Friday, August 16, 2019

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 8/16/19


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

Character Scrapbook – “Use this reader's response activity to analyze the characters in any book. Print and collect your scrapbook pages.”  (L:E,M;SA:LA)

Bulletin Board Ideas – “Good bye to the old paradigm of bulletin board being a "content delivery" system. By adding an interactive element, expecting students to contribute to the postings, you are transferring ownership to the students.  They begin to see the space as a place for contribute.  Here we are again starting another school year, with interactive bulletin board ideas for you!” (L:T;SA:A)

Human Body Study Jams – Science lesson (L:T;SA:S)

Persuasive Cartography – “This is a collection of “persuasive” cartography: ​more than 800 ​ maps intended primarily to influence opinions or beliefs - to send a message - rather than to communicate geographic information. The collection reflects a variety of persuasive tools ​, including​ allegorical, satirical and pictorial mapping; selective inclusion; unusual use of projections, color, graphics and text; and intentional deception. Maps in the collection address a wide range of messages: religious, political, military, commercial, moral and social.” (L:H;SA:SS)

Launchpad: How GPS Works – “In this NASA video segment a NASA expert explains the inner workings of the Global Positioning System (GPS). Learn more about trilateration and how four satellites work together to identify exact locations on Earth with the help of a two-dimensional model.” (L:H;SA:S)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Who are you becoming?



“The things we think about influence our effectiveness in every area of life. If you want to be a more effective educator, friend, spouse, or neighbor, think about how you are being intentional with these things.”

I think this is so true and people don’t realize it when it is happening.

I try to be around positive people rather than negative people. I want to be one of the positive people that others want to be around. My mother used to always say, “birds of a feather, flock together.” I know she meant that if I hung around kids always in trouble, people would see me as one of the troublemakers. But I think that saying even applies to the opposite of that. By being around positive people, their positiveness would rub off on me. I think positive people are happier in life and that is what I want to be.

I don’t like to watch a lot of movies with blood, gore, and terror. I think that makes me scared about life and worried about the dangers that could be lurking around every corner. I’m not saying that there isn’t danger in the world but this could make me overreact to everyday things that are not dangerous. I avoid these kinds of movies. I like romances, comedy, and the action movies where the good guys always win.

I try to spend my time being productive. Every day, I try to do one thing around the house that improves the way we live. This can be cleaning chores or doing laundry or weeding flower beds. Sometimes I do more than one thing but if I do at least one thing, I’m happy with how I have acted.

I have a hard time saying positive things to myself. Growing up, I don’t feel I had a very good self-concept and even as an adult, I tend to doubt myself and second guess my decisions. It really hurts my feelings when others say bad things about me and part of me starts believing it. When this happens, I have to make a conscious effort to remind myself that those things are not true and they don’t define who I am.

These kinds of things are what my students need to learn. How many of my students are negative because they hang around negative people? Are they depressed or scared because of the things they watch or the games they play? Are they being productive? What words are they hearing or saying to themselves? These discussions need to be held in the classroom. The more students talk about these topics, the easier it may be for them to face the obstacles in their lives and be more successful.

How do you help your students deal with these topics? Please share.

Photo by Quentin Dr on Unsplash


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Historical Heroes


In Back to Work from Sioux's Page, Sioux Roslawsk asks,

“Who are some of your historical figures?”

I like to use a prompt like this for my students. I ask them to think about a historical figure who is no longer alive that they would like to meet. They have to give me a reason why they would like to meet this person. I wanted to share with you some of the people I would like to meet and why.

Walt Disney – I love all the things his mind was able to create. He never seemed to give up no matter what obstacles he faced and it seems like he made the impossible become possible.

Eleanor Roosevelt – She was a very strong and determined woman. She didn’t seem like being the president’s wife went to her head.

Mark Twain – He was a great storyteller and I would love to sit and hear him tell me stories.

John Denver – I had a huge crush on this singer when I was growing up. I loved all of his songs and thought he seemed like a wonderful person to meet in real life.

Louis Armstrong – He seemed so full of life and laughter. I think his personality would be great to be around and make you feel upbeat and positive.

Princess Diana – I think she was a gentle soul and even though she had troubles, she showed dignity and gentleness to the people around her.

What historical figure no longer living would you like to meet in real life? Please share.

Photo by Travis Gergen on Unsplash


Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Be Patient


In Tailgating from Seth Godin's Blog, Seth Godin shares,

“Tailgating creates frustration, limits your choices and isn’t safe.”

I have to admit that one of my worst flaws (I have many) is that patience is not my strong suit. I’m too impulsive and want to jump into things too quickly.

Thankfully I have a husband who is slower and wants to think things through before making any decisions. At times I find his slowness absolutely frustrating but in the long run, I usually benefit from this cautiousness.

When I hear something that I think it's a great idea I want to jump in with both feet. I tend to not look around and think of the negative things. I might think about dangerous consequences but if I don't feel there is anything dangerous about to happen because of my decision I want to do it right away. Luckily over the years, I have tried to make it a habit to discuss these kinds of decisions with my husband. usually, if he is in agreement right away, I know it is a good idea. But if he hesitates and wants to think about it some more, I have to stop myself from doing anything rash. it is his cool-headedness that helps me make better decisions.

When I stop to think about things in more detail, it opens up more options sometimes the first option is not always the best option. I might think about ways that are more cost-effective or even more time-efficient then my initial decision was going to be.

I remember a time when I thought getting an iguana for my classroom would be a great thing to do. I was ready to run out to the store and buy this little iguana because the cost was cheap, and it seemed like it was not an expensive pet for the class. Thankfully my husband suggested that I do more research into the topic. After much research, I found out that some iguanas can be aggressive towards the female students in my class and then I found out that they grow and would need a larger glass enclosure as they grew.  some of these glass enclosures could be 10 feet long and be very expensive. That is when I realized I needed to rethink having an iguana as a classroom pet.

When I went hiking in the mountains of Georgia one time, we went to an interesting talk about vermiculture which is also called worm composting. I was really excited about giving this a try and even my husband was in agreement. That weekend we bought plywood and my dad helped build boxes to hold my worms. then I had to find someone to sell me a lot of worms that were more than you would get in a bait shop. I had to find a supplier for a bait shop. this was a great project and we have had a worm compost bin for almost 20 years now and I've never regretted it.

So, I need to remember did patients sometimes is better than tailgating. I probably will end up at the same place either way and being in a better position by taking it slower. 

 How do you help your students have patience? please share.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash