Category Archives: Uncategorized

Are You Sunny or Gray?

There was a lesson at church this week on how we are most like satan when we are accusing our brothers or sisters.  The bible talks about whispers – you know what I’m talking about.  A better word is probably muttering.  Doesn’t that paint an attractive picture? The negative things we say that get back to people or even if they don’t, they color our attitude about that person and everything in general.  They also color us.  When we slop muddy paint on someone else we can’t help but get some on ourselves.

I wish we were like those big trucks that make the loud beeping warning sound when they are backing up.  When we start backing up into bad behavior the warning beeps would help us stop in our tracks and turn.  BEEP BEEP you’re not being an encourager!  BEEP BEEP You’re not controlling your tongue!  Danger Will Robinson!!

I’ve been trying to meditate on it all week and a friend of mine once said something that seemed so profound and at the same time, so simple.  We can’t always change our circumstance but we can always change our attitude towards our circumstance.

Our attitude is sometimes the only thing we DO have control over, or I should say, God has control over.  I can’t stop backing up into bad stuff but I can pray that God will put the brakes on and show me which direction to turn.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

Maybe they could invent “Good Attitude” the drug.  We could have a pump like they use for morphine.  Every time we feel a negative attitude coming on we could just hit the little button and POOF – we are sunny and yellow instead of muddy gray.

The thing about attitude is that it is catching like a virus.  In ministry when there is encouragement – people get saved, churches get planted, people do ministry.  When there is muttering and whispering the very opposite happens.  It applies in our jobs and families the same way.  We have the choice to lift up or drag down.  I want to do better at the lifting up.  I want more sunny yellow and less muddy gray.  I’m not good at it, but I’m going to work at it.

I had a really bad day.  I tried to keep the muttering to a minimum.

pictures by and

Moving To Mayberry

This is a repost – I first typed the original post in Microsoft Word and just copied and pasted it into WordPress. Unfortunately this caused problems if you viewed it in Internet Explorer. Hopefully I have resolved that issue and thanks to Denise for letting me know!

This morning I was cleaning house and in between chores, checking email and drinking my coffee. Dale had Andy of Mayberry on the TV and I got interested in the show.

Lets think about the story line in Mayberry this morning.

The man who has delivered milk for years with his horse and cart, has been told he has to start driving a truck. He buys the horse from the company because he has been with her for years.

Commitment, Satisfaction in doing a job well, dependability

He goes for a short vacation and hires Opie to go out to his place and feed the horse while he is gone. Andy is hesitant to allow Opie to take the job on because he recalls the paper route that he had to complete for him. He gives Opie a chance.

Responsibility, Accountability, Active parenting

Opie goes to feed the horse in the mornings before school but the horse refuses to eat. After discussion at the barbershop, they decide that maybe the horse wants to eat in the afternoon.

Concern for a living creature, beyond what is required in a job, problem solving, relationships with community members who are the “village” it takes to raise a child.

As Opie has to mow the yard he promises a friend a quarter if he will go feed the horse. The friend gets worried the horse will die and walks him to Opie’s house. Opie hides the horse in the garage, planning to return her in the morning.

Illustration of a situation where an adult needs to be consulted

As Opie and Andy and Aunt Bea eat supper they hear what has to be the horse kicking the wall in the garage. Opie tries to keep everyone’s attention diverted but of course they go out to see what the noise is. It has been suggested that a neighbor might be building something to and Opie jumps on that saying yes he might be. Andy tells Opie “Let’s have it” and the story comes out. Aunt Bea gets involved and the next thing Andy knows, the vet is called and everyone is looking to him to fix the problem. Aunt Bea suggests that the horse is missing his owner. The vet tells Aunt Bea he may start calling her for consultations and she is pleased and embarrassed. At one point Opie reminds his dad that he didn’t really lie. Andy tells him that it is very borderline.

First of all – a family sitting down to dinner together! Second – said family having a conversation at the dinner table! A parent waiting for an explanation with the expectation that the child will have one. Aunt Bea – humility and an innate sense of right and wrong and a joy in taking care of others.

The teachable moment where the blurry difference between a lie and the borderline “truth” are pointed out.

Of course the owner returns home, the horse still won’t eat but they figure out that she is missing working and she ends up walking behind his truck everyday.

Flexibility in coming up with a solution that may not be convenient, or fit in with out modern day insurance considerations but that becomes a part of the character and history of a small community

I’m moving to Mayberry.

Big Bang Theory Jewels

It has been a strange day and not altogether good.  I have been playing escape tonight watching Big Bang Theory which was a repeat that I had somehow missed. Here are some of my favorite things from the show tonight.

Oh don’t tell her…
We’re playing klingon boggle!
What like she didn’t know we’re nerds?

I LOVE Big Bang Theory!

Word for the night : vociferous – conspicuously and usually offensively loud

phrase for spam and forwarded emails – internet banality

The guys one lab accident away from being a super villain

Sheldon:Woman you are playing with forces beyond your ken
Pennie: Well your ken can kiss my barbie!
Penny: I will not apologize
Sheldon: Well then I suggest you get a very long stick and play panty pinata

Penny is smart to hang out with the nice nerdy guys.  Nerdy guys are much nicer than girls.

But God…

The lesson this morning was from Ephesians again.  The scripture that was the focus was Ephesians 2:1-7

1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

I looked up the phrase “But God” on Bible Gateway and there were 10 examples before you even get out of Genesis.

In Ephesians we were dead in our sins and transgressions….But God loved and saved through grace.

I never really understood the difference between sins and transgressions before. It was explained that sins are simply missing the mark.  In order to get to heaven on our own works all we have to do is be perfect like out Father,  Well that’s a snap huh? Miss the mark?  Just by a little LOL

A transgression is a willful act of disobedience.  We know the direction we are to walk and we turn around and walk our own way instead.  If you have ever raised a child you may have had a time when you told your toddler not to touch something only to have them reach for it anyway – sometimes while they are looking right at you!  That’s us.

The bible has so many “But God” examples.  We sinned, God sent a flood, But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded. Gen.8:1

Joseph’s brothers threw him into a well and then sold him into slavery and he ended up being in a position to save their lives. You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Gen. 50:20

David his from Solomon fearing for his life: David stayed in the desert strongholds and in the hills of the Desert of Ziph. Day after day Saul searched for him, but God did not give David into his hands. 1 Sam. 23:14

Those who trust in themselves are destined for the grave…But God will redeem my life from the grave; he will surely take me to himself. Psalm 49

The so-called religious leaders looked down on Jesus. The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight. Luke 16:14-15

Peter preached to the people – not easy Christianity, but strong words.  You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. Acts 3:15

Money or marital troubles that you can’t see how to fix?  You may not know how you are going to get through it – “But God“!

Trials with your health, job or family that seem to big for you alone?  They may be to big for you “But God”!

Afraid that you can’t walk in the way God wants you to walk?  You can’t in your own power, “But God“!

But God….

A Walking Valentine

What do you give someone for Valentines Day when they are on a diet?  Especially someone like me who thinks chocolate is a major food group!  NOT chocolate.  Dale asked me what I wanted and I told him I wanted two new remotes for our tvs.  One old one doesn’t turn on or shut off.  It was the one for our bedroom tv and you would have to get up and walk across the room to shut the stupid thing off. I know that’s whiny but it sort of defeats the whole getting sleepy thing if I have to get out from under the covers and walk.  I am then wide awake and have to read even longer to fall asleep.

The extra one for the living room (the one I use of course) is the original one that came with the tv and it would do everything except turn the volume down.  Because I am a silly creature of habit I would pick it up, try to turn down the sound, growl and hunt for the other remote…EVERY time.

We now have two new ones but getting them programmed was interesting.  I followed the directions and pressed the device (tv) button and then held down the power button until it came on and stayed on.  Then for the old tv in our room there were about 12 sets of 4 codes that you had to enter.  The power button was supposed to blink each time you entered a set.  It did not.  I tried twice.  I read the instructions again.  I tried again.  I growled.  No luck.  My son picked it up and looked at the codes.  He pointed it at the tv, held down the tv button and entered the first code.  It worked.  I read the instructions again and NO WHERE did it say to do this.

I also asked for a pedometer so I could keep up with how far I walk.  I’m not obsessed about it – I just wanted a ball park figure.  I took it out of the package and like the remotes, this required a chainsaw, jackhammer, and much growling.  The instructions said to slowly pull the battery protector tab that was sticking out of the battery door on the back off the pedometer.  There was no tab and nothing came on.  We got out a tiny screwdriver and took the cover off and sure enough, there was the tab, folded double inside.

The last thing I asked for was another set of hand weights to have at the house, since I carried the other set up to school.  The only thing I had to do to them was cut the string that held the tag on.

