Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bright, Shiny, and Rusty!

Bright, Shiny, and Rusty!
Originally uploaded by vanhookc
Polk Co. 4-Hers are very creative. Loved this display! What a great use of an old rusty wheel! I am so glad to see 4-H has strong support in Iowa and hope it does as well in all states of the USA.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Books panorama

Love this picture. I borrowed it from a flickr member, as it has Creative Commons permission!

This post is to share with you great book suggestions from my PLN contacts. What a powerful list, and the contributors shared within a 12 hour period. Obviously, from the looks of this list, these are powerful readers. Thank you for sharing:

New Amsterdam by Elizabeth Bear
[My New York contact offers a wonderful review, "It's a grown-up alternative to the Twilight series, mildly erotic but fascinating look at an alternative history, where the British still rule the colonies and magic is an acknowledged part of life." *****

Mysteries, mysteries, mysteries:
Two Little Girls in Blue by Mary Higgins Clark
Chasing Vermeer (ages 9-12)
Stephanie Plum Series, Janet Evanovich
Just One Look, Harlan Coben
Harriet Vane in Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Whimsey Series
The Beekeeper's Apprentice Mary Russell Series, Laurie King
Angels and Demons -- book beats the movie!!!

Man Gone Down -- Michael Thomas
Oryx and Crake -- Margaret Atwood
Suck it Up, surprise ending! YA
The Book Thief
The Brief Wondrous World of Oscar Wao -- Junot Diaz
The Cinderella Pact -- Susan Strohmeyer
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
The Loved Dog
Three Cups of Tea
Jane Austen -- of course!

My PLN friends from PA say, "You need to read every day in some way!" and "Reading can take you places."

And ThinkingTom says, "The serious books he reads are the type of books that you find yourself submerging into...time flies by and you don't wish to do anything else!"

What are you reading?

Connecting with Blogs

Originally uploaded by vanhookc
Thanks, friends in my PLN! You have shared many great blog suggestions on just about every topic!

For a little humor –Wondermark, Unshelved, Shelf Check
For a glimpse of images—Less Ordinary
For life style tips – Life Hack, Unclutterer
For fun – Cake Wrecks
For quotes – Quoteflections
Global following -- Spring of Hope (

Other’s recommended / Educational –
Scott McLeod’s blog
Doug Johnson’s Blue Skunk Blog
Assorted Stuff
Bud the Teacher
Discovery Education Blogs
Wesley Fryer’s At the Speed of Creativity
David Warlick’s 2 Cents Worth

Hint: Install Google Reader on your computer and drop the RSS feed for any of these blogs into your Reader. You might set up categories, as suggested above! I have found when reading them gets ahead of me, I can mark them All READ. However, I can still go back and keyword search these archived blogs to find what I need to know! I also like to STAR the ones I want to come back to and read again!

Blogs are often my best teacher for professional and personal learning.

Those contributing information shared they read and listen to these on their Kindles, Google Readers, and Ipods.

This is just a start on the many great blogs out there. Add your 2 cents worth here and share more great blogs!

Add Some Spark to Your Teaching

Hometown Spectacular
Originally uploaded by vanhookc
This entry will share the spectacular suggestions by a few of my contacts in my PLN! Thank you!

What a great list of educational resources. I see there are so many educators reading materials this summer in preparation to better serve our youth!

Hope you find some resources here that will be of interest:

The Element
Why Don't Students Like School
Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery
Brain Rules
Fred Factor
Quantum Learning and Instructional Leadership in Practice

Great comment coming from PLN contact in Wisconsin -- "...information and technology literacy needs to be the domain of all educators."

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Creative Thinking

Creative Thinking
Originally uploaded by vanhookc
Be confident! Individualism rocks!