Category Archives: Resources

Having to do with education

Images of America: Four Simple Steps to Edit a Pictorial History

Editing a picture book with 50 -70 word captions for each of 200+ pictures requires more effort than you would think, and grammar is not the hardest part to correct.

1.  Ask experts to read your manuscript.

McKay Point 2

I might have made the mistake of calling this a cement dam at one time.  But not after writing Images of America:  Woodlake.  Robert Edmiston corrected one entry explaining that cement is a part of concrete, but dams are made of concrete, an aggregate of cement and rocks.  No company in Woodlake makes cement.  In a million years I would not have corrected that mistake on my own.

This is the four room school built in 1912 or 1913, not 1923.
This is the four room school built in 1912 or 1913, and not in 1923.

2.  Ask experts to help you check pictures for historical accuracy.  This can be more difficult than you think.  Sources of pictures don’t always label their pictures.  Even libraries rely on the picture donors to date and label the pictures correctly.  Sometimes you can check facts using newspapers, but they are not always accurate either.  I used two or three references when possible to make sure I had names and dates correct.  Even then, my readers questioned me on several items.  Marcy Miller and I sleuthed through dates of the school buildings.  She had a picture of a building built in 1913, but several dates were attached to it.  I had thought it was the same building that is now the district office, but I had a date of 1923 on that building from an obscure reference in a book.  As we dug, we found that there were actually two different buildings.  We looked at the brickwork at the bottom of the building and compared it to another building picture we had from a newspaper.

Edmiston-29

3.  Ask experts to check names, double check them. If you are like me, you were not alive in 1860.  When a relative tells you that one family’s children were too young to attend school in 1860, you have to question the historian’s information, if possible.  In this case it was not possible because the historian passed away in 1971, and she did not have anything footnoted.  The mystery might have been solved because the woman from the family in question had children from a previous marriage that could have attended school in 1860.  Even though the children had a different last name than was listed in the book, the historian might not have realized that because the woman had remarried, and the children might have gone by the new husband’s name to make things more simple.  Some things never change!  But it is surprising how important it is even 150 years after the fact, to get the names correct.

 

Notice the search box at the top, and the name is highlighted.  The page number is also listed in the sidebar not pictured.
Notice the search box at the top, and the name is highlighted. The page number is also listed in the sidebar not pictured.

4.  Document your sources so that you can find where you got your information.  One fact in question came up about the name of one of the participant in the 1926 Pageant named in the picture. One elderly resident had seen the picture and told Marcy Miller that it was one person,  when in fact it was his brother.  The evidence was in the newspaper, and when I showed her the article, she said, “Well his memory isn’t always perfect.”  Expect people to question your facts, and do your best to keep track of them.  When publishing with  Arcadia books, the template doesn’t allow for footnotes or an extensive bibliography, but you almost need to include one in your own copy.  I spent a lot of time looking for the information source to prove my writing.  Sometimes I had it listed in the caption, but when I approached 70 words in the caption, I couldn’t include the information credit for publication.  As I neared the end of my research, I purchased a product, Wondershare PDF Editor Pro to make my PDFs searchable.  This helped me to find information faster.

Can you guess the year of this picture?  Clue:  Experts are alive today who can name most of those pictured.
Can you guess the year of this picture? Clue: Experts are alive today who can name most of those pictured.

In their author’s guidelines the publisher suggested that writers allow 2 weeks for editing using an expert reader.  They moved my deadline up a month, so I didn’t have that luxury, but they have been wonderful about accepting changes, and once I get the proof back, I will have another opportunity to proof read it once again.

I hope this has been a helpful process for you in your own writing.  :)

Find me on Facebook under TC History Gal Productions.

 

What Happens at a Social Studies Conference?

Large or small, I like social studies conferences.   Teachers starve for social studies professional development because it differs from other subject area conferences.

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The social studies include four core subject areas:  geography, economics, history and civics.

  • Geography:  Now I ask you who isn’t interested in traveling? One of our CCSS exhibitors offers teachers expenses paid trip for two weeks to Germany.  Do they have offers like that in math conferences?

The activity we did at the N. CA conference this weekend had us identifying where and when pictures had been taken.  Each group of 4 had two different pictures. This particular activity showed change over time in Germany.

  • Economics:  Do you run out of month or paycheck first?What would happen if we quit shipping the 40% of California’s agricultural products overseas, could we save water in drought-ridden California?  Studying economics helps students grapple with historic and current issues, trace the consequences and predict future results from actions we take today.  Conferences bring you face to face with people in the know like Dr. Jim Charkins of the California Council for Economics Education.
  • History:  Scholars from near and far engaged us in conversations about WWI, the trenches, the music, the need to enlist before the selective service started, and the propaganda to get people to enlist.
Lora Vogt from the WWI Museum in Kansas City, MO
Lora Vogt from the WWI Museum in Kansas City, MO

Now I understand a little piece of my grandfather’s life a little better.

scholar Jennifer Keene
Dr. Jennifer Keene from Chapman University compared Ernest Hemingway’s life to the average WWI soldier. Sponsored by Gilder Lehrman Institute

At the other conference we Skyped author/scholar, Allyson Hobbs from Stanford, also sponsored by Glider Lehrman Institute who studied the effects of African-Americans who passed for white, and what they missed from their black culture by giving up their identities.  Can you imagine giving up/turning your back on who you are?  She made it personal.

Dr. Allyson Hobbs, sponsored by Gilder Lehrman Institute
Dr. Allyson Hobbs, sponsored by Gilder Lehrman Institute
  • Civics:  We met three speakers involved in landmark Supreme Court cases.  Sylvia Mendez’s younger sister never knew the court case happened until  she studied the effect on the Civil Rights movement in high school.  Karen Korematsu spoke about her father, Fred Korematsu’s opposition to the federal government, prison, Supreme Court Case.  We met Mary Beth Tinker, Tinker V Des Moines, who wore a black armband to school, to express her views.  She didn’t think it was any big deal at the time.  Now she talks to children around the country.  She told us stories of amazing children, and what they can do that adults couldn’t.
Michelle_MaryBethTinker
NCSS President-Elect, Michelle Herczog and Mary Beth Tinker of Tinker v Des Moines

We heard Major General Patrick Brady tell us that people may not have equal opportunities, but we all have access to as much courage as they want.  The more we use, the more we have.

Major General Patrick Brady, Vietnam War hero, Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient
Major General Patrick Brady, Vietnam War hero, Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient

We met political cartoonist, Lalo Alcaraz who has one of his paintings hanging from the wall of Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor

Lalo Alcarez at the CCSS Conference in Los Angeles
Lalo Alcarez at the CCSS Conference in Los Angeles

Where else but a social studies conference can you rub elbows with people who played a part in exciting events you read about in the news?

Power of Democracy2Intensity sparked like electricity during a Power of Democracy Task Force meeting. Where can you get direct contact with legislators, Department of Justice, and Department of Education at the same time?

Power of Democracy/Civic Education
Student speaker at Power of Democracy/Civic Education meeting

We honored our best and finest social studies teachers at the awards program – AKA Emmys. Twitterers tweeted during the conference.

DBQ session

Brent won a bicycle at the membership booth. Exhibitors gave free stuff to everyone.  Best of all teachers connected with other teachers and shared ideas.

Next March we go to Oakland.  The National Conference will be in Boston in November.  California Council Needs YOU!  If you teach history-social studies in CA, please join us.

A Bevy of Bambino Book Reviews

A Kissing Hand was the most touching of the books I found this week, but there were several others that I liked as well.

mommy's monster

Mommy’s Little Monster by Dawn McNiff, illustrated by Kate Willis-Crowley will capture your heart, too.  No one can hate these monsters.  Tiny Troll’s mom is going to a party without him.  You should see his look, and even more, his toys!  Mommy gets ready, and if you’ve ever wondered what a troll does to doll herself up, wonder no longer.  She even slimed her scales!  Wait till you see her purse!  Off she went, and in comes Mrs. Hagi, the babysiter. Tiny Troll’s poor toy slug slammed against the wall.  Such a temper!  Mrs. Hagi knows just what will make him better, but doesn’t force it on him.  He smells warm mudmilk from the swamproom.  Soon he and Mrs. Hagi were enjoying more mudmilk than his mother EVER allowed him to have, and Tiny Troll, the happy toddler, fell fast asleep.  When his mommy came in to kiss him good night, “her bristles smelled of mold again.”  Best of all she brought him a bag of rotten worms from the party.  Life is TOO good!

Green Crayon

The Day the Crayons Quit, another favorite of mine by Drew Daywalt illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, had me in stitches.  And I finished my quilt!

Duncan liked to color. The crayons had some complaints.  They each wrote him a letter.  Tired Red needed a rest after Valentine’s Day and Christmas.  Purple expressed his irritation with Duncan’s out of the line coloring.  Beige clarified his identity.  Gray discussed the elephant in the room.  White felt invisible while black tired of always being an outline, and wanted to be a beach ball instead. Proud Green turned out to be a tattle tale.  Orange and yellow fought about which one of them more accurately represented the sun.  Broken Blue couldn’t see out of the box.  Diva Pink complained that he never came close to her.  She was such a mouth, that one couldn’t blame poor Duncan.  Peach, peeled bare, wanted clothes.  Duncan solved their problems in the last picture in his book.  Duncan's solution

Old women laughing in the children’s book section of Barnes and Noble seems weird, but if you go there and read this book, sneak into a corner.  All people will see are your shoulders shaking.  :)

No David's nose

No David! by David Shannon appealed to me, but my husband thought it was too stupid for publication.  Sorry David.  He probably didn’t want to fess up to being just like David as a kid.  The text is stupid, I have to admit, but the drawings, complete with David’s finger in his nose made me laugh.

So what books are your favorite children’s books that you and your children have enjoyed over the years?

The Accidental Vacation: Chapter Eight

Chapter Eight  The Gem of the Klamath River 

Salmon fishing is "slammig."
Salmon fishing is “slamming.”

“A new transmission is not so bad,” Vince said, still nervous about Marsha’s reaction to the news.  “It could have been so much worse.  Just think if we’d broken down going up that grade to Eureka that we drove yesterday.”

“Yeah, there’s not much between here and McKinleyville, Arcata and then Eureka.   And running into elk at night in the rain, with no transmission.  Yikes!”  Marsha knew how lucky they had been, and she couldn’t even be upset at the news.  It was an old truck anyway, and it had never given them any trouble.  She felt like anyone else, a truck needed to go to the doctor and get things fixed once in a while.

“The good news is that we get internet today!”  Vince had spotted the sign at the Riverside RV Park next to them.  They had stopped in after their trip to Eureka, and asked about using the internet for Marsha’s online meeting the next day.  Even though they were on vacation, work could go almost anywhere, and Marsha needed to find a source.  The park next to them was almost empty.  Salmon season was almost over, and folks were heading home.  Marsha hoped they would be willing to help them move over.

As they talked to the park managers, Marsha had suggested that they would love to move to their park, but they had no truck to tow the trailer.  The manager and her husband thought that they could tow the Terry trailer an eighth of a mile down the road to their park with their Ford pickup.

SFW Klamath trips Sept 18 to 19204

“And we have TV service as well,” the manager told the couple proudly.  “Did you notice that we also have free laundry service?”

The move was completed by 9:00 a.m., and Marsha opened her computer, and tested the internet.  “Wow, this is faster than at home, “ she told Vince.

“Do you want to run into Crescent City to check on the truck?” he asked, knowing full well he had the rest of the morning to himself.

In reality, he had the rest of the day to himself.  Marsha looked up at about 1:00 and took the dog for a walk and enjoyed the wonderful sunshine, and another walk a couple of hours later, each time snapping back to the computer like she was connected to it by a rubber band.  At five thirty she finally noticed Vince lying on the couch quietly watching TV, and forced herself to pay attention to him.

“Let’s go for a walk.  It’s so beautiful outside,” she smiled at her patient husband.

As they walked around the park, they stopped to talk to a forest ranger.  His job was to check each fisherman and women as they brought in their catches.  The rangers had a route they checked, and collected random data about the salmon in  Klamath River.  They examined the fish for diseases, weighed them, and recorded many other important data.  The ranger told them about the 2002 salmon disaster.

Klamath Canon316
The Klamath River on the right enters the Pacific Ocean on the left. People fish on the bank in between. 

The Klamath River is a dam-controlled river that transports some of its water to California’s great Central Valley for agricultural purposes.  In 2002, they had been letting the cold spring waters flow to the ocean, just a half mile from where Vince and Marsha stood.  The cold river water beckoned the salmon to enter into the river to lay their eggs.  After they started their run upstream to spawn, the water was shut off in preparation to send it to the Valley.  The shallower waters in the river heated up, and the salmon were trapped.  They were caught too far from the ocean to get back, and became diseased in the glutted warmer waters, and died.   By the end of the catastrophe over 33,000 dead salmon floated along the banks of the Klamath for miles.  The congressperson for that area took many of them to Washington D.C. and laid them out on the steps of the Capitol to illustrate the disaster.

Marsha and Vince knew the consequences of water cutbacks all too well.  Restrictions of water imported by the Central Valley meant gluts of dead trees, uprooted on their sides along every roadway.  The couple had not smelled the thousands of salmon that lost their lives for lack of water, but they watched trees wither when the water didn’t come.  The debates over water resources would never end.  Water, a priceless commodity, is too scarce, and absolutely vital to both communities.

The RV Park handed out the Klamath Chamber of Commerce Newsletter with all the other check-in information.  On the very first page of the September, 2013 Volume 13, Issue 9 was a full-page article titled, “Klamath River Conditions & Salmon.”   A quick scan pulled up the word, “Fresno,” and Marsha, read on.  “On Wednesday, August 21st, a federal court judge relied heavily on Yurok tribal science in a weighty decision to increase Klamath River flows, and not send the water to California’s Central Valley.”  The conditions this year are “nearly 1.7 times the number of fish that returned in 2002.  …  The Klamath River is one of three rivers that produce the majority of sport and commercial Chinook salmon harvest on the West Coast.”

Klamath Canon319

What a dilemma.  Marsha felt overwhelmed by the struggle for life between salmon and trees.  Living in Oregon among fishermen in her family further divided her loyalties.  The decisions to send the life-giving water one place or another affect millions of people’s lives, not to mention the salmon and the trees.  The Central Valley produces a large proportion of food that is exported to the rest of the nation as well as other parts of the world.

Marsha looks upstream from the mouth of the Klamath.
Marsha looks upstream from the mouth of the Klamath.

For the moment, the couple enjoyed the “slamming” salmon catches on the Klamath River.  The couple they had met at the former park gave them some freshly home canned salmon.

If you were making the decisions about where to send the water, where would you send it?

Other articles about the Klamath River

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate

Delicate suggests many diverse meanings. Curiously, now and again what seems delicate may actually be quite strong, and conversely, when something appears heavy, mechanical, sturdy or awkward may have delicate functions, characteristics, or aspects.  Here are some of my choices for the many meanings of delicate.  How many of them might at the same time be surprisingly durable, hardy, vigorous or unyielding?

1. Pleasing to the senses, especially in a subtle way,  and
2. Very subtle in difference or distinction.  With its delicate beauty this dainty, paper-thin blossom, tinged with a hint of pink, entices human admirers as it attracts and feeds tiny insects.
flower with delicate pink tinged petals.
flower with delicate pink tinged petals.
3. Exquisitely fine or dainty:  I am especially enamored with spider webs.  After a light rain, these delicate strings sparkle like diamonds.  All the while they seem delicate, spider webs capture insects, weather strong winds and rain, and even resist persistent humans who try to destroy them.
Delicate 4
4. Frail in constitution or health.  Like any elderly living thing, fallen leaves lose their suppleness as they age.  When they first fall, they are colorful, and easy to gather.  After a few months their delicate, frail forms crunch and break easily when touched.  Even in their broken condition, they function as fertilizer and conditioner to improve the soil and retain its valuable moisture.
Delicate2
5. Requiring tactful treatment: a delicate situation.  Most people consider a flag of the United States a symbol of strength, not something fragile or delicate, but I would argue that the delicate experiment of our democratic government is always only one generation from total collapse.  If citizens are not vigil, the rights and privileges we enjoy in the United States can disappear.
delicate 14
6. Easily broken or damaged.  I took many pictures as workmen replaced our 30-40 year old furnace with an efficient new model.  One of the men asked for my pictures.  He told me that working on a roof with a crane swinging a heavy HVAC unit towards them was extremely delicate work.  One false move with the powerful arm of the crane, and the installers could be knocked off the roof, or the unit or roof structure ruined.  Until I talked to him, I would not have thought of this as a delicate task, but he changed my thinking.
installing a heating/air conditioning unit
installing a heating/air conditioning unit
Another delicate operation is archaeology.  In Jamestown students worked alongside experienced archaeologists to uncover secrets buried in the settlement established in 1607.    Nothing here looked very delicate, but once they dug a large area down to a specific level, they started working with brushes and spoons rather than shovels, being very careful not to destroy fragile artifacts.  
delicate 9
7. Marked by sensitivity of discrimination:
a. Considerate of the feelings of others.
b. Concerned with propriety.
c. Squeamish or fastidious.
These students reenacted the giants in the women’s suffrage movement.  Although considered the delicate sex, the suffragists  showed amazing strength in the face of danger and harsh punishment.
delicate 11
8. Fine or soft in touch or skill.  Although the dandelion seeds are delicate to the touch, the dichotomy is that these hardy seeds weather strong winds, travel great distances, and  reproduce many offspring.
Dandelions have delicate
Dandelions have delicate
9. precise, skilled, or sensitive in action or operation: Kalev got burrs stuck all around her mouth.  Taking them out was a delicate matter because they were so close to her sensitive mouth.  We didn’t have scissors, so we had to pull her tangled fur off each bur.  A park ranger came to our rescue with a pair of surgical scissors, but even that was a delicate operation.  Even if Kalev had been sedated for the delicate procedure, which she wasn’t, there was so little space between her skin and the bur that we could have easily cut her skin instead.  We had to cut the bur into pieces, then pull gently.  Success!!! 
Delicate- Kalev's bur removal operation
The dichotomy of delicacy intrigued me almost as much as the search for pictures to match the many definitions of delicate.
For more delicate pictures click here.
Featured Blog
Sydney Fong is a funny guy from Singapore.  I don’t mean he’s funny looking or acting or weird, but just plain funny.  If you’ve read my blog, you know that I dearly love humor at the expense of almost all other things – even history.  However, Sydney also has a soft spot in his heart as you will see with some of his posts.   He hates violence, and loves the environment.  What better combination can you get than that!  Go to his most popular posts first.  My favorite is, “Shall We Go for a Stroll?  Let me tell you, if you go for a stroll with this architectural artist, you’ll end up needing stitches – in your side from giggling. I also loved Paw Driving.
Kalev liked this picture from Sydney’s blog, so if you want to see more like this, go visit his site.

Sunday Post: Natural Resources

I’ve been hoping for a challenge in which I could post these photos of wind machines.  Thanks Jake.  Air is probably our most precious and abused natural resource in California Our EPA regulations for air quality are the most stringent in the United States.  Yet, for all it’s poor quality from times and in places, air can still be harnessed and used to produce another clean energy – electricity.

I read this morning on Pairodox Farm’s blog that my home state of Indiana, “the Fowler Ridge wind farm is one of the largest installations of its sort in the world. It ranges over 50,000 acres and is currently comprised of more than 300 wind turbines which can generate enough carbon-free electricity for nearly 200,000 homes.

I pulled off the freeway just before an exit going to Palm Springs to get these pictures.  I used the 75-300 lens.  You can see that the air is hazy.  Had I pulled off the road on Saturday instead of Monday, the sky would have been blue.  Rats!!!These photos have not been altered in any way except to imprint my moniker in the sky.Developed in the 1980s the  San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm, one of three large wind farms in CA, consists of 3,218 units delivering 615 MW.[1]This wind farm spans the I 10.  This is one of the windiest places in California.

Featured Blog

Pairodox Farm is my choice for today.  Their website is about sustainable living in rural Pennsylvania, but I think their ideas can apply to all of us. The reason they are a pairodox is because in real life they are a pair of docs, one in zoology and in plant ecology.  In spite of all that science in their educational background they actually speak English.

A Pair of Docs in Pennsylvania

To participate in Jakesprinter’s Sunday Post

1. Each week, he will provide a theme for creative inspiration. Show the world based on your interpretation what you have in mind for the theme, and post them on your blog anytime before the following Sunday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. Subscribe to jakesprinter so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS.

So I learned something today.  How about you?

Here are some of the participants gathered by rfljenksy – Practicing Simplicity.  Check his out, then you have lots of other examples also!  Thanks!!!

  1. SUNDAY POST: Natural Resources | Tea with a Pirate -
  2. sunday post : natural resources | bodhisattvaintraining
  3. Windmill at Sunset | Canoe Communications
  4. Sunday Post: Natural Resources…The Children of the World
  5. Eye candy | Thirdeyemom
  6. The Giving Tree | Thirdeyemom
  7. Sunday Post: Natural Resources « patriciaddrury
  8. SUNDAY POST : Natural Resources | tahira’s shenanigans
  9. Sunday Post:  Natural Resources -Another Day in Paradise
  10. Sunday Post : Natural Resources « restlessjo
  11. Positive Parental Participation
  12. Natural Resources. « Luddy’s Lens
  13. Jake’s Sunday Post: Natural Resources | A Number of Things
  14. BAMBOO- A Natural Resource « Zeebra Designs & Destinations
  15. If a tree falls | Beyond the Brush
  16. Jake’s Sunday Post theme: Natural resources « newsferret
  17. Tell me, was it one of those days? | The Wanderlust Gene
  18. Longing « Stray Thoughts
  19. SUNDAY POST: Natural Resources Wool | Cee’s Life Photography
  20. Wind Turbines | Figments of a DuTchess

Teachers Pay Teachers

Want To Make A Million Dollars?

One of the services I do for SJVCSS is Chair the Curriculum Committee.  During the last adoption for History-Social Science I was fortunate to be selected to serve as a Reviewer.  Although I was unable to perform that role, I was involved at the county level after the adoptions were available to districts.

With the coming of the Common Core Standards individual teachers are beginning to search for materials on their own.  One of the most logical places to look for materials is the internet.  On September 27  CNN’s Martin Savidge aired a story featuring “a small town kindergarten teacher (who) becomes a millionaire and says other teachers can become just as rich too.”  I was curious about the website, and the materials, so I am reviewing the site, Teachers Pay Teachers in this post.

Before I start let me tell you how curricula is approved for use in public schools in California.  In the state of California curricula has to pass numerous criteria including alignment to current California subject matter standards and, in the case of history-social studies, the history analysis skills. The California state board adopted curriculum for grades K-8 is checked by curriculum specialists and teachers before it is adopted by the state of California and is available for purchase by districts.  This committee turns over their findings to the Instructional Quality Commission which ultimately approves each publisher and their materials.   After that a district committee looks through the reviewers’ notes, examines the textbooks and makes a decision as to which materials the district will adopt and use for the 6 (or so) years after that.  It takes a long time for curriculum to reach teachers because it is reviewed extensively before it can be mass produced.  This is not the case in the free market place.

Teachers Pay Teachers is a free market for teachers to sell their own materials. This is a review primarily of how the site is organized, not a judgement of the materials that are sold there.  On the home page, the menu is categorized several ways.  At each grade level, you can see how many materials for all subject areas are available.

Examining the subject areas I chose social studies to begin my research.  At the top of the menu bar you can choose your grade level.  You can see below that  there isn’t much to choose from in general social studies.

At that point I could choose a grade level or a branch of history.  Below are the first seven choices listed alphabetically.

When I went through the grade level first the choices for social studies seemed much fewer.

So I went back and looked at Asian studies.  There was only one MP3 available.  It seems that these numbers don’t agree.  How did 317 items become only 1 item?

Another way the materials are sorted are by type.  Several of these types are listed below.  They are in alphabetical order.

Next they categorize materials by price.  The website, Teacher Pay Teachers, offers several price choices to teachers.

Finally teachers could browse by several other criteria.

Browse by:

Choosing the state of California, the website took me to biographies of contributors, and how they were rated by their users.  Most of them posted how many years’ experience they had teaching.  Most contributors had at least 10 years experience.  One as little as 4, and one as many as 50.  One teacher I noticed posted that his students tested well.

  

Finally, I went back to social studies.  On the left the menu further divided the resources by grade level. This menu indicates that there are 4100 items social studies items available for third grade alone, and more for the next two, whereas in an earlier menu I found only 7 items.  This confused me, so maybe one of your reading this will be able to clear that up for us. 

Clicking on third grade brought me to units like “Me on the Map”.  This particular product is designed to accompany a book with the same title.  I’m not familiar with the book, but the illustrations in this particular product look professional.  It includes a description of what a teacher will find inside the project book.  “2 writing prompt pages: Each begins with, “If I could travel anywhere on the map I would go to…” (which is could lead to the higher skilled opinion-type of writing.) There is a primary ruled option and an intermediate ruled option. Both have a space to illustrate their writing.”  This teacher, like many others, has created a website to tell more about the products they are offering.

