Saturday, May 19, 2012

Blind Faith

This evening I took Kevin Honeycutt up on a wonderful offer of watching a play being put on in Grand Rapids, MI.  Union High School had not had a play for 3 years due to budget.  Now, I didn't travel to Michigan (although.. I have done a ton of traveling this year!) I turned on my computer and joined in on the live stream that he offered through iHigh

I grew up in a small town in Texas and during my high school years I was in the all of the musicals. I was never a lead, I was never great, but I always had fun!  The memories that I had working late night, making new friends, being someone other than myself, and most importantly gaining more confidence.  During school I was often shy and only hung out with certain people (now, if you know me now.. I am completely opposite!)  I credit being more outgoing and presenting in front of people to being in our local high school plays.

As teachers we are always talking about authentic audiences and having our kiddos reaching out to people outside of their community.  There are SO many online opportunities that offer this availability.  I logged on tonight to the link and watched the viewers steadily increase.  Kevin's goal was for 1000 views for these AMAZING kiddos, and here it is just 15 minutes into the second act and there are over 1015 views.  We teach students to blog to have different readers in the audience.  How far technology has come that we can now watch students act out a play and reach an even broader audience.

I feel SO privileged to be a member of the audience.  To help these kiddos see that there is SO much more out there.  My Favorite line was "Life is to short to go to far down the wrong road."

Thank you Kevin for connecting me!  Please tell those kids that they did amazing!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

CARE Day and BrainPOP!

This year has been one crazy year!  Changing schools was tough, but I have loved making new traditions at a new school!  Each school is a little different in what they do, and my new school has CARE day.  CARE day you ask? Celebrating Authors and Readers at Elliott.  How cool is that!  So this Friday is my first CARE day! Things that are happening on CARE day?
-2 AMAZING Authors are speaking to us! Kevin Honeycutt and Natalie Bright
-A Character parade! This is where students and staff are encouraged to dress up as their favorite book character.  So, I had to of course choose MOBY!  Now, I know.. Moby is not an actual book character, but there is a ton of writing that goes into making one of those awesome BrainPOP videos! (keep reading for info on my costume and and awesome BrainPOP contest)
-decorating hallways and doors to represent different genres or authors.  Our class has been doing an Eric Carle study (will post pictures this weekend)
-and sharing books that each student has authored.  We did our books in an Eric Carle style, and I have admit they are turning out pretty cute!

So, CARE day is looking like it is going to be AWESOME (and that I am going to sleep well that night!)

Since I am on the topic of BrainPOP I had to share about this great competition that they are having:
BrainPOP & Intel: How Do YOU Bring Learning to Your Student's Fingertips?  It is super easy to enter.  All you have to do is submit a lesson plan by May 22nd that showcases how you are using BrainPOP interactive resources on mobile devices.  Click on the link to find out more information and details!

So, now for the BrainPOP costume (which is almost done.. will have final pictures posted this weekend!)  As soon as I decided I wanted to be Moby I emailed my friend Kari to see if she had some suggestions (well, the actual question was... can I borrow the Moby costume.. never hurts to ask.. right :))  She recommended me to connect with Robert Miller (find him on twitter) Robert made me a Fantastic How to Video!  You can see some of his students in action in their Moby costume here.  With some rainboots, yellow duct tape, orange duct tape, dishwashing gloves, orange shirt, gray tube socks, and an orange shirt.. my costume is coming together!

Just a sneak preview!
Next blog- pictures from CARE day (in full costume!) and how I close down and organize my classroom at the end of the year.  Had a good question about how I store old Unique curriculum files.  How do you store them?   11 more days of school and 63 more until Podstock!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Where The Wild Things Are- Sort of a Love Story?

Today as I caught up with all of my social media... I was saddened to hear that Maurice Sendak had passed away.  Being a teacher I LOVE children's books, but Where the Wild Things Are holds a Very special place in my heart.  Read on if you would like a sappy story :)

Here's the story (I know you are all holding your breath.. many of you I am sure have already this)
8 years ago, I met my husband.  Now, at the time I lived in Amarillo, Texas.  I had traveled to El Paso, Texas for a Teacher of the Young Child Convention with a group of other teachers from Amarillo.  During this trip I was able to room with my awesome friend Jill at the Camino Real.  Now, this was not just any hotel.  This was the Camino Real.  A Beautiful hotel with a very rich history.  One of the first nights we were there I was sitting at the Dome Bar under the Tiffany Glass dome ceiling. That evening I had put on one of my favorite shirts.... a green Where the Wild Things Are shirt.  As I am sitting there a handsome chef keeps looking at us.  Eventually he waves and comes over and introduces himself as Chef William Keller  a few minutes later the waitress delivered the most decedent chocolate dessert with his business card and number on the back.  The next night we visited his restaurant, and the rest of the evening I spent it with the Chef.  That evening he gave me a stuffed animal Max sprayed in his Hugo cologne.  I learned that evening that Where the Wild Things Are was his favorite book growing up (I know why this was his favorite book and I love that he shared why with me).  The next day I got on a bus to travel back to Amarillo, Texas heading away from the love of my life.  2 weeks later he moved to Amarillo, Texas.  2 months after he moved to Amarillo he proposed to me.  Less than a year later we were married.  For the past 8 years I have had Max by my side when I travel (I used to travel with Polar Bear... but he has retired to sit beside my bed).  It is our ritual that he is sprayed with Hugo cologne before I travel so he smells like my wonderful husband.  2 years ago my husband gave me a small Max that travels in my purse.  I know, I know.. I am silly that I carry around these stuffed animals but they are such a great reminder of why I love my husband.  He is my Max :)  NPR did some amazing stories on him, and today I had MANY driveway moments.

Do you have special connections to a book?  I know that I have a ton of special books, but Where the Wild Things Are definitely holds a very special place in my heart.

I know this blog is not very well written, but there are just so many emotions and thoughts running through my head.  Change might be in the air, and being reminded how I met my husband reminded me of how much I love him.  Our paths crossed for a reason, and we are always on an adventure to our own islands.  Who knows where our next adventure will lead.