Tuesday, February 22, 2011

13hrs, 20mins remaining

Theory: When you create a test, take it, and then triple the time. Allow that much time for students to complete the test.

Theory: When you create a scavenger hunt for your own children, divide the time it takes to create by three. Your children will complete the scavenger hunt in under that time.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

it's worth a try

Post context: Here. And here.

Found the following recently. It's a small piece composed sometime aught-six. I'm willing to concede that's it plush with classtrophobic bravado; that sense of self-awesomeness I used to have when I lived in room 218:
Nine years. Of Hamlet. Every semester. Three blocks a semester. That's a lot of Hamlet. I'm a Hamlet genius. I can recite passage after passage. Ask me a question, I'll answer it. Even better, I'll ask my students a question, and I'll answer it. But that makes me unhappy and crestfallen.

Nine year of Hamlet, asking questions, providing the answers.

I'm full of melancholy. Something needs to change. At first, I thought my students needed to change. They need to answer my questions, quickly and accurately. I want them to know what I know right away. On first read.
I Q&A'ed to no avail. Study-guided into the abyss.

Along came an idea born out of collaboration with a colleague. Blogs! A funny, trendy little word half a decade ago, but in '06, a relatively new idea. Instructions followed. Blogs followed.

I know you know. You know how this ends.

I could take the blame. Seek forgiveness for nine years of struggle and disappointment.
You didn't inspire them, Ken. You let nine years worth of seniors down.
However, I tried a lot. A full complement of educator gymnastics.

Blogging worked. Technology teacher students worked, created, and analyzed.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

low-level management

We're a wiki school. Lots and lots of students use wikis. Lots and lots of teachers use wikis. Everyone uses wikis differently, but one thing is a constant: signing up.

There are three levels of wiki sign up and it pays to have a clear plan for signing up whenever a teacher goes about class-wide sign up.

- Ask students to choose which level of wiki user best fits:
  1. Have wiki account and knows necessary log-in information
  2. Have wiki account, but does not remember password
  3. New to wikispaces
- Begin by working with the #1's. Have them log-in and then go to the wiki for their class.
- Move on the group #2. Have them go through the necessary steps to retrieve their passwords.
- Work with the newbies, but encourage shoulder partners (presumably some #1's and #2's) to provide support.

Congratulations! You've completed a required step in an efficient manner. Yes, you could have assigned this sign-up process as homework, but you realize that going through this process as a class is, like many other whole class activities, valuable.

And having everyone do this in class sends the message that the wiki is important.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

reading is dangerous

The following is a detailed account, sans adjectives and delivered in present tense, of personal events that unfolded between 6:46PM EST - 6:49PM EST:
  • Open Google Reader from Gmail
  • Read (in Google Reader) one unread item in Dy/Dan
  • Click on '10 comments on this item' and watch as new tab opens on browser, taking me directly to Madison, IN
  • Read comments, stopping at Bryan Cook's comment which references the book, 'Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do'
  • Open new tab and load up Amazon
  • Search for aforementioned book in Kindle store
  • Eye 'Buy now with 1-Click' chiclet
  • Receive confirmation email for purchase of 'Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do'
  • Think about how many invisible people and ubiquitous web apps led me on a fast-paced path to spend $9.29

Thursday, September 2, 2010

doin' it with alacrity

A new elementary school, replete with interactive white boards in every classroom. A rinse and repeat training session, designed to give every teacher the opportunity to learn how to write and erase on the IWB. Thirty minutes and on to the next meeting.

Would you cover more? Would you provide the whiz-bang?

Key stat: You know that 90% of the staff never used an IWB until today.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

ugh, wcydwt: slow


But...I did it. There's no math for that.