PUDLECRAZY   97,118
SparkPoints
80,000-99,999 SparkPoints
 
 
PUDLECRAZY's Recent Blog Entries

Mystery Solved!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Our sweet chickens had stopped laying their eggs in their nest boxes... I think in this heat, their coop was just too hot for spending any time in. We just couldn't find where they were thinking the appropriate nest was.

Yesterday, I heard some gentle clucking behind an overgrown area of the yard,



so I walked back there to peek. Mike had left the garden cart with weeds for composting back there. The girls thought it was the perfect place to cozy up and lay their eggs in peace.



It is a spot I would pick if I were a chicken. I am betting that it was Eleanor who chose the spot; she definitely makes good choices and is the Leader of the Pack.



Too bad for us though. With the temperatures in the high 90's for the past few days, I am thinking that they are most likely not edible, and sadly since we no longer have a rooster, they will not hatch into little fluffball chickies.


What have I been doing in addition to being Sleuth Extraordinaire?

This is my weekend to get back on track with my physical exercise. On Saturday, I went to Body Pump class, and added on more weight to a few of the routines. It is a very intense routine and I love it!

www.lesmills.com/global/bodypump/bod
ypump-group-fitness-class.aspx


Yesterday, I washed and waxed my car by hand. Since I have to protect my hips and back, it involved a lot of squats (great for my aching muscles from Body Pump) and since I am short, it also involved some chair climbing. Then wax on, wax off. There is no car wash category in the fitness tracker, but I unrepentantly added it in as heavy housework. I don't THINK I was cheating......

I also did some power yoga. With the weight lifting, I know muscles can tighten up and I want to preserve my flexibility as I regain my strength. Since I have been practicing yoga for many years, I am still very flexible for my age, and want to keep it that way.

Over the last two days I have also FINALLY had time to spend concentrated time with my music. Back to tremolo practice for my flamenco guitar... I have some very difficult passages to work on. They will take months - who knows maybe years, to master. Part of the challenge is getting my hands around some of the stretches needed for the some of the difficult chords.

I started learning to play "Rainbow Connection" on my little ukulele. I have been listening to Willie Nelson's version of it (with guitar - not uke emoticon) which is wonderful. I love the way he sings it. Of course, my version will be in my own voice and style.

Today I need to clean the inside of my car, finish doing the laundry and ironing, make up lunches for the rest of the week, and vacuum. This afternoon I will get together with my buddies for singing. They are also teachers, and we have all been too busy to see each other for the last couple of weeks. It will be great to catch up with each other.

Stella knows how to spend her Labor Day weekend!



Have a wonderful Labor Day, and stay safe!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FIFIFRIZZLE 10/3/2011 1:31AM

    This made me smile and thinking of the girls' reaction when you move all those eggs reminded me of when we introduced two new girls to the flock. She and her sister were the tough chicks and they ganged up and put the homies in their place. When I took the first lot of eggs they laid, one of them was totally horrified. She ran into the nesting box, stuck her head inside, sqwaked and ran round the yard looking in all the bushes to see where those eggs had gone. She kept a very close eye on me after that and even after many months, she doesn't totally trust me.
Chickens are dear little creatures.

Report Inappropriate Comment
TRULYVISIBLE 9/9/2011 4:02PM

  Pic of Stella, too cute! Too bad it is so far away from Easter, you could decorate those eggs but NOT eat them. Like hearing about personalities of chickens since I have never had the pleasure of being around them. I think any animal can be sweet and loving, it is all how you interact with them. If you had them from babies and you gave them love, they will give it back to you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MARY1313 9/7/2011 10:10AM

    WOW! so many eggs, poor little things they were all back up HAHAHA!!!! I love Stella's carefree lounging. and that's the way it should be.

Great that you got in exercise and time for fun!!

Mary

Report Inappropriate Comment
NANHBH 9/6/2011 12:58PM

    Your animals sure know how to make themselves cozy! Love the photos.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MCGS62 9/6/2011 8:23AM

    Oh sneaky chickens!!
that's funny do you think they were hiding the eggs from you?

Did you get your ukulele's back in one piece??

Report Inappropriate Comment
OVERWORKEDJANET 9/6/2011 5:29AM

    Happy back to the old routine day!
Love the pictures. My neighbor has a rooster who crows all day long. I'd rather listen to him than my other neighbor's cockatoo who screeches all day long!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GINGERPAWZ 9/6/2011 12:12AM

    Wonderful Blog. Loved the pictures. Hope you have a good week.

Sharon

Report Inappropriate Comment
AMYBELLES 9/5/2011 11:09PM

    I have fond memories of doing a 4H science unit of hatching chicks for quite a few years with my second graders. I never thought I would want to own chickens though, since I thought they weren't very personable. Yours sound fun though! I love the pic of Stella. Our Cairns sit or sleep on our sofas in the weirdest positions, too!

Sounds like you had a very busy day planned. Mine was more like Stella's! My first day of school with students is tomorrow, so I decided to be completely lazy!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PUDLECRAZY 9/5/2011 8:37PM

    It depends on how they are raised. Chickens can be very friendly, and when you only have a few, their personalities really shine through. We used to have a sultan chicken. Sultans are small, about the size of a cockatoo, and with a mop of feathers on the top of their heads. They look like they were designed by Dr, Seuss. Arnie, our sultan, would come where called and ride around on our shoulders like a parrot.

I love our chickens. They were hatched in the kindergarten and have been hand raised since then. They love their people and even put up with Stella.

Report Inappropriate Comment
IAMWINNING 9/5/2011 7:30PM

    Ok, so I never found my grandfather's chickens willing to warm up to me, but I was a big help to him in 'cleaning' the eggs to ready them for market. Loved your blog.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CELLOPLAYER1 9/5/2011 7:24PM

    Chickens are fun. We currently have around 25 hens. We recently have lost around 20 hens we think to a weasle. My husband filled a few holes around the coupe so hopefully has solved the problem.

emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
PONYFARMER 9/5/2011 6:58PM

    I have to disagree with MommaLittle, chickens can be very sweet. I had one that would like to go for a ride on my horse with us. She also used my mare to stay safe from the coyotes at night. I had to hens who were such pets that my friends kids would come over and want to hold them and carry them around.

Like yours, I had hens hide eggs all the time, but with a rooster, before you know it the adorable little chics added to our farm. The banty mom had to fight off the hawks to protect them. All in a days work for a hen.

Stella, and my Puddles and Joy-Joy are making the best use of a lazy, very hot and humid day. With the air on they are all napping. I am thinking of getting off here and joining them.

Report Inappropriate Comment
VALERIEMAHA 9/5/2011 6:51PM

    You and your menagerie NEVER CEASE TO AMAZE ME!!!
emoticon
Maha

Report Inappropriate Comment
IUHRYTR 9/5/2011 6:48PM

    Mystery solved and a picture of Stella. Joy. -- Lou

Report Inappropriate Comment
OLDERDANDRT 9/5/2011 4:41PM

    Ah, precious Stella. That's pretty much what I'm doing today! It's be so nice to do it with a fuzzy poodle!!!! If ever I get another dog, I am seriously considering a standard poodle!!! For now, I'm lovin' my little heinz variety.
You'll master the flamenco guitar. Probably faster than you give yourself credit for!
Be well, my friend!! emoticon
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
KASEYCOFF 9/5/2011 10:47AM

    And here I was thinking that you are truly turning this into LABOR Day, lol... I'd rather take a cue from Stella!

One of these days - after my ship comes in - I was planning to take piano lessons. Never had one in my life, but I think it would be brilliant. However, you are inspiring me to consider guitar - nothing flashy like flamenco (!) but to learn the basics would be very gratifying.

I'm with you on the yoga.

Re the chickens: isn't it funny how broody hens will try to hide their nests. Must be the old instinctual thing about protection from predators--?
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLS-NY2IN 9/5/2011 10:28AM

    emoticonloved your pictures and all your accomplishments.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LITTLEFARMMOMMA 9/5/2011 10:06AM

    How adorable! We have had chickens for years and years, and I have never seen them as pets the way you described yours! They are very impersonal creatures without a sweet bone in their feathery bodies! emoticonNext time I'm out at the chicken coop, I will try to determine if they really do have personalities... our rooster, however, is a very mean guy! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MIMIDOT 9/5/2011 9:39AM

    Thanks for sharing. Very interesting. I had to laugh when you said "the girls". My son had chickens and called them that too. Good luck to you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
THREADS3 9/5/2011 9:10AM

    Why do dogs sleep with their head over the edge like your does?

