Monday, October 25, 2021

Sulphur Springs Loop Hike

Last week we hiked on the Sulphur Springs Loop Trail (about 4 miles roundtrip) located at Paris Mountain State Park. It was a beautiful day for a hike because the temperature was crisp and not cold when we started. The colors of the leaves were starting to change. We like this loop hike because it starts uphill (and it is a pretty good hike up that gets your heart rate up) and then it is downhill on the way back to the car. I thought I’d share with you another video of our hike for those that have never been here, or those that are unable to do the hike, or those that just wanted to be reminded of their own memories of the hike.


Friday, October 22, 2021

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 10/22/21

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

Halloween/October Ideas - created by Terri Eichholz (L:T;SA:A)

Baking a Cake with Science - “It might seem like magic when you put some batter in the oven and pull out a fluffy cake, but it's actually science! Join Jessi and Squeaks as they bake a cake and explain how the ingredients react with each other to make a tasty treat!” (L:E;SA:S)

Resources for Family Engagement from the Library of Congress - “We invite you and your family to participate in these activities, inspired by the collections, programs, and expertise of the Library of Congress.” (L:T;SA:A)

You are Never Just a Teacher - motivational talk (L:T;SA:A)

Online Form Templates - free templates (L:T;SA:A)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Bad Girls Never Say Die - A Book Review

I recently read Bad Girls Never Say Die by Jennifer Mathieu. I read a review copy compliments of Netgalley and I am not being paid to give this review.

What a great young adult book to read! It was so good that I couldn’t put it down! The main character deals with so many social issues at the same time and I can imagine many who are dealing with the same issues today. Something happens to Evie one night, and someone she would never have been friends with before this, happens to be the one who is there for her when needed.

I think this book would be great for a high school class novel because it deals with so many social issues and would lead to rich discussions. I can see the story also being used for writing prompts and encouraging students to share their views and feeling. Topics could include social-economic pressures on teens, dysfunctional families, true love, teenage pregnancy, domestic abuse, friendships, sexual assault, underage drinking, loyalty, and grief.

Even if this wasn’t used as a class novel, I think this would be a great book for a high school library. I highly recommend this book for high school and older readers.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Asking the Right Questions

Asking the Right Questions in All the answers from Seth Godin's Blog, Seth Godin states,

“The ability to figure out what hasn’t been figured out and see what hasn’t been seen is a significant advantage.”

We don’t seem to be teaching our students to ask questions. Many times in school, I see teachers and administrators wanting students to follow directions and do the work without asking questions. Of course, you have simple questions about the procedures or the expectations but where are the deeper questions? Where are the questions about why they are doing it? Where are the questions about how they could do it better or faster or more meaningful?

When I look at all the inventions that have been created, I wonder about how they came about. Surely, someone had to be asking the right questions. When we moved from outhouses to indoor plumbing, someone had to ask questions about transporting water inside a building and about waste removal, and many other things that I can’t imagine. When refrigerators were invented, someone had to ask questions about how to make them work. These things could not have happened if someone hadn’t asked the right questions.

Yet, how do we teach students to ask the right questions? One way is to model this for them. When I see something, I ask my questions out loud. I let them see how I look for the answers. I encourage my students into helping me ask other questions and sometimes they come up with things I hadn’t thought of before. This helps them get beyond the simple questions into more critical thinking. I want students to feel comfortable with asking the questions without worrying about feeling silly or afraid of being ridiculed. There are no questions considered bad or silly. As students get more comfortable with asking questions, the easier it will be for them to think of more complex questions rather than worrying about what others are thinking. Questioning broadens their horizons because it helps them look beyond their immediate surroundings.

How do you teach students to ask the right questions? Please share.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Tuesday, October 19, 2021


“The NVIV (Next Vista Inspiring Video) series of posts are written by Rushton Hurley and designed to provide students and teachers with fascinating discussion prompts.”

In A Blind Cyclist’s Superpowers, Rush features Brian Bushway, a blind cyclist with a superpower.

He gives the following prompts to accompany this video:

“What “superpower” that you can learn to do would you like to have? Speak another language? Make cool videos? Bring sick animals back to health?

If you haven’t already started to learn to do it, are you willing to start now?”

This would be a great video to show students because many students focus on their limitations rather than their strengths. This video shows them that they should look at things they can do rather than what they can’t do. By doing this, they may be able to find a way to overcome obstacles in their way that keep them from reaching their goals.

I’m not very good at making things or that’s what my family always told me when I was growing up. The other members of my family were able to knit, sew, draw, and even construct things out of wood. Something I am good at is math. I love anything with numbers and patterns. I finally figured out that I can make things if I approach them in a mathematical way. I can now knit socks, mittens, hats, scarves, and even sweaters because I see how math is involved in their creation. I even design my own patterns because I use charts and can see the math used to make the pattern. I am able to quilt using English paper piecing because I’m sewing shapes which makes so much sense to me. Math is my superpower!

Helping students find their superpower is very important for their future success in life.

Please check out the video and think of other prompts you might come up with. Please share.