Thursday, June 30, 2005


Beyond PowerPoint Operations:Developing Students' Writing and Speaking Skills
Kathy Zawicki

Top 10 MistakesOrganization
Knowledge of the subject
Text – too much
Graphics – blurry, too many, unrelated
Animation – sounds and movement, inappropriate, districting
Speaking skills
Time Consuming
Lacking critical thinking

The ProcessCompose – gather information, organize information, draft, critical thinking
Visually Represent
Verbally Recompose

In many cases, PowerPoint presentations are made for the speaker, not for the listener. How can that model change? The information on the screen should engage the listener and the speech should compliment, not replicate the visual information.

Invisible Web

Invisible Web

Don Descy

Presentation available at -
Directories – are created by
people, categorized by hand, which means there are inconsistencies

Yahoo is one of the most famous directories

Open Directories – HotBot, Lycos,LookSmart

New Hartford, MN – Mankato site – false site

Search engines are different – quantity over quality, location on list may be paid. The list is
created by “spiders” that categorize pages by the words on them, which means they don't think about the content. More likely to index sites with more links to them, tends to focus on US and
commercial sites.

Google is the most popular search engine with Teoma coming in second.
Databases do not show up on regular searches because the the search of the database is dynamic – that is, the page doesn't exist until you put in the search terms.
Many also require logins or passwords to prevent the spiders from going in.
Sites to check

Librarians' Index to the Internet –

Compiled by librarians and very good.
About -
2,400,000 resources
Resource Discovery Network –
Database of databases
ProFusion –
The invisible web catalog, a quick search, sorted alphabetically or scored Have a savable search group. – a databases, mostly for medical

IncyWincy -
Mostly for kids, about 10,000 databases
Complete Planet -
Does research on the invisible web,
70,000 searchable databases

Infomine - scholarly internet resource collections
Academic Info – Educational Subject Directory

Direct Search –
Although is hasn't been updated lately, but is suppose to be good.

What to do

Search several sites

Used the advanded search feature

Search the term “invisible web” for IW search site
Add “database” to Google/Yahoo search
Search several IW sites

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Abracadabra – The Magic of Technology Gadgets for Educators
Kathy Schrock - Links for all the gadgets

“Any significantly advance technology is indistinguishable from magic.” - A. C. Clark

“Buy it, try it . . . sell it on Ebay” - Kathy Schrock

Ms. Schrock led the audience down memory lane looking at the technologies she used during her higher education and early librarian days. We all had a good chuckle at the movie projectors, typewriters, audio-taped computers, punch cards, and 30 lb portable computers. She also showed many photos of forms of memory and universal readers. In split seconds, Schrock ran through the most current versions of data storage devises, from the most basic to the fashion accessories. Current external storage drives are able to store more, at a smaller physical size. The old way of purchasing music is ending, now file sharing and iTunes is taking over. Even the way we listen to and play music is changing as the speakers are becoming smaller and the players have more options. Our calendars have changed from paper-based TimeRunners to an integrated PDA/phone/music/computer devise. Presentation devises introduced a a pocket sized projector with a LED lightbulb from Mitsubishi. Next on the list was tablet PCs. Office devises are becoming more integrated with print, copy, fax etc all in one. Transporting technology illustrated some ways to uniquely carry technologies – coats, purses, and an iPod backpack (Pod in back with controls in the strap). With many side comments and fun pictures, this presentation was a great review of the coolest gadgets (though mostly unaffordable).

Educator's Guide to Blogs

Educator's Guide to Blogs in (and out) of the Classroom
Erica Brownstein and Robert Klein

Blogs have been around as long as the internet. However, education is a little behind in how to use them constructively. An example of a classroom blog included book talks, discussion of what to name the class pet, and update parents. Another example, of a high school physics class has more formal discussions of about 150 words. It was edited and a formal piece of writing, based on the assignment from the teacher. However, it allowed the students to participate when they wanted to. A third example was an 8th grade honors class that was based on the books they read.

Educational used of a blog. Students like Iming and emailing each other, why not harness that enthusiasm for class? At first, the teacher needs to figure out the goal – a reflection, construction of knowledge, response to work in class, review of knowledge (diary of work done in class), extension of knowledge (assignments outside of class), or rewriting of knowledge. An important point of blogs is that it gives voice to those students who tend not to talk in class. Communication, interaction, reflection, or learning.

The presenters used to set up a blog.

Presentation PDF is at

Redefining Literacy for the 21st Century

Redefining Literacy for the 21st Century David Warlick

Online handouts and lots of cool information is available at:

We are preparing our students for a future that they, and their children will be envisioning.

The workplace of the future will be different. The landline is obsolete – cellphones have taken over, and they are equipped with more than just the phone. They include GPS, video, audio tours, planners etc. We generate 5 exabytes of new information each year but only .01% is printed on paper. Therefore paper and books are obsolete. Video conferencing is becoming more popular. Large, face-to-face meetings will be unusual in the future. The desktop computer will be shrunk to a wearable computer, which includes the accessories. So, the workplace of the future is an unclear picture – what equipment will be there and what skills do students need?

We should stop integrating technology and we should start integrating literacy skills. In order to be literate, people need to be able to teach themselves. Not the old version of literacy – Reading, writing, and arithmetic. A new form of literacy includes evaluation and research skills. Students will be doing most of their reading online – do they know how to search for the origin of websites? Mr. Warlick showed how to backtrack on a webpage to find the author or organization of the webpage. A site about Dr. Martin Luther King was actually published by a white supremacist group. Without locating the origin, students will take the information at face value. Using Wikipedia would be a good place to help students look for information and then evaluate the information. Our current model of education assumes there is an authority with the correct information. However, that is no longer true. Anyone can put up a website.

What does it mean to be a reader in the 21st century? It isn't just reading the text, but also finding information, decoding text, images and multimedia, critically evaluate the information and organize the information. Currently people can share websites and bookmarks. People are also using arrogators that automatically find information based on a personalized list of topics.

Math skills will change too. In the past, most problems had a small amount of data. Now, the abundance of information gives dozens to hundreds of bits of information that need to be calculated, sorted, and interpreted. Math is telling a story with numbers. With the ability to digitize almost anything, sound is now numbers. There is more than just adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing to math. Can you answer questions with math?

The process of buying and selling has changed as people have gone digital. Downloading music, books, and movies from the internet. Not going to shops.

Writing will always be an important skills, however the genre of writing is changing. Blogging, wikis, emailing, and other forms of writing are emerging. Communication will become more multimedia and not just text. The successful information are those that get our attention. Therefore will need to be teaching students how to work with images and video. Mr. Warlick showed the example of a student produced video focusing on sweatshop conditions. The images, text, and music worked together to create a powerful message. Since the video went on the net, it has been seen in over 20 counties and the author has been contacted by several CEO of the companies she mentioned. An essay would have been read by one or two people.

“In conclusion, stop integrating technology, instead, redefine literacy, and integrate that.”

Five Regions of Technology

Five Regions of the Future: A New Paradigm for Understanding Technology – Joel Barker– find the latest examples of the five paradigms

John Nesbitt coined the term “hightech” which indicated that there was a low tech environment. However, in today's world, there is more then just two levels. We need to become more precise in our descriptions in order to truly understand technology. We live in a special time were there are more solutions than problems and technology is behind most of those solutions.

Five regions were settled on in 1984 and the purpose of the tech determines the placement of the tech in the region. This went from clusters of technology to technological ecosystems or technEcologies that give a view of what the world looks like in each ecosystem. This type of categorizing helps make sense of technologies, better descriptions, and an understanding of how they develop.

Supertech - overabundance, with enough time and money, science and tech can solve anything, given the choice, people would take leisure over work. Bigger is better! We can make it better than Mother Nature.

