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No Username Required!!!

How many usernames and passwords do you have right now?

I think I have too many to count!!!!

People keep telling me I should make a list or use an app to keep up with all my usernames and passwords, but I have done well in keeping things straight …

But last weekend …

I got frustrated …

And actually started making a list


Since not many of us crave having another username and password to remember, I pulled together some teacher resources that can be explored WITHOUT needing a username!!!!!


(Most of them have where you can create a username/password or a part you can pay for, but to explore the galleries, there is NO USERNAME REQUIRED!  If you want to create, then you need a username, but there are all FREE!!!)

I pulled the options all together and created a livebinder (which is one of the options on a subtab). You can click on a tab and then a subtab to open up that resource inside the livebinder. If you want to access the page outside of that livebinder, then just click on the address (url) towards the top of the page.

I have shared some of the resources before, but added some new resources to the livebinder today at lunch! 

Please let me know of other resources that should be added!


What is Happiness?

Image source: Venspired


The Hammer Museum 

Visiting museums might not be on the top of your list of things to do when visiting Los Angeles, CA ….

But maybe it should be included in the list of things you can do!

Did you know they have an area called Museum Row there?

I was surprised to realize how many museums are located in Los Angeles

While spending a few days in LA last week, I had the opportunity to visit two of those museums!

My first visit was to the Hammer Museum at UCLA!

It is an ART museum not one full of hammers ….

The Hammer Museum champions the art and artists who challenge us to see the world in a new light, to experience the unexpected, to ignite our imaginations, and inspire change.

Just seeing that statement on the museum’s website made me want to visit!

Things that ignite imagination and inspire change get me excited!! :)

I went one Thursday night for a free tour led by a UCLA student who said that our tour would be more like a conversation than a lecture.

More like a conversation than a lecture …

I think I like that!

And it was! 

We spent time exploring pieces in the Made in L.A. 2014 exhibition by talking about the questions those pieces inspired!

And I have a thing for QUESTIONS!!!

Our tour guide did a great job of bringing the questions out by having us focus on different things when viewing or experiencing the pieces.

We not only looked at the product but also thought about the process …

As well as what may have been the inspiration for the artist

And what inspiration we felt from the piece …

At times we focused on what first appealed to us from the piece …

Perhaps it was a color or a texture or a shape …

We talked about what surprised us from viewing a piece …

And what questions arose for us …

One of the pieces we discussed as a something created by knitting and we looked at the different textures, methods, and colors …

But then we found out that the artist considered that piece a painting …

Hmmm …

How did that change what we viewed or what we thought of what we viewed? 

Or did it?

I wonder if he created with the end in mind or just created as he went along with no big idea …

Our group viewed and discussed 3 very different pieces …

Knitting/Painting, Video/Audio Recording of Movements, and Glass Sculpture accompanied by a Video

And that was a quick hour …

Time flew …

One lady in the group said that she probably would not have stopped and looked at one of the pieces if she were exploring the gallery on her own …

I don’t think I would have gotten as much out of my visit if I had only explored on my own …

Part of the exploration and learning process for me was hearing the questions and thoughts shared by others and how those connected and compared with my own …

Just like students bring background knowledge to their understanding of a topic or comprehension of a book, each person who viewed the artwork brought his or her own background knowledge which shaped how the piece was seen and interpreted …

Whether that was what the artist intended or not ..;


Think about the ways we can encourage and support the inquisitive minds of our students …

Where could that lead?

How do the experiences or lack of experiences impact what our students see, think, and learn?

What can we do to address that?

I think we need to recognize and possibly even celebrate those differences …

How boring would it be if all the artwork in a gallery or museum was the same?



Literacy Strong #IRAchat

I had a great time as one of the co-hosts of the International Reading Association’s Twitter Chat last week on starting the year “Literacy Strong” and feel I learned so much more than I shared!

The pace of the chat was so quick that I tired to retweet and/or favorite tweets that seemed interesting. I am also looking forward to reading over the archive (which starts at the bottom of this blog post).

So many people from so many different areas were able to connect and contribute to the #IRAchat. It did not matter where you were or even what time it was where you were (I was in California that evening, so in a different time zone). No matter the differences, we shared something in common … we were all interested in learning and sharing ways to support literacy right from the start.

Literacy is one of those topics that can really bring people together. Not everyone may have the same definition of literacy or be sure of what all it includes, but the importance of the idea of literacy is one that brings people together.

That connection allows ideas to be shared, obstacles overcome, and successes celebrated!



My Ten

Here are the last ten things I bookmarked or favorited: 

How to Get Started with Visual Learning in the Classroom

Teaching A Love of Picture Books

How Storytelling Affects the Brain

13 Tech Tools That Spark Critical Thinking

Designing Professional Development for the 21st Century

Digital Tools for K-3 Literacy

Solving the Puzzle of Success

Does Your 8-12 Year Old Need A Good Book?

Art for Small Hands

The Imagination Tool Box
I found something in each of those ten things that I wanted to be able to go back and find again …

Maybe it was something I wanted to share …

Maybe it was an idea that inspired me …

Maybe it was a thought I needed to think about more …

There was a reason … even if I am not sure now what it was …

What were they last 10 things you bookmarked, favorited, or liked?  Why?

Although I am a fan of the ideas included in that list, I am not really sure I like the way that list looks …

Any suggestions for other ways to share a list of items on a blog?