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Integrating IL skills with English Y9 Project

Wow.. it's the first time for me to teach IL skills in the UK. It's also the first time for me to collaborate with teacher and integrate the IL skills in her subject module. It's really a thrilling experience. I have put it into 3-4 sessions.Session 1 - Searching for Information. Mainly introduced where to look for information, types of sources including printed and non-printed. The Google 'Kung-fu' which I transformed the Booliean Search strategy into a set of body movement. I am so pleased that students still remember all these 'kung-fu' and applied in their Google search. When I evaluate my lesson, perhaps I should add one more topic - metasearch engines.Session 2 - Use of Information. It will be taken place on next Monday. I am still thinking how to present the ideas of 'ways to evaluate website sources' in an impressive way. Thinking showing students some 'spooky' and fake websites like man prenanacy. I would like to do more on note-taking, mind-map, organizing the information, presentation skills, image search engines...etcSession 3 - Use of Voicethread to give comment on these lessons, citation and reference skills, script for presentation.Lots of ideas in my mind and need to organize them.By the way, I also need to prepare the work of coming Literary Festival. wow.. super busy time is coming!!!
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Big announcement, everybody:


The main reason for this change is that we've been doing more than just'flix' for the past few months. So we wanted a name that reflected all thestuff we've been doing to help you get brainiererer... er.That said, the name change does not mean that we're stopping with thevideos! In fact, we've got our vocabulary video contest happening now:


* We've already begun accepting submissions! The deadline is 3/15/2010.* Anyone can enter, and we'll have prizes for runner-ups and iTunes songsfor anyone who submits 3 videos.* If you need to boost your grade, ask your teacher if s/he'll give youextra credit for it.For more details and good examples, go,Jack, Nori, and David (Our awesome, new UI designer)
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Brainyflix: Vocabulary Video Contest

Ohai! Did you think we forgot about you because it's now 2010? No way!!! :D


* Compete to win $600 for you and your school by making a fun, creative videoteaching a word off of our list of popular SAT vocabulary.* Anyone can enter, and we'll have prizes for runner-ups and iTunes songsfor anyone who submits 3 videos.* We've already begun accepting submissions! The deadline is 3/15/2010.For more details and good examples, go to: Brainyflix Buddies,Jack, Nori...& Introducing David - our awesome, new UI designer!P.S. - We're undergoing some renovations at the website because ofDavid's great handiwork. Please excuse the look of it over the next coupleweeks. We swear it's gonna look dooope. :]
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Buffy the Filter Slayer: Tonight!

"Fight the Filter" ISTE Sigms 2nd Webinar! Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 8 pm E.S.T., 7 pm C.S.T., 6 pm M.S.T., 5 pm P.S.T Presenter: Buffy Hamilton Want to start your new year off by making a positive difference in your library program? Join ISTE SIGMS for our second FREE webinar on January 13 at 8 pm E.S.T. when Buffy Hamilton, The Unquiet Librarian, will share her ideas on "fighting the filter." Directions to join the SIGMS webinar event 1. Check that your computer is set up for Adobe Connect by visiting Adobe Connect Pro Connection Test 2. Use this URL to enter the webinar room 10 - 15 minutes before starting time: 3. Enter as a guest and type your first and last name. 4. Here is a link to a Visual Quick Start guide (pdf) to help you if this is your first webinar event.
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Another great Fireside Chat 1-9 6:30-8:30pmGMT

