Friday, September 30, 2011

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 9/30/11

tools2Here 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!

Music Notation Training – Practice naming the notes.

Homestyler – Create your own home designs.

How to Do Research – Great infographic on the steps to doing research.

ZisBoomBah – “We've created ZisBoomBah to help educate kids and parents about food in an easy and fun way that all ages can understand. We do this by providing free food games, tools and information that is both fun and educational. Our USDA Award winning game Pick Chow! Plate features a plate where kids create meals by drag and drop food choices from all the USDA food groups. In order to achieve the highest star ratting possible, kids must create a balanced nutritious meal. After they have finished with their selections they can save their meals and we'll send the recipe off to their parents! It's truly a great way to get kids involved with cooking while giving them the knowledge to make smart food choices. Kid friendly meals have become that much easier to create!”

Faux Flash – online flash cards

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original Image: Pat Hensley

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Trip 2011 Statistics

Thank you everyone for your patience while reading about our trip out west. I hope I haven’t bored you with all the details and memories but it was a great trip and I learned so much! As I wind up the trip I thought I would share with you some statistics from our trip that I found interesting! Please come back next week for my regular educational topic posts!

1. Days on the road: 62

2. States traveled through: 9 different states

3. Miles traveled: 11,500

4. Amount spent on gas: $845

5. Things learned: impossible to number! image

6. Budget: 61% spent on lodging, 26% spent on food, 8% spent on gas, 5% spent on other.

7. National Parks visited: 11 - Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Glacier, Arches, Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Great Sand Dunes,

8. National Monuments: 7 - Devils Tower, Craters of the Moon, Timpanagos Cave, Pipe Springs, Cedar Breaks,, Grand Staircase-Escalante, Natural Bridges

9. Wildlife seen: buffalo, big horned sheep, black bear, grizzly bear, coyote, ducks, birds, eagles, hawks, mountain goats, marmots, prairie dogs, 1 snake

10. Nights camping: 7

11. Tires purchased: 2

12. Oil changes: 1

13. Average daily cost for 2 people: $173

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Great Adventure 2011 – Heading Home 8/25/11 -8/29/11

018For more pictures, click HERE

8/26/11: We are winding our way back east. We left Cortez, CO this morning and headed east by way of the scenic byway. We went up to Ouray and came down the Million Dollar Highway to Silverton and Durango. The mountains were absolutely beautiful! There was even snow up on the mountains. I was surprised that temperatures went from 94 to 54 when we got above 12,000 feet elevation. Eventually we ended up in Alamosa, CO for the night.

8/27/11: Today seemed to go on forever! The road we planned on taking (Hwy 10) was closed and we had to go down to Trinidad, CO to cut across to Hwy 50. It was all flat and boring. We stopped a couple of times but didn’t find any treasures. Finally we got to Hutchinson Hampton Inn. We went to Fazolis for dinner which is like fast food Italian dinners.

8/28/11: We had a really nice drive today until we got near St. Louis and the traffic got thick. We finally stopped in Mt. Vernon, IL for the night at a Hampton Inn. At least we are on the far side of St. Louis so we won’t have to fight the traffic tomorrow morning.

8/29/11: Planned on stopping in Knoxville for the night but we were so close to home (about 4 hrs.) that Don pushed it and we got home about 9pm. By the time we unpacked most of the stuff, it was midnight. And then we were so keyed up and overtired, we didn’t go to bed until 2am! It was a nice drive home but it seemed like it took forever!

What I Learned Today:

· There are major temperatures changes when you get higher in elevation.

· It is best to go through big cities on the weekend!

· There is no place like home! (and my own bed!)

