Wednesday, March 30, 2005


Why Put Off Tomorrow What You Could Blog Today?

I was going to wait on this one but I couldn't resist the urge since I have been hearing this more and more. Here we go...I get very annoyed when people assume that just because people blog that they have "ALL THIS TIME ON THEIR HANDS." Personally, I wish I had more time to read more blogs. But for those who critique us, please know that blogs take time but they also inform readers who read them. I actually read a comment on Teach42 and got annoyed. Blogs are an excellent teaching tool used to excite and stimulate creative ideas in students, educators, writers or anyone who loves to write and share/generate ideas. I get the feeling that the people who have said "you got too much time on your hands" are the people who need to blog or get a life. I believe in the old adage, "if you need something done ask the busy person." And if you look around the busy people are the bloggers. Again...don't hate on bloggers (as my nephew would say) just ask.


School Library Journal Notes

For those who were not in attendance at last week's SLJ summit here are some links from my notes.
SLJ Summit Notes

Keynote address

Empowering Learners: Advancing the Profession


A Timely Pause

Being on vacation is a beautiful thing except Disneyland yesterday was a big disappointment; the entrance fee was way too high, the lines were an hour long and Mickey and Minnie were AWOL. But what I have been able to do best this week is revisit my past blog posts and develop a true sense of nostalgia. My brother is here with me and he has so much "good stuff" on his computer to share with people...but it's sitting in his archives collecting dust (you know my answer to it). Blogging has become such an integral part of my own day to day learning that today I decided to go back to my first initial posting in November. I remember delving right into blogging. But I was very scared. It reminded me of when I was in elementary school and the teachers would hang outside the classroom my work (and other students) on the bulletin boards. It was a sign of accomplishment; but I was always very nervous because onlookers can't help but compare one book report to anothers. I remember students stopping in the hallway and commenting on how "this project is better than that one." Anyway, enough lamenting. While pausing this week, I have come up with some blogging revelations.
Blogging is like...
1) hanging your thoughts and student's work in the world's hallway.
2) the birth of a brag book you normally have for your newborns.
3) having a can always tell someone "I blog. Do you?"
4) being in a foreign place even though you've never been there.
5) becoming your own self-made media outlet because now people send you the news stories.
6) having writer friends all over the world.
7) becoming the fifth branch of government. What's the fourth branch again?

feel free to take a pause and share your blogging revelations.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Hot off the Press

I just received an email from Susan Patrick the Educational Technology Director, she writes:

"The website for the blue book is Also, the "student voices" page has a blog and short video clips produced by students in their own time -- their perspective is very interesting to check out."


Thanks Dad!

While the kids were frolicking at the beach (it wasn't that warm) I was at my brother's researching (online) a new history class I'm teaching when we return. Here are my topics: The Muslim Empires, Chinese Isolation, The Scientific Revolution in Europe, The European Enlightenment.


Here we are on the infamous Jetblue experience. Our headphones were on for a reason.


My two cherubs on the Pacific Coast beach in Santa Monica.

Monday, March 28, 2005


CBS 2 NY Parent Pack - Learning can be Fun!

Each Wednesday I send CBS 2 NY's Parent 2 Parent site internet goodies. This parent pack is a great way for students to learn and have fun. Please feel free to send me your favorite educational links. What I am finding most amazing is that the BBC site is awesome.

A Game A Day Can Help Get The A+
Game A

Older students will improve their concentration, vocabulary and writing
skills with these interactive brain teasers.

The Human Body

Learn where everything goes inside the human body with this interactive
drag and drop activity.

Animal ABCs with Chris Jarvis and Friends

Your kids will have a blast with these Sing -A- Longs, March & Match and
Jungle Boogie games.

Keyboarding Practice
Have fun practicing these timed drills to improve their keyboarding skills.

More BBC.CO.UK learning sites for every age

ESL Quiz Corner
Dave Sperling

This site has a full menu of multiple choice online activities to help
sharpen your English skills.

An Arcade of Fun!

This site has a plethora of subjects, games and mind twister activities
for lots of learning and fun.

Ten Little Snowmen and More

Reading can be fun! from the highschool math site.

