One of my grad school classes is Integrating Technology in a Diverse Classroom (something along those lines). One of the topics not addressed in class is the SMARTBoard - which happens to be (in my opinion) a HUGE tool in the classroom - especially at my school. In the past year I have attended a few information sessions about them, and have been fortunate enough to have such easy access to be able to have PLENTY of exploration time. So, to address this with whoever was willing - I volunteered to set up a mini-smartboard workshop for interns at my grad school. From talking to my cohort, I realized many of them were not getting the same hands-on experience as I was, so I wanted to share my resources.

Well, as I explore and "play around" with the technology, I often misinterpret a function... or it takes me a few minutes to truly figure something out about a program. Luckily, I am normally alone during this exploration time.

Today, before my workshop, I updated the smartboard program on my computer. With the update I noticed a function I had never used before. Unfortunately for me, I was not alone in my first contact with this function. The result is a good story for you, and an ab workout for us.

You can find the story here.

Pay to the Order of

Offer still stands.






Sleep deprived.

Intersession Day 3 & 4


Intersession Day 2

Today my co-teacher and I were bankers. The Bank of M & P. Our initials, or, as we told the students, The Bank of Money and Power. Fourth and fifth graders approached us with handwritten proposals. Proposals that told us, the bankers, how much money they need to create their dream rooms - with a bunch of other details. A few quotes:

"I really need this money. Please."

"I'm creating this dream room because I need more space."

"My room is so I can have some relaxation time."

"How much is a pearl floor?"

We are finding out so much about our students - about their home life and living situations. In some cases sharing rooms with siblings and parents. One student is creating a dream living room. She had a television on her floor plan - when the bank asked her how much money she was planning to spend on the television she answered "I'm just going to use the one I have now to save money." (You know, the imaginary money the fake bank is giving). I only hope I was half this appreciative of my belongings at her age.

We read the proposals, squeezed out more information about their room plans, decided on a fair amount of money, and wrote pretend checks. The held those checks with their big smiles and huge eyes like they had won the lottery. We couldn't pass up the photo op - and snapped a bunch of them with their Dream Room Funding.

Stay tuned. Miss Color is coming tomorrow. I hear she has a rainbow feather boa. Good thing it's observation day.


Intersession Day 1

Tell a student "Create your dream room" and give them access to a table full of furniture and decorating catologs and this is what you get:


Intern for Hire

The purpose of my internship and grad program is, (drumroll please)...


Imagine my dismay when I call HR yesterday and am told:

"Mr. Blank spoke to you yesterday and you said you were not interested in a position with our school system for the 08-09 school year."

When I politely told my representative that I did not have such a conversation yesterday, nor would I decline an offer from our school system, I got:

"Are you sure?"

Grrr. Are you serious?

For those of you that are familiar with my school, don't you worry - Queen Bee is on it.


Preparation for Intersession

Yesterday, Silly Corn and I went on an adventure. We started in a central location and spanned out to a dozen or so places, all in a span of about 8 hours. We were in search of paint, carpet, and fabric samples.

Things we learned:

1. Phrasing counts. Especially when asking for free stuff.

2. Dollar deals are not safe... especially when paired up.

3. That when they say "Is that all you're taking?" you shouldn't think twice in turning around and getting more. A LOT more.

4. How to make a bag FULL of fabric samples look feather light as you walk past the register on your way out.

5. Giggling while filling a bag with paint samples does NOT help to make you look more credible.

6. Splitting up does not stop the giggles. It just means you have to yell that much louder to find the other partner.

Spring Broke

Whoa! Did you see that? Which way did it go?

It has to be HUGE - you HAD to have seen it! Did it even slow down?

Keep your eyes peeled for the BIG BUS that ran me over... it can't be far...

I'm going to look under my covers, while you well-beings out there keep a look-out.



Almost Famous

To make up for the fact that I have been so lax on reflecting via blog about my experience a few weekend back, I have provided a link to the photo montage from the website.

I am almost famous - in one of the photos you can see the back of my head. My hair looks damn good, if I do say so myself. JUST cropped out is the girl that fell asleep. Darnit.


TOP Pics


Writing workshop whoa

A full class of second graders has been working very hard at doing animal research. From picking an animal to reading and taking notes on index cards, to publishing. They happen to be publishing on laptops from the comfort of their own desks. Completely silent because they are oh-so-involved with changing font, inserting pages, and typing - all while STILL thinking about capital letters and punctuation. Phew, who knew typing was just like writing?

In the process of typing our research facts, the students have been trained to save regularly. This particular project has them saving their work as Name-Animal in the same folder on the server. This means they sift through the list of all Name-Animal's in the class while searching to open their file.

Apparently they realized today that they can not only open THEIR files, but they can also open their CLASSMATES files. This clearly had to be explored by curious second grade minds.

Turns out, that by the time I realized they had figured this out - they had also managed to learn how to delete a friends hard work, resave an empty file, and get right back to their own research paper in a matter of moments.

The subsequent class discussion was not only the quietest, but also had the best eye contact.

I channeled my fifth grade teacher.
It still gives me this sinking feeling... disappointment... when faced with such an occurrence. I also wonder how Mrs. S (fifth grade teacher) would have reacted if SHE had file deletion on the laptop. I have a feeling there would be flames involved.


Breakfast of Champions

This week has been all over the place. Highs, lows, student tears, giggles, hair pulling... I think I have a new face crease that is becoming permanent. I guess Gramma was right - if you make that face it will stick that way.


Cute1: (whispering) "Mrs. M, my stomach hurts."

Me: (recoiling a bit as I remember that her table mate just got back from being out a week with the stomach flu) "Are you going to be sick?"

Cute1: (whispering) "No."

Me: "Do you have to use the bathroom?" (I'm holding my breath as I am waiting for her to say something along the lines of "I can't... the bacteria! Geez, I thought we covered this."

Cute1: (whispering) "No."

Me: "Do you need to go see the nurse?"

Cute1: (whispering) "No."

Me: (WTF am I supposed to say now? She has no idea what's wrong with her, or atleast how to articulate it) "How can I help you?"

Cute1: (whispering) "My stomach hurts because I'm hungry."

Me: (mental note: time is 8:20, 2 hours and 50 minutes until lunch). "Did you eat breakfast today?"

Cute1: (whispering) "No."

Me: Thinking to myself: What do I have in my lunch that a 2nd grader would eat?
Shoot forward a day, after a discussion of waking up earlier, eating breakfast, describing granola bars and the glory of eating them on the bus. "Tell your parents to get something like this!" was exclaimed and swish swish, hands clean. All has been done.

The next morning: A VERY excited/proud/misguided student approaches the class... flashing a corner of something out of her pocket. Something that can only be seen as half eaten, brown, and in a wrapper. Great! She was able to not only describe the granola bar concept to her parents, but they went out and bought some based on teacher-advising.

Then, the student shares with the second teacher... who was able to get a more detailed view of the bright yellow wrapper, the chocolate coated toffee-like substance... a Butterfinger.
We could only imagine what the parents were thinking as the young cute1 described the prescribed breakfast of her teacher.

Needless to say, a granola bar was retrieved and placed in her backpack to show her parents... Now THAT'S an authentic example.

Typical Conversations

Time is short and frustrations high. Remember the feeling before you started for the first time on your own? The sweat, the tears, the blank stares due to the wandering thoughts in the head.

Why is it that at the moment you need to talk to someone the most, the body and mind makes actions in which to block you from actually saying it.

One 'Tern approaching another: Hey!
(Long pause, analyzing CoTern's expression) What's wrong?

CoTern: Don't ask me that.

Here's to finding "pockets" in the class, light switches, and door locks.

One More Day

One more day in the classroom, clinging onto the brances of mentors, teachers, advisors, until we release our grip and sent slowly floating with the breeze. We will not crash in a hurried rage towards the ground. The wind from the reaching branches of the tree will keep us afloat as we ride, guide, and ease ourselves through IT.


Trying to Break It Up

I arrived at the hotel, bag full with hair dryer, shoes, suit, and shirt that better not be wrinkled.

My roommate was already checked in, according to Sarah the Receptionist. I have not met my roomie previously, and I have not shared a hotel room with anyone but GM since my good ol' weekend festival working days. Quick introductions and hurried discussion clouded the room as we dressed, prepped, curled our hair, and buttoned our shirts.

"RING!!!!" shouted the phone.

It was staff from our university, alerting us of the time to meet in the lobby. Another group of people that I have never met before, so I was secretly hoping they were wearing our school colors and a huge sign saying "I love Gunston." I would have known exactly where to go.

I realized as I walk to the lobby with my new acquantance/roommate that I think I am shrinking. My pants did not look this long at the tailor. Then I realize that it might be because my roommate is approximately a foot taller than me. Perception.

We meet in the lobby. We get in the car. Two secondary education students and two elementary education students. We drive to the building for registration. I will call this building the Ballroom Building. We register next to a huge table of apples. Literally. Baskets of shiny red apples. Talk about assumptions.

We stand around chatting for a few minutes, and then we break up (my car-ride sharers and I) - going towards our own mentor groups (which is in another building). I am assigned a mentor for the weekend, and I would later find out that you spend MOST of the weekend with this group of 5 (+ 1 mentor). My group composition: Mentor, Black Turtleneck, Argyle Sweater, Dizzy Dress, and Blue Eyeliner, and of course me, Pants Too Long.

I wonder anxiously as we sit in awkward conversation: "Um, when do we eat?"

The congested day, long drive, quick run around to get ready, and excitement... it has all caught up to me and now my stomach is rumbling. Loudly.