Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Chanukah

Today at Sunset will start the first day of Chanukah an eight-day Jewish observance that remembers the Jewish people's struggle for religious freedom. The story is that during the "rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE.)*" an oil lamp with just enough oil for one day was lit, but a miracle occurred and the lamp stayed lit for 8 days. 
In homes around the world tonight the first candle will be lit on special menorahs. And each night after for 8 nights a new candle will be lit. 
President Obama's Chanukah greetings can be found here:  Statement by the President on Hanukkah
 and you can see him at: 
 Hanukkah at the White House

 Quotes by Thomas Carlyle
“A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge.”
"He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything."

 Chag Sameach

*from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanukkah

Sunday, December 18, 2011

"Do you know the difference between education and experience? Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't."
        - Pete Seeger

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday, May 30, 2011

Technology in Kindergarten

Ad from Leap Frog
What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word technology?  Is it computers? That is only one part of technology.  There is so much more to consider. As Alyssa Marie Davenport  states in her article Technology in Education: "Digital cameras, projectors, scanners and "Leap Frog"-type systems are also ways to incorporate technology into kindergarten." She also includes: Digital Cameras, Palm Pilots Language Audio Card Readers,  Televisions, Smartboards, and Microphones.
Chris Gathers talks about how technology has been the most exciting changes in her 30 years as a kindergarten teacher in her article: Using Technology with Kindergarten Students. Her article is full of examples of how she uses technology with her students.  She starts with "Mouse Practice" then uses the Broderbund program Kid Pix Studio Deluxe.

I have been exploring the possibilities of using iPads with younger children in the classroom.  The iPad seems very durable and easy to use and can be set up to use on and off the internet. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Technology in schools

 Here is an interesting video about the lack of technology in the school called "Learning to Change-Changing to Learn"
Are you going to be a change agent in your school?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Kids and Technology

I've been reading my Selection and Integration of Materials student's "Getting To Know You" discussions and am surprised by the fact that many have not been using computers as much as I would have thought by now. I realized that I have been using either a pc or apple or mac since 1984 daily. I am not sure what I would do without one. I now have a Dell desktop - old but still works and an old mac, and for the present am borrowing a computer from the University's IRTS lab to teach my class this summer. I also have a kindle and Ipad. I find that I can do a lot of my computing on the Ipad so long as it doesn't require a flash player.  I am glad to hear that many of you that don't feel the computer come naturally to you are not afraid to learn from your students. In saying that here is one of my favorite youtube videos:

Monday, May 9, 2011

Gaming and Education

Gaming seems to be the new buzz word in Educational Technology so I thought I would talk about two types of games that I think might fit into the educational setting.
The first is farming. I started with Farm Town on FaceBook. An innocent but addictive game for those who like to win. What I found educational about Farm Town is that if I calculated the money I had to spend on how much a plant cost vs. how long it took to grown and how much I would profit from it I could move up quicker in levels. So I actually created a Farm Town Hints to help others do the same thing.  The next thing I created was a chart of how long the crops grew in real time: ie: Growing day = 20 hours. 1 day crop = 20 hours; so 10% = 2 hours; 1% = 12 minutes (potato, strawberry).
I love math and bringing math into a way to use it was exciting for me and I think it would be for kids. The funny thing is that I hated word problems as a student yet, having visuals like this game would make it fun to unravel word problems that went with it.

The second is a memory type games - there are many different ones and typically we think of them for our younger children, but I have found one for adults! On FaceBook there is a game called Gardens of Time. The object is to make a garden of pieces from history, the pieces are buildings, artifacts and/or decorations.   There are also challenges  you have to finish and then you get awarded "Wonders of the World". To be able to purchase the garden pieces one must earn money by going to different pictures and finding 6, 12 or more hidden objects. The objects stay in the same place in a picture, but what you have to find changes each time, sometimes you have new objects to look for and sometimes it is a combination of ones you found before and new objects.

Images are screen captures from my games on FaceBook.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I found this at the end of an email and thought I would pass it on:

Every day be thankful for what you have and who you are.

This is a simple request. If you appreciate life, share this with your friends

Even though I clutch my blanket and growl when the alarm rings. Thank you, God, that I can hear. There are many who are deaf.

Even though I keep my eyes closed against the morning light as long as possible. Thank you, God , that I can see. Many are blind.

Even though I huddle in my bed and put off rising. Thank you, God, that I have the strength to rise. There are many who are bedridden.

Even though the first hour of my day is hectic, when socks are lost, toast is burned, tempers are short, and my children are so loud.

Thank you, God, for my family. There are many who are lonely.

Even though our breakfast table never looks like the picture in magazines and the menu is at times unbalanced.

Thank you, God, for the food we have. There are many who are hungry.

Even though the routine of my job often is monotonous. Thank you, God, for the opportunity to work. There are many who have no job.

Even though I grumble and bemoan my fate from day to day and wish my circumstances were not so modest.

Thank you, God, for life.

Pass this on to the friends you know. It might help a bit to make this world a better place to live, right? A friend is someone we turn to when our spirits need a lift. A friend is someone to treasure.

For friendship is a gift. A friend is someone who fills our lives with Beauty, Joy and Grace and makes the world we ! live in a better and happier place.


God bless you and yours.

Home again

Well I made it home from Beijing China, with lots of luggage and a very tired body!  You can read more about it on Beijing Design.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Last night in Beijing

Well it is getting late but I am taking a few minutes to review all that we did while in Beijing China. Many lives were change in small and large ways this past weekend. We met people we instantly bonded with and with others it took some time but all in all we had a great time at the Flat Classroom Conference. 
Our guide, Vincent, from China Guide, was wonderful! And each day as we put our lives into the hands of our driver Mr. Li, we were so grateful that he was an excellent driver. We had a great time, even those that did not like all the Chinese food.  We all learned to use the Asian toilets, chopsticks and how to drink tea.  We shared many laughs over them and other things that happened on our trip.
And we worked hard at the conference doing all our small and large jobs - in front and in back of the conference. 
Good bye China.  You will not be forgotten in our hearts!