Daily Update Number 02: Like a diary but not really.

The picture is of Dinky Creek, one we took a few years ago.

Despite the fact that I have not posted in about a week I still get a few views here and there on this site for various old posts. I never experienced that on the other blog sites I had been on a year or so ago.
Life has gotten really crazy for me in the last few days and once I get a few things resolved I may share some of the worst of the relationship issues that have occurred in my life in separate blogs.
On the professional side of things, yesterday was event filled. I got a grant a few months ago to build a pond on campus and now finally, almost at the end of the school year, we have most of the logistics of building it planned and handled. We have the work day planned as well. I was freaking out because one person told me that the rock that had been delivered was giant boulders. I have a wonderful coworker who is part of the program mentioned below who is a great partner in this project and she assured me the rocks were of the appropriate size. Of course, there could be jokes made where we ask, How big were those rocks? I found out I received another mini-grant which will pay for the plants around the pond.
One of the programs on campus which has been very beneficial to the students is not going to be continued next year. There could be hope for next spring, but the employees as part of this program can’t wait that long without a job. They will be moving on to somewhere else.
The viewing of microorganisms under to microscopes in biology went well today considering I used only the mud and water and algae from our fountain which is really not a pond. There is the cool site called a Virtual Pond Dip and we reviewed some of these in 1st hour before the microscope inquiry lab today. We did see hydra, rotifers, and stentors.
There is even more that happened yesterday regarding my volunteer work which I am not really at liberty to share, but it all worked out for the good. It was just stressful along with the personal stuff going on…well this explains why I am up at 4:30 a.m. writing on my blog because I can’t sleep. I did sleep some, but the last three nights I wake up after about 4 hours and usually don’t go back to sleep for more than cat naps after that. Uggghhh!

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Understanding How Our Brains Learn

This seems to be opposite of what we do in school.

Creative by Nature

Image

Over the last 30 years or so, researchers in cognitive science, education and developmental psychology have discovered some amazing things about how the human brain works, how our minds are naturally configured to develop skills, think creatively and continuously learn.

You’ve probably heard that we each use only about 10% of our brains. That’s not quite accurate. Actually, while we probably use less than 30% of the brain at any given moment, the patterns and regions of activation change continuously throughout the day.

These PET scans (above) can help to make this discovery easier to understand. For every kind of structured activity you engage in there is a corresponding “skill” pattern of brain activity in your head- coordinated with specific sensory input, thoughts, emotions and movements of the body.

Constructing complex knowledge representations and skill patterns is what the brain does best, its designed for continuous growth and learns from…

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Tough Deal

I was running around doing things as so was Anna (name changed to protect the guilty of hard work) for a project we have going on campus. This is so hard but since she is not a direct hire on campus…she will get a pink slip for May 9th for lack of the grant funding needed for the program she works for. This is way too hard for me. Our joint project is starting to come together and she may not be here to see it used in the curriculum.

Promoting my blog

I was looking at the STATs for this blog and it occurred to me that it will take years to build a following, at least with the tactics I have employed as of yet to promote my blog. Within the blog community, I can continue to read and post comments on other blogs and hope this drives traffic to my blog. How do I drive traffic from outside this community? This gets posted to Twitter and Facebook automatically. I can’t seem to set it up automatically the correct way for Linked in.  I know there are SEO services out there, but I would like to define my blog by a theme before I start promoting it this way. I will need to do a search for other methods.

Why Did California Buy K12 Snake Oil?

Diane Ravitch's blog

K12 has a well-established record as a highly profitable virtual charter school chain with low graduation rates, high turnover, and low test scores. The NCAA removed accreditation from a dozen K12 schools because of poor academics. So why is there a K12 in California?

Here is a report from Donald Cohen of “In the Public Interest”:

It says:

In every year since it began graduating students, except 2013, CAVA has had more dropouts than graduates. Its academic growth was negative for most of its history and it did not keep up with other demographically similar schools after 2005. Its Academic Performance Index scores consistently ranked poorly against oth- er demographically similar schools and the state as a whole….

Each CAVA location currently re- ceives full, per-pupil public education funding.18 Students attend school from home computers. The majority of the teachers we interviewed reported that their students are eligible to be…

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Inland Area Writing Project Reunion today

I was at the Inland Area Writing Project Reunion today at UCR. This was absolutely wonderful. I enjoyed every moment of it and the food was fantastic as well. One of the things I really liked about it was I didn’t have to wait for this reunion like so many of today’s attendees. Some of them went through ISI as long ago as 1999.

I said I would look into several of the things going on within the project. For the Annual Conference http://iawp.ucr.edu/2015_awc.html  I am already signed up to present at but perhaps I will get involved with one of the other programs such as Improving Students Analytical Skills. http://iawp.ucr.edu/2015_awc.html   I am still a little frustrated about missing the Pow Wow for the Annual Conference.

One thing from the summer institute we did at the reunion today was Author’s Chair.  I think this was the highlight of today. The spectrum of writing shared today was exciting and enlightening about the experiences of each former participant and each different varied style of writing. I also loved the gamut of older and younger people bring their life experiences to the group.

Large Animals

I know the picture has nothing to do with dogs. It is an animal and animals is really what this is all about, even though the story is about a dog.

I saw an unusual dog yesterday and it was so big and beautiful I was taken somewhat by surprise. It looked like a very big Dalmatian on steroids. It also looked majestic. It wasn’t on a leash and the man in the background must have been the owner, yet the way that animal was looking at its surroundings I don’t see how he belonged to any owner. How animals think fascinates me and seeing this large specimen taking in the surrounding in such a regal way impressed me. I imagine how this animal 100,000 years ago would be in command of the situation and the man would be in danger.