Monday, March 20, 2017

Music, Memories, Tears

Beauty and the Beast

In the early 90's I took my mother to MGM Studios Orlando at Walt Disney World. At that time MGM was in a partnership with Disney and the Hollywood Themed park had MGM's name on it. This would be my mom's last trip to Disney. Growing up in Florida over the years I went to the different Disney Parks in Orlando more times than I can count. 

The trip to MGM Studios Orlando was to be a very special trip. My mother was ill from diabetes and not long after this trip, she would have the first surgery to amputate her left leg. While at the park one of our favorite lands was the animation studio. We went on Mother's Day and because they were behind on production there were animators working on "Beauty and the Beast" on a Sunday. In the exhibit at that time, you would watch a short film about the history of Disney animation and then walk through a second level observation floor that looked down over the animation studio. I was so excited about watch the artists work on Chip (teacup) that we stayed in the observation area as three different tours came through. 

When the movie was released I took my mom to see it and we reminisced about watching some of Chip and  Mrs. Pott's scenes being drawn. This was the last Disney animated film I saw with my mom. 

This past weekend I went to see the new live-action "Beauty and the Beast". I wonder what the lady in the seat next to thought when I started to tear up the first time Chip came on screen. As the music played for "Be Our Guest" I openly wept. It was a reminder that music and the heart connect and hearing the soundtrack took me back to seeing the original movie with my mom and how much I miss her at times. 

As I sit here and write this entry the tears are flowing. Thank You, Disney, for bringing back some heartfelt memories of my mom. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Little One's Can!


This past weekend I attended the K2CanToo Conference at Bitwise Industries in Fresno, CA. I took three teachers from my District to the event. We rode together to the conference and the energy in the car driving home each day was exciting. 

Personally, I have been to dozens of conferences both as an attendee and presenter. This was the first conference that I have attended that focused on K-2. Many of the K-2 teachers I work with don't think the little ones can use technology in a meaningful way. This conference put that thought to bed for the teachers that attended. 

We use iPads for K-2 in the District. It was great for teachers to walk away with tools that they can start using right away in the classroom. 

One teacher set-up a SeeSaw account while at the conference and will be using it in her classroom on Monday. I have heard of SeeSaw and know a few teachers that are using it but this was the first time I had seen it presented at a conference. I will be working with as many teachers as possible in the District to set-up SeeSaw accounts for them. 

Loved the format of this conference. There were two - hour long sessions each morning and a two-hour long session in the afternoon. In the morning they ran four sessions at a time with each of those four sessions repeating in the second hour. This allowed attendees to attend two of the four sessions. In the afternoon there was a choice of three different sessions. They also held an UnConn during each session. 

I would highly recommend any K-2 teacher that wants to know more about how to integrate technology in the classroom effectively attend the next K2CanToo Conference. Even if teachers that attended only put in place one new thing learned they will see engagement increase in their classroom.

Way to go Susan Stewart for getting this event started. Great job to all presenters Ann Kozma, Amanda Haughs, Kristen Beck, Josh Harris, and Kim Calderon.

Check out the conference website K2CanToo

Monday, January 2, 2017