Aggie Life

   

Ranger is ready for some Fighting Texas Aggie Football!

  
We found Blue Bell!!  

And…..I feel in love with Buc-ee’s.  (It’s a Texas thing)


  The new stadium!!  
How cute are these girls?!


Yay for other ladies to watch the game with!       

And the guys.   

 
It’s going to be a great year!

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Augmented Reality

  
Augmented Reality definition: A view of what is real, that has been augmented by computer generated input, like images, video, websites, audio, etc.

Y’all.   This will blow your students’ minds.    It’s addicting! 

 Aurasma is an amazing app that is changing not only education, but marketing/advertising.  (SXSW utilized this during the 2015 season very well. )

**Downfall for classrooms, this works on iPads.     If you don’t have iPads on campus, then you’re at a loss.    If you are anBYOD campus (bring your own device), this works pretty well.   It does work from a laptop or desk top, but takes some work.   Best for iPads

Video tutorial This video does a great job stepping you through how to set up and get started.  

Ideas for use:

  • Meet the Teacher Night-  put rules, class information, schedules, etc…napping your classroom and encourage students and parents to walk around the room to get to know you.   This will build excitement for the school year like you’ve never seen before!
  • Fine Arts- display your work or a picture in the hallway and have your video telling the biography, your own performance, etc…   EX:  a picture of Mozart hangs in the piano classroom.  When students use the Aurasma app to hover over it, a video of a peer playing a piece by Mozart streams.   
  • Research Projects-  Students can video their presentation of the project!
  • Science Fair-  Science boards go from boring to INTERACTIVE!   Students can film themselves while conducting the experiments and then have each part linked to the scientific method displayed on their board.  Judges, parents, staff, and peers can watch exactly what each scientist did step by step.    
  • Class instructions-  engagement is key here!    Have students do a “gallery walk” around your classroom to explore and investigate more about a topic.  

Web Tools 2.0

ToonDoo

Students can create their own comic strips that can bring their writing to life!    Think about using this with new vocabulary, teaching processes, and bringing ideas to life.    

 

AwwApp

This is a great (free) white board that students can do scratch work on.   

  

Weebly

Easy way to create a clean, professional looking website.   This is very simple (I would trust 3rd graders with making one of these!) and provides help to start your own site.    What a great way to have students demonstrate their learning!

  

Nearpod

This free website is terrific for classrooms with iPads.    When students join your class/lesson online, they follow your presentation.  It keeps everyone on the same page and solves the issue of not having a smart board or projector.   No need!    You can take your classroom anywhere for a lesson and have them on the same presentation page with you!

  

Wordle

One way to use this is to brainstorm about a topic.    This tool helps students analyze the text/topic given.   Think about using this at the end of a novel study, unit taught, or project.   Great for K-12. 

**NOTE!!! This doesn’t work on Chromebooks!!   eLearningindustry has a great blog post on 5 word cloud generators to try out.  

  
Animoto

This is basically anREALLY cool slide show.    Best use is for vocabulary.     

Go to animoto.com/education and signup for a teacher account.    This will give you free student accounts!    

Tech Conference 

Yes, I will admit it.    I am turning into a bit of a technology nerd.     I promise it’s just because of my job!!    But y’all……there are so many cool things floating around out there that make education exciting.    Seriously!

So instead of taking notes in my 8 classes/breakout sessions over the next 2 days, I’m just going to post all the fun websites, great ideas, and thought provoking conversations that happen.   

Get ready!    It’s about to get nerdy up in here!   

  

Happy Anniversary to us!

Yesterday we celebrated our anniversary by doing something out of the ordinary for us:  we stayed home!  Crazy and wild, I know.

This summer is packed full of traveling, friends, family, and adventures.  A few weeks ago Robby and I went to Dallas to watch the Byron Nelson golf tournament.  We celebrated while there, ate dinner at Eddie V’s (terrific steak and scallops!), visited friends, and rested.

  
But for the actual day of our anniversary, staying at home sounded like a dream come true.  Robby grilled out (I will post his steak marinade soon.  It’s a game changer!) and I fixed the side dishes as well as desert.

  
Oh the desert……I made a gluten free angel food cake.  From a box.   But still….It was the first time that I’ve ever made one.  Robby watched as I whipped the egg whites into stiff peaks, folded in the baking mix, and smelled the goodness as it baked to a golden puff in the oven.    Doesn’t it look terrific?

  
I remember as a little girl watching my mother invert the angel food cake to let it cool.  I didn’t fully understand why, but I thought it was a funny thing to do with this delicious cake.  So in my best attempt to recreate her smooth skills, I flipped the hot cake.   And then…this happened….

  
HAHA!   Y’all, it just plopped right out.   I didn’t know what to do?   So I called my mother.

“Mom!?!?   Is this normal? ”

My mothers response, “Nope.  I have never had that happen before.”

Gee.   Thanks, Mom.   No advice, just letting me know that once again…..what I’ve done is out of the ordinary.  That’s love.

It didn’t stop us from eating it, though!   It was the perfect end to our dinner.

   
 Above is a a creative gift that my sister-in-law gave us for Christmas.  It’s a bottle label with our anniversary date and wedding picture.   We placed the label on one of our new favorite wines (Noisy Water Winery in Ruidoso, NM) and enjoyed it after dinner.

  
And to top off our night at home, we have grass in the back yard!   Ranger was a sweet girl and posed for us in the picture above.

So here’s to another year of adventures in marriage!   My husband is such a wonderful man and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us this year.

Robert and Alison-23

We LOVE Baseball!

When I joined the Rigney family, I knew that baseball was a big part of “us” and who we are.  Robby’s family has deep roots in baseball, and it is evident in the man cave in our home, in our dates as a young couple in Dallas (My Texas! My Rangers!) and our TV channels at home!

Who knew I would actually love baseball, too?!?!

After I met Robby, baseball became fun to me.   I learned to keep score and follow players through the season.      I got excited when the Rangers were in the World Series!   The girl who knew nothing about sports, could keep up with Sports Center at night.  What was happening to me?  I was becoming a Rigney.  

The ultimate proof that I’m “in,” I couldn’t wait to come to Spring Training for my week off of work.   A day game sitting in the berm with my hubby sounds pretty good to me!  (I only wish we could bring our dog with us!)

Day #1- Oakland A’s and the Diamondbacks.      We had seats behind the players’ wives and kids.   Nice shaded area, very chill and relaxed.   Nice!





Day #2- Giants v Brewers

On this day, Robby and I relaxed in the berm on a blanket with a few hundred other fans.    It’s always entertaining in the berm!   





Day #3- Rangers v White Sox

Another great day in the berm!    The clouds and a breeze made it the perfect weather.   





It’s a long way back to the Ballpark in Arlington!



Robby tried to work with me on keeping scores and stats.    Not too sure about this yet, but I think I can get it right!



Oh!   AND I got us on TV sending a shout out back to Midland.   Watch out, media, I think I like the camera!







Many of you asked, and yes…Will Ferrell showed up to play baseball, but we missed him.   Our game time was quite enjoyable, though.  

Hello, Arizona!

Back for a 2nd year in a row, I couldn’t be happier to be in Phoenix for Spring Break.  Hello sunshine!   After weeks of ice and snow in Midland, this Texas girl  needed some warm weather.   Every day is in the mid 80’s here.   Glorious!!  

Last night, we went to a Phoenix Suns basketball game.   





And of course, we’re starting out our trip with some time at the golf course. The Phoenician is a lovely course with great hiking trails and scenery all around.  





Later today, baseball and visiting family friends!    

No Points For You!

Thank you to this mother for reminding me of the other side of my job. There is SO much more to a student than what a baseline test can measure. May all educators remember this when speaking at parents conferences.

teach from the heart

Confession time.

My kid failed 4K screening.

I’m a total failure as a parent.

Okay, not really…the failure as a parent part.

Or the failing 4K screening part.

You don’t fail a screening, but you do get labeled.

