Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Willy-Nilly Edition of the Education Buzz--Life's a Carnival

Welcome to the Willy-Nilly Edition of the Education Buzz--an eclectic smattering of educational type things buzzing around the EduSphere.

Topics were all over the place, so nothing fell into a nice little tidy theme package. But isn't that like school toward the end of the year? Instead—you guessed it—topics were willy-nilly here and willy-nilly there. Thus, we now have a theme of sorts–the Willy-Nilly Edition which makes me a happy camper indeed.

I must say that I have to agree with Darren from Right on the Left Coast that if you're going to walk the walk and talk the talk, you probably ought to dress the part. Just a thought.

While Alicia Arnold at Daily Creativity talks about using nursery rhymes to boost creativity, Pat over at Successful Teaching ponders new teacher's softness and veteran teacher's toughness.

Nancy Flanagan over at Teacher in a Strange Land remembers Columbine 12 years later. Definitely some thought-provoking stuff there.

Matt Needleman over at Creating Lifelong Learners presents two rap videos created by teachers who were pink slipped in California. Amusing, but sad. 

Grace Nunez over at Education Quick Takes reminds us why some employers value a solid liberal arts education.

Mamacita over at Scheiss Weekly had a nice little Easter post.

Steve Spangler the Science Guy offers to help President Obama  "make science cool."

For those of you who live for contests, Mr. Teacher over at Learn Me Good has this little name game thing going on. Winner gets some free business cards which might come in handy especially with all those teacher lay-offs going around.

If you're all in a dither about twitter, then you probably will enjoy my post, "Journalism Day, Fired Up & Bad Tweets."

Here are some other posts worthy of checking out while you are willy-nilly surfing the Internet…

•Loved Joanne Jacobs post "Oviparous!" 

•Tim over at Assorted Stuff has a point when he says there's no normal to return to.

•If you're tired of everyone on the planet blaming teachers for everything wrong with the planet, check out "Stop labeling teachers, label the lawmakers."

I wanted to included something from Old Andrew over at Scenes from the Battlefield, but he must be getting ready for all that royal wedding hoop-de-do because he only had a guide to his blog posted. Still, if you've never checked out Old Andrew's blog, you really should.


So that about does it for this edition. The next Education Buzz will be right here on May 11. You can use this handy, dandy form to submit. Deadline for submissions is Saturday, May 7.

If you would like to host an edition of the carnival, please let me know by emailing me at Also, don't forget to let me know if you find any broken links or problems with this edition of the Ed Buzz.

As always…
“I’ve got this feeling that there’s something that I missed…”
–Snow Patrol

And, if I did, my apologies.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Journalism Day, Fired Up & Bad Tweets

Last week the fab-u-lous newspaper staff and I along with my hall monitoring buddy Rhonda piled into two school suburbans and journeyed to participate in The Dallas Morning News Journalism Day extravaganza.

On the way there, I asked the amazing Shannon, my editor-in-chief, how she was doing. To which, she responded (in hopes that I would mention it in my blog) that she was "Fired up about life."

While the kiddos attended some interesting seminars presented by professional journalists, I hiked over to another building for a session about "social media" taught by a very nice techno guru kind of guy--Kevin Sharpe. The session primarily focused on Twitter and TweetDeck.

Instead of raising our hands to ask questions, we were suppose to tweet our questions. Fine and dandy, but I noticed something. People (like me) would tweet a question, but rarely were those questions answered because people were lost in their own steady stream of tweeting. It all rather reminded me of those people who stand in the produce section of the grocery store and look like their talking to radishes when they're really talking to someone at the other end of their Bluetooth. (At least, I hope there's someone at the other end.)

Although I'm still not quite sure about why everyone should be all a twitter about tweeting,  I figured I would just roll with it. So the next day when I returned to school, I really tried to implement some of this new found knowledge. Instead, I couldn't get logged on to TweetDeck. Some dumb upside bird with error 500 appeared, reappeared and reappeared over and over and over again. If that stupid bird, weren't already dead  I think I would have popped him full of birdshot myself.

And they wonder why teachers are so reticent about implementing new technology into their classrooms.

Yeah, I guess you could say that I'm pretty fired up, too. I'm just not so sure it's about life.

Tweet that.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Thieves, Weekends & Lost Time

Someone stole my weekend and I want it back. I'd report it, but I don't think there's a form for that sort of thing. If there were, I think such thievery ranks up there as a felony and possibly even a capital offense.

OK, so maybe not a capital offense, but surely something deserving of severe penalities.

At this point I'm really and truly not sure what happened to my weekend or why I failed to write anything (or accomplish anything for that matter) especially since it was my first weekend home in a month. Now, before you get all excited, my lack of a definitive recollection of my weekend was in no way connected to a wild, partying binge. Jeepers creepers, I'm 54 years old. The closest I get to binge drinking is popping off the top of a Virgil's root beer.

I know I slept in until 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, and then the rest of my weekend is a blur of running here and there and here and there and here and there and here and there accomplishing little if anything.

I do remember cleaning out Howard the Shelter Cat's litter box, and that got me thinking about how much time one spends performing such menial tasks.

My newspaper editor once actually kept track of time she deemed "wasteful"  in a class, pronouncing that she figured she lost six days of her life.

Six days lost forever.

I guess I could keep track of that sort of thing. I'll get right on it, once I track down that weekend I lost.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Education Buzz is up and running!

It's Wednesday and we all know what to do…

Step #1… Yell out a big Woo-hoo!

Step #2… Head on over to the latest edition of the Education Buzz. It's being hosted over at the fab-u-lous Steve Spangler's site. (You know, the whiz bang science guy's site.) You can get there by going here

As always, there's lots of good things to read over there, so that you stay in the know of what's buzzing about in the EduSphere. So what are you waiting for? Bebop on over there.

If you missed submitting a post for the carnival, well, fear not. We have another one coming up. It will be hosted right here on April 27. Submission deadline is 6 p.m. Central time on  Saturday, April 23. You can even use this handy, dandy form to submit. Jeepers creepers, it doesn't get much easier than that.

If you would like to host an upcoming edition of the Education Buzz, please let me know by emailing me at

Monday, April 11, 2011

Snazzy boots, Ice Cream & Awards

This past weekend marked the last journalism trip of the year (Woo-hoo) until our summer publications workshop when we pack up our suitcases, grab the chicken and start all over again.

The state journalism convention we attended in Austin was quite successful by all standards. I purchased a snazzy pair of red boots (which received Howard the Shelter Cat's seal of approval), my BFF and other chaperon Jennifer (who used to live in a necklace) found three gifts for her dog Ranger, we all ate at the fab-u-lous Amy's ice cream, and oh yeah, the kids walked away with one Tops in Texas, seven first place, five second place, seven third place and 14 honorable mention individual awards. Woo-hoo!

The school newspaper also earned a state Bronze Star, and my friend Sandy Hall-Chiles was named one of the state's journalism teachers of the year.

I don't think it gets any better than all of that. I couldn't be more proud.

Oh, and most importantly, I even remembered the chicken.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Writing Competition, Mr. Chicken & Lubbock

Saturday, April 2–Outside the sun shines bright, temperatures hover in the mid-80s and normal people bustle about enjoying their Saturday off. 

I, however, am stuck in a noisy high school cafeteria, surrounded by teenagers who gave up their Saturday to compete in a district academic competition. I managed to con six newspaper staffers to compete in the journalism writing events, and while I like all of them, I can honestly say with 60 or so days left in the school year, I'd rather be any place but here.

In fact, I think I'd even rather be home cleaning my bathroom especially since Howard the Shelter Cat inadvertently knocked Unlucky Bamboo Plant #3 into the bathtub this morning spewing an assortment of pebbles and dirt everywhere.

Such is my life.

Still, despite the Unlucky Bamboo Plant #3 omen, I am hopeful that we will perform well. This time I even remembered the chicken (unlike my gross negligence in the New York trip debacle where Mr. Chicken was forgotten). I even found a spiffy new ribbon for Mr. Chicken. Let's hope he brings us luck and we advance to regionals.
The only problem with advancing to regionals is the competition is in Lubbock. Now don't get me wrong, there are plenty of nice folks in Lubbock and also some nice things to do in Lubbock.

But why can't regional competition be somewhere like, I don't know, Barbados. I love Barbados. OK, OK, OK, so maybe Barbados is a bit of a stretch. It's out of state. OK, OK, OK, so it's out of the country. No way to sneak that by the financial bean counters.

But what about, I don't know, South Padre Island. I love South Padre Island. That's in state. A little far perhaps from my school, but definitely in state and definitely an incentive for the kiddos to do well in competition.

When the kiddos asked where they got to travel to if we advanced to regionals, I said brightly with my best Susie Sunshine disposition, "Lubbock."

Well, they just groaned.

I think I'm going to need more than Mr. Chicken and a new ribbon to brighten their spirits.

A ticket to Barbados would be nice.