Monday, December 17, 2012

Post #22: Final Evaluation

Today you will write your final evaluation. Please be sure to answer thoughtfully and print off a hard copy to give to Megan. Evals are DUE THURSDAY, DEC 20. Please put them in my mailbox in the office!

Please discuss your learning using the following guidelines to articulate your narrative of your experience in this class. Please double space and use 12 pt. font. This should not be a question and answer evaluation, but rather written as an essay/narrative providing details in your writing.

The following graduation expectations were addressed in class. Please discuss your growth with each and be sure to provide examples 





What Open School Goal or Goals did you meet by taking this class?

What was a highlight of this class?

What was something that you learned that was unexpected?

Was there anything you thought we didn’t need to have a part of the class? If so, explain.

 Is there anything you wish we had covered in class that we didn’t get to that we could add the next time we teach this?

Explain your personal blog. Did you meet your personal goals? Explain.

Do you hope to continue your blog on your own? Why or why not?

Provide feedback for me so that I can improve this class and my teaching.

Finally, what is your “take away” or “elevator speech” about Blogger? If someone asked you to briefly explain this class, what would you say? (For example, if a co-advisee says they’re interested in signing up for this class next year, how would you explain it?)

Thanks for joining us in this technological adventure! 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Post #21: Make Yourself Known...

So, here it is... your final blog post (we will be writing evals and posting those on Monday...):

Your required post today:

  • At least 3 paragraphs
  • Post at least one photo or video that is relevant to your topic
  • Be creative
  • Use proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation
  • Make a statement about yourself - your beliefs - your interests - your life - etc
For fun...

Monday, December 10, 2012

Post #20: Magic Comments...

A PRIZE will go to the person who makes the MOST helpful, thoughtful, creative posts to other students in your classes...

Your job today - post on EVERY (YES! I SAID EVERY) blog on our classroom list. YOU get to choose WHICH post you comment on - but you MUST comment on every person's blog.

Kind and Appropriate are Open School Norms... but of course we ALWAYS want you to be creative and have fun with your work.

This is also an opportunity to catch up on all your posts if you have fallen behind.

Thank you, Odin! Excellent idea!

Be smart... don't end up like these folks!

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Tonight, the JeffCo Open School will be celebrating our annual Peace Night. We take time out of our busy lives to celebrate one another and our community. We focus on Peace during the holiday season and think of a theme based on peace.

This year we are focusing on the story of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.
Sadako and the Paper Crane:

Watch the above videos about Sadako. Reflect on the message of her story.

Required Post:

  • Post a video of Sadako (you can search the web for other videos that you may like better)
  • Write a summary of the story in your OWN words
  • Share your thoughts about the story
  • Write what YOU can do to Create the World that Ought to Be (how you influence peace in your life, your family, your community, etc.)
Don't forget to comment on other student blogs! 

Monday, December 3, 2012

#18: YouTube

Today I would like you to explore some YouTube videos... ideally something you have NEVER seen before.

Required Post:

  • Find a video on YouTube that connects to your blog "theme"
  • Post the video
  • Describe the video and WHY it connects to your "theme" - or at the very least, describe why you like it... etc. 
  • I will be expecting the description to be the "starting point" of your blog. Think of the video as the introduction to today's post - not the MAIN idea.
  • Grammar, punctuation, and content will be assessed for this post.
  • Do your best!
  • I will be watching comments from this date until the end of the semester towards your completion of this class. It is an expectation that you comment on AT LEAST three other blog posts each class. If you have issues with posting comments, you MUST talk with me!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

#17: Show What You Know

Today's Post is open ended. However, you are expected to use all the grammar and writing help that you have learned so far. I will be looking for correct spelling, proper grammar, and correct punctuation. You should easily write at least 3 structured paragraphs. Don't forget your fellow classmates and their LOVE of your comments (be helpful and supportive - no "that's cool" or similar, please!).

It is always exciting when you add photos or videos to your blog posts...

Have fun!

Monday, November 26, 2012

#16: Parts of Speech

Is is INCREDIBLY important for you to understand the roles of all EIGHT parts of speech.

  1. Noun: a part of speech inflected for case, signifying a concrete or abstract entity
  2. Verb: a part of speech without case inflection, but inflected for tense, person and number, signifying an activity or process performed or undergone
  3. Participle: a part of speech sharing the features of the verb and the noun
  4. Interjection: a part of speech expressing emotion alone
  5. Pronoun: a part of speech substitutable for a noun and marked for a person
  6. Preposition: a part of speech placed before other words in composition and in syntax
  7. Adverb: a part of speech without inflection, in modification of or in addition to a verb, adjective, clause, sentence, or other adverb
  8. Conjunction: a part of speech binding together the discourse and filling gaps in its interpretation

Some help:

Nouns: School House Rock

Verbs: School House Rock

Required Post:
  • Discuss and Define ALL 8 parts of speech in your OWN words - it may be easiest to use examples
  • Comment on AT LEAST THREE other people's blogs
  • Be creative and have fun - even though you are writing about grammar, you should be able to make this exciting and interesting to read.

Monday, November 12, 2012

#15: School House Rock!!

You asked for it... and here it is...

Working on our grammar skills the "Old School" way:

Conjunctions: In grammar, a conjunction is a part of speech that connects two words, sentences, phrases or clauses together.

Adjectives: The part of speech that modifies a noun or other substantive by limiting, qualifying, or specifying and distinguished in English morphologically by one of several suffixes, such as -able, -ous, -er, and -est, or syntactically by position directly preceding a noun or nominal phrase.

  • Topic: YOUR CHOICE! 
  • 2 or more structured paragraphs!
  • ALL adjectives need to be in BOLD type! 
  • choose 3 or more conjunctions in your post and put them in italics, meaning they need to be slanted and therefore, easily recognized in your post
  • COMMENT on at least 3 other blogs! 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

#14: POTUS!

What a week!! We have reelected Barack Obama as the 44th POTUS (President of the United States)!

If you were asked step in front of the United States as the leader - how would you act? What would you say? How would you make our country feel safe and secure that you KNOW what you're doing?

Today's Required Post: 
  • You may choose a topic of your own, OR you may respond to the question above (I'd love to know your thoughts!). 
  • You MUST include 2 structured paragraphs
    • topic sentence
    • 3-4 detailed sentences
    • closing sentence
  • You MUST include 2 semicolons! Go back to the last post if you need help!
  • You MUST comment on 3 other students' blogs
As you are writing today - I will be showing our newest (and current) POTUS' acceptance speech. Enjoy.

Monday, November 5, 2012

#13: The FEARED semicolon!

What is the POINT of a semicolon?

Well... there are so many reasons to know how to properly use a semicolon. Explore the video and websites to help understand how to use a semicolon.

My favorite grammar site is The Oatmeal.

Here are two videos... not the best, but you'll get the point :)

Grammar Vids for Kids:

 Here are some semicolon sentence examples:

  • I watched the Grammy Awards last night; I was pleased that Amy Winehouse won and thought it was a great show this year.
  • I love music; however, I haven’t played my own guitar in several years.
  • I have lived in several different cities: San Francisco, California; Haiku, Hawaii; and Santa Barbara, California.
  • When I was in fourth grade, I won the spelling bee for my entire school and went to the district championships. I practiced every night, memorized all the words on the list, and felt confident that I had a shot at winning; I got nervous on stage and misspelled one of the words even though I knew the proper spelling.
  • I’m fascinated by names and their meanings; Melissa means honey bee.
  • There’s nothing like the gentle drum of water hitting against the window pane; I love the rain.
Your required post:
  • The topic is your choice! However... you have guidelines!
  • You will be incorporating the last two lessons today. 
  • AT LEAST two structured paragraphs! Don't forget to include a topic sentence, detail sentences, and a closing sentence!
  • AT LEAST THREE semicolons throughout your post! 
  • YOU MUST comment on AT LEAST 3 other blogs - TWO of which you have NOT commented on before! If you've commented on everyone's blogs, please choose to comment on someone's blog who you have not read recently. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Post #12: Paragraphs and YOUR Blog

Feliz Dia de los Muertos!

Today you are required to write 3 structured paragraphs... the topic is your choice! You may describe your Halloween, write about your blog topic, or choose something else. I suggest adding photos or videos to enhance the interest level (and you can describe the photos if you are struggling with how to write 3 paragraphs! 

Don't forget to add labels and to comment on your classmates' blogs! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Post #11: Intensives & organization

Welcome back from your fall break! We are going to focus on paragraphs and organization this week.

Sadly School House Rock does NOT have a segment to teach us how to write a paragraph. Instead, I found this horrible video clip to help you stay focused in your paragraph... It's terrible, but hopefully you'll catch my humor is knowing that you may actually learn something from this!

What I want you to do today is to write THREE paragraphs:

1. Describe your Intensive - what did you do and learn? what were your highlights and lowlights?

2. If you could design your very own three day Intensive, describe it!

3. What are your goals for 2nd block? Write these in paragraph form (they can be specific to Blogger or for all your classes - it is up to you)

Add LABELS to your blog today to help gather followers... I'll explain!
Don't forget to comment on other students' blogs!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Post #10: Block 1 Eval & 2nd Grade Play!

Today you will do TWO things...

  1. You will get a hard copy of the Block 1 Guidelines from Norma. Please complete this by the end of class. However, DO NOT FORGET to print off one of your best posts to staple/attach to your eval.
  2. At 2pm, Jana's Reading group will be performing a play for you in her classroom. Please clean up your area, return your computer, and be ready to walk with Norma to Jana's room by 2pm.
*If for some reason you cannot complete your eval by 2pm, please turn it into Megan's mailbox by Monday!! 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Post #9: Guided "Open" Post

Yep - you've got it... you're now into the swing of the blogosphere. I will be using today's post to assess your understanding of this course and your responsibilities as a Blogger.

Today's post has a handful of requirements:

  1. Your title must incorporate your "main idea" for today's post AND your blog's theme
  2. You must somehow connect to one of the 5 Goals of the Open School (and mention it by name so I don't have to "guess")
  3. You need to include at least one website link as a reference or to further your reader's knowledge on the subject
  4. You need to add a video and/or a photo that connects to your theme/topic of the day
  5. You need to share your opinions AND be sure to explain yourselves (examples and stories are the best way to do this)

Please complete your Mid-term Eval (hard copy) and return to Megan by Thursday's class October 18. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Post #8: Why We Need to Believe in Others

Ted Talk:

Viktor Frankl: Why to believe in others

From TED’s Best of the Web series comes a fabulous lecture by influential psychiatrist, philosopher, and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl. In it, he explores youth’s universal quest for meaning. It should be a message that resonates immensely through temporal and cultural boundaries, offering some nourishing, intelligent bits to chew on.
Viktor Frankl - information and the video via the Ted Talks website.

Your Required Post:
Briefly summarize Viktor Frankl's message. Explain your thoughts and reaction to this speech and how it relates to the Open School Goal, "Seek Meaning in Your Life."

Please remember to comment on at least three other blogs today.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Post #7: Presidential Politics

So, I woke up this morning and took Olive (my dog) on the same walk we walk EVERY day. But, today was different. There were hundreds - thousands, maybe - of people at the park behind my house. President Obama was expected to speak at Sloan's Lake Park later in the morning. I hung out for a while, listened to the bands, the speakers, and watched the people. Very cool - right out my back door!

Then... I needed to go to work. Huh. That was going to be a problem. You see, my alley and garage are right next to Sloan's Park. I needed to find someone to escort me and my car on to the street. A police car (with lights) and a Secret Service officer escorted me all the way to the main "drag". Here is a blog write-up of Obama's visit to Sloan's Lake: the hill. Or ABC News if you prefer: Sloan's Lake ABC News


Oftentimes talking politics can bring out raw emotions. Last night was our first Presidential debate between our Presidential candidates, President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney (right here in Denver, Colorado!). There are some very big differences between these two candidates.

Spend some time reading about the candidates and the issues they stand for. Try to remove yourself from prior assumptions or thoughts. Take time to formulate a strong opinion that has factual backing, rather than emotional ties. Who is right for YOU and your lifestyle? Why?

Meet the Candidates: Scholastic News Candidate Info

Learn more about last night's debate: Oct 4th Debate at University of Denver

Mitt Romney:

Barack Obama:

Without bashing anyone or using inappropriate language, can you explain what impact the President may have on YOUR life?

Without offending others - comment on other people's posts. Using facts, not emotions to share your thoughts on the issues.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Post #6: Using Quotations, "Yipee!!"

Today's Lesson Involves Quotation Marks.

"What's that you say?" she asked from the back of the library.

"Quotation marks and other punctuation," yapped Megan as Mitzi giggled in the corner.

Please listen to Grammar Girl for some tips:
Quotation marks with other punctuation

Then give yourself a bit of a quiz:
Quotation marks Quiz

Here is a funny blog making fun of people who misuse quotation marks:
Unnecessary Quotes Blog

Today's Required Post:

You can write today's post about ANYTHING you'd like. HOWEVER, you must use quotation marks at least TWICE. This is your time to prove your understanding, rather than having to discuss your quiz. Have fun with it. I suggest searching for fun quotes about a passion of yours, or recreate a story involving you and your friends.

You also MUST comment on at least THREE other Blogs today - check out someone you haven't yet...

Blog It!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Post #5: Show Us What You've Got

Today's Post is OPEN... WIDE OPEN...

Your followers and I will be looking for:
  • An OBVIOUS introduction - meaning you talk a little bit about your blog theme or yourself
  • Proper Grammar
  • No Run-On or Fragmented sentences
  • Clear understanding of what your blog is about...
  • Appropriate language
  • A question or two for your followers to answer in their comments
Be sure to be creative, engaging, and unique!

Good luck! Happy Blogging!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Post #4: Rediscover the Joy of Learning...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Rediscover the Joy of Learning!

Today's Required Post: Explain what the first goal of the Open School means to you: Rediscover the Joy of Learning!

If you need help understanding the goal, read our website: Open School Philosophy.

As always, do your best to use this post as a creative way to share your own goals and passions of this blog. Add videos, pictures, stories, and whatever else you can find to share your thoughts on Rediscovering the Joy of Learning!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Post #3: Awesomeness!

Spreading Some "Awesomeness" into this Wild World... 

When life gets hard, maybe you need to focus on the postive aspects of your life. Today we will "meet" Neil Pasricha. This is a great story about a man who has had some ups and downs in life, but found a way through writing to make positive changes. Let's look at how being optimistic and blogging has changed his life for the better: 

Discussion Questions:
  • How did Neil Pasricha change his life for the better?
  • Why do you feel his blog ( is a catalyst for his wellbeing? 
  • What is his message? 

Required Post: Reflect on the class discussion. How can you relate to Neil Pasricha? Does your blog have a theme? Try to incorporate Neil's 3 A's as you write about his presentation:
  • Attitude 
  • Awareness
  • Authenticity
As always, try to be creative in your posting. 

At a MINIMUM, you must comment on 3 other student posts. I challenge you to post on 6-8 others! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Post #2: Sentence Structures...

Sentence Structures! 

Run On and On an On and On... and fragments, OH MY!

Today's class will begin with a mini lesson on sentences - the complete ones, the fragmented ones, and those that go on and on and on.... 

All sentences need a subject and a predicate. To help understand, I've asked "Mr. Morton" from the School House Rock to join us:

I know students can't log into You Tube at school... try this:

After watching the video, please walk through the power point presentation about sentence fragments (attached below).

Next, do your best to understand what a RUN ON sentence is. 

Then, quiz yourself. You have two options:
1. Capital Community College Run On and Fragment Quiz
2. Grammar Bytes - Chomp Chomp Quiz on Sentence Fragments:

Finally, today's required post: 
Share your quiz experience - how did you do? What do writers need to remember when writing sentences? How do run-ons and fragments fit in your blogosphere? Do they work? Why or why not? Can you share an example of a run-on sentence? A fragment? As always, I challenge you to be  creative. Can you weave today's post into your own "style" or blog theme? Good Luck! 

Please don't forget to comment on AT LEAST THREE other student blogs. If you are having any trouble, ask for help! 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Post #1: Who are you? Create your "Blogography"

Blogography? What is that?? Well... it is your Blog Story. Today you will introduce yourself to our Blogosphere (community of bloggers). You will tell us a little about yourself.

In order to be "safe" in the world of Blogging, don't use your last name. You may even come up with and alias if you wish.

First! I need you to go to your "Dashboard" and click "settings" on the left side. Next, click "posts and comments" - allow "anyone" to comment.

Today's Assignment:

  • Tell us a little about yourself
  • Explain your blog - what you'd like to blog about and why
  • Make a statement - see if anyone in your Blogoshpere will comment about your views and ideas...
Be creative. Try your best. I'd like you to try to do your best with spelling and grammar (PLEASE use spell check). 

Have fun! Good luck! 

Some extras: 
  • Try adding photos or videos
  • Start asking your neighbors what their blog addresses are so you can add comments
  • Start following other blogs

Monday, September 10, 2012

Start Blogging with Surveys...

In order for us to have a successful semester, I would like to know about your intentions for Blogger. I will help students set up their individual blogs. In the mean time, here are two surveys to help answer a few questions:

Next... once you have your blog set up, please complete this survey:

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Welcome to Blogger!

What have you gotten yourself into THIS time??

Today's blogging assignment only involves watching and listening... and ideally some commenting.

Let's start here...

What is blogging??

Click HERE for a video about blogging

Mena Trott's biography:

Questions for discussion:

1. Who is Mena Trott?

2. What impact has she had on blogging in general?

3. How did she get started?

Next week we will learn about YOU and what you are interested in learning and writing about in this course. I'm looking forward to reading and hearing all about you and your "blog-o-sphere"!