Monthly Archives: December 2012

Christmas Morning Alchemy


As Christmas mornings have changed though the years…barely dawn squealing kids, almost noon sleepers, guests in spare rooms, tropical breezes with my husband’s family, or wintery chills with mine, at home or away. One thing stays the same.

The absolute stillness of Christmas morning.

It’s a time to quiet and feel the gap between this Christmas and the one last year.  The most trying relationships and situations force the most growth. That is where gratitude lives in me. The urge to push them away is strong, but to use those situations as an alchemist, that is an art… and for me, that is where real gifts lie.

24 Multimedia Tools That Support The Common Core

via @edudemic

The Common Core identifies a spiraling set of skills necessary to prepare students for success in school and beyond. The standards are designed to teach students how to think. They call for increased comprehension combined with the ability to clearly express learning through active participation in the learning process.

Technology is a powerful tool for learning that can be used effectively to support the Common Core and help students develop the skills necessary for success. Students can develop transferable knowledge and skills as they engage in learning experiences that require them to construct knowledge.

Read whole article here

This is one part of a three part model. Click here to see explanation.

Where in the World Will You Go Next with PBL? | Edutopia

via Edutopia

Previously in this series on going deeper with project-based learning, we’ve explored the importance of teacher reflection in teacher reflection in PBL(3), considered how to plan interdisciplinary projects(4), and talked about technology integration strategies(5). All offer practical ways to extend the benefits of PBL.

Today, let’s think about taking project-based learning beyond your classroom and connecting you and your students with the wider world.

Read more!

Where in the World Will You Go Next with PBL? | Edutopia.

The Best Places to Raise Kids 2013


Article from Bloomberg Businessweek

Best Place to Raise Kids in Illinois: Geneva
Population: 21,550
GreatSchools city score: 10
Median family income: $104,848
Housing costs as a percentage of income: 22.6%
County unemployment rate: 7.8%
Nearby city: Chicago

This suburb on the outskirts of Chicagoland has many charms. The Fox River Trail allows kids and parents to bike along the waterfront, and the Kane County Cougars, affiliated with the Cubs, play minor league ball at Fifth Third Bank (FITB) Ballpark. Geneva also boasts well-maintained homes with diverse architectural styles, built by early settlers from New England.

Link to the article found here


Imagination Foundation- Caine’s Arcade part 2

A Vimeo Staff Pick!



There’s No Lesson Plan for Tragedy. Teachers, you know what to do.

There’s No Lesson Plan for Tragedy. Teachers, you know what to do.

Can Empathy be Taught in School? Maybe if we look at it differently.

Funds Monitors

I have struggled with this question and with the packaged programs there are to try to do that. Can empathy be taught through lessons, vignettes, and role play? I’m not so sure….but after watching the RSA Animate-The Power of Outrospection and then reading Ben Weinlick’s post on Empathy in Creativity and Design Thinking, I really DO think it can be taught. But not in the way we are typically doing it.

During a Project Based Learning unit, Natural Disasters and Us, we encountered a real and devastating natural disaster. Hurricane Sandy hit our partners’ school in Long Island. We were able to hear their firsthand accounts of the sorrow it brought. My students were moved by it, and we organized a fund drive by researching the needs, writing arguments for different ideas, voting on an organization to help, creating task groups, and then acting to help. So far after one week, my class of 22 kids has collected $1,428.00.

It’s not about the money…it’s about the empathy. It’s about actually taking the time to feel, taking the time to understand, and to then authentically hold the power to act. THAT is what empathy is. And yes, I do think we can do lots more to bring that kind of empathetic learning into our classrooms. That kind of empathy can change the course of our world.