Sunday, March 23, 2008

746.46 Passion Quilt: 21st Century Version

One of the book review bloggers I follow regularly, Miss Rumphius Effect, tagged me for a meme that is going around the educational blogosphere these days...a post to be added to the Passion Quilt originally started by Miguel Gulin

What's a meme? Loosely defined. Often described as a virtual chain postage needed! I don't often get tapped and more often don't participate, but I think this is a topic worthy of some attention. I think it can be a real learning experience.

So here is my submission:

A learning adventure simply begins with a step...a word...a book... a click.

Picture: Old Jetty Steps (New Zealand) Uploaded on
31 October 2007 by Light Knight
from flickr Creative Commons rights

I think it speaks for itself. Learning is simply a journey that begins with a first step in whatever format that works for the moment. It is the learner that must decide the when, the where, and the how.

My "students" these days are mostly the over-21 variety, WAY over 21, in fact. In most, I still see the passion that brought them to the education (classroom or library) table. Sometimes, it's a little buried under the minutia of the moment, but in our mutual experiences, it is often rekindled quite quickly by the simple act of coming together as a group of people who do share a common passion ...that of learning...that lasts a lifetime.

Here are a few other submissions from bloggers you will recognize from my blogroll:
Blue Skunk Blog
Hey Jude
Librarians Matter
Joyce Valenza's Neverending Search
Dangerously Irrelevant
Techno Tuesday - she actually "stitched" her own virtual quilt!
Not So Distant Future
I know there others and more being added often. You can google "passion quilt" and also can see many visual submissions iin flickr by using the tags passionquilt (yes written together) and passionquilt08

Here are the rules:

  • Think about what you are passionate about teaching your students.
  • Post a picture from a source like FlickrCC or Flickr Creative Commons or make/take your own that captures what YOU are most passionate about for kids to learn about…and give your picture a short title.
  • Title your blog post “Meme: Passion Quilt” and link back to this blog post
  • Include links to 5 folks in your professional learning network or whom you follow on Twitter/Pownce.

My mentor blogger G has already been tagged, but my other selections include:
ARK from ARK's Classroom...a pretty passionate (it seems to me) teacher turned recent library school student.
LG found on Librarian Tour of the most passionate people I have run into in a long time...and I knew it immediately! Her passion rekindled some of the spark that was missing in my own fire ring.
Coach B who can tell me how she wants to respond...a new teacher whose passion just oozes out of every pore...I can't wait to see her visual representation...some of her creative talents "scare" me!
LibraryChica from Porter Library Blog and Gladiator from Forum who I have gotten to know virtually and represent individuals I would like to know better...and hopefully can introduce this activity to others in their own circles, bringing whole other points of view to the experience.
And of course Grendel from GOI-BOK, whose quiet passionate love of all things library and learning often goes unnoticed by the unaware, but who has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with me thru this whole crazy roller coaster we have been on for how many decades?

Yes, I KNOW that is 6 tags...can we just call it a blogger's 5...there are a WHOLE bunch more I could tag, but I have to leave someone for my victims, oops, participants to tag! I suspect everyone I want to see will be called upon shortly!

I'd like to see my circle's quilt come together as one piece....I think I can make that happen. Let's see.

Passionquilt, passionquilt08

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

641.3 Peanut Butter: Fun with a Purpose

I Love Lucy ranks as one my all-time Top 5 TV shows ( I was a child of the 50s/60s) and so when I got to "live" one of my favorite! Remember when Lucy & Ethel switched jobs with their husbands and went to work in the chocolate factory...

Well, one of my best pals who is always up for a new adventure and I had an opportunity to do a shift at a peanut butter factory as part of a community service ... the Lucy & Ethel syndrome was very much on our minds as we drove to fulfill our commitment!

Yup, you guessed part of the line was to control newly sealed jars of peanut butter as they made their way to the send them down the next part of the line SPACED properly so the labels would be attached PROPERLY! Between machinery malfunctions and lack of rhythm, it was "nightmarish" at times! At times I couldn't keep up...the jars were too big for my hat so (with very special help) I was "dumping" them into grocery carts...without making them fall over!!
I took a screen shot of the exact turn I was responsible for from a YouTube video about the peanut butter factory. See that nice, neat spacing of the jars after the turn...well, about 65% of mine looked like those...the other 35%...thank goodness there are no pictures!

BTW, if you want to look at the peanut butter process, you can google peanut butter and there are several videos from YouTube and other sources!
Despite my "Lucy" moments, the whole experience was very interesting, lots of fun, and I was glad to share in the service project. I look forward in paying it forward sometime, somewhere, somehow!

Of course, I can't have fun like that without thinking about the tie-in to something educational!

If you find a useful video, you can talk about the science behind food processing, you can talk about jobs involved in making peanut butter, you can talk about the contributions made by George Washington Carver during a biography unit. And how appropriate that my adventure occurred at this time because March is National Peanut Month.

