Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Can I live without blogging?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 31, 2010 by roxteacher

Apparently I can live without blogging as my last entry was a year ago. Quite honestly I have not had much to write about that I thought the world needed to know. I have been working hard to incorporate the use of technology into my lessons at school (if and when it serves to enhance instruction and learning) as I am one of a few teachers who has 1:1 (one laptop wireless computer available to each student any and all class periods). No more signing out the computer lab or the cart. No need to plan a lesson that is all or nothing in terms of computer use. We can now use them when we want for as little or as long as we need them. I have continued to use Twitter and Facebook as ways to stay connected to others socially and professionally. In all likelihood, you are reading this because I posted a link on those sites.

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The Big Appel is NOT for Spellers

Posted in funny signs, Uncategorized with tags on February 11, 2009 by roxteacher

OKdscn1927, I spelled Apple wrong on purpose. Spent the weekend in NYC and had fun reading the amazing number of signs in dscn19261the city and counting the Starbucks that one can see from one vantage point. Here are two of my favorites.

Simple Things II

Posted in science, Uncategorized with tags , on January 6, 2009 by roxteacher

geoscience-008Today my four geoscience classes conducted one of my favorite activities of the year. It is so simple yet evokes such wonder and interest in the students. They simply investigate how two fluids of different densities (hot red water and cold blue water) interact. The preceeding day they had diagrammed warm and cold fronts. They come away from this activity fully understanding that fluids of different densities DO NOT mix easily. They have to diagram the set up before pulling out the divider and then draw an “after” diagram. They have to make predictions and geoscience-001support their ideas and then get to “test” their predictions right away. After the blue slide under the red, they reinsert the divider, mix the one side (to produce warm purple water) and go again. There is often a chorus of “that’s sick Mr. W,” which I know means they are finding the experience interesting.

Xmas Card 2008

Posted in family, Uncategorized with tags on December 17, 2008 by roxteacher

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Dear Family and Friends:              Holiday greetings. After a brief hiatus, the annual Whiteley Family Christmas letter returns. Despite the avalanche of technologic innovations there will be no blogs, moodles or wikis embedded in the letter and I will not use Skype, Facebook, Twitter, or Flickr as a way to share information. Just a good old fashioned family letter full of positive hyperbole.  Dan finished high school, spoke eloquently at his graduation, and headed across the pond for university (as they say). He is studying astrophysics in a five year masters program at the University of St. Andrews. We of course miss him and he of course soon forgot about us. He made the men’s 1st golf team (varsity) and finds time to play the Old Course as much as possible. He will join us for the holidays before his reading period and exams wrap up the first semester in late January. He will be part of the charitable Race-to-Berlin between semesters and may be in Sweden this spring with the golf team. Emma is now a high school junior with her eye set on a career in modern dance. She dances with the Pennsylvania Regional Ballet and her 30 hour dance week is sandwiched in with her regular high school classes, meals, sleep and homework. We took a quick trip to NYC to check out Fordham this summer. NYU is also on her list. She plans to try out for dance companies (such as Hubbard Street in Chicago) and would postpone college if accepted. She is a budding artist and is taking as many art electives as possible. Sharon continues to own and operate Take Five Expresso Bar in historic Central Market in town. She helps out with the local health education center and is currently planning their 15th anniversary gala for 2010. She serves on the board of the Pennsylvania Regional Ballet and looks forward to their annual trip to Williamsburg to help the Virginia Regional Ballet and their Nutcracker performance. Sharon and I will appear onstage in PRB’s Nutcracker in December. We tore down and rebuilt the family beach house in Ocean City, New Jersey this year and Sharon was the guiding force behind the architectural and interior design. My classroom is changing as technology surrounds us. I’ve been selected as a “Classrooms for the Future” teacher at my high school. Part of the governor’s Keystone Technology Initiative, this grant trains CFF teachers to use available technology and to integrate this technology into their teaching. There is really cool hardware that comes with the grant, but it is more about the integration and the move from a teacher-centered to a student-centered classroom. Much of my “free” time this past year was spent working on our house in York or making many trips to Ocean City to inspect construction and then haul furniture. Have a Happy New Year and a memorable 2009.

Simple Things

Posted in science, Uncategorized with tags , , on December 1, 2008 by roxteacher

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Teaching has become a bit of a conundrum lately. Increasingly we are using more and more technology to engage the students and make learning more interesting. I support this effort fully and have agreed to be a CFF (Classrooms for the Future) teacher in my school. This means lots of training and the access to some great technology for the students. Having said that, I always marvel at the power of “low tech” demonstations and activities where there is no electronic/computer/internet component. In order to illustrate the umbra and penumbra of the Moon during a solar eclipse, it was marvelous to see students “get it” when a light source, styrofoam ball, and a globe were positioned in just the right way. Understanding the synchronous orbit of the Moon requires a student to circle the room, while always facing the earth in the center. Currently, my students are determining the percentage of oxygen in the air by observing the reaction of iron and oxygen (rusting) in a simple set up (see photo). Ah, the simple things!

Million Dollar View

Posted in family, sand, Scotland, Uncategorized with tags , on October 19, 2008 by roxteacher

I have to admit that when my wife emailed me from Scotland last month and told me that Dan had a million dollar view, I was skeptical. I asked the boy to take a photo from his room window and lo and behold, it truly is breathtaking. Looking at the North Sea, he can see the Old Course and the West Sands (beach scene in Chariots of Fire filmed here). His room in McIntosh Hall is just high enough to look over the buildings that separate him from the course and the sea. The road on the right leads to the clubhouse of the Royal and Ancient golf club (one block on the left) along with the 1st tee and 18th green of the Old Course. The West Sands are straight ahead and the rest of the Old Course is the greenery to the far left. For a golfer like my son, this has got to be heaven.

Funny signs I forgot I had

Posted in family, funny signs, Scotland, Uncategorized with tags , on October 3, 2008 by roxteacher

Gotta love it! My brother Paul lives in San Francisco and it was a visit to see him in 2005 that provided me with a lot of my funny signs. He sent me this sign this past summer and I am just getting around to posting it. It makes me smile to know that my brother and I find the same things humorous. He found this at an entrance to a San Francisco parking garage. The road sign is in St Andrews, Scotland where Dan is now a fresher. I snapped this in late 2007. Do the Scots see the humor in this or is it just juvenile Americans like me? The warning not to attack the bus driver was posted on a double-decker that took students and visitors from one campus to the other at the University of Edinburgh. I will keep looking in my photo “vault” for more gems like these.