Friday, November 27, 2020

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 11/27/20

Here are some interesting sites that I’ve found this week, thanks to my PLN. As a teacher, I feel we have to keep up to date concerning research in our field and current issues in the education system. I hope some of these inspire you, inform you, and even have you asking questions. Thank you for coming by and visiting!

Note: Each resource is labeled with a level and subject area to make it easier to use.

Levels: E: Elementary; M: Middle; H: High; G: General, all levels; SN: Special Needs; T: Teachers

Subject Areas: LA: Language Arts, English, Reading, Writing; M: Math; S: Science; Health; SS: Social Studies, Current Events; FA: Fine Arts; Music, Art, Drama; FL: Foreign Language; PE: Physical Ed; C: Career; A: All

#YouCanBeABCs from Sam – “6 year old raps about careers A through Z” (L:G;SA:C)

Good work toolkit – “The GoodWork Toolkit engages individuals and groups in reflection and conversation about good work. The Toolkit consists of flexible set of materials, including vignettes of individuals who struggle to carry out good work, and accompanying questions and activities. Since 2007, educators at all levels—elementary school to graduate school—from around the world have implemented these materials in their coursework in a variety of ways. The Toolkit is not a prescribed curriculum; it is called a “toolkit,” because it contains a variety of tools” that may be used in a number of combinations. The materials are meant to be adaptable to a variety of contexts; in other words, the Toolkit can be used as part of a retreat, as a year-long theme in a particular class, as the basis of a two or three day seminar. There is no need to follow these chapters, in order, from beginning to end. Facilitators should feel free to pick and choose and adapt these cases and activities as best suits their goals and needs.” (L:G;SA:A)

Beating Pandemic Burnout – “In this spirit, I offer four reflective pillars that were crucial to my own recovery from burnout: focusing on purpose, compassion, connection and balance. Each pillar is a way to reflect on your well-being, consider ways to understand and address your reactions to the added stress, and experiment with curiosity and hope in these unprecedented times.” (L:T;SA:A)

A Teacher’s Experience With Vicarious Trauma – “When you teach students who have had adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), you feel a double-edged sword: You care deeply about your students, so it’s easy for their pain to become your own.” (L:T;SA:A)

Secondary Traumatic Stress - A Fact Sheet for Child-Serving Professionals – “Our main goal in preparing this fact sheet is to provide a concise overview of secondary traumatic stress and its potential impact on child-serving professionals. We also outline options for assessment, prevention, and interventions relevant to secondary stress, and describe the elements necessary for transforming child-serving organizations and agencies into systems that also support worker resiliency.” (L:T;SA:A)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States.

There is so much that I am thankful for every day.

I’m thankful for:
  • My family
  • My friends
  • My physical health
  • My financial health
  • Eating healthier
  • Exercising regularly
This year has been an awful pandemic year but there is a silver lining this year.

We have been able to do things around our home that we haven’t taken the time to do. We’ve always put it on the back burner to do when we have time. So, this year, we had the time and we did a lot of things on our list.

I was able to finish probating my parent’s estate and finalizing all the legal stuff.

We bought my parent’s house after they passed away so we were able to go to Florida and quarantine there where the weather was nicer. Now that the probate stuff is complete, we were able to enjoy our time in Florida.

I decided to learn something new and I’m trying to learn how to quilt using English paper piecing.

I was able to use zoom to stay connected with many different groups. In fact, I feel more connected this year to others than I ever have before.

What are you thankful for this year? Please share.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Dreher Isand State Park

Dreher Island State Park is located in Prosperity, SC. It is made up of three islands with a bridge. There are 348 acres and 12 miles of shoreline for visitors to go fishing, hiking, or camping. The island sits in 50,000 acre Lake Murray which is a reservoir of the Saluda River. It is named for Billy Dreher, the former owner of the island.

Some feel that it is the best spot to fish for striped and large-mouth bass and many major national fishing tournaments are held here.

There are five lakeside villas and 97 paved campsites for RVs and 15 tent sites. For picnicking, there 10 picnic shelters that are available. Scattered throughout the park are three playgrounds. There are also three fishing tournament shelters which include wi-fi service, a live well, and a catch and release tank. Three boat ramps are accessible for boaters. Three hiking trails are open for hikers.

