Saturday, October 6, 2007

School Discipline

"Restorative approaches to discipline, rather than punitive, deal more effectively with student misbehavior by encouraging students to take responsibility for their actions and find ways to 'make things right' with those they have harmed, according to conference organizers. Restorative discipline empowers students to be accountable for their actions in a school environment that is caring and responsive."
I'd like to thank Ernie Easter from the New Sweden School for bringing the following conference to my attention:

Transforming School Discipline: ‘Restorative Justice’ Conference on Nov. 28 - 30, 2007, in South Portland.

Wikipedia: Restorative Justice
Belinda Hopkins: Transforming Conflict
Belinda Hopkins: Restorative Justice Consortium

Other Resources on school discipline and student behavior:

Behavior Management Resources
Classroom Management
Computer Classroom Management

Still more resources that connect with human behavior:

Icebreaker Resources
Trust Building Resources
Community Building Resources
Team Building Resources
Listening Skills Resources
Active Listening Resources
Diversity Resources
Learning Styles Resources
Expeditionary Learning Resources
Stress Management Resources

What are your thoughts on school discipline?

Friday, October 5, 2007

Explaining Copyright

by Deborah White

My college freshman New Media major son is home for October Break. He was quick to share this video that explains copyright law and fair use in a unique, entertaining, and clear manner. High School and Middle School students (and teachers) could benefit from viewing this video and discussing it on several levels.

This is on Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society. There are other resources on this that could proof helpful for teachers and their students.

A Fair(y) Use Tale

Web 2.0 Workshop at Gray-New Gloucester Middle School

We are reporting out of the Gray-New Gloucester Middle School Today. This post and comments will be changing as the day continues. As we work our way through the agenda, comments will be added. Whether you are at Gray or not, feel free to add your 2¢. In fact, we would love to see comments from other places in Maine and beyond.

View Larger Map

Morning session is done at GNGMS. We had an unexpected video Skype experience, communicating with Keith Kelley and class at MSAD#48.

Pleasantly diverse group of 40 educators. It was a delight working with you! :) This afternoon, Alison Skoczenski, the District librarian is presenting the local library database, MARVEL - Maine's Virtual Library, and

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

K12 Online Conference 2007

by Kern Kelley

The K12 Online Conference 2007 is almost here. It runs from October 8th to the 27th. Go to for more details. Here's a quick explanation from the website:

"The K-12 Online Conference invites participation from educators around the world interested in innovative ways Web 2.0 tools and technologies can be used to improve learning. This FREE conference run by volunteers and open to everyone."
You can click here for a flyer or listen to a terrific interview by Bob Sprankle, Cheryl Oakes and Alice Barr with a couple of the conferences organizers, Wes Fryer and Darren Kuropatwa.
Check out podcast #24 at:

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Pi Day

by Deborah White

I know it's early to be thinking about Pi Day (March 14) but I stumbled upon these two songs - one about pi and one about friction that I just had to share.


Mathematical Pi Animated Video

Mathematical Pi Lyrics and guitar chords

Mathematical Pi Audio

Sound of Friction Lyrics and guitar chords

Sound of Friction Audio

Universal Access to Laptops?

by Olga LaPlante

I happen to have a friend staying in Thailand at the moment, and working at an international school. International also implies private, or not free.
When we talk about China, or Asia (which would then include Thailand), do we somehow have this stereotype that those kids are well-educated, successful and pose a serious threat to US job-seekers? It will be safe to say yes.

Now, last time we spoke (on Skype, of course), he said (he teaches French), that he has a small class, they are all A students. They say, "That's all???" after he assigns homework, quite disappointed... He said that they might enjoy joining Alliance Francaise, and they did to take a course. It's middle school students by the way.

Now, my question was - to my friend's son who is a high school student now - do you have laptops? He said - no, we have like 4 computers in the lab/library.

Does this tell you anything? Can US schooling be in the large part a product of the culture, rather than limited resources, poverty, ESL students etc.?


Monday, October 1, 2007

Fire Prevention Week

by Deborah White

Fire Prevention Week is always the week in October that includes October 8th and 9th in it. Why? Because in 1871 on those days there were two big fires - The Great Chicago Fire and the Great Peshtigo Fire!

Information on those fires can be found at:

The Great Chicago Fire

The Great Peshtigo Fire

You can also find resources for teaching fire prevention and life safety education by going to one of these sites.

National Fire Prevention Association

American Red Cross Masters of Disaster

FEMA for Kids

Scholastic's Fire Prevention Program
Resource #1
Resource #2

Call your local Fire Department! They'll be happy to work with you to teach your students fire prevention and life safety skills.


"Remember the waterfront shack with the sign FRESH FISH SOLD HERE. Of course it's fresh, we're on the ocean. Of course it's for sale, we're not giving it away. Of course it's here, otherwise the sign would be someplace else. The final sign: FISH." ~Peggy Noonan
Stenhouse Publishing has announced a new book by Jeff Anderson called Everyday Editing - Inviting Students to Develop Skill and Craft in Writer's Workshop. The book is expected to be available by October 17, but the handy thing about Stenhouse Publishers is that we can browse the entire book online until that time, much as we might view a book in a bookstore before we purchase it.

Other Web Resources for Editing

Any other helpful editing resources?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Pigs at Fryeburg Fair

"Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering, and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise." ~ George Orwell

What a beautiful day! My brother, Mike, and my sister, Susan, visiting from Bellingham, Washington, spent some time with me enjoying the Fryeburg Fair today. We casually toured the buildings and events. We did the the classic hot sausage and onion sandwich and washed it down with fresh lemonade.

But it was the pigs that caught my attention. It occurred to me that seeing pigs almost always connects me with two of my favorite books: Charlotte's Web by E.B. White and Animal Farm by George Orwell. Both stories have pigs as main characters, and both offer a great deal of wisdom on the human condition.

I highly recommend them for read-alouds. Good for just about any age, in my humble opinion.

Other than the many variations of the Three Pigs, anyone know of any other good pig books?

Charlotte's Web Resources

Animal Farm Resources

Don't forget MARVEL! Maine's Virtual Library. Check out NoveList and NoveList K-8 for information on Charlotte's Web and Animal Farm.