02 March 2008

Sunday Shout-Outs

As MGM pointed out for us in The Harvey Girls, "Alas and alack, it's a great big world." While this earthly notion stands in stark contrast to Walt Disney's concept of having a small world, after all, I can't help but think about how these arguments might apply to the blogosphere, too. In an effort to take this great big place and make it feel a bit more manageable in size, I'm going to pass along some tools and other grand ideas I've seen out and about this week.

  • The Interactive Venn: Do you get that urge once in awhile---the unavoidable need to Venn? Have you said to yourself in a meeting, "Uh, excuse me, but I feel a Venn coming on." Do you find MS Word's Chart Art function inadequate? Hey, who hasn't. Why not give in to your desires with the interactive tools found at ReadWriteThink.org? There are all manner of graphic organizers teachers and students can use to satisfy all of their mind-mapping needs.

  • Clix over at Epic Adventures Are Often Uncomfortable had a great series about the sessions she attended at The Georgia Council of Teachers of English conference. What a great idea for sharing this conference with a broader audience. Start with the first post and read the whole thing. Really, I insist.
  • Palomino pencils. I know it's old-fashioned, but I do loves me a good pencil with a long sharp point. This week, I discovered the best. pencil. ever. So, as long as I'm geeking out about things today, I might as well throw this one in. Incense cedar wraps around the silkiest piece of graphite you have ever held in your hand. You can make such long smooth strokes with it. It's a cylindrical piece of heaven, don't you know. I could say more, but some of you readers are no doubt wondering if this isn't already bordering on pornographic. Anyway, if you don't own some of these---buy some.
  • Ms. Whatsit had a post on social software that pointed the way toward some additional tools for mind-mapping. My favourite (and hers) is Bubbl.Us. A teeny-tiny screenshot of features is below (click to enlarge...or go to the site itself and click on "features"). I really like the idea of having one of these up on the LCD projector during class so that discussions and reading could be tracked. Once students had some practice as a class, I'd love to see what they put together as individuals.

  • Have I ever mentioned that I have no skills or abilities for drawing? It's true. My drawings are so bad (How bad are they?) that the kindergartners at my afternoon school have told me that they stink. When you get dissed by a group of 5 year olds---and, I have to point out that none of them are Rembrandts, either---it's bad. Anyway, some people, like the guys over at The Superest really do kick ass and chew bubblegum when it comes to drawing. The two artists who draw for the site take turns each day. The goal is to create a superhero who would be able to defeat the previous one. One of my favourites from this week (who defeated some bullies) is shown below. I highly recommend entertaining yourself with the whole series.
So there you go. Squee! with delight, as I have. And if you have another idea for something or someone who deserves a Shout-Out this week, leave it in the comments.


ms. whatsit said...

Thank you for the Read Write Think interactive tools link! I've been looking for that for months, believe it or not. Despite having used the Persuasion Map, Essay Map and Comic Generator, I was never able to locate the page with all of the interactive tools available. I had tried to find it with other search words and phrases, but it never occurred to me to try the most obvious.

I'm such a dork!

The Science Goddess said...

Most days, I can't see the trees for the forest, myself. Glad to be of assistance. Thanks for blazing the trail to so many great resources in the first place!

Hugh O'Donnell said...

Very cool. Thank you, SG. ;)