You can also see a lot of wildlife here in the park. You can see white-tailed deer, grey squirrels, egrets, osprey, purple martins, Canadian geese, and mallard ducks. Aquatic species include hard/softshell turtles, striped bass, large/smallmouth bass, bream, crappie, and catfish. There are no alligators in the lake.

It used to be owned by SCE&G who created Lake Murray by building the Dreher Shoals Dam.

It is a beautiful park to visit and I would highly recommend people to check it out!



Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Small Steps Matter

In The ocean is made of drops from Seth Godin's Blog. Seth Godin shares,

“Even a puddle has more drops than we can count.”

I would show my students a drop of water and ask them if that is considered an ocean, or a lake, or a puddle. Of course, it isn’t. But if I collect many drops of water, it could add up to a larger volume of water and can keep growing bigger and bigger.

It is important to look at the big picture when I want to look at my goals. This helps me see where I want to go. Whenever I embark on a journey, I need to know my destination. Yet my journey is made up of the little steps. Each little step brings me closer and closer to my final destination. Without these little steps, I would never reach where I want to go.

Every major goal is made up of smaller achievable goals. Each smaller goal is necessary to reach a major goal. I need to make sure that each smaller goal is achievable before going on to the next step.

Sometimes in determining these smaller goals, I need to ask for help. There may be others with more experience or knowledge that can help me determine what smaller goals I need to accomplish. It is alright to ask for advice and help. This doesn’t mean that I’m weak or helpless, but it means that I want to follow the best course possible in order to achieve my goal.

I need to teach my students to have a long-term goal or a major goal that they can work for. Yet, in order to not overwhelm or frustrate them, I need to help them define the little steps in order to get there. I want to make sure that each step is achievable and can be done in a reasonable amount of time. If something takes too long, the step may be too big and need to be broken up even smaller. I need to be able to help them find others who might help them determine the smaller steps needed to achieve their major goal.

What major goal do you want to achieve? What smaller steps have you determined are necessary? Please share.

Photo by Omar Gattis on Unsplash

Monday, November 23, 2020


In An Experiment in Gratitude from Engage Their Minds, the author shares,

“In “An Experiment in Gratitude,” the host shares the results of a study devised to determine how much gratitude affects happiness.”

This is why I try to pay attention to at least one thing that I’m grateful for each day.

I feel like if I can at least find one thing, I know there are many others. Instead of focusing on the negative stuff, I want to find the good things in my life. I

It is always so easy to focus on the things we regret or the things we wish we had. It is easier to have a pity party than to see the good things in our life.

Sometimes we might have to dig deep to find the things we are grateful for but once we start this habit, it gets easier over time. The more I do this, the easier it is to find more than one thing. Before long, I start finding more things that I’m grateful for than things that I’m not. I started being thankful for the little things and not just the big things. I started realizing it is the little things that I take for granted but if they weren’t in my life, the big things wouldn’t happen. Suddenly I realized that I need to be thankful for all the little things that add up to the big things.

I also realize that the study is right. The more I’m grateful for, the happier I feel. The happier I feel, the more confident I feel that my life is going in the right direction. I’m able to make better decisions. I’m able to enjoy my daily life more and more. I think I’m a much happier person than I was and that other people see me this way too.

I want my students to feel this way. Many students are depressed, overwhelmed, and anxious. Maybe by focusing on gratitude, I can change their outlook on their own lives. Once they can start feeling better about their life, they can start acting more confident and making better decisions.

It would be good to have students start a gratitude journal. It is okay to be thankful for the same thing every day but if they put the same thing down, they need to add one thing new. I would explain that this will get easier as we continue to do this. After 3 months, I would have them reflect on whether it is getting easier. Then I would do the same after 6 months. It will be interesting to see how they respond. Then I will ask them if they think their life is better now or 6 months ago. I think they will even be surprised by their answers.

What are you grateful for? Do you think about this on a daily basis? Give it a try.

Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash