Friday, May 27, 2005


Grok is a relatively new term that has crept into our language: it means to know something so well that it becomes part of oneself of our makeup. It comes from Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land - it is a Martian word!

Anyway, a product called Grokker has come into being and is now available on the web to do searches – that visually gives you a comprehensive view of a search emulating the “Grok” experience. Very interesting…. Check it out:

Saturday, May 21, 2005

CSET Section II US History

Well, well, well - this is my third test in the credentialing series (second in the CSET Series) with one more test to go in July. This one covered US History - after 39 multiple choice questions and 3 essay questions - I was burned out but happy after the 3 1/2 hours it took me to complete the test! Overall I actually think I did ok - I knew the answers to most of the questions - nailed the first long essay, and did ok (I pray) on the second two essays. We shall see.

Now what kind of questions? The usual stuff but tricky in many ways. For example you had better know about Andrew Jackson and his exercise of power against the Nullification of Tariffs, and of course the influence of Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Dubois and their influence on the US in the 20th century - comparing and contrasting their philosophies and approaches - likewise you had better be familiar with the transportation systems and urbanization patterns. In a similar manner, immigration patters.

Well a good effort deserves a reward: Charito and I went out to dinner at our favorite spot and sipped some wine while listened to wonderful flamenco guitar all the while enjoying a wonderful chicken Chimi Churri - an Argentinean dish out of this world! Yumm.... The chef is just excellent. Capped of course with a cup of excellent coffee and a desert! By the way and just in case, the name of the place? Friar's Folly in San Marcos – see the link below:

Thursday, May 19, 2005


Here we go!

Busy day: took the Spanish test as required to be admitted into the teaching credentialing program with a BCLAD option. The test asked you to record your answers in a cassette after watching a video. Simple things – working up to, “Should an HIV positive child be allowed to remain in school?”, to, “What you think of re-incarnation?”, leading up to, “should US troops be used outside the US like in Somalia?” Yeah, yeah – don’t ask.

The written part was relatively simple – it asked you to write a letter to a school district in Northern California and discuss the philosophy of teaching in a bilingual environment plus a discussion of strengths, weaknesses, salary, etc.

We shall see – I have been told it will be three weeks to get results.

Today is the first and formal day of Orientation for the Summer Session – it is the actual day when I can say I began the program in earnest. Met Pat Stall, and Joe Keating – very nice individuals – both PhDs and experienced teachers. What they presented today was encouraging as an overview. They actually had us do practical exercises to remember kids names – by practicing among ourselves – nice game:

Name tags
Circle arrangement
Outside exercise – toss toys to each other while calling their names
Repeat exercise – faster and faster..

We were given a list of attributes that excellent teachers possess – and we were asked to evaluate ourselves in this context to see what we need to work on. Interesting.

My cohorts number about 25.

Thursday, May 12, 2005


History and Mathematics intersect:

...from a medieval European military handbook.

An army wishes to scale a 24-foot high castle turret. If the turret lies across an 18-foot wide moat, how long must the army’s ladder be?

...from the Cairo Papyrus, an Egyptian mathematical papyrus dating from about 300 BCE.

A ladder of length 10 cubits leans against a wall. If the foot of the ladder stands 6 cubits from the wall, how high up the wall does the ladder reach?

...from an ancient Mesopotamian clay tablet from the Old Babylonian period (1900-1600 BCE).

A beam of length 30 units stands vertically against a wall. As the top of the beam slides down the wall, the bottom of the beam slides away from the wall. If the top of the beam slides 6 units down the wall, how far does the bottom of the beam slide away from the wall?

Here is the link:

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Microsoft just released new templates for PowerPoint that address educational topics - Check it out!


It is always exciting (and at times frustrating) using new technology – but many times it is worth it! TaskStream is a web sites designed to help build electronic portfolios. Actually it can do a lot more than that...! But for now...

It is a subscription service that gives the individual and the school to way of running a folio assessment program. A folio assessment programs offer online tracking and evaluation of responses to pre-defined requirements within a participant submission portfolio. It uses the Directed Response Folio (DRF) as its key element – these are templates created by the university coordinators that define the program requirements plus scoring.

The idea is to have each participating student create his or her own DRF from the template with proper responses.

Ideally when all is said and done – the student will have a comprehensive set of artifacts and folios and reflections illustrating the extent of their understanding in fulfilling the the Teacher Performance Expectation (TPE) competencies.

Here is mine with the Educ 422 information fulfilling TPE 14 – take a peek: