#coffeechugPLN Summer PD and 2013-2014 School Year Goal

I have been laying low on the blog and other social media websites. Just taking a break from it all to restore my energy, explore new avenues during the summer, and prepare for another great school year that begins in over a month.

This summer I have decided through my reflection, declutter, organizing, and brainstorming days that I will finally tackle the goal that I have had on the back burner for many years. I think I am finally ready to write my first book. This book will be about education. It will be about teaching along with ideas, strategies, and things I have used in the classroom as well as other ideas I have gathered over time.

As I slowly begin to prepare to tackle this massive task I have decided to seek some input from others. I have created a form for teachers to share ideas about what they want to know more about. If you had a chance to read a book to empower you as a teacher what would this book contain? I am very slowly piecing things together in my mind and will begin to outline in July with writing starting in August. I have time to weave in many new ideas and thoughts.

So if you could take just 5 minutes to help share with me ideas I would be forever grateful. This link to the form will ask you four very easy questions.

Thank you so much and as always I will be documenting my journey writing and sharing out various pieces along the way for feedback. I love to crowdsource as I believe it only makes everyone better.

Let the new goal begin!

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AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge: Step 0 – Establishing 4 Goals the Zig Ziglar Way

Before I even go into the 24 Day AdvoCare Cleanse and Weight Loss Challenge I always feel that it is important to have goals in life. To be fit and healthy is a goal. An important goal. But it is not everything. We must be able to see the big picture and see how all the pieces fit. Often times I find myself on such a one track mode of thought that I forget all these other life factors. Then I get too deep and then things never pan out quite the way I want……..

Which feeds into why so many people start off the new year with great intentions to only fail a 4-8 weeks into the year.

So, starting on January 7th a large group of us are taking on the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge to get our health and fitness back on track. You can join the group and join us if you wish by going here

But before we begin our 24 days in about 5 days I think it is important to get organized and prioritize our lives.

So, one of the gurus of goals and setting up goals is Zig Ziglar. If you have not heard of this man(God bless his soul as he passed away not too long ago), then you need to Google him and get caught up.

I have a workbook based on one of his systems to getting organized and setting proper goals. He has a plan that creates four goals. It starts wide open and through a simple, but yet effective process really forces you to pause and reflect on what you REALLY hope to achieve with your life and goals.

Here are the first few steps in establishing goals. There are so many methods out there, but this is one that has helped me the last year and I will be using it again. I know that at first it sounds quite cheesy, but take it serious and go through these steps. Over the next few days I will continue to update with what to do next.

For me personally, I know I want to be in triathlon peak performance. I don’t have a goal of losing weight, but I know that it is part of the process for me. I know that for me I personally don’t do well with setting a goal of say losing 10lbs. Once I do that, then what? Can you keep losing forever? No, so this process helps me create a goal in such a manner that will allow me to achieve maximum fitness with a side affect of me losing weight. It works great.

Ok, onto the first few steps. Here we go…..

Step 1: Create a dream list of anything you would like to do, be, or have. Anything. This should probably be more than 50 items pretty easily. Give yourself a day or two to come up with ideas. Hold nothing back. Keep this list personal and show nobody as it is your dream list.


Step 2: After your list is generated go through and scratch off all things illegal, violates the laws of physics, or was there merely to get you moving. VERY IMPORTANT: do not cross of items that are difficult. If you don’t have difficult items on the list, then perhaps you are selling yourself short.

Step 3: Copy items that remain onto a new page. Next to each one write down what’s in it for you and the people you care about. What happens to you and your team(friends, family, this group, etc.) if you reach this goal? If you can’t come up with a list you care about, then cross it off. A goal you don’t care about is not a goal. The goal here is to figure out what is realistic and unrealistic, what is not worth your time, and what you are truly willing to work for.

That is a good start. Tomorrow I will post the next step. 

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Educational Ideas To Investiage Over The Summer Part 2

6. Open, Collaborative Test – I just love this concept. For my extensions this would be amazing to try. The key is to adapt the idea to what is being taught. This too will be done in my classes this year.

