Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cartoon Creation

How to Use Comic Life in the Classroom
Online Educational Comic Generator for Kids of All Ages
ToonDoo - The Cartoon Strip Creator - Create, Publish, Share, Discuss!
Cartoon Youself!
ReadWriteThink - Comic Creator
Comics in Education
Cartooning for Kids
Teacher's Guide for the Professional Cartoonist
ARTSEDGE: Drawing Political Cartoons
Political Cartoons in the Classroom
Using Political Cartoons in the Classroom
Cartoon Smart

Cartoon credit

New Books, New Readers

I had an absolutely delightful morning assisting Oxford Hills adult education teacher, Ramsey Ludlow, in taping a class designed by the Maine Humanities Council called New Books, New Readers. Mary Alice Crosby, in cooperation with local literacy teachers, facilitates this book group, which consists of adults who are learning to read. Books have been chosen according to theme and readability and discussed in an informal and emotionally-safe atmosphere with an emphasis on connecting with the lives of the participants. Students get to keep the books.

The just-completed series called "Telling Our Stories" includes the following:

Session 1: Recalling Our Past
Session 2: Discovering Our Stories
Session 3: Other Ways of Telling

For discussion: How do we tell our own stories? Why are they important? How do we decide what to tell? What do we learn from telling our own stories? From reading others’ stories? How and why do we share our stories with others? How do our personal stories connect to the stories of our communities and country?

This is an excellent model on many levels. Making these connections is important in encouraging persistence in working on the needed reading and writing skills. Oxford Hills Adult Education teachers help participants in developing skills before the discussion group . . . and follow up after the discussion is over.

Personalized education is alive and well in our Maine Adult Education communities!

Related Links at LIM Resources:

Digital Storytelling

Jason Ohler:


Monday, April 28, 2008

TelstarToo Session: Blogging

“One of the reasons we fear these technologies is because we as teachers don’t yet understand them or use them. But the reality is that our students already do. It’s imperative that we be able to teach our kids how to use the tools effectively and appropriately because right now they have no models to follow.”

~ Will Richardson

Essential Question: How can classroom communication and collaboration be enhanced with the use of blogs?

Connectivity and Warming Up

Blog Definition/Description

Why Blog?
View Blogs
Create a Blog
Promote Your Blog
Bonus: Drawing /Painting/Photo Editing Programs for the Classroom

Closing . . . .How did it go? What next?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Maine Writing Project

Rich Kent is the Director of the Maine Writing Project at UMO. Check out this rich portaportal on writing.

Friday, April 18, 2008

An Alternative to DOL

Jeff Anderson demonstrates a different approach to working with kids on editing skills at Maine's own Stenhouse Publishers.

Jeff's Site: Write Guy

Also check out this great resource by Lauren Wolter:

Notable Sentences . . . for Imitation and Creation

What approach do you take to editing?

Add to Editing at LIM Resources Wiki

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Breaking Even in Maine

Learn about personal finance and more at Nicole Ouellette's Breaking Even, Inc. Fascinating reading!

Related Resources at LIM Resources Wiki: Living Simply

What can you learn from a lobster?

A few years ago I listened to a curriculum coordinator give an example of what not to do in the age of NCLB accountability. The story was that a teacher had been able to engage an otherwise unmotivated learner by connecting with his interest in lobstering. The student was "hooked" and excitedly researched everything he could find about lobsters. With this information, he made an incredible presentation, using a variety of tools while developing a rich set of skills in doing so. The point of the coordinator was that despite the impressive amount of learning that had taken place, this was not the content that needed to be covered according to the curriculum . . . and so the teacher was wrong in encouraging it.

What do you think?

What should curriculum contain?

Guide to Lobstering in Maine
Maine Lobster Industry
Maine Lobster
Lobster Institute
Wikipedia: American Lobster
Gulf of Maine: All about Lobsters

Photo Credit

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Memorizing Poetry

"What poem did you have to memorize in school? Do you still remember it? Is memorizing an effective educational strategy?"

These are questions that Deborah White asks in this week's article titled "Thursday's the Day to Pack a Poem" from her weekly column in the Bangor Daily News.

You can contact Deborah at

Memory and Memorization Resources at LIM Resources Wiki.

Extension: In this day of information at our fingertips, what is worth memorizing?

