Skip to main content

An Unexpected Short Journey

Saw The Hobbit with my oldest this afternoon. It was probably mean of me not to tell him the book was divided into three movies. He was a bit disappointed that Smaug remained unvanquished.

Overall I enjoyed the movie, especially the dwarves singing around the fire. Martin Freeman was compelling, though at times I did see Dr Watson peek through the pointy ears. Cate Blanchett was radiant and mysterious, hinting at a particular fondness for Gandalf and reminding us that no one in this movie was really "just human".

There were only a couple of items that I wished could have been better expressed or portrayed. It's not Peter Jackson's fault, they just don't translate well to the screen.

One is the dreadfully boring times of any epic adventure: days of endless walking and never changing scenery. Instead of getting the sense that they were walking across the Great Plains (a boring drive at 65mph, let alone walking). Instead Gandalf started to sound like me during cross country season: "Run!"

The second item was when Bilbo was wandering through the caves and discovers the ring. Yes, it is difficult to portray onscreen what actually happens in complete darkness. Having been in caves with all the lights out, there is no way to convey that feeling onscreen. Even if the room was pitch dark and all we had were voices and sounds, the audience would be lost. It had to be filmed with light.

Popular posts from this blog

Classcraft Interactive Notebook Page

Finished crafting interactive notebook pages for Classcraft, an engaging classroom management tool.

This fall I plan to add interactive notebooks to my classroom procedures. The goal is to provide students with something tangible to take home at the end of the semester. So that means creating or borrowing resources to guide students in developing their notebook.

Classcraft is a classroom management tool, an elaborate punishments and reward system designed like an epic role play game. Students create avatars and can upgrade pets and outfits based on experience and gold points earned. They can also lose points and suffer minor penalties. Everything is done in a fun, game like environment.

The computer lab is already divided into five or six stations, which lends itself easily to guilds or teams of students who work together in the game. I want students to develop their own backstory and choose their characters for the good of the group. I also need students to keep their login info some…

Exploring Science and Math through Music and Messes

If you have ever seen a music video by the music group OK Go, you know that they enjoy experimentation and quirky effects. Now all that energy is available for teachers in the classroom, with maybe slightly less mess.

In cooperation with Google and Morton Salt, they have produced a set of three STEM related lesson plans complete with tie-ins to their most popular videos. You can get your hands dirty in this wonderful playground at the OK Go Sandbox.

Lego Mindstorm Maze Runner

Students were tasked with writing a program for their robot to successfully navigate a preset maze. This used only directional command blocks (no sensors). The goal was to recognize sequencing, patterns and to become comfortable with testing and making modifications based on test results.