And a little peanut butter poetry
And here is an oldie (another sign of my age!)...includes an audio clip you can play!
The Peanut Butter Song - I think we even had motions to it!
and another song Peanut Butter & Jelly - anybody 25 & under probably knows the was a big hit at my kids' pre-school back in the 80's. Audio clip
Some other resources
Virginia Carolina Peanuts - activities, lesson plans
Peanut Butter Lovers - history, recipes, contest

I think I need a PB&J sandwich!

920 Author Interviews: Pulse Blogfrest

Want to know what is on the mind of 120 YA authors with regards to a series of 14 questions posed by teens?

Visit the Pulse Blogfest...sponsored by Simon & Schuster, it has been going on for about a week already (ok, better late than never!), but that's the beauty of the blog can jump in today or start at the beginning!

Current question: What issues should teens be thinking about? Do they live thru their characters?
March 14th question: What would you be doing if you hadn’t made it as a writer? Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's response. Judy Blume's response.
March 17th question: How did you survive as a teen? Susan Cooper responds. Chris Lynch answers. Sharon Draper's response.

Feel free to comment back to your favorite authors on their thoughts!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

612.8 Hearing: Further Proof I'm Old!

Have read (and heard and seen!) about the ring tones that only young people hear...and more to the point, how students have added them to their cell phones so teachers can't hear. Sometimes also know as mosquito tones or teen buzz.

Here is a website that allows you to test what levels you can hear. And some more info available from the TechnoTuesday blog.
My results were pretty typical for an old dinosaur...but not the worst, so that made me feel a little better...hey, I'll take any little tidbit of age advantage I can at this point!
[the test doesn't open in district...everything else including the video does}

But you can just about hear some of these tones that those youngsters are on about so you're feeling moderately smug.

The highest pitched ultrasonic mosquito ringtone that I can hear is 10kHz
Find out which ultrasonic ringtones you can hear!

P.S. Drove my poor little Copper-boy to bury himself deeper and deeper into the couch cushions until I realized what was making him try to climb my back! (It was funny for just a minute and then I stopped the torture!)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

005.3 Widgets: Banned Fun, Bummer!

In working on my 23 Things assignments, I came across a nice widget collection called SpringWidgets and added one to this blog to count down the days to TLA...the annual conference being held in Dallas this year.

But don't count on it in district...same song, forgotten which's blocked! Guess it's too cute and clever!
Couldn't stand it that you could not see it so I took a screen shot so you could get the picture, if not the real fun. You can see the "hole" for it on the side bar to the right.

But if you are looking for some fun things to add to your webpages or blogs or whatever, go see what you can find. You can adapt many to meet your needs or even create something new and the site will host it for you. I can see this being used to count down to a special event like an author visit, the 100th Day of School, or everyone's favorite Spring days before summer! The ideas are endless.

Have home!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

920 International Edubloggers Directory: 2.0 Representatives

Want to see who is involved in edublogging? Want to see what successes they report...what frustrations they deal with...what questions they have...what fun they are having?

Go to Edubloggers International Directory. It made it first appearance in January 2008. Its founder Patricia Donaghy of Dublin, Ireland commented on one of my posts and invited me to take a look. I found a lot of familiar names and faces so I have joined.

She states a simple purpose for her project:

The purpose of this site is to provide an up to date directory of edubloggers
from around the world. The site will provide an easy way to find out what other
edubloggers are blogging about. I hope you enjoy using the site and that you are
able to make many useful connections. Please feel free to add any suggestions or
recommendations for improvements by adding a comment.
It is simply another way to find your way through the maze of the blogging world, especially if you want to only concentrate on those bloggers who have an education base. And you don't have to join to check out the membership. Plus each member has written a description of the blog(s) listed and includes tags of interest. So if you are looking for certain topics or ideas you can search through the ever growing list of members without having to go blog by blog!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

005.3 Feedjit: Virtual Trip by Blog

On of the most interesting aspects of this blog for me has been the opportunity through various means to connect with librarians, educators and other bloggers from all over. When I started, I thought I would merely be interacting with a small group within my circle of influence. Had no idea how big that circle would become.

As I learned about things like Technorati, I signed up because of how it let me know who was linking to my blog. I found it fascinating and it has brought me many hours of virtual travel experiences. Even studying another blogger's blogroll was often done just so I could see where I would end up, geographically speaking.

As I have already noted, I have more blog readers (many I affectionately call "lurkers") than commentors because they verbally tell me so! But no way of knowing where all of them come from.

So when I began to notice the Live Traffic Feed widget from Feedjit on several blogs over the last few days, I took the plunge. Now I can see where visitors to my blog come from. It is SO cool!

But I can make a case for it being an educational tool as well. Having the flags of different countries pop up is a review of sorts, plus a understanding of where English speakers are. It also is a clock of sorts because certain areas of the world tend to pop up in clusters during certain parts of my central time zone day.

But I'm not going to get too serious about it...I added it simply because I think it is fun.

O BTW, it is super easy to add. It is basically all done for you from the site if you are using a Blogger or Typepad blog. Unfortunately, the creators say that it is not possible (or maybe not easy) to add to a WordPress (including Edublog) least right now.

So take a the right and all the way down.