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Friday
Dec122014

My Friday Video for You!

Peter H. Reynolds, creativity advocate and best-selling author and illustrator, and co-founder of FableVision Learning, has created a new animated short called The Testing Camera — a whimsical poke at high-stakes, standardized testing and a reminder that real assessment is as easy, and — at the same time — as challenging as getting to really know the gifts and talents of every child.

“This is my gift to educators to remind them to follow their instincts and remember why they got into teaching in the first place: to see the potential in every child, to nurture those emerging gifts and talents, and to change lives,” Reynolds shared.     source

Thursday
Dec112014

Have you heard the story of GoldieBlox?

I was just thinking how it is kinda odd how many things I find just because of seeing a tweet on twitter …

I guess it is not

Since I do go there to learn

As well as share

But I normally do not pay much attention to the promoted tweets …

Except for today …

One caught my attention

And kept me busy for quite some time …

I admit that I have heard of GoldieBlox before …

But I still went to check it out again after seeing the tweet!

I look at the site: http://www.goldieblox.com/

There are some kits you can buy

I love the story behind the creation

But then something catches my eye …

Making movies!!!

I connect that with storytelling …

Which is linked to literacy!

And don’t forget the visual aspect of it too!

(some of my favorite things!)

So I dove in ….

There is a FREE GoldieBlox app for the ipad!!!!

FREE!!!

My first thought was that my daughter might enjoy that …

But there are lots of other kids that might also

So I put on my evaluator hat, and went to download it so I could check it out!

While waiting for the app to download, I began reading some reviews …

And everything I found sounded great ….

But I still wanted to see for myself!

I watched a video

(GoldieBlox is a smart girl)

So I started by clicking on the funny spring animation …

I drew a circle with my finger over the dotted line image on the screen

Then I hit play 

And nothing happened

After I hit play a few more times, I thought back to the GoldieBlox video and the way she and her friends solved the problem

(but I am not going to tell you what the problem is because I think you should go watch the video too)

That is when I figured out what I needed to do!!!

In a snap, I did what needed to be done!

I hit play and …

YAY!!!!!!!

Now I was ready for more …

I had lots and lots of options: I could create, I could look at projects others had done, …

But being someone who liked to read and write blog posts,  I decided to see what was on the blog

And I was pleasantly surprised …

The blog is not just another sales pitch to tell you all the great things you can do if you buy the kits and/or download the app …

On the blog, I found craft instructions, interviews, recipes, and even a behind the scenes look at designing the doll as well as so much more!!

But what I liked best was the unique author voice and perspective in each of the posts …

It is not boring to read

And it probably was not boring to write!

I will go back to the blog to see what great new things will be there in the future!

And I think that says a lot for a blog … when someone wants to go back and read more! :)

I wonder what my 8 year old daughter will be able to do using this app …

 

I think we will start with the story of GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine…

(available on the app)

 

Wednesday
Dec102014

My New Advice...

I feel like I am surrounded by a group of learners …

People who work together to help each other learn …

There are many tools make that possible …

I consider myself pretty fortunate to be in an environment of learners both online and offline …

We share resources, ideas, and experiences…

We ask questions …

We give answers …

There are times when we are doing both of those things at the same time!

We bounce ideas off each other and collaborate to make things better.

We offer support and help when another member need it, whether he or she realizes it is needed or not.

The knowledge of the whole group is much larger than the knowledge of one individual.

I know I feel smarter with my PLN members helping me!

I will admit that I used to be that teacher who went into her classroom and shut the door to keep things out.

Now I swing the doors of my personal classroom (myself) wide open and welcome things in!

I am not saying that every idea that is shared works for me, but the ideas do make me think and consider the possibilities.

PLNs can take on many shapes, forms, and sizes, both online and offline.

I feel lucky to have learning opportunities from my coworkers, classmates, friends, and people I don’t know personally but interact with in many ways online …

While I still want to keep a focus for my PLN, I can see areas where it can be stretched…

Until this year, my PLN was primarily focused on instructional technology and learning …

This year I guess I have stretched my PLN to include more than just things related to my job but also things I enjoy on a personal level …

Exposure to new areas of interest has led to great amounts of learning and also seeing new possibilities …

So my new advice is to maintain a focus for your PLN but be willing to stretch a little since you never know what you might find ….

 

Tuesday
Dec092014

Words Lead to Ideas and Hopefully Action ...

Which word would you choose?

This word splash can be found on the homepage of ArtNC.org, which I know I wrote about last week, but I want to write about it again!

This time I am going to choose one of the words above

And go exploring!

Can you guess what word I am going to choose?

I guess I could choose family. since that is what some of my previous posts have been about …

My daughter has been writing persuasion letters, so I could choose that word …

I could choose technology …

I do use my blog for reflection, so I could also choose that word …

But I think for today, I will choose …

Ooooohhhhhhhhh ….

Here are a few things I found:

  • Lesson Plan: Creating a North Carolina Gallery  (This problem-based learning experience for exploring the idea of citizenship by integrating Visual Arts, social studies, and English/Language Arts. Although it is designed for 8th grade students, I think it could very easily be adapted for younger grades based on the desired topic and focus. Notice that accompanying this lesson, you can find activities, assessment, resources, amd background knowledge.)

  • Work of Art: Lines that Link Humanity    (A piece of artwork that is on display at the NC Museum of Art is pictured. Details are given about the artwork and the artist.  There is even a lesson plan linked to this age as well as other concept areas. I challenge you to figure out why is is included in the Collaboaration concept …)

  • Concept Map: Collaboration   (On the concept map pictured just below this description on the site, the teacher chose one piece of artwork and then added ideas, questions, vocabulary, and themes to discuss in connection with it. Could that be an example of visual literacy?)

 

So I shared just 4 of the many things I found when I clicked on a word on the ArtNC page, now I challenge you to go to the site, pick a word from the word splash, and explore at least one thing that you find!

I would love for you to come back here and share with me too!

Monday
Dec082014

And then there was Milly the Reindeer ...

At my house, we like to do projects ….

And at times we go all out and overdo projects

But only because we enjoy it!

Does anyone remember the series of blog post on the creation of a trap door for the leprechaun trap in K?

Don’t even get me started on the science fair project that is being worked on right now in my kitchen …

Although I can tell you that it is very interesting to hear the conversations between my 8 year old daughter and my engineer husband …

Just before thanksgiving, my daughter’s teacher sent home a family project to create and design a new reindeer to join Santa’s team followed by a persuasive letter written by that new reindeer.

Of course we started out brainstorming …

We began talking while in the car riding home one afternoon …

We talked about different personalities and jobs our reindeer could have …

While making this very long list, we stopped after each suggestion and thought about how that type of reindeer would look …

The teacher in me asked questions and let my daughter do most of the talking

The mom in me was really excited about a paper project that might include paint, sparkles, scrapbook paper, and all sorts of crafting supplies! :)

After much deliberation, my daughter told her dad that our reindeer was going to be a Rock Star!

And that we might even add a microphone!

A few days later, we took a family trip to Hobby Lobby

 

Sparkle paint, glittered felt, fake leather, yarn, bells, and pipe cleaners all worked together for this reindeer!

We worked together

Talked about shapes

Altered plans as we went

And got glitter and sparkle everywhere!!!!

Do you want to know her name and why she should be considered for a new addition to Santa’s team?

So maybe we did not go too far over the top with this one …

By thinking, brainstorming, and creating, my little one was ready for the writing!

There was excitement infused in this project from beginning to end …

And today Miss Milly the singer made her way into the classroom to join her fellow newly created reindeers!