Archive for the ‘High School’ Category


Interesting story on how gaming helped a young man gain acceptance:

Playing With Others: Gaining acceptance

Our high school students had the opportunity to view a TRACES Bus-eum exhibit titled:  Held in the Heartland German POWs in the Midwest, 1943-46.  You can read more about it and see pictures HERE.  A video clip follows below.

South Pacific North Platte High School students’ hard work and practice is paying off as they perform their musical “South Pacific.” The amazing cast has been working since December to share a wonderful performance of the Rogers and Hammerstein classic. One of the great cast members is my own Hannah Hokanson!!!

The musical is directed by Leah Purdy and performances are March 7th and 8th at 7:30 p.m. and March 9th at 2:00 p.m. in the North Platte High School Performing Arts Center. Read the following newspaper article for more information: “High School prepares South Pacific

Video blocked!?!  Try this link!!!

NPHS Mixed Choir “Amazing Grace” (10/16/2007)

Great Platte River Road Archway Slideshow (11/2/2007)

Making Corn Husk Dolls 4th Grade Field Trip (11/2/2007)

Native American Pictographs Podcast (11/2/2007)

Native American Sign Language and Pictographs (View at TeacherTube)

cornucopia I have been involved in a “cornucopia” of events, tasks, meetings, trainings, and decisions over the past few days. Monday consisted of virtual mentor training with administrators in the district and CPS clicker system training for staff at one of our middle schools. I have been piecing together technology “equipment” orders in between solving multimedia issues, and we trained for deploying parent portal access to our web-based student management system to be done next week during the middle and elementary schools’ parent teacher conferences. I visited a second grade classroom and observed a lesson that was facilitated with clickers. I “fixed” a SMART Board today, and had many wonderful, thoughtful, and vital discussions about the future of education and technology’s role in the process. There are so many things that happen during each week and it is exciting to be a part of it all. Tomorrow I have the pleasure of travelling with two fourth grade classes on a field trip as their podcaster. I plan to use Gcast, iTalk devices with iPods, and of course we will piece together video clips for a future final product. Maybe a “cornucopia” isn’t the proper term to use for all of this, but hey, ’tis the season, and I am thankful for all of these opportunities. Peace!

Here are some bloggers from my district. Each in their own way are using blogging as a tool to help their students. Enjoy!

mallberr’s weblog

Madmathteacher’s Blog

Lori Brouillette’s Weblog


Irish Principal Blog

8 Blue

Madison Middle School This has been a busy and exciting week for me. I had the opportunity to teach another SMART Board mini class on Tuesday. We had parent teacher conferences last night and this morning and deployed the parent portal portion of our student information system. Many parents stopped by our display to gain their access code that allows them to view their children’s grades online. Special thanks to Connie, and it was a pleasure to work alongside her!!!

This afternoon I took part in a professional development with the staff from one of the middle schools in our district, and we learned about RSS and everyone left with a brand new blog added to their arsenal of teaching tools. I look forward to following up and supporting these great teachers in their pursuits of blogging, and I hope that it becomes a useful tool for many of them and their students.

This middle school staff is great, and I have to admit each time I am with them or in their building I wish I was teaching with them, sharing their students, and being a part of what is very special. Their instructional leader is superior and a person that I am honored to work with. They may not even recognize the excellent situation they all have, and if they do I hope they cherish it, nurture it, and hang on to it with all their beings. Madison Middle School, I am completely impressed with you all. Thanks for letting me be a small part of all you do!!! Peace!

I keep coming back to Sir Ken Robinson‘s speech “Do Schools Kill Creativity?”  I watched it again and share it here:


Digital Kids

Teachers and Parents read the following CNET articles:

Savvy teachers use the Net to engage students (Reuters Article)

The ABCs of learning online

Summer’s here, the Web surfing’s fine

When digital kids rule the classroom

Developing safe and smart Internet citizens

Digital Citizenship and Safety sites:

Be Web Aware

Media Awareness Network

Kids’ Rules for Online Safety

The Skinny on a Good Media Diet for Your Kids


Sites for Kids:

ALA Great Web Sites for Kids


Yahoo Kids

Ask for Kids

NPHS Marching Band We attended the first football game of the season this evening and the North Platte High School Bulldogs defeated Columbus!!! The marching band performed very well playing the national anthem and two songs during halftime. Our daughter Hannah played her trombone in excellent fashion along with her wonderful band mates. Mr. Bradley has done a great job in bringing this group together and forming a wonderful team of budding musicians.

It has been a full week in the district with all of the teachers back and ready for students to arrive this coming Monday.  I use the term “ready” loosely as we all know we are never ready, especially when it comes to the technology department.  ;-) Nevertheless, we will make the best of our situations and welcome those bright shining faces into the schools and classrooms in the coming days.  I sense and see great things happening here in our part of the world, and I hope to share our challenges and inevitable successes as the year progresses.   Test scores are up in the district, and the hard work of students, staff, and parents is paying off.  We must not rest on our laurels but must continue to be committed to continual improvement.  It is a pleasure to be here and to work with such a dedicated group of people that are working together to make this a special place to be and visit.

I also had the opportunity to meet two of my son’s teachers today, and I am thankful for their service and choice to be involved in the education of my children.  Teaching is a noble profession, and I admire those who have taken on its charge.  I am thankful each day to work with such wonderful people!

Please enjoy this short clip of our own North Platte High School Marching Band!!!

Rest in peace Josh…

Posted: August 23, 2007 in High School, Learning, News, Respect

Josh Trobaugh Life throws curve balls from time to time to put things into perspective. I learned this evening that one of my former students from Dakota Valley High School, Josh Trobaugh, was tragically murdered during a robbery. The details are as follows:

“DENVER – A memorial has been set up in front of a tattoo parlor where a man was killed during a robbery on Wednesday night.

Denver Police investigators say the owner of the store was killed after he was robbed at gunpoint at Mr. Tank’s Tattoo Shop near Niagara and Colfax Avenue. The tattoo shop is a few blocks east of Monaco and Colfax.

Police say the two robbers were wearing ski masks and are still at large.

9NEWS has learned the victim was Josh Trobaugh, the owner of Mr. Tank’s Tattoo Shop.”

Josh was a wonderful young man, with a great sense of humor, and I know he struggled in school. We struggled together. He taught me many things in my first years as a teacher, more than he will ever know. My heart goes out to his family and friends and especially to his children. A part of me goes with Josh, the things we learned together, the knowledge we shared, and the respect that was gained uneasily. Josh taught me about respect, and that respect is gained through honest caring between human beings. I will miss you Josh, may you rest in peace until we meet again.

The Rethinking Schools web site has a fun map game to help students review North Africa and Southwest Asia (The Middle East). Give it a try and test your geography knowledge!

Middle East Map Game

Will Richardson Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts,… Today I finished Will Richardson’s book Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms. I have always appreciated Will’s viewpoints on his blog, and I like the straightforward, easy to understand approach he presents in his book. Having used many of these tools in my classroom for over a year now, I was familiar with much of what Will shares, but I had many “I should have tried that moments!!!” Now, I am in a new position (district level educational technology specialist) with a new audience (educators) and the book proved valuable in giving me ideas and ways that I can share these tools with teachers.

Teachers themselves will benefit from reading this book (Get it ASAP!), and I believe it would serve as an excellent textbook for in-service training and for use in teacher preparation programs. Even a seasoned Web 2.0 teacher (Can there be such a thing in such a short period of time!?! :-) will pick up new ideas or ways of using these tools that they hadn’t thought of before! As with any text that concerns the web the reader will encounter shared links that have since moved on in such a short time since the book was published; nevertheless, I could easily search the name of a particular person or topic mentioned and find the new location of the information on the web. (Maybe Will could add a page to his blog with updates or create a wiki page where readers could help update links.)

The book, to me, is written for the now, and it is intended to jump start educators and students into using the many Web 2.0 tools that exist today. I know Will has much more to say concerning these tools and the future of integrating technology to facilitate collaboration, critical thinking, and self-directed learning, and I feel his blog serves as a continuation and expansion of the text. One of Will’s main points in his book is to recognize the “teachers” that are and information that is out there, on the web, ready to fill your RSS feed reader! His text is really a staging area for the journey that he invites the reader to take in using these powerful web tools in the classroom, and I think it is a good place to start and to take ownership of your own learning.

Read Write Think is a repository of language arts/humanities resources sponsored in part by the International Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English.

“ReadWriteThink, established in April of 2002, is a partnership between the International Reading Association (IRA), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and the Verizon Foundation.

NCTE and IRA are working together to provide educators and students with access to the highest quality practices and resources in reading and language arts instruction through free, Internet-based content.”

Some particular resources that I found engaging include:

100 Best Books for Kids

Clickable Poems

Guys Read

National Writing Project

The National Archives on Google Video