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The Connected Classroom

This blog is intended to capture the thoughts of an emerging edu-blogger committed to creating constructivist learning experiences for students. Please visit The Connected Classroom Wiki for more resources and information

Last Build Date: Sat, 09 Jul 2016 16:33:45 +0000


Virtual Field Trip- Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks

Mon, 26 Mar 2012 03:27:00 +0000

My daughter has been studying "landforms"in her 3rd grade class.  I have been lucky enough to be working in Albuquerque, NM and had the opportunity to take a hike in an amazing National Park. While I can't bring my daughter to work with me...I thought this would be  a great time to bring what I am learning back to her class virtually.  The tent rocks and slot canyon at Kahsa-Katuwe Tent Rocks Memorial are layers of volcanic rock and ash deposited by a volcanic explosion of the Jemez volcanic field. Over time, weathering and erosion has created amazing canyons and tent rocks. I was absolutely in awe of the geography and thought her class would benefit from this virtual field trip.

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Plan the Assessment

Thu, 21 Jul 2011 19:13:00 +0000

Assessments in PBL are aimed at measuring content knowledge and skills such as collaboration, communication, problem solving, and teamwork. Learn how to match project outcomes with assessment strategies and rubrics.

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Teachers Talk Classroom Challenges, Successes | NBC Philadelphia

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 10:40:00 +0000

"Teachers aren't going to be clamoring to get into the classroom if the teaching profession continues to be thrown under the bus at every single opportunity," said panelist Diana Laufenberg.

Laufenberg, a teacher at Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, says the conversation around teachers both in the community and in the media needs to change so that everyone can be successful.

A necessary conversation...Check back on on Monday 6/6 to see the townhall meeting in it's entirety.

Posted via email from The Connected Classroom Posterous


Joyce Valenza's Resources from PETE& C

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 16:06:00 +0000

I couldn't type fast enough to keep up with Joyce Valenza's session School Libraries and Web-based Practice: A Tour of Effective Practice
Although I arrived about 10 minutes late, I feel like she shared 2 hours worth of information and resources and 
Let students create book talks, incorporate Web 2.0 tools as platform, let them mash things up
Book talk a day
Joyce shared Book trailers for all
and how she makes Summer Reading transparent Great way to stretch library budget and it is FREE print out mailer, wrap book in it.
LiveBinders, Google Sites
I don't think that she could make finding the google tools any easier than THIS
wow, Wow, WOW shouldn't all the PA SGPs be done like THIS via @joycevalenza #petec2011

As soon as she has her slides posted on slideshare I will be sure to post them here but I think this tweet kind of sum's up my feelings about this session.


And here are her slides if that wasn't enough

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View more presentations from joycevalenza.

Thoughts about Internet 2010 in numbers

Sat, 05 Feb 2011 14:03:00 +0000

What happened with the Internet in 2010?
How many websites were added? How many emails were sent? How many Internet users were there? This post will answer all of those questions and many, many more. If it’s stats you want, you’ve come to the right place.
We used a wide variety of sources from around the Web to put this post together. You can find the full list of source references at the bottom of the post if you’re interested. We here at Pingdom also did some additional calculations to get you even more numbers to chew on.
Prepare for a good kind of information overload.

WOW...107 TRILLION emails sent...1.97 BILLION Internet users worldwide (up 14% since 2009), 152 MILLION blogs publishing even easier than before, 100 MILLION new twitter accounts added and 250 MILLION new people on Facebook. 2 BILLION videos are watched DAILY on YouTube and flickr hosts 5 BILLION images (3,000 are uploaded each minute). Whether this information is even true I would need to spend a ton of time researching.
It is fascinating to me how MUCH information is out there...Just this morning in frustration over her spelling 8 year old turned to google to help her find the song lyrics for a favorite song. Even mis-spelled, her new friend google helped her to find About 534,000 results (in 0.58 seconds).
Are we doing enough to help our kids learn how to navigate this information landscape?

It's a LIE mom

Wed, 02 Feb 2011 12:35:00 +0000

Watching Groundhog Day Livestream from Punxy, PA the inner circle mentions it's Phil's 125th BDA10yo says "no way, 125 years..." disappears, comes back 10 min later, "it's a lie mom, I looked it up- groundhogs only live 10 years in captivity" LOL 

Funny that when my 10 year old hears something he questions on TV or in conversation, his first thought is to go "look it up". He is curious, creative and knows how to seek out information.  He thinks deep and is a great problem solver. 

It is unfortunate though that he is good at "school" too.   in school he is learning that in order to succeed, he needs to know what's "in the book" and nothing more.  When he does dig deeper he has found that his answers are counted as the "wrong answer"

Where is the disconnect? and how as educators do we fix it in our current system of recall & standardized testing?


If this is THEIR school...then what are ours

Mon, 31 Jan 2011 11:37:00 +0000

So I realize the importance of reflections I also realize that in a world where people (ok people like ME) are used to getting their information in 140 character twitter-like sound bits, in order for me to get my thoughts about Edcon in writing (and for folks to actually stop and read them) I really shouldbreak them down into multiple posts.  What I realized as I started to jot down my main ideas was that they all seemed to follow the same theme... A quote from Chris Lehman's blog from Friday morning of Educon pretty much summed it up for me There's going to be a horde of kids at SLA tomorrow. This is EduCon, and this is their school, and a little snow isn't going to stop them. via This is THEIR school...I know that many of us teach in great places, that their are pockets of "ownership" in our sports and music clubs, student councils and other curricular activities, but in how many of our schools can our KIDS as clearly articulate OUR purpose as educators as Jeff Kessler @educoncierge did in his post Education is a game and people have their priorities backwards. -- This probably sounds like I'm the child of Chris Lehmann, Zac Chase, or one of the many other wonderful SLA teachers, but I agree with them. We've made education into a game and it's no longer about teaching skills, it's about teaching facts. Data retrieval is incredibly easy. But the ability to process and synthesize the information is difficult. That's what we need to foster; the ability to combine and organize ideas is one that deserves much more time in the classroom. via The ability to combine and organize ideas... I watched as students (and I mean HUNDREDS of students) and parents and faculty worked side by side not for a sporting event or the arts or music or other extra curricular activity...and while all of these are important parts of the education process these people...the kids, the teachers, and the parents were all working together to promote the BUSINESS OF SCHOOLS... to teach children.   So what are OUR schools and how can we make them more of the community that SLA represents?  We spent the weekend trying to tackle the really BIG questions in education but the biggest one for me as a wanna be school leader is how do take all of this and create community  @educoncierge ended his post  I look forward to seeing all of my educartor friends next year and hope that we can actually talk retroactiveally about some changes to our education system. I can't either Jeff...I can't wait to see how Educon 2.3 has challenged us all to take a look at what OUR schools are ... and how we can do the best for our students!  Thank you to the whole SLA team for once again opening your doors and reminding is for THEM...  Posted via email from The Connected Classroom Posterous [...]

So-Called 'Digital Natives' Not Media Savvy, New Study Shows -

Wed, 04 Aug 2010 18:37:00 +0000

"In Google we trust." That may very well be the motto of today's young online users, a demographic group often dubbed the "digital natives" due their apparent tech-savvy. Having been born into a world where personal computers were not a revolution, but merely existed alongside air conditioning, microwaves and other appliances, there has been (a perhaps misguided) perception that the young are more digitally in-tune with the ways of the Web than others.

the findings showed that students are not always turning to the most relevant clues to determine the credibility of online content...
As I continue to work with my own children 10, 8, and almost 4 I find that technology IS like oxygen to them...don't know something? Just look it up...and yet the nature of the world online allows them to take the first thing they find as positive fact.
In a day and age of high stakes standardized testing though, where are we teaching kids to "read digital text"? Where are they learning reading and comprehension strategies to deal with hyperlinked text? How are they learning to "read around" the page, tuning out ads and focusing on content? Why is computer class an extra or add on? How do we share the results of studies like this with our curriculum teams and administrators to make this an important subject in schools? #amitheonlyone?

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Keystones the Cornerstones of Leadership

Sat, 31 Jul 2010 04:01:00 +0000

A keystone is the architectural piece at the crown of a vault or arch which marks its apex, locking the other pieces into position.[1] This makes a keystone very important structurally.[2][3] In an arch, the keystone is usually larger than the voussoirs that make up the arch and may serve primarily an aesthetic purpose. Some say that a keystone is not as important structurally as the voussoirs, since the removal of any of the voussoirs would cause the arch to collapse but this is not necessarily true of the keystone.[4] The term is used figuratively to refer to the central supporting element of a larger structure, such as a theory or an organization, without which the whole structure would collapse. via Those of you who follow me regularly know about the PA Keystone Technology Integrators. Each year in the summer, a group of "tech savy" teachers are invited to participate in a week long intensive professional development program called The Keystone Summit. Most people arrive at the summit thinking they are going to learn a lot of stuff about great new tools...but they come to learn something that folks in the blogosphere have known for a long time. It is not about the's about doing new and innovative things to "Turn up the HEAT" in your classrooms. I was invited to that summit in 2005 and have been returning every year as a staff member sharing with the teachers not just technology. Every year that is, until this one. This year I had to make a difficult decision. I am working on my Administrative Certification and I needed to complete 180 hour internship. I knew that I couldn't commit the time and the energy needed to dedicate a week to be on campus for the experience and boy was I disappointed, but I did offer to do whatever I could to help create a virtual presence this year. As I set up the wiki and ustream channels and coveritlives, embedded content and fix formatting I realized, this was just as much work as being there...without the face to face connections of being on the Bucknell campus to be with the group. Boy was I disappointed. As I listened in on some of the sessions, I missed the learning and I missed the connection. I listened in as Chris Moersch talked about ways to turn up the HEAT (Higher Order thinking, Engaged Learning, Authenticity, and Technology Use) in your classroom. I was able to sit in on many of the sessions, but this year it was different...not just because I wasn't there, but because I was thinking about all of these things through the lens of an administrator. I started to think about how as a principal or curriculum leader I could use some of the LoTi principles to change a building culture, to change the way teachers think about teaching an learning At the last minute, a presenter was unable to make it for their workshop on Professional Development Models in the 21st Century so I, I could teach that in my sleep so I pulled together a presentation titled 21st Century Professional Development through PLNs (with the help of my PLN) and asked if I could come and spend the day. It was what I was missing...the chance to connect, explore and innovate with some REALLY amazing teachers some teachers that will soon be leading the way in their district not because of a certification, but because of the skills they learned this week and how they reflected on these ideas...Connect, Innovate, Explore and Lead. One of my favorite activities at Summit is during small groups where each group member is given foam blocks with the words lead, connect, innovate, and explore and think about how these 4 ideas are connected to change in schools. Back in 2007 after the summit, I wrote a post Connect, Innovate, Explore, Lead...which comes first? that shows how my group viewed it. Each attendee is asked to think about envisioning[...]


Thu, 29 Jul 2010 18:32:00 +0000

Create Your Own Personal Learning Networks for PD Session Notes Creating your own personal learning networks is one of the easiest things to do.Finding the right resources for you is also not difficult, but with all of the resources out there so how do we get start to learn the same way our students do....This session will look at some social tools for your own personal learning via Posted via email from The Connected Classroom Posterous'I was so impressed with how the participants took to twitter and diigo and CHECK OUT THE POSTS that the participants left via email on my posterous site someone new from PA is following YOU ...consider adding them to your PLN ;-).prezi-player { width: 550px; } .prezi-player-links { text-align: center; }PLN's for Professional Learning on PreziTechnorati Tags: pln kti2010 khokanson pd professionaldevelopment [...]

Teacher Teach thy self

Wed, 01 Jul 2009 15:56:00 +0000

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The Choir is Tired

Wed, 01 Jul 2009 14:28:00 +0000

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