Saturday, March 20, 2010

Love that Wordle!

I think I love Wordle!

Hearing the world itself is interesting enough but to think it's a catch phrase to introduce new words in the classroom is amazing! Another step towards no more boring learning!

If you haven't used Wordle you really should check it out. They are "beautiful cloud words."
I have watched tech savvy educators use it for a while now. I am amazed at the ways they have found to use it in class!

I can see it used in the classroom for spelling word lists, class rosters, bus rosters, word definitions and so many other things. It seems like it would make learning new words much more fun for students that's why technology-minded educators use it on a daily basis.

I have found after surveying a few teachers they use it daily for student birthday cards, to summarize chapters, to introduce kids at the beginning of the year or their first day in a new classroom. One even mentioned character descriptions such as a good teammate, a good friend, all about me, words for fun, all about our classroom. Or to introduce a unit, what will they be studying? What will they learn? Introduce a new book? Predict what it's about? Not to mention using it to find themes, threads, in speeches, text, etc.

Imagine making a wordle and passing it out as the weekly spelling word list! It might take the "boring" word out of the weekly spelling test!

WOW, there is so much to this word program I better keep looking I might find out more than I already have and I was pulled in by the catch phrase "Wordle" what a great non-boring word!

Things that mean a lot to me!

Some of the things that mean a lot to me are listed
to the right. Family members who always have something to say and keep me interested in their many activities daily.

Through their travels I feel like I see the world, pictures e-mailed make me feel like I am there seeing the adventures with them.

Today the spring snow storm is letting us see the NCAA tournament at our house. Normally we would be out at an event not able to be home.

We received an e-mailed picture this morning from the middle son who is in Las Vegas during the NCAA tournament, he said the weather was bad there too and attached a picture of his group at the pool enjoying themselves!

The oldest son in Texas was out on the lake early to do his bass fishing and sent pictures!

Technology keeps our family together even though we are states apart. We use it daily and thank friends who answer tough questions when I ask them about it. I T guys are the greatest! The next best thing to technology its self when it works!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Would YOU make a good Ambassador?

Have you ever thought of yourself as being a spokesperson for something you really believed in or felt passionate about? Something you knew from past history you could relay the message of the person or business and know you could depend on the credibility to always be there?
Those are traits of a true Ambassador!

ESSDACK is looking for a few good educators! Educators with an undying passion for education and student learning. These people would need to be employed by an ESSDACK member district, recognized as educational leaders, and be familiar with the ESSDACK organization and what makes it special.

An ESSDACK Ambassador would be the contact for their school building and educate fellow teachers about the opportunities offered to educators by ESSDACK. They would be the "eyes and ears" of ESSDACK during their daily travels. We can't be everywhere, even though we would like to be! That is where the ESSDACK ambassador will help out!

Participating in past events held by ESSDACK qualifies you to be a part of this new program. Volunteering alongside ESSDACK employees during special events would be common place, social networking, which engages ongoing conversations with community and consumers is a must!

The benefits? Mash-ups with ESSDACK groups during the school year, being a sounding board for new ideas, and the chance to shape the direction of ESSDACK to mention a few.

If this new program sounds intriguing to you and you would like to embrace a new chapter in your educational career, call the ESSDACK office at 620-663-9566, e-mail or check soon for an online application on the ESSDACK website.

ESSDACK Ambassadors will give area educators and patrons a "human being" to connect with rather than the traditional newsletters, e-mails websites and brochures.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

State Tournament Time!

It's State Tournament Time in Kansas!

For the 1st time in 16 years the home team Nickerson Panthers Basketball team and their head coach Ryan Duft will head to Salina to compete in the class 4A state tournament. They will be accompanied by a few hundred fans in blue and gold, accompanied by signs and streamers that will decorate their cars on the parking lot and the streets of little Nickerson, Kansas (Population 1256).

In a small town THIS IS A BIG THING! Parents grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, church members, the whole town is talking about the games everywhere you go. They have a right to be proud of their team. If your team has never been to the state tournament you don't know the feeling and you won't be having the time of your life this week. If you are a true basketball fan that loves to watch good basketball you will be joining in the fun at a state tournament location near you.

This is fun! This is exciting! When tournament week rolls around you can expect the unexpected. Like the pride of Burrton, Kansas....Alex Santiago..... who today is known as Amazin' Alex. He scored a record high 53 points in a boys state playoff game during the Burrton Chargers game last night against Hanover. After scoring 17 in the first half, he lit up the place with 36 points in the 2nd half to reach the record. Alex did his best but Hanover defeated Burrton 85-66 at the final buzzer. On a radio talk show this morning Alex said he would give up all the points and the record just to have won the game. According to his Superintendent "he is just that kind of kid." Here's to celebrating Alex, his accomplishment will remain in the record books even though his team's season has come to an end.

You meet a lot exceptional athletes, coaches and fans during tournament week. You find out all sorts of things you probably didn't need to know to be a better person, or employee, but you can find something that will make you a more interesting person.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year includes Madness

March Madness has begun. High school basketball is heating up in area schools. This is the time of year coaches and students have looked forward to since the first of November when they began the winter basketball season with high hopes.

If you are a high school basketball fan you know what I am talking about. Tuesday and Friday nights from November through February are spent on the road or at home with your team. The dates go on the calendar early so you are sure not to miss an inbound pass or a whistle of any game.

I have often wondered what makes a good basketball fan. Is it watching your son or daughter; grandson or granddaughter; nieces or nephews; reliving your own high school sports career; support of high school athletes in your community or just a love for the game.

Our community is blessed with long-time sports fans who have attended sporting events for years. I enjoy seeing them at every game and even look to their area of the gym to see if they are there for the evening.

Where would our schools be without fan support for our students? What fun would it be for our kids to play in an empty gym with no cheering fans to back them? I look forward to the fan "Madness" even if it's not March. But there is nothing quite like sub-state playoff time. The fans, the players, the coaches, the cheerleaders all seem to be at seasons peak and ready to knock off their competitors showing their style and passion for the game.

The young coaches we have today work to put the best team on the court. I love to see their competitive nature, something that must go along with coaching for a person to be any good at it. Along with great coaches come great games and I have been able to see many of them while at my public address announcing job at the local high school. I have met some of the greatest fans, coaches and players in the area and the state while they show an example of what their years of practicing basketball has prepared them for.... and that is March Madness.

There is no bigger way to get attention paid to your school than through sports. A good team gets your school noticed, more than noticed, it get's you on the 10 o'clock news, Catch it Kansas, Internet, Newspapers, Twitter, Facebook and more.

This year as in the past I will faithfully cheer for my Panther girls and boys and coaches Lynn Vick and Ryan Duft to compete with the heart of a champion as they begin their sub-state play. The hours of entertainment they have given me over they years has often been a conversation starter as we go over play after play on the way home from the game and on the phone with long distance fans who want to be filled in about the panthers and how their performance was that night.

The coaches and players are ready for March. Parents, grandparents, fans, cheerleaders, athletic directors, principals, concession stand workers, ticket takers and custodians are ready too. Get to the games when you can, you never know what you might miss! If you can't make it in person listen on the radio. Cheer for your team, support your students, teachers, administrators and show school pride. It will be fun being part of MARCH MADNESS! You might have something to talk about until the season starts again in November!