Sunday, February 24, 2013

My Year in Blogging

The coffee is cooling and the to do list seems to be able to add items to itself. The coffee house is filling up with laughter and music, time marches relentlessly onward. What strikes me about writing is that all of the things that keep me from writing will pass, all but the puppets, but the writing will remain.
Writing Creates Opportunities 
The writing has the potential of going further than even the conversations I have with students. A year of blogging has added another cognitive layer to my teaching.  It has added 1200 people to my world through Twitter.
The shift isn't in how much time I spend on my computer it is in how many people I collaborate with.
I am prepping for a conference talk on PLN building for Students, Teachers, and Administrators.  So much of the talk will be focused on collaboration.  Finding the right people to collaborate with is transformative. Consider a definition of Digital Citizenship that focused on creating a safe space for collaboration.  We are each responsible for creating our own interactive space online.  The choices we make about platform, sharing, and following  shape this space and those choices are driven by our mindset when we come to the internet.  My PLN is only part of my digital identity.  I am afraid I have allowed the fact that this post is reflective to enable me to ramble.
In an effort to look like I planned this I will now drop in a bulleted list of lessons learned:
Lessons Learned from a Year of Blogging:

  1. People only read your blog if you write it.
  2. Writing makes all the difference in the world.
  3. Say yes.
I am in love with the community and energy I have found through sharing my teaching.  It might just be enough to keep me in the classroom.
As I schedule my response time to essays and I tote the papers from home to work and back again, I am in daily conversation with teachers doing the same thing. We share ideas and my practice improves.  I have everything to learn and this is how I do it.
Thank you for reading mypaperlessclassroom, as long as you keep reading I will continue to learn and build this space for sharing and reflection.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

PBL = Puppet Based Learning

Yesterday I rolled out my newest Project Based Learning adventure.  The goal is to create a full length puppet production of Julius Caesar in our English class.

How to build a puppet

So I started learning about puppet building with a youtube search.  I should say, I learned 90% of what I know about puppet making from watching youtube.  Here is a short playlist .

How do I build Rome out of Puppets? 

I have made 3 foam head puppets to date, and I figure the play will need about 20.  I know we are going to need supplies:

  • 1/2 foam available at JoAnn Fabrics, in sheets sold my the yard, we likely need 10 yards.
  • Glue- contact cement or low temp hot melt glue and low temp gun. (I get nervous with kids and glue)
  • No-pill fleece Reds and Blues 6 yards of each 
  • Felt 15 red, 6 black, and 6 white felt squares
  • Hair ? faux fur or feathers both seem to work
  • Look for a google Doc to be posted with pattern and design ideas


How do I design a Puppet?


  • Who you are designing is important, the characters need to be designed to help build understanding.  (perhaps Caesar and his ppl are blue and the conspirators are red)

How do I learn more about using Imovie?

How to use green screen in imovie

I will update this page with resources as we need them.  Please leaves any questions in the comments.  Thanks.