Friday, April 28, 2023

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 4/28/2023

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

River Runner - “Click to drop a raindrop anywhere in the contiguous United States and watch where it ends up.” (L:G; SA:S)

When Will Spring Bird Migration Hit Its Peak? - “Spring migration timing varies across the U.S. and even within regions, according to radar data analyzed by BirdCast.” (L:G; SA:S)

Pathway to Financial Success - “Pathway to Financial Success empowers you to take control of your financial future. Explore the self-paced online modules and other tools to equip you to make sound financial decisions to meet your life goals.” (L:H; SA:M,C)

WWF Free Rivers - free app; “WWF Free Rivers puts an entire landscape in your hands. Through this immersive, augmented reality experience, you’ll discover a river that flows through the lives of people and wildlife, and how their homes depend on those flows. Dam the river to see what happens, and then try different options for sustainable development that keeps the river healthy and flowing. Collect stories of people and animals along the way!” (L:G; 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!” (L:M,H; SA:S)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Duke Ellington Day

Duke Ellington Day commemorates the life of jazz musician Edward Kennedy Ellington. Born April 29th, 1899 in Washington D.C., Ellington was a famous American composer, pianist, and bandleader of a jazz orchestra that performed at Harlem's Cotton Club during the 1920s. In the 1930s, his music spread internationally as he and his orchestra toured through Europe. Ellington is considered to have elevated the status of jazz from mere music to an art form. Ellington’s career, which saw him write nearly 2000 compositions, many of which continue to inspire jazz artists today, spanned nearly five decades until he passed away in New York City in May of 1974. In 1999, Ellington was awarded a special Pulitzer Prize to commemorate the centennial of his birth and his contributions to music. A decade later, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg declared April 29th, 2009 as Duke Ellington Day in honor of his 110th birthday.

I thought it would be a good time to watch a couple of videos featuring Duke Ellington. 





Wednesday, April 26, 2023

National Superhero Day

National Superhero Day is a day dedicated to celebrating both real and fictional heroes. The holiday was created by Marvel Comics in 1999 to celebrate fictional heroes at first, but then transitioned into honoring those who help fight crime and save lives in the real world. According to Zavvi, Spiderman is the most popular superhero in 2022. National Superhero Day is celebrated annually on April 28th.”

It would be great to give prompts on this topic such as:
  • If you could be any superhero, who would you be?
  • What superpower would you want to have?
  • If you were a superhero, what would you look like?
  • Who is your real-life superhero and why?
It would also be fun to do some research on Marvel comics and have students discuss which comic hero is their favorite.

Take a poll and divide the class into four groups with each group taking the top four superheroes. They need to convince the rest of the class why their superhero is the best.

What other activities would you do on this day? Please share. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Letting an Idea Take Off

“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 Letting an Idea Take Off, Rushton features a flying car.

Rushton gives the following prompt to accompany this video:

“Would you want a car like this? Why or why not?

Now imagine explaining something that you think is cool, and having that explanation be a video with no one speaking. What would you choose, and what visuals would you use to tell the story?

Could you create an equally cool story, but for someone who cannot see? How would you craft that story?”


This was an amazing video of something I never thought would happen in my lifetime. I grew up watching The Jetsons but it was one of the cartoons that showed the “impossible” and the “impossible” is actually happening now. I think having a car like this would be wonderful and fun to drive, but I wondered about the logistics. Would you need a pilot’s license along with a driver’s license? What rules and regulations would be established to keep all drivers safe in the air? How much would insurance cost? How much would it cost to fuel the car and how far would it go on a tank of fuel? I wonder how long before we actually see cars like this available for the general public and what would be the cost of this car.

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

Monday, April 24, 2023

World Penguin Day

World Penguin Day seeks to celebrate the aquatic, flightless birds. Penguins are critical to their ecosystems as they serve as both predators and prey. They provide food for leopard seals while preying on fish such as squid and krill. Penguins are in danger of being affected by climate change. According to World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), up to 75% of the Adelie penguin population will decline and eventually disappear if the temperature rises above 35.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius). World Penguin Day was established in 1972 by Californian Gerry Wallace. It is observed annually on April 25th, a date that marks the Adelie penguin’s migration north toward Antarctica.”

Facts About Penguins:
  • The smallest penguin is the Little Blue Penguin.
  • Between 17 -20 different kinds of penguins.
  • They jump into the air before diving to swim faster.
  • They were first called “strange geese” when they were discovered.
  • They can swim over 10 mph.
  • They can dive down over 800 feet.
  • Their “suit” acts as camouflage called “countershading.”
  • They can drink seawater.
  • Some extinct penguins were over five feet tall.
  • They don’t have teeth.
  • They molt once a year.
  • Many male penguins gift female penguins with rocks in order to woo them.
  • Some of them mate for life.
  • Couples use distinct calls to communicate.
  • Emperor penguins incubate eggs on their feet.
  • They are waterproof.
  • They are very social.
  • A group of penguins in the water is called a raft.
  • Their poop is very smelly.
  • Some penguins build pebble nests.
  • Some dig out cozy burrows.
  • The Gal├ípagos penguin stays nice and warm living near the equator and doesn’t live in the Antarctic.
  • They huddle for warmth.
  • You’ll never see penguins and polar bears together in the wild.
  • Their feet are adapted to walk long distances.
Activities: 
  • Make a map labeling Antarctica and the Galapagos. 
  • How far do penguins go when they migrate? 
  • Draw a graph showing the different heights of different penguin species. 
  • Name five other groups of animals that have odd names. 

What activities would you do about this topic? Please share.

Friday, April 21, 2023

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 4/21/2023

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

Greenhouse Effect - “Describe the effect of greenhouse gases and clouds on sunlight, infrared radiation, and surface temperature. Explain why greenhouse gases affect the temperature. Compare and contrast the behavior of sunlight and infrared radiation. Describe radiative balance and use it to explain the relationship between the surface temperature and greenhouse gas concentration. Compare the effect of greenhouse gases to the effect of infrared absorbing layers. (L:H; SA:S)

All About Explorers - “All About Explorers was developed by a group of teachers as a means of teaching students about the Internet. Although the Internet can be a tremendous resource for gathering information about a topic, we found that students often did not have the skills to discern useful information from worthless data. So we set out to develop a series of lessons for elementary age students in which we would demonstrate that just because it is out there for the searching does not mean it is worthwhile.” (L:E; SA:SS)

Hello History - free app; “Have In-Depth Conversations With History’s Greatest. Get a personal perspective on life, history, and the world from some of the most influential figures of all time - Cleopatra, Einstein, Budha, and more.” (L:G; SA:SS)

Perfect Pitch - “Explore the instruments and eras of the orchestra. Discover the ways compositions can be arranged with different instruments. Test your knowledge with an interactive quiz.” (L:G; SA:FA)

The Physics of Baseball - “Two scientists from San Francisco Bay Area institutions break down a few of the many different ways that baseball is a great way to learn about the physics of motion and energy, including aerodynamics and vibrations in this video adapted from QUEST” (L:H; SA:S)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, April 20, 2023

The Vagabonds visit President Coolidge

President Calvin Coolidge is pictured here with his father, Colonel John Calvin Coolidge, Sr., Henry Ford, and Thomas Edison. The real photo postcard was taken in 1924 during one of the most famous visits to the President’s home in Plymouth Notch, Massachusetts. Pictured in the photo: President Calvin Coolidge (second from left) his father, Colonel John Calvin Coolidge, Sr., (far left), Henry Ford (second from right), and Thomas Edison (far right). After everyone autographed the sap bucket, shown in the middle of the photo, President Coolidge gave it to Henry Ford. The bucket was owned by the President’s great-great-grandfather. The sap bucket was on display in the barroom of the Wayside Inn (once owned by Ford) in Sudbury, Massachusetts.

Plymouth Notch was President Coolidge’s boyhood home. This was the third trip to Plymouth in the past year. During his first trip, his father woke him up to tell him that President Warren G. Harding had died and now Calvin was president. The second trip was to bury his son, Calvin Jr., who died of blood poisoning from an infected blister. This third visit was to escape the heat and pressures of Washington and get some much-needed rest. There wasn’t a lot in town except a few houses and a general store along with a set of buildings and a little church. The set of buildings became the temporary White House. President Coolidge sat around his father’s house reading or visiting during this time. One visitor complained that he had trouble harvesting because of illness in his family so the President volunteered to help.

Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Henry Firestone (not pictured) were on a camping journey together. Between 1915 and 1924, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone, and John Burroughs called themselves The Four Vagabonds. They took yearly camping trips from 1916-1924. Their camping trips are widely credited with initiating recreational car travel. The idea started in 1914 when Henry Ford and John Burroughs visited Thomas Edison in Florida and toured the Everglades. The next year the three of them went to the Panama-Pacific Exposition in California. Edison, Burroughs, and Harvey Firestone traveled through New England in 1916. In 1918, they traveled through West Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia. Other trips included the Adirondacks, the Catskill Mountains, northern Michigan, Massachusetts, and Vermont. Their caravan consisted of several heavy passenger cars and vans that carried the Vagabonds, household staff, and equipment. Also along with the group were Ford Motor Company photographers.

Class Activities:
  • Find out more about The Vagabonds.
  • Find a map and label the places the Vagabonds visited.
  • Calculate how many miles the Vagabonds traveled each year.
  • How long was Calvin Coolidge President and what were some important things did he do during his presidency?
  • How is a sap bucket used?
Original photo by Pat Hensley
Original Postcard owned by Don Hensley

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Persistence

In The explosion fro Seth Godin's Blog, Seth Godin shares,

“Things decay unless we persistently work to support them.”

My students used to hate to practice their new skills but I keep reminding them that we need to keep exercising our brains in order to keep them sharp. Since my students like sports, I explain that it is just like practicing a sport and you keep repeating the drills until it comes easy for you.

Unfortunately, if we don’t use certain skills we lose them. I can’t tell you how many times I have tried to learn Chinese. I’ve taken a beginner course 4 times but during the times when I wasn’t taking a class, I would forget it all. This happened because I had no way to practice using it.

I ask my students to think about things they may have learned but never use so they don’t remember how to do it anymore. Many students give examples of things they learn in school. I feel this is a problem when we don’t teach students skills that are relevant to them.

I compare learning in school to learning to ride a bike. When we first learn to ride, there is usually someone there to support us until we can ride independently. I’m the support for new learners. But as a new biker learns to get better with practice, my students will learn to do new skills more easily with practice.

Once I’m able to show my students how learning can compare to things they already know how to do, they are usually more accepting of learning new skills and actually practicing them over time.

With practice and persistence, many students can be successful by using their new skills continuously throughout their life.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Light and Ruins

“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 Light and Ruins, Rushton features Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

Rushton gives the following prompt to accompany this video:

"Angkor Wat is both a place loaded with history, and one of the ways history can be magical for us is when it allows us to ask ever more interesting questions.

In addition to what you would ask based on what must have once taken place there, given what you see in the video, how is this place important in the present?"


I found this video interesting because I’ve never been there before. It looked beautiful. I wondered how long ago this was built. How did the people learn the skills to build this beautiful place? What was it used for? Why was it built? This video had me want to learn more about Angkor Wat.

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

Monday, April 17, 2023

Improve Student Behaviour by Improving Student Mood

(Today's post is a guest post from Rob Plevin, the creator of Needs-Focused Teaching His bio is at the end of this article. Thanks so much, Rob for a thought-provoking article! - Pat)


Did you know that there’s a simple way to improve behaviour in your classroom? It’s a little counter-intuitive to be honest and I must confess, as both a teacher and a parent, it took me quite a while to discover it. Like most adults I was usually concerned with achieving a particular aim – getting my students to work, my teenage son to remember where he lived at bedtime, and my young daughter to throw her tantrums at home instead of supermarket checkouts. So much so, that it almost did NOT dawn upon me that there is an inextricable link between mood and behaviour.

Think about this: how often have you seen a genuinely happy student causing mayhem in your lesson? I know your answer already. When kids are in a contented, relaxed mood, happily engaged and with their needs being met, they have neither reason nor inclination to reduce your lesson to chaos.

In some classrooms scenes of diligent students seem to be the norm; their teachers manage to draw the very best behaviour – textbook, you might say – from the most challenging, resistant kids in school. So how, you ask, is that?

Well, as one who has spent many years in schools as teacher, manager, coach, and trainer, I used to ask it too. I witnessed some incredible teachers and was always fascinated by the spells they seemed to cast – yes, at times it really did seem to be magic. What on earth was it these brilliant teachers do to get even the most challenging students on side?

The solution is absurdly simple: they make kids feel good. They make them laugh. They make them feel empowered. They make them feel capable. They make them feel understood, wanted, and valued. Most important of all, I think, they make them feel good about themselves.

The good news for you is that any teacher prepared to spend time tending to the emotional and social factors that influence learning can weave this magic. One way to achieve this is through certain classroom activities… ‘mood changers’, I call them. These can quickly help you create a classroom environment in which students feel safe, supported, and eager to participate. And, of course, non-disruptive.

High-energy activities,
for example, generate movement, action, laughter, fun, excitement and interest. They can be used to start a session, to introduce a new topic or idea, or to invigorate a flagging group. The right high-energy activity can change the mood in a room very quickly and help instill a sense of excitement, engagement and focus.

Calming activities have the opposite effect, lowering the energy in your classroom by inviting students to settle down and quieten the ‘busyness’ of their minds a little. Brain scans show that the pattern of alpha waves generated when we are in a calm, relaxed state (as opposed to normal waking state beta waves) enhances learning, retention and recall.

Creative thinking activities bring bright ideas and challenges into the classroom, encouraging students to think creatively and help them develop skills that will be essential for success in both their personal and professional lives. Creative thinking helps students become more innovative and ‘think outside the box’. It allows them to approach tasks with a different perspective, thereby helping to boost their confidence and self-esteem.

Connection activities can be used to develop a sense of inclusion and community in your classroom. Students feeling that they are part of a safe, supportive and inclusive community are less likely to feel overwhelmed and isolated, more likely to participate and contribute in class, and to feel comfortable when asking for help. Connection also leads to improved social skills and helps develop a culture of respect and understanding. Students who feel valued and respected are more likely to treat their peers and teachers with the same kindness and respect.

Finally, we have focus activities. These help students concentrate on their work and avoid distractions. They promote the learning and retention of information, leading to improved test scores and overall academic performance. Perhaps the greatest benefit of helping students learn to focus is that it promotes the development of a ‘growth’ mindset. Students able to immerse themselves in a task and concentrate fully on their work can more easily embrace challenges and put in the effort to learn. Many studies have revealed that growth mindset has significant positive effects on behaviour, motivation and academic performance.

If I’ve done my job right, by now you’re thinking, ‘this all makes perfect sense, Rob, but where do I find such activities?’ Well, I’ve got you covered. My latest book ‘Change the Mood of the Noisy Class’ is jam-packed with 102 tried and tested activities to improve students’ mood and boost creativity, connection, and focus in your classroom; it also includes a bonus suite of downloadable resources and printables.

Get your copy by searching for ‘Change the Mood of the Noisy Class’ by Rob Plevin on Amazon and start transforming your classroom into a place where students love to learn!

Rob Plevin was a special-ed teacher and deputy head and has spent the last 15 years helping teachers, lecturers, parents, carers and youth workers to connect better with children. He provides free training and downloadable resources from his website at www.needsfocusedteaching.com.

Friday, April 14, 2023

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 4/14/2023

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

NASA Kids Club - “NASA provides a safe place for children to play as they learn about NASA and its missions. NASA encourages you to visit NASA Kids' Club and use its games and activities to inspire the next generation. On this site, you will find games of various skill levels for children pre-K through grade 4. These games support national education standards in STEM -- science, technology, engineering and mathematics. See the Game Descriptions and National Education Standards below. The NASA Kids' Club Picture Show is an image gallery of some of NASA's coolest and most interesting pictures. They may be used as conversation starters or writing prompts to lead children in discussions about STEM-related topics and current events. The Now in Space slideshow introduces young explorers to the crew currently orbiting Earth on the International Space Station.”(L:E; SA:S)

A glimpse of teenage life in ancient Rome - “Welcome to the world of Lucius Popidius Secundus, a 17-year old living in Rome in 73 AD. His life is a typical one of arranged marriages, coming-of-age festivals, and communal baths. Take a look at this exquisitely detailed lesson on life of a typical Roman teenager two thousand years ago.”(L:E; SA:S)

Whimsical - “the hub for visual collaboration” (L:T; SA:A)

Screenpal - “Our screen capture tools help you easily create, edit and communicate with videos and images. Simple and intuitive tools to share your ideas.” (L:T; SA:A)

Crayola Lesson Plans - “Find thousands of lesson plans that support and extend instruction in every content area, grades K-12. Each lesson plan is educator-developed and includes classroom-ready directions, a list of supplies needs, standards alignments, and images to help guide your lesson planning. This collection grows continually and always inspires new teaching and learning excitement.” (L:T; SA:A)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, April 13, 2023

National Haiku Poetry Day

National Haiku Poetry Day is on Monday, April 17, 2023.

“National Haiku Poetry Day seeks to celebrate Haiku poetry. Haiku is a form of poetry originating from 17th century Japan. It is traditionally a three-line poem with seventeen syllables broken down into a 5-7-5 structure. Haikus typically emphasize simplicity, intensity, and direct expression. This day aims to raise awareness about the joys of Haiku. It encourages poets of all levels to read, write, and share their poetry. This day consists of public events including readings, exhibitions, and competitions.”

Here is my haiku:

Home is the best place
To be surrounded by love
When you feel lonely.

Invite your students to write their own haikus. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

New Information

In New decisions based on new information from Seth Godin's Blogm Seth Godin states,

“Instead of “I was wrong,” perhaps it’s useful (if less satisfying to others seeking victory) to say, “It’s time to make a new decision based on new information.”’

Maybe we focus too much on mistakes when we are teaching students. The mistake turns into this giant monster and success turns into a tiny mouse. We need to change the perception of each so that it is the other way around. We want successes to be huge and outweigh the mistakes.

When my students give the wrong answer, rather than just telling them they gave the wrong answer, I tell them that they were close or that they gave it a good try. If they try again and give the wrong answer, I might give them some help with a prompt or a hint. I want to remind myself that the goal is to teach the student to master the skill independently. As they become more confident, I can slowly withdraw the help until they see they can do it on their own. It is a lot like how I remember learning to ride a bicycle. I remember my dad running beside me and I trusted him not to let me go until I was ready. I want my students to feel the same way.

When students are working out a problem and they get an answer wrong, I have them explain to me how they got their answer. By doing this, I can see where they went the wrong way. By showing them this error, they have new information now and can make a different decision.

Allowing students to learn that if they get new information and can make a new decision, teaches students that stopping and revising their course of action is not a failure. By doing this, they are actually becoming stronger and more confident in themselves and in their decision-making.

How do you teach students to look at new information? Please share.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

A Fed Bear

“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 Fed Bear, Rushton features large grizzlies to test bear-resistant products.

Rushton gives the following prompts to accompany this video:

“The bears in this video were lucky. Can you explain why it usually ends badly for the bear?

Have you ever seen someone do something that they thought would be something kind, but it turned into a kind of problem? How might you lessen the chance that something you do will have harmful unintended consequences?”


Many students don’t think about behaviors and their consequences. This is a great video to bring up this discussion. There are consequences to all of our actions but sometimes we don’t think about the unintended consequences.

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

Monday, April 10, 2023

Parental Controls

In Who is the better parent? From Blue Skunk Blog, Doug Johnson asks,

“Why does it seem that both sides of the political spectrum have lost faith in the ability of parents to raise children who are good people?”

My answer is - because we let them control us.

I remember years ago, an 18-year-old student in my class kept falling asleep. When my students sleep in my class, they have to stand up during class. When I called him, his grandmother (who was the one raising him) told me that she could not get him to go to bed and he played games all night long. She said that he listened to me and asked that I called him up every night and tell him to go to bed. Even though I was skeptical, I did call him up for a week at 10pm and told him to go to bed and go to sleep. His grandmother said that he listened to me. After that, I had a heart-to-heart talk with this young man and told him that he was an adult now and he needed to be responsible for himself. He knew what he was responsible for and didn’t need me to tell him when to go to bed. I never had a problem with him after that.

Years ago, teachers would get paid once a month for 12 months of the year, even though we didn’t work the summer months. Then the school district allowed teachers to get their summer pay early in a lump sum. I would take my money and buy a 30-day CD and a 60-day CD so that when they matured, I would pay myself and earn interest on the money I saved. Some teachers told me that there was no way they were going to get their money early because they would spend it all and then couldn’t pay their bills. I never understood that reasoning from a person who is teaching our young people how to be independent citizens in society! These teachers would rather let the district control their money rather than control it themselves.

We need to teach students to take control of their own lives and be responsible for their decisions. As long as people think it is easier to let others control everything, more of our freedoms will be taken away.

Friday, April 7, 2023

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 4/7/2023

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

Reasonable Colors - “is an open-source color system for building accessible, nice-looking color palettes. (L:G; SA:A)

Quick and Easy Ways to Remove Image Backgrounds - “Removing the background from an image is a good way to protect your privacy and that of people who might unintentionally be in the background of your pictures. Remove image backgrounds is also a good way to get a stand-alone image of yourself to then place in front of a different background.” (L:G; SA:A)

How to Make a Rainbow - “We often see beautiful rainbows during or right after a rain storm, but did you know that you can make your very own rainbow at home? Join Jessi and Squeaks to learn how! “ (L:E; SA:S)

Custom Eye Chart Maker - “This tool lets you make your own custom eye chart, just like the ones the eye doctors use.” (L:G; SA:A)

GZM Shows Podcasts - “Peabody Award-winning Gen-Z Media creates and produces innovative audio programming for an all-ages audience. We’re all about families, friends and classrooms listening together and connecting over great stories.” (L:T; SA:A)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, April 6, 2023

March 2023 Photo A Day Project

I’m still enjoying my Photo a Day project on Flickr. I find it helpful to look at other people’s photos and see what I like about them, what makes them stand out to me, and the composition of the photo. I believe these will help me take better photos.

Here are my photos from March:


 

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Scrapbook Pages from March 2023

Digital scrapbooking is a great activity to use in the classroom. It can be used to capture memories, share important information, or focus on a specific event. This would be a great alternate activity for book reports and even group projects. Here are some examples that I made in March. I use the website Gingerscraps for ideas and even free digital kits. 






Do you do Digital Scrapbooking in your classroom? If so, please share! 

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Sensing a Sand Crisis

“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 Sensing a Sand Crisis, Rushton features a video that talks about the looming sand crisis.

Rushton gives the following prompts to accompany this video:

“Think about other often-discussed problems. Is there a disconnect between how some problems are normally described and what the issues actually are? In effect, can overly simple descriptions create more complex problems?

Have you ever tried to explain something to someone, been surprised when that person became angry, and then realized that the person didn’t understand what you meant because you hadn’t provided enough detail? Is that different, in terms of communication, than the situation with sand?”


I never thought about how much we take sand for granted. I tend to think of sand as never-ending and not as a resource that could be in crisis. This had me looking at other things I take for granted. It would interesting for students to list other things that we don’t think about ever losing but could be a resource in crisis.

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

Monday, April 3, 2023

2023 Goals Review for March

I had a productive month of March. I increased my exercise and got a lot of things done. We had a surprise visit from our niece Deanna, and then we drove to Orlando to see her daughter Kaeli in a college softball tournament. When we got back, we started packing for our return to SC.

1. Learn something new. - I learned Tunisian crochet to make a couple of dishcloths. I’m still practicing my watercolor painting and my ukulele.

2. Knit at least 1 sweater - I’m almost finished with my sweater. (Collins Tee)

3. Yarn - more out than in (use more yardage than I buy) – no yarn bought! I finished 2 more projects: Cabled charity hat and a gnome (Gnedward of Grimblewood)
● Yarn used - 2382 yds.
● -Yarn bought - 0

3. Complete a shawl - I finished my Shawlography shawl

4. Try 4 new recipes. - I didn’t try anything new in March.

5. Stretch regularly (at least 20 days out of the month) - I did these 22 days in March

6. Create at least 2 scrapbook pages each month. - Made 10 pages for March. (Total - 30)

7. Participate in the Photo a Day challenge – Love looking at other people’s photos too.

8. Read the Bible every day. - yes

9. Read 100 books - Read 14 books in January, 2 books in February, 7 books in March,

10. Read 12 nonfiction books. – 3 so far.

- Enough Already: Learning to Love the Way I Am Today by Valerie Bertinelli
- Prince William: The Man Who Will Be King by Penny Junor
- I Still Believe: A Memoir by Jeremy Camp

What are your goals for this year? Please share.