Dale was not sure about these gifts.  He didn’t think they were very romantic but I appreciate all three gifts and have already used them all.  The frustration of getting the first two working gave me a headache, but walking with the last one helped get rid of the stress that caused so it all evened out.  Maybe next year I’ll stick with chocolate.

David Merrill: Siftables, the toy blocks that think

I seem to be on a toy kick but these are just the coolest things.  I would love to play.  If you haven’t discovered Ted Talks you may be in for a treat.

From their website:

“TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader.

The annual conference now brings together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).

This site makes the best talks and performances from TED available to the public, for free. More than 200 talks from our archive are now available, with more added each week. These videos are released under a Creative Commons license, so they can be freely shared and reposted. ”

You can subscribe through your feed reader or just check out the site from time to time.

“MIT grad student David Merrill demos Siftables — cookie-sized, computerized tiles you can stack and shuffle in your hands. These future-toys can do math, play music, and talk to their friends, too. Is this the next thing in hands-on learning?
About David Merrill

David Merrill works on Siftables, tiny computer blocks that interact with each other to make networks (and music).”

I Want To Be a Kid Again!

Just for the toys – ok, forget the kids.  I may have to buy one of these for myself. They are just too cute!


“The Crayola MP3 Player is designed for children 4 and older and has a fun lozenge-shaped control panel with five large differently colored buttons for each function. The MP3 player also features a built-in voice recorder and speaker, for more interactive play. It holds 2GB of music and comes with earbuds as well as colorful letter stickers enabling kids to affix their names to the unit. The player runs on one AAA battery (not included) and can be plugged into the Crayola AM/FM Alarm Clock Radio dock.”

They aren’t out yet and are supposed to run about $49.00.  I can see a whole class of first graders, wearing their little earbuds, and listening to their teacher podcast.  I love these!

Heading Home

I meant to get this posted this morning but ran out of time (and battery juice) so I am sending it on now 🙂

I am sitting in the lobby of the Sheraton, listening to Coldplay and reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (which I will be blogging about later – awesome book).  There was a fire on the legendary Sixth Street and several businesses were affected.

TCEA was enjoyable and I learned some new things.  I have blogged my notes and will try to round up the links that I found,  I have enjoyed my first stuffed avocado at Trudy’s (yum) and visited with friends, shopped, had a Hula Hut and Mozarts night (thanks Tony and Paige!) and just had a very nice trip. The company on the ride down and back was great (thanks Paula and Missi!) and it was good to get to know some folks better.

On the ride home we stopped for lunch at Freebirds and had a discussion about Stuckeys which had Missi googling on her phone for more information. We all had fond memories of their divinity.  There was the traditional stop at West (I did eat a cream cheese kolache – NOT diet food) and a stop for cold medicine for Paula.

I’m now looking forward to a peaceful weekend, laundry, sleeping in my own bed, and getting back to my walking routine.  Monday will be here before I know it but I think I will be a bit nicer, a bit more enthusiastic, and have a few ideas for some things to share with teachers.  I’d say it was worth the trip 🙂

A Milestone!

Sometime during TCEA I passed the 400 post mark.  It is hard for me to believe that I have found that much to write about but according to WordPress this will be post 406.  It’s kind of appropriate that I would reach this milestone here at a technology conference.  Here is a list of somethings I have learned at this conference (not technology)

1. Photoshop sessions are very popular.  I nearly didn’t get in one that I wanted to see today.

2. Don’t bother going to a session in a room that you want to stay in for the next session.  Volunteers have the dubious pleasure of making you exit and get in line with the rest of the folks ( a pet peeve of mine – immature, I know )

3. Whatever session you want to attend next will be at the opposite end of the conference center than the previous one.

4.  The little freebie backpacks do NOT have padded straps and will move from annoying to painful before the day is over.

5.  Roll around carts are easy to trip over.  I now HATE them.  I can see why they are banned from some conferences.

6.  The slowness of the people in front of you will be in direct proportion to how late you are for the next session you want to attend.

7. Take snacks just in case – nothing at the conference center will be cheap

That is all I have for now.  Tomorrow we will be heading home and after what I hope is a restful weekend it will be back to work.

