Learning is Change

My new Wiki

I now have a Wiki. I will use it to help annotate all of the great resources I have found for both teaching and existing in the 21st century. I am really looking for others who share the same passion for this kind of work to help me expand this Wiki. Please explore it for yourself, and then let me know if you want to help. Go Here!

The amount of research…

I have been doing a rediculous amount of research while my wife has been at her mother’s. I have been looking into a lot of areas of technology in the classroom. These are the coolest things that I have found, and I hope to expand these areas on this blog when I get a chance.

1. Wikis and wikibooks
2. One to one learning
3. Digital Storytelling
4. Web 2.0 and social networking
5. Podcasting

Looking at this list, it seems that these topics are a little hokey. They are basically the buzzwords for the last few years. I feel, however, that I have gotten beyond the buzz. I hope to prove this with the following posts. If you get anxious, please go to my furl site. Search for these categories.

I turn 23 tomorrow.

It sounds so young, even to me. Perhaps it is the CSAP in me that has got me thinking about my goals, but I have some enormous expectations for myself. Right now I can’t think of any other way to be.

Expectations before I turn 25 (not hopes, not dreams; things that I know will happen):
1. I will have a child.
2. I will have a master’s degree.
3. I will have a book published.
4. I will have a salary that makes my family’s life comfortable.
5. I will have a cd pressed.

Sitting In Class

When we talk about definition we are implying its opposite. I find that to be a comforting idea. We are never so far away from our antithesis that we can’t see it. We understand that everything is new and old, green and gold. I like dealing with a thought and its opposites. Neither can be more true than the other. This is the theory of Paradoxism. A theory of complete inclusion. This theory is relevent because students are always so certain. They believe what they believe. But, their beliefs are so different, so opposed. Every classroom implies both order and chaos. There is no balencing act that bridges the two. Both are always present. I like that. The bubbling over of engagement and boredom simultaneously. The rutheless questioning and apathy for invitations. The great wisdom and stupidity of choice that my students exercise each day. I embrace it all because I am both student and teacher, both hider from and seeker of learning. I still want to sit in the back of the class and create “situational comedy”. I want to engage in deep discussion that actually goes somewhere. I love this contradiction. These wants are so opposite that they simply scream to co-exist. By this logic, I can honestly say that I both love and hate teaching, and hopefully not sound trite.

The Reason for the Blog…

[Taken from its original source at http://mrwilkoff.blogspot.com/2005/04/reason-for-blog.html]

This blog has been set up for the special purpose of posting the essays of Mr. Wilkoff’s 2004-2005 classes. Mr. Wilkoff’s students have been working on perfecting the art of essay writing in their 7th grade year. They have learned all about start me up sentences, thesis statements, creating mountains of details, and golden conclusions. These students have created their own topics and written brilliant essays on these topics. The essays which will be posted below will be answering one of the following questions:

Core 1’s Top 5 Topics:
1. What would it be like (or what is it like) to have only one parent?
2. Do agree with this statement: “Live everyday like it is your last day?” Why or why not?
3. How would you go about creating world peace?
4. If you could do anything in the school for one day, what would it be?
5. If you could go back in time and change the past, would you? Why or why not?

Core 2’s Top 5 Topics:
1. Do you believe that, “Everything happens for a reason?” Why or why not?
2. If you could change yourself, would you? Why or why not?
3. Do you believe in miracles? Why or why not?
4. Should you choose your role-models (or those you compare yourself with) wisely? Why or why not?
5. Why do people fight?

Core 3’s Top 5 Topics:
1. Is basketball the greatest/best sport? Why or why not?
2. How do you know who is really in control of your life?
3. Have you ever been caught doing something you weren’t supposed to be doing? How did you react to being caught?
4. Why do meatballs taste so good?
5. What is your solution for the tuber on a butter smooth lake?

Core 4’s Top 5 Topics:
1. Do you believe in Angels? Why or why not?
2. Why should or shouldn’t sports be a part of your life?
3. Does your past affect your future? Why or why not?
4. Why are we afraid of what we don’t understand?
5. Is it important to fall in love? Why or why not?

Each essay will be posted with the intent of other students commenting on it. This will allow the class to share ideas in a new and anonymous way. So sit back and enjoy the best 7th grade essays of all time.