Community and Baseball

7 Nov

So it’s been a while since I’ve blogged – because, life. And I’m steering away from my typical tech posts to share an amazing experience I had over the weekend.
If you’re friends with me on FB you know I LOVE The Skimm. Every morning I look forward to getting my news for the day from The Skimm. When you share The Skimm enough, you get invited to be a part of a private FB community of Skimm’bassadors. This is where the goodness of Skimming happens. We’re 8,000 strong and use each other for advice, recommendations, celebrations, post things that we don’t want to post on our personal accounts, etc. It’s like having 8,000 best friends you’ve never met in person.

So, I was perusing my feed and this post popped up:


This wall. I’d seen the pictures. Names, written in chalk, of loved ones who loved their Cubbies, but missed the chance to see them shine. Names overlap covering every inch of every brick. People sharing chalk, taking pictures, touching the name they wrote, remembering their grandma, grandpa, uncle, son cheering on their beloved Cubbies, telling stories, staring at the bricks or at the sky. If you haven’t been there yet, go.

The post came through the night before the big parade. The rest of my family were already down there, but had just left to come home. We had plans to watch the parade and I knew we’d be in Wrigleyville on Saturday, too.  So, the thing about a post like this is that it catches on. What started as one name of a passed Cubs fan turned into 12 amazing stories of hope and love and loss.

12 names. 12 stories. 12 legacies.

I couldn’t let my Skimmies down. What brought together a community of 8,000 from across the world? A wall….in Chicago….at Wrigley Field….for a baseball team….a World Series Championship baseball team.

It still gives my chills. Not just the win, but the impact that win has had on people in my family and beyond.

I made it down on Saturday. We first walked around the whole stadium, watching people write names, post pictures and think about the whirlwind of the previous 4 days. My husband, Jay, had to write the majority of the names (I make him do the craziest things sometimes).

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All 12 names we wrote are on this section of the wall on Sheffield

All 12 names we wrote are on this section of the wall on Sheffield

This was more than just a good deed for my Skimm’bassador friends. I’m still amazed by the posts – “this would make their family’s day,” “it would mean so much to the whole family,” “this would mean the world to her,” “I’m in tears right now! You have no idea how much this means to me.”

But I think I am starting to know how much this means to them.





#d303GoogleMadness Here is Your Champion!

21 Apr

Wow…what a ride! We started with 64 Google Apps/Tools/Add-ons/Extensions/Features and whittled it down to ONE…ONE Amazing Google Tool that we certainly couldn’t live without.

Here were some highlights from the last few weeks…

  • The biggest 1st Round upset came between the Docs and Search match-up — students, especially, were crushed that Search didn’t advance
  • Editing mode defeating Research Tool blew me away in Round 2
  • Let’s talk Round 3….right Jeff (and the rest of the North SS department)? There may have been literal tears shed when Classroom didn’t advance and a formal complaint has been filed

Alright, so here we are at the final round:

Google Madness Champion

It’s a tough call.

You have YouTube – literally millions of videos that can enhance your classroom. It has playlists to curate videos you want students to have quick access to. You can upload and edit your own videos. Students can upload and edit their own videos. It can help you flip or blend you classroom……

Then there’s Auto Save – you NEVER have to click Save – it does it for you, automatically. If I had a nickel for every time I reminded my students to “click File and Save”….can’t even do that math in my head. AND I used to set myself a timer to remind them to do that! No more people – you don’t have to wonder as you’re logging off your computer, “did I save that file?!”.

Which one do you vote for????

Is the anticipation killing you yet (I know Jenni and Dana have something to say about it)

Google Background (1)

Which also means….we have a new leader:

Google Background (1)

I really hope everyone had a fun time. I hope to blog a little more about some of these tools and give some new ideas for using them!

Google Madness 2016 – Crown Your Champion Here!

19 Apr

Can you just taste the victory! I don’t know about you, but I have had a lot of fun with this one!

SF 1 SF 2














Who will you crown as the Google Tool to Rule Them All?!

Google Madness Champion

Updated Standings

SF Top 5






Vote here: The Championship Vote

Google Madness 2016 – Semi-Final Round Vote Here!

15 Apr


Here are the Round 4 results

Capture Capture1 Capture2 Capture3




















Now that everyone has gotten over Classroom out of the bracket……will the same thing happen to YouTube?? We’ve got several who have YouTube as Champion. Will there be another upset??

Shout out to Mike Kuper for big points (again!) – he was the winner of last round’s gift card

Shout out to Justin Brennan for moving up 12 (!!!) spots from the last round

Check out all of the standings here  – please don’t pay too much attention to where I am in the rankings 

VOTE HERE (we had the lowest amount of votes this last round…we’re almost done, stick with me!)

Google Madness 2016 – Round 4 is Here!

13 Apr

Round 3 voting has ended. Scores have been tabulated. A Starbucks card has gone out to someone who scored 41 points this round! I hope you’re all having fun with this – here are the results (and upsets) from Round 3 voting:

Chrome Apps & Extensions





Google Apps Suite





Google Add-Ons & Apps





Google Features







Now that we’re coming down to the wire, there are definitely a few I thought would still be in the running.

Can Jeff hold his lead?

Round 3 Top 4






Ready for Round 4?? Vote here until midnight TOMORROW!! Get your students voting, too!


Google Madness 2016 – Round 3 Vote Here! (and Round 2 Results)

11 Apr

There were some heartbreaking defeats in the last round! Drive vs Docs was rough….rough…I didn’t even know how to vote.  It was a bad game of what came first, the chicken or the egg!

Research Tool and Edit Mode was another surprise for me. Screencastify just slid past Scan QR and Gmail was no contest against Forms.

Check out all of the match ups below.

Screenshot 2016-04-11 at 1.03.50 PM Screenshot 2016-04-11 at 1.04.00 PM Screenshot 2016-04-11 at 1.04.07 PM Screenshot 2016-04-11 at 1.04.19 PM Screenshot 2016-04-11 at 1.04.27 PM Screenshot 2016-04-11 at 1.04.33 PM Screenshot 2016-04-11 at 1.04.41 PM Screenshot 2016-04-11 at 1.04.48 PM

Mr. Jeff Petersen still has a strong lead, but it’s anyone game still!

Screenshot 2016-04-08 at 3.43.01 PM

Check the updated standings here – Lots of movement!

Vote for Round 3 – voting closes on the 12th at 3pm – get your students voting, too!

Here’s some swag going out tomorrow…wonder who is going to get some goodies!


Google Madness 2016 – Round 2 Vote Here!

4 Apr

Wow – I was not expecting a few upsets from Round 1! Round 2 voting (link below) is open until 11:55pm on April 6th, so get voting.  Feel free to have your students vote or other teachers – the more votes, the better results we get. If you want to still participate, click the bracket below to fill out and submit your own!

Google Madness 2016 Round 2


Vote in Round 2 Here!

Results will be up and posted on April 8th along with Round 3 Voting.