Monday, March 31, 2014

The Importance of Education?

What do you think of this statement? Do you agree? Please leave a comment with your thoughts. :)

Thanks and have a wonderful week!

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Summer Plans

Is It Summer Yet?

Spring Break is over. (More) Mandatory testing is about to get underway. Ugh! The next month seems like pure drudgery to me, as teachers everywhere do the mad dash of last minute cramming everything possible into their students’ brains before THE TEST! Ugh!

So I’m taking a momentary break to think about what I will be doing this summer. Specifically, I am trying to create a final “product” for teachers to receive in their goodie bags from a conference in June in which I am participating, along with many other TpT teacher/sellers. After viewing some of the “goodies” from other sellers, I was stuck as to what unique item I could create which would make it easy for teachers to decide to keep my store information long enough so that it wouldn’t be thrown away in the nearest garbage can. A simple business card (even a pretty one) just won’t do on its own.

I am fortunate to belong to an online group of sellers who help each other with everything regarding these conferences. When I expressed my admiration for the many unique and interesting “goodies” being supplied by the various members of the group, they kindly put their heads together to help me come up with an idea of how best to showcase my own TpT store.  I’m happy to say that I was given some excellent advice, which I intend to follow.

While I don’t want to say anything else until I get my design finalized, I thought I’d give a clue about the content over the next two months. I love a mystery, don’t you?

Here’s the first clue:

Hope that piques your interest! More clues will follow, just not today. ; )

Have a wonderful week!

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Liebster Blog Award!

Sometimes blogging feels like such an unseen thing. Does anybody see what I write? Does anybody care? So I was REALLY surprised and excited to open my email a few days ago and find a message from another blogger, Monica Parsons. Monica was letting me know that she had nominated me for a Liebster Blog Award, and was inviting me to her blog to check it out!

The Liebster Award is presented to upcoming blog authors with less than 200 followers. Liebster is a German word that means sweet, kind, nice, dear and beloved. I feel so uplifted and grateful to receive this award. :)

Thank you so much for nominating me, Monica Parsons at!

I love your blog!

How does the Liebster Blog Award work? I need to:

1. Link back to the blog that nominated me.
2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers.
3. Answer the questions asked of me by my nominator.
4. Share 11 random facts about myself.
5. Create 11 questions for my nominees.
6. Contact my nominees and let them know I nominated them.

My nominees are:

Congratulations! I hope to see your blog posts announcing your award soon!

Questions From My Nominators

1.            What is your favorite thing about being a teacher?
I love seeing the “lightbulb” go on in kids’ eyes and knowing that something I did helped them understand something they previously didn’t. I like knowing that I am influencing the rising generation in a positive way. I know it sounds corny, but it’s sort of my legacy.
2.           What is the hardest thing about being a teacher?
Unfortunately, I have seen a steady downward spiral in the respect given to teachers by politicians, the media, and society in general over the last fifteen years. It breaks my heart to see fabulous teachers break down under these ever-increasing stresses.
3.           If you won a million dollars, what would you do with it?
Do you mean besides updating my classroom with the technology I think my students need to function in a modern society?
I would definitely buy a house for my family, and of course a car to replace the one that has over 110,000 miles on it. :D
I would also love to travel and meet new people, and experience cultures around the world. The more I learn, the greater my capacity to understand others and to pass that knowledge on to my students.
4.           Where do you dream of vacationing?
Besides traveling around the United States and visiting all the regional monuments and wonders, I would love to take a trip through Europe with my family. So much of the foundation of western society was created there! Then I’d like to visit the Asian countries. Their cultures reach back thousands of years and we can learn so much from them! (Can you tell I was a Humanities major in college before becoming a teacher?)
5.           Which is better: salty or sweet?
Definitely sweet! I have a MAJOR sweet tooth, especially when it comes to anything made with chocolate. Hmm, maybe a chocolate dessert with raspberries on top? Yum! 
6.           What is something wonderful about your family?
We’re known for never giving up. Whatever life throws our way, we’ll find a way to move through it. My faith keeps me going.
7.           Do you like your handwriting? Why or why not?
That’s funny! In fourth grade I was given an award for my penmanship, and I was quite proud of it. However, I went to college in the days before laptops and cellphones. I had to take notes by hand, writing as fast as I could. It ruined my cursive! Now most people can’t read it except me. I’d much rather type any day.
8.           What is the first thing you notice about people?
Their smiles! If someone is smiling when they meet others they tend to be much more open and kind. I am attracted to kindness in others.
9.           What is your biggest pet peeve?
People who are just mean to others for no good reason: I just don’t understand it and have no patience for it.
10.       What is your favorite season?
I love the Spring! It’s the end of the dead-looking trees here in the Southeast. Everything comes alive in the Spring. Plants bud out and bloom, colorful noisy birds return to their nest sites, and it’s a wonderful time to be outside with friends and family, or just sit and enjoy the garden.
11.        What are your favorite sports teams?
I enjoy all the equestrian sports. I love horses, and it’s a joy to watch well-trained horses and riders work together as one being. I also enjoy Olympic gymnastics and ice-skating. It’s incredible what the human body can do when properly motivated.

Share 11 Random Facts About Myself

1.    I worked with the horses backstage at Disneyland when I was a teenager.
2.   I write poetry.
3.   I am one of four children, three girls and one boy.
4.   I love to read. I have to read something every day or I go a little bit crazy with boredom.
5.   I’d rather be outside planting something in my own garden than visiting the picture-perfect ones owned by rich people.
6.   My favorite place to lie down is on the bare back of a horse I love.
7.   I have two children of my own, a girl and boy, both in middle school.
8.   My mom used to tell me all the time when I was growing up that I would one day be a teacher. My response was, “You can’t make me!” I had to find my own way into teaching. :D
9.   When I was little I wanted to be a veterinarian, but I can’t stand to see animals injured or in pain.
10.                 My favorite colors are royal blue, emerald green, and magenta. I was the kid hogging the only magenta crayon in my first grade classroom.
11. I constantly feel the need to learn something new. I think being alive on the Earth is kind of like being in school. Once we stop learning we die inside. Learn to stay alive.

Eleven Questions For My Nominees

1.    If you were an animal, what would you be?
2.   Describe your favorite teacher from your own childhood.
3.   Who are your heroes?
4.   What is your favorite subject to teach? Why?
5.   Describe your family.
6.   What is the funniest thing that ever happened at school?
7.   If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Why?
8.   What better, dinner out, or a home-cooked meal (made by somebody else)?
9.   What is your guilty pleasure T.V. show?
10.                 What book are you currently reading? Describe a little bit about it.
11. What’s your favorite childhood memory?

I have enjoyed writing this post about the Liebster Award. I hope that you enjoyed reading it, and that you will check out the other blogs mentioned in this post.

Have a wonderful week!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Currently on Carol's Teaching Garden

I've been busy checking out other teacher-educator blogs this week. There are so many talented people out there! One blog caught my eye right away, because I've seen the images she creates all over the Internet. They're those cute/adorable "Currently" pictures you see on Pinterest. Little did I know that this is a blank template which Farley at  Oh' Boy 4th Grade! creates and encourages others to fill in and post. What a fabulous idea! So this month I decided to give it a try. Let me know what you think.

I'm sitting with my 12-year-old daughter in Barnes & Noble listening to Nora Jones on the overhead speaker. We come here almost every day to use their wi-fi (and get some hot chocolate :D ) so that she can do her homework and I can do my Internet business.

After a long, cold, slick winter spent indoors I am loving the pink and white blossoms emerging on my fruit trees in the backyard. Spring will eventually arrive, even if it's in fits and starts. :)

Since I'm reading various teaching blogs and getting to know some of the other teacher-bloggers out there, I am thinking about all the new things I'm learning and all the people I'm "meeting."

The cafe has some delicious desserts. Right now I'm practically slavering over and desperately wanting a piece of the chocolate mousse pie I see in the window at the cafe counter. My thighs thank me for resisting, but my tummy is rumbling!

Our fluffy black cat has taken a liking to my bedroom (which is the warmest in the house) instead of my daughter's bedroom this winter. That means that he likes to wake me up repeatedly in the middle of the night when he decides he wants attention. Sometimes it's just his warm body stretched out on top my legs. Sometimes it's a loud purr, with whiskers and fur in my face or against my hand as he demands some lovin'. Then of course there are the times when I'm sleeping too deeply to respond to his gentle persuasions, so he feels the need to ever so gently place the tips of his claws against my exposed flesh. I am definitely needing more sleep.

Last of all, ????????? Falling Skies, Burn Notice, and Leverage are ??????? Can you guess? Leave a comment down below and I'll let you know if you're right. :)

So what do you think? Are you ready to try one of these "Currently" posts yourself? Maybe you'd like to read a few more completed by others? If so, click on over to Oh' Boy 4th Grade and read some more, or follow her instructions to try it yourself. Have fun!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Amazing Animals!

I love animals. I grew up with dogs, cats, hamsters, and such.

I had a sister who was a bird whisperer. Simply by holding out her hand she could coax any wild bird to perch on