Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Under the Sun, Moon, and Stars a - A Book Review

I recently read Under the Sun, Moon, and Stars by Laura Kosann. I read a review copy compliments of Netgalley and I am not being paid to give this review.

It was a great young children’s book! A young girl is discouraged by classmates and made to feel inadequate. Then one day a fairy queen helps her look at her strengths and she learns to find herself and feel proud of who she is what she can do. All young students who are feeling lost because of what they can’t do need to read or hear this book. It is encouraging and hopeful. I think as a class story, this would open up a great discussion on how we can help our classmates and encourage them instead of discouraging them. It also can lead to a discussion on looking at what we are good at instead of focusing on our weaknesses. This would be a great addition to a class or school library.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

World Gratitude Day

September 21st is World Gratitude Day.

I don’t think we teach students about gratitude enough.

People and media focus so much on the negative that it becomes a habit.

We feel resentful about what we don’t have enough of such as time, money, friends, games, or anything else we want.

Yet, we forget to focus on what we do have.

I have a bullet journal that I intentionally think about things that I’m thankful for. Every day I think about something from the day before that I’m thankful for and write it down.

Maybe doing this on a daily basis would be too much for a class but it would be good to have my students list the things they are thankful for at least once a month.

Maybe have a class discussion and ask for volunteers to share something that they are thankful for. Each day I could pick 3 -5 students. At first, it might be slow to start but as this becomes a habit, it will become easier. Students will start looking at things from a different perspective so they will have something to share the next day.

Do you do something like this in your class? If so, please share. 

Monday, September 20, 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 Major Change, he features a video of a glacier melting. I was lucky enough many years ago to take a trip to Alaska. We took a 10-hour boat tour in Kenai Fjords and were able to see glaciers up close and personal. We even saw a glacier calving (chunks of ice break off the glacier) which is amazing to see in person.

He gives the following prompts to accompany this video:

“Watching this happen, how many things do you see that generate questions for you? Are there places near where major changes have happened in the environment?

Are there little changes in your area or even in your community that make you wonder if something big might happen in the near future?”

Many times in my student’s lives, they face so many unknowns. Some of them don’t know where they may live next month. Some of them aren’t sure their parents will be there when they get home. They face a lot of changes that I was lucky enough not to have faced as a child.

Watching this video can help open up discussions as a class on what changes a person might face in their lives. Sometimes have a general discussion helps students talk about a personal issue without identifying themselves. Some students may have helpful strategies that they use to cope with these major changes.

Of course, this video can also generate discussions on climate change, glacial melting, flora, and fauna in the tundra, and life in places with glaciers, Students may feel inspired to do research on topics that relate to these and share their information with the class.

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

Friday, September 17, 2021

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 9/17/21

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.

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

African-American History - “306: African-American History is a digital program that brings to life a number of important leaders and events that impacted the fabric of America. The lessons span four key eras, allowing students to navigate principal figures and moments in Black American History in a self-paced environment, whether remote or in the classroom.” (L:M,H,;SA:SS)

Future Goals - Hockey Scholar - “is a digital course that leverages highly interactive gameplay to reinforce key STEM math and science concepts through real-life applications.” (L:E,M,;SA:M,S)

The Compassion Project - “The Compassion Project is a first-of-its-kind national initiative to provide compassion education to elementary school students across the US. Our mission is to ensure that every primary school student in the US understands what compassion is and how to demonstrate it in
 their lives.” (L:E;SA:A)

Prescription Drug Safety - “High School Prescription Drug Misuse Prevention - An evidence-informed prevention program used by 90,000+ students across North America.” (L:H;SA:A)

FutureSmart - “By assuming the role of Townville’s Mayor and helping the citizens achieve their financial goals, students address real-world financial decisions within the context of a larger goal. The result is a learning experience that builds healthy financial habits and encourages students to apply a variety of financial skills to many connected decisions.” (L:M;SA:A)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Fourteen Years Later

I have been writing on this blog for fourteen years. My first post was on September 16, 2007.

Time flies when you are having fun. I’ve been writing posts every Monday through Friday for fourteen years. When I first started this, I told myself I would quit when it stopped being fun. I guess I’m still having fun.

Here is my first post on “Why I’m Doing This.” My reasons are still the same but I throw in some lessons I’ve learned through my travels and sometimes some other personal memories. I still hope that others enjoy reading my posts and get something out of them.

Here are the stats from Google Analytics:
  • Over 2.3 million people have read my blog.
  • I have 261 followers.
  • Over 3730 posts.
  • Over 3500 comments
  • Most people use Chrome.
  • Teaching is the most popular keyword used for search.
  • The top locations that view this site are the US, France, Russia, UK, Germany, Canada, Sweden, Brazil, and the Philippines. 
Overall, I think I’m meeting my goal of having meaningful content for my readers.

I want to thank everyone who has visited and supported me over these 14 years.

Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash