Monday, November 16, 2009

Dauphin Island Inspiration

"Water is the driver of Nature."
~Leonardo da Vinci

“Camouflage is a game we all like to play, but our secrets are as surely revealed by what we want to seem to be as by what we want to conceal.”
~J. Russell Lynes

“It's not what's happening to you now or what has happened in your past that determines who you become. Rather, it's your decisions about what to focus on, what things mean to you, and what you're going to do about them that will determine your ultimate destiny.”
~Anthony Robbins

“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.”
~Thomas Merton
The trees reflected in the river -- they are unconscious of a spiritual world so near to them. So are we.
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Reflecting on standards, assessment, evaluation, and "GRADES"

As I think about evaluation & assessment in a redesigned curriculum for education majors, I am back to reflecting on what elementary teachers should KNOW and be able to DO. What makes a teacher effective in promoting and facilitating learning among his/her students?

What preparation (college courses or other) do you think will influence your teaching? If you are already teaching, what has made an impact in your experience?

During a late night or early morning grading frenzy at the end of a semester I stopped recording for a little while and blogged about GRADES. Check it out...I'm still pondering these questions as well.

What do you think?

Blogging Inspiration

I have been inspired to revisit my commitment to blogging by a colleague, John Strange. John and I have recently been assigned to a technology committee exploring possibilities for authentic utilization of technology in a redesigned curriculum for future teachers.

John shares all of his educational technology class assignments and resources through his EDM 310 Class Blog which is worth exploring. The use of various technologies for communication among college students, elementary students, and teachers around the world is a great model for 21st Century life-long learners.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Wish I Invented Post It Notes

Three months of planning. 4 days of shooting. 6000+ post-it notes. A completed senior project by Bang-yao Liu at the Savannah College of Art and Design. 1 minute and 54 seconds...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


During a recent trip to the west end of Dauphin Island, AL with friends and family, we stumbled upon a carpet of shells. The large, heavy, almost fossil-looking clam shells intriqued me. As we spent three days returning to the scene to confirm our discovery, I developed more questions to ponder....

What kind of shell was this, specifically, and what did the animal inside look like?

Where did this large collection originate? Were they uncovered or washed up by a recent storm?

How long have they been without their inhabitants?

Do they represent lost protection? Or freedom from encasement and structure?

Does walking on shells cause disequilibrium, loss of balance..... or consideration
and watching your step?

Were they there to discover Anne Morrow Linbergh's sentiments:

“Perhaps middle-age is, or should be, a period of shedding shells; the shell of ambition, the shell of material accumulations and possessions, the shell of the ego”

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Is it ART?

"The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life." ~William Faulkner

As I walked toward the driftwood sculpture discovered on Dauphin Island this cloudy Memorial Day weekend, I became increasingly intrigued by the formation and the choice of additional materials...

"It has been said that art is a tryst, for in the joy of it maker and beholder meet." ~Kojiro Tomita

As I circled the creation, I admired the idea and aesthetic design. I thought of the installation art of Jeanne-Claude and Christo...

Art is the desire of a man to express himself, to record the reactions of his personality to the world he lives in. ~Amy Lowell

I even took pictures with it as we often do with notable landmarks...

But, Is It Art?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sunday Nap: Jessica in the Jasmine

She's sweet 16 and finds the most interesting places to catnap these days; wherever she wants.

Creative Character Sculptures

Fifth Graders at Vaughn Elementary School created character sculptures based on the books they were reading. The process of creating armatures, forming body parts, clothes, and adding texture with various tools was a first for these students and their teacher.
I helped with the introduction of this project and was thrilled to be invited to the culminating display of these creative products!

Mrs. Twit in The Twits by Roald Dahl

Angelina Ballerina

Monday, May 18, 2009

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009

Romeo: Our fiercest and friendliest family member

"No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does."

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Art Babble: Play Art Out Loud

Art-Bab-ble [ahrt-bab-uhl]
noun; verb (used without object) -bled, -bling

1. free flowing conversation, about art, for anyone.2. a place where everyone is invited to join an open, ongoing discussion - no art degree required.
ArtBabble was conceived, initiated, designed, built, sculpted, programmed, shot, edited, painted and launched by a cross-departmental collection of individuals at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA). It is intended to showcase video art content in high quality format from a variety of sources and perspectives.
ArtBabble was created so others will join in spreading the world of art through video.
Babble On.

