Thursday, November 8, 2007

Shanghia, China can really build.

“Shift Happens Statistic of the Day” posted on the Fishbowl.

This article, posted on the Fishbowl, is about Shanghia, China. The city is building a thirty story (or more) building in a matter of twelve days for the past six years. It has more skyscrapers than the entire United States’ west coast.

That is really fast. How do you build a skyscraper in twelve days? I know China has a very large population but still that is just fast. This matter to me because I always thought that America was the best nation for skyscrapers and that it is in the lead of that category, out of the entire world. But then Shanghia just literally pops up in the last six years that is amazing. People should care because one city in China has more skyscrapers than the U.S.’s west coast? Is that a bad thing though? I mean China must be spending a lot of money on these buildings; maybe the U.S. is spending it elsewhere. Even though this blog article is small it makes a big impact. To build a building in less than two weeks is fast. It’s like building the twin towers in roughly twenty-four days, which is less than a month. Is building a thirty story building in twelve days fast or is that the average these days? And can the U.S. do this or is it because of the population in China that makes them build so fast?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Parent-Teacher Conferences

“Not your Parents’ Parent-Teacher Conferences” from the Fischbowl.

This article is about parent-teacher conferences and how many parents just want to know how their student can get their A or B or C. A lot of teachers are getting frustrated with the parents because they only care about the grades and not what the student is learning. Anne Smith is one of these teachers, so she had the students assess their learning, had them make goals for the semester, had them make a plan to get those goals, how the teacher can help them, and then write a message to their parents. The letter to their parents was their learning assessments. Anne Smith also kept one copy with her for the conference.

I think that this is a great way to get the parents focus off the grades and on to what their students are learning. This idea goes along with our class theme what matters but instead of telling this to the students it is telling the parents. What Matters is what the students is learning not how to pass the class. And when the parents are only concerned with grades how to help their child get the good grade then they are really cheating their child. They cheat their child because they babying them by caring about their grades for them. It will get into the students head that their dad or mom will take care of the grades and that they don’t need to. But instead Anne Smith helps the parents help the students in a lot better way. It also helps the teachers have a better conversation with the parent, Anne Smith says, “I had actual conversations with parents about their child and feel like I took away more from them about how their child is growing as a learner, or how their child needs to grow as a learner. I felt like I listened as much as I talked which is a huge change from the way I participated in conferences before.” But the parents can still help the students of course. They can do this by knowing what and how their student learns best not just what they need but what they can get from the teaching. What do you think should parents only care about grades or should they care about what the student is learning? Do you think the students are being babied in any way? Over all what matters is what the students are learning not just the grade they are getting.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Steelers vs. Broncos

“Broncos Turn Table on Steelers, Hit Last-Second Kick” from

This article is about the Broncos playing the Steelers on Sunday night. Well believe it or not I am a Steelers fan. But I do like the Broncos unless they are play the Steelers. And I did go to the game, which was so cool regardless of the score. But I do have to say that the Broncos are very blessed to have a kicker like Jason Elam. Because if not the Broncos would probably be oh and six. But of course I am a Steelers fan so my say on the matter is a little biased. Something I don’t like is when something like the score of the game is so close and news paper headlines say “Broncos kill Steelers” or something like that. I saw a headline like that Monday morning and thought to myself, “The Broncos didn’t kill the Steelers they made a kick in the last two seconds of the game.” And there was a good chance that the Steelers would have won in overtime. Not to say that the Broncos didn’t play a good game they did they just didn’t kill the Steelers. Maybe they did in the first half but the Steelers were the team of the second half. I do wonder if anybody else recognized that the headlines? I am sure the Steelers fans did but did any Broncos fan notice the headline and say, “We did not kill the Steelers we won just like we won our other three games.” Or did the fans just say, “Ya, we killed the Steelers thirty-one to twenty- eight.”

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

PLN Presentations

“Personal Learning Networks” from the Fischbowl

Here we are again with the Personal Learning Networks. This article by Mr. Ficsh talks about the PLN’s (Personal Learning Networks) being presented in classes. Some teachers that are doing this are Anne Smith and Jessie Comp.

PLN’s are really important in the classroom. Not only are they a great way to use the class theme (what matters) but all so to improve on the students writing. I know as a student my least favorite thing to do was write; mainly because I am not that good at it. But now, because of the PLN’s, I am getting a lot better at writing, if I do say so myself. But then to make a student to present this PLN in a classroom just pushes us even further. The PLN’s challenges students to not only write good blogs but also present them in front of their pers. And make a good presentation. Good presentations usually are ones that get the class talking, also when the presenter is well versed and speaks clearly. People should care because these presentations will help a student’s writing skills as well as their public speaking abilities. Public speaking is a big thing because students will have to do this the rest of their lives. So why not start now it will only get harder if a student doesn’t. Students may have to do presentations in later jobs or in large crowds and if the student doesn’t start learning now it will be hard to catch up. And then even harder to get certain jobs. Do you think students should do presentations in class? Why?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A good Question.

“Bill Richardson 08 Education Question” from the Ficshbowl

In this article Karl Fisch was asked to participate in a conference call with Governor Bill Richardson. “It did not feel like much of a conversation.” states Mr. Fisch he was also flustered did not get his questioned asked or answered. That is why he posted this article on the Fischbowl. The questioned or one of the main questions was “Are we doing the right thing in the first place”; of course this was regarding education and teaching. But it can be expanded on.

I think that is a great questioned because of all the different ways to apply it to our world. These ways consist of teaching, playing sport (the list could keep going on and on). The teaching aspect of this questioned is: Am I teaching the right level of curriculum? Does the class know more than what I have been teaching? And vice-versa: Am I teaching things that are too advanced for the class? This relates to me in sports: Am I doing the right assignment? Am I making a good tackle? (or) Am I making a good golf swing? And those are just a few examples I could use. There are way too many to write about. Or a student asking if he/she is doing the right thing on an assignment or math problem for example. People should care because everyone tries to make the right choice. It helps me to ask myself questions on what I am not doing the right thing and then trying to improve on it. This helps me in football when I keep getting block I ask myself why and then try to improve myself in that area. This is a great question to help someone with a problem they are facing.

Did You Know is World Wide.

“Teacher’s little Project goes Big” from Rocky Mountain News.

This article is about an Arapahoe High School teacher, Karl Fisch. Mr. Fisch made a power point to show other teacher, at Arapahoe, about technology updates. The power point “Did You Know” has now hit global scale. When winter came around, after he came out with the presentation in August 2006, fifty thousand to one hundred thousand teacher or other educators had seen it. The presentation is about technologic facts from around the world.

This article applies to me because knowing what is going on in our world is very important. Just like my class room theme of what matters, “did you know” is just as important. Knowing what is happening around helps me know how to deal with different issues. In football if I don’t know what is going around me then I either miss my assignment or get hit really hard. But when I know what is going on during a play or what is going to happen then I will be able to do my assignment and hopefully make the play. It is the same thing in the world. At a person’s job if the person doesn’t know what is happening then they can’t do their job very well and end up losing their jobs. Another example is watching the weather on the news, if I know what the weather will be like then I know how to make plans or pack for a trip. It makes me wonder: Do most people know what is going on around them or are they totally oblivious to their surroundings? How many adults pay attention to the news? Knowing what happens around you plays a very important role in everyday life, from the class rooms to the news to technology.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Respect for the Soldiers

“Memorial Service Honors an Old Soldier” by Rocky Mountain News

In this article Brig. Gen. Felix Sparks was buried after being in-service for the army since World War Two. And was buried with a twenty-one gun salute, multiple songs, and of cross tears.

I chose this article because I don’t think that America is really realizes just what soldiers do in war. Sure, they know it’s bad. But they don’t really consider what all happens. I don’t even understand it fully. But I try to at least respect what the soldiers go through. I don’t think many kids do this and they should. Sure you could watch movies on it but movies like “Saving Private Ryan”, “Flags of our Fathers” can only go so far. I don’t believe that anyone who hasn’t gone through war stops to think about what it would be like to have someone killed two feet away from you. We as America don’t always give the soldiers the credit they deserve and have earned. Some do yes but the main problem, a lot of the time, is the media. They seem to only give the negative side of the war. They say that the Iraqis don’t want us there. But then I hear how the story is reveres and that the Iraqis are very grateful. These soldiers go out and risk their lives for us and we (not all of us) are ungrateful for it. Now I don’t think war is some game and that everyone should like it. But we can at least respect those who defend us from our enemies. Is America really that ungrateful towards soldiers or is it just the people who disagree with the war and don’t know where to take out there frustration on? I think it is just a few people who can voice their opinions loudly. I do not think it is all of America but just a few people. And it seems they are the only people you ever hear of. Now I wish we weren’t in war but it is what it is and we should be giving the soldiers a lot more respect than they deserve.

Being Technology Illiterate: Is it Okay or Not Okay

“Is it Okay To Be A Technology Illiterate Teacher” from the Ficshbowl.

In this article Mr. Fisch, states that it is not okay to be a technology illiterate teacher. Mr. Fisch says that if you are technology illiterate in this time, it would be like a teacher not being unable to read or write in the 1970’s.

I agree because being technology illiterate teacher not only cheats the students but also yourself. This matters because you can do a lot of things with technology than you can’t without it. For instance you can show power points instead of writing on the board. To me personal it is easier to follow a power point than messy hand writing on a chalk board. Plus with power points a teacher can include pictures, instead of trying to draw. You can also play videos instead of just lecturing all the time. Being technology illiterate can affect a teacher not just in a classroom but also in other jobs. Because most jobs now a day’s use computers a lot. Therefore those who are technology illiterate can’t get jobs as well as someone who is used to technology. And even though teachers have abundance on their plates and say that it would be too much to try and learn how to use a computer. Well a computer would really help organize a teacher. And maybe that teacher has to get help over the summer or something but it will help in the long run. Other people should care because in our world today most jobs, and just day to day life, require the use of some sort of technology. And someone who can’t use technology won’t get very far or will be really stressed most of the time. And a teacher does not even have to use a computer my math teacher does not have her own room so she uses as overhead to put our warm up lessons on the board instead of having to write them out. My Spanish teacher puts sentence to translate on the projector; all he has to do is write the translation below the original sentence. It speeds up lessons and you can always see the translations. Being a technology illiterate is not okay and the teacher needs to try and learn how to use technology or else get help because it will not only help the students but also the teacher.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Creating Personal Learning Networks Part 2 form the Ficshbowl

Create Personal Learning Networks: Part 2” The Ficshbowl by Karl Ficsh.

