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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Thanksgiving Treats!

We have so much to be thankful for. Our day out at Blue Moon Farm B&B was wonderful, culminating in a bonfire replete with roasted marshmallows. Here's a slideshow:

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And, and, and!!! My friend Scott Slone, host of the Alaska Podshow podcast, did a special show on Thanksgiving evening because he was inspired to do so by one of my own songs. Listen to it here!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Atlanta NAEYC!

After driving down from school after my last class Thursday (don't know I'll ever make that decision again--it was hard, even with a good book listen, Stephen King's Cell ) I'm finally getting into the swing at the National Association for the Education of Young Children in Atlanta, participating in a session by George Forman, Community Nursery School, Lexington, MA. It's an interesting session in the Tech Resource Room where I'll be doing my presentation a little later today. George is advocating a text-based presentation for video clips (over the creation of linear video) using a combination of Microsoft Word and Quicktime Pro to create text documents with hyperlinks that open brief clips of video. This has prompted me to pop over to the Apple site to upgrade my Quicktime Basic to Quicktime Pro, something I've been putting off ever since an iTunes upgrade last year rendered my already-paid-for previous upgrade useless. If that happens again, Steve Jobs, I'm gonna be less than happy...

Extensis Portfolio is a file organization software that he highly recommends, though I just checked that online (blogging this during the session) and it's a $199.99 piece of software. Perhaps some good file management habits with folders and filenames would do the trick, too. There's always Picassa!

More later!

Here's more from the second session. Diane Gross from blank slate Board Books just served up an interesting session on ways to create classroom books from templates available at her company's website. I'm walking from the session with a CD that I'll share with our teachers, and I'll include the website in the teacher resources on our webliographer.

Then the presentation was Lynn Hartle, University of Central Florida Distance Learning guru, who shared some rich resources for anyone interested in doing that themselves. That would be me, and that would be me hoping to enrich the professional development and earning income potential of all my colleagues. A very shareshare experience.


I'm sitting in Gail Lovely's session with all kinds of littlekid websites. Look for some new sites at K1-GoHere! soon! This woman is the real deal when it comes to seeking out and sharing great websites for teachers and students.

My own session went great. Though I started out like a Nervous Nelly, I settled down and got the job done, finishing with an entertaining and informative Skype video interchange with's creator and producer, Jason Barnard. Seems he's finalized the European contract for the Boowa and Kwala Show (working title?) and is now off into the development process for that. The best part was the instantaneous verification of Premium@School accounts for all 20 or so teachers present. Woo. Woo! I'm off to find a burger and early to bed for a full day of sessions an a venture out to the exhibitor floor tomorrrow!


The Next Day:

Saturday I slept late (for me, 'til 8) then I was down to the conference center by 10 or so, to spend 2 1/2 hours on the exhibitor floor. I'm so glad I did, discovering a number of products that can help our youngest children in the classroom, from furniture to software to some amazing science resources from Steve Spangler Science. Among the most fun and interesting is "insta-snow." Yeah, I bought some. Stay tuned.

I popped my head into several sessions after lunch, but the pervasive tone was clearly "we're outta here," and they were sparsely attended and not very pertinent to my work or those of our colleagues. Most valuably, I made the closing session, an extraordinarily inspirational (I admit to a tear or two) address and songs by Raffi, and managed to get him to sign a copy of his new CD for the library. His new book, Child Honoring, is a must-purchase for the library. Wow. Here's a pic from the signing part. I'll cherish this picture. This man is a magic one: The forward in his book is by the Dalai Lama, for goodness sakes!

A funny story: I mentioned to him that I saw him perform in Nashville 11 years ago with my little girl, who's now a junior in high school, and told him that I had been tempted to go onstage today for a hug when the 40 women went up to dance with him (click on the pic below for that) and lined up for hugs before leaving the stage. What did he do? He signed our CD "To USN Teachers," posed for the pic-- taken by the wonderful lady in line behind me--and then he turned and hugged me. I've been hugged by Raffi! Yay!!!!


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Newness for!

After spending a weekend at a professional conference, I decided to update my lame old website, and the best way I can do that on the fly is to morph it into a blog. I do most of my work here anyway, now don't I?

Content from the old site will gradually appear in the navigation sidebar. Like my life, it'll be a work in progress!

AmericanaFest2019 through mine eyes

Mine eyes have seen the glory... I had an absolute BLAST going out to hear live performances of music all week, thanks to AmericanaFest201...