I was told that C was developmentally behind.

Total disclaimer: I had no intention of sending him to 4K as I loved our play-centered daycare, but I did it because ‘everyone’ is supposed to.

It hurt my heart to hear those words…developmentally behind.

Then it made me angry when I was told the why.

He failed cutting.

Seriously.

He was not quite four and a lefty.

They gave him right-handed scissors and asked him to cut out a semi-circle.

He did a bang up job until the end where he cut off part of the black line.

Perfect almost three-quarters of the way around, but then…

He failed to stay on the line.

Had…

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Life update…..

It happened. I honestly tried not to let it. You blink, and months have flown by! You finally have a moment to sit and decompress from the hustle and bustle, and realize that you used to have a life outside of work. What did you do with all that free time? You blogged! oh, yeahhhhh! About that….haven’t updated in a while, huh?

Since my mind thinks in lists lately, here’s the list of what’s kept us busy:

1a. Teaching – 4th graders are funny little people! I have a bunch of sweet, kind, and funny students this year. Lots of characters in there. Sometimes Ranger helps me grade papers.
Ranger Grading papers

1b. – Robby’s job is going well. =) I don’t know much about it, but he says it’s good!

2. It’s fall in Texas. That means FOOTBALL! We’ve been traveling to home games for Texas A&M (whoop!) It’s always fun to catch up with friends at games.
Aggie 2014

Aggie game 2014

3. If we haven’t been at the game, we’ve watched with friends and thrown a party.

4. Robby went hunting! Unfortunately, it rained the entire time. Still, he enjoyed visiting with friends.

5. Family! My momma came to visit us in Midland! It was a great time catching up with her.
mom and me

6. Ranger! Our sweet pup is almost one year old, and has a ton of energy. She keeps us active!!
Ranger & Football

7. Friends! I got to catch up with my college girls as well as lots of time with my Bible study friends.
Jess' Wedding

summer mummers

And so, there you go! Not much cooking going on around here, but I’m hoping to make some yummy spice cake cookies tomorrow for Bible Study. We’ll see if that happens!

Grilled Mexican Pork Chops

Sometimes I feel like my life revolves around scheduling dinner. Finding recipes, making sure it’s healthy and that I can eat it (gluten free, lactose free), making sure we don’t double up on genre (nobody really wants pasta 3 nights in a row, do they?), dodging traffic at our busy H.E.B grocery store, making something that is finished in 45 minutes or less after a long day of work, and on and on! Yes, the week is set by the menu!

For tonight, we’re going light and healthy.  Fire up the grill and get ready!

The main ingredients for my inspiration:  Pork chops, taco seasoning, corn on the cob, and sweet potatoes

Prep Work:   (The potatoes and corn can be prepped the night before if you need to save time.)

1.  Rub pork chops generously with taco seasoning.  Let sit for 10-15 minutes while you prep the veggies.

2.  Shuck and clean ears of corn.  Lay the corn on a square of foil.  Place a few slabs of butter, sprinkle generously with cayenne and salt&pepper.  Roll each ear of corn in it’s on foil and seal.  (If you have extra taco seasoning, you can use that on the corn!)

3.  Peel potatoes and cube into 1 inch pieces.  Create a foil packet and season generously with garlic salt and cayenne.

Grill time!

  1.  Add the potatoes and corn first on the grill at a medium heat and let cook for 15-20 minutes undisturbed.
  2. Flip the corn and potatoes and move the sides of burners (or top rack if you have one, away from direct heat.)
  3. Add pork chops.  Grill 6-8 minutes on each side, checking to make sure the inside has been cooked through before removing from the grill.

The result:  PURE DELICIOUSNESS!    And super easy!   The hubby and I enjoy this meal because it is pretty simple on clean up (throw away the foil and only a few dishes to clean.) as well as it gives us some time to catch up on our day and visit while the food cooks.

 

**Note – this can be done in the oven/stove.   Preheat oven to 350 and cook the corn and potatoes in foil packets for 30 minutes.   Cook the pork on the stove top over medium heat.