Just watched the following; one of many cool videos!


cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

"Did You Know..."

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

21st Century Schooling

To Meet the Demands of a New Age from Steven H on Vimeo.

Here’s a 2–minute video about 21st century schooling and curricula that was created by a Educational Administration Master’s student, Steven Hopper, at Iowa State University.

Blogs That Promote Unconventional Discussion

Blogs That Promote Unconventional Discussion

Posted using ShareThis

Thursday, May 7, 2009


As another semester ends, I find myself reflecting on what all these numbers, calculated to be represented by letters, really mean to me and more importantly for each of my students.

What about the average grade of this student which does not represent the intangible growth he experienced; the student who was inspired to go above and beyond an assignment to learn more for his own pleasure? Or what about this inflated grade of the calculating student which does not represent the apathy, or robotic "just enough to get the points" behaviors she exhibited?

Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted. ~Albert Einstein

What does this "A" "B" "C" really represent? Another class to check off the list? A GPA enhancer or detriment? Although I would like to radically change the system, I do not offer an alternative which would be as effective a motivator.

What I really want to know is what will a student who spent the semester enrolled in one of my classes remember next year....and the next? What did I ask a student to read/do/consider/create which might have a positive impact on his/her future? Or the students he/she will teach?

We cannot discover what ought to be the case by examining what is the case. We must decide what ought to be the case. ~Paul Taylor

How do I revise my methods to give students more autonomy and responsibility for their own learning while including accountability and motivation to attend? I am competing for the time and attention of an increasingly multitasking student in a distracting world. They are in a constant state of prioritizing tasks; often, the one with the harshest consequences for not completing rises to the top.

"The only man who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew every time he sees me, while all the rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them.
~George Bernard Shaw

One of the characteristic of teaching I appreciate is the opportunity to recreate myself each semester. After a short mental escape, I will again reflect on my failures and successes to plan for a new opportunity to be worthy of the time and resources adults commit to the instruction I design. (And do this in an accelerated mode: Summer Term :-O )

Friday, May 1, 2009

ART Resources I Found Today

A free-use educational resource: AICT Art Images for College Teaching
Permission granted for academic institutions to use these images freely and without further authorization in conjunction with educational activities such as teaching, research, and scholarly publication.

CYBERMUSE Your Art Education Research Site from the National Gallery of Canada.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

On Location: So this is what learning looks like...

  • Authentic Purposes

  • Empowering Learners

  • Project-Based Learning

More to come....

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Doubt: Gossip

I finally watched the movie Doubt. Among the many moving scenes, I found the one that has stuck with me the most on YouTube. I think it worth the 2 minutes and 50 seconds; a powerful metaphor.

School one of 10 nationwide and only facility in Alabama chosen to participate in John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center program

I am thrilled to share that Foley Middle School in Baldwin County is one of 10 nationwide and the only facility in Alabama chosen to participate in John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center program.

Educators at Foley Middle School are being given a rare opportunity this week to showcase a unique art curriculum. The school was chosen as one of 10 across the nation — and the only school in Alabama — to participate in a program sponsored by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a Washington, D.C.-based educational facility that is administered by the Smithsonian Institution.

The students are creating a documentary about Fairhope artist Ricky Trione, a blind painter who visits students and demonstrates his ability to create visual art.

I have had the privilege of collaborating with Ricky Trione and Vicky Cook (Baldwin County Fine Arts and Media Supervisor) as they share art, character and special education ideas with preservice teachers at the University of South Alabama. I have presented with them at the Troy Alabama Art Summit and most recently at the National Art Education Association Conference in Minneapolis.

A bus, described by Kennedy Center officials as "a media studio on wheels" and manned by a three-person team of theater and media professionals, is at the school from April 21 through May 1. YOU can read updates at the Road Diary site. The documentary is part of a grant that will give the school a media lab consisting of a computer, digital editing software, camera, sound recording equipment and accessories, valued at an estimated $5,000; $1,000 for the school to support the project; curriculum materials to develop media projects about the arts; and training for teachers and students.

The documentary being created by the students will be showcased on according to Donna Russell, executive director of the Alabama Alliance for Arts Education.

Baldwin County schools Fine Arts Director Vicky Cook said the school was chosen because of the application written by Foley Middle's librarian Sue Norman and the novelty of Trione's presentations.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Dog & Shapes

What a relaxed demeanor! How did William get Fay to pose for such a symmetrical image? I wonder how many shots this took!

Triangle, Circle, Semi-Circle, Rectangle, Square:

AKRON, OH - The Akron Art Museum will present the wonderfully witty, entertaining and moving exhibition William Wegman: Fay, featuring the artistic collaboration between William Wegman (b. 1943) and his celebrated Weimaraner, Fay (1984-1995). The Akron Art Museum is fortunate to be able to include in this exhibition not just black and white photographs but also large format Polaroids and chromogenic (color) prints, from the artist’s personal collection. In addition to 56 still photographs, extensive selections from Wegman’s videos featuring Fay will be on continuous view in the exhibition. On view 16 May through 16 August, 2009.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

NAEA: The White Ella Project

One of the most interesting and inspiring presentations I attended at the NAEA Conference was Karen Danielson's Teaching Preservice Generalists: Global Poverty and a Transformative Curriculum. Karen discussed ways she used Aqua Yost's paintings on global poverty to inspire preservice teachers to transform curriculum through the arts. The class assignments and outcomes Karen shared have inspired me to rethink my own teaching methods.

See the Aqua Yost Video at

Friday, April 24, 2009

NAEA Connections Across The Bay

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

Solving Problems

Einstein said "No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it."

Now I'm thinking about how to solve my problems...maybe I need to be unconscious? :-)

Build Your Personal Learning Network (PLN)

Craig Roland (associate professor of art education at the University of Florida in Gainesville) reminded me of the reason I Blog, Facebook, join Nings and create Wikis in his recent May/June 2009 SchoolArts article: "What you gain from your personal learning network will be in direct proportion to what you put into it: the more you contribute, the more you'll get back."

As most writers and artists know, I find it therapeutic to communicate (in multiple forms) my ideas and reflections as I read and view what others share.

In addition to his own presence on the WWW, which continues to inform and inspire me, Craig offers some great blogs he follows:

To find and track blogs:

Top Education Blogs at:

Top Art Education at:

Art Ed:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

2009 National Art Education Association Conference

I returned last night from the National Art Education Association Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After the NAEA conference last year, I synthesized all my conference notes and images and reflected on my own and other presentations with links to resources at my Art Talk wiki. I found this reflection process quite helpful in my own professional development and it provided information for my students as well as an organized resource for my own future reference. (So often I return from a conference and forget the ideas I found inspiring because I jump back into the maze I have created at home.) Because I attended the 2009 NAEA conference this year with plans to post reflections, and because I found the majority of the sessions I attended worthwhile and informative, I have copious notes to revisit. I will engage in this synthesis and reflection soon and post the link here!
Last Year - 2008 NAEA Conference Reflection:
This Year - 2009 NAEA coming soon....

NAEA created a conference wiki for presenters to share resources. Many excellent presentation resources are already uploaded. I will be posting my PowerPoints to this site as well.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Any Value to Social Networking?

So according to Will Richardson, "The world is changing because of social web technologies. Our kids are using them. No one is teaching them how to use them to their full learning potential, and ultimately, as teachers and learners, that’s our responsibility. To do that, we need to be able to learn in these contexts for ourselves."


Richard goes on to provide a reference: a piece in the Harvard Graduate School of Education magazine Ed. titled “Thanks for the Add. Now Help Me with my Homework.” As Richardson points out "Harvard" and "research" might be cause for notice.

Some points made:
  • A virtual creative writing boom among students spending long hours writing stories and poetry to paste on their blogs for feedback from friends, or creating videos on social issues to bring awareness to a cause
  • Skills students are developing on social networking sites, are the very same 21st century skills that educators have identified as important for the next generation of knowledge workers — empathy, appreciation for diversity of viewpoints, and an ability to multitask and collaborate with peers on complex projects
  • A survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers cited this spring in The New York Times found that more than half of employers now use SNSs to network with job candidates.
  • "Perhaps even more important than the impact of social networking on the classroom, however is the impact that the classroom can have on social networking, by teaching students how to be responsible "digital citizens" online. At their most basic level, these sites can be launching points to discussions on Internet ethics. "If we want kids to be digital citizens, we must model that behavior for them," says Greenhow. As it stands now, however, most schools do the exact opposite, actively discouraging student use of social networking sites by blocking them on school computers -- sending the message that they are dangerous or inappropriate. As Wiske says, "A lot of people can do a lot of damage driving cars, but we shouldn't tell kids not to drive cars."

