Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What are all these random videos on this blog??

Well, that is a great question! I am a big believer that seeing science happen is very important to the learning process. So, I spend quite a bit of time either creating or finding videos that demonstrate various important concepts for my students! When I find a great one, I pop it in this blog to ensure that I can find the video again and that my students have continued access to this great instructional material!

If you ever come across a great video, or better yet, make a great video, please let me know!!!

I look forward to showing you more science!! ;)

Reflection and refraction of colored light in water air surface 2

Friday, November 19, 2010

Free Technology for Teachers: Explore the Chemical Education Digital Library

Free Technology for Teachers: Explore the Chemical Education Digital Library

What a cool list of resources to help you fill out your learning with animations, tutorials and 3D models!!! If you find a cool one, bring it to ClassConnect! :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Five Major Class of Chemical Reactions


Action is the foundational key to all success.
Pablo Picasso

Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.
George Edward Woodberry

I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.
Bill Cosby

I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.
Michael Jordan

So what is success?? I believe the answer is that it is different things to different people. Learning a new skill in class, turning everything in this week, having a life outside of your academic life, getting a good nights sleep. Each of these could be a big reason for celebration depending on who you are and what life is throwing at you today.

How to become successful, that is the question! There are so many paths. I believe that taking academic risks, trying something when you really don't know if you can do it or not, accepting failure as part of success and as a part of learning, and, my personal favorite, resiliency.

I really believe that being resilient it one of the absolutely most important things that you can be. Every single person on this planet has made mistakes, failed a test, disappointed someone they love, or disappointed themselves somewhere along the line. It happens. That isn't the important part. What IS important is what you do when you fail, when things don't go according to plan, or when life seems like it is just too much.

You get up, you set attainable goals, and you try it again. You approach the problem in a different way, you ask for help, you let people around you support you, and you don't get hung up about "the last time you tried."

•an occurrence of rebounding or springing back

Next time you fail, don't stop yourself and get bogged down in fear and disappointment. Be resilient and think about how you are going to spring back into the action!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

With freedom comes the R word!! :)

It is about this time of year that we start getting panicked phone calls from families. We understand! Getting through the beginning of the year ("launch") can be so busy, that sometimes things fall through the cracks.

You may have been thinking, "That D in science is OK, because next week I will (insert good intention here)."

Now you may be beginning to realize that those good intentions haven't come to fruition, or you may just be having a plain hard time understanding what you are learning!

We are here for you! Please do reach out and check in with your teacher via phone, K-mail, IM or Tutor time if you need any help.

Sometimes, it is hard to know what you need help on, so start somewhere! Maybe you got a 1/5 on your last quiz. That is a perfect starting place!! Go into tutor time and ask to go over the quiz with your teacher. Then, we will be able to determine what is going wrong and how to best help you.

Remember, you have LOTS of freedom in online schooling. However, as the old saying goes, "With freedom comes Responsibility." Gone are the days of sitting in the back of the classroom with your head on the desk "absorbing" the information flying around you. If you don't log in, you won't learn!

Some other things that you should do TODAY if you are not happy with your grade/level of understanding:
  1. Set up a schooling schedule. Really. Write it out and stick with it for a minimum of two full weeks. If you don't see improvement in your learning, talk to your teacher.
  2. Are you an auditory learner?? Some people understand things better if they hear them. You can do this for yourself!! Read the lesson out loud to yourself. Ask a friend or family member to read it to you. There are also software programs out there that will read for you (many cost some money).
  3. Take your time!! "Hurry Scurry work" is never your best. Many struggling students rush through their readings. You need to slow down, be sure you are taking notes and absorbing the information. I often suggest that students read a lesson three times through. First time to get an idea of what you are learning about, second time to take notes and a third reading to cement that knowledge and ensure you got all of the details!

You all rock, and you know it!! Please try some of these suggestions if you are struggling. If you have other suggestions for your classmates, please comment on this post and share! :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

How to catch up!

One of the most common issues that students face here at COVA is falling behind. There can be so many reasons that one could fall behind. Hospitalization, connectivity issues, and disorganization are just a few things that can throw you off track. You may just miss a day or two, or for some, you may be a week or more behind. Falling behind is scary, frustrating, and can be overwhelming!!

So, what do you do when you are behind?? After working with thousands of students in the virtual classroom over the past four years, here is what I have learned.

  1. Make your newly assigned work your highest priority. I know, it seems strange right? I have this MOUNTAIN of make up work, and now you are telling me to do my new work?? Shouldn't I start at the beginning? Well, it does depend on what you are missing, however, whenever possible, start each day off by completing THAT day's assigned work in every single course. Then, go back and complete at least one of your missing assignments!
  2. You will have to put in extra hours. Sit down with your leaning coach and organize a schedule. Again, you should plan about six hours per day to complete your newly assigned work in each course. Then, plan to put in some overtime completing old/missing work. It will make for some long days, but if you put in the time, your missing work pile will disappear quickly and soon you will be able to return to a normal length school day.
  3. Plan to work on the weekends. This is the absolute key! You can make significant headway on old/missing work over the weekends because you don't have your six "normal" school hours. Think how much make up work you can get done if you dedicate those six hours to it! WOW!
  4. Go for big point assignments. If there is simply not enough time to get it all done, go to your gradebook in the course and find large point assignments. Things like tests and labs are going to be your first priority!
  5. Communicate with your teachers. Let them know that you are behind, why you are behind, and ask for a list of what you need to make up! We are here to help you! Come into Tutor Time so we can help you move quickly through some of your missing work! This is especially important if you have fallen significantly behind. There may be some assignments that you are no longer allowed to earn credit for. You don't want to waste your time preparing for a test that you can't take!

Hopefully these five tips have helped you realize that there is a way out of the missing work mess! Please, do me a favor, if you have fallen behind, take a moment and contact your teacher today!! If you don't know if you are behind or not, contact your teacher!! If you are a learning coach and aren't sure how your student is doing, contact your student's teachers! :) (notice a trend??) ;)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Reflections on the first week back.

What a busy, inspiring and amazing week! We have so many new cool features in our LMS (Learning Management System) that are making teacher and students lives MUCH better! I have had an amazing week of getting in touch with over 200 students and families. It has been great to hear your stories, talk with you about your worries and just get to know you better. Hopefully many of you got to come out and see some of your teachers this week! If not, there are more events coming up next week! I believe that we are having a club fair on Monday during your homeroom, so be sure to join in and become a member of a club that excites you! We have a truly wide variety of options out there, hopefully one (or more) will appeal to you!

During this busy time, it is always nice to stop and remember what we are here for and why. The answer to both is YOU! We are here to help you learn your content, help to hold you accountable for your involvement in your education, and have some serious fun along the way.

Many of you have already taken quizzes, participated in class discussions, and even completed your first solo lab!! :) Pat yourself on the back, that is a very big deal!

I know that this week was smooth sailing for some, and a bit rough for others. Please never hesitate to get in touch with your teachers to share your joy and pain!

Enjoy your weekend, you have earned it!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Welcome to the School Year!!

Are you ready?? WE ARE!! :) There are some exciting things happening this year and we are ready to get rolling!! I know the beginning of school can be overwhelming, so please let us know what we can do to help!

For those returning, you are our experts! You are ready to really dive in and get moving! For those that are new students, it will all fall into place, I promise you that! It will be a journey, but we can do this together. Feel free to comment on this blog if you need help and don't know where to go!

Go Cougars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Free e-books and a way to read them...

So, you all have gotten a BUNCH of supplies from us, and will be seeing a lot more in your courses when school starts Monday! :) However, I always like to find and share resources whenever I can! I recently discovered a site that has a TON of free e books available for download at: http://www.planetebook.com/. I noticed a ton of classics that you may want to read for pleasure or, just maybe, could use in class. Also, this site you may have heard of (um...google, anyone) has free e books available as well! http://books.google.com/

Also available, for those who don't like the layout of the e books is goo reader at http://gooreader.com/

This application is downloaded to your desktop and makes the layout more "user friendly," plus has some bonus features!

Check it out, if you think that this is something you may be interested in!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Road Ahead

I found this inspirational this morning! I hope you do too!

The Road Ahead: "Sometimes I think the fates must grin as we denounce them and insist,
The only reason we can’t win is the fates themselves have missed.
Yet, there lives on the ancient claim - we win or lose within ourselves,
The shining trophies on our shelves can never win tomorrow’s game.

So you and I know deeper down there is a chance to win the crown,
But when we fail to give our best, we simply haven’t met the test
Of giving all and saving none until the game is really won.
Of showing what is meant by grit, of fighting on when others quit,

Of playing through not letting up, it’s bearing down that wins the cup.
Of taking it and taking more until we gain the winning score,
Of dreaming there’s a goal ahead, of hoping when our dreams are dead,
Of praying when our hopes have fled. Yet, losing, not afraid to fall,

If bravely we have given all, for who can ask more of a man
than giving all, it seems to me, is not so far from - Victory.
And so the fates are seldom wrong, no matter how they twist and wind,

It’s you and I who make our fates, we open up or close the gates,
On the Road Ahead or the Road Behind."

Friday, August 6, 2010

What are your goals??

I am not a huge goal setter, but I am learning to improve! Giving yourself something realistic to shoot for is a great way to feel like you have accomplished something and, if you surpass your goal…wow!! That really feels great!

Some of you that are reading this blog are new to COVA and some have been with us for years! There are so many goals that you can think about in your personal or family life, and when you are schooling from home, you will notice that some personal goals blend into some school goals. I have a few suggestions for students and families as you all begin preparing for the new school year:

1) Keep it positive-you CAN do this, we can help!! Reach out to us on those tough days where nothing is going right. Sometimes we can fix your issue, other times we can just give you a shoulder to lean on. Either way is SOOOO worth it!

2) Turn in all of your work-sounds SO easy right now, but you will find yourself tempted to skip some items here and there. Start from day one turning it in, and you will reap the benefits!!!!

3) Come to your live sessions-all of our data (and believe me, there is a LOT of data) says that you will increase your chance of earning a high grade in your classes if you make the time to come to the live sessions!

4) Participate- join a club, get out in the Big Think, jump into class discussions and come hang with your teachers at events and in Tutor Time (formerly known as Office Hours). Also, (this sounds silly, I apologize in advance) be sure to answer your phone when we call and update your phone number if it changes!

5) Do your best and forget the rest- we all fall short of our goals sometimes. Don’t let it stop you. Stop, think it over, change what you can and get back to it!!!

So, what are YOUR goals?? Stop to think about where you are and where you were last year. Then try to create three to five realistic goals that you will KNOW when you have achieved them so that you can enjoy the feeling of a job well done! Also, be sure to let your teachers know about your goals so that we can help you get there and, most importantly, help to celebrate your achievement!!

If you are reading this and need help, please comment or e-mail me at mlambrecht@covcs.org.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Getting ready...

We are getting things ready! Setting up calendars and getting gradebooks prepped for our new students. I am brainstorming FUN stuff for you Physical Science, Chemistry and Physics folks...just you wait!! Let's all just hope that my house survives my plans! ;)

Getting some field trips together too. Stay posted for more information on a day trip to NREL (National Renewable Energy Labs) in Golden and possibly a longer geology trip in the spring (think Western Slope...maybe!).

Any ideas you have had or suggestions are more than welcome!! :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Next hike--Avian Adventures!!

Whew! Summer is FLYING by! Can you believe we are in mid July already?? I am going to be taking a "Physics and the Atmosphere" graduate course all week this week and will be MORE than ready for an Avian Adventure the next week!! :) Here are the details:

When? 8-10 am on Tuesday July 20th, 2010!!

How much? The adventure is FREE, but registration is required through the City of Fort Collins(Phone: 970-416-2815- naturalareas@fcgov.com)

What to bring? Binoculars and bird field guides, if you have them!

I hope to see some of you there! If you can make it, please comment on this post or e-mail me at mlambrecht@covcs.org. :) Have a happy week!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Soapstone hike #2! Geology of Soapstone coming up soon! :)

Please join me (Mrs. Lambrecht) for a 5 mile moderate hike in Soapstone Prairie (North of Fort Collins) at 9 to noon on Monday, June 28th!! Be sure to dress appropriately (you may consider boots/long pants as we are in snake season), apply sunscreen, and bring some water, snacks, or a lunch!!

This event is FREE, but REQUIRES registration with the City of Fort Collins (phone: 970-416-2815 or e-mail at naturalareas@fcgov.com).

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Whew!! You made it!!

We hope that each of you had a GREAT school year, this year! :) We are already planning for how to make things EVEN BETTER next year!! Please comment on this post with any ideas you would like to share!! Your ideas are KEY to us being the best school we can be.

Hope to see you at graduation!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Finals!! You are ALMOST there!!

Hey all!! Your COVA Science team wishes you the absolute best during finals week! You are going to do great if you prepare a little each day, relax and be SURE to sleep at least 8 hours per night. We are all grading furiously, trying to keep up with all of YOUR hard work!! :)

Happy end of the semester! Hope to see you at graduation!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Soapstone Prairie-It's Not Just Grass

What a fun day, yesterday! We went on a hike guided by a mater naturalist from the city of Fort Collins at Soapstone Pairie. Soapstone is an open space with 28 square acres that are open to hikers, cyclists, and horeback riders alike. There is also a paved walking trail off of the north parking lot that is fully accessable to those with disabilities.

On our windy but beautiful walk we learned all about bunch grasses, steppes, natural history of northern Colorado, ancient people who inhabitied this area and current animal and insect residents of Soapstone.

Be sure to join us on our next Soapstone adventure: Monday, June 14th 10-11:30 am, Soapstone Prairie-North Parking Lot, Wildflowers of Soapstone Prairie, 1.5 miles-easy. Free, no registration required.

Friday, May 14, 2010

New phlog!! Physical Science 102B Unit 10 Lesson 1 Audio!

Here is an audio recording for the Physical Science lesson for Monday May 17th! Check it out and let me know what you think!!


If you’d prefer to listen to the phonecasts as a podcast – this is easy too. Simply copy and paste the URL (website address) of this RSS feed into your podcast client – such as iTunes. If you are using iTunes, its easy to just to to “Advanced” on the menu at the top and choose “subscribe to podcast” and put the URL in there!!

Trying this out!!

OK bloggoshpere!! We are jumping in...well, maybe!! We would like to use this blog to share information about courses, fieldtrips and current events in science! Please comment if you have other ideas or needs that you think could be met through this blog!! :)