*TRAVEL NOTES for Saturday, July 23
Arrive at least 2 hours prior to flight time. (Flight leaves RDU at 6:15).
Print your e-ticket from the JTB website. Link was sent by Ruie on May 24 to our email.
Look for Kevin Oliver and Megan Poole. They will have a list of travelers.
At Heathrow, B-Line tour coach will be waiting to transport us to Guildford.

To begin the day, we enjoyed such delectable delights as scrumptious sausage and cheese rolls and decadent chocolate cake on a stick. After that, my day was pretty much set, but I will continue with other events of the day. Tanya got our blood flowing by leading us in a humbling attempt to remember the Alliterative Adjective Game we played during the previous class session.

Formally beginning the day at 9:17, Sara read her scribe report from June 18.

Dr. Donna Morrow (Dynamic/Dragging Donna), who had recently arrived from New Zealand, was introduced to us in person. She is a professor at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, NZ, where she has lived for 14 years. We also welcomed her husband, Dr. Gareth Cordery.

Donna greeted us with a traditional tena koutou greeting of New Zealand’s Maori people, which was a beautiful way of acknowledging everyone present in class, those who were absent, and those who have gone before us. She also gave each of us a stunning piece of iridescent paua shell. Remarkably, as Donna distributed the paua to us, she recalled each of our names and alliterative adjectives! Very impressive!

Ruie distributed hard copies of the course syllabus and course overview.  She noted that the correct calling code in England is: 011 44.  We also received emergency contact cards from the Study Abroad Office, which we should carry with us, and we received our insurance card for the trip.

We must pay for internet access and have a cable to connect to the internet in our dorm rooms if we desire. However, many other areas of the University of Surrey campus are wireless.


Ruie led our discussion on Peer Response Groups.  When responding orally to another’s writing, keep the writer as a third person. Example: “The writer could make this point clearer…” or “I don’t understand where the narrator is going…” instead of “You didn’t make any sense here…” Do not make your responses personal.

In peer groups, you should always face one another. Peer response does not mean “editing”, but is meant to provide feedback for acknowledging strengths and areas where improvement can enhance the writing. The writer reads his or her own writing, never apologizing for it, and then allows each of the group members to respond. The first round of response always focuses on something positive or something you liked about the paper. A second round of response provides suggestions or statements that will lead the writer to consider revision. Provide specifics as you respond. Don’t just say “I like the detail”, but be specific about which details spoke to you.

It is important that the writer does not speak but carefully listens while others give responses.  Many times, we jump to correct every “mistake”, but it is important to wait and listen, because our “mistakes” could prove to be effective after all. Let the paper speak for itself.

Learning happens more for the group than it does for the writer. Through peer response we learn a composing vocabulary.

We practiced peer response using a student sample paper called “Trouble”. During our discussion, we discovered that a lot of different aspects of writing can come out of peer response. In this case, we responded to the paper’s emotion, descriptive detail, point of view, sense of time passage, word choice, tone, vivid verbs, etc.

“Take the opportunity to elaborate.”


Dr. Cordery (Generous Gareth) is an avid Charles Dickens fan. He provided us with practical reminders for our journey.

-- It is a long walk from the plane to Immigration at Heathrow (10 minutes)
-- Have your passport and return flight ticket conveniently available
-- Have rollers on your luggage – even your carry-on to make movement faster
-- We will go through Immigration before retrieving our checked bag at the Carousel
-- Then, if we have nothing to declare at Customs, we will exit through the GREEN door.
-- Have our location/address for the University of Surrey available…Immigration/Customs may want to know where we are staying and for how long.

He suggested we pick up a monthly “London Planner” – July/August edition. It is a great guide to the city.  Also, pick up a small, portable map of the London Underground (tube).

Ignore the money changing booths at the airport!

Try your ATM card at the airport when you arrive.  Make sure your bank and credit card companies know you are traveling abroad so they will not place a block on your accounts.

To change money, go to the main banks, Thomas Cook, or major travel agents. Ruie noted the post office in Guildford is a great option as well.