LimitsTech – Started as a criticism of SupeTech. Scarcity will happen soon so we should be careful of what we do. There are long term consequences to science and technology which need to be thought about before implementing new techs. Efficiency is beautiful. Education is a major goal, as it is the only resource that grows when used.

LocalTech – There is enough in the world for everyone. Humans are shepherds of Mother nature. Work helps us become more fully human. Local development is the best. Use what resources you have in a careful and planned way. Villages are the focus. Everything focuses on the short-range in location –food, resources and supplies.

NatureTech – Oldest in that thousands of years ago, cultures were tuned into the nature around them. However, it is also the newest, as science is helping to understand nature better. Humans are in a partnership with nature. Science role is to understand the solutions nature presents.

HumanTech – underneath the other four – it is located within us. The real needs of humans are not material. Science and technological is only just beginning to understand the nature of humans. To know ourselves is the greatest goal. Genetic manipulation is not needed. It is the base of all other regions and shows how little we know about ourselves.

To conclude, Mr. Barker indicated that as educators, we have a tremendously important job as we help other people understand these new technologies. As a superabundant nation,the US has a responsibility to be a leader in the discussion, as it produces many of the new technologies. Being a democracy, each person also has a responsibility to be involved in this discussion,because decisions will be may anyway, but do we want to live with the consequences?

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Digital Images in the English Classroom

Enter Here – Digital Images in the English Classrooms
Sara Kajder

Students create a library of digital images to annotate their reading. It makes the reading more of their own, and shows meta-cognition.

During reading strategies –envisionments – the movie that goes on in the mind as a reader reads. It can start at static, single images and progress to digital storytelling.

Digital storytelling allows static images to become animated with video and added animation, and text. This teaching kids to use photos to tell a story. This can be a mode of teaching writing narrative. Elements of a digital story includes point of view, dramatic question, emotional content, voice,soundtrack, pacing, economy. To focus on the one topic, the students write the entire content on a 3x5 card, one side. Ms. Kajder uses Imovie from Apple.

Stages of a Developing a Digital Story
  1. Pre-writing – may give a prompt “What was in the pockets of your coats?” or “Map out your neighborhood?” or “Map your childhood bedroom”
  2. Artifact search – find things that will show the story. Two problems that showed up were either no artifacts of the family were available or parent not wanting to send in the artifact.
  3. Storyboard development – a picture of each screen and a script of the spoken narrative
  4. Script sharing circle – students share their script aloud with an adult available in each group. The discussion encourages revision. “If it were my story I would . . . “ This deflates the perception of attacking the person. There is the potential for some emotion discussion.
  5. Script revision
  6. Construction – 2 days, scanning, recording of script adding transitions. You MUST set some deadlines otherwise they will take much more time.
  7. Screening, viewing, and discussion – a big event of popcorn and other adults involved in the educational process

From creating the digital movies, Ms.Kajder's students had a discussion about the different types of reading voices – the recitation voice and the conversation voice. While reading assigned text, the students created an image timeline of when the recitation/conversation voice happens in their reading. The images are posted, the reading aloud is one audio track, and the other track is a voiced think-aloud. The images represent the emotions, ideas, and scenes from the reading.

Google Print – Google is trying to work with libraries to digitize primary sources and books to be available to all K-12 schools. This will allow multiple kids reading multiple stories and represent their learning in different ways. Blogs – picture blogs– Sara Kajder's website Tech Savvy English

Visual Literacy

I had seen Lynell Burmark about 4 years ago at an ECIS conference. At that time, it helped me better coach my students when using presentation software. Then her book "Visual Literacy" was a freebie for ASCD members. An easy read, it had some good ideas, though some of the lesson plans seem silly. I attended this session to see what new work she has done. Unfortunately, there wasn't much new.
Summary of "Visual Literacy" -Presented by Lynell Burmark