This blog by Mr. Fisch is exactly what my English teacher is teaching us in our classroom. She is teaching us how to think critical about things that are happening in our world. That is the propose of our Personal Learning Networks. This article tells us, incoming freshman, why we are using these PLN’s.

This matters to me because it is what our main focus has been on in the classroom since we started doing PLN’s. I think PLN’s are important because they help us analyze things that are happening in our world. What is important is what the student pulls from the information, because what they gather for the text will determine what they stand for. Because what you stand for is what you will live for. These PLN’s also teach students how write about articles in a critical thinking format. Even though the PLN’s don’t make a student follow a writing rule, a student has to follow a small but hard question. Which will make a student write for a long time till they are satisfied that they got there point across. This affects the world that I relate to because I am analyzing something that is important to me and the more students that do this the more a student will get out of the classroom. I always thought that homework was a big waste of time but, now (even though I don’t like sometimes) I realize that I am building a life skill and that I will know where my beliefs lie and were I will stand. But I do wonder if other students are realizing the same thing I am or is it just me or is there a small group of kids who agree with me? Other students should care because finding where you stand is a big part of life. An example would be people who do drugs and you see them and if you know that you won’t do drugs then you won’t but, if you don’t know what you would do then there is a problem. That is why students should care. I think PLN’s are a great way to learn about the world we live in and how we can relate that world back to us and our school.

North Korea and Syria and Nuclear Technology.

“North Korea and Syria”, Google News

This article is telling us that North Korea and Syria might be sharing their nuclear technology. The U.S. government has found out about this because Israel is the main intelligences group related to the partnership between North Korea and Syria. Or in other words they are the ones keeping track of the connection between Syria and North Korea. This also involves Iran because they are in close ties with Syria in relations to their nuclear technology.

This concerns me because North Korea has been telling the U.S. that they have nuclear technology to threaten the U.S. So North Korea has been a threat and now they are sharing their information with Syria. Therefore instead of one enemy America now has two enemies. And let’s not forget Iran who also says that they have nuclear power. This relates to me because it makes me a little afraid that all these countries are teaming up against the U.S. But it does comfort me that America also has a lot of allies and a lot of them have nuclear power as well as the U.S. This affects the world around me because other countries are teaming up against America. But as I said earlier the U.S. is not alone. This makes me think that America isn’t the only country with nuclear power. I all ways thought that America is the top country in everything. But (and this is defiantly not to bash America) there are other counties that compete with America or are head of America, especially if it is in nuclear relation. But I still think America is the greatest country in the world. This topic makes me ask some questions like: What is America doing to protect itself and other countries? Is North Korea and Syria just making it all up to scare the U.S. and its allies? Do North Korea and Syria planning to attack America or a completely different target?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

School Shootings

This article is titled “Gunshots damage Cherry Creek High School building”, by a reporter at Rocky Mountain News. There have been three shots fired one at the main entrance to the east building, one at a car less than a mile away, and one at a glass door by the main the entrance to the east building.

In order to analyze this article it must be broken down in to three separate parts, what matters, how does it connect our class, and how the article applies to the world around us. This is important to me because it warns me about shootings that have happened at Cherry Creek. This also gives me a heads up that there are still school shootings. This connects to my English class because it helps me understand the class theme “What Matters”, and this is something that matters to me. This article applies to the world around us because it is a school shooting and we should all be prepared that it could happen at Arapahoe next or any other school. In conclusion this article applies to our world, classes, and what is important to us.

Monday, September 17, 2007

What Matters from the fischbowl

The post “What Matters” is a post from the fischbowl. This article talks about a teacher at Arapahoe and how her class was to focus on what matters. The class used what matters as a project to see what matters to the student (a collage). But the teacher also related the “What Matters” lesson in every project or assignment the class was given.

The article “What Matters” is a great way to teach, helps students relate to the world, and help the class relate to themselves. What Matters helps teach because it helps the student get the importance out of the lesson. In order for the student to do this all he or she must ask is, “what matters”. After asking, “What Matters” the next question is “why” or “why does this matter”. This helps kids know where they stand and why, which helps the lesson relate to themselves. This method teaches students to relate to the world by teaching them what matters in the world or what is going on in the world. This helps student find their place in the world because they will know what to stand for. This is why What Matters is a great way to teach, helps students relate to the world, and helps the class relate to themselves.

Aaron Harder