Sunday, June 29, 2014

[#clmooc] Make Cycle #2--Memes

Learning about memes with the 2014 Making Learning Connected Collaboration Make Cycle #2. 

Interesting stuff! I learned so much from Kim's blog post--To Meme or Not To Meme and her link to this PBS video.

I had so much fun with Edna (my imagined blog naysayer) and the idea of a meme. I used the suggested tool--MemeGenerator and tried not to overthink it (difficult for me).

Here you go...

Friday, June 27, 2014

[New Favorite Things Friday] Coffee, Poetry and Turtlenecks--a BeatnikFavorites List

Okay, I was wrong (one for the list!!!). My understanding of what Beatnik meant was not quite right. Chocolate, coffee and poetry does not a Beatnik make (click here for a definition).

So call it what you will, my favorite things this week are reminiscent of coffee shops, black-turtle-neck-beret-wearing artists, and cryptic poetry readings.

1. Black-out Poetry and Doodling

I've always liked black out poetry as a teaching tool and had fun trying it out with my students, but lately I've some amazing black-out poetry that has me trying it out. I can't show you mine yet (since many of them go into my #365mistakes4growth list), but these are the pages that inspired me (links provided for credit):

2. The Best Cup of Coffee Ever

It was a shot of espresso, a scoop of Nutella, and a bit of cream--a candy bar in a cup. It was perfect and came with the swirled heart on the top. Decadent, yes. But perfect.

3. Not Wearing Turtlenecks

I am not a fan of the turtleneck. I am fairly certain they were meant only for turtles. I mean really... consider the name. My new favorte thing this week is living somewhere that doesn't require them. Beautiful weather, sun, open skies, and the beach. Life is good.

Do you have any new favorites this week?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

[Integrated Learning Weekly] This week in the news...

I am exploring new ways to share updated information and news with my collegues. Here is my current method. It is a list that I am hoping to curate weekly. All of these links came from my own reading from my Feedly page, Twitter, and shared articles. I save these posts using Pocket, and it was easy to get them to post here. I am hopeful this works!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

[#clmooc 2014] Make Cycle 1--Create a How To

I have been so excited for the Making Learning Connected MOOC this year!  I caught the tail end last year and LOVED the brain stretching.

A teensy bit late, here is my How To Video for Make Cycle #1:

How To Be Barb Montfort

Friday, June 13, 2014

[New Favorite Things Friday] My Favorite Mistake
My favorite mistake this week was a small one that had very little impact on anything other than making two people laugh and a third person exclaim that they were happy to hear the laughter.

I was trying to say something about not rushing to think too far ahead in a situation--to make plans for something where the factors are not yet in place. I thought I'd use an idiom to communicate this. Before I share that idiom, I thought I'd share a definition:

In linguistics, idioms are usually presumed to be figures of speech contradicting the principle of compositionality.[5] This principle states that the meaning of a whole should be constructed from the meanings of the parts that make up the whole. In other words, one should be in a position to understand the whole if one understands the meanings of each of the parts that make up the whole. The following example is widely employed to illustrate the point:
Fred kicked the bucket.
Understood compositionally, Fred has literally kicked an actual, physical bucket. The much more likely idiomatic reading, however, is non-compositional: Fred is understood to have died. Arriving at the idiomatic reading from the literal reading is unlikely for most speakers. What this means is that the idiomatic reading is, rather, stored as a single lexical item that is now largely independent of the literal reading.

I highlighted the line that applies most to this situation. This idea of parts making up the whole. The parts by themselves don't add up to the same whole. 
So there I am, trying to make a point. Knowing I am going to use an idiom to do so. I start one, then switch in the middle...
          Me: "Not to count my chickens before the horse." I say.
          She: "What!?!"
          Me: "Oh, you know... horses... carts... chickens... hatching?" 
          She: "I hope that's your mistake for the day, because I don't know WHAT you're doing."

At this point I fully understand the idea of compositionality. The parts were supposed to add up to a whole. I switched up the parts and they just became... parts. It's true, I think my conversation partner in this case had at least a vague understanding of where I was headed since the parts added up to two semi-whole ideas that showed a pattern of thought. I probably could have gotten away with not clarifying. After a bout of laughter that drew in that third person., the conversation moved on successfully. No real issue, no real mistake.

I loved the laughter though. It was my favorite mistake. I hope I have a chance to laugh next time I bark up the wrong foot.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

[An Abecedary of Cape-Wearing] G is for Great Power

G is for Great Power

"With great power comes great responsibility."
--Stan Lee (or Voltaire or the Torah)

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." -- Lord Acton

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.” 

“The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace.” 

“Patience is power. Patience is not an absence of action;rather it is timing. It waits on the right time to act,for the right principles and in the right way.” 

“Recognizing power in another does not diminish your own.” 

“Power changes everything till it is difficult to say who are the heroes and who the villains.” 

“Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts... perhaps the fear of a loss of power.” 

“Knowledge is power. Power to do evil...or power to do good. Power itself is not evil. So knowledge itself is not evil.” 

That is all.

Friday, June 6, 2014

[New Favorite Things Friday] Caped Time Outs

Last week I left work on time one day and went to spend an hour getting my tootsies painted. The favorite thing is not painted tootsies, it's taking the hour out of my day to sit and enjoy the time. I was able to let my thoughts wander or not wander. I stared out the window at the sunny sky, I chatted some with the tootsie specialists, and I enjoyed the hour. I felt refreshed and energized afterwards. Of course I also felt fancy since I had painted tootsies.

It reminded me of the times in my classroom when I remembered to take a break like this. I scrolled through my blog and found so many little tidbits about times that this break made the learning actually go faster. To be clear, these breaks were often only a minute or two long, There is much to be taught to our most inspiring cape-wearing students and hour-long breaks are much less common.

I scrolled through some blog posts and found some of my favorite short breaks. There are quite a few here, so I will just encourage you to pick one or two that strike your fancy and take a mini-break as you read some bits about my "lovies" from back in my teaching time. I enjoyed the stroll and boy do I love teaching!

Going Invisible (time--under a minute; school skills used--writing craft and vocabulary)

Pickle Skins  (time--about a minute)

European Studies (time--30 minutes; school skills used--technology integration)

Bait and Switch (time--2+ hours); school skills used--reading, writing, presentation)

A Vignette (time--2 minutes)

A Collection of Blue Things (time--immeasurable)

A Cup of Tea (time--3 minutes of me, zero minutes for student)

Campfire (an all-time favorite moment in my teaching career)

Each of these vignettes shows a small (or longer) time out that had a positive impact on at least me. Can you think of a time out that was effective for you? If not, I encourage you to take one.