Shoot for the moon…

Shoot4theMoon.gif

Animation is a big thing, and I’ve stayed away from it. I’m not an artist, so simple sketches are a difficult.

Sketch50 [sketch50.org] has helped; I’ve improved, so I thought I’d try animation.

Today I worked with Sketchbook Motion — it’s got a lot of fun features as you can see in the gif. I can make a path, grow more parts [not shown], create particles [stars].  I couldn’t see how to adjust the timeline of events, but there’s a lot more to learn. It works in layers similar to the Sketchbook Pro app I’ve been learning for drawing.

Who knows what’s next in the visual world, but animation to express ideas is a big deal now. I worry, though, that too much may be left to the reader who may misinterpret the writer’s meaning if the voice of the writer in text is missing.

I’m also trying Doink, which has many tutorials to help get started. Here’s my first:


As you see, I’m shooting for the moon and might land on a few stars to help me learn.

Tinkering With Voices in Poetry

00_IMG_3768

Illustration by Melvina Kurashige

Tinkering, playing around, experimenting: that’s learning. So when Kevin Hodgson [@dogtrax] read my “On Starting: A Poem for Three Voices,” he suggested recording those three voices in a podcast.

Kevin invited Melvina Kurashige [@mkurashige] and me to an online, collaborative sound recording tool called SoundTrap [there’s an app too.] With just a few tests and his great Google doc tutorial, we each recorded the voices for the poem. Melvina created the illustration [above] and Kevin added music and transferred the recording to SoundCloud.

 

I wanted to create an animation, but I did manage to create an illustrated version of our poem by drawing illustrations in SketchBook and importing them into iMovie. I downloaded the SoundCloud version and matched the timing of the recording to the images. I added in Melvina’s illustration and, of course, the credits.

On Starting on YouTube    On Starting at Soundcloud

 

I was impressed with how easy SoundTrap is use; a collaboration with students would work with a light learning curve. Imagine students creating their own poems for two voices, or creating a podcast for the school. See the SoundTrap Edublogs for more about an education edition. To get a feel for how to use it, check out their Tutorials at Vimeo.

I’d like to thank Kevin for making it happen — he wrote about it here: “Tinkering with Voices/Playing with Poems” — and to Melvina for accepting the invitation and taking the initiative to create the SketchNote of the poem.

Now, go tryout SoundTrap [there’s an app too.] in the free version to see its versatility, and then… share what you do with it! Really, you’ll have a blast.

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Illustration by Melvina Kurashige

SOL17 DoodleaDay 30 Tools and Spaces

doodleaday_30_tools_spaces.sre

Doodling is writing in images. The flow for each is similar: idea-draft-share-elaborate-revise-share-enhance-edit-publish. And publishing can be private, shared with a few, public on websites, social media, blogs, journals, etc.

For me, and again like writing, I prefer the digital. The ability to cut/paste/re-order/undo/redo just makes the process of thinking through the challenge to create the best message is just such a gift. This is especially important with art– because I’m not an artist. I’d be crunching up paper and eventually be buried in snowballs of wrecked work. I’d be frustrated and quit. But with the digital, I try over and over and feel like I can improve and understand better what each stroke, brush, line does to bring out the image. It’s fun.

I think that’s important to understand for students in writing class: why drearily write by hand when the words are so easily created, ordered, deleted, enhanced with the tools available in digital format? Handwriting? That’s now art! Make it fun, on paper or digital.

The #Sketch50 theme this week is Communication, and today’s topic is page/book/device. Notice what changed from the #doodleaday of “Tools and Spaces:

sketch50_page.book.device.sre

First of all, you can see that I just needed to copy the #doodleaday to my Sketch50 journal in Paper53. To make the icons I just searched Google [icon Blogger, for example]. Then I could zoom in and create an image pretty close to the icon of  the app that I use for communication of ideas.

Sharing Google Docs, in blogs, on Twitter, in Evernote, through presentations [Keynote or Slides]– those are ways for me to curate ideas and collaborate.

And the information is from my experiences, my books [Kindle], news apps, research in Google Search.

I do have a journal, which I hardly use, and Staedtler fine point pens, for the occasional sketching I do for a quick idea– rare. I also do a little ZenTangle art, but mostly in my Paper53 and Autodesk Sketchbook apps. My pens last a long time.

But whatever writing I do — text or image – I just think, get an idea, and then dive in, digitally.

I visited school yesterday. Actually, I was the substitute Principal. It was a wonderful experience– I could see the flow of the day, and found smiles on student faces, which means the school is doing well for kids. I wrote on paper [!] a log of what I did. I wrote “Tootles”– oodles of them in each classroom I visited. Tootles are acknowledgements of students who are models of goodness: Good thinking, good questions, good answers, good effort, good attitude– each is written specifically for and given to one child. I was able to hear good questions, acknowledge a change in attitude, a willingness to listen again and correct mistakes, etc. It was awesome.

I was also reminded of the challenge in writing — the biggest challenge– the start. That first word or image. That blank paper or screen. In my experience, the best way to overcome that obstacle is three-fold:

  1. Model examples [if needed, non-examples as well]
  2. Model and try with students; Share and find the positive.
  3. Conversation: discuss the trials and encourage discussion of what the examples suggest– what else could have been tried or done or reworded?

I found that modeling, guiding a reworking or new ideas, and then having conversations with students, and students with each other, gets them thinking about their own ideas and experiences. Soon, one by one, each student is able to start.

If you are new to teaching writing, I’ve always recommended these:

Ralph Fletcher Books

Lessons for the Writers Notebook and Teaching the Qualities of Writing by Ralph Fletcher and JoAnn Portalupi by Heinemann

In the Middle by Nancie Atwell

Vicki Spandel Six Traits

Six Trait Writing by Northwest Labs

Teaching that Makes Sense by Steve Peha

If you are a writer, what is your flow? Are you digital or paper?

If you are a teacher, what strategies do you suggest for helping students start?

If you are a teacher, what resources do you recommend?

We all need tools and spaces, and once we help each other consider the possibilities– starting  is not an issue.

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A Poem for Three Writing Voices: On Starting

Stuck.

Blank.

[Sigh]

“What?”

“Nothing – You?”

“Look – whale’s tales”

“Whales tales?”

“I couldn’t draw

the whole whale.”

“Me too.

I drew my dog

in the  wheat field.

Just the head.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah!”

“That works!”

“Yeah, that works.”

“Oh.”

“I know.”

“What?”

“What?”

“It’s a square.”

“It’s my cat in a box.”

“Now I can write.”

“Yeah–we looked

for that cat

for an hour!”

“I know.”

“How to Find a Cat”

“That works!”

“That does work.”

“Shhhh.”

“I’m writing.”

 

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Doodling Song

I was going to listen to “We’ve Got the Whole World In Our Hands,” but then I stumbled on the same song, remixed for Earth Day: Official Music Video for one of DARIA’s Earth Day CD songs: We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands.

It’s got some great images — I imagine a class set of doodles / sketches could be used to create a similar version.

 

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Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers

Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today: Tools and Spaces

Part of Sketch50: page/book/device

 

SOL17 DoodleaDay 26 United We Stand

IMG_3726_doodleaday_united_we_stand

A Story:

Today, there is…

fear

discrimination

divisions

intolerance

power wars

hatred

Tomorrow there ought to be…

calm

listen

share

accept

understand

hope

compromise

love:

listen openly; value experiences

I believe this because…

I believe in

the dream of a United States of America

each person, an opportunity, a human with hopes for a better tomorrow

all persons created equal

with liberty and justice for all

indivisible

diversity opens options and opportunities and solutions

leadership of the United States promoted justice and peace for all

so others dreamt our dream

our greatness was determined by our diversity

We are the world’s future.

United, we stand…

It will be achieved by…

Listen Openly, Value Experiences

United, We Stand

Justice For All brings Peace

Together, Humanity Solves World Problems

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School days we stand and salute our flag and our nation:

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

United States of America.

Indivisible.

Justice For All.

Our country stands for justice for all. For All.  We have stood for this value as leaders in the world– that we believe in justice for all in the world.

Now, the White House is undermining this, spreading fear and denying justice of “other” people, denying facts, and silencing science. If the White House eliminates guidelines and rules for financial regulation, air and water quality, is it for people — or for promotion of corporations over its people? Justice to corporations eliminates justice for all — because greed is its guide. The White House promotes power, but not power of the people.

The White House seems to concur with the onslaught of false information in the form of propaganda: websites, videos, blogs. These promote conspiracy theories and fear. They are enemies of democracy and seek to divide us. A divided country, without a willingness to listen, understand, and compromise to live in a diverse world, is a declining and doomed country.

Our nation was built on diverse ideas and compromise. We welcomed those suffering and fleeing persecution and hardship, no matter who they were– and accepted the benefits of diversity, knowing that our nation was strong enough to build on the best of each us to build a better America, a great America. We did it.

But now, the White House and the enemies hiding in posts, blogs, videos, websites spread fear instead. Fear divides us. Divided we fall.

If you are conservative, speak.

If you are liberal, speak.

If you are libertarian, speak.

If your are conservationist, speak.

If you are white supremacist, speak.

If you are Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, atheist, etc., speak.

And remember that we are “one nation” “indivisible” “with liberty and justice for all.” Unless we listen and understand and accept each other as part of this great nation, we will remain divided and we will fail as a democratic republic.

Believe what you wish, but accept that we all live together. We are one nation. We the people must govern for all of us– not a nation where opponents are killed and jailed, or laws promote injustice and discrimination. We are nation of justice, acceptance, and compromise.

Even if the world is not as we wish, for this nation to survive, we must accept differences. We must understand that our neighbors, however different, love their families and love this nation just as much. They many pray, sing, speak, and live differently, but their human hearts beat with a hope for a better future — living in a United States of America. We must promote hope and acceptance. We must be united in our belief in “liberty and justice for all.”

As John Mayer sang,

Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
Fear is a friend who’s misunderstood
But I know the heart of life is good
I know it’s good
Songwriters: John Clayton Mayer
The Heart of Life lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Reach Music Publishing

I know the world isn’t perfect, that some are in difficult times. Hearts are in pain. But fear of others divides and conquers us. Fear comes from an unknown face– get to know your neighbor — reach out to build understanding. Help each other understand. Overcome fear; build hope.

Because: United, We Stand.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers
Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today: Doodle a Story

Doodling Song: John Mayer — The Heart of Life

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No matter your beliefs: open minds build our democracy and help us stand together.

Review these resources to deal with Fake News, which are lies, conspiracy theories, and propaganda to divide and destroy our democracy:

How Fake News Tricks Your Brain by Alexandra E. Petri at National Geographic

“Motivated reasoning is the idea that we are motivated to believe whatever confirms our opinions.”

How to Spot Fake News by CommonSense Media  Short Video gives 5 Tips.

10 Questions to Spot Fake News by NewsLiteracyProject

How to Spot Fake News by FactCheck

Fake News or Real? by NPR

Teaching Kids to Discern Fact from Fiction at NPR

How to Teach Students about Fake News by PBS

Evaluating Sources in a ‘Post-Truth’ World: Ideas for Teaching and Learning About Fake News from New York Times

Battling Fake News at Edutopia by Mary Beth Hertz

Fake News? Teaching Media Literacy from Brown.edu

Fighting Fake News by KQED

SOL17 DoodleaDay 22 Emoji


Did you know that one in eleven people in the United States is diabetic? And that it is the seventh leading cause of death? Find out more here, an American Diabetes Association info graphic based on data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC].

That’s a lot of people, and you can protect yourself if you are prediabetic with regular excercise and by eating a diet filled with green vegetables and protein, with a limit on complex carbohydrates while cutting out simple carbohydrates. Of course, it’s more complex than that, but it is a lifestyle that would benefit almost everyone. Here’s the info from the CDC to follow to help learn more to help yourself.

I found myself in the hospital emergency room last April, and found the diagnosis of diabetes 2.  My new lifestyle began based on this information from the CDC. It’s actually pretty easy for me: I haven’t had a soda or diet soda since that day! I quit simple carbohydrates and began eating nuts, especially walnuts. And broccoli, broccoli, broccoli, which I still love. I’ve learned how to balance my meals with this type of plate:

I listened to and followed the directions of my doctor and nutritionist, and I subscribe to a newsletter at Everyday Health, which I found in one of the pamphlets from the hospital. Here’s a great article on sugar and inflammation, an important read– and why cutting that junk food and simple carbohydrates is important.

Fortunately, I have health insurance– but how long will that last, and how affordable will it be now that the GOP plan to gut health care? While I am not a recipient of ACA health care due to my former employment as teacher, anything that changes the health care system and Medicare will affect my coverage — and yours.

So we’ve been eating and exercising to keep my A1C score at 6%. If I’m eating at other people’s houses or an event, I eat something first — just in case what is served is filled with carbohydrates that would set my system wacky. And I’ve found that most restaurants serve chicken Caesar salads, which is my standby. If I must eat fast food — I eat chicken without the white bread and fries. I’ve found Applebees to be a diabetic friendly menu [but they do change up their menu]. I love the pork chop, sweet potato, broccoli meal. It’s delicious. I also carry walnuts and carrots in the car for traveling.

Which brings me to the Doodle for #DoodleaDay today: an emoji I wish for:

I searched for Diabetes emojis, and there are some — but for my phone and for menus, I’d like one that points to diabetes friendly meals– no simple carbohydrates, but green vegetables and protein. I could add it to a map with diabetes friendly meals.  Hmmm. That’s an idea. With twenty-five percent of seniors being diabetic, I think the emoji and the map is a good idea. 🙂

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Stay happy,

Laugh;

Eat healthy,

Live;

Hug always,

Love.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now, a word about emojis in general. I find them confusing because they are open to interpretation — I’d rather hear or see the words. And my students laughed so hard when I thought the pile of poop was chocolate ice cream.  And parents, they’ve got to know, as this article shows exactly what teens are saying through emojis– or what adults think they might be saying, but don’t: Time: emoji-meaning.

So, here I go with carrots and walnuts and “Sky Between the Branches” tea.


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Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers

Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today: Draw an emoji you want for you phone

Doodling Song by BREAD, David Gates: If

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SOL17 DoodleaDay Data History

IMG_3683_doodleaday_data_history.PNG

Data fills our lives, much of it we create to share with family and friends, to work with the community, or to share with the world. Information flows to us with the click of our thumbs in Google Search. Humans create; humans communicate; humans share: it’s our story since the beginning of our time.

Today I watched a video about the Data Center Mural Project in Council Bluffs, Iowa, which describes the point where east and west met in the history of our human endeavor with the “data” of our stories. I had not realized that this city was an important middle point in connecting our coastal stories.

 

Yes, we create our data, but how safe is it? How do you protect your data?

Some Resources:

Smartphone Safety [From Pew Research –See sidebar for many resources]

FCC allows selling of our data???? Looks like it: Wired

The Open Internet

FCC to gut Open Internet / Net Neutrality?  Looks like it: Wired

Mozilla Net Neutrality

Having an open internet and net neutrality keeps our costs down, encourages access by all, and allows the free flow of information.  Without net neutrality, our costs increase, many will not have access, and information is controlled by providers. That’s the end to “googling” for the relevant and accurate information — because all of it will not be available; someone will be censoring it.

Once more the deranged regime of 2017 zaps freedoms and the values near and dear to the people. Stand up. Add this to the growing list of attacks on our freedom and values.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Word

Work

Fork

Folk

Fold

Sold

⊙﹏⊙

Word: we create

Work: we contribute

Fork: we find the road changed

Folk: we the people

Fold: we’re turned away

Sold: Out!

(╬ ಠ益ಠ

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers

Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today: YouTube Doodle — I chose Data Center Mural Project

Doodling Song:  We Gotta Get Out of This Place by Eric Burdon and the Animals

“There’s a better life for me and you” — that’s the truth.

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