Friday, October 29, 2010

Educational Bloggers I read

I am going to start sharing the folks on my Google reader (use it if you don't already, saves a lot of clicktime and makes it much easier to see patterns in what you read--if you analyze mine you'd realize that I love technology, education, learning about Portguese and Swedish craft culture, farming, sewing, photojournalism, design, infographics, and a healthy dose of brain mush: basically fashion and gossip sites to help my brain dissolve at the end of a long day).

Here are my shared sites from my reader, sites I pick to share with anyone else who is in my field. Meaning, click in if you want lots of vibrant discourse on education today.

So, número uno is David Warlick.

Here is a pearl of wisdom he offers in his most recent post:

I can’t put my finger on any one statement or situation, but what came to mind several times is how much we, in K12 education, have lost our confidence. I remember, when I was teaching 25 to 35 years ago, a sense of educational entrepreneurship. I couldn’t have expressed it that way then, but I was free and felt encouraged to innovate in order to motivate learning — rather than applying teaching.

One of the professors said that when his daughter came home from her first day in sixth grade, she said that the principal had told the students that they will not be having fun. They will be learning. That is not innovation. It is blunt force education.

Not only have we lost our confidence, but our students are losing their childhood.

People wonder why I am in such a rush with change. Well, his last statement is why.

Next up: Scott McLeod. He really makes me smile with delight when he writes about education today.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

bread maker's son

So I wanted to write about pain. About the pain I experience every time I stick my neck out at work and how hard it is for me to articulate what I know to be right. And so I went to my Flickr (naturally) and searched for pain to see if there were any scowls or anything I could find in my stream. (I search my own stuff--I have 17,000 plus items). Flickr has been on my mind a lot lately, given that I am blocked from it at work and all the visual learning that I use it for is blocked. Pardon me for saying so but any one with 17,000 plus items in her stream, many of them educational in nature, is clearly using a visual pathway to learn. And not being able to use Flickr causes me pain because it forces me to speak out loud about how I learn and how I am different. And really, I know I am different. (Anyone who grew up in a living laboratory called a working farm, anyone whose idea of "community service" means "those neighbors on that island in that ocean that we share....close enough" is clearly going to be different). I know I am total Alt Ed all the way (let me learn my way and please don't punish me for not being like you). I know that normal school has never worked for me. (I tried to quit twice, once in seventh, and once in eleventh, and ended up graduating early). And I know that this is painful and I need to talk about it. It's painful because no one should be forced to sit in neat even rows for hours on end doing worksheets. That kind of learning isn't learning. It's painful because I remember the day when I was 16 years old and took responsibility for my own learning. "We can't give you a transcript for junior year." Guess what I learned junior year? Spanish. It's painful because I know how expensive travel is, but virtually, one can travel for free. It's painful because this, and this, and this, all help me teach. And the's just painful. 

 So blah blah blah...I searched for pain on my Flickr and lo and behold it spat back a few loaves of bread...pain is French for bread.  And with bread came this photo of the breadmaker's son.  And I laughed out loud.  And I felt better.  And so this blog is therapeutic yet again.

a look of imminent mischief

In terms of work and pain, I know it will all pass in time.  I know that I need patience among other lacking virtues.  I know.

Cross-posted.  My school and my emotions intertwine.  That is why teaching hurts sometimes--because we teachers have feelings and we spend 90% of the time meeting the needs of others, at work, and we have needs, too.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

it's the beginning of the end

No panic button, I mean the end of grad school. I have affectionately called it grad skoo since the whole process began, but now that a formal application for a diploma has been submitted, it's beginning to feel serious.

I really do think that my degree program at Farmington has made me a better teacher. I feel I have learned a LOT. Interestingly enough, I don't think Farmington was about stretching my skills in the Technology piece of TPCK. I don't feel it addressed my Content piece of TPCK because I did not take one Spanish course. I did all my literacy work up at Orono, so no connection there. But what Farmington brought to me was a series of challenges to the way I do business. It helped me formalize my teaching strategies and it validated my pathways of teaching and learning. It forced me to consider WHY I do things and WHAT the kids will learn as a result. I learned so much about the different ways that people learn and how to chart growth. I read so many pages of interesting theories and philosophies, and more importantly subscribed to some of the most exciting educational bloggers out there, that give a much more eloquent public discourse about education than I can, at this point.

Number one? Graduate school forced me to share my ideas and I became better at that. I developed a very unique, very awesome personal learning network. Not to brag but my personal learning network is very international and very connected! A high point was presenting at PUCMM in the Dominican Republic. I presented to a faculty there about learning with multimedia and gave strategies for designing learning with multimedia. I did this IN Spanish. It was SO hard and so good for my brain!

Now the sweet spot of my graduate school experience. My research. This research is all about open educational resources and I am part of a powerful movement. I lead a team of 9 others to focus on World Languages. I've put 80 hours in to the research already (yes, a lot!) and will have 60 more in before I am done in June. And I graduate in May! It's all so exciting--to realize that Farmington was a good investment, because it stretched my mind and pushed me to be better at this teaching gig. It pushed me to share more, and dare I say fight more for the pathway I represent.

So yeah. It's a lot of work right now, but I'm close. And it feels so good.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Have I mentioned...?

I received three Pearson sponsorships (read: free money) for three of my social networks? All are private, but here is the list:

Dirigo Photo--this year Alternative Education students comprise this network
Dirigo Spanish--for my advanced classes, and possible collaboration with the two other high schools in my district
DR2010--I plan to present to the school board soon and this network will be renamed DR2012. This is open. This was great!

My students are most active on the photo network. Great work alt ed! Can't wait to print those pictures large and share with the whole school.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

correction codes

Two great resources.  One is a link, one I will post here.

First, this comprehensive list of codes IN SPANISH for correcting Spanish, from the University of Rhode Island.  Click in!

I have a list also of correction codes from this source.

Correction Codes

AA Adjective/noun agreement wrong (includes gender and number)
AC Accent wrong or missing
AGR Subject/verb agreement problem; make sure subject agrees with verb.
AP Personal ‘a’ required
ART Article wrong or missing (includes definite [el/la…] vs. indefinite [un/uno/una…])
CC Wrong copula choice; choose between ser and estar  
GEN Gender wrong; check whether noun is masculine or feminine and make it agree with article.  
INF  Infinitive needed
OP Object pronoun wrong or missing; may include direct/indirect object pronouns or masculine/feminine; make sure pronoun agrees with the noun it is replacing.
PART    Participle form of verb required; be sure the participle agrees with the noun if it is being used as an adjective or in the passive voice. Ex.: Las composiciones fueron revisadas por el profesor.  If it is used in a perfect tense, use the masculine singular form. Ex:  Yo he estudiado para el examen.
PREP Preposition wrong or missing
REL Relative pronoun wrong; frequently ‘que’ is missing. Ex.: La casa (que) yo compré.
REF Reflexive pronoun wrong or missing
SP Spelling error
SPN Subject pronoun problem; Ex: Yo, tú, él, ella, Ud., nosotros, ellos, ellas, Uds.
TNS Tense incorrect (includes preterit/imperfect distinction)
VF Verb improperly conjugated (includes wrong verb forms, e.g., stem-changing verbs)
WC Word choice – more appropriate word required; vocabulary error; may be the result of a direct translation from English. 
WO Word order incorrect 


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Rita Indiana y los Misterios

(Feat. Los Misterios)

La canilla preparada pa juir
La pantalla en treintamil
Me trague la gasolina
con un ambenil
Sin abri la boca toy metiendo

Con eto beat haciendo colte
E patelito de epinaca en to eto cuero
Son ajeno, son del que lo toque con ma

Voy pa Puelto Rico
Ma lejo que Egipto

Con un pentagrama e cicatrice
En la cabeza a lo Jack Veneno
Mandale la horma a tu tío en el
Pa que manden tenni
Que se armó el juidero


Con un pentagrama e cicatrice
En la cabeza a lo Jack Veneno
Mandale la horma a tu tio en el
Pa que manden tenni
Que se armó el juidero (bis)

Voy pa Puelto Rico
Ma lejo que Egipto

(Rezo Oyá)

Te vi mamadeo con lo deo en bola
Deso te gotea la jugola
Vaina cocola
Si me la pide te la canto en yola
Tu ta buenona, te sabe to la rocola
Mi sone son de cuando pitola
De cuando Cuca bailaba con Lola
Punqui pun el tablazo en la tambora
Soba soba
Ni con bengay te mejora
Tu viene dique hinchao con to lo viento en contra
Si te me cuadra a mi La Montra
Ponte lo papo de escarba el gallinero
Plumero y pico en pote
Que se armo el juidero

Voy pa Puelto Rico

Saturday, October 16, 2010

social media

At our opening workshop in August I really struggled with the idea that social media is not a part of an educational experience.  Today I found an article that shares 7 fantastic free social media tools for teachers.  At the end of the article are related links that make a case for social media.

I'm curious: what do you use for social media?  Do you have connections with students?

Personally the most "student connected" social media I use is Flickr.  There is a reason I keep a clean Flickr.  I keep all of my social networks clean but I am especially careful with this website, and when my students use Flickr, I have always modeled responsible networking.  I used to allow students to friend me on Google and use Google chat to talk to me, but that was before schools hosted educational networks like email.  I require my students to use email, and they receive grades for responding to short, simple e-mails in Spanish.  Talk about modeling...letter writing at its finest. to you use social media with students?  Is it educational?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

Free High School Science textbooks

Discovered while researching Open Educational Resources.

Basically a team of invested parties set about to create a high school science curriculum that is totally free and aligned to South African learning results.

Makes me curious:

To what standards do you align your curriculum?  Maine PEI, your own state standards, Common Core, or some other standard?

Saturday, October 2, 2010


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