Monday, July 7, 2008

National Writing Project

Visual Poetry -

I deeply value the professional development opportunities I have gained by becoming a member of the National Writing Project. The previous post, A Day in a Sentence, is a collaborative writing activity conceived by my colleague and fellow NWP technology liaison, Kevin Hodgson. I was honored with the privilege to host A Day in a Sentence this past week. As I reflect on this experience, I am reminded of opportunities provided to me as a member of a much larger community, the National Writing Project. This government supported organization thrives on the revelation that teachers who teach other teachers will effectively develop writing instruction in our schools by becoming better writers. By immersing oneself in the practices needed to be effective mentors, teachers write volumes for varied audiences and purposes from self and/or the person sitting next to them in the summer institute to posting on the World Wide Web. Our moto this summer was "trust the process." Like art, writing can get messy and jumbled at times. After refining technique and shoring up the rough edges, one can effectively express one's perspective in general or specific terms to create a clear image for a desired audience. It is a great feeling to be so empowered!

Day in a Sentence

The release of Day in a Sentence writing activity is here! I owe a huge THANK YOU to all of the writers for their voice this week. There are several images that help tell the stories. I hope you will enjoy our collaborative spirit.

Kevin (image and podcast included) writes,
I'm feeling some Patriotic stirrings now that Bush is on the way out and change in our nation is inevitable.

David writes,
Slaving daily over a hot laptop, interspersed only by the demands of dog and family, looking forward to a chilled weekend without the heat.

Rglass says,
Few things worse than summer colds.

Michael writes about the Appleseed Writing Project Summer Institute Open House.
Yesterday, the open house brought together all elements of what we have been doing for a culminating event which we shared with those who might be interested and our own families. Now I am ready to move on with my writing and teaching.

Mary from AWP shares a concise image.
A day in the AWP is a blur of thought, insight, inquiry, and emotion, which eventually clarifies into something profound and equally useful.

AWPer, Gloria, is reminded about her previous blogging.
Technoseeds is new to me. I am happy I am starting to use it. I used to use a blog years ago but I stopped because I did not manage the blog well. Thank you, Barb, for teaching it to us.

AWPer, Judy, changes the Indiana Purdue University at /Fort Wayne acronym into a celebration for her colleagues.
IPFW, I Praise Fellow Writers.

AWPer, Jay, a middle school social studies teacher, writes about the ideas he has gained during the AWP summer institute.
As we prepare to bring our writers' institute to a conclusion I am amazed at how many ideas are coming together and influencing my thinking.

Allison writes thoughts about Appleseed Writing Project Summer Institute.
Read alouds, demos, logs, and creative writing have filled my days and my life with ideas of more effective ways to express myself.

Jacki writes about being a participant in the National Writing Project.
Participation in each day of the summer institute has given my voice volume and permission to be heard.

Marcel writes,
Relationships, silver and gold, were highlighted this week after I was chef on Monday morning.

Amalia shares her thoughts about managing time during the summer institute.
My day is going well! I started my morning with a nice two mile run, which I completed in 35 minutes. It was so relaxing and rewarding. The rewarding section has a lot to do my time. I was overjoyed with my time because lately I have not been running. It was also rewarding to encounter people who greeted me in such a friendly and encouraging manner. They all complemented my pace and made comments such as "Keep it up!" Besides my running, I am glad that I managed to be on time to my wonderful Appleseed Writing Process (class). Yesterday was very embarrassing to be late. I hope my day continues going well!

Jane Swanson (included image) reminds us,
While planning for a weekend of fun in the sun and the excitement of exploding fireworks, I paused to think about the families who have lost loved ones for our country and my privilege to enjoy the freedom for which their sons and daughters have died.

Dkzody writes about being an educator.
Even though I am living at a reduced pace, I still managed to get all my yearbook computers set up for the 2009 book.

Amy Kenyon writes about the 4th of July.
Tom Petty concert tonight, barbeque with family tomorrow, parade and fireworks on Friday - what a week!

Bill G writes,
Leaving behind the real world to see the world through new lenses as I travel from Pennsylvania, Canada, New York, Vermont, New Jersey, Virginia and back home to the real world. It makes a difference in your outlook on life and things. It recreates your social imagination.

Larry Ferlazzo’s big realization of the week:
I'm teaching English Language Learners during summer school in a room without a screen for the first time -- why did I never think before of projecting on a whiteboard so I, and students, could annotate projected text? It's so much easier than using a transparency.

Sara P-C (included photo) writes,
My favorite tenants in my tiny 4x4 foot garden (thank you Square Foot Gardening and my patient husband...) have to be the miniscule carrot plants, with their thin crab-grass first leaves, crowded into friendly cliques because I was a little overzealous with the post-seeding watering.

samccoy says,
Think of summer as a time for clearing the mind of all the great ideas we have during the school year, a cleansing experience.

Blogger In Middle-earth shares a verbal image with us.
Tall stony pillars in juxtaposition,
Wires in a matrix traversing the vision,
Sparrows perched affably cuddling each other,
Bobbing together,
Cocking their heads to cheer one another,
Scorning the weather.