How long will it be before our computers will be embedded in our bodies? Will this be a good thing or a bad thing?
See artificial intelligence at LIM Resouces.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

WalnutWiki - Take the Digital Plunge

Find some great resources from the Arts Institute session on using digital cameras in the classroom from Carol Waldon and Argy Nestor's WalnutWiki. Check for post-institute sharing at "Arts, Innovation and Creativity - Carrying On!"

Maine DOE Visual and Performing Arts
Maine Arts Blog
Maine Arts Portaportal
More on the Arts in Education . . .

More resources at LIM Resources Wiki:

Photo Editing
Digital Camera
Photo Resources

Please feel free to add, delete, modify, etc.

OnTiME Podcast - Episode 4

From Vincent Vanier, President of ACTEM:

"Episode 4 of OnTiME has been released. We discussed the Apple Executive Summit, the upcoming PackageMaker sessions, and http://www.rememberthemilk.com if you're so inclined.
OnTiME can be downloaded from the iTunes music store by searching either for OnTiME or ACTEM, or you can download it directly from the ACTEM website at http://www.actem.org/Pages/ACTEM_OnTime/index "

Photo Credit

Monday, April 14, 2008

Comments about Lifestyle

by Olga LaPlante

I have had a random conversation with an assistant principal recently, and here is what was said:

"Are you an administrator?"

"Yes, an assistant principal."

"Did you teach before?"


"Would you go back to teaching?"

(Of course, I expect him to say something like, I would, or I work with the kids so much, I don't have time to think about it... Or something like that)

"No, I don't think I can take the pay cut. You get used to a certain lifestyle, you know."

Now if he were a teacher with that attitude, school would be a wrong place for this person. What do you think?

We are not doing this for free, right, but there has got to be some satisfaction that you get from your job, and it's not money.

TelstarToo Session: Wikis and Math

Today the participants of the TelstarToo PLC will be gathering resources for specific math skills and themes . . . and then adding them to a wiki resources page using LIM's Resources Wiki.

Maine Learning Results for Math

K12 Station Math Search
42eXplore Mathematics
Curriki for Math
Math from OER Commons
Math at LIM Resources
Custom Google Search for Math
Online Interactive Math Resources
Online Math Games
Problem Solving Strategies
Using Music with Math
Mathematics and Music
The Mathematical Magic of Music

Anyone else care to add a page relating to math?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Learning from a Master Teacher

I found these posts on the HSHAWJR blog fascinating:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Final Reflection

Thank you, Harold Shaw, Jr., for sharing them.

Photo Credit


Nokomis Warrior Broadcasting presents the Hartland Flood of 1987 at the Tech Curve.

Lessons from the Flood of 1987
American Field Guide: Floods
42explore: Floods & Flooding
Discovery Education: Flood Lesson Plan
Floods Theme Page
Maine Memory Network: High Water
Webquest: The Johnstown Flood of 1889

Photo Credit

Wicked Decent Listeners Experiment

Check out this experimental podcast at Wicked Decent Learning. Using Skype, listeners from Maine and beyond joined together on Friday evening to share "wicked decent" happenings in our schools. Jeff Bailey and Dan Ryder of the Western Maine area are pushing the boundaries in sharing the real world of school, with a growing following of educators around the State. Learn about new possibilities and the challenges of making change happen.

To get in the spirit, here are some links for learning how to speak the vernacular correctly:

The Wicked Good Guide to Mainah English

Mainah Glossary Blog

How to Sound Like a Native Mainah

Confused Are You?

Laugh Maine Dictionary

Photo Credit

Friday, April 11, 2008

Literacy Leadership Collaborative "Cubed"

Networking for School Literacy-Technology Teams
Sponsored by the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI)

Student Ownership

Today David Trask shared some precious photos of a school lab station at Vassalboro Community School where a kindergarten girl had taken the meaning of "ownership" to a new level.

We can try to push all kinds of things into kids' heads, but unless we can connect in ways that involve them, very little will be gained. Education needs to be personalized . . . with real problems and engagement. For this kindergartener, using TuxPaint, this was for her a sensible connection to other important things in her world.

For more information on "Student Ownership" go to the LIM Resources Wiki.

How can we personalize education for our children?

