Which system do you think is better, bartering or money? Using details from the article, give at least two examples to support your answer.


It’s Only Money!
by Ben Sutter
taken from the New York State 2005 5th Grade ELA test

Did you know that money is not worth the paper it is printed on? It is worth a lot more. Money is really just a symbol. That means it stands for something else. Long ago, people did not use money. They did not go to stores to buy what they needed. People had to make or grow food, clothes, and other things they needed. They grew crops. They made clothes from wool from their sheep. They made baskets from grasses. They made pots from clay they dug out of the ground.

Later, people started trading. When people traded, they no longer had to make everything they needed. People began to do certain kinds of work. Then they would trade what they made to someone else in order to get different foods and goods. To trade like this is to barter. It works like this. One farmer might have cows. Another farmer might have chickens. If the two farmers traded with each other, they could both have milk and eggs.

The barter system was a good system. Bakers could trade bread for wheat. Then they could use the wheat to make more bread. Weavers could trade cloth for meat. A wood worker could trade a table for a saddle. Trading let people work at certain jobs. It also gave people a way to buy things they needed.

But one problem with bartering was that not everyone agreed on prices. A farmer might think a cow was worth ten chickens. The other farmer might think that the cow was worth only six chickens. There was no one to set the price for goods. That means that people had to work out a price each time they wanted to trade.

Another problem was that the goods might be too heavy to carry. What if the cow farmer wanted to trade a cow for a horse? Or if the chicken farmer wanted to trade ten chickens for a pig? They would have to carry their animals with them.

Bartering did not have a way to make change, either. What if the cow farmer wanted to trade a cow for a chicken? A cow is worth more than a chicken. One cow might be worth ten chickens. But what if the farmer only wanted one chicken, not ten? The farmer should get “change.” But how can you make change from a cow?

This is where money comes in. People used to use all kinds of small things for money. They used shells, beads, feathers, seeds, and even salt. (Salt was worth a lot because it was needed to save food and to make food taste good.) A group of people would decide the worth of a kind of shell. Other kinds of shells would be worth more or less. Then people had money that was worth a certain amount. It was easy to carry. It was easy to make change.

As time went on, people formed governments. The governments began to make the money. Now our bills have pictures of presidents. Some countries have money with pictures of kings and queens. Some countries have bills that are printed in many colors. When we travel, we can trade our money with people from other countries. Using money means that we don’t have to travel with chickens, cows, or clay pots!

When teaching content with a web resource, it is very important to link DIRECTLY to the web resource. If you take your students to a page where they have to scroll, find words, click on words etc. you not only waste time, but you encourage mistakes.

How many of you remember those kids who could not find the proper page in their Social Studies books and we all had to wait for them? That was a classroom management issue.

  • How did the teacher react to the child?
  • How did the kids react?

Not linking directly to the web site you want creates the same classroom management issue- but sometimes worse.

Here are two screen shots to study.

  • The Inefficient version takes students to a web page of links. If the teacher wants to get his/her students to create a bar graph, the kids will have to scroll down, look for the text Create a Graph, click on the link and then click on the word Bar.
  • The efficient version takes the kids right to the Bar Graph web page and teaching can start right away.
Inefficient
Efficient

Rule of thumb? Can I teach with the page I am taking my kids to? If not, find the EXACT web page and link to that.

The Anatomy of Secure Passwords

* Be at least 8 characters long
* Contain both uppercase and lowercase letters.
* Contain numbers.
* Contain symbols, such as ` ! ” ? $ ? % ^ & * ( ) _ – + = { [ } ] : ; @ ‘ ~ # | \ < , > . ? /
* Not be your name, your friend’s or family member’s name, or your login.
* Not be a dictionary word or common name.

I Have a Literacy Dream

I have been fascinated with the dictionary tool-tip – a Get Firefox add-on and have used it quite extensively.

I would like to add a dictionary to that tool-tip, a picture dictionary for young readers.

I can see how technology can help with decoding and vocabulary with this new dictionary.

I am making my first attempt at this dictionary with first graders.

My goal is to:

  1. have kids learn vocabulary words through drawing them
  2. publish those drawings on my web site
  3. record young voices reading those words
  4. publish those recordings to my page
  5. write sentences or stories that contain these vocabulary words and link to the drawings and embed pronunciations of these words.