While it is not a fair sampling to check out one product, it would take a tremendous amount of time to do a thorough examination of each item and determine if it meets, not only the social studies standards and analysis skills, but also the Common Core English language arts standards as well. 

In the short time I have taken to look at the website, I haven’t really formed an opinion of the quality or reliability of the products within the website itself.  I think it is a great idea to be able to share resources and be paid for them.  I also know how much expertise and time it takes to develop resources.  In history-social studies, the biggest push is to use primary sources and to help students to read informational texts.  In the lower grades at first glance I saw what I’ve seen for years in school supplies, coloring for Columbus Day and other holidays, and art projects.  These products are rated highly by teachers, but there again we don’t know the expertise level of the teachers rating the materials either.  Do these teachers want rigorous materials, or just something to keep the kids busy?  I would like to see that the teachers that are producing the materials as well as the ones rating them are members of a professional society for their subject matter, such as National Council for the Social Studies, or their state and local affiliated Council. 

While I am not saying that the products are not credible, there are many vetted, free, or low cost curricular materials available from recognized non-profit organizations such as the Center for Civic Education, Constitutional Rights Foundation, California History Project, California Council for Economics Education, and the California Geographic Alliance.  Many of these products are developed by teachers working with subject matter experts in higher education.  They are approved by social studies professional organizations such as California Council for the Social Studies of the California Curriculum and Instruction Steering Committee’s Sub-Committee for History-Social Science. 

Materials abound in all subject areas.  As you spend your hard-earned money on curriculum, be sure that you check all the sources that are available.  When it comes to what you are going to take into your classroom, reliability is key.

If you purchase or bring in any of your own curriculum, what criteria do you use to choose the best materials?  How do you know what to buy?

Finding My Journal

Thank you all for visiting my site yesterday – I had 100 views!  I don’t know about the rest of you bloggers, but that fact makes me forget that I have any other worthwhile work to do, and makes me want to think of what to write to y’all today.   I do love that contraction.  (I’m not a Southern Belle, but I just love using it in honor of PT, who reads my blog every day.  Thanks PT.)  Don’t you just love her dimples.  She’s amazing, but that’s another story. One of the unanticipated benefits of retirement is to have my library all in one physical location.  That means I found my journal that I kept during my Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute.  These are VERY cool.  They are handmade – even the paper.  I was afraid to write in it at first because I didn’t want to mess it up. So I may bore you from time to time, sharing my reflections that accompany the hundreds of photographs I took while I was there, and have just sat in my Facebook gallery, my external hard drive, and who knows where else.  I didn’t want to spend time too much time writing about them because I didn’t want to get my facts wrong. And I didn’t want to spend time researching when I knew that somewhere I had written downs tons of notes.  Ah the bane of not having a photographic memory.  Just think what a joy I could be to y’all if I could just remember things perfectly.  Actually I remember large bits of things, but somewhere they get jumbled, and my facts get scattered, and come out incorrect.  Then, because I am supposed to be somewhat of a history guru, I am embarrassed when I err, and my guru credibility is lost.  But I meander…In addition to being Clementina Rind for the week, I was also assigned to be on the Military Committee.  I had no recollection of that for several reasons, but I wrote it in my journal, so  it made SOME impression at the time.  Clementina is still with me 4 years later.  I was really into taking pictures of 18th century military life.  I have 97 pictures, and NO Notes!!  The sad thing is that we participated in amazing feats of war.  I accidentally hit the woman next to me in the face with my wooden musket when we were standing in formation practicing loading aiming, and firing our supposedly harmless weapons.   I didn’t volunteer to attempt loading the cannon.  It was real.My entry for the day we went to Yorktown reads, “I forgot my journal when we went to Yorktown. ”  

Ever consider what it might have been like if you got a toothache on the battle field – or even back home in the 18th century?  When I was a  dental assistant, believe me none of our instruments looked this vicious.  Of course, without my notes I don’t know if these WERE dental instruments or something with which to take out bullets.  Whichever, the look malicious, and I know there was no anesthesia involved.  No laughing gas.  No Novocaine. No topical anesthetic to numb your gums BEFORE you got a shot of NO Novocaine!!!  So maybe these wicked tools for the little balls that came out of muskets.  The point is I FORGOT TO TAKE MY JOURNAL.  Do you see how disastrous the effect merely four years later???  Can you imagine if I waited 40 years to label my precious pictures?George would never have forgotten HIS journal.  This desk was center stage in his tent.The troops did eat, and what you see in the background is part of the outdoor dugout oven.  This piece of equipment, as I recollect, was not a branding iron, but had something to do with cooking.  Wish I had taken my journal.This was my 75th picture.  I bet you are wondering what’s in the box.  Well, if I had brought my JOURNAL, I could have told you, but NO, it rested safely in my room where it wouldn’t get dirty.  (It still isn’t dirty.)  Judging from the pictures sequentially around this photo, which I can see, but I won’t bore you with, the box has something to do with canons.  My solid hypothesis is that it holds cannon balls.  Where is Mike Lebsock when you need him?  Probably sitting in his Colonial Williamsburg home office writing memoirs in HIS JOURNAL.  Or maybe he’s sketching.  He actually painted the middle picture right above his books.  What a talented SJVCSS President we have!!!  When I got back I quoted Clementina as saying, “I have watched as this revolution became inevitable.  I published Thomas Jefferson’s first declaration.  I strained to see this conflict that I might rejoice at our freedom.  Freedom of the press (of course that was of GREAT interest to Clementina), which we have as British citizens, but which could as easily be taken from us, as surely as taxation without representation has already been taken.  I regret that I did not live to report this great event.”Don’t try to read THAT quote, I photographed a page that had better handwriting!!!  Then I did what I do most in my journals.  I introspected.  “Its amazing to me to understand what bravery and sheet luck has play a part of my privilege of being born and raised as an American woman.  This privilege becomes clear and dearer as I age and I realize the foundations that were laid to make my life possible.”  I still stand by that statement.The moral of this story.  Buy a journal.  Take your journal with you.  Write in it.  Don’t lose it.  Then share it with someone.

Social Media

I met Mike Lebsock on Facebook when he responded to a post.  He was wearing a red colonial jacket with a white ruffly shirt.  I was intrigued.  I looked on  his wall and found out he was a social studies teacher in a neighboring county.  We carried on a message conversation over a period of a few weeks.  I asked a friend of mine in his county if she knew him.  She told me what a great teacher he was.  I suggested that he apply to be our Middle School teacher of the year for San Joaquin Valley Council for the Social Studies.  He did.  I asked him to speak as John Adams at our Banquet.  He did.  A year and a half later, we are good friends.  On June 30th I will no longer be the president of the organization, and on July 1st he will be.

It seems appropriate for social studies educators to be interested in social media – even to be active using it.  Historically, social studies teachers are outspoken.  When it comes to social media, on the other hand, it seems like even typically outgoing, opinionated social studies instructors are reluctant to leave comments, reticent about their opinions, even stingy with their “likes”.   However we want to have an impact on our society, and it seems that social media is an important part of doing that.

San Joaquin Valley Council for the Social Studies Board met last night.  We have a Facebook account with 232 friends, and an inactive Google sites website.  As we spend time developing our public persona  through social media, the question we asked ourselves is, “What can we do to develop a community of social studies teachers?  What do teachers want and need from a network of other teachers?”  Since we are launching our new website today, we discussed how to get viewers to leave behind their stamp to let us know they benefit from using our site.

A friend told me that the History S.C.O.R.E. site, hosted by San Bernardino County Office of Education, receives about 1,000,000 hits a month, but it is a static site that is not being monitored.  Another site, Colonial Williamsburg, http://www.history.org, asks thought provoking questions, and the most number of comments I saw posted for any one question was four.   I have noticed this same trend on LinkedIn in the various groups I have joined as well.  The blogs on the National Council for the Social Studies site have the same types of numbers.  It seems to be the norm not to comment on these types of sites.  By contrast, I have gone on college sports sites, and seen hundreds of comments about a game, most of them having nothing to do with the game, some including pictures of people not even at the game.  Have social studies people lost their interest in social studies, and become social elsewhere?

On Facebook, one friend gets 50 likes and 25 comments to a post, while I am lucky to get four.  I asked him how he got so many comments.  He replied, “Well, many of them are my family, and friends from high school, and some from student teaching.”  Another friend who posts regularly, and almost always leaves comments on my posts told me that of the people he knew , it was the folks with whom he had a close relationship personally that kept the posts going. It almost seems like the chick and the egg question.  Which comes first, the relationships or the media to attract the relationships?  I think the answer is, “Yes.”

If Yes is the answer then it seems that the outcome of whether or not your site has lots of response depends on whether or not the postmaster has lots of friends and family, and  these people have the desire and inclination to use social media.  If a large personal support group is the only determiner, then how can those of us, who are an impersonal-seeming organization, have small families, been distanced from high school by time and location, and whose friends don’t use social media grab an audience?

What grabs your attention when you visit a new site, or link to a new Facebook friend?  Would you, could you, be my friend, and comment on my post?

 

 

TodaysMeet

On May 11 I wrote a blog comparing the use of Twitter and TodaysMeet during a  day of professional development day with teachers.  My colleague and I chose to use TodaysMeet instead of Twitter for several reasons.  We were quite pleased with how it worked to answer questions during the day.  It integrated seamlessly into our training.

First, unlike Twitter, it was so easy for everybody to begin using TodaysMeet.   There was no signing up.  I accessed the TodaysMeet.com site and with the teachers watching me, signed in, created a chatroom, and demonstrated entering a comment.  We allowed the teachers a few minutes to find the chatroom and enter a comment or two.  The entire process took approximately 5 minutes to make sure that everyone who had a cell phone or computer could work the system.

During the training TodaysMeet worked in two ways.  Most importantly the online program functioned as an electronic blackboard or more currently a whiteboard.  Many teachers have students use individual whiteboards at their desks, and students will respond to the teacher’s question on their whiteboards so that teachers can quickly see their students’ responses and assess them.  TodaysMeet worked in the same way.  Teachers received information about the Common Core Standards via a 15-20 minute lecture.  After the lecturer finished, I asked the teachers to discuss in their groups what they learned from the lecture.  Then one person’s job in each group was to scribe one sentence from the whole group’s summarization  of what they had learned, and press “say”.

In a classroom, even with children, I would recommend using TodaysMeet over the non-digital tool, whiteboards, for several reasons.  First of all, most people can type faster than they can write.  Secondly, it is not messy, and you don’t have to erase the white board before you move on to the next answer.  Finally, the answers are saved on TodaysMeet board for up to two months – your choice.  One of the things that I hate about white boards is that once the teacher has checked the answers, the students erase their answers, no one can ever retrieve that information.

Besides using TodaysMeet as a white board, we also used it as a “Parking Lot.”  In our office if a workshop participant has a question, they write it on a post-it note, and post the question on a piece of poster paper labeled “Parking Lot”.  Occasionally during the day the trainer goes to the public display and answers any questions that might have arisen during the training.  A time-saving quality of TodaysMeet is that no one has to retype the ideas that are written on post-it notes .  This also eliminates possible typographical errors.  Additionally, the colleague presenter in the training has the option to immediately answer a participant’s question, and the speaker’s presentation is never interrupted.  Most importantly, these questions are saved for up to two months so that any attendee can look up the question and answer.  Another way that we used TodaysMeet was for the presenter’s colleague to simply take notes during a lively classroom discussion.  The students could later access these notes.

I was not a participant, but judging from how many people wrote comments, I would say that our use of TodaysMeet was quite successful.  There were no white boards to clean after the day’s presentation.  The comments were all helpful, and sometimes humorous, but never inappropriate.  Obviously, I would use the online whiteboard, TodaysMeet, again.  Next time I would try it with students.  By the way, I have no vested interest in the company that produced this program.  I just enjoyed using it.

Twitter v TodaysMeet

Preparing for the implementation of the Common Core Standards includes implementing a high degree of technology.  As a professional developer, I need to be able to model the use of how readily available technology can be used in the classroom.  Yesterday my colleague, Mary, and I experimented with whether to use Twitter or TodaysMeet during our next presentation.

According to Rosa Golijan who wrote a blog article about Twitter over a year ago, there were 175 million registered Twitter users, not that all of them used it.  If any of those 175 million folks are like me they might have created an account to try it once.  I did, and then the account just sat there until I forgot my password and eventually even forgot I had opened the account.  I started a new account when I started this website a month ago today.  I am proud to have 37 tweets, follow 42 people, and have 16 followers on the account I use.  In comparison I learned about TodaysMeet last Friday, used it during a phone meeting on Wednesday, and practiced with Mary yesterday.

You can use either of these services as what we call a parking lot during a meeting or professional development to allow attendees to interact with each other and the presenter without verbally disrupting the presentation.  Engaged participants are actively listening.  They usually make comments to people either about the meeting or an idea that they are having at the moment.  When I started going to meetings, we whispered to each other, wrote notes and passed them all over the room, or waited until we had a free minute to talk.  By that time we usually talked about something else.

Technology makes this learning process easier.  With Twitter you do not have to  have an account to follow a meeting.  You go to Twitter.com/search and enter the name of the meeting that the presenter gives preceded by a hash mark (#).

The hash code will take you to a place where you can see all the notes that other people attending the meeting are posting.  You can write a post to make a comment or ask a question.  The presenter might have a co-presenter or a designated person who is following the tweets.  When an important comment or question is made, the designated person may either answer the tweet directly, interrupt the speaker, or even text the speaker that she/he has a question to answer.

TodaysMeet works the same way, but you don’t have to sign up for an account, or even use your real name.   The presenter creates a chat room, and you go to TodaysMeet.com/name of meeting, enter your name and join.

The presenter can press the twitter button at the bottom to invite all tweeters to the meeting.  This also takes people to the TodaysMeet chat room, not to Twitter.

Once you press join, you have entered the room and may start making comments.  You have up to 140 characters, then you press say.

The presenter can use these comments to tailor the meeting to the needs of the participants.  The comments are saved online for up to a month, and anyone can access them, but ultimately they disappear.

Twitter is different.  The comments are saved indefinitely.  Twitter screens out all of the other tweets so that all you see are the comments made during the meeting, otherwise it would be very distracting.  Another major difference with Twitter is that people can access information from other Twitter users’ profiles.  This can be helpful since networking is a great benefit to attending a training or meeting.  It is also nice to know about the presenter as well.

Mary and I decided to try only one of the two options so that we wouldn’t confuse ourselves or our participants.  Which one would you use or would you use both at the same time?  I’ll tell you after next week which one we chose, and how it went.  If you have any advice for us in the meantime, leave a comment.

Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools

Hello Friends,

You have no doubt, seen the recent plea from the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools to immediately contact YOUR member of Congress to urge him/her to sign on as a Co-Sponsor of H.R. 3464, “The Sandra Day O’Connor Civic Learning Act”.  Every member of Congress received a “Dear Colleague” letter from Congressman Mike Honda and Congressman Tom Cole last Friday (attached).  They now need us to get as many members of Congress as possible to contact their office and add their names as co-sponsors.

Below is a copy of the email I sent to my member, Congresswoman Karen Bass.  I hope you can take a few minutes to do the same by email, phone or letter with your own personalized message.  Passage of this bill will ensure a line of federal funding available for competitive grants to support civic education and history education.  It’s probably the only hope we have at this time, to secure any federal funding at all for social studies education.  Other attachments for your review include a draft of the Bill, Q & A about the Bill, Suggestions for Contacting your Member of Congress, and a statement from Sandra Day O’Connor.

Thank you for your time and attention,

Michelle

Dear Mr. Williams,

Last month, my colleague Diane Hart and I met with you in your Washington D.C. office representing the National Council for the Social Studies.  We talked to you about the marginalization of the social studies in our nation’s schools and the need to support and promote social studies and civic education in particular.  We shared information with you about H.R. 3464, the Sandra Day O’Connor Civic Learning Act.

You explained that Congresswoman Bass’ priority is assist foster care children.  As educators, we thoroughly understand the need to address this vital issue.  We also believe that in order for all our citizens to be able to advocate for important issues such as this, they must be equipped with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to be engaged citizens in our democracy.  The Sandra Day O’Connor Act will help ensure that all our young people be prepared to be active members of our democracy.

This legislation would establish a competitive grant program for Civic Learning within the US Department of Education and would require the collection and public release of state level data from the NAEP assessments in Civics and History.

As a constituent of Congresswoman Bass and, as her appointee to the California Curriculum Commission when she served as the California Speaker of the Assembly, I strongly urge her to join Congressman Mike Honda and Congressman Tom Cole as a co-sponsor of H.R. 3464.  A copy of the “Dear Colleague” letter sent to your office is attached.

I am available to answer any questions you may have and ask that you please pass this email along to the Congresswoman.

Thank you in advance for your consideration,

Michelle Herczog

3914 Bentley Avenue

Culver City, CA 90232

How to get more page views for your blog

tchistorygal:

I am new at blogging. Writing the blog is the easy part, and that takes hours if you are adding pictures. I read this article several times, followed the directions, followed links, did more stuff, then checked my stats. My friends email me, respond on Facebook, or tell me in person. This is an exciting adventure.

Originally posted on WordPress.com News:

This is a guest post by Kristina Chang, Evan Moore, Tony Xu, and Omer Rabin; students at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

“What makes a blog popular? What drives page views?” These are the questions that we’ve been trying to answer over the last few weeks. We were on a mission to dig into the data and analyze the strongest parameters that influence the flow of visitors to WordPress.com blogs.

Out of the 30+ million blogs on WordPress.com, we randomly selected a sample of almost 100,000 blogs to perform a regression analysis. Here are our findings, together with a few recommendations. We hope that this provides some new information, and kudos to you in case you’ve already incorporated these tips into your blog – the data suggests that you’re on the right track. Keep it up!

Make your blog easy to follow – It almost sounds obvious, but the…

View original 323 more words

Dropbox v Google Docs

Not all technology eliminates frustration and irritation from my life, but for the most part these two applications do.  Although I use Google Docs almost daily, I should be a Dropbox salesperson.  For now, I’ll keep my day job, because I’m afraid that I couldn’t live for very long on my commission checks since both of these products are free.

I could be a Dropbox salesperson.

I often work on large projects with several collaborators, and the way I write, the projects usually need lots of edits.  Before Dropbox I used to email myself work to do at home.  I was thrilled that I could do that!  I would write or edit, then email it back to work, where my secretary/editor would edit.  We had so many copies in our computers that we got lost in the stacks of virtual files.  We created new names, and new files to keep them all straight.  One time the server at the office went down, and when it came back up again there was a new P Drive.  What no one knew was that for some reason I was still accessing the old P Drive, and my secretary was editing on the new P Drive.  Oddly we didn’t catch on to that fact for days.  Hopefully this doesn’t even sound vaguely familiar to you because I guarantee it was frustrating.

Even simple games take time to develop.

Dropbox and Google both store documents on the web and have different benefits, but personally I prefer Dropbox for most uses because of the following reasons.

1)  Dropbox uses whatever software you are using.  I use Microsoft products, and Dropbox stores all my documents as Word docx.  Google has good products, but they do not have all of the flexibility that I have spent years learning in Microsoft.

2)  Most people say they receive and can open up a document that I send them from Dropbox.  I have had people complain that they couldn’t open a Google Doc.  That may not be the problem with Google Doc, but with me the techy-less wonder, or even possibly the techy-less friend to whom I am sending a link.

3)  I can open up Dropbox without even being on the Internet, do my work, and as soon as I turn on the internet, the work syncs to the cyber cloud.  You have to log in to use Google Docs, and on my pokey computer, that can take more time that I want to spend.  I’m not in the twitch generation, but I have become  accustomed to instant.

4)  This makes me happy.  Everyone with whom I have shared a Dropbox folder gets a little message every time I make a change on a document.  People say, “I got lots of notifications that documents have been changed.  You must work REALLY hard.”  Did you hear that boss?   Actually I’m never satisfied with what I write, but they might also be seeing all my secretary’s  or one of my collaborator’s hard work instead.  I just smile, the project is active!

" 9 files have been synced."

5)  Using Dropbox you don’t create multiple versions of documents that get in your way all the time.  All of the revisions are saved, but you have to click on a tab to locate them, so they are not in your face all the time.  With Google I seem to end up with revisions with the same name as the original documents.  It doesn’t take much to confuse me.

6)  Another problem I have with Google and other cloud-only applications I blame on my internet provider.  Rural America where I live is internet-challenged, and the monopoly service I use puts the brakes on the internet speed when I have loaded too many megabytes of information during a 24 hour period.   When I am using Google Docs and that happens, I  type a few words, and wait for Google to catch up with me.  Sometimes Google completely has left out part of what I typed.  That was so irritating that I quit composing in Google, and did my work offline, and then uploaded it to Google later.   I have not had that happen since I learned to manage my download bytes, but trust comes back slowly so I still do most of my writing on Dropbox offline for that reason.

7)  Finally, there doesn’t seem to be a size limit on the document that can be uploaded to Dropbox, but I have exceeded my megabyte limit on Google when uploading a document containing several pictures.

However, in spite of my love for Dropbox, there are some things that Google does better.

1) For example, if you are collaborating in real-time, you can see the edits instantly, and you can chat as you write.  So it’s like you are thinking out loud as you write.  You can have several people online all doing the editing and chatting at the same time.  Confusing, but doable.  With Dropbox the changes are not visible until you save and sync your document.  Even then, your collaborator is still seeing the old document, until they close, and reopen it.  This is not convenient when you are working in real-time together, even when you are all in the same room.

2)  I had an another experience in which several of us were taking notes on an agenda created in a joint Dropbox folder.  My notes wrote over someone else’s notes, and his were gone, and all Dropbox had to say about it was “Marsha’s corrupted copy”  Both of us were red in the face that time.  Mine was embarrassed.

3)  I have nearly run out of space with Dropbox.  If you get your friends to use Dropbox you earn more space.  I like that.  If you want to open up another Dropbox account with a different email account, you get more space, but you don’t have the same convenience as you do with your primary account that is downloaded to all your computers.  You have to go online to Dropbox.com and log in with a different email account, and that is a hassle.  I think it is better to have all your files in one account and bite the bullet to buy more space than to have all your files spread over different accounts.  Saving space by using multiple accounts is bad when you forget in which account you stored the minutes to the meeting,  and the meeting just started, and it’s time to read the minutes.   I have never run out of space with Google Docs.

When I was a middle school student, my mother learned to drive just so she could bring me the homework I forgot to take to school.  At least that’s what I thought at the time.   Moms of the”igeneration” will never understand that chore.  Homework is accessible from everywhere and even the dog can’t eat it.  Thank you technological cyber-geniuses.  That’s one less problem for moms in the 2012 world.

Evernote

Meetings R Marsha
For sure meetings and training are a huge part of my job and many of my off hours as well. So what do YOU do during meetings? As a presenter, it used to annoy me when administrators and teachers were all checking their email or surfing the net while I was presenting. Now the constant use of technology fits almost seamlessly into every meeting.  Nobody can be 100% engaged during 6-8 hours of continual meetings, no matter how amazing the speaker is.  A presenter who intersperses activities with lecture makes the day go faster, but when you want to try the strategy in your classroom, you sometimes forget steps because you were so busy doing them.

For me Evernote solves my major meeting problems.

1. Most importantly, Evernote syncs to the cloud out there somewhere, so even if I forget my iPad or my computer, I always have my phone, and voila, there are my notes.

2. If you press the record button you can capture not just the speaker, but the ambiance. This is helpful if you happen to be the recording secretary of an organization, and you didn’t catch a name or an important detail that you needed for the minutes.

3. You can add photos, so you actually remember people after they are gone.

4. Since Evernote is recording for you, you can surf the net and check out to see if the speaker’s data is accurate, order the books they recommended for your iPad, or go to their website and see how well maintained it is. You get the idea.

5. If you are attending a working, collaborative meeting, you can all be doing research, talking, writing and recording at the same time. This is productive, but hard to follow. One member of the group may drop out of the conversation for a few minutes and come back with the start of a power point for your next presentation based on what is going on during the conversation, and if they miss anything it’s recorded on Evernote.

6. If you are ADHD like I am, you can survive meetings with a smile. You can even get up out of your seat, get coffee, exercise your tired body, and you won’t miss a word. Of course you do have to listen to it later so you can make sense of your notes.

As the Common Core Standards come closer to implementation, teachers will be having students use more technology in the classroom. We have a short time to practice how to use the many, many applications that are available. We have to decide which ones work best for what we want the students to do, and for what we want to do.

Someone asked me if my computer was typing out all the notes for me. Evernote doesn’t do the typing. You are still the master of what goes down in print, so you can interpret as you listen. This is one technology that I have found immeasurably helpful in both my work and after hours.

Thanks to Dr. Guadalupe Solis for the vision to train all instructional consultants in technology tools so necessary for  21st century schools.  Thanks to Steve Woods at Tulare County Office of Education for patiently training us in this technology.