Friday, December 3, 2021

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 12/03/21

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

Scribble Maps - “Build custom maps and identify insights across real estate, engineering, research, business, exploration, construction, manufacturing - and so much more.” (L:T;SA:A)

Coding with Poetry - “In the Coding with Poetry module in CS Connections, students will be able to see two subjects - computer science and poetry - in a new way. Over the course of five lessons, 4-8th-grade students build a poem-generating program to recite different versions of a poem they wrote. Then, students test their programs with their classmates and complete the project by sharing their user-generated poems in a poetry circle.” (L:E,M;SA:LA,C)

Blended Play - “You bring the content. We bring the ​games. Games for the classroom using your content.” (L:T;SA:A)

World Cover - “accurate, timely and high-resolution information on land use/land cover and its changes” (L:H;SA:SS)

ClassPoint - “Go interactive today with your PowerPoint and become a superhero. Designed for every teacher.” (L:T;SA:A) Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, December 2, 2021


In So many accidents from Seth Godin's Blog, Seth states,

“So many things to be thankful for. Accidents included.”

The media focuses on negative things like robbery, assaults, and murders. Newspapers do the same thing because negative sells better than positive things. Entertainment magazines can’t wait to share the bad luck that celebrities are experiencing. People seem more interested in hearing about accidents and bad things rather than good things.

But sometimes accidents can result in positive things.

We accidentally bumped into friends on a cruise and we didn’t know they were taking the same cruise we were on.

On a recent road trip, we were looking for a place to eat dinner. We had to leave 2 places due to a lack of servers. As we started to leave the last place, the manager stopped us. She had been my former student 600 miles away from where I taught her and she recognized me. We were so excited to reconnect!

One time our basement flooded because our sump pump died. City workers were at our house checking out some problem flooding in the yard when we opened the basement and found the flood there too. One of the men just happened to have a brand new sump pump at home so he offered to sell it to us at a very reasonable price. When he came by after work with the pump, he even installed it for us! We insisted on paying him for the work too and he said we were an answer to his prayers because he had been out of work due to sickness and was low on money. He wasn’t sure how he was going to feed his family that week. We were the answer to each other’s prayers!

I believe that sometimes we don’t know the positive things that can happen because of some accidents.

Sometimes I have had to cancel a meeting with a friend due to unforeseen circumstances. Later I find out that there was a major accident on the highway and I could have been involved if I had gone to that meeting.

One time my husband twisted his back and we couldn’t go to an event only to find out later that some of the food there gave some people food poisoning.

On Thanksgiving, I heard of a story where a lady thought she was texting her grandson about Thanksgiving dinner and texted a young stranger. He was invited to dinner too and over the years, they have become friends and he comes to Thanksgiving dinner every year.

These are happy accidents. Even when we are lamenting about our bad luck, we should be thinking about what our bad luck has helped us avoid. Maybe our luck could have turned out worse.

What happy accident has happened to you? Please share.

Photo by Sarah Kilian on Unsplash

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

2021 Goals Review for November

We have moved to our Beach House for the winter and haven’t had a lot of exercise but we have been working on the house. I have been trying to eat fewer calories which has helped.

1. Lose 5 lbs. – I am up 1 lb. from the beginning of the year so I have one more month to lose 6 lbs. in order to meet this goal.
2. Knit 12 squares on my national park blanket. (There are 60 squares in the pattern and this is year 4 of the project.) – 57 squares complete. I’ve knit a total of 18 squares this year. This goal is complete.

3. Knit a sweater. – I finished 6 sweaters this year: the Nesting Cardigan, The Rocket Tee, Bright Axis, 2 Recalibrates, and the Staple Linen Top. – This goal is completed

4. Design 3 new patterns – I completed three designs: The Chinese New Year Cowl and the Double Happiness Sock, and Graveyard Field Socks.

5. Read 12 nonfiction books. – goal completed.
  • Counting by Deborah Stone
  • My Paddle to the Sea by John Lane
  • Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss by Margaret Renkl
  • Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her by Melanie Rehak
  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  • The Last Castle by Denise Kiernan
  • The Body by Bill Bryson
  • Kiss Me Like a Stranger by Gene Wilder
  • The Polygamist’s Daughter by Anna LeBaron
  • Sprinting Through No Man's Land: Endurance, Tragedy, and Rebirth in the 1919 Tour de France by Adin Dobkin
  • There’s a Hole in my Bucket: A Journey of Two Brothers by Royd Tolkien
  • Know My Name by Chanel Miller
How is your progress towards your goals? Please share.

Tuesday, November 30, 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 Tinkering with Intent, Rushton features Blair Somerville. “He uses found materials and other curious objects which he re-purposes into magical moving artworks.”

He gives the following prompts to accompany this video:

“Try and recall a moment when you saw something amazing that others didn’t. Whether you talk about that moment or keep it to yourself, there’s something interesting and perhaps even special about you for that connection.

We all have the ability to see beauty in the ordinary. The question is whether we let such moments happen.”

My husband and I love going to local festivals and we always are looking for something new and different. I always wonder how people come up with these ideas. I love to meet people who come up with these new ideas and learn more about them. I would love to challenge my students to research and find something different that we don’t usually see every day. They can look on YouTube, magazines, or even newspapers.

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

Monday, November 29, 2021

It’s Not Fair

Another question came up into my special education forum:

“Does anyone have recommendations for children's books or social stories that address the "why" some students get certain supports? Getting some resistance from general education teachers being concerned about their students feeling things are not "fair" when a student has a positive reinforcement system (e.g. token board), fidget, etc. "Why does he get a token board and frequent breaks?" "What about the students who are doing the right thing and do not have problem behavior? Is isn't fair to them." Of course, other students are looking and watching what's happening with those students who are being provided academic and behavioral interventions.

Would like to have at least one good children's book and/or social story that explains that everyone is different and how some students need a little extra support.

Thanks for sharing any resources you may be aware of.”

Here is my answer:

Here is a good article that gives a link to some resources: That's not fair! How to teach fair does not mean equal - Special Needs for Special Kids

I have told my students and other teachers that support are a lot like going to the grocery store. We all need to eat in order to survive but we all have different nutritional needs and tastes. What I get at the grocery store may be very different than what someone else gets but that doesn't make someone else better or worse than me. I don't think it is always fair that someone else can eat a lot of candy and ice cream without gaining weight but I can't. People with diabetes can't eat the same things I eat. "Fair" does not mean we all eat the same things.

Do you know any resources to recommend to this teacher? How do you teach fairness in the classroom? Please share.

Photo by Maria Lin Kim on Unsplash