefully someone wants to pay for this professional development.

Evaluating the district tech plan was somewhat painful as I realized the infancy of our district and its culture. I have a Utopia in mind and sharing a strong vision of appropriate technology integration (see above, environment and living learning spaces) is really my goal. It starts in my own department of World Languages and will hopefully spill over.

This course was extremely practical because the activities on change readiness gave me the permission to be patient with myself and others. We are in the midst of a long, slow change. In ten years, I hope I can point to a successful student and say, "We learned together."

All work is here.

fibonacci nature


Today four bean bags that I have waited literally years for arrived in my classroom.

What a thrill! What excitement! Could they really fit in those boxes??

Well, once out of those boxes, four bean bags expanded so that one corner of my room is rather overshadowed by four HUGE bean bags.

I hope these are not an issue (multiple people jostling on bean bags is not a management issue I desire) but I realized if kids could settle down in a comfy spot to actually READ something, then the bags are worth it. I also figured that if 4 bags are just too much, I am sure I could find people to take one or two from me.

As it is, with the bags next to each other against the wall, I think 12 people could squeeze on them...not that I want that to's just...they are HUGE.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

curriculum and assessment 2010

Today is the third time we've met and I must say Mary and I kick butt at this stuff.

Level 1 (ten hours)
1. Examine and reflect on the World Language Seminar model and tweak it. We did a survey, and sixty kids gave us feedback we will use.

2. Specifically, re-organize the Seminar to be a list of tasks instead of calendar-based. Started this.

3. Create project sheets for each task and make them into .pdfs for the wiki (ETA we created these as we went along last year--not a huge timesucker) A lot of this has to do with me cleaning out my laptop before it gets re-imaged. Find that here.

4. Isolate the essential skills. Here they are.

5. Create a metalanguage master definition page with tons of examples. Mary is doing this in Pages until I fix that page of the wiki.

(colors for different tasks, etc?)

7. Make 1 page plan with essential skills, unit themes, metalanguage, translation guidelines, and contact info.

8. Make Metalanguage Flap Posters for level 1 These are almost done--waiting for definitions to be done (see above). I plan on making them like this: Kirsten's page.

9. Finish Welcome Letter with links on wiki Here it is

Level 2 (ten hours)

1. Create a metalanguage list Here they are!

2. Create a task-based list to meet Maine Learning Results. (Worry about project sheets as we go--at least create the first few). Here they are!

3. Isolate the essential skills. Here they are!

4. Create a metalanguage master definition page with tons of examples.

5. Create binder guidelines for students with student samples.

6. Make graphic organizer for ¿siete qué?

7. Make Metalanguage Flap Posters for level 2

8. Sign up and build the SAM series in Discovery Education What an exciting new tool we have been given from the district. SAM is in both French and Spanish and is perfect for our level 2. Most exciting is that the videos are embeddable!

Level 3 (ten hours)
1. Make a list of units by semester.
2. Make project sheets for each one. WIP
3. Isolate essential skills.
4. Create a metalanguage list.
5. Create Google sites for each student.

Level 4 (ten hours)
1. Create list units for each quarter.
2. Isolate essential skills.
3. Create a metalanguage list.
4. Create Google sites for each student.

Based on this list, the biggest investment to be made is time.


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