International Dot Day 2014

International Dot Day 2014

tips writing

Sunday Sit, Sip, and “Sync” ~ 8-31-2014

So excited! It is almost here.
That time of year again. International Dot Day.
September “15ish”. The very first time we wrote about
FableVision and the teacher resources this company provides
was in a “Back-to-School” post three years ago. For links to classroom
resources, we encourage you to revisit that post. It’s been a year since our
post detailing “International Dot Day”. This event was founded by our good friend,
T. J. Shay, and it has grown exponentially. We had the good fortune of meeting up with
him at ISTE this past July when we were invited to a FableVision event. We were so excited
to also finally meet Peter H. Reynolds, the author and illustrator of “The Dot”. He presented
both of us with a signed copy of “Going Places”, the latest book written with his brother, Paul
Reynolds. This book describes “maker children”, a little girl and boy with big imaginations. Follow
the link to learn more about this book and its classroom resources. And now it’s, once again, time
for “International Dot Day”. A week ago, the count was up to over a million participants from 64
countries. Every year the number grows and the message is spread. This year, Terry Shay has added
“Celibri-dots” with inspired “dots” from authors. The first post was on March 9, 2012 and features
the dot submitted by Sharon Creech. This little blog is an endless source of inspiration with dots
that reflect the special talents and personalities of their creators. It’s the perfect stage to share
ideas and inspiration. But first, where to begin? Begin at the beginning. Begin with “The Dot”
written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. Read the story of Vashti and her reluctance to
share herself on paper. With the encouragement of her teacher, she finds her inner
creativity and enthusiastically fills page after page with her mark. Then use your
imagination to help your students make their marks. We have listed many
resources below to help you and your students celebrate International
Dot Day with us. We are looking forward to seeing what your
students create and hearing your voice on #DotDay.
Only 15 days left! Let the planning begin,
and join us in and make your mark.



Listen to Shannon as she shares her own version of “The Dot” and the colorful “Marks” of Tuscola CUSD #301 students…

Format Free

Format Free

tips writing

Sunday Sit, Sip, and “Sync” ~ 8-24-2014

Many times our textbooks have online resources that we would like to use as hard copy.

In the case of an online quiz, it might be more appropriate than your printed resource material,
and you would like to use scheduled computer lab time for more creative assessments than multiple-choice tests or quizzes.

We’ve made a quick video tutorial to show you how to copy online material quickly and easily into a Microsoft Word® document.

If you have a website or blog, you might want to use Microsoft Word® to write your draft using spell and grammar check. It is always best to avoid copying directly from Microsoft Word® since it also contains formatting that might conflict with your website’s or blog’s settings. Copying it into a plain text document before your website will remove that formatting.

We hope this makes your life a little easier.
Wishing you a wonderful Sunday and a great week!


Sunday Sit, Sip, and “Sync” ~ 8-17-2014

Last week we featured a post to help you download a small portion of a YouTube video to use with lessons.

What if you only want to embed a portion of a video into your blog or website?
The YouTube website will allow you set a “start time”, but does not allow you to adjust the “end time”.

Here is a free online tool that will give you, not only that “adjusted” embed code,
but a link for just that piece, as well.
And it’s FREE!

Below is a “chopped” video tutorial that will explain exactly what you need to do to use this tool efficiently.

This tool will generate both an embed code
(which is what we used to add this video)
and a link.

Have a fabulous Sunday and a great week!
Many of you have met your students and we have thoroughly enjoyed the “First Day of School” pictures!

For those of you who are still waiting for your students to cross your classroom threshold,
we extend our best wishes for a great “First Day”.

One of the best things about teaching is the fresh start we get every single year!


Sunday Sit, Sip, and “Sync” ~ 8-10-2014

You only want to download a small portion of a YouTube video for a lesson.
You would like to skip the introduction and most of the ending.

Now there is a handy online tool that will allow you to do just that.
And it’s FREE!

If a picture is worth a thousand words,
a video will make it even easier.
Watch as we explain how this tool works and get ready to put more excitement into your lessons!

Remember, follow the steps that are in the video,
and don’t click on anything else.

Have a fabulous Sunday,
and we hope you find time for yourself!
The countdown has started for most of you.
We can feel the excitement in the air!

A Second a Day

A Second a Day

Photography reflections tips

Sunday Sit, Sip, and “Sync” ~ 6-16-2013

“Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.”
― L.M. Montgomery, The Story Girl

Shannon and I began taking a picture and posting it every single day starting on January 1, 2010. We posted our collective images here and wrote about it here.

I couldn’t stop.
And so I continued to take pictures and post them in my attempt to collect and keep my memories.

Then, sometime this April, I posted a link on Facebook to this video by James Bernal. 

I was captivated by it, and proclaimed that I knew exactly what I was going to do next year instead of my 365 Project.

The comments under the Facebook post encouraged me to start now,
and to not wait until January 1.

I looked closer into the project and found the TED Talk and the originator of the idea behind the project. I watched Cesar Kuriyama’s audition video and decided right then to begin.

Kuriyama’s final project looked different than the original Bernal film I watched.
The first thing I noticed was the lack of background music.

Although I loved the “film score” of the Bernal film,
I wanted to preserve the sounds of my memories along with the images.

So, on May 3rd, I began collecting second-long clips of my life.
It has been different than my photos.
The film clips are more about experiences, than photography,
and as a result, more about the memory than the image.
The most difficult part was keeping it down to a second.
Some things just need more time to be remembered.
And that is very alright.
It is my project.
I did decide to continue the 365 photography project,
and to combine the two each day as separate experiences.

I was asked to offer a “preview” of my video with the month of May,
which is shared below.

I don’t know if I will “publish” my project each month separately,
or save it as an annual film.
Regardless, it has absolutely pushed me to do more, plan more, and look forward to each day a little more.

Shannon and I have presented this project in our most recent workshops,
and have suggested that this might be a wonderful way for teachers to preserve the memories of each year for themselves and for their students. They might even have their students decide which seconds are “film-worthy”.

1secondAdayAnd there is an “app for that”.
It’s free.

So with this post,
we encourage you to begin today and to take a second to save a memory,
whether it is one second, or more,
of this Father’s Day,
and to make a promise to make each day just a little more memorable.



“Pop Out” YouTubes


Sunday Sit, Sip, and “Sync” ~ 4-7-2013

“Make everything as simple as possible,
but not simpler.

  ~~Albert Einstein

Finding the “Pop out” option for YouTube videos was easier when they were located on a “pull-down” or “drop” menu.
We thought, when that disappeared, that the “Pop out” option was eliminated, as well.

We are happy to discover that it is still an option, and it can be found with a simple “right click”.
The “Pop out” link is our choice to share.
It protects our viewers from comments, suggested videos, and it provides a more pleasant viewing experience.

The two images below will guide you through the two simple steps.



This one was short hoping that you will take some time for yourself today.
In our neighborhood, the rain has been delayed and there is the promise of a sunny day with warm temperatures.
I have a fence to paint before the spring plants grow.
We hope you have some “outside time” in your future, as well…

Film English


Sunday Sit, Sip, and “Sync” ~ 3-31-2013

“You know what your problem is?
It’s that you haven’t seen enough movies.
All of life’s riddles are answered in the movies.”
  ~~Steve Martin has won many awards including “Best Individual Blog~2011~Edublog”, The British Council Teaching English “Featured Blog of the Month”, “Finalist Best Use of Audio/Video/Podcast~2011~Edublog”, “2011 TEFL Best Website”, “2011 MacMillan Dictionary Best Blog”, and “TEFL Net Site of the Month”.

Kieran_Donaghy_Film_EnglishKieran Donaghy is the author of this blog,
and with the use of videos and images,
he has developed lessons plans that are both engaging and motivating.
Most of the lessons appear to be leveled from middle school to university students,
and contain some of the latest “Vimeo Staff Picks”.
The lessons plans are very complete with questions, group activities, journaling exercises, concluding with a choice of final activities. They are outlined in easy-to-follow “steps”, with plenty of support.

Shannon and I love to stay seated and watch the credits roll at the end of the movie. It gives us a chance to “decompress” and wait for the theater to empty. I have often wondered what some of the “jobs” were as we watched the scroll. And exactly what IS a “Dutch Tilt”? One page offers an excellent resource to solving the code of “Film Terms”, with many of the definitions illustrated with videos.

I highly recommend this site, both its content and its design.
I think you will find plenty of lessons that will make teaching and learning feel a little more like recess as you head into the final months of this school year.

With today’s post,
both Shannon and I here at Recess TEC would like to wish all of you a wonderful Sunday with plenty of “peeps”. (If not the “candy kind”, the “friends and family kind”.)

Sharing Safely

classroom management tips

Monday Morning Message ~ 9-12-2011

You have just received a link to a YouTube video.

You watched it, enjoyed it, laughed, cried, or were moved in some way that you wanted to share.

Then you notice the comments below, or the sidebar with videos that were digitally linked…

and they are not things you want to share.

One solution is a website that allows you to share just the video.

SafeShareTV  provides a link that will place your video into a nice viewer without comments and without other videos.

In addition, you have the option of choosing a theme, setting the starting and ending point of your video, and editing the title.

Finally, there is an option to email or share your “Safe View” to all the major social websites.

Now, go and share something,

and have a great week!