7. Use of Edmodo

Source of Idea: http://mgleeson.edublogs.org/2012/04/29/the-power-of-social-networking-in-education-with-edmodo/

8. To entice class reading and discussions: Young Adult Reading Class…..but my class would be for the middle school kid so it would make it even more interesting

Source of Idea: http://www.wordforteens.com/2012/01/im-taking-class-on-young-adult.html

9. This whole concept has my brain thinking of new ideas

Source of Idea: A Teacher Went into Class with a 5-second Video Clip – What Happened Next?
http://www.davedodgson.com/2012/04/teacher-went-into-class-with-5-second.html

10. I am presenting at ITAG in the fall and I am going to do this. Sharing this might not keep me ahead of everyone, but why not share the wealth? This one is already being tackled by me as we speak

Source of Idea: Do it before everyone else does: Create presentation slides with iPad drawing app Paper
http://thenextweb.com/lifehacks/2012/04/22/do-it-before-everyone-else-does-create-presentation-slides-with-ipad-drawing-app-paper/?awesm=tnw.to_1E88g

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Educational Ideas That I Need To Explore This Summer

As I continue to organize my notes, emails, booksmarks, etc. from all these amazing people in the field of education on my social network I decided to compile a list of things that I want to explore further this summer when I have some downtime. I will post the idea and the source of where it has come from as well.

If you have other topics or ideas that I should check out please let me know.

1. Solo Taxonomy

Source of Idea:
The Secret SOLO’ist Part 4 – SOLOstations!!
http://reflectionsofmyteaching.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/as-i-venture-through-my-trial-of-using.html

2. I love this. It makes so much sense. I don’t teach the 5 paragraph essay, but it has forced me to think of new ways of teaching kids how to write and express themselves for the real world.

Source of Idea:
Good Riddance to the Five-Paragraph Essay?
http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/teaching_now/2012/05/good_riddance_to_the_five-paragraph_essay.html

3. Maker Faire – I have plans to incorporate a BMS Maker Faire next year. Not sure how it is going to happen, but it will happen. The idea is planted in my head. Let it grow and watch out!

Source of Idea:
Maker High: Why Every School Should Be a Maker Faire
http://gettingsmart.com/blog/2012/05/maker-high-why-every-school-should-be-a-maker-faire/

4. Ustreaming My Classroom – This too will happen next year. I have talked about doing this for the last year. Next year it is going to happen after watching the Egg Drop.

Source of Idea
Period 5 Egg Drop (Broadcasting live at ustre.am/2MBz)

5. Technology Upgrade – I am ready to get back in the technology game. I am ready to get myself and my students one step ahead of everyone else in my district. Reading this post motivated me to get going!

Source of Idea: http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com/2012/05/gaia-3d-finally-ed-product-that-doesnt.html

Part 2 will be up in a day or two. This is a good start.

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Bix 7 – Goals and Expectations

I woke up this morning to head out for my 5 mile run, but as soon as I took off the rain decided to fall. I did not feel like being soak so I headed back home and will have to get my run in later.

I decided to take time this morning to go ahead and put my goals and expectations for the Bix 7 race down in print to help me make it visual and real.

I have found it to be highly motivating to go back and read posts from a year ago. This is the post from the Bix from last year where I ran the course for the first time.

I ran the course in 58:19 (8:19 mile pace)which was way better than I anticipated running. My #1 goal for this year at the Bix is to beat that time. I don’t care what it takes, but I will beat that time. I have been training pretty well since then and I hope to see the benefits of my hard work.

However, I have another goal in mind. One that is going to be tough to achieve, but if conditions prove right and things fall into place I will have a chance to accomplish my #2 goal.

My #2 goal is to run the race in 55 minutes. That is moving for a distance and course like this. I have had some good runs and some bad runs lately so I am not sure what body will show up early Saturday morning.

If I don’t get caught up on Brady Hill and Kirkwood for too long and not get jammed then that will be the first key. With so many people and where I am located for the race this will prove to be a challenge. I might have to some serious zigzagging to stay on course. I would be happy going onto Kirkwood with a 8:00 – 8:15 mile pace if it does get bottled up. I can manage the make up time with the rest of the race. Anything slower and I will be scrambling.

The other issue is the heat and humidity. Hopefully the rain we are having now will eliminate the humidity. I can tolerate some heat(it is not looking to be too hot), but the humidity kills me.

Running the race in 55 minutes will put me at a 7:51 mile pace which is a huge decrease in time from my 8:19 mile pace a year ago. That is taking 28 seconds off each mile which is some serious running on my behalf.

Running this course I know that I have to hit that turnaround station not feeling tired. I need to be able to get comfortable early on, hit that turnaround and begin to pick up my pace until the finish. I know where my mental breakdowns are on this course. I also know where my mind realizes that it is go time. This is helpful. I am shooting for a negative split from the turnaround which I don’t think I have had yet in the several times that I have ran this course.

This race is big for me. I did not quite achieve my Moonlight Chase goal(I still ran well), but it has been eating away at me ever since. I hope to get in a great run Saturday.

I am off to start my day. Back to teaching some kids about the joys of middle school and trying to find time to sneak my 5 mile run in today.