Sunday, March 27, 2005


BYOB...Bring Your Own Bag Please

I was finally able to log into the wireless hub on my PC...whew. What a happy vacationer I am :)
I do believe we can be educated at every stage of our day. Today for example, we're in the Larchmont, California Farmer's Market. The one thing I noticed was people bringing duffle bags to the market. Then I thought, WOW, these people are really, really...uh conservationalist? other thought was, "they don't save the thousands of plastic bags we save at home." Anyway, it was interesting to see the lack of waste at this farmer's market on an Easter Sunday. Most people were stuffing fruits and vegetables in their back packs...totally not wasting. It makes you wonder..."can I go to a store with my own bag in Queens without being looked at?" I think I'll give it a try because I know our Earth is worth it.
This gets me into Wendy's page I had seen before and have been trying to learn the right way of doing things for the environment. Here are Wendy's tips on how to keep a cleaner environment. Some of these we know about some are good reminders. I don't think I would be even posting this if we didn't travel here.

"1] Forget travel mug, run back into house to get to it. If the travel mug is upstairs, even better.

2] Forget spouse's travel mug (See above note about stairs)

3] Forget kids' reusable water bottle filled with filtered tap water

4] Start car, run inside, realize you will be inside longer than a minute, run out to car to turn off, run back in house to finish task

5] Run around house turning off lights, computers, monitors, TVs, etc.

6] Sort cans, plastic bags, paper, cardboard, etc.

7] Drag recycling bin down to curb, forget a couple of glass jars, run down to curb again (Long driveways like ours = more calories burned)

8] Pick your own veggies from backyard or local co-op garden, then wash, pick through, can, etc.

9] Chop veggies for dinner (No more grabbing pre-packaged thingamajig out of freezer and popping in microwave)

10] Forget bags at grocery store and run back to car to get them

11] Run inside Dunkin Donuts because the long line at the drive-thru would cause major idling and they won't use your travel mug anyway. (On the other hand, avoid this step completely.)

12] Walk or bike as much as possible to avoid driving gas-guzzling car

13] Shovel snow instead of using extremely polluting snow blower

14] Rake leaves instead of using extremely polluting leaf blower

15] Use one of those reel push lawn mowers instead of a riding lawn mower (We haven't taken this step yet)

16] Carry in 50 lb bags of wood pellets every night in winter

17] Hang clothes out to dry (We haven't taken this step, either")


I have one thing to say....UUUGGHH

Being away from home (and my own computer) has its benefits and let's just say 'CHALLENGES.' The laptop I brought with me won't hook into the wireless hub, the mac I am using won't allow me to hyperlink; I know nothing about macs. Plus, I was at a party today trying to explain blogging to a few writers. I find it amazing that blogging really hasn't hit mainstream yet. I guess you can tell I am frustrated. But we made it to California. And the plane ride...UUGGHH. I will save that for another day and another post because it was a "teachable moment" only a parent could appreciate.
So much for a vacation! But I guess this is telling me to relax and enjoy the moments without a desktop and keyboard. I did get to buy a cake for my husband's birthday from a shopping outlet called the Grove....pretty chic. And the party at Veronica Chambers' was very interesting because there were writers there who all are steeped in knowledge and enthusiasm.

I did manage to find this article from the AP...

Associated Press
N.C. Newspaper Uses Blogs to Reach Readers

"It's a journalist's job to ask questions, but they're usually aimed at outsiders. At the News & Record, a 93,000-daily circulation newspaper in Greensboro, reporters and editors are asking tough questions about the paper itself. The biggest questions: If the paper needs to change to survive, what changes should be made? What can it do, especially online, to make itself the electronic equivalent of a town square?"

Friday, March 25, 2005


Jet Blue Watch Out

Tomorrow AM we leave for L.A., with this being a first plane ride for my two little ones. It will either be an UUGGH or AHHHH. I will be blogging from Cali. and if you see someone carrying around a desktop and monitor, just say "Hey A!" Just kidding. A little humor is always good.


