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Friday, March 30, 2007


If you have specific questions to ask I will compile them in a blog posting around Wed. Before that though here is a computer problem algorithm.

  1. Just start clicking.
  2. Just start right clicking.
  3. Play a little bit and click again.
  4. If you must go to the help menu.
  5. Better option look on message boards and geek sites for answers.
  6. Ask Dominic
  7. Take a break and watch an episode of Battlestar Gallactica (If you don't have cable then go see Pan's Labyrinth)
  8. Reinvent the wheel.
  9. Come home click some more.
  10. Play.
  11. Have Fun.
  12. Ask me. All questions should be written on a bag of Lamar's donuts.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The N-word

Until I can more clearly state my opinion I wanted to provide a space for everyone to express their ideas and opinions. This not something that should just be forgotten, nor should anyone be scapegoated.

Using Inspiration To Make Timelines

At our last professional development Gail Rock mentioned that she used Inspiration to work on timelines with her students. The images here are some examples. I have also included her assignment sheet below.


Students will be looking at specific social or political movements, which have brought about change in the United States from Pre-Civil War to present time. The movements for study will be:
Social Reform (includes Utopian Communities, Temperance Movement and
Prison Reform)
Educational Reform and Literary Styles
The Women’s Movement
The Abolitionist Movement
The Civil Rights Movement

Students will work in groups or alone. The project will include classroom research (50 points) Library Research (50 points) and the final computer timeline worth 100 points.
It is important that all students be present in school to participate fully in this project. Make-up time will be available after school the week of 5/22.

Classroom Research:

Students will utilize the textbook to begin an outline of events, people and dates for their topic. They will be given beginning worksheets for their area. They will use the textbooks index to locate information throughout history. They will utilize the timelines from the chapters that they find information on in their topic area. They should have a rough draft outline by the time they go to the library.

Library Research:

Students will find more specific events, people and dates to fill in details on their area. The librarians have books and resources to help the students with this project. They may also check the Internet if available. The Internet can also be used to begin to locate pictures to add to the timeline.

Computer Program:

The Inspiration computer program allows the students to type in an outline which will than be able to generate a graphic timeline. They can add pictures to this outline of people or events involved. The final product will be a timeline that I believe they will be proud of.

I am asking all parents to please sign this so I know that you have been informed about what is being asked of your child. If they attend class and utilize their time well, they should have an excellent grade for the semester.


Ms. G. Rock
US History (Social Studies 1 and 2)

_________________________________ ____________________________________
Parent/Guardian Date Student Date

Friday, March 09, 2007

Resources, Resources, Resources

Twice since giving a presentation about different technological tools to use in the writing process teachers have mentioned that they don't have the resources to do what I was suggesting. First I would like to mention that other than a computer with an internet connection and the software that is provided by the district, no other pieces of hardware are required.

More importantly, however, is the mind set that immediately finds the obstacles. I will grant that projectors and SmartBoards are hard to come by in our district, but a long waiting list is the first bit of evidence we need to build the case for more funding. Most board members and citizens would be appalled if they were informed that we were teaching classes without current textbooks. We need to create that same mentality when it comes to other forms of hardware and software.

With out concrete examples of what can be done with technology those who can control the budget will assume that it can be done WITHOUT technology. There is evidence that IQs are rising and some prominent scholars have suggested that it is due to media exposure and literacy. What is IQ other than a measure of our problem solving and pattern recognizing abilities? Technology manifoldly increase the means of solving problems and the ability to recognize patterns helps quickly adapt to new technologies.

A pattern that frequently occurs in this district is the gap. The achievement gap. The digital divide. Why are African-American students consistently scoring lower than their white counterparts? I maintain that it is constant mindset of remediation that hurts these students. Through the use of technology we can show the students the power of the media. A demonstration of power of the Web 2.0 would serve as a powerful reminder that we come to school for more than credits and a diploma. We come so that we may influence the world.

So if we truly are world-class the we need to have a world audience and we need to be taught by the global community. The second have of this motto is "Where all means all." I'll admit that this caused some confusion at first. However, I would like to think of this as more than a motivational cry for No Child Left Behind. I think the all means the entire population of minds on this planet; a population that can be brought to our classrooms through technology.


I was going to post today about an assignment using Inspiration. Unfortunately, the assignment done by students in Gail Rock's class came to me via email. I have now gone nearly 24 hrs. without access to my district email. It is very frustrating.

I apparently am a communication junkie. This is good since I am a Communication Arts teacher, but I am going through withdrawal. I am resorting to talking to my students, and there is only so much I have to say about Lil Wayne.

Oh well, the aforementioned assignment will be post soon. Granted, I am going on spring break and may not think about school for a week. It requires my full mental powers to clean the basement and watch re-runs of Law & Order.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Literacy Questions

Literacy Day with Dan Holden
1. How do you download ifilm?
2. What is ibiblio?
3. Can I put up prompts in the blog for students to respond to?
4. Can I put articles in there for them to write responses to in their blogs?
5. I do read your blog page every now and then!
6. How do you leave comments on students work?
7. What kinds of books are on Project Gutenberg? I can’t get to the site right now?

  1. ifilm is a website that is currently unblocked. You just go to and do a search for whatever content you want. Be careful there is inappropriate stuff on there.
  2. I just looked up ibiblio. It seems to be a collection of public domain material. It is similar to Gutenberg, but it also has music, software, etc. I will have to check it out more.
  3. If you want to post prompts for students then a message board would be better. I haven't has as much success, but if you want to try it in your class you should take a look at
  4. You could create your own blog and then students could go and respond to it. You need to be careful of copyright issues. This answer could also apply to #3.
  5. You'll have to read it to get these answers.
  6. If you are talking about Word then you need to activate the REVIEWING toolbar and click on the comment button. I forgot to mention yesterday that there is a PowerPoint presentation available on the district server. The path was on the handout but here it is again.
    my network places>novell connections>central 500>data>hs>presentations
  7. The books on Gutenberg are those that have entered the public domain so you are mostly talking about those from the early 1900s on back. You will definitely find the dead white guys there. If you can access the site it is because you are doing something wrong. Just kidding. I'll check it out for you later.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Note to Self

Use Inspiration to create time lines. Thank you Gail Rock

email HS about how to turn on grammar check and readability statistics.

Tools>Options>Spelling Grammar>Readability Statistics (check box)
Check Grammar w/ Spelling (check box)

Reading Strategies Brainstorming Session

Make connections
read in speech time
slow down
reading & re-reading
reading the headings
breaking up sentences
context connecton