Texas Bluebonnet Writing Project Blog

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Hello All,
I have been out of town and out of the cyber world the last 2 weeks. Just a reminder to post to the anthology. I won't be able to get to it until August 4th so you have another week to go. Enjoy the last few days of summer! kat

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Sharing a bit of Ireland with you

HI all: I want to share bits and pieces of my Ireland trip with you. The pic here was taken at Trinity College Dining Hall, Dublin, Ireland. Yet, it also was one of the sets of a recent movie. Do you recognize it?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Web 2.0

Have you ever wondered just what Web 2.0 is? Well Gina Hughes has a nice overview of this cultural phenomenon on her blog:http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/hughes/1079

Gina HughesAdd Gina the Techie Diva to your My Yahoo! pageadd to My Yahoo!
What is Web 2.0?

Wed Jul 19, 2006 6:59AM EDT

I had the same question when I first heard the term. To simplify things, Web 2.0 is what people consider "the second generation of services available on the World Wide Web that lets people collaborate and share information online". Ok, I took those exact words from Wikipedia, which is a good example of this new Web 2.0 era. In the past we had encyclopedias, these days we also have wikis or wikipedias, which are updated more frequently.

O'Reilly Net has a much more extensive review on the matter, and they are an excellent resource because they pretty much coined the term during a brainstorming session. Unfortunately, O'Reilly Media is also in the process of registering the term Web 2.0 as a service mark, so they can continue to use this term for their annual conference. I'm sure this will cause a lot of confusion for everyone in the future if we choose to adopt this name, then again, we may already be too late.

Aside from being a buzzword, Web 2.0 also refers to this exciting exchange of ideas where everyone plays a part. Whether they choose to do it via social networking sites like MySpace, blogs, video/audio podcasts, social bookmarking, photo communities and wikis to name a few, users are encouraged to create, contribute, or participate in these online communities. With all these applications comes a new language we must learn, and a new way of designing websites.

Just take a look around the web, and you will notice a lot of great companies out there that offer easy ways to share video, share bookmarks, create personal or business blogs, or even make phone calls over the Internet. You'll recognize Web 2.0 websites by their tag clouds, rounded corners, gradients and short punchy names with elements of english words, well at least that's what Reddit's how-to-video says.

While many have a problem with the label of this new phase, there is no denying that the web has certainly changed in the last few years, and will continue to do so. Believe it or not, the term Web 3.0 is already out there. Since I couldn't possibly explain Web 2.0 as a whole in this post, I will leave you with a few great links to help you learn more about it, or just have fun with it.

* Tech Crunch reviews new Web 2.0 products
* Intro to Web 2.0
* Buzzword Hell attempts to kill the buzz words
* the Social Software weblog
* Edugadget Web 2.0 for teachers
* Test your 2.0 knowledge
* What is Web 2.0 and Should You Care?
* ZDNet on Web 2.0
* Wired's Are you ready for Web 2.0
* Web 2.0 Awards

So what does Web 2.0 mean to you?

Hey I did not sign in as me, but this is from Jeannine.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Audioblogging Instructions

Hi all,
Some people wanted me to post the instructions for my audiopost. It is a unique aspect of blogger.com that I will use often because I can't get through the process of podcasting. It's very simple, though.
1. Type in www.audioblogger.com
2. Follow their easy steps (You type in your blogger username and password and your phone infromation). You can choose any blog on your dashboard to send an audiopost to.

Each audio message can last up to 5 minutes. You can preview your post before you send it or rerecord. There is no limit to the number of audioposts you can send. You can send them one after the other if you have something lengthy. The cost is free if you have a free long distance service. If not, audioblogging is the cost of a long distance phone call lasting the length of your message plus your preview.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

FREE Podcasting/Vodcasting Course Online!

Those of you lucky enough to have Macs are in additional luck (sorry Scott Massey). Atomic Learning is offering a free online podcasting/vodcasting course until September 15th. They are using the iLife suite as the software, but I would bet us PC folks can still pick up a few things from it. Check it out ASAP and give us some feedback. It really looks awesome.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Barbara Ganley on Multimedia Composition

Hello all, I hope that you are continuing your Summer in a restful way, and not sweltering too badly in this Texas heat!

If you have not already seen it, Barbara Ganley's latest post, on multimedia composition, will ring well with the group--a real testament to what you experienced in BWP, I think!

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Please Add to Directory

As you all know, my hard drive went to that big PC trash bin in the sky. I lost all of my data (yes, I back up my drive but not since I started BWP). If at all possible, would you please post your email information to the staff directory on the Wet Paint Wiki so that I can add each of you to my contacts? Thanks so much.
I do want to keep in contact with all of you. When I get my PC back up and running again I will post my Skype contact information in case anyone wants to ever chat online or have our classes interact.
If you already forgot your wiki log-in information, feel free to leave it as a comment to this post. Thanks.
If someone is willing to make this a faster fix for me she could forward me an email that was sent to everyone in the class and I can grab the addresses off of that. I think most of the addresses were easy to match up to the owners.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Anolgies and Metaphors

These are really funny. They are supposedly written by high school students. There is no source posted. If I find resources I'll add them here. Analogies & Metaphors: 1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master. 2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances. Like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free. 3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it. 4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. Coli, and he was room-temperature Canadian beef. 5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up. 6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever. 7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree. 8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine. 9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't. 10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup. 11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30. 12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze. 13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease. 14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m., traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph. 15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth. 16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met. 17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River. 18. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut. 19. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do. 20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work. 21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while. 22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something. 23. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant. 24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools. 25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Listen to this story

I heard this story this evening on NPR. I recommend it. I really like this storyteller, and this story touched on a lot of what I feel about stories, land, religion, culture, identity all flowing together. It was nice to happen upon this as our SI is comming to a close.


Becky's Art/Writing Connection PPT Show

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

TBWP Introduction Powerpoint

Here's a simple overview of NWP/TBWP.


Stacy's Previous Audio Post

Hi all,
I just called that last post in and I thought it would be neat to post it to the blog. It doesn't cost me anything, because my long distance charges are free. I have also been playing around with this on my own blog. I think it is going to be something that will be useful for me at the present time because I cannot seem to download audacity onto my computer. One day I will figure out how I can be a true podcaster!

Stacy's Bluebonnet Writing Project Reflection

this is an audio post - click to play

Notes From Lunch Meeting: Rebecca

Notes from Lunch Discussion
July 11, 2006

 Campus Connection- We discussed creating a possible link on our website to discuss how we are communicating to administrators about BWP
o Protocol: We also talked about the need for creating protocol for doing this

 Mid-Winter Conference- February (No exact date yet)
o We will need people to do teaching demos, help set up…
 Other Ideas: Music Center, Technology Showcase

 Getting Together
o Writing Marathon?
o Use video, Audio, Pod casting
o Book Talks
o Janelle’s idea: meet at the DMA to write and enjoy ($10.00)

Katherine's Podcast

Bluebonnet Reflections

Teresa's Podcast

Listen as I share my burning question that evolved from my classroom experience as an English as a Second Language teacher. Then open my blog and read how this question led me into a literature review and action research project.


Split Peas Podcasting in the House! Yo!

Venus Group Podcast

Here ya go!

Map for Thursday's Luncheon

Here's a map to Sanford House. It's got quite a pleasant atmosphere.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Katherine's BWP reflections

Listen as I share my summer institute experience with you using a podcast! kat

Wetlands Project - Please Provide Input Tonight

Cool - Here is the first draft of the conclusion of my talk tomorrow.
Please tell me quickly who the interested people are so that I can add their interest to the talk. Thanks for the help. You can see I added your ideas.

Wetland Project.

Our plan is to be involved in the development of the Nature Center Wetland. The objective would be to draw in student participation in all phases of the project. This project would increase student knowledge of wetland management and assessment. Projects would include selection of species to be introduced as well as monitoring of those that naturally occupy the environment. The teachers and students themselves would determine activities and levels of participation while following activities designed by Project Wild – Aquatics. Grades 6 through 12 would be considered actively involved. Grades pre-K through 5 will be upperclassman “advisors” using internally designed programs created by reading specialists. These programs will encourage students to think about wetlands and visit the centers wetland both virtually and actively as time and projects allow. Training of instructors, student transportation, supplies, and monitoring equipment would be the responsibility of White Oak ISD. The entire project will be considered a multiyear activity with students having an ever-increasing investment in the project. The direction scope and achievements of the project will be the responsibility of those currently building the wetland.

White Oak ISD would be considered as having “adopted” the wetland in matters concerning the documentation of its development.. The entire project will have a continuous Web presence including all activities of concern to the development of the wetlands. Names and faces of the participants will be shared online following the policies of White Oak ISD. It is understood that student involvement may slow the progress of the development of the wetland but would provide a road map for other schools to create their own wetland projects.

Example. Students suggest or are advised that cattail should be introduced into the wetland. The students would research and discuss online, in a format designed by White Oak, (but assisted by a locally assigned expert) where and how much cattail should be planted.

Additional projects could include how the cattail is procured and consideration and identification of species that might be accidentally introduced by the process of adding cattail to the wetland. Groups of students may be assigned to actually work the project or at least document the problems and benefits and activities involved in its introduction. Ancillary projects could include ancient and modern
uses of cattail or other projects developed or suggested along the way.
Exceptional projects or papers would be added to the Website.

Erin's Teaching Demonstration

Erin Rita’s Teaching Demo

Goal Statement
The writing process involves multiple drafts with intense character development, and students don’t want to donate their time to the necessary drafting steps. Through technology, I hope to change this.

19) Writing/evaluation. The student evaluates his/her own writing and the writings of others. The student is expected to:
(A) apply criteria to evaluate writing (4-8);
(B) respond in constructive ways to others' writings (4-8);
(C) evaluate how well his/her own writing achieves its purposes (4-8).

(18) Writing/writing processes. The student selects and uses writing processes for self-initiated and assigned writing. The student is expected to:
E) edit drafts for specific purposes such as to ensure standard usage, varied sentence structure, and appropriate word choice (4-8);
(F) use available technology to support aspects of creating, revising, editing, and publishing texts (4-8);
(H) proofread his/her own writing and that of others (4-8).

Writing fiction is based on prior knowledge; unfortunately my students only have so much prior experience to draw from when creating characters. However, once they participate in a discussion on three-dimensional character, they begin to understand why an author uses so much time and energy in creating their characters. One, if not the most important element in a story is the character development. Students need to be taught/shown how to develop the inscape of a character, as well as the outscape.

Microsoft Word
The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
Lessons That Change Writers by Nancy Atwell (Lessons 30, 31 and 33)

v Research information
v Discuss main character development
v Read The Rainbow Fish
v Write character description
v Microsoft Word Reviewing Toolbar demonstration
v Use Microsoft Word Reviewing Toolbar to edit partners writing

Students will have created an eportfolio where they will post their writing assignments. They will have also created a blog where some, if not most, of our peer editing sessions will take place. The posts will count for a percentage of the final grade.

Writers often times put pieces they are crafting aside for a period of time. This time allows them to revisit the piece with fresh eyes. Since the eportfolio can store many documents, students will be able to access many of their writing assignments to revisit for future mini-lessons as the year unfolds.


Catie's lesson plan 7/11/06

Catie Riley
BWP – Lesson Plan

Title: Big Emotions, Small Moments

Grade: 4th

Goal: TLW choose from a vast array of activities that pertain to the text and/or a feeling they have felt at specific times. TLW be actively engaged, discovering genuine purpose and meaning in writing in response to literature.

TEKS: Grade 4
1: A: determine the purposes for listening such as to gain information, to slove problems, or to enjoy and appreciate
3: A: listen to proficient, fluent models of oral reading, including selections from classic and contemporary works
B: describe how the language of literature affects the listener
10: A: Use his/her own knowledge and experience to comprehend
B: Establish and adjust purposes for reading such as reading to find out, to understand, to interpret, to enjoy , and to solve problems
D: describe mental images that text descriptions evoke
F: determine a text’s main (or major) ideas and how those ideas are supported with details
G: paraphrase and summarize text to recall, inform, and organize ideas
H: draw inferences such as conclusions or generalizations and support them with text evidence and experience
11: A: offer observations, make connections, react, speculate, interpret, and raise
questions in response to texts
B: interpret text ideas through such varied means as journal writing, discussion
enactment, media
C: support responses by referring to relevant aspects of text and his/her own
D: connect, compare, and contrast ideas, themes, and issues across text
14: Reading/culture: the student reads to increase knowledge of his/her own culture,
the culture of others, and the common elements of cultures
A: compare text events with his/her own and other readers’ experiences
B: determine distinctive and common characteristics of cultures through wide
C: articulate and discuss themes and connections that cross cultures
15: A: write to express, discover, record, develop, reflect on ideas, and to problem
C: write to inform such as to explain, describe, report, and narrate
E: exhibit an identifiable voice in personal narratives and in stories
F: choose the appropriate form for his/her own purpose for writing, including
journals, letters, reviews, poems, narratives, and instructions
16: A: write legible by selecting cursive or manuscript as appropriate
B: capitalize and punctuate correctly to clarify and enhance meaning such as
capitalizing titles, using possessives, commas in a series, commas in direct
address, and sentence punctuation
17: A: write with accurate spelling of syllable constructions, including coosed, open,
consonant before –le, and syllable boundary patterns
B: write with accurate spelling of roots such as drink, speak, read, or happy,
inflections such as those that change tense or number, suffixes such as –able, or –
less, and prefixes such as re- or –un
C: use resources to find correct spellings
D: spell accurately in final drafts
19: A: generate ideas and plans for writing by using such prewriting strategies as
brainstorming, graphic organizers, notes, and logs
F: use available technology to support aspects of creating, revising, editing and
publishing texts

One facet of teaching that concerns me is in the area of student motivation. Motivated students can do wonders in the classroom – but what about the ones who aren’t? My goal was to find out how I can ensure that all of my students will be motivated writers. “The chief impediments to learning are not cognitive. It is not that the students cannot learn, it is that they do not wish to,” (Galda, p. 43).
An abundance of research sources have guided me in this six-week journey; I’ve had to poke and prod and pick and probe, and all of that has landed me right back in Lucy Calkin’s lap (for this particular lesson, anyway). Specifically, this lesson regards a strategy writers use to generate powerful personal narratives (Calkins, p. 32).
In my research, I discovered that there are many more factors involved with student motivation than what I had previously thought. I also learned that there are a number of ways to cultivate student motivation, which leaves me with high hopes for my future classroom. There were so many different directions I could have gone with this, but the main reason why I chose to go with this particular activity was because for myself, as a writer, I know that one motivational obstacle I face is merely getting started. Once that happens, I can get on a roll. I see myself as a writer and I want my kids to see themselves as writers – we all have a story to tell – it’s just a matter of finding the motivation to tell it.
It is imperative that students make connections from their lives outside the classroom to their lives inside the classroom. It is then that they are more likely to be motivated to learn and to participate and be fully engaged in writing activities. In this “culturally responsive instruction,” instructors “build on children’s home culture…to further develop their literacy skills,” Grambell, p. 260).
Part of what I feel blocks students’ motivation are the mundane and mind-numbing aspects of writing assignments. “…Writing Workshop may be enhanced by computer-based collaborations. When children brainstorm, write drafts, revise, edit, and publish with a word processing program, they can focus more on managing their ideas and less on tedious mechanical aspects of writing,” (Grambell, p. 320).
The way in which I am approaching this lesson should provide plenty of opportunity for student choice, which also fosters motivation. In providing students with “access to materials for reading and writing, choices in literacy activities, challenging situations, and collaborative experiences,” (McLeod, p. 63), we bestow an atmosphere that is conducive to motivation.
How am I going to motivate my students to find their place in the writing world? This is one of the many ways.
Calkins, Lucy and Ted Kesler. 2006. Raising the Quality of Narrative Writing.
Portsmouth, NH: FirstHand.
Galda, Lee, and Bernice E. Cullinan. 2002. Literature and the Child: Fifth Edition.
Belmont, California: Wadsworth Group.
Grambell, Linda B., et al. 1999. Best Practices in Literacy Instruction. New York: The
Guilford Press.


Read Mr. Lincoln’s Way by Patricia Polacco to the class.
Revisit the text, discussing different feelings characters felt throughout the story, noting on the board. When have we felt the same feelings?
Model a feeling/emotion and at what times in my own life I have felt it.
Then the students will do the same thing, in their writing notebooks, regarding one particular strong feeling.
Once they gather a few ideas that pertain to one particular feeling, they will select the one that seems the most significant.
Use the Menu provided to complete the activities.

Assessment: Authentic assessment will parallel with the students’ activities of their choosing.

Extension: Extension ideas are listed as “Desserts” on the Menu.

Clustr Maps - Track Your Visitors

Use this great little tool to track who (actually where) is looking at your site.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Another Cool Tool

Now this tool costs a little bit of money, but you have to admit that it is cool to play with. It is one of the most unique thesaurus tools I have ever seen. I kept putting in words just to watch the synonyms fly around the screen, but it is another great example of mind mapping.

TG3WP Introductory Podcast

Here it is, BWP! The world premier of our first podcast. Listen to the soothing tones from the voice of Catherine as she pulls you into our world of podcast integration into the classroom.

Please. No autographs. No. Really. Okay. Just a few (and by a few I mean as many as the copying machine will let me crank out before my UTA copy card dries up).

TG3WP Introductory Podcast

How to Fill Out Human Subjects Form for Grants

See Power PointIRB_Form_1.ppt

Morgan's teaching demo attachments

I have attached my Power Point and Publisher documents from the Teaching Demo on Descriptive Writing and Art.

Invitation to Join Educational Blogging Skypecast

Wesley Fryer is hosting a Skypecast (online conference call) about the pros and cons of educational blogging. His invitation says:
I’ve setup another skypecast for this Tuesday, July 11th at 8 pm US central time called, “Pros and Cons of Educational Blogging Options.” (Use the previous link to actually join the Skypecast when it starts– you might bookmark/favorite that page so you can easily return to it later.) The idea for this Skypecast was inspired by Mark Ahlness’s post “The Case for Classblogmeister” that I responded to and reflected on earlier this evening.

Please join in this conversation if this works with your schedule and is of interest! Some of the blogging tools I’d suggest we can and should discuss include:

Bloglines (for more on this, see Stephen Rahn’s NECC preso)
Edublogs (for teacher blogs)
Learnerblogs (for student blogs)
Thingamablog (We’ll need Miguel to join us to advocate for Thingamablog!)

It is free to join in, and you don't even have to talk. You can just listen to the others and what they have to say. You can download Skype for free here. Wesley also has some great guidelines in the link to his post above for taking part in a Skypecast.

This is your chance to be a part of the great global conversation that involves education. We should be as knowledgeable as possible as our policymakers look to change the way literacy is taught in the classrooms in Texas. Leave a comment if you plan on taking part.

Social online networks NPR podcast


Today on the National Public Radio (NPR) Diane Rehm show there is a discussion on online social networks (MySpace and like sites). It is quite interesting. It is bringing such topics as the emotional maturity required, the fact that explicit pictures that are intended to be posted temporily are really always available, reputation networks,possible government investigator use of these sites and many other issues. It covers many topics, from different points of view. I found the discussion of the difference between a "real world" personality and an on-line personality interesting.

It says that most of the activity on these sites is by people aged 13 to 25. Before this summer I would never consider being a part of one of these sites, but now I am considering the positive aspects of networking with fellow environmentalists.

Se the Diane Rehm show website, social networking show of Monday, July 10 at http://www.wamu.org/programs/dr/

Barbara Fleischman

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Reading-Writing Connection Info

Hello everyone,
Kelly told me to post the Website that I used for my presentation about Buddy Journals and the Opinion-Proof lesson. However, I actually only got one variation of the Buddy Journal activity from a Website. That lesson dealt with the Quiet Hour Journal and can be found at http://www.teachersdesk.org/engquiet.html. The other lessons I found through my research. But the articles are just amazing. Here are the ones I used in my presentation:
A reading-writing connection in the content areas (secondary perspectives).(1990). Journal of Reading, 33(5), 376-378. [This one discusses opinion-proof]

Bromley, K. D. (1989). Buddy journals make the reading-writing connection. Reading Teacher, 43(2), 122-129.

Sipe, L. R. (1993). Using transformations of traditional stories: Making the reading-writing connection. Reading Teacher, 47(1), 18 [This one is the fractured fairy tale lesson]


Finished Paper

F.Y.I. I posted my finished paper APA style on my blog. I hope it looks correct. Didn't realize how many little details went into the format. Good experience.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Podcasting Ideas for the Classroom

Tim Wilson, a technology integration specialist from Minnesota, hosted a session at NECC this week. The audience put together a list of classroom uses for podcasting. Tim blogged about it and offers this list:
Collect field notes during a science field trip
Living museum, researching characters
“Radio shows”
Creating audio guides for local museums
Teacher powerpoints
Early language learners, (rhyming, etc.)
Staff development
Language learners recording assessments
Discovery Education videos
Science reports
Art projects
Digital portfolios
Weekly classroom news
Serial storytelling
Reflective journals
Summaries of school events
Broadcast school sporting events
Roving reporters
Capturing oral histories (family history)
Podcast vocab words and spelling lists
Flashcard practice with iFlash
Musical compositions
Soundseeing tours

Can we add to the list?

NECC Webcasts and Podcasts

As you may know, one of the major annual educational technology conferences in the U.S.--NECC--is taking place this week in San Diego.

A significant number of sessions and presentations from the meeting are being podcasted and webcasted, a wonderful trend in ed-tech conferences that I think will only grow!

For us as a BWP group, I especially wanted to recommend this presentation on iPods in Education.

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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Danger, Will Robinson!

The Houston Chronicle posted an article about how the Texas State Board of Education is looking at changing the way English is taught. Let me just let this quote speak for itself:
At its meeting Thursday, the 15-member board is expected to scrap a curriculum revision process dominated by teachers and the Texas Education Agency and discuss a new timetable for revising the English reading and writing standards. Many on the board want to replace a student-centered curriculum that calls on students to use their own attitudes and ethics to interpret texts with teacher-centered instruction that emphasizes the basics of spelling, grammar and punctuation....One criticism voiced at the session is that the TEKS are too student-centered, often asking students to use their attitudes, behaviors and ethics to interpret texts. For example, students in fourth through eighth grades are expected to "describe mental images that text descriptions evoke" and "compare text events with his or her own or other readers' experiences."

McLeroy calls such standards "fuzzy English" and wants to expunge them from the state's curriculum. He said such standards can't be measured on state tests.

Anybody planning to vote in November?

Blue Bonnet Discussion 7/31/06

Blue Bonnet Writing Project Discussion
July 6, 2006

• E Anthology- (Due date to Wiki: 7/31/06)
o Scott will educate us after Wiki is created (10 minute presentation)
o Everyone edits/ posts
o 2 pieces (Choose two of your favorite pieces from the workshop)
o Katherine (Rebecca will assist as needed) will do cover art, run, copy for hard copies
o Hard Copy Anthologies will be distributed at pre-set “reunion”- a copy will be mailed to Scott if needed

• Showcase Demos-
o Katherine- volunteer
o Others will be decided later

• Grant Team
o Catie
o Teresa
o Barbara
o Renee
o Morgan
o Stacy
o Katherine
o Catherine
o Scott
o Becky
o Rebecca

To Do for SI 06

Select Leadership

Define what you would like for PD in the village

Decide on what you want to do for your anthology--hard copy? E-Anthology? Both?
Whatever you do, we would like you to post your piece on the NWP E-Anthology.
Cover art? Design of book? (We'll cover printing costs) Birds Copies will copy.

Showcase of Presentations? Who presents? Where?
Who will be invited? How?

Remember your blogs with your work on them takes the place of the Power Point overview of your work.

Anything else?

Barbara's Presentation

Here is Barbara's great Science Workshop/Writer's Workshop presentation. Science%20Workshop.pps

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

My Poster

While mine looks positively plain next to Ms. Q's poster, I still had to try it out. I used a poem from Silverstein. Enjoy. I bet my kids can come up with some great ways to use this tool (and will look way better than mine).


I found this tool (part of what we now call Web2.0 or the Read/Write Web). It is free and really cool. Since we are writing teachers, it has a lot of bearing on what we could do in the classroom. Even if we just used it a few times the students would gain from it. This is what their website has to say:
"Writeboards are sharable, web-based text documents that let you save every edit, roll back to any version, and easily compare changes. Use Writeboard to write solo or collaborate with others."

I say it is worth a try.

Online Podcasting Course

For those of you interested, I got most of my podcasting background from taking an online class with Global Classroom USA. The professor was Dr. Rick Ferdig from the University of Florida. He discusses the entire process in-depth, but he never went over the heads of the participants (not that I saw anyway from the comments).

The class was called Podcasting in Education. You can take it one of two ways: with or without an included video iPod. It is several hundred dollars cheaper without the iPod if you already have one.

He has some awesome video tutorials throughout the course that lasts roughly four weeks. Podagogy is also covered, and he gives tons of useful inks. If you are interested, click on the link I gave above and check it out for yourself. Don't forget to ask your IT people at school if they have funds to pay for you to take the course. Mine did.

Week 3 of our SI

Please indulge me as I learn how to incorporate images with my podcast. Happy Podcasting!


Okay, the images aren't showing up on that one (it's an mp3 duh) , but I did create my own music on this one---you should be able to view this on iTunes. For those Mac users and iTunes folks, I think you can view the pix once you've downloaded this with that nifty program:


Thanks for your time,

Podcasts from Historical Sites

This article on podcasts from historical sites in the U.S. appeared in the Mercury News over the weekend.  Interesting reading!

