Thursday, January 31, 2008

Report from Day Three of the National Teacher of the Year Conference in Dallas

Hello. Today we had a great day discussing national education issues. We have an incredible group of over 50 teachers with great passion and a love for teaching. As we get to know each other we find great diversity but many shared ideas as well. After a great morning and afternoon of discussion we were treated to a special dinner at the Dallas World Aquarium - Mundo Maya. As we walked in the door and entered the rainforest we were greated by several Aztec warriors. The meal was amazing with great discussion. This week has been a truly amazing experience and we are making connections and friends that will last for years. I've added a few pictures from the evening below. I'll blog later about some of the topics of discussion from today. Right now my head is swimming with ideas and thoughts.

Greeted at the door of the Dallas World Aquarium.

Enjoying dinner with Mary Beth Blegen - 1996 National Teacher of the Year.

Montana Teacher of the Year Steve Gardiner, myself and Minnesota Teacher of the Year Michael Smart

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Podcast #131 - Report from Day Two at the National Teacher of the Year Conference in Dallas

Hello. Today's podcast is similar to yesterday's episode - a little different than my usual podcasts. I'm reporting back to my 8th grade American history students in Liberty, Missouri. Today we had an incredible day as we learned more about the potential of the Smart technology that we will be given as state teachers of the year. I will soon have a Smart Board, AirLiner and Senteo products set up in my classroom and today was a chance to discover what we can do with these tools. I'm excited about use these tools and letting my students get their hands on these tools as well.

Today I have added a few pictures - one the view from the window of my hotel room and the second a picture of myself with Raymond Voley - the Alaska Teacher of the Year. He teaches technology and social studies so we have plenty in common.

Direct link to Podcast #131 - Report from Day Two of the National Teacher of the Year Conference in Dallas - MP3 format - 5:05 minutes

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Podcast #130 - Report from Day One in Dallas at Teacher of the Year Conference

Hello. Today's podcast is a report from the national Teacher of the Year Conference in Dallas for my students back in Liberty, Missouri. We landed this afternoon - after flying into a 100 MPH headwind. I took a picture looking out the window of the plane since it looked really cool. I had a dinner tonight with all the teachers of the year from various parts of the country. It was great to meet a few other teachers tonight and over the next four or five days we'll all get to visit. Please listen to the podcast for a recap of Day 1.

Direct link to Podcast #130 - Report from Day in Dallas at Teacher of the Year Conference - MP3 Format - 7:00 minutes

Monday, January 28, 2008

State of the Union Bingo Lesson Plan

Here is a great lesson plan that you can incorporate into your classroom when teaching about the State of Union address by President Bush. It comes from Eli Lesser - Director of Teacher Education and Civic Outreach for the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Eli mentioned this over the summer when I attended a workshop at the National Constitution Center and I was thinking of it this morning just as it came across my e-mail.

You can download a PDF of the lesson plan and Bingo board so your students can play along. Great also to adapt to other events.

Thanks Eli!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Podcast Interview on MSTA's "The Pulse"

Hello. I was recently interviewed by Todd and Gail on the MSTA (Missouri State Teachers Association) podcast "The Pulse". The orignial plan was for me to drive to Columbia and do the interview live in their studio but a quick winter snow storm forced me to stay at home so we did the interview via Skype.

I am a MSTA member and very proud of what the organization has done with emerging technologies to communicate with its members - podcasts, blogs, RSS feeds and Twitter are just a few examples.

You can find the interview here as a direct link or listen on the embedded player below. If you have any comments please feel free to leave a comment on the blog post or e-mail at

Hope to have some new podcasts posted soon. I have a lot to talk about, just having trouble finding the time to sit down and record it. Talk to you soon. Thanks.