Thursday, April 16, 2009

Old School Supplies

Someone at CR 2.0 wanted a list of school supplies from back in the day. I started school in 1954 and compiled a list of this and that--can you think of any other school supplies we used? Cross post on A Not So Different Place

1. Big Chief or Alladin Tablets
2. Crayon 16 pack (?) in early grades there were 8 colors, they were big and fat with one flat side
3. Big Husky wooden pencils with real lead
4. Pink Pet erasers
5. Cartridge pens, (fountain pen with nub; bought replacable cartridges)
6. PeeChee folders
7. 3 ring notebooks blue canvas cover w/ color-coded dividers; notebook paper with reinforcements (liitle white canvas circles)
8. purple memeographed handouts (they smelled)
9. metal lunch boxes and thermos' with glass liners (always got broken!)
10.In junior high and high school all textbooks had to be covered with brown paper
11. no backpacks--you just stacked up you stuff and carried the stack either in front of you or if you were very clever on your hip!
12. Sliderules, if you took advance math
13. Chalkboards and chalk
14. Black and white essay books for tests
15. LePage Glue--glass bottle with ruber top, top has a slit in it and you press the top on the paper and the glue came out or white glue (did it have a brush or a paddle) that would harden into a lump and there was always a kid who would eat it.
16. We put all our pencils and stuff in a cigar box.
17. This was the same time as white soxes, brown tie up shoes, petticoats, twin sets, girls never wore pants, Ah those were the days!! I'll add more as I think of more during this trip down memory lane.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Cigar Box Project

One of the things I like about this blog is it gives me a place to dump the stuff that amazes me! One such curriculum, The Cigar Box Project, created by Neil Stephenson is brilliant. (see left hand column) Middle school students study history and graphic design throughout the year by deconstructing 'old' cigar boxes. As the students study Canadian history they do 5 panels (four sides and the top) and at the end of the year they build the box to display their work. I love this project!!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Great Chicago Fire

Think of any event in history and you can probably find a website dedicated to that event. A good example is the website commemorating The Great Chicago Fire.

Welcome to The Great Chicago Fire and the Web of Memory, an online exhibition produced by the Chicago Historical Society and Academic Technologies of Northwestern University to mark the 125th anniversary of one of the most famous events in American history, as well as the most formative event in the history of Chicago. Read more....
At the site you can find the history of the event, including photos and personal narratives in the form of essays.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Photosynth: Inauguration

I was listening to either CNN or MSNBC and the guy mentioned a new technology so I glanced up from laptop and he was demonstrating Photosynth. At first glance I thought it was a panorama maker---but wow! From the site:

Photosynths constitute an entirely new visual medium. Photosynth analyzes each photo for similarities to the others, and uses that data to build a model of where the photos were taken. It then re-creates the environment and uses that as a canvas on which to display the photos.

The news channel wants everybody who goes to the Inauguration to snap a photo when Obama raises his hand to be sworn in and upload it to the channels Photosynth. Check it out.

Image from: LiveLabs

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Do History

My love of primary source documents started innocently enough about 10 years ago. I went to a Classroom Connect Conference in California--my first. I signed up for a workshop presented by Jamie McKenzie, I don't remember what the workshop was about but I remember the activity that started my love of primary sources. He showed us this picture of the Coal Breaker Boys (from LOC) and said "Discuss who the leader is in this group". I thought to myself "Wow!"

I used to present at computer conferences, NECC and around my county and state. Designing my favorite workshop, "Using Primary Sources in the Classroom, I ran across one of most phenomenal resources I had ever seen (and may ever see). The website is called Do History, it tells the story of midwife Martha Ballard (1800s) through her diary. From the site:

DoHistory invites you to explore the process of piecing together the lives of ordinary people in the past. It is an experimental, interactive case study based on the research that went into the book and film A Midwife's Tale, which were both based upon the remarkable 200 year old diary of midwife/healer Martha Ballard. Although DoHistory is centered on the life of Martha Ballard, you can learn basic skills and techniques for interpreting fragments that survive from any period in history. We hope that many people will be inspired by Martha Ballard's story to do original research on other "ordinary" people from the past.

You can actually read and analyse the original diary with really snappy decoding tools. The site was developed through a grant, I'd hoped it was only the beginning of more "Do History" projects but alas it was a one and only. Now that's a project which can't be done with a Web 2.0 tool--have you ever seen anything like it? I'll be sharing some other great sites in the next few weeks.

Using Pictures To Inspire Writing

As I mentioned in the previous post I really like the idea of using images to inspire thinking, reflection, discussion and creativity. Have you seen this? PicLits "is a creative writing site that matches beautiful images with carefully selected keywords in order to inspire you. The object is to put the right words in the right place and the right order to capture the essence, story, and meaning of the picture". How cool is that?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Pictures Used in Math

Dan Meyer ponders the perfect math "book" in his blog post The Math Textbook I Would Buy. He wants a series of images on CD that would re-enforce certain math concepts.

One of the commentors mentioned Problem Pictures, you know how much I like using photos, especially old ones. There are some problem pictures on the web but it looks like you'd need to buy the CD to get the full effect of how to use them. Here's a sample problem from the website:

Pile of oranges
How many oranges are here?

A shopkeeper builds a similar pile of oranges but with one extra layer.
How many oranges would this have?

What size of pile could you build with a box of 200 oranges?

Another commentor mentioned Learning in Motion. I love the idea of teaching math using real world examples, wonder if it helps cement the ideas?