Welcome to my blog; used to post all alleged professional developments as a reflective tool and potential resource ... really, just another snake at the bottom of the MossPITT.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

MECA & Moodle

For now, until I can get the powerpoint presentation uploaded to this blog, you can access it by going to the Moss Point Moodle Page.

- Select 'Login' (top right-hand corner of the page)
- Select 'Login As A Guest'
- Scroll down to 'Mercer's Training Pages' at the bottom
- Select the 'MPSD: R. Mercer - Professional Development' class
- Scroll down to 'February '09 MECA Resources:'
- Select 'Doyle: Moodle & More' and enjoy!

If you have any further questions, feel free to contact me at djdoyle@mp.k12.ms.us.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Letter of Intent

Senior Project Letter of Intent: Your Project Proposal

For most of your high school career you have been subjected to classes you’ve had to take. While you may have had some opportunity to choose certain electives, it is likely that you have had little influence over what you’ve actually been taught. Your teachers—and your school district—have been making most of these decisions for you.

MPHS' Senior Project allows you to finally have direct control over what you learn. The Senior Project gives you the chance to choose a subject that has special interest to you. The first step that you must take toward creating this personalized "class" is to write a letter of intent, which serves as your project proposal.

Letter of Intent
The Senior Project Letter of Intent is a formal letter that is addressed to the Senior Project Coordinator and identifies what you’ll be researching (your paper) and what you’ll be doing or creating (your project) this semester. It also includes your paper's thesis statement. The letter follows a predictable pattern:

1st Paragraph

The first paragraph of the Letter of Intent reflects your interest in the topic you’ve chosen and clearly shows how what you’ll be doing is something new for you. In other words, not only must you describe why the topic is interesting, you must also show how it is a departure from anything you’ve done previously.

2nd Paragraph

The second paragraph of this letter describes—in detail—what you will be researching for your 1800- to 2800-word paper. This paragraph should state your paper’s tentative thesis or topic and begin to identify the various sources you plan on using.

3rd Paragraph

The third paragraph of the Letter of Intent begins with a transitional sentence that shows the correlation between your paper and your project. The rest of the paragraph describes your fifteen-hour project in detail, including what you will be doing to achieve your desired goals, who will be involved as your mentor, how it is a learning stretch and how it benefits the community as well as any other information crucial to the success of this project.

4th Paragraph

The final paragraph of the Senior Project Letter of Intent is your disclaimer against plagiarism and fraudulent behavior. You are to include at least two sentences that touch on your understanding of plagiarism and fraud, and explain that you know the repercussions for these acts.

Click HERE for a link to see basically how it is set up.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Blogging 101

Click HERE to download PowerPoint Presentation

Contact: Daniel J. Doyle
Moss Point High School (Moss Point, MS)

Blog Example Links

These are great resources for general blogging ideas!
- TeachersFirst.Com
- Scholastic's Teacher Blogs
- TipsForNewBloggers Blog
- Blogological Construction
- EduBlog Insights
- SupportBlogging.Org: Blogs on Educational Blogging List
- BlogHerald.Com
- Center for Learning & Performance Technologies (Blogging Tools)

K-5 Blog Examples:
1. Mrs. Mallon's Marvelous Messages Kindergarten Blog
2. Ms. Cassidy's Kindergarten and First Grade Classroom Blog
3. Ms. Gaudy's Second Grade Classroom Blog
4. Mrs. Myrmel's Third Grade Classroom Blog
5. Mr. Wright's (Student Authored) Fourth Grade Classroom Blog
6. MiniLegends (Al Upton's 8-9 year olds in Australia)

Middle School Blog Examples:
1. Mr. Mayo's Student e-Portfoios #1
2. Mr. Mayo's Student e-Portfolios #2
3. Barber Middle School's Faculty Blogs
4. Principal's Blog
5. 8th Graders Using EduBlogs

High School
1. Albany High School Blog
2. Game Time Blog
3. The Movie Worms Blog
4. NoMoGUm: Mr. Doyle's English Classroom Blog

Professional Development
1. WeAreTeachers.Com Blog
2. MossPitt: Moss Point Teacher's In Technology Training
3. Classroom 2.0: Blogging Tags
4. Around The Corner
5. Ewan McIntosh's Edu.Blogs.Com
6. The Fischbowl
7. weblogg-ed
8. Wesley Fryer's Speed of Creativity
9. ClioTech
10. November Learning
11. David Warlick's Blog

Other Blogs of Note
1. EphBlog (Williams College Alumni News)
2. Paulo Coehlo's Blog
3. Sleeping In The Mountains (Tim Patterson's Travel Writing Blog)
4. LitBlog

Blogging Lesson Plan Links
Read Write Think - Blogging About Your Own Utopia
Outside the Cave: Responsible Blogging
Format for Blog Projects

Online Etiquette Links
- Microsoft Online Etiquette
- Hope CE Primary Blog Rules

Blogging Videos, et al.
- Blogging and Google AdSense
- WordPress Tutorial
- Blogs in Plain English
- How to Create a Blog with Blogger
- Why Let Our Student's Blog Vox Tutorial
- Information R-evolution
- A Vision of K12 Student's Today
- Three Steps for 21st Century Learning
- Did You Know 2.0
- A Vision of Student's Today

Monday, July 7, 2008

MPHS Millennium Classroom

Inspire - Inform - Involve

Click HERE to Download Powerpoint Presentation

Daniel J. Doyle


In student centered teaching, we center our planning, our teaching, and our assessment around the needs and abilities of our students. The main idea behind the practice is that learning is most meaningful when topics are relevant to the students’ lives, needs, and interests and when the students themselves are actively engaged in creating, understanding, and connecting to knowledge (McCombs and Whistler, 1997).

- Students will have a higher motivation to learn when they feel they have a real stake in their own learning.

- Instead of the teacher being the sole, infallible source of information, then, the teacher shares control of the classroom and students are allowed to explore, experiment, and discover on their own.

- The students are not just memorizing information, but they are allowed to work with and use the information alone or with peers. Their diverse thoughts and perspectives are a necessary input to every class.

- The students are given choices and are included in the decision-making processes of the classroom. The focus in these classrooms is on options, rather than uniformity (Papalia, 1996).

- Essentially, "learners are treated as co-creators in the learning process, as individuals with ideas and issues that deserve attention and consideration" (McCombs and Whistler, 1997).

The Ten Commandments (+ one)

1. The following should be posted daily on board: Objectives & Competencies, Daily Procedures/Agenda, Bell-Ringer, Date, Assignments/Homework, Purpose.

2. Lessons should be “project-based”, involving progressive/cumulative units (less or shorter lectures).

3. Lessons should be “student-centered” (~75% student and 25% instructor) with the teacher working more as a guide or facilitator in the classroom.

4. Lessons should connect objectives to real-life material/situations.

5. Lessons should engage students on a higher order of thinking (problem solving, discovery, challenging)

6. Create a “kinetic-classroom” (active not passive) with lots of cooperative hands-on and out-of-seat student engagement (group work, discussions, presentations, labs, etc). This fosters leadership skills, cooperation and professionalism. Cooperative Learning = Collective Understanding.

7. Emphasis on technology (Activboard, flipcharts, Moodle, etc)

8. Instructors should regularly seek student feedback on material covered, lessons and/or vibrant issues (evaluations, forums, suggestion-box, etc)

9. Classrooms should be clean and organized to promote a structured and welcoming learning environment.

10. Walls should be decorated with aesthetically and intellectually stimulating visuals directed toward student learning and motivating.

11. Walls should display student work (refreshed on a regular basis). The following should be posted daily on board: Objectives & Competencies, Daily Procedures/Agenda, Bell-Ringer, Date, Assignments/Homework, Purpose.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

SAAM Reflection: Talking to Strangers

Almost made it on time today!

Reunited with Brian Mull today who focused on using our new iPods to podcast. Pretty excited about this, particularly for the student-run community-based radio station I'm hoping to start this July and utilize throughout the school year. This new project came packaged in two separate parts of inspiration. While at Williams, I was fortunate enough to land an interview with Gregory David Roberts, author of the epic Shantaram. After hours of conversation, Roberts excused himself to answer the door of his hotel room in New Zealand. I could hear in the background familiar greetings, and upon his return was surprised to hear it was simply room service.

"When people are cleaning your goddamn toilet and shower for gods sake, you gotta look after them and theyre people you know? I want to know their names, their lives ... "

And while I was held captivated by these simple words and unconscious gesture, he picked up right where we left off, telling a story of Johnny Depp and him playing a game of sitcom charades in the Bahamas.

Secondly, it is inspired by a girl - the catalyst to all great endeavors according to Roberts' himself. In this case, by an adorable ko-ed who left an impression on me after meeting her for the first time at a friend's "christmas" holiday get together years ago; someone I've never really gotten to know, but one of those of whom you can immediately sense their positive energy. For an art class, she was interviewing locals with whom she routinely bumped elbows and wanted to know more about. As a local, I was ashamed I didn't know half of what she uncovered.

I've often told others that the more of yourself you invest in a place, the more aware and knowledgable you become about a locale and its people, the stronger the bond. Moss Point is a special place, with its own natural miracles, iconic landmarks, ingrained social issues and typical systemic problems. There are stories here floating on the salty sea breeze and falling from the old moss covered oak trees lining our streets. While I am still around, I owe it to experience to let the accent of marsh grass, the fisherman's religious forecasts, the grits, fried-chicken, mint juleps and ford trucks to seep into my soul just a little more than I already have ... so, at least twice per month, I hope to work with some studnets to find invididuals willing to sit down to talk with us ... maybe the woman who bags my avocados at the market or the old man that walks his dogs on the beach every night. Our own story corps. To invest through conversation and interaction. I'm sure the return will be significant. Would love to eventually incorporate similar oral history projects in the classroom using audacity to edit and some form of voice recorder.