MLTI Student Tech Team Conference

On Friday, May, 30, 2008, the 5th annual MLTI student conference will take place at the University of Maine at Orono. Having been to this incredible event for the past two years, I have to highly recommend it as a wonderful opportunity for Maine students and adults to be highly engaged in learning about the many possibilities that the MLTI 1-to-1 laptop program offers. Jim Moulton is organizing a full day of exciting activities that includes student-led workshops as well as contributions from many educators throughout the State of Maine. BTW, you just can't beat the price!

Photo by David Patterson

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Teaching Tech: Food Fat

by Nicole Ouellette

If you are a like the average American (or perhaps you consider yourself above average?), you probably consume a lot of fat in your diet. Saturated and unsaturated, it is so deliciously disguised in that Oreo cookie or that piece of cake left lingering in the teacher's room.

As of December, I've been trying to lose weight. The good news is I've lost ten pounds. The bad news is, while I'd like to lose ten more, I've stagnated (or stagflated?) recently. The old me would have been seduced by a moderately crusty piece of cake of questionable origin left in the teacher's room. I can't say I'm not still tempted sometimes (cube culture has its own pitfalls).

Of course, we can also say that we are not the only ones led unto temptation: a lot of students eat terribly. There have been bans on cupcakes and fruit eating contests. Five a day and use sparingly. We can drive home the point that fruit is good and it's easy to see why fruit is good...but why is cake bad? And therein lies an interesting experiment.

Try this hands on: get some acetone from your local hardware store. It's cheap, readily available, and fat dissolves in it. You can make up a pretty ridiculous experiment where you test all kinds of foods for fat content (more technological if you have a scale, less so with eyeing the fat volume in uniform dishes). Just crush up the food you are testing, swirl in some acetone, decant the solution in a seperate container from the food particles, and let it evaporate (probably under a hood if you have one). The next day (or the day after, depending how much liquid you used), you should have some solid fats and some liquid fats (also called saturated and unsaturated) left by some of your (and your students') favorite foods.

I did this with an Oreo. Seeing that the whole thing was pure lard made me never want to eat them again. Not sure if the kids felt the same (high school students can look at you in a way that anything can feel lame) but it was interesting. The question is, do you really want to know? If it were me, I'd eat one last Oreo and savor every fatty bite...

Here's the link that inspired this life lesson: http://www.accessexcellence.org/AE/AEPC/IFT/unit_two.html

Nicole will post "Teaching Tech" (formerly Tech Tuesday) about internet resources for your classroom whenever she thinks of it, which is incidentally never on a Tuesday. She doesn't teach anymore but works at a newspaper and maintains her own personal finance blog: http://www.breakingeven.typepad.com.

TPCK - Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge


I'm at the Western Maine Regional MLTI Leadership meeting this morning at Lewiston High School. The TPCK model above was introduced as a way of looking at the total picture and as a way generating discussion of successes and challenges.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

WDL: Skype in on Friday, April 11 @ 8:00

Go here to get all the information on how to participate on Wicked Decent Learning's first live podcast episode. Be sure to let Jeff n' Dan know that you're comin'.

Sunrise on the Arts at the Spring Institute

A half dozen of us woke up early on Monday morning for a sunrise adventure on the Samoset breakwater. With Juanita Deschambault's permission, I'm sharing a link to the awe-inspiring photographs she took that morning of the rising sun . . . which seems to be an apt symbol for a push for a re-awakening of the arts in our schools.

See related links on the arts.

Monday, April 7, 2008


Jeff n' Dan's Wicked Decent Learning Episode on Cheating


Plagiarism @ Resources for Maine Teachers (2007 Edition)

Social Art Workshop at Samoset - Spring Institute

by Olga LaPlante

I am sitting - and listening very carefully - to my presenters here at the Samoset - a beautiful day by the way - and am enjoying what I hear.

These two teachers - an arts teacher and a social studies teacher - work at the Thornton Academy Middle School, and have started this year to work together and create a curriculum to explore the overlap - which seems to be but natural, and omnipresent, in fact, I can't even imagine now that these are separate subjects! - and it sounds really really cool.

They did the 100 people project, and found that this brings amazing things to life - like meeting people in Southern Maine to interview and discover their lives especially the lives of immigrants and elderly.

They are doing the Trashion Show project now.
Human Footprint

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Tuesday, April 1, 2008