Jul
01
Filed Under (Uncategorized) by on July 1, 2011

This blog is now an archive of my former life, particularly as a teacher at North Shore Country Day School.  Since my last post, I have gotten divorced, been remarried, lost 2 stepdaughters, gained a stepdaughter and stepson, and I gave birth to our now 9-month-old son.  I also lost my job but fortunately landed a new one. Stay tuned for a link to my new blog which will encompass a broader range of topics such as parenting, married life, autism, teaching, and life in general.

Nov
15
Filed Under (Uncategorized) by on November 15, 2009

Well, it feels like a hundred years since my last post.  I will give myself a break because I am going through a divorce and life has been a bit insane.  This blog just couldn’t be one of my major priorities.

But here I am, getting back up onto the horse.

I still teach 3rd grade at North Shore Country Day School in Winnetka, IL.  I like my new group this year.  Thanks to life being complicated, they have not done much of their own blogging yet.  I have decided to move our class blog to Edublogs this year, instead of using Blogmeister.  I find that this format is much more user friendly for me – we’ll see if that translates to them.

Stay tuned for the introduction of their new page once I get some more of their first posts edited and published!

It’s good to be back.

Feb
07
Filed Under (Uncategorized) by on February 7, 2009

As mentioned in last week’s post, I gave a presentation called “Blogging in a 3rd Grade Classroom.”  I am happy to say that it was well attended and I think it went pretty well.  It is always difficult to tell whether people are quiet because they are overwhelmed, soaking up your every word, or bored stiff.  I created a wiki that contains all of my links and text from my slides.  (I am not sharing the actual slides because I used some awesome pictures of my 3rd grade cuties that I do not have permission to share.)

I told the participants like I am now telling you, I want to be a resource to others.  Technology is easier to implement if you have a network of teachers to bounce ideas off of.  I can tell you what works, what doesn’t, and any other tips I have picked up along the way.

This is the name of the presentation I am giving at the Northern Illinois Computing Educators (NICE) Mini-Conference this Saturday, January 31st.  Stay tuned for my presentation notes, complete with links to various tools and resources.

To prepare for my workshop, my 3rd graders created posts today on our classroom blog that are reflections on the blogging experience.  The questions I asked them were: What do you like about blogging?  Why is it different then writing things down in your writer’s notebook?  Do you like giving or receiving comments better?  What is your favorite comment that you received?  What is your favorite post that you have written?  What else would you like to write about on the blog?

Here are some of their thoughts:

“I like blogging because typing is easier and you don’t get writer’s cramp.”

“I like receiving comments because each new one is from a new person in the world.”

“I like blogging because it is relaxing.”

Please visit “The View from 3rd Grade” to read the rest of their thoughts.  Please also take 5 minutes to leave a comment.  The 3rd graders have worked hard and they get so jazzed when others notice!

Jan
27

Well, some of you might think that I disappeared and I guess you would be correct.  I never planned to take such a long hiatus from posting but sometimes life happens and there’s nothing you can do but go with the flow.  The day after the election (my last post), my step-daughter, a freshman in college was rushed to the hospital complaining of chest pains.  You can imagine that this almost caused my husband to go into cardiac arrest ourselves since we live in Evanston, IL and she is in Buffalo, NY.  Fortunately they found out it was ONLY gallstones.  Unfortunately, the best course of action was to have the gall bladder removed entirely.  Well, everything came out all right in the end (ha-ha-ha) but it was a bumpy road of healthy days followed by frantic calls when the pain would flare up again.

Anyway . . . I find it particularly funny that I was “offline” during the official end of Bush’s presidency.  Now I can jump back into blogging, full of gratitude for skilled surgeons, hope for a renewed America, and ideas to share with you all.

Happy New Year!

Nov
04
Filed Under (Uncategorized) by on November 4, 2008

It is one thing to study or discuss history – it is another thing to watch it unfold in front of you.  I never thought I would see an African-American president in my lifetime.  I definitely never expected someone as capable and wonderful as Barak Obama.  I have nothing else to say except that my heart is full of hope.  God Bless America.

Halloween can be so much fun, but it’s also a “lost day” for curriculum.  Earlier in the week I had let our 3rd graders go onto their blog pages to create titles and choose templates.  Their excitement was encouraging and I thought that maybe I could have them begin to create their first posts on Friday (also Halloween).

The assignment for their first posts was about friendship and they had to respond to the following questions:  What qualities do you look for in a friend? What are some responsibilities that you have toward your friends? If friendship were a color, what color would it be for you? How are you a good friend to other people? What’s your favorite thing to do with a friend?

At 8:00am they arrived to school bouncing off the walls and in full costume.  We had 3 of the 4 Beatles, a ladybug, a birthday present, Indiana Jones, and so on.  By 8:20 I was reminding them that the parade was not until 10:00 and we that we needed them to calm down and cooperate.  Now I was having serious misgivings about doing anything academic.

At 8:30, half of the class went to science and the other half followed me (dressed as Bob the Builder) into our smaller room down the hall.  They were very excited when I told them to each get a laptop because we would be writing our first blog posts.  I gave directions while demonstrating on my new smartboard and set them to work.  I walked around between the tables to monitor their progress and to be available for tech assistance.  As I walked around I realized very quickly that it was totally silent except for the sound of fingers tapping on the keyboards.  Here were thirteen 8 and 9-year old kids in full costume, working, focused, engaged, happy.  It was an awesome sight.  I was further amazed when almost half of them completed the post before time was up.  I was only requiring 4 sentences, but that can take an eternity for a child who is new to typing.

Now our classroom blog is up and running!  Please click here to see The View From 3rd Grade or click the link to the right under the “Additions” menu.  The 3rd graders are excited and ready to receive comments from you.  Drop on in for a visit!

Oct
19
Filed Under (Uncategorized) by on October 19, 2008

Here are your lyrics for the week. Some really great selections! I really feel the need to burn CDs of these. Thanks again for the opportunity to host these.

***********************

Amy

This week’s theme song is all about how to be in charge of my own destiny but not let the details trip me up. “Miniature Disasters” (click link for YouTube video) by KT Tunstall also talks about just letting things play out instead of always being on edge – something I really need to hear these days!

I don’t want to be second best
Don’t want to stand in line
Don’t want to fall behind
Don’t want to get caught out
Don’t want to do without
And the lesson I must learn
Is that I’ve got to wait my turn

Looks like I got to be hot and cold
I got to be taught and told
Got to be good as gold
But perfectly honest
I think it would be good for me
Coz it’s a hindrance to my health
I’m a stranger to myself

Miniature disasters and minor catastrophes
Bring me to my knees
Well I must be my own master
Or a miniature disaster will be
It will be the death of me

I don’t have to raise my voice
Don’t have to be underhand
Just got to understand
That it’s gonna be up and down
It’s gonna be lost and found
And I can’t take to the sky
Before I like it on the ground

And i need to be patient
And i need to be brave
Need to discover
How i need to behave
And I’ll find out the answers
When i know what to ask
But i speak a different language
And everybody’s talking too fast

Miniature disasters and minor catastrophes
Bring me to my knees

Well I must be my own master
or a miniature disaster will be
I’ve got to run a little faster
Or a miniature disaster will be
Well I need to know I’ll last if a little
Miniature disaster hits me
It could be the death of me

Amy. http//amykenyon.edublogs.org

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Kevin

My Sentence: I can’t help but wonder what it must be like to be a stock broker these days, wandering the wreckage of the economy.

My Reflection: And this reminds me of a song that I wrote a few years ago with my older band. The song is called: Stockbroker’s Blues.

Listen to the song:
http://www.box.net/shared/static/onnppg0i1l.mp3

Lyrics:

THE STOCKBROKER’S BLUES

I got the stocks
I got the bonds
I’ve got the whiskey
to tie one on
I’ve got the money
I’ve got the gold
I’ve got companies down on their knees
being sold

You know it’s funny
these games we play
All of that money
Bound to drive a man insane

I’ve got the mansions
I’ve got the cars
I’m laughing and smoking
Cuban cigars
Living the high life
Making the calls
Hoping and praying the market
doesn’t fall

You know it’s funny
these games we play
All of that money
Bound to drive a man insane

Now I’ve got nothing
I lost it so fast
One day I’m up
and the next day I’ve crashed
Five-cent deposits
Thunderbird wine
That’s how I spend my days,
killing time

You know it’s funny
these games we play

All of that money

Bound to drive a man insane

Kevin. http://dogtrax.edublogs.org/

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Nancy

This week, we celebrated our first wedding anniversary, so the theme of this week is our wedding song, O Bla Di, Oh Bla Da:

Desmond has his barrow in the market place…
Molly is the singer in a band…
Desmond says to Molly “Girl, I like your face”
And Molly says this as she takes him by the hand…
Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah!…
Lala how the life goes on…
Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah!…
Lala how the life goes on.

Desmond takes a trolley to the jewelry store…
Buys a twenty carat golden ring… (Golden ring)
Takes it back to Molly waiting at the door…
And as he gives it to her she begins to sing… (Sing)
Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah!…
Lala how the life goes on…
Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah!…
Lala how the life goes on.

In a couple of years they have built a home sweet home,
With a couple of kids running in the yard,
Of Desmond and Molly Jones… (Ha ha ha ha ha)

Happy ever after in the market place…
Desmond lets the children lend a hand…
Molly stays at home and does her pretty face…
And in the evening she still sings it with the band…
Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah!…
Lala how the life goes on…
Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah!…
Lala how the life goes on.

In a couple of years they have built a home sweet home,
With a couple of kids running in the yard,
Of Desmond and Molly Jones… (Ha ha ha ha ha)

Happy ever after in the market place…
Molly lets the children lend a hand…
Desmond stays at home and does his pretty face…
And in the evening she’s a singer with the band…
Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah!…
Lala how the life goes on…
Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah!…

Lala how the life goes on.

Nancy. http://ncavillones.tumblr.com

*************************

Bonnie

Being in Israel I have to share my favorite Israeli writer/singer, David Broza and his powerful words. I hope the new Prime Minister is listening…
Yihiyeh Tov – Things Will Be Better

—————————————

I stand looking out the window
And the picture makes me sad
Will the springtime as it passes
Take with it the hope we had?

For the prophet becomes the clown now
And the clown becomes the king
We have lost most everything yeah
But this dream to which we cling….

Things will get better
They’ll get better, yeah
If we hold together now
Though the night be dark
There’s a saving spark
If our hearts will show us how

I watch our children put on wings
And fly off to the killing field
Though their dreams will not see daylight
With the guns they bravely wield
All the pain and fear and hatred
Slowly steal our very breath
While between acts of atrocity
We breathe a moment’s peace from death

Things will get better…

In the coming summer sky
As the fire of bullets rain
Spins a gleaming streak of silver
Maybe another hijacked plane
A government of generals
Divides our troubled land
This for them and that for us
To the left and the right hand

Things will be better…

May we one day live together
Underneath the olive tree
Leave a land unto our children
Without the bombs and boundaries
May these graves seed the future
In a sweeter soil of peace
Let these bitter years of struggle
Finally one day cease

Things will get better
They’ll get better, yeah
If we hold together now
Though the night be dark

There’s a saving spark

http://blk1.edublogs.org

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Mathew
Since you said theme song I find my brain working through theme songs this week more specifically than lyrics…

I’m working at two schools this year and so it has been harder to get to know people and for them to get to know me. It’s true that sometimes “you wanna go where everybody knows your name,” (Cheers). There’s so much to do and less time to do it in but I know that if “you give [me] any chance [I'll] take it,” (Laverne and Shirley). Slowly but surely I’m making inroads. There’s just one teacher I haven’t yet been able to talk to; he “”will never speak unless he has something to say,” (Mr. Ed).

Mathew. http://www.needleworkspictures.com/ocr/blog

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Sara

this week has been tiring, as a teacher, as a team-member. teaching writing is awesome, and exhausting. i feel like the more i know, the more i know i’m not doing. it will get better, i’m sure, but for now, i’m tossing in some lyrics from ben folds’ “bastard”:

You get smaller as the world gets big
The more you know you know you don’t know shit
“The Whiz Man” will never fit you like “The Whiz Kid” did

So why you gotta act like you know when you don’t know?
It’s OK if you don’t know everything
So why you gotta act like you know when you don’t know?
It’s OK if you don’t know everything

Kids today gettin’ old too fast
they can’t wait to grow up so they can kiss some ass
They get nostalgic about the last ten years
before the last ten years have passed

So why you gotta act like you know when you don’t know?
It’s OK if you don’t know everything
So why you gotta act like you know when you don’t know?

It’s OK if you don’t know everything

Sara. http://sarap-c.blogspot.com

*************************

Ken Allan

My second to oldest daughter, Josephine (22) took off for her world trip with her boy friend and lover just over a month ago. She is traveling up through Peru at the moment and will cross USA early next year, thence to Ireland, Britain and Europe.

She is a great kid, with sense, brains and ambition. Though she takes off sometimes like a rocket with a short fuse, she has far more direction – and we all love her. This week she sent us all presents from Peru.

Here, Billy Joel’s ‘Vienna Waits For You’ has lyrics that in many ways are apt for Josephine:

Slow down, you crazy child
you’re so ambitious for a juvenile
But then if you’re so smart, tell me
Why are you still so afraid?

Where’s the fire, what’s the hurry about?
You’d better cool it off before you burn it out
You’ve got so much to do and
Only so many hours in a day

But you know that when the truth is told..
That you can get what you want or you get old
You’re gonna kick off before you even
Get halfway through
When will you realize, Vienna waits for you?

Slow down, you’re doing fine
You can’t be everything you want to be
Before your time
Although it’s so romantic on the borderline tonight
Tonight,…
Too bad but it’s the life you lead
you’re so ahead of yourself that you forgot what you need
Though you can see when you’re wrong, you know
You can’t always see when you’re right. you’re right

You’ve got your passion, you’ve got your pride
but don’t you know that only fools are satisfied?
Dream on, but don’t imagine they’ll all come true
When will you realize, Vienna waits for you?

Slow down, you crazy child
and take the phone off the hook and disappear for awhile
it’s all right, you can afford to lose a day or tw
When will you realize,..Vienna waits for you?
And you know that when the truth is told
that you can get what you want or you can just get old
You’re gonna kick off before you even get half through
Why don’t you realize,. Vienna waits for you
When will you realize, Vienna waits for you?

And the melody, for those not familiar:

Vienna Waits For You

Ken Allan. http://newmiddle-earth.blogspot.com

Oct
14

For those of you who missed the saga last week – Kevin let me host “Day in a Sentence” on my blog and then Edublogs was having technical difficulty. As a result, Kevin is letting me host again using the same theme. We did get some people to submit last week, but we would love to get even more this time! Please check out my earlier blog post with a lengthy description and example. This week even I will keep it simple:

This week’s theme song is all about how to be in charge of my own destiny but not let the details trip me up. “Miniature Disasters” by KT Tunstall also talks about just letting things play out instead of always being on edge – something I really need to hear these days! I don’t want to be second best/Don’t want to stand in line/Don’t want to fall behind/Don’t want to get caught out/Don’t want to do without/And the lesson I must learn/Is that I’ve got to wait my turn

And i need to be patient/And i need to be brave/Need to discover/How i need to behave/And I’ll find out the answers/When i know what to ask/But i speak a different language/And everybody’s talking too fast

Miniature disasters and minor catastrophes/Bring me to my knees/Well I must be my own master/Or a miniature disaster will be/It will be the death of me – Amy. http//amykenyon.edublogs.org

So here we go again. Let’s hear the music from your week.

Oct
12
Filed Under (Uncategorized) by on October 12, 2008

The Edublogs team has apologized profusely for the problems with speed and stability this week. Now that upgrades have been made, things should run much more smoothly. As a consequence, we didn’t receive as many submissions this week, so Kevin has graciously allowed me to host again this next week. We will continue with the same theme, but I will have to come up with a new song for my week!

