lets get Masada out there

field trip trip

Well today was the last field trip of 2nd grade. Unfortunately i think it was also the 1st field.trip of 2nd.grade. Apparently the opinion of the present regime at my daugjter’s school is that field trips are not in themselves enough if they merely are learning expeditions. After all this takes away from all if the tme spent practicing taking tests that actually mean nothing and teach my child little. Anyway i digress on this subject… Let’s get back to the field trip.
On to the yellow bus we went and it was off to the planetarium. Now when i was a kid we went.on.field trips several.times throughout the year. There was the library, the bowling alley, swimming, planetarium, roller skating, the list seems endless. And yeah it was Great! Apparently the the planetarium does not seem to be the most interesting place for 7 and 8 year olds to spend their one and only field trip. Now don’ t get me wrong it was pretty interesting pace – to me anyway i – but i don’t think an explanation of how the zodiac works and the cycle of the.moon was quite what these kids had in mind. Aside from that the absolute kicker was the awesome video circa 1980 that explained how we get to space, how we stay there once we’re up there and how we get back. I’m fairly certain i saw the same movie when i was in elementary school. There were some graphically… Sort of… Think Oregon trail ( if you’re old.enough to remember that you can see what I’m working with here – if not think maybe the video game that tom hanks played as a kid in the movie big). yeah i think you can see how interesting pace this was to the kids who are used to box, dvd’s, and 50 inch tv. They lost interest before it even started and i even felt a little sorry for the guy giving the presentation. I’m pretty sure the best part of.the field trip was the bus ride!

Topic 13 – editorial calendar

Editorial Calendar For Your Final Project:

“In this week’s final class blog post, I want you to develop a basic editorial calendar for the organization you will be covering in your final project. If you need to, look back to our earlier modules on blogging and content creation and refresh yourself on the best practices for an editorial calendar.

You don’t need to give me exact dates and final topic headlines right now, I want you to give me an idea of what topics you would like to cover during each week for your final project.”

All right – as you all know (and for those of you that don’t) the organization I am exploring for my final project in CJ 393 is called Masada House. Since we have three weeks for the duration of the assignment I will post one new “topic” each week and break it down from there.
Week 1 – Introduction to Masada
Goal – create Project Masada to have dedicated area at WordPress for Masda content
Goal – Create blog 1 – Introduce Masda to the world – who are they, what do they do, how does it all work?Goal – publish content on how to donate, volunteer, etc.

Week 2 – What’s happening at Masada
Goal – Video 1 – create content that explains the need for Masada, past accomplishments
Goal – Video 2 – Run for Recovery
Introduce fund raiser and post content to you tube (?)

Week 3 – The faces of Masada
Goal – video interview with Karen Chenault program director
Goal – interview some participants current and past

Family night and websites

Last week my daughter’s school graciously held what they affectionately call Family Night – you may have heard of something similar in your areas. It’s a night hosted by the school where the family of students is invited to explore, participate in some sort of assembly-type presentation (topics vary), and then visit various classrooms that have games and activities for the children. I’m sure you all get the premise here – let’s make an effort to get parents and students involved with learning outside of the regular classroom. GREAT! Except… well it’s never so great. We go to nearly every event like this – I am a firm believer in parent involvement in education and think the more we support our schools the better off our children will be. So on these occasion when I am handed an invitation from a very excited 7 year old I take the opportunity to strut my parent stuff. This invitation (as well as the sign board outside of the school that displays reminders on upcoming events) stated that family night would begin at 5 pm. So being a punctual person we showed up right at 5 pm. Apparently that was more of a suggestion than an actual start time. Now in an effort to make sure we were on time and there was nothing we need to bring, etc. I consulted the schools website. There again – Family night starts at 5 pm. So when we arrived there were some other punctual parents there wandering aimlessly around and wondering, much as I was, were we in the wrong place? Had the time changed and no one told us? The few teachers and volunteers that were there simply stared at us and offered little encouragement or explanation of what was going on. So we went out to the playground and played for a bit – periodically coming into the building to see if perhaps anyone else was going to show up. Eventually they did – 1 hour later. Nothing was even started until 6 pm. Now I don’t know about you but poor planning and tardiness are huge pet peeves I have. If you invite some one somewhere at an appointed time – please note none of the time information I received said 5-ish or around 5 or somewhere between 5pm and the next morning – then I believe you need to be there and ready to roll at said time. Now I wonder why parents don’t want to get involved with school activities? Hmmmm… There was a complete lack of direction, very poor planning, no enthusiasm from the staff and teachers participating. It was pretty much just a humdrum event with all the wonder of a deflated balloon and I was very sadly disappointed – again. You may be wondering why I have websites listed there in my title and by golly I’ll tell ya. Isn’t the goal of a company – in this case the school – having a website to relay information about the organization? Upcoming events? Important things you might want or need to know about the organization? Have you looked at your school’s websites? I do believe there will be an interesting post following to discuss the lack of use of social media to relay information to parents. Do any of you have (or are) teachers that tweet? Update your personal teacher websites on your school’s webpage? Stay tuned…

Topic of the Week 12

So this is the TOPIC OF THE WEEK for CJ 393:
Look at the organization you’re thinking about working with for your final project. Write a short social media strategy for the organization that you have selected for your final project. I don’t expect a full social media audit and strategy (these can take weeks if not a couple of months to develop), but I do want the following in this assignment:
>One goal
>One measurable objective to achieve this goal (and what are you measuring?)
>One strategy that will achieve this objective.
>Two tactics for this strategy (one has to be content-focused, the second has to be engagement-focused)

Goal:
I think perhaps the most important goal right now in partnering with Masada House is to make them a visible presence in the community.
Measurable Objective:
Increased funding via donations, volunteers, and grants. Because most of the grants that Masada would apply for on a large scale are invitation only it will be interesting to see if invitations increase as a result of increased social media presence.
Strategy:
Join the Farmington blog – this is a blog hosted by members of the Farmington and San Juan County community that focuses on things that are going on in the community and gives community members a chance to voice their opinions. Giving Masada a presence here will increase awareness of the program.
Content-focused strategy:
I guess I don’t really understand the difference between the two strategies – by creating content do we not increase engagement. Right now Masada is getting ready to do a 5k un called the Run for Recovery which will take place in May. Adding content to the Farmington blog regarding this can increase awareness of the fundraiser. Masada may be able to recognize those community members who engaged with the blog during the ceremonies surrounding the race. I’m not quite sure here – does anyone have some suggestions?

Specials in the classroom

Music, PE, Art, foreign languages, library – all the fun stuff we get to learn during the school day. I believe back in my day they were called electives in secondary schools and in elementary school they were simply part of the regular school week. Actually we didn’t have to leave our classrooms to do art and we did not have an option to learn another language with the exception of those students who were learning English as a 2nd language. Now kids go to what are called “specials” in our school district. As part of an effort across the four corners to help children keep their “native tongues” alive those children that are identified as Navajo or Hispanic are allowed to voluntarily participate in what is known as bilingual – children spend 45 minutes everyday learning either Navajo or Spanish. They also learn about the cultures and traditions of their people. My daughter is both Navajo and Spanish but she only gets to participate in one language so she is learning Navajo – we can teach her Spanish at home and she will have the option to take that as an elective in Middle School.
Wouldn’t it be interesting if ALL of the children were asked if thy would like to participate in bilingual learning? I’m sure there are lots of kids out there that are not of Spanish or Navajo descent that would benefit from learning another language. According to a study done by the Cornell Language Acquisition Lab, children who learn a second language can maintain attention despite outside stimuli better than children who know only one language. Children are naturals at proficiency in learning other languages since they are activating those language receptors in their brains learning as they begin to learn to speak their native tongues. http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/2009/05/learning-second-language-good-childhood-mind-medicine
According to The Benefits of Second Language Study conducted by the NEA in 2007 the teaching children a second language:
-benefits academic progress in other subjects
-narrows achievement gaps
-benefits basic skills development
-benefits higher order, abstract and creative thinking
-(early) enriches and enhances cognitive development
-enhances a student’s sense of achievement
-helps students score higher on standardized tests
-promotes cultural awareness and competency
-improves chances of college acceptance, achievement and attainment
-enhances career opportunities
-benefits understanding and security in community and society
It seems to me that ALL of our children would benefit from learning a second language. Since this skill is already being taught in our schools in the Farmington District and time is being set aside outside of the classroom on a regular basis for some children to attend it, it may just be in all of our best interests to allow those interested in learning but not natively part of a culture to participate in bilingual learning.