Day in a Simile/Survey

Hello!

Day in Sentence IconThis week’s Day in a Sentence is actually Day in a Simile. (Once again, props go out to Larry for another great suggestion). Boil down a day or your week into a simile/sentence and share it out with our growing community of writers and teachers and others.

Just use the comment feature here on this post and submit your simile. Of course, podcast links and videos and any other format is always welcome.

One possible format is: My Day is like a __________ because _____________.

Also, I have been tinkering with Google Forms (which is a quick survey that you can create within Google Docs and Spreadsheets) and I was hoping I could get you all to take a very short survey. First, I am interesting in your thoughts about Day in a Sentence. Second, I want to see how Google Forms works and I promise to share out the information when it is done.

So, pleasepleaseplease, take a second and take the survey. Thanks!

Oh, and here is my sentence/simile.

My week has been like one of my saxophone solos, with many many harmonious parts followed by a few bad notes that just made me cringe.

Peace (in collaboration),
Kevin

How to Stop-Motion Animate

Wow

This video from YouTube is exactly what I have been looking for as an introduction to my students about stop-motion animation. I love the world of viral videos!

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/ZuUGO898_GU" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Peace (in frame by frame by frame),

Kevin

Twittering Around on 2008-02-19

  • Little boy: ear infection. Older boy: flu? Wife: flu? Middle boy: hyper. Daddio (me): ready for Battlestar Galactica DVD (g’d night all) #
  • All plans of getting work done today (grading papers, working on bk chapt, finishing new song, etc) are prob out the window w/ a sick house #
  • @kevinessdack That was me, last week. Here is a video of comics made by my sixth graders http://tinyurl.com/2vwvm5 #
  • @speters You need to go into Google Spreadsheets and make forms from there. http://tinyurl.com/2pbdzm #
  • @speters Oops. try this: http://tinyurl.com/36vqqf #
  • Wanna hear a brand new song? Trying it with rock band tonight. Sneak peak: http://www.box.net/shared/xkm6y1ucc4 Hope you all like it. #
  • @paulallison Listening right now, Paul. Interesting. I had not hear the term ‘microblogging’ before following you this week. #
  • @mrneedleman Sorry you are sick. Should I be sorry my song is in your head? 🙂 #
  • @dwarlick Hi, from Kevin, in Western Massachusetts. #
  • Showed off our XO laptop to neighbor and his kids who are still waiting (im)patiently for their XO to arrive, and then … we mesh! #

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Daddy?

In 30 minutes this morning, my three kids barraged with me these questions (I actually wrote them down once I realized the question attack was on, although it was a coordinated venture, as far as I can tell):

  • Can you get me a bowl (me: cereal)? Can you get the milk? Is that a spoon? (7 yr old)
  • My pajamies has milk on it. Can you get it off? (3 yr old)
  • This spoon is too small. Can you get me a big spoon?( 3 yr old)
  • Can you read me a book? (10 yr old)
  • What’s that right there? (me: it’s a crock pot) I don’t like crockpots. (3 yr old)
  • What’s chili? (me: kind of like soup, but spicy) It’s not soup! I don’t like chili. (3 yr old)
  • Can we see Lord of the Rings? (me: no, too scary) You always say that! (10 yr old)
  • Can you help fix my shade? (me: your shade? what’s wrong with your shade. Who yanked it all the way up?) Me. (me: why?) Don’t know. (7 yr old)
  • I don’t have my other sock. Daddy, can you find it? (3 yr old) — sock found in bed.
  • Daddy, when you are done, can I go on NBA.Com? The Celtics play tonight. (7 yr old)

Me: It’s gonna be a long day.

Peace (from the answer man),
Kevin

Networked Teacher

This is from a Flickr site:

(http://www.flickr.com/photos/courosa/344832591/)

Does it speak the truth?

Is it about connections or is it about overload?
Peace (in networks),
Kevin

Twittering Around on 2008-02-18

  • @cheryloakes50 Cheryl, I will, once I get them all together and into a website. Working on it. But I had 60 comics to cull through. Fun. #
  • @willrich45 I don’t think I am getting an error, Will. Twitter seems to work fine for me. (‘course, I just woke up and brain is numb) #
  • Looking forward to taking kids to play today called ‘Rain King,’ which is billed as puppets, music and multimedia stage performance for kids #
  • @murcha For screenshots with text, I use Fireshot — an ext. for Firefox. Very handy and useful. http://screenshot-program.com/fireshot/ #
  • Little One decided this weekend to abandon crib and move into Big Boy Bed. We applaud him but feel a little twang of the heartstrings, too. #
  • Pulling together student Cybersafety Comics into video & will share at http://teacheng.us/ I think. Used Makebeliefs Comics/Photostory3 #
  • @JLWagner How about: Integrating Technology for the Classroom Teacher? — Kevin (‘providing’ does sound passive to my ears) #
  • Strange New Engl weather: 55 degrees outside, with about 3" of snow — everything is foggy/hazy — like a Stephen King novel (booooo) #
  • @CLykowski So sorry to hear that news. Sending you a wave of good will and supportive thoughts. #
  • Stream of thoughts from CL 2.0 Forum – 10 things every teach should know about tech http://tinyurl.com/2pczt5 #

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Entering the Twitterverse

The Way It Is

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.

~ William Stafford ~

 

I don’t know why this poem seems appropriate but I ran into it in a book I am reading as a book group with the Western Massachusetts Writing Project (the book is From Outrageous to Inspired by David Hagstrom) and it got at something about my entry into Twitter.

A year ago, my friend, Bud, was explaining to a few of us in the National Writing Project about Twitter and I kind of didn’t get it. He talked about short posts, an emerging community and text messaging. He lost me at text messaging, as I don’t like cell phones, and so Twitter remained outside of my field of vision for a long, long time.

 

Then, I became an Edublog Supporter and suddenly, I had some possibilities to merge my Blog with Twitter, and I realized that I did not need a cell phone (was this obvious to everyone but me?) and I could Twitter from the web. And so, I did, and in the past week or so I have been fully engrossed in this concept of “What are you doing right now” in 140 characters or less. It is not IM, as far as I can tell, but some strange cousin with its own universe. And, of course, my friend, Bonnie, was asking if I was going to venture into Twitter. There was a convergence of momentum.

What I like about Twitter is that it gives me an opportunity to enter as a writer, but I am also becoming a reader. As you Twitter, you are also following others, and others are following you. I think. It seems as if there are many threads going on, depending on your network, and so you may suddenly see references to alternative conversations and it feels a bit disorientating. As if someone is whispering some news behind your back, inadvertently. I am wondering what is going on with the other folks in my network and if I am even part of their network. Is it all reciprocal?

I also use something called Twitbin, which an add-on for Firefox that allow you to open up Twitter right in the left side of the browser. It is quite handy. You can be working and watching as folks are letting you into their lives. Anything from baking cookies to preparing for a presentation to a scuffle in the classroom — it comes out on Twitter.

With Edublogs, I can now both add my blog posts to my Twitter and then collect all of my Twitter posts onto my blog — all automatically. It’s interesting and I am noticing my writing is a tangle of focus and freeform with Twitter. I really am trying to hold true to the question of “What are you doing right now.” It reminds me of our Day in a Sentence, too, as we reflect on our week and boil it down to its essentials. Twitter is kind of like that, but on the run and in the moment.

Along with searching out Twitter friends (dogtrax is my twitter name, if you want to add me to your list), I also came upon two interesting Twitter feeds. One, called TwitterLit, posts the first line of an adult novel and that’s it. Another, called KidderLit, is the children’s book version, and it has opening lines to kid books. I love that. It is so interesting and certainly, I am going to use them as writing prompts in the classroom. (Hmmm — might be a nice post for Ben’s TeachEng.Us blog — note to self).

Where does this Twitter lead? I am not sure, but I was intrigued to see my friends from the New York City Writing Project having their own collective Twitter page and I wonder if there are ways to move Twitter into professional development.

For now, though, it is another venue for writing. What am I doing right now? Writing about Twitter. How about you?

Peace (in short thoughts),
Kevin

 

 

Twittering Around on 2008-02-17

  • 17 wonderful and beautiful Days in a Haiku already submitted. Still room. You? http://tinyurl.com/2pqma6 #
  • Writing a new song called "Rave it Up, Rave it Down" and struggling with the lyrics. Trying for upbeat and groovy tunes (not Looney tunes) #
  • @illyac Of course you can borrow the haiku idea. Flat fee of just a thousand smiles, plus interest. — Kevin #
  • Looking at comics my 6th graders made on cybersafety – hope I didn’t scare them off tech forever. Naw. But did message of balance get thru? #
  • Going to walk thru sleet storm to neighbors to watch NBA All-Star Game – REFUSE to give $ to cable co. beyond basic (mostly TV-free house) #
  • @susanettenheim Sounds nice, Susan. Are you writing? I wish I had ocean view, and silence, for writing. Not gonna happen here (kid chaos) #

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Day in a Haiku: February 17 2008

We added another twist to this week’s Day in a Sentence by transforming it into Day in a Haiku, which also forces a certain brevity of thought. I was pleased to read these poems as they filtered into my blog throughout the week (a flurry on Sunday) and even put out a call for haikus on Twitter, just to see what would happen (tepid response in the Twitterverse, though).

Here, then, are your poems for this week:

Larry, who suggested the idea of a Haiku for the feature, checked in as he was checking out and hopefully, returning unscathed by the experience:

Preparing to go
on San Francisco field trip
I hope to survive

Lisa, who came via Twitter (hi Lisa!), wrote what was on my mind as last Friday approached:

Final day of school
Vacation is here at last
Much needed respite

Liza’s poem had me singing a children’s song in my head.

Relax your brain and draw
Polly wolly doodle all the day
Art springs forth from idle hands

Valentine’s Day found a way into Ben D’s poem:

Writing utensils
scar paper and stitch up hearts
both at the same time.

Sara, Sara, Sara. My old friend, Sara, got into a bit of hot water lately with the bigwigs but I will bet her students still love her.

Administrators
Say I’m “Unsatisfactory”
But just with them.

Ben. B needs sleep? Who needs sleep? I need sleep.

Three-day weekend? Great.
Sleep in this week. At least next
Weekend’s three days, too.

Bonnie was a reluctant poet this week. But that didn’t stop her from captured the winter in her words.

Icy roads stopped travel
But not Tuvia, no chance
Steps on the stairs, welcomed.

Karen was feeling the Haiku rush, and submitted two poems. The first is inspired (is that the right word?) by some classroom management issues that are vexing her.

Pushed to the limit
Students are out of control
Need to reign them in

(Karen writes: Stress is running high because our state tests are in less than a month)

Testing days are soon
Last minute preparations
I know they will ROCK!

Mary lives a few hours away and wrote what I was seeing out my window this week during a blast of rainy winter weather.

No morning sun just
Icy drops striking ice snow
Winter symphony

Karen, too, saw winter, but she saw it as an opportunity to relax a bit and enter into the quiet.

Winter, pre-dawn snow
School, on a two-hour delay
Work, peace and quiet.

Amy is another friend needing a snooze. Meanwhile, she has some work on her plate.

Report card writing
Fiction story editing
Can I take a nap?

Lynn submitted her poem, but also gave a detailed explanation. The poem comes first:

windy blacktop
laughing retreat
sound fails

And then, the explanation:

Our whole school (950 total) assembled outside for a rally for charity, Friday in the AM. Wind and cold (Cali-style) caused teachers and students to huddle like pigeons on a ledge. The sound system failed its contest with the wind so all marched back into class mostly laughing. It was the capper to a week in which I had a miserable head cold and two all-day district training sessions. But, in between I also experienced riches, including the return of my “writer,” a professional who comes once a week to write with me and 6 students after school. We kept going while he was out of town, but it was really great to have him back.

Mary, a friend from Western Massachusetts, reminded me of the buckets around my school this week, following the rain-ice storm.

sheets of rain on roof
drip through the ceiling below
pails in place of desks

Christine looked at the room around her for inspiration.

Modular Classroom:

Chills from tin windows
Warming the room from within
Students sneaking in

Jo has testing on the mind and so do the students. So writing, writing, writing.

We’re writing away.
SOLs are coming up.
Oh, to know the prompt.

Jo added: I’m in Virginia, and my eleventh-graders have to take the writing parts of their (end-of-course) Standards of Learning tests the first week of March. Oh, joy!

It’s a bit of a frantic mood in Cynthia’s World.

Research paper time
Seniors rushing to finish
Deadline’s drawing near!

Frank (new to Day in a Sentence) is down in Mexico but writes that he loves Haikus for their simplicity and as a genre that his students can enter into as writers.

The warmth of the sun
Touches me with tender love
Then the night falls fast

Thanks to everyone for their beautiful poems.

Peace (in poetry),
Kevin

Just One More Book: My Review, part 2

I submitted another picture book podcast review to the Just One More Book blog/podcast site and it was published this morning. I love the site for its rich content and interest in the world of children’s books.

Anyway, I reviewed the book called Madlenka by Peter Sis. It’s an interesting book in which a little girl travels around her city block and sees the world. When you think of the concept of the Flat World in which everything is connected through human experience and connection, it seems that this book is a representation of that (although it clearly was not written to do that).

Here is by review of Madlenka by Peter Sis and be sure to visit Just One More Book often and get it into your RSS feed.

Peace (in picture books),

Kevin