Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday, November 27, 2015

#136/365 Good bye, friend. I didn't know when I moved to Main Street just how much I would learn from you and become your friend. Our houses sit side-by-side, and for the first year or so we just had a casual friendship. Mike and I just waved to you, your wife, and little Chi Chi. We talked in the driveway every once in a while, but our lives were so busy, and we didn't spend nearly enough time talking. We would see you and your wife sitting on the front porch chatting and watching traffic. When your wife passed away, we started to cross paths even more. You would drop your little dog over the fence to play with our Shadow. You started to bring our garbage cans around for us every garbage day. The conversations grew longer, and we would sit on the boat trailer listening to your quiet voice. When the lawnmower wouldn't work, you walked over and helped get it started. When we took the mulberry tree down in the backyard, you were the director and made sure that we didn't kill ourselves doing it. I loved your stories about squirrel hunting. I had to laugh when you shared all the current news. You gave all the details. And, I was amazed when you told me about the motorcycle in World War II. I was shocked when you told me that you didn't like pizza! I felt so blessed when you brought over birthday cards for my kids. I was grateful when you just chuckled about the basketball thrown through the window (many times). I loved seeing you hug my children and watch them get safely on the bus. When you started having Andrew mow your lawn, I thought "God bless you, Clynis!" At one point, when you were still climbing up the tree in the back to trim it, I thought you were invincible. I thought you would be my neighbor forever. I thought that talking by the fire pit each summer would never stop. Silly, I know. But, I want to tell you that you mean a lot to me. I've learned from your quiet patience, your hard work, your kind heart. I didn't know 16 years would go so fast. I didn't know that you would be one of the best reasons to move to Main Street. Good bye, Clynis. You will be missed deeply by the LaCrosse family. #friendship #grateful #love


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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

#133/365 Know your audience! The day before a five day Thanksgiving Break...I had some plans for class that were less exciting than most days to say the least. We were doing a quick check on weathering versus erosion, reviewing our station work with topography, and completing a blog post. Booorrrrrriiiiinnnnngggggg! At least that's the look that I got very quickly in first period. So, adjust! I decided to streamline the quick check and review of topography. Then, the bulk of the class could be used for exploring two really good apps, Tinkerbox and Windtunnel. The TinkerBox app is a really cool app that simulates the Rube Goldberg type project. It allows students to work through various challenges that require critical thinking skills. It also allows for a free build situation where kids can design the physics board. Using springs, bouncing boards, gears, chains, ropes, balls, and more, students plan out amazing scenarios. It is truly an engaging app...for free! The wind tunnel app does exactly what it sounds like. It simulates a wind tunnel. Students are able to change the variables with in the wind tunnel. They are also able to calculate the lift thrust and drag of an airfoil. Most students start off in this app playing with shapes and watching the streams go over and around. Then, they grow into using the app at a higher level. It definitely pays to think of your audience. Today was not a day for my initial lesson. Today was a day for engaging apps! #apps #science #daybeforebreak


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Saturday, November 21, 2015

#130/365 No internet? Oh no! This morning we were without Internet. My daughter who is really immobile right now with her knee panicked. In her words, "Now what? There is nothing to do! Nothing!" I had to laugh as my husband shared the amazing bit of trivia that some people actually grew up WITHOUT INTERNET. She rolled her eyes around so much, I worried for her sight! πŸ˜‰ However, it made me think of my childhood growing up. If I wasn't outside on my bike or climbing trees and running around the neighborhood, I was reading, drawing, or crocheting. My grandma on my step moms side had taught me to crochet, and I loved it. I made little blankets, scarves, and clothes for my dolls. I loved the mechanics and the patterns in the process. It was definitely a way to create. So, I asked Jay if she wanted to learn to crochet. For the first couple hours of the day, that's what we did. Trial and error, she eventually got it. She had a scarf project going by end of it. Her gaze was intent. Her attention was focused. This probably won't last. I don't know if the attention will be sustained. I'm sure once service is restored, Jay will be engaged in that again. But, it was nice to share a bit of my history and learning. I'll never forget the comfortable sittings with my Grandma Sweeney learning to crochet. #nowifi #oldschool


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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

#128/365 The light and dark... My son and I walked along the Huron pier for a bit tonight watching a tug boat and river dredge close up for the night. The lights from both were moving beautifully across the water highlighting the small town river port. We both commented on how the river looks so different at night. The patches of light seemed to chase the shadows along the banks. It was quiet, mesmerizing, soothing, and just gorgeous. It made me think about the 3D printing project we are doing in class right now. We are designing and printing our community for a #streamtableengineeringchallenges coming up after Thanksgiving. As students are selecting places to print, they are getting more and more excited about the project. Students are popping in to see if their programs have been printed. We have everything from the piers and docks of Huron to the local stores and riverfront property. Students are even designing the boats, buoys, and lighthouse! They are really cool even though they aren't all perfectly to scale. With these 3D printing interactions, it's easy to see the love that we have for our little community. It's not terribly exciting here. We don't have all the opportunities and diversity of a larger community. We have the small town appeal...the know your neighbor and Donut Shop kind of place. We have the beautiful summer beach days complimenting the icy, frozen lake front winters. It's small. It's pretty quiet. It's home. The smaller communities like Huron have an interesting opportunity in front of us. We can provide all the amazing gifts that this close community atmosphere provides AND offer possibilities for our young. We can showcase what the world offers through our education program. Supporting students as they explore arts, science, humanities, trades... We can do this. Even with reduced funding from the state, this community can still provide excellent education. Not easily. Not without sacrifice. We can as a community decide to to chase the shadows with light. I'm disappointed that we didn't do this with the last levy, but I'm hopeful that we can in the next. Our children deserve all that we can offer. #equalfunding


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Saturday, November 14, 2015

#124/365 Numbers, numbers, numbers... 15th place 129, 189, 219 our table scores 2:30 minutes of bot time 18 Pit Number 6+ missions attempted Those are our stats. They don't tell the whole story. So, I'll begin back 3 years ago. It started with a grant that I was awarded by NASA for a project titled, "Design to Explore". The grant awarded me five Mindstorm Robots. The fifth graders had a blast learning how to program the little bots. They sent them into my favorite teachers' classrooms with Reese's on their head and singing toons. We even used the robots to return library books and send notes to the office. It was a great experience, and it showed me the power of programming and building with Legos. The next year, I started up an after school Lego Club and invested $350 to get the group to competition. Sadly, we didn't make it to competition, but we had a blast working with the Nature's Fury board. Last year was my first year in 8th grade, and I was just treading water. So, my Lego Club hopes were on hold. Then, over this summer, we were contacted about a possible sponsorship from NASA and EHOVE. I said yes! Students applied, and nine kids made it to the end! Our practices were held on Sunday from 1-4 pm, and later on Fridays from 3-5. Snacks, programming, building, learning, laughing, arguing, designing display boards, creating a website, reprogramming, YouTubing, arguing, checking rules, dropping bots, spilling juice, learning, moving boards, finding missing pieces, losing them again, laughing, presenting to the board of education, getting into a competition 3 days before the event, receiving t-shirts, many Remind texts later... we had great experiences! Ultimately, that's what Lego Clubs do. They make you laugh. They bring people together. Highlighting kids' talents and giving them moments to learn, to struggle, to persevere, and to be themselves...the great, genuine people that they are. And, for the record, the best number is 9. 9 boys that made me laugh...a lot! No matter our place, points, or anything else...9! #FLL2015


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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

#121/365 This too shall pass! A late night run was at the end of a very long, stressful day. Between worrying about my daughter's knee, my Dad, my Lego Club, my stacks of papers to grade, and more...I'm exhausted. However, a run was definitely needed tonight. I needed to get out, work through the ideas in my mind. Just run! The funny part happened when I was just a block from home in my run, and a train went by halting my last sprint home. At first I was frustrated, and then I just started to enjoy the graffiti on the side of the train. Someone has taken the time to share a message there. So, I'm going to give that my attention. I'm sure not everyone appreciates their artwork, but tonight it was kind of cool! There was this really awesome octopus painted on the side of a train car. It was so detailed, it looked like it could just explode out the side. I started thinking of what would my train car look like if I had all the talent in the world...and opportunity. I thought of a cool science themed car with the cosmos displayed along the car. Then, I thought of a phrase like, "Kindness in your heart is the place to start." I used to always say that to my kids. Then, I thought it would be cool to have informational car...like, don't forget to vaccinate or the universal sign of choking is... I know. My mind was really wandering. Then, I thought about all that is weighing on me right now, and I decided my car would say, "This too shall pass..." It really will. There is so much good in the world. There is so much to be grateful for, and I can definitely focus on that! #motivation #strength


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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

#120/365 Tomorrow, and every other day! Spending time with my Dad at the Veterans Hospital in Cleveland, I had plenty of time to chat with various veterans. Many of the Vietnam Vets were happy to chat with me while waiting for time with the doc. They were wearing their hats and jackets that had war details, and the stories they shared were pretty amazing. One gentleman told me about being in one of the first helicopters to get dropped down for combat. He was holding something metal that was protecting him from gunfire. Then, he told me that he got his "ass shot off"...literally. He caught gunfire to his butt and foot. He also told me about getting immunized and falling onto mattresses that were at the end of the line. He also had me laughing about smelling steak, but then finding out that he would be eating liver and onions each Friday. This guy was an amazing storyteller! When they called him back, they mispronounced his name, and with a glimmer in his eye, we winked at me and said, "Close enough." I had to laugh! Even though the time was stressful, I have to admit that I really enjoyed chatting with the people around me. I wish for relief and the best of care for them. I hope that they find the respect and gratitude they deserve in their day tomorrow and every day. They are such heroes. Facing fears, staying strong, and answering a call to duty...I have such respect for them! #veteransday


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Monday, November 9, 2015

#119/365 The benefit of a second look! Today was a partner day in science. Students were able to join together to complete a short cycle science research and quick share project. The research and quick share project only requires two people working together. With three people there inevitably is one person that just doesn't have anything to do. So, this made my classes of uneven students an opportunity for me. I was able to partner up with the student and become their teammate for the period. There was an interesting side benefit to this process. It allowed me to get a closer view at what students are being expected to do in my room. It also gave me the opportunity to work directly with students and have good conversations with them. In one of my classes, I was thrilled to work with a young man that I have had the pleasure of getting to know better this year. I had this student in fifth grade, but my interactions with him were not ones that left a lasting memory. He was a good student, but I didn't really get to know him. This year, I've been so impressed at the level of his growth. He is a kind, reflective, hard-working young man. His actions always show care and thought. In the areas of academics, he works to do his absolute best work. In the social aspects of school, he makes it a point to be that kid that makes others smile. When he was open for a partner today, I was excited to be his learning partner! I think that's part of the beauty of "looping" with these kids. It's truly been an eye opener for me. It's given me a second chance to learn about the students that I teach. I get to see their development, their progress, and glimpses into their futures. My student today shows me snapshots of a really amazing future. I'm so grateful to see this and work with him! #humanexperience #learning #growing #NicR


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My learning today! #geology


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Sunday, November 8, 2015

#118/365 Through her eyes... The world...how does the world look through her eyes? I wonder how the world looks through my daughter's eyes. I wonder how the world looks though any young girl's eyes in this time. When I first met my daughter, she said that she loved my "blueberry" eyes. Without skipping a beat, I said that her "chocolate" eyes looked scrumptious. We still laugh when we talk out our eye color! Today, I was looking at my girl (and her chocolate eyes) as she was watching TV, and it made me think about how her eyes have such a different view of the world than I had. My view of the world at 13 had such different context. There were such different factors and influences at work to shape my understanding of people and the challenges ahead. I didn't have such instant access to judgement by others. I didn't have all the pressures that my daughter faces. I had such a different connection to the natural world around me. One of my greatest challenges as a parent... Understand that the world looks very different from my daughter's eyes. Appreciate that I don't have all the answers for her. I can't. My world view is different. Reach out to other mentors to help guide my understanding and parenting. Grow with my daughter to face the challenges of the world...bravely and with confidence. #parenting #ChocolateEyes #BlueberryEyes


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Saturday, October 24, 2015

#103/365 The view... My day began with questions from the team at a local Apple retail store about what technology use looks like in my room. The question, "And, what does that look like?" peppered the conversation that I was having with the team and my friend @jonjarc. Sharing the stories that have come from our schools, our students, and our experiences was an interesting process. While Jon and I have different worlds, we have (like so many other educators) found the experiences in our room to be so helpful in just learning about human nature and interaction. That's what I felt the discussion was really about...what is the human need? That's what I felt like we shared...the view from in the classroom. My children. Today, my view of them was interesting. They were playing with @mejames77 little ones, and they were all so freaking adorable! I loved how giddy Andrew gets when he's in the entertaining mode. His goofy faces, the way he winds kids up...I love it. I act like I want calm and low key play, but honestly seeing his goofy side with little kids is awesome. And, Jay. Dependable Jay. She will corral, entertain, and mother up little kids. She truly has a gift. She loves the little ones or the disabled children. Her heart just melts for them, and before you know it, she has the little ones holding out their hands to her. Even the wildest ones can't help but fall for Jay! My view of my children was lovely tonight. My Earth. Tonight I worked late to get some work done for a certain space agency. @spacespartans and I are partnered up again to have some fun, and late tonight was an opportunity to dig in. My work has a part that involves the Windows on Earth project/website. As soon as I started on the site, I was lost to the beautiful images of our planet. The astronauts that capture these views have my complete admiration, respect, and envy. The view that they have of our beautiful planet is awe inspiring. If you get a chance, visit Windows on Earth site. Gorgeous! You will enjoy the view! #science #Apple #space #family #perspective


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Sunday, October 18, 2015

#97/365 #columbusmarathon What a lovely finish to my marathon running! My 5th and final marathon in Columbus was my favorite. The course was beautiful. The people were amazing and inspiring. The organization and roll out of the race was phenomenal! Not going to lie. This one was tough for me. I had trained vigilantly up until the gout hit! That knocked me for a loop. But, with the encouragement and support of my training team, The Peeps, I shuffled on. The soreness of my foot lingered up to today, but I was pretty sure that I could get through the marathon. The amazing children (Patient Champions) high fived us through the race. The stories of their survival and simply learning a little about them was inspiring. There were times that I just openly cried. The Angels Mile was beautiful! Frequently, these children kept me going. When my foot and knee started throbbing, I thought of the children's pain and resolving bravery. My spirits were lifted when I saw my friend, @jonjarc On the course. At mile 20, I needed my family. A call home led to long distance cheering from the family which I desperately needed! My final mile was boosted with a Running Peep jumping in to run with me. He had already finished his half marathon, and started back up again to give me the help needed. My other Running Peeps were also waiting to cheer me to the finish. What an amazing community! I finished the race in 5 hours, and I've never been so happy to finish! My peeps were waiting. The ride home was shared with my friend, Joy. And, now I look towards our next adventure. πŸ˜‰ Mary, Shannon, Joy, Jen, and the rest of the Peeps will surely partner up for another race. #goals #running #RunningPeeps #family #ouch #marathon


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Thursday, October 15, 2015

#94/365 What's your marathon? When the the shadows grow long and the colors blend on the horizon, what were the challenges in your day? What struggles did you face? What concerns linger? A couple years ago, I was talking to my 5th graders about an upcoming marathon. I talked about the long months of training, the aches and pains, the planning, the practice runs, my doubts and excitement. I told them that I was scared, and I questioned my ability to be successful. Then, I asked my kids what their marathon was. What caused them struggle? What challenged them? What was not easy for them? I got a range of questions and some answers, but I don't know how much they really understood. One student came up later and talked about reading and how that was her marathon. She knew that she had to work really hard, but she would get there. She understood my question. I look at where I'm at with my upcoming marathon, my career, and my family. I'm so grateful to have the support, encouragement, and love from so many people to be successful in my life. Without these people, I wouldn't be able to do as much. This marathon will be my fifth and final marathon. It will be one shared with friends that experienced the training with me in person or virtually. It will be tough. As prepared as I feel, I know it will be a battle to run strong for 26.2 miles. I'm excited. I'm nervous. I'm ready to face this challenge. My marathon is an actual marathon on Sunday, but I wonder where my life journey will take me next. What is my next marathon? #columbusmarathon #challenges #learning #growing #experiencelife


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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

#92/365 One of my favorite books... If you haven't read the book, Oh the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss, you definitely have to pick up a copy. It's one of my all time favorites. The message of perseverance and failure and success is so well written and illustrated. The character is displayed as finding the many challenges that life holds in a journey to the end. The difficulties that he faces in the book are ones that I think everyone can relate to. I've actually given this book to a handful of people after two very special friends, Kristi Palmer and Lois Baumann, gave it to me for my graduation. The book meant so much to me. It was exactly what I needed at that time of my life to help me keep moving forward. Later, I wanted to share the message of success and perseverance with others. I've given the book to former athletes or students as they are graduating. Tonight, we will be having our spaghetti dinner before our cross country conference meet on Saturday. I don't anticipate saying much. The message that I want to give my athletes is this… You selected a sport that asks for everything you've got. It requires you to be strong of body and mind. It asks you to push through injuries, doubts, and fear. Ultimately, cross country brings you closer to yourself. You will listen more closely to your inner voice then ever before. You will accept challenges that you may not have before. You will push yourself beyond limits that others will never conceive of trying. "Will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.) KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!" It's not about the coaching, the splits, the PRs...it's always been about your inner voice and loving to run. #CC2015


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Monday, October 12, 2015

#91/365 iPad Use I was thinking today of how I use iPads in the classroom. We... Blog! Using the app Blogger, my students are asked to reflect, write, share, and communicate with each other. Create videos (some slow motion) to capture our labs, evaluate our results, and share our learning with others. Draw. Using the Paper by 53 app, students are creating visual notes to try to connect science understanding. (Those students that want to take regular notes are encouraged to do that.) Explore content through amazing apps. I mean, come on...earth science from a text book can be...meh. Exploring Earth Geologic time periods with the Earth Viewer app is amazing! The depth that an app like that can give students is far more than a book. I have some wicked cool content apps! My students take online assessments with the iPad. We use Socrative, Google forms, and Nearpod. SPEAKING OF NEARPOD...oh my gosh, that app is super cool. Imagine SmartNotebook files in the hands of the kids. They can draw, read, answer questions, take quizzes, and interact with the content right there! Love, love, love this type of lecture tool. It puts some interactivity into a typically boring event. Did I mention project apps? Yes. We create Keynotes for sharing science labs. Animation Creator lets us design our own animations! We use CloudArt app for vocabulary building. We use Skitch to annotate images. Augmented reality projects with Aurasma, check. Multilayered images with ThingLink, quick Tellagami videos, and WE BUILD BOOKS! All the Google apps are loaded to my devices. So, need to access Classroom, or a doc that you started for Language Arts? Wait, did I mention that we have apps for 3D printing, programming, and screencasting? Yes. That too. My students explore content, get assessed, connect to others, and create. I use iPads frequently in the classroom because they do SO much. It is a multipurpose tool that I combine with many other tools to bring science to life for students. #BuildEachOtherUp #technology #micdrop


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Thursday, October 8, 2015

#86/365 Another view... How often have we heard, "If you could walk a mile in my (his/her/their) shoes..." I thought about this today as I filled in for another teacher. I was able to turn the 8th grade science room over to my student teacher and work in the resource room. What a great learning experience for me! As I taught language arts, math, and supported students taking tests, I was able to see education from a different perspective. Instead of a room of about 20+ students, I was working with smaller groups. The students were respectful, hard working, and ready to learn. The class organization and discipline was clearly established. I truly enjoyed the day! Before this experience, I didn't fully appreciate the challenges that both the intervention specialist and the students face. Reading, writing, math, and learning academic information has always been easy for me. The struggle and challenges that some face is somewhat foreign to me. Today, I spent some time in their shoes and learned a lot. This leads me to thinking about other areas. Sometimes, I know I make judgements. It seems like it is human nature to some extent. But, it helps to remember that we all have struggles. We never know what that other person is experiencing in their career, or family, or health (mental and physical). #learning #growing


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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

#85/365 Engineering challenges! Design and build an earthquake safe building that can withstand a moderate earthquake on the shake table. That is their challenge. There are some guidelines: You only have $20,000 in your group's budget. You have 8 checks to write. And, these supplies are EXPENSIVE! (Even cardboard costs money!) You have a 3 lb. weight limit, a 30 cm height minimum, and your base has to be between a certain sq. cm. You are evaluated on your daily work, your building's performance, and your sharing of results (keynote or touchcast video). So, today was planning. We had some serious designing going on. What is the best shape for the base? What materials do we think will support best? There was budgeting going on. Like real life, you have to pay for those materials (and shake table time). There was measuring, figuring of area, converting units, and discussion of strategy. Seriously, a lot of math talk and explaining to each other. This is why I LOVE engineering projects. The very nature of the project brings in math, science, technology, writing, communication, manipulating materials...it's just good stuff! While some may not see the value in spending the time here, this is where I see students truly stretching their skills. They may not be taking traditional notes. There is plenty of time for that later! Instead, they are examining the value of marshmallows versus cardboard for base isolators. They are considering the possibilities in wooden versus plastic braces. They are checking their budgets to see if they can afford shear walls, tension ties, dampers, and flexible pipes. They are exploring how energy transfers through a system and how they can disperse this energy. Just wait till I throw in the foundation zinger! They have no idea about that curve ball! πŸ˜‰ #STEM #engineeringchallenge #GetThemThinking #ItReallyWorks


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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

#84/365 Career choices! The 8th graders had an awesome day for exploring careers! We visited EHOVE career center in Milan, and then we had guest speakers at our school the second half of the day. Great job to Dayle and Sherry for the excellent planning! I know that the time involved in setting up these experiences is immense, and I really appreciate it. During the EHOVE portion of the day, I posted images from our class Instagram account, @lacrossescience As we explored the campus and various programs, I was really impressed with how forward thinking EHOVE has become over the years. They have developed impressive programs with some great instructors. They are so goal oriented and focused. Loved seeing some former students out there, too! When we returned, students rotated through various rooms to listen to speakers share about their careers. From a biologist to fire fighter, ER nurse, poet, and financial planner, students learned about possible careers. Educational requirements, experiences, and salaries were shared with the students. What a great idea! Exposing children to the possibilities of future careers is a great way for helping them see the future. Again, kudos to @rowen2026 for a well planned experience. These kids are so fortunate to have such a hard working, caring, and involved teacher. You rock! #community #education #careers #possibilities


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Real science!


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So fortunate to have amazing speakers like Dr. Dolbeer! #careers


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Saturday, October 3, 2015

#81/365 The Old Motel and runaway imaginations... We were pretty sure that either someone had been murdered in the motel, there was some sort of smuggling ring going on, or some level of danger was afoot. It had everything to do with our crazy imaginations and our young minds. The times that my sister, my friends, and I spent staking out this old abandoned motel down in our neighborhood were some of the best times of my childhood. The motel itself wasn't incredibly run down. It just didn't have anyone in it. To young kids, the very fact that no one lived there had to mean something. We were the perfect age for imagining that we were detectives and explorers. So of course, when we explored we always had a backpack of supplies. This probably consisted of notebooks, pencils, random items, and possibly food. We would drop our bikes a couple houses down, and sneak up on the building. We would sit behind trees and watch the windows and exits and anything around the building for a while. This whole time, we would be jotting down notes and discussing possibilities for the possible dangers associated with the building. The stakeouts would progress by getting increasingly closer to the building. Our finest time was when we decided to explore the steps underneath the side door of the Old Motel. For kids our age, this was a pretty brave move. We moved the white fencing material away from the entrance so that we could climb in. When we got in there, we didn't find a whole lot of interesting things. There were some old bottles and cans. There may have been a magazine or some type of flyer underneath the stairs. At the time, these materials were just enough to jumpstart our imagination even more. When I drove past the Old Motel today, I had to tell Mike and Jay about this part of my growing up. I had to laugh, but it also made me realize just how much I enjoyed these hours that were spent outside playing and investigating. Our imagination led the way for us, and these days were filled with fun! #explore #play #imagine


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Thursday, October 1, 2015

#79/365 We are sooooooo close! Having the opportunity to create an interactive book for the iPad about a topic that you love with students that are amazing and professionals that are so knowledgable is a really cool process! I am really excited about the book about Old Woman Creek that my 8th graders are building with me. We are getting resources and help from the education staff at Old Woman Creek, and we are using our field trip experiences to create a book that hopefully gets people educated and interested about Old Woman Creek. So far, I have students filming instructional videos for using a watershed demonstration kit called Enviroscape. The two girls used their experiences on the trip to write an educational skit about the model and the ways to prevent pollution from entering a watershed area. Another group of students is using the inquiry activity of water quality testing at Old Woman Creek to create an instructional video. They are using the same equipment from their trip to test the creek water next to our soccer field. Checking turbidity, dissolved oxygen levels, pH levels, and for phosphates and nitrates, these students are performing citizen scientists tasks. Really cool to see their work! Another group is creating animations for the book using an app called Animation Creator. Showing activities like canoeing and drone flights through animation, their clips will open the book with creativity. Finally, we have beautifully drawn maps and research notes for Old Woman Creek using the Paper by 53 app. We also have quotes, student and parent captured images, and @jonjarc beautiful drone footage to add! Filled with resources and ways to get involved, I think this book is a fabulous representation of what outdoor education can lead to. I'm really excited to submit this book after tomorrow. When the last edits have been made and the last video clips have been submitted, the book will be turned in for submission to the iBook store. What will be truly awesome is the students' feelings of pride and success. My feelings of excitement will surely be blasted all over as soon as it is approved! #amazingstudents #studentauthors #communityengagement


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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

#78/365 The boy with chocolate eyes... The first day I met him, his eyes followed me everywhere. Searching. Questioning. Trying to figure me out. We played on a playground, and while he was swinging on the tire swing with Mike, he was watching me. He wouldn't let me out of his sight, especially when I was with Jayden. I thought about his careful watch of her, and it touched my heart. She was his responsibility...at 5. The same day that I met him, he asked me to be his mom. I was weak with love, fear, panic. I wanted to shout, "Yes! That's why I'm here!" But, I waited. I learned more about him. Andrew loves humor. He loves wit. He thrives on intellectual, deep conversation. He wonders. He questions. And, even at 5, I noticed that he was observant and intelligent. So, as our first weekend together progressed, I tried to think of the best way to tell him the news...we would be family. I learned that Andrew is a water baby, loves all things transportation, and is especially fond of sugar! I saw his dare devil side. I met his wild, crazy side. I met his defiant side. I met his needy side. I saw the intense love and protection he feels for Jay. And, I fell in love with the boy. So, I gave him the news of our family forming with a fortune cookie. It felt right. We went to a Chinese buffet, and I secretly stuffed a new fortune into his and Jayden's cookies. I wrote, "You will find a new Mommy and Daddy." When he and Jay opened their cookies and we read the fortunes, they both looked amazed. They knew right away that Mike and Leah were now Dad and Mom. I looked into Andrew's chocolate eyes. I thought, "I finally found you." #parenting #love #Andrew #HappyBirthday


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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

#77/365 The unlikely team of Andrew and Jayden... It turns out that there is actually something that will pull my children together in a cooperative mode. It happens to be baking cookie bars. Usually, I bake cookie bars, or some other dessert, with one of the kids. But, today Jayden and Andrew asked if they could bake cookie bars together for Andrew's first period class tomorrow. It's his birthday tomorrow, and it was hard to say no. I was interested to see how this would play out. It was a little bit of a surprise, but the kids actually worked really well together. They decided right away that Andrew would be working with all the dry ingredients, and Jayden would be working with all the liquid. Once they had decided that, they had to decide what an egg would be classified. The conversation between the two of them was just hysterical! They had little pointers for each other on how to best complete their jobs. It was also cool to see how their different strategies for cooking unfolded. Andrew was very methodical. He even wanted a checklist that he could mark off the steps as they completed them. Jayden, on the other hand, referred back to all of her prior knowledge and experience with cooking. She rarely read from the recipe and was more likely to go from her memory. I know both of my children have their strengths in their own areas. It was refreshing to see them use their talents together. They actually came to work really well together for a common goal. The goal may have just been driven by the ability to lick the spoons at the end. So, @rowen2026 I don't know if I would recommend eating the cookie bars tomorrow. 😜 They were made completely by Jayden and Andrew, a team of a 13 and a 14-year-old. #children #love #treats


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Sunday, September 27, 2015

#75/365 40 minutes turned into 40 years... I wrote about Jay and Mike on their birthdays, and I was planning on writing about myself on mine. But, during my run today, I changed gears (a little). Each year on my birthday, I call my Dad. I call him to say good morning and thank you. Each time he picks up the phone, I can hear the smile in his voice. It's our thing. I do this because 40 years ago, my Dad made a brave and difficult move for a young man. He decided to fight and give my life a chance. Many of my friends have heard me tell the story of my birth. I had a pretty serious birth defect that prevented my stomach and bowels from forming inside the abdominal wall. Pretty gruesome and scary stuff for a delivery room. The doctor and staff that delivered me promptly rushed me to a side room. They told my Dad that it wasn't going to be long before I passed away. Probably not quite an hour, absolutely not long after that. The trauma was too much, and they didn't even want him to see me and get attached. He did though. And, he did get attached. He tells me that he looked in my eyes and promised that I would make it. No way was he leaving me. So, he ran around the hospital looking for help. He managed to find another doctor that called for a helicopter and arranged transport to Rainbow Babies. Months of hospital time and surgeries were followed by months of at home care and specialized diet. My Dad jokes about this with me now. But, when he talks about this time, I can't help but think of him as a hero. The fear and doubt on his mind and in his heart that day must have been overwhelming. The strength that it took to accept my fate and decide to do everything in his power to change it was enormous. The love that he showed just walking in to meet me blows me away. He gave me a promise. He's always stood by that promise. It's amazing, Dad. Your love, bravery, and strength turned 40 minutes of life into 40 years. #love #Dad #reflection #strength #courage


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Friday, September 25, 2015

#73/365 Handing it over... Is not the easiest thing for a teacher like me. I get so wrapped up in my classroom and students that handing over control feels a little like abandoning. Obviously, I know that isn't what it's all about. But, still. Fortunately for me, I'm handing over control to a very smart and talented young teacher. My student teacher has a great perspective on working with the eighth-graders in my school. She gives them respect and understanding that is so very necessary for this age group. She also recognizes the fact that she can do more in class and create really cool experiences because they are well behaved and hard-working. From day one my student teacher has been really observant and reflective about the students. She makes great connections and identifies good ways to interact with the students. She's willing to adjust, adapt, and go with the flow. It's only been a couple weeks since she's been in the classroom, but I already feel like she is a solid teaching partner. She's great at brainstorming ideas. She comes to the conversation with ideas and questions that help spur along the development of the classroom lessons. Talking educational practices and looking at ways to help develop science inquiry in the classroom have dominated our conversations most days. Honestly, it's been really nice to have a teaching partner in the same room. She's also just a really fun person to talk and work with, and I'm looking forward to the next five weeks with her. #science #school #studentteacher


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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

#71/465 We've grown up together. I'm not going to lie. It was the Camaro that caught my attention first. It was sweet looking, red Camaro with t-tops. So, I "left" my Chemistry book at Berardi's and headed back to chat to that cute line cook. 😍 That started it though. The gorgeous car that he later turned in for a Saturn and a factory job. Mike has always put me first. From the moment we met, he's always done everything in his power to make my life the best possible. He worked hard in a factory for 13 years to put me through undergrad, grad, and beyond school. He jumped into home ownership when I found the yellow house with an apple AND willow tree. He welcomed foster and adoption into our lives when he saw how badly I needed children. He's just always put me first. Many people know that at age 35, Mike took a risk and went back to school. He was back to taking Biology, Chemistry, and English. With two kids, a mortgage, and a crazy wife, he took a shot at being a vet tech. He commuted each day to give everything he could to a new passion. Amazing! When others made excuses and said they were too old, too out of practice, my husband pushed through. He did quite well and has a career that he loves and is amazing at! Proud! Raised by Nancy and Tony to be an amazing man, Mike has always been a thoughtful, hard working person. His parents did an amazing job with him! He never gives less than his best. He's taught me so much about tenacity and problem solving and just "doing it the right way". He caught my attention with the sweet looking ride...he stole my heart with his compassion, work ethic, and love for family. We've grown up together. From the ages of 18 and 19 to today, we've learned to accept each other, find strength in one another, and enjoy our lives together. #love


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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

#70/365 Learning can be messy! Today, we tackled an especially difficult concept in science, geologic time periods. We could just memorize the names of the time periods & complete research on the life that developed during those time periods. That is what I actually did last year. Granted, we had fun making posters about the time periods, and we had a great time outside completing chalk drawings. I even managed to work in augmented reality lessons in this unit of study. However, the overarching theme about the incredible vastness of our planets history, and the relative newness of life was not fully addressed. Students never fully comprehended the scale of the geologic time periods. They saw them as sequential events on a timeline without the great realization of how much time life has not existed on the planet. We also spent very little time questioning our understanding of the geologic time periods. We just accepted the information from the book, videos, and other resources. So, this year I took a little bit different approach. With my student teacher, we designed a lesson that would require students to organize the information from their research on the timeline before we went out to do the chalk activity. We didn't give them the background behind the dates of the eras, instead we used their own observations of the dates and math. We had them create the timeline on the interactive board as a team. What we noticed almost immediately was the failure to acknowledge these vast amounts of time. The students tried to spread everything out perfectly even. In each class, we had one or two students who made connections between billions & millions of years. They discussed how empty the timelines SHOULD be up until a certain point of crowded evolution. My student teacher said it best, when she said, "This is making me so uncomfortable. I just want to give them the answers!" My response was that like most inquiry based activities, this experience would mean so much more and last longer if they struggled and come to the realization on their own. Tomorrow will bring an even deeper understanding as they try to squish in the information on the chalk timeline.


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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Absolutely the final test...promise!


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Science is...


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My #365 Sketch-noting Reflections Goal

Inspired by Jon Jarc and his #365 days of hand stands and reflections, I have been working on my own daily reflection project. It is one that begins with a sketch-note crafted in the Paper by 53 app, and it is completed with a reflection written about something in the day. I do not always have sketch-notes that I am incredibly proud of, but I've come to love the process more than I imagined possible.

I've reflected on everything from my marathon training to my science classroom to my parenting, coaching, and professional goals. I'm only a little over 65 days into the process, but I'd like to archive this process on this platform as well as on my personal Instagram account. Therefore, I will use the IFTT process to share the post on this blog.

I hope that any of my posts help or cause reflection. If not, that's ok too. It is a personal goal.

To see previous posts...visit my Instagram page HERE.


Saturday, May 16, 2015

3D Printing Journey

I've really been intrigued by 3D printing for quite some time. My first experiences with the devices left me excited and curious as to how I could use these devices in the science classroom. The timeline reminded me of my introduction to the iPad. I went from the "Wow, holy smokes! I'm sure this can be used to advance and support learning." to "Oh, my gosh...I have so many ideas. I need to get these devices for the classroom." That is my experience with 3D printing. I've read about the advancements in Popular Science magazines, talked with my friend, Jon Jarc about his adventures, and I've periodically checked the blogs and Twittersphere for ideas. This school year, one of my many goals was to secure a 3D printer for the science classroom. I have so many ideas...just needed the $$$!

In talking to another friend, Josh Haplea, I brainstormed some possible science and art projects. I was really excited for the possibility. So, I wrote up a couple grants to try to get funding for this. In the meantime, I chatted up the idea and possibilities of 3D printers with my students, other friends, and my poor husband (who had to listed to way too many ideas this school year). I also looked into 3D Doodler pens as another option. I'm very, very interested in these pens. I even have a GoFundMe Campaign rolling right now to secure a class set.
Doodle4Science

Unfortunately, I was unable to get a grant this year, and my GoFundMe campaign isn't looking great right now.

On to the good news...
a truly amazing guy, Josh Haplea, used some of his art funding to purchase a 3D printer for us both to share! Yes. Very cool people are out there! I happen to work with an amazing guy.

So, he carried the Dremel 3D Idea Builder up to my science room with spools and spools of colors and said, "Test it out. Have fun!"



Where did we begin? How did we get started?
  • I read through the manual. Watched the YouTube videos. I spent the first week just orienting myself (and my students) with the machine. I had a couple of students that just jumped on board, reading the manual and watching videos.
  • We then learned how to load the filament and created our first print job from the Dremel Idea Builder files. We printed a white tie clip for our principal, Mr. Carter. We even programmed a Lego Mindstorm Bot to deliver the tie clip!


  • Then, we branched out and found a 3D build file that someone else created (not Dremel) that we printed. It was a phone holder. (You should know that almost every 8th grade student that I talked to about 3D printing wanted me to print a phone...not a holder or case...a phone! We had some misconceptions to work on.)
I liked this build because it seemed like the next logical step in our journey. Moving from the Dremel software to an open source file seemed like we were moving forward. This spurred the kids into asking, "Can we create something like this?"

  • That led us to finding some various web based design programs and some iPad apps. We loaded a couple of really cool apps from AutoDesk. We played around with 123D Sculpt+ and TinkerPlay. We absolutely LOVED TinkerPlay. In fact, we designed and sort of successfully printed from this app. We only got the head to print. (The body pieces weren't adhering really well to the platform. We later added painters tape, and it works fine.)

  • We even used a web based program, TinkerCad, to create a 3D award for our head cafeteria cook, Dan!

  • We just keep leading each new experience lead to the next. My students are sharing and learning and loving the adventure. Sure, I have plenty of ideas that could integrate into our science objectives, but for right now...this is the excitement in learning that I'm more interested in students driving.
  • Our final 3D printing adventure of the year involved three of my students creating the "Ultimate 3D Action Figure" using the TinkerPlay app. They used two different colors and designed the figure on the iPad. We then transferred the file to my MacBook with the Dremel3D software. The students wanted to make a larger figure, so we scaled the pieces to 150%. Over a period of 3 days, we printed various files. The students stopped in between nearly each class to see the progress. When we switched the filament from white to red, it was a big moment. :)





What are our next steps...

With summer right around the summer, I have plenty of time to brainstorm ideas. I know that Josh Haplea will have some great ways to integrate the 3D printer into the art classroom. And, maybe we can even come up with a project that will bridge the classes.

I know that this experience was awesome! I look forward to even more #3DPrintingAdventures. The possibilities in our classroom are abundant! 

If you have any ideas to share, please do so! :)










Friday, April 17, 2015

Teaching is about the heart. It's always been about the heart.

As I map out my final 29 days with students, I'm starting to reflect on the school year. I'm really excited about the last part of our year. We're going to be diving into Independent Driven Learning projects. Students will get some suggestions, but they will ultimately be able to direct their learning.

This gives you an idea of what I will be sharing to jump start ideas...


Click HERE to view Google Presentation


Being my first year in 8th grade, I knew that I had to give myself a little of a break with content. I worked my butt off to learn the material and present it in a way that engaged students and made them excited to learn in science. I had some hits and misses. Looking back at the year, I'm excited by the work that both my students and I did. It's been exhausting. I've been frustrated. And, more times than I'm proud to say, I've broken down to my husband because I haven't felt the success that I normally feel.

That's all good though. Struggle, failure, success, challenges...they all bring growth. And, that's what I thought this year was all about for me. Growth.

I think a huge part of it is growth...and then, there is another side. My students.

Boy. I have just come to adore these kids. These 8th graders have worked their way into my heart. I get excited to see them each morning. I feel such pride when they get excited about learning. I enjoy the high fives in the hallway and when they burst into song because of a trigger phrase! And, those who know me best know that touch and song make me very uncomfortable. 

I do. I absolutely enjoy these students.

The best part is that I have the amazing opportunity to rediscover these children. I have a unique opportunity with being their 5th and 8th grade teacher. I remember our time together in 5th grade. I remember the goofy songs, "Onward to the Edge". And, who could forget our Skype with Neil deGrasse Tyson. Our building projects were amazing. Our flash mob was legendary. Our time was so meaningful.

These students remind me that teaching is about the heart. How we impact each other and how we explore ideas and questions together are so much more powerful than anything else.

It's always been about the heart.
And, when the days get cluttered with PARCC assessments and state mandated tests, I have to remember that. The human experience is much too precious to waste on experiences that do not highlight that!


Now...if I could only get Neil deGrasse Tyson to do a follow up Skype with these students to see how much they've grown and learned...and the curiosity that has built with his influence too!





Sunday, March 22, 2015

Visual Note Taking to Build Understanding

As my 8th graders embark upon our life science unit with me, it's good to know that we've developed some solid learning skills in the lead up to it. We are going to be working with some pretty complex information about genetics and heredity. As it is going to be a stretch for them (and me), I find comfort in the knowledge that we've worked to develop our visual note taking skills. Using the Paper app by 53, students have grown so much in the past couple months.

Our latest learning adventure involved a very difficult TED talk by Rob Knight. "How our microbes make us who we are" is a 17 minute video of very interesting, but complex information for an 8th grade scientist to take in. While there are many connections to make within this video, it can be quite a struggle if it's just a straight 17 minute shot of video!





As we watched, paused, talked, and took our visual notes, I was so proud of my learners! Not only did they ask great questions and verbally share their understanding, but I also was so pleased to see the notes that were emailed to me! The depth of learning was evident in their drawings.



















I can't wait to see what our notes will look like as we keep moving through our life science content!


Monday, February 16, 2015

Just an Idea, #scienceinthepics

#virtualfieldtrip

#bonuspointsforscienceobservation

#engagingstudentswithInstagram


My idea started in a recent visit to the Kennedy Space Center. I was thinking how wonderful of an opportunity it would be if I could only bring my 115+ science students with me to this amazing place. The history, science, and absolute awesomeness of the event was being shared by...just me. This seemed like a waste. Also, I wanted students to see that I'm always learning. I'm always trying to connect with others, learn about our country's history, and enjoy science.

So, I started sharing photos of my trip on our class Instagram account, @lacrossescience.


It ended up that I got quite a few likes on the photos and videos from students. I even had a nice couple of interactions with students. They were willing to look things up and chat back and forth. 
So, I threw a bonus question out there as well.




This led to my next idea, why not try to get some science conversation going by asking students to share the science that they see going on in the pictures? I was looking for the students to share any vocabulary, themes, ideas, or questions they came up with when they looked at the pictures.

Fortunately, I headed to San Jose, CA over this past weekend to work with members of CASIS (Center for the Advancement of Science in Space). This seemed like a great opportunity to try out my #scienceinthepics activity with the students. But, wait...they are 8th graders, and I better have more incentive than following me on my road (sky) trip! So, I made it into #bonuspointsforscienceobservations. I posted 30 pictures in 48 hours of everything from the view from the flight to screenshots of the weather and sunshine. I even captured pictures during a run in San Jose. I simply used the bonus points hashtag with the picture number hashtag.

What were my results?
  • 20+ students participated in either commenting or liking photos
  • 43 points were awards between 8 students for their ideas
  • Each photo received between 2-8 likes.
  • And, conversation...WOW! The science conversation was riddled with vocabulary and ideas. I was even able to clear up a few misconceptions and get students to do a little research!
These are some of the best vocabulary used...

on INSTAGRAM! INSTAGRAM!

Instagram is where kids are liking each other's outfits and goofy faces and sometimes less kind actions. So, Instagram!

I think that it would have helped to have announced it ahead of time. I may have had even more participation. For it just being a quick event, I'm pretty happy with the metrics.

I guess it helped reaffirm two beliefs that I've had for awhile. 
  1. I have to meet the students in their arena. They come to my classroom for 45 minutes of their day. Our conversation can continue, and it should. In order to get their buy in, I have to share using their tools. Parents will follow on Facebook (and Instagram). Colleagues connect with me on Twitter. But, for now, students will connect on Instagram.
  2. Science is all around us. It just is. You can see science in every facet of your life. Even a simple photo of an airplane safety procedure can get a student thinking of fluid friction. (The guy holding on to the flotation device...the student response cracked me up! Fluid friction!)


So, yeah...still trying new things out and learning and growing.

Check out our Instagram account at @lacrossescience!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

In the Midst of Madness


Looking over the schedule for the next couple months can be daunting for both my students and myself. In trying to hold, students, teachers, and administrators accountable for maintaining high levels of performance, lawmakers have designed a testing regiment that is enough to shake faith in the public education system. In fact, there are reports of very successful and recognized teachers that are throwing in the towel. Their view and dreams for education are being destroyed by the very same assessment practices that are filling up my calendar like crazy!

Given time to think of all this and what it means to me, my students, my administration, and my community, I find it necessary to give myself a little pep talk. I need to remind myself of what science truly IS and what science looks like in my classroom. I sketched out my ideas in 2 parts. 

 First, what science tools and resources do we use in the classroom? Brought in by grant, provided by my school, or free…these are the ways we explore science. The true challenge and excitement for me is finding the perfect blend for the student. Like a special recipe, what ingredients do I put together to capture my students’ attention, draw them into the conversation, and make them an engaged and valued participant? Not every student needs or wants the same recipe. So, how do I differentiate for 115+ different people? That is an end game that I am still working to perfect! Time, experiences, and evaluating carefully is the key. You can see that the resources and tools are varied. Some are more treasured by students than others. 




Secondly, what do I ultimately want students to believe science is all about? When they leave my classroom, I don’t want them to view science as a 45 minute block in their day. I want them to develop a way of approaching all parts of their world. I want them to appreciate the complexity and beauty in the world by becoming careful observers and having thoughtful interactions with the people, places, and ideas that they will come across. Science literacy is a guiding theme in the classroom. Applying that literacy to the events that occur in their lives is the end goal. You can see from the image that what I want my young scientist to obtain is more general than the standards of my 8th grade curriculum. These guiding principles help me to present the material to my students (hopefully) in a way that supports their understanding, challenges their preconceived ideas, and guides them to finding truth in the world around them. Regardless of the test questions and topics, this is my approach to science.




So, how do I balance the holes that show up in our schedule with the multitude of tests? How do I help students to be as successful as possible in the constraints that these tests apply? How do I help students see a more balanced view of their science growth? 

So many questions. So many concerns. With limits on time and concern for my students, I have to do the best that I possibly can…

Using the tools that we have and my view of what science is, we will review with OUR work samples. During this year, my students have created some fantastic work samples that highlight the science and their understanding and humor. From Toontastic cartoons about the Law of Superposition to Keynote slide shows of topography, we have great review materials. Posters of the geologic eras and videos of Newton’s Three Laws of Motion. Amazing notes in the Paper by 53 app! Flip vocabulary resources that the students have been steadily building all year long…time to bring out those manipulatives that I have stored up! The list goes on…


So, no packets. No drill and kill. I’m just going to remind them of the science that they know and review the approach that scientists take to breaking apart problems. How will they perform on the tests? I don’t know. I do know that in the midst of this madness, I don’t want to lose sight of my students, my craft that I have worked hard to refine, and the science that is so exciting. My personal pep talk continues in my mind.

Friday, January 2, 2015

First Interactive Book Building with 8th Graders...Ummmm, Not So Great!

Let me begin by saying that I am ok with failure...totally. I see the value in it. I understand the necessity of it. No one loves the feeling, but you grow from it. So, this entire post is based on that level of acceptance.

But, boy does it sting!

This year, I made the transition from 5th grade science to 8th grade science. It took me about a month to truly settle in and start enjoying myself. Like most loves, it wasn't at first site. Now, I can't imagine leaving the grade level. The kids make me laugh. The content gives me challenges. The staff in my building...top notch!

One of my first goals with switching to 8th grade was to carry over my book building process that I used very successfully with the 5th graders. We created two excellent books using iBooks Author, the iPad, and high school editors. Our book about Stone Lab was so well received that we were getting tweets left and right about it! Our energy book was the number one way that we prepared for the Ohio Achievement test at the end of the year. Students really knew their information! This led me to want this same process for my 8th graders.

So, how did it go?
Today, I spent the day rearranging, editing, and struggling over our first book, Exploring Earth Science. I have to say that I am just not impressed. While the students will probably find it to be stellar material, and it does have a great value for our learning, I am disappointed by the work.

Here are my concerns...

  • There are a TON of videos, animations, and iPad projects mixed in the book. There is VERY little actual writing. The text portion is really weak.
  • The content understanding is somewhat visible, but it definitely could be better.
  • No glossary or entry media

Why? Why is this first text weak? I would have expected 8th graders to have a better first book.

These are my thoughts...
  • In building books with the 5th graders, the work was mainly done together or with mentors. I scaffolded their responsibilities from a whole class writing event and building with our first book to an independent writing and building event with their last. I definitely didn't support the 8th graders enough. My expectations were too high, too soon with the writing and technical book building part. Next time, there will be a more scaffolded event.
  • My familiarity with the content just wasn't there. This is my first time through the information, and I didn't have the best prompts and support to give because I'm still developing my knowledge base!
  • Too much...too long of a time line! This book should have been broken up into 3 books. It covers too much content for these students to write about. The events from months ago aren't fresh enough to add detail.
  • The level of importance that I assigned this task wasn't nearly enough to get quality work. Honestly, the project became somewhat of an after thought for me. So, what did I expect from kids! The cheerleading that needed to happen to make this a great book didn't happen mainly because I was swamped with learning the content and designing the next class lesson.

So, publish or not?
I think that while this isn't our best work, it does have value. It is a nice packaging of our learning experiences for the Earth Science information. We can use the projects and learning later to review for exams, and the students will grow from this experience. Sharing at home will be easy with this book published to the iBooks Store, and it is a representation of how we are learning together.

It's not all perfect. It's not all polished and refined. I will still share this student text when it is available, and I will learn from my mistakes. Conversations...Learning and Growing!