Embracing the fidget spinner craze

Fidgit spinners are in the hands of so many students these days. I have to stipulate to students that unless "I have papers that indicate you need a fidget device" that they need to be put away. I feel like a broken record. They have become a distraction in so many classes. The original purpose of a fidget spinner was to help students with attention issues in focusing. However, they have become a toy to many students. With all of my lessons I want them to be applicable to the students lives. I want my students to make those direct connections between the brick and mortar classroom and the world around them. Since fidget spinner are the most recent craze, why not embrace the craze and adapt t

May The Fourth Be With You

I am a self proclaimed geek and nerd. I own my nerdiness. So, it comes as no surprise that I love Star Wars. I love that pop culture has created Star Wars Day on May the 4th. Its awesome, and I will be 90 in a nursing home still using the May the Fourth joke. Just wait. I am passionate about bringing science to life and relating it to my students lives. While breaking down the physics of superhero and sci-fi movies can reduce the enjoyment of watching those movies, I have found, in general, most students are fascinated about the science behind the movie. Proving the science correct, increases student motivation to aspire to create similiar technology in the future. I was excited to get up th

Stories + Maps = Story Maps

I recently have become enamored with ESRIs Story Maps. I have always been a mapper. I conducted many areas of geologic mapping as an undergrad and worked with creating GIS maps as a consulting geologist. I even created a GIS based map of our maple trees for our "maple sugar conglomerate". To say mapping is a passion is an understatement. I have framed maps in my living room. So, when I read the ESRI tweet about Story Maps, I was all over it! I immediately saw a use for it in telling a family story of my grandfather's immigration from my genealogy research. Plus, another way to include maps in my teaching and bridge the Geologist/Educator in me. Score! What I love about Story Maps 1. Story

Using Google Maps to Support Genealogy Research

One of my many hobbies is genealogy. I have been researching my family tree since 2001 ans am the self professed family historian for both my and my husbands families. In the last two years, I expanded my research to my husband's family lines. My husband is Irish and Finnish on his paternal lines and Eastern European on his maternal side. After conducting Ancestry DNA tests, I was contacted by an administrator of a Facebook group that focused on descendents from a particular villages in the former Galician region of present day Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine. This led me to another Facebook group the Lemko DNA and Ancestry group. This group is again focused on making DNA connections of desce

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