Day 25 of #100DayChallenge

So in my quest to get the vlog/podcast started, I reached out again to Jeff Bradbury (check out and @teachercast).  Here is some great advice he gave me in helping to connect with others and just plain getting started…

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Day 15 of #100DayChallenge

As soon as I schedule my first guest (I have 3 women who have said yes), I will be learning how to edit video.   I am excited to talk with other women leaders and teachers about what they are doing in their schools and classrooms.  I hope to get this started soon!

In the meantime, I have decided to create my first video announcement to send to parents.  Instead of sending an email (that I am not sure anyone really reads), I will be creating a video that gives updates about the happenings at the high school, as well as announcements about exciting things to come.  If all goes well, I hope to send a video announcement home about once per month.  I hope this does two things…1) helps parents “get to know me” and 2) provides a more engaging experience for parents to see what is happening at our school.

Food Truck Wars Meets Twitter

What happens when a teacher shares her lesson on Twitter?  In short, she dramatically impacts not only her own students but multiple classrooms across the nation.  This is basically what happened when @tishrich shared her Food Truck Wars lesson on Twitter.  I retweeted her post to a Family and Consumer Science teacher at my own school, and as they say, the rest is history!

Avonworth High School students participated in a Food Truck Wars PBL unit, and it was, to say the least, an absolute hit with both teachers and students.  Students began their unit by brainstorming and selecting a Food Truck name and logo.  Students used the website Canva to display this information, along with a menu that included a signature dish.  Below is just one example of the students’ work:

To get students further excited about the idea of creating a Food Truck, the two teachers working on this project invited 3 food truck owners to our school, and they said YES!  Students were not able to purchase food from these food trucks (gotta love Federal Cafeteria Regulations!), but teachers and local community members came out to enjoy lunch on campus.  The food truck owners shared the story of their business and the process of starting a food truck with the students.  Students were able to have a small sample and got a behind-the-scenes tour of each truck.

After being inspired by these 3 food truck entrepreneurs, students were given the opportunity to try out their individual signature dishes.  Staff members came in to serve as local food tasters, providing feedback to the students for future preparations of the dishes. Using the locally created rubric, students worked toward crafting the perfect signature dish.

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The heat was on both literally and figuratively during the next lesson when students recrafted their signature dish for five local food experts!   Giving students a broader audience for their Food Trucks created both additional accountability but most importantly relevance to their work!

The Food Truck Wars will continue at Avonworth as four student groups go to the final rounds of competition, taking the critiques from the local food experts and creating a perfected signature dish.  In the end, the winner of the Food Truck Wars will be unimportant; it will be the student questioning, creating, tinkering and ultimately learning that happened!

I am thankful for the dedicated educators on Twitter who are willing to share their lessons, ideas and tools.   A special thank you to @tishrich for inspiring the idea and to @mgeorge12 and @MrsSebolt for implementing for our AHS students!


#100DayChallenge – Day 4, 5 & 6

Some things I have learned or discovered over the past 3 days:  

  1. Learning something totally new makes me anxious!  The stuff I don’t know about podcasting far outweighs what I do know.  I am a task-oriented person, and I like to get things done.  It makes me anxious that I can’t cross this “learning to podcast” thing off my list.  I am still having fun and being challenged, so I will keep that as my focus.
  2. There are so many educators out there that are so passionate and giving of their time/resources/expertise to help out!  My last blog post was about Jeffrey Bradbury from .  His podcast about podcasting is a great resource!!  I also made a visit to a local high school to discuss a steam classroom.  The teacher there – Brett Slezak – was so passionate and supportive I secured him as one of my first guests on the show!  Brett can be found on Twitter @AVPhysEd  His expertise is so vast that my visit to his high school is a separate blog post in itself!
  3. I have a lot to learn!  The good news is I know how to surround myself with smart people.  One of our tech guys not only patiently helped me with the tech side of Skype, Call Recorder and Garage Band to name a few but he also taught me some psychology (AAA – Acknowledge, Align, Affirm).
  4. Blab   A podcast show that I listened to this morning (#PrincipalPLN) featured the website blab.  I have not tried it out yet, but it seems to have some pretty cool connections to the educational world.   I am going to explore it as an option to connect with parents.  Please let me know what creative ways you are using this site.

Day 3 of #100DayChallenge

Well, I have to start this blog post with a shout-out to Jeffrey Bradbury, as he reached out to me about starting my podcast and has been a HUGE help already!  He has resources and blog posts that can help get you started on your own podcasting journey… Check him out at or follow him on Twitter (@TeacherCast).

Tonight I read one of his blog posts:  And although I’m still a bit overwhelmed by all that I don’t know, I’m continuing on this journey because I know I have to start somewhere.

I am wondering how to even record a conversation… So can I do that with a person over the phone?  Do I need the skype app?  I downloaded it, twisted my sister’s arm to download too, and will play around with making phone calls with her tomorrow.  I also started a google search on using Google Hang Outs (GHOs – I am proud of figuring out this acronym on my own) to record my podcast series, but from what I can tell, this can only be done live.  I think it’s important to keep editing as part of the process, so I don’t think GHOs is going to work for me.  If you are reading this and know differently, please share!

Jeff also shares that it will only be after 50-100 episodes that I learn the craft of podcasting.  WOW – I guess I do have a lot to learn.  I am wondering if people create some trial episodes with friends and family before beginning an official show, or is it best to just jump right in?  Please share your experiences 🙂



Day 2 of #100DayChallenge


A few of the small moves I made today towards my quest in creating my own podcast:  bigjourneys

  1. Setting up time with the tech guys at my school to discuss HOW to make a podcast.  Dedicating time on my calendar to doing this is critical; if it’s not on my calendar, it does not happen.
  2. Exploring other educator podcasts… I want to add value to the educator podcast scene, rather than creating something that already exists.  I could not find a podcast that has the goal of elevating female leadership  in educ If you know of such a podcast, please let me know.  I’d love to check it out!!  I am always curious about why more women do not take on formal leadership roles in education, and  I would love to highlight the women (especially local gals of Pittsburgh) in education who are making a positive impact on the lives of students and teachers.
  3. Connecting with a few podcast creators on twitter.

Excited to see where I will be on this journey in 98 days!


I’ve been thinking a lot about starting my own podcast series.  I enjoy listening to several podcast series on my almost one hour commute every day to work.  Creating podcasts will help in my quest to be a creator instead of a mere consumer.  When I create my own podcasts, I will not only learn more about teaching and learning but I will also get to share that learning with educators around the globe.  That’s a pretty cool opportunity!  It might end up being 1 listener, but I’m not going to worry about that right now 🙂


Principals and teachers in the Pittsburgh region have an amazing story to tell, and I would love to be a small part of sharing that story with the world.  In order to keep myself motivated and on track to create this podcast series, I will be sharing my journey through #100DayChallenge tweets.  If I do a little each day  and keep myself accountable by tweeting these small daily moves, then in 100 days I should be far on my journey of creating podcasts.


My first daily move (#day1 of #100daychallenge) is making the commitment that every day I will do something to add to my knowledge about creating a podcast.  If you have resources or ideas for me, please share!  I would love to hear from you.