Get Students Involved Is One Answer

Education World's Lorrie Jackson has an interview with DOE's Office of Educational Technology Director Susan Patrick about the National Educational Technology Plan (NETP).
They discuss some pretty interesting findings and new initiatives. One I found to be very innovative is having students involved in the process of the development of the plan. We always talk about 'the students.' But how often do we go to 'the student' for input?

Here is Susan Patrick's response to one of the questions...
"This was the first time in the history of the federal government that the government asked for students' views on education and included student voices in a major policy document. Today's students were born into the age of the Internet, and we wanted to know if technology had made this generation different. How can we teach if we don't know the students? So, first, we convened a focus group to try to draw information from existing studies from the business sector (because education didn't have the data). Second, we partnered with NetDay to hear the voices of the students themselves. We were hoping to get 5,000-10,000 open-ended surveys. Instead, we received 210,000 -- from students in all 50 states! Their input helped provide us with a much better picture of today's students."

Thursday, March 24, 2005


Powerpoint Presentations & The Blue Book

Okay...for those of you who were in attendance at the School Library Journal Summit this past weekend (or if you are just visiting this site) thanks for your emails and requests. The following links are informative and a true compilation of a lot of brain power. You need to have POWERPOINT software on your computer in order to open it. Thanks to those who emailed me regarding the sorry.
SLJ Summit
Literacy Challenge
Student Achievement Group

Another speaker, Susan Patrick Director of the Office of Educational Technology in the Office of the Secretary for the U.S. Department of Education, spoke so eloquently and passionately about the 21st century student. Here's the BLUE BOOK Ms. Patrick quoted from Toward a New Golden Age in American Education How The Internet, The Law and Today's Students Are Revolutionizing Expectations National Education Technology Plan 2004 Department of Education Office of Educational Technology.
This 70+ page document has a great blueprint and philosophy about where we need to go with technology in education.

Listen to Susan Patrick speak on Unitedstreaming about the National Education Technology Plan.


Spring Break Got You Bored?

If you are looking for something online to do with your children, here are this week's CBS 2 NY Internet Parent Pack of Goodies. My other parent pack picks (don't say that 3x fast) are available at the CBS 2 NY website.

The Greatest Places
Science Museum of Minnesota

If you have not seen the film, your children will love the site and will come face to face with culture and diversity.

Spelling and More Spelling
A Spelling Test,
by Mindy McAdams
You will be ready for any spelling BEE contest after testing this site out.

Solve This Rubik’s Cube!
Math Playground

Twist and turn the cube with the click of your mouse to find Rubik’s pattern.

Batters UP
Youth Educational Systems Inc. Grand Slam Math

Every student needs to practice their math word problems even if they are on the baseball field.
Outline Maps
Graphic Maps/WorldAtlas.Com

These maps are printable and great for testing your knowledge about any place in the world.

Print and Go Coloring Book

Students can learn about the “finer” of the animals of the world through coloring.

Learn It With A Song
Songs For Teaching /
S. Ruth Harris, LLC

Interactive English Activities
Michael Bradley’s Online Activities

Over 250 activities on anything you have ever wanted to learn about the English language.

Buzzing with Shapes
Harcourt School Publisher

Beat the clock to match the shapes.

Hidden Numerals
The Ohio Art Company

Come out, come out wherever you are! Young learners will recognize numbers in a picture.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


Online Books Page

The Online Books Page Edited by John Mark Ockerbloom. I Found this link over at Darren Cannell's blog.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


Think Like A Journalist In Every Profession

Blogs Force PR Pros To Put Their Journalist Hats On by Steve Rubel

"My feeling is that the best way to teach PR pros to think like journalists is to encourage them to become bloggers. I have learned more about journalism through one year of blogging than perhaps anything else over my entire career in this business."

Having been a journalist early on in my career, I can tell you from experience that teachers, students, librarians and administrators are all journalists & news seekers too we just call their domain EDUCATION. We do the same things with similar end goals in get the story on the air, on a test, powerpoint etc. I oftentimes see students breathe a sigh of relief after they have completed a project only to exhale the way reporters do after a live shot. Why should we care? Well, students on a hunt to find the reasons for the Industrial Revolution becomes a mission or a reporter's beat not a DO NOW assignment.


