Guest Post: Modeling in Blender (CG Cookie)

Modeling a Soda Can using Blender

Blender is an incredibly powerful 3D modeling tool and it can seem intimidating initially.
This article will help you create your first project in Blender so that you can see how incredibly fun it can be as well.

We don’t have the space for a comprehensive introduction to Blender here,
so for that you can watch thefree Blender Basics course on
If you haven’t downloaded Blender yet or need to update, you can find it
This article uses version 2.80.

Let’s get started!

To begin this project, delete everything in the default scene and create a mesh cylinder using the Add menu.

To make sure that it’s the proper size, switch the Units to Imperial in the Properties Editor scene tab and
change the Length to Inches. Open up the 3D View sidebar with the hotkey “N”, and then change the
dimensions to be 2.6, 2.6, and 4.83 for the X, Y, and Z values.

Switch into Edit Mode for the Cylinder, and add a loop cut with the hotkey Ctrl+R.

A Reflection on Vulnerability

I love audiobooks and at the recommendation of a good friend I am currently listening to Daring to Lead by Brene Brown. The part I am at talks about the importance of vulnerability. When speaking with another good friend tonight, she referred to vulnerability as "sharing your humanness". I don't think vulnerable is something most teachers are comfortable, but as I tell my students leadership is an uncomfortable position. The rest of this post is me sharing about a challenging situation because I think it is important to be more honest about how this is part of our daily grind.

This weekend, I had the privilege of coaching one of the finest groups of students I have ever had the opportunity to get to know. As my students know, I am a little bit competitive and I take mock trial very seriously. My students (along with our coaching team) work day in and day out to prepare their case and become a cohesive team. Unlike most sports, our mock trial team gets one shot, the state…

The Power of Belief

As you may know from previous blog posts, I am a high school teacher by day and a martial arts instructor by night. Over the course of the last month, the power of belief has stood out to me in both places. At ATA martial arts, we say that belief is "yes, I can" and we talk about the importance of belief in yourself and belief in others. One of my favorite parts of the ATA Legacy program is how it helps students to grow as people, not just as martial artists.

Earlier this school year, one of my seniors asked me what the hardest part of teaching high school was. I shared with him that I as a teacher, become very invested in my students. I want to see them succeed and find their passions. I spend 4 years guiding and watching them grow, and then they leave. I never hear from most students to find out how they are doing and how things turned out after high school. A colleague compared it to starting a novel and never finding out how it ends.

In January, I had the opportunity to …

Twitter Slowchat How To

Looking to participate in a Twitter Slow Chat, but not sure where to start? I've got you covered.

Step 1- Make a Twitter account and make sure it is public so others can read the responses you are contributing to the conversation.

Step 2- Find your chat. There are tons our there! Here is a great list to get started.

Step 3- Participate at the scheduled time using the #hashtag that the chat uses. All chats have their own hashtags.

Most chats use a Q1 A1 format. This means that when the chat starts, the host will post Question 1. To respond, start your tweet with "A1" and make sure you include the hashtag (#) for that particular chat.

A slow chat is exactly what it sounds like, a slowed down version of a typical chat. Most chats take place in 1 hour and include 6 questions. A slow chat is over days instead of minutes. A question is posted each day and throughout that entire day participants respond to the prompt as well as to each other.

To get the most out of the chat, se…

Hats off to 2018, Setting Goals for 2019

Hopefully over the last year or so as a reader, you've come to see how important reflection is to me. You've also probably realized how much I like a good list, so as 2018 comes to a close I want to reflect on some of the top lessons I've learned and set a few goals for 2019. I would encourage you to do the same. There is so much research that supports reflection and goal setting as important aspects of growth and learning. 

Peace Out 2018 ✌️
2018 brought some incredible experiences, but these are the top of the list.

We bought a house! My husband and I become homeowners in May of this year. Our home has been filled with moments full of stress like unpacking, but mostly many moments full of love like our first holiday season in our new home. I am already looking forward to our first of many full years here. I presented at ISTE! When I got accepted to present at ISTE last December, I squealed in excitement in the hallway at school. When I got to Chicago and was about to presen…

2018 Tech Tip #9- Google Sheets

Tech Tip #9 - Google SheetsWhat is it?

Sheets is one of Google's many collaborative productivity tools, but it is for spreadsheets. Maybe it's because I am in the sciences, but spreadsheets have always been a personal favorite of mine. I love using Sheets to organize data, make data visualizations, create digital sign-in sheets and more. It is easy to use and like the rest of Google's suite, collaboration is at the core. 

How do I get started?

On a mobile device? Download the Sheets app. On a Chromebook/Mac/PC? Go to Create a new Sheet using the plus sign. Give your Sheet a name and you can get started. There are some additional graphing features that work more effectively when you are not on a mobile device, but overall it is very robust. Tip - Start by using it to organize data. Once you get comfortable with that, dive into the advanced features. If you are a Docs user, try adding your Sheet into your doc rather than making a chart in Docs.  

2018 Tech Tip #8 - Podcasts

Tech Tip #8 - PodcastsWhat is it?

The first 7 tools I've highlighted have been for students, but it's time to switch gears and highlight one for teachers. I have found that listening to podcasts while I drive or work around the house is a way for me to continue to be a learner. I love hearing new ideas and feeling empowered to try new things. The best thing about podcasts, they're free PD and many of them have Facebook or Twitter communities to connect with the hosts or other listeners. 

How do I get started?

Download a podcast app. I have a Pixel 3 so I used Pocket Casts, but there are loads of options.Subscribe to a few to get started. Not sure where to start? My favorites are the Google Teacher Tribe hosted by Kasey Bell and Matt Miller and the House of EdTech by Chris Nesi. Still not sure where to start? Many of these awesome podcasts are members of the Education Podcast Network. Their site does a great job pointing you in the right direction depending on your interests.…