We’re Moving!

November 29, 2007

You may have noticed that our class has not been blogging lately using this blog. Then again… maybe you haven’t. Either way, after discovering blogmeister (a free classroom blogging tool), I have decided to start shifting most of our classroom blogging experiences to our Language Arts blog, the Room 17 Publishing Company. This new blog (I feel like I have too many blogs… here a blog, there a blog, everywhere a blog blog) allows for more widget type applications and Flash.

Room 17 has lots to offer:

  1. Embedded podcasts from P.R.I.D.E. Radio (you can listen to our podcasts right from the page)
  2. Links to our iTunes website (get us on your iPod)
  3. Discussions between the kids and other classrooms from around the country… soon to be globe!
  4. Last, but not least, all of the kids have their own blogs here

I invite you to check out Room 17. Stop by and say hey!

Oh and just in case you didn’t notice the links above, you can click HERE to visit our new site.

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Back to School Night Video

August 25, 2007

Just in case you aren’t able to make it to Back to School Night this Thursday, August 30th from 5-6, here is a Photostory that I made for the evening. We will be using this program to create our own Photostories this year. How would you use this program to show what you have learned?


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!


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!


Digital Storybooks

May 5, 2007

As we discussed yesterday, we are going to make our own digital story based on our Greenfield Village trip. One problem that I am having is that I am not sure you guys (my class) recognize the possibilities this type of story offers when compared to a regular story.

Personally, I think it’s amazing that you will be able to integrate (or put together) your pictures, words, and voice into a story about an awesome field trip. What do you think about this project? Can you think of any other projects that would be better with a digital storybook?