Here is an example.

Configuring QuickNote

1. Click on the QuickNote icon on your tool bar to open QuickNote


2. Click on the little notepad near the top right corner of QuickNote


3. Click on the word Settings


4. Customize the following under the Main Tab:

I would Send Selected Text to Tab 1 – so click in the circle next to Tab 1
I would not Add URL to end of copied text – it makes your note taking confusing
I would make 4 Notes of tabs
I would load QuickNote in the Sidebar
I would enable the Show Save and Save As buttons


5. Click OK to save these settings
6. Other tabs will be explained in another post….but I am not sure when….I would not worry about them.

bTcacTus Trail Map

As a student in my class, you will need to know what you can find on my site.  This screen shot will help you figure out where to go:

Sharing a Google Document

Here are the directions for sharing a document with another person.

  1. Open the Google Document you wish to share
  2. Click on the Share tab
  3. In the box, type in my email address and don’t change the button that says as collaborator. Click on the button that says Invite Collaborator.
  4. Type in a message to me that explains what the document is and then click Send .
  5. That is it!

Lesson Formula Ideas

Ideas kicking around in my head for a lesson formula – I am sure that someone has already organized this, but …

  1. Decide on (an) objective(s)
  2. Decide on materials
    1. web
      1. web page
      2. video
      3. podcast
    2. print
  3. Decide on instructional delivery method
    1. teacher directed
      1. projector with computer
      2. overhead
      3. worksheet/handout
    2. student directed
      1. cooperative learning
        1. jigsaw
        2. peer teaching
        3. Think-Pair-Share
      2. individual practice
  4. Decide on (an) Assessment Strateg(y)ies

Debates on the iPod

Last night it occurred to me to download the Republican debate from ABC and watch it on my iPod.

I liked this better than watching it on TV because I could stop – play – and review what a candidate said. I know, Tivo will do the same thing – but I don’t have Tivo – or cable for that matter. Plus, I watched the debate in my bed and listened to it again on my way to work – try that with Tivo.

Here is the link to the ABC, GOP New Hampshire debate and the video itself is below.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=-2034229490271665715" width="400" height="326" wmode="transparent" /]

Here is the link to the ABC, Democrat New Hampshire debate and the video itself is below.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=-2034229490271665715" width="400" height="326" wmode="transparent" /]

Differentiated Science/Reading Web Resource, Naturescapes

The good folks at Naturescapes have created a web resource that actually differentiates reading by using Science content.

I have taken 3 screenshots of the first two paragraphs of three different pages about the cactus.

Here is the basic page (real page):

Here is the more details (real page) web page:

And lastly, here is the more in depth (real page) web page:

This web resource supports the Universal Design for Learning Principles in the following ways:

To support Recognition Learning, the information is presented in three different formats.

To support Strategic Learning, the authors provided digital collections of images and information to narrow search

And to support Affective Learning, students are provided with Choices of Content based on their literacy abilities)

Teaching with the Winter Classic

On January 1, the Buffalo Sabres – my hometown hockey team – played a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins outside at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, NY.  This game was tagged the Winter Classic – see photos. I did not go, but watched from my living room and went outside occasionally to hear the roar of the fans – I live about 1.5 miles from the stadium.

I decided to do a graphing lesson using the statistics from the game.  Students have to choose 3 – 5 players and a common statistic (e.g. shifts, shots, blocked shots, etc.). Stat Summary web page

Instead of using Microsoft Excel – kids used this site – http://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/createagraph/default.aspx

The Life Cycle of a Great White Shark

 

by Bryce T. S.

Download The Life Cycle of a Great White Shark

Monster Exchange – Image Editing Scope and Sequence

The Monster Exchange is an inter-class project where students share descriptions and drawings of monsters.

Image Editing with The Gimp the Gimp Scope and Sequence

1. Students will access the pictures from a shared network drive and rename the file(s) – student will rename the file with their first name and a number (e.g. chris1) for each file
2. Students will move the file(s) to a new folder on a shared network drive
3. Opening an image in the Gimp
4. Cropping an image in the Gimp
5. Sharpen the Image in the Gimp (Filters>>Enhance>>Sharpen)
6. Scale the image in the Gimp – subtract 200 from the width
7. Save the file to a Ready for the Web folder with the teacher’s name on a shared network drive.

