Apr 22 2015


Earth Day Webquest

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Apr 16 2015


1-to-1 Tool Test Run – Stupeflix

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It took me ten minutes to make this. Figured I’d see what I could throw together so I would know what I could expect from my amazing student body. If I can do this, then you can do way more. I had fun doing this, got to feature my most precious and brilliant daughters, and used music I have enjoyed for years. I vote for this tool. We will integrate its use for sure.

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Mar 31 2015


Parents! ALERT! If This Doesn’t Inspire You to Read to Your Children, I Don’t Know What Will! | The Literacy Site Blog

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http://blog.theliteracysite.com/marvelouspowerfullanguage/

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Mar 25 2015


PBL Pilot: Apps, Tips, and Tricks | Edutopia

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I just discovered this thanks to my Facebook feed from Edutopia, so I’m just reading it now – how timely. Let’s all look into this, read into this, to come away with what we want to bring into our classroom. Our chromebook one-to-one starts soon. What do you want to pilot for our program. Write a POST for your website in which you explain the tool you feel must be used, and how you see it applied. Describe your vision. Submit a comment to this discussion with a link to your POST on your site. http://www.edutopia.org/blog/pbl-pilot-apps-tips-tricks-matt-weyers-jen-dole?utm_content=blog&utm_campaign=pbl-pilot-apps-tricks-tips&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow&utm_term=link

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Mar 18 2015


To Confront Racism, We Must Also Look In the Mirror » ADL Blogs

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THIS is your article of the week for this week.
http://blog.adl.org/education/to-confront-racism-we-must-also-look-in-the-mirror

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Mar 11 2015


Define the game!

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2 responses so far

Mar 10 2015


Which phrase is correct?

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I could make this very simple and give you the answer first. That wouldn’t be any fun (for me at least). I will tell you this: different rules apply to spoken language than apply to written language. While basic grammar rules seem immutable within the boundaries of any given language whether spoken or written, that simply isn’t true. Rules and regulations as they pertain to grammar change frequently especially in today’s digital twitterfied instagrammed syntax morphing age. An expression that was in wide use three years ago could be gone today and back in a few years, while an expression coined thousands of years ago could have – over its thousands of years lifetime – gone through complete changes in definition or generally acceptable use only to return to the exact same use it started out with. That would be silly. No, the word SILLY. Silly has gone through so many changes that it has at times meant the complete opposite of it’s original meaning only to return to its original meaning. Which is correct? It depends on the time, the audience, the context, the . . . on and on and on.

For this post I will focus on spoken language to address the question, “Which phrase is correct?”

The short answer is it depends on many variables, even in terms of spoken language it can be very complicated as to why. Given the context of the conversation, why would a person consistently choose one phrase over another one or insist that this is correct and that is wrong? Today, I was asked “Which is correct?” about these two phrases:

  • You never know what’s going to happen.
  • You will never know what’s going to happen.

Let’s run through a scenario, shall we?

Two friends, Josh and Roberto, are getting into a discussion about what grades they each expect to receive on a Social Studies Final Exam they will take tomorrow and how the class will do as a whole. Let’s join them . . .

“Yeah, I studied all night and took great notes from Mr. Napier’s lectures. I even did a presentation for the class on the many possible social ramifications of a Trayvon Martin not guilty verdict. I figure I’m guaranteed to get a B or better. I don’t know about the rest of the class. Rochelle never studies. Adam sleeps through class. You hardly show up to class on time and are always being called out for early dismissal.”

Roberto shrugged his shoulders, “I get you, bruh. As far as your grade goes, you can’t predict how you will do. In fact, day after day, you will never know what’s going to happen. I on the other hand got an edge up on you. Did you get a copy of the Answer Key?”

“What? You mean you – ?”

Roberto’s eyebrows flicked up and down, and he nodded smoothly rocking his head back confirming what Josh suspected.

From over Josh’s left shoulder, a jet engine fell from the sky, just missing him, but landing on Roberto.

“No, Roberto, you will never know what is going to happen.” And he thought to himself, You never know what’s going to happen.

School was cancelled the next day.

If we pick this apart, we might like to speak to Roberto’s hollier than thou stand. Roberto felt he beat the system when he told Josh, “In fact, day after day, you will never know what’s going to happen.” In that moment, Roberto was right. As it turned out though, he in fact is the one who will never know what is gong to happen. There is a certain finality to You will never know what is going to happen, a finality that doesn’t apply to the Universal Message carried by You never know what’s going to happen.

Ultimately, Josh, looking over at the wreckage, was right in his moment when he said, “You will never know what’s going to happen.” We also saw deep into Josh’s way of being when he thought to himself, “You never know what’s going to happen.” Josh lives in the moment. He isn’t concerned with what will happen because, in this case, he prepared in each moment. Could any measure of preparation have made Roberto ready for what was going to happen? Of course not. That is why life as we know it in this moment is much more important than any life as we predict it will be.

In this case, (I giggle) in an absolute final sense, Roberto will never know what is going to happen. Roberto will never find out if Hillary Clinton will run for president; if Josh will tell anyone that Roberto cheated; whether or not he would have gone to college, would have started a multi-billion dollar tech start-up company. Roberto will never find out if asteroids would cross paths above our outer atmosphere giving all of us a brief spectacular show, causing a new ice age or the decimation of all life on earth; he will never know if news coverage of peace makers will eclipse news coverage of war mongers. Josh will know what’s going to happen in a relative sense. I mean, he’ll know what happens during his lifetime. All that said, universally thinking or speaking, no one knows what’s going to happen, in other words, ready? You never know what’s going to happen. But given a good data set, most of us can and will know within a certain margin of error what’s going to happen.

