Archive for the ‘bunk4’ Category


The End (of the ISI): Thoughts Mostly for Myself

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

I have done more writing in the past four weeks than I believe I have ever done in such a period in my life. Not as much of that writing has been here as I would have liked. It is important to write publicly, at least for me. Whether or not anyone reads it doesn’t really matter. Putting my writing and my thinking out beyond me pushes me to think deeper and to take things a step further.

I was a co-director for this summer’s Invitational Summer Institute (ISI) for the Northern Virginia Writing Project. Last summer was my introduction to the ISI. I wrote some about it then, certainly more than I managed to do this year! Last year was an absolutely amazing experience and gave me a passion for the writing project that kept me involved throughout the year and brought me back this summer.

This summer was even better. We were a much larger group, more than double last year’s size. Fifteen amazing people last year and thirty-two this year. When everyone is fabulous, having more fabulous people makes it better.

A typical morning at the ISI starts with thirty minutes of ‘morning pages.’ Just silent writing. I did a terrible job of continuing that throughout this past year and I’m aiming to do better this go-round.

After that we had demonstration lessons. Every participant gives an hour and fifteen minute demo lesson about writing. We had lessons on revision, mentor texts, multi-genre writing, persuasive writing, using rhetoric in writing, poetry, tone, journalism, nonfiction, voice, and more. Each morning we would have two of these demo lessons before lunch.

After lunch we had guest presenters (people who had done the ISI in the past and had stellar lessons to share), conversations, or our writing groups. We met in writing groups of about five people twice a week for the entire afternoon. We brought writing to share and talk about. At the end of the ISI we create an anthology with work from everyone.

I plan to do some serious reflection on this year’s ISI and what I gained from it over the next week. My ‘morning pages’ (which might be written at 7:30 at night) will be a post about my thinking. I have a composition book full of writing from morning pages, demo lessons, and conversations to review. I think there’s gold in there if I’ll just take the time to sift through.

Final Two Chapters in Choice Words (Seven and Eight)

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

My husband, a college history professor, and I drove to Princeton, NJ this weekend for a wedding. On the drive home he asked for the highlights in Choice Words. I told him he didn’t need me to give him the highlights because he reads my blog. He did not seem to think that was a sufficient response. I read him a few parts of chapters seven and eight. Reading aloud the book felt very different to me. It felt more academic, more intellectual. Reading it to myself I feel like I’m talking with an old friend. It was an interesting thing to notice.

Having now finished (re)reading the book, I am grateful that Opening Minds is waiting for me. I don’t feel quite the same sadness as I finish knowing that Johnston has more to say to me, more to teach me.

Chapter seven is Evolutionary, Democratic Learning Community. In many ways all the other chapters have clearly been building up to this one. Here Johnston makes the argument that the language teachers use in their classroom creates (or at least helps create) the community in which the teacher and students live together. The importance of this is voiced early in the chapter, on page 65:

Some teachers are particularly good at building learning communities in which individuals feel valued and supported, and that sustain productive and critical learning. Children must have the experience of such communities if they are to know what to aim for in constructing their own learning environments. 

We’re back, as always, to the idea of agency, just on a slightly grander scale. We have to model for students how to do what they will need to do for themselves. In this case, construct a learning environment that will help them continue learning outside of and beyond school.

A lot of this is more focused on the social aspects of interactions than the academic. Johnston talks about use of the word ‘we’ in building community. Other language pulls students in to thinking about others, how they feel, what they like. Another important role of language here is to encourage reflection. He writes about inviting students to reflect on the process of working together and solving a problem (“You managed to figure that out with each other’s help. How did you do that?” p. 71). Reflecting on this helps students create a narrative for themselves about collaboration. Another example is on p. 72, “How do you know when a conversation is finished?” Johnston explains this reflection as a way to think about

how to manage not just one’s own cognition, but the source of one’s cognition in the learning environment

As reflection has been a big focus of mine I was especially interested in these ideas.

Johnston does a lot in chapter eight, Who Do You Think You’re Talking To? More than I can begin to process here. One important piece is the idea that language doesn’t stand alone. It is received in context of the situation, the past, body language, tone, and more. On page 78 Johnston writes briefly in a way that sums this up for me:

You have probably had someone talk to you in a way that made you think, “Who do you think you’re talking to?” or, equally, “Who do you think you are?” When this happens to us, the other person has clearly communicated, by the way they talk to us, who they think we are. We become conscious of it because who they think we are conflicts with who we think we are.

As adults we are capable of dealing with this, often through immense frustration, but dealing all the same. Children, on the other hand, are still developing who they think they are and use all they take in to do so. Our language and all that goes with it, are often shaping a student’s self-concept. That’s a large burden but also a wonderful opportunity. We can, if we are thoughtful, help students see themselves as learners, caring individuals, writers, mathematicians, scientists, activists, etc.

One final quote on page 84 is, I think, a wonderful, one-sentence wrap up of this book.

If we want to change our words, we need to change our views.

Tutorial on Milestone Memories

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Tutorial on Milestone Memories


Step 1

Decide what your milestones have been throughout your life. Then find pictures that represent these milestones.


Step 2

Open Power Point and place each image on a slide in chronological order.


Step 3

Go to Insert at the tool bar then click “Text Box” in this box you can write a short phrase or word that explains the milestone and or why it is important to you.


Step 4

Take a screen shot of the final image by pressing command+shift+3. Upload this image to Flickr and tag it VisualAssignments, VisualAssignments621

Final Reflection/Letter Home/Advice?

Sunday, July 29th, 2012


This is my final reflection of Camp Magic Macguffin.

Below is advice that I give to future DS106 students. It’s all about time management seriously in my opinion that is what gets assignments done efficiently. Also look for tutorials and previous examples for other DS106 students. Manage your time and it will show through your work! Also remember to be creative and have fun! This has been the most interesting/ non dull class I have taken.

The Final Story

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

This final assignment was difficult to say the least. I didn’t even know where to begin. I decided to have a narrative based on two people. One was telling the story of Camp Macguffin while the other person was asking questions about the camp. The girl (who was me) asking questions was a possible new camper for next summer. She had to be convinced that Macguffin was worth her time. (In the end it was). The other person was narrating the adventures that a camper had at Macguffin. She discussed only a few topics of interest such as Mine Craft and Creative Commons to the possible prospect.



This took a lot of clipping and editing to make the final product. I used different YouTube videos that Martha and Alan put up as well as a YouTube video from the Creative Commons website. I wanted to focus mostly on Creative Commons because it interests me so much, this concept of sharing creativity via internet. I also focused in Mine Craft because I know this is something I want to avoid getting addicted to… because it will happen one day I just know it.

If you’re wondering about the bug eyes on the possible prospect… I mean why not?


Tutorial “What Color is Your World?”

Sunday, July 29th, 2012


What Color is your world?


Step 1

On a normal day, make sure to have a camera of a phone with decent photo quality with you. Pick a color to photograph throughout the day, found on different objects like a car, traffic signs, breakfast, anything at all.


Step 2

Upload these images onto your computer


Step 3

Pick a song that correlates with the color you chose. It can be said in the lyrics, described through different words, certain objects that are the color you chose. For example for the color blue I chose the song “I’m Blue” by Eiffel 64.


Step 4

Use an editing tool to upload these images or if you took a short film segment of any of the colors. IMOVIE is a good tool to use or something similar.


Step 5

For IMOVIE – go to File-Import for any film segments shot, if uploading a photo on the right hand side in the middle, there is a tool bar of a camera, itunes logo, a T and transition slides. Click on the camera to upload all images.


Step 6

Once the images are in place, I made a transitional phase for each photo such as “dissolve” or “open door”, to do this click on the box that has two sideways triangles facing each other. There are multiple options to choose from, pick whichever ones are the most interesting to you.


Step 7

The next step is to click on the music button and choose the song that you wish to choose for this assignment. Drag the song and place it in the “project” portion of IMOVIE. To fade in or fade out click on the star located on the green bar, shown in the images below.

Bluescreen1 © by katherinekd101

Bluescreen2 © by katherinekd101



















Step 8

An additional edit I made was putting filters on each image. Below are snapshots of how this is done.

BlueScreen3 © by katherinekd101

BlueScreen4 © by katherinekd101


















Bluescreen2 © by katherinekd101

BlueScreen1 © by katherinekd101



















Step 9

The final step is to export the finished product. Go to share then press export movie.


Step 10

Upload the film onto YouTube and tag it with the appropriate tagging

Making up for Lost Time

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Ah, yes. I am far far behind in the going-ons of camp. I lost myself in my other camp job, which I openly admit was my fault for poor time management.

Regardless, I finished up today and I’m going to do a literal sprint to the finish. I’m embarrassed at how far behind I am, but I’m not a quitter.

So, first comes my audio work for week 5.

I decided to write a homophone poem.

Homophone Poem

There I stood in the tide, straight and bold as I peered beyond the waves

to see the buoys that lapped along the edge of the loch.

Ahead in the sea I sensed a lone ark, the seine hanging low, baited for prey.

The bow gazed forward in the night.

Behind me, a bare beach, barren not due to weather, but the hour.

My doused jeans were soaked as the tide rolled against my feet.


Sunday, July 29th, 2012

I’ve had a difficult time with the audio assignments this week. I kept getting very frustrated with my tone and volume while talking that I must have read 5 different Suess books 20 times each aloud.

I finally settled on this version of Hop On Pop, by Dr. Suess.

I chose this book for a few reasons… It’s short. It’s hard to say. It’s funny. It’s illogical.

Anyway, I had a nice time with it. It’s a funny story when  you actually read it. The words and the rhythm of Dr. Suess is fun and admittedly very tongue-twisting.

I hope you enjoy my audio recording!

Below is also a transcript of what I’m saying… It does get hard to understand because the words are so similar.

UP PUP Pup is up.

CUP PUP Pup in cup.

PUP CUP Cup on pup


MOUSE HOUSE Mouse on house.

HOUSE MOUSE House on mouse.


ALL TALL We all are tall.

ALL SMALL We all are small.

ALL BALL We all play ball.

BALL WALL Up on a wall.

ALL FALL Fall off the wall.


DAY PLAY We play all day.

NIGHT FIGHT We fight all night.


HE ME He is after me.

HIM JIM Jim is after him.

SEE BEE We see a bee.

SEE BEE THREE Now we see three.

THREE TREE Three fish in a tree.

Fish in a tree? How can that be?


RED RED They call me Red.

RED BED I am in bed.



PAT PAT They call him Pat.

PAT SAT Pat sat on hat.

PAT CAT Pat sat on cat.

PAT BAT Pat sat on bat.

NO PAT NO Don’t sit on that.


SAD DAD BAD HAD Dad is sad.

Very, very sad.

He had a bad day. What a day Dad had!


THING THING What is that thing?

THING SING That thing can sing!

SONG LONG A long, long song.

Good-by, Thing. You sing too long.


WALK WALK We like to walk.

WALK TALK We like to talk.


HOP POP We like to hop.

We like to hop on top of Pop.

STOP You must not hop on Pop.



Mr. Brown upside down.

Pup up. Brown down.

Pup is down. Where is brown?


Mr. Brown is out of town.


BACK BLACK Brown came back.

Brown came back with Mr. Black.

SNACK SNACK Eat a snack.

Eat a snack with Brown and Black.


JUMP BUMP He jumped. He bumped.

FAST PAST He went past fast.

WENT TENT SENT He went into the tent.

I sent him out of the tent.


WET GET Two dogs get wet.

HELP YELP They yelp for help.

HILL WILL Will went up hill.

WILL HILL STILL Will is up hill still.



That one is my other brother.

My brothers read a little bit.

Little words like If and It.

My father can read big words too.



SAY SAY What does this say?





Ask me tomorrow but not today.

Last Letter From Camp

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

Dearest Mother and Father,

I had really no idea what this class would be like. At the beginning, this class was an enigma. I was unsure of how it would be laid out and where I would fit into the dynamics of class. I was completely new to a lot of aspects of this class and was nervous about how I would complete assignments. In the end, DS106 was a great experience. It was a bunch of fun and stretched my knowledge and experience with the wonderful world of digital storytelling. It taught me many new things as well that I would never have realized had I not taken this class. It was much simpler than I had anticipated.

I am most proud of is my visual assignments. It always gives me a boost of confidence when I review my work. However, I wish that I could do some of my audio assignments over again. I have learned a whole lot more from that week in listening and taking others advice. I would definitely choose to continue on with visual storytelling. I deeply connected with the catchphrase assignment. I love catch phrases and lines from TV and Movies. I would also incorporate other things into the “catchphrase” genre, such as song and book titles. In continuing with this assignment, I would also compile several catchphrases to tell a story.

I definitely will use my photo and video editing skills in the future. Also, I will use the ideas that I learned from design and use them. I am a board member of an all breed animal rescue. My job also includes Webmaster, so using all my skills that I have gained from this class, I will re-tool the website into an astounding blog for the animal rescue.

My advice, wisdom gained from experience, to future campers is seriously manage your time. Do not let time get away from you because it will fly away on you. Also, the other major piece of advice I have for any future student is: Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t understand. No one bites and everyone is super helpful.


More Thoughts from Chapter Four of Choice Words

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

I really need to get rolling with chapters seven and eight of Choice Words but some thoughts from chapter four keep ringing in my head so I’m going to reflect on them first.

On page 31 Johnston writes,

We hear a lot about teaching children strategies, but we often encounter classrooms in which children are being taught strategies yet are not being strategic (Ivey, Johnston, and Cronin 1998). Teaching children strategies results in them knowing strategies, but not necessarily in their acting strategically and having a sense of agency.

That distinction between knowing strategies and acting strategically is a critical focus and there is such a huge difference there. He continues on citing work from Marie Clay about having students generate strategies themselves. One more quote, on the next page, helps me clarify why this feels so important.

The strategy of arranging for a student to figure something out independently, without full awareness, and then reflecting on it, has been called “revealing.” Courtney Cazden (1992) contrasts this with “telling,” in which the teacher is explicit up front and then the student practices what he has been taught to do by someone else.

Johnston considers the possibility that revealing is a harder skill for teachers than telling and I think he is probably right. I often feel that doing the right thing as a teacher, for my students, is harder than traditional teaching methods.

As I reflect on things I have learned, especially things I have learned in recent memory, I know that when I have had to struggle a bit, work through things and work them out on my own, I tend to feel more confident in my knowledge or skill.

Reading this reminded me of some recent studies I had learned about. One I read about on KQED‘s Mindshift blog and it hit on why students should work things out themselves rather than simply be told something.

So important is the feeling of confusion, writes D’Mello, that parents and teachers shouldn’t try to help children avoid it, or even simply accept its presence. They should deliberately induce confusion in learners. Not “hopeless confusion,” of course, which occurs when “the impasse cannot be resolved, the student gets stuck, there is no available plan, and important goals are blocked.” Rather, “productive confusion” should be the aim. It’s achieved by helping the student recognize that the way out of confusion is through focused thought and problem solving; by providing necessary information and suggesting strategies when appropriate; and by helping the student cope with the negative emotions that may arise.

This sounds an awful lot like what Johnston is talking about regarding agency. Allowing students to take their confusion and work through it not only helps them truly learn something but it shows them that they are capable of doing so and of solving their own confusion.

EdWeek had an article that reinforced this thinking for me.

Robert A. Bjork, the director of the Learning and Forgetting Lab at UCLA, calls this sort of challenge “desirable difficulties.” Just as in physical exercise, the more students have to exert their mental muscles to learn a new concept or recall and idea, the stronger their memory and learning will become. 

The analogy to physical exercise helps this make more sense for me. All of this: Johnston’s book, these articles and these studies, reminded me of my husband’s (a college professor) mantra: “Uncomfortable, but not paralyzed.” This is how he wants his students to be. Pushed out of their comfort zone but just enough so that they work to make these new skills or new content comfortable for themselves.

As I reflect on this I feel that this is something we do both really well and really poorly at primary grades. We work to give students independence and let them solve their own problems, but sometimes we fall into the habit of simply doing something for them or telling them how to do things because it is so much faster. I need to remember the idea of agency and keep myself in check.

The Learning and Forgetting Lab at UCLA sounds like a really amazing place. What an awesome name for a place to work.