Klingenstein “Pearls”


Most of you guys know that in june I attended the Klingenstein Summer Institute for new teachers.  Here are a few “Pearls” of wisdom:

  • Don’t think of it as “change” – it is really just continuous improvement.
  • “When everything is graded, when can [students] fail?” – Kelley Nicholson Flynn, science leader teacher
  • Does it require “the power of the group?” – Josh Pretzer, science leader teacher – when referring to whether or not to assign collaborative work.
  • Growth mindset: try, fail, learn.
  • 1% change: Don’t try to change everything at once – Gary Giberson, founder of Sustainable Fare, Lawrenceville’s dining services.
  • All my best assignments meet Stipek’s 5 dimensions of motivation:
    1. need for sense of competency
    2. need for sense of self-determination
    3. need for interpersonal connection
    4. need for sense of purpose, meaning, or relevance
    5. interest
  • “Every idea I’ve had has been improved by others” – Pearl Rock Kane, co-founder and school leadership visionary
Many of these probably don’t make complete sense without context, but I’d be more than happy to buy you a cup of coffee and elaborate!

Friday, August 5th….Leadership Day 2011

I’m participating in this… basically, it is a call to bloggers to post on August 5th about what effective technology education looks like: successes, wants, needs, resources, ideas, etc.  I’m continually impressed by what our kids do with technology, the risks teachers take to let them explore, and the trust from parents and administrators. I’m still formulating what I will write about, but most of all I’m looking forward to seeing what all the other bloggers write!

Google Docs: Series

With this post I’ll begin a series on the main apps in Google Docs:

  • docs homepage,
  • documents,
  • spreadsheets,
  • forms, and
  • presentations.

Hopefully this will help you integrate these amazing tools into your classroom in a way that works for you. As always, I love to hear what you (and your students) have discovered, so if you have additions to what I’ve written or other uses/shortcuts/tips, please add comments below!

In this first post, I thought I’d put some quick tips that you may or may not know in navigating the google app world:

1. Logging in. Do you always type in go.oes.edu? Yes, this will get you there, but you can also make an iGoogle page where you have your docs list, calendar, and anything else you’d like. You can customize your gadgets, so that when you open your browser, it’s one click to your calendar or one click to your most recent docs. You can also bookmark the docs homepage, but you probably want to organize your bookmarks using the bookmark manager.

2. New Google Navigation. Did you notice that it is black now?  Me too. Other than that it doesn’t seem very different. Click on the “more” tab and you can find groups, which might be useful, but if you go to “even more” there is a HUGE list. Check out:

    • iGoogle (hint hint)
    • Talk
    • Translate
    • Reader (I use this everyday)
    • Labs (seriously cool stuff like undo sent emails, flair for calendar events, dim events)

3. Zoom. Does all the text in your browser look really small?  Or everything is really big?

    • Zoom in: Command +
    • Zoom out: Command –
Hopefully this series will help you integrate these amazing tools into your classroom in a way that works for you.
As always, I love to hear what you (and your students) have discovered, so if you have additions to what I’ve written or other uses/shortcuts/tips, please add comments below!

Welcome Parents!

Here are some links that you might find useful:


  • OES internal website for parents


  • choose your issue (Cell phones, sexting, blogging, webcams, social networking, etc.) then you can watch the video or read an article.
  • Mary Heston, WiredMom: “technology is a part of our kids lives and navigating these technologies will be an important part of their success in school and beyond.”
  • Good source for articles about online safety.

Random stuff

Using the web can feel like trying to drink from a fire hose, so I’ll try to share a few droplets here.

Take what is helpful for you and your teaching, ignore what isn’t!

TED: Technology, Entertainment, and Design

  • What it is: ~20 minute videos on a variety of innovative topics from using games in education (how we will save the world) to David Brooks about emotion and logic (“people learn from people they love”) to William Kamkwamba harnessing the wind in Tanzania (“To all those struggling with your dreams … trust yourself, and believe”)
  • How it could be used: begin a class discussion with students, have students analyze what makes a good presentation, have students MAKE THEIR OWN and post to YouTube (see the TEDxClassroomProject)

Rubistar: making rubrics made easy

  • What it is: resource of customizable rubrics. You select the type of project (ex. science fair project) then the components you want (introduction, conclusion) and it AUTOFILLS the criteria.
  • How it could be used: quickly build a rubric for any project
Google Maps: beyond just finding your house
  • What it is: maps of anywhere in the world; zoomable and customizable (find your best bike route)
  • How it could be used: have students create maps of battle sites or stories and share them with each other
  • Extra resource: Use Richard Byrne’s free guide


Admittedly, when I first saw the iGoogle page, I wasn’t convinced.  But now I am. Here’s why:

1) Everything I want is 2 clicks away

2) It is independent of the machine

3) Personalization (It’s kind of like opening your computer and seeing an old, familiar friend)
Here’s how to get to your own iGoogle page…
1. Log in to go.oes.edu
2. Look along the top, where it says Mail, Calendar, Docs, Sites – click on More and then choose Even More…
3. Select iGoogle
Now the fun part – make it your own…
  • Change the theme
  • Add gadgets
  • Move gadgets around

Using wordle…

by Wordle

This word cloud was made from my educational philosophy.

Make your own!

Use SAFARI or FIREFOX… not Chrome

1) go to wordle.net

2) click “create” your own

3) paste in your text (the more the better…)

–> you can also add a weblink or del.icio.us username

4) click go or submit

5) play with the language, capitalization, font, layout, and color – personalize and post!