Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tech Tuesday: Map My Run

It's Tuesday!  Each Tuesday, I'm sharing a tech device, app, website, etc that I find helpful.  Most-likely it will be education related; however, this week's is loosely related to education.
I have realized that balance is extremely important in the life of a teacher.  I could easily get up super early to go into school to grade or prep and then teach all day and come home and grade late into the night.  I also could spend all of my long days interacting with people - from teachers, to students, to friends, and even at home with Wade.  I realized late into the school year last year that my body cannot handle all that time "going" and not taking time to myself.  When school ended this year, I decided to begin the habit of running while I had a little extra time to develop it; and I've really enjoyed it!  Not only is it great time to myself, but I also find myself sleeping better at night and less stressed.  I hope that I continue to integrate it into my schedule once the school year starts!

heeeeee :) so true!
MapMyRun App (and website)

MapMyRun is a website/ iPhone app that I love to use during running!  You can map routes on the website and as you run the GPS will track your runs and give you up to date paces for each mile.  The app even gives you the option to set goals and have a virtual coach keep you on track during your run. I've not used this feature yet, but I hope to use it soonThe app also allows you to play music (or Pandora.... Country Fitness is a favorite station of mine!).  One flaw of the app is that the GPS is not always accurate, so I've had to map out my runs before beginning and use the app more for a pace knowledge (i.e., how long my run is and how fast I run each mile). The app (and website) allow you to track your nutrition for the day -- so it's a great weight loss/maintenance tool as well! The website includes ways to find 5k, half-marathons, and more in your area.  Overall, its an app that I enjoy using as I run.

For fun I've included some favorite running items (and items I wish I had - like that running jacket by Puma and those Hogwarts shorts.. more for lounging and reading about Ron and Harry than for actual running, but I had to include them!) :

NIKE / Yummie Tummie / Puma logo sportswear / 80s fashion, $23 / Reebok sportswear / Bebe / New Balance light weight running shoes / Yoga headband / Beats by Dr.Dre Powerbeats Headphones / Nalgene BPA Free Tritan Wide Mouth Water Bottle

Share your Tech Tuesday Blog here :)
and share my blog on your post (see What is Tech Tuesday?? for my blog's Tech Tuesday button)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

ERMAHGERD!!! It's a meme!

Memes are one of my favorite sources of humor and procrastination.  They combine my love for visual humor with pop culture, literature, and word play.  What is a meme you ask? :  A meme is a captioned image that has taken over the Internet by storm.  This weekend as I was scanning the memes of Pintrest I stumbled across some of these:

Ok, this one is technically an e-card, but its a similar idea to memes ... and
it was just too funny!

Haha :) its a baby!
This is a play on the Dos X beer ad. But I think this is more fun !! 

I've used memes in my classroom some last year.  I displayed this one as students came in for their finals review this past spring:

and I often find ones that link to what are are talking about in class.  The students find them humorous and I hope that it gets them talking about the stuff in class without me having to initiate it :) Here are a few I hope to use with my freshman this fall:
I hope, if you know Poe and you know Jay-Z , that you will find this one humorous :)
I made this one myself using ImgFlip for the beginning of the year rules.
 Do you know what film this originates from?

I also found this classroom rules Prezi presentation that a teacher made.  This would be a fun way to make syllabus day be more engaging.  

But as I continue to think about memes and what they've done for Facebook, Twitter, and the general communication/humor world, I wonder what really integrating them into a classroom would do. I've played with meme creators on my own such as MemeGenerator ,  ImgFlip , and Quickmeme.  Personally, I like the layout of ImgFlip best, but it's a personal preference.  Each of meme generator allows you to use a popular meme image or upload your own image. Students could chose from an creator and then upload the meme to a classroom blog, email it to the teacher, or share it on the school's network.  
Having students create memes hits Bloom's 2nd highest level of understanding: Synthesis
  • Students could create a meme for a character in a story- thinking about the character's perspective
  • Students could create a popular image meme for a concept/ theme in the story that links to real life
  • Students could create a meme for a literary concept in a fictional story
  • Students could create a meme to emphasize a main point or argument in a non-fiction piece
  • The options are endless when using memes to have students critically think about something and re-organize the information
  • You could even take student thinking to the next Bloom's level, evaluation, by having them argue for which meme's fit a scenario best or which student's meme best fits the character in the story, etc.  
Have you used meme's in your classroom??? What other technology have you used in your classroom that integrate higher level thinking skills?? 

Friday, July 26, 2013

High Five For Friday !!!!!!!

It's Friday, ya'll.  I know as a teacher Friday's in the summer are not as exciting as they are during the school year, but they must still be celebrated!  I am linking up with one of my favorite blogs - The Small Things Blog and her sister's blog Lauren Elizabeth for my first ever High Five for Friday!

1. Amid my training for a marathon relay that I'm only running the two mile leg in - I finally made it up the hill next to my house on both my loops around the neighborhood.  I'm so proud of myself!  I'm never walking up that hill again!

2.  This weekend, Wade and I are taking 3 kids up to the Spire Institute for USA Swimming summer champs and watching them compete.  Then we are heading to an Indian's game!  I'm more excited about the hotdogs and fireworks than I am about the baseball.  I do appreciate the live game more than watching it on television though!  Side note: until this past May, I thought I hated baseball - my only baseball experience was my 8th birthday at an Indian's game where it poured and I froze my little 8 year old tush off!  Here I am in May learning to appreciate the game:

Let's hope tomorrow's game goes just as well!

3. I'm starting to clean and move into my new classroom!!  I'm moving into the old German room, so I must move all the old textbooks to recycling and deep clean that room!  My friend Laura and I are going in to sweat and clean today.  I promise to post pictures of the awesome room once it's set up!  I'll have windows unlike my old room! 

4.  One more week of graduate classes!! One week = 10 page paper, peer review, editing a digital unit plan, reflections, and a final. Then I have a two week break and I start again!  I love learning, but man, is it time consuming.

5. My first ever BirtchBox will be here soon! I'm so excited for all the things to try :) 

What's your High Five for Friday??? Link up with Lauren's blog below or share in the comments!  

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013


The rainy days have ended just as summer swim has.  The last two months have been so rainy and our swimmers have shivered their way into the pool a drizzle surrounding them (if their lucky it was a drizzle, not a downpour).  However, we were able to complete a successful season during our league championships- reaching 2nd place overall wooo!- after being rained out on Saturday and competing on a humid, hot Sunday. Coaching was a wonderful experience this summer, but I'm glad to have some time to relax and enjoy the last month of summer.  When I looked at my apartment for lease, I loved the size of the apartment and the price, but it was the back deck that sold me - and last night was the first night I've really been able to enjoy that deck :) My handsome fiancĂ© and I lounged on the deck chairs listening to some country music, sipping on wonderful drinks, relaxing, and overlooking the beautiful golf course that is my back yard.  The sun was setting and the lightening bugs were glowing.... it was pure bliss.   


I'm moving to the world of Bloglovin'.  Bloglovin' is the new Goggle Reader and allows you to follow all the blogs you love in one place.  You can find my blog there or you can click the follow me on bloglovin' button to the right!

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Monday, July 22, 2013

The Beginnings

For months, I have wanted to being a blog where I share my life-- mostly my teaching life, but also my  life outside of the classroom, with fellow colleagues.  I've made excuses like "I've only finished my first year - I'm not qualified" or "I just don't have time for that" since the end of the school year.  And tonight as I sat in my living room strewn with my life of the last 8 weeks - graduate class notes, tortilla chips, curriculum materials, summer swim line ups, and my fiancĂ©'s Nascar lineups for this week's pick (more on that later!), I was reading an email from NCLE's SmartBrief bi-weekly newsletter (sign up for your own newsletter and find great resources, professional development, and education news- it's seriously one of my favorite resources! National Center for Literacy Education: SmartBrief Sign Up) and found this article about reflecting through blogging.

This article smacked my tired butt into shape.  During the last month, my graduate class on 21st Century learning has been pushing me to find ways to integrate technology, communication, collaboration, reflecting, and composing into my students lives in a real way.  How can I sit and preach to my students this fall about each of these things and require them to blog using a Wikispace, yet I refuse to begin my own blog using those same skills???? I realized that if I did not sit down and begin this blog now, it would not happen (or would take until Christmas break before I talked myself into it!)

My goal is to become a better teacher through this blog whether that is through reflecting or collaboration with colleagues or many other possibilities!  This is the beginnings of a new way to learning and thinking!  I'm excited for this journey of meandering and wandering into the land of blogging!
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