Tracy found an image from a Brighton street artist named Lasko that she felt depicted her sentence. The direct link to the image is where you will see the original content posting.

This week, my first week of summer vacation, is lovely yet I find myself already thinking of next school year - I need to remember that I exist outside of teaching because I think that is the only way to put all of myself into my teaching.

Lilya shares her thoughts about motherhood (photo included).
Oh, the proud mother's heart beats faster as her darling little one plays his part at the concert as if it that was all he did!

Matthew writes about the 4th of July holiday.
Fireworks and hot dogs abound during week one of vacation.

Paul B writes,
Finally figured out who had the last piece of cake after downloading the pictures from the camera--darn kids.

Elona H writes,
This week I've been taking advantage of the cooler weather and spending my time getting caught up on my gardening.

Bk writes,

This week has been all digital for me. Well, not all, there was also the 4th of July to fold in and I hope I did justice to everything. Our SI begins tomorrow and my new DS log goes on display for the group to see. It was fun creating it for sure and now out to the public it goes.
Here's its link:

J. Hawk bought a hummingbird feeder last week and have lots of hummers feeding...but no pictures yet.
"Put it out, and they will come," I told Mr. Hawke when I put the hummingbird feeder in the Wal-Mart cart. And come they did!

The final sentence was created on the 4th of July by yours truly.
Weeded, trimmed, edged, mowed, exhausted, sore, and satisfied-all in a day's work.

I am happy to be a part of a collaborative community who can come together and create such a rich collection of perspectives.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Day in a Sentence (or two)

I am very pleased and privileged to be a member of a group of “digital explorers” formed by electronic leader and National Writing Project colleague Kevin Hodgson, technology liaison for the Western Massachusetts Writing Project. I am honored to be the guest host for this week’s collaborative writing activity, Day in a sentence.
As I was preparing to post this call for writing, I jumped over to Kevin’s Meandering Mind to find a very interesting new tool. I thought it would be great if you would consider adding a photo or snapshot to reinforce your sentence. If you do not have a photo, it is still perfectly fine to post your written sentence the words alone. Since I am a visual arts teacher, I love to see visual representations whenever possible. Check out Kevin’s posting for TagGalaxy as well. It is an amazing visual display.
The Technology Focus Group Blog was initiated to document evidence of professional development. Our writing inquiry was based on the use of online resources and digital media to research exciting, innovative writing practices that we could use in the classroom.
I hope you will join us this week by sharing your “week in a sentence” or your “day in a sentence.” Post your “day or week in a sentence (or two)” by leaving a comment under this post. I will gather then throughout the week and release them to the world on Sunday.

As a sidebar, if you have an image to share, you may have to send it to me separately from the post. I am not sure if you can post an image on the comment section here. Just e-mail the image to barbkuntz at comcast. net. Please remind me of your name and post.
I will happily display the image with the post.
Thanks so much for sharing your inspiration with us!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Amazing Photo Tools

I just spent the better part of today playing with a new website called TagGalaxy. It is a wonderful display of photos tagged on Flickr. I realized that I could create a unique tag for my own photos and see a interesting display with this tool. If you type in Indianabloom in the tag name you can see the images I have taken over the past two years. I can see plenty of applications in an art room. I can't wait to share this with my students in the fall. A great application of this web tool would be to allow your students to select a specific photo and tell a story about it. I plan to post artwork on Flickr to display for the school this year. TagGalaxy is a great application to display artwork publicly.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Vocabulary Images

One of my friends pointed me to another new web site that is incredible if you love words and images. I hope you will check out this site for creating simple images of vital vocabulary. I know my students will see this site quite often in the coming months. What a great way to share new vocabulary in an interesting and visual approach. The tool menu is quite easy to use and you could print out the image if you need to place it in the hands of your students. I love this Web 2.0 tool.
Check out the other image I created with our 3, 2, 1 exercise from the summer institute. I asked the participants to jot down 3 emotions felt when hearing the word "technology", 2 utilities that they wanted to learn, and 1 application that they felt comfortable teaching their students. This is the list of our community spirit about technology.

Friday, February 1, 2008

2007 National Writing Project Conference
New York City, New York
In January 2008, I attended the Indiana Educators Conference in the Indianapolis, IN. I am the building technology coordinator where I teach visual arts to elementary students. As the technology coordinator, I am obliged to learn about new and current technology tools.
My focus at the 2008 ICE Conference was podcasting. I attended two special sessions on podcasting; the how, the why, and the creation. I am very pleased to have learned about podcasting using both, Apple and PC formats.
In November, I attended the 2007 National Writing Project Conference in New York City. It is very exciting and rewarding to attend the NWP conference. I always gain a great deal of professional development by attending sessions led by some of the best teachers of writing in the country.
Now, I must use what I have learned to encourage other teachers to integrate technology in their writing instruction. I am very excited about the upcoming Indiana Network Retreat in February where, we, the technology liaisons from all five writing project sites in Indiana, will demonstrate some of the newest Web 2.0 tools.