Friday, November 30, 2012

#mpswc

Excited to share our new hash tag for the Millville Public Schools Quest to become World Class-


Friday, November 16, 2012

Podcast 101

Yesterday, 5th graders at the RM Bacon School (the Bacon Bears) got a lesson from Jeffery Bradbury (aka Teachercast) on Podcasting. RM Bacon School was the elementary school I attended from kindergarten through sixth grade. The class spend time preparing for the Podcast interview by conducting research on their scheduled guests: Dr. Pamm Moore, assistant superintendent of curriculum & instruction MPS, Dr. Spike Cook, elementary principal RM Bacon School, and myself. Jeffery spent the morning teaching the class the ins and outs of conducting a podcast, filming, recording, broadcasting, interviewing...and by 2pm it was "Show Time".

I entered the classroom a little before 2pm and could feel the students' energy in the air. They all looked like they were bursting with enthusiasm to begin. Jeff spent a few minutes going over last minute directions with the class and much to my surprise he then turned the entire production over to the 5th grade class. Students ran the entire interview-the camera 'men/women', the interviewer, the rest of the students all prepared questions for their guests. I was hit with my first question "Dr. Gentile, tell us a little about your small business?"....I realized these kids did their homework by reading this blog. The students had great questions for each of the guests. After the interview, the students "flipped" the session and asked, "Do you have any questions for us?" So, Dr. Moore, Dr. Cook, and I began asking the students about what they learned from this Podcast experience. The students shared their love for their own blogs - that's right, 5th graders are blogging, as well as what they felt was important about the experience of Podcasting. One answer stood out most...this experience allowed us (the students) to understand why your jobs are important to us. Wow, 5th graders articulated the value of each of our positions. They continued that the decisions we make impact the quality of their school day. They also boasted that their classroom blog has had over 10,000 visitors - that is more than my blog. I am so impressed with the students and the teacher involved in this project. Thank you for inviting me. Jeffery Bradbury, Teachercast, also did a great job - I would highly recommend other districts have him come in to teach their staff and students about Podcasting.

Also, the principal of this building, Dr. Spike Cook is encouraging his teachers to take risks and try new things in their classrooms. I appreciate his leadership-

Once a Bacon Bear - always a Bacon Bear-



Monday, November 12, 2012

A Day of Firsts; Dads and Lads

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon (amazing weather I might add) outside with a group of fathers and sons during what has been dubbed "Dads & Lads" by the creator, my friend Steve. The day is dedicated to doing 'manly' things like: firing bee-bee guns, sling shots, motorcycle rides, building a fire and eating meat. For my 7 year old son, it was a day of firsts as he has never done any of these things before. I was amazed as I watched and enjoyed his curiosity, nervousness at times, and sense of adventure as he tried each new experience. Living on a one street looping 'cul-de-sac', it is safe to say my son has not experienced many of the things I did growing up in a home that backed up to railroad tracks and woods for miles. I loved exploring the woods and tracks as a kid with my father. One of my all time favorite childhood memories was riding 'dirt bikes (motorcycles)' with my father on Sundays. We would ride for miles and although we did not talk much during these days, we communicated over the roughness of the day. We had a bond. Yesterday, my son and I experienced a glimpse of my childhood and as the day grew on my son grew to enjoy many of the same things I did as a kid. He overcame his initial fears and awkwardness with each new experience. By the end of the day, he wasn't even worried about the mud and dirt that covered us- which earlier in the day upset him. As bedtime approached last night, he and I communicated as two men often do, by exchanging phrases and words that his mother and sister could not possibly understand because they were not in the woods with us all day. Right before he fell asleep he said, "I can't wait for Dads & Lads next year".  Try something different, get out of your comfort zone-