Friday, December 30, 2016

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 12/30/16

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
Since it is the holiday season, I thought I would link to some of the holidays celebrated in December. This might be a good time to expose our students to these different holidays.

Pop Penguin and the Place Value Race – “The Penguin Family siblings invented a fun place value game. Can you reach the end before Pop?(L:E; SA:M)

1941 Pearl Harbor Map – interactive map on Pearl Harbor; It takes a long time to load features but it is pretty interesting. (L:H; SA:SS)

Expii Solve – “a free interactive website, focused on math and science, where students, teachers, tutors, and enthusiasts are encouraged to add their voices and teaching styles to the canon of lessons that are hosted on the site. We believe that high quality educational resources should be available to everyone, crossing borders and barriers to reach every student.” (L:H; SA:M)

Animated Maps of Military History – “If a picture is worth a thousand words, a good animation is worth ten thousand. After reading book after book about the Pacific War and finding only complicated maps with dotted lines and dashed lines crisscrossing the pages, we decided to depict the key naval and land battles using animation technology.(L:H; SA:SS)

Inside Your Computer – a TED-ed lesson; “How does a computer work? The critical components of a computer are the peripherals (including the mouse), the input/output subsystem (which controls what and how much information comes in and out), and the central processing unit (the brains), as well as human-written programs and memory. Bettina Bair walks us through the steps your computer takes with every click of the mouse.(L:G; SA:A)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Wonder Questions

“In fact, the only homework that I regularly give students is writing two interesting wonder questions per week in a journal.”

Then Bill shares some of his students’ wonder questions.

I thought this was such a great idea for teachers to do. This would be a great thing for teachers to model.

I have a little notepad that I used to keep my questions in. Now I keep them on a list on my phone. Sometimes I will look up the answers on the internet and sometimes my questions don’t have a right or wrong answer.

I feel like coming up with questions helps to make me grow. This is one example of always learning. There is always something out there that I don’t know and this helps me put things in prospective.

Even though I write them down when I think of them, I need to make a more conscious effort of doing this on a regular basis.

Some of my questions may be easy ones for others but they are things that I don’t know or things I’m not sure about.

Here are some questions that came up this week:

What are symptoms of the flu?
What is the difference in cough medicine labeled CF and DM?
When does Hanukkah start?

Do you have wonder questions? What have you asked this week? Do you do it on a regular basis? Please share.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Big Love Challenge

“The BIG LOVE Challenge requires you to spread unconditional kindness, compassion and care for ten days to as many people as possible – not just family members, friends and those nice people you met on holiday. We mean everyone - even people not on your Christmas card list.”

and it is free!

Every day for 10 days you’ll be sent a collection of novel suggestions, exercises and ideas. Some are simply attitudes to adopt, others are tasks to complete – but they’re all optional. You can choose as many (or none) of the ideas on a given day that you want - but like anything in life that requires some effort, you get from the exercise what you put in. Some ideas may involve a small monetary outlay, but most cost only your time. Towards the end of the challenge you'll also be presented with the opportunity to join an exciting group project.”

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

HAL Zuiderdam December 2016

A couple of weeks ago we sailed on the HAL Zuiderdam for ten days on the Panama Canal Sunfarer cruise. We enjoyed this cruise so much from March and the price was so good ($499pp) that we talked our friends Dick and Kathy into going with us. Our captain was Bart Vaartjes, our hotel director was Darren David Lewis, and our cruise director was Michael Landring. Our cabin was 4114 and we ate dinner at 5:15 every night. Our server was Nur and he was great. I bought the internet (1000 minutes for $250).

Day 1: Embarkation 12/11/16

We got to the port around 10:30 and dropped off our bags. Then we parked our car in the parking garage. We walked right in and went through security and check-in quickly. We ended up waiting about 30 minutes before they let us on. We stopped at our cabins which were ready and dropped stuff off. Then we went to the Lido deck for lunch. After lunch we went to a Mariner reception where we had some drinks in the Crow’s nest. It was raining so hard that the glass was leaking and water was soaking the seats but they put a bucket and towels to catch the rain. After that we went to the muster drill. Then we sat near the pool and watched us leave the port. We had dinner reservations at 5:30 but we were all ready and went to dinner at 5:15 which was nice. After dinner we walked around and Don slipped on the stairs going down which twisted his knee. He was in a lot of pain after that so we went back to our room. The cabin steward brought me our schedule after 9pm with a Holland America bag. I had to ask him to check our phone because it wasn’t working.

Day 2: Half Moon Cay 12/12/16

I got up at 5am and played on my computer on the Lido deck. Then I woke Don up at 7am. The four of us went on the tender about 9am to Half Moon Cay. We went to the Ocean Bar on Deck 3 for our tender tickets and immediately went to get on the tender on Deck A. The water was really choppy and later we heard that they were delayed in getting us on the island because of the rough water. We didn’t notice the delay since we didn’t plan on going until 9 instead of 8 as they announced we would arrive. We had a wonderful time on the beach and the water was cold at first but then warmed up the longer you stayed in it. At 11:30 we went to the island barbecue for a snack. After that we returned to the ship and had lunch. After lunch we sat by the pool for a little while and then it was time to prepare for dinner and happy hour in the Crow’s Nest. Dinner was wonderful and after dinner we went to see the comedian, Derrick Cameron, who was funny.

Day 3: At Sea 12/13/16

We had a lovely day at sea. Kathy joined me on the Lido deck to watch the sunrise. Then Don arrived after 8am. The three of us went to the dining room for breakfast. After breakfast, Don went to the shore excursion talk and I went to the Cruise Critic meet up. There were about 40 people there and I enjoyed meeting them. After that we sat on Deck 3 in the lounge chairs and relaxed until lunch time. After lunch we returned there and relaxed until it was time to prepare for dinner and happy hour. Dinner was great again and then we went to hear the show which featured the Island Magic Steel Band and they were awesome. They played Broadway hits, classical music and even Glenn Miller. It wasn’t what I expected and I’m glad we went.

Day 4: Curacao 12/14/16

We didn’t arrive to Curacao until 2pm at the Megapier. We walked around town but Dick wasn’t able to do much walking. We went to the Starbucks first so everyone could get on the free internet. Then we walked across the floating bridge and to the floating market. Along the way we stopped to hear the bells chime and play music at 5pm. On the way back, I heard a familiar voice and looked to see another couple we know. Carolyn had worked in my husband’s courtroom years ago. Then we found out they were with another couple and all of them were on the same ship as us! We had been on it for 4 days and never crossed paths with them on the ship! We didn’t get back to the ship until 7pm and went to the Lido deck for dinner.  At 11:30pm there was a special firework show to celebrate that the Prinsendam was in port with us. Of course, I set my alarm and was the only one to get up and go see the fireworks. But it was so loud it woke everyone else up!  It was a wonderful day in Curacao!

Day 5: Aruba 12/15/16

We had a relaxing day while we were in Aruba. We got off the ship at 8am and went to the bus station. We planned to buy the bus pass and then head to Eagle Beach.  Even though they advertise the bus pass, they were not selling it to the cruise ship passengers. Instead you had to pay $5 each way so we decided to get back on the ship. We spent the day relaxing around the pool which was really nice. Before dinner we went to Happy Hour and after dinner we went to the show One World featuring the dancers and singers. Kathy and Dick went on a tour for $25 each and was dropped off at Eagle Beach for a couple of hours. They said you could rent a chair for $15 but they just put their stuff on the beach and had a lovely time.

Day 6: At Sea 12/16/16

At 9, we went to a port talk on Colon and Puerto Limon. Then we sat on deck 3 and read until lunch time.  At 1pm we went to  see  the movie “Discover the Panama Canal.”  We went up to the Lido deck and had a snack (Hamburger and fries) before getting ready for dinner. The captain announced that we had a medical ermergency and a guest needed a blood transfusion. He asked anyone who was 0+ or A+ and had a blood donor card to please come to the medical center.  At 4, we met up with Carolyn and her group for happy hour. After dinner we went to the show which featured a magician/juggler, Nathaniel Rankin. When we got back to our room, we turned our clocks back an hour.

Day 7: Colon, Panama 12/17/16

I got to the Crow’s Nest at 4:30am and it was crowded! Don, Dick and Kathy arrived soon after me. We stayed up there until around 10am. One reason it took so long was that they got the medical emergency off the ship when we were in the 2nd lock. After that we ate breakfast and then relaxed on the 3rd deck until lunch time. After lunch we sat on the 3rd deck and watched as we returned through the locks At 4pm the four of us got off the ship and walked to the stores. We bought 4 soft drinks and a small bag of doritoes for $4.18 USD. Then we returned to the ship and had dinner. When we went to bed, we turned our clocks back an hour.

Day 8: Limon, Costa Rica 12/18/16

Don, Kathy, and I got off the ship and walked around town. We walked to the Cathedral Sagrada Corazon de Jesus and it was beautiful. Then we walked to the park and saw the sloths and a hummingbird. We gave the little boy a dollar as a tip and we saw 3 sloths including one with a baby. Then we went to the supermarket where they sold coffee ($11 for 12 oz.) but the market near the ship sold it for $8 for 17.6 oz or $15 for two. We got back on the ship and got Dick and then went on a tour of the area. Kathy got us the tour for $15 per person (the other people paid $35) and we drove in an air-conditioned van for 2 ½ hours. Our tour guide, Carlos was excellent. We saw a banana plantation, canals, sloths, and howling monkeys! Then we got back on the ship and had lunch and a nap. When it was time to be on the ship, we heard them call 5 people’s names and cabins because they had not returned yet. I heard one person was left behind and she was an adult who was traveling with her older parents. She got off the ship to buy something quickly but didn’t make it back in time. Plus, she had all the passports! The parents talked to her and she was going to be taken to San Jose and put on a plane to Ft. Lauderdale. We also watched them put another person in an ambulance along with all their luggage. At 4pm we went to happy hour before dinner. After dinner, we went to the show featuring the comedian/ventriloquist Phil Hughes who was very funny. When we went to bed, we turned our clocks forward one hour.

Day 9: At Sea 12/19/16

After breakfast, we went to a computer class on Windows 10 which was fun. For lunch we had special Mariner’s luncheon for repeat guests. After lunch we went to a talk with the Captain where he answered questions. Before dinner we had happy hour with Carolyn, Ken, Jack and Peggy. They had gone zip lining in Costa Rica and Carolyn wanted to get off but she had to go through 5 platforms before she was allowed to get off. She said she was crying and shaking and would never do that again! After dinner, we went to the show which featured a fabulous singer, Sonia Selbie. She had such a strong voice and a great personality! 

Day 10: At Sea 12/20/16

After breakfast, we went to the movie theater to see Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children which I enjoyed. After lunch we went back to our room to pack and rest before happy hour. After dinner we went to the farewell show Musicology which featured the Zuiderdam dancers. It was a nice last day on the ship!

Day 11: Debarkation 12/21/16

We requested to get off around 9:45 and our tags were Lime 1. We were off the ship by 10:15. It was fast and easy to get off the ship.

Things I Learned:

1.     We really liked Half Moon Cay!
2.     Starbucks in Curacao doesn’t take my Starbucks card.
3.     Curacao is beautiful at night.
4.     Aruba doesn’t sell the $10 bus pass to cruise passengers.
5.     You can see ships go through the Panama Canal by going to .
6.     Panama railroad cost $8 million and was 47 miles long
7.     Panama Canal Took in $7 million. 
8.     Theodore Roosevelt was the first president to travel outside of the United States 
9.     New locks opened in June. 
10.  Atlantic side 4 feet and Pacific side is 21 feet. 
11.  39 ships a day 
12.  3rd bridge across the canal is 60% built
13.  1000’ x110’ -  old locks965’ x 106’ -  ships
14.  1400’ x180’ -  new locks. 1200’x160’ -  ships 
15.  52 million gallons of fresh water is lost for each transit (26 each side)
16.  3 million gallons per minute
17.  8-12 minutes in each lock. 
18.  Panama is still unsafe to walk around outside of the port terminal.
19.  The Republic of Panama - 1903 succeeded from Colombia 
20.  The canal transports 4% world trade and 16% US trade. 
21.  Panama has 12 million acres of rainforest. 
22.  Main language of Panama is Spanish. 
23.  1547 miles of coastline in Panama
24.  Canal went back to Panama in 1999
25.  1949 Costa Rica became a country 
26.  500 Costa Rican colon to $1 USD
27.  San Jose is the capital of Costa Rica
28.  Main language of Costa Rica is Spanish
29.  25% of the country's land is protected national parks and protected areas 
30.  800 miles of coastline in Costa Rica
31.  Costa Rica is the only country without a military.
32.  22 venomous snakes in Costa Rica.
33.  Shake out your shoes and watch out of nasty spiders in Costa Rica.
34.  Stay away from ants in Costa Rica.
35.  67 volcanoes in Costa Rica.
36.  In Costa Rica, Poison dart frogs’ venom can kill 10 grown men.
37.  No visa in Costa Rica needed but you pay a departure tax of $29
38.  Tour - $15 pp. 10am to 12:30pm
39.  Banana takes one year and 2 weeks to mature.
40.  each box of bananas is 40 lbs. 
41.  We saw pineapples, sugar, cacao bean, Cassavas root, noni fruit, sloths, howler monkeys in Costa Rica.
42.  Costa Rica didn’t have as many homeless people sleeping on the sidewalk.
43.  I don’t ever want to do zip lining!