Tuesday, August 31, 2010

PLN Resource Overload (NOT Complaining)

As a result of being in the back-to-school mode, I have neglected personal blogging (along with many other valued activities) and on my list of rationales, I blame resource overload. My PLN (personal learning network) is just too darn good! I've said it before and I'll say it again: Twitter is my most valuable professional resource, but it is all in WHO YOU FOLLOW. I'm tweaking and improving my balance of art/technology/teaching/learning colleagues with entertainment, and inspiration. I regret that I failed to create lists as I acquired followees and now try to get organized in my "I can't focus anymore" time.
Hint: Create lists along the way!

So in an effort not to lose these new and revisited resources which got my attention tonight, I will share them here. (Posting to delicious does not promote the attention I think these resources deserve.)

Live, Learn, and BLOG! ~PVB

Kelly Tenkely's Bloom's Taxonomy : Blooming Peacock
Bloomin’ Peacock to show teachers the Blooms Taxonomy break down and the Bloomin’ digital Peacock that shows how the digital tools in the supplement break down.
The Inspired Classroom
The Inspired Classroom is very excited to announce that the Arts Integration blog series is about to begin!
(I subscribed and will be following...more to come as I interact with this blog.)

Blogging with Students
Responding to student blogs...I find it VERY rewarding to respond to K-12 students who are inspired to write by their teachers. So far this year I have responded to some of Mr. Chamberlain's 8th grade math students at Noel Elementary Class of 2011 and Greta Sandler's 5th graders in Argentina at Sharing Good News. If you are in my class and you choose to respond to any of these students' posts (and I hope you do), please be sure and identify yourself as a USA student in "Dr. B's" class.

Voices on the Gulf
Last (for tonight), but not least, I am a community manager at Voices on the Gulf. Please invite anyone you think would be interested in the discussion about the BP Oil Spill to join us!

"At Voices on the Gulf, we invite all of our colleagues who teach on the Gulf Coast to make this site their home and to welcome their students as well. Students from elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, home schools, community colleges, and universities are involved in discusions on this site. We welcome all."

Please explore the site and comment on student posts. I have submitted a number of photographs and posts; most relevant for art ed is my nephew's contribution: "Mom, what color is oil?" Feel free to tell Josh what you think of his art!
If you are currently teaching , please consider this as a platform for your students to write and respond to the impact the oil disaster has had in their lives. I specifically posted these questions for my students at "Exploring Community Impact..." and would be interested in your feedback.

Friday, August 6, 2010

DI POD #6 "Jacy's Horseshoe Crab Research at the Sea Lab"

As a requirement for the International Baccalaureate Program at Murphy High School, students are required to complete an extended essay. The extended essay is a culminating 4000 word paper/project requiring primary research and can be in a content area of  the student's choice; My daughter Jacy chose marine biology. This choice was followed by an impromptu trip to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in February, 2010 to explore possible options. We were eventually led to someone on the premises who could give us some information and fortunately met Nicole Taylor, a lab assistant for Dr. Ruth Carmichael. Nicole took a lot of time explaining the types of research being conducted at the Sea Lab and encouraged Jacy to contact Dr. Carmichael to pursue her questions. Jacy did later e-mail Dr. Carmichael who has now spent numerous months supervising Jacy's research.

Jacy spent the summer measuring horseshoe crab growth and development under various conditions. She  created (literally built) 4 environments and counted/sorted 360 horseshoe crab larvae to get started. The environments included rectangular tanks with natural or clean sand and round tanks with natural or clean sand. While numerous data are still being analyzed (dissolved oxygen, salintity, and temperature), the variables of tank shape and sediment type resulted in the most horseshoe crabs staying alive in the rectangular tanks with natural sediment.

Welcome to Jacy's Wet Lab

Jacy is making sure the air stones are working.

Finding a baby for us to see.

Two month old babies measured in millimeters!

Jacy sharing her research with our scientists...Papa and Josh!

DI POD #5 "Dauphin Island Estuarium"

My daughter Jacy and nephews Josh & Cody
enjoying a day at the Estuarium.
Doing my best to talk Josh into holding the spider crab (actually not a crab but an arachnid).
He did it!
Horseshoe Crab (about 9 years old)

(Jacy's baby horseshoe crab research pics will be DI POD #6)

"The Estuarium is an exciting educational facility highlighting the four key habitats of coastal Alabama: the Mobile Tensaw River Delta, Mobile Bay, the Barrier Islands and the Northern Gulf of Mexico. It includes the 10,000 square foot Exhibit Hall and Living Marsh Boardwalk. This facility is a showcase of the plants, animals, and other natural resources found in the Estuary and its surrounding marine habitats."

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

DI POD #4 "Dauphin Island Signs"

I have personally purchased some nice "island wear" at Marti's.
The "Little Red School House" is ON the beach.
I'll post more pictures and info in a future DI POD.
I've run many a 5K beginning at Historic Fort Gaines.
We joke about Ship & Shore. It has been here as long as I remember and I don't know of ANYTHING I've ever needed on the Island and haven't been able to purchase here. I'll put them to the test shortly when I go in search of a MacBeth DVD ("summer reading").
Personal connection?
Uncle owns a Harley store in Florida!
Posted in front of a home (with numerous other political opinions).
HESCO Barriers are numerous. They have been placed by our National Guard and others to keep the oil from reaching the shore (something I question and will blog about in the future).

Some things I saw/heard today:

A mature local gentleman laughing and exclaiming, "Oil spill, what oill spill? It hasn't changed anything for me. I haven't seen any oil, but of course I don't go to the beach."

There was a small film crew at the Bakery this morning. This afternoon, the same  crew was at the Library/Welcome Center. I asked them what they were flming and they indicated they were with "BP.com" and it was a community outreach project. I will have to look for it.

A little girl (about 3 years old) was just given a coin by her dad to throw into a small fountain in front of the Bakery. Her dad told her to make a wish and then asked what she wished for. She replied , "for you to be nice to mommy." He didn't respond, looked up at me, then smuggishly laughed. Children are so perceptive!

Tomorrow's DI POD's:
 Jacy's horseshoe crab research at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and my exploration of the Dauphin Island Estuarium with Josh and Cody.

DI POD #3 "Weeds of Dauphin Island"

DI POD #2 "Light House Bakery"

I was so disappointed that I had to drive back to Mobile yesterday for a meeting. But I am now back on the Island and sitting at the Lighthouse Bakery (another free WiFi spot) enjoying a cafe au lait and banana bread muffin.

Here at the Bakery they are preparing over 150 lunches for the National Guard working on the Island. At least that is good for THIS business!

My run along the coast this morning was exciting; I saw two amazing water spouts on the Gulf. Now I want to figure out how to run with my camera. The intense heat has caused some stormy weather and spectacular lightening.

The girls are ready to head back to the house so I will wrap this up and post my "Dauphin Island Weeds" and "Island Signs" this afternoon...stay tuned.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Dauphin Island Posts/Pictures of the Day (DI POD's) #1

It is the beginning of my first full day of a week of resting, reading, writing, running, and biking on Dauphin Island, AL. Although, I've grown up visiting the Island and staying at my best friend's family house to relax and enjoy the water, I now realize there's so much more about the Island I want to discover. The BP oil disaster has brought to my attention the beauty of this Island which I really know so little about.  So I'll share my journeys this week.

First of all, the heat is unbearable so running at 8:00 am is already too late. We'll try 6:00 am tomorrow.

I found the Dauphin Island Library/Visitor's Center is a fabulous local joint for Wi Fi and am enjoying listening to the locals describe the Island to the few visitors who have walked in. I'll be a regular here this week!