Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sweet Pitbull Looking for a Loving FOREVER Home


~ STILL AVAILABLE FOR SERIOUS ADOPTION ~

I found a sweet female Pitbull about a month ago and I need to find her a responsible, loving, forever home to call her own.  She is a great and friendly dog with a meek temperament (no aggressive streak whatsoever) who loves to smooch and lick you. I have fallen in love with her and it will be with a sad heart that I will need to part with her as our home owner association only allows 2 pets and we already have a full house.

“Lulu” came to my school and would have been euthanized by the city or maybe worse, ending up as a poor bait for dog-fighting if I had not gotten her.  A guy that I thought I could trust was supposed to adopt her, but after investigating, I found out that he had lied about his apartments accepting dogs! 

“Lulu” is a friendly, 9-month old brindle pitbull and she is potty-trained, playful and energetic. She loves playing with my two dogs and going on walks three times a day.  She does NOT like cats and would prefer chasing after them! Otherwise, she is really mellow. 

“Lulu” has received all of her vaccinations, has been spayed at the beginning of the month, is on monthly flea prevention; heartworm tests have however shown that she is lightly positive.  One of the requirement for adopting her, is that her future Mom or Dad is willing to split the $175.00 2-day heartworm treatment with me and put her on heartworm preventative for the rest of her life.  I am not looking to recup’ any of the vet fees that I have incurred, all I want is to find her a responsible family that will love on her, cuddle with her, treat her well, keep her inside during the sweltering summer and cold winter days, have a fenced in yard to play in and keep her safe.  She definitely likes A/C but also likes to be outside.

“Lulu” will bring along a couple of her toys (she loves her Nylabone & Kong as she is a tough chewer), Nature’s Recipe dog food, 4 doses of Advantage and the rest of her unused heartworm pills.

If you would be interested in having Lulu as part of your forever family, please email me at Estelle@blingk.com or call me at 713.522.8958 (home #) or 713.927.3985 (cel.).  Please forward this to as many responsible and caring animal lovers that you know, I want to place the little girl in a caring and responsible forever home.  I will ask many questions and ask to see your home before relinquishing that sweet baby to ensure that she has the best life as she deserves it.  As you can see from the pix below, she is a cutie and a keeper! :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

My New Puppy


I am so excited: I am the proud new Mom of an eight-month little puppy called Mochi, as of Saturday. I found him running around Riverside Park and I could tell he was in trouble. I kept on telling him, "Come here, puppy" but he ran away, scared to death. I finally got his attention with some dog food and a bowl of water. When I first approached him, he growled a little bit and cowared out of fear but soon he realized that I meant him no harm. He got all of his vaccinations now, a new green collar with tags, and I am so happy to be able to give him a forever home where he will be cherished and loved forever.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Thing #23... Reflection on Library2Play

Looking back at my blog, I am overall amazed at how much I have learned about technology over the course of these past 2 months. I actually love my "online portfolio" and know that I will reference it in the future to review the tools introduced during the course and ultimately also to record on the new discoveries that I plan to add on to my technology belt.

I think in general that blogging has been my favorite discovery and I really would like to use it as a tool for learning and reflection with my students, in the likes of teachers like Mark Ahlness. Of course, I loved "playing" with the creative applications like the online image generators, but I was really thrilled about the Google tools available, particularly the Reader. Organizing efficiently by creating my own folksonomy of tags through del.icio.us has been another highlight of this discovery experience too. Finding about Zamzar as a way to bypass the SBISD firewall to show educational vidcasts was another AHA moment. It's really hard to find which one I enjoyed most...

Library2play has helped me go beyond my fear of the unknown world of new technology and I have tremendously appreciated the scaffolding that the discovery assignments have provided. I really enjoyed the format and being able to work at my own pace. One of the thing I was scared of was not to have the discipline to get behind the computer regularly, but somehow I managed because of the engaging way the course was set up. Kudos to you all, Kickball Captains! I will without a doubt revisit the Common Craft website in the future to continue to keep abreast of technology with their short and simple videos.

The unexpected take-away is that I can now have a conversation with my computer engineering friend and actually know what all of the little icons like RSS and Technorati represent on his blog! I am no longer a technology nincompoop! How refreshing to see the light! So, YES, definitely, if there were another discovery program like this in the future, I would participate in it, as long as it is during the summer. Again, thank you for opening my eyes to all of the fascinating tools of this new digital world!

~CARPE DIEM with 23 "Things:" the future of technology is already here!~

Thing #22... Nings

Ning for Teachers was definitely my favorite social network of the three samples, because of course, it's targeting its content to teachers! Just as the website says "it's a place where teachers can share ideas, ask questions, learn from each other, or even vent about the school day!" Although I have finally joined Facebook over this summer, I am still having a hard time with the concept of social websites. Until I saw the concrete Ning examples, I had a hard time conceiving what you could do with them on a professional level. I get it now.

I am very glad that Ning for Teachers does not display the ubiquitous "activity" panel where you learn that "A & B are now friends" or that "C's profile has now changed" (like on Facebook.) Although I have not yet completely bought into the idea of social websites, I have to confess that I enjoyed having a virtual encounter with Clay Burrell via his blog over the course of this Learning 2.0 journey! And I surely enjoyed the Library2Play interaction; so, maybe,unbeknownst to me, I am slowing turning more and more to the Internet to connect with other people. I guess a ning is the new way of doing it at this point.

The first feature that I liked on http://teacherlingo.com/ are the top tabs that really make it easy to move through the different sections of the website. I also liked the ability to search for lesson plans created by expert teachers on specific content. It reminds me a little of the setup in the Teacher Section of Scholastic. The cloud tags on the right hand side of the home page was very informative as to what the latest trends in education might be.

Browsing through the most recent posts, I came over a great entry on "Wait Time" --one of my toughest challenge! I liked reading this quick review of "best practices" in the safety of my home and also found comfort in reading other teachers' constructive reflections: these are people who LOVE what they do, people for whom teaching is not a job and they are truly inspiring!

I've been using forums in the past and find that they really provide great expert information. That's where I got most of my questions as a newbie triathlete answered before participating in the Jeff and Brede's Intergalatic Triathlon. At Ning for Teachers, these type of forums fall under the "Message Board" tab and I could see them as a great venue for exchanging knowledge and expertise between first year teachers and mentors under a certain anonymity.

To me, nings are probably the virtual schools of tomorrow, where telecommuting students and teachers share an open discussion and collaborate online. If I were to set up a ning for school, I would probably build one to share book reviews, as this is essentially how I use my Facebook with friends who do not live in Houston. I did however read that our amazing SWMS librarian is actually planning on creating a ning for that purpose already and I am excited to see how we are going to implement it... :)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Thing #21: Podcasts and Audio Books

I was first very daunted by this Thing as the Wikipedia explanations seemed very "jargonish" to me and I wasn't sure I understood it all. Thank goodness for the CommonCraft's vidcast "Podcasting in Plain English" (am I using the term correctly?) because it really helped me comprehend through visuals where reading it couldn't!

I have just finished my first vidcast and have spent most of my afternoon working on it. It was definitely a time-consuming endeavor and after viewing the end-result, I am disappointed with it. But since I am in a time crunch, I won't have time to redo it. I am glad I got to dabble with Photostory to create my own visual podcast, but it surely does need a whole lot of cutting and editing! It's my own creation and I was bored stiff with it, although I tried to be witty, talk with a variety of tones and keep it short and sweet.
I failed miserably and I realized that this is how I must sound to students when I accidentally switch to the dreaded "lecture mode..." and to top it all, corny with that! Besides the vidcast content flop, this in itself is actually a great reminder for the new year of the 10:2 ratio of teacher-student talk. Sorry for the blah, blah, blah...

video

Thing #20... YouTube, TeacherTube and Zamzar

What a learning adventure I have had this early morning! Although I've known about YouTube and TeacherTube, I surely didn't know that Google and Yahoo also offered their own video hosting sites. But who cares, now that I am aware that Blinkx is the video search engine par excellence!

I thoroughly enjoyed viewing the 3 video samples. Jackie Halaw's Three Steps about Competing, Cooperating & Collaborating as literate skills for the 21st century learner was very upbeat and inspirational. It made me want to try epals again --I had tried pen pals with my french classes and it didn't work out so well. I absolutely loved the concept of global collaboration and would never have thought about it, even after learning about wikis yesterday. What a great video to inspire me for the upcoming school year; COMPETE, COOPERATE, COLLABORATE might be my motto for 2008-2009!
I also enjoyed the video snipped advertising The Portal to Texas History and was surprised to find Elvis' army picture! I found out that he was stationed at Fort Hood for a while!

My best discovery today is without a doubt the URL converter Zamzar -- surely wish I had known about it when I was trying to show that Cinderella tease by the Houston Ballet! It does indeed sound less complicated than the other way to play videos that might blocked & it doesn't require sign-up for the basic free service! I have however uploaded the Powerpoint YouTube Instructions to my Google Docs, so as to always have it available as a back-up plan! Gee, I am frightening myself with all this technology usage!

I used the "Advanced Search" box in YouTube to find this cute little video on French prepositions. It was really easy to narrow down my video search by language and also by playing length (less than 4 mn long!)



In TeacherTube, I looked up "English as a Second Language" and found a short video about the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) which could be a quick way to remind teachers across all content areas to take advantage of the wonderful professional development opportunities offered in SBISD as to how to make input comprehensible for our English Language Learners.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Thing #19... Web 2.0 Awards List

I felt like a kid in a candy store, exploring the Web 2.0 Awarded sites.  I wanted to try just about everything and thank goodness that I am pressed for time trying to finish this project, else I would probably "play" with everything!

I dabbled with the self-publishing website by the name of Lulu and thought it would be great to upload students' writing to create an anthology with a customized book-cover and all.  Nothing like that to make students know they are authors.  To tell you the truth, I was thrilled to death when I read that you could even purchase an ISBN for the book you create!

I don't think that YouTube needs any introduction as far as Web 2.0 application is concerned.  I use it mainly on my personal time but you can also find educational content.  For instance, I was able to dig up a preview of the Houston ballet's upbeat version of Cinderella to show to my ESL students before their field trip, but unfortunately the district's firewalls prevented me from showing it.



Saving the best review for last, I discovered the html form builder Wufoo, which makes creating surveys and gathering information painless, even for someone who barely got acquainted with its features.  I "designed" the information questionnaire that can be seen below and I would like to give it to my students to fill online at the beginning of the school year. I am also thinking about reproducing the "Reading Survey" used by the district as an online survey, as it will be easier to aggregate the information and genres that students enjoy reading.


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