Sue Kincaid and the Need – so long ago

This is a video of my wife (at least 10 years ago) singing “Wonderful Christmas Time” – Merry Christmas.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/4RrjEyM9iI8" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Animal School

I saw this at a conference today:

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/wVxT4XO0ZuY" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Original Version (different than the video):

The Animal School: A Fable

by George Reavis

Note: This story was written when George Reavis was the Assistant
Superintendent of the Cincinnati Public Schools back in the 1940s! It is in the public domain and free to use.

Once upon a time the animals decided they must do something heroic to meet the problems of a “new world” so they organized a school. They had adopted an activity curriculum consisting of:

  • running
  • climbing
  • swimming
  • flying

To make it easier to administer the curriculum, all the animals took all the subjects.

The duck was excellent in swimming. In fact, better than his instructor. But he made only passing grades in flying and was very poor in running. Since he was slow in running, he had to stay after school and also drop swimming in order to practice running. This was kept up until his webbed feet were badly worn and he was only average in swimming. But average was acceptable in school so nobody worried about that, except the duck.

The rabbit started at the top of the class in running but had a nervous breakdown because of so much makeup work in swimming.

The squirrel was excellent in climbing until he developed frustration in the flying class where his teacher made him start from the ground up instead of the treetop down. He also developed a “charlie horse” from overexertion and then got a C in climbing and D in running.

The eagle was a problem child and was disciplined severely. In the climbing class, he beat all the others to the top of the tree but insisted on using his own way to get there.

At the end of the year, an abnormal eel that could swim exceeding well and also run, climb and fly a little had the highest average and was valedictorian.

The prairie dogs stayed out of school and fought the tax levy because the administration would not add digging and burrowing to the curriculum. They apprenticed their children to a badger and later joined the groundhogs and gophers to start a successful private school.

Do you remember kids that fit those roles when you were young? Do you see kids like this now as a student teacher or teacher?

The Emotional Scale


Joy/Appreciation/Empowered/Freedom/Love
Passion
Enthusiasm/Eagerness/Happiness
Positive Expectation/Belief
Optimism
Hopefulness
Contentment
Boredom
Pessimism
Frustration/Irritation/Impatience
Overwhelment
Disappointment
Doubt
Worry
Blame
Discouragement
Anger
Revenge
Hatred/Rage
Jealousy
Insecurity/Guilt/Unworthiness
Fear/Grief/Depression/Despair/Powerlessness

Use Print Screen to Share Your Computer Screen

One of the built in functions of any operating system is to capture whatever you are displaying on your screen.

I use screen capture to make tutorials and save digital receipts for purchases. This tutorial will show you how to:

  1. Create a screen shot on a Windows Computer
  2. Paste the screen shot into a word processing program (in this case, Microsoft Word)
  3. Save the file in Rich Text Format (.rtf) so that it can be opened by alternative programs other than Microsoft Word.

Step #1 – press the print screen button on your keyboard


Step #2 – Open a Word Processing Document, such as Open Office or Microsoft Word
Step #3 – Right Click anywhere on the screen and choose Paste
Step #4 – Save the File in Rich Text Format

  1. File>>Save As
  2. Make Sure that you save the screen shot to the desktop (so you can find it later)
  3. In the Save as Type, click on the drop down menu and choose Rich Text Format

Create a Graph Lesson

Directions for Students:

  1. Open Firefox
  2. Go to my web site – http://btcactus.org
  3. Visit MyLearning Center
  4. Click on the Math Cactus (row 2 column C)
  5. Scroll down to Section E Graphs
  6. Click on the link that says Bar, Pie, & Line Graphs – Oh My!
    1. Click on the Bar Graph Graphic
    2. On the right hand side of the page there are tabs, click on the Data Tab
    3. The Graph Title should be The Lengths of Manhattan Bridges
    4. The X Axis Label should be Bridges
    5. The Y Axis Label should be Total Feet
    6. Source – PLEASE TYPE YOUR FIRST AND LAST NAME
    7. Item #1 Brooklyn Bridge Value #1 5989
    8. Item #2 Manhattan Bridge Value #2 6855
    9. Item #3 George Washington Bridge Value #3 4760
    10. Item #4 Throgs Neck Bridge Value #4 2910
    11. Item #5 Verrazano-Narrows Value #5 4260
    12. Click on the Preview Tab to see your Graph
    13. Click on the Print/Save Tab
    14. Email the graph to me – [email protected]
  7. Teacher Notes