Currently, £1 GBP = $1.60 USD.  So, £10 GBP = $16 USD.  Also, see the currency and temperature conversion chart that Susan Szep created for us!

Remember, a £2 coin is smaller than a £1 coin.  Gareth shared samples of British currency (to view, not to keep, unfortunately!)   Easy come, easy go.

Public restrooms use coins (around 20p). Have some on hand…just in case. All pubs are required to have a loo. McDonalds has public restrooms, as do most department stores. Always ask for the LOO – not the restroom.

*Security Notes: Keep a copy of your passport/documents in a SEPARATE place from the official documents.  Make lots of copies of your passport, other documents and emergency information. Leave a copy at home with someone you trust. Susan suggested we scan our passport and documents and email a copy to ourselves, so that we can easily access our credentials in an emergency.

Be careful with carrying valuables on your person. A waist belt under your shirt is recommended. Carry wallets in the front side pocket, not the back pocket.  Keep your backpack in the front and carry purses, etc. across your body, not over one shoulder.

Gareth suggested for trips to London to purchase cheap day return ticket with travel card, giving you access to all of London’s transportation system. Trains from Guildford go to Waterloo Station in London. Have your Travel card / Oyster Card (recommended for frequent trips into London) ready to use at the tube gates. Movement in the Underground is very fast. 

He suggested carrying a backpack with snacks, small bottle of water, collapsible umbrella, map, tube map, cell phone, and pen.  Traveling in London takes a long time, so don’t try to schedule too much in one day.

On Wednesday, July 27, we will travel to London for the Charles Dickens house/museum and a walking tour. The rest of the day will be open for exploring London! 

The theatre ticket booth at Leicester Square offers great day-of deals.

FINDING OUR INNER POET with Dr. Sally Buckner

After our break at 10:30, we gathered again for a special guest speaker, Dr. Sally Buckner, who is an accomplished local poet.

She asked us “How does a poem MEAN?”  A good poem suggests more than it actually says. A poem has to give the reader something new.

We participated in composing several frame poems, using templates from her packet (posted on Moodle).

When revising poetry, always aim for using specific words, not general terms. A “tree” becomes a “willow”, etc.

During lunch, we shared our expository essays in our Peer Response Groups.

TPACK: Affordances and Constraints

At 2:25, Donna presented the TPACK Model. As more technology is integrated into our teaching, we must be mindful of what it allows us to do better and what it is changing about the way we teach and learn.

At our tables, we discussed old ways of doing things that are outdated or have been replaced by new technology, such as rotary phones > cell phones/Skype, books on a shelf > Kindle, rabbit ears on the TV > satellite, etc.

Donna is currently reading _The Shallows_ by Nicholas Carr, which discusses the impact the internet is having on the way our brains work.

As teachers, we must think about the affordances and constraints of technology. What does it allow us to do and what does it keep us from doing, or what does it pull us away from? 

Constraints are not necessarily negative and affordances are not necessarily positive. It’s about what is inherent in the technology tool.

TPACK = Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge by Mishra and Koehler (2006).
Part of the total package of teaching
We teach certain ways based on our content. How does adding technology and using tools such as wikis, blogs, podcasts, etc. shift where we get content and how we teach (pedagogy)? Videos, online images, and museum websites open up a whole new realm of content. Wikis, digital stories, etc. can have a huge impact on our pedagogy.

As teachers, we must know how to operate the technology and teach it also. We have to make sure all the bells & whistles and occasional frustrations of technology do not overtake the quality of our pedagogy or our content.

Web 2.0 tools are designed to be intuitive and fairly simple to use once we understand what their capabilities and limits are.

We spent some time exploring Web 2.0 tools and turning one of our poems from Dr. Buckner’s session into a multimodal format.


Megan reminded us about our Weebly accounts. Our Weebly page will be a very important aspect of our coursework in England.

We can view our class weebly at  http://surreyteach.weebly.com.
However, we must log in at www.weebly.com to edit our personal pages.

It is important to find a balance between appealing graphics and organizing the content our pages effectively.

This was a very busy, fun and productive day! We look forward to meeting together again in ENGLAND

May we have safe travel, life-changing experiences, and always...good times!

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