Sunday, August 26, 2007

Teachers....get ready for your close up

Have you checked your school's policy regarding students' use of cell phones. If not you better put that at #1 on your back to school To Do List. After reading an article in the this morning
Cell phones will continue to be a problem in all classrooms. If you don't want to be recorded or videotaped, why not embrace the cell phone. One professor came up with a great solution:
Benjamin Davis, adjunct professor of journalism at Rutgers University, has devised a simple means of keeping video recording contained while still allowing students to bring their cell phones to class. He has them place their phones on his desk at the beginning of class and retrieve them when class is over.

"I'm surprised other teachers don't do the same thing. What I'm really trying to do for the students and myself is insure that a journalism class is free to discuss some pretty tough topics that come up without fear that the discussion is being recorded," Davis said.

Cell phones are never going away, they are only going to become more advanced (ex. the iPhone). Instead of playing cell phone police, I would rather foster an environment of respect. I want my cell phone in the classroom in case there is an emergency with my daughter.
Besides, this past June one of my students created a beat box rap on his cell phone that we downloaded onto a classroom computer to create a soundtrack for a book we read in class- a great culminating activity, although this year I think I will try Garage Band instead.
Two years ago I banned iPods from my study hall, but this year I will be using iPods to differentiate instruction and learning.
If I had an iPhone, I'd keep it on my desk...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I opened the Business section of the NJ Star Ledger this morning to find out that I am a bad mother. I do not have a domain name for my child. After reading the article I screamed to my husband, "Give me your credit card!" I have to buy before someone else does. I, of course, do not want to run into the same problem Britney Spears did when her second child was born, his name was already taken.

Is this hype to just make more $ for domain sites such as

In 15 years will there be other websites suffixes besides .org, .net. .tv?

Monday, August 20, 2007

The British know everything

Sir Michael Barber's recent book, “Instruction to Deliver,” is a British import on strategies to improve schools.
In England, the biggest change was hiring the cream of the crop and keeping staff, unlike in the states where some teachers are burnt out by year 5 and switch careers:

“What have all the great school systems of the world got in common?” he said, ticking off four systems that he said deserved to be called great, in Finland, Singapore, South Korea and Alberta, Canada. “Four systems, three continents — what do they have in common?

“They all select their teachers from the top third of their college graduates, whereas the U.S. selects its teachers from the bottom third of graduates. This is one of the big challenges for the U.S. education system: What are you going to do over the next 15 to 20 years to recruit ever better people into teaching?”

South Korea pays its teachers much more than England and America, and has accepted larger class sizes as a trade-off, he said.

Finland, by contrast, draws top-tier college graduates to the profession not with huge paychecks, but by fostering exceptionally high public respect for teachers, he said."

Perhaps we should start a book chat on this book.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Baby Loves Disco

I have babies on the brain
two of my friends are about to have babies and second now
These 2 sites are great things to check out on a rainy day

Baby Loves Disco

Baby Blogs

Baby Loves Disco is an ingenious idea. I only wish I lived closer to the city!

Baby Blogs proves that no one it to young to blog!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

I'm not sure if being "memed is a good thing"

Patrick Higgins memed me with the 8 random things meme
First, the Rules:
1) Post these rules before you give your facts
2) List 8 random facts about yourself
3) At the end of your post, choose (tag) 8 people and list their names, linking to them
4) Leave a comment on their blog, letting them know they’ve been tagged

Random facts about me

1. I am obsessed with Perez Hilton and I am not ashamed.
2. I am a speedreader.
3. I am not great at anything but I am good at a lot of things.
4. The last concert I went to was Billy Idol.
5. I make a "to do" list for every day of my life.
6. I saved a hyper color t shirt and a pair of skidz for my kids (circa mid 1990's.)
7. The last song I downloaded from iTunes was The Story by Brandi Carlisle
8. If I wasn't a teacher I'd be a wedding planner

New version of something that will make you go hmmmm

As a teacher, this makes you think about how we are preparing students for the future. What can we be doing differently? What should we be exposing our students to that we are not?

Monday, August 6, 2007

ipods in the classroom

This year my class and the class next door are getting an iPod cart. 25 video ipods and one apple lap top. The possibilities seem to be endless. From creating podcasts and digital stories to watching United Streaming videos. I am a bit concerned with how the whole thing is going to work. It will definitely be a motivator for all students involved, but I tend to hye things up at the beginning of the year and then as my interest and stamina dwindles, so does the students'.