Some wonderfully new (to me) blogs

As always happens just after the end of the school year, I am finding I have more time (and guilt-free time, at that!) to read what others are writing. Here are some of the blogs I have found over the last few days, written by people I am looking forward to reading again.

L’espace à Zecool – Technopédagogue, par choix et par passion…
(roughly translated to ‘Zecool’s space – tech educator, by choice and by passion)

The author is Jacques Cool, an educator from New Brunswick, who works in the area of creating and delivering learning systems for students, mainly online. The blog’s attraction for me is in the area of French resources, which he finds and shares with his readers. It is written in French.

Jim Burke: The English Teacher’s Companion – thoughts about teaching teens and English in the twenty-first century

I found Jim’s blog in a roundabout way this morning. My stats page showed his feedburner link as an incoming link to my page, I clicked on it and found some wonderful writing. Anyone that uses gardening as a metaphor for self preservation and as a method for keeping sane at this insane time of year (or at least what was this insane time of year a mere few days/weeks ago) is someone I need to keep reading.

Notions and Potions – Thoughts about teaching and learning

I think I found this blog through the one above, sometimes the route to a site is quite circuitous! The author is Dea Conrad-Curry, an educational consultant who owns Partner in Education, a company that specializes in professional development opportunities for educators. Lucky for us she also blogs and this bit of writing I found today is what will bring me back to her blog tomorrow, living in farm country it resonates with me.

…I was thinking of how farmers and teachers are alike. They both are responsible to nurture valuable commodities. Their work is both science and art. They both possess intrinsic passion, returning day in and day out to work over which they have limited control, facing the vicissitudes of nature: mother nature and human nature. And they are both being moved to change by the combined forces of technology and science.

The French Corner – the blog that’s all French, all the time

Well, it is written in English but Samantha’s posts are consistently about French, whether it be learning or teaching the language. Samantha is studying to be a high school French teacher and obviously loves the language. This blog is rich in resources and ideas. It is also beautifully presented and I think she designed it herself, which is always a bonus in my books. Samantha will make a great teacher. I’m looking forward to going back.

FSL Mania!

Yes, another fsl blog :) What got me with this one is that the author is sharing books she wrote for her Kindergarten classes, along with some accompanying workbooks. Sharing is good :) The blog is written in English, the materials en français.

Autodizactic – I really like learning

Zac Chase is currently sharing his experiences in Africa with us – his trip to the grocery store reminds me of my first trip to a grocery store in Beijing. I, too, had never seen ‘long life milk’ before then. Now I buy it at home, it’s great to keep in the cupboard for those mornings when I ran out of milk the day before and forgot to replenish with a fresh carton. It saves me and my coffee. When he isn’t in Africa he shares stories about teaching high school students, in particular about the projects they create and how he sets up the space in which to create them, in Philadelphia.

Do you have any wonderful new blogs you are reading?

ps – just found a new one, a few hours after I wrote this post but I have to add it in. It’s Classroom in the Cloud, written by John, a teacher who advocates for ubuntu in education. How could I not love him?

Carnival of Education

My inbox has been very active of late, with submissions to this week’s Carnival of Education.

Carnival at Annandale, Virginia made available on flickr via a CC license. Click on image to view source.

Carnival at Annandale, Virginia made available on flickr via a CC license. Click on image to view source.

As carnival host, I have control of the content and form of this week’s post and so I have made the decision to leave out the numerous postings I read that are either trying to sell a product/service that I felt did not have to do with education, or are providing a service that rubs me the wrong way, such as the selling of term papers ;)

So…without further ado… except to point out that the posts are organized solely by order of reception…

Let’s do this thing!

— Andrew Bernardin writes about the need for scientific validity:
Why Tests Are Essential posted at the evolving mind.

— Rachel Rambach sings us a social story/song she wrote for one of her students:
Marissa’s Guitar posted at Listen and Learn. She even offers to send you a copy of the story if you contact her. Great stuff!

— Bogusia Gierus writes about the importance of not giving up as well as the lessons we learn as teachers:
Dealing With Frustration – The Spaghetti and Marshmallow Towers posted at Nucleus Learning.

— Scott McLeod raises my teacher’s blood pressure a touch by asking:
Can a computer lecture better than a human? posted at Dangerously Irrelevant. There are many dimensions to this question, go take a look!

— Lorri begins her post with this quote that echoes my own concern for the future:

It scares me to know that I will be raising a family in a society were gangs are so prevalent and out of control. Knowing the influence that gangs have on teens and the violence, drugs and general lack of respect they have for society scares me to death. -Bree

Dear Mr. President: American students write to our future president about what concerns them posted at the New York City Education Examiner

— Denise offers a boatload of free math teaching resources:
More Free Math Resources posted at Let’s Play Math!. As a first time math teacher (I usually teach English, History, and Ethics) I’ve subscribed to the site!

— Amy Smith writes about a topic that is dear to my own heart:
Emotional Intelligence posted at Kids Love Learning.

— Skyler Reep tackles an interesting question when he asks whether self-directed ongoing learning will trump degree programs in the future:
Take Control of Your Continuing Education posted at Skyler Reep’s Blog.

— Andrea is in the thick of marking exams, but still managed to make me giggle by sharing some of the student responses, such as

Steps in planting roses:
… add compost, manure or soil condiments (amendments)
… apply orgasmic mulch (organic)

Moldy bagels posted at Andrea’s Buzzing About:.

— Steve Spangler shares a video and a post about a special science teacher and his class:
Don Cameron is Mad About Science posted at Steve Spangler’s Blog.

— OKP has an existential crisis and asks, What do you think is the purpose of high school?
Existential Crisis #1 posted at Line 46.

— Matthew Ladner exposes something previously unknown to me – the benefits of illegal private schooling in India, Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya:
Black Market Private Schooling in the Third World posted at Jay P. Greene’s Blog. Makes me want to think of alternatives to some of our own public school crises and reminds me that it needs to take a village, not a commission or board, to raise a child.

— Money Answer Guy asks a question I’m sure is on the mind of some parents:
Should You Pay for Your Children’s College? posted at The Money Answer Guy.

— Trisha Wagner also asks a parenting question, this time directed to work at home mothers:
WAHM?s- Are your kids in daycare or at home? posted at Empowering Mom

— As I sit here, sick at home, I run through Pat’s list of how she prepares for a substitute and compare it to mine:
Preparing for a Substitute posted at Successful Teaching.

— tweenteacher writes about anti-semitism in schools:
?Hit a Jew? Day – Oh joy. posted at

— Dereck and I are both INFPs. What the heck does that mean? Find out by reading his post:
Your Comprehensive Guide to the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) Personality Test posted at I Will Not Die.

— Americans may be interested in what Laura Varlas writes concerning who will be the next to lead the US Department of Education:
ASCD Inservice: America’s Next Top Ed. Sec.: Sebelius? posted at ASCD Inservice.

— Steph W. compares the process of learning how to ride a horse to the scaffolding process he goes through as a homeschooling parent:
Horseback Riding and Writing posted at The Life Without School Community Blog.

— I love that Carol Richtsmeier writes about the things you should never learn to do so you won’t have to do them! I never learned how to work those diaper things. You see, my nephew’s visit last summer coincided with a nasty tummy problem…
Scanners, Mowing Lawns & Things You Just Shouldn’t Learn How To Do posted at Bellringers.

— Oldandrew writes about the “Special Needs Racket” and student responsibility:
The Blameless. Part 3: The Afflicted posted at Scenes From The Battleground.

— Nancy Flanagan writes, ‘We all lose when kids perceive politics and voting as dirty and dangerous’ in this commentary on children’s perception of the voting process:
One Vote Samba posted at Teacher in a Strange Land.

— Matthew Needleman reviews the K12 Online conference and is ‘…in awe of the thinking, planning, and creating that has gone into creating the K12 Online presentations’:
K12 Online: Week One Review posted at Creating Lifelong Learners.