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Form Fields

Word allows you to create a document with fields for students to insert their answers in. The "form" could be saved to the desktop, a class folder, as an attachment to a website, or a link on a blog. The student could open the document and insert answers. A great way to get that information you need from your students at the beginning of the year or a way to complete a test. The form can be printed and used by the next class. Really cool, I have to figure it out!!

To Catherine about her teaching demo

Lens 1 The tone of voice and mode of teaching was very laid back and comfortable. I like the way you started with a poem that made me laugh, even though it was not really a part of the lesson

Lens 2 Best practice include modeling, repeated explanation, clarification and allowing student practice

Lens 3 TEKS provided on lesson plan

Lens 4 Learning to combine sentences and use thinking maps will enable students to do more complete thinking in every subject and to turn in better writing projects whether they are for language arts, social studies, or math. These skills will be important for the rest of the student's life.

Lense 5 I think that learning to comine sentences effectively is important. In many academic exercises students are taught to break knowledge down into the smallest components. It is useful to learn to put things back together. I was impressed to learn how many adjectives we were using, and that you keyed us into that after the sentences were posted. I also noted how you used student answers to guage prior knowledge and support needed. This could have an impact on future grouping or tutoring referrals. Also, thanks for the input into thinking maps.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

UT Austin wieghs in on Pedagogy of Blogging

New Pedagogy Blog from the University of Texas Computer Writing and Research Lab
jimbrown | April 24, 2006 - 12:07.

The University of Texas Computer Writing and Research Lab (CWRL) has recently launched a new blog called Blogging Pedagogy. We describe the mission of our blog as follows:

This is a blog about pedagogy and English studies. It is a space to share stories, successes, and failures. The hope is that a blog format will connect assignments with specific teaching styles and philosophies.

While our focus is on English studies, we also welcome more broad discussions about pedagogy in other fields. In the future, we hope to add a weekly installment "Podcasting Pedagogy" in which we'll talk to those throughout the field(s) of English studies about pedagogy.

Please join the discussion at http://pedagogy.cwrl.utexas.edu (syndication link: http://pedagogy.cwrl.utexas.edu/?q=node/feed)
tags: composition,


Do you know what happens when Pedagogy and Podagogy link up?

PODAGOGY!!! Isn't that a great term.

Check out this web site for innovative ways to utilize Podcasts in education.



I found a great site and a new term:http://www.podagogy.com

Ms. Adams provides a succinct outline of nine general technology competencies that would benefit any faculty member, K12 through higher ed. The competencies are:

1. Know how to play and make podcasts
2. Know how to blog
3. Know how to send email to 30 parents
4. Know how to wiki
5. Know how to take great photos
6. Know how to find the best web sites
7. Know what all the remote buttons do
8. Know how to spend PD hours
9. Know how to call Australia for free

Data Collection

Play this Power Point presentation for an overview of data collection methods in Teacher Research. There is audio as well as text in this presentation.Teacher%20Research.ppt.htm

Sunday, July 02, 2006

On the many educational uses of blogs....

Scott's wonderful post on the pedagogy of blogging reminded me to share a graphic I found recently, which rather neatly summarizes many different uses of weblogs in education.

Blogging Pedagogy

Anne Davis has a great post pondering the pedagogy that resides within blogging in the classroom. This quote by her really summed it up for me:
... blogs can provide an opportunity to change our writing instruction to make it more meaningful and relevant for our students. Many times our classroom assignments are assignments where students reiterate or restate information they have read with an occasional opinion. Generally just the teacher will see the paper. Blogging lets many more become engaged. Blogging can be a place where we can make connections and dig deeper into how and what we are learning, both student and teacher. Sharing these thoughts and discoveries with others builds networks of learning that can cross continents. We get to toss our ideas out, have reactions to them, receive suggestions to build upon them and many more become involved in the process. It becomes more personalized and certainly more meaningful. Students are creating meanings that make sense to them because they are constructing them, not having pieces delivered to them that they just repeat.

There is too much evidence to think otherwise about blogging. I think we allow too many others around us in the school building to control what we do for our students. Criticism about trying something new can be strong, but if we truly know the benefits for our students, why should we let the naysayers mess it up? I am going to make a coordianted effort to not only have my students blogging more this next year but to get more teachers doing it as well with their students. If they live in the glass house with me then they can't throw stones. Correct?

Any thoughts?

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