What do colors mean for us? Culturally we are taught to associate certain colors with certain things or events. For students now days, black and white means old. Sepia for older people is nostalgic, but just old for students. Yellow and red are the most attention getting colors. Yellow on blue is a good presentation color. Green is considered creative and healthy. The media knows this and uses it to create mood and tone. “My Many Color Days” by Dr. Suess – a book and video that projects the moods of the colors and sets them to music.
There is an estimated 30,000 PowerPoint presentations given each day. Most are text based – which should be given as a handout. The power of multi-media presentations are in the visual. There is some research that supports the idea that text based presentations can actually reduce retention. Limit the animation, especially the moving text. Blue is better for backgrounds. If you must use bullet points, keep it simple only about 3. Font styles have meaning too – the style needs to match the intent. Times New Roman is not the best font – Verdana would be better as it is simpler and spend out more. 6 x 6 rule – 6 words across and 6 words down. Write using lower case letters, using the shape of the words allows the reader to read faster.
The more concrete an image the less room for ambiguity.

Overcoming Obstacles to WebQuest Creation

Overcoming Obstacles to Quicker Webquest Creation

Bernie Dodge, PhD, San Diego State University
How many people can create a WebQuest in just a few hours? Webquests began about 10 years ago. To help streamline the process, Mr. Dodge created a template. However, to create a good WebQuest that engages students in real-world problem-solving still takes a tremendous amount of time.
What are some of the problems with creating WebQuests? Some listed problems pre-service teachers and in-service teachers' blogs: can't find previously started WebQuests, importing images, technical problems, uploading, the time that is takes, and fear of not being able to fix things. Mr. Dodge also surveyed WebQuest authors, classes at universities, and WebQuest users. Some of the same problems were stated. However, the survey found that the most time consuming part of WebQuest creation was finding good websites, designing the steps in the process section, and designing it to engage higher level thinking. Another question asked was what was hard? The responders said; finding good web sites, mechanics of making the pages, creating navigation buttons (writing html), making it pretty, process steps, scaffolding, aligning the evaluation with the task standards. In addition, uploading from home, losing pieces of the files, and creating higher order thinking problems were also stated as hard. The survey also asked what people would wish for to make it easier. The responders stated; templates in various forms, compatibility with Dreamweaver, library of images, flexibility in appearances, WYSIWYG text input, access to appropriate links, ability to customize current webquest, easy image inclusion, guidance on content for each section, access to standards, easy navigation and easy uploading.
Mr. Dodge stated that it truly is amazing that ANY webquests have ever been made – they are difficult and take a lot of time.WebQuest creation requires two parts. 1) Technical knowledge, including web editing, FTP (even just finding a host), searching, aesthetics (choice of colors, fonts, animation). 2) Pedagogical knowledge – constructivism, scaffolding, higher level thinking skills, cooperative learning.
What are some possible solutions?

Repeated practice in each area will help teachers learn.

FTP problems– use web-based FTP (many Open Source ones available), upload the Quest for the teacher, don't put the Quest online at all (local server, in text – disadvantage is that the WWW doesn't get to use it).

Web-Editing problems – use a browser-based editor, use Word or Powerpoint.

Searching – provide links to appropriate resources, or farm it out to the experts (library media
Aesthetics – provide pretty templates

Pedagogical Knowledge – provide templates preselected to engage higher level thiking and encourage cooperation

Authoring tools will help most teachers

Generateur do Missions Virtuelles - From Canada, in French - Teach-nology – provides space to host, a fill-in-the-blank
webquest form, have to be a member - PHPWebquest – written in Spain. Open Source - Instant WebQuest – Open Source, is a hosting sites - – Webquest hosting for free

Authoring Environments

Metcalfe's Law – the usefulness of a network is increased by the number of users. An example is


A place for great webquests to be grown. Experienced gardeners can help novice gardeners in creating webquests.

This new site will allow teachers to stop worrying about the technical aspects of the webquest and focus on the pedagogical aspects. It gives many hints and scaffolding to teach people how to create GOOD webquests. It has step by step guidance, browser based, emphasis on sharing resources and advice, ability for Webuest workshop leaders to monitor progress. The text formatting is WYSIWY and there is the ability to upload pictures, provide a glossary, and the design patterns are already there. Once a webquest is uploaded, it will be available to be downloaded and edited for other users. It is a regular webpage, so you can export it to any other sites. The style sheets limit the changing of fonts/colors but has the sheets that are good fonts and colors without distractions.

This will be available September 1 – and it will be free for a year. After that, there will be a $20 for a 2 year subscription.
- Bernie Dodge's blog about Webquests
- The WebQuest Page
– open source web-editor
- emints national center – theme-based list of links for lower

Read, Write and Blog

Read, Write and Blog
Susim Munshi, Susan Switzer

Most students use the internet typically for entertainment and not for education. They email, instant message, download songs etc. In schools, the internet is used mostly for locating pictures and some research. Blogs allow reading and writing to become public and give the students a wider audience – the whole world.

Using blogs in school can be a powerful motivator for students. Literacy is the focus, not the blog itself. However, if blogs are going to work in your school, there must be tailored teacher professional development. Teachers need easy to use tools to get their students online. At the Learn2Blog website, all the PD tools are available, including today's presentation, background of blogging, activities etc. An example of an activity is a character journal. Students write, but can also upload pictures and connect links. What is the difference between blog and discussion board? On a blog you can upload pictures, video etc. In a discussion board, mostly text is allowed.

In the Chicago area, there are about 15 schools using blogs within the language arts program. They are moving from traditional journalling in notebooks, which tend to be private and only shared between teacher and student, to blogs, which allow many people to read and comment on the content. One teacher is using blogs over the summer as a way to guide and encourage students to read and write over the summer. He told the students that he would give them credit for summer work.

The blog discussed in this workshop was hosted by, which was donated to the Chicago Public School System, along with the technical support. When a student logs in, they view the homepage with the teacher's name and then click on a teacher and the messages from him/her. Most teachers post prompts, links to read and directions of what to do. The student then responds. There is a inclination to want to fix the GUM errors, but the presenters suggested that blogs are not final drafts, but rather a historical record of progress.

Assessment is built in. The postings are time and date stamped. The artifacts support the frequency of communication. There can be a variety of activities and topics. There is a rubric for content available on the Learn2Web site.

If you are interested in beginning to blog, it is important to do some research. How do blogs work? Have a clear purpose for the blog. What is the purpose of the blog? What should students be able to do? Create guidelines and policies. A blog is a very public forum. Language and tone must be discussed. Finally, choose the right tool for the purpose.

To start your own blog, you will generally need an email. Try participating in a swchool's blog. Free blogs are good, but they do come with advertising. Subscription blog sites may cost, but don't have advertising links.

Monday, June 27, 2005

The New Shape of Knowledge

The New Shape of Knowledge

David Weinberger
Knowledge is organized with a physical model in mind – that everything CAN be classified and when classified, there is only one category. However, the nature of knowledge is changing. With the Greeks, knowledge was learned, remembered, and passed on through rhetoric. People had to evaluate the truthfulness of the speaker. Later, knowledge was paper-based. This led to more narrow classification of knowledge as it needed to be sorted and stored. Currently, knowledge is digital, which allows for multiple classifications and uses.
This means that knowledge is a “leaf on many branches.” It now longer needs to be placed in one category and stay there. It can be resorted based on the user's needs. “Messiness is a virtue.” When looking at links and the internet, the more links, the more prevalent the information. It isn't linear, even in text based documents. “Information is not owned.” People continually add to what is on the internet. At one time, the authority – author, publisher,
teacher – gave knowledge. Now, “Users are contributors.” Wikipedia is an excellent example of this. This encyclopedia is written by the people who read it. There is no limit to the size or topics.

