Waiting For Superman

In the movie trailer, Geoffrey Canada and other educators discuss how America and Americans have lost ground in every academic measure except that of confidence in recent years. What if students watched the film on Google Hangouts and used The Snippet App to collaborate reviews?

Camp NaNoWriMo

July is another opportunity to try and kick out the cobwebs and write! This year, my first, I joined the madness called Camp NaNoWriMo.

And, like “Nancy Kelley, a 10-year NaNoWriMo veteran,” my “idea of camping involves houses with four walls, running water, and a bed.”

You Are A Writer, So Start Acting Like One

Jeff Goins is perhaps the most quotable and readable writer in the blogosphere and beyond today. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed receiving his newsletters and been blessed by the tips on writing I’ve shared with students during the past year since I began reading his work. I read Wrecked when he first launched it during my weeks of going green, while commuting to work on the bus last summer. Then, I took up the gauntlet and got the intended thunk to the back of the head from his You Are A Writer, So Start Acting Like One. It’s provocative to the point of borderline cantankerous and I can’t tell you just what good company he makes! Go read him for yourself. Just be sure to pay attention. Goins doesn’t waste a word.

We don’t notice evolution, because it happens slowly over time. The same is true for how “quickly” our kids grow, how we achieve goals, and how we master our life’s work.

Collaborative Final Exam

Since December I’ve been writing daily at 750words.com. Occasionally, I’ve posted to my sabbatical blog elsewhere on wordpress. Four face to face meetings & three eight-week summer classes are all that stand between me and endless pages of reading for the sheer joy of it. (But who’s counting?) Instead of ending with a whimper I thought we should go out with a bang and so the final exam for Migrant Literature today was delivered as a contest patterned loosely on the game Red Rover. Had there been enough time for two rounds, I’d intended to divide the class into Native-born and Immigrant teams. As it was we divided into Men and Women and two women served as judges as there were two more women than men. Instead of ‘breaking through’ the facing team’s line, teams chose a question about literary criticism or vocabulary from those submitted earlier in the week to the online discussion board. One member had to respond to the question in a complete sentence. If they did so correctly one point was won for their team. If they lost they joined the other team.

5 rules of teamwork

5 rules of teamwork

At the end of class but before the student serving as Rescuer gave a quick overview of how to build ePortfolios using weebly we listed things each team did well, things they could have done differently, and things that can be learned from collaborative test taking.

Among the things learned were:
How to frame a question
How to answer succinctly but completely
How to support and encourage one another
How to study and prepare