Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Turkey Courage

Today our President pardoned a turkey on Thanksgiving. Courage was not alone. A bunch of third graders in Seattle spent some time working out solutions to help several other turkeys avoid being served for Thanksgiving dinner. Here's how some of their blog posts started out...
  • One day in Boston, Massachusetts a turkey was running around the back of the Ritz Hotel. His name was Bob....
  • One day in the forest there was a baby turkey. Her name was Sunset. She was the most sweet turkey in the world. But her parents were afraid to go out of the forest cause Sunset was born around Thanksgiving....
  • Hank Hill is a turkey. That’s me, I’m Hank. I live in a cottage with Goldilocks...
  • The turkey’s name was Natalie. She was the happiest turkey alive....
  • It all started at Joe’s Farm with Farmer Joe and his last turkey....
Sound like fun? Indeed it was. I posted this on our classroom blog, where you can read them all if you click and scroll down. It'll be worth a couple of minutes, trust me...
turkey escape Students in room 12 have been using their imaginations and their writing skills to serve up a little Thanksgiving fun here. Their stories are in response to "Pretend you are a turkey. How will you escape being served for Thanksgiving dinner?"

Click on Turkey Escape, 2009, and scroll down to read over 20 great stories!

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, everyone! - Mr. A.

Meanwhile, here's the story of Courage, one very lucky turkey (interesting and hopeful that my students' escape stories relied on ingenuity and scrappiness, and not just blind luck):

What makes me doubly happy here is that my third graders' stories have legs - legs that will carry them far beyond two weeks on the family refrigerator. Their blogs are there for everyone, pretty much forever....

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thank goodness, one more time

Seems like the tougher things get, the more frequently the obstacles come flying at me - the more often I find myself saying, "thank goodness for the kids." Been saying it a lot lately.

My birthday was last week, and there was no school, as usual, in honor of it (November 11th) - ha. My third graders came up with a wonderful card and a bag of sweets that took my breath away. We were all pretty happy. Thanks, everyone!

Later that day one of my students presented me with a handcrafted birdfeeder, made out of recycled materials and a lot of ingenuity. Of course I put it out when I got home. Thanks, Eilis! By the way, the birds liked it, too.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New Internet Task Force

There has been a flurry of activity lately on a couple of edtech email lists, wwwedu (Andy Carvin's long running list), and ednet2 (which I recently began moderating) that is making me nuts. Words are gushing forth once again about internet filtering and internet safety. More books are written, studies done, and committees are formed. There are government agencies and task forces popping up every day.

They are all based on fear.

Every single email post and response fans the flames of that fear. Most all of the people talking have good intentions, but I am so tired of nobody seeming to get that they are making things worse.

I suggest the formation of a new government task force:
The Internet Potential and Promise Task Force

Put a few billion behind something like that, and let's see if we don't end up with a better result.