Friday, June 25, 2010

Camp Yearbook Wrapup

I just spent three days at Josten's Camp Yearbook at the Cliff Resort at Snowbird. Wow - I learned so much my brain fills like it is going to explode. I had two students with me, and we were all energized and excited about our next year's theme: Shift_.

I am most excited about the switch (shift) we plan to do in making our book more of a story telling experience. I am still processing everything I learned, but I will probably do a brain dump here in the near future.

So why did I choose a picture of a zip line to post here? Because I freaking did this!!! Actually, the tram ride to the zip line tower was WAY scarier than the zip line itself. Long, slow, high rides are my worst nightmare - think Ferris wheels - yuck. The zip line itself was pretty exhilarating and fast. WOOT!!!!!

New York Times Lessons

I frequently use articles and lessons from this source. Now they have made it even easier to use with this link: Teaching Topics from The Times.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Reading Ladders: Leading Students from Where They Are to Where We'd Like Them to Be

This is the latest book club from the EC Ning. I am really enjoying both the book and the conversation on the Ning. Lots of good ideas floating around there. More to come...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Thank You Donors Choose, Wells Fargo, Eccles Foundation, and Bing

So, I have been extremely blessed in the last few months to have three! projects funded through Donors Choose. I've received (or will receive next year): two classroom sets of books and a flip video camera. I am so excited. This is how it all happened:

On the first project, the Eccles Foundation matched my donors, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation covered the rest. The project was funded in one day, and I got a set of The Poisonwood Bible and some classroom library texts.

The next project was languishing for a while until I got an email from Donors Choose about a promotion that the site called Bing was doing. All you had to do was go to their site, fill out a quick form, and they would send you a $5 gift card for a Donors Choose Donation. Well, I filled out the forms for every person in my family, and Mike and Alison did their part, too, and I quickly had the 2nd project (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and more class library novels) funded, thanks to another match from the Eccles Foundation.

I was on a roll, so I submitted a third project, a flip camcorder, and with the help of more Bing donations and others, and the Eccles match, that was funded.

I just submitted a fourth project today for a class set of 1984. That match money is too good to pass up.

I've learned some things while doing this.
  1. Proposals with matching funds are more likely to get funded.
  2. Once you get within 50 dollars of your goal, people are more likely to donate to your proposal
  3. I love Bing, the Eccles Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.