Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Visit to the Book Store

I absolutely love going to book stores.  My kids and I walked in yesterday to Barnes and Nobles and were greeted by a gentlemen playing live Holiday music on his piano.  The fresh smell of coffee and the hustle and bustle of the last minute shoppers added to the moment.

We quickly found our way to the back of the store where my son found the 8th book of Lunch Lady by Jarrett Krosoczka.  He pulled up some carpet and dove in.  Amelia and I grabbed a few picture books and found our way over to the Winnie the Pooh reading nook.

Our first book was Yes, Virginia There is a Santa Claus.  Although I have not seen it, there is a movie about this book as well.

We also read Charlie Brown's Christmas where he chooses the "best" Christmas tree on the lot and learns the meaning of Christmas.
Then we read Santa Trap.  This was my personal favorite out of the bunch.
No Christmas could go without reading about Bad Kitty.
Amelia then grabbed another favorite of mine that is good to read anytime of year; The Kissing Hand

What are you reading these days?

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Rise and Shine

It's bananas, just bananas!  The amount of information to sift through, select, process, connect and ponder is simply crazy.  Let me give you an explicit example of what I am talking about.

This morning, I stumbled out of bed around 6:00, brewed a cup of Columbia Caribou Coffee through the Keurig and within minutes took a seat in front of the screen.

I had a quick conversation on Facebook with a family member and then found a Wall Post from Angela Maiers that said:

Interested in what Sir Ken has to say I quickly opened my twitter account and found @NcreatvieyN.  A quick glance down the feed showed me this:

"This Revolution is Not Being Televised looks interesting," I thought.  I clicked the link and began reading.

"Who is the author of this post I wonder?"  I thought to myself.  "Hmm, never heard of Sam Chaltain before.  I'll keep reading to see what Sam is trying to say here."

"Oh, he's a published author.  Careful, read critically," I thought to myself.  So as I continued I quickly found a sentence that spoke to me and used my handy dandy Diigo highlighter. This was making real sense to me.  The ideas in his post had me considering my own teaching habits and my own parenting habits.

"Here's a link. I'll right click and "open in new tab" to read once I get through this article."

"Wow, there's a lot of links.  I'll just right click and "open in new tab" and once I am through reading this article I go back through them."  I said out loud while sitting in the kitchen with the dog on Sunday morning at 6:10am.

It's at this point that I realized I had about a dozen tabs open, I was bookmarking possible books to read, skimming over the links that Sam has embedded in his article, and reaching the bottom of my coffee cup.


So now the dog is ready to go outside, my head is about to explode and the second cup of coffee is being brewed.

I grabbed my journal, actual pencil and paper, and jotted a few notes down and then opened my blogger account.  It was time to write.

Actually, no it wasn't.  The dog, after being let in, had to see the children.  Rylee ran down the hall, chew toy in mouth, jumped into the children's bed and began the early morning ritual of obnoxious out of body tail waving and slobbering.

"Ok, brain.  Put all this on hold and focus on the kids."

Hugs and kisses ensued as we discussed last nights dreams and possible breakfast choices.  Gavin asked about the time change, "We can't move the moon so we move the clock?"  He asked. 

"That's one way to think of it." I said while chucklin' a bit under my breath.

Chocolate chip pancakes were eaten, we talked with mommy on the phone, I made a few phone calls about our landscaping business and was able to sit back down to the computer and reconnect my head to this mornings barrage of thoughts.


"Ok, where was I?"  

"Oh yes, a dozen tabs open and a thought about what to write.  Where shall I begin?  How about starting like this:"

It's bananas, just bananas!  The amount of information to sift through, select, process, connect and ponder is simply crazy.  Let me give you an explicit example of what I am talking about.

"Yeah, that sounds about right..."

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Generational Ying and Yang

I have started reading Nikhil Goyal's new book One Size Does Not Fit All and I'm hooked as of page one.  Here's a snippet from the Foreword written by Don Tapscott that actually got me to stand up and throw my arms in the air as if I were in church.

They (kids) were collaborating. They were working at their own pace.  They barely noticed the technology; it was like air to them.  But it changed the relationship they had with their teacher.  Instead of fidgeting in their chairs while the teacher lectures and scrawls some notes on the blackboard, they were the explorers, the discoverers, and the teacher was their helpful guide.

At this point, I am reminded of my last post where I highlighted NCTE's definition of what it means to be literate. Yes, part of the definition says "develop proficiency with the tools of technology." However, with a level of proficiency also comes a level of fluency that will ultimately help facilitate a learning experience far beyond that which educators were able to do in the past.

So it's not so much about the tools but more about the learning experience.

But the way I see it is there are two sides to this coin; the teacher's proficiency and the students'.  Our students have been "bathed in bits" since birth and we however remember a time before the Internet.

Perhaps we as teachers are the bottle neck in this equation. 

However, I think there can be a symbiotic relationship here between teacher and student.  I suppose it's like a generational Ying and Yang.

I think our generation of teachers can balance a student's impulsiveness with steadiness.  I think we can balance their quick fix mindedness with perseverance.  I think educators have an opportunity to model the Habits of Mind that are necessary for a 21st Century Thinker, as our students continue to model a sense of fearlessness.

We are not opposing forces but can work together interdependently in a way that will benefit everyone.

Keep on keepin' on!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Are You a Literate Educator?

Will Richardson has put together an interesting set of questions for us as educators to ask ourselves.  Here's one:

"How are we to make our students literate if we ourselves are not?"

According to National Council of Teachers of English a literate person should have these six components

  1. Develop proficiency with the tools of technology
  2. Build relationships with others to pose and solve problems collaboratively and cross culturally
  3. Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes
  4. Manage, analyze, and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information
  5. Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multimedia texts
  6. Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments
So, I suppose the million dollar question is, "our you as an educator meeting the standards to be a literate person?"

If yes, awesome! How are you helping those who are not?
If not, what are you going to do?

I suppose your options are as follows:
  • Wait for your district to provide you training and support
  • Go seek out your own training and support
  • Do nothing
What will you do?

Monday, September 17, 2012

40 Book Club

I have challenged my fifth grade students to read 40 books this year.  It's a lofty goal but one well worth striving for.  I too will participate in this challenge.

Here are the books I've read so far:

  1. The Leader in Me by Stephen R. Covey
  2. The Magician's Nephew C.S. Lewis
  3. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
  4. Night by Elie Wiesel
  5. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  6. Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
  7. Rules by Cynthia Lord
  8. Helen Keller: The Story of My Life

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Berlin Street Brawlin'

I suppose every kid needs to be good at something and I eventually became good at boxing.

I was 10 in the early 80’s and I was the only white kid that lived on my street.  There was a collage of color and ethnicity in my neighborhood but for those of you that have never experienced being a minority, well…you quickly become a target for some serious hazing.

The 80’s was a time you’d let your kids outside in the morning after breakfast and not see them again until lunch.  I loved it.  All the kids on the street would ride bikes, jump rope, play tag, have foot races, or we’d just use our imaginations to come up with games.

However, most days ended up with some sort of scuffle. Innocent as it was with no more than bloody noses or the loss of breath from a punch in the stomach, I was usually the receiver of such innocence.

I remember running home time and time again after being “beat up” with my temper flaring, yelling, and screaming about how either Lamont, Kenneth or Jr. hit me.

My parents never made a racial issue out of any my problems on Berlin Street and I am incredibly fortunate they didn’t.  I have seen racism up and close for all of its ugliness, but my parents never once mentioned the color of any one's skin.

My dad, who wanted me desperately to fit in and have friends and have fun tried to give me his fatherly advice, but “just ignore them” never really worked.  So, one day he came home with a pair of boxing gloves, and I do believe it made all the difference.

You can see the inherent problem: I was the only one with a set of gloves.

The solution: Rock, paper, and scissors for the right handed glove.  The loser would get the left.

Each day we’d pick some one’s backyard to have our “boxing match” in.

The rules were simple: You could only punch with the gloved hand and when you gave up…you lost.

I had to fight Lamont first.  Lamont was fast.  He was a fast talker, runner, bike rider, and…a fast puncher.  I had been on the receiving end of Lamont’s speed on more than one occasion, and I was not looking forward to boxing against him. On this particular day I won the right handed glove that he desperately wanted.

In all the boxing matches there was never more than one round.  Sometimes it went for 5 or 6 or 7 minutes but it never went past round one.

All the neighborhood kids gathered in Jr.’s fenced in backyard for the daily “fight.”  The summer sun forced us to take our shirts off as Lamont and I had our friends tie the gloves on our hands.  The shouts from all the neighborhood kids and chaos ensued.

The sweat was running down my brow as I was standing in my corner of the yard anxiously waiting.  I had seen enough boxing matches to know that I had to get “loose” so I was bouncing a bit and throwing punches in the air.

Kenneth, the unspoken leader of our pack, made the imaginary bell sound to signal the beginning of the fight.  There was an instant flurry of left handed jabs thrown by Lamont. I stopped each one with my face.

The yard was large and allowed me to run from side to side until I could catch my breath and stand toe to toe with the speedy 10 year old.  My right hand was the stronger of the two and with a few wild swings that connected I was able to slow his lefts down a bit.

What happened next I didn’t expect.

As I was throwing right hooks and he was jabbing with his left I instantly felt an open handed slap across my face.  Lamont was punching me with his gloved left and slapping me using his right hand.

Apparently, my punches were getting Lamont so frustrated that he lost his temper.  I had never seen Lamont so enraged.  Our friendly boxing match had turned into a full blown brawl. So, in the midst of the chaos I kept my composure and meet his anger with my right and my own left handed slap.

The rules had changed.

He charged and tackled me to the ground when Kenneth then called for a break so we could stand back up and fight.

My face was burning from the constant blows but neither of us called it quits.  The fight seemed to go on for days but in reality it only lasted about 5 grueling minutes.  Pure exhaustion set in and both of us found a way to give in without ever declaring it quits.

The fight was a draw.

Lamont and I gave each other tired high fives.

The backyard brawls continued for a few weeks after that first fight but we quickly realized that riding bikes or playing kickball was much less painful.

For all the gifts my dad has ever given me those boxing gloves not only empowered me but gave me a way to fit in despite the fact that I was so very different from everyone else on Berlin Street.

I wonder how I am empowering my own children for the challenges that lie ahead of them.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


seedfolksSeedfolks by Paul Fleischman has been sitting on my bookshelf for quite a while in my fifth grade classroom, and it wasn't until this summer that I dusted off the pages. What a great little book with a incredibly promising message of hope and community.

It all started with Kim, a young Vietnamese girl living in a rough neighborhood in Cleveland. In an attempt to honor her deceased father, who was a farmer in Vietnam before moving to America, she planted six Lima beans. The catch however, is that her planting ground was in a vacant lot that was filled with the town's garbage.

Each subsequent chapter is told from a different character's point of view. As the story unfolds you are introduced to about 10 different characters, each with their own set of problems, and each finding their way to this planting ground. The community garden is slowly created and ultimately transforms the lives of these folks. 
Ana, who sees Kim digging in the vacant lot, thought she was up to no good. She quickly discovered Kim's secret as she began to clear the soil away and, "she felt like she'd read through her secret diary and had ripped out a page without meaning to." Another character, Wendell, whose life has been filled with despair realizes what he can change..."a patch of ground in this trashy lot." 
Each succinct chapter will take the reader on a wonderfully warm and honest journey that is sure to shoot an arrow of empathy through the heart. I cannot wait to share Seedfolks with my students.

Google Searchin'

Here's an interview with the author Paul Fleischman about his ideas that inspired the story.

Others who have written about Seedfolks

Monday, June 25, 2012

An Anchor

There is no doubt that if you populate your RSS Reader, create a PLN, read, write and reflect on the times in which we live that you will quickly experience the tsunami of possibilities and questions. Where is one's anchor in the midst of exponential change?
  • Is it in the curriculum?
  • Is it in the Common Core Standards?
  • Is it in your teaching rationale?
  • Is it in effective first instruction?
  • Is it your passion?
I have discovered a framework for my anchor ~ and it can be summed up in this quote from the book titled The Passion-Driven Classroom:
"Honoring passion is more than simply giving students the technology, tools, and a few books on topics they find interesting.  It is a commitment to helping students to discover for themselves-the emotional reasons linked to motivation that drive us to want to study or know something."  p.52
Passion Driven Classroom

Saturday, June 23, 2012

About Me

Dear Reader,

I am a husband, dad, teacher, musician, landscaper and learner.  This blog has become a space for me to slow down and reflect on what is going on inside my brain.  Life seems to be relentlessly flying by and I would love nothing more than to be able to briefly hit the pause button and enjoy the moment.  Here lies the very essence of what writing to this web log has done.

A Teacher's Tale has provided me the chance to look closely, think deeply, pause and wonder out loud about my professional and sometimes my personal growth.  The views expressed here are my own and by no means do they represent the thinking or philosophy of the school district I work for.

I do not claim to have any answers, actually the more I read and the more I write I find the opposite to be true.  So, if you have read this far I thank you for your time and look forward to the conversation.

John Howell

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Deep Understanding of Non-Fiction Text

Question:  How can I get all of my students to independently read and deeply understand a piece of non-fiction text?

I love teaching Social Studies!  It gives me an opportunity to dramatically tell a story, inspire kids, and use all the wonders of the web to showcase a multimedia presentation that would make most fifth graders heads' start to spin.  After I have thoroughly fired them up about a particular topic I usually set them loose on a piece of reading and then they finish up by answering a few well thought out questions on a worksheet that I have created.

This gives me the chance to walk around and help students out with the reading.  I answer questions and probe for understanding along the way.  It seems to work.  I get the sense that students are learning...but is it enough?  Of course not.  There's always more students can do with a particular subject but I am still struck with the never ending question:  How can I get all my students to independently read and deeply understand a piece of non-fiction text?

I tried something a bit different today.  I assigned a piece of non-fiction text to read and then asked THE STUDENTS to tell the story instead of me.

Here's what happened

First:  The students read through the text and summarized each section without my dramatic story before hand.

Then:  We went to the computer lab with our text books and notes and began creating a presentation that they will use to tell their dramatic tale.

Page 169

Here's one example of what one of my students created based on the article above.

Does this student deeply understand what they have read in that first section of the article?  You betcha!
Roanoke Island

Here's another example of student work based on the section titled "The First Try" from the same article above.  Again, I can clearly see that based on the images and text on the slide that the student has a deep understanding of what they read.

The beauty of this lesson was that it forced the students to read, reread, understand thoroughly and then decide what type of images they'd use to help them tell the story of Roanoke Island.  This was incredibly engaging for all students and much more challenging and complicated than to just listen to Mr. Howell, read the text and then answer questions on a worksheet.

Roanoke First Try

This lesson can be a great jump start into using Creative Commons images, determining validity of sources, and a slew of other possibilities.  However, my main objective was to answer the never ending question:  How can I get all of my students to read independently and deeply understand a piece of non-fiction text?

Now that the students have had this critical thinking opportunity it will allow me to take this subject matter much deeper.  For instance, I can begin to ask students questions like:

  • Why would another country want to start a colony in the first place?

  • If you were to start a colony, what sort of people would you want to take along with you?

  • What challenges would you face when starting a colony?

  • What effects would this have on the Native Americans already living here?

  • Imagine your are a Native American.  What are your thoughts on these visitors?

  • What would you have done differently than this first group of English settlers?

  • What do you think happened to the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island?

Overall, I think this lesson helped me reach my objective and has set the foundation for an even deeper learning experience.

What are some of your strategies you use with non-fiction text?

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Authentic Learning

Where do I begin?

I’ll start with Authentic Learning.

My understanding of this is it’s an opportunity to utilize a variety of skills and talents to create something magnificent.  To have a rich experience filled with challenges and obstacles that allows you to use your strengths and possibly develop a certain skill set to solve problems.  To be able to design something you are passionate about and then share that with a larger community.

An authentic learning experience brings people together and gives them a chance to synergize and create something more wonderful than they could have done alone.  It is collaborative, yet there is an understanding and a call for creative autonomy within an interdependent situation.

Authentic learning experiences requires a plethora of effective personal characteristics that if used well, leave those involved with a sense of great satisfaction and accomplishment and inspires others.

Does such learning even exist?  If so, where?

Well my friends, I am here to tell you Authentic Learning does exist and it can happen on a stage.

We have just finished our second annual musical performance, Pirates of the Curry Bean, with about 60 elementary students from K-5.  It was a monumental undertaking that brought our entire community together.

I humbly witnessed the depth and breadth of talent that the parents of our school community brought with them to this production in order to give the students this authentic learning experience.

I was so deeply touched and moved while watching our young students day in and day out step up to the challenges that a full production like this offered.  Kids are quite amazing and can accomplish so much when appropriately challenged and given the support to succeed.

I am grateful to have been a part of this musical production and to have witnessed this amazing authentic learning experience in action.

From bended knee, I thank thee.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Tour Guides to the World

"Elementary teachers are tour guides to the world..."

New York Educational Commissioner King has a discussion with David Coleman and Kate Gerson on the First Instructional Shift: Balancing Informational Text with Fiction.

SHIFT 1: PK-5: Balancing Information/Literature from EngageNY on Vimeo.

Kate Gerson asks, "I wonder then what you think the ways in which this shift changes the role of the elementary teacher?"

Commissioner King responds:

The elementary teachers role ~

  • Demands attention to the coherent teaching of content

  • Demands a different allocation of time

  • Demands a different level of preparation

  • Invites teachers to think about engaging different students with different texts.

  • Provides an opportunity to add informational text to the teachers tool box.

Kate Gerson, "...creates a window for an elementary teacher to become the facilitator of the world as students begin to access it...."

Commissioner King later responds with, "...being a tour guide to the world will help students become better readers."

The message that I received from this video, and believe, is that through explicit and effective first instruction with informational texts you begin to expose students to topics they may not have otherwise been connected to. With that, a student may:

  • become genuinely interested in a particular topic

  • become incredibly passionate and seek out all they can know about that topic

  • connect with others who share common interests

  • share their knowledge, understanding and passion

  • and ultimately expand their reading ability.

It's a win-win situation!

So here are a few of my To Do  Items:

  1. Take an inventory of the non-fiction texts that our fifth grade team has.

  2. Seek out and discover non-fiction texts to add to our classroom library.

  3. Find gaps in my instruction where non-fiction text can be added.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Summarizing Non Fiction Text


The non fiction article I selected came from National Geographic Explorer magazine.  There is also a Teacher's Manual created by National Geographic as reference if needed.  The topic and images that go along with the article will engage kids and allow me to make connections to our Science lessons on Invertebrates and Vertebrates as well.

The main objective is to help students summarize and synthesize the information.  I am planning on 3-5 guided reading lessons using this article.

Here's the link to my lesson on Google Doc's or take a look below.

Summarizing Non-Fiction Text
Guided Reading Lesson
Grade 5

Fifth grade students will learn how to summarize sections of a non-fiction article.

Text Selection:

Got Poison?

National Geographic Explorer

Introducing the Text:
Guided Participation

Demonstrate and communicate needed information which:

Removes some complexities
Allows reader to take on new challenges.

  • Help students make personal connections to the images in the article Got Poison?

  • Ask them what they already know about the topic (poisonous animals)

  • Identify the Bold Titles of each section

  • Point out that each section will provides information about different animals

  • Show students how to use the glossary to identify the meaning of the highlighted words.

Reading the Text:
Students will read the first two sections, It’s Night and Poison Power, independently.

Discussing and Revisiting the Text:
Lead a discussion to help students:

  • Summarize and synthesize information

  • Communicate their ideas

  • Make inferences about the text.

1. Many animals use toxins—poisonous substances in poison and venom—to
survive. In some cases, they use it to kill prey. In others, the poisons help them
defend themselves

2. Animals deliver poisons in several ways: biting with fangs, injecting with
stingers or spikes, spitting, or oozing poison from their skin.

Teaching for Processing Strategies:

Revisit vocabulary and Glossary

toxins and venom

Here is a screen shot of the first page of this article that I will be using.



Anneberg Foundation ~  Teaching Reading Grades 3-5

30 minute video of a fifth grade teacher in her classroom teaching summarizing.

Read Write Think

Get the Gist ~ this lesson is geared for grades 6-8 but parts could be adapted to grade 5

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Reading with a Nook

I know, I know the eReader debate is a passionate one but check this out!

We have a Nook Color in our house and I am reading the Percy Jackson books to my son Gavin.  He seems to be enjoying the adventures and twists and turns that Rick Riordan has written in the first book The Lightning Thief.

Here's the cool twist with using the Nook that I have discovered both as a dad and a teacher.


You can highlight different sections of the text as you read.  At first glance this may seem inconsequential but wait...there's more.

I typically read a few chapters ahead of Gavin and highlight:

  • new characters

  • interesting or challenging words

  • important sections of the text.

Then I hand over the Nook and let him read.  He can see my highlights and after which we can talk about the book.

Through this process I am modeling my own reading habits. I am thinking out load for my son by the use of these highlights and it signals to him that, "uh oh, daddy highlighted something here, it must be important."

What has quickly happened is that he is now highlighting sections while he reads which again may seem inconsequential but wait...there's more.


There's a section built into these eReaders that allows you to scroll through all of your highlighted sections which for me, gives me a heads up as to what his thinking is.  How cool is that?

Just that feature alone is worth the cost of admission, but it gets even better.


Not only can you simply highlight sections or words but you can then insert a note.  A note.  Unbelievable.

With this feature I am then able to jot down:

  • questions I have

  • predictions I make

  • connections

  • random thoughts that are connected to that particular part of the book.

I am hooked.  Seriously hooked.

Also, just like with the highlighted sections you can also scroll through an archived list of your notes as well. Just too cool!

Think of the possibilities.

Over the course of several years we can have a collection of all our highlighted sections and notes off all the books we have read on one of these cool devices.  Whew!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Reading Aloud and Taking Notes

I love experimenting during my read aloud time. It gives me a chance to introduce a variety of genres to kids that they may not have otherwise picked on their own. In most cases, read aloud is one of the favorite times of the day for the students and it is for me too!

Today we started reading Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor. We have a copy of this book on tape and I thought I would play the story and have the kids follow along with their copies of the book in hand.

In the midst of listening to the opening pages I grabbed a pen from the Smartboard tray and began taking notes. I drew boxes and bubbles to highlight the setting, and made lists of characters and added details to each as we discovered them.

Modeling this process and how I organized the main ideas and details of the story will certainly help my students do the same.  The notes will provide a visual to help facilitate discussions, ask or answer questions, clarify misunderstanding, and strengthen their own understanding of the story.

One unintended consequence that just occurred to me is now I will have the ability to quickly review these notes each day before reading again.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

In Flight

I think this is a good analogy for the teaching profession these days.

We are passionate educators dealing with a tsunami of changes along the way. It's stressful and requires us to be adaptive and flexible in the midst of our flight. Our common Vision points us in the right direction and together we will accomplish our mission.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Media Literacy

I am working with our Library Media Specialist on designing a Global Warming Unit for fifth graders.

We signed up for a Digital Media Literacy workshop organized by Chris Sperry from Project Look Sharp who is training us on how to embed Media Literacy skills within the Science Curriculum. One of the goals for this workshop is to create a lesson plan that will be posted online.

Our work can be found at the Library Science and Teacher's Alliance website where we are piecing together our ideas with the help of Chris.

At this point, my understanding of Media Literacy means to use a sense of critical thinking to be able to:

  • analyze and interrupt the bias of a particular piece of media

  • determine the credibility of a particular piece of media

  • gain an understanding of multiple perspectives on a single topic.

This type of thinking will have to be taught to my students.  It's not easy and to be honest I am learning how to do these very important skills myself.

What does Media Literacy mean to you?

What are some examples of how you decode and analyze the media sources in your life?
Engaging in critical thinking when evaluating media messages

 Being able to evaluate the credibility of information from different sources

 Recognizing media’s influence on beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviors, and

the democratic process

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Time is the never ending challenge for all teachers. My last contribution to this blog was before the 2011-12 School Year actually began some 5 months ago. I had a chunk of time in the car heading home and thought I would record my thoughts at the moment.

Besides that reflective moment I haven't contributed to the blogosphere in a while. I mean I have added to my Diigo Bookmarks and created digital spaces for my students, but as far as personal and professional reflections...just haven't taken the time.

So I ask myself a few questions:

1. Is blogging something I really want to continue doing?
2. What are the opportunity costs involved?
3. What positive or negative unforeseen consequences?
4. What other questions could I be asking myself?

As for me, I am off to making pancakes for the kids and then out to shovel the driveway before this afternoon's basketball game. I shall be pondering throughout the day.

Keep on keepin' on.