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Belfry Middle School

Comment Wall (6 comments)

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At 8:31pm on December 31, 2008, Jack said…
Hi Betty!

Happy New Year! I was wondering if you, your educator contacts or students would be interested in participating in a nationwide Vocab Video Contest @ MIT university. We'd really like to get more students involved from Kentucky!

You can view contest details at Please let me know. Thanks!
At 1:47am on December 27, 2008, Andy Pethan said…

I'm sending out messages to everyone I know right now, and this virtual Ning network is no exception. My name is Andy Pethan. I am a 21 year old student from Olin College of Engineering. I am a part of a group of 6 Olin students (near Boston) who is taking a year off to pursue our interests in education, entrepreneurship, design and technology, bringing us to the logical project of a business that designs collaborative software for schools! I found you in a search for "middle school", and since our project is specific to middle schools, I thought you might be interested. Our project is called AlightLearning, and this is our "short" project description:

We are working under the assumption that within ten years, the landscape of modern education will have fully integrated what we now define as new classroom media and tools: video, online collaboration, open source curriculum, and internet-based software. We hope to pioneer a web software tool that acts as a platform for this new media, bringing the power of the web and its tools to students, teachers and parents in a secure, comfortable and innovative environment. More importantly, and unlike many of our competitors, our software will empower teachers to better integrate higher level thinking skills, individualized learning, goal setting, reflection, and effective feedback and evaluation. Our goal is to have our free software at a pilot middle school by April 15th, 2008, continuing to develop and coordinate with our users to create a product that other schools and individual teachers will want to use to improve their students' learning in and out of the classroom.

Our team is currently trying to win an idea competition on You can find us at We would love your support in the form of a vote within the next couple days, but more importantly we'd love your feedback and comments. Our description on Ideablob is short, and even the one above hardly gets at many of the issues we would like to take a stab at solving, but at least it's a start. Note that winning this contest will raise $10,000, a large and useful sum of money for a web-based company running on “sweat equity” and minimal costs.

Feel free to email me back, post on my profile, check out, or do anything you like!

Andy Pethan
At 1:57pm on August 5, 2008, Megan said…
I am excited about the ISN being an online thing. I do not know if I will be able to keep up with THREE notebooks (I will have 7th, 8th,and pre-algebra classes this year). However, I do hope to give some insight to what type of reflections are acceptable and what they may look like. I am also planning on keeping an ongoing "table of contents" for each ISN for students. Dianne found a rubric online and we modified it to fit our need. That is already on the site. I was looking for something easy to use and thought this could kill two birds with one stone, and I am talking about communication with parents about daily agenda, homework, announcements, etc. I also want the students to stay involved so I am trying to incorporate some other things. I would love to learn how to keep an online copy of the ISN and hope to get around to that once the beginning of the year gets a little less crazy. :) Right now I am trying to decide where to put 42 students in a room with 36 desks. I am told the numbers will go down, but I have also seen the new enrollment stack. It is a little crazy right now.

I think I have raised some eyebrows with this ISN and website. I feel eyes watching me and I hope it is a success. I guess some would have doubts, but I know this can be great! Dianne is just as excited as I am, and that is making it ten times better.

I did join the content literacy website. That is where I saw the info on the interactive word walls, which I am still trying to figure out where to put those. I will need 3 different ones and my bulletin board is vertical, so it would be hard for students to reach the top. Amy suggested the tri-fold science fair boards, and I think those would be easy to store (but are they big enough). I am trying to think of something to hang on the wall. I thought about getting some type of material that Velcro would stick to, but I cannot think of a way to hang it on the wall. Any ideas?
At 1:47pm on August 5, 2008, Roland O'Daniel said…
By the way are you going to join,
At 1:46pm on August 5, 2008, Roland O'Daniel said…
Wow that's huge (the website). Are you going to keep the ISN online? I love the homepage that you've created, and look forward to tracking what's going on. If you decide to move the ISN online, then I think we might want to look at a couple of different modalities that will make it easier/est.
Yes, Amy is incredibly sharp. She sets a very high standard of thinking for all of us to live up to, and thanks for your kind words. I will have to say that I've enjoyed the conversation, so it was very selfish of me.
At 1:32pm on August 5, 2008, Roland O'Daniel said…
Hey Megan! Glad to see you on here.


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