I will remember for a long time to come the beautiful memorial service, reception, and solidarity of the diverse community who gathered Friday at the Sacramento Buddhist Temple to honor the memory of Wayne Maeda. He leaves a huge legacy.
You can learn more about Wayne’s commitment to teaching for tolerance by reading his book Changing Dreams and Treasured Memories: A Story of Japanese Americans in the Sacramento Region. Sac State’s Asian American and Ethnic Studies program and department is a result of Wayne’s vision and passion for combating hate crimes and other social injustices.
I called on Wayne many times in the last eight years to meet with teachers in my district to provide the historical context needed to help build our Time of Remembrance Oral Histories Project. He never once said no to my continual guest speaker requests.
Two years ago, I traveled with a group of Sacramento teachers and students to the legendary World War II internment camp Manzanar. I will never forget this experience. The trip was paid for through a California Civil Liberties Public Education Grant – written by Wayne. Wayne also invited my friend and talented videographer Doug Niva to accompany us. The result was the I’m American Too documentary. I know that all who have watched the documentary and who knew Wayne, myself included, will consider the documentary a tribute to Wayne’s dedication to “never letting the mistakes of American history be repeated.”
As much as I look forward to opportunities to showcasing good teachers and good teaching, this year’s Eddies deadline kind of crept up on me. I am therefore not nominating in every category, just the ones where a nominee jumps right out at me.
I woke at the crack of dawn yesterday and made the 3-hour drive to the Krause Center for Innovation at beautiful Foothill College to participate in the ShiftED 2012 Innovative Educator Competition. With Milton Chen as the keynote speaker and a group of teachers ready to share “creative and inspiring examples of how educators and schools are using technology,” I knew I was in for a treat well worth the drive time!
To add to the excitement, I was joining my NWP colleague and MERIT teammate Natalie Bernasconi to present our Digital ID project. At 2:00, following the teacher presentations, a wonderful lunch, and a hilarious PD session by Microsoft’s Rob Bayuk, Rushton Hurley stepped up to the mic to announce the three finalists who will represent Silicon Valley at the national Microsoft-Sponsored Partners in Learning 2012 US Forum in Redmond, Washington, July 31 – August 1, all expenses paid…
…..Whoohoo!!!! Natalie and I will be joining 98 other educators in Washington!
Wishing you could be one of the 100 teachers heading to the US Forum? It’s not too late! You have until May 15 to submit your application directly to Microsoft.
Love it when a presenter already has his/her presentation posted online. No surprise that Will Richardson’s This is not a unit presentation is already accessible for his many followers – and you can also follow the backchannel discussion at http://todaysmeet.com/wriste11.
We’re starting with a look at the learning network of Mark Klassen, a young self-taught (with input from the online public) cinematographer who freely shares all his work and invite comments. “Sharing my work online so that other people can see it and give me feedback and advice on it has become a huge part of the way I learn.”
Seymore Sarrason – at age 91 raised the question: What does “learning” mean to you? Will has thrown the question out to the audience – none of “productive learning is the learning process which engenders and reinforces wanting to learn more. Absent wanting to learn, the learning cntext is unproductive or counterproductive.”
Question: How do we get kids to come home with a passion to learn more? What do we really want kids to leave school knowing?
Mark Klassen has learned online from professional cinematographers. Who can our kids learn from? Check out his In 60 Seconds graphic.
On to 8 shifts:
Parting question: How do we change schools? Lots to think about from this session. Will definitely be revisiting slideshow.
If you are connected in any way with the National Writing Project (NWP), then I bet the scenario below is a familiar one:
On Tuesday I had an email from Skye Smith, a first grade teacher in my district, who wondered if I could offer her a bit of help using Movie Maker 2. In my current position as a technology integration specialist, I often have the privilege of witnessing outstanding teaching from teachers who create an environment that so exciting, inviting, and supportive that I’ve barely left their classroom before I’m already online or on the phone with other colleagues to share about my latest amazing-teacher find.
And that was exactly how it went on Tuesday. One of Skye Smith’s students, a budding writer (and also a Level 1 English Language Learner) had been inspired by the expression “ants in your pants” to create a hilarious story by drawing on the literal meaning of the words. Skye shared with me several video clips of the student reading her story to her classmates, who were clearly and completely enthralled.
Because the students were also following the aftermath of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, they thought maybe if they turned Ants in Your Pants into a movie, they could share it with the children of Sendai, Japan, “to give them something to smile about, maybe even laugh about.”
Over the course of two days, Skye’s students busily and collaboratively transformed Ants in Your Pants from a vision to a full-on video production. And in the process took learning to action.
Barely out of the parking lot, I called Lesley McKillop, a 4th grade teacher at Skye’s site – who participated in last summer’s NWP Summer Institute through our local Area 3 Writing Project. I prefaced my description of Skye’s teaching style and lesson by stating, “We have to bring Skye Smith into the Writing Project!” Throughout our 5-minute phone call, we must have said at least 6 times, separately or simultaneously, “We have to bring Skye into the Writing Project!”
Rewind a year back at the same site (Prairie Elementary), and Lesley would have been the topic of my parking lot phone calls. Following a visit to Lesley’s classrom and watching, for instance, her students transform “show-not-tell” writing into award-winning multmedia pieces, my phone calls were to NWP colleague Pam Bodnar – along with emails to A3WP director Karen Smith – to say, “We have to get Lesley McKillop into the Writing Project!”
No, the NWP does not award finder’s fees for bringing inspiring teachers into a Summer Institute. The project is all about teachers teaching teachers. NWP is sort of a “give one/get one” concept that exponentially supports and promotes outstanding teachers on their journeys to becoming coaches and mentors beyond their own school sites. “NWP believes in knowledge that grows organically in and by the specific community of learners” (Joseph McCaleb).
I joined the NWP community 16 years ago. Like so many of my fellow NWP colleagues who have more eloquently explained the importance and benefits of this vibrant, dynamic community, I realize that it has become second nature to me to actively recruit the best of the best for the A3WP. No finder’s fee needed.
From the bottom of my heart – and in view of my list of Teachers from My District Who Should Join the Writing Project, teachers whose expertise should be extended to a national audience – I hope we can convince our representatives to restore funding to the National Writing Project, a project that “bridges that gap between what was not in our teacher education classes and what our students demand from us as we prepare them for their worlds” (Ellen Shelton, Mississippi Writing Project).
I should have known that Kathleen Yancey would pack ‘um in at NECC – and I should have been there early. Try as I did, I could not persuade the ISTE door person to let me in. But I lucked out….Sandy Hayes taped (with permission) “The Yancey’s” whole session. And Carla Beard blogged the session.
What can I add about a session I did not attend, besides the above snippet?…How about posting NCTE’s 10 Belief’s About the Teaching of Writing (another gem shared by Sandy Hayes)?!
I’m joining Jamie McKenzie‘s last session of the day: teaching media literacy. We’re looking at the of wikilobbying (coined by Stephen Colbert - whose video we’re watching, which has unfortunately been removed from YouTube). So the question is “how do we alert our students to how Wikipedia works?
Phtoshopping Reality – Activity: Show Evolution video from Dove. What question of import would we ask students when sharing this video? Well then, checkout the slob evolution version. How about comparing these two versions to the Green Peace version Dove Onslaught(er).
“Media literacy deserves a prominent placement in district curriculum documents, especially in English/language arts classes” – http://questioning.org/june09/video.html. Jamie is following up this statement with Dove Onslaught video with discussion on deconstructing video and ads. Question: how does “crescendo” (which is a film technique) play a part in this video? Music gets louder, pictures get increasingly horrifying.
More Media Literacy Resources:
It’s been a long time since I’ve looked at Jamie McKenzie’s work. Even at a glance, I can see that the websites he has shared are rich with content and thought-provoking ideas.
I’m drawn to this session because the write-up states “model has your students investigating and answering higher-level questions.” The presenters are from Deep creek Magnet Middle School, outside of Baltimore.
A slam dunk model has 5 basic steps:
Here’s a link to the session wiki – http://slamdunknecc09.pbworks.com/
Why PowerPoint? To help ‘late adopter’ teachers. Jamie McKenzie has already created the PowerPoint template – http://slamdunknecc09.pbworks.com/f/slam+dunk+template.ppt. The idea is to make it easy for teachers to organize the project for students, including providing the links.
Session was a good combination of Jamie McKenzie resources and a truly simple way to introduce late adopters to using technology (which hopefully filters down to their students).
As the school year draws to a close, how do you document those moments, events, or projects that made a difference to you as a teacher – and to your students as learners? I really like the model National Writing Project colleague Bonnie Kaplan has produced. The combination of a 3rd person narrator using voice over (mostly) stills makes a good story even more compelling.
I’m surprised that my MS Word spellchecker continues to underline literacies. It’s been more than a year since the National Council for the Teachers of English President Kylene Beers posted a definition of 21st century literacies, moving away from what had for decades been a word that existed in singular form only. I’ve probably referred teachers to this link almost as many times as I’ve recommended visiting NCTE’s wonderful Read, Write, Think site. And for colleagues who ask me about research on writing in a digital age, I refer them to Kathleen Yancey’s Writing in the 21st Century report. I’ve also recently joined NCTE’s English Companion Ning, where I have opportunities to join such groups as the upcoming discussion of Kelly Gallagher’s Readicide: How Schools Are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It.
But wait, here comes one more huge gift to teachers from NCTE: The National Gallery of Writing :
To celebrate composition in all its forms, we are inviting diverse participants –students, teachers, parents, grandparents, service and industrial workers, managers, business owners, legislators, retirees and many more — to submit a piece of writing to the which will be a digital archive of samples that exhibit how and why Americans are writing every day, accessible to all through a free, searchable website.”
Thank you, NCTE! I’m working on a multimedia essay right now (A Case for Filmmaking in the Classroom, a piece inspired by Ernest Morrell’s keynote at last summer’s NCTE Conference on 21st Century Literacies) that I hope to soon submit to the Gallery.