I went to the Tourist Information Center on High Street today to inquire about area walks and possible bike hires.  There are plenty of good trails but no bicycle rental place; although, there will be a new place opening in the rail station on the 1st of August (according to nice ladies in TI). The TI is not where it is on the map, it is across High Street from the location listed.   

I am planning to take the train to Salisbury on August 1 and doing a tour of Stonehenge and Old Sarum if anyone is interested.  I also think I will go to Bath on Friday, August 5.  The train for both of these destinations is less than 30 pounds round trip. 

In the meantime, here is a list of free things to do around Guildford:

North Downs Way - Long hike right outside of town.  See national trails website.  I plan on doing this Sunday during our free day if the weather is nice.

River Walk - Up to four mile walk through the town and by the river - easy and flat.  Maps are at the Tourist Information.

Free Guided tours - guildford.walks.org.uk - in the evening on the July 28 and August 4.  Those are historical walks; there is a free ghost tour on August 2 at 7:30p.

Free Guided Walks - www.guildfordwalkfest.co.uk - Sunday the 31st on the free day - Nordic Walk and Geology Walk (with a professional geologist)

Historic Places:

Guildford Museum (brochure says it has a variety of interesting things?)

Undercroft (some kind of underground trading post thing)

Guildford Castle Grounds (to go inside cost 2.80)

Guildford Cathedral (on campus)

Cultural Events:

Friday and Saturday are market days on High Street

There is a big Farmers Market with live animals on August 2 and July 31

See our class in photos!
*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!
Scribe: Sara Lee

During our June 18th, 2011 class meeting, Ruie first took care of housekeeping matters:
Sign-up for kitchens: ‘pig,’ ‘wine,’ ‘cherry,’ or ‘coffee’
She suggested us read Donna Morrow’s ‘Where I Am’ poem about earthquakes. Finally, she reminded everyone to post on the moodle their responses to the articles.

Next was the proposed syllabus to help plan for free days:
Wednesday, July 27th: small group trips
Thursday, July 28th: small group trips
Sunday, July 31st: free day
Monday, August 1st: free day
Thursday: August 3rd: Wey River cruise (tentative), then free day
Saturday, August 7th: free day; finale party (tentative)

“Dear self” Letter Activity:
Writing for ten minutes about our thoughts for the day.  We addressed these letters to ourselves for Ruie to mail in September after the conclusion of the course (Note: Ruie said she was having déjà vu menopause at this time).

Alliterative Adjectives Activity
In order to get more acquainted with our peers, we each had to create an alliterative adjective for our first name, then we had to repeat each name in a round-robin.
Ridiculous Ruie (Pritchard)
Reasonable Rosemary (Joyce)
Spiky Susan (Szep)
Silly Cindy (Francis)
Multitasking Michelle (Goldman)
Karma Kevin (Oliver)
Awesome Ann (Barksdale
Marvelous Megan (Poole)
Sassy Sarah (Cannon)
Amazing Alex (Kaulfuss)
Kooky Keshetta (Henderson)
Tantalizing Tanya (Watson)
Joyful Julie (Wesner)
Kissable Kevin (Barham)
Mellow Mike (Cook)
Sincere Sara (Lee)
Jubilant Jane (Shipman)
Tenacious Taylor (Blanton)
Magnanimous Mark (Spring)
Astonishing AnnMarie (Anthony)
Amusing Anna (Gay)
Adventurous Ashley (Ward)
Talkative Tiffany (Richardson)
Absentees who need to create one:
_______________ Teresa (Bunner)
_______________ Leigh Ann (Alford) Ruie suggested ‘Lovely’
_______________ Donna (Morrow) Ruie suggested ‘Down-Under’
_______________ Therese (Cargo)
_______________ Kim (Crutcher)

Apprehensive Writing:

Ruie addressed studies of apprehensive writers and how educators make generalities about what type of students these were and what behaviors they demonstrate. John Daly created an evaluative instrument that has been validated by many groups and adapted in elementary school settings. Interventions began after these instruments could apply statistics and numbers, so workshops began with “fuzzy stuff” ideas that reinforce trust in audience. Studies prove that the level of writing is not related to level of anxiety.

Activity: Writing Apprehension Quiz

Guest Presenter: Dr. Elliot Engel           
Recognized Dr. Pritchard as ‘the best’ (and reminded us that he was not paid to speak today. He gave a ‘brief’ (45 minute) overview of the English language. The following are notes from his performance.
According to linguists language began 250,000 years ago (specifically, on June 18th)
Primitive people imitated sounds from nature
There were two premeditated sounds:
      Blowing air out of their mouth (‘w’ sound)
      Put vocal chords together (‘m’ sound)
Speakers need 20-28 different sounds for effective language
Hawaii has the least with 12 sounds
Primitive people were lazy; they found a short cut
      (e.g. hum + s = z; hum + t = d;  hum + p = b;  hum + k = g)
There are three distinct vowel sounds: ‘o,’ ‘u,’ and four ‘eeee’s’
A combination of these vowel sounds and a ‘grunt’ creates our modern vowel sounds
Alphabetically, in 9 of 10 civilizations, our sounds are completely random except for but the first position ‘a’ in English, ‘alpha’ in Greek, and ‘allah’ in Hebrew
Why? In 1964, sound of ‘aah’ is honored first place because of 2 physical instincts: hunger and sex; when you satisfy these human instincts, the sound that comes out is ‘aah’
Romans conquered Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, and Romania, and forced them to stop speaking their native tongue and made them speak Latin.
Julius Caesar conquered England in 55 b.c., and even though he never spoke a word of English, he did not make the English speak Latin.
How did we escape Latin language?
Caesar thought the little worthless island was not going anywhere in world history, so it is was not worth the Latin language
Therefore, English is 0% Latin (aqueduct is only Latin word in English language so maybe it is 0.00000000001% ?)
Three tribes conquered England in 500 a.d., the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes because they were looking for a better climate (chuckle)
Anglo-Saxon-German is:
      One: 0% Latin
      Two: 100% Germanic
      Except for the word Anglo-Saxon, which is ironically a Latin-based word
In 1066 a.d. English was ‘accidently’ invented when William the Conqueror conquered England, and by October the 28th, France owned England. William said the same thing that Caesar did 1000 years earlier
French soldiers are responsible for English; while they were fighting, they let lust take over, killed the peasant women’s husbands, received permission from William the Conqueror’s Court to marry and move, but they were not allowed to teach the beautiful French language to these vulgar peasants
      However, William said for both parties to keep speaking their own languages, which in turn, streamlined the languages
      Like the French soldiers and peasant English women, William’s Court married Anglo-Saxon (simplistic) + French-Latin (sophisticated)
      ‘Ask’ = easy, lazy             verses                ‘Interrogate’ = the science of questioning
      Angry, mad/Discombobulated
One, all-Anglo-Saxon word:
      Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious or Supercalofradgolisticexpialodoscious (another chuckle)
Russians have 150,000 words
French have 180,000 words
Chinese have 238,000 words
English have 622,517 words
      We have that many more (195 different words to say I’m feeling great and 236 ways to say this is a lousy day)
Even if we don’t know what to say, if we get close, something will bubble out
The French say, “to speak properly, you must select the exact word that matches what you want to say”
Reading of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales prologue in perfect English accent according to Professor Black, who heard Chaucer’s last reading because she is so old
      Dr. Engel recited the lines, but I (scribe) am not transcribing to the Old English. You can hear the recitation at the bottom of this posting.
Even eleven-year-olds can translate all lines except for “sotte”
New English: accent the first syllable then grunt the rest
Linguist say, if you were born after 1990, that generation has written a brand new chapter that is worse than any English before today
      Son: “Did you eat?” = “Jeet”
      You: “Did you” = “Jew?”
Linguists predict that by 2100 a.d. there will be no true English spoken on Earth, and the name of language will be called “Slurvian.”
Dr. Engel announced that the Dickens Fellowship is sponsoring a national high school contest, which will be a 4 to 6 minute oral interpretation of any scene from a Dickens’ novel.
For more information see www.authorsink.com (Denise is the contest coordinator)
Two winners will receive an all expense-paid trip for two (student + teacher) to London from December 26th, 2012 to January 2nd, 2013 and a $1,500 cash prize
Runners-up will receive a reduced-price trip and can present their recitation as well

Guest Presenter: Alex Martin
Cultural Correspondence is a monthly video chat (like Skype), with the ability to share documents of various formats and user’s screenshot.
Alex Martin’s presentation featured cultural differences between Spain and the United States. During his study abroad experience, he broadcasted to U.S. children using CC that built vocabulary, but it predominantly pertained to culture.  One important take away from Alex’s presentation is people have siesta from 2pm to 5pm, so if you move there, get a job at a bank. Students attend school from 9am until 2pm and 5pm until 8pm.
“Imagination Session” with eyes closed:
-Sitting in a café and it’s 40° Celsius (90° Fahrenheit) outside
-Seven people at table speaking during a language exchange
-You are drinking a tall glass of hot mint tea, and someone else is drinking a powerful smelling coffee
-Listen to audio clip of ambience noise and discussions in a café
-What Alex learned: Spanish history; fundamentals of Islam; new WWII history (Warsaw Uprising); sheep’s brains taste “brainy.”

Ruie pointed out that we need to change our “tourist” point of view to a perspective of information gatherer for new teaching opportunities. Alex suggested several points of interest and things to take photographs of as well as recordings for video and audio (use examples from his presentation to get ideas). Donna will post Alex’s presentation on the Moodle.
Contact Alex at: ajmarti2@ncsu.edu

Tanya read her scribe notes from the May 21st meeting, which were not only informative and reflective, but entertaining as well.

Writing Assignment:
Ruie elaborated on the expository essay options (some created by Magnanimous Mark); one of which is due July 5th to exchange with your peer partner and share on July 9th with a four-member group.
Constructing a chronological response (see How Do I Respond to Someone Else’s Writing?)
Jane answered the first question, so far, I think you have said… saying, “I hope the writers will talk about beautiful women, handsome men, and torrid love.”
Responding to the next question, Reasonable Rosemary said, “by this point I’m feeling you’re twelve year’s old.” Finally, Spiky Susan said the essay was coming across as a parody or satire; then, she questioned what is the meaning of one of the essay’s statements.

Weebly Introductions:
Megan Poole presented the weebly. It is an electronic portfolio with individual class member pages. This will be viewed by the grant contributors. There are separate links to elementary, middle, high school, and university educators to reach your individual page. You can only view the weebly on the main page for the site. To edit your individual page, or create a post on the blog, you must go directly to www.weebly.com and log in. If you have not accepted the email invitation, do so then log in by creating your own password.

Next, Megan transitioned to discussion of the articles with images from Wordle. Julie commented on the use of Hicks’ examples to make meaning in a third grade level. The rubric allows for other elements outside of writing, and helps teachers guide students through feedback, which Megan said was critical. In ­­­­­­­­Kajder’s article, Jane questioned the feasibility of approving hundreds of posts among students. Silly Cindy and Spiky Susan discussed the abilities of administrator or moderator capabilities to approve and disapprove.

Delicious is a social network bookmarking website where you can tag other people’s bookmarks. Join at www.delicious.com. Search for a user, such as within this class, so that you can tag others’ bookmarks.

Click on the play button below to hear Dr. Engel's prologue recitation.

The Writing & Technology (W&T) group consisting of over twenty elementary, middle, and high school educators energetically assembled into its first session prepared for orientation. After some getting-to-know-you activities and introductions, Dr. R. Pritchard led the teacher-participants through a course overview and informed us that airfares were locked in as of last week. We are on our way to England where NC State will meet the University of Surrey! We learned about the four vital parts of our course: participation, writing, technology, and the final project. We also took a look-see at one of our new readings, Engel’s (2002) A Dab of Dickens & Touch of Twain, and perused through piles of England pamphlets and teaching brochures. Our morning speaker, Dr. R. Honeycutt, continued with a stimulating lecture on ethos, logos, and pathos and connected it with daybooks. Teacher-participants were able to share reflections of writing apprehension and use their very own daybooks to practice Maupassant’s philosophy of “Get[ting] black on white.” The group went into the W&T course site with Megan Poole to take a technology survey and moodle around the new environment for a bit. We were then introduced to Liz Fairbrother of England who attempted to close the language barrier with her Lingo Bingo vocabulary game and personal knowledge of Guildford. What a hoot we had learning about tipping, teas, and TK Maxx! Just when we thought it could not get any better, Michael Cook, C&I doctorate student, took the group through the process of writing a “Where I Come From” poem that structured our fondest childhood memories. The evening session culminated with a Skype-in from New Zealand with Donna Morrow, who will be joining the group in July. What a productive first session we had learning a little about merry ol’ England, writing, connecting to students, and connecting with each other.
Seize the day!  This is our blog where we will record impressions of each day. When it's your turn, tell us about anything that captures for you the essence of  being in this place in this time. Try not to make this a summary of your day - but rather more like a human interest piece or a narrative of something you saw or something that happened to you.