Wednesday, July 6, 2022

2022 Goals Review for June

June has been a good month. We canceled our camping trip due to high gas prices. We have been exercising regularly at the senior center. I have also tried to eat less (calories in vs. calories out) and I think that has been helping me lose weight the most. 

1. Lose 5 lbs. - I’ve lost 2 lbs. since January so I’m on the right track. 


2. Finish my national park blanket. - complete!


3. Year of the Gnome - knit at least one gnome a month. Completed 5 gnomes.


4. Knit a sweater. - Complete!


5. Yarn - more out than in (use more yardage than I buy) - I’m not doing great with this right now. 

-Yarn used - 7433 yds.

-Yarn bought - 6650 yds.


6. Design 3 new patterns. - started on a new sock design. 

 

7. Learn something new. -  Complete! I’m mosaic crocheting a blanket and dabbling with watercolor painting.


8. Read 12 nonfiction books - read 7 books so far.           

-A Serial Killer's Daughter: My Story of Faith, Love, and Overcoming by Kerri Rawson

-Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter by Adeline Yen Mah

-Captive: A Mother's Crusade to Save Her Daughter from a Terrifying Cult by Catherine Oxenberg        

-That Time of Year: A Minnesota Life by Garrison Keillor

- The Cat I Never Named : A True Story of Love, War, and Survival by Amra Sabic-El-Rayess, Laura Sullivan

-The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz

by Erik Larson

-The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris 

 

How is your progress towards your goals? Please share.

Photo by Adam Winger on Unsplash

 

 


Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Summer Learning Place 2022

Today begins our first day of Summer Learning Place 2022. It is actually my graduate class: EDEX962. My students will be the teachers of this one-month summer program. Since I only have 2 students (the teachers) this year, we will only have 10 children in the program. Each teacher has a caseload of 5 students and is responsible for all paperwork and communication with parents concerning these students. The children attend Monday through Thursday from 8:30 - 11:30. The teachers are required to be there from 8 - 12.

I will observe each of these teachers daily and formally evaluate a reading, math, and writing lesson. They will turn in a lesson plan prior to each formal evaluation and I will use rubrics to grade their lesson plan and their actual teaching of the lesson.

Each teacher will create a blog and write about their experience in this class. They will also reflect on the lesson I evaluated by talking about what worked, what didn’t, and what they would do differently. I believe this is very important in helping them become better teachers.

I look forward to working with these teachers and children! It is my favorite time of the year!

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Monday, July 4, 2022

Happy Independence Day!



Today is July 4th and we celebrate Independence Day in the US.

Whatever you are doing to celebrate, I hope you have a fun and safe day!



Friday, July 1, 2022

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 07/01/22

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

Escalade
- Escalade is a very funny animated short which says something quite profound about human nature at the same time. Natural competition is one thing, as is the survival of the fittest, but when it is taken to extreme it can have consequences which were not foreseen but should have been. (L:G; SA:A)

Orbis - “Taking account of seasonal variation and accommodating a wide range of modes and means of transport, ORBIS reveals the true shape of the Roman world and provides a unique resource for our understanding of premodern history.” (L:H; SA:SS)

Habitats - “Do you know where the red-eyed tree frog calls home? Play this game based on animal habitats to learn! Explore the desert, coral reef, jungle, and marsh to discover where many animals live by matching each animal to their correct habitat! Habitats is available as a website for desktop and laptop computers.” (L:E; SA:S)

The Counterintuitive Physics of Turning a Bike
- an interesting video about turning a bicycle (L:H; SA:S)

Solar Oven S’mores - “The sun warms the earth, creates weather patterns, and helps plants grow. So it’s pretty important! But did you know that humans can actually use the sun’s power as a tool? It’s true. In this tasty activity, kids will learn how engineers harness the sun’s energy for other purposes by building a tin foil-lined cardboard box that uses the sun’s rays to cook delicious s’mores!” (L:E; SA:S)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Responsibilities

In When you feel like it from Seth Godin's Blog, Seth Godin states,

“Commitments require us to do work when they feel like it, regardless of whether we do or not.”

It is a good practice that we learn early that sometimes we have to do things even if we don’t want to do them. This teaches responsibility.

I hate cleaning. I hate cleaning bathrooms, washing dishes, vacuuming, mopping floors and doing laundry. There are so many other things that I’d rather be doing than cleaning! Yet, it has to be done whether I feel like doing them or not.

I think that is why assigning homework is important. It is a great opportunity for students to practice a skill that they’ve learned. It is a great way for teachers to evaluate whether students understand the lesson. And it is a great way to teach responsibility.

When students get out into the adult world, there will be many times that they have to do things whether they feel like doing things or not. If they want to earn money, they need to show up for their jobs. Paying bills and paying taxes are also not fun things to do but you can’t wait until you feel like paying them to do this chore. Meeting deadlines will happen many times and if you want to be respected as a responsible person, you will meet these deadlines.

There are things you do to have a relationship with others. These may be just a friend relationship or a romantic relationship but there are expectations that come with these relationships. There are expectations to meet and if you don’t meet them, you will lose these relationships.

All of the commitments and expectations will teach responsibility. Students need to learn that as an adult, responsibility is an important character trait to have.

How do you teach responsibility? Please share.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Myrtle Beach State Park

Myrtle Beach State Park is located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We have enjoyed visiting this park several times. It is a great place to access the beach and most of the time we have been there, it hasn’t been too crowded.

Myrtle Beach State Park was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, opened in 1936, and was the first park in the park system. Along with 6 cabins available for lodging, there are 278 campsites. 138 of the campsites have full hookups and there are 30 tent sites. Seven picnic shelters are available for groups. There are two main playgrounds for children.

The Sculptured Oak Nature Trail is a ½-mile trail and rated easy. The Yaupon trail is an easy .4 mile trail. Both trails lead to the beach.

There is a fishing pier for fishing, crabbing, or looking at wildlife. You have to pay to get on the pier but you don’t need a fishing license. Fishing rod rentals are also available. You might catch flounder, king mackerel, whiting, trout, spots, Spanish mackerel, drum, and blues. Fishing for sharks is not allowed.

If you fish from the shore/surf, you will need to get a SC saltwater fishing license. You can not surf fish along the beach where lifeguards are on duty.

There is one mile of undeveloped beach on location. Horry County lifeguards are on the north side of the pier from mid-May to mid-September. You can swim anywhere in the Atlantic Ocean at your own risk.

Many people come to bird watch and a list is available at the Nature Center. Spring and fall migration periods are the best times for bird watching.

Biking and geocaching are also popular at this park. Bikes are not allowed on the beach between 10 am and 5pm from May 1 to Labor Day.

Horseback riders have beach access from the third Saturday in November through the end of February. You have to get a permit for each horse when entering the park. No horses may stay in the park overnight and riders have to have current Negative Coggins papers for each horse.

If you have ever been to Myrtle Beach State Park, please share your experience!

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Things Could Be Better

In “Could be better” from Seth Godin's Blog, Seth Godin

“Instead, when we care enough to say, “could be better,” we’re putting ourselves on the hook to create.”

Every day I try to do at least one thing to improve my quality of life. This could be doing some cleaning, some decluttering, some home improvement, or even yard work. I want to do at least one thing that could make my life better.

This is something that I want to have my students learn. They are always capable of doing something that could make things better for themselves. It doesn’t matter what their academic ability is, there is always something that can be done to improve things.

Just doing at least one thing every day, can help my mood and my outlook on life. It makes me feel productive and valuable. Students can feel the same way. As a role model, I can show them how I do this and how it can affect my life.

What do you do to make things better for yourself? Please share.

Photo by Hoang Le on Unsplash

Monday, June 27, 2022

40th anniversary

Forty years ago on June 26, 1982, I married the love of my life. He truly is my best friend, my better half, the one that completes me. Life is so much better when I am with him and I can’t imagine life without him in it. It is hard to believe how fast forty years have flown by so I guess the saying is true that “time flies when you are having fun.” I hope to have many more happy years together!

