Talking TED Talk

Tonight in our on-line breakout rooms, Chelsea H. shared the TED Talk she watched, How to Grow your Own Air. She shared that there are three different kinds of plants that, when added to our environment, significantly clean our air. The man making the presentation, Chelsea shared, works in the cleanest air environment on our planet because of these plants. The speaker stated that if we lived in a bottle with these plants, and then put a cap on our bottle, we could survive.

Interestingly, this TED Talk fell on the heels of other discussion based on environmental degradation. We live in a continually at-risk bottle-like bubble ourselves. The plants make a difference, and they are simply plants, but how useful are they unless, of course, we incorperatie them into our bottle?

The break-out room felt a little odd and rushed. My group members commented likewise. I would have liked to have the timer running so we all could have had a visual on how long we had left for sharing. It turned out we didn’t need to rush, as there was quite a bit of time remaining after we had all spoken quickly. This was our first time in the chat room, and I know that next time I will engage more with my group members, asking more questions, going further into the topic, even if that means I don’t get time to share my topic.


Opening Doors

My classmate blogged about the challenge of bringing her beliefs into the classroom. The following are my current three favourite videos that I use to engage my students in discussion, while at the same time, staying true to who I am and what I believe.

· What we hear is only one layer.. what is the greater meaning in the author’s message?

· What choices are we going to make and what choices do we have no power to make?

· As a child, what are my rights and responisbilitiles? How are these rights and responsiblies protected, and what does it mean to have voice?

Lose Yourself

Back Alley Goes Evil by the Super 5

Story telling -Voice threading…A Collaborative Creation byRedland Crew
The Back Alley Crew
Director: Jessy Lee
Cinematographer: Zach
Props Manager:Taneshia
Villain: Rebeca
Hero: Taylor
Script Writers: The Crew
Special Effects and Audio: The Crew
Slurpee Provider: Cori


The Back Alley Goes Evil  

I love storytelling! But I’m tired of my stories. The task was to reflect on using one of the 50 ways to tell a story tools and reflect on its application to teaching… I remember two things from class, try voice thread, and try telling a story in five frames. I’m sure the two were not related but they stuck in my mind.

There is gaggle of younger middle years kids that live on my street, and they all have far greater imaginations than I do. It was a pretty simple decision to teach the tool, observing its application to learning.

I played with voice thread a bit in the afternoon, and it looked easy to use. After school yesterday, I gathered the crew and set the task. They were to tell a story in 5 frames and the movie script had to be under one minute. I modeled how to story board by writing a quick story about the tree outside our house. I listed the tasks on a piece of paper. I told them that each of had to talk for one segment (the segments being divided into 12 seconds each, but they were soon negotiating among themselves). We talked about the parts of a story and what makes a story interesting. The crew started after school, shot the scenes at 7:00 p.m., and had everything finished by 8:23 p.m with slurpees promised for the next day, my treat.

The project turned into a collaborative creation. They had entire ownership of their project. Capes, costumes and makeup went out the door, down the alley. Halloween decorations where rummaged through. As told to me, these are their titles: Zach is the Cinematographer, Taneshia is the props manager, and Jessy Lee is the director. Rebeca is the villain and Taylor is the Hero. Script was a collaborative effort..

The kids were excited to see it posted to a blog, and to have it sent to each of their emails. Each of them said, “thanks for such a great time.” The applications are endless, in every subject, for introducing topics, for engaging in debate, and for celebrating student success. I also see this tool as mean to give voice to students who are anxious about face-to-face interactions, or students who may require more time to process content. The tool also offers a product that is easy to make and is visually gratifying.

The Crew know that their story will change, that others will add to it, or comment on it. They were OK with that. Their plan is to wait until others comment and then comment again.

the beginning…

Virtual Trinket

A classmate mused that the majority of her friends on facebook are extras, collections, souvenirs.  SomeDSC00867 of my friends collect friends as well, having easily over 500 friends on their facebook site.  Perhaps I’m only one of their trinkets…   Amid the rising tide of passwords, login codes, updates and commentaries, what is the meaning of all this collecting?

Heritage Fair Fun

jl and cori feet and computers 006Two weeks ago I was one of many judges for the entries in the Heritage Fair, Prairie South School Division Regional Finals.  The best sentence of the whole day went to a young adolescent who wrote a lengthy paper about Canada’s best inventions.  Writing about poutine and making connections to its relevance to Canada’s future, the student stated, “It’s a damn fine mess!”

Technological Outage

jl and cori feet and computers 002Last Thursday evening, much of Moose Jaw was without power as the fire department fought a huge fire near Moose Jaw’s downtown.  My daughter and I were at soccer when we saw the flames.  Upon our return, we wanted to veg-out and thaw-out in front of the TV.  Once home, when the power went off a little before nine, we each lit candles, and, at my daughter’s suggestion, powered up our laptops.  My growth-spurt experiencing young carnivore wanted to nuke some cheese for notchoes but was forced to settle for yogurt and an orange, commenting, “Wow Mom, people who had to live without power sure had to do things differently.” 

So the power came back on but Jess and I turned the lights out, left the candles going, took off our headphones, made mint hot chocolate, stayed up really late, snuggled in tight and watched a movie, together.  We tossed what we didn’t need, and kept what we wanted, a little bit of both the past and the present while making the best kind of connections.