Digital Adventure Story-5 Slides-5 Artists-2 Stories #etmooc

We’re on our way to 5 adventure stories.

Enjoy our presentation (here’s how we started- Adventure Collaboration ).

Who are we? @gallit_z   @MsLHall   @lindapemik   @mrsdkrebs  @grammasheri

Imagine your own story as you flip through the slides 1-6. On slide seven (7), click one of the links to hear a story from these same slides, but rearranged for each author. More coming soon.

Adapted from #etmooc
7: Plan a “Choose Your Own Adventure Story” (Collaborate) Adaptation:
Draw an object Then ask a peer to draw a related object. Pass your peer’s drawing on to another peer and have them draw a related object. Keep doing this until you have 5 drawings (including your original object).
Create a story that links the original object with the last object drawn. What is the connection between the first object and the last object?
Write a brief story, then try to create multiple pathways that a user could go through the story. Use a mind-mapping tool

What story do hear? Want to create your own? Make a copy of the slideshow and rearrange the middle three slides of the story (slides 2-5) to create your own. Let us know the link to your adventure in the comments below…

Week Two #etmooc Goals

Pretzel Art by Tony Stanczak, former student

Goals for #etmooc, reviewed:

As I embarked on this journey in #etmooc , I asked these questions:

  1. Given the access, technology, resources, and requirements available to me, how can I create a classroom world reflective of what my students need in the future that is theirs?
  2. How do I need to adapt my pedagogy to create that classroom?
  3. How will like-minded teachers connect and collaborate to create connected spaces for themselves and with their students?
  4. How will I, as a middle school teacher of language arts, connect with others to ponder these questions, create a space to act on them, and discover together ways to improve education in our own worlds.

As I review my posts for #etmooc, I discover possibilities:

  • Twitter / Wiki: I now connect to more middle level educators on twitter through the hashtag #midleved  (by Steven Davis) and #midlevt for the Connect in the Middle wiki a group of us have created for such educators (request to join!). We’re busy educators, and we connect as we can, spreading the word as more join our wiki. Many blogged about our initial questions on the wiki, and we also shared tips or lessons to #midlevt.  Currently, we are sharing lesson ideas on the wiki regarding Classroom Discussions and Poetry. We are connecting as middle level educators. (Goals / Questions 3 and 4)
  • Digital StoryTelling: I have created my own and collaborated with others to tell stories. We all have stories– simple and elegant, poignant and sublunary. Our perspectives guide us and frame us; sharing stories reframes our perspectives: we grow. With the digital component available, students can create, share, collaborate on their own or within a context on stories. I see how I storyboard — with observing, connecting ideas, forming poetic and visual responses, and arranging all together, and then I begin the digital version, revising as I work. My students did the same for a project within the context of mentors of cyber-safety. My question, though, is will this digital composition transfer to the paper/pencil composition needed for academic pieces? I ask because the students did draft, revise, practice, organize, assess, reshoot, share — all the components of the learning and writing process. (Goals / Questions 1 and 2)

As I finish the second week, what final possibilities do I consider:

I so enjoyed the recorded session with the participants of Jesse Strommel’s DigiWriting #etmooc, A Flurry of Cursors.

I already do use Google Docs as a backchannel when we watch a presentation together. I ask students to find a spot on the shared document and type their name; that is their space to add ideas. At different points, we stop the presentation/ video/ speech and discuss our comments and notes. At the end, we have a class set of notes to discuss and use for further consideration.

I’ve written about NaNoWriMos experiences on another blog and post “Let Them Write,” and here’s the main points learned:

My experience is this: I’m just writing. There’s a spark of story that ignites every time I start to add to the tale. It unfolds letter by letter word by word, sentence by sentence, dialogue by dialogue, image by image. That spark lights and spawns another spark. There’s been no real plan, only a glimpse that is fleeting to the real world and consciousness, but that explodes when my fingers cover the keys. Characters blossom. Setting stirs. Plot propels. With no plan, only a spark.

This is an experience I’ll remember, and I will pause to see what blossoms when my students want to “just write.” My expectation of prewrite, plan, draft may just extinguish the spark emerging within their imagination, and then what would the world miss? I’ve experienced the feeling of “I am a writer” for the first time, and I want my students to feel it too. Did you see that flash? It’s a spark of an idea from someone — maybe you!

It’s an enlightening experience that helped me see the need for less control and more autonomy in what we write in the classroom.  And that is what I saw within Jesse’s session — those who dared to take the leap allowed their collaborative cursors to dance a dialogue that emerged as a new idea. I recorded their reading of the created poetry, and created a video of the result: Mahemism.

I’ve decided to try this in my classroom as an entry task — a poem to write within in a context of topic, time, and participation. My first one will be given a title “Writing Class” (topic) for which students may add three words (participation) within ten minutes (time).  We’ll decide what to do with the poem together.

 The Topic: Writing Class

The Rules: Reminder — Be patient with each other during this synchronous collaboration in Google Docs; it’s not easy to find a spot together, but it is creative to do so.

1. We must complete this poem in 10 minutes

2. Each contributor must contribute three words — one noun and one other part of speech (verb, adjective…)

3. Each contributor may move one word — no more, no less.

4. Each contributor may contribute or remove one punctuation mark.

5. No word may be deleted, except by its author. If someone deletes your word by mistake, add it back in.

6. Leave these rules at the top of the document.

Once again, I see the rhizomatic learning connection:

  • rhizome: the context is the constraint  — the topic / time / rules
  • rhizome: we can choose the context — I choose to view the session
  • time is a constraint that invites action — I wanted to jump in and be part of the recorded session, so I was inspired to carry it further by taking the time to record their work (Mahemism. )
  • rhizome: the concept is carried into my classroom — entry poem task.

I have enjoyed visiting other “neighborhoods” of ideas, observing and participating, collaborating, and creating as the context fits my world. I thank everyone for allowing me to learn and grow because of this process. I’m thinking how I can create a context into which the Language Arts framework would provide a neighborhood of ideas into which students visit and collaborate, learning what each needs along the way. It would be more open than a PBL unit, and may just inspire some of my more resistant learners.  Would this look like a menu — perhaps a Symbaloo of choices? a blog page of prompts? an Edmodo set of classes?

Any ideas?

Connect in the Middle: Tweet #midlevt One idea


The Commons: No copyright


Let’s brighten up our connections:

Here’s an idea, this first project from 2//11/13 to 2/17/13:

Please tweet with #midlevt an idea you are using in your classroom (lesson, tool, strategy). It could be an easy tweet, or link to a post — old or new!

Do you think you can?

Just ONE tweet during that time. 🙂


Thanks, Sheri

What do you think?






I have decided to play with this Projects thing. Have any of you used this aspect of wikispaces?

Well, it seems that since we are all organizers, we can’t be in teams, because as organizers we see all teams and projects. Interesting…

Let’s see what happens to the Project Page.

Look forward to your sharing… Thanks, Sheri

Connect in the Middle #etmooc

Middle level educators have joined together through tweets (#midlevt), Diigo Group, and a wiki to find common ground and to explore and discover solutions to issues.

As we can, we take questions from our #etmooc experience and answer them according to our mid level focus:

How important is connected learning? Why?

Is it possible for our classrooms to support this kind of learning? If so, how?
What skills and literacies are necessary for connected learning? (and how to assess?)
How do we develop these?
How do we remix what we do to transform our teaching into learning worthy of our students’ futures?”

As we forge our own adventures in connectedness, we often return to the neighborhood of middle level educators for inspiration.  Please consider these responses from our group to the above questions:

Gallit Zvi  (and check out Ben and Gallit’s Neighborhood song!

Denise Krebs  (also check out her #geniushour posts )

Lorraine Boulos (also check out her reflection “Why are we doing this?” )

Sheri Edwards

And please join us if you are involved in middle level education!  If you respond to these questions, or if I, and forgive me if I did, forgot your post so far, have answered the questions, please add a comment below with your link.

If you have other questions, please ask!

Welcome to our neighborhood !

Digital Story Telling Poetry – A Project #etmooc

I’m behind ( need rhizome post) and ahead (digital storytelling) — racing like a turtle  and I can’t keep up, yet I add to the story with a segment from  past post from 2009 because of this encouraging post by Verena Roberts for next week’s digital storytelling #etmooc. We have much to learn the next two weeks. And another idea those of us teaching, might be to to use poetry as a vehicle to tell a story.

April is Poetry Month and on April 18th, it’s Poem In Your Pocket Day.  Want to participate? Here’s an idea…

Share Poetry Strategies and Digital Tools

Help spread the power of poetry — share ideas on twitter for how to create and share poems during the weeks before 4/18 — or do this right now to develop a project ready to use in your class —  for “A Poem in Your Pocket Day” on April 18th. Label tweets hashtag #pocketpoem, the official hashtag. Then we’ll have many strategies and tools to choose from for a fantastic Poetry Month.

An audience. A purpose. Authentic.

Here’s an example:

Create your own visual poem on Bubblr; blog or email it to friend for “A Poem in Your Pocket Day” on April 18th:

My Poem:


Barren earth

Blossoms in bubbles

Of delicate dew

For butterfly blessings

Mother Earth to you.

The visual:

Or link here: A Poem for Your Pocketby Sheri Edwards

Here’s HOW TO:

Go to Bubblr at

Use the “tag” box to type a topic on which you want to write a poem.

I chose these (separately as needed): soil, spring, dewdrop

For your search, many photos will appear for you to drag to the current slide.

As I chose my photos, I added the cloud and text.

Then I published with a title and name from which the code can be created to embed or link or email. Enjoy.


Other Poetry Resources:

National Poetry Month

Poem in Your Pocket

Eagles Write Poem in Your Pocket 2011


The Challenge before 4/18:

Please learn or relearn or share a tool for poetry, or a digital storytelling idea from #etmooc which can be adapted.

Create it.

Post your creation and a how to.

Tweet your post with your poem and howto: hashtag #pocketpoem, the official hashtag

If you  can, comment here with your poetry post link!


Thank you for encouraging poetry, and have fun with digital storytelling for #etmooc.

Go boldly and scatter seeds of kindness…

Reflect curiosity and wonder…

Art in the Middle #etmooc

Oh how I love this video introduction by Susan Angel. Her gentle words spill over into the artwork floating behind her story. This is what our schools should be about: exploring who we are and where our talents are. What fortunate students to have a school that finds art an important part of the curriculum!

I’ve found Susan on Twitter and invited her to our Connect in the Middle wiki. Any other MidLev educators are also welcome to join our neighborhood, and help make it grow.

Wowser!  Let’s watch the video, and try some art!