I will be GETTING IT DONE this weekend! What are you doing to achieve your goal? Have you created a goal? If not, then it is time to get going.

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Summer Goal #1: Solve Rubik’s Cube – A Plea For Help

I have started my first goal of the summer of trying to solve a rubik’s cube and not only solve it, but solve it quickly. I have been doing some reading, but I need your help.

I cannot get past the first step of tyring to create the white cross on top before solving for the corners.

Watch my video to see where I am stuck.

Please offer any guidance that you can. I have been spinning this cube forever and just spinning in squares(play on word of spinning in circles!!!)

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Goals – Break Goals Into Small Steps

As you work towards your goals, don’t lose sight of creating small steps along the way.

Don’t always shoot for the end goal right away or you will burnout or not make the journey.

For example, I want to be able to learn how solve a Rubrik’s Cube.

I am learning that there are certain steps. This week my goal is to be able to accomplish the first step which is to create a white cross. As you can see from the picture, I have not accomplish this goal yet.

A small step, but very important. Just like in running. In order to run a marathon you have to start small and gradually work you way up in mileage.

Create your goal(s) and divide them up into small steps. You will have small rewards along the way to help you reach your end goal.

Good Luck

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Learning & Inspiration from Ironman and Preparing for Baby #3

Yesterday, the Ironman at St. George in Utah happened. I did not compete in this as I am far from being tough enough or in shape enough to even comprehend this event. However, a fellow friend of mine competed. He has an amazing blog where he shares his training and process for the Ironman.

The event was broadcast live online yesterday so I was able to watch the race while cleaning the house preparing for our new baby. Jeff started out good with a swim time of 1 hour 4 minutes on the 2.4 mile swim.

I was cheering for Jeff because I knew that he would tear it up on the bike and run because his training schedule is relentless and he is so mentally tough. He is a great example for all of us to learn from.

Well, things did not go as planned for him. His bike had all sorts of problems having to stop 4 times before he crashed and was rushed to the med tent.

He is okay and did not have any major injuries.

I have not been able to stop thinking about him all day and this morning. Here is someone who has prepared hours and hours everyday for this event. He was hoping for a top finish(he has his pro card) and due to things out of his control he was not able to finish. It almost makes me angry because why did this happen to him?

We can all learn from this. We can put all the energy, focus, and preparation into a project that we want and it might still not be enough. There are forces out of our control. In the case of Jeff, I know he was prepared. There was nothing that he was not ready for. He has to be able to hang his hat on that.

He also can hang his hat that he is inspiration for so many of us. He has provided the motivation to push when I don’t want to. He helps by leading with this actions that I am capable of doing things I never thought I could do(half marathon last year). He is a teacher and can you just imagine how much of an influence he has on his students?

As I type this I am not running in a half marathon this morning that I wanted to run. I fell apart mentally. I ran the practice course/run a few weeks back and cut a huge amount of time off my PR. My foot started causing me problems. I took a week off and during that time lost all motivation. Following Jeff yesterday made me realize that I need to suck it up and get back at it. My good friends Chad and Brian are running today. I wish them the best. I am mad at myself for not staying mentally strong.

Thanks Jeff for reminding me that I need to push harder and see where it takes me. I had something out of my control(foot) that caused me to lose momentum. If I was tough like Jeff I would have bounced back.

I am putting together a new plan. A plan to be successful all summer and fall. A plan to learn to stay tough. A plan to fight through the obstacles we cannot control.

Tomorrow we bring a new baby into the world. I cannot wait for the new arrival of our daughter. I pray for all good things to happen and hope that all the things I have no control over go smoothly. I have been thinking about what type of father I want to be for my kids. It is time to change some habits and become the example I strive to be.

I am not sure how to wrap this post up. Stay tough. Stay strong. Happy Mother’s Day to my wife, mom and all the wonderful mothers out there. Thanks Jeff for your inspiration to showcase how to be a competitor. You are such an inspiration. Despite the events of yesterday you are still a champion to so many. Lastly, be ready world for another addition to the Maurer clan.

Blog posting might be slow this upcoming week as I will be at the hospital.

That is all for now.

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My Goals for 2011 – Personal Goals….Not Training Goals

I have been spending a great deal of time preparing myself for my upcoming training programs and plans for the next 8-10 months, but one of the most important parts that I was forgetting to think about was myself.

Working like crazy today on the last day of my winter break it dawned upon me that it was time to actually hash out what my goals for this year are going to be. I was posting on Twitter about how much “crap” my kids have hoarded away in their rooms. It dawned on me that they get this trait honestly because I am the same way. I have so much STUFF. All at once my personal goals were laid out in front of me.

Here are my personal goals this year and I hope to refer back to these from month to month to check in on my own progress.

