Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I've discovered Capzles, a social story telling site!  I can't wait to share this with my many possibilities.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Terrific Tech Tools for Teaching

If you are like me, you have several 3-ring binders on a shelf with tabs marking your favorite lessons.  Why not use binders to organize your Internet sites?  I've recently discovered Live Binders, and I have found it very useful for presentations.  You can also search for binders that may already include the items you are looking for...very cool stuff.  Check out my live binder I created for our summer professional development day.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Tagxedo Name Tags

Are you looking for a cute way to make name tags for your classroom this year?  If so, try using Tagxedo.  I just typed my name in bold font, saved it as a picture, then uploaded it to Tagxedo.  The students can then type words that describe themselves, choose a font, and choose a color theme.  This would also be a great way to do introductions on the first day of school.
If you like Wordle, you will love Tagxedo!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I have been using Photostory 3 for the past several years, but I recently discovered Photo Peach. It's similar to Photostory 3, but it has the option of making quiz questions. I made a short video with our Space Camp pictures to demonstrate.

Camp Missions on PhotoPeach

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far from the Tree

Well, my son has inherited my love for computers, and we've been trying out several new tech tools this summer (on rainy days of course).  DoInk is an easy way to animate, and it is a great stepping stone to get kids ready to use Adobe Flash.  Now it's time to animate a rocket!

The Delicious Apple by jhawkins, made at

Monday, July 4, 2011

Honeywell Space Academy for Teachers

I recently had the amazing opportunity to participate in the Honeywell Space Camp for Educators. Over 1,100 teachers applied for Honeywell scholarships, and there were only 200 or so chosen for the two camps. I feel honored to be one of the chosen few, and I'm thankful for Honeywell's generosity.

I participated in two missions. On Atlantis, I was a Mission Specialist. My job was to assist the commander and pilot by opening the payload bay (and making funny faces for mission control...glad you brought your barf bag, Amelia). I also conducted an EVA (Extravehicular Activity) on the Micro G Wall with Amelia, the other Mission Specialist. I assure you that it is not easy working in an astronaut suit, and I didn't even have the gloves on. Plus, my shield was open most the time (so technically I should be dead right now). I had a blast working on the orbiter and I loved working with Nikki, Steve, and Amelia!

On the Discovery Mission, I worked as the CATO (Communications and Tracking) in Mission Control. My job was to provide mission commentary to explain air-to-ground transmissions and flight control operations to news media and the public. Basically, I just reported what and when things happened. I got the giggles (yes me) when I accidentally said "manure" instead of "maneuver." If I was a real CATO, I'm sure that would be floating around on Youtube right now.

I absolutely loved the Aviation Challenges. We had the opportunity to zipline into a lake, drop into the lake in a "dunker," and be lifted from the lake in the "lifter."

When we were not doing mission simulations and aviation challenges, we were listening to speakers, attending classes, and participating in aviation challenges. Our guest speakers included astronaut Hoot Gibson
and the author of The Real Space Cowboys, Ed Buckbee. Some of our classes included: Toys in Space, Thermal Protection, Personal Constellations, Martian Math, and Rocketry.

I'm excited to incorporate the things I learned into my classroom, and I hope I my students will learn to appreciate space exploration as much as I do...time for liftoff!

The last shuttle launches on July 8th.  I will be watching...will you?