Saturday, March 28, 2009

On the Road to the Windy City and the Oprah Show!

Mom's Choice Award winning author, Ginger Hodge, took her own mom on a road trip to the Windy City. They had two destinations in mind: the Valedictorian and the the Oprah Show. While I kept in touch with the author of When Donkeys Fly via Skype, others were old school cell phone communicators.
This trip is theirs to tell on here When Donkeys Fly to Oprah and take a peek here:
Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: Windy City Trip
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Our students love to keep up with where the donkey flies and what the donkey finds to do next. Elementary classes interested in projects about Ginger Hodge's book, When Donkeys Fly, see activities and contacts here . Contact us to collaborate with SURFFers (Students Ready for the Future).

Monday, March 2, 2009

What to Do? No Computers in the Lab?

Last week we had a day with no computers in the Technology Lab. Were the students surprised? Yes. Was the teacher worried? No - it was a great opportunity to talk about technology and the balance in our lives.

Technology = a tool that helps us work (more efficiently). If the technology makes a job harder, then choose another tool or learn a better way to use the tool. It takes time to learn to use a tool properly. Ask any craftsman, artist, or electrician.

We could ask our parents and grandparents how they worked before computers. How did they play? Outside was for sports, inside- what? no texting, no Wii?! What did they use in school? Paper, pencils, books, what? no SMARTBoard, no computers?!

We then considered the history of paper. Originally made of papyrus, it was considered a great advance in technology for communication. Paper is taken for granted now and many practice ways of recycling it. I wonder what history would reveal about rules of using paper.

The students thought about what they do in school and the games they play without modern technologies. Our south-eastern region is known for thunderstorms. Students told stories about what they do when the lights go out or the dreaded cable TV service goes down at home (audible groans).

Out came the old-fashioned paper, crayons and clipboards for the activity....1) Fold the paper. 2) Illustrate a game that you play. 3) Write a caption. 4) Smile for the camera.

Rules for game choices were: no electricity and no batteries. So here is a sample of
Games We Play! Batteries Not Included

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I tell my young students all of the time: computers are to help you get work done, so you have more time to play outside where you belong!

We may have another No Computer day....for old-times sake.

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