Monday, September 26, 2022

Connections Crossing Cultures

“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 Connections Crossing Cultures, Rushton features the Speaking Exchange project, which connects CNA students in Brazil with Americans living in retirement homes.

Rushton gives the following prompts to accompany this video:

“How would you describe your school’s culture? Does it include helping others in some way?

One of the most amazing things about helping someone else is that it might take very little time, but become a huge part of how you see yourself. In this video, the students and the seniors are helping each other quite powerfully.

Is there some small way you could devote some time to helping someone else?”


This was very interesting to me because for the past year, I have been seriously trying to learn Spanish. This would be a great way for students to practice a different language and it would help those who are lonely to have someone to talk to. I think there should be more of this going on in all schools. I also don’t think we use the older generation as a resource enough. Many retirees would be thrilled to help but they just need someone to ask them. There may be some willing to share other skills like woodworking, amateur radio, cooking, or knitting that might interest young people.

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

Friday, September 23, 2022

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 09/23/22

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

Math Sites That Won't Make You Fall Asleep - Resources for teachers to use with students. Curated by Terri Eichholz. (L:T; SA:M)

Icebreakers and Exit Tickets - 30 Questions
- “Whether you're using an online platform to conduct icebreakers and exit ticket activities or you're just reading the questions aloud to your class (AKA the Old Fashioned Way), I hope these help.” (L:T; SA:A)

State History Resources - “you will find C-SPAN Classroom resources relating to the 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. linked above. Click on the name of each state to expand the section and view the featured resources.” (L:T; SA:SS)

How rollercoasters affect your body - “In 1895, crowds flooded Coney Island to see America’s first-ever looping coaster: the Flip Flap Railway. But its thrilling flip caused cases of severe whiplash, neck injury and even ejections. Today, coasters can pull off far more exciting tricks and do it safely. Brian D. Avery investigates what rollercoasters are doing to your body and how they’ve managed to get scarier and safer at the same time. (L:G; SA:S)

Longtail keyword research tool- “Get hundreds of keyword suggestions for FREE!”(L:G; SA:A)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Proper Planning

In The last minute from Seth Godin's Blog, Seth Godin emphasizes,

“If you do anything at the last minute that takes more than a minute, you’re not organizing your project properly.”

Nothing drives me crazy than working with people who wait until the last minute to do something.

I’m a “get it done now” kind of person.

If I know something needs to be done by a deadline, I must get it done early. I want it done ahead of time in case something happens that keeps me from getting it done later.

What if I get sick or get in an accident? At least if I have it done, I don’t have to worry about it. If someone needs it by a certain date, I won’t be holding them up.

By having something done early, I can free my mind up to do other things I enjoy.

I might have learned this from my parents who had a rigorous work ethic. If something needed to be done, do it now and play later. They instilled this in me also and I can hear them in the back of my mind when I want to delay doing something.

Procrastinating always causes me stress so it is better to get something done than to put it off.

Ignoring it until later doesn’t accomplish anything.

By waiting until the last minute, I might not have all the information or materials I need and then I’m scrambling to get what is needed. This means my finished project might not be as good as it could be.

I want to instill this same work ethic in my student’s minds. I want them to learn that it is important to do what needs to be done rather than waiting until the last minute. Organizing their work makes this possible and will help them be successful in the things they do.

Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Boundaries

In Constraints are a gift from Seth Godin's Blog, Seth Godin shares, .

“Constraints are a gift because they bring us something to lean against, and they give us the chance to focus on work we can actually do.”

One of the most challenging things for new teachers is to set boundaries for students. We really want our students to like us but they need a teacher more than they need a new friend.

Students need boundaries so that they know where they stand. They know what is expected of them and how far they can go. Of course, there will be many times when they push these boundaries but I think this is a way to see if the teacher is being fair and consistent.

If students push boundaries and the teacher doesn’t stand firm, then those boundaries don’t really exist. This means that the student doesn’t know when they are in danger, which can cause fear. Just like we wouldn’t let a toddler run out in the street, our students need to know that you won’t let them do something dangerous. They need to know that someone cares enough to stop them from going too far.

Often, students live in a chaotic world and the classroom is where they get structure and security. It is the boundaries that the teacher sets which make them feel safe.

So, even though the student may say they hate me or resent me, they know in their heart that I’m doing what is best for them. It is important for them to learn the boundaries so that they can eventually set them for themselves. How can they learn this if they never experience them?

How do you feel about boundaries? How do you set them? Please share.

Photo by Sylwia Bartyzel on Unsplash

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Crazy Cool Costumes

“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 Crazy Cool Costumes, Rushton features Ryan Weimer who makes a costume for his son that incorporates his son’s wheelchair. This led to an idea for a new corporation that could help others.

