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This category contains 21 posts

My Favorite (207!) Movies

My Favorite Movies I often get asked what my favorite movies are.  I’ve seen lots of movies, maybe 5,000 or so, but I cannot compare with real film critics like the late Roger Ebert.  The films available to him far outstrip those I have handy access to.  Nevertheless, below is the list I put on … Continue reading

DIY Laptop Case

DIY Laptop Case I’ve been looking around for a case for my MacBook Pro.  I wanted something that didn’t require me to buy a totally new backpack, but did add some protection without much bulk.  They ranged from simple stick on skins which while cheap didn’t really add any protection, polycarbonate shells (with reports of … Continue reading

Tower of Power

No, no movie to review this time or Storify insight to share(although both are forthcoming)…  I did want to post a Soundslides video I made of my Technical Writing students testing their towers. The aim was to build a tower 8cm tall that would hold as much mass as possible.  The hitch was they could … Continue reading

Web 2.0, Higher-Order Thinking, and Macbeth: Part 8

A Focus on Focus I’m an English teacher.  And although I don’t get to do it as much as I like, I love to read.  On summer days when the sweltering heat and humidity of August in Pennsylvania became too much, I would curl up in some cool corner and read and read and read. … Continue reading

Web 2.0, Higher-Order Thinking, and Macbeth: Part 7

Digital Native vs. Digital Fluent As I looked through the available research and literature for web 2.0, I noticed a trend.  It was either aimed at a teacher who already considered himself/herself fairly tech savvy.  This reader presumably just needed to see some details from a peer about practicalities: how do I organize the students, … Continue reading

Web 2.0, Higher-Order Thinking, and Macbeth: Part 6

Macbeth: A catalog of technology Our district’s inservice today is all about HEATing up our lessons.  I think our Macbeth unit has fit the bill.  Looking back on the first portion of this project leads to quite a tally of technology use. Twitter We use Twitter to compose brief responses from the point of view of a … Continue reading

Web 2.0, Higher-Order Thinking, and Macbeth: Part 5

Unforeseen Issues A key attribute for any teacher is flexibility.  Never is this more needed than when taking on a new technology.  We encountered several problems during this project that I had not anticipated. The case of the mystery tweets After completing Act I, I set about compiling my student’s tweets as a record of … Continue reading

Web 2.0, Higher-Order Thinking, and Macbeth: Part 4

The Storify Assignment With all the potential issues sorted out, I felt we were ready to launch our project. However, I should say something at the outset. Our primary goal was to learn about how authors create and change characters not the language of William Shakespeare.  This will surely make some English teachers shudder, but … Continue reading

Web 2.0, Higher-Order Thinking, and Macbeth: Part 3

Solving Problems Before They Become Problems One thing I have learned about using a new resource is to think through the entire process.  What will the final product look like?  What will the rubric include?  How will it be collected and graded?  How do I prevent my teenage students from getting themselves (and perhaps me … Continue reading

Web 2.0, Higher-Order Thinking, and Macbeth: Part 2

Part 2: Beyond Tweets I needed a way to take my students beyond the simplistic, but creative tweets, and delve into some serious higher-order thinking with Macbeth.  Analysis of the tweets might just do the trick.  We were focused on characterization in this unit and studying Macbeth provides a number of interesting characters: Macbeth’s fall from … Continue reading