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Friday, June 29, 2012

WANTED!!!

Okay I know that I haven't been doing the blogging thing for very long, but I still only have two official followers! There are those of you who may be following me through something like Google Reader (which is how I follow most of my blogs), but I would still love to have more followers! Some people have giveaways in order to attract more people...I'm not to the point yet where I can give much away. So today's first request is for followers!

My second request is for a blogging mentor. I have figured out a great deal of the tech stuff behind blogging, but I need to get the inside scoop on linky parties, blog hops, etc. If you are a blogger or avid blog follower, then you know what this means.

So...any takers????

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Show Parentheses Some Love!!!





My course this summer is on Teacher Leadership and School Improvement. I am part of a group that is reading How to Thrive as a Teacher Leader. The book has definitely been eye-opening as I have been thinking about the amount of responsibility that has been placed upon some of the teachers in my school (teachers who are grade level chairs have also read this book as part of their leadership training. I'm so proud that my district places a strong emphasis on having teachers help with some of the decision-making, especially when we are the ones most affected by the decisions! Then I got to the chapter discussing effective communication, and the section of "style" in written communications discouraged the use of parenthetical asides, as they often lessen the importance of the information presented. Really??? I love using parentheses! How else can I interject my witty musings? Does that mean that they aren't important? Now I am going to question myself every time that I want to use parentheses. I had a boyfriend in high school who once commented that I used a lot of exclamation points in my notes, and I replied that the exclamations would get an inferiority complex if I were to limit their use (there's that geek thing again). I refuse to stop using parentheses! They are important! Well, maybe I won't use them as much in professional communication, but they will still be prevalent in my blog (along with exclamation points)!

Another book that I will be reading for my leadership class (although I am only required to read one) is Learning By Heart. My good friend and classmate, Darcy Grimes (new TOY for North Carolina, woo-hoo!), said that this topic will be a focus of some of her speeches. Hopefully I will also get it finished by the end of the summer.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Catching Up

I still have so much that I would like to share about my incredible trip to Discovery Communication headquarters, but my week has been insanely busy. I am now in Buffalo visiting family, and my time has been very busy. I'm just happy to have reliable access to the internet (it's not wireless, but that is okay at this point).

Here is what I will share: my thoughts on Twitter. I really never "got" Twitter, and I'm still not sure that I do, but I have had so much fun with it this week. On our school trip to DC/Maryland, everyone was tweeting or following the Twitter feed for that trip. I loved knowing that what I was posting had more of a purpose than my occasional re-tweets of UberFacts (which is pretty cool to follow if you love trivia and random facts). Using Twitter made those of us on the trip feel more connected to each other and to all of the followers of Discovery Education.

Then, on Friday, night, I joined in the Twitter feed while watching Nik Wallenda walk the tightrope across Niagara Falls. It was so neat! There were people calling him crazy, praising him for his faith in Jesus, and those who made funny comments about being searched by customs officials as soon as he reached the Canadian side of the wire. I re-tweeted a few of my favorites:
"I haven't been this nervous since Fonzie jumped the shark!"
"If 'Walking the Wire" is a ratings hit, we can expect "Walking the Wire with the Stars' to get the greenlight tomorrow."

Anyway, I love technology for how it keeps us connected. I still prefer following blogs, but I am beginning to see how Twitter can be fun. Follow me @juliebuda (and be ready for some useless trivia).

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Photo Fun at Discovery Headquarters

A special thanks to my colleague, Andrea, who was happy to pose with some of the cutouts at Discovery Headquarters. Everyone has been having an awesome time and learning a great deal of information-that's what it's all about!


Day 2 of Discovery


Last night we were welcomed by Bill Goodwyn, the President and CEO of Discovery Education. More pics to come!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling...

It is 2:00, and we are still on the road to Discovery Education headquarters outside Washington, D.C. After crossing the North Carolina/Virginia border, we stopped for a brief lunch. Normally this kind of trip might be uneventful, but this is no ordinary group of travelers. On this bus are some of the top students from the Mooresville Graded School District and their dedicated parents, our district CTO, many of our schools' tech facilitators and teachers. The level of knowledge on this bus is amazing! We are tweeting, texting, blogging, doing whatever we can to document the excitement of this trip. Sitting behind me are two sixth grade boys who are recording an hourly video blog-listening to them and their enthusiasm is a hoot! This bus is like a PLN on wheels!

Follow us on Twitter! #dsntrip12

Silver Spring, Here We Come!

As I write this, I am on a charter bus headed to Discovery Education's headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland! Thirty of our school district's Discover Educator Network (DEN) Stars are helping to chaperone a group of students who will be helping to pilot the new Discovery Student Network. Tonight we will be eating dinner on the roof of their headquarters, which is outside of Washington, D.C. Tomorrow we will be taking part in some of the "behind the scenes" at Discovery Education and at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. I am so lucky to have this opportunity!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

And the Geek Goes On

Okay, confession is good for the soul, right? I am totally embarrassed. I jumped into this blog because I am loving all of what I have been finding on other blogs and because I want to become more familiar with such an influential aspect of technology. However, here I am two weeks into the blogging world, and I have:
1. Just one follower (love you, Summer!),
2. Left blank/deleted posts on several blogs (oops, I shouldn't hit post reply so quickly), and
3. Taken on the same blog design as a popular third grade blogger.

I really wanted a cute blog. I wanted a totally "Me" blog. On another blog, Third Grade Love, I saw a post about her new layout that she purchased from DreamLike Magic Designs. At that time, the blog design was cute and colorful with flowers (I think). A few days later, I went to DreamLike Magic and saw this awesome template. I LOVE plaid and often joke that it is my favorite color. I am not opposed to clashing plaids/tartans. I quickly purchased this design, knowing that other bloggers could also purchase the design. Then, just yesterday, I happened to stop by Third Grade Love on my computer (I normally check my blogs on my phone, which does not show the graphics). Imagine my embarrassment when I saw that WE HAVE THE SAME BLOG TEMPLATE!!!! I pray that she doesn't think that I copied her (although imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?). Anyway, I still love this design. I have been telling myself that our blogs will have different things to share and that there is room for both of us in this blogosphere. Yet there is still a small part of me that remembers sitting in Ms. Benzin's ninth grade French class and being painfully aware of wearing a cheap knockoff of a rugby shirt that one of the "cool" kids was wearing.

I still love plaid, and I still love rugby shirts, and I wish I could ninth grade me to be more secure in myself.

Here's a prime example of someone embracing their inner dork:
My uber-creative sister made these Transit of Venus cookies for her husband's star party last night. As she said, her "L" was showing. I guess it runs in the family (love you, Cathy!). :-D

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Hooray for Summer!!!!

Yesterday was my last day with students, so my summer is officially here! However, I am celebrating summer for a different reason-I have my first blog follower, Summer! I know that I am getting page views, but I am so excited to have someone "formally" following me (I told you I was really a geek). Now there is no stopping me!

Have you heard of Projects by Jen? One of my colleagues introduced me to this site as I have been compiling a list of global projects for teachers. I saw her participate in a Christmas card exchange and asked her about it. I signed up and hope to do some of the data collection projects with my third graders next year. Over the summer, she is hosting a "What I Did This Summer" Voicethread project for teachers. I am going some pretty cool places this summer, so I can't wait to participate. I love the experience of online collaboration, and enjoy using it in my classroom. This is the future of learning and working!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

LOVE IT!!!!!


There are so many things to be excited about right now...first of all is my new blog template! Isn't it so stinking cute???? Thanks so much to Dreamlike Magic Designs! Of course my blog still needs a lot of work, but mostly I need followers!

Another reason to be excited is the fact that TOMORROW IS THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!!! I'm excited for summer to begin, but I will miss this group of students. They really were a good mix of students. I always love each student as an individual, but every teacher will agree that there are some groupings that just don't work. This group worked so hard and really felt like a family. I got teary-eyed as I watched our slideshow today with highlights from our year. It's cliche, but time really flies! Anyway, I received this creative card from my class today (courtesy of our tech facilitator). They used Tagxedo to create a word cloud to describe me and our activities this year. Isn't it great? I hear a lot about Wordle and Tagxedo, but I never seem to come up with creative uses for them. Later on, a colleague shared Wordles that she had made for each student with character traits that were chosen by their peers. She printed them as 4x6 photos and put them in frames. I am sure that each student felt so special to receive a gift like that. Maybe next year...

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Discovery Education

I feel like I am exploring many new programs these days, but something that I am really excited about is Discovery Education! Next week I will be accompanying a group of students and teachers to the Discovery Education headquarters in Maryland (outside Washington D.C.) as our district gets to help them launch their Discovery Student Network!  I am very excited about all of the things that I will learn (and see!) on this trip.  Now I have also decided to make Discovery Education the focus of my School Improvement Plan project proposal that I will be doing for my leadership course this summer.  I love when I can integrate in the classroom, but I love it even more when I can integrate things in my outside life (wait, do I actually have one of those?????).


By the way, be on the lookout for my new page layout!  It is so ME!!!!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Summer Technology Challenge

One of the blogs that I follow is  Free Technology for Teachers.  In this recent post, the author lists things that someone could do to enhance their knowledge of technology.  I am already doing the one on working on a blog, and I would love to try a tablet-only weekend (anyone have an iPad that I can borrow???).  I'm not sure if I have time to work on a different operating system.  I currently work on a Mac, but I do have a PC at home with Windows Vista-I really don't like that program.  The biggest challenge for me would be working on html codes.  I love how he gives links to helpful sites for learning this!


I love a challenge...I'll let you know how I do!!!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Is it summer yet????

Just 5 days left!  I have such a wonderful group of students this year, so I hate to wish the time away.  But...I can't to have the option of sleeping in every day!  I also can't wait to have some free time to work on this blog.  There are so many cute blogs out there-surely I can create a cute template too!  I'd also like to have more time to catch up on what other teacher bloggers are doing...I have gotten so many wonderful ideas from following all of these blogs!

Have a wonderful weekend!
~Julie