What's The Word Again For Working Together?

I have been hearing the word COLLABORATION so much lately. Not only was it the title of Will's post today Collaboration is the Future, but it was certainly the "word of the day" at every panel and vetting session at the SLJ Summit. While I begin my next leg of this collaborative journey with my librarian friends and teacher tech colleagues, I would like to share this passage from The Changing Role of the Teacher-Librarian in the Twenty-first Century by Bev Scheirer Graduate Student Educational Communications and Technology University of Saskatchewan March, 2000

The Collaborative and The Curriculum Leadership Role of the Teacher-librarian

"This position builds a community of learners with colleagues through collaborative program planning and teaching. The teacher-librarian works with other teachers to provide instruction, evaluation and production of information. It must be in conjunction with other instructional programs, and it involves planning and teamwork. Collegiality can show improvements in student achievement, behavior and attitude. Teachers are better able to consider new ideas and are better prepared to support one another.

Research evidence indicates that integrated library programs impact positively on collaboration, leadership and student achievement when the teacher-librarian has experience as a classroom teacher, qualifications in teacher-librarianship and information studies and learning resources management, preferable at the graduate level, and works collaboratively with teachers in flexible scheduled programs to integrate information problem-solving skills and strategies in the ongoing instructional plan (Haycock and Jopson, 1999, p. 18). "

Now the question is HOW? What actions need to take place to bring these "islands of learners together?" My thoughts immediately go to blogging after reading this because you can really empower communities of learners when you give them a portal to share, learn and grow. Of course this is just one way for learners to feel a part of the whole. But again, it is a great start to leap into the ocean of blogs. It will spur creativity when you sit down with your good book and will prompt you to write (no pun).

Monday, March 21, 2005


It Is The L Word IN WeLcome Back

I really thought (having worked in broadcast news early on) that journalists were the viewer's educators. Think about it, reporters bring the information you don't know about into your homes...just like teachers do. Although reporters have it a little easy. There are NO..."ooh ooh oohs" from Arnold Horshacks around to doubt their wit or wisdom. Also, how a journalist gets the story really doesn't matter to the viewer either. What I mean is, when do they question something unless someone (like a blogger) pokes holes in the story? The fact is, we educate; although it is technically classified as reporting the news. Where am I going with this? I am not sure. But I do think we should pay homage to people who educate but don't always get credit for it. I learned a lot from attending the School Library Journal Summit this weekend. But most of all I came away with a realization that our dear and fearless librarians are taking on new and exciting roles in educating the 21st Century, Millennials , IM generation students in new and immeasurable ways. They also will be joining arms, and linking with stakeholders (community folks) for the common good of our students. An aside...just thinking about Horshack, I do not remember any episode of Welcome Back Kotter when the Sweathogs were in the library reading. Do you?
Anyway, having spent this past weekend with librarians/media specialists from all over the country, I must say there are exciting initiatives on the horizon. And the beauty is WE are PSYCHED to get it going! The common goal is to educate the 21 st century community and we need librarians to pioneer many of these movements. If you think about it, who better can teach about plagiarism and citing sources? Who better can explain the difference between a database and a catalog? Who knows about the world's information and how it is stored? Let us stand with and beside them to empower librarians in this common goal and let us collectively Welcome Back The Librarian. I love this reminds me of good times (not the show).

"Welcome Back" by John Sebastian:

Welcome back, your dreams were your ticket out.
Welcome back to that same old place that you laughed about.
Well, the names have all changed since you hung around.
But those dreams have remained and they've turned around.
Who'd have thought they'd lead ya (who'd have thought they'd lead ya)
Back here where we need ya (back here where we need ya)?
Yeah, we tease him a lot 'cause we've got him on the spot, welcome back.
Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back.
Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back.

Sunday, March 20, 2005


Promoting Libraries Through Blogs

Why and How to Use Blogs to Promote Your Library's Services by Darlene Fichter
Here is an excerpt from the article...

"Librarians have had to learn how to do a lot with just a little in order to promote awareness of their programs and services. They have seized the opportunities to market libraries in the real world via traditional media: newspapers, corporate newsletters, radio, and TV. Many libraries produce brochures, pathfinders, and their own newsletters. So it is no surprise to see librarians stepping up to the plate and spreading the word online with blogs. Savvy librarians have identified blogs as another means to market libraries and their services."

After attending the 2005 School Library Summit I have been mulling around in my head so many ideas for promoting the 21st Century Library & Librarian. This site is a great start for the next leg of the journey.

Found this Jon Udell: LibraryLookup homepage at Teach 42 has tons of links and resources for information specialists aka...librarians. led me to this great article on Libraries five years from now.


Looking For A Book?

I found this link to AmazType over at Brian Chin's weblog. It may be the way to go if you're looking for a specific book. I typed in my own name and got a NOT FOUND.

Saturday, March 19, 2005


Find The Islands of Connectedness - Dr. Houston's Keynote Address

Dr. Houston's keynote address linked all of the bridges of the world together for a beautiful tapestry of learners, educators/librarians and community stakeholders.


School Library Journal Summit: Notes, Thoughts & Reactions

What a weekend! The School Library Journal Summit I attended ended today and boy how great it was! Evan St. Lifer and the SLJ staff and their esteemed set of dedicated panelists all deserve great praise. Just a month ago I posted a request to attend this conference and THANK GOODNESS I did. It not only connected the Collaborative Thoughts of Librarians, Authors, Media Specialists and their communities; but once you read through the posts from yesterday, today and beyond you will read how exciting the future of information will be. I also came away with one message...Common, Connectedness in All Areas...Our Bridge To Our Student's Futures! Read through and if you were a participant at the Summit please take my notes (not as a stenographer but) as someone wanting, trying, and desperately hoping to write everything uttered because there was so much "good stuff spoken about." I also encourage you to add your own thoughts/notes and to use this blog portal as a continuum for the dynamic discussions we all had. Recently, I did an interview on CBS 2 NY and I am sure some great ideas can pollinate in your own schools to better promote the innovative work we discussed this weekend. Thanks also SLJ for those cool red Scholastic mugs :)

The following are my raw notes...forgive any mistakes and please add / post your comments if I missed anything. Lastly, let's all keep talking, dreaming and building bridges --Amy

Bowllan Notes from
Saturday March 19, 2005
SLJ Summit -

Friday, March 18, 2005


Empowering Learners Advancing the Profession March 18-19

The following notes are a rough draft of the dynamic School Library Journal Leadership Summitheld at the Westin Hotel on 42nd Street in Manhattan. I left tonight very charged after having listened to some dynamic panelists and visionaries from today's summit. Evan St.Lifer the organizer of the SLJ Summit has much to be proud of and I hope the following minutes truly reflects the dynamism noted from Day 1 of the SLJ summit 2005 from the Leadership Summit Panelists. Please add your comments if I left anything out. Tomorrow I will post the wonder-filled keynote address from Dr. Paul Houston's speech "Find the Islands of Connectedness."

Panel #1 Literacy
21st Century Learning Skills/Technology Challenge
Student Achievement Panel 3
Facilitator David Loertscher, Professor, The School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University
Achievement Challenge

Bowllan Notes from SLJ Summit Friday March 18th, 2005

Tuesday, March 15, 2005


Do you have a pen clicker in class?

No Need to Stew: A Few Tips to Cope With Life's Annoyances By IAN URBINA
After reading in this article what one teacher is doing about his "little annoyances" I started to think of my own. A little venting is sometimes good...
-Students not logging off of their computers
-Paper jams in Xerox machines without a sign posted on it stating "BROKEN DO NOT USE"
-Full trays of food and no student to be found
-When the clocks in school are all at different times
-Those 1000 catalogs shoved in my mailbox only to be "deep sixed" after I unjam my finger.
-Unread emails and printing out the ones with one line of text
And my biggest annoyance --People who forward me their "ya gotta read this" email from someone else. uugggh

Feel free to add more and you are guaranteed to feel some relief.


