Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Happy Birthday to My Husband

Today is my husband’s birthday and he is very special to me! I can't imagine life without him and I'm so glad that he is always there for me.  I think the picture says it all!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Spinning Wheels

“Did you complain pointlessly at any time? Are you pouring your time and energy into too many things? Even worse, are you pouring them into things that aren’t really a calling for you anymore?”

Usually at the end of every day, my husband and I talk about our day. We talk about how productive we were, whether it was a good or bad day, and the highlights of the day. I don’t know when we started doing this but I enjoy our conversation as we evaluate our day. I feel proud when I’ve had a good day, disappointed when it isn’t, and it is nice to have his support as I share about it all. I hope I do the same for him.

It is hard when I look back and see that I didn’t get a lot done during the day. We call it “spinning our wheels” where we feel we were busy but nothing got done. I think it helps to reflect about the day to see why it happened.

Where did I lose my productivity? Was I too disorganized? Usually this is my biggest problem. If I can see where I had the biggest problem, I can correct it the next day. Usually the next day is better because I have analyzed the day before.

Sometimes I realize that the project I was working on isn’t that important or necessary. I ask myself why I bother to continue doing something that doesn’t give me joy. When I was growing up, my parents always pushed me to finish what I started. Now that I’m an adult, I have to remind myself that if it isn’t necessary, I don’t have to finish it!

Sometimes what I am doing is not fun but necessary. Usually if I make a list of all the steps that I need to do, I can check each one off as I finish it. This really helps me get it done when I don’t want to do it.

All of these things are great to talk about with my class. Many of them feel the same way at times and I  need to show them that even adults feel that way in the real world. They need to learn how to handle these feelings. That is the hardest thing for teenagers to deal with. Helping them deal with their feelings means they will be more successful in other ways.

How do you handle waste time? How do you help your students deal with this problem? Please share.

Original photo: 

Monday, February 26, 2018

Envelope Art

Recently I’ve taken to doodling using colored pencils, markers, and water color. My husband has been urging me to try something new like decorating postal envelopes. He is a collector of postal items and he collects a lot of envelopes that have been decorated.

So, finally, after thinking it over, I tried to think of why I didn’t do it. I was afraid it would look silly or that not turn out well. Then I realized that no one would know except me. What did I have to lose?

We bought an envelope maker that makes it easier to make envelopes. It does make life easier if I’m going to make several. I like how easy it is to use.

Then I had to experiment with different size envelopes. My first two envelopes are considered invitation size envelopes but now I’m ready to try standard envelopes. I’m also trying different types of paper to see if one size is easier to draw on then others.

My first attempt was with watercolors and markers. Using plain printer paper, it was hard to use watercolor and I probably won’t do that again.

My second attempt with the same paper went much better. I used markers and colored pencils. I liked how this turned out, so I will probably use them from now own.

All of my attempts had me thinking about how this can be used in the classroom. First, there is a lot of stuff on the internet about Envelope Art. I would show many examples and ask students which ones they like and why they like it. There is no right or wrong answer to this because different people have different tastes.

I would also decide on one size envelope that everyone would use. This would make it easier for everyone. I would show them how to make it with the envelope maker.

I thought this would be a great way to commemorate different holidays. I would have the students decide what they would draw on the envelope for specific holidays. I might even have a contest where people vote for them and a small prize is given. This would encourage to research the holiday or the specific person who is being honored. They would have to decide what is the best picture that focuses on something special about that holiday. It could be whimsical or serious. Students can use clip art for inspiration or make up their own pictures.

I think my students would really enjoy this lesson that involves research, reading, and comprehension and even measuring when making the envelope, Students would be learning and have fun at the same time. Success would be had by all!

Have you ever done envelope art? If so, please share.