My favorite Winnie the Pooh quote is this:

"If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you." -A.A. Milne, 'Winnie The Pooh.'





Friday, June 24, 2022

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 06/24/22

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

What Causes Thunder and Lightning? - “A SciShow Kids viewer wants to know, “Why do lightning and thunder happen?” Get your raincoat, because Jessi will take you inside a thunderstorm to give you the answer!” (L:E; SA:S)

Shutterbugs: Wiggle and Stomp - “Lions! Pandas! Naked mole rats? Come visit them all at Smithsonian’s National Zoo. We are on the lookout for animals that are swimming, running, wiggling, and stomping. Grab a camera and take some pictures of animals on the move! Designed for the home and classroom by the Smithsonian Science Education Center and Filament Games, this game teaches students how to describe movement and motion while visiting rare animals at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park. Each animal has coloring-page printouts, so you can print and color your favorite critter.” (L:E; SA:S)

Aquation: The Freshwater Access Game - “Choice, strategy, balance, and . . . water equity? Parts of the planet are struggling to get enough water. Use each region's wealth to build pipes, desalinate water, and conduct research to bring water where it's needed most. Monsoons, dry spells, disease, and even cursed lawn sprinklers can help or hinder your progress. Manage your wealth and water carefully to solve the world's water crisis!... Aquation: The Freshwater Access Game is available as a website for desktop and laptop computers. For use on tablets and smartphones, download the application from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.” (L:E; SA:S)

Five Virtual Tour Creation Projects for Students - Richard Byrnes gives some great suggestions for creating virtual tours. (L:T; SA:A)

Taxes--Where Does Your Money Go? - “Learn why the government taxes citizens, where the money goes, and how different income brackets pay different taxes.” (L:H; SA:SS,C)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Typewriter Day

June 23 is National Typewriter Day.

Many students in today’s world have no idea what a typewriter is. I find it very amusing to see typewriters in history museums, especially because that is what I use when I was growing up. I don’t really consider myself that old! I still have my very first typewriter, It was a manual typewriter and not an electric one.

I remember when I was in high school, girls had to take secretarial courses while boys got to take shop classes. The boys’ classes always sounded more fun for me. Since I was college-bound, they let me skip secretarial classes and I ended up taking a summer enrichment class to learn how to type. When I went to college, my trusty typewriter came with me. In order to earn money, I even typed other people’s papers.

I remember how excited I was when I could afford corrective tape for typewriting. If you made a mistake, you put the tape over your mistake and retyped your mistake. There was white stuff on the back of the tape that covered over your mistake. It was much better than having to retype your whole paper again. Eventually, Wite-Out came into existence which was a correction fluid. You just dabbed the white fluid over your mistake with the little brush attached to the inside of the bottle cap.

When I showed my students my typewriter, they were amazed how the keyboard looked the same as a computer keyboard. When I let them type something, they were surprised how hard they had to hit the keys. When they made a mistake, they asked where the “delete” key was!

Have you ever used a typewriter? Please share.

Photo by mk. s on Unsplash

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Summer Solstice

Yesterday, June 21 was the summer solstice. I think it is my favorite day of the year.  This day is when the sun reaches the highest position in the sky and is the longest period of daylight. I don’t like darkness so the more daylight, the better. 

I had a friend that used to throw a summer solstice party every year. She is gone now but I still miss her. 


Many cultures have festivals and rituals on the summer solstice. The US sees this day as the beginning of summer. 


Photo by Angelo Pantazis on Unsplash


Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Seeing a Scientist

“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 Seeing a Scientist, Rushton features Gitanjali Rao, the 12-year-old who invented “Tethys,” a portable device that detects lead in water.

He gives the following prompts to accompany this video:

“Do you think a 12-year-old can really be a scientist? Why or why not?

Does your definition make it easier to imagine being something that usually only an adult can be? What would be another career that it would be cool to do at your age? What makes it possible for you?”


This video shows that age does not matter when trying to find a solution to something. It seems that no one told this girl that she was too young to try. As teachers, we should encourage students to look at real-world problems and see what they might be able to do to help be the solution. It should not matter how old they are. Too many times society dismisses people because they are too young or too old. This proves that age shouldn’t matter.

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

Monday, June 20, 2022

National American Eagle Day

June 20 is National American Eagle Day. The Bald Eagle is the United States’ national symbol and this day is to raise awareness about the eagle and its natural habitat.

The bald eagle was in danger of becoming extinct in the 1950s due to loss of habitat, hunting, and use of pesticides. It was added to the endangered species list in 1967. In 1995, it was taken off the list and moved to the list of threatened species. As of 2007, it is no longer considered threatened and is doing well.

Bald eagles are birds of prey and live near large bodies of water.

Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

Friday, June 17, 2022

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 06/17/22

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 biggest mistakes in mapmaking history- “For thousands of years, people made both functional maps and what are known as cosmographies, illustrating the earth and its position in the cosmos, often including constellations, gods, and mythic locations. These maps were meant to depict the world's geography, but weren't necessarily useful for navigation and contained some glaring mistakes. Kayla Wolf shares mapmaking’s biggest blunders.” (L:M,H; SA:SS)

Feed the Dingo: An Ecosystem Game - “Players strive to create a balanced desert ecosystem in which each animal has enough food to survive over a period of 12 days, in this interactive game from PLUM LANDING™. Players see how the different species of plants and animals in a desert depend on one another. They also experiment with how changing the amount of one resource affects the whole ecosystem.” (L:G; SA:S)

Science at Home - “These simple, ready-to-use experiments utilize common household items to reinforce core scientific principles. Each experiment includes information on how to include them in your classroom or distance learning curriculum and are taught by real 3M scientists and special guests. All experiments meet Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).” (L:G; SA:S)

TypeLit.io - “Improve your typing online by practicing on your favorite literature. Choose a book below to get started, or subscribe and import your own!” (L:G; SA:LA, C)

Periodic Videos - “A lesson about every single element on the periodic table. Created by the Periodic Videos team using the TED-Ed platform.” (L:M,H; SA:S)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Wait Five Beats

In Five beats from Seth Godin's Blog, Seth Godin shares,

“Wait for five beats. Kneejerk is not an admirable trait.”


This is really hard for my students because I believe that when you are young, you want to act fast and act now. Being patient is not easy to do.

I also think that teachers tend to encourage this kneejerk behavior because we ask for an answer and if the student doesn’t answer quickly, we assume that they don’t know the answer. Instead, students process the question at different speeds and it may take some longer to understand the question than others.

I remember as a student that I had a fear that I would be chosen to answer that the fear crowded out the knowledge. If I knew that answer, the panic took precedence over the answer and I was unable to answer the question.

When I was learning to wait before expecting an answer, it felt like the wait time was so long! But the more I practiced it, the easier it was to do.

First I would explain to the class that I would ask a question to the entire class and then wait for everyone to have time to process the question. I didn’t want anyone to raise their hand until I asked for them to do so or I might ask someone specific. This would give everyone time to process the question.

I would ask students to give me a thumbs up if they were ready to answer the question and then wait a little longer for the others if needed. Then I would tell students if they were unsure, to put their thumb out to the side and if they didn’t know the answer to put their thumbs down. This helped many to save face and let me know who I might need to help individually.

When I started to do this, students were more engaged and participated in the question and answer session. Students lost that panicked look of having to have an answer immediately. There was more thoughtful pondering when I asked a question. It also kept students from guessing at answers and throwing out wrong answers. These wrong answers could be confusing to those still trying to process the question.

Do you give wait time before asking questions? Please share your experience.

Photo by Xu Haiwei on Unsplash

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Filling a Need

“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 Filling a Need, Rushton features Robbie who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy and is only able to control only his eyes, head and right thumb joint.

He gives the following prompts to accompany this video:

“What do you learn about a guy who both uses what he knows and also spends a lot of his time helping someone else?

We all have things we can do, big and small, and we can give our time and talents to help others. Bill is not the central character in Robbie’s story. Without Bill, though, there might not be a story.

What might you do to bring a smile or even a sense of hope to someone else?.”


I was very moved when I saw this video. First, I could only imagine how hard it must have been for Robbie’s mom. Then I tried to imagine if I was Robbie and what limitations I would have and how dependent on others I would be. What a treasure that Bill was in order to figure out a way to help Robbie. I know how hard it is for some people to ask for help so it is important to ask people what I could do for them instead of waiting for them to ask for help. It is also important to think outside of the box.

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

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Flag Day

Flag Day is celebrated on June 14 and celebrates the history of the American Flag.

Here are some interesting facts about the American Flag.

  • The celebration of the flag was invented by a teacher. In 1885, a 19-year-old teacher named Bernard J. CiGrand asked his class to write an essay on the symbolism of our flag. He spent the following half-century trying to make Flag Day a national holiday.
  • The original flag had 13 stars and 13 stripes.
  • Betsy Ross sewed the first American flag.
  • There have been 27 versions of the American Flag.
  • Red symbolizes hardiness and valor, white symbolizes purity and innocence and blue represents vigilance, perseverance, and justice.
  • The designer of the American flag was Francis Hopkinson, a signer of the Declaration of Independence as a delegate from New Jersey.
  • The current flag was designed by a teenager. In 1958, then-17-year-old Robert G. Heft of Lancaster, Ohio submitted the design in a contest. President Dwight Eisenhower chose Robert's design from over 1,500 other submissions.
  • The current flag is the only one to have lasted more than 50 years.
  • Flag Day was established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30th, 1916.
  • The final star, for Hawaii, was added in 1960.
  • The flag is normally flown from sunrise to sunset.
  • The flag should not be flown at night without a light on it.
  • The first time the flag was flown after being adopted was on Aug. 3, 1777, in Rome, New York.
  • There are six American flags on the moon. Five are standing, but Neil Armstrong's fell over.
  • The flag should not be flown in the rain or inclement weather.
  • After a tragedy or death, the flag is flown at half staff for 30 days. It's called "half staff" on land, and "half-mast" on a ship.
  • When your flag is old and has seen better days, it is time to retire it. Old flags should be burned or buried.
  • If you like to study flags, then you are a Vexillologist!
  • An American flag should never touch the floor or the ground.
  • When displayed on a wall or window the blue field should be in the upper left corner.
  • The military folds the flag with 13 folds, each with symbolic meaning.
  • 50 flags fly 24 hours a day around the Washington monument.
  • 95% of U.S. flags are made in the U.S.A.
  • The U.S. flag always flies at the top of a staff above any other flag.
Photo by Cristina Glebova on Unsplash

Monday, June 13, 2022

$5 Conductor’s Lantern Stamp

The $5 Conductor’s Lantern stamp (US #1612) was issued on August 23, 1979, in Boston, Massachusetts at the Stampshow 79. The stamp show was the annual philatelic exhibition hosted by the American Philatelic Society. It is one of four stamps showing light sources from our country’s history. It is a reminder that America is a shining beacon of liberty. In the 1850s, the lantern was used by railroad conductors.

Offset and engraving were used to print this stamp. The four colors used were tan, red-brown, yellow, and orange. All of the colors other than the red-brown were printed using offset. The tan was used for the background and the orange and yellow were used for the flame and lamp chimney. The lamp, “5.00 USA,” and the inscription running across the bottom and side were engraved and printed in red-brown. “America’s Light Leaders Her Generations Onward” is the inscription.

The $5 Lantern is harder to find on a cover than the other dollar-denominated Americana stamps.

Classroom Activities:
  • Draw the different types of lanterns used in history.
  • What other light sources were used in our country’s history?
  • What do the other three stamps look like?
  • Find pictures of railroad conductors using this lantern?
References:
https://www.mysticstamp.com/Products/United-States/1612/USA/
https://www.linns.com/news/us-stamps-postal-history/2016/october/lantern-top-denomination-americana-series.html



Friday, June 10, 2022

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 06/10/22

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

Kikori - “We are creating a tool which aligns experiential education activities with teaching and social emotional standards which educators can use to meet their students' unique needs and transform their classroom.” (L:G; SA:A)

TARA - “The all-in-one assistant that streamlines tasks, curriculum & coaching to maximize teacher time, talent, and energy.” (L:T; SA:A)

We Rule: Civics for All of US - “We Rule: Civics for All of US is a new education initiative from the National Archives that promotes civic literacy and engagement. We're providing teachers with programming, curricula, and exceptional field trip experiences both online and at our locations across the country. Our civics programs empower young people to make a positive difference and improve the world they are inheriting. These programs draw upon the vast archival holdings of the National Archives housed in our nation’s capital, the Presidential Libraries, and at National Archives facilities nationwide to promote the knowledge and skills students need for civic engagement in the 21st century.” (L:G; SA:SS)

Explainer Academy - “A Teacher's Guide to Creating Common Craft Style Videos. Engage your students in a project that teaches teamwork, communication, technology & media.” (L:T; SA:A)

Homestead Act - from DocsTeach; see the document from the National Archives, activities to use this document are suggested (L:H; SA:SS)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Advice to New Teachers

Recently I was asked if I had any advice pertaining to new/upcoming teachers. I wanted to share my response with all of you in case you had the same question.

I am so excited that you are studying education! I love teaching and believe it is a calling. I wrote a book in 2019 called The Successful Teacher’s Handbook that you might find helpful.

The main thing I would recommend is that as new teachers, we tend to go overboard and forget to take care of ourselves. It is good to have a good work ethic but remember to stop and eat lunch instead of working through it, get exercise and drink lots of water (for energy because you will need it!), and find a hobby or outlet outside of teaching so you don’t get burned out. Stay away from negativity (those that complain about their students or their classes) because this will just bring you down. Listen to advice from seasoned teachers and take what you think will help you improve your teaching. Go observe teachers who you admire and who students really like so you can find out what makes them good teachers. Find your own teaching style and don’t worry about copying someone else’s.

What advice would you give? Please share.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

National Best Friends Day

Today is National Best Friends Day.

When I was in high school, I had a best friend and her name was Bunny. I could tell her anything and she was always supportive of me. I wasn’t afraid when I was with her (and I felt afraid of everything). I could be myself and she never laughed at me. When I went away for college, we kept in touch, and then she got married and had children. Life got in the way and we didn’t keep in touch as much and then we touched base about once a year. But, we never lost touch completely. A few years ago, we met up in person for the first time in 40 years and we picked up as if life hadn’t gotten in the way. I’m glad to have friends like that.

I was lucky enough to marry the most wonderful guy in the world and he became my best friend in my adult life. He knows me better than I know myself sometimes. Whenever I am feeling discouraged or doubtful, he is always there to bolster me up and give me encouragement. When I achieve something that I’ve struggled with, he is always there to help me celebrate! When I am with him, I feel as if there isn’t anything that I can’t do if I really want to do it. If I hit any obstacles, he is always there to help me find a way to conquer them. He is not only my best friend but he is truly my better half.

Who is your best friend? What traits do you think are important to be considered a best friend? Please share.   

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

The Art of Life

“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 The Art of Life, Rushton features Chiako Yamamoto, the only female Bonsai master. We learn the story of Bonsai.

He gives the following prompts to accompany this video:
“Think about someone you know who has devoted years to something that gives that person pleasure and meaning.

Try thinking of a question you could ask that would allow that person to share something new with you.

Then, try working with a couple of friends to see how many different variations on that question you can come up with. Along the way, not only might you get some great answers, but you might also learn what it takes to make a question a great one.”


I think of this when I see a beautiful quilt, a beautiful watercolor, or some piece of fiber art. Since I’ve dabbled with these arts and I know how long it took me to make something small and cute but not beautiful. I can only imagine how long it would take to produce something of a larger magnitude. I wonder about the artist and the process they have gone through to master their art. I think it makes me appreciate art more.,

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

Monday, June 6, 2022

Oconee State Park Camping Trip

For more pictures: Click Here.

We decided on a spur of the moment decision to go camping. We have been trying to go camping for 2 months but circumstances (car and camper work) didn’t allow us to go sooner. When my in-laws texted that they were camping there and invited us to go visit them, we jumped on the chance to go there. It didn’t take long to pack up the camper and get things in order to head that way.

We left at 8:30 Tuesday morning and stopped in Walhalla for antique shopping and lunch. We had lunch at The Kountry Kupboard which was good. I didn’t realize until after we ate that they charged extra to use a credit card (even though there weren’t any signs that stated this). We got to the campground around 1 pm and got on site #52 easily. It didn’t take us long to get situated and then we walked around the campground before relaxing until dinner time. Nancy and Ray invited us over for tacos and we had a great time visiting with them.

On Wednesday, we walked around the campground and did a short hike to the waterwheel. We had to stay close for our UMNA Grants Committee zoom meeting. At 1:15 pm we used the free internet at the office to get on our zoom meeting which went well. By then it was time to relax until dinner again. We had cream cheese and jelly sandwiches and salads for lunch and dinner. We walked a lot around the campground during the day.

On Thursday we walked again after breakfast and then talked Nancy into going on a hike with us. She took us in her golf cart to the trailhead and we hiked the Chestnut trail. After lunch, we decided to do the lake hike which was beautiful. We could hear the thunder a lot but it didn’t rain on us. Then for dinner, we brought bratwurst, sauerkraut, buns, and chips to Nancy and Ray’s site for dinner. It is so much fun visiting them!

On Friday morning, after Don had coffee and oatmeal, we packed up and headed home. We got home just before there was a severe thunderstorm in our area.

Things I Learned:
  • I need to bring Powerade zero as well as regular Powerade to drink.
  • I need to freeze more block ice.
  • I pack too many clothes.
  • I always have a good time when we are together, it doesn’t matter where we are.
Original photo by Pat Hensley

Friday, June 3, 2022

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 06/03/22

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

Snappy Words - free visual online dictionary (L:G; SA:A)

Splash Learn - free for parents and teachers; “Watch your kids fall in love with math & reading through our scientifically designed curriculum.”(L:E; SA:LA,M)

Brush Ninja - “animated GIF creator” (L:G; SA:A)

How the Popsicle was Invented - “Each year, approximately 2 billion popsicles are sold worldwide. But where did the idea for this tasty treat come from? In the eleventh installment of our ‘Moments of Vision’ series, Jessica Oreck shares the distracted origins of the popsicle.” (L:G; SA:S)

Howie_Hua - “Math instructor dedicated to helping you understand math.” (L:M,H; SA:M)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, June 2, 2022

2022 Goals Review for May

May has been a very productive month. We did a lot of work in the yard and on the house. Using the pole saw and chainsaw, we were able to cut a lot of limbs that were in the way. Then we used the pressure washer and washed the back of the house and deck. We were exercising on a regular basis also.

1. Lose 5 lbs. - I’ve lost 5 lbs. this month but I’m still up 1 lb. since January.


2. Finish my national park blanket. - complete!


3. Year of the Gnome - knit at least one gnome a month. Completed 5 gnomes.


4. Knit a sweater. - Complete!


5. Yarn - more out than in (use more yardage than I buy)

-Yarn used - 6481 yds.

-Yarn bought - 5210 yds.


6. Design 3 new patterns. - started on a new sock design.  


7. Learn something new. -  Complete! I’m mosaic crocheting a blanket and dabbling with watercolor painting.


8. Read 12 nonfiction books - read 6 books so far.           

-A Serial Killer's Daughter: My Story of Faith, Love, and Overcoming by Kerri Rawson

-Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter by Adeline Yen Mah

-Captive: A Mother's Crusade to Save Her Daughter from a Terrifying Cult by Catherine Oxenberg        

-That Time of Year: A Minnesota Life by Garrison Keillor

- The Cat I Never Named : A True Story of Love, War, and Survival by Amra Sabic-El-Rayess, Laura Sullivan

-The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz

by Erik Larson

 

How is your progress towards your goals? Please share.

Photo by Adam Winger on Unsplash

 

 


Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Designing Domes as Homes

“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 Designing Domes as Homes, Rushton features Dastan Khalili who has a unique idea to build long-lasting sustainable housing.

He gives the following prompts to accompany this video:

“Where you live, are there challenges that people have with getting a home or keeping a home safe from natural disasters?

Pick one of the reasons Khalili gives as to why he thinks these homes are a good idea. Based on what you see in this BBC story, what would be your questions for him? What kind of research might you do to determine the answer?

Would you want to live in a home like this? What would make you say yes or no?”


I thought this was an interesting concept and could see how it would be great to teach others how to build these homes. I wonder how much the materials would cost though because you would need a lot of sandbags, sand, leather gloves, barbed wire, tools, and water. I think water would be a hard resource to get in barren dry areas. It also seems very labor-intensive and he doesn’t mention how long it takes to build a home of a specific size. I think he should make a movie about the entire process from the start to the finish. If I was homeless, I might not mind living in a home such as this but I worry about animals and insects getting in if it was built where I live. I don’t think I would like this for myself and my family.

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

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Chien-Shiung Wu

Chien-Shiung Wu was born in China in 1912 and died in 1997. Wu was a Chinese-American particle and experimental physicist who contributed to the fields of nuclear and particle physics. She worked on the Manhattan Project and helped develop the process for separating uranium into uranium-235 and uranium-238. Wu won the Wolf Prize in Physics in 1978. She was nicknamed the “First Lady of Physics”, the “Chinese Madame Curie” and the “Queen of Nuclear Research.”

When she was growing up, she would listen to the radio rather than play outside like the other children. Before she learned to read, she would listen to her father read from scientific journals. When she was 10, she went to a boarding school that introduced science subjects. She competed for teacher training which did not charge for room and board or tuition and guaranteed a job after graduation. She ranked ninth out of 10,000 applicants. She went to the National Central University after graduating. She ended up teaching in a public school in Shanghai.

Wu felt that her background and training did not sufficiently prepare her for majoring in science so she began a habit of self-study. Her father encouraged her and bought her books which gave her confidence to major in mathematics. She first majored in math at the National Central University but then transferred to physics. After she graduated, she did graduate-level studies in physics and worked at Zhejiang University. Later she became a researcher at the Institute of Physics of the Academia Sinica. Her supervisor encouraged her to earn her Ph.D. at the University of Michigan. So, she left for the United States in 1936 and she never saw her parents again.

Wu ended up going to the University of California, Berkley after finding out how sexist the University of Michigan was. She met physicist Luke Chia-Liu Yuan there who introduced her to the head of the physics department. He offered Wu a place in the graduate school even though the year had already begun. She applied for a scholarship at the end of the year but was offered a readership with a lower stiped. Yuan got a scholarship at Caltech. Wu presented her thesis in 1940 and was her first work with beta decay. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, the US academic honor society.

She couldn’t get a faculty position at a university so she stayed at the Radiation Lab as a post-doctoral fellow. She hope to go back to China and help rebuild it but then World War II began.

Wu and Yuan were married in 1942 but none of their families were there. They moved to the east coast where Wu worked as an assistant professor at Smith College and Yuan worked on radar for RCA. Wu was frustrated at her job because she had no opportunities for research so she accepted a job at Princeton University. She was the first female faculty member in the physics department where she taught officers of the navy.

In 1944, Wu joined the Manhattan Project’s Substitute Alloy Materials Laboratories at Columbia University. Later, she had a bigger role in the project but she rarely ever opened up about her involvement in building the bomb.

After WWII, communication with China was restored but they were in the middle of a civil war. She would not go back to China for years. She had a son in 1947 who also grew up to be a physicist like his parents. After the communists came to power, her father urged her not to return to China. She became a US citizen in 1954. Her older brother died in 1958, her father in 1959, and her mother in 1962 but she was not permitted to attend their funerals. Eventually, she visited China and Taiwan several times after 1973.

She suffered a stroke and died in 1997. Her ashes were buried in the courtyard of the Ming De School that was founded by her father.