I ask you if that is important?

All we can actually know is what we do in this moment. Now. And now. And now. And this can go on and on and on. You, your colleagues, I will never know what’s going to happen because as things stand right now, we can’t see into the future. What is essential is that we can see what we are doing right now.

You never know what’s going to happen. How timely. Or should I ask? How timely?

Other grammar funny business to bring to discussions that I deliberately left undealt within in this post include but are not limited to: (1) starting sentences with “but”; (2) common acceptable uses of the comma; (3) the dash as anything other than a minus sign.

I don’t know about you all, but I had a lot of fun with this.

Post any comments you see fit to post right now, come back and post comments later, or don’t comment at all. I never know what’s going to happen.

Love you, Bro!

With more love than can be measured I want to thank the extraordinary Rescue 96 A Shift crew of Station 6 saving lives for the City of Plantation Fire Department in Plantation, Florida: Lieutenant Paramedic Eric (my Bro!), and Paramedics Theresa, and Danny. Thanks for the topic.

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Mar 08 2015


President Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address | Video | C-SPAN.org

Filed under Starting Off

Watch this video,
about President Abraham Lincoln’s second,    inaugural,   address.
I found the liberty he took with,
commas particularly practical.
and,
inspiring.
The spoken word wins. Love Abe! http://www.c-span.org/video/?324462-1/president-lincolns-second-inaugural-address

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Mar 08 2015


Top 10 Grammar Myths

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Some useful information for the newer writers and those more veteran writers holding onto antiquated practices.

http://m.mentalfloss.com/article.php?id=61350

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Mar 01 2015


Where does your book fit in?

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Feb 11 2015


Experimental Game Turns Players into Poets and Writers | Big Think

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There are some innovative things going on in gaming. Thanks Kim, for this Facebook share. This is far and away the coolest thing happening in the gaming world. If school districts would invest in digital curriculum resource development the way these guys invest themselves in what they love (great literature and great gaming), education in the arts might be funded like math and science is funded. I know I’m not alone when I say there is way too much emphasis in math, science and technology education funding. This is the curriculum resource I need in my room. Who’s going to fund it for me? Tell you what. Give me a classroom full of computers that will fluidly run this game, site licences for this game on every machine, and I will change apathetic ideas, attitudes and behaviors prevalent in most children toward reading and writing. They could build background, and have freedom to create their own way. Check out a review of Elegy for a Dead World at http://bigthink.com/design-for-good/experimental-game-turns-players-into-poets-and-writers

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Feb 11 2015


Wheel of Theodorus, anyone?

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Isn’t the natural world, around since before humans could invent any kind of notion, before they could think at all about expressing anything in words, wonderful. This naturally occurring exponentially repetitive increasing pattern crafted here in stunning stained glass by a human being can be seen in nature. You just have to look for it.

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Feb 04 2015


Essential Living Skill: Building Background Knowledge

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I expect you – my charge, my responsibility, my students – to want to build your own background in order to more fully interact with, analyze, appreciate and grow from what we do in the classroom. Why?
I want you, possibly more than anyone else you have ever come in contact with,  to gain the ability to grow yourself into a more fully developed, more deeply critical, more compassionately active individual of this world. Why? How?
There is an essential skill you must be willing to develop. You must be willing to develop an interest in background knowledge because there is so much we don’t know.
My entire life has been one filled with a hunger born of curiosity. Who were those people? What caused the end of that culture? How did this all get started? What does that mean? Where did that come from? Why do things happen? What is my purpose? Where is this going?
In a few weeks, I will visit ancient ruins of a culture long gone from this planet. Will I be able to fully appreciate what I see there? I remember a few years ago one of my students, Matthew, and his family (I didn’t know that soon I would teach his brother, Jacob.) were going to visit Mayan ruins in South America over a winter break. I was so excited for him. It was a trip to visit his own cultural heritage. To understand more deeply, more intimately who he was, what he was made of, who his ancestors might have been, what blood flows in his veins. I told him, “Pay close attention…These were your people…And bring back pictures.” Growing up with his parents, I was relatively sure he had some background knowledge. An interest was there.
I will visit ruins of those same Mayans. Will I be prepared to mentally sort through what I learn? Put new information in place? Build new understanding of my world? Will the horizons of my perspective grow wider? The only way I can be ready for this trip is to build a foundation of knowledge on which to fix my new understandings as I gain them? It will be my first primary source experience Mayan anthropology.
I begin my preparation tonight.
This evening, to live by example for all of you, I will commence construction of foundational knowledge in Mayan Culture. Tonight’s lesson well be provided by Netflix Streaming; click to watch National Geographic: Dawn of the Maya. You can check out the IMDB entry for it here – http://imdb.com/rg/an_share/title/title/tt0429990/.

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Jan 31 2015


» January Fiction Prompts Culled from the News

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http://electricliterature.com/january-fiction-prompts-culled-from-the-news/

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Jan 26 2015


10 Novels That Will Sharpen Your Mind [Interactive] – Scientific American

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http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fiction-stories-that-sharpen-your-mind/

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