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original Image: Pat Hensley

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Great Adventure 2011 – Mesa Verde National Park 8/25/11

013For more pictures, click HERE
We had a nice drive from Monticello, UT to Cortez, CO. Along the way we found a great antique shop where Don found some treasures. When we got to Cortez, we got a room at the Baymont Inn before heading to Mesa Verde NP. The drive was beautiful. We stopped at the overlooks and enjoyed the scenery and the cliff dwellings. It always amazes us when we see these and think of the people who lived here and their lives.
We also found a Walmart to refill prescriptions and bought some supplies. We looked at the map and decided that tomorrow we will head towards Durango and Great Sand Dunes National Park.
What I Learned Today:
· I’m glad that I didn’t live in the days of the cliff dwellers!
· President Teddy Roosevelt made Mesa Verde a national park in 1906.
· The elevation of the park is above 8000 feet.
Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).
Original Image: Pat Hensley

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Great Adventure 2011 – Utah 8/24/11

011For more pictures, click HERE
We had a long day driving today. We went through Bryce Canyon NP, Capitol Reef NP, Glen Canyon NRA, and Natural Bridges NM today. We didn’t get to do a lot of hiking because it was thundering most of the day and it is not a good thing to be the tallest thing out on high ground during that time. We did stop and take lots of pictures though when we could.
Eventually we stopped in Monticello, UT for the night at The Monticello Inn ($54 per night).
What I Learned Today:

·         Natural Bridges NM was Utah’s first national monument.

·         The scenic road in Capitol Reef NP was closed. There is lots of construction going on in all of the national parks.

·         Lake Powell is the second largest man made lake in the US next to Lake Mead and is located on the Colorado River. It was made by damming up the Glen Canyon with a controversial dam.
Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).
Original Image: Pat Hensley

Friday, September 23, 2011

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 9/23/11

tools2Here 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!

Interactive Periodic Table – “Learn about the periodic table through this interactive game. The game allows you to explore patterns and trends to understand why the Periodic Table is set out in the way it is.”

Spent - is an online game that teaches players about the challenges of living on minimum wage (or slightly higher) employment. You choose a job which will provide the wages you have to survive on for a month. Then you are confronted with challenges where you have to make a choice. After each choice your balance is adjusted. Each choice is followed by an explanation of consequence of the choice made.

Newswordy – Great way to teach vocabulary. Each day a new word is given and shows how it is used in the news.

Math Pickle – “MathPickle is for K-12 teachers. Here you will find curricular games, puzzles and mini-competitions for the classroom.”

Great Questions – “These questions are merely suggestions for getting a good conversation going. We encourage you to use the ones you like and to come up with your own.”

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original Image: Pat Hensley

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Great Adventure 2011 – Kodachrome State Park 8/23/11

008For more pictures, click HERE
We left Zion National Park and headed for Bryce early this morning. We saw big horn sheep and mule deer along the way. We had a wonderful breakfast at the Thunderbird Restaurant in Mt. Carmel Junction. My breakfast had a piece of country ham that was about a half inch thick and covered my 10 inch plate! Plus I had 2 eggs, hash browns, and toast! Along the drive we stopped at the Dixie National Forest Visitor Center and hiked on the trail around the hoodoos.
We are staying at Kodachrome State Park in the Red Stone cabins which are nice. There is a microwave, oven, and full bath along with 2 double beds. It is a nice change from 6 days of camping in a tent. I did get to knit a little on my shawl but as it gets bigger, each row has more stitches.
We ended up exploring the park and doing some hiking around the sand pipes. They views were beautiful but it was hot and dry outside. Eventually we headed back to the cabin where the air condition would keep us cooler.
After a dinner of popcorn and ramen noodles (thanks to the microwave), we sat outside on the porch and enjoyed the thunder and lightning show. We even saw two rainbows! As the sun set, the reflection on the clouds made the sky look like it was on fire. After it got dark, we used the black light on the keychain to look for scorpions but we never found any (thank goodness!)
What I Learned Today:

·         Kodachrome Basin SP is filled with rock formations called sedimentary pipes or sand pipes.
·         Many of the sand pipes look like phallic symbols.
·         We save a lot of money by using the microwave or coffee maker to make our own dinner in hotel rooms.
·         Sunset after a rain storm is spectacular!

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).
Original Image: Pat Hensley

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Great Adventure 2011 Zion National Park – 8/20/11 – 8/23/11

NarrowsPatFor more pictures, click HERE

Day 1: This morning we left the Grand Canyon North Rim and headed for Zion National Park. As we passed through Kanab, UT, they were having the 13th annual Western Legends Festival. I was able to take pictures of Clint Walker, Paul Peterson, James Stacy, Kathy Carver (Cissy from Family Affair), Tommy Kirk, Ed Faulkner, Joel McCrea. We walked around the booths and admired the different crafts available. After stopping at a couple of grocery stores, we were on our way.

When we left there we stopped at a couple of antique shops in Orderville. We also stopped at some rock shops so I could find some rock disks to make a drop spindle.

We arrived at Zion and set up our tent at site B14. It is a beautiful spot with trees around us. We drove to Springdale for a block of ice and then went to the visitor center for info. Then we decided it was time to swim in the river (no showers in the park). After swimming we ate dinner (Doritos and bologna). When the stars came out, it was beautiful! We even saw the milky way! It was so beautiful we almost didn’t want to go to bed!

Day 2: I woke up to a really windy morning. It was still dark outside when I got on the computer and waited for the sun to come up. Don finally got up and we took the free shuttle to the Temple of Sinewava to hike in the Narrows (a slot canyon). On the way we saw Condors up in the trees and in the sky. We started hiking at 10am and we finished by 5pm after hiking at least 10 miles in the river. I only fell twice! The water came up to my chest on the way in at one place and on the way back it was up to my neck. That was the scariest part. There was lots of rock and boulder scrambling but it was well worth the hike! I think it was the best hike I’ve ever done (maybe because it was different).

Day 3: We had another windy morning which must be usual in the canyon. I played on my computer in the dark until hubby finally woke up. Our breakfast of bagels, garlic and herb cheese and a slice of bologna has really been a hit! Then we rode the shuttle through the park to the Lodge where we looked around. Eventually we even got a soft serve ice cream ($2.50). After that we went to the museum and another ranger talk about ravens. By this time, it was lunch (do you notice a lot of our day has revolved around food?) so we went to Blondie’s Diner in Springdale which was right outside the park. I had chicken strips and fries for $6.95. The food was so good that we decided to go back for dinner that evening. In the heat of the afternoon when the temps reached 103F, we played in the river to keep cool. At 6:30pm we went on a 2 hr. bus tour with the ranger through the park and enjoyed that. After that, we were back at Blondie’s where I had an 8 oz. steak, salad, potato, and vegetable for $14.95. It was a great day!

What I Learned Today:

· Many movie stars look nothing like they did when they were young and famous.

· It is hard to find a rock disk.

· The wind is pretty strong down the canyon in the morning.

· The water was 62 degrees F.

· In 1909 this area was made into a national monument by President Taft and called Mukuntuweap National Monument. In 1919, it became Zion National Park.

· This area gets an average of 15 inches of rainfall each year.

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original Photo: by Pat Hensley

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Great Adventure 2011 Grand Canyon – 8/15/11 – 8/19/11

116For more pictures, click HERE

Day 1: On the way to the Grand Canyon at the North Rim, we stopped at Pipe Springs National Monument. I had never heard of this but I’m glad we went. This was the only water source for the area and a Mormon settlement was built right over the spring. This settlement was used to hold the tithing herd from the Mormon Church and also served as a hideout for the many wives when the anti-polygamists were looking to arrest the husbands. It also served as the first telegraph office in Arizona. I met a Native American who was making cordage out of yucca fibers. I also met a volunteer who was chipping obsidian to make arrowheads for tools. His wife brought out her drop spindle to show me how she makes yarn. What I thought was interesting was that her drop spindle was made from a stone disk that she bought from a rock shop and stuck on a branch from her yard.

At the Grand Canyon, we are staying in a Pioneer cabin with 1 queen bed and 2 bunk beds plus a futon double. There are 2 rooms with a bath and shower. It is pretty nice here. After 2 days w-e are moving to the Campground (site 64). We ate the pasta lunch buffet at the lodge ($13.95 including drink per person). We attended the geology talk which was a pretty good talk. After exploring, we attended the Condor talk too. Then we walked the Transcept trail along the rim to the campground. For dinner we shared a pint of Haagen Dazs Pistachio ice cream. We did see a bike company use the handicapped parking as a loading and unloading zone. (We took pictures and I will probably write to the company about this.) At 8pm, we attended the evening show about the Colorado River.

Day 2: The heat and the elevation has been hard on us. We hiked to the campground and back for a hotdog and ice cream. The price of food has been outrageous! In the afternoon, we came back to the cabin and rested while watching TED videos on my ipad. In the evening we went to the ranger program about the Geology of the North Kaibab Trail which was really interesting.

Day 3: Don woke up not feeling too well today and had a pop tart for breakfast. Then he crawled back in bed for about 2 hours before we had to check out of our cabin. After having the pasta buffet for lunch, we headed to the campground where we will be staying for 3 days. It was hard putting up the tent in the heat of the day. After setting up the tent, we relaxed for a little while. Then we drove around to Point Imperial. After doing some research, we decided Don was throwing off too many minerals from drinking too much water (mimicking heat exhaustion)and he had a package of salt and some salty pretzels which made him feel better. When we returned we had ice cream again for dinner (Haagen Dazs Amaretto Almond Crunch). In the evening we went to the Ranger presentation in the amphitheater on Grand Canyon geology.

Day 4: I woke up early and sat outside the tent waiting for the rest of the world to wake up. I listened to some podcasts on my Ipad and knit on my shawl. After a very light breakfast (poptarts and cookies) we took a drive to the Vermillion Cliffs where the Condors were released years ago. Then we drove to Cape Royal and did some hiking. By then the afternoon thunderstorms arrived and we went back to our campsite to relax. Dinner was ramen noodles.

Day 5: For breakfast we ate oatmeal and granola bars. We had a lazy day and spent it at the campground. It was overcast and we had some showers in the afternoon but not enough to even wet the ground. We did take the opportunity to do some laundry and eat more ice cream. I think 5 days was too much for the North Rim and we would have been happy with 2 or 3 days.

What I Learned:

· I had to change the time on my watch because Arizona is in standard time and doesn’t change their time like everyone else.

· A raven has a wing span of 54 inches.

· We are at 8500 ft. elevation here in the North Rim.

· Make sure the air pump for the air mattress has fresh batteries or it will take forever to pump up!

· Ice cream makes a great dinner!

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original Photo: by Pat Hensley

The Great Adventure 2011 Utah – 8/14/11

054For more pictures, click HERE

Early in the morning we left Moab and headed to Kanab, UT. On the way we stopped at an antique store and bought some treasures. We took a side trip to Cedar Breaks National Monument. There were 2 – two mile hikes there. One of them was to a Bristlecone Pine Tree that was 1600 years old. The other one was to an Alpine Pond. I was surprised when I had to put on a jacket because it was so windy and cool here (compared to the extreme heat of Moab!).

We finally arrived at the Parry Lodge and was given the Yvonne DeCarlo (Lily Munster from the TV show The Munsters) room. She stayed in this room when she was filming in town. Many western movies were filmed in the area and the famous people stayed at this hotel which is nicknamed “Little Hollywood.” At 8pm each night, they show an old movie in the barn.

What I Learned Today:

· Franklin D. Roosevelt established Cedar Breaks National Monument in 1933.

· Cedar Breaks National Monument was above 10,000 feet in elevation.

· The Parry Lodge is called “Little Hollywood” where famous actors and actresses stayed while making movies in the area.

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original Photo: by Pat Hensley

Friday, September 16, 2011

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 9/16/11

tools1(Today marks the day this blog is 4 years old!! I would never have dreamed that I would enjoy having one this long! It truly is a labor of love and I truly love it! Thanks to all my readers who inspire and motivate me to continue doing this.)

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!

Blank Sheet Music – free

Who Wants to Win a Million Dollars? – free science game

Culturally Situated Design Tools – “Many cultural designs are based on mathematical principles. This software will help students learn standards-based mathematics as they simulate the original artifacts, and develop their own creations.”

CleVR - is a seriously easy way of creating and sharing panoramic photos for free.

30 years, 135 launches in 135 seconds - In honor of the final launch of NASA's shuttle program, we've condensed video of 135 launches into 135 seconds.

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original Image: Pat Hensley

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Great Adventure 2011 Utah – 8/13/11

001For more pictures, click HERE

We headed to the Corona Trailhead early this morning before it got too hard. It started uphill right off the bat. First we crossed over the railroad tracks and headed across the desert to the cliffs. Eventually we came to 2 safety cabled areas which helped us cross some steep slippery slopes with ease. Don decided to stop at the second safety cable since we could see both arches from there. I decided to climb past the second safety cable and go up the ladder to this stone ledge which traveled about a half a mile to the base of both arches. I could see Don from the arches and he took pictures of me. I was worried about him standing in the hot sun so long so once I reached the arches, I didn’t stay long and returned to where he was. I had forgotten to watch carefully the route I took so I had to make several tries to find out the best place to work my way back along the steep slope. It was really hot on the way back. On the way back we stopped at the Farmer’s Market in Moab and I met a spinner (Meg Bigler) who was selling soap there. She took the time to show me how her spinning wheel worked and the basics. It was so much fun talking to her and of course, we exchanged Ravelry names!

Fiber1This afternoon we returned to Desert Thread to look at more yarn and fiber. Of course I couldn’t resist buying more local fiber at $2.50/oz. I ended up buying 18 oz. of CVM-Romney-Tunis blend. I also met the owners Cathy and Rosie who are sister. Even my hubby enjoyed talking to them. Of course we visited and talked their ears off while we were there and they never acted like we were in the way or keeping them for doing something. They were so warm and welcoming that I was glad we returned to the store again and met them. Rosie mentioned that she knew someone who lived in Asheville and I told them that they needed to come to the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair that is held there each year. I think it would be so cool to see them again on YarnShopour side of the country! I thought the prices of their local yarn were reasonable and their fiber seemed very reasonable compared to what I was buying online. If any knitter or spinner is near Moab, I would make this shop a must for stopping!

What I Learned Today:

· I can do heights and steep slopes if there are safety cables and ladders.

· Asking someone questions about something they love to do usually sparks a demonstration if possible like the spinner who showed me how to use the spinning wheel.

· It is fun to meet local knitters and spinners.

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original Photo: by Pat Hensley

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Education Buzz Carnival 09/14/11

carnival3Another edition of the Education Buzz Carnival is up and running at Bellringers! Don’t miss out on all the fun! See what is going on in the Edusphere. My article on My Voice Matters is there but there are lots of other great articles to read too! See you there and don’t eat too much cotton candy!

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original image: Carnival by Pat Hensley

The Great Adventure 2011 Utah – 8/12/11

030For more pictures, click HERE

This morning after breakfast at Denny’s, we headed out to do Park Ave. trail and the Windows Trail. We did a few side trails also. The Park Avenue trail was wonderful early in the morning because most of the trail was in the shade and the ground was hard (not a sandy beach like yesterday). The Windows trail brought back memories of when we did that hike one year in April and it was cold and windy. In fact, I lost my favorite ball cap here!

After hiking, we went to Pasta Jays for lunch. We ate at a Pasta Jays in Boulder, CO and really enjoyed it. We brought leftovers home for dinner. That is the best part about having a full kitchen to come back to. Then we did some grocery shopping (ahhhh, air conditioning!). It was 99F outside at 3:30pm.

Tomorrow we will need to repack the car. Hopefully we can get the spinning wheel in the back compartment so it is out of the way. We will pack all the fiber and yarn around it to cushion it.

What I Learned Today:

· Most hikes in the desert are more pleasant in the morning because the rocks are cooler. I think in the evening the rocks will still retain the heat from the day.

· Some stuff can be cheaper at the Dollar General than the grocery store.

· Naps in the heat of the afternoon are really a good thing!

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original Photo: by Pat Hensley

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Great Adventure 2011 Utah – 8/11/11

025For more pictures, click HERE

Early in the morning we headed out for a hike beginning at the Devil’s Garden Trailhead at the back of Arches National Park. We planned on doing the loop trail and side trails which would be about 8 miles long. Years ago we tried this hike but it was so windy in April that I was too scared to cross the fins near the Landscape Arch. This time I was prepared, the wind wasn’t blowing, and I was sure I could do it!

We arrived at Landscape Arch on the main trail where I took a bunch of pictures. I also saw another arch above and in the distance but I’m not sure which one it was. Then we continued on the trail only to find out that Wall Arch had collapsed in 2008 on the main trail so the trail was rerouted, right over a rock fin. I tried to go up the fin, but eventually I chickened out. So, we decided to retrace our steps and begin on the primitive loop which goes around the other way. After about 2.5 miles of soft sandy trail (which really tired out my legs) and some rock scrambling, we came to a rock fin. After 5 or 6 tries, Don was able to haul me up to the first ledge. We talked about continuing up the steep rock face but finally decided to give up. I had to admit defeat! I would rather do that than have to get the rangers to rescue me when I got in over my head! We returned the way we came and stopped at Pine Tree Arch and Tunnel Arch. All in all, we ended up doing our 8 miles anyway even if we didn’t do the whole loop trail. I feel bad for Don because he didn’t get to see all of the arches that we had hoped to see.

By then it was lunch time so we went to La Hacienda for lunch. I had 2 chili rellenos and a salad. In the afternoon we did our laundry. We found one Laundromat near the City Market but they wanted $4 for the washing machine! We left there and went to another one near McDonalds and their washers were only $1.50. In fact, it cost us $4 total to do our laundry (washer and dryer!) Then we came back and took a nap!

What I Learned Today:

· Gatorade makes a big difference when hiking in extreme heat! I drank more than if I had warm water.

· Knowing my limitations keeps me from getting in bad hiking situations.

· You never know what wildlife may be hidden in the bushes like deer and lizards.

· $4 is way too much to spend on a washing machine! (We found another Laundromat with $1.50 machines)

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).
Original Photo: by Pat Hensley

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Great Adventure 2011 Utah – 8/10/11

040For more pictures, click HERE

We had a wonderful day hiking today. First we hiked in Negro Bill Canyon to the Morning Glory Bridge. Even though we started at 8am, it was hot by the time we finished. The trail went in and out of the shade which was nice and there were several stream crossings. The Morning Glory Bridge is the 6th longest natural bridge in the US.

After our hike, we went to Wendy’s for lunch and then drove the La Sal Mountain Loop for a scenic drive. I was so excited when a black bear crossed in front of our car! When we finished it was still early enough for us to go on Cane Creek Rd. which was another scenic drive.

Animals seen today: Deer, Lizards, Black bear, blue birds and evidence of beaver and big horn sheep

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original Photo: by Pat Hensley

Friday, September 9, 2011

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 9/9/11

tools2Here 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!

Classwish – “a nonprofit site where parents, teachers and communities easily unite to provide the classroom resources our children need.”

ILoveSchools – “ is a nonprofit online donation center that connects new, used and in-kind resources with our nation’s schools all year long.”

Grant Gopher – available grants for nonprofits

Lazy Meter – free, task manager; “Procrastination has many causes. Part of the problem is being overwhelmed by a long to-do list, not being able to recall the right things to do at the right time, and not feeling a sense of reward when work is done. LazyMeter is flipping procrastination on its head, creating an experience that makes users want to get through their day, so that they can feel good and move onto quality free time.  LazyMeter helps users focus on one day at a time.  We give users credit for making progress on a big task, and we make it easy to reschedule things for later.”

Online Graphing Calculator – free

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original Image: Pat Hensley

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Great Adventure 2011 Utah – 8/9/11

101For more pictures, click HERE

Today we had a wonderful full day rafting on the Colorado River. It was a lot of fun! I really don’t have a lot to say because the pictures say it all!

What I Learned Today:

· A Butte is taller than it is wide and a Mesa is wider than it is tall.

· If the air and water temperature together is not at least 120 degrees, a person is at risk of hypothermia.
· It is hard to get back in a raft if you jump in the river to swim.

· Bring your own bottle of water, even if they say they supply water. (It is easier and more likely help you drink if you don’t have to bother someone to get some water.) Luckily I brought my own bottle of Gatorade to drink before lunch and then mixed some lemonade in it for the ride after lunch.

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original Photo: by Pat Hensley

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Great Adventure 2011 Utah – 8/8/11

022For more pictures, click HERE
This morning we got up early and headed towards Delicate Arch. Even though it wasn’t a long hike, it was hard when it got hot. The views were as beautiful as I remember but the last time we were here, it was in April and colder. After that we did the Delicate Arch viewpoints. Then we hiked to the Double Arch.

 After lunch we stopped at the grocery store and the knitting shop called Desert Threads. I bought a pound of 100% Corriedale fiber for about $40. The clerk, Nicole, was so nice and we spent a lot of time talking with her. As a former river guide, she told us about rafting down the Colorado River so we ended up booking a rafting trip for tomorrow. Then we drove on Hwy 279 to the Potash Plant. Along the way we saw petroglyphs and another arch. We stopped at a mailing center to see about mailing my spinning wheel home but decided it wasn’t cost effective to do so. Instead we will repack the car and store the wheel in the car.

What I Learned Today:

· Even hiking at 8am, it is still hot outside! We need to get an earlier start if we want to do that 8 mile hike before it gets hot.

· The red thread in the rocks is caused by the oxidizing of iron.

· “To qualify as an official stone “arch,” a hole must have an opening at least three feet (1m) long in any one direction.”

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original Photo: by Pat Hensley

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Great Adventure 2011 Utah – 8/7/11

048For more pictures, click HERE
We drove to Moab, UT this morning and it was a lovely drive. It is amazing how much open land there is. We got to Arches NP at about 10am and it was already hot. We hiked to Sand Dunes Arches, Skyline Arches, and Balancing Rock but then it got too hot to hike anymore. By then it was lunchtime and we had chili rellenos at La Hacienda for lunch before checking into our room at the Kokopelli Intowner (part of the Kokopelli Lodge). I loved where we are staying for the week! Our “room” is actually a small apartment with livingroom and full kitchen along with bedroom and bath. There are some lawn chairs and a bbq grill outside for us to use too. I will enjoy staying here and the cost was less than the room we stayed in at the Comfort Inn last night in Green River!
What I Learned Today:
· This dry heat can really sap your energy!
· There are over 2000 arches in Arches NP.
· Arches NP is in the high desert between 4000 - 6000 ft. in elevation.
· President Hoover made Arches into a National Monument but it didn’t become a national park until 1971.
Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).
Original Photo: by Pat Hensley

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Great Adventure 2011 Utah – 8/6/11

For more pictures, click HERE

Today we went to Goblin Valley State Park in Utah. It was a beautiful drive and the scenery was outstanding! How different the terrain is compared to Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. We hiked around the “goblins” and it was so hot! The air temperature was 95F but there in the valley, I’m sure it was hotter. Even though we drank lots of water, Don got a little overheated so we headed back to the car. If it was this hot here, I can only imagine how hot Arches NP will be over the next coming days. We will probably have to hike early in the morning and early evening, leaving the hot afternoon for either drives in the car or a nap.

What I Learned Today:

· Goblin Valley is made up of formations of sandstone that have eroded into interesting shapes.

· The movie Galaxy Quest (with Tim Allen) was filmed in Goblin Valley.

· The “goblins” are really hoodoos (according to Wikipedia, “A hoodoo (also called a tent rock, fairy chimney, and earth pyramid) is a tall, thin spire of rock that protrudes from the bottom of an arid drainage basin or badland. Hoodoos consist of relatively soft rock topped by harder, less easily eroded stone that protects each column from the elements. They typically form within sedimentary rock and volcanic rock formations”

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original Photo: by Pat Hensley

Scary School - A Book Review

SCARY SCHOOLI recently read the book Scary School by Derek the Ghost and illustrated by Scott M. Fischer which was mentioned on The Picnic Basket. This is the review that I gave the book (I am not being paid to give this review):

I would give this book 5 out of 5. I thought it was a great book for upper elementary school and middle school. This would be a perfect book for October book clubs in the classroom. I think it would also be a fun book to read aloud to a class. It also is a book full of great vocabulary and puns to use for a language arts lesson. Social skills can be discussed when talking about differences in the world (as shown by the different children and their abilities in the book). I would highly recommend this for classrooms and libraries.

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Sunday, September 4, 2011

40 Inspiring Blogs

from the blog Matt Holden writes articles for, a website dedicated to providing students with the information and tools needed in order to pursue their Masters in Special Education. I’m thrilled that he included my blog in this post. Please check out his post 40 Inspiring Blogs Every Special Education Teacher Should Read to see other special ed blogs and resources that he recommends.

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original Image: 'I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.'

Friday, September 2, 2011

Lack of Sleep (or Zombieitis)

(Here is a guest post from Jay Cooper and the Better Sleep Council. I think his information is worth checking out and the message is important for students.)

ZombieitisPressure is continually mounting for teachers to engage young minds, but there is not a lot they can do when students are asleep at the desk. A lack of sleep puts many students behind the eight ball before they even step foot in the classroom, and as the busy school year kicks off the amount of sleep some students get drops even further.

Numerous studies link inadequate sleep to decreased mental aptitude and memory function. A lack of sleep can also cause increased apathy, anxiety, irritability and even depression among students. With that in mind, the Better Sleep Council is kicking off a new campaign aimed at middle school and high school students encouraging them to get rest during the school year so they are not zombies in the classroom.

We are asking teachers to take a look at the campaign and help spread the message, as we know teachers have first-hand knowledge about the effects of “Zombieitis” on students.

The messaging on the Stop Zombieitis website and Facebook page are heavily geared toward the teenage population and explain that Zombieitis, or sleep deprivation, is an epidemic spreading through classrooms. Personal outreach on Twitter account also encourages sleep to students who are messaging about being tired in the classroom.

The Stop Zombieitis website explains the symptoms of the epidemic and points them to other resources explaining the importance of sleep and tips for getting better sleep. The site also has a unique function for allowing teachers or parents to report a zombie in the classroom, a more light-hearted way to nudge students who are falling asleep in class to get more adequate rest.

The Facebook page includes details on sleep, messaging encouraging more sleep and a quiz to indicate whether students are already suffering from Zombieitis. Other messaging and promotions encouraging sleep will continue as the campaign progresses.

We are asking teachers to join our cause to help students get their sleep on a quality mattress, and not on a classroom desk. We ask you to check out the website and Facebook page, and tell students about it as well. When necessary, teachers can also use the report a zombie function on the website to encourage students to get their sleep.

The Stop Zombieitis website can be found at

The Facebook page is

The Better Sleep Council thanks you for your help!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Great Adventure 2011 Utah – 8/5/11

039For more pictures, click HERE

We headed towards Timpanagos Caves National Monument this morning. Our tickets noted that we could start hiking up the mountain at 10:45 and our tour started at 12:15 so we hiked on the nature trail first. Then at 10:30, we started up the 1100 foot climb to the cave entrance. It was so steep that it was quite a challenge and I felt pretty out of shape but the ranger reminded me that this elevation was different than I was used to so I felt better. The views were outstanding though along the way! We made it to the entrance at 12:00. The tour lasted an hour as we hiked through 3 caves (Hansen, Middle, and Timpanagos). Then we had to hike back down the 1100 feet!

After that we drove through the American Fork Canyon to Cascade Springs which was very pretty. We hiked the loop trails around the springs before driving through Provo Canyon. On the way back, we stopped at the In-n-Out Burger for dinner.

What I Learned Today:

· President Harding signed the proclamation declaring Timpanagos Caves a national monument in 1922.
· Chipmunks have a stripe that goes up their back and across their eyes. Ground squirrels have the stripe just up their backs.
· Climbing up 1100 feet is different at 6000 feet elevation than at 2000 feet.

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).
Original Photo: by Pat Hensley