A picture is worth a thousand words

Using a photo is often a fun way to start a story. If you have a vague idea of what you want to write about, or you have a favorite thing, use http://compfight.com/ to find photos that might give you more ideas.
screenshot of compflight.com

Notice that the search criteria at the top are set for Creative Commons: Only  +  Seek Original: On  +  Safe Search: On

We've started some Story Starter Galleries on our ISOCS Flickr account for you, too. Galleries are limited to 18 photos.

screen shot of Middle Primary's Story Gallery

You'll find our Story Galleries at this link.

Active listening

For the Primary Junior Class, which is investigating "Active Listening".

Sesame Street - Fat Blue orders from Speedy Pizza


Watch this video from my favorite podcast, NPR Radio Lab

Can you follow the "words"?

This is a film from Will Hoffman and Daniel Mercadante to accompany Radiolab's Words episode.

Listen to the two audio podcasts that go with this video, discussing the relationship between language and thinking:

Words - " a debate about whether kids can think before they have words"

Voices in your head - " the connection between thought, inner speech, and the voice in our heads."

What's in an image?

(Cross-posted from our sister blog, Create & Express)

"Design elements and principles describe fundamental ideas about the practice of good visual design that are assumed to be the basis of all intentional visual design strategies. The elements form the 'vocabulary' of the design, while the principles constitute the broader structural aspects of its composition. Awareness of the elements and principles in design is the first step in creating successful visual compositions. These principles, which may overlap, are used in all visual design fields, including graphic design, industrial design, architecture and fine art." (read more at Wikipedia) (Visit this web page if you'd like to explore Design-Elemente und Prinzipien in German.

Watch the presentation describing the Elements and Principals of (Graphic) Design: Line, Form and Space, Movement, Color, Texture, Direction, Proportion, Balance, Gradation, Repetition, Contrast, Harmony, Dominance, Rhythm, Unity and Variety,

The Elements and Principles of Design

Notice how the photo credits are presented at the end of the presentation - a good example of one way to give credit to the photographers.

This presentation goes into more detail for each of the elements:

This third presentation is titled "Design Elements- Texture, Color, Form + Function", and it shows interesting, even intriguing, images, without telling you what they illustrate. Can you figure it out?
Design Elements- Texture, Color, Form + Function

Do you think there might be similar elements and principals of design for writing?

How to subscribe to a blog

This Wednesday we'll look at how to use an RSS reader to subscribe to our blogs.
  • Log into your gmail account. In the upper left corner, click on the link to "Reader".
  • Now use control+T to open a new tab, and type "blogspot.com" in the URL bar. 
  • Open a blog you want to subscribe to, and look for the link that refers to RSS, a "feed" or "subscribe"
    • Right click on that link, and "copy link address". (If you left-click, you'll open a page of html code)
    • Go back to the tab where  Reader is open, click on Add Subscription in the upper left corner, and paste in the address you just copied.

    You can organize your subscriptions into folders, for easier sorting and browsing.

    On many webpages, the rss feed is next to an orange symbol like this - usually very small, or the words RSS Feed.

    NOTE - we can't subscribe to this blog, Staff Memos, because it is totally private.