Sunday, March 30, 2008


I never get tired of looking a trees. While on a short vacation this week, I was visiting my brother's house and took pictures of these two awesome oak trees. It is amazing how big and beautiful they are and it is not summer yet.



Websites about Oak Trees!

Interesting Facts about Oak Trees

Oak Tree

Sherwood Forest England

Friday, March 28, 2008


Check this Screencast out by Liz Davis on Flock a browser by Mozilla!

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What are some ways your child/students use technology?

Name the technology tools that your child/students uses?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Patience at Jury Duty

As I was sitting at Jury Duty and completely bored, I noticed that people were doing a variety of things! Some brought their laptops, cell phones, books, magazines, newspapers, notes, paper, and pens. It was a group that did not know each other and had never met before. We all had one thing in common…to be here for Jury Duty.

How much technology was used this day was at a low obviously because of where we were and not knowing exactly what to bring with us. However, people were busy reading, reading, and reading. It was basically a quiet day with everyone involved in whatever they had brought with them to read. There were three televisions on so some of the people watched the latest game shows.

Technology today was TV, cell phones, and laptops used to communicate information to people. I only say one person with a ipod.

As I sat and watched people, I thought of the younger generation of students that are growing up and wondering if they have been learning patience. Can they sit, watch, and just notice the world around them without text messaging, cell phones going constantly, and ipods running? Are they able to read newspapers and books for hours at a time and amuse themselves without a lot of technology? Are they able to communicate in-person and make new friends or acquaintances at a strange place like this?

There is a skill to communicating in-person and we need, as educators and parents, to teach our students the importance of communication in social gatherings. Interpersonal skills are valuable and need to be practiced. It is also interesting that now I must clarify communication as “in-person” versus virtual, cell phones, emails, skype, and through social networks. Not only do our students and children need to know how to communicate safely in social networks but they also need to learn to communicate with their peers and adults.

As humans we still need real-time communication!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pictures are worth a thousand words!

Here are a set of computers that I use in my classroom! Notice how they have changed over time. The white boxes are still running and work nicely thanks to our tech staff. Also, the two Dell computers are 5 years apart, boy have they changed in size and looks. All in all, it is great to have computers working so the students are able to use the Internet and various programs without a lot of frustration.

Spring Break!

As I was experimenting with my camera, I was able to go to settings and change my color setting to black and white fairly easy. Taking black and white pictures seems to be very popular now and very easy to do with a digital camera.

Above is a picture of my granddaughters! This picture will be beautiful as I frame it in either black or white.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Testing, Testing, Testing

This past week has been one of the testing weeks for all students living in Illinois using the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT).
This test is given over a two week period.

There are many ways to prepare for the ISAT tests; however, nothing prepares a student better than getting plenty of sleep throughout their school year and being prepared for school. This means working hard on assignments in class as well as outside of class and coming to school ready for school.

Not coming to school sleepy and tired from a night of watching TV or being out late is very important if you want your child to be successful in school. Sure this happens occasionally but it should not be the rule.

The best thing that parents can do for their child is to prepare them for the school day throughout the school year.
• Eat breakfast (even if it is something small)
• Get plenty of sleep the night before school
• Help your child do their homework
• Ask your child what they are doing in school.
• Reading builds vocabulary so have your child read every night before TV time.

Activities for improving vocabulary and reading comprehension:

1. Have your child pick a research subject to report on. Then have your child frame a question then answer it. Who, what, when, where, why, and how many? are great places to start.

2. When your child is given extended response questions, does he or she….

a. Restate the question in the first sentence.
b. Support the answer with at least two ideas from the selection and expand on those ideas.
c. Support the answer with meaningful examples from student’s own experiences.
d. Quote something directly from the selection.
e. Balance ideas from the text with own ideas.
f. Answer the question that was asked.
g. Answer all parts of the question.
h. Use complete sentences.
i. Does the response make sense?

3. Provide quiet time where your child can read for 30 minutes a night. Before TV, have your child read. It can be anything as long as they are reading. Reading improves vocabulary. Support your child’s reading habits but making reading time as valuable as TV time.

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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Learning Something New!

Every day we learn something new!

I was in a meeting with our Tech personnel and found out that when something is blocked the filter will list why it is blocked. For example, it seems that the student links on Class Blogmeister are blocked at our school district because they fall under the term forums and forums cannot be unblocked without opening other links and websites into the classroom.

I have noticed that our student links, teacher links, and comment areas are all blocked; therefore, I will have to investigate and find out the reasons why? The reasons will give me a clue to whether or not the tech guys can help me unblock the links.

This is great news and bad news.

It is great that the filter will give you information on why the site is blocked.

The bad news is that the students and I cannot log in to work on our blogs at school. However, we will keep working with our wikis, writing articles, and posting them at night.

This has been an exciting learning time for the students as well as for me.

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