Thursday, March 31, 2016

Getting Things Done

“Any suggestions on how to eliminate the "squirrel" quality of the Internet and actually get work accomplished?”

Recently I started to do bullet journaling. I’m getting back to writing things on paper with pencil (or pen). I have watched some YouTube videos on bullet journaling and gotten a lot of great ideas: How to Bullet Journal and Bullet Journal Flip Through and  The more I do it, the more evolved it becomes. I started several things and have customized them to fit my needs. Some things I’ve done away with because it didn’t help me.

At first I tried to make it like a calendar and found myself just making a prettier paper copy of my Google calendar. That didn’t help me the way I wanted it to. I wanted something useful that was meaningful and help me be more productive.

Every morning I start the day’s journaling. I write the day and date as well as the weather forecast. (I like to look back at these figures). Then I start listing the things that I want to accomplish for the day including events listed on my google calendar. I have also color coded them so it is easy to see at a glance. I have several categories: chores, events, gardening, crafting, and travel. Everything I do pretty much fits into one of those categories.

Also included each month is a chart of daily activities that I repeat each day. I color in the box when I accomplish it and I like to look back and see how the chart is filled in.

When I see an inspirational quote, I write it in the daily page. I am enjoying writing in cursive again for a change of pace.

I have also started doing monthly doodles which is dragging me outside my box. While it is fun, it is also hard for me so I enjoy the challenge.

I have added a page for books that I want to read, craft projects that I want to make, and

I also add some doodles if I have the time because it makes me smile.

Now, all of this is to say, that it has really helped me get things accomplished. I like checking off the things that are finished. I use an arrow to move things forward if needed. Instead of being overwhelmed by the big picture, I look what is needed to be accomplished immediately.

Now when I finish what I need to do, I don’t feel guilty for doing fun things I want to do. I’m able to enjoy what I’m doing without thinking about what I need to finish.

I’ve been doing this for 2 months now and I’m still enjoying it so I will continue.

This would be great to get students to do also. It might encourage their creative side as well as helping them be more productive. It is important that they know there is no right or wrong way to do this but it is important that they find a way for it to be useful and meaningful.

Do you do bullet journaling? If so, what do you include in it? Please share. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Sharing Too Much

In How Much to Corral? From Sioux's Page, Sioux asks,

“How do you decide what to keep to yourself and what to keep on paper?”

I tend to share way too much according to my husband! I like to share what we are doing or where we are traveling to with others. Some people share the same interest or have been to where we are going and can suggest interesting things to see and do there.

I do not share information like phone numbers and addresses online with people unless it is in a private message. I think sharing stuff like that is just plain creepy unless you are making arrangements to meet someone.

I also don’t share stories about people that I wouldn’t say to their face. I feel like nothing is private once it is shared so I want to know if it gets back to the person, they won’t feel uncomfortable about my sharing the story. I usually let that person know I was talking about them too.

In our house, we have this saying that if we have nothing nice to say, don’t say it at all. I usually follow this unless it is a rant about a company that I think is worth sharing with others. I would want to know this information as a fellow consumer and if someone has problems with a company that I might use or buy from, I want to know about it.

My husband worries about my sharing about our travels so he hopes that I wait at least until we return before telling people about where we went. I usually do that unless I post a picture without any indication about where we are. Then if someone asks me about it, I will send them a private message.

What do you share with others online or in private? Please share.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Thank You

Recently we went out to lunch with a friend who was complaining that his relatives showed no gratitude for things he gives them. They never say thank you even after he confronts them about it. I have had relatives do the same thing to me. I've wondered if they ever received a check or a gift that I had sent. After months of waiting for a thank you but never getting one, I ask them if they got it and I’m told in an off hand way that they had. No thank you was attached to that statement.

I remember growing up and my mother making me write thank you notes whenever someone gave me a gift. I hated doing it but it was mandatory. As I got older I tried to make sure I did that but now mainly do it through emails and text messages. My next door neighbor was really great about sending little thank you notes whenever I did something for her. I wish I could say I was as good as her but I wasn’t. Even though I don’t mail thank you notes any more, I make sure the person knows how much appreciate the gift.

In our discussion, we felt like it was this younger generation that seemed to be ungrateful. It seems like they just expect things and don’t feel like they need to acknowledge or thank the person who gave them something. Maybe they weren't taught this at a young age. I remember when I was little and people would ask me what the magic word was (please) and what did I say after someone gave me something (thank you). This was even taught when trick-or-treating. 

I wonder if we do a disservice to our students by not teaching them how important this is.

Here are some activities that I think that I would start doing with my students, no matter what age they are.

·      Discuss the word appreciation and when we would show our appreciation for something.
·      What are ways to show appreciation to someone?
·      Why is showing appreciation important?
·      How do people feel when someone appreciates them or their work?
·      Practice writing sample thank you notes.

I know I need to do a better job at thanking people for the things that they do for me. I’m going to dust off my notecards and start writing!

Do you feel that young people today are ungrateful? How would you go about teaching them how to be thankful? Please share. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Back of the Book Blurb #7 Challenge

In Back-of-the-Book Blurb #7 from Sioux's Page ,Sioux offers this challenge.
She posts a picture and you need to imagine it as a graphic for a book. You choose the genre and book title, and then write a blurb that might appear on the back of the book.

·                The blurb should be 150 words or less (not including the title).
·                The genre is wide-open.
·                Each blogger should include their blurb on their own blog, and link back to this post.
·                Have fun with it. Go to the other posts and comment on the other blurbs. 
·                You can do fancy techy things with the photo.

(Join in if you dare...! It sounds like fun! I think this would be a lot of fun to do with students especially since they would be expected to write 150 words or less!)

The Accident

When he woke up, he didn’t know where he was but he knew he ached all over. It took him a minute to realize that he was lying on the pavement and he was bleeding. The car was upside down and it was crushed. He looked in the middle of the road and that is when he saw the shoes. They were missing the person who wore them. Then he noticed the mangled bicycle on the side of the road. What happened to the person riding it? His head was aching and he felt some memory in the back of his mind but he just couldn’t grasp it. He tried to remember but then realized he didn’t know where he was or even who he was. He struggled to his feet and wondered what to do next. (137 words)

Friday, March 25, 2016

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 3/25/16

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

Sugar and the Brain – a Ted-Ed lesson on how sugar affects the brain (L:G; SA:S)

Perspecs – app; “We curate the top news stories from around the world. Unlike traditional aggregators, the Perspecs App offers readers three different perspectives on the same story.” (L:H; SA:LA)

Monster Heart Medic – app; “Monster Heart Medic is an educational adventure game that explores the cardiovascular system and how it is affected by healthy living. Players are led through an interactive narrative where they must help diagnose a friendly, 3-eyed monster named Ragnar and help him on his path to a healthier life. Through hands-on tests, interactive simulators, achievement collection, discussions with health professionals, animated monster stories, and arcade games, players will learn about common cardiovascular conditions, diagnostic tests, and what steps can be taken to get and keep your cardiovascular system healthy. This free app is available in English and Spanish for iPhones, iPads, and Android devices.” (L:E, M; SA:S)

CamFind – free ios and android app; lets you take a picture of it and then goes to web pages that can tell you about it. (L:G; SA:A)

Literature Map – You put in an author you like and it links to other authors that you might like. (L:G; SA:LA)

Original photo by Pat Hensley