Vacation Podcast

July 20, 2007

Tomorrow I will embark on a 6 hour car ride (click here to see the route on Google Maps) to Wisconsin… cheese anyone? While there, I plan on recording a podcast. A podcast is an audio recording that can be downloaded to a portable operating device (like an MP3 player). If you were in my class last year you may remember that we did a science podcast based on different ecosystems and organisms.

I wanted to complete this podcast because I thought it would be cool to diary my experiences on the road, as well as pass the time in the car. I am thinking about interviews along the way and commmentaries from the road. This idea may be too grand, but we’ll see.

You may be asking yourself, “Why does Mr. Fowler think I care about podcasting?” Good question! I think you should care about podcasting because you will be involved in it next year. For the 2007-08 school year I would like to give students several opportunities to record and plan their own podcasts. I think the podcasts fit well into the curriculum because it gives students an opportunity to write a script that can pertain to any subject area as well as publish it for a large audience. Plus… it’s really cool to hear your voice on the computer.

Stay tuned for the video podcast!


2+2 = ???

July 19, 2007

Actually, I know you know the answer, but I want to know how you got it. This year we are going to take part in an awesome new math program (new books and everything)! I was taking a look at some of our ideas from the first investigation (which is like a chapter, but doesn’t the word “investigation” sound cool???) and the content focuses on students explaining their answers.

I really like the idea of students explaining their answers because when I was in 5th grade, I ‘m not sure that I could. As a result, I want to see how people think about a typical addition problem.  Please let me know how you solve the following:

2,345 + 487

This is what I think:

2,345 + 487 =

2,345 + 400 = 2,745

2,745 + 80 =  2,825

2,825 + 7 = 2,832

I like to break 487 down into easier parts to manage. I look at 487 as 400+80+7. From there it is easier to add those numbers to 2,345. In order to understand this problem in this way, it is important to realize place value. In other words, 487 has 4 hundreds (400), 8 tens (80) and 7 ones (7). What do you think about this explanation? Would you do this problem this way?

I’ll Have an Order of Phoenix with a side of awesome!

July 15, 2007

Well I saw Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix today. I am surprised that it took me this long to see the movie, as I am typically an opening day Harry Potter kind of guy. When the Goblet of Fire came out, I saw it at the Imax theater in Lansing… amazing.

As for the movie, it was great. The producers are definitely starting to move away from the friendly, happy days of the Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets. A lot of this movie was dark and cold. Nonetheless, the action was great, Harry faced and overcame tons of adversity, and there was quite possibly the coolest wand scene ever (not that there are too many wand scenes around)!

When I watch Harry Potter, I can’t help but wonder about why I like the story so much. After careful review, I have come to the following conclusions:

  1. Harry is real. Many kids and adults can identify with Harry because he goes through ups and downs, just like all of us.
  2. Harry has great character. One of my favorite character traits is integrity (doing what’s right even though now one is looking). Harry continues to impress me with his integrity; he is always fighting for what he believes in and what’s right.
  3. Harry lets his actions speak for themselves. Rarely do you see Harry gossiping about others (even when others seems to turn on him).

Needless to say, I am ever so excited about the seventh book The Deathly Hollows. What do you think about H.P.? How about predictions for the seventh book (my class, remember that predicting is one of major comprehension strategies)? I predict that Harry will prevail over Lord Voldemort in the end. I also think that Harry’s parents will return. I believe this because I noticed in the Order of the Phoenix that Luna Lovegood mysteriously said, “Somethings have a strange way of showing up where you don’t expect them.” I guess I’ll just have to wait and see!

Hey… isn’t that a new tab?

July 6, 2007

As you may have already noticed (if by you, I mean me… because I am not sure that anyone else checks this thing over the summer), I have a new tab on the front page of the blog. The new tab is entitled “resources” and is a page that will be didicated to video tutorials and other resources for kids and parents. Be sure to check back often as my resident technology guru/consultant Tammy Maginity has big plans for lots of video lessons in the future!

As always, I have a question: Parents, how often would you say you use online or electronic resources as a tool to help your child with school work or pleasure research (is that really a term known to kids… Pleasure Research? If not, it would be cool if it were.)? Do your kids reguarly use Google, Wikipedia, or other electronic resources. 

It is my hope that the “Resources” tab on this page will serve as a living personalized resource to kids not only in our district, but around the world. If you have any resources that you think are useful, please let me know and I will post them!  

Alrighty… Now Show Yourself!

July 4, 2007

I have started to notice that my little map below (see little map below) has accumulated more red dots than a full blown case of chicken pox (maybe not, I haven’t had them in a while). Anyhow, we have people from 5 continents visiting this page! That is amazing!! Perhaps some have stumbled on this page by accident, but I think some are coming to check out what our class is doing!

I would really love to hear from the folks who are visiting this site. If you wouldn’t mind, drop us a line and let us know where your from and what you like or would like to see on this blog. Thanks for visiting!