Rushton gives the following prompts to accompany this video:

“If you were in a wheelchair, what would you want for a cool Halloween costume? What would it take to build it? Do you know people who like to build cool things for the sole reason that it’s cool to do that?

What’s something you’re good at? Could you use that ability to help someone else in some meaningful way? (Hint: the answer is yes, but the challenge might be knowing how.)


I really love hearing how people are finding ways to help those who are different be accepted by others. These costumes take the focus off the wheelchair and allow the children to be just like their peers. It would be great to find ways to do this for other differences too that would allow the focus to be on the person and not the way they are different.

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

Monday, September 19, 2022

Student Cam 2023 Competition


Here is the theme for the Student Cam 2023 Competition:

"If you were a newly elected member of Congress, which issue would be your first priority and why?”


“StudentCam is C-SPAN's annual national video documentary competition that encourages students to think critically about issues that affect our communities and our nation.

This year, we're asking students in grades 6-12 to create a short (5-6 minute) video documentary on a topic that relates to the competition theme, "If you were a newly elected member of Congress, which issue would be your first priority and why?"

The submission deadline for all entries is Friday, January 20, 2023. With cash prizes totaling $100,000 each year, C-SPAN awards prizes to the top 150 student documentaries. If you are a teacher and listed as an adviser on one of the top 50 winning films, you will also receive a cash award. Since 2004, C-SPAN has awarded over $1.2 million dollars in cash prizes to students and teachers.”

Friday, September 16, 2022

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 09/16/22

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

Animal Inquiry - “The Animal Inquiry interactive is a versatile tool that can enhance student inquiry in research at the elementary level. The graphic organizer invites students to explore four facets of animals [basic facts, animal babies, interaction with others, and habitats (shown at left)]; the possibilities for extensions or adaptations, moreover, make this a a nice complement with inquiry-based projects. The follow-up writing prompts can be used to organize research questions as well as to record findings. After completing individual sections or the entire organizer, students have the ability to print out their final versions for feedback and assessment.” (L:E; SA:S)

Worldle - a world-le game with street views and maps (L:H; SA:SS)

Learn to Tell Time – “Learn to Tell Time! This elementary activity is great fun for all children in the computer lab or at home! Kids practice setting the time on the clocks by selecting a type of clock and then dragging the hands of the analog clock or by clicking the up and down buttons of the digital clock. There are four levels of difficulty.”(L:E; SA:A)

Accessible color palette builder - “Please don't use these color combinations; they do not meet a color contrast ratio of 4.5:1, so they do not conform with the standards of Section 508 for body text. This means that some people would have difficulty reading the text. Employing accessibility best practices improves the user experience for all users.”(L:T; SA:A)

More Math Inspiration - “...​​ I really want more people to become inspired by math and mathematicians. If you’re a teacher with a few blank spaces on your wall, some of these might be great additions! (L:T; SA:A)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, September 15, 2022

15 Year Blogiversary

Tomorrow is this blog’s 15th anniversary! Every year I like to look at why I started this and see if I’m still continuing with my purpose and I think I am. I always said that when it stopped being fun, I would stop doing this but I’m still enjoying it.

Why Am I Doing This (post from 9/16/2007)

Here are the current stats:

Visitors: 2,605,192
Followers: 260 followers
Blog Posts: 4013 posts
Comments: 3522

Most viewed post: https://successfulteaching.blogspot.com/2010/01/100-essential-blog-posts-for-first-year.html

Thank you to all of you who have visited and/or followed this blog! If you have any suggestions for blog posts or questions you would like for me to answer, please contact me! I’d love to hear from you!

Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Op Sail 1976

This cover is postmarked from the 1976 Op Sail. (Stamped envelope #U571; Stamp #1631a).

Operation Sail was a series of sailing events that celebrated special occasions and focused on sailing vessels from around the world. The event is coordinated by Operation Sail, Inc. Operation Sail, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded by President John F. Kennedy in 1961. This event is often referred to as OpSail or Op Sail and focused on promoting goodwill and cooperation between countries. Tall ships were the centerpiece of the event but smaller vessels also participated.

These events usually run concurrently with the annual International Naval Review and feature present-day warships from different countries. The event ends with the Parade of Ships on the Hudson River and New York Harbor on the 4th of July. The US Coast Guard cutter Eagle has been the host vessel for all of the events.

The first Op Sail occurred in 1964 when tall ships and naval vessels filled the New York Harbor. This event was tied in with the 1964 New York World’s Fair.

The Op Sail 1976 was held to celebrate the US Bicentennial and took 5 years to plan. 16 tall ships were in the Grand Parade of Sailing Ships and flew a banner featuring the tricolor star insignia of the Bicentennial. These tall ships are referred to as the square-rigged school ships. In addition to the tall ships, 113 other vessels participated. This brought back the tradition of the International Naval Review and brought together a peacetime armada of 50 warships from many different countries. Present Gerald Ford reviewed the parade from the deck of the USS Forrestal, along with a 21-gun salute.

This cover may appeal to collectors from many different areas.

Classroom Activities: 
  • What makes a ship a tall ship? Make a poster showing the features of a tall ship.
  • What other Op Sail events occurred? Pick one and share it with the class.
  • Find out more about the US Coast Guard.
  • What other countries participated in Op Sail 1976? What did their ship look like?
Original Photo by Pat Hensley



Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Animals as Teachers

“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 Animals as Teachers, Rushton features architect Mick Pearce, who looked at termite mounds to figure out how to design a natural cooling system for a commercial building.

Rushton gives the following prompts to accompany this video:

“Is there some sort of non-human life form that taught you something?

Thinking about animals, insects, etc. that you have studied, how might their advantages help us deal with challenges in our society?

You might also wonder why more buildings haven’t been built using the lessons we learn from termite mounds, which after all, have been around for as long as there have been termites. Why are we only recently learning the lessons that they can teach us?”

I like using nature to solve some of our real-life problems. This would be a great challenge for students to see how they can link the two. I would put students in groups to find another example and then share it with the class.

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

Monday, September 12, 2022

The Battle of Fort Henry

On September 13, 1814, the Battle of Fort Henry took place in the Baltimore Harbor. 

Up until this point, the British were focused on defeating Napoleon in Europe. They defeated Napoleon on April 6, 1814, so they turned their focus on the war with the US. The British won at Bladensburg on August 24, 1814, burned Washington DC and headed to Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore was important because of its location as a port. The British hoped that conquering Washington DC and Baltimore would end the war. But the people of Baltimore had been preparing for this battle for over a year. 


For 27 hours in driving rain, 1000 Americans defended Fort McHenry. The British failed to overcome Fort McHenry and left for New Orleans. 


The defeat of the British was a turning point in the War of 1812 and later that year, a peace agreement was reached. 


Francis Scott Key saw the British attack overnight and at dawn, the American flag was still flying. This inspired him to write the verses to the Star Spangled Banner from watching this battle and used it with the tune of a popular drinking song. The Star Spangled Banner became the US National Anthem in 1931. 


Class Activities: 

  • Draw a picture of the Star Spangled Banner. What were the measurements of this flag? 
  • Draw a picture of Fort McHenry. What was special about this fort’s shape?
  • What other battles occurred during the War of 1812? Pick one and describe it to the class. 
  • What are the other verses to the Star Spangled Banner other than the verse we sing? 

Photo by Paul Weaver on Unsplash



Friday, September 9, 2022

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 09/09/22

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

History of Creativity
- “At The History of Creativity we believe that taking a visual overview of the history of all creative endeavours and how they are linked to world events is crucial to better understanding the world. We believe that this overview will allow better skill development in any creative skill people want to develop. The History of Creativity is a visual encyclopaedia that allows you to time travel to any time and place in the past or indeed the present.”(L:G; SA:A)

List of 168 Poetic Forms for Poets - “Check out this list of 168 poetic forms for poets that includes everything from abstract poetry and ae freislighe to villanelle and zappai—and so many more in between”(L:T; SA:LA) (L:E,M; SA:S)

Flap to the Future - a flight adaptations game

The surprising reason birds sing - a TED-ed lesson; “A brown thrasher knows a thousand songs. A wood thrush can sing two pitches at once. A mockingbird can match the sounds around it — including car alarms. These are just a few of the 4,000 species of songbirds. How do these birds learn songs? How do they know to mimic the songs of their own species? Are they born knowing how to sing? Partha P. Mitra illuminates the beautiful world of birdsong.” (L:G; SA:S)

Saving and Investing - “A unit on saving and investing for a high school class in personal finance” (L:H; SA:M,C)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Apples

Last weekend was the NC Apple Festival. I never realized all the different varieties of apples. There were some sweet apples, some tart, and some in between. Some apples were for baking, some were for eating, and some could be eaten either way. Apples were used in whole pies, apple turnovers, fried pies, apple cider, apple cider donuts, apple ice cream, and apple cider slushies.

Here is a great resource for when apples ripen in NC and what kind of flavor they have:

https://mtnfreshorchards.com/hendersonville-nc-apple-orchard/apple-ripening-schedule/


It would be fun to give students a sample of different varieties and have them evaluate the flavor. Have them get in groups and put their recommendations in a chart for others to see. Then have each group present their charts in order to persuade the other groups to agree with their chart.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

For the Love of Reading

In A nickel Coke and a dollar's worth of reading from Blue Skunk Blog, Doug Johnson shares,

“Some of my love of reading has to be attributed to Superman and Batman and The Fantastic Four.”

