Keeping My Hand In

Hello, all! I know, I know… Long time, no update!

But I am excited about our new technology committee here in Odem, and I am looking forward to working on this blog again! I hope that’s good news for everyone! For now, I will be going through, checking to be sure that links are not broken and fixing what I can fix. Looking forward to keeping my hand here! Thanks for your patience!

Drought Map

Good morning! I am going to try harder to update this blog… So today, I decided to share a picture I found on the UCL website. This is a map of the drought in Texas, showing where exceptional drought (the dark red) exists… Kind of scary!

You can find more information here

Here at the CSCOPE conference

Hello, all! Well, I’m here, checked into my hotel, and I’ve already spent a day at the conference! Now it’s all just sitting in sessions until Thursday, when Rebecca and I present… I have to admit that – much as I like the spotlight – I have a few butterflies in my stomach!

The keynote speaker was Rich Allen, and I have to say, he was really good! So good that I spent the first session sitting in on his presentation about the use of music in the classroom. Very inspiring! I wish I could say I gathered up hand-outs for everyone, but there weren’t any hand-outs. Bummer! Still, when his powerpoint is up, I’ll make sure and link to it here.

The next session I went to was integrating technology into CSCOPE, and the ladies used the Mimio system! Very cool!

I might ought to give everyone a heads-up here, that I found out last week that I would be going back into the classroom, this year, but while I won’t be able to come and help you out like I have for the last two years, I hope that you will still – always – feel comfortable enough with me to ask any questions you might have. If I can answer them, I will!

Stay tuned for anything else I might be sharing from the CSCOPE conference! See all of you on the 15th!

50th Anniversary of Mercury spaceflight

Today – May 5th – is the 50th anniversary of the first American manned spaceflight. Mercury Freedom 7 carried astronaut Alan Shepard into space (116 miles above the Earth) and then splashed down safely 15 minutes later. This milestone of spaceflight eventually led to the first landing on the moon, the space shuttle, and the International Space Station. If you’d like to learn more, here is an article about the Freedom 7 and the history of the Mercury program that you may enjoy. You can find it here.

Waterspouts in Hawaii

Here’s some video of twin waterspouts that formed off the coast of Hawaii on Monday. Interesting weather for Hawaii; you could use this to discuss with students how waterspouts form and how they’re related to other forms of severe weather, like tornadoes, etc. The video is courtesy of Youtube and RDTV.

National Geographic’s Mapmaker Interactive

This is a great way to teach tectonic activity in Science! National Geographic’s Mapmaker Interactive allows you to overlay the boundaries of the tectonic plates with earthquake information from 1900 and volcanic activity from 4000 BCE to AD 2009, so that students can actually see what plate tectonics has to do with earthquakes and volcanoes!

And for you Social Studies teachers, there are drawing tools and markers for students to use to mark and label the map. If you want them to identify continents interactively, they can do it. If you want them to identify oceans, they can do it. They can draw boundary lines, and explore current events… What a wonderful interactive tool! Just click on the link above to access it, and enjoy!

Tornadoes in the South

The tornado outbreak across the Southern states of Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia, is – so far – the third worst in the nation’s history. There are many photos out on the Internet showing the devastation from the storms. If you want to share this current event with your students, check out the weather sites, such as or for photos. Also try for up-to-date information.

CNN has a photo gallery associated with its article on the devastation, as well.

I found this picture on Accuweather, courtesy of a Twitter user named bamawx. He was a little too close to the action for me!

Dates in History

This is an important date in the history of Texas! The battle of San Jacinto was fought on this day in 1836, guaranteeing Texas’ independence from Mexico! Happy San Jacinto Day, everyone!

But this day also has resonance throughout history. The traditional date of the founding of Rome is April 21, B.C.E. 753, and this is also the date that the German fighter ace, The Red Baron was shot down over France by American ace Eddie Rickenbacker, in 1918. This is also the date that Henry VIII became King of England on the death of his father, Henry VII, in 1509. And the date that women in France finally received the right to vote, in 1944!

And in Science news, this is the date that the discovery of extrasolar planets was announced in 1992.