I have also seen coyotes do the same thing when they are domesticated. :)

Report Inappropriate Comment


Ukulele Ladies

Sunday, September 04, 2011

I am amazed!

Wednesday was the first day of school; one of the lessons was the children's first music lesson. I introduced the ukulele to them, taught them about the parts of the ukulele, how to tune them (G-good C-cats E-eat A-ants) and their first chord, the C chord.

On Thursday's music class, we reviewed Wednesday's lesson, practiced a strumming technique, and added the G7 chord. I told them that once they learned how to move smoothly between the C and G7 chords, I had a few songs they could learn. Once they learned a third chord, F, there were many songs that they could play.

We did not have music class on Friday because Friday afternoons are project time. The children have some open time to work on projects of their choice ~ science, art, construction, etc. I told them that I would have time during project time to help them with guitar or ukulele. Two boys and one girl wanted to work on their guitar skills and all of the rest of the girls wanted to work on their ukulele skills. I told the uke players to practice moving from C to G7 while I helped the guitar players.

When I got back to the uke players they said, "Teach us that other chord!"
I said first they needed to be able to go from C to G7 as they strummed.
"We already can!"
And they could. So I taught them F and sent them back to practice moving from one chord to the next, while I worked with the guitar players.

The girls returned saying, "Teach us a song!"
"Can you move from C to G7 to F?"
"Yes!"
And they could. So I taught them the chord progression to the Crawdad Song, a song they already know how to sing.

Off they went to practice it.

By the end of project time, they were singing and playing the Crawdad Song, glowing with accomplishment. And I was amazed. Really, I had anticipated that children would be learning a 2 chord song by sometime next week, and here these children were already playing and singing a three chord song.

"Can we take a ukulele home to practice with?"
"Hmmmm, I don't think so; I'm worried about keeping them in good shape if they start going home."
"But it's a L-O-N-G weekend! We want to practice. We were planning a play date to practice. Pleeeeease?"

They were committed. They were joyful and enthusiastic. They are responsible children. So I made copies of the song and chord changes, they selected which ukuleles to take home, tucked their music into the gig bags and headed home for the long weekend. I think I'll have the start of a girl band when they return.

These are the experiences that make teaching so gratifying. I love it!



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MCGS62 9/6/2011 8:15AM

    good teaching!! I never knew how to tune a ukulele !! I learned something too!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PUDLECRAZY 9/5/2011 9:17AM

    Thank you for your comments.

I teach because I hated school, believe it or not. I have had and have seen burned out teachers who stay in the job because they have to. Because of that, I made a promise to myself when I started teaching, that I would change careers if I stopped loving what I do. It isn't that I love every moment of it. Being an excellent teacher is HARD work, but I do not want to be less than excellent. The joys are what propel me through the tough times and there are joys both small and large each day.



emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 9/5/2011 8:48AM

    What a great great start to your school year: for your students and for you.

Teaching matters so much; and it's marvellous that you have sustained your enthusiasm and your joy!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GOLIGHTLY344 9/4/2011 10:19PM

    It brings a small tear to my eye. So exciting!
When I taught elementary ages, mixed ages, we learned the recorder. I received a letter from a former student, now in Texas, announcing high school graduation and acceptance at college: 'my girl' was 1 out of 5 accepted into a special group of musicians. Pretty amazing how she had followed through on music all thru the years. There were others too who benefitted from early music lessons at school.
I am so in favor of teaching music to young children. They do especially well when they can play with their friends at school.
Good for you to let them continue over the weekend!!
btw: this Sat and Sun we are going to a ukulele festival. I'll attend 6 workshops given by very talented musicians!
in St. Helena, CA. a rousing musical event. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LITTLEFARMMOMMA 9/4/2011 3:26PM

    I LOVE it! I wish I had a ukulele teacher when I was in school! What a wonderful teacher you must be to have them so excited about it! They will never forget this, not ever! emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MARY1313 9/4/2011 1:43PM

    Oh that is so great! a love for music, when taught early stays forever! that is just wonderful! thanks for letter their enthusiasm continue by allowing them to take them home!

Mary

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOR2BFIT 9/4/2011 12:25PM

    That is so fantastic! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
NANHBH 9/4/2011 8:57AM

    What a cool story! You've created music beasts!
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
OVERWORKEDJANET 9/4/2011 8:41AM

    Many days in my house as a child were spent playing the uke.
I meant to ask where did you get the colored ones? I am going to Hawaii in 3 weeks and will bring my DD (and me)a good one.She wants one for Lucas and I suggested I'd ask you about yours. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
EDWINA172 9/4/2011 8:23AM

    WOW! Sounds so exciting. Wish I had a teacher like you when I was their age. You are going to make such an impact on their lives. Be proud of yourself:) Have a great weekend!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KASEYCOFF 9/4/2011 7:32AM

    I am so totally in agreement with your decision to allow the girls to take the ukes home for the holiday weekend! How much better to risk the (minimal) damage that could occur rather than dash cold water on their enthusiasm and motivation. It may be that those 'are the experiences that make teaching so gratifying,' but I would venture to add those 'are the experiences that mark outstanding teachers.'
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment


Ukes and Hikes - Yikes!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Well, we are off to a great start! My class is small, but darling, and the parent community really feels like a community this year. It is fun to start the year feeling healthy and energized, which after landing on my head, getting a concussion and stitches before the start of school was an experience I didn't get.last summer



We started our ukulele lessons yesterday on the first day of school. The ukes were a huge hit, although some children want to always get the same color uke for practice sessions. I did not promise that would happen, but I understand their attachments. Those ukes are pretty darn cute!

Today we went on a two hour nature hike, something that I hope to do once a week throughout the school year. In the dead of winter, our hikes may be considerably shorter out of necessity.



It was VERY hot and muggy today. We had a thunderstorm in the morning and the humidity was almost unbearable for the rest of the day.



Fortunately, it was quite a few degrees cooler in the woods, and the water coming from the spring was cold and refreshing. There was also an opportunity to splash around in the cold spring water.



We were all tired by the time we returned to school for the end of the school day, hot and sweaty, and ready to flop down on the couches. It was a good hot and sweaty though - we had a great nature walk. We saw deer, spiders, caterpillars, jewel weed (which was a big hit making their seed pods pop), fossils, fish, and many different plants. We hugged some trees - yes, we ARE tree huggers!

A reporter for the local newspaper came by after school to interview the teachers about our school and program. We had a good interview session with her, but it was 4:30 before I could head home. I had to be back at school for the Welcome Back picnic at six, so I had a quick nap, a shower, and a change of clothes since I was covered with sweat and mud, By the time I got back to school, I wondered why I bothered. My dress was already clinging to me and I was dripping sweat again by the time I got there. We were all in the same condition though. When I hugged people, we stuck together because of the humidity. It is supposed to be in the mid 90s again tomorrow, but at least it is supposed to cool down a bit tonight.


emoticonThe scale has not been good to me this week. I had been consistently maintaining my weight all summer, but since the school work bee on Saturday, and spending almost every waking minute since then getting my classroom ready, then starting the school year, I gained 4 pounds. I know it is because a) I have been so busy I have eaten out more than usual. and b) I simply have not had time to exercise. This is one of the things I have worried about all summer and am determined not to let become a pattern in my busy life. I know I am extremely busy at the beginning of the school year, and adjusting to waking earlier. Things will settle down some in the next few weeks. I have to find a way to keep up many or most of the exercise routines I established over the summer. I do have my Saturday morning Body Pump class to look forward to this week, and I did get in a 2 hour hike up and down hills today.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NANHBH 9/3/2011 2:12AM

    WOW, what an awesome teacher you are! Love hearing about your students and their escapades!

Report Inappropriate Comment
IUHRYTR 9/2/2011 11:17PM

    Your students are blessed to have an energetic and creative teacher as yourself. The start of a new job or school year is hectic and seems to find a way to take more time than we anticipated but when things slow down I'm sure you'll be back at the exercise. -- Lou

Report Inappropriate Comment
THEBILLY 9/2/2011 11:20AM

    What an AWESOME class. Hiking AND ukuleles?!?! I'm IN!
Don't sell yourself too short--still making it to class and going on a nice hike--that's some good exercising!
I imagine the first couple weeks of school can be tough. You're strong! You'll come out on top.
(take some dumbbells with you!)

Report Inappropriate Comment
VALERIEMAHA 9/2/2011 11:09AM

    HUH??? -- "which after landing on my head, getting a concussion and stitches before the start of school."

I'm SO glad to hear that you have a "DARLING" small class with, hopefully, more supportive parents this year (parent "COMMUNITY")!!!!!!

All-Time Best Teacher Award to you:
emoticon
Maha

Report Inappropriate Comment
MARY1313 9/2/2011 10:25AM

    Wow hectic for sure, but it sounds like you still had fun. Yep the heat and humidity is killing us here too. But I heard on the news that it's only going to be in the 80's on Labor Day!!!! Love that for sure. I'm ready for the heat to go away.

thanks for your post I always enjoy it!

Mary

Report Inappropriate Comment
MCGS62 9/2/2011 8:44AM

    Beautiful!! I wish school was a little more like this when I was young. Do you teach standard school subjects too?
you should teach me how to spell ... and tie shoes.
Enjoy the 90 degree weather fall and winter are coming

Wow!! You must rate!! I've been trying to get Margo to ship me to Hawaii since she moved there.
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 9/2/2011 8:19AM

    What a terrific start to the school year: jewelweed!!

And also a reminder that you get to continue putting your exercise/nutrition goals first during the school year too: yes you do! Now's the time to establish that . . . and you've caught it so yay you!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PUDLECRAZY 9/2/2011 6:02AM

    Janet, the water is a favorite drinking spot and gets tested regularly. Back in the 1800's when the town was established there used to be a 'spa' in what is now the nature preserve. People came here for the 'curing' waters. I don't think they cure anything unless you have an iron deficiency. emoticon
The water tastes like drinking a rusty nail.

Laurie, I am still teaching because of the joy I get from teaching at this particular school. It is a gem!

Margo - I would LOVE to come to Hawaii, and if I ever get the opportunity to, I will let you know first. It would be so much fun to visit you!

I love the way the child with the green cast on her arm, selected the green uke - too cute!

Report Inappropriate Comment
OVERWORKEDJANET 9/2/2011 5:17AM

    Looks like fun. The microbiologist in me is concerned about unfiltered spring water. Several parasites live in "clean" spring water which can cause gastrointestinal nightmares.
Just saying...

Report Inappropriate Comment
TISHTOES 9/2/2011 4:42AM

    Hey, are you sure your weight gain isn't just from your soaked clothes and drinking a lot to stay hydrated??? emoticon

Where do you live that you can hike on a school day? How wonderful for the students to get outdoors and see nature!

Bravo for Ukes! Glad they like them!
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
KASEYCOFF 9/2/2011 3:49AM

    I don't think there is any jewel weed here. We lived beside a creek when I was growing up, and I remember my grandmother showing me how to 'pop' the seeds - simple pleasures that are the stuff of Life...

Re the ukes: I'd want the green one, lol!
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MAWRTIAN 9/2/2011 1:41AM

    Yeah for ukes!!! You really need to come to hawaii!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOR2BFIT 9/1/2011 9:23PM

    Hey- you just went on a 2 hour hike with kids! You will lose those 4 lbs in no time! Sounds like a great adventure. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LMB-ESQ 9/1/2011 9:21PM

    Boy if I could have taught the way you teach, I might still be teaching!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MOTIVATED@LAST 9/1/2011 9:08PM

    Looks like a fun outing. And it's interesting to see the iron oxide (rust) staining on the rocks and gravel from the spring.

Report Inappropriate Comment


Getting Up and Ready....

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I spent from 8:00 am until 9:00 pm (with time out for lunch and dinner) in my classroom yesterday preparing for the children's return on Wednesday. I will spend the bulk of the day there today as well.

I love my summer, and need it. Some people believe that teachers have too much time off, but I'm here to say that teaching is a very demanding job, teachers need a stretch of time to regenerate and be fresh and energized for the new school year. A school day is not from 8:30 - 3:00; it is from 7:00 am - 4:30/5:00 and then time at home assessing their work. Then there are the weekend days of extracurricular activities and special events, evening meetings, parent conferences, etc. I'm not saying other jobs aren't demanding, not at all, but I am grateful for the summer to get in shape, plan for the next school year and get much needed R&R.

That said, I love the beginning of the new school year and have so much fun bringing the classroom back to life after its summer dormancy. Open windows and a summer breeze literally blow fresh air into a closed up room; putting up bulletin boards, adding finishing touches to decorations, and putting fresh and colorful supplies in each of their study carrels brightens the room and makes it so cheerful. I love planning where to seat children so they are with people they enjoy, people they can help, and people they can work well with. It can be a challenge to get in all of those elements, but when it works the class dynamics work so well!

So the classroom is now decorated and organized, 10 guitars are restrung and tuned, 10 ukes are tuned and ready, school supplies are personalized and in each child's carrel, and the room looks great! Today I have to tune the harps, and get all of the materials for this week's lessons ready.

Tomorrow the children come in and breathe the real life into the classroom. I look forward to how their personalities, the way they decorate their personal spaces, and the way they interact, make the room unique to this group.

By the way, for those of you who don't know me yet, I teach a mixed grade class of 9 - 11 year old children. I am their classroom teacher and teach everything from Arithmetic to Zucchini cooking. Seriously, I do teach cooking. They go to another teacher for art and science classes. Too bad in a way because I love teaching art and science, but it does give me an opportunity to have smaller groups while some of the children are with the art/science teacher. I'll be teaching music while the other part of the group is with the art teacher.







I ran into two of my grads at the Blues Festival this past weekend. I love to see my grads grow up! These two delightful high school students take on community leadership actions and responsibilities, are active in their school community, and are just plain dynamic. The girl is a fabulous cello player and went to a music camp at Barnard College this summer. She got to spend time with YoYo Ma! I am so happy for her.... and a tiny bit jealous. Okay, I'll fess up - WAY jealous!



Aren't they darling?!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAKEANDNELLIE 9/4/2011 12:18PM

    My best teaching years were in a multiage classroom - ages 6, 7, and 8. I absolutely loved keeping the kids for that long and watching them grow. It was a phenomenal experience for all of us, but our district decided it wasn't "cost effective." My last multiage kids are juniors in college now and several of them call or visit frequently. They, and I, treasure the memories we made together.
I'm very happy in retirement - I was truly ready to rest, but am volunteering in a first grade class one morning a week now. I'm ready to enjoy time with the kids again.
Stay positive and know that you are doing one of the most important jobs in the world!
Sheila

Report Inappropriate Comment
MEOWMAMA3 9/4/2011 11:54AM

    Great blog and just what I needed to see as I sit down to start lesson planning today! Your room looks lovely and ready for learning! Feels good to be planning again, and to have the freedom of no backed up paperwork. Today I'm tweaking a lesson for the kids to interview 3 adults about their 9/11 experiences and memories to use as a hall display memorial for the anniversary.

I share your enthusiasm about the magic of September in school! I put in 3 days prepping my room with 4 kids from last year helping. What a transformation!
I've got larger than normal classes this year, 32 in my homeroom and 29 in the other section. Somehow I'll deal with it.
This year I'm teaching 5th grade Literacy and Social Studies, and one period of either remedial or enrichment reading, starting in October. We no longer have to teach the remedial math period, which gives me some time back. Our garden teacher is doing cold season veggies with us this fall! That should be fun! This is funny: the principal learned about some research done on why 5th graders all across the state don't do as well on their standardized tests....seems the factor that most strongly affects their test performance is relationships with their teachers....duh. Somebody got paid to research this. So, this year she wants us all to have daily group powwows and really build those relationships! (Ha!). Nice to see a glimmer of humanity from the old girl. We made AYP and are nearly out of "Empowerment" jail. We have 10 new teachers, so I'll be low on the Ride a Teacher Radar! Yee Haw!

Here's a link to a nice article that a fellow sparker sent me! Made me smile and sniffle!

http://www.nytimes.com/2011
/09/03/opinion/blow-an-ode-to-t
eachers.html?src=tp&smid=fb-sha
re

Hope all this year's sniffles are from tender moments! Enjoy!
emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
IUHRYTR 8/31/2011 11:20PM

    Chris, I admire the work teachers like you and my long-time friends do. The memory that has always stayed with me about elementary school is the first day when we got our books and were told how to open them, one cover at a time then in the middle and how we were reminded to take them home and cover them. Usually this was done with Mom's help using paper shopping bags. Some kids decorated their covers, others added just their name and class subject. Such a simple thing but the most pleasant memory I have of those times. Thanks for all you do for your students. emoticon -- Lou

Report Inappropriate Comment
CAMDENCYCLIST 8/31/2011 10:31AM

    Thanks for sharing this! You and your classroom sound so unique and fun! I hope you have a wonderful school year.