There's MORE: Read the entire Will Richardson post The “Added Value of Networking.”


These are the things I learned:
Share everything.
Play fair.
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.
And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.

I came across the following application of Robert Fulghum's list; something to think about:
"Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.
Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all - the whole world - had cookies and milk at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.
And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out in the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together."

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Cool Resources I Found Today


The FUNDRED DOLLAR BILL PROJECT is an innovative artwork made of millions of drawings. This creative collective action is intended to support OPERATION PAYDIRT, an extraordinary art/science project uniting three million children with educators, scientists, health care professionals, designers, urban planners, engineers and artists. Together they are working to make safe the lead polluted soil of New Orleans that places thousands of children at risk for severe learning disabilities and behavioral problems, including violent crime.

At the Smithsonian American Art Museum "Eye Level" Blog, there is a great entry on understanding and responding to the portrait Godly Susan by Roger Medearis.

"The choices artists make about what to include in their work and how to do it are very interesting, whether they are part of a larger, moral message or something more personal. You can make a close reading of a painting by simply looking, but there are some things that cannot be uncovered without doing a little more research. Maybe you'll need to pull out an old art history textbook, or do some reading on the artist. Everything is intentional!"

Friday, February 27, 2009

Sony World Photography Awards 2009 Shortlist Nominations Announced

LONDON - The shortlist for the 2009 Sony World Photography Awards was announced, Tuesday 24 February. The list contains the names of 186 exceptional photographers from 43 different countries, all of them competing in a variety of categories in one of the most prestigious photographic competitions in the world. The Honorary Judging Committee, comprising world-renowned photographers, curators, representatives from leading international photo agencies, publishers and critics made their selection from 36,546 professional and 25,370 amateur photography submissions.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

President Obama's Joint Sessions Speech: Education

"In a global economy, where the most valuable skill you can sell is your knowledge, a good education is no longer just a pathway to opportunity. It is a prerequisite.
Right now, three-quarters of the fastest-growing occupations require more than a high school diploma, and yet just over half of our citizens have that level of education. We have one of the highest high school dropout rates of any industrialized nation, and half of the students who begin college never finish.
This is a prescription for economic decline, because we know the countries that out-teach us today will out-compete us tomorrow.
So tonight I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training. This can be a community college or a four-year school, vocational training or an apprenticeship. But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma.
And dropping out of high school is no longer an option. It's not just quitting on yourself; it's quitting on your country. And this country needs and values the talents of every American."

How do we respond to this as educators?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Alabama Arts Education Summit 2009: Speaking with One Voice

As I reflect on the Art Summit I attended at Troy University, I am overwhelmed with the ideas and opportunities presented; many are developing as I write. For my students who are reading this, I hope you find an outlet to reflect on your journeys. Whether it be visual arts, writing, or a conversation with others, the art of expressing yourself brings deeper meaning to the experience and can inspire others through your communication.

I was inspired by the art and interpretation offered by the artist "Nall." He indicated his work is autobiographical and expresses his "truth." Interpretations of political messages he shared in his art were fascinating as well. I will see his work with enlightened eyes. Nall was born in Troy, Alabama and has become an internationally known artist. Locally you can find his work in the Mobile Museum of Art and the Battlehouse Hotel. Check out his work and think about sharing the work and life of this regional artist "Nall" with your students. (pictures above: Nall's art and Paige & Nall)

Dr. Thomas R. Bice, Deputy Superintendent, ALSDE, presented innovative ideas for 21st Century Learning. I was thrilled to hear that he is an advocate for the arts in the curriculum. He specifically indicated that "art education integration classes should be a part of every teacher preparation program."

