Wednesday, November 30, 2016

80’s Songs for the Classroom

“What 80's tunes would you add to my list? How do they inspire you as an educator?”

I was intrigued by this question and wanted to give it a try. I’m not a big fan of songs from the 1980s so that made this even more challenging.

These are not in any order other than how they came up in my thoughts:

It’sStill Rock and Roll to Me by Billy Joel - Song about change and how hard it is.

Magicby Olivia Newton John - Song about believing and having faith

Celebrationby Kool and the Gang - Song about celebrating triumphs

MorningTrain by Sheena Easton - - Song about working

Eye of the Tiger by Survivor - Song about being brave and courageous

Hard to Say I’m Sorry by Chicago - Song about how hard it is to apologize which is hard for our students.

We Are the World by USA for Africa - Song about teamwork

That’s What Friends are For by Dionne Warwick – friends are important to our students

True Colors by Cyndi Lauper – song about being yourself

What 80’s songs would be on your list?

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

My Blessings Reflection

 “What are you most grateful for? Rested minds want to know...”

Last week was Thanksgiving and I saw lots of posts where people wished everyone a happy holiday. Many people even posted about all the things they were thankful for. I think this is a good practice to do and should be done more often than once a year.

I have a spreadsheet and make sure that I can list at least one thing about my husband that I’m grateful for. When I get annoyed with him, I can look at this and remind myself all the good things that he does.

Then I started thinking about all the other things that I’m thankful for and how lucky I am. When my husband and I had lunch the other day, I couldn’t resist telling how happy I was and how lucky I felt. There was so much for us to be thankful for and I wanted to make sure that remembered this. Then when I am feeling bad, sad, or discouraged, I wanted to remember feeling this way.

Here are some things that I’m grateful for:

·      My husband
·      My family
·      Friends (online and in real life)
·      My good health
·      Hiking
·      Knitting
·      Spinning
·      Crocheting
·      Traveling
·      Reading
·      Library
·      Living in the south
·      Nice weather
·      Food
·      Money to live comfortable
·      My home
·      Heat
·      Air conditioning
·      Treadmill
·      Hot tub
·      Microwave
·      3 bathrooms
·      cable TV
·      internet
·      Netflix
·      Cell phones
·      Fitbit zip

These are just some of the things I thought of today. I hope to do this at least once a month so I can make sure that I appreciate how lucky I am.

What are you grateful for? Please share.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Back of the Book Blurb #36 Challenge

From Sioux's PageSioux 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 Polite Police

The town of Polite had just about had it! They were tired of people being rude to others. They were tired of people not holding the door open for others. They were tired of people not saying Please and Thank You. Adults were not even teaching their children any more how to be polite. Who wants to come to a town called Polite if no one even acted polite? The town council decided to take action! There would be repercussions if people didn’t start acting polite. They put up posters around the town warning people. Would this be enough to change people or will they spend their time standing in the corner? Or would their punishments be even harsher? Read more to see what the consequences were and if the town changed their impolite ways! (135 words)

Friday, November 25, 2016

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 11/25/16

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

The True Size – “It is hard to represent our spherical world on flat piece of paper. Cartographers use something called a "projection" to morph the globe into 2D map. The most popular of these is the Mercator projection. Every map projection introduces distortion, and each has its own set of problems. One of the most common criticisms of the Mercator map is that it exaggerates the size of countries nearer the poles (US, Russia, Europe), while downplaying the size of those near the equator (the African Continent). On the Mercator projection Greenland appears to be roughly the same size as Africa. In reality, Greenland is 0.8 million sq. miles and Africa is 11.6 million sq. miles, nearly 14 and a half times larger.” (L:G; SA:SS)

Quizalize – “make your own quizzes in minutes.” (L:G; SA:A)

WriteReader – “WriteReader is a unique digital learning platform where children from age 3–10 can learn to read by writing and publish small digital books.With the WriteReader app the child takes pictures of family, friends, things or situations and write about them in their actual level of written language. A teacher or parent then “translates” the child's text to conventional writing and by comparing their own attempt to the edited version the child will step by step improve his/her writing and reading capabilities. The child can later in an easy way share his/her books with friends and family or publish them on the Global online library. This way the child experiences in an early age what the written language can do, which can have big influence on the child's motivation and learning capabilities.” (L:E; SA:LA)

Chatterpix Kids – free iPad app; Grab your camera! Let’s ChatterPix! Chatterpix Kids can make anything talk -- pets, friends, doodles, and more. 
Simply take any photo, draw a line to make a mouth, and record your voice. Then share your Pix with friends and family as silly greetings, playful messages, creative cards, or even fancy book reports. And best of all, it’s FREE! AGES: 5-12. 
(L:E; SA:A)

TimelineJS – “TimelineJS is an open-source tool that enables anyone to build visually rich, interactive timelines. Beginners can create a timeline using nothing more than a Google spreadsheet, like the one we used for the Timeline above. Experts can use their JSON skills to create custom installations, while keeping TimelineJS's core functionality.(L:G; SA:A)
Smarty Pinsgeography game (L:H; SA:SS)

Original photo by Pat Hensley 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States and I have so much to feel thankful for.

I'm so thankful for my family and friends!

I'm so thankful for my good health!

I'm thankful for having a great life!

I'm thankful for all of you who read this blog!

In fact, I have so much in my life to be thankful for that I don't think there is enough room here or enough time to list them all. Plus, you might be bored after reading all of them.

I encourage you to think about all that you are thankful for in your life. Then don't stop there but let the people in your life know how you feel. I think sharing your appreciation is as important as just feeling appreciative.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Choosing Appropriate Venues

In this article, the Hamilton’ Cast’s Appeal to Pence Ignites Showdown With Trump, the cast takes a political stand at the end of the performance.

I don’t’ want this post to be a political debate and I’m not choosing sides of either party. But I feel that this I need to address my views about the situation.

I do not feel that this was an appropriate venue for the cast to share their political views unless they warned the audience beforehand. I would feel the same way at a charity event that included a play or musical.

When people pay money to be entertained, they should not have to deal with issues that they do not have to deal with.

When my husband was a judge, we hated going to gatherings where people wanted to ask them about their personal situations and get free legal advice. It would be the same as going to a party and meeting doctors where we want a free medical consultation. These are inappropriate places for these kinds of encounters.

I would call this a kind of ambush. People have a right to relax and be entertained, especially if that is what they are expecting. To make this into something other than what is expected and blindsiding the guest, is totally wrong. I don’t care if you have a political, legal, medical, or ethical or any other kind of reason for doing this.

When students see these kinds of situations, they think this is appropriate behavior and it is not. Just like we teach students that there are certain ways to dress depending on the situation, there are certain behaviors for different situations also. There are also certain foods we might serve for different occasions and we would not serve hotdogs and finger foods during a formal occasion just like we wouldn’t serve caviar and escargot at a football tailgating party.

When I see things like what happened in the news, I wonder if we aren’t teaching students the appropriate ways to behave in different situations. This would be a good time to open up the conversation about it.

What do you think? Please share.