EDIT 2000 :: Maymester

3 weeks spent flexing my technological and creative muscles in order to become a better (future) educator

changed my mind May 31, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — sandyleeb @ 10:44 pm

Today I revisited podcasting. However, I’m still trying to figure out how to post mine :/

And I read this really interesting article about a teacher who uses podcasts regularly in his class as a way of assessment and motivation. I particularly like how at the end of each chapter or section of material, he has the children record a summary of what they learned. I think podcasting is a great way to have the students reflect and really think about what they learned, and its a good way for the teacher to make sure the students are actually learning. The teacher also said that having the students know that their work is seen and heard all over the country provides extra motivation. I could see how knowing that someone other than their teacher is getting to see and hear their hard work.

When I originally brainstormed ideas about how to use podcasts, I wasn’t even thinking about having the students record them, I only thought about the benefits of ME creating them. Which, if you had an entire class playlist of podcasts, a mix of student and teacher-created tracks, I could then see the benefit in the teacher recording podcasts of lessons and whatnot so that the students could use them to review for test or just reflect on what they learned.


Smart, M. (2008, November 12). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/podcasting-student-broadcasts


Scaredy cat

Filed under: Uncategorized — sandyleeb @ 7:53 pm

Regardless of the fact that I have to get up at 7am every morning for class and work, my roommates thought it would be a great idea to have a movie night at 12am this morning. They also thought it would be fun to make it a SCARY movie night.

Note that I admit to being the biggest baby in the world when it comes to getting scared over nothing. And because I admit it, that means no one can make fun of me for it (at least that’s my theory).

So we watch some movie about a girl getting snatched out of her bed at night, she survives, the guy comes back and snatches her sister, etc. And it just so happens that getting snatched out of bed at night, or having anyone come in my  house at night while I’m there asleep, is my BIGGEST fear. I seriously lose sleep over it. And it just so happens that the night before last, my last night house-sitting, I slept for maybe 5 minutes total because I kept hearing noises in the basement, like someone was trying to get in.

Yep, this is me.

(but not really)

Needless to say, I have gotten less than 5 hours of sleep total between the last 2 nights. And I say all that to say: one of my roommates texted me just now to say that we are watching When A Stranger Calls later tonight.


I’m never sleeping again.


sitting on a house and podcasting

Filed under: Uncategorized — sandyleeb @ 3:27 am

Well, the house-sitting festivities are over. The family returned from Universal Studios this evening.

It was kind of sad leaving Red, except the fact that the last walk I took him on seemed more like he was walking me. Long story short: there’s a bird nest in the family’s mailbox, and apparently some eggs just hatched cause you can hear the baby birds chirping and it FREAKED Red out. I’m convinced that if I had let him get just 3 inches closer to that mailbox he would have been having bird for dinner.

But it’s good to be back in my own house, sleeping on my own couch (that’s a different story), with my roommates and little Bullet.

Changing the subject a little, I made a podcast! But it won’t let me upload it! 😦 It’s not too thrilling though so don’t feel like you’re missing much. It was just 6 minutes of me talking about the how-to’s of pacing. You’re intrigued right? It was super simple to record it! Using GarageBand, I clicked “Record,” said whatever I wanted to say, and hit “Stop” when I was done. After I was done I sent it to iTunes, which wasn’t hard either. But from there I couldn’t figure out how to upload it onto here. Any ideas?

As easy as it was to create the podcast, I’m not sure how I feel about using them in my class. I feel like it would just be easier to type up whatever I want to say. In my experience it’s irritating to have to go back and re-listen when the teacher poorly pronounces something. But maybe that’s just me.


life outside of class May 29, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — sandyleeb @ 8:21 pm

In other news, I do have a life outside of my class.

Some of my roommates and best friends left on a flight to India 2 days ago and will be gone until the end of July. They’re starting an after-school program for an HIV/AIDS orphanage where some of our friends help out at. I’m so sad they’re gone, these are the people I literally spend ALL of my time with and now they’re millions of miles away and I don’t really have a way to contact them! But at the same time I’m so proud of the work they’ll be doing, they’re putting themselves in an uncomfortable situation (the average temp over there is 105) soley for the benefit of these children.


From left to right: Brianna, Camille, Austin, Jill, Jaes, Sierra, Brittany, and Mikalyn

I have a particularly tight bond with Jill and Mikalyn. Me and Jill were roommates this year and she has been kind of a mentor to me. She has so much wisdom to share and constantly has a positive upbeat attitude.


Mikalyn and I have been best friends since our early high school years. This is literally the funniest girls you’ll ever meet. She’s that girl thats hilarious without even trying, just the manner in which she says things gets me every time. She’s also that girl that I call at 2am when I can’t sleep that will go out and get Choo Choo’s with me, or will take me to work at 7am when I miss the bus. So basically…she’s my go-to girl. What in the world am I supposed to do for 2 months without a go-to girl?!


Aside from my best friends leaving, my entire household basically split up for the summer, and since almost all of us are living with totally different people, I guess it means we split up for good 😦 It’s been such a memorable year with these girls!


Looking on the bright side though, the one roommate that is actually staying with me this summer got a puppy! So far he has proved to be a pain in the butt…but he’s a CUTE pain in the butt!!


Speaking of dogs, I’ve been housesitting for a couple at my church while they’re on vacation, and they have a huge part-hound dog named Red that has been my bff for the past week. Literally all this dog does is eat, sleep, and poop/pee. Thats it. He doesn’t like to cuddle, he doesn’t like to play (or maybe thats just me), and he doesn’t really do anything funny. The only fun thing about this dog are his sleeping positions. Honestly, they kill me. First of all, he gets an entire couch to himself. Yes, this family bought a couch for their DOG. It’s hilarious to me. I took this picture while he was napping yesterday afternoon. How does he sleep like that?!


ps- he also snores.

So that’s about all that’s going on in my life outside of class and work (I work at the infamous Miller Student Learning Center- its GREAT). However, I’ll be sure to keep you updated with Red’s latest sleeping positions, don’t worry.


a blogging junky

Filed under: Uncategorized — sandyleeb @ 7:04 pm

So the whole purpose of this blog was to document my work for this Creativity Contract assignment for my maymaster course while also exploring the possibilities of a blog for my future students/class. I have to say that I have found it really gratifying to be able to put into words what I’m learning from each tool. I think having an online diary of what you’re learning is helpful for reflective purposes but also so you can make sure you know what you’re actually learning.

What I love about blogs is that you can put anything in them: your thoughts, pictures, links, videos, etc. You have an entire “website” devoted to nothing but you and your thoughts that can be easily shared with others. I like this because I could have my students blog about different class projects (in most agriculture classes, you do a lot of class projects, not all individual projects). It would give me a chance to hear their feelings toward different assignments while also helping me to see if they actually learned anything. (Also, the ag teacher and competitor in me would like to be able to submit some quotes about events from the students to the newspaper for when we win competitions.) And I love that the student’s parents would be able to track their work in my class too through a blog as long as they knew their child’s web address.

I could also see the benefits in a teacher using a blog to post assignments and helpful resources for the students. The teacher could give further explanations to assignments, preview upcoming material, and write about upcoming events. I have been inspired by how Gretchen, my teacher for this course, uses a class blog to post everything our class is working on. I use the blog as a reminder for homework, and a reference for when I’m confused about an assignment. Even if my student’s don’t understand the purpose of a blog, if parents knew that explanations to their children’s homework would always be on this particular website, they would be able to use it as a tool as well!

No one remembers everything that is said in class, and not all students are note-takers (and even if they are, everyone has bad days where they’re not as particularly attentive). Having a blog would make it easier for students to stay informed about whats going on in class.

It’s not surprise that their are tons of articles/blogs about teachers having a class blog. This one explains what to do with individual student blogs depending on if they want to keep their blog, you have no choice but to delete it, or if the student is moving away. I didn’t go through this one super thoroughly but I think it would be a good reference for end of the year tidying up. The instructions are really clean and easy to follow.

This article gives reasons why social media should be included in the classroom. The author talks about the dangers of social media while offering safe options (websites) that minimize the risk of bullying and creepers online. I like that the author has first-hand experience with social media tools such as blogs in her classroom and has seen success in it.


Waters, S. (2011, June 1). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://theedublogger.com/2011/05/25/our-tips-for-getting-blogs-ready-for-the-end-of-the-school-year/?

Kessler, S. (2010, September 29). The case for social media in schools [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2010/09/29/social-media-in-school/



Filed under: Uncategorized — sandyleeb @ 1:48 pm

So I took the top image of a typical pine tree and created this Tagxedo! All I had to do was upload the image, play around with the blur option (lets you choose how much detail you want) and ta-da! I’m so impressed! I used a list of scientific names for pine trees, and it probably would automatically generate an image shape for me, I still didn’t figure that out. But I’m so excited about the ability to upload my own shape! This is so cool!


2 in one day? May 28, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — sandyleeb @ 9:20 pm

Yeahhh, I know I literally JUST posted a blog post but I can’t wait to share my finished Glog!

I already shared a little about what Glogster is, but you should seriously check it out. I can’t wait to have my students to some projects with this website! I created my Glog about what my class is all about. I included videos about agriculture and FFA, the FFA emblem, a poster print about the relevancy of agriculture, identification charts on fish and cattle, pictures of animal fur and skulls, key words like “leadership” and “teamwork”, and basically everything I want my students to remember my class by! My brain is full of ideas on how my students could learn about different animal groups and horticulture using this tool!

One of the problems I had with Glogster was that I didn’t really know where to stop…ha! I do wish that you could make the board smaller, but I guess with that you could just make everything on the board bigger to take up space. Also, I couldn’t figure out how to change the background color from white. However, I was using the free account, so maybe with the paid accounts you can do that kind of stuff.

The graphics on Glogster are AWESOME! There are so many to choose from and it has them categorized so its easier to browse for what you’re looking for. There are also these little text boxes that are so neat to me, I used 2 of them in my Glog. So instead of just having floating words, it gives them cute little backgrounds and whatnot.

I found a short article about Glogster that gives a brief explanation of what you an do with Glogster. A teacher commented on the article saying that she had personally used Glogster with her class and had great success with it.



Melancon, M. (2010, December 13). Integrating glogster [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/groups/technology-integration-high-school/35750