Posted by Christine S on 8:01 PM
Okay, I heard this speech online by Tim Robbins and must admit, I found it very interesting. He made some very good points. I am not going to say much else. Just take a moment to listen to it and formulate your own thoughts. That is what makes our nation great. You are allowed to formulate your own thoughts and express your own opinion.



Posted by Christine S on 5:46 PM
     I admit, I am a hardcore MAC fan. The Mac computer can do so much more with photos, graphics, video, and audio recordings. You can make a movie with the click of a button. I could spend hours on that topic but I'll save that for another day. :) Anyway, being the Mac fan that I am, I also tend to take A LOT of photos. My digital photo album on IPhoto contains over 20,000 images from just the past 5 years. This does not include all of the images I have still stored on DVDs and my laptop. That is A LOT of pictures.
     Well, I like to share pictures. Parents LOVE to see what their child is doing because they cannot be in the classroom with us each day. Grandparents love to see photos of the grandkids (or, in my case, grandchild) that live so far away. Friends love to see the places you have been. You know the drill. However, photos can take up a huge chunk of web-space. My virtual field trips page on my web page (which is nothing but photos of some of the places I have been) is over 10 gigs! That was less than 500 of my photos. That was the space needed for the photos, the webpages holding the photos, albums, details, etc. That ate up most of the space provided for by one of my web-hosting companies. Sure, you can compress the photos or adjust them so they don't take up as much space. However, you can lose the quality when you do that and I am just not willing to give that up.
     I wanted to be able to create videos with the photos and share them on my blog. Photobucket provided me with that option. Initially, I used the free membership options. However, as I played with it more, I decided to go ahead and try the membership. It was worth it. They give you 5 gigs of space. I already have over 1500 photos posted and have used only 2% of the space allocated. I have been able to create neat little videos that I can embed within my blogs. I have made slideshows and remixes. I have to admit that membership was worth it. You can organize your photos by albums which will allow you to upload hundreds of photos. I have enjoyed playing with it.
     Here is an example of one of the remixes I made. It took me fifteen minutes and was easy to do. It also posted easily on my blog. 

      I could have also created something on IMovie or IDVD as well but Photobucket provides the hosting. You can't beat that because these shows will take up a substantial portion of your webspace.


Downtown Chicago

Posted by Christine S on 6:02 PM


The Train to Chicago

Posted by Christine S on 5:47 PM


The University of Chicago Lab School

Posted by Christine S on 4:57 PM
     This past spring break, we were able to spend some time up north with my mother-in-law in Chicago. We were even given the opportunity to visit the University of Chicago's Lab School. This is the pre-K through 12 school that my husband attended and graduated from as a child. You see,Bob grew up in Chicago so he is one of those transplanted northerners.
     I, on the other hand, am one of those few oddities you find in Jacksonville, a native Floridian. I was born and raised in Jacksonville. I attended two schools, Resurrection Catholic School and Stanton College Prep (when it was 7-12). Then I attended UNF so I really have not ventured far from home.
     Anyway, we visited the Lab School and I was impressed to say the least. It was an amazing experience. The classrooms were large yet busy at the same time. Shoes, gloves, and mittens were sitting on old furnaces to dry out. That is something you do not see in Florida. The pre-K classes had cubbies for their students to store their book-bags, jackets, lunch boxes and other normal items you find in a school. There were lockers that lined the halls. On the lockers were pictures of the students sledding. The students actually were taught sledding. Like I said, this is not the stuff you see in Jacksonville.
      Well, we were also given a tour of the schools by a parent. It was very interesting to see how different things are done there. First of all, students are not graded until 8th grade. The teachers, however, are responsible for giving the parents detailed progress reports about their child. The school does not wish to start a sense of competition at a young age. The students, by first grade, are able to start walking themselves to the various resources such as music or physical education.
      Music, Art, Media and P.E. are integral parts of their program. This was refreshing to see since we live in a time of severe budget cuts and fiscal belt tightening to the point that these resources are often the FIRST to get the "proverbial ax." It was nice to see a school that did not cut these programs in budget crunch times but rather expanded them.
      The school has a very rich history. Being located on the University of Chicago, it is surrounded by interesting architecture (Frank Lloyd Wright designed several buildings nearby) and fascinating statues.  The 5th graders even created their own paper mache replicas of the gargoyles that can be found all over the campus.  The students replicas can be found lining the hall.
     The school also hosts an array of activities that promote learning outside the box so to speak.  I believe that it was the fifth graders that create posters of their favorite books.  These posters are sort of a campaign poster for their favorite book.  The school then "elects" their favorite book that year.   After a text is elected, that author is invited to come speak to the school about his/her work.  Most author's accept the invitation.  I just thought that was such a neat idea that I hope to share it at my school.
     Well, I must be going.  As Abbie would say, school work is calling to me.  Have a great afternoon!

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