Nearest Book Meme

After having this pop up twice in my google reader first by Crucial Thought (Chris Craft) and then by Langwitches (Silvia Tolisano), I couldn’t resist ……………

You can only make rain using 1/60 sec.

(Courtesy of Understanding Shutter Speed by Bryan Peterson)

raindrops on cab window

* Get the book nearest to you. Right now.
* Go to page 56.
* Find the 5th sentence.
* Write this sentence – either here or on your blog.
* Copy these instructions as commentary of your sentence.
* Don’t look for your favorite book or your coolest but really the nearest.

Image attribution: dgphilli

Blog Action Day – Poverty

Today is Blog Action Day – a day where thousands of bloggers around the world focus upon and highlight issues around one topic – poverty.

Blog Action Day 2008 - Poverty

I’ve always been a mix of a visual and aural learner = my creative side and musical side with a touch of kinesthetic woven into the mix.  Perhaps that way The Digital Photography School‘s Post entitled “17 images of Poverty” really struck a cord with me tonight.

What does poverty look like?  You might be surprised.  I know I was and then again I wasn’t.  Poverty doesn’t care what you look like, where you come from and what nationality you are.  Poverty could look like anyone.  Please take a look if you have the time.

Blogger in Middle Earth‘s post gives some really practical tips on what you can do to make a difference towards easing the grip of poverty.  If we all did one thing from that list imagine the difference it has the potential to make.

I find myself asking – what will I do?  I’m not sure – but I know that I need to do something.  Why?  Not because I feel guilty, or because I feel I should but because I can.

What will you do?

Commenting Self-Audit – Day 1

How often do you comment on other blogs during a typical week?
Probably once a week. Most of the time someone’s already made a comment similar to the one I’d like to make, so I tend not to repeat it by adding my comment.

Do you track your blog comments? How? What do you do with your tracking?
Not often – sometimes I get email notifications if I’m particularly interested in a conversation. Now because of the 31-day Comment Challenge, I’m using coComment, (which I actually signed up for ages ago, but never got round to doing anything more with it ….) and right now I’m just watching how it works.

Do you tend to comment at the same blogs or do you try to comment on at least one new blog per week?
I read certain blogs religiously, then other blogs if I have time – so I tend to comment on the same blogs. I do, however, comment on a new blogger’s blog if someone in my twitter network says “new blogger – please support”
Gina Trapani’s Guide to Blog Comments My Self-Review

Stay on topic.
I definitely do this. Comments are short.

Contribute new information to the discussion.
Not something I do all the time and definitely an area I could improve in and want to improve as part of this challenge. As I said above, if someone’s already said what I’m thinking – I don’t usually leave a comment – unless it’s something I feel strongly about.

Don’t comment for the sake of commenting.
Not guilty – I’m too busy reading all the posts in my reader to do this one!!

Know when to comment and when to e-mail.
Yes, I agree with this one – and I appreciate those people who read my blog that know it too. (It’s kinda like the way I treat twitter – somethings are not necessary for every man and his dog to read ………. )

Remember that nobody likes a know-it-all.
I certainly do not know it all, not even close. My mother always told me to treat others as I would like to be treat and this definitely applies to what you put in writing too.

Make the tone of your message clear.
Since my comments are relatively short – (aka: lacking substance 😉 …….. ) my message is usually one of encouragement or agreement.

Own your comment.
Always. I have never made an anonymous comment – again, something my very wise mother taught me – “if you’re going to say it – own it”

Be succinct.
Short comments usually are! I will keep this in mind though, as I begin to work on improving the substance of my comments.

Cite your sources with links or inline quoting.
Already a habit – comes from all those B.Ed assignments I think!!

Be courteous.
Thanks Mum, another thing you’ve already taught me well.

Don’t post when you’re angry, upset, drunk or emotional.
Never done this ….. especially the drunk one – I can’t read when I’ve drunk too much! Plus I don’t think I’ve ever been that incensed at a blog post ……. yet ………

Do not feed or tease the trolls.
I watched a couple of conversations when this happens – and I don’t like it.


This Self-Audit has definitely highlighted a couple of areas for me. The lack of substance to my comments was something that I was aware of already, but didn’t quite know how to move beyond it. I’m hoping that, by taking part in this 31-day comment challenge, this area in particular will improve.

I’m also looking forward to reading some new blogs and taking on the challenge of keeping to Gina’s guide to blog commenting.
And if you are part of The Comment Challenge remember to add the ” comment08 ” tag to your post.

In Support of Al Upton

No doubt most of you are aware of what is going on with Al Upton and the Mini Legends – so I’m not going to rehash the story, just point you in the direction of strategically placed hyperlinks. Vicki Davis writes a great explanation post about her thoughts on this issue, sadly, in place of her Funday Monday post.  Graham Wegner points out the ramifications for his project and Clarence Fisher questions is blogging dangerous and has blogging become a political act??

Thanks to Miguel Guhlin for making this available ……


….. so that we can show our support for Al and his Mini-Legends and hope that the “Powers that Be” allow blogging to continue for these spectacular 8 and 9 year olds and their fabulous teacher.

No Walls

I had to laugh ……. because isn’t this always the way?  Just days, and I mean just days, after finding a creative commons image to represent my passion for a classroom without walls for the Miguel Guhlin’s Passion Quilt Meme ……… the perfect photo in my very own backyard presented itself! Our very own classroom with out walls – literally! So I just had to share!

no walls

This is one of four classrooms in our Learning Team, currently undergoing complete renovation. Renovation includes the replacement of windows, airconditioning, the adding of teacher office space, doors that open out onto the astro turf and field as well as the installation of an Interactive Whiteboard. When the fourth classroom is complete we will have eight classrooms out of 18 with IWBs! Exciting stuff!

Meme Passion Quilt

The lovely Sylvia T, from Langwitches, tagged me for this new meme, ” Passion Quilt” created by Miguel Guhlin. I am to find or create an image that captures what I am most passionate for kids to learn about.

Hole in the Wall

Our Classroom Has No Walls.
This is what I am the most passionate about.  I want to show and model to the students that pass through my class each year, that we don’t have any walls to our classroom.  Our learning just don’t come from the books on our shelves, or from the brain of the teacher, or from the many computer screens dotted around our classroom.  We are connected to and by people from all walks of life, in all parts of the world.

3 Simple Meme Rules:

  • Post a picture from a source like FlickrCC or Flickr Creative Commons or make/take your own that captures what YOU are most passionate about for kids to learn about…and give your picture a short title.
  • Title your blog post “Meme: Passion Quilt” and link back to this blog entry.
  • Include links to 5 folks in your professional learning network or whom you follow on Twitter/Pownce.

I would like to know what YOU are passionate about:

Kim Cofino from Always Learning
Allanah K from Life is Not a Race to be Finished
Simon Evans  from Educating the Dragon
Sue from And Another Thing
Claudia from ELT notes

Photo Attribution: Image: ‘A way to get through the wall‘