With so many people contributing virtually, there is a reduced sense of competition. People don't have to be right all the time. The WWW is a big place and there is space for everyone.
Living with this kind of change in the shape of knowledge requires students to use different skills. We should be acknowledging that knowledge is an unending conversation – and if it is a conversation, then students should be looking at the context of the knowledge, learning how to listen, seek ambiguity, and love difference.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Admin Role and Cabinets

Administrator Role in CurriculumMapping - Dr. Susan Udelhofen

For curriculum mapping to make significant improvement in student achievement, the administrative team MUST fully support the work. It would be best if the administrative team could be trained in curriculum

  • Culture and climate
  • Relationship between admin and teachers
  • Other initiatives -How does this relate to current work? How will it benefit teachers?

  • Trust
    • This is not for evaluation
    • Admin should be able to say “I want to see what’s going on in the classroom.”
  • Honesty
    • Teachers are accurate in what they record
  • Time
  • Creating ownership and buy-in
    • May happen at different levels
We really are going to use these and share them. It isn’t a meaningless exercise.

How does CM work with/for other initiatives?
  • Differentiation – identify gaps, recognize areas to accelerate
  • Data Analysis – looking at test scores and reviewing curriculum
  • Reading – what strategies are being taught at what level?
CM should be an integrated part of whatever is already happening
  • Creating a Plan
  • Develop a core team that will help with training
  • Determine the best way to provide training to the full staff
  • Write a plan with specific activities and timeline
  • Remember – it is a cycle, plan for the long-term

    Moving to Site Based Councils and Cabinets – Dr. Jacobs

    Structures that Affect the Effectiveness
  • Time
  • School days – 180
  • School day and class period
  • Meetings – who meets with whom
  • Too many elem. grade level meetings or department meetings
  • Need more vertical meetings and HS grade level meetings
  • Too many meetings for the wrong reasons
  • Planned at the end of the day – poor time
  • Meetings with the wrong people
  • Plan for beyond year 1 – how will CM continue
Decision making process for curriculum?
  • Flow chart current way
  • Note external and internal influences
  • If and how assessment data is used
Curriculum CM Councils
  • Take the place of curriculum, assessment, and instruction committees
  • Meet monthly – work on curriculum, assessment and instruction
  • Curriculum should drive the schedule, not visa versa

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Increasing Student Learning

Increasing Student Learning

Best Practices for Building and Using CM to Improve Student and School Performance
Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs

Difference between standards, curriculum
  • Standards are guidelines
  • Many curriculum documents are well-intentioned pieces of fiction

    • Example – medicine, guidelines are not applied the same to all patients. Each
      patient has unique needs. In education, each school has a unique population and over time, within the school populations change.
    • Curriculum

      • Should reflect what is actually happening in the classroom
Isn’t this just another fad?
  • It is a very different environment now, than even ten years ago
  • Internet – can access schools from all over the world
  • Computers – allow for ease of recording and dissemination, plus linking of documents
  • Curriculum is not a static document any more – information and technology is changing
  • It is replacing the old model of a committee writing documents that aren’t used. The
    maps reflect reality, not fantasy
  • Difference between autonomy and isolated teachers, teaching what they want
  • Without an understanding of the total K-12 experience, teachers are in isolation
Curriculum – a path to run in small steps, Latin root
  • Internal alignment within maps
  • Assessment should reflect the skills that are listed
  • A pop quiz does not assess formation of hypothesis
  • Alignment between teachers – reflecting what actually happened each year
  • Goal of assessment is to improve students learning. It shouldn’t just be for
    • English teacher correcting mistakes doesn’t teach the student to do it
    • Coaches, music teacher etc don’t DO the work for the student, they coach and model

