As part of a new network adventure called iAnthology (for National Writing Project teachers in the New England/New York area), we are hoping that teachers will share their writing. Of all forms. Including digital compositions.
This morning, I tried my hand at using some photos of a tree at our school as a metaphor for watching my students grow and change over the course of the year.
Does the metaphor work?
This is the third and final song that my friend and I recorded the other night (see Katrina Blows in and Beacon in the Night) as a sort of demo. This one is called Achilles’ Heel and I wrote it after reading a bit about the Trojan War and wondering how this concept of story took hold — how one beautiful woman could set the world aflame.
This is the second song I am sharing here (see Katrina Blows In) from a home video session my friend and I did the other night as we prep for possible open mic nights.
This song is called Beacon in the Night and we wrote it together for our old band, The Sofa Kings. John wrote the music and I wrote the lyrics. The song is about someone seeking out their loved on in the midst of uncertainty and how even as the world puts up barriers, you need to keep looking and keep the light on for them. You need to become their beacon in the night.
Here is the first of three songs that my friend, John, and I have been practicing for a local open mic night. This one — called Katrina Blows In — was written in the aftermath of the hurricane and I performed it at huge fundraising concert that my school put on to support survivors. I was trying to get at a first-person narrative of someone stuck up on the roof.
I’ll share the other two videos in the coming days.
My friend, George Mayo, posted these two movies at his Vimeo site and they just blew me away. I love the use of sticky notes for stopmotion but I also love the documentary view of creating the movie with sticky notes, too.
This is another chapter in my comics about my life in music. It has to do with a time when my friends and I would plug in our assortment of ratty amplifiers and do our best to sound loud. Not necessarily good … but loud.
A personal goal this summer is to create a friendly website for parents and families and students to provide an overview and an insight into my writing/reading/technology classroom. I have had handouts and I even have an html document that I link off our classroom blog. But it was so darn ugly and just text that I could barely look at it.
So, I am in the process of creating a website that will provide links to handouts and showcase student examples from the past. It’s pretty cool. I’ll write more about how I am doing it at another time and my thoughts on trying to keep a design in mind as I do it.
On the homepage, I want to provide a philosophical rationale for writing and what I believe. I am trying to distill it away from jargon. Here is my first draft and any comments on editing, deleting or adding to it is most appreciated.
Mr. Hodgson believes:
Writing is an important and critical way for students to learn by processing their ideas into coherent form;
Writing should be done across various curriculum areas and not taught in isolation;
Students should write for various audiences, including just for themselves, just for the classroom and sometimes, for the world;
Technology can be a useful tool for composing various forms of writing and media;
Writing should be authentic and have meaning for students so that they can make connections between school and the world outside of school;
Group projects not only draw on the strengths of all students but also allow students to learn to work cooperatively;
Art elements and the concept of design play a role in the way that young people compose writing and other media;
Reading quality books and storiesof various genres provide an insight into the writing process and allow students to reflect, connect and utilize critical thinking skills;
All students can succeed and improve as writers if they are willing to put in the time, creativity and effort.
I know I am a Google fan and I know I say that with a critical eye because I worry that at any moment, Google could turn from being my techno friend to my techno enemy. For now, though, I like Google. Here is an example: I love to create my own iGoogle homepage and change it all the time with new widgets and new themes.
I need change to keep me happy. A new friend in my Twitter network who also integrates comics into his classsroom noted something about new themes for iGoogle using Comics. Well … now you are talking my language and there are a load of new themes for the homepage. Just click and you have recreated your homepage with new artwork. Amazingly simple.
I chose a new comic book that my four year and I just love — Robot Dreams — and made that the theme of my homepage. I can’t wait for him to see it!