Thursday, March 19, 2009

Live blog: What Are You Doing?

On Friday, March 27, my classes will be participating in a live blog session discussing the topic: Within the realms of food, transportation, and housing, what have you done or what are you doing to prevent or slow climate change, especially in the face of peak oil and a diminishing oil supply, and what goals do you have along those same lines?

The times for the sessions are as follows (just click on the class period link to be taken to the blog site):Please note that all times are Mountain Time in the United States (GMT-7):

Block 2: 8:30-9:15 a.m.
Block 3: 9:30-10:20 a.m.
Block 4: 11:15 a.m. - 12:05 p.m.
Block 5: 12:20-1:10 p.m.

It would be great to have people join us for our discussion!

This blog has been postponed due to a snow day... it will be rescheduled for April 16th.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

From participant to parent

On Thursday, I attended Kyle's first swim meet. It's been a long time since I was at a swim meet; 26 years in fact. He definitely shows some real potential, but then again, he's a pretty athletic kid, so I'm not surprised. It was pretty fun being on the parent side of a swim meet. Interesting how things change yet remain the same.

My classes have started working with Plan B 3.0, including a page on Ning to allow for cross-class collaboration. I've never done anything like this before, but I see some real potential for some very cool things to happen, so while I'm a little nervous about how it could turn out (or not), at the same time, I'm more excited about what this represents for my students in general and for me as an educator. I also want to combine this with some live blogging. I got pretty good with it last marking period, so now I want to pilot it out to more of my classes.

In other news, I've been invited to work with on another Elephant Journal event, this time with the Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. Very, very cool. It's not until May, but I will be starting work on it this week. I'm really excited about it... stay tuned, there's more on that to follow!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Global issues and language, and a dog report

Today was a rather interesting day for me. Today was the first day I've ever had one of my children in my class. At first, I hesitated at the thought, but I think there will be some real advantages to it.

Today I gave my students their cd with Plan B 3.0 on it as well as various pdf files of IB MYP info. We discussed the long term plan for using the book and did a general overview of the course this term. Over dinner my son asked me: "Dad, if we spend all of our time dicussing global issues, when will we learn English stuff?" FANTASTIC!!! A totally appropriate and the perfect question to ask me. At that point we got into a discussion about analyzing the book as a text (Brown's use of language, vocabulary, etc.), but the question showed me that he is thinking about the class material and connecting it to what he knows his needs are as a student and as a person. I was pretty excited about the conversation.

It's been almost three weeks since we got the dog, and I couldn't be happier with the way things are going with him. He's an amazing animal, and I'm glad we made him a part of our lives. My day begins with an early morning walk under the stars; after work we go out and run and play and generally be hyperactive and silly (if you ask me, no one does this enough, regardless of age or pet ownership status), followed by endless hours of generally spoiling him with attention by both my son and me, ending the day with another walk under the stars. Yes, he is an incredibly spoiled dog, and he knows it (and loves it). Kyle's been taking on the responsibility well and helps out quite a lot, which makes my life easier and makes me pretty proud of him in general.

I once mentioned that going out for coffee or tea with a good friend or two was one of the simplest yet most profound pleasures of life... add to that the simple joy and peace found in taking a dog out for a walk (regardless of time of day) and the sheer wonder of having someone intensely happy to see you, even if you've only just gone out to the car to retrieve your coffee mug.