The Age Old Reading Debate

I found a very interesting editorial at the Endless Faculty Meeting blog Reading without comprehending By Patrick Mattimore

he are two clips from his article. "We do not teach children to comprehend what they read. That statement may seem heretical, but consider how we teach reading. Early on, children learn to read by turning letters into sounds and sounds into words. Words become sentences and those sentences become paragraphs and eventually stories and lessons. We test children on what they retain, but we don't teach them how to pull essential material from text nor to determine what is essential."

"Once students comprehend and contextualize written material, they are ready to think critically about what they are learning. They can evaluate scientific theories, digest and analyze political arguments, and ask intelligent questions that will lead them on the path to self-discoveries. These critical thinking abilities develop as students' stockpiles of comprehended information deepens."

What is also important for students to do is to DISCUSS the material they read after they are finished. With my children, they look at a title and we make predictions as to what the story will be about. That way, when they are reading they are referring back to clues and awaiting an outcome. Also, if phonics is taught separately then students can focus more on content.

Monday, March 14, 2005


Keep The Archives Alive

This is from James Tubbs The Future of Mathematics Site and if I posted this before it is well worth it to post it a second time or a third for that matter. There is something about the word ARCHIVES that reminds me of the story the Land of the Misfit Toys. So many sites do not need to be archived because it is too easy to forget them. There is a lot of work that goes into creating educational materials for those in education that it should be "kept alive." Sometimes we forget how time consuming it is to generate so much good one of my goals will be to Keep the Archives Alive. It almost sounds like a song. :)

Tubbs writes...check out his slides, flips and turns link
"Teaching Translations Wow. Everyday in my class is a real eye-opener. The latest unit I'm teaching is one on transformations--slides, flips, and turns. To do these well, students need knowledge of graphing x- and y-coordinates. This is a skill that is taught from the fifth grade and I still have a good number of students who can't do it. And most of those that can simply go blank when the coordinates are for points on a shape (like quadrilateral)."


I Guess I Have Been Called Worse

School Library Journal...Internet Users Overly Confident, But Naive By Kathy Ishizuka

The Pew Study Reports...
"The study also found that only 38 percent of Internet users know the difference between paid and unpaid results. Ironically, almost half of all users say they would stop using search engines if they thought these sources weren't being clear about how they present their paid or sponsored results."

So you learn something new everyday and I am definitely one of the 38 percent. And as much as I preach to students and staff about searching, web evaluation and everything else there is to know about the web there is always more to learn.

"Most significantly, Delneo says, the findings reveal that the public is still not equipped to evaluate the information they find online, underscoring the need to teach information-literacy skills early."

However, this quote I have been following for a while now (in previous blog posts) and agree COMPLETELY that students need to begin their information literacy curriculum skills in Kindergarten.

Sunday, March 13, 2005


Blogging Will Help With the NEW SAT

I am sure if teachers incorporate blogging into their curriculum the angst over this new writing component will eventually disappear. Writing in school is effective because the teacher can monitor the process. But with a timed exam, strategies will have to be set up into the curriculum to help students write in a timely fashion. Here are some ideas I have used with my journalism students for their blog:

1) Provide a relevant writing prompt
2) Draft in Microsoft word first
3) Provide a time limit (this gives students the idea of time)
4) Post so other students can peer edit (if others are reading your work as they will with the SAT, you will be prepared for the critiques better)
5) Keep blog writing daily

SAT Headlines from Google

Amid the Usual Nail-Biting, Warming Up to a New SAT By COREY KILGANNON

High schoolers say essay on new SAT a real challenge BY DAVE NEWBART

Essays bring a new wrinkle to SAT's trials Students voice a hope for points
By Janette Neuwahl, Globe Correspondent

College Board Essay Link
"The essay will measure your ability to:
develop a point of view on an issue presented in an excerpt
use reasoning and evidence based on reading, studies, experience, and observations to support that point of view
follow the conventions of standard written English"

Saturday, March 12, 2005


The White House Approves

White House Approves Pass for Blogger

I really believe the Lewis and Clark of today's odyssey is the blogging trek across the internet. Once the White House decides it is official, the flood gates can now open.