Using Google Earth to Drive Your Lessons to Victory Lane TCEA09 Notes

Susan Anderson and Jim Holland Arlington isd

the students would have two kmz files and a powerpoint
there would already be some basic prerequisite skills
lesson called Lost
geographic labeling of the earth
based on reinforcing that skill
a little on time zones

an alien has landed on earth and really doesn’t know where they are but will give you as the students, clues to help discover their location

this lesson probably targets 4th or 5th grade

TEKS come from grades 2,3 and 5

technical difficulties – they are trying to get to google earth

they have folded cards with abcd and yes, no, false, true for the “student” participants to hold up to answer questions (this would be great with writeon wipe off boards too

Asking geography questions as students hold up answer cards about hemisphere and latitude, longitude

Showing Australia – this country is not A continent, B Country, C island, D isthmus
Teacher asks why this place is not

What line of longitude is opposite of the international dateline a equator, b rime meridian, c tropic of cancer, and d tropic of capricorn

when it is summer in the western hemisphere, it is winter in the eastern hemisphere true/false

In order to navigate around the earth I can grab it with the hand or double click on the earth and it will turn. zoom in, push it around with the hand, use the rotaion
can turn off automatic tilt while zooming if you like

version 5 released Sunday

to add a placemark
click on pushpin choose add placemark
give it a name and type info into description
now if you click on the placemark the info in the description will be displayed
you can change the icon from the yellow placemark
right click on placemark to edit it choose properties
add custom icons – any jpg pr gif
right click and save place as
native extension is kmz so it will be whatever name you gave it.kmz
kmz files are very small so easy to share

all about me in the handout is a great way to intro google earth

a teaching tip with google earth – have students turn their mouse upside down (it’s hard to sneak quietly

around the world are placemarks – many with question marks

eliminate placemarks that do not have alien clues
rightclick and turn off
so now only placemarks you need to see will be displayed

Lost has a list of cities in one column and the other column is for students to write why that city was eliminated

eg if a clue said it’s a place where penguins live then you might want to eliminate Mexico city

first one done together for guided practice

first slide
students will double click on the Lost kmz file which will automatically launch google earth for you

Hi my name is Nan I’m from the planet ning I think I’m lost can you help. I’ve got a few clues to help – I am not on an island

you can password protect a ppt file
save, choose where and under tools on 07 and 03 – choose general options on 07 security options makes you enter a password
his would be useful for a ppt you want students to use so they couldn’t modify it
password can be needed to open or just to modify

can go to view menu and choose grid to see the gridlines

online tools available on their wiki
online stopwatch – you can give students specific amount of time for an activity
can be embedded into a blog or wiki

ctrl mouse properties
pointer options
show location of mouse pointer when I press the control key

also on the wiki is the random name picker (or random vocab word
random name/word picker

kml files – things like timezones can be contained in kml files
you can turn on and turn off some of these overlays if you only want it on long enough to do a task
some of the overlays make it hard to see anything else.

At this point I had to move on to the next session but most of what you would need is on their wiki

Web 2.0 Panel – What’s Next TCEA09 Notes

So far this has been disappointing.  I even verbalized the question (that is actually the TITLE of the session) and no one is going there.  My question was, if it takes us a certain amount of time in education to move from the point of learning the mechanics of something new in technology primarily because we are being required to, to the point of it being second nature and totally infused in teaching – and if we are in transition with this Web 2.0 stuff; by the time it has actually become a total buy in, the technology will have moved on.  It’s fluid.  What will the technology look like at that point?  I was hoping the panel had some idea of where is was going.

So far it has mainly been explaining what it IS repeatedly, in more than one way, but still – a definition.

Some people have done the expected griping because they have so much blocked in their district.  One panel member is Bradley Kessler – Whyville.  He is knowledeable but also he is selling the concept of whyville (not in terms of money because it is free – though maybe he is angling for it to be officially adopted by school systems) which is not objectionable in itself.  It just isn’t what the title of the session makes you think it will be.

Patricia Schnee, Lead Trainer and Curriculum Coordinator, University of Texas Professional Development Center is also very knowledgeable and seems to be very forward thinking but is mainly concerned with how all this relates to business and employment.

How do we teach kids to be prepared for a world that doesn’t yet exist is my question.

Here are my notes – sorry for the editorial.

patricai schnee
research – looking at web 2.0 in terms of what it means in the corporate world
whyville put it in the classroom?
kids want a place – they want to create the structure
avatar based virtual world
using a pick your nose faciltiy in whyville make your own face
a week after launch they had a message from a kid that said their face parts were dumb
now there is a place where kids make the face parts and sell them
they run companies where they have employees who do marketing, graphic design – all around creating faceparts

Bill Jule? Jason Project
marco polo

patricia stats
confucious center
367 million are under the age of 18 – larger than pop of us
200 million student s between the age of 14 and 25
our tech and engineering superiority is in jeopardy
define web 2.0?
definition kessler
web 1 was largely a push operation = taking media and putting it on the web and pushing it to the users
web 2.0 is pull – rather that standing up in front of a classroom and pushing info – actually understanding classroom management and engaging students in such a way that they are pulling the info to them – teacheres now also managers, directors
learning styles change on evolution scale not generation scale
we finally have a tech device that will let us better match our learning process that we run as humans, because we can handle 2 prob – scalabiltiy – small group can influence large group
social piece – they can socialize, interact, create their own structures and media

audience – trying to get Spore integrated into curriculum – what is panel opinion of this progression

What about web 3.0 – by the time school adopt new technology the technolgy has usually moved on – where do you see us moving on to?

merck had some chemical probs and put it online 7% of the solutions came from people who didn’t have degrees – some from out of the country
now merck is disguising the problems so that they will be intriguing but not know what the whole problem is (gave too much info to competitors)

to teach science you need to be a process expert, not content expert

web 1.0 content – web 2.0 process
companies (media and textbook) have a problem with this because they are content pushers

printing press and university structure last major changes
that’s all that has been available

Gatekeeper, Tear Down Those Walls! TCEA09 Notes

Mr. Gatekeeper, Tear Down Those Walls!
Mary Bell
Sam Houston State University
librarians and tech specialists need to be working together
Introduced Nancy Pearl librarian action filter
the original person one book one city
has amazing shush ability
children should be protected from pornography
does not say we should have any reflection of political views
or that students should be denied the right to search independently
high interest like games and sports – cipa does not say block or shopping
does not say teachers should be blocked from things administrators might not want them to do
passing the law was contingent upon ready and simple override capability

Survey using listserves and twitter
over 400 participates broken down by states
79 % understand web 2.0
aware of web 2.0 resources being used 59%
satisfied with access to internet and web 2.0 39%
some of the problems people comments about were bandwidth issues

Block using specific word lists
true 73%

reasons for blocking and filtering
student safety 81%
ebsco and other databases somethings blocked true 28%
filters apply equally to all levels true (and teachers
Who can override – IT most common answer
Reading blogs at school – 52% but the people who don’t know number has grown
create and particpate in blogs 38%
students and faculty having access to wikis
encouraged to use wikis 39%
access to social bookmarking 31%
access to wikipedia 97%
students are often discouraged even though they have access
google docs 63%  don’t know 36%
Blocked search tools – images
youtube not blocked 52%
Course management systems 38% used
students have access to email
access to second life at school
access to educational game sites allowed
acceptable use policy up to date and addresses web 2.0
true 27% false 49% no idea 24%
district admin are tech savvy and encourage tech and web 2.0
trues 31%


Mary Bell was king enough to send me a link to information about CIPA so if you are interested in finding out more about what this law says you will find what you need here:

Race Into Production TCEA09 Notes

Race Into Production
Jodi Andoe and Abby Rogers PISD
www whatever whenever wherever
teachers moving from dog and pony show to full fledged three ring circus with the teacher – not as the main act, but as the ringmaster
kids love to be center stage
ipods cameras phones
friend or foe?
combining what students have and what teachers have and making it work in the classroom
combine student interests and content for curriculum
provide students with info on available tools for multimedia
student engagement
reflection for deep learning
project based learning
effective integration of technology into instruction
differentiated instruction
centers, tiered lesson plans
advances photography and multimedia all the way down to basic ppt
works with all levels
critical thinking skills
technology TEKS
engages students
their minds wrapped around out content in a way they want to think about it
improved test scores
letting the students touch the learning
gather ideas – don’t re-invent the wheel
take tried and true projects and add a multimedia option to it
determine student needs and find their resources and skills
set timetable for completion
gather resources and hardware
what do you get when you mix CSCOPE Performance indicator’
students had a psp player, iPod, science closet, audacity, photostory movie maker and wax – made a rap video on global warming

used rubric that was in cscope and applied to multimedia project
what is the concept you want them to learn
rubric attributes
point of view
curriculum alignment
student cooperation
camera and images
titles and credits
pacing and narrative
transitions and effects

make sure criteria is set beforehand and use the ribric
should be expressed in terms of observable product characteristics
scoring rubrics should be written in specific and clear language
statement of criteria must be fair and free from bias

green screen – green sheet from walmart taped to classroom wall
let kids teach you

audacity, wax 2.0 blender freeplaymusic photostory animoto
wax works with moviemaker and others
freeplaymusic – if burned to dvd becomes a copyright issue
animoto free 30 second video creation – can subscribe 19.00 year and get longer time and more options
handout includes cheatsheet of useful web 2.0 sites and free or opensource software

handouts will be available later on the TCEA site – I will post the link when it becomes available

Ten Photoshop Lessons TCEA09 Notes

10 Fun Photoshop lessons
cs3 used
Daniel O’Kilen
all lessons handouts on website
create a miniature environment

lesson plan
TEKS objectives step by step procedure and extension lessons

rubrik contains list of tools student learned during that assignment – final product does not have to look like the teachers
10 lessons
creating miniature environment
taking ordinary photograph and use gradient tool and selection creation and quickmask to choose central portion of image
use lens blur, inverted, hue and saturation, tweaking colors makes it look like made out of plastic
His example was taj mahal but students can find their own image

winterizing an image
take photo and using quickmask – creating selection from it – selected grass in photo and manipulated hue and saturation, channel and lighten in channel mixer to create snow-like effect

creating a silhouette vase
start with profile photo quickmask select duplicate and flip – makes a vase effect
tweak pattern, shadow

Building a photo montage
take photo and use pattern to fill the image
select out part of image to use, crop using width and height settings
using other photos make tiny thumbnail – create pattern, adjust and desaturate to use colors from original image to make a fill
apply to original photo as overlay or softlight

Creating Old Movie Effect
can create animation in photoshop
using old photo, apply grain filter, stretched out vertically
create several layers using different grains to get different line patterns
in animation you use the frames you created
animation timeline
can clone out a person adn clone stamp character back in to make it look like character is walking across the screen
creates avi or gif

Creating a Planet
longer lesson
using satellite photo
select part, sphere it
emboss gives more texture
apply vivid light blending mode
create clouds, difference clouds
using brush, paint shadow on planet
inner glow for atmosphere reflection
place on starfield background

Colorize Black and White Photo
Selection and lasso tools
Magic Wand and quickmask
point of lesson was the three main ways to select
magic wand used for areas with strong contrast – learn about tolerance settings
fine tune selection with lasso – excellent detail work practice
magnetic lasso tool
drag color slider to get colors you want
can use same process to colorize a part of a photo for emphasis

Creating a Stone Texture From Nothing
render some clouds, add noise
work with channels
add fade
lighting effects
tweak brightness and contrast, then students learn to create a layer and emboss to carve their name into the rock

Creating an Underwater City
Use photo of a city
Covers most of the tools including paths with pen tool
use pen tool to select sky
edit gradient tool to make sky look like water – add hue and saturation, noise, particulate matter
took brush and added moss and plants on buildings
use smudge tool to add plants to the roof
they create a fish brush from photo to add fish to the image
add white lines and blur to make some ripples
grass brush to make seaweed – use flipping layers and warp tool
Shear tool
make bubbles, zoom in to add bubbles, make bubble, add shark from photo

Creating an alien
using photo of person
select circle, bloat
distorts the face
use pucker tool
bloat eyes
warp tool – liquify window
drag parts of face around
select using quickmask – edit hue and sat to turn him green
select eyes – up contrast, down brightness
marquis tool and shear to make a tail

Writing Safari TCEA09 Notes

writing safari TCEA09
Paula Alsup and Missi Downs

journey through the development of ten narrative compositions
all 4th grade students divided into groups circulate through the stations reviewing traits of well written writing compositions
technology used to record and save the group responses, select possible topics, survey attitudes about writing and extend writing activities
ten compositions well written goal

prep survey
teachers and assistants
lunch and recess
survey monkey
list of prompts students enjoy writing about
students take survey while rotating

eg imagine you were invisible for one day – write a story about that day

gives them some ownership

also survey of student attitudes – do they think they are a good writer
most difficult part
how they feel when asked to write a story
anonymous except for by homeroom – collects data

redo survey after TAKS to see if attitude changed

Import student and teacher names from winschool – number off student into random groups

use find and replace to convert numbers to team names (eg Galloping Gazelles)
have teachers check for discipline problems that fell together (head off possible problems)
inclusion students in one group so assistant can go with them (without grouping together they found it was problematic for the assistants to jump from group to group

