Dancing Chickens? You bet.

One of my running gags in my Boolean Squared comic is that the boys want to see a legendary “dancing chicken” video on YouTube (or MeTube, for them). But all the firewalls block it and their teachers sees no value in a dancing chicken (do you?).

Anyway, my series on The Flat World continues this morning over at the webcomic home at MassLive, the online home to the large regional newspaper. Take a look if you get a moment. (And I believe the comic will start running on Thursdays starting this week, too. Here is the RSS feed if you want automatic updates)

Peace (bawk bawwwwkk),

Days Gone By, Days Ahead


I was greeted almost every day with some new sentence and thought for the Day in the Sentence activity and there was a mix of messages, too. Some of us are looking ahead to the United States presidential election and others are looking at the moments of our lives, both in the classroom and in the home. That’s what I love about Day in a Sentence — the variety.

So, thank you to all who contributed.

Here are your Days in a Sentence for this week:

Gail P. and I teach in the same school and this week, we were both immersed in parent-teacher conferences, but not before we had dinner with some friends from online communities (Liz and Maureen). And now, Gail is on Twitter, ready for another adventure. This week, she writes: This week has been full of important and interesting conversations with family, friends, students, and their parents.

Liz is new to Day in a Sentence, but she went at it in great style. If you head over to her blog, you can see how she made her entire thinking and editing process transparent as she moved from a long piece of writing to the very concise: My mind jumps, I wonder, am I learning less than I would if it were still, is ADD another word for the 21st century brain?

Janice took a step back and listened to the voice of her mom. Perhaps that is something we should all be doing more regularly, don’t you think? (Maybe the world would be a more peaceful place). Anyway, Janice realized a lesson in perspective. This week provided several examples of what my mother often said when I was complaining about my state of affairs; there’s always someone worse off than you.

Chaos? Yep, we know about chaos. And when Lynn J. finds the right tool to rein it in, she will share it with us. Right, Lynn? Lynn? Can you hear me? (hey, pipe down, you there, in the back of the room …) Lynn writes, Chaos reigns at the middle school again this week, and as I look for what will calm and engage my students, I wonder whether we will ever get our footing this year. (Good luck, Lynn)

Michaele has voted and hoping for the results. Me, too. It took a week to hit me, but the delayed surprise was still intense when I realized that I had signed, sealed, and hand-delivered my absentee ballot to the post office with as much care, determination, and HOPE as I did with each of my letters to my husband when he was last depolyed overseas to Iraq.

Yeah for reading! Sara, who is new to Day in a Sentence (I believe — welcome), shares this wonderful moment when the light goes on for a child. And when it is your own child, all the better. This evening I proudly listened to my six and half year old daughter read Ten Apples Up On Top! BY Theo. LeSieg for the first time ever.

Lynn C. (my other Californian Lynn) worked on the Day of the Dead this week and found a couple of cute C words to capture her thoughts (I added a few C words of my own). Comics, calacas, and can’t think of another “c”-word to describe prep for Day of the Dead this week. (Yeah, comics!)

sara p. had some venting this week, so I will just step out of the way and let her go: mike had back surgery on tuesday. it’s wednesday morning now. i slept on the floor last night, my emotional tolerance is, um, low. so here’s my sentence –
note to the nurses of the world: trying to catheterize my husband without a numbing agent makes me want to punch you in the face. don’t ever do it again.

Delaine has gone, and come back, and now contemplates the work on her desk. I think I know that feeling. After taking 34 seniors to visit University of California, Merced, on Tuesday, I returned to a pile of yearbook proofs to check.

Perhaps Liza needs a breather. You have our permission, Liza. There is stress all through her words this week. Feeling overloaded is starting to feel normal and I’m pretty sure that’s not a good thing.

Lori (also new to Day? I think, so welcome) had one of those weeks where the pieces don’t always seem to fit in place. But I hope it turned out all right for her in the end. Here I sit my school’s media center, surrounded by books, overwhelmed by it all, attempting to puzzle out what to do with Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this fragmented, out of order, falling behind week.

I love the poetry of Lisa’s sentence this week. I’ll leave it at that. Normal days only exist in my imagination.

Bonnie is all in with the election, making calls this weekend (hey, don’t hang up on her) for her candidate and excited about the possibilities. We are coming to the end of a very long presidential campaign and I am holding my breath, hoping for the best and looking forward to next Wednesday, the morning after. Life goes on of course, but I think we need someone like Barack Obama to take the reigns away from Bushwacker. Here’s a great polling site:http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/ for updates.And for bit of diversion, here’s yet another writing challenge, the National Novel Writing Month that begins on Friday. Write a novel in the month of November: http://www.nanowrimo.org/

Cheryl engaged them, with complaints. Now, how in the world did she do that? (through wonderful mentoring, I am sure). I spent an afternoon in a training with educators about using the online reading resources we have available to us. With purpose, there wasn’t one complaint about using technology.

Stacey needs a new light. Now, this could be metaphorically, I suppose. Or not.  I’m sitting in darkness because my desk lamp, which has had the same fluorescent bulb for the past five years, just blew out.

Joe (another new friend here) made some discoveries just below the surface that has him thinking of many possibilities. Way to go! This half-term week I’ve leapt far further into the future of teaching than I thought possible, discovering that what I have been imagining is actually happening and all in between digging the garden!

I want to get on an airplane and head to Anne M.’s classroom. She describes a possible project that would have engaged me to no end as a kid. Where were all the musicians when I was in school? Had a meeting with a Melbourne Symphony Orchestra member who wants our school to be involved in a music classroom that will be a virtual one, next year, term one where our students work with two other schools and will be taught how to make compositions of their own and save them for digital use, with the orchestra providing any sounds or effects that they need.

Nancy read a book! (which is not so easy to do when juggling an newborn child). I wonder what she read. Nancy?  This week was all about trying to get back into my pre-mommy groove by reading an actual book; so far, so good!

Nina did the impossible: she beat the clock and got things done earlier than usual. I hope she relaxed a bit. Instead of staying at work until 7 pm on Friday as I usually do, I managed to plan next week’s lessons by 11 a.m. today, so why can’t I do this every week???

Gail D. had a well-deserved respite and found a way to rejuvenate herself in the hills. I had the week off – and savored every moment of the last days of October in the Sierra foothills.

Amy has a sentence and a request (which I just did for her): I thought I was crazy to try to do anything academic on Halloween. I decided to have the kids create their first blog posts on our brand new classroom blog. They got out the laptops and you could’ve heard a pin drop in my room. They were engaged and focused, even in full costume! Click here to visit our 3rd grade page. The kids would love to have adult and student comments on their work.

Thanks to everyone for sharing out this week.

Peace (in words),

Off to a Writing Conference

Today, I am attending and presenting at a conference called “Re-Envisioning Writing Assessment” that centers on how we assess writing in this era of standards and curriculum alignment. It should be interesting and I am presenting with two friends from the National Writing Project (Mary and Christina) on how to address the integration of technology into writing for students of all needs, and still find ways to suitably assess that work.

My part of the workshop centers around the digital picture books that my students do each year.

We’ve been working on our presentation via Google Docs, first as a document to plan and then in the slide show element to develop the actual workshop. I am going to embed a version of the presentation here, although the movie links and audio files won’t come through in this version. But I haven’t embedded a Google slideshow, yet.


Peace (in writing),

Halloween is here, so ….

I have a few items to share on this Scare Night:

First of all, over at PhotoFridays, a few folks are sharing out Halloween-inspired pictures, so I added a few of my own. Mine come from the annual neighborhood Pumpkin Contest, which featured more than 100 carved pumpkins, a pumpkin rolling contest, the lighting of a Burning Man (perhaps it was Bush, in effigy, given the politics of our ‘hood), a gathering of friends and kids running around ramped up on sweets.

Here is one of our family’s entries — Elvis.

Also, Larry Ferlazzo has added to his already great list of Halloween sites for teachers, should you be in need of some resources. As always, Larry gives a good snapshot and considers applicability for all students and consideration of the classroom. In fact, you should really subscribe to Larry’s blog and read over all the wonderful lists and compilations he does. Larry is amazing!

Finally, I can’t resist sharing this video from Common Craft. it is called Zombies in Plain English, and it is a nice funny take on the outstanding videos they produce and dhare about Web 2.0 tools. The Zombie movie was put out last year, but it is timeless. I though about sharing in my classroom but the ending (which I love as a viewer) makes me think that I won’t be doing that. Too many napalm bombs and such.

Peace (in ghostly ghouls),

Come on in to Day in a Sentence

I’d like to invite you all to participate in this week’s Day in a Sentence. No strange twists of the concept this week — just simple: Reflect on your week or a day in your week, boil it down to a single sentence, and share it out here through the comment link of this post. (If you podcast it, that would be cool — just give me a link and I will include it in the final post).

I will gather up all of the comments and repost them as one community post over the weekend.

I look forward to your reflective insights and, if you are new, please give it a whirl. It’s a wonderful community of writers, educators and others, sharing out some words and thoughts.

Here is my sentence:

I had my first Tweet-Meet-Up this week and finally put faces to two “friends” from the online world (and one friend from my daily world) over Mexican food.

And thanks to everyone who added their voices to the NotK12 Conference VoiceThread that we used last week for Day in a Sentence. It’s not too late to join that party. The K12 Conference remains in full bloom, with new presentations every day, and the VoiceThread I set up is for reflections on what you are experiencing and learning.

Peace (in days),

Skyping the World with Boolean Squared

This week, my webcomic strip tackles one aspect of connecting with other students in the Flat World: once a geek, always a geek. See for yourself at Boolean Squared. (Or grab the RSS feed here.) Next week, Boolean Squared goes twice a week (Mondays and Thursdays).

Meanwhile, I also got a nice mention for Boolean Squared over at The Daily Cartoonist, who writes about webcomics on a regular basis. My comic was part of his weekly roundup.

And, if you haven’t gone there yet, I have set up a website for my other, longer comic pieces. I call it Kevin’s Comics because I am trying to be very original. (hahaha)

Peace (in comics),

The Evolution of My Political Mind (as webcomic)

I loved the concept of the 24 Hour Comic Project that I took part in a few weeks ago that I decided to do it again on my own. This time, I trace my own development within the sphere of politics and urge folks in the United States to get out and vote. I am sharing a few of the frames here and hope that you will wander over to my new site for longer comics that I am now creating,in addition to my home for Boolean Squared.

See the rest of the comic over at my Kevin’s Comics Site

Peace (in comics with a message),


If it’s Friday, it’s Photo Friday

Here are the two images I added to the Photo Friday project this week:

This is a collection of student-created temples in honor of Greek gods and goddesses. We are reading The Lightning Thief, which is rich in mythology. These were created with air-dry clay, which crumbles but is effective for ancient ruins.

And this is a picture of the darn bird that has eaten all of the corn that we hung on our door. It makes a racket as it pecks away.

Peace (in images),

The Fuzzwich Movie Site

I am trying my hand at an animation site to see if it has possibilities for my students. The site is called Fuzzwich and it’s a bit tricky to get a handle on it, but once I got started, I figured it out. It might have possibilities for the classroom.

Check out my election video:

Peace (in aliens),

Day (and K12Conference) in a Threaded Sentence

I am hoping you will join me this week (and beyond) in adding your Day in a Sentence to a VoiceThread that I have set up as an offshoot of the K12 Online Conference. Bud Hunt is leading the NOTK12Conference, which is another way to reflect and expand upon the learning from the wonderful K12 Online event (which has really launched in full force this week).

I set up a K12 Conference in a Sentence as a VoiceThread, asking folks to reflect on their experiences with the material in a sentence. And then, I tacked on a Day in a Sentence page, too. So, I figured, why not just make this week’s Day in a Sentence right in that VoiceThread.

Haven’t used VoiceThread? You should give it a try. It’s a great platform for pictures and audio and is quite easy to use. You will need to have an account with VoiceThread to post your comment (which can also be posted as a written comment).

So, please consider heading to the VoiceThread directly, or use the embedded Thread down below (they are one and the same).

Peace (in days),