Setting up my new Republic Wireless phone and plan #sponsored

***I received a Moto X phone and service plan from Republic Wireless in exchange for my opinion.  All statistics are provided by Republic Wireless, all opinions are my own.

I've been searching for a new phone for a while.  I was jealous of my hubby and his new one, but I didn't want to commit to the same phone, so I was doing my research when an email from Republic Wireless arrived in my inbox!

Republic Wireless is a hybrid phone service that seamlessly blends wireless network calling with cellular phone calling!  What does that mean?  It means that if you are connected to wi-fi, your phone calls will go out over the wi-fi network... and if you don't, you'll have cellular coverage through the Sprint Network.  And it means that the phone plans cost way less than traditional cell phone carriers!

With plans starting at just $5 and the most expensive plan costing $40, and the fact that you can change your plan at will, Republic Wireless is definitely an affordable option for many people!  And

There are two choices of phone with Republic Wireless - the 3G capable Moto G and the 4G capable Moto X.  Just this morning, I received this adorable Moto X:

I waited semi-patiently for the three hours that the instructions required before I turned on my phone and read the instructions cover to cover - it was incredibly simple and getting my Republic Wireless account set up was pretty painless too - all totaled, I was up and running within ten minutes.  My only hiccup was that I couldn't find my account number for my old cell account and had to deal with THEIR customer service and explain that I'd be leaving my old carrier to get them to cough up the number I needed.  My phone is up and running and I've already downloaded the important apps - Starbucks, Kindle and Publix!  I haven't downloaded Erik's app yet - he really wants to play Angry Birds Epic on there but I am already losing my iPad to him, so I'm conveniently forgetting to add that one...

So far, I love how responsive the phone is and how much faster things load than my last phone.  I have been pleasantly surprised at how much 4G signal I get here in Charleston, despite the fact that the map says 3G!  I have also been really happy at how long the battery lasts and how the integrated Google back up is taking my photos right to the cloud every time I am in a Wi-Fi zone.

So far the only downsides are that I can't receive text messages from six digit numbers - so I have lost one of my favorite deal/coupon outlets, and I cannot personalize my voice mail message, but otherwise I am loving my new Moto X and my Republic Wireless phone plan!

Stay tuned as I put my Moto X through it's paces and report back next month!

Rules of Teaching

Today, I start my ninth year of being a professor.  It is hard to believe that it has really been that long.  It feels like it was just yesterday when I got my PhD and thought I knew something.  Trust me that today I am no longer under such delusions.

In looking back and now moving forward, my classes look nothing like that did nine years ago. Today, they are much less, "me talk - you listen" and much more "lets explore and see what we all learn as a result."  My whole teaching philosophy has evolved over time and continues to do so.  In that vein, I thought that today, I would share my rules of teaching today with you...

  1. Start lessons with a relevant question/problem.  Set up the 'so what' so that students can understand why you are delivering the lesson.  It is about creating context in their minds.
  2. Set up the class in an explore, demonstrate and apply model.  
  3. Conversations work better than telling.  When I am told something I am more likely to forget, ignore or half understand the message.  When I gain knowledge in a conversation I tend to retain it because I had to connect the dots myself and understand the logic behind the thoughts.  Remember the key to a conversation is that it is a two way street.  You have to listen as much as you talk.
  4. Smile.  Life is so much better for yourself and your students when you engage with the materials.
  5. Be constructive.  No one likes to be told their wrong but sometimes we all need to be guided towards a better understanding of an issue.  I go in with the approach of helping students to understand where the error was made and providing tools to help them improve their performance
  6. Always treat students with the utmost respect and dignity.  It is amazing how treating people well usually turns into them treating you well.  
  7. Be open to learning and new ideas yourself.  Students have often taught me a lot to which I am eternally thankful.
  8. Always end a lesson by going back to the original question/problem which began it.  Let students see how their ability to address the question has improved.  It also allows you to guide a sense of how well you did your job.

Once again, these rules like everything else are subject to evolution and change with the times.  Good luck to all with the new school year!  May we all learn and flourish during it.

