Monday, October 25, 2021

Sulphur Springs Loop Hike

Last week we hiked on the Sulphur Springs Loop Trail (about 4 miles roundtrip) located at Paris Mountain State Park. It was a beautiful day for a hike because the temperature was crisp and not cold when we started. The colors of the leaves were starting to change. We like this loop hike because it starts uphill (and it is a pretty good hike up that gets your heart rate up) and then it is downhill on the way back to the car. I thought I’d share with you another video of our hike for those that have never been here, or those that are unable to do the hike, or those that just wanted to be reminded of their own memories of the hike.

 



Friday, October 22, 2021

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 10/22/21

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

Halloween/October Ideas - created by Terri Eichholz (L:T;SA:A)

Baking a Cake with Science - “It might seem like magic when you put some batter in the oven and pull out a fluffy cake, but it's actually science! Join Jessi and Squeaks as they bake a cake and explain how the ingredients react with each other to make a tasty treat!” (L:E;SA:S)

Resources for Family Engagement from the Library of Congress - “We invite you and your family to participate in these activities, inspired by the collections, programs, and expertise of the Library of Congress.” (L:T;SA:A)

You are Never Just a Teacher - motivational talk (L:T;SA:A)

Online Form Templates - free templates (L:T;SA:A)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Bad Girls Never Say Die - A Book Review

I recently read Bad Girls Never Say Die by Jennifer Mathieu. I read a review copy compliments of Netgalley and I am not being paid to give this review.

What a great young adult book to read! It was so good that I couldn’t put it down! The main character deals with so many social issues at the same time and I can imagine many who are dealing with the same issues today. Something happens to Evie one night, and someone she would never have been friends with before this, happens to be the one who is there for her when needed.

I think this book would be great for a high school class novel because it deals with so many social issues and would lead to rich discussions. I can see the story also being used for writing prompts and encouraging students to share their views and feeling. Topics could include social-economic pressures on teens, dysfunctional families, true love, teenage pregnancy, domestic abuse, friendships, sexual assault, underage drinking, loyalty, and grief.

Even if this wasn’t used as a class novel, I think this would be a great book for a high school library. I highly recommend this book for high school and older readers.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Asking the Right Questions

Asking the Right Questions in All the answers from Seth Godin's Blog, Seth Godin states,

“The ability to figure out what hasn’t been figured out and see what hasn’t been seen is a significant advantage.”


We don’t seem to be teaching our students to ask questions. Many times in school, I see teachers and administrators wanting students to follow directions and do the work without asking questions. Of course, you have simple questions about the procedures or the expectations but where are the deeper questions? Where are the questions about why they are doing it? Where are the questions about how they could do it better or faster or more meaningful?

When I look at all the inventions that have been created, I wonder about how they came about. Surely, someone had to be asking the right questions. When we moved from outhouses to indoor plumbing, someone had to ask questions about transporting water inside a building and about waste removal, and many other things that I can’t imagine. When refrigerators were invented, someone had to ask questions about how to make them work. These things could not have happened if someone hadn’t asked the right questions.

Yet, how do we teach students to ask the right questions? One way is to model this for them. When I see something, I ask my questions out loud. I let them see how I look for the answers. I encourage my students into helping me ask other questions and sometimes they come up with things I hadn’t thought of before. This helps them get beyond the simple questions into more critical thinking. I want students to feel comfortable with asking the questions without worrying about feeling silly or afraid of being ridiculed. There are no questions considered bad or silly. As students get more comfortable with asking questions, the easier it will be for them to think of more complex questions rather than worrying about what others are thinking. Questioning broadens their horizons because it helps them look beyond their immediate surroundings.

How do you teach students to ask the right questions? Please share.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Superpowers

“The NVIV (Next Vista Inspiring Video) series of posts are written by Rushton Hurley and designed to provide students and teachers with fascinating discussion prompts.”

In A Blind Cyclist’s Superpowers, Rush features Brian Bushway, a blind cyclist with a superpower.

He gives the following prompts to accompany this video:

“What “superpower” that you can learn to do would you like to have? Speak another language? Make cool videos? Bring sick animals back to health?

If you haven’t already started to learn to do it, are you willing to start now?”


This would be a great video to show students because many students focus on their limitations rather than their strengths. This video shows them that they should look at things they can do rather than what they can’t do. By doing this, they may be able to find a way to overcome obstacles in their way that keep them from reaching their goals.

I’m not very good at making things or that’s what my family always told me when I was growing up. The other members of my family were able to knit, sew, draw, and even construct things out of wood. Something I am good at is math. I love anything with numbers and patterns. I finally figured out that I can make things if I approach them in a mathematical way. I can now knit socks, mittens, hats, scarves, and even sweaters because I see how math is involved in their creation. I even design my own patterns because I use charts and can see the math used to make the pattern. I am able to quilt using English paper piecing because I’m sewing shapes which makes so much sense to me. Math is my superpower!

Helping students find their superpower is very important for their future success in life.

Please check out the video and think of other prompts you might come up with. Please share.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Raven Cliff Falls Hike

Last week we went on a hike to Raven Cliff Falls in South Carolina. It was perfect weather and it felt so good to be outdoors. The smells and sounds and colors were just amazing! I hope you enjoy the video I made of our hike. 


I think encouraging students to make videos of something they did is a great learning experience. It is also a great way to share things that they enjoy.


Friday, October 15, 2021

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 10/15/21

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

Today’s Front Pages - Get hundreds of front pages from newspapers around the country. (L:T;SA:A)

Judicial Branch and Supreme Court Cases - “...you will find C-SPAN Classroom resources relating to the topics and categories listed below. Click on each title to expand the section and view the featured resources.” (L:H;SA:SS)

Why Do We Sneeze - “Everyone does it, but why? In this episode of SciShow Quick Questions you get the answers!” (L:E,M;SA:S)

Teacher Made - “Convert All Of Your handouts, exercises, worksheets etc. into digital activities delivered online.” (L:T;SA:A)

Turn a spreadsheet into Multimedia Flashcards - “In this new video I demonstrate how to create a set of multimedia flashcards by using Flippity's Google Sheets template.” (L:T;SA:A)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Dyeing Yarn – October 2021

Yarn - Pumpkin Spice

Dyes used: vermillion, pink, golden ochre, emerald


  1. 100 grams of superwash fingering weight yarn

  2. Soak the yarn in warm tap water with a T of citric acid for at least 30 min.

  3. Heat pot of water and a T of citric acid to a low simmer


  4. Mix together - 1/8 of a tsp. of each color: vermillion, pink, golden ochre (wear mask)

  5. Squeeze out excess water from yarn and then shake it out.

  6. Put in hot pot.

  7. Spread out yarn so it is randomly distributed.

  8. Turn up the heat to bring to simmer.

  9. Take 1/8 t of mix and carefully sprinkle over the top of the yarn.

  10. Leave for a minute.

  11. Then push the yarn down gently below the surface of the water.

  12. Leave for a few minutes for the color to absorb.

  13. Pull out skeins and move around on holders.

  14. Repeat 9,10, 11, and 12 two more times.

  15. Pull out skeins and move around on holders.

  16. Remove some water so the yarn is not submerged and slightly above the surface of the water.

  17. 1/16 tsp. of emerald color and sprinkle on top of yarn (can use a paintbrush

  18. Let it sit for a minute

  19. Push yarn down in the water.

  20. Leave for 5 minutes.

  21. Pull out skeins and move around on holders.

  22. Repeat 17, 18, 19, and 20 one more time.

  23. Bring to simmer.

  24. Let cool.

  25. Wash yarn to get rid of any excess yarn. Make sure water is clear. Leave for 10 minutes.

  26. Squeeze out excess water. Do not wring.

  27. Hang to dry.


Yarn - Forget Me Not

Dyes use: brilliant sapphire, purple, silver-gray

 

  1. 100 grams of superwash fingering weight yarn

  2. Soak the yarn in warm tap water with a T of citric acid for at least 30 min.

  3. Heat pot of water and a T of citric acid to a low simmer

  4. Squeeze out excess water from yarn and then shake it out.

  5. Put in hot pot.

  6. Spread out yarn so it is randomly distributed.

  7. Remove some water if necessary so the yarn is not submerged and slightly above the surface of the water.

  8. Using a paintbrush, sprinkle brilliant sapphire on top of the yarn

  9. Let it sit for a minute

  10. Push yarn down in the water to see if water is clear.

  11. Pull out skeins and move around on holders.

  12. Repeat 8, 9,  10and 11 one more time.

  13.  Using a paintbrush, sprinkle purple on top of the yarn

  14. Let it sit for a minute

  15. Push yarn down in the water to see if water is clear.

  16. Pull out skeins and move around on holders.

  17. Repeat 13, 14, 15, and 16 one more time.

  18. Using a paintbrush, sprinkle silver-gray on top of the yarn

  19. Let it sit for a minute

  20. Push yarn down in the water to see if water is clear.

  21. Pull out skeins and move around on holders.

  22. Repeat 18, 19, and 20 one more time

  23. Bring to simmer.

  24. Let cool.

  25. Wash yarn to get rid of any excess yarn. Make sure water is clear. Leave for 10 minutes.

  26. Squeeze out excess water. Do not wring.

  27. Hang to dry.

 

Things I Learned:

  1. Wearing gloves keeps the dye off my hands. 

  2. Powder clumps on the paintbrush when speckling. Next time I might try using my fingertips (in thin gloves). 

  3. It took about 90 minutes from start (soaking the yarn) to end (letting yarn cool). 

  4. I can’t wait to try other color combinations. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

It Just Arrives

“The NVIV (Next Vista Inspiring Video) series of posts are written by Rushton Hurley and designed to provide students and teachers with fascinating discussion prompts.”

In It Just Arrives, Rush features a woman from South Africa who shares her secret to a happy life.

He gives the following prompts to accompany this video:

  • “Have you ever received a completely unexpected gift, totally unrelated to a birthday or holiday? 
  • Have you ever received something from a kind stranger?
  • What gifts do you give?”
First of all, I love this video because Peggy is a knitter! I’m all about knitting so I loved the video. I knit prayer shawls and hats for the needy with my church charity. Knitting is so important to Peggy! I also loved her message to people and I think it is wonderful advice for students. It would be good to challenge students to think of something they could do or make that they could share with others. Maybe some students could pair up as a team to make or do something.

Please check out the video and think of other prompts you might come up with. Please share.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Surviving Unruly Students

Here is another question that was asked recently:

“After many years of teaching, today I wanted to throw in the towel and quit. I have 2 classes that are horrible, it isn't the entire class but three or four constantly interrupting, using inappropriate language, getting up and down, being disrespectful and harassing other students. I write them up, they may get one day in ISS then they are right back in class doing the same thing again. Its not only in my class but in on our entire team. I really don't know what to do. I love teaching and I hate what the few are doing to me and entire class. If something doesn't change I may have to find a new profession. Looking for all the advice I can get.”

Here is my advice:

"Start calling parents and bragging on the ones that are doing great. Talk about how you enjoyed talking to their parents during class. Give lots of praise in class. Find these "bad" kids doing something good and call home to praise them, It might take a while but soon, the kids will start trying to be good so you will call home. I've done this for years from elementary to high school and it really works."

I believe that we don’t involve parents enough as teachers. Maybe we are afraid that we will seem weak or incompetent if we ask the parents for help. Instead, we need to see parents as another part of the team that will help us reach our goal. Our goal is to help the student be successful. Parents and teachers should not be adversaries! Communicating often with the parents is key to a successful classroom. It will show that you care and that you want to help the student succeed. It will also make your job in the classroom much easier since you won’t have to spend so much time on discipline and can spend more time on teaching content.

Simply ignoring bad behavior doesn’t work if you don’t give students something else to replace it with. Sometimes it is hard to find something good that the student has done but I look really hard even if it is to say that I can see the student trying. The more positive things you can start saying about the student the easier it gets because the student starts working hard to do more positive things. Then when the student act up, it is easier to ignore and explain that you are looking for good behavior so you can call and brag about them.

This strategy takes time and you need to be patient. It also helps the students who are acting appropriately because it shows that they aren’t forgotten. They don’t have to do something bad in order to be noticed. It rewards them for acting appropriately.

What advice would you give this teacher? Please share.

Photo by Thomas Park on Unsplash

Monday, October 11, 2021

Changing Behavior

Here is another question that was posed to my special education group:

“I teach an LLD self-contained class in high school. The last two years I had about 6 students. This year it is 14, most of whom are typical LLD. One of my students I had for the past two years is the one I am asking for ideas for. She is 16 and was placed in my room for ADHD and her Learning Disabilities. She always had some behavior issues such as: talking back, or calling out in class. This year though the behaviors have escalated 110 %. She is extremely disrespectful to me, my paras etc. The students try to ignore her and at lunch do not want to even sit with her. I have had a reinforcement program in place to earn pts toward watching a movie, or a game day. She did not earn this for the past two weeks. I also try to ignore the behavior and redirect. I have spoken with CST and they said to revamp my reinforcement program. I am an 18yr veteran of teaching and have taught BD before but I am at a point where I am frustrated and not sure what else to do. My BD students were easier than this along with students I had that had ODD as well. Can anyone offer ideas for me to implement in my classroom so my other students do not lose out on learning?”

Here was my answer:
  • Have you done an FBA to see what is happening that causes this behavior?
  • Have you talked to the student to find out if she can give you some insight into her behavior?
  • Have you asked her what would help her to behave more appropriately?
  • Did something happen this summer that may have caused this change in behavior?
  • Have you talked with the parents to help you find some answers?
I don't think that just revamping your reinforcement program will help change her behavior. I think you need to investigate more into what is causing this drastic increase in inappropriate behavior. It seems like she is pushing everyone away from her for a reason and it may be a defense mechanism. Maybe have her keep a journal about her day and her feelings which could help her in the long run. She could either write about it or record it orally and she could share it with you or keep it totally private but it might be an outlet for her.

What advice would you give this teacher? Please share.

Photo by Julien L on Unsplash

Friday, October 8, 2021

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 10/08/21

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

ClassHook - “Increase student engagement, retention, and relevance with educational videos from TV shows and movies.”(L:T;SA:A)

Mapbox - “Maps reveal the world around us — from where your friends are, to who’s winning the local election, to where your business is gaining traction. Mapbox provides you with dynamic, performant, and customizable maps that suit your needs.”(L:T;SA:A)

What Would We Eat on Mars? - “Sam the bat would love to visit Mars one day, but he's going to need more than a few sandwiches if he's going to stay for long.” (L:E;SA:S)

Wizer.Me - “Create unforgettable worksheets that grade themselves. Win your time back - and end overwhelming and late night prep - with fun, easy-to-make, interactive worksheets students love.”(L:T;SA:A)

SC Hurricane Guide - “Build Your Plan. Know Your Zone. Stay Connected.”(L:T;SA:A)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Autism Awareness


Recently our town had a festival and at the police department booth, there were some items about Autism.

There was a small wallet-size card to give suggestions for interactions with a person who has autism. There is also a sticker that can be put in a car window to alert others about possible reactions. I’m attaching a picture of these because I think all police departments should offer these items!


 

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

The STS-8 Flight Cover

Here is an STS-8 Flight Cover that features the Space Shuttle Challenger. The stamp is listed as Scott #1909 Eagle and Moon. The cover is a limited production cover with serial numbers. There are 3 postmarks: NASA 25th anniversary Aug. 14, 1983, Launch Aug. 30, 1983, and Return to Earth Sept. 5, 1983. This is a cover flown on the space shuttle.

The cachet represents a reproduction of NASA’s official patch design and on the back is the 25th-anniversary logo with the serial number. The stamp was issued on August 12, 1983, at the Kennedy Space Center. August 14th is the day the shuttle was scheduled to be launched with its cargo of covers. The circular postmark cancellation on the back is the place and date the shuttle returned.

The STS-8 was the eighth mission of a space shuttle and the third flight for the Space Shuttle Challenger. There were many “firsts” on this mission: First African American astronaut (Guion Bluford), First night launch, and First night landing. It was also the first space shuttle landing at Kennedy Space Center. It was a successful mission other than the discovery that a solid-fuel rocket booster almost malfunctioned during the launch.

The mission lasted 6 days, 1 hour, 8 minutes, and 43 seconds. They deployed a multipurpose satellite for India. The nose of the orbiter was turned away from the sun for 14 hours in order to test the effects of extreme cold on the flight deck area. The crew filmed the performance of an experimental heat pipe in the cargo bag and the orbiter dropped to 139 miles altitude to perform tests. They also tested the remote manipulator system to evaluate joint reactions to higher loads. Another experiment included observing six rats to note their reactions in space. There were five Get Away Special experiment packages which included eight cans of postal covers.

(The Challenger’s service ended on January 28, 1986, when it exploded 73 seconds after takeoff. Seven astronauts were killed.)

Activities:
  • Students research other space missions and share their information with the class.
  • Students find other interesting experiments done in space and their results. Make a class chart featuring these experiments.
  • Students can make a model of the space shuttle.
  • Students research an astronaut and share this in a presentation with the class.
Original photos by Pat Hensley

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Safety in 3D

“The NVIV (Next Vista Inspiring Video) series of posts are written by Rushton Hurley and designed to provide students and teachers with fascinating discussion prompts.”

In An Illusion for Good, Rush features two elementary school students who figure out a way to make roads safer for pedestrians.

He gives the following prompts to accompany this video:

“What if you were in charge of finding a way to get cars to drive more safely around your school?

Would you put up more signs?

Create an information campaign for parents?

What around you is so common that you don’t notice it? Is it trash on the campus grounds, or instructions given to you by a teacher, or perhaps something else?

If you can identify something (like the crosswalk) that isn’t doing its job, perhaps because it is too obvious, can you come up with a new way of making it achieve its purpose?"


What a great activity this would be for students! First, they would need to identify a community problem. Then they would need to brainstorm ideas on how to solve the problem. There might be several ideas that students like and can get into groups in order to work on that solution. This would enable them to use skills they learn in the classroom in a real-life situation.

Please check out the video and think of other prompts you might come up with. Please share.

Monday, October 4, 2021

2021 Goals Review for September

It has been a very productive month! I’ve walked a lot, eaten healthier foods, and exercised more.

  1. Lose 5 lbs. – I've lost 2 lbs. this month.

  2. Knit 12 squares on my national park blanket. (There are 60 squares in the pattern and this is year 4 of the project.) – 52 squares complete. I’ve knit a total of 13 squares this year. This goal is complete.

  3. Knit a sweater. – I finished the Nesting Cardigan,  The Rocket Tee, Bright Axis, and Recalibrate. – This goal is completed

  4. Design 3 new patterns – I completed three designs: The Chinese New Year Cowl and the Double Happiness Sock, and Graveyard Field Socks.

  5. Read 12 nonfiction books. – goal completed.

    1. Counting by Deborah Stone

    2. My Paddle to the Sea by John Lane

    3. Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss by Margaret Renkl

    4. Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her by Melanie Rehak

    5. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

    6. The Last Castle by Denise Kiernan

    7. The Body by Bill Bryson

    8. Kiss Me Like a Stranger by Gene Wilder

    9. The Polygamist’s Daughter by Anna LeBaron

    10. Sprinting Through No Man's Land: Endurance, Tragedy, and Rebirth in the 1919 Tour de France by Adin Dobkin

    11. There’s a Hole in my Bucket: A Journey of Two Brothers by Royd Tolkien

    12. Know My Name by Chanel Miller

How is your progress towards your goals? Please share.

Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash

 


Friday, October 1, 2021

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 10/01/21

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

Ziplet - “Ziplet makes gathering and understanding student feedback easy. Hear from every student in class, and create a learning environment that encourages reflection and wellbeing.”(L:G;SA:A)

Splashlearn - “Watch your kids fall in love with math & reading through our scientifically designed curriculum.” (L:E;SA:M,LA)

Chronicle Cloud - “Chronicle Cloud is a versatile note-taking app designed to help teachers maximize student success. Chronicle Cloud immerses itself in research-based best practices to offer unique, practical advantages. Designed to make student data highly actionable, Chronicle Cloud comes packed with many helpful features that enable educators to take comprehensive notes on students and improve their learning effectiveness.” (L:T;SA:A)

Dear Anger - “Screaming and yelling, fighting and arguing, tantrums and hissy fits. Anger finds its way into every home, classroom, and workplace, and we're ready to talk about it. This podcast, for humans of all ages, is not about getting rid of anger, but about changing our relationship with it. We share research based solutions for changing the way kids, and parents, respond to powerful, challenging emotions, and we hope you laugh with us along the way. Join hosts Ed Crasnick, a comedian and Emmy Award winning writer, and Renee Jain, positive psychology guru and the founder of GoZen!” (L:G;SA:A)

The Breakfasteur - A doctor mom using playdough to explain different surgeries (L:T;SA:S)

Original photo by Pat Hensley