ALCOA Eagle Eye To The World: Bettendorf Student Showcase Night Part 1

On Monday, March 18th from 5:00 – 7:00 students who are part of the Bettendorf Schools ELP program conducted a student showcase to show off their work on their independent study projects that they have been working on all 3rd quarter.

We have 85 presentations spanning from grades 4-8. The elementary grades (4 and 5) focused on bald eagles as part of the Eagle Eye to the World project that was created by several teachers and former students.

IMG_5379Students made their way into the middle school around 3:30 after being released from school at 3:20 to setup their stations. We placed 30 elementary students in four classrooms in a manner that gave each student plenty of space to conduct a presentation and to quiet the noise from the hallways. Students had from 3:30 – 4:45 to get ready and prepared. After setting up students could eat pizza with their mentors from 4:15 – 4:45 (we have our elementary students paired up with 8th grade students to offer guidance). Also, during this time they were able to talk with Allen Holloway. Outside of the classrooms we had expert painter Allen Holloway set up painting a bald eagle to show the community all the various career pathways that studying something like the bald eagle. could provide. He was in the middle of painting a current painting of a bald eagle which was just amazing. To watch him work was a sight indeed. I had a chance to speak with him and he was such a remarkable guy. He had lots of visitors passing by and stopping to admire his work. It was a great pleasure to have him for our showcase night. When I was discussing ideas with him I found a couple ideas to be important. First, by sharing his passion for painting students are able to realize that you can make a living out of your passions despite what people tell you. He told me how everyone told him he could not live as a a painter and now he does just that. His story is important for students to hear that they should never give up on their dreams. Second, he talked about how important having something like this is for students. He wished he had something like this project available to him as a student. That was a big compliment to what we are doing and what we are striving to achieve.

Our big goal with the showcase is help our students learn to speak publicly and be able to articulate their thoughts and ideas. If we can begin to develop this in grade 4 and have them speak to hundreds of people on a night like this, then think about how amazing they will be thinking on their feet by the time they graduate. They will be ready for the real world.

IMG_5380Even more important to me about this night is that it provides students a chance to showcase their hard work and talents. I have told the students from day one that if you put in the time and hard work to this project, then you will be busy all night. I don’t have to give a grade because the audience response will tell you how you did.

Additionally, this gives the students a chance to show off their work. So often in school kids turn in work to one teacher who looks things over and gives a few comments. This gives them a chance to share their knowledge with hundreds of people That is awesome!

Each student had to focus on one aspect of the bald eagle that they were interested in studying more in depth. They had to create a display and have a station for people to visit. Additionally, to keep things engaging each student was required to have one interactive component. This interactive component forced the audience to engage in the material. When they complete the task, then they are awarded a clue to our scavenger hunt. You can view our scavenger hunt and handout here – http://eagleeyecamera.wikispaces.com/Final+Showcase

I will be sharing their stations and work shortly. I have been working on some video and images. In the meantime I wanted to share just one of the things we offered during our showcase on Monday. Below is the painting he was working on. And yes, I have all intentions of buying this print when it is finished.

IMG_5408
At 4:45 we began to usher the students and anyone who showed up for the sessions into the auditorium for our next special presentation which I will share in Part 2 coming shortly once the video finishes up. Stay tuned.
You can check out all things about this night and our global project here – http://eagleeyecamera.wikispaces.com/
We are currently tracking and keeping a log on the eagles and eaglets. Feel free to help us out. We are trying to crowdsource the documentation of the eagles.
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AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge – Days 4-6

Well, Saturday(Day 6) is just about done for me as I cool down from my run and get ready for bed. I know, what an exciting life I lead!

After reflecting through almost one week I have many thoughts running through my head.

1. This is much harder than what I imagined. I like routine and being in a comfort zone. I thought eating the same things would work well for me. I am discovering I need variety. I feel like I eat the same egg, chicken, turkey, tomato, salsa, onion concoctions over and over. I have tried new things which I will post about soon, but I have found these to be my next problem…..

2. Domino Foods – I have found some healthy options for snacking which I think are good for me to implement. However, they are domino foods as I keep eating and eating. For example, almonds. I have found these to be so delicious with sea salt. The problem is that a serving is 1/4 cup. That does nothing for me. I could and have eaten easily 1 cup of almonds no problem. This one cup is more calories than a Whopper. I am not kidding check the calories. I eat a cup of almonds and am still starving where I could eat the garbage of a Whopper and be full for hours. I understand the health benefits, but the issue I have is that I when eating almonds I will just move on to another snack item. Am I really being healthy? I don’t know, but it is something for me to monitor.

3. After a few horrible days of days 3 and 4, I am starting to feel much better. I was at a low for those couple days. I felt tired beyond tired and just was not digging things. I stuck it out and did not lose focus, but I was ready to pack it in. My ultimate goal is to create healthy habits to lead to me racing well in my triathlons this year as well as getting back to race weight. I have about 22 lbs to drop to get to race weight and I have a long time to get there, but as I feel so tired I worry about not replenishing my body properly with my training. My training has not changed. I am putting the same time into my training as before this challenge, but before I was cranking out 7 workouts and gaining weight. That is not good.

4. I am quite curious about my measurements and weight on day 11. I want to know if anything has changed with my eating.

Here is my food diary
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1a-xEHcf9q-ZiA8YloGPPEIHcEiZy4-5ge1FaX1T322U/edit

5. I have found 6:30 – 9:00 to be the hardest part of my day. I want snacks, carbs, and drinks. To not have these has been brutal. I miss creamer in my coffee at 4:15. I miss my chocolate. I really miss all my dairy.

6. I think when it is all said and done the key comes down to the thing that everyone knows – self control. Anyone can follow any cleanse and diet and anything will work if kept in moderation. For me it will be all about not going right back to bad habits, but incorporating the habits I am slowly creating during this challenge. Greek Yogurt will not hurt me. The massive amount of cheese that I ate prior to this does hurt me. A bag of pretzels will hurt me, but a handful would be okay.

7. I struggle with different views of this challenge. Some say yes to one thing while others say no. They say to avoid fake sweeteners, but it is in all the product. I like things precise and I know everyone does things differently, but this is one aspect that is making it hard for me to stay the course when I feel like I can always find an exception somewhere.

This challenge has been good for me mentally. I have made it through the hardest part of the weekend of Friday and Saturday. I snacked a bit too much today, but I did not jump to the darkside of bad choices, but I had too many servings of certain foods.

I head back to the grocery store tomorrow and get ready for another week of this challenge. Stay strong everyone!

And don’t forget water. Keep drinking water. I think that was a big issue with they days I struggled. I drank a ton of water the last two days and have noticed a change.

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