Archive for February 6th, 2014


Another week into the nerdlution and I’m falling behind in one of my promises to myself. Exercise! Ugh! It’s always a challenge for me to fit. it. in. And the cold weather hasn’t helped. But this week has been better; I made it to Curves Monday and Wednesday mornings, Yoga class on Tuesday, and Zydeco dance lessons on Wednesday night. I’m even feeling a little sore. Learning to do the alligator walk does a job on your calves.

My attention to my OLW Open is working out pretty well. I try to attend the Acadiana Wordlab each week. On Saturday, the workshop leaders were two young actresses from an Improvisation Group, Silverbacks Improv Theatre. These girls were amazing actresses! We played the craziest games. In one of the games, we each added a line to a story; In another, we could only add one word. I participated even though I felt absolutely ridiculous and totally out of my comfort zone. As always in Wordlab, the writing was unique to the writer and wonderful.

And that leads me to my third nerdlution: writing every day. This has been easy with Laura Shovan’s daily color prompts. At her site, Author Amok, she is posting different color swatches from Pantone colors to prompt poetry. If we send her our poems, she posts them the next day. I have been feeling so famous all week as she daily posts one of my poems and tags me on Twitter and Facebook. Some other blog-friends are playing along, too. (Linda Baie and Diane Mayr) Please take a look at her post for today as it features one of my poems from my book Illuminate.

Let the nerdlution continue. Thanks to Michelle Haseltine for hosting the nerdlution round up every Thursday. Click here to read more.

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Digital learning

Today is Digital Learning Day, a day when educators join together and take the pledge to make digital learning a priority. To learn more about the movement, click here.

To celebrate digital learning day, things didn’t look all that different in my class. My students are very connected to the computer through their kidblog site. A few weeks ago we started a new writing project. For this writing, I wanted my students to combine elements of fiction and nonfiction. We used the Magic Treehouse books as a model. I don’t usually set a word count for writing, but for this one, we talked about it and decided the goal would be 1000-1500 words, with at least 5 chapters. I think this has worked well to make them think bigger. And they are writing…a lot! Almost every day, our kidblog site is updated with new chapters.

As a digital component of this writing project, I taught my students how to make a PowerPoint picture into a jpeg. The PowerPoint program allows them to layer pictures and text, group them together, and paste the image into Paint to save as an image file. The image file will be used in a movie or Animoto book trailer.

Tyler made this image using PowerPoint. He layered a waterfall image with a rock (boulder), a dinosaur, and a pool of water. He placed his text below as in a real picture book. He will build a movie in MovieMaker to “show” his book.

Chapter 1

Matthew chose to make a book trailer in Animoto about his book. All his images were pulled from the Animoto site.


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