Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Grad Gift Idea

My "little" (3 years younger but a whole foot taller than me) cousin starts college this week. Do you have any clue how old that makes me feel?? For his birthday last month, I made him a "College Survival Kit" with things that I thought he might be able to use. This would also work well as a graduation gift for high school seniors.

I included:
  • Goldfish (pizza flavored... figured that a hungry college guy would like it)
  • Febreeze (probably won't use it)
  • Disinfectant spray (again, probably won't use it. This is a guy we're talking about)
  • DVD
  • pens
  • popcorn
  • 6 packs of Ramen noodles (the epitome of college food)
  • 3 cans of Red Bull
  • a card game
  • battery operated alarm clock
  • bandaids (Spiderman ones!)
  • 2 packs of candy
I put everything in a laundry basket and decorated it with tissue paper and bows in his college's colors. The sign says "College Survival Kit. Good luck next year! Love, Ainsley"

Friday, August 10, 2012

New Adventure

Hi, Friends! I've started a NEW blog that is all about teaching! I hope to use it to share fun ideas for the classroom. Don't worry, though! I'll still update this blog, too. You can find my new blog at www.kittiesinmycubby.blogspot.com

Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer Movie Review: Rock of Ages


Ok so I was very, very, very excited to see Rock of Ages. I love 80s hair bands and have been convinced for quite some time that I should have been born in '81 rather than '91. I went with my mom this past weekend and it did not disappoint.

It's a musical. Set in LA in 1987. As soon as they started singing Sister Christian just a few minutes into the movie, I knew it was going to be a good one. You'll also hear hits from Journey, Guns N Roses, and soo many more.

Loved: Julianne's amazing hair. The super epic soundtrack. The adorable love story. The clothes. Tom Cruise. The humor. The (almost) tearjerking scenes. The cool (albeit a little cheesy) dancing. Everything, basically.

Even if you aren't a fan of all things 80s, I think that you would really enjoy this movie. I give it an overall grade of A+ and reccomend it for anyone ages 14 and up. Go see it! Now!
In other news.... you've may have noticed my absence over the last week. I'm back in class. Two classes for four weeks, and then another two classes for four weeks. On top of that, I'm also trying to squeeze in some work. I've been busy to say the least. I'll try to get some more posts up next week. Don't forget that if you have any summer-y things that you'd like to guest post about, please let me know. I'd love to feature you!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Summer Movie Review: Snow White and the Huntsman


I saw Snow White and the Huntsman last night. It was much better than I thought it would be.

Kristen Stewart did an impressive job in the lead role (I've always been a bit jealous of her gorgeous eyes). Charlize Theron also did a great job in the role of the Evil Queen.

I thought that the costumes were very creative and fitting. The scenery was beautifully well done and made you feel like you were standing right there with them.

My only complaint was that it was a bit long. Not long long, but just long enough to make me wish it had been about 20 minutes shorter.

I would reccomend this movie for ages 11 and up. Despite the fairy tale theme, this is not a "family movie" and would probably definitely scare very young children.

Overall grade? A.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

4 QUICK Activities to Do With Kids

Hey, folks! It's another fun activity Wednesday. This time, I'll be sharing 4 SUPER QUICK (quick as in under 10 minutes) activites that you can do with your kids.

1. Question Ball- take a large beach ball and write questions all over it. You'll want to cover practically the entire thing. Examples of questions may be: What's your favorite color? What do you want to be when you grow up? etc. Players stand in a circle and toss the ball to one another. When you catch it, you have to answer the question that your right thumb is touching (or closest to). Play until everyone has answered a question.
2. Pass It- this iPad app puts a modern spin on the classic party game, Pass the Parcel. Players pass the iPad around while it is playing music, and when the music stops, whoever is holding it uses their finger to "rip" a layer of paper from the screen. Then play resumes. Whoever rips off the last layer is the winner. This game is very customizable. You can choose everything from the number of rounds to the genre of music that plays. Find it in the Apple app store.
3. Silent Telephone- You remember playing telephone, right? You know, the game where everyone passes a phrase around the circle to see how silly it sounds by the end? This is the silent version. Players hold hands in a circle. The leader will squeeze the hand of the next person, who will squeeze the next person's hand and so on. If you're just playing like that, you can time yourselves to see how quickly you can pass the squeeze. Once everyone has the hang of doing one squeeze, you can try to think up patterns to pass around. For example, you could do two quick squeezes and a long one.
4. Picnic- The first player says "I'm going on a picnic, and I'm bringing (something that starts with A). The next player will say something that starts with B (of course), but they'll also have to remember what the first person said. The person who gets letter C will have to remember what the first two people said, and so on. For example, the third person might say "I'm going on a picnic, and I'm bringing apples, bread and cake". Keep going around the circle until either you reach the end of the alphabet or the list gets too hard to remember (whichever comes first). This is a good one to play in the car.

Have fun playing these quick (but still fun) activities with your kiddos!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Strawberry Pizza

Today's recipe is another dessert one. Strawberry Pizza! This one came from my mom's recipe box. I'm home for the week. Summer classes start next week and I requested to have this week off work so I could just chill. It's been pretty nice so far! :) Sorry I don't have any pictures of this recipe, but trust me: it looks and tastes so good!

2 cups flour
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 8oz tub Cool Whip
1 8oz tub cream cheese
1 qt strawberries
1 pkg strawberry glaze

What to Do
Mix flour, butter and 1/2 cup powdered sugar with a fork until crumbly. Put on a pizza pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees or until it's light brown on the edges. Let cool. With a mixer, beat 1 cup powdered sugar with cool whip and cream cheese. Spread over crust. Slice strawberries and mix with glaze, then put it over the cream cheese/cool whip layer. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Fun Find

On Wednesdays this summer, I am going to be sharing fun games and activities, mostly ones of the kid-friendly variety. Today's find is short and sweet.

Ever have trouble getting your kiddos to turn off the electronics and go play? This fun online activity I found gives the best of both worlds. Here's the link. http://pbskids.org/arthur/clubs/dance/index.html Once you're there, just click on the big arrow that says PLAY (of course). Oh, and you need a webcam. All your kid needs to do is stand in front of the computer and boogie to the music. They'll see their cool moves on the screen in real time. What kid doesn't love watching themself? The crazy cool disco lights add to the fun. Even as an (almost) 21-year-old, I enjoyed playing around with this. Check it out! Here's the link again: http://pbskids.org/arthur/clubs/dance/index.html


PS: Please keep little Lucy K. and her amazing family in your prayers. She's very sick. Her button is in my left sidebar.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Top Ten Hidden Gems at Walt Disney World

As I mentioned yesterday, on Tuesdays this summer, I will be sharing trip tips to make your summer family vacations as great as possible. Today, I'll be writing about one of the most visited vacation spots in the entire world. If you've read my blog since the beginning, you probably know that I am quite obsessed with all things Disney. I love the movies and the parks. To help you plan your magical trip, I decided to share my top 10 hidden gems at Walt Disney World. These are in no particular order, except for number one. :)
10. Chip and Dale's Campfire and Singalong- Every night your family can join the lovable Chipmunks at Fort Wilderness Campground for a free campfire and songs. You can enjoy smores for a small price.
9. Epcot Club Cool- Head to this gift shop in Epcot for free samples of pop (or maybe soda in your neck of the woods). This isn't your everyday pop, though. You can sample a variety of flavors from all over the world. Just a warning: not all of them are tasty!
8. Boat ride from Port Orleans to Downtown Disney- hop on a historic riverboat for a relaxing ride down the beautiful Sassagoula River, surrounded by a cool breeze and lush vegitation. Your driver will offer fun facts about the area, and you'll be at the exciting shopping and entertainment complex in about 15 minutes.
7. Hidden Mickeys- this literally hidden gem is a fun family favorite. All over the property, the Imagineers (that's what they call their designers and construction workers, how cool is that??) have hidden Mickey heads. You know. The big circle with two smaller circles on top. You might find them hidden on signs, within show backgrounds or even etched into the concrete. There are guidebooks that leak the location of every single one of them, but I think it's more fun to find them yourself. I'll never forget the first one I found. It was a very small one (about 2" wide) drawn in the concrete in between the parking lot and Planet Hollywood at Downtown Disney. How many can you find?
6. Magical Express- okay, so this one isn't very hidden. But I had to include it. It's one of the many benefits to staying on property. The Magical Express is a FREE shuttle bus that drives guests from Orlando International Airport to their Disney resort hotel. There is an adorable movie shown on the way there that sets the stage for your special trip, and they even take you back to the airport again at the end of your stay. Then, you'll hear your driver say that famous line from the original Mickey Mouse Clubhouse- "See ya real soon".
5. Kid's Clubs- Simba's Clubhouse. Mouseketeer Club. Neverland Club. Cub's Den. Sandcastle Club. Camp Dolphin. What do all of these have in common? They're all childcare centers located right on the property. Sometimes moms and dads like to have some special time on vacation, too. These centers, most of which are open from about 4:00 or 5:00 PM until midnight, provide a meal, fun crafts and games for kids while the parents are enjoying a more grown up dinner at, say, Victoria and Albert's. They're a little pricey, but rest assured that your kiddos will be well cared for.
4. Best Friends Pet Care- can't bear to travel without Fluffy and Fido? Bring them along! While only service animals are allowed in the parks and hotels, you can leave your furry friends at the Disney location of Best Friends Pet Care. You can trust that these animal lovers will take care of your furbabies. They even read them bedtime stories. I'm not kidding. Hershey and Bella haven't stayed here yet, but I want only the best for them, and from what I've heard and seen, this place makes the cut.
3. British Revoloution- Located in the United Kingdom Pavillion in Epcot, this fun cover band performs tributes to epic British artists, including my personal favorite- The Beatles!
2. Kidcot Fun Stops- Also in Epcot, Kidcot Fun Stops are craft stations located at various country pavillions. Little kids can create a fun craft while learning about the nations of our world from the people who call them home. There is no charge for this short and sweet gem.
1. One Man's Dream- I'm not going to lie. This one made me cry. While you may think that the parks are all about riding rides and getting character autographs, don't pass by this self guided tour, located in Disney's Hollywood Studios. This beautiful and inspiring tribute to the man who started it all is not to be missed. You'll have the chance to see original sketches, interesting facts and more. His life story is amazing. Make sure you add this one to your "must do" list.

"I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing- that it was all started by a mouse."- Walter Elias Disney

Monday, June 4, 2012

Apologies and Redirection

I'm sorry for my absense over the past month. I have been super busy with school. Our classes are over now. I just have an online portfolio and reflection to submit and I am done, done, done. Until summer classes start, that is.

If you're still reading despite my lack of posts, thank you.

Here are some pictures from this spring.

This summer, I decided to do an all-summer-long collection of activities that you can do with your family and friends. On Mondays, I will be featuring favorite summer recipes. On Tuesdays, you can read trip tips to make your vacations as awesome as possible. Wednesdays will be dedicated to fun and games. Thursdays will reflect my inner teacher and will be fun activities you can do with your kiddos this summer to keep those brains ticking and to beat the dreaded "brain drain". Fridays will be a random assortment of all things summer including summer movie reviews, Pinterest ideas and more. There might be some days where I venture off topic, and there might be days when I don't post at all, but I'm going to use this as a basic framework as far as the direction I'll be taking this blog for the next few months.

I'll always welcome guest posts. If you have a fun idea that you'd like to write about for any of the categories, just email me at ak360608@ohio.edu and let me know. I'd love to hear from you!

I'm kicking off today by reposting a yummy summer dessert recipe that I shared last summer. It's a family favorite and a must at all cookouts!

Oreo Pudding Dessert

  • One Regular size package of Oreo Cookies (not Double Stuffed)
  • 2 small packages French vanilla pudding mix
  • 8oz soft cream cheese
  • 8oz Cool Whip
  • Milk
What to Do:
  1. Make pudding with milk (check pudding box to see how much milk you'll need). The pudding doesn't need to be set up just yet. Add the other ingredients first.
  2. Add cream cheese
  3. Add Cool Whip
  4. Mix with an electric hand mixer until well blended
  5. Crush enough cookies to thoroughly cover the bottom of a 9x13" aluminum pan
  6. Pour pudding mixture over the cookies
  7. Chill in refridgerator for several hours to set it up
  8. Prior to serving, crush a few more cookies and sprinkle over the top (just for decoration- don't need to cover it completely)
PS: Did you know that today is Hug Your Cat day? Yep! I didn't know until I read it online, but I had already hugged my sweet girl about a million times before reading it. Go give your little furball a big warm one! :)


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Fun at the Zoo

Last Thursday, I went to the Zoo with my first graders. It was a long and unseasonably hot day, but it was the most fun I've had in a long time. Those kids are the greatest. I walked around with 3 precious little girls and I think they had a blast. I know I did! I wanted to share some of our pictures with you. For obvious privacy reasons, I won't be sharing pictures of the kids, but here are some of the animals we saw. Enjoy! :)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Happy Birthday

Happy TENTH Birthday to the best, most amazing, loyal, loving, cutest, silliest, cuddliest and most special best friend anyone could possibly ask for.
Love you to the moon and back, Hershey girl!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Rainy Saturday (Plus Some Other Thoughts)

It's raining today. A Forks-like drizzle that is making my sinuses hurt. It was so, so beautiful outside yesterday. I actually laid out and got some sun.

The elementary school that I've been doing my partnership in all year has only 5 weeks of school left. It's killing me. When I was little, I couldn't wait for summer and would count the days until it arrived. Now, every time I think about it, I get sad. My sweet little first graders are practically second graders by this point. It makes me so sad every time I think about the fact that I soon won't be seeing them all the time. But, man, oh man, they have come SO far this year. I am SO SO SO proud of each and every one of them.

Fest Season has officially started here at OU. Should be loads of fun.

I've been doing Cardio Dance and Zumba several nights a week at the rec center. I am finally starting to notice a difference in my legs and it feels so good!

I thought I'd end by showing you all some recent pictures. Thanks for reading!
Bella the Kitty watching me while I procrastinate on FB

The sweet face I get to wake up to each morning.

Found this little gem while walking to class. I thought it was pretty clever.

I have recently become obsessed with Draw Something. This is my best creation to date.

Bella likes to bat things under the oven. Every time I clean under there, it's like a treasure hunt. This is from my most recent discovery.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


This beautiful Easter day was spent....
pet basket filling,
egg coloring,
egg finding and cousins racing,

flower stepping (shh don't tell grandma),
candy counting,
candy stained lips cheesing,

 and just all-around family fun. My cousins are the greatest. Praising God for them, for Jesus' amazing gift to all of us, for life and for you. Hope your Easter was filled with many beautiful memories.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Bucket List, One Year Later

One year ago today, I published THIS post. It's a list that my college's program council made, "100 Things to Do Before You Graduate", or as I like to call it, "The College Version of a Bucket List". Since it's been a year since I originally posted it, I thought it would be fun to do a re-post and check off anything I've done in the past year. Do you have anything extra special on your bucket list?

100. Attend International Street Fair
99. Go ice-skating at Bird Arena
98. Meet with your advisor and declare a major

97. Slip on ice during winter quarter
96. Join a student organization

95. Play a game on an intramural sports team
94. Bowl at Rollerbowl Lanes
93. Dress up and attend OU Halloween
92. Participate in Homecoming Weekend
91. Walk into the wrong classroom on accident

90. Go to a UPC meeting on Tuesdays, at 7:30 p.m.
89. Cook and eat at a vegan workshop
88. Watch a UPCinema Movie
87. Become a member of O-Zone
86. Grab dinner at slice night at Courtside Pizza & Sports Bar
85. Find a seat at Shively Dining Hall … Good luck!
84. Go to an open mic night at Donkey Coffee & Espresso
83. Go to at least one event for each sports team
82. Experience Walmart late at night
81. Bring sibs for Sibs Weekend

80. Try Miller’s Chicken79. Hang out on Radar Hill
78. Play golf at the OU golf course
77. Watch an independent film at the Athena Cinema
76. Get involved with the Campus Involvement Center
75. Create a resume
74. Find out about Greek Life and decide if it's for you
73. Play with puppies at Petland!
72. Sing your heart out at a late-night karaoke
71. Stand up and cheer with The Marching 110
70. Chow down on mango salsa from Big Mamma's Burritos
69. Network at a career fair
68. Ride a CATS bus
67. Order D.P. Dough
66. Be a participant in a psychology experiment
65. Attend a Performing Arts Series event

64. Wake up to early morning construction on ANY green
63. Get creative at Beads & Things
62. Do your laundry in one of the residence hall’s laundry facilities
61. Befriend your landlord and sign your lease early
60. Witness the pickle eating contest at Bagel Street Deli
59. Play in a sand volleyball game on South Beach
58. Climb the rock wall at Ping
57. Walk/run/rollerblade/bike on the bike path
56. Apply for an internship or a job!