    1. Objective with Verb from Bloom’s TaxonomyConstruct a bar graph using real data.
    2. New York State Performance Indicator Performance
      Indicator MST3.04.RE5.01: Students use verbal and written language, physical models, drawing charts, graphs, table, symbols, and equations as
      representations.
    3. Instructional Delivery MethodMobile Computer Lab
    4. Lesson Launch Pointhttp://btcactus.org
    5. Assessment
      - How I will know students have constructed a bar graphStudents will email the bar graph to me.

Alphabet Organizer Lesson

Directions for Students:

  1. Open Firefox
  2. Go to my web site – http://btcactus.org
  3. Visit My Learning Center
  4. Click on the Writing Tools Cactus (row 3 column C)
  5. Click on the Alphabet Organizer
    1. Type in your first name only
    2. In the Title, type in AT Family
    3. Click OK
    4. Choose Option 2
      1. Click on the letter a and type in the word at
      2. Click on the letter b and type in the word bat
      3. Click on the letter c and type in the word cat
      4. Click on the letter f and type in the word fat
      5. Click on the letter h and type in the word hat
      6. Click on the letter m and type in the word mat
      7. Click on the letter p and type in the word pat
      8. Click on the letter r and type in the word rat
      9. Click on the letter s and type in the word sat
      10. Click on the letter v and type in the word vat

    Teacher Notes

    1. Objective with Verb from Bloom’s TaxonomyCategorize words in AT word family.
    2. New York State Performance Indicator ELA1.E.LR1E: – Students make appropriate and effective use of strategies to construct meaning from print, such as prior knowledge about a subject, structural and context clues, and an understanding of letter-sound relationships to decode difficult words.
    3. Instructional Delivery MethodDesktop Computer Lab
    4. Lesson Launch Pointhttp://btcactus.org
    5. Assessment
      - How I will know students have categorized words with the AT soundStudents will print out their Alphabet Organizer, I will hand the papers out and then the students will use a light colored crayon to highlight the AT sound.
  6. Buffalo State Students – in order for you to prove to me that you completed the work above, please complete these steps
    1. Click on the Print Screen button on your keyboard (look at the top right hand side of the keyboard)
    2. Open a word processing document (e.g. Microsoft Word, Open Office…)
    3. Right Click anywhere on the white part of your screen and choose paste
    4. Save the document as an .rtf (rich text file format) If you are using Microsoft Office 2007, the file will be saved as a .docx. I do not have Microsoft Office 2007 on any of the machines I work with at school or at home – so I can’t open it and will not accept that file format. (This is one of the reasons why I love open source products). If you don’t know how to save a file in .rtf format, email me and I will point you in the right direction)
      1. Print Screen/Save in Rich Text Format Tutorial

    5. Send it to me as an attachment to my email address – [email protected]
      1. Gmail Attachment Tutorial 

Technology and the School Principal (Leader) – NYSCATE, 2007

Stop letting the IT Department tell your teachers how to teach with technology. Work with them to develop a safe and secure environment for digital learning.

Are you prepared to guide your school as this unfolds around you?

Key Finding #1
Digital schools are transitioning from a desktop world to a mobile world
Not long ago, very few schools had a large number of laptop computers. ADS 2006 indicates that 19.4% of all student devices today are mobile and that 52.1% will be mobile in 2011. It is noteworthy that schools rarely change at this rapid rate. Also, since these figures represent the installed base, current-year sales numbers will be even more tilted toward mobile solutions.

Key Finding #2
Ubiquitous computing is growing rapidly

In 2003 QED reported that 4% of U.S. school districts had started 1:1 implementations.. ADS 2006 indicates that more than 24% of school districts are in the process of transitioning to 1:1—a large jump in a market that is known to take a cautious view of change.

