Do we care what they say?

Funny the little moments of serendipity that lead from one thought to one another, and lead us to see something in a new light. This morning, someone on Twitter reminded me of a blog post I wrote a long time ago, “How Long Does it Have to be?” about how students focused on the length of their research papers because they aren’t really engaged in their topics. As I was thinking about that, Christian Long twittered out the link to a fabulous post by Chris […]

Better than donuts?

       I’ve probably written this post before.  But a long conversation with a teacher brought up my concerns with inservices yet again. We know what works for inservice–prolonged coverage of a subject, a mission that people buy into,  small groups, choice, and self-directed learning.  We also know that sometimes a district needs to convey information/techniques/methods to their staff.  So, how to reconcile those things and still have an effective, productive use of time, so that everyone isn’t just going through the motions and just hoping […]

How easy is it to connect? A simple recipe

Take one part having a few Twitter contacts. Add one enthused teacher who wants to try out Skype. Dial up a few friends on Skype randomly(who you met via Twitter). Hope someone is nice enough to turn on their webcam to demonstrate (thanks Karl) and off we go. Now we have a teacher in Texas who might have made a contact with an ASL teacher in Colorado, and all it took was a little “six degrees of separation”. When anyone wonders about the power of […]

Where they live?

During  dinner last night with some of my Twitter colleagues who were in town for the COSN conference, I was pondering a question I really am curious about. A teacher and I  were talking yesterday about Facebook and work he is doing with a science organization for college students and  professors.  The organization had a blog which was completely unutilized.  So he decided to set up a Facebook page instead.  After one day, the page already had 40 followers. It led me to really do […]

The writing way

Recently, I’ve been involved in a group studying Julie Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way.  One of the tenets of her book is writing what she calls “morning pages”–several pages of uncensored, stream of consciousness writing that is done first thing in the morning. The idea is to clear your head of other thoughts which interfere with your creativity.  She includes a number of other tasks in the book as well, and one that seems most applicable to educators is the “artist date.”  The idea is […]

Using versus having

“They say knowledge is power.  We say the use of knowledge is power.” Elliot Washor  in The Big Picture by Dennis Littkey As a group of us have been meeting at our campus to form a professional learning community, we’ve been talking quite a bit about the notion of students as a pail having information “poured” into them, versus the notion of students actively constructing knowledge. I think to librarians, this idea comes fairly naturally.   We know that we can’t “know” everything, but that the […]

Continuing the conversations

The end of the school year always feels like a mixed bag–excitement at the thought of relaxation and summertime, but wistfulness and sadness at saying farewell to the year, with students and friends leaving, and with things left undone, potential unfulfilled.   But usually it feels over.  Like things are packed up–put away, set aside, and then next year, we have a completely fresh start, almost like starting over. But this year, a group of us are working on something that feels like it has the potential to provide […]

Curriculum and relationship

A group at our campus is starting a professional learning community. I’m cross posting the post below from the blog we have started, which we aren’t quite ready to share “prime time” but are using for our organizing thoughts, because I thought it would have interest outside of our campus. ————  In our meeting this week, Jeff brought up the idea of curriculum AS relationship, and the importance of relationship as the foundation for reaching students. In his book, The Passionate Learner, Robert L. Fried talks […]

The classroom heard ’round the world

   What happens when what is going on in your classroom can be shared around the world? Today, by sharing his students at Arapahoe High School in Colorado, Karl Fisch gave us just that opportunity–to peer into a classroom and see networked, scaffolded, engaged students at their best.   For weeks, students in several English classes at Arapahoe have been reading Daniel Pink’s book, Whole New Mind, and have been discussing it via live-blogging sessions, using an inner/outer circle discussion method.   (The inner circle discusses, the outer circle […]

Coming back home

In his post last week, “Changing Ourselves, Changing Our Culture,” Will Richardson finds irony in the fact that “teachers are connecting more and more outside their spaces but, it appears at least, not so much inside their own districts and communities.” I’ve found that to be true for myself until recently. I’ve had only a small core of people that I felt I could connect back in with when I returned to my own campus, or attended a local conference. But recently I’ve found a […]