Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Great Give-Away

My shop is being reviewed on a popular blogspot. You can WIN A FREE BRACELET from my shop just by entering . The give-away closes after my shop feature is over , so you will know this week if you won.

The review is beautifully written even if it does disclose the fact that I might be retiring this school year or next.

While you are visiting look at all of the great give-away items that are featured.
This give-away was an experiment on my part to see how much expose and possible sales it might generate. It has been fun!

Here is the bracelet.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Teacher Gets Schooled about 9-11

Most of you know I am a middle school teacher. It is my responsibility to teach young people about American History. I work hard to keep up with technology, vary lessons so I teach to fit everyone's needs . While some lessons resemble school as you knew it, most do not.Some lessons are cut and paste , some are oral reports, some are group work, some pair work and other individual assignments. In other words, the modern classroom isn't sitting quietly reading a text and regurgetating facts.. The old teacher lecture has given way to students highly engaged in discovery. A teacher only does the introduction for a few minutes ,then she/he facillitates and then does a quick wrap up before dismissal.The students are engaged in the majority middle portion. Often technology is involved using the smartboard or mini-laptops. Now to the challenge I was given. Sometime this summer I received an email from school alerting me to start planning a lesson to commemorate the ten year anniversery of 9-11. My grandaughters were visiting so I took the opportunity to pick their brains about their knowledge of the event. These are youngsters who hear all the time about world events and participate in dinner table discussions of the news, so I was shocked to discover their lack of real knowledge until I realized the older one was born in 2000. So I had to realize middle school students are too young to remember. One thing adults do is forget how quickly time flies for us and we make assumptions. The plan changed drasticly once I got that in my head. I prepared for the event. I had a quick activity to assess knowledge . We created questions we wanted to know and pulled up a 2 min. video that gave the the overview. Then we discussed more and I learned. Next we watched a youtube video . This was a documentary about a boy 14 (approximately the age of my 8th graders). This young man was at his second day of Kindergarten just 4 blocks from the twin towers. Imagine being a kindergarten student on your second day of school,four years old and witnessing this event. The young man Brook Peters has produced a documentary on this. (yes, now kids do this). This was a valuable video for my kids because they could still remember being in kindergarten. They could have watched pictures of adults dealing with the event all week and not felt like this. They asked questions, they were insightful and I learned. Next we gained understanding of the 4 planes and all of the events . The important part of all of the lessons was their questions, their feelings, Every class has their own chemistry and personality so the questions and concerns were different.in each class and I learned differnt things from each. The lesson was to help students understand the history of their own lives, but I learned. I learned we have students who care, we have students who feel, question, think, problem solve and want to understand and find ways to make the world better. So the lesson was good for them but great for me. Their homework is to interview an adult and find out the answer to 6 simple questions designed to get their families to share their thoughts and feeling about the event and where we have gone since then. In the last class the discussion, students realized that surprise is the only weapon terrorists have. We already determined earlier this week that fear of the unknown is the greatest human fear. Today they decided love is the antidote to fear. We discussed how strangers helped each other , held each other and gave each other hope and that is how we really fight terrorism. Now that is deep and I think the teacher was schooled. I am a teacher because I learn everyday. I gain wisdom and get real respect for the youth of our nation. If you need a real feel good moment go to this video of alan jackson's song or one of the similar tribute songs. This one made me tear a bit but in a good way. This is the bud commercial aired once. This weekend's commemorative activities may put you back in those feeling s of 2001, if they do remmber the lessons my kids taught me today and God Bless the USA!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day

I have lots of favorite holidays but Labor Day isn't one of them. Don't get me wrong I will take and enjoy any holiday I can get, especially one after school gets started.

Today has been a great day! I had a wonderful lunch at my son's house. He and his beautiful wife cooked a great meal originally planned to be a picnic. That kind of disproves the labor day rule I made up as a kid.

The childhood rule was derived from memories I had as a child. It always rains on Labor Day. I grew up in Florida. Since hurricane season starts just before Labor Day,often subtropical storms came through our area. Storms bring low pressure and low pressure triggers sinusitus. I remember lots of long days inside with a really bad headache. So, gray days, headaches and nothing on the three network TV stations but Jerry's Telathon and old movies. To a kid that is the definition of a rotten holiday and all of this on the weekend I was expecting to blow it out before school starts. I don't remember my family planing picnics or fun days at the beach.They probably understood the weather in Florida.

As I grew up I moved away from the subtropical storms but it didn't change my attitude much. As an adult living in four seasons I figured out that the end of summer was marked by this holiday. The pool closes, people change their routines as school begins. Curiously even people without children set up clubs and activities according to a school year schedule. Fast paced living begins and days grdually shorten at the same time responsibility grows. I try to ignore it. I try to pretend summer is still here but the pool water really does get colder and the days not only grow shorter but cooler too.

I promise myself to embrace it this year. I will gradually change my clothing from tank-tops to tanks with a shirt and then a short sleeve shirt with a shirt, gradually moving to sweaters and blazers before I break out the real jacket. I won't grieve over summer clothes and bright colors and the tan I convinced myself I was getting. This year I will look forward to cool weather,indoor projects and the school year.

Labor Day isn't the end of the world just because it is the end of summer. Today we celebrated indoors because it was raining and I loved it! I plan to be flexible, stop having unreasonable expectations and accept the seasons life brings. I plan to enjoy the rainy days, plant the fall flowers,find some cute winter colors (and maybe add a dash of color to those dull fashions). I will dive into my job teaching so the students can find school exciting and before I know it we will be celebrating holidays and playing in the snow. Yes, to everything there is a season and to try to hold on to the one that is passing is like trying to drive forward while staring in the rear view mirror.
Happy Driving!!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Great Giveaway!

I am so excited to be a part of NC Artisians Directory and the exciting give-away that started Sept 1. You can win one of 12 prizes featured and one of them is a bracelet from my shop.http://www.etsy.com/listing/69923743/reserved-for-nc-artisians-event-knit

The popular blog that is featuring this give away is the brainchild of Kaeli a young mother who has a shop on etsy with her friend Brittany. http://www.etsy.com/shop/twolittleseastars This shop features everything a young mother might be looking for.

This busy young mother and popular blogger,decided to put together a NC Artisians Directory and use this give away as a promotion on her popular blog. I was invited to join both the directory and the give-away and my shop will be featured soon. Each shop is shown for only 2 days but you can see all of the give away items now.

Please visit the blog every day and enter to win you favorite item(s).
I will post here on the day I am featured so you can all read the review.
The random drawing is done by a computer so YOU really can win.