I was not aware, prior to the conference, of Bill Strickland's work or of the Manchester Bidwell Corporation and Manchester Craftsmen Guild. WOW! Strickland is among the most dynamic speakers I have ever had the privilege of hearing; furthermore, Mr. Strickland's story and accomplishments inspire me to want to do so much more professionally! He indicated that "environment drives behavior", and "the way you think about and treat people drives behavior." He stated that "if you build world-class facilities, you get world class behavior." His philosophy about environment has been put into practice and made such a difference in the lives of at-risk students in Pittsburg. His story is worth reading. I have ordered the book! The links in this paragraph lead you to video of his presentations.

The USA Arts in Education integration model (in its 5th year of funding and implementation) was presented to an audience of about 35; many have contacted me for additional information. Jeannette Fresne (Assistant Professor, music education), Linda Dean (Executive Director, Alabama Institute for Education in the Arts) and I shared our programs and facilitated interesting discussion.

Presenting with Vicky Cook (Baldwin County Fine Arts Supervisor), Ricky Trione (Blind Artist) and his wife Bonnie Trione is always a privilege. I value the friendship we are developing and am increasingly inspired by their passion for education, the arts, and LIFE! We are all very excited about fine tuning our stories and sharing our presentation with art educators from all over the world at the National Art Education Association Conference in Minneapolis this Spring. Ricky's message of perseverance, creativity, and life-long learning is an inspiration to all who attend.

As a result of the innovative work Ricky and Vicky have accomplished, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in partnership with Daimler Financial Services, selected Foley Middle School as one of only 10 schools across the country to tell their story of the arts in their community: in this case, the impact Ricky has made. Our Summit presentation on the USA/Across the Bay collaboration has been forwarded to the Kennedy Center as well. I look forward to witnessing the process as On Location: Spotlight On Your Community is produced and then shared worldwide.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Learning to Change ~ Changing to Learn

So rather than JUST memorizing INFORMATION, can you "FIND it, VALIDATE it, SYNTHESIZE it, COMMUNICATE it, COLLABORATE with it, PROBLEM SOLVE with it?" Do YOU have a 21st Century set of Literacies? Do YOU facilitate learning these literacies?

Does technology make it "A GREAT PLACE FOR LEARNING?" Is the space asynchronous, not adversary, not pressured? Can you "reflect, retract, research, repeat?"

What do YOU think?

Google: Is there anything they don't know? Or anything they can't see? GOOGLE OCEAN; DIVE IN

GOOGLE OCEAN: New extension for Google Earth launched Google has launched an extension of Google Earth, which allows internet users to virtually explore the ocean.

Google Ocean, which is included in the newest download version of Google Earth, allows users to explore the high seas with thousands of images of underwater landscapes from volcanoes to sea life.

Users can also watch videos, read stories and contribute photos as they explore the ocean.

Google Earth, which combines satellite photos, maps and information to enable users to explore streets and cities around the world, has been downloaded 500 million times since it was introduced in 2005.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Blogger in Middle-earth: Peace in a Sentence

Blogger in Middle-earth: Peace in a Sentence: "The rain falls steadily from the dark sky in shades of grey; drinking coffee and gazing through the window, I am at peace."

A Day in A Sentence

Kevin Hodgson (aka Dogtrax) is a teacher, blogger, and friend who I met through the National Writing Project. Kevin's work is innovative and never fails to inspire me.

At Kevin's Meandering Mind he has been running a blog activity called A Day In A Sentence for years. The way Day in a Sentence works is:
Reflect on your day or your week
Boil it down to a single sentence
Share it out

This week’s challenge, is to use one of my favorites: the theme PEACE in your day/week in a sentence. It is being hosted by Blogger in Middle Earth

So, surf over to Ken Allan's BLOG and share some peaceful words. (Ken is a distance educator in Science at The Correspondence School, Wellington, New Zealand.)

"PEACE. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart."


From "Sweet 16" to 68, we've celebrated birthdays among friends and family this week. I'm thinking about the celebrations of life, age, and change.

Birthday Cakes

One theory about the origin of the birthday cake is that it originated with the Greeks, who baked round cakes representing the full moon for their moon goddess, Artemis. They placed candles on the cake to make it glow, like the moon.
The Germans are also credited with the first cakes and candles. They used a sweet, layered cake and they put a large candle in the center of the cake to represent "the light of life." Some people believe the smoke from extinguished candles carries their birthday wishes up to heaven.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Music Motivates: If Everyone Cared ~ Every Day

Nickelbacks's song as student motivation for thinking, writing, drawing, acting?
Rascal Flatts song to inspire a character education writing actvity dealing with citizenship, empathy and social responsibility?

What's your passion? What do you CARE about? What would you change? How can you help?
(Great ideas from Johnathon Chase's Classroom 2.0 Page)

"I want my children to understand the world, but not just because the world is fascinating and the human mind is curious. I want them to understand it so that they will be positioned to make it a better place. Knowledge is not the same as morality, but we need to understand if we are to avoid past mistakes and move in productive directions. An important part of that understanding is knowing who we are and what we can do... Ultimately, we must synthesize our understandings for ourselves. The performance of understanding that try matters are the ones we carry out as human beings in an imperfect world which we can affect for good or for ill." (Howard Gardner 1999: 180-181)


I'm thinking about the differences between online and traditional classes these days. I teach both...more to come.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Learning the Wiki Way: What is a Wiki?

I"ve created several wikis which focus on the integration of art education with other content areas. Viewing the You Tube is a great way to grasp the basic idea of what makes a wiki different from blogs or traditional web sites. The challenge is that most school systems block the wiki sites (and many other 21st Century Learning Tools). So that is a whole new post...using technology responsibly.
Meanwhile, get wiki with it...add your two cents...


ART at the HeART of Social Studies

The Art & Science Connection

The Intersection of Art & Math

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Technology & Teachers

21st Century Learning
Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach is among my top 5 favorite bloggers. Check out her blog "used to explore, and create ideas around 21st century collaborative learning and virtual learning communities and how these communities can be used to help teachers and families become lifelong learners."


One of my many places to learn...

View all the resources on the "Main" page tab!

Reading blogs and creating your own blog: a great way to network.
You ask, "how do I do this?"

The Top 100 Photography Blogs (click here)

How I want a new SLR digital camera...let me count the ways. Which one? Any suggestions?


As I child, I collected. I still do. I remember the excitement of receiving stamps which were postmarked and from far away places; countries I may never physically be, but knew the stamp was there and the image gave me a sense of the place. I collected shells, rocks and beautiful stationery (of all things). I guess aesthetics and writing were early passions.

As a newly married woman, I collected cookbooks; as an elementary teacher, children's ABC books were collected from various states. My daughter collected snow globes.

As I move away from the importance of material things (running out of room for "stuff") and toward the value of experiences, I find myself looking for new adventures to add to my collection. I still like the tangible documentation though...a photograph for my blog will do.

So I was reminded of my stamp collection as I viewed the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum’s award-winning Web site Arago's featured collection titled “American Art on Postage Stamps: Telling the Story of a Nation,” which can be viewed at

From the first stamps issued by the United States in 1847 to the present day, many American postage stamps have featured important fine art produced by famous American artists.

What do you collect?


I began my fascination with the symbolism of ladders when I viewed a picture of Martin Puryear's sculpture "Ladder for Booker T. Washington" shared by a friend and colleague for a presentation. We then coincidentally saw an exhibition of Puryear's work at the National Gallery of Art, during a workshop we attended in Washington D.C. The 36-foot-long ash and maple sculpture (Puryear's ladder) was riveting.

No, it was earlier; as a child, I really rebelled against the superstition of walking under ladders. I reversed this for myself, believing it was good luck to walk under a ladder (creating my own superstition).

Now I see the symbol as it relates to the "climb" in so many areas of my life. Symbols such as Puryear's sculpture do not represent a "top" or plateau. So what does this mean? For me there's always more; never an end to the journey, until the END, I guess. But then I believe I just start climbing a new ladder. What do you think?

"Colours of the Night"

How I wish I could visit the Van Gogh Museum.
Vincent Van Gogh once said: “I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.” I think I agree, at times...spoken like a true night owl.
Amsterdam, NL - From 13 February to 7 June 2009 the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam will present the exhibition Van Gogh and the colours of the night, the first show to be devoted exclusively to the evening and night-time scenes by Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890). The Van Gogh Museum will be the only European venue for this unique exhibition. Van Gogh imbued his twilight and nocturnal scenes with a wealth of associations, heartfelt emotions and a poetic sense of ambience.