    Bi-Level Analysis

  • Look at the subject matter concepts and the skills required in the test
    • “Translate” the directions - explain how you do or figure out the way to do the
    • Talk about the words – explain how you did it - use thinking words
    • Highlight the requisite language capacity
  • Linguistic patterns –
    • length of passage
    • language used in questions/prompts – prepositions
  • High frequency words
  • Infer, analyze, determine etc
  • These words need to be posted and used within the content areas.
  • Specialized words
  • Subject specific or discipline specific
  • Looking it up isn’t showing knowledge or using the word
  • Kids should be speaking the words, not just reading
  • Editing and revising strategies
  • Word choice – strengthens the writing
  • Unit specific – word walls showing useful words for the unit
  • Revise for better adjectives
  • Paragraphing - What makes a paragraph complete?
  • Basic punctuation
  • Fuzzy spelling
  • Most assessments are short reading and writing responses – however, this is backward
    from how we learn language
  • We listen, speak, write, then read. Our classrooms assume the opposite
  • Curriculum Mapping is the hub for other issues – standards, literacy, technology. All
    can be represented on the maps. It gives a focal point for discussion.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Curriculum Mapping 101

Curriculum Mapping 101 – Gurnee,
IL with Dr. Susan Udelhofen

Why should we do mapping?

  • Allows for conversation between

  • Is a “professional”
    thing to do – gives credibility and value to our work 

  • Helps find gaps ad redundancies in
    the curriculum 

  • Is a communication tool in school and in community

Research that supports.  Looked at mentoring, professional
development and school improvement plans; 4 common goals.

  • Collaboration

  • Reflection 

  • Shared vision for professional.

  • Focus on student learning

Major change in idea of how to "do" school

  • Curriculum is not an individual
    thing – close my door and teach 

  • Maps become public 

  • Curriculum is not finished – put on the shelf waiting
    for the next revision;Revision is on-going and dynamic

What is curriculum mapping? List:

  • Content

  • Skills

    • Assessed, observed and described

    • Using action verbs

    • Not an activity – find the skills within the activity
    • Assessment

      • Every skill should be assessed, but doesn’t have to
        be assessed individually
      • Needs to be tangible – observations should be written

      • Standards

      • Essential questions
        • Not recommended if you don’t already do them.

Two types of maps

    • Projected – think about the year in advance

    • Journal/diary – record what happened at the end of the

Mapping Process

    • Complete individual maps - Every teacher needs to complete
      their own map – not a collaboration

    • Review groups of maps – above and below your level

    • Share reviews with colleagues

    • In a large group, share reviews.

    • Develop an action plan – some can be easy immediate
      changes, others may need research

    • Implement the action plan

The magic of mapping is when the review and sharing happens. It isn’t a personal curriculum anymore. Change happens -  Enthusiasm is contagious - Teachers are collaborating, reflecting,
creating a shared vision and focusing on students

Monday, June 13, 2005

Summer Learning

The first school year in Aruba has ended. It was one of the more pleasant end-of-school-years I’ve had. My middle school students, overall, stayed focused and on track with their work. The final exam I gave wasn’t too difficult, but did cap off the learning from this year. I’m pleased with the work and progress of my students.

However, for me, it didn’t really feel like an end of year. Being in a warm climate, there is no change of weather. Usually, the blooming trees and flowers give rise to spring fever and the smell of cut grass indicates the end of the year. In Aruba, it is always hot and there isn’t grass to cut. The physical signs of spring and summer never happened. This could be why I was teaching and giving homework up to the last day – it didn’t feel like school was ending.

Preparations have begun for the move to the new building. Every book, pencil, and stapler has been thrown into a box, to reappear at the new site. It really will be a new beginning next school year, as we all step into new classrooms and try to figure out how to use our new spaces. Organization has never been my strong point, and this move just makes that all too clear. My neighboring colleague has every box nicely labeled with the contents – I have my name and a one word description. I’m going to be kicking myself come August as I try to figure out where the really important stuff is.

Summer is always time for rejuvenation and new ideas. This summer I have the opportunity to attend two different profession development workshops. The first is about curriculum mapping and the second is the National Educational Computing Conference. I love having the chance to spend time with other professionals who are as excited about teaching as I am. It is incredibly invigorating. I especially enjoy spending professional time with my teacher husband. Our "romantic dinners" are spent talking about the speakers and ideas that were presented during the day.