Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What's Your Favorite Tech?

One of your classmates posted a reply on this blog about how schools should be using more technology. Basically, this is what he wrote:

"I would make school more interesting. I would put more technology into it."

Thus, I am wondering what some of your suggestions are.

Here are some questions I have:

  • What technology tools do you think schools should have? 
  • Should schools give each student a computer, be it a laptop, tablet, iPad, Chromebook?
  • Should schools allow students to bring their own digital devices to school? If so, what about those students who don't have a digital device?
  • Should schools allow cell phones in school? Why or why not?
  • What kinds of digital tools do you think students should be using, such as blogging, creating videos, or using specific apps that you can recommend?
  • At your school, what technology are you using in your classes that students enjoy?
  • What benefits do you see to using technology tools in school or at home to create projects for school?

Your voice counts, so please share your thoughts. Thanks.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

So Why Have a Blog?

I've read and seen lots about the value of having a blog, but wonder what you think now that you've been keeping one this year. Here are some questions to consider when you reply:

  • What are the advantages of having a blog?
  • What were some of your favorite blog posts that you wrote this year and why?
  • Which blog post of yours got the most replies, and why do you think this happened?
  • Do you think it is a good idea for people outside of your class to read your blog and comment? Why or why not?
  • What recommendations would you give to teachers who are considering having their students keep a blog?
I found this image on Twitter today in which an educator offers his idea about blogging. You don't have to agree, but wanted to post it as one person's interpretation of blogging.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

So You'Ve Heard of the Kid President, But Do You Know the Real Story About Him?

In case you don't, be sure to watch the video in full. Maybe, you want to watch it with your whole class and discuss. Not to spoil the surprise, I won't say more, but please leave comments after you watch the video to let me know what you think. Thanks.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

See Some Pictures of Beautiful New England Towns

By now,  you know I live in New England. As winter turns to spring, and the snow hopefully evaporates, lots of visitors flock to New England.

I know you can't easily get here from Iowa, so thought I would direct you to a post with lots of photos of famous places in New England known for their scenic beauty.

Just check this link to get to the post, and let me know what you think.

24 Small New England Towns--each worth exploring, each beautiful in its own way.

I am also including some photos from the post to entice you to learn more about New England towns by checking the post:  24 Small New England Towns

Thursday, March 6, 2014

How Would You Change School?

cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo by Michael Buist:

Seeking your thoughts on these questions about changing our culture of school. Your opinion counts.

  • How would you change schools? 
  • Would you go to school if you did not have to? 
  • What would you do it you were allowed to stay home from school?
  • If aliens from another planet visited your town, how would you explain to them what school is? Would you want the aliens to attend school with you? Why or why not?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Let's Talk Sports

I'll start first, beginning with sports I participated in and watched as a kid. 

Then, I will speak about sports I got into later on.

1. Sports as a Kid

A. Sports I Participated In

  • Water Sports
I grew up on an island, so boating, water skiing, and surfing were big sports.

I had to learn how to swim before I could walk because I lived across the street from the beach. Swimming was a required sport once I started school. I tried surfing, but was better at water-skiing, and my father was big into boats, so I learned to sail, and we also did lots of water-skiing off the back of our motor boats.

My niece took this picture on our beach. It's winter, so there's not much surfing, but because
biking and the beach were a big part of my childhood, decided to include the photo. Plus, I think it's an interesting photo.
  • Sports Off the Beach
Biking was a big time sport. We biked all over the island, and we did not hurry to get driver's licenses because we could get to most anywhere by bike. I also played lots of tennis, and my father encouraged me in this sport. I guess other than tennis, biking, swimming, and tennis, I did not do many sports as a kid, and now I realize most of these were not team sports. We had a great ice skating rink near the port side of the island, and when I was in the 8th grade, I went several times  a week to the rink. I started to get good at figure skating, but never kept up with it when I got into high school and got busy with other activities.

B. Sports I Watched

My small island has lots of rough waves and is right off the Atlantic Ocean. It's a barrier island, which is a small island that blocks a larger island. So we face the Atlantic directly on, with no protection.

Every day, surfers are on the beach, riding the waves. One of the most famous surfing competitions worldwide came to my hometown: QuickSilver. You can find information about the event when it came to my hometown here: "Quicksilver: Pro New." It is worth clicking just to see the surfing champ from my town.

Surfing for all of us was a big spectator sport. As kids, we would go to the beach any time and watch the surfers. They were amazing, and they still are.

Basketball and football were the biggest sports in high school. When I was a junior in high school, I dated the captain of the basketball team, so went to all the games.  Football was a seasonal sport, in the fall, and lots of people liked to show up for the games and to enjoy the outdoors. Lacrosse was a big sport in the spring, probably more so than baseball, but baseball was also popular. Several big professional baseball teams were close by, and so we had both Mets and Yankee fans, and going to games was a big deal.

In college, I got more into soccer. My boyfriend in college was captain of the soccer team. It is only now that I realize the guys I dated in both high school and college were captains of their teams. This was not planned. It just worked out that way.

2. Sports I Do Now

A. Sports I Participate In Now

I am big into running and have completed five marathons, including the New York City Marathon.

One of the hardest things about the NYC marathon is the number of runners, which exceeds 30,00
Photo credit:

I also completed one mini triathlon and came in first in my category. Before I started running, I was swimming two miles three times a week, and biking was an easy sport, so doing a triathlon was the next big step. Now, I just enjoy running for relaxation.

Given I now live in New England, it is only natural that I ski. We have lots of ski resorts. I did not get into this sport seriously until I went out West to the Rockies, but came back East as a big fan of the sport. Unfortunately, our ski conditions are packed powder instead of the real powder out West, but still the slopes are advanced, and there are lots of moguls.

Occasionally, I play tennis, but not in a competitive sense. I still like to water ski and sail, but don't get a chance to do these as often as I did as a kid because I no longer live right across the street from the ocean, and my family no longer owns boats. However, when I travel, I like to sail, as well as snorkel. And beaches are really not that far from where I live. The Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Maine coastlines are great for swimming and water sports, and have great beaches.

B. Sports I Watch Now

Soccer is a big sport in New England, and I watch lots of games. Several of my relatives are on teams so I go to their games,

This is my all-time favorite player. He retired this year--do you know who it is?
I also enjoy going to national baseball games and spend lots of time at Yankee Stadium. We have a season's pass, and our seats are just a few rows behind home plate. I don't enjoy watching baseball on television, but do watch basketball on television. The major university in my state, The University of Connecticut, is known for its men's and women's teams. We are the Connecticut Huskies, and if you follow college basketball, you have probably heard of the teams.

I live near an ice skating rink where some of the Olympic skaters train. Sometimes, I go to the rink to watch the skaters and ice hockey.

cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) photo by Razvan Marescu: http:/

What Sports Do You Do, and What Sports Do You Like to Watch? 

Or If You're Not Into Sports, Why Not?

I know from your blog posts many of you play a sport, but others have not mentioned doing so, but maybe you enjoy watching a sport. What sports do you play, which do you watch, and which sports do you wish you did? If you don't do sports and are not a fan, why not? Do you think sports are a waste of time? Do you consider activities such as dance and gymnastics sports? People talk about sports a lot, but maybe you find the talk boring. Some people memorize sports statistics. Do you think there is a point in knowing sport statistics, facts, and trivia? Do you think Americans are obsessed with sports? Do you think football is dangerous, and should be banned in high schools because of the risk of serious head injuries? What about other sports? Are they too risky, or do you enjoy the thrill?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

What's Your Favorite Season?

I live in New England, where we have four distinct seasons, weather-wise. I think you do, too. What are the seasons like where you live in Iowa?

To give you an idea of the seasons here in New England, I am including some photos I have taken during each of the seasons.

I am starting with winter. As you can see we get lots of snow.

This is a picture from my back deck showing the snow as I was shoveling it off. Originally, the snow was as high as the top of the deck railing. We got 3 feet in this storm

New England is famous for its fall foliage. People come from all over the world to see it. Here are some pictures I took near my house this fall as the foliage was changing.

Many people like when spring comes because it means the end of the rough winter. The first signs of spring are the bulbs popping out.

These are from my front yard, and the photos sure are more colorful than the ones of snow on the back deck.

Summer is a time to be outside. Here where I live in Connecticut, which is between Massachusetts and New York, baseball is a big summer pastime. Because of where we are located, the state is split between the Boston Red Sox fans and the New York Yankees. Most of my friends are Red Sox fans, and many originally came from the Boston area. My husband is a big Yankee fan, and he has a season pass, with seats just 18 rows behind home plate. I am also including a photo of Mario Rivera, known as Mo, for short. As you might know, he retired this year after playing with the Yanks for many years, and he is known as one of the best pitchers of all times. I got to see him pitch at the second to last game of his career.

I should add about summer that a good part of New England is on the Atlantic Ocean coast. People here like to go to Cape Cod in Massachusetts or to the Maine or Rhode Island coasts. The ocean in Maine is known for being cold in the summer. Maine is one of the most northern states in the US. The water on Cape Cod is much warmer.

So what is your favorite season, and how do you like to spend it? Do you do outdoor sports? Do you travel during the summer or other times of the year to enjoy seasonal sports?