Classroom Blogging Prepares Kids for the 21st Century

Jordan: First let me say that I really enjoyed reading your book, especially the emphasis you put on writing. You argue: “The central virtue of a liberal education is that it teaches you how to write, and writing makes you think.” I appreciated that you didn’t just emphasize the importance of writing as a technical skill, a workplace proficiency. Instead, you are arguing for the importance of well-structured articulation.

via Here’s Why Nothing Prepares You For The 21st Century Like A Liberal Arts Education – Forbes.

Writing does make kids think and reinforces learning in all subjects, so I fully support efforts like classroom blogging that get kids writing (and thinking) just for the fun of it! Jackson-Via Computer Club

How True! – Lucky Is A Lie

I agree!  I was “lucky” when we bought a Commodore 64 computer for our middle-school son and we both started learning BASIC programming.  I was “lucky” that I was in Marion, Alabama, when the Internet arrived and Judson College needed a webmaster. He was “lucky” to get a job as a software engineer, but what made the difference for both of us was the opportunity to see the possibilities.

Now everyone has the opportunity!  My favorite volunteer activity is serving as a CS First Guru (and webmaster) for the Jackson-Via Computer Club and my latest MOOC is Think. Create. Code. from edX.

What I love the most about computer programming is that there are always new things to learn and to do.  Why not give CS First and Scratch a try?

We are again enjoying Scratch coding at Jackson-Via

jvcc10-27-14_8Our first spring 2015 after-school Computer Club meeting on Monday was a huge success.  We have some new enthusiasts joining a number of “old” members so we have a good environment for sharing and collaboration.  We are very happy to have this opportunity for joint inquiry, experimentation, and play!

An interesting article from Harvard Magazine:

The call to reexamine what teachers teach can bring renewed discussions of how. With tools like augmented reality, games, and coding, it’s possible to imagine a model of schooling that departs from its behaviorist past—creating a Ludic Education for a Ludic Age, promoting inquiry, collaboration, experimentation, and play. In this vision, teachers and students are partners in a joint venture. They open up the Teaching Machine to peer into its guts and gears—tinkering, failing, and trying again, to see what they can make of it together. The machines can return education to what it’s always been: a project that’s intrinsically human.

via Teaching with technology, for a new generation | Harvard Magazine Mar-Apr 2015.

Never too late to learn – Looking forward to Scratch Programing course from #edX

After teaching an introductory course in computer programming with Java a few years ago, I am expecting that using Scratch will allow the concepts of computer coding to shine through without the annoyance of typing in the code in a text editor.  I think this edX course will be so much fun – and maybe I will be able to keep ahead of the Jackson-Via Computer Club kids this spring!

There is still time to sign up.

Programming in Scratch

See how easy learning computer science can be.  Use Scratch to create games, animations, stories and more.

 via …

More about the Jackson-Via Computer Club

The Jackson-Via Computer Club meets in the Scratch Lab in the Jackson-Via Library after school on Monday afternoons. 

Club Sponsor:  Bonnie Yoder, Jackson-Via SPED Teacher
   ~ with help from Nancy Lambert & Ruth Kastenmayer

Our thanks to JV Librarian Jennifer Dixon for giving us such a comfortable home in the Library, and to JV ITRT James Daly for his patience, enthusiasm, and support.

We are pleased that our Scratch Lab includes a SMART Board® for sharing!

JV Computer Club home in the Jackson-Via Library
JV Computer Club home in the Jackson-Via Library

All members will use their “Scratch Names” in order to protect their privacy and will follow the Scratch Community Guidelines.

Club Members

  • jvcool-j – Scratch Lab Assistant
  • jvtoucan
  • jvkingrex
  • jvpackers
  • jvsoccer
  • jvlighteningstrike
  • jvbre
  • jvstar
  • jvbaseball
  • jvmonkey
  • jvkittie
  • jvbubbles
  • jvhelper
  • jvjackrabbit

About Scratch

With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community.

Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century.

Scratch is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. It is provided free of charge.


Via …

Digital Scrapbooking – WordPress, Cvillepedia, Wayback Machine – Lasting history of Jackson-Via ES in Cville

10256423_bg1In 2009  a class at WriterHouse on WordPress publishing got me interested in an after-school computer club at Jackson-Via Elementary School.  One thing led to another and soon Continue reading

I’ve got my kids. Better get yours before they are all gone! | Volunteer with JABA FISH

applebookI have started meeting with seven bright and eager ELL (English Language Learner) students as a JABA FISH volunteer at Jackson-Via Elementary School.  “My” kids this year are from Nepal, Mexico, Somalia, Egypt, and Congo.  Do I know all their languages?  No, but I do read, write, and speak English, and that is what they need practice in.

This is absolutely the most rewarding volunteer activity Continue reading

Got some time? We need some help!

Please join us at Jackson-Via – a great place to volunteer!

FISH at Jackson-Via

FISH-bookmarkWe hope you will join us at Jackson-Via!

We are an intergenerational group of volunteers dedicated to helping the students, teachers,  and staff at Jackson-Via Elementary School.

Nancy Lambert and Ruth Kastenmayer are two current  JV FISH Volunteers.  Contact us if you have questions.

“Want to make a difference in a child’s life? You can by being a FISH tutor/mentor.

Volunteer one hour a week during the academic year at a public elementary school near you or at JABA’s new preschool, Shining Star, located on Hillsdale Drive, Charlottesville.

Training is ongoing.

For more information, contact the FISH Leadership Team at 434-817-5289 or .”


View original post

Thank you, Jackson-Via Elementary School, for the Volunteer Reception!

Jackson-Via Volunteer Reception – May 22, 2013

JVReceptionWe would all agree that we feel thanked and appreciated every day that we spend at Jackson-Via volunteering in various roles throughout the school; however, it is very nice to be Continue reading