Report Inappropriate Comment
VALERIEMAHA 8/31/2011 8:51AM

    Let's face it, the school is unique and you, m'dear are not only unique, but SPECTACULAR!!!
emoticon
Maha

Report Inappropriate Comment
KRITTERKEEPERS 8/30/2011 10:32PM

    I love your classroom!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
FT4EVR 8/30/2011 8:56PM

    Have a great first day back tomorrow! Your students are lucky to have you for their teacher! My grandkids just found out which teachers they will be having for the year and which friends will be in the same classroom so they were very excited especially when they both learned they got the teachers they wanted most. I am sure your students are excited they have you for their teacher too! Fun to see your classroom, thanks for sharing!
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MARY1313 8/30/2011 6:01PM

    so so awesome! I love your class room, the color are great!!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KASEYCOFF 8/30/2011 5:39PM

    They are, and I suspect they had a wonderful teacher!
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
TRULYVISIBLE 8/30/2011 1:50PM

  I have tremendous respect for the kind of teacher you are. I wish I could say they are all like you but I think you are rare. You even go as far as to sit kids with other kids you think they would enjoy being with. How special is that! A lot of teachers sit kids next to the ones they think they will keep from talking to so it is quiet in the room.

If i could be reincarnated I would ask to be a student in your classroom. Public school in the 50's was nothing like you describe. What great memories you're giving your students. I am sure they will share a million stories with their kids about their own experiences with you as their teacher. Keep your bolgs coming, I so enjoy them.

Comment edited on: 8/30/2011 1:52:24 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOR2BFIT 8/30/2011 11:15AM

    Looks like all of your hard work has great dividends for all! Love your classroom.

Report Inappropriate Comment
NANHBH 8/30/2011 10:22AM

    Such a legacy you are creating in those young people! Life is all about the lives we touch - and you (and all teachers) touch so many lives. Thank you for your service to our young people!
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
THEBILLY 8/30/2011 8:51AM

    Those kids are going to have SO much fun making music! I kinda wish *I* was showing up for class!
Most teachers I know work so many more hours then they get paid for, so I know you deserve any time you get!
Have fun tomorrow!

Report Inappropriate Comment


SpiderMum!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Well, not exactly SpiderMum. I fall just short of being an arachnophobe. But when my son and I were walking Stella in the meadow this afternoon, we came upon this gorgeous garden spider, sitting majestically in her web. And me without my camera.



We hiked back home, then back to the meadow again so I could get my photo. Quite a specimen!

For more information about the garden spider, or Argiope aurantia:

ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/ye
llow-garden-spider

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KASEYCOFF 8/30/2011 3:13AM

    I love to see them outside, especially when it's one of the beautiful webs bejeweled with drops of water.

I confess, tho, indoors is another story, even tho some small part of me is thinking 'Why did it build a web THERE? What would it catch that I REALLY don't want in the house?!?'

emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
OLDERDANDRT 8/29/2011 2:15PM

    She's just beautiful! I used to get them in my maple tree!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MCGS62 8/29/2011 10:03AM

    ooooooooo
emoticon

no no no

get the spray out

Report Inappropriate Comment
IDLETYME 8/29/2011 8:16AM

    All of God's creatures are beautiful - in some way!

Thanks for sharing the picture. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
TRULYVISIBLE 8/29/2011 1:07AM

  I went to Hawaii for the first time when I was 17. We were on a tour walking among nature when we saw this spider working on the most beautiful spider web I had ever seen in my life. (to this day) It was large and the art of it was magnificent. Living in the city then I had never seen anything like this. I developed a whole new respect for spiders.

Report Inappropriate Comment
NANHBH 8/29/2011 12:06AM

    Not a fan of spiders, but that IS a beautiful photo!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOR2BFIT 8/28/2011 11:11PM

    That is a beauty!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MARY1313 8/28/2011 9:40PM

    two shoes held on either side.......SMACK! SPLAT!!!

shudder.

Mar
y

Report Inappropriate Comment
IUHRYTR 8/28/2011 9:22PM

    I do not like spiders but do admire their beauty, like this one, and the intricate webs they weave. -- Lou

Report Inappropriate Comment


First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 Last Page