Sunday, June 28, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
An Old Farmer's Advice:
* Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight, and bull-strong.
*Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.
*Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
* A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor..
* Words that soak into your ears are whispered...not yelled.
* Meanness don't jes' happen overnight.
* Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads.
* Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
* It don't take a very big person to carry a grudge.
* You cannot unsay a cruel word.
* Every path has a few puddles.
* When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
* The best sermons are lived, not preached.
* Most of the stuff people worry about ain't never gonna happen anyway.
* Don't judge folks by their relatives.
* Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
* Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time.
* Don't interfere with somethin' that ain't bothering you none.
* Timing has a lot to do with the success of a rain dance.
* If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.
* Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
* The biggest troublemaker you'll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every morning.
* Always drink upstream from the herd.
* Good judgment comes from experience... and a
lot of that comes from bad judgment.
* Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back in.
* If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.
* Live simply, love generously, care deeply, and speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.
Barbara Schiff Kovacs
Friday, June 12, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Third-grade blog teaches many lessons
Tech-savvy students in Linda Yollis' thirdgrade class are learning new lessons through their online blog.
The class at Chaparral Elementary School in Calabasas has a following of friends from as far away as Russia and Australia, said Yollis at a recent Las Virgenes Unified School District board of education meeting. Students also gave a presentation to the school board.
Yollis said the learning and sharing that occurs in the blog is "sort of like having an open house year-round."
Besides the fun of using technology to connect with children around the United States and in other countries, students are strengthening many academic skills, Yollis said. Students have learned proper letterwriting etiquette, history and geography, writing skills—even foreign language skills, Yollis said.
"Students have an authentic audience for their writing, and that has an impact on the quality of their posts," Yollis said. They have also learned how to navigate the Internet and present information on the Web in a variety of ways.
Molly and Shane taught board members how to write a post. The students said that before they enter the information online, they brainstorm ideas with pencil and paper.
Sammy and Matthew discussed how they "fact check" before posting information, and Jonah and Garrison described the process of uploading posts onto the blog.
Other students explained hyperlinks and other technical terms, while Lexi and Taylor encouraged school officials to comment on their blog using "Comment Kitty."
For safety's sake, Yollis must approve all incoming notes to the students before they are posted.
The class regularly shares information with classes in Texas, Australia and Russia. Although Russian children are learning English, the students added a translation system to the blog.
In a subsequent lesson, Yollis asked her class to post their thoughts on blogging to share with Acorn readers.
"Students around the world can be learning the same thing as us," Matthew said. "For example, our blogging buddies . . . in Australia were learning origami the same week we were. They made a swan, and we made a cup."
Clementine explained where the word "blog" originated. "I learned that a blog is an online log," she wrote. "If you put the words Web and log together, you can see where the word comes from."
James said he learned about adding JPEG images to a post. "It is important to limit personal information on the Internet," he said. "Rather than having closeup images, we can crop a photo, go to PhotoShop and alter it, or re-create the photo with faces turned away from the camera."
Garrison learned an important lesson about punctuation. "If you have a lot of spelling, capitalization or punctuation errors in your comment, it will get rejected by Mrs. Yollis," he wrote. "We make exceptions for commenters who are not in our class."
Chloe said she learned about plagiarism through the class blog. "One group researched a topic and copied a sentence right from the source," she said. "That's plagiarism. We have learned to use our own words."
Parents used the Acorn post to talk about concerns they'd had about the blog.
While some parents were initially wary of allowing their children to communicate with so many different people on the Internet, most have changed their minds.
Gil Gagnon wrote that he had "reservations regarding security and the policing of blog postings." Now that he has found that the blog is being handled appropriately, he sees that his child has "been made aware of the power of the Internet in a very positive environment."
Another parent, who was identified as Jeanine, said she has "done a 180-degree turnaround" about her feelings on the blog.
"I became more comfortable when I realized that only first names would be used and that my son was also permitted to use an alias," Jeanine wrote. "He actually enjoyed selecting a 'new' name."
Yollis said blogging with her students has "been one of the most exciting things I've ever done."
Somer Harding, principal of the school, said, "We're embracing (technology) wholeheartedly."
The class blog gained some attention at the May 16 "Digital Voice Awards" ceremony in South Pasadena. Yollis's classroom blog won the "Best Overall for Elementary School" award for technology.
To join the conversation, visit yollisclassblog.blogspot.com.