Life is Good!

L i F E i s G O Pewter Uppercase Letter O Bead Letter D

Boys Read Jon Szcieska

Monday, July 13, 2009

Getting Boys to Read Links

*** Me Read? No Way! A practical guide to improving boys' literacy skills.
This publication is available on the Ministry of Education's website at
As far as I can tell there is no copyright issue by downloading this 61 page document. I highly recommend you take advantage of this resource.

Kid-produced Video on Boy's Reading

Focus Book: To Be a Boy, To Be a Reader by William Brozo

Guys Read Website (Jon Scieszka)

Jon Scieszka Discusses Boys and Reading at IRA 2008

Getting Boys to Read Website

Jim Trelease's Website

Jim Trelease's YouTube video "How to Read a Book You Don't Want to Read"

Will Smith "Running and Reading - The Key to Life." This is Will's inspirational speech after winning at the 2005 Kid's Choice Awards (YouTube)

Books for Boys at (Elem+)

This is a slideshow that includes 7 book covers aimed at boys.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Unleashing Potential With Emerging Technologies

How would you respond to the following?

"The thing is, my reading and writing doesn't happen here. Anywhere I'd really like to write is blocked, or the stuff teachers ask us to do is so much the same thing again and again that it really isn't writing" (p214).

Talking about his blog - "...this is writing that has a very engaged audience. I write as much for getting my ideas out as I do to see the comments and responses of those who are listening and reacting. In school, writing is about handing something in. Here, it's about having something to say" (p215).

Kajder - "Emergent technology use requires time spent deeply considering the instructional value added by new tools and time spent crafting instruction that puts content and instructional goals ahead of teaching technology" (p216).

Let's take an in-depth look at the following technologies and evaluate how we could incorporate them into our own classrooms. Afterwards, we will add comments to this post, indicating our thoughts about these technologies and realistic goals for ourselves.

1. A Class Blog
2. Podcasting
3. Wikis
4. Book Trailers

Elizabeth Boeser - blog and wikis
Holdingford Elementary - podcasts
Greg Spanier - podcasts

Final thought from Kajder - "There's no denying it. We're past the point where we can keep doing old things with old tools, or old things with new tools. Students simply won't allow it. No matter how savvy they might be, they are all looking to us to push them, to stretch their thinking, and to teach them to use the tools of the truly literate in a rapidly changing world" (p229).

Adolescent Literacy - Turning Promise into Practice

Adolescent learners. What do we know about them? Which method of literacy instruction is best suited for them? How do we incorporate technology into our teaching routines? What are your ideas?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Thing 23 - Final Thoughts

Whew! I am done! Nothing like finishing up at the last minute! I learned a lot, but sure would have liked doing this in another format... maybe a workshop... a few full days, maybe a month apart, to play with each of the tools. I think most of these tools can have applications at school, and if it is important that we know it (and it is) then we should dedicate the time from our work schedule to learn the tools in depth.

Blog Prompt: What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or content?

I think what that really wore me down was that each Thing was really between 3 and 10 Things. I spent hours on end on each Thing, trying to learn each aspect of the Thing. By doing this, I frustrated myself. And after avoiding doing more Things for a while, it was very hard to get back "into it" and complete this program. My procrastination gave me some extra stress.

I am looking forward to having time to review some of the tools at a later time.


Thing 22 - What Did I Learn Today?

I will try to regularly keep up on news and information by using WebJunction-Minnesota. I will aslo try to set aside some time at work once a week to really sit down and go back to some of the 23 Things that I think are good tools for teachers and promote them. I am also interested in doing more with the Web 2.0 tools, and would love to participate a workshop on more in-depth investigation on some of the tools. I would feel much more confident if soemone was working with me, instead of trying to learn all this on my own.

Thing 17 - ELM Productivity Tools

ELM. I have placed links on my school media page for these databases, along with a couple others. I like to demonstrate good searching techniques for students, and I think this year I will suggest they set up an account on Ebsco Host and keep selected articles in their folders. We have a couple College Comp classes and I think they would find this very useful.

I was able to set up an RSS feed on iGoogle Reader, but not on my blog. I still have trouble navigating the Google site... getting from the Reader back to my iGoogle homepage. I am sure it is right in front of me.. just can't see it!

I hope the people responsible for giving access to the ELM databases know how much the kids use this resource. It is an invaluable tool.

Thing 21 - Beyond MySpace: Other Social Networks

Today I am going to keep my comments specific to a blog prompt:

2.Are any of these social networks appealing to you?

I visited the Teacher Librarian Ning, and found that it would be a very useful tool for people in the media profession. I might even sign up for this one, or one that's similar. For work purposes.

I have no interest in keeping up my profile on Facebook. I'm old fashioned, I guess. I like to meet and talk with people live, and in person. The more I investigate all the social networking sites, the more I think that although people can be "more connected", we are decreasing our time available to interact in real life. I worry about this. Really, I do. Are the people you "meet online" your friends? Will they be there when you are in trouble and need help? Will they come to your funeral? I guess I believe that THE MOST IMPORTANT thing in life is the relationships we have with others. Whether the relationship is a simple as holding the door open for someone, smiling at a person who walks past, caring about a student, or loving family and friends... all of these things happen face-to-face, and I don't want to lose that. OK, I'm done venting.