55. Take a tumble down Morton Hill and count every step up Jeff Hill
54. Rock out at a school concert... For free!
53. Walk in the annual Mom’s Walk for a Cure
52. Experience a dining hall brunch and themed dinner
51. Pull an all-nighter at Alden Library
50. Get serenaded by Singing Men of Ohio and Woman’s Chorale at a concert
49. Be a pool shark at the bottom of Baker Center
48. Complete the crossword puzzle in Friday’s Post without cheating!
47. Find a mentor on the Bobcat Mentor Network
46. Eat Naan at Star of India
45. Read the wall under the art building
44. Check out Galbreath Chapel

43. Go to Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant
42. Smoke hookah at Athens Pyramids Café
41. Say hi to students and parents on a campus tour
40. Go to an art show in Baker Center and visit the art galleries
39. Go on a trip with Outdoor Pursuits
38. Eat lunch on the monument and on the Athens City Courthouse steps
37. Buy some fruits and vegetables at the farmers market
36. Do crafts at The Dairy Barn
35. Hear yourself echo in the middle of the 4th floor of Baker Center
34. Get a huge slice of Good Fellas Pizza
33. Go to Taco Tuesdays at Taco John’s
32. Swim laps in the Aquatic Center
31. Take pictures of the cherry blossoms during spring
30. Soak up the sun at Stroud’s Run
29. Read the literature on the Ellis lavatory walls
28. Kiss someone in the kissing circle
27. Sled down Jeff Hill
26. Experience the history of The Ridges and The Kennedy Art Museum
25. Spray paint the graffiti wall
24. Eat at all the uptown establishments
23. Choose to dance at Dance or Die
22. Visit the Athens Mall
21. Participate in a community service project
20. Explore Old Mans Cave in the Hocking Hills State Park

19. Play a game of putt-putt at The Ridges
18. Take a late-night trip to a buggy
17. Break a sweat in an exercise class at Ping
16. Revisit your younger years and check out 90’s Night on the Green
15. Rent a movie from the library
14. Go to the Fun Barn in Nelsonville
13. Utilize 594-RIDE
12. See a show at The Union Bar and Grill
11. Enjoy all of the Senior Week events
10. Relax during finals with a massage at Ping
9. Be amazed at the Senior Dance Concert8. Leave with an Athens brick
7. Introduce yourself to President McDavis when you see him on campus
6. Walk through the College Green Campus Gate
5. Groove with the piano player on Court Street
4. Trip on the bricks
3. Make the Dean’s List

2. Visit your Alumni Association

Monday, March 12, 2012

New, New, New!

I made some changes to my blog's appearance! What do you think? If you like what you see, check out www.thecutestblogontheblock.com to get a fun background for yourself!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Best Weekend (part 2)

You might remember a post I made last year in the early days of this blog about an amazing weekend that I had with my little cousins. Sibs Weekend. The 2012 Sibs Weekend was a couple of weeks ago and it was even more fun than last year's. The girls got to stay in my apartment this time, which they thought was the coolest thing ever.

I picked the girls up on a Friday night and we headed straight to see a magic show. Let me just tell you that it was amazing. I have no clue how he did those tricks. Of course we had to take a picture before it started. Tradition, ya know?

Then we headed back to my apartment for some pizza and Wii. They completely put me to shame on Just Dance 2. Like domitated. But they had a blast.

The next morning, Riley had to be up early for ice skating, so after she left, Mary Kate and I took a long walk around campus. It was so, so, so nice. I hardly ever get to see my girls anymore because we're all so busy, so it was nice to just have some time to talk with her and catch up. We spent forever sitting by the pond watching a little groundhog scurry in and out of his burrow. Simple things are the best things :)

Then we got Riley back and it was off to lunch at Applebees. Yum.

After lunch, Mary Kate had to leave for her basketball game (I told you we're busy!) so Riley and I headed off to the student rec center for some bouncy house fun. Last year this was one of their favorite parts. We bounced, climbed and slip slided for two whole hours. See the 2nd picture? That's my girl going up the rock wall. She did SO good and I couldn't have been prouder.

Please excuse the poor photo quality. I had my flash on soft and didn't realize it until the end of the day. Boo.

We left RecFest a little early so that we could be back at the apartment to meet Mary Kate, whose basketball game had just finished up. We got her back and headed up town for some pregame Subway. Sidenote: I just started eating Subway a few months ago. I'm not exactly what you'd call an adventerous eater. But now it's one of my favorites.

After we ate, it was time for the game. As a special bonus, it was a Blackout game. Hence the shirts. The girls had a blast and thought it was so cool that we got to sit in the student section right by the band. Of course we had to get a picture with Rufus when he walked by. Did I mention that we have the coolest mascot ever? And we won the game which was the cherry on top of a perfect night.

That was supposed to be it. Our night was set to end after the game ended. But as we were walking back, we saw posters advertising a carnival in the student center. With bumper cars. Yes, bumper cars. Inside. Of course we HAD to check it out. It turned out to be one of the coolest things ever. The line for bumper cars was long but so worth it. See? And as my own special form of payback for beating me at Just Dance, I completely DOMINATED on the bumper cars. Ha.

Another fun activity that we found was the horse race. There were three large plush horses. You sit on them and literally buck up and down to make them go forward. It may look childish but, oh man, was it fun. Notice that I am on the unicorn. I dibsed it before we even got in line.

After a very intense race, we grabbed some of the free popocorn that they had and headed back to my apartment to gather their things, then I took them home.

No longer little kids, my 10 and 11 year old girls are the sisters I always begged for but never had. They are my rocks, my sunshines, my world. I am so, so, SO proud of the beautiful and intelligent young women that they are turning out to be. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

EDCT203: Week 9

We had our very last class of the quarter this week.

As an in class activity we made concept maps. This is a great way to organize your thoughts and ideas. It can be used in classrooms for many things. For example, you can have the children use it as a prewriting activity to jot down ideas before they begin writing a story. I will say, though, that the website can be a little confusing.

We also made newsletters. Newsletters are a great way to keep parents updated and to let them know what you are doing in class. There are many templates available to you, or you can make your own. I definitely plan on using this in my own classroom someday.

Some ISTE Student Standards from this week are:
  • 1a, 1b- both of the activities can be used to express creativity
  • 2a, 2b, 2d- we collaborated with each other
  • 3b
  • 4b, 4d
  • 5(all)
  • 6a, 6b, 6d
Some ISTE Teacher Standards from this week are:
  • 1a, 1c
  • 2a
  • 3(all)
  • 4(all)
  • 5b, 5d

Monday, February 27, 2012

EDCT203: Week 8

Week 8. Wowwwww where did the quarter go? Fastest quarter ever? I think so.

This week in class we played around on a program called Crocodoc. It was hilarious to say the least. People came up with some very, um, creative submissions on that one. Ha!

We also worked on creating podcasts, which I already had some experience with because that was the topic that our group had when we taught the class back in week 3. Seems like forever ago, right? There are many ways that you can use a podcast in your classroom. Some podcasts are educational and could be used to teach your students something. For example, there are some podcasts that talk about literature that could be used in an English class. You could also have your students create their own podcast as a means of creative expression and also to see how well they know the material.

We also made rubrics in class. Rubrics are a great way to evaluate students' work/performance. I was really impressed with the website, RubiStar and how user friendly it is. Anyone can use it! If you aren't sure what to put in your rubric, the website has many suggestions for you to use.

Some ISTE Student Standards used this week are:
  • 1a, 1b
  • 2b
  • 3d
  • 5(all)
  • 6a, 6b, 6d
Some ISTE Teacher Standards from this week are:
  • 1a
  • 2a, 2b
  • 4(all)
  • 5b, 5d
In other news.... I have officially completed my 2nd full day of teaching! Wow.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

EDCT203: Week 7

This was a fun class. We learned how to use a program called Voice Thread which allows you to comment on media created by other people. I clike that you can provide different types of comments such as video, audio and text. I also like how you can doodle on the slides to show exactly what you're talking about. I think that kids would really like the doodling part.

There are many ways that you could use this in a classroom. You could put some of your lessons on Voice Thread so that other teachers can give you feedback. You could also use it as a way to encourage the students to work collaboratevly with a group. You can also use it as a way to communicate with parents- if they have a Voice Thread account they can contact you via it.

On a side note, this is probably the most fun class we've had so far. My crazy friends make everything so much fun. Sure, we might have procrastinated a little a lot, but man did we laugh.We got it done in the end, though, so its cool!

Some ISTE Student Standards from this week are:
  • 1a, 1b, 1c- yay for new ideas!
  • 2a, 2b, 2d- we collaborated a lot this week.
  • 4b, 4d
  • 5(all)
  • 6a, 6b, 6d
Some ISTE Teacher Standards from this week are:
  • 1(all)- we used new ideas and collaboration!
  • 2(all)- the different types of comments in Voice Thread allow us to adapt this to multiple learning styles
  • 3a, 3b, 3c
  • 4(all)- very important
  • 5d

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

EDCT203: Week 6

This week in class, we used Movie Maker. I already had some experience with this, because we used for a tech class in middle school. I like all of the effects that you can add to the movie and the transitions that you can use between slides.

I think that there are many ways that you could use this in a classroom. You could make a movie to show the kids a concept in an interactive way. You could also have the kids (depending on their age) make a movie of their own to demonstrate their understanding and knowledge on a topic. Like I said for the week when we used Picasa, you could also take pictures of the kiddos working and put them together in a presentation to show the parents what you've been doing.

Some ISTE Student Standards used this week are:
  • 1a, 1b
  • 2b
  • 4d
  • 5(all)
  • 6a, 6b, 6d
Some ISTE Teacher Standards used this week are:
  • 1a, 1c, 1d
  • 2(all)
  • 3a, 3c
  • 4(all)
  • 5b, 5d

Monday, February 13, 2012

One Year.

Wow! Inside My Heaven is ONE year old today! I've really enjoyed having this writing outlet over the past year, even if I haven't always updated as regularly as I'd like to. I've especially enjoyed "meeting" many new bloggy friends and reading all of your stories. Thank you for reading with me over the last year. I hope you've enjoyed it! Here's to the next great year!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Update on Bella

I do realize that it's been awhile since I mentioned my pretty kitty, Bella.
She's doing great.

Better than great, actually.

She's been extra cuddly recently. I think it's because I'm gone all day with class and work so when I actually am home she's just so happy to see me that she wants to be right. in. my. lap.

I don't mind at all.

The other day, I woke up early to do some homework in bed. Sweet Baby crawled into my arms and just layed there purring like there was no tomorrow. I wish it would have lasted forever.

She got a kitty tower for Christmas. It's almost as tall as me. She LOVES it. I have it right by the sliding glass door and she just loves to sit on the highest level and look outside.

I love my girl!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

EDCT: Week 5

Week 5. Wow. I can't believe that this quarter is halfway over! Since we're halfway through quarter 2, that also means that this year is halfway over. Now THAT is hard to believe.

Anywho. This week in class we learned how to make surveys on GoogleDocs. There are many different types of questions that you can use and it's a great way to collect data.

We also wrote stories as a group on GoogleDocs. See, if you're logged in together, you can type on separate computers and everyone sees the updates in real time. So we created stories with our classmates. We couldn't talk, and most of us were sitting on opposite sides of the room. Oh, man, this was so. much. fun. Our story was so crazy. It involved a unicorn, Lil Wayne, Justin Bieber and a bar. That's all I'll say.

I think that making a survey on GoogleDocs would be a great thing for a teacher to do. I know that a lot of teachers send home surveys at the beginning of the year to help them get to know the students. The parents respond to the survey with thier child's likes, dislikes, etc. I think that's a good idea, and the online survey would make it even better because it would save paper!

The storywriting on GoogleDocs would also be a good thing to use in a classroom because it encourages imagination AND teamwork. Not to mention, a chance to practice typing.

Some ISTE Student standards from this week are:
  • 1a, 1b (the story was great group expression)
  • 2(all)
  • 3d (surveys make great data and results to report)
  • 5(all)
  • 6a, 6b, 6c
Some ISTE Teacher standards from this week are:
  • 1a, 1d
  • 2b (yay for creativity!)
  • 3c, 3d
  • 4(all)
  • 5b, 5c, 5d

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Unseasonably Warm

It is winter.

 In Ohio.

If you know anything about Ohio you know that we should be knee-deep in snow by this point.

But we are not.

It has been in the low 60s for the past two days.

At first, I was downright mad about this.

I wanted snow.

But then I went to class yesterday.

And we opened the windows.

And stuck our heads out of them to people watch.

And I realized that maybe,

just maybe,

this unseasonably warm weather wasn't so bad after all.

So I stopped being mad.

And got glad.

And today after school I took Bella the Kitty out on her leash.

Yes, my cat has a leash.

It has proven to be quite the conversation starter when we walk around the field behind my apartment.

She loved being outside.

And I love when my baby is happy.

So I am no longer complaining about this unseasonably warm weather.

I'm going to find the good happy times in every day.

Because life is too short to sit inside grumping about weather.

But I would still love some snow,

should it ever choose to arrive.

Monday, January 30, 2012

EDCT203: Week 4

This week in class, we learned how to make WebQuests. I had never created one before. It is a lengthier process than some of the other projects we've done this quarter, but it is worth it in the end. We created ours on QuestGarden, but that's not the only place wehre you can make them.

I think that this is a great activity to create for all grade levels. I like how you can customize it based on what you would like for your children to know. I also like that it encourages CRITICAL THINKING!!! It also provides an opportunity for teamwork. It would also be a great project to do with a TAG class.

In other news, my group has officially completed both of our presentations! It's such a relief to know that I won't have to worry about it at the end of the quarter when I'm trying to plan my teaching day.

