Make Cycle #6: 5 Image Story or 6 Image Memoir

A Grape's Story

I think this may be both. I started out with the idea of taking my “animated grape” through a day with me. I was originally going to try to look for the photo opportunities that lent some absurdity to the mix of proportions – the toothbrush shot was the first one I took. And then the little grape looking so big in front of the vineyard was another conscious choice. The rest just happened as I carried the little guy around with me. So, it then became more of “my” day that I was sharing with him (her?). And how could my love of wine – and the many years I spent with my husband, not come into the picture somehow – so voila! – the last shot!

I was really drawn to the idea of a story without words. I love so many of the picture books without words – especially those of David Weisner. But I couldn’t resist at least a title and the play on words that I had in mind right from the start.

There are also aspects of the images (and the story) that the perfectionist in me would want to reshoot and revise – but the openness of what we are doing – and the generosity of the spirit of experimentation that has been generated allowed me to let this be as it is, flaws and all.

I am tempted to dive into the many ways this was an engaging creative thinking process that could be applied to the connected learning that goes on in a classroom. But I won’t! I just want to take away the immense pleasure it was to be creative and think on my own and share the results with an equally thoughtful and creative community. Thank you one and all!



Make Cycle #5: Storytelling with Light

It was a busy week, so I only had time to experiment with my idea on Saturday but I had fun and lots of ideas started to churn around. I wanted to photograph “light.” And then I wanted to see how those images could tell a “story.” So far, I have the images but not the story. One story idea I had was to take snippets from a journal or to create 6 word stories for each one. But nothing is written yet. Maybe those who look at the grouping may see a “story line” of their own.  Just the images are here so far to share with others who have been experimenting with light in a more hands-on way. Though my hands were “on” the shutter button!

light mosaic

Make Cycle #4 – I finally MADE something!

I finally had some time to think about the awesome idea of hacking my notebooks – in part thanks to Christina for showing us her notebook transformation! But I can’t possibly choose just one. So, what could I MAKE from them as a group? How the math and physics teachers I work with would have loved to see me juggling these on the floor and to hear my inner thinking about structures and supports! And how happy I am to finally have something I actually MADE for this cycle! Here it is:

Grace's Notebooks

CLMOOC Make Cycle #4 – Hack Your Wriitng

I am constantly in search of the merging of photography and text. I am not sure if this is more of a hacking of photography than a hacking of writing – but it is a passion of mine that I hope to one day pursue the making-of myself. For now, I look for examples and have posted some on a Learnist board here:

Below are some r better examples found in galleries and museums in NYC. These, I hope, will inspire me to “make” my own before our CLMOOC is over!!


Student Work at a LIC Gallery Robert Frank at MOMA At MOMA


Finding Beauty in the Ordinary: Wabi Sabi Photo-a-Day Challenge – Day 1

I am inspired by the author of  “Thinking Through My Lens” and eagerly accept the game challenge for clmooc #3 proposed on that blog which I found in the Blog Hub :

“The more I have been thinking about this concept of Wabi Sabi, the more I want to explore it more intentionally through my lens …each of these (photographs) represents my interpretation of Wabi Sabi, an appreciation of the imperfect, often fleeting beauty I find through my lens.  Letting 17 syllables speak for me is a challenge, but an interesting one,  creating another layer of Wabi Sabi for me.”

So out I go with my camera…

But it was when I came back that the wabi sabi moment happened.

As I unpacked my groceries, an unshucked  ear of corn took on a new beauty for me. Something about the white strands that cover the corn – and the sudden softness of the soil covered brown strands. (I have no idea what these things are called in the world of horticulture!). This felt like beauty in the ordinary enough fo rme to stop the chores and take out the camera. And then,  after taking the photo, something else happened. Of the 3 or 4 that I took, this one suddenly looked like – a praying mantis. This reminds me of how the Zuni identify their totems – not by finding the animal but by the animal finding them. Today, a praying mantis found me – and all because I paused long enough to photograph an ordinary ear of corn.

Ear of Corn or Praying Mantis?

The Music of Games – for clmooc #3

Two worlds have converged in a surprising way this week – games and music!

My inspiring teacher-colleague, Kev Marquez,  posted a sound clip of Final Fantasy X-2 on Facebook and I loved it so much that I added them to my Pandora stations. I have always loved a lot of New Age music (Tangerine Dream, Deep Breakfast…) and George Winston-like piano work. Here is what he posted:

Looking into who they were, I learn that they are game creators! And a track I just “liked” is from Halo! I am now fascinated by the role music plays in games. My first experience with this was with the game Myst. But at the time I was just fascinated by the game – to date it remains fixed in my mind as my idea of a video game “just right for me.” So here I go delving into the world of games via the world of music… I am not sure if I will actually get to play the games that the music comes from during this week of clmooc game time, but it has opened up a whole new world for me. Well, maybe not so new…

I remember playing parts of the soundtrack of Fantasia to my students and asking them to write the story they “saw” as  they listened. We then looked at their various narratives and Disney’s visual narratives and asked “why?” and what did each author “hear?” What if I played a video game soundtrack and asked them to “write the game”? What is happening? Where does this take place? Who is involved? What is the conflict?

This is already connected learning work because it is interest powered, peer supported and production centered. If I were to try to extend the connected learning principles it engaged, I might want students to create VoiceThreads of their stories. In VoiceThread, this could include the music tracks, images and peer responses. This would add openly networked and shared purpose to the goals and outcomes of the project.