Saturday, December 13, 2008

Wordle Meme

Diane Cordell responded to a Wordle Meme this week, so I thought I'd take up the Meme and create one for Portable Teacher. A meme is the spreading of an idea peer to peer or in this case via the Internet; at least that's my working definition of memes. She was "tagged" with the meme. I've never been tagged but I liken it to several people responding to the same prompt. I was pleased to see that Portable Teacher's wordle focuses on students and school, mirroring the purpose of our blog. Teachers are tiny and students are mighty in the wordle. Like a fact checker, wordles provide an image of a blog or user's focus. Over the summer, I blogged about Wordles and created a few with my Delicious account.

How could use Wordle in class? It would be interesting to type in an article's web address and use the wordle to talk about theme and main idea--which reminds me of Kylene Beer's example of the most important word strategy in When Kids Can't Read. Instead of chosing the words yourself though, Wordle would choose them. I wonder what students would make of that.

Want to make your own? Go to Wordle and enter your text or url to see the results.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

School Start Times

Newly elected school board members have just held a vote that reverses school start times. The school boarded voted last night, but it's unclear when we'll swap the schedules. High school in my county starts at 9:30. Last year, we began at 7:20, but the board flipped schedules with the middle schools in order to save transportation costs. for me this meant an increase in child care costs; an effect, I imagine most parents experienced. This year, I wondered if our later start time would bump up student achievement (based on the research about teens and sleep). Ultimately, it is what it is. The people of Orange County elected these school board members on their promise to return to the original start times. Who knew those promises would be fulfilled so quickly?

DH Design. "Alarm Clock." Flickr. 12 Aug 2007. 10 Dec. 2008.