Ascii-ing for Trouble

I have to apologize for the joke in this comic. I just couldn’t resist. I was working on a series of comics this morning, making fun of Twitter (I’ll post them later this week) and during some down time, I made this one up, too. It’s a throw-away of sorts, but heck … I get a chuckle out of it.

I used an Ascii generator site to create the image.

Peace (in the groans),

More Dreams …

This is another digital story created by a student for our Dream Scenes Project. They really impressed me with their visions and their digital stories.

Peace (in the future),

Dreaming the Future

Most teachers have a Dream Project for their students at the start of the year. It can be a valuable way to work closely with our new students and get to know them better. We find out a lot about a young person by their aspirations. Mine is a digital story called Dream Scenes and we finally … finally finished the digital stories up yesterday.

They are fantastic stories and I am impressed by not only the dreams, but also the way they quickly adapted to technology they have never used before — Photostory. And most have never used Paint for a real art project. Only a handful have ever recorded their voice.

There were many mini-lessons along the way but also, I actively encouraged students helping each other and once again, I am always moved by how much they are willing to share what they have discovered, even to people outside of their friend networks.

I’m going to share a few Dream Scenes over the next few days. Enjoy!

Peace (in the dream),

The Day After …. Open House

I wondered what Boolean’s Mom and Mr. Teach would talk about, and how that would translate back at home after an Open House. My guess is that they would think Boolean spends too much time on his computer.

Peace (in the aftermath),

Moms and the Desks

At our Curriculum Night last night, I noticed something: every mom wanted to know where their child’s desk was and then went on to rummage through all of the books and papers and whoknowswhatelseinthere.

Thus, inspired, here is a Boolean Squared comic about the situation:

Peace (in the desk),

A glimpse of some Dream Scenes

My students are in the midst of recording their voices and completing the start-of-the-year Dream Scene digital story projects. They are doing a wonderful job with their aspirations and my emphasis has been on using their “voice” as part of the digital work. A common piece of advice from me to them: “The music is too loud … go back and edit the sound.”

Here are a few of their illustrations, which I shared on my interactive board last night for our Curriculum Night for parents:

Peace (in the dreams),

“I want to make a movie, daddy”

This morning, my five year old son said: “I want to make a movie.”

Well … OK then. We grabbed the laptop, plugged in the webcam and started shooting a Knights in the Castle movie together. He moved the pieces and I clicked the mouse.

We moved the video over to Moviemaker (I took out a few of his hands) and then he narrated it.

This was all within about 20 minutes. I like how it came out. You?

I guess my point is that moviemaking can be easy and fun, even for a five year old.

Peace (in the castle),

Where Short Stories Come From …

As we get into our daily routine of writing, I know some of my students will struggle with short story writing prompts. They need something to move them forward, to spark an idea. So, one activity that I do at the start of the year — and then repeat later on — is to have all of my students generate lists of possible short story titles. They then select one of their titles and “donate” it to the classroom. The title is written on a slip of paper and put into a Story Jar, which we then pull from as inspiration from time to time. I also record the story titles as a document that I keep on my computer.

You’d be surprised at how much fun they have with this assignment. It helps that I tell them that “you don’t need to know the story,” just come up with an interesting title. The stories may come later. Or not. They may never write the stories for the titles they create. I think they like that kind of freedom.

Here are a few that we generated yesterday from one of my four writing classes:

  • The Hole in the Garden
  • Trapped at Ground Never
  • Dead End
  • Inside a Lamborghini
  • The Big Red Tractor
  • The Norris School Nightmare
  • The Continuous Story of Jimmy the Jellybean
  • The Messed-up Play
  • The Boys’ Bathroom
  • The Charmed Pencil
  • Duck Duck Zebra?
  • My Worst Day Ever
  • I’ve Seen Better Days
  • The Hidden Passage
  • The Teacher in Room 201
  • The Pink Flooperbinkle
  • Leo the Classroom Elf
  • How I Got Trapped in our Cellar
  • Locker 231 in the Hallway of No Return
  • The African Alligator Rescue

Peace (in the possibilities),