Thursday, August 31, 2023

Learning to Get Around

We love to travel and learning to get around in a new place is important. I never knew how to do this because my parents didn’t travel much. Once a year we would travel from New York to South Carolina and we used a AAA trip tic which was a thin spiral book with our route on it. That was the closest I got to learning how to use a map.

Now when we travel to new places, it is good to be able to read a paper map as well as a digital map because sometimes you might not have access to technology.

I have also used my GPS in places and didn’t end up where I expected to be so I don’t always rely on digital maps.

While traveling to other countries, I don’t have access to cell service in these countries because it can be costly. Instead, I have learned how to download the map of the area from Google Maps so I can use it offline. While I may not have had step-by-step instructions on how to get somewhere, I was able to see where we were at the time and plot a route to where we wanted to go.

Also, when we go to other countries, tourist information may give out maps with places of interest that they want to highlight. This is helpful in deciding what we want to do. We also might want to find a train or bus station so knowing how to get there quickly is helpful to beat the crowds.

It is good to start students off with a map of their local area. Have them identify specific places on the map. Have them write directions to go from one place to another. Then have them exchange directions with another person who follows the directions to see if they end up where they should.

Next, have them plan on going somewhere in a nearby city and have them plan the driving route from their home to that place.

If they are doing well with these map skills, it might be fun to have them plan a trip from their home to several destinations and back to their home. How many miles will this trip be and how long will it take?

I think this is a fun activity and it should be done several times over a length of time in order to help students learn and retain this skill. I think it could even be repeated once a month to give students practice.

How do you teach students map reading skills? Please share.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Interest Rates

As Interest Rates keep going up, this is a good time to teach students how this affects them. I mention this to students and they shrug their shoulders and think it doesn’t have anything to do with them.

I try to explain that this can affect credit card payments. If a credit card isn’t paid off in full every month, interest rates are charged. This means you pay back what you have used plus extra money. The higher the interest rate, the more extra money that has to be paid. If this happens, there is less available cash available for fun.

If people have a house loan or a car loan, this could affect the monthly payments that are being made. If students are getting money from their parents for fun things, parents may have less money to give their children.

If people are paying more for their house loan and are renting this house out, the rent on homes may increase which again will cause the family to have less money to spend on fun things.

So even though raising interest rates might not affect a student directly, it could impact them indirectly. This is a good time to help students think of ways that they can help their family such as saving money, getting a part-time job, recycling things for other uses instead of buying new, using generic brand items instead of name brand items, and reducing waste.

What other suggestions would you make? Please share.

Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Just Get Started

In Is it OK to write when you have nothing to say? From Blue Skunk Blog by Doug Johnson shares,

“I’ve always thought of writer’s block as a form of mental hypochondria.”

I like to start off class by having students write for 5 minutes in their journals. Of course,I hear the usual grumblings and how they have nothing to say, and so on. I just tell them to just start writing and things will come to them. Sometimes their brain is working faster than they think it is.

I try to give them some prompts to help them get started.
  • Yesterday I…
  • Today I plan to…
  • The best thing that happened yesterday was…
  • The worst thing that happened yesterday was…
  • It makes me mad when…
These usually spark something and once my students get started, they get annoyed when they have to stop. I usually extend writing time for five more minutes and tell them if they finish their assignment for the day, they can go back to write in it.

The best way to get past writer’s block is to just get started!

How do you help students get past writer’s block? Please share.

Photo by lilartsy on Unsplash

Monday, August 28, 2023

Dealing with the Diagnosis

In How to Help Fathers Cope With a Child's Diagnosis, the article discusses how “Couples often seem to be at different stages in grief with mothers appearing further along in the journey.”

I find out that many parents have trouble accepting that their child might have some kind of disability that hinders their learning. Every parent wants to believe that their child is perfect so finding this out is heartbreaking!

I let parents know that I was an advocate for the student and I knew I had to give parents time to process the information. I made sure they had my contact information in case they needed to ask questions.

I also explained that having a disability involved with learning can be invisible like Diabetes. We don’t ignore it and we help the student cope with this situation. It is no one’s fault Too many parents blame themselves and wonder what they did wrong. I remind them that we need to stop looking at blame and look at the present time in order to help their child.

By the time I get some of the students on the high school level, many parents are told their child is just lazy and not putting in the effort. I need them to see that sometimes, their child is giving their full effort and is as frustrated as their parents. No one likes to be called lazy but if I’m going to fail anyway, why bother trying?

I need the parents to see that we are all on the same team and working for the same goal - their child’s success. I want the parents to know that they are not alone and I am walking beside them trying to find the key that unlocks learning for their child. I want the parents to know that I will work with them in trying different ways and that I won’t give up on their child.

How do you help parents deal with this? Please share.

Photo by Elisa Ventur on Unsplash

Friday, August 25, 2023

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 8/25/2023

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!

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

Why you procrastinate even when it feels bad
- “The report you’ve been putting off is due tomorrow. It’s time to buckle down, open your computer ... and check your phone. Maybe watch your favorite YouTube channel? Or maybe you should just start in the morning? This is the cycle of procrastination. So, why do we procrastinate when we know it’s bad for us? Explore how your body triggers a procrastination response, and how you can break the cycle.” (L:T; SA:LA, FA)

Class Tools - Create free games, quizzes, activities, and diagrams in seconds. (L:T; SA:A)

Write Out - “Write Out is a free two-week celebration of writing, making, and sharing inspired by the great outdoors. This year’s Write Out theme is Poetry, Prose and Parks! and will run from October 8-22, 2023, including the National Day on Writing on October 20.” (L:T; SA:A)

Getting to Know You Hexagons for Back to School - “One way you can use Hexagonal Thinking is to get to know students at the beginning of the school year. Give them each a hexagon to design where they reveal some things about themselves. Then see if they can connect their hexagons to each other’s based on similar sides.” (L:T; SA:A)

Classic TV Commercials - “Classic TV commercials and public service announcements (PSAs) uploaded by users.”

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Learn at Your Own Pace

In Ride your own bike from Seth Godin's Blog, Seth Godin shares,

"Then I realize that it’s not a bike race, it’s a bike ride. There is no winning, just the riding."

To me, learning is like a bike ride and not a race. I never get to the end and I am constantly learning new things.

This is how I want my students to feel about learning. At what point, do we disillusion them about learning? Most small children are happy about going to school and learning. Then slowly, some of them fall to the wayside and feel left out. They learn slower and feel like they are doing it wrong. Eventually, they dread learning and this makes me sad.

I want all of my students to feel excited about learning. This is why I try to find out what they are interested in. After finishing an assignment that I give them, I try to encourage them to learn more about a topic they are interested in. Once they find out all they can about this topic, they can move on to another topic. Learning is an ongoing activity and doesn’t stop until you die!

How do you get your students excited about learning? Please share.

Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Travel Project

My husband and I love traveling but when I was a child, my family didn’t travel much. My dad had one week off every year and we went to visit relatives 800 miles away every summer. We stayed at their house so we didn’t even have to make hotel plans.

Fast forward to after marrying my husband. He loves to travel. I learned a lot about travel from him!

I think travel is the best way to learn about other places, people, and even cultures.

So, I have my students work on a travel project. First, they decide where they want to go. Money is no object! How long will their trip be?

Once students plan where they want to go, they have to decide how they plan to get there. Do they want to drive or fly or cruise? Then they have to find the cost of getting there.

Once they get there, where will they stay? There are many online sites to find the cost of hotels. They need to find a hotel they like and the cost for the length of stay.

Then they need to decide how much they will spend on food each day. Many places have their menus and prices online. They need to decide the cost of breakfast, lunch, and dinner for each day they are there.

What will they do while they are there? What are the costs for the things they want to do? They also need to take into account how they plan to get from their hotel to this activity.

Once they have their prices, they need to find the total of their whole vacation. Then present this to the class. All of the students would enjoy hearing the different presentations. They might have suggestions or they might learn about someplace new they might want to visit.

What else would you add to this project? Please share.

Photo by Chen Mizrach on Unsplash

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Ignoring the Negative

In Maybe We Don’t Want To Tell Our Story from Ideas and Thoughts, Dean Shareski states,

“While it’s easy to say, “Ignore the haters” it’s a challenge for institutions knowing that nearly every post comes at a cost. This is particularly true on social media posts.”

With many people using social media today and many people feeling like they can say anything in a comment, I believe we need to teach our students how to handle different situations that they may encounter.

I remember when I first started my blog and encountered my first negative comment. I felt shocked and hurt but I learned how to deal with it. I learned to ask several questions that helped me deal with this.
  • What perspective was the commenter coming from? Were they another teacher, or a student, or a parent?
  • Was I unclear about something that I had written? If I had written it differently, would it have helped the reader understand better?
  • Does the commenter make a valid point and should I rethink my position?
  • Is the commenter just a troll and the comment should be deleted and ignored?
I think asking these questions, would help me understand the comments better. One reason I blog is to share my ideas and feeling. But I also want to be open to other perspectives and hopefully learn from others. Having a conversation with others (through commenting) can broaden my perspective and help me learn new things.

How do you help students deal with negative remarks? Please share.

Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash

Monday, August 21, 2023

Getting Students to Blog

I have been writing this blog since 2007 and I think it is important to share my ideas and my point of view. Writing is a great way to learn how to communicate with others.

There are many reasons why students should learn to blog. Here are some of the most important benefits:

  • Improved writing skills: Blogging forces students to write regularly and to think about their writing in a way that they might not otherwise. This can help them to improve their grammar, spelling, and overall writing fluency.
  • Developed critical thinking skills: Blogging requires students to research topics, form their own opinions, and support those opinions with evidence. This can help them to develop critical thinking skills that are essential for success in school and in life.
  • Enhanced research skills: Blogging requires students to find and evaluate information from a variety of sources. This can help them to develop strong research skills that will be useful in all areas of their education.
  • Increased understanding of a subject: Blogging about a topic can help students to better understand that topic. This is because they have to think about the topic in-depth and explain it to others.
  • Improved communication skills: Blogging can help students to improve their communication skills, both written and oral. This is because they have to interact with others in the comments section and respond to feedback.
  • Developed creativity: Blogging can help students to express their creativity and to share their unique perspectives with the world. This can be a great way for students to explore their interests and find their voice.
  • Built a professional portfolio: A well-maintained blog can be a great way to build a professional portfolio for students. This can be helpful when applying for jobs or internships after graduation.
  • Gained a sense of community: Blogging can help students to connect with others who share their interests. This can be a great way to make friends, learn from others, and get support.
Overall, blogging is a valuable skill that can benefit students in many ways. 

Here are some additional tips for students who want to start a blog:
  • Choose a topic that you are interested in and passionate about.
  • Be consistent with your posting schedule.
  • Promote your blog on social media and other online platforms.
  • Respond to comments and feedback from your readers.
Do you have your students blog? What do they blog about? Please share.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Friday, August 18, 2023

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 8/18/2023

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

Making a Solar Oven - “It's easy to cook with solar and the fuel is free, renewable and non-polluting. You can even use a solar oven in the winter on a bright, sunny day. Just add some insulation under the oven and protect it from the wind. The food will take longer to cook, but that's no problem. Just start your dinner in the morning and turn the oven a few times to make sure it's facing the sun.” (L:M,H; SA:S)

- “It's the ancient, time-honored way of learning: messing around and seeing what happens. Play with simulations to ask "what if" questions, and get an intuition for how the system works!” (L:T; SA:A)

Choice Board - “Canva for Education has many bingo card templates, but did you know that it also has a Bingo generator app? This means you can not only make Bingo cards, but also even create choice boards that look engaging.” (L:T; SA:A)

Basics of graphic design in educational technology - “This article proposes several visual design guidelines for designing more appealing and readable instructional materials. The guidelines follow the design principles of alignment, contrast, repetition, and proximity. In addition, this article presents tips for combining fonts, selecting colors, and finding resources.” (L:T; SA:A)

Met Publications - “MetPublications is an online portal to The Metropolitan Museum of Art's comprehensive art publishing program. It features over 1700 titles, including books, guides, Bulletins and Journals from the last six decades. The full contents of over 1400 out-of-print titles may be read online, searched, or downloaded as a PDF for free. Publications still in-print may be previewed and fully searched online through a link to Google Books.” (L:T; SA:LA,FA)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Back to School Ideas

Here are a couple of posts I wanted to share that I think gives great back-to-school idea. Some are fun things to do and some are things not to do.

Six Awesome Back to School Social Studies Ideas

14 Things Teachers Should Never Do on the First Day of School

What suggestions do you have? Please share.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Wednesday, August 16, 2023


We love traveling because we learn so much about other people and cultures.

I know that many of my students don’t travel because their families might not have enough money or their parents work many hours. This is why I try to take a lot of pictures. I want to share my love of travel and feeling of adventure.

Many of my former students say that I have encouraged them to work harder so they also have enough money to go places. This is what I want them to do.

When I was a child, my parents didn’t have the money or the desire to do much traveling. Of course, my father came here from China as a young man and my mother went to China after marrying my dad and had two daughters while she was there. Neither one of them wanted to go far after that. So, they really didn’t encourage me to travel either. But I wanted more.

So, when I married my husband, I knew he liked to travel. That sense of adventure is what drew me to him. I had a lot of doubts and worries about traveling but he helped me work through them every time. He helps me have a plan of action in case my what-ifs ever happen. This helps lessen my anxiety. It is like having a fire drill plan. You hope you never need to use it, but it is nice to know it is there.

So, I encourage people to share their personal adventures with their students. Show pictures of places that you’ve been to. Show on a map, the route you took and the places you stopped. Tell exciting facts about the places.

Do you travel? What tips would you give your students? Please share.

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Accepting Criticism

In Constructive criticism from Blue Skunk Blog, Doug Johnson shares,

“Constructive criticism can be embarrassing. Painful. Humiliating. But should one choose to learn from it, it can be invaluable.”

I have to admit that I dislike constructive criticism immensely because it makes me feel like I should have done better. I’m a perfectionist and when I do work, I try to review it over and over to make sure that it’s perfect. Then when someone finds a problem, I feel disappointed in myself which may come across as being angry with the person who is criticizing it. Even though I’m glad to know that there is something I can do to make it better, I still hate not being perfect.

I know that many of my students feel this way. They have been criticized for so much of their life because of their special needs that many don’t even want to try anymore. I know it is an uphill battle but I want to encourage them not to give up.

I think it is good to give personal examples of when I have gotten criticism and how I’ve had to deal with it. I also share about how it makes me feel and how I sometimes react which may not always be appropriate. When my students see that I’m not perfect as a teacher and that I feel the same way that they do, it helps them cope with their feelings better.

Then we talk about ways to deal with the criticism. How to share with others how we are actually feeling and then how to react appropriately. Then fix the problem. That is the ultimate goal. Maybe we don’t see it as a problem and don’t want to change it. Just because someone criticises you, doesn’t mean that you agree with it.

When I’m giving constructive criticism, I try to avoid the word “criticism” because it makes me feel like I’m being negative. I like to tell others that I’d like to make some suggestions. They can agree or disagree with them. For some reason, this comes across a lot better than criticism even though it is basically the same thing.

How do you give constructive criticism? Please share.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Monday, August 14, 2023

Using Word Walls in the Classroom

Word Walls are great to help beginning readers and spellers. I used to have a word wall in my classroom every year. These are great for any grade level or age level because you are displaying words that are relevant to them at the time.

A word wall is a visual display of important words that students are learning. It is a great way to help students learn new vocabulary and to reinforce their understanding of existing vocabulary. Word walls can be used in any grade level, but they are especially helpful for younger students who are still developing their vocabulary skills.

Here are some tips on how to use a word wall in the classroom:
  • Choose the right words. When you are choosing words for your word wall, make sure to select words that are important for your students to know. You can use a variety of sources to find words, such as your curriculum, the dictionary, or even the words that your students are struggling with.
  • Organize the words in a way that makes sense. There are many different ways to organize words on a word wall. You can organize them alphabetically, by part of speech, or by theme. The way you organize the words will depend on your student's needs and the purpose of the word wall.
  • Make the words easy to see. The words on your word wall should be large and easy to read. You can use different colors, fonts, or backgrounds to make the words stand out.
  • Include additional information about the words. In addition to the word itself, you can also include other information about the word, such as its definition, part of speech, or synonyms. This additional information can help students learn more about the words and how to use them.
  • Use the word wall regularly. The most effective word walls are the ones that are used regularly. Make sure to point out the word wall to your students and encourage them to use it as a resource. You can also use the word wall as a part of your lessons or activities.
Here are some additional ideas for using a word wall in the classroom:
  • Have students create their own word walls. This is a great way to get students involved in the process and to help them learn about the words.
  • Use the word wall to play games. There are many different games that you can play with a word wall. This is a fun way to help students learn the words and to reinforce their understanding.
  • Use the word wall to help students with their writing. When students are writing, they can refer to the word wall to find the words they need. This can help them to write more accurately and fluently.
Word walls are a versatile tool that can be used in a variety of ways. By following these tips, you can create a word wall that is effective and engaging for your students. Having word walls will help students be more successful in whatever subject they are studying at the time.

Friday, August 11, 2023

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 8/11/2023

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

Clickview - create interactive video lessons (L:T; SA:A)

Census Data - “Learn about America’s People, Places, and Economy” (L:T; SA:M,SS)

Library of Congress Magazine - “Library of Congress Magazine (LCM) is published bimonthly to tell the Library's stories, to showcase its many talented staff, and to share and promote the use of the resources of the world's largest library.” (L:T; SA:A)

DIY Sun Science - iPad app; “DIY Sun Science is designed to make it easy for families and educators to learn about the Sun anywhere, anytime!” (L:T; SA:S)

Odd One Out - “Can you spot the odd one out? Guess the AI generated “imposters” hidden among the artworks on Google Arts & Culture.” (L:H; SA:FA)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, August 10, 2023

July 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 June:

1. 7/1/2023 Fountain, 2. 7/2/2023 Cross, 3. 7/3/2023 Flood, 4. 7/4/2023 Fireworks, 5. 7/5/2023 Cool drink, 6. 7/6/2023 Ceiling fan, 7. 7/7/2023 Spinning Project, 8. 7/8/2023 Egg, 9. 7/9/2023 Cross, 10. 7/10/2023 Liquid death, 11. 7/11/2023 Handspun, 12. 7/12/2023 A Man and his toy, 13. 7/13/2023 Fiber and Protein lesson, 14. 7/14/2023 Cloud face, 15. 7/15/2023 worm or baby snake, 16. 7/16/2023 Church, 17. 7/17/2023 Furman Lake, 18. 7/18/2023 Empty gym, 19. 7/20/2023 Kindness Board, 20. 7/19/2023 Pepperoni Pizza, 21. 7/21/2023 Roses, 22. 7/22/2023 Maema Cardigan, 23. 7/23/2023 USA gnomes, 24. 7/24/2023 Weights, 25. 7/25/2023 Jumbo knitting needles, 26. 7/26/2023 visiting, 27. 7/27/2023 Twisting Trails Sock, 28. 7/28/2023 Rock wall, 29. 7/29/2023 Stamps, 30. 7/30/2023 Magnets, 31. 7/31/2023 Knick knacks32. Not available

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Travel to Copenhagen, Denmark

We had a wonderful trip to Copenhagen, and everything went smoothly. I like to write about the places we go and the prices that things cost us so if we return, I can use this as a reference for planning our trip. I wrote the prices in the local money along with the value in US dollars but that is for the current conversion rate. It just gives us an idea of how much things cost and whether we want to go there again. We didn’t buy a Copenhagen Go card like we did last time but I’m glad we did last time. We were here for 5 days then, and it was worth the money!

Day 1: August 6, 2023, Traveling from South Carolina to Copenhagen

I got up at 4am, woke Don up at 5 am, and our daughter and son-in-law picked us up at 7 am. They dropped us off at the airport, but our bags weren’t checked in until around 9 am. While we stood in line, we talked to Cathy at the United desk, and she was so nice and friendly. Our plane started boarding around 10:30 am and left the gate but a few minutes later, left the runway and returned to the gate. Apparently, one of our front compartment doors wasn’t shut completely.

Our first stop was Chicago and there was a 30-minute delay, so we shared a Chicago dog ($9). Then we finally left for Frankfort and arrived there around 6 am (local time). I was a little worried that we wouldn’t make our connecting flight, but we did. The tailwinds helped us make up for lost time.

Our flight from Chicago to Frankfort was wonderful! It was about an 8-hour flight. We were in a row with 3 seats by the window. Don had the aisle seat, and I had the middle seat, but no one ever came for the window seat. So, Don eventually took the window seat so he could lean against the wall and try to sleep. I watched 2 movies: Guardians of the Galaxy 3 and John Wick 4. We arrived in Frankfort around 6am.

We walked from one end of the airport to the other to catch our Lufthansa flight to Copenhagen. It was about an hour's flight to Copenhagen and was pretty uneventful. They did give us a bottle of water and a piece of chocolate candy.

Our First Day in Copenhagen

When we got to Copenhagen, we found our luggage right away, stopped at the train kiosk, and bought a 3-day city pass smalls (400 dkk total for 2/ $58.83 USD). Then we took the #2 train one stop to Tarnby and walked 2 blocks to our hotel (Copenhagen Go Hotel ($288 USD including taxes on; we paid this online before we left home) in the rain. The room (#113) was much smaller than the last time we stayed there. The bathroom was about the size of our camper bathroom. We were able to check into our room and took an hour nap. There was no hotel safe, so we had to carry our passports and money with us when we left. It wasn’t a fancy hotel, but it was clean and comfortable. But we find this to be true of most European hotels. They offer breakfast here for an extra fee, but we usually go into town to find a local place for pastries.

We took the metro to the City Center and walked around but it was pouring rain. Then we decided to go to Fields Mall (Orestad station on the Metro) and have lunch. We found a place we ate last time and had lunch there again. The lunch buffet at Cyrus Buffet was 78 dkk per person plus 22 dkk for water (200 dkk/$26.47 USD). Then we found the supermarket (Bilka One Stop) but didn’t go in. We took the train to Norreport station and walked around. There was a market area with a lot of food vendors inside that we like to go to. Our favorite breakfast bakery, Laura’s Bakery, was no longer there but we did get a gelato (42 dkk/$6.18).

Then we took the train that we thought was to Tarnby but we ended up in Tasstrup and got off the train. We took the next train back to the City Center where we found the metro to Tarnby. A man told us that any train going to Sweden was the train that goes to Tarnby. By then we were exhausted and in bed by 8:30pm.

Day 2: August 7, 2023 - Copenhagen

Today we took a test run to the port. We took the train to the City Center (Kobenhaven H). Then we walked through the long tunnel to the Blue M4 train and took it to Orientkaj. When we got to the street, there was a sign directing us to the #25 bus stop for the cruise port. We got to Ocean Quay less than 10 minutes later, but we don’t know which terminal it will be in (there are 3).

Then we went back to City Central but after looking around, we decided it was time for lunch. We took a train back to the Orestad station where the Fields Mall is. We ate lunch again at Cyrus Buffet and had the buffet with water (180 dkk) but we had a refill on the water and it cost another 22 dkk (200 dkk/$29.71 USD)

After lunch, we went to find the Hard Rock Café and took the train to Korgens Nytorv and switched to an M4 train to Radhuspladsen station. When we walked out to the street, the Hard Rock Café was right in front of us.

After buying a magnet ($110 dkk/$16.18) , we went back to Korgens Nytorv to walk around the area. As we were walking, I saw a person that I recognized and thought I was hallucinating until she called me by name! She was Linda Gessling and I know her from my Zombie Knitpocalypse knitting retreat that I went to in June. She is with the Knitting Cruise group and will be on the same ship as we are. She told me about a Yarn shop and her husband, Steve, showed me on a map where it was. When we got there, I realized it was right across from the Market where Laura’s Bakery used to be (Norreport Metro Station).

Then we decided to go revisit Christiania (a hippie kind of area) so we went to the Christianshavn station and walked there. It has really grown in 4 years! Last time we were here, they were having the Global Marijuana March but this time, it was nice and much more sedate. We went back to Korgens Nytorv and walked around some more. By then, we decided we were tired and done for the day.

We took a train back to the Orestad station to Fields Mall. Then we went to the Bilka supermarket and bought a drink, chips, an apple, a banana, and a Smorresbord (4 pieces for 130 dkk/$19.14 USD). We should have only gotten 2 pieces instead of 4 because they were very filling and we couldn't finish them all! Our total bill was 159 dkk/$23.38 USD) We took it all back to our room and ate dinner there.

Things I’ve Learned:
  • If you don’t sign your passport and you fly to Germany, you could be fined $3000 for an invalid passport.
  • Bring your own snacks and an empty water bottle on your flight (You can fill the water bottle up at the airport after you go through security).
  • Planes are cold so dress in layers when you travel.
  • Buying a city pass for the train in Copenhagen is well worth the money.
  • Officials do randomly check for the train pass ticket so make sure you have your train pass easily accessible.
  • There are a LOT of stairs in the Metro stations. Even though there are some escalators and elevators, they may not go where you want them to go.
  • Traveling on Public Transportation can be fun. We met some interesting people who were kind and gave us suggestions of places to go see and do.

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Teaching Teamwork Skills

Teamwork is an important skill to learn in the classroom. When students get on the job site, they will be expected to work with others as a team. This is a skill that needs to be taught and students need to practice so that they can improve on using this skill. Sometimes they may have to work with someone they don’t like or agree with so they need to learn how to get past this obstacle in order to accomplish the goal. Teamwork is an essential skill for students to learn, as it will help them succeed in school and in life.

Here are some tips on how to teach teamwork in the classroom:
  • Define teamwork and its benefits. What is teamwork? Why is it important? What are the benefits of working as a team? Start by defining teamwork and its benefits for students. This will help them understand why teamwork is important and why they should be willing to work as a team.
  • Model teamwork behavior. As a teacher, you are a role model for your students. Show them what it means to be a good teammate by modeling teamwork behavior in your own interactions with them and with other adults. This includes things like being respectful, listening to others, and being willing to help out.
  • Provide opportunities for teamwork. There are many different ways to provide opportunities for teamwork in the classroom. You can assign group projects, have students work together on class activities, or even create a team-based reward system. The key is to provide students with regular opportunities to practice teamwork skills.
  • Teach teamwork skills. In addition to providing opportunities for teamwork, you can also teach students specific teamwork skills. This includes things like communication, conflict resolution, and problem-solving. There are many different resources available to help you teach these skills, such as books, articles, and online resources.
  • Celebrate teamwork successes. When students work well together as a team, be sure to celebrate their successes. This will help them feel good about their teamwork skills and encourage them to continue working as a team in the future.
Here are some additional tips for teaching teamwork in the classroom:
  • Use a variety of teamwork activities. Not all teamwork activities are created equal. Some activities are better suited for certain age groups or skill levels. Experiment with different activities to find ones that work well for your students.
  • Be patient. It takes time for students to learn teamwork skills. Don't expect them to be perfect overnight. Be patient and provide them with opportunities to practice their skills.
  • Be positive. Teamwork can be challenging, but it's also a lot of fun. Be positive and encouraging, and your students will be more likely to enjoy working as a team.
Teaching teamwork in the classroom is an important investment in your students’ future. By following these tips, you can help them develop the skills they need to be successful in school and in life.

Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

Monday, August 7, 2023

How Teachers Could Use Postage Stamps in the Classroom

You may be tempted to skip over this article but I believe that if you know a teacher or know someone else who knows a teacher, this article could be useful to them. You might have children in school or even grandchildren in school so they would have teachers who would benefit from this information. I hope you will take the time to share this with a teacher.

As our Cresthaven Stamp Club prepares for a Stamp Show on October 21, 2023, I thought about how I could show teachers that using postage stamps in the classroom is a useful tool. Maybe when teachers see the many ways that stamps can be used, they might be curious and want to visit the Stamp Show (which is a free and very interesting event!). If they aren’t near our location, they might be able to find a stamp club or show closer to where they live.

Postage stamps can be a fun and engaging way to teach a variety of subjects in the classroom. Here are some ideas for how teachers can use postal stamps to teach:
  • History: Stamps can be used to teach about historical events, people, and places. For example, teachers could use stamps to teach about the American Revolution, the Civil War, or the First World War. They could also use stamps to teach about famous historical figures, such as Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., or Marie Curie.
  • Social studies: Stamps can be used to teach about different cultures, countries, and customs. For example, teachers could use stamps to teach about the different cultures of Africa, Asia, or Europe. They could also use stamps to teach about the different countries of the world, their flags, and their capital cities.
  • Language arts: Stamps can be used to teach about different aspects of language arts, such as vocabulary, grammar, and writing. For example, teachers could use stamps to teach about words related to travel, such as "airplane," "ship," and "passport." They could also use stamps to teach about different types of writing, such as persuasive writing, narrative writing, and descriptive writing.
  • Math: Stamps can be used to teach about different aspects of math, such as counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. For example, teachers could use stamps to teach about counting by tens, hundreds, and thousands. They could also use stamps to teach about addition and subtraction problems involving money.
  • Science: Stamps can be used to teach about different aspects of science, such as animals, plants, and the environment. For example, teachers could use stamps to teach about different types of animals, such as mammals, birds, and fish. They could also use stamps to teach about different types of plants, such as trees, flowers, and vegetables.
These are just a few ideas for how teachers can use postal stamps to teach. With a little creativity, teachers can find many other ways to use stamps to make learning fun and engaging.

Here are some additional resources for teachers who want to learn more about using postal stamps in the classroom:Original photo by Pat Hensley

Friday, August 4, 2023

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 8/4/2023

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

Hello History - “An AI powered app that lets you have life-like conversations with historical figures” (L:G; SA:A)

17 AI Tools and Resources for Teachers - “I’ve put together a list that highlights some AI tools that you might want to try.” (L:T; SA:A)

Images to Inspire - great images to use for writing prompts! (L:T; SA:LA)

Hyperdocs - “HyperDocs are digital lesson plans that are designed by teachers and given to students.” (L:T; SA:A)

Centripetal Force - a collection of resources on this topic (L:T; SA:S)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, August 3, 2023

Scrapbook Pages from July 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 June. I use the website Gingerscraps for ideas and even free digital kits.

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

2023 Goals Review for July

I had a very productive July! It was extremely hot so I spent a lot of time indoors knitting. I hope next month to read a lot more books since we will be traveling. 


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 finished with my sweater. (Collins Tee)

3. Yarn - more out than in (use more yardage than I buy) – I hope I can achieve this goal but I need to get busy knitting! As of July 31:

●                  Yarn used - 7719 yds.

●                  -Yarn bought - 9009

3. Complete a shawl - I finished my Shawlography shawl

4. Try 4 new recipes. - I tried one new recipe involving Polska Kielbasa in June and Don enjoyed the meal.

5. Stretch regularly (at least 20 days out of the month) - We are walking and exercising regularly

6. Create at least 2 scrapbook pages each month. - Made 10 pages for July (Total - 70)

7. Participate in the Photo a Day challenge – Completed through July.

8. Read the Bible every day. - yes

9. Read 100 books - Read 14 in January, 2 in February, 6 in March, 5 in April. 4 in May, 3 in June,  3 in July (Total: 37)

10. Read 12 nonfiction books. – (total: 7).

-   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

-   Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth

-  I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

-  Nowhere for Very Long by Brianna Madia

-  My Extraordinary Ordinary Life by Sissy Spacek

What are your goals for this year? Please share.

Tuesday, August 1, 2023


(Now that summer is here, it is time for me to discuss different educational topics alphabetically. Please join in the conversation and tell me what you think!)

I like to start off with a rubric that helps me decide on what I want to evaluate. Then I can plan on how to teach activities that will have students master the skill that I’m teaching. Rubrics are a great way to make evaluating students.

Rubrics are a great way to assess student work in a clear and consistent way. They can be used to grade written assignments, presentations, projects, and more.

Here are some of the benefits of using rubrics in the classroom:
  • They provide clear expectations for students. Rubrics let students know what is expected of them before they start an assignment. This helps to reduce uncertainty and anxiety, and it can also help students to focus their efforts on the most important aspects of the assignment.
  • They promote consistency in grading. When teachers use rubrics, they are less likely to be influenced by their personal biases or preferences. This helps to ensure that all students are graded fairly.
  • They provide feedback to students. Rubrics can be used to give students specific feedback on their work. This feedback can help students to identify their strengths and weaknesses, and it can also help them to improve their work in the future.
  • They can be used for self-assessment. Students can use rubrics to assess their own work. This can help them to develop their self-awareness and self-regulation skills.
Here are some tips for using rubrics in the classroom:
  • Start by identifying the learning objectives for the assignment. What do you want students to learn from the assignment? Once you know the learning objectives, you can start to develop the criteria for the rubric.
  • Make sure the criteria are clear and specific. Students should be able to understand what is expected of them without having to guess.
  • Use a variety of levels of performance. This will help students to see how their work compares to the expectations.
  • Use clear and concise language. The language of the rubric should be easy for students to understand.
  • Share the rubric with students before they start the assignment. This will help them to understand what is expected of them and to focus their efforts on the most important aspects of the assignment.
  • Use the rubric to give feedback to students. When you give feedback to students, be sure to refer to the criteria in the rubric. This will help students to understand why they received the grade they did.
Rubrics are a valuable tool for assessing student work. By following these tips, you can use rubrics to help students learn, grow, and improve.

Do you use rubrics in your classroom? What do you use them for? Please share.