Printed itinerary – group names, times, destinations
printed out badges and the groups even eat lunch together

pulled in volunteers from other grades and some parents
assistants can be anybody to run a document camera, type and save to the network

teachers use a powerpoint to review traits
assistants manage the technology
homeroom teachers distribute the group assignments
campus tech – ensure all technology in place and working

tshirts and pith helmets from oriental trading for teachers and assistants
principal does a kick off so the kids know this is important enough to the principal to give up a day of instruction

1 laptop connects to doc camera and data projector
word ppt and thinking map software
may use poster for prewriting
extension cords and powerstrips
folders on network for each group and folder with writing components ppt so all can access
copy of ppt on desktop of teacher computer for faster access

homeroom teachers have a 1 hour block to do lunch and recess
students attend rotation during regular time
may need to adjust time for lunch for available cafeteria space

writing ppt
written by writing teachers and tech specialist
include district curriculum terminology and thinking maps
saved to the server

The Elephant Walk – Planning
reading prompt
brainstorm real imaginary pretend
use a bubble map
prompt in the middle
Intro and beginnings
who when where
the teachers get to move through the different pieces with each new group instead of having to teach the same thing over and over all day

Organization and transitions (Zebra Zone)

transitions phases

a couple of paragraphs of story

Voice – what is it?
fingerprint of the paper
create a movie in the readers mind
students are getting to hear things from other teachers
dead words

A cheetah conclusion
ending – draws all the story together, resolves conflicts
what did you learn from story
what do you hope or wish for because of events in the story
Lets write!
the last group – the teachers will have worked with the students writing 5 stories

all ten stories are printed out and each student will have a copy, students journal or blog about their experience
survey monkey
students use rubric to score each groups compositions, identify strengths and areas that need improvement
students write an independent narrative using strategies and ideas they have learned during safari

Everything is on their webpage – all handouts, ppts

Interview Day

Thanks so much to my friends who sent encouragement to daughter for her Honors College Interview – she texted me this morning to tell me about it so you just never know what little thing you do may have a wonderful effect!  I’m in Austin and can’t be there and my village is helping me raise my child 🙂 I will be posting more from TCEA soon!

How To Do Everything In SecondLife Notes

I actually didn’t stay for all of this because there was a conflict with another presentation I wanted to see.  I was hoping for a reason to like SecondLife but I still have difficulty with seeing how it is useful.  It gets boring to me very quickly and there is also the problem of people all over the world being in the virtual world and no way to filter the content.

You basically sign up for a free account, choose a basic character and one improvement that I saw was that you can designate an interest from the start.  You can then tweak your avatar (or character) by changing the body shape, face, hair, clothes and make it more personalized.

Jamey Osborne
LaPorte isd
Jamey Sismondi in sl

go online and be in a virtual world
not mission based like video games usually are
like first life – do whatever you want
presentation is to shorten the learning curve
wear a thick skin in second life
things can happen that will offend you, crazy weird things walk away
virtual world that has people from all over the world in it.
can be an intensely absorbing experience
you login and say you will on for ten minutes and three hours later…
owning land costs money
(slurl is a link to a location in secondlife)
secondlife about the size of boston (they say)
there are live concerts
each square represents a server somewhere  sim or region
parcels are sims broken down
you can buy those premium account 77 dollars a year
the more land you buy you have to acquire land tiers
you find or acquire things and they are stored in your inventory
landmark is a bookmark of a place in secondlife
world menu – create landmark here
create things and set permissions to no transfer so others cannot just take them
you friend someone
search panel – how to find someone = click people tab and type name
groups (e.g. sailing community)
can create own group
search for places e.g iste – click teleport and go there
search land sales
events – like live music
classifieds for things like scripts
you can customize body shape, skin, clothing, and hair and shoes
right click on yourself and click appearance
create and save a shape
you can put all the outfit together and click make outfit button
green amount in upper right shows the money you have
there is an entire economy in second life

can learn scripting

Randomly Speaking Excel TCEA09 Notes

There was so much so fast here but she does have the links to the instructions on her website at

This was all about using the randbetween function in excel to generate random numbers in a range you designate to create flashcards, graphs, ordered pairs and more.  She shows you how to use autoshapes and this function to create dice.  I will play with this some more but wanted to get the link posted.  Excel rocks!