Cluster Maps

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Listen to the message!

SKills Cafe 2010-09-27

      Skills Cafe
     A week at a time - SEPTEMBER 2010 


 "Thanks!" to all who have joined in and worked with the changes in Skills Cafe, Support Study, Room 215.

F. Links

G. Did You Know?=0

H.  Fire Drill

Where do we meet? At the field house Ticket Booth! Go out the building Stairwell #3, around the back of the school past the cafeteria. All meet quietly at the ticket booth.

 I. Practice your Reading

Get signed up for Literary Companion see your case manager.

September 27, 2010                                                                   

A. Week 5- What's Ahead?-Graphic Organizers

Graphic Organizers aren't just for writing anymore! I am sure all of you would admit to using graphic organizers when you write. This week will review Graphic Organizers as a way to visually organize your reading. 

1. Graphic Organizer 2. Write the main idea from each block in the newsletter 3. Share the main idea with a peer

B. Go from Zero to Hero on your Quizzes

A new tool  introduced last week was Quizlet! As I looked at Snapgrades many of you did not do well in your Vocabulary Quizzes. This week we will take charge of new vocabulary with online FLASHCARDS! Please share your Quizlet with me and I will link it on Facebook.

C.  The Weeks in Review

What belongs in your Toolkit? As a student you need to have tools in your toolkit which will make your life easier. The google domain has a calendar, a document , a presentation, a website tool, gmail, Quizlet and a way to record audio!, this week helped many of you write up your science labs.You created an Animoto at, where else can you use that tool? Congratulations you have been busy!

D. Books on Audio, mp3, itouch, shuffle, CD

Have you thought about listening to your books? We have Catcher in the Rye, Farewell to Manazar and many more. But even more if you have a library card from Wells Public Library, you qualify for a Portland Library Card, and you also can qualify and download your own audio books. See Mrs. Oakes about how you can do this. See Ms. Cowan and Ms. Jortberg to get other books on AUDIO.

E. Do you have a learning tip to share?

You can share your ideas here with your classmates. One of your Animotos, a poem, a story, ideas, your own photos or movies! Nothing to Do? Here is the $20.00 Challenge
You can write an essay for NPR public radio student essay. If your essay is published, I will give you a $20.00 itunes gift certificate. You can have help with your essay. Here are the essay rules.

Use the graphic organizer below and find one fact in each section!
A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I

Saturday, September 18, 2010

You can run, but you can’t hide!

You can run, but you can’t hide!

 Permanent link
 Run Can't Hide 

Back to school this fall season meant back in the classroom for me. Ever since I went to the MLTI Student Conference last May2010, I was yearning for life as a classroom teacher again. Be careful what you wish for, my wish came true. There was an opening at our local high school and here I am. High school resource room teacher/facilitator!

You will be hearing lots of stories this year about high school, special education, universal design for learning, assistive technology and our google domain.

We decided to begin with making some changes in our support study. We now have a Skills Cafe. This is organic, flexible and as one of my peers says  crunchy. Ask the students what they think, they have a few more descriptors like this is not what I want to do, why do I have to do this, this is dumb, and many  more. Anything to get out of being organized and collaborative. However, we have a plan and we are sticking to it. I should mention that some students thought it was cool, especially since they can add things to the calendar like football games, field hockey, drama, and marching band. I will be busy trying to attend something for each student!
  Our first step was to get all students into the google domain, with a shared calendar, shared folder for their assignments and a place to check their email. We accomplished this in a two week span.  At the end of the second week, I left messages in all their email accounts with a good job email and if necessary a reminder to complete missing assignments. I can peek at their grades and see what is missing, send them an email reminder, talk with their teachers and all this from one stop at my computer.

This is going to be a year long journey. We will have some challenges, some celebrations and some student success stories. If you have something to share along these lines leave a comment, let’s build this together and share with others.

My new blog Learning Cafe a door to the future

Our twitter:  Door2Future

Our moodle page:

Our Twitter Feed goes right to the blog and to our Facebook page.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

iPad in Skills Cafe!

Morning duty cheryloakes image creative commons

The past two weeks in Skills Cafe have been an adventure, a challenge, a place where good learning is happening, a place where students and teachers are struggling to find balance in our work as collaborative workers and a place where all of us are looking at how best to get to our next steps.

We have worked on getting our students to use the Moodle as an online workspace. This will help them prepare for the next part of any education. There are so many online courses I am sure all of them will participate in one within the next 12 months.

We have worked with our students to enroll them into our google domain with the hope that we will be able to be in touch with them more than one block a day. This is a place where we can share calendars, share essays, have conversations in email and a place to stay connected.

We have worked with them on how to organize and plan their week so that they can manage all the fun stuff about high school, sports and after school activities. On occasions we have run out of computers in the room and a student has been looking for definition and the ipad has been a quick resource, then we downloaded a few Algebra app, more about which ones after we rate them.

The Skills Cafe has been open for business and we are busy.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Our Clustrmap grows

Thanks to all the folks who checked out our virtual classroom here. The Clustrmap grows! 43 different locations in 24 hours. Waiting for the Europe friends to wake up today and checkin!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Skills Cafe is open for learning

We opened the Skills Cafe at Wells High School. I heard everything from, "um, I did not sign up for this", "finally, now I can do my work online", " no one told me I could do this". Their job today was to take a couple of learning inventories to confirm what kind of learner they were. That was interesting! Now we will get the teachers to take the same inventories.

Most teachers teach the way that they learn best!

How can we ensure that all of our students are learning? Universal Design for Learning is one way. Letting your students advocate for their preferences is another.

This is a journey, hope you stop back and check our progress.