Photos of the Week: Cottage Wildlfe

Sundays in my City - On the road home at the New River Bridge

We stopped in at the Scenic Overlook on Hwy 19 in West Virginia on our trek home from Canada.. it's a beautiful place...

Sundays in Toronto: Centre Island Time!

Photos of the Week: Skyscrapers

Since we don't have skyscrapers or even hi-rise buildings in Charleston, they fascinate the boys when we visit big cities like Toronto...

Please link up your photo posts here:

Monday Quiz About Me - What's your favorite junk food?

Welcome to Monday Quiz About Me - hosted by Heather & Wayne from Acting Balanced.  We are continuing to answer questions together.  A special shout out this week to Judy from Retired-not-Tired for getting Heather off her butt and getting the questions up!

Here are FOUR QUESTIONS that everyone can answer and then you have the option to add a fifth question of your own for those who are visiting your blog to answer in the comment section, along with commenting on the four standard questions you answered! Grab the badge for your post if you like:

Here are the Questions:

1. Today, Monday, is National Junk Food Day - do you eat junk food?  Favorites?

2. Some people call this time the "Dog Days of Summer" - is that accurate for you?  Why or Why Not?

3. This week also celebrates National Cousins Day - Do you have many cousins? Are you close with your cousins?  

4. Are you taking vacation this summer?  What are some of your favorite places to go?

Our Responses:

1. Today, Monday, is National Junk Food Day - do you eat junk food?  Favorites?

W - I try to avoid junk food, especially since I've been working hard to lose weight - but I am a sucker for Dare Ultimate Chocolate Fudge Cookies and red velvet cake.

H - I am a sucker for red licorice and chai tea lattes...

2. Some people call this time the "Dog Days of Summer" - is that accurate for you?  Why or Why Not?

W - Nope - I have no idea what dog days are, but summer is going by quickly.  It's more than half over for us.

H - We came to Toronto to escape the heat and humidity that we were living with in Charleston and it has been wonderful!  Although we are going to have really hot days a few days this week, so far it's been fabulous.

3. This week also celebrates National Cousins Day - Do you have many cousins? Are you close with your cousins?  

W - I have several cousins, but we aren't as close as we used to be, but whenever I make it to Toronto, I try hard to see as many as possible.  I also try to keep up with facebook.  I keep inviting them to visit Charleston, but no one has taken us up on our offer.

H - I used to babysit almost all of my cousins, but living so far away it's been hard to keep up.  Like Wayne, facebook helps - and this visit I got to drop in on my cousin K and got to see my second cousin, not-so-baby B take his first steps and eat his first timbits!

4. Are you taking vacation this summer?  What are some of your favorite places to go?

W - For once, my vacation isn't all about working.  I am actually taking some time off, more or less.  We always visit family, but this time we're also going to spend a few days in Washington, DC.  My vacation is making me exhausted though.

H - As Wayne says, I am getting a real vacation this time.  We ususally stay half the family at his parents and half at mine, but all the kids want to sleep at Nana and Papa's so I've been the only one sleeping at my parents - it's been nice not to have to deal with the kids waking up in the middle of the night...  

And here is our 5th Question:  What is your favorite age for a child?  Are you a baby person or do you prefer older kids?

Now, please link up your MQAM posts below:

Sundays in the City: Toronto Harbour

This week's photos come from our trip to Toronto - this is an annual pilgramage to visit friends and family, and for Liam, it also includes an adventure on the Toronto Transit System.  This time their adventure took them to the Toronto Harbour. Lots to see, including some planes taking off and landing at the Billy Bishop Toronto Island Airport:

Six Word Saturday

A successful vacation means forgetting work.

On this vacation, I have been good about not constantly checking email but I am starting to get antsy about work left undone at the moment.  I do know that nothing I do is that vital that it cannot wait but it is hard to release the thoughts.  

Planes Fire and Resue Activities for the kids!

Our boys (and their Aunt Catherine) are excited to see the new Planes movie - Planes Fire and Rescue - this weekend! To build their anticipation, I am downolading some fun Race to the Rescue Activites for them to do before and after the movie. I thought I'd share them with you too!

Download Race To The Rescue Activities