Key Finding #5
Online learning is growing

ADS 2006 shows that online learning for core courses is currently used by only 2.3% of students. By 2011 this figure will grow to 7.4%, or a 26.3% compound annual growth rate.

America’s Digital Schools 2006: A Five-Year Forecast.” July 10, 2006. TechLEARNING. 26 Sep 2007 .

The Agenda for the Workshop:

  • What should teachers have on a classroom web site?
  • How can you use your building web site as a communication tool?
  • What technology policies should you address?
  • What does effective teaching with technology look like? What should every school leader know?
  • How can I get more teachers and parents involved in decision making?
  • What are the ramifications of curriculum mapping for students, teachers, parents and the at-large community?
  • Can using data improve my school?
  • Organize Research for Your Students

    I was working with a teacher the other day who wanted his/her students to make a brochure about regions of New York State. She/He is a veteran teacher who does not normally use technology – so keep that in mind.

    As I watched this experience unfold, I jumped in to help the kids and her – I wanted them to have a successful experience.  Here are some guidelines:

    1. If your students have never used a piece of software before – she/he wanted the kids to use Microsoft Publisher and they had never used it – provide them a template to download from your web site. This template can then be customized by the kids to demonstrate learning.
    2. Provide good links to sources – organize them on your web site. Kids waste too much time looking for resources. If you are teaching search, then let the lesson be about search.
    3. Teach them how to organize what they are learning – my suggestion is to use Firefox and QuickNote. If you dont’ have Firefox or Quicknote – get them to use Notepad on Windows or Text Editor on the Mac. When there notes are digital, they can be used for Essays, Reports, Spreadsheets, PowerPoint Presentations, blogging, etc.
    4. Provide a finished document so the kids have an idea of what to do, or what a finished product may look like.

    Steps 2 and 3 are a must.  Steps 1 and 4 will make you a marvelous teacher!

    Prescribing Solutions for Literacy Challenges – NYSCATE, 2007

    According to the Reading Rockets web site
    (http://www.readingrockets.org/helping), 40% of children struggle with
    reading. In a class of 20 kids, that is 8 out of 12.
    Do you know how to help them? Do you know what to tell their parents?
    Imagine a child saying these words to you:

    “I feel like I just use the same words over and over
    again in my writing.” What is the problem?
    “I don’t know how to sound out these words.” What is the
    problem?

    “I struggle to keep track of my thoughts while getting them down on
    paper.” What is the problem?

    I have organized the fantastic resources from Reading Rockets, LDOnline
    and the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) on my web site -
    bTcacTus.org.
    Workshop Agenda:

    1. We will identify Reading and Writing Challenges
      (Phonological, Word Decoding, Vocabulary, Fluency, Comprehension, and
      general Writing Challenges)
    2. Explore Web Resources teachers can use to help children and
      recommend to moms and dads (FREE)
    3. Explore Firefox Add-ons that will help students *a
      1:1 computing must (FREE)
    4. Explore Software and Hardware (Assistive and Adaptive
      Technologies) (some free and some cost money)

     

    Necessary
    Web Sites

    Chris Shively

    http://btcactus.org/

    CAST

    http://www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/ideas/tes/chapter6.cfm

    Reading Rockets

    http://www.readingrockets.org/target

    LD Online

    http://www.ldonline.org/article/12769

    Firefox

    http://firefox.com

    The Sock Drawer vs. The Front Door

    When teaching content with a web resource, it is very important to link DIRECTLY to the web resource.  If you take your students to a page where they have to scroll, find words, click on words etc. you not only waste time, but you encourage mistakes.

    How many of you remember those kids who could not find the proper page in their Social Studies books and we all had to wait for them?  That was a classroom management issue. 

    • How did the teacher react to the child? 
    • How did the kids react?

    Not linking directly to the web site you want creates the same problem classroom management issue- but sometimes worse. 

    Here are two screen shots to study. The Inefficient version takes students to a web page of links. If the teacher wants to get his/her students to create a bar graph, the kids will have to scroll down, look for the text Create a Graph, click on the link and then click on the word Bar.

    The efficient version takes the kids right to the Bar Graph web page and teaching can start right away.

    Inefficient
    Efficient

    Rule of thumb? Can I teach with the page I taking my kids to? If not, find the EXACT web page and link to that.