Saturday, May 24, 2008

Touching Them All

Oh my, this makes me weep! What a neat story. Hits close to home- softball, a torn ACL, and a girl that's never hit one over the fence! :) I sure miss ball, and especially all my ball friends, at this time of the year. I'd love to get the cleats out and dive into the shale. Enjoy...and get your kleenex out!!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday morning singing...

Yesterday I turned on GarageBand during our Friday morning devotional, when we usually spend time singing together. This is one of their favorites...

Pour Out My Heart

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Rubber Band Experiment

On the weekend I listened to my brother Steve's message "Beauty in the Air", part of his series "Do Something Beautiful". You can download the sermon from iTunes, or go here to listen online. The analogy of our spoken words bringing a polluting presence to the air felt easy to grasp, living in the thick smog of Hong Kong. Easy to picture!

So today I challenged myself, and my students, to take up what we ended up tagging "The Rubber Band Challenge". I think Steve, his church, and from what I hear, 5 million other people in the world, have those hip plastic bracelets to use, but we decided to go with the classic rubber band. The basic idea is that every time you complain, argue, whine, moan, get the hang of switch your bracelet to the other wrist. The challenge is to see how many days it takes you to keep the bracelet on the same wrist for 21 days. Hooofta.

We did a one day challenge in Grade 5. I told the kids that after that, they could decide if they wanted to continue or not. Hopefully they stick with it, because there was a lot less whining in the classroom today! (And they're likely hoping I stick with it, too!) "Take out your math books...." was met with silence, though I could hear them biting their tongues! I had to smile at one of my boys, who came into the classroom exclaiming (with exasperation), "Ohhhhhhhh! I just had to switch it TWO times! After I complained the first time, then I complained that I had complained and had to switch it again!"

I found that I did well with my kids throughout the day, but as I found myself in the staff room, and later at physio, the rubber band was on the move! Interesting.

Check out Steve's sermon- it's a good one!!!

Friday, May 09, 2008

The Mac is Back.

Alas, the white wonder has returned. The Macbook is back, and revamped. The receipt notes a new hard drive, battery, and top case with keyboard. Hoofta. I thought I took good care of it...but apparently it wasn't feeling the love.

I have a few questions for the fix it fellows, though. For one, they didn't reinstall Leopard. I don't why, and I am having some troubles reinstalling it again on the disk volume that appears. I need to reinstall Leopard before I can load up the computer with everything from my back up disk. Though they didn't reinstall Leopard, they actually upgraded my ILife package, which is good and bad. Good because I like the new IPhoto, but bad because so far I'm not a huge fan of the new IMovie. Also, a favorite application from the old ILife, Comicbook, is no longer included in the new version. Guess I'll give them a call in the morning and see if I can get the Leopard reinstall figured out, anyway.

Well, I'm happy to be connected at home again, although the last three weeks have been very good for me. I got more sleep, and I read my Bible in the mornings, instead of checking email. I'm going to see if I can keep that one up.

Super-Sized Seduction

We have some big city seduction going on in Hong Kong. It's sad. As I was on my way out of the MTR (subway) station today, I was seduced by the scenes splattered all over the walls going up the escalator. Basically as close to naked as you can get, save for a string bikini (for sale at H&M). The size of the image, I think, would about cover one of our double-decker buses. On the other side of the escalator, there's a man flanked by a woman on each side. And you know the looks on their faces. Seduction is in the station.

But H&M's got nothin' next to the Calvin Klein folks, who claimed the title for Asia's largest billboard. With an image that could be viewed from the other side of the harbor, as well as from the Peak view on the Island, CK plastered Djimon Hounsou in his tighty whities for all of HK to see. Thanks, CK. I'm sure you could have picked up the image using Google Earth! It encompassed 27 stories on the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Talk about MASS media. I wish I could hide these images from my ten-year-old students' eyes. It's frightening, and overwhelming to me as an Aunty, and educator. How are we helping our kids make sense of the load of sexually driven messages that flood our world?

Monday, May 05, 2008

82 years old....for a day

Today was Career Day at school. You were supposed to dress up as what you want to be "when you grow up". Last night I grew weary of unit planning, so I decided to play a game. You have half an hour. Go to the market via taxi. Turn yourself into a lovely Grandma. This is what I came up with in my half hour. My favorite part is the shirt, it says "A mother's love is homemade". The purse included candies, lotion, and pictures of all my precious grandchildren.
My, was it ever a fun day at school! Dressing up never gets old.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Teaching the Digital Natives

I spent the day at a learning technology PD conference. The most useful session was one focused on enquiry learning, versus topical research. Basically moving away from the "scooping" model of research, where we send kids off with a topic and they collect information, and moving towards research that is directed by questioning and problem solving. The speaker also had some good thoughts on helping kids use Google. One simple tip was getting away from the simple search and always directing them to the advanced search mode.

The session hosted by Apple was worthwhile, especially because it was aimed at using Garage Band. I've played with it from time to time, but it was great to dive in and leave the session feeling pretty comfortable with the software. The trouble is that I have only my personal Macbook (actually I don't even have that at the moment- hard disk replacement is underway), so it's next to impossible to do so much of what I'd love to with Mac software in my classroom. Maybe someday. Many, if not most, of the international schools in HK have personal Macbooks for their students.

One site you might find helpful is Catch Video. It allows you to download Youtube videos onto your computer.