Archive for the ‘change’ Category

G+, Facebook, and Twitter – In one place


This find just changed the G+ game. . .

I came across a Google Chrome extension that does exactly what I’ve been looking for. It allows you to post from G+ (which is open to all to join now) and have it post on Twitter and on Facebook. Voila! It also pulls feeds from both of those services into your G+ stream. So in your new stream you will have Facebook, Twitter, and G+ posts – that you can interact with!

This page gives you a very simple graphic, and links to the extension and T and FB, showing how to install this.

When you first install the extension It puts a FB and Twitter icon up in the google bar (you know where it says; G+, Gmail, Calendar etc. See the screen shot below)  and you click them to sign into that service. I had to click each icon and sign in 4-5 times before it actually signed in.

Then when you are ready to post, you can choose to only post to G+, or only to G+ and Twitter, or only to G+ and Facebook. Bear in mind that when it posts to twitter it only takes the first 140 characters. When you are posting it does give you a character count so you can put the important stuff first or truncate it to fit.

Now when you click on  you will see your G+ friends, Facebook friends, and Twitter friends musings all in one place! AND you can post comments on the posts you see. I can comment on a FB post, or reply to a Tweet – right from G+.

When I first opened my G+ stream I was a little overwhelmed – that was a lot to sift through. Then I realized that Facebook and Twitter icons appeared in the list on the left under my “sparks”. But how to see just my G+ stream? Easy, I created a new circle called “G+” (you could call it “everyone” or whatever you want) and put everyone in it, then I can click on my new circle and see just G+ posts.

Or Clicking on the icon opens a menu: So you don’t have to have everything in your G+ stream if you don’t want.

So jump onto your Chrome browser (get it here), head over to https://plus.google.com/ sign up, check it out, add me: gplus.to/ChrisPirkl to G+, get the extension, sign into your other social media and enjoy!

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Favorite Blogging Site


I started blogging at Blogger (link takes you to my Blogger blog). I use(d) WordPress in my classroom (a separate blog that the students use to write about what they are reading). When I started blogging more regularly I decided that WordPress was better suited for my needs and wants. I posted this poll (and information) when I first migrated over to WordPress but would like to see if I can get some more feedback. Which do you prefer: Blogger or WordPress? If you use one of these sites or another site to blog let me know and tell me what you like/dislike about it. If nothing else it is another place to get your blog address posted.


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Puddle thinking


“Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, “This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!” This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it’s still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.”

Douglas Adams

RAFT activity – Ruby Bridges


I wrote this poem during an in-service day whose focus was Reading strategies. We, the group of educators taking the class, brainstormed words A-Z related to the term “prejudice”, read a story book about the story of Ruby Bridges, and then did a RAFT (which is an anagram for FART). ‘R’=role; ‘A’=audience; ‘F’=format; ‘T’=topic. We brainstormed ideas for each part of the RAFT and then chose one from each list to use as a quick write. I chose the Role of Ruby, the Audience I didn’t really identify, Format of a poem, and the topic of loneliness, perseverance, and hope. Very little revision/editing has happened to this poem and it was written in about ten minutes or so. Let me know what you think.

I STAY

So many people around
But still all alone
Hateful words thrown
At me, at my family
At all with my skin color

I just want to learn
And have my chance in life
But I go to school covered with strife
My teacher smiles but I see
In her eyes uncertainty

I do my best to stand tall
Do my family, people, and country proud
Ignore the signs, stares, and yelling from the crowd
Joined by fear and ignorance one day
Joined by trust and love
I stay

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I’ve moved


Well here I am at WordPress.

I think that this will lead to a better experience for me and my reader -that’s not a typo I don’t think people read this, but prove me wrong, leave a comment, cast your vote in the poll below. There are more opportunities to customize the formatting and content of the blog. I’ve been using this site for awhile now in my classroom and am very comfortable with it and I’m happy to be here. Are you. . .

Do you think WordPress is better? Or do you want me back at Blogger.com?

Thoughts on this?


It is being called a health care “debate“; I’ve seen very little debating going on. I’ve seen yelling, name calling, and the regurgitation of the words/phrases used by news anchors and talk radio hosts with no thought behind the words themselves – mindless parroting. I had hoped, when the health care issue was brought to the forefront of the political scene, that the American People could act like adults and not resort to cheap propaganda techniques and volume as a way of trying to get their point across.

With that said, I am consistently and constantly surprised and saddened by the hatred that emanates from different groups. Even if you don’t agree with the HOW of what Obama is doing, you must be for WHAT he is doing. . . right? Trying to take care of the American people, the people whom without there would be no America. The poor have done, and do, all the tasks that most people don’t want to, isn’t it about time that we take care of them? Make sure they have access to health care so they can receive treatment if they need it (and for most of the jobs they are doing – they will).

I don’t understand the idea of not wanting to take care of the members of this country. So many other countries have been able to create a health care system that takes care of their inhabitants, why can’t we? Because of fear, plain and simple – fear of change, a pretty primal fear and understandable – fear that our hard earned (or not so hard earned) cash will go to someone else’s health, this is a biggie for people – fear of the government, I think skepticism is a better thing to have of the government but fear is understandable.
So let’s look at these fears and see if they can be broken down – confronting fear is the best way of conquering it.

  1. Fear of change – I admit, change can be scary. Stagnation is even scarier though. The alternative is to do nothing, maintain the status quo. For myself and many others this is not an appropriate course of action. Too many people become chronically ill, disabled, or die because of lack of health ins. How can this be okay? How can we as a nation built upon the freedoms of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness think that it is perfectly fine if some of us are too sick to live, have lost any liberty because they are bedridden, and cannot even fathom happiness because they are so deep in health care bills? SOMETHING has to happen, CHANGE MUST COME NOW!
  2. Fear that our money will go to someone else – As a capitalist nation this is probably one of the biggest stumbling blocks. We are a greedy people – we want more and we want it to be mine. Here is a contradiction with this Americanism – according to Adherents.com, 85% of Americans are Christian. Jesus said to take care of each other, I’m paraphrasing of course – but for those who may bring it up as a criticism, I have read the Bible. He said to love one another. How is denying health care to people following these teachings, how is the greedy individualism that many live by reconciled with this? For the remaining 15% – we don’t need some mythical guy telling us what we know is the right thing to do, right? And it is the right thing to do, plain and simple; everyone knows that working together is more productive, efficient, and fun, why can’t we work together on this?
  3. Fear of the Government – Yea, the government can be scary, just look at the last eight years. The opacity that shrouded the workings of our government has begun to be lifted and made more transparent. Like I said before: blind faith isn’t what I’m advocating. Skepticism is a good thing in all things. However, being against universal health care just because Obama, Democrats, or Republicans is stupid – there I said it, it’s just plain stubborn and dumb, unless you’re a teen then irrational rebellion is expected of you. A government run/sponsored/regulated (what ever ends up happening) makes sense, look at

    Afghanistan*, Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Cuba, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iraq*, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Ukraine and the United Kingdom (*Universal health coverage provided by United States war funding !!!) Source

    Really? That many? And two are funded by. . . wait for it, US??? We’re paying for health care in two countries and neither of them are our own? Anyone else astounded by this? Okay, anyway. The point is that it is possible, it can work. We’re supposed to be the greatest country in the world, but we don’t take care of the people who live in it.

That is my rant, I do have some quotes to share that I think are applicable and appropriate to the subject.

“If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships – the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace.”
-Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.”
~Abraham Lincoln

“Of equality – As if it harm’d me, giving others the same chances and rights as myself – As if it were not indispensable to my own rights that others possess the same.”
~Walt Whitman

Dealing with Transition


I have a student that has become increasingly disruptive and defiant. I have a pretty good relationship with this student and am sad to see this change in behavior. Now, this hasn’t always been the easiest person to get along with but I do like this student and want them to be successful and happy, and right now it seems like the first is being sabotaged and the second is in battle with a growing anger.
This behavior could be a defense mechanism to create distance in order to make leaving easier. This student, along with all the other 8th graders, will be leaving the safety and familiarity of the school they have spent three years in and have rose to the top of the middle school food chain in and entering High School as freshman. Leaving is difficult, but this behavior is making the now difficult.

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