We will host our "week 2 fireside chat" for the 2009 K-12 Online Conference this coming Saturday, January 9th! The week 2 keynote speakers, Rachel Boyd and Diego Leal, will present and engage in Q&A with participants via EdTechTalk's Ustream channel and backchannel chat. Time: January 9, 2010 from 6:30 - 8:00 pm GMT. NOTE: This is 1:30pm EST on Saturday, January 9. Please click the following link to see your local time: RSVP your attendance on our Ning: you have not already, please view Rachel and Diego's presentations in advance online:WEEK IN THE CLASSROOM KEYNOTEA Peek for a Week – Inside a Kiwi Junior Classroomby Rachel Boyd IT UP A NOTCH KEYNOTEBRINGing it OUT a notchby Diego Leal Diego's presentation is available with full subtitles in both English and Spanish on DotSub:, remember to use our printable flyer to share the 2009 K-12 Online Conference presentations with your colleagues at school! All conference content from our 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 conferences remains archived online and available! look forward to your continued participation in the K-12 Online Conference on our blog, ning, and our twice-monthly "K-12 Online Echo" webcasts! Upcoming K12online webcasts will be listed on our conference Ning upcoming events page: will also be added as a regular show on EdTechTalk:http://edtechtalk.comHappy New Year!Your K-12 Online Conference OrganizersVisit K12 Online Conference at:
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"Fight the Filter" ISTE Sigms 2nd Webinar! Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 8 pm E.S.T., 7 pm C.S.T., 6 pm M.S.T., 5 pm P.S.T Presenter: Buffy Hamilton Want to start your new year off by making a positive difference in your library program? Join SIGMS for our second FREE webinar on January 13 at 8 pm E.S.T. when Buffy Hamilton, The Unquiet Librarian, will share her ideas on "fighting the filter." For connection directions, visit Graphics from Buffy Hamilton's Slideshare and from Adobe PhotoElements if you don't know who Buffy Hamilton is....i invite you to read this AWEsome blog posting about her innovative Media Program in Georgia written by our beloved guru Joyce Valenza!

"If I had my way: More unquiet libraries!"

Yeah...She's a rock and a pop star!
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Wake by Lisa McMann

Wake (Dream Catcher, #1) Wake by Lisa McMann

My rating: 5 of 5 stars Wake was certainly an absorbing, entertaining read. My reluctant readers will be sucked into this story. Janie is real, her pain, her honesty and her dogged determination not to get caught in others dreams. Her descriptions of dreams are funny, scary, and very visual. I loved her friend Carrie, hated Melinda and the others just like her, who judge others, like Janie as targets to humiliate, anger and destroy. Luckily Janie is true to herself and she is so in tune to her dirt poor surroundings and that others think she is a freak that she is able to defend, feel a connection with, and eventually care deeply for CabelStrumheller -(Love his name!). The pages were turning quickly as this story rushed to show the reader how determined Janie is to go to college by her many hours worked and faithfulness to her patients at Heather Home, especially Mrs Stubin. I loved the development of the Janie-Caleb friendship and how they fumble along with their feelings....Just a fantastic read, one my students will love. Can't wait to read the others----SORRY it took me this long! View all my reviews >>
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The Brothers Torres by Coert Voorhees

The Brothers Torres The Brothers Torres by Coert Voorhees

My rating: 5 of 5 stars This multicultural fiction novel from Coert Voorhees was great! The cover of the book with the tattoo will have teens taking the book just because they like the cover. I really enjoyed Frankie Towers. He was funny, honest, blind to his brother's and parent's shortcomings and the target of school bully, John Dalton. John Dalton has everything Frankie doesn't. He has money, good looks, and Rebecca Sanchez, who Frankie obsesses over how to talk to her, ask her out, etc. Frankie is a good kid but he is not strong, so his older brother Stevie ends up looking out for him alot and becomes a little too interested in RETALIATION. Frankie doesn't like that he works at his parents restaurant all the time while his brother has never worked a day in his life because he is getting all kinds of soccer scholarship offers. Things begin to change when Frankie gets Rebecca as his Homecoming date, his parents sell the restaurant without telling him and Steve is not coming home at night. Frankie is able to stand up to Dalton, his parents and brother and he is a much better compadre as a result. I learned that brothers can be tight when they are young but sometimes with age, things change and you have to grow up and be the man you want to be, View all my reviews >>
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Nailed by Patrick Harris

Nailed Nailed by Patrick Jones

My rating: 5 of 5 stars Just like hos other book, Things Change, Nailed is such a great book in character study. Bret Hendricks is a kid who loves to act in the school plays, is not a jock, and likes to piss his father off by not showing any interest in fixing cars. As a result, Bret is constantly being "nailed" by his father - the nail that sticks out the farthest, gets hammered the hardest. He has a really sympathetic mom, who he confides him and trusts. He has great freinds in his band, Alex and Sean and he in totally in love with Kylee and feels at home each time he has dinner with her parents, the Edmonds. Bujt life in school is very difficult for Bret, with the constant bullying of Hitchins who calls him a "faggot" and pushes him down and hits him when no one is looking. Even when Bret goes to the principal and guidance counselor, they don't understand or totally believe Bret's assertions. So Bret gets loud, in trouble and if he messes up one more time, he will be expelled. It is only by fighting back the right way, that Bret gets the courage to take a stand. A terrific read for the reluctant reader, for the kid who is bullied and an honest look into the workings of high school. View all my reviews >>
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How To Sat Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford

How to Say Goodbye in Robot How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford

My rating: 5 of 5 stars Thanks Jen for a great book to read based on your review and mention of this as one of the 10 great books in 2009...hope I got that right...Loved the bright pink cover, each chapter is pink, the page numbers are pink with some solid black pages and the cover has a black telephone hanging off the hook.... I just loved Beatrice, she begins the book in August moving once again and her mother is upset about it and Bea doesn't know why, but when she doesn't get upset (like her mother) with the death of the neighbor's gerbil, her mother calls her "heartless" and a "robot" so begins the journey of Robot Girl. Each month is a new pink chapter, and Bea makes friends but is drawn to Ghost Boy, Jonah Tate, who looks like Casper, is an outcast and has a major chip on his shoulder. But Jonah and Bea forge a close frienship based on listening to the radio callers and talking and driving to places. But Jonah is tortured about the death of his twin brother and even though Bea will steadfastly help him in any way, Jonah uses their friendship and then pushes Bea away. Bea shed her Robot image as each page turned, her family changed, and Bea became a really sweet girl who will always hold a fond place in her heart for Jonah and will move on to college. Who knows what Jonah will do? View all my reviews >>
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Just Another Hear by Sharon Draper

Just Another Hero Just Another Hero by Sharon M. Draper

My rating: 5 of 5 stars Draper's final book in the trilogy, Just Another Hero, was great. The plot was fast paced, the characters believable using as the backdrop---their final year of high school as seniors including many fire drills, jobs after school and getting into college. I just loved Draper's characterization of Arielle and her mother. They really grew from materialistic to becoming thinking, feeling women. Kofi was an athlete, in love with Dana, but addicted to pain killers. He is able to beat his addiction and win a scholarship. November is back at school, while her baby, Sunshine, is being cared for. A few other memorable students include Osrick as the brainy wierdo that everyone makes fun of and Crazy Jack who clangs his cymbals in the hallway and may be pulling fire alarms to get out of taking tests. As the seniors go toward graduation, money and ipods are going missing, Who is responsible? Read all three Draper books and see how friends cope with the anguish and drama of everyday life. Great for the reluctant reader with a nice large font. View all my reviews >>
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Bringing the Outside In: Visual Ways to Engage Reluctant Readers Bringing the Outside In: Visual Ways to Engage Reluctant Readers by Sara B. Kajder

My rating: 5 of 5 stars Sara Kajder did a great job of chronicling her use of Web 2.0 tools to engage reluctant high school readers. The introduction credits Kajder with inviting students in and teaching them as readers using the tools of technology. This book is about becoming a more effective reading teacher and challenges all teachers "to step into the twenty-first century along with our students. We need to catch up." I loved all of her stories about the many students and the different ways she was able to slowly reach out to them and gives us student exemplars to further our understanding. Using 7 different chapters the author uses students and Personal Narrative, Digital Stirytelling, Literacy Narrative, Marking a Path Through Text, Working with Words, The Visual Think Aloud and Making Meaning to engage the reluctant reader(s). Ultimately she invites us to "examine, play, invent, reinvent, and join in the conversation." A terrific read and resource, it has helped me with booktalking and digital booktalks. View all my reviews >>
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Wait For Me by An Na

Wait for Me Wait for Me by An Na

My rating: 5 of 5 stars Mina and Suna are two sisters who work long hard hours at their parents dry cleaners. Mina is the oldest sister who lives a lie, she steals money from her parents' business, lies to her mother about her place in school and where she will go to college. Suna is the youngest sister who has a hearing aid and talks to their car as if it was human. Mina and Suna are very close. Their mother is nasty, keeping secrets of her own. She runs Mina's life, is short and mean to Suna and her husband. Enter a new worker to their dry cleaner, Ysreal, a talented musician, born of migrant worker parents who has befriended both girls, unbeknowst to their mother. An endearing story of love and how one can change when their life is a lie. A great multicultural read, I can't wait to read An Na's other books! View all my reviews >>
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