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Monday, March 2, 2015
Abydos Writing Institute 2013
I am playing around with some animation websites. I have stumbled upon Wideo. I created a first time demo. This demo isn't very good but I was just playing with it to see how it works and to see the possibilities. In order to purchase unlimited downloads, it would cost me two hundred and fifty dollars. That is out of my price range. So I am playing with the idea of just posting links. It allows me to post to Facebook and Twitter but not to Youtube. So I will post the link. I emailed the company to see if they offer educator discounts. Let's hope that they will. It's fun to play around with but I need more time to work with it to see more of it's application into my projects. Here is the first one:
I have a new job. It is similar to my old job in many respects. So it is somewhat familiar and somewhat Siberia. Siberia is a cold, cold place to reside but if I can get used to my environment then the frozen tundra with thaw. The Winter of my discontent will melt into a great springtime of wonder, after some time. It is evident that my new job has new challenges. There are new challenges that I am trying to figure out. Fortunately, I work with a great team. I knew most of them already and they are a really supportive group of great human beings.
Having said all that, I can't escape the fact that I sometimes feel as if I am in a blender. Everything, at times, seems to hit me all at once. Everything gets clumped all together into this massive pile. I know it will slow down sometime, if only in my mind. The one thing that can calm me down is finding time to write about what is going on in my life. So, as opportunity has offered itself tonight, I decided to sit down and write down what I was thinking.
As I was about to purchase a chicken quesadilla for my hungry daughter, I thought about the straws. I was thinking that Taco's Cabana's has decent quesadillas but their straws are for the birds. They are pretty lame. They have a low grade of thin plastic. No one wants that. This low grade plastic allow for little holes. Holes in a straw can be disastrous and ruin the entire experience. I liken these nasty holes to having a little crack in flood wall. After a while, you can't help notice that the hole will give way to some irreparable damage. This brings me to writing about straws. Writing about straws made me think of Cathie Roth and a conversation I had with her this summer. Cathy and I conversed quite seriously about the value of a great drinking straw! We were in agreement. We think that McDonald's has some great, sturdy straws. I don't even think it is possible to get the tiniest hole in a MacDonald's straw unless you would go to Home Depot and purchase an enormous and powerful drill that has all kinds of torque. I really don't understand torque but when it comes to tools and Toyota Truck commercials, it kind of sounds super important. Now compared to McDonald's, Taco Cabana's straws are weak as some of those flimsy-poor-excuse-for-an- elementary-school- cafeteria-straw-straws. I don't like them.Won't use them. I plain detest them.
This brings me to my days and thoughts blending together. This unfortunate blending has caused me to be more forgetful than normal. That is pretty darn bad no matter how you slice it! It's not that I am forgetful on purpose. I've got too much on my mind to do little menial tasks. like pay my bill at Denny's. Yep, I forgot to pay my bill at Denny's the other day when I had lunch with my daughter. I was talking to her about something when we left our table to simply march out and get into the my car. I didn't stop at the cashier's to pay. It didn't even enter my mind! That's how blended I have been. I don't recall ever doing this in my entire life. Uh, oh! What does this mean? Whatever it is, it can't be good. Any how, I remembered that I didn't pay when I stopped to get gas. When I looked at my check card, it dawned on me that I didn't pay the cashier. Oh, snap! I rushed back and paid the ticket. I apologized profusely. The cashier lady was surprisingly very grateful that I came back. She didn't call the police! My daughter teased me by saying I had dined and ditched. No more! This shows me that I have too many irons in the fire. I need a smoke detector for my brain! It should have gone off a long time ago. I know that this is my adjustment time and things will slow down eventually. At least I hope it does slow down for me. The problem, however, will not resolve itself until probably June 30th of 2014! Who knows, maybe it will slow down for me sometime in May! Until then, I can only hope things will improve and I am not grasping for straws, well at least, not at Taco Cabana!
I have uploaded all the TEA's (Texas Education Agency) Released 2013 STAAR Reading and Writing Tests with Answer Keys from grades 3-8. In grades 3-5, you will find tests and answer keys in English as well as Spanish. These are PDF's that you might want to look over some time soon. You can go to the TEA Website or go to my Box account below. Just CLICK on TEA DOCS in My BOX hotlink. Thanks
If you haven't gotten your digital hands on SNAGIT! or Camtasia Studio from TechSmith, because the price was too much for your pocketbook, then you might want to continue to reading. I am including some photos of a promotion from TECHSMITH for educators below.. You can now get both great products for $99. Normally, I have seen them for $299 or more. If you are an educator and want to find out more, go to the website posted on the cards below, and find out if this is a product you could use in your classroom and staff developments. I use SNAGIT! and am learning more about Camtasia. Many people on Youtube recommend it highly. Hope this helps! Hurry the great pricing ends on August 31st!
I was up late creating this video for my presentation today. Boy am I really tired and I have another presentation to get ready for tomorrow on Multi-genre writing. I am going to start with poetry and go through to the expository. Wish me luck and rest! I need to get cooking on this right now! I can't wait until tomorrow.
I attended the Abydos Literacy Project this summer in it's entirety. What is my reaction? I wish I had attended earlier. I know that I had other things come up to occupy my time with family and other curricular endeavors. Having said that, I still wish I had done this earlier. Yes, 8 to 4 or so seems hard during the summer. Seems hard but was rather cathartic. We got to write for an hour or more each day. I loved that. Then we conferred with another, which allowed me to get to know other people and have author chats. The afternoons were filled with more writing and reading strategies which could easily and should easily be brought forth to all content areas. Efficacious is the word I would use to describe my whole experience and add some enthusiasm along the way. There is so much to learn and take in that I am still processing it all. It was sad to see it come to an end. Abydos Literacy Project was a great journey that began with a single step, a step inside my mind, heart and soul. If you were thinking of attending this fulfilling project and you think you can't afford the time, take if from me, you can't afford not to.
There were seven of us embarked on this journey together. Strangers as we entered 3E that first morning. Friends and writers as we left on the last day. That is the effect that writing can have on you. It brings you together, a meeting of the minds, if you will.
Bruce and Cathy named us The Magnificent Seven. In 12 short days, our thinking morphed into something grand. Quite Magnificent! If you could take an CAT Scan of our brains you would say, "You look marvelous, darling!(Saturday Night Reference with Billy Crystal as Fernando) The synapses were popping for sure. We even made a dendrite! Quite spectacular!
am going to post other things, but for now I will leave you with some pics. I could kick myself for not taking more photos. I still want to take some photos of my notebook, of which I am quite proud. I am still working on it. Photos are a powerful medium that may bring back the episodic moments and serve as a stimulus. Lastly, kudos and appreciations rain down on Bruce Goodner and Cathy Roth, along with my Magnificent Seven Posse. Bruce and Cathy did an outstanding job on a daily basis. It was a treat getting to know everyone better. Here are some photos: