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. 😉 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! 😉 #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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