Some ISTE Student standards from this week are:
  • 1b, 1c
  • 2b, 2d
  • 3(all)
  • 4(all)
  • 5(all)
  • 6a
Some ISTE Teacher standards used this week are:
  • 1a, 1b
  • 2a, 2c
  • 3a, 3d
  • 4(all)
  • 5d

Sunday, January 22, 2012

EDCT203: Week 3

This week in class, we created movies and slideshows through Picasa, specifically movies about diversity. We had to find pictures online and edit them using either Picasa's tools or the ones from Picnik (speaking of Picnik, it's shutting down in April. Waah. I love that site). You can find my movie HERE if it's something you're interested in seeing. We also worked on writing evaluations for websites.

I think that both of these things would be useful in a classroom. Making a Picasa presentation would be a fun and easy way to show parents pictures of what you've been working on. Like, you could take pictures of the children working on a project, or even scan pictures of the final result. Then you could put together a little show to let the parents see what their kiddos did. It could be uploaded to the class website that I mentioned in the week one entry. The website evaluations would beextremely useful, because obviously you want to make sure that a website is appropriate for your age group before letting the children use it. You can also evaluate a website to see whether it is legit before using it as a source for a paper or something like that.

Some ISTE Student standards used this week are:
  • 1a, 1b
  • 2(all; especially 2c)
  • 3b
  • 4d
  • 5(all)
  • 6a, 6b, 6d
Some ISTE Teacher standards used this week are;
  • 1a, 1b
  • 2a, 2b, 2c
  • 3a, 3c
  • 4(all)
  • 5(all)

Monday, January 16, 2012

EDCT 203: Week 2

This week in class we worked on PowerPoints. I already knew how to create a basic slide show (I think most people do) but in class we used PP to make educational games and interactive lessons for kids. We used hyperlinks to create multiple choice questions, animation and pictures to make it fun, etc. They actually turned out pretty cute!

I can definitely see myself using this in a classroom someday. I think that it would be more fun and engaging for the kids than just staring at a boring textbook. Since most classrooms have Smartboards now, you could even pull the game up on one so that several children could play at once. Older kids could use games like this to review or practice for a test.

Some student standards used this week were:
  • 1a, 1b, 1c- yay for new ideas! :)
  • 2b
  • 4d
  • 5(all)- always important!
  • 6a, 6b
Some teacher standards used this week were:
  • 1a
  • 2(all)
  • 3a, 3c
  • 4(all)
  • 5d
Well, that's it for this week. Thanks for reading!

one of my favorite quotes

"Faith is taking the first steps, even if you can't see the whole staircase" -MLK Jr.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

EDCT203: Week 1

Greetings! I hope the New Year has found you all happy, healthy and loving life.
The new year has brought a new quarter at school, and new group of classes. I'm still teaching all day Tuesdays and Thursdays at a local elementary. I was so glad to be back, I missed my kiddos soooo much!

I'm also taking an educational technology class. A class that requires a weekly blog entry. Lucky for me, I already had a blog set up. So for the next ten weeks, I'll be posting some class related things on here. Sorry in advance if my ramblings bore you!!

This week in class, we learned how to set up wiki pages. I use Wikipedia all the time but this was the first time I actually sat and created a page. We also learned about setting up pages through Google. I like that we were offered many templates to choose from there. I found a cute teacher-ish one. However, I wish I had thought about it before clicking on the cute teacher-ish one, because that sucker is really hard to navigate! But it's cute. And it has a place for me to put up a student of the month, so it's cool.

I can totally see myself using these pages as a teacher in the future. I think it would be a great way to keep parents up-to-date on what's happening in class. There's even a section where you can post homework assignments for the whole week. It can also be a way for parents to contact either me or each other.

Some of the ISTE Standards for Students that were used this week are:
  • 1d because our work on the Wiki pages are a way that we can express ourselves either alone or as a group
  • 2a and 2d because we collaborate and work together to keep our page updated and running. All of our ideas come together for the final product
  • 5 (all) because responsible and ethical behavior and actions are expected when using the group page
  • 6a because the wiki page is a technology application, and we learned multiple ways to utilize it.
Some of the ISTE Standards for Teachers that were used this week are:
  • 3a and 3b because we can share what we learned tonight with our students and create wiki pages for our class with them. I was also thinking that a class wiki would be a good way to keep parents updated, and a way for them to communicate with the teacher.
  • 4a, for the same reasons stated for Student standard 5, above.
  • 5d, I think that using technology will make a school much more effective.
Well, that's it for Week One. Stay tuned for more!