Uncategorized

Summer Deadlines

So it’s kind of a funny story.

Last fall I was invited to attend the Petaluma Educational Foundation’s annual fundraiser. We can never go on our own, as the ticket price alone is too rich for our blood. But last fall we were treated by amazing parent and PEF board member, Bridget Mackay. ūüėė

During the auction (our mouths agape at the ginormous bids), I raised my paddle ONCE, just to, you know, help out the cause, and that auctioneer did not EVEN say, “Going once! Going twice!” No, he just saw my poor little hand slide up and he yelled, “SOLD!!!” much to my husband’s horror. ūüėĪ

So we had just agreed to pay twice the going rate of a Maui vacation (airfare not included). But hey, it’s for a VERY good cause. My students and I have been the very lucky recipients of FOUR Major Impact grants from PEF, so I am happy to give back some of that love.

But our needs in the AWARD-WINNING KTV/Digital Design/Robotics & Engineering classroom are pricey. So we set up a DonorsChoose project for three iMacs for our students. And the timing just happened to be that our DonorsChoose.org project comes due this very week that we are enjoying Maui. The project needs to be funded by Thursday AND an anonymous supporter just stepped up to double every donation.

So that is why you might be seeing the incongruity of me posting both Maui pics ūüŹĚ and begging “PLEASE DONATE” at the same time.
Thanks for hearing me out. ūüė≥ TWO MORE DAYS!

https://www.donorschoose.org/project/imacs-for-innovative-middle-schoolers/2453856/?timestamp=1497972201802&pma=true&pmaId=2029100&pmaHash=Bxwgy5lcbhKBISqKcvyGkg%253D%253D&utm_swu=1405&rf=page-siteshare-2017-06-project-teacher_2029100#pm19919305&challengeid=319776&challengeid=319776

Advertisements

Student agency: voice, choice and making

In anticipation of the new Common Core Smarter Balanced Assessments, which students will take online, teachers are being asked to help students prepare by giving them more time on computers. After all, if the testing environment is all online, students need to be familiar with and comfortable using basic computer commands and options, as well as keyboarding and computation.

But as with any significant shift in classroom practices, there has been some push-back, as parents and educators alike ask about the potential downsides of too much “screen time” for kids. New technologies offer a wealth of opportunities for students to discover their own agency: to take control of their learning, to make¬†choices in their education, to find their unique voice. But will students become¬†passive learners, sitting¬†in front of a screen and consuming, instead of actively ¬†interacting with and producing new content?

Yesterday I participated in a webinar with the National Writing Project and Educator Innovator on how we can create opportunities, space, and time for all youth to be agents in their own learning. Kicking off Connected Educator Month, we take inspiration from the Maker Movement as well as Connected Learning principles to support the sharing of ideas and strategies related to this notion of youth agency throughout October and beyond.

As my students prepare for NaNoWriMo, they find their own voices honored as they choose all aspects of the novel they will create. How do you give your kids opportunities to find their voices and claim agency in your classroom? Please share in the comments below!

(Also published here on Edutopia.)

Add Twitter Feed to Weebly Site

You don’t need to be fluent in HTML to embed your Twitter feed into your Weebly site, but you do need to do a little digging around. I discovered that the Weebly help page has a link to Twitter that does not give the steps for adding¬†a Twitter widget. But a little searching brought me to this page, which shows how simple the process actually is.

For you visual learners, here are the steps:

1. First log in to Twitter and click on the Settings gear icon:Twitter gear

2. Click on Widgets and choose Create new:

Twitter widgets

Twitter create new3. Choose the source¬†of the Twitter timeline you’d like to embed. If you want to embed your own Twitter feed, click on User timeline:

Twitter timeline source

4. Complete the customization details of your feed and click Create widget.

  • For User Timeline, enter the username of the user whose Tweets you want to display.
  • For Favorites, enter the username of the user whose favorites you want to display.
  • For List, select a public list that you own and/or subscribe to in the drop-down menu.
  • For Search, enter your search query.

Twitter Configure (1)5. Copy your embed code:

Twitter HTML code6. Go to your Weebly site, click and drag the embed code element to where you want it on your Weebly page:

Twitter Weebly code7. Paste your code onto your page:

Twitter paste8. And customize:

Twitter customize code9. Grab and slide the double black arrow to narrow or widen your feed display:

Twitter adjust feed

And that’s it! Twitter’s Troubleshooter page can help if you run in to problems.

Happy Weebly-Tweeting!

#NaNoPrep: ready for Day 1, Page 1?

Here it is, NaNoEve, and you’re too busy assembling your Halloween costume to think about your novel. ¬†Don’t let me scare you too much, but TOMORROW IS THE DAY YOU START WRITING YOUR NOVEL! ¬†BOO! Ah, fear not. ¬†It is not as scary as you might think. ¬†All you need to do is come up with an inciting incident (fancy writer talk for “the event that started it all”) that will launch your main character into his or her adventure. ¬†What change in his/her life sets the story in motion? ¬†Is it a tragedy? ¬†Or an adventure? ¬†Or simply a change in location/friendships/class schedules?

If you’re still stumped, check out these familiar inciting incidents in literature. ¬†Watch our “how to start” slideshow, which takes inspiration from our favorite published authors: