7 things Meme

Matt Montagne tagged me for the “Seven things you don’t know about me” meme.

1.  I’m 1/2 French.  My father was born in France and is the only one of his 10 brothers and sisters who lives in the US.  My full name is Colette Marie LeChevallier – sounds like a French movie star, huh?  No.  I don’t speak French – I just know a little.  I never got to spend an extended time there so I never really picked it up – plus we didn’t really speak it at home because my Mom wasn’t French.  I desperately want to go sometime soon.  I have about 50 first cousins (and their kid’s houses) to visit!!!

2.  I originally wanted to be a Kindergarten teacher.  In the past 20+ years I have taught every age (K-16) as a 6th & 3rd grade teacher, Reading Resource teacher, Librarian,  adjunct professor and now a MS/HS Computer teacher.  All of my teaching experience has been in parochial schools even though I never attended one growing up.

3.  My sons (19 & 22) tease me endlessly about being a computer geek.  When I was in class online during my Masters program at Pepperdine they would walk by my computer and say in a funny voice, “there’s Mom .. chatting online with her geeky friends”.  Funny thing is … they both now are on Facebook all the time, have Tumblr blogs and one even is checking out Twitter.

reeses4.  I love peanut butter and chocolate. My favorite candy is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and I always have to check out the peanut butter pie if a restaurant serves it.  Weird fact … high quality dark chocolate makes me sneeze … probably slightly allergic .. but it doesn’t stop me.

5.  I love musicals.  When I was little my sisters and I used to act out every scene from The Sound of Music.  I really wanted to be Maria.  Side note:  When my older sister tried out for a community production of The Sound of Music, she was cast as the snooty nun who didn’t like Maria.  We laughed so hard – perfect type cast.

6.  I have two speeds:  couch potato and maniac.  I love to lay around on a lazy Saturday and read the paper, watch TV or just veg on the computer but watch out when I am in project mode.  I can paint a room, work on a school or craft project for 20 hours straight.

7.   I hate to admit it but I am addicted to diet soda.  I really need to break this bad habit – it started in HS when I worked at a movie theater and could have soda and popcorn for free.  Think of the money I would save!!

So that’s it .. my deepest secrets.  Pretty boring, huh?  Let’s see who can top me.  I tag:

Blogging to make a difference

I read with interest Will Richardson’s recent article in Edutopia about an 11 yr old girl named Laura who started a blog last year titled 25 days to make a difference.  In the article, Richardson shares the story of how she gets her ideas for community service projects.

Earlier this year, as I was listening to a presentation by an eleven-year-old community volunteer and blogger named Laura Stockman about the service projects she carries out in her hometown outside Buffalo, New York, an audience member asked where she got her ideas for her good work.  Her response blew me away. “I ask my readers,” she said.

Like Laura, my Middle and High school students are blogging around the theme:  “We must be the change we wish to see in the world”.  After receiving parental OK, my students choose a topic for their blog.  The topics range from global warming, recycling, humane society, pollution, alternative energies, friendliness to more serious topics such as abortion, teen steroid use, human trafficking and cancer.

I direct their beginning posts and also model for them what kind of posts they can have in their blog.  Recently every student embedded a Google form in their blog to either quiz readers about their knowledge of their topic or survey their opinions.  Below is a sample that I made for my blog titled “Mrs. Cassinelli’s guide to Digital Citizenship”.

Our currently focus in our blogging is to encourage interactivity and create interest in the blog  topic.  Having a survey gets readers to your blog but we are also trying to encourage commenting and conversation.

I taught my students about memes.  Each student is reflecting on their topic and creating a meme and challenging classmates to blog about THEIR topic when tagged.

Here’s a sample of a recent post by one of my students:

Danika tagged me with Mrs.Cassinelli’s meme.

The Rules:

  1. On your blog link my blog saying you are participating the the “Digital Citizenship Meme”.
  2. Write a short story about something you regret posting online. You don’t have to reveal too much personal information. Explain what you wish you would have done.   If you have not made any regrets – explain why.
  3. Write digitalcitizenshipmeme as the keyword for your post.
  4. Tag 2 additional people to participate in the Meme.  Link their names to their blogs.

I’ve always been a concious member of digital society. I’m not a flamer, I don’t give out personal information, etc. etc. I guess my biggest regret reguarding the topic would be not teaching my sister about the dangers. She even TALKS to some random kid over the phone! She met him online. It scares me, to tell the truth. My little sis talking to someone when she doesn’t even know his real name, while he knows hers? It’s… just inviting trouble.

Ahem. I tag:

Allie and Janice.

Students are also participating in a comment challenge for two weeks and tracking the number of posts they comment on and number of words.  Luckily we recently have made contacts with some other classrooms (http://thinwalls.edublogs.org/ http://wyatt67.edublogs.org/ http://www.classblogmeister.com/blog.php?blogger_id=73127 ) that are blogging and look forward to sharing our message of change with classrooms around the world.

If you’d like to participate – leave the URL of your class or student blog or visit ours at http://vcs.21classes.com

Watch out world.  Today’s youth are going to be catalysts of change.

All Students meme

My friend and Google Certified Teacher  Christine Southard tagged me with this All Students meme that was started by Martha Thornburgh in response to a discussion with her teachers about ” Do you believe that all students can meet standard?”.  Martha was shocked to find that a large percentage of educators answered this question “no”.

Here are the rules of the meme:

1. Share three things that you believe about all students.
2. Reflect on your thoughts in your blog. (If you do not have a blog, you can share your ideas in a comment from this post.)
3. Be sure to link to this post and to where you were first tagged.
4. Tag your response with AllStudentsMeme
5. Invite others to join the conversation by tagging them to be a part of the meme.

This I believe …

That ALL students are capable of learning. Students may have situations or personal issues that hinder their learning but ultimately – each one CAN learn.  When we hear in the classroom “this is too hard” or “this is stupid” or “i didn’t understand it” – it doesn’t mean that a student CAN”T learn – it means more about the situation the student is learning in – but not their ability.  Our job as teachers is to determine what is going on and create an environment where the student BELIEVES they can learn too.

That Learners are unique and one cookie cutter approach is not going to be right for everyone. We need to provide opportunities where students can demonstrate their understanding in a variety of methods and in ways that best suit their personality.

That each person is a wonderful gift of our creator. God doesn’t make junk and each person has something about them that is beautiful and precious – maybe we as teachers (or just humans) don’t always see it.

This reminds me of the “This I Believe” website and NPR radio show.

So — I tag the following folks to participate in this meme:

Professional Development Meme

Martha Thornburg tagged me for this Professional Development Goals Meme.  I first met Martha at a DEN event at the NCCE conference in Seattle but more recently the two of us represented the beautiful NW at the Google Teacher Academy.  She bugged me about finishing my STAR Discovery Educator application so I guess I will need to include that for one of my goals.


Summer can be a great time for professional development. It is an opportunity to learn more about a topic, read a particular work or the works of a particular author, beef up an existing unit of instruction, advance one’s technical skills, work on that advanced degree or certification, pick up a new hobby, and finish many of the other items on our ever-growing To Do Lists. Let’s make Summer 2008 a time when we actually get to accomplish a few of those things and enjoy the thrill of marking them off our lists.

The Rules:

  1. Pick 3 professional development goals and commit to achieving them this summer.
  2. For the purposes of this activity the end of summer will be Labor Day (09/01/08).
  3. Post the above directions along with your 3 goals on your blog.
  4. Title your post Professional Development Meme and link back/trackback to http://clifmims.com/blog/archives/353.
  5. Use the following tag/ keyword/ category on your post: pdmeme.
  6. Tag 8 others to participate in the meme.
  7. Achieve your goals and “develop professionally.”
  8. Commit to sharing your results on your blog during early or mid-September.

Colette’s Goals:

  1. My STAR Discovery Education application is complete, I just need to host my first event.  I plan on meeting with the middle school teachers & Librarian in August and take a couple of hours to review unitedstreaming and discuss how we are going to implement media into our curriculum this year.  The PD will be held during the week of August 18-22.
  2. Finish listening to audio version of Wikinomics and read Here Comes Everybody (already ordered it from Amazon).
  3. Take the time to go back and look at each of the Google tools that were introduced at the GTA and write out my action plan -which is due June 25th.

I Tag my new GCT friends …
If you see your name below, you know what to do.

8 Random facts about Colette

Eiffel TowerEthan tagged me for a meme that asks me to list 8 random facts about yourself.


  • Post these rules before you give your facts.
  • List 8 random facts about yourself.
  • At the end of your post, choose (tag) 8 people and list their names, linking to them.
  • Leave a comment on their blog, letting them know they’ve been tagged.

About Me

  1. I brought my sister for show-n-tell when I was in Kindergarten. Some other kid brought his Dad who was a firefighter so I figured my older sister by 2 years was just as good.
  2. I love peanut butter and chocolate. My favorite candy is Reeses peanut butter cup and I always have to order peanut butter pie of I see it on the menu. Papa Haydn’s has the best so far.
  3. I am half french. My father was born in Paris and met my amercian mother when he came here to study and never left. I am saving my pennies to spend the summer in France (hopefully the summer of 2009 when my hubby earns a sabbatical) and visit all of my french relatives.
  4. I am a true kid at heart. I love to listen to music, dance, sing karaoke and hang out with friends. Teaching at a high school is a perfect fit because I never have to grow up.
  5. I live in a household with all males so my new girly hobby is beading and getting my nails done.
  6. I have two speeds: maniac and couch potato. If I am not completely absorbed in a project I am reading a book (or sleeping) on the couch.
  7. If I could, I would travel at every opportunity (see #3)
  8. ILOVE Tivo. Enough said.

I tag Patrick, Josh, Kathy, Steve, George, David, Jeff, and Gary.

Photo credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Nitot