I loved reading as soon as I learned to read. I remember my mother encouraging me to read aloud while she worked in the kitchen. My mother read all the time so she was a great role model for me. We had a full set of Nancy Drew mysteries and as soon as I could start reading them, I did. I remember reading The Bobbsey Twins and The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew. When my uncle would come to visit, he always brought me a huge stash of comic books such as Archie, Caspar, Superman, Supergirl, and others. Getting my own library card was magical and I couldn’t get enough books to read. It was wonderful to have the Bookmobile come every week just down the block from my house.

When I was in third grade, my teacher Mrs. Sims, encouraged me to read and praised me all year long for reading. She was my favorite teacher!

Reading has always been an escape for me more than a tool for learning. I love fiction and I love how I can feel totally immersed in the story if it is a well-written book. Reading can help me escape my problems and help relieve stress.

I want my students to feel the same way about reading! I want them to love it as much as I do. Whether it is for pleasure or for learning new information, reading can open new worlds for them. By sharing my love of reading and why I read, it can help them find their own way in the land of reading.

How do you encourage your students to read? Please share.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Spoons and Opportunities

“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 https://www.nextvista.org/spoons-and-opportunities/, Rushton features Narayana Peesapathy who has created edible cutlery.

Rushton gives the following prompts to accompany this video:

“How many different opportunities can you identify in this short story? Who benefits from each opportunity?

What else might you need to know before making a decision on whether to invest in a company like Bakeys Edible Cutlery?”


I love the idea that this man saw a problem in his country and thought of a way to make a difference. This would be a great introduction to have students look at a problem within their local area, state, or nation and try to think of ways that they could make a difference in solving the problem. Would the solution help solve other secondary problems such as employment and economic issues?

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

Monday, September 5, 2022

Labor Day


The Labor Day Holiday is always the first Monday in September in the United States. It celebrates the contributions of American workers. It also usually symbolizes the end of summer.

I hope you have a safe and happy Labor Day holiday!

Friday, September 2, 2022

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 09/02/22

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

Accessible Color Palette Builder - Helps you see what colors work best digitally for those that have accessibility issues (L:G; SA:A)

Wolfram: Saving and Investing - “A unit on saving and investing for high school students” (L:H; SA:M)

The surprising reason birds sing - “A brown thrasher knows a thousand songs. A wood thrush can sing two pitches at once. A mockingbird can match the sounds around it — including car alarms. These are just a few of the 4,000 species of songbirds. How do these birds learn songs? How do they know to mimic the songs of their own species? Are they born knowing how to sing? Partha P. Mitra illuminates the beautiful world of birdsong.” (L:G; SA:S)

Flap to the Future - “The Cornell Lab's Bird Academy created Flap to the Future to help players understand the adaptations birds evolved that help them fly. How birds evolved flight is still hotly debated by biologists and paleontologists, so what we’ve presented is a simplification of lots of fascinating scientific knowledge and questioning.” (L:M, H; SA:S)

More Math Inspiration - “One hashtag that is always sure to reveal exciting math resources is #MTBOS (Math Twitter Blog-o-Sphere). That’s how I discovered Nathan Day (@nathanday314), and a couple of his great shares. With his permission, I am putting the links in this post as I really want more people to become inspired by math and mathematicians. If you’re a teacher with a few blank spaces on your wall, some of these might be great additions!” (L:G; SA:M)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, September 1, 2022

2022 Goals Review for August


August was a fun month! We started out by camping in the Smokies and ended it at the TreeTops Resort in Gatlinburg. We did a lot of hiking and had a lot of fun!

1. Lose 5 lbs. – I’m the same weight I was in January. Still struggling with this goal.

2. Finish my national park blanket. - complete!

3. Year of the Gnome - knit at least one gnome a month. Completed 8 gnomes. 

4. Knit a sweater. - Complete!

 

5. Yarn - more out than in (use more yardage than I buy) – Not doing well with this goal since I bought 22 skeins of Cascade 220 for the Camp Along Blanket. Maybe I can get the blanket complete before the end of the year.

-Yarn used - 7005 yds.

-Yarn bought - 10050 yds.

 

6. Design 3 new patterns. – Finished one sock design and a cowl design.

 

7. Learn something new. -  Complete! I’m mosaic crocheting a blanket and dabbling with watercolor painting. I also added embroidery this month which I haven’t done since I was a child.

 

8. Read 12 nonfiction books - read 9 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

-Live Fearless: A Call to Power, Passion, and Purpose by Sadie Robertson

-Battle of Brothers: William and Harry – The Inside Story of a Family in Tumult by Robert Lacey

-The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life by Amy Tan

 

How is your progress towards your goals? Please share.

 

Photo by Adam Winger on Unsplash