"Mr. Graff, 23, may be the first blogger in the short history of the medium to be granted a daily White House pass for the specific purpose of writing a blog, or Web log. A White House spokesman said yesterday that he believed Mr. Graff was the first blogger to be given credentials."


The New Key TO Success

Michael Hiltzik from the Los Angeles Times: Golden State Blog Tool Writing Its Own Story of Success

Friday, March 11, 2005


He Brings The Qualities of Broadway To K-F

Scene from Take 10

Quiet on the Set!

He is known around the school as MAESTRO and Ken Kacmar (Our K-F Teacher of the WEEK)truly lives up to his adopted title.
Recently, two of my broadcast journalism students had a chance to speak with him for one of their packages and here is an edited/shortened version of their one on one interview.

Question 1 - "Maestro what made you put on the play Take 10?"
Kacmar - "I wanted the students to do a play that was contemporary, funny and short so the students could memorize their lines."
Question 2 - "What play do you have in store for the spring?"
Kacmar - "I got such a great response from Bughouse Hamlet last year from students and parents, that this year I am going to do Bughouse Macbeth which is kind of a spook on Shakespeare's Macbeth so it should be fun."
Question 3 - "What advice do you have for students who want to audition for the play?"
Kacmar - "All I ask is that they show up for all rehearsals and LEARN THEIR LINES!" He says with a laugh.

In addition to putting on some fabulous plays, Ken also keeps families entertained for all of the holiday shows with singing, dancing, bell name it. The talent he pulls from our students is amazing. His last play the students participated in was called Take 10 which was a compilation of 10 different plays by 10 different playwrights.

Maestro during Take 10


We Are All Trying TO Keep Up

Blogging Clicks With Colleges
"In many cases, professors are scrambling to keep up with changes driven by students." Susan Kinzie from the Washington Post writes about how blogging and wikis at the college level are really taking on new forms in the higher ed. classroom. This is resulting in students taking ownership of their work and collaborating in ways never seen before. What is interesting, after reading this article, is how enthused students are by learning through blogging & wikis. I have said it before and I will say it again, "We have to stay ahead of the digital wave" with the enormous amounts of online and digital options available to students. Can you imagine the endless possibilities if we as educators learn to ride these online waves?

Thursday, March 10, 2005


The Internet Parent Pack

CBS 2 New York aired today on their Noon Broadcast my interview for Cindy Hsu's Parent to Parent report on Educational Tools on the Internet for Kids....Check also for my weekly updates to the CBS 2 NY Internet Parent Pack. The goal of the parent pack is to ease the online searching pressure many parents face trying to sift through the online web.


Revisiting An Earlier Editorial

Dan The Gentleman

Wednesday, March 09, 2005



JoanneJ blog links to a USA today article on CyberBullies occuring mostly between middle school students. In the article Jon Swartz lists the following strategies from Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use.

"What to do

If you're being victimized by a cyberbully, you have options that should be pursued in this order:

Ignore the cyberbully and block further online communications.

Save evidence and try to identify the bully.

Contact parents of the cyberbully and present them with evidence. Request that the behavior stop.

Inform school officials.

Contact an attorney or file a claim in small-claims court. The parents of a bully can be sued for defamation, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Contact police if there are threats of violence, extortion, hate crimes or sexual exploitation." Source: Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use

Personally, I really feel teachers, parents and students have not been prepared enough to handle these types of instances. This is certainly worth discussing further in faculty meetings before it gets out of hand. Eventually, there should be some clear parameters set forth in the school handbook.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


Parenting Videos

There are some wonderful parenting videos off the CBS2NY website. They have video library jam packed with topics in a variety of areas: Health, Education, Friends, Fitness, Family, Safety...Well worth checking out.


Cindy Hsu and Mrs. Bowllan

Monday, March 07, 2005


K-F Visits CBS 2 NY News

CBS 2 News NY Noon Anchors Cindy Hsu and Maurice Dubois take time out of their busy schedules today to share how News works with my Broadcast Journalism students.


Students listen to CBS 2 News NY anchor Cindy Hsu during our K-F field trip today.

Friday, March 04, 2005


Hear From My Students

Yesterday was very eventful for my broadcast journalism students. Not only were they able to meet Cindy Hsu a real Anchor/Reporter, they sat in on the interview and asked questions. Here are some comments they posted to the KFBroadcast Journalism Blog.

"Cindy Hsu's visit to our school was a really great experience for me because it was the first time that I saw the true life of a reporter outside the studio.When we went to cnbc it was a different experience because everything was staged but seeing Cindy Hsu's work meant much more to me because I think that it is so much more difficult to not be on set and not have cue cards.After yesterday, I appreciate street reporters so much more and I respect so much more what they do".

"I was amazed by Cindy Hsu's presence in our school. It showed me how difficult it is to actually make an interview. The camera man always had to get her at the right angle. Students and teachers were interviewed from our school and while i was watching them it made me nervous. I dont think i would be able to get in front of the camera knowing that its right there and speak comfortably. It also must be very stressful for Cindy Hsu to get all this information and only use some of it to create a package of only two minutes. I feel fortuante to have seen this first hand because it showed me what the whole process is really like. It was also really cool to see Cindy Hsu in person."

"On March 3, 2005, Cindy Hsu came to The Kew-Forest School to interview Mrs. Bowllan. Her visit was informative and astounded me completely. This was the first time I have ever seen a reporter do her job. She made her interviewees feel comfortable and made the interview actually look like a real conversation. She asked questions that were very informative and not biased. I was surprised to see that she mentioned terms and phrases that I have learned in class. I was impressed that I knew mostly all her techniques and knew terms she was saying. I really enjoyed her visit and cannot wait to go visit her at CBS."

Thursday, March 03, 2005


Let US Welcome CBS 2 NY To K-F

Later this afternoon I will be sharing some Internet Goodies for Kids with CBS2 NY News Anchor Cindy Hsu. This is an exciting opportunity because parents will be educated as to THE WONDERS OF THE WEB available for their children. These links can help enhance their classroom instruction and can really take learning to another level. Here are just a few random links I will be sharing with Cindy today. But if you miss the segment which will probably air on March 10th, you can access all of their Parent 2 Parent stories from the CBS2 News website.

Kelp Forest Submersibles

SnowMen Reading-Audio Activity

Cool Science Sites

Design Your Own Roller Coaster
Use the Funderstanding Roller Coaster : What changes do you have to to
make to the coaster to make it work?

Discovery Coasters


Roller Coaster Explains Friction

Build a Bridge (NOVA)

Technology At Home PBS Site (WGBH)

How the Body Works

Phonics Word Study

Cut Up Take Home Books From StarFall
---Starfall is offered free as a public service.

Bird Puzzles

The New York Public Library
Apply for a Card

Interactive Map Practice

Ron Hartung's Newsroom 101
A Newsroom-Classroom Collaboration

Great Plant Escape

French Alphabet (sound)

Word Quest Using THE New York Times

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


Plagiarism Under Arrest

Teachers fight high-tech cheaters
High schools get savvy on stopping plagiarism, wayward Net use
By Chris Berdik, Globe Correspondent February 27, 2005

I posted about Plagiarism back in November and recommended the following comprehensive book Student Cheating And Plagiarism in the Internet Era a Wake-UP Call (based on the book by Ann Lathrop and Kathleen Foss.


The Met Like You Have Never Seen It

Meet Ms. Stevenson, our K-F Teacher of the Week who has been bringing history to life and having her students take virtual museum tours before visiting the real thing.

She writes...My 6th graders have been navigating through three exhibit wings at the Met Museum visiting Egypt, Greece and Rome. They have looked at many artifacts online and have taken notes on what the object is made of, time period, and guessing the use of artifact. We are now visiting the museum (physically). Once we go through the exhibits, the students will take additional notes already knowing many things about the artifact from the virtual tour. Upon our return, we will go back to the virtual tour and see once again the artifacts that are very familiar. I will have each student pick one artifact and conduct a mini investigation on that artifact questioning: who would use it, why it would be used, where it would be used, and how it would be used. In addition, students will have printed their artifact and attached it to their word processed document.

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