1. Downsize – I have stuff. Lots of stuff. I collect everything. I have a large assortment of things that I just need to let go. This weekend I have already tossed about 5 garbage bags of things as we have been working on cleaning out the house. One of the things that I need to downsize is my book collection…….

2. Book Collection. I have hundreds and hundreds of books. Last year I posted over a 100 books on www.paperbackswap.com, but the problem is that I end up requesting a book for every single one I give away. This year I plan on reading a book and if I don’t feel like it is a keeper or worthy of staying on my bookshelf to be read again(yes, there are many great books that I will read, but will not keep), then I will simply give them away on my blog. Look for many giveaways this year(I have one going on right now). To get things started if you are reading this then I am giving away two hardcover Harry Potter books. Book 6 and 7. Book 7 has my name written on the outside from when I had it in my old classroom. You want them, then just let me know. First come, first serve. All I ask is that maybe you become a follower and possibly write a review or something. However, you can do nothing as I have no control over you.

3. Be more organized. I have notebooks and pads of paper with scribble marks all over. I have the most massive pile of scrap paper that just has quotes, websites, notes to myself, etc. ever. I went through the whole stack over break and eliminated the whole pile. I now have a little black book that I will keep in my pocket to stay organized, but yet allow me to continue to make notes as needed.

4. Continue to love life like a kid. I had so much fun this break shooting Nerf guns and playing video games with my kids. I want to continue to act like I am 12 years old.

5. Try to make more contact and improvements through my blog and wikis. As I continue to work on my internet appeal I hope to try to make some new projects and make everything BIGGER and BETTER. In two years I have come a long ways and still have a long way to go. I want to be SUPERBAD online. I want Coffeechug to be a household name. Alright, I am getting ahead of myself, but still want to push the envelope and help students and others learn to accept being nerdy and to be yourself.

6. Read over a 100 books this year. I was four short in 2010, but I want to surpass the century mark this year. I hope to be part of the Cybils again and continue to work with authors to get their novels exposed to students and other readers.

7. Make better YouTube videos. I have taken some time off of making videos. It is about that time to get back on the video making bandwagon. I have some new software to make videos super cool, but I just have not had time to explore it yet. Look for better things to come.

There you have it. My 7 goals that I have set for myself. They are big goals, but all ones that I can achieve. My fitness training goals will be coming in a separate post, but these 7 are the ones that I will be focusing on.

I hope these make your blog experience better. I hope to meet all these goals. What are your goals? It is time.

Well, it is time to get back to finishing up the winter cleaning in the house. I have more to throw away(goal #1).

Peace Out Homies!

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Goal Setting: Sometimes you just have to educate yourself

I am back to tackle the subject of goal setting. Why? Because I think it is so important and a topic that not everyone really understands on how to do create the proper goals. For example, I have spent a long part of my life creating goals – some good and some bad – to help me achieve and stay motivated. I am constantly learning how to find that right gauge of setting a goal that is realistic, but still a challenge.

For instance, I ate at Panera Bread the other night. I love this place. I could honestly eat there every day of my life and would choose over most fancy restaurants. Anyways, I was reading from the Eat This Not That website that the Panera Bread Large Frozen Mocha would require a 7.8 mile walk to burn off. 7.8 miles. Is that really worth it? Heck no, especially after I have began to realize how hard excercise is when it pertains to biking and swimming.

You become what you think about most of the time. This is a Fact. So, what do you think about? Are you someone who thinks all these ideas and have all these plans for the future, but never see them through to the end? Many of us are “starters”, but rarely do we get the chance to call ourselves “finishers”. As I set out this summer to get in shape I started small, did my research, and adapted along the way.

I started small by just trying to run 12-15 miles in one week however I could get it done. I struggled. My body hurt, my feet and knees were in constant pain. Could I have quit? Sure, I could have blamed the pain or simply said that was good enough for me. I pursued and persisted. Four months later I am ran a half marathon and Urbanathlon and felt the best I have ever felt. It was not overnight and not always easy.

Come up with a goal. Divide it into smaller sections. Do your research and learn about your goal. I read tons of books about training and running. Keep a dream book or something similar to write your goals down and how things are going. This blog acts as my dream book.

What is next on my plate? I took two weeks off after the Urbanathlon. This week I have begun to acquaint myself and prepare for a triathlon next spring and possibly a marathon for the summer. Not sure if I can train for both at the same time. I am still educating myself and putting together a plan. 

What is your plan? Write down your goal and then break it into smaller sections to pat yourself on the back as you progress.

I will share my goal sheet for the week with you this weekend and reflect on my large learning curve and how that helps me figure out what to do next.

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