Since my last posting, I have passed two milestones, the State Writing Assessment and my CUE presentation.
My students completed the California State Writing Assessment for Seventh Graders! What a relief! I am excited to be able to turn class attention to some activities other than writing. We basically spent two months focusing entirely on writing prompts and grammar. Now, I feel like we can return to a more balanced curriculum.
I am also relieved to have my CUE VoiceThread presentation behind me. Here's a download link to the handouts on the CUE Community Forum. I am extremely grateful to everyone who came and supported me doing it and gave me positive feedback. Although I have presented before, I never had at CUE, so that was a new experience. I learned a lot! Unfortunately, I had major Internet and computer issues, and wasn't able to go through nearly as much material as I intended. Next time, I need to prepare by downloading all the material I am planning to demo so I can work offline if necessary. One of the great CUE sessions I attended was on screencasting by Robert Craven. I could make screencasts of my online demos as a backup if I have problems with my live demos.
As I always do at a conference, I came away invigorated with many wonderful ideas I want to apply in my work with my students. I am especially keen to apply some of the storytelling techniques I learned about in Steve Dembo's session on "Storytelling for the YouTube Generation." I have also been intrigued with his use of Prezi ever since I saw a video of his NECC presentation, but I haven't had time to try it. I plan to put that high on my "to do" list for my next presentation. I just need to find a session on how to make all the grading go away. :)