Lesson Plans
Marco Polo
Kindergarten Grade 1
Graphic Organizers G1

Grade 2
Graphic Organizers G2

Grade 3
Graphic Organizers G3
Research Tools

Reader's Theater


...the sin quo non of education is whether teachers know how to make complex subjects accessible to diverse learners...

The Right to Learn - by Linda-Darling Hammond

hrashing Towards
the Digital Classroom

Rocks, Blocks, & Friction

About Me ~ Some - More

Caveat For this Presentation
When technology is extracted, the richness of hands on, art, music, conversation, community might be missed -- but it is there.

Thrashing Show All

I first started working with computers in the days of mainframes. Mainframes were massive in size and expensive. A 5 million dollar mainframe could have less than 32 meg of physical memory.

As computer programs became more complex and memory hungry, and the need to run multiple programs or jobs "concurrently" became a necessity -- virtual memory -- an area on a computer's hard drive -- was used as an extension of physical memory. Instructions sat in their own areas of virtual memory until they were needed -- then they were read into physical memory.

If the number or tasks (processes), or a single task, did not have enough physical memory, the computer would spend all of its time loading instructions and data from virtual memory into physical memory -- thrashing -- and not doing meaningful work (computing).

So what's the point ... I think we're thrashing ... and we have been for quite a while -- both in the "what" and the "how" of executing our work as educators.

I think we all have our ways of dealing with the thrashing -- and I believe some ways are better than others.... and that's where this story begins.

Let's Rock Show All

The story goes that a speaker was addressing his audience at a conference. He pulled a large glass jar from under the podium, placed it on a table and proceeded to fill the jar with rocks. He looked at the jar, then looked at the audience and asked, "Is the jar full?"

Everyone responded, "Yes." He pulled out a bag of pebbles and emptied the pebbles into the jar. They settled amongst the crannies between the rocks. When he couldn't fit another pebble into the jar, he asked, "Is the jar full?"

The audience was not as quick to respond, but most answered, "Yes, now it's full." He pulled out a bag of sand. He poured the sand into the jar. The sand filled the spaces between the pebbles. He asked, "Is the jar full?"

By this time, the audience wasn't sure what would happen next, but finally responded, "Yes, now the jar is full."

The speaker paused, looked at the jar, and said, "If I hadn't placed the rocks in the jar first, I wouldn't be able to put even one rock in that jar."

Think of a rock as a goal which leads to a significant accomplishment.

Your rocks won't look like mine, but the idea behind accomplishing rocks is the same -- you're going to throw rocks into your days and let some of the pebbles and sand wait for a while.

Blocks Show All

Learning to use any technology takes time. What I consider a clean, intuitive interface may seem like a convoluted maze of menus from your point of view.

After browsing through a product's technical manual, you estimate that it will take a lifetime to learn how to edit a single digital photo -- that's if you figure out how to get it from your camera into the computer. Producing a video clip might happen in your next life.

The Unschooled Mind
Takes Over!
by Howard Gardner

That kind of thinking is just one of the blocks you'll have to deal with. The other blocks might be: getting your district to purchase software and install that software on your computer; convincing the powers that be that learning to use this technology will give you a new toolset to produce content which engages students; finding time to train your students to use the same technology so they'll have new tools to share what they learn. (Come to think of it, they may be training you.)

So, find a mentor, pick up a Whatever for Dummies book, Click F1 for help, find a teenager, or just dive in and start clicking.

Friction Show All

Finally, you'll have to eliminate the friction. Friction is anything that comes between you and your rock.

Put your digital camera on your desk, wear it around your neck if necessary -- but don't put it in the zippered black case in your classroom closet.

The camera is your friend. Start taking pictures of children reading, talking, writing etc.

Do the same with your video camera. Mount it on a tripod and keep it charged. Put it as close to the action as possible and turn it on. I use a standard digital camera and a mini-digital camera (FlipVideo Ultra). Let the children take pictures and shoot video when you go on field trips. Use the footage to inspire a writing assignment which is podcasted and combined with the video -- share it with the entire school community.

Keep your Digital Recorder in your pocket -- or hang it around your neck -- you will use it.

Collect the images, audio and video -- the raw materials you will need to present your next lesson or to share student work.

At first, you may do this spontaneously in response to some part of your teaching OR to help children share their work.

In time, it will feel natural to pre-plan the use of technology within your lessons and units of study.

Once you are comfortable, you will invite students to become your production assistants -- why should you have all the fun?

The line between producering and consuming will blur -- teacher and students will do both.


Some of My Stories

  Reading and Children

First Days Memoir

  What Was I Thinking - RCSBA 2004
  Nanuet HS Graduation Speech 2004



Concept Map ~ Forever big picture.

Grandview Library
"Lesson Plans"
2007 Newsletters ~ D/N/O/S
GV Library Newspaper

Digital Pencil
Project Organizers
Digital Journal (see Alana 3G)

PROGRESSION ~ 2002 - Today

Assist Robots
Serena – 3D

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Let Us Keep His Dream Alive

KWL - Whale Research


Sea Turtle Project

Project Organizer

The Cat

See Pics

Five Star Book Reports

Project Organizer

Research Projects - 2007

Research Project Organizer


Steven Kellogg ~ Author Visit

Thank You Card
(Show Process Big Book)

Kamishibai Storytelling
What is it?

Mini-Journal PO
Bananas the Monkey-2nd grade
(Show Process Big Book)

Book Compare

Rickie & Henri

Summer Suitcase Journal

Project Organizer

The Wild Things

Pandas Research

Share Mini-Book

Octopus Research

Research Project Organizer


The Thanksgiving Bowl

Project Organizer

Library Mouse

Project Organizer
Bulletin Board
Show Big Book

Polar Bear Research

Project Organizer

Drama ~ K Class

GV Students
Drawing With Jan Brett

* Geography Research Project

Project Organizer

* A Teleprompter

Project Organizer

Captured with Camtasia

Shirley Temple Bio

Walt Disney Bio

Economics Research Project

Project Organizer

Process Video

Group Read

* Learning About
the Presidential Election
(& Student Council Exit Poll!)

Process Video

Sample Book Recording
(Private Folder for Library Use)

Barack Obama

* Calendar "Journal"

Johana View Only
PDF Print

Brian View Only

Owney the Mail Pouch Pooch

Project Organizer

Commemorative Stamp

Project Organizer

Acclerated Reader Tutorial
(Screen Capture)

Click on the worm!

Comprehension Wheel
Low Tech ~ Interactive

pdf & Project Organizer

Feel free to print & Use PDF
Please give credit.


WEB 2.0 - DP



Using Blogs & Wikis

Click to View

Will Richardson

Click to View

GV Examples
DigitalPencil WPress GV Learner Blogs
A few out of millions...
Samuel's Blog
Pre-Calc Blog
Mrs. Rice


Grandview Kids
Grandview Library
Digital Pencil

MIT Physics Lecture


School Lib Journal
Podcasting at Grandview

Arkansas Assoc of Instructional Media
Summer 2007
“Invasion of the Podcasters”, Anita Fletcher
Support from Grandview Library Highlighted
Arkansas Association of Instructional Media - Summer 2007

Received from Anita Fletcher on November 5, 2007
Here are two links to a newspaper article and a tv video
Thanks again.  I’ll remember you when I get to Hollywood.

Teacher Tube

Educon 2.0 UStream

Screencast Tutorials
~ Accelerated Reader
~ Digital Journal
~ First in Math




Camtasia Studio

Adobe Captivate

Adobe Creative Suite
Fireworks, Flash

Project Seven Extensions

Adobe Premiere Elements 4 &
Adobe Photoshop Elements 6

Windows Moviemaker
(comes with Windows)

~ Getting Started With PhotoStory

Mind Mapping

ASP.Net, SQL Server Database

Blogs & Wikis


Smart Board

Logitech Webcam

Digital Still Camera ~ Cannon Powershot - 6 megapixal

Digital Video Camera

Flip Video

Mini Digital Audio Recorders - Sony

Microphone - high quality clip-on

Samson CO1U
USB Condenser Mic & Samson SP01 Shockmount 1 $29.00 on Amazon.

24 Notebook Computers

1 High-End |Notebook

MyBook -
Western Digital
500 Gig Drive

Elmo Document Camera

Sound System

Amp with Four Microphones

Zoom H2 Handy Recorder 
creates MP3 - no conversion required.