Here are this week’s musical sentences:

First a would have to choose an excerpt from “Runaway” by Del Shannon for our 3rd grade classroom gerbil who I feared had escaped forever – “I’m a walking in the rain/Tears are falling and I feel the pain/wishing you were here by me/To end this misery”. Next I will go with a song from my favorite, feel good, silly, black & white musical – Naughty Marietta. This is for later that same morning when Elvis (that’s the gerbil’s name) was sighted running around near my desk – “Ah sweet mystery of life at last I found thee!” Repeated attempts to catch the little furball were not working and song titles popped into my head: “Runaround” by Blues Traveler, “Bad to the Bone” by George Thorogood, and “Devil in Disguise” by Elvis (of course!) The good news is that I finally caught Elvis and returned him to his cage where his buddy, Hershey, gave him a welcoming cuddle. My last song would have to celebrate my skills as a patient gerbil mommy and a relentless wildlife tracker – “The Seeker” by The Who. “They call me The Seeker/I’ve been searching low and high/I won’t get to get what I’m after/Till the day I die.” – Amy. http://amykenyon.edublogs.org/

___________________

With one month behind us now in the school year and the summer seemingly far behind, the lyrical line that runs through my head is from a Semisonic song that reminds us that, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” — Kevin. http://dogtrax.edublogs.org/

——————————-

Kia ora tatou!

This week my youngest daughter, Catriona (14), returned from her 10 day mission in Fiji. We’d all missed her during the time she was away, and since there was no mobile connection for her phone in Fiji, she was unable to call us. She arrived just before 1am on Wednesday. Catriona has a rainbow across two walls of her bedroom. I painted the rainbow there before she was born. When I awoke later that morning, Catriona was still asleep.

I choose Joni Mitchell’s Chelsea Morning as a whole verse and chorus is very appropriate:

Woke up, it was a Chelsea morning,
And the first thing that I saw,
Was the sun through yellow curtains,
And a rainbow on the wall.
Blue, red, green and gold to welcome you,
Crimson crystal beads to beckon.

Oh, won’t you stay,
Well put on the day,
There’s a sun show every second.




Ka kite
from Middle-earth
http://newmiddle-earth.blogspot.com/

———————–

Hi Amy,
I like this prompt a lot as well but every time I clicked to this wiki page, I drew a blank, but I do have an easy song to satisfy my j trip that begins on Sunday. “I am leaving on the jet plane” (Peter, Paul and Mary) and I do know when I’ll be back again. It’s a strange time to be traveling outside the US given the economy and upcoming election but a trip is a trip to enjoy! We won’t be away for long; just long enough to feel the unique life in Israel and our love of being there. Can’t wait to test my new Hebrew after a few months of on Hebrew 101. Anyway, I’ll be coming to you from Tel Aviv next week. Hold the down fort for me and stay positive. – Bonnie. http://[email protected]

———————–

Hi Amy
We have had so many problems with edublogs over the last couple of weeks as well and it is most annoying. I am a bit like Bonnie although I am actually glad that I am not leaving on a jet plane for a while as I have really enjoyed being home again on our farm, so my song for this week is “Take me home country road” by John Denver
Anne Mirtschin. http://murcha.wordpress.com

______________

I really like this prompt! But I really suck at the wiki. )

Anyway…my song is “Taking the Long Way” by the Dixie Chicks.
“I never seem to do it like anybody else…but if you ever want to find me I can still be found, taking the long way!” I left out a few words, but this sums up my inability to take the easy way.

This reminds me of Ally McBeal and her theme song. ) -LisaC. http://alotalot.wordpress.com

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From Wilco, one of my favorite bands who delivers lines with a touch of sarcasm… “I am trying to break your heart. I am trying to break your heart. But still I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t easy. I am trying to break your heart.” – Mathew. http://needleworkspictures.com/ocr/blog

_____________

Amy: Today I’m not working on my own writing, but trying to be be a helpful critique-r person…I took time out to visit your blog, just so that I’d have something else to ponder for awhile. Delightful twist on the “Day in a Sentence” routine! The following lyrics are stuck in my head: “Well, it’s hard to be a gambler betting on the number that changes every time…she’s a complicated lady, so color my baby, moody blue.” Maybe the Elvis reference triggered it…but there you go. I’m feeling colored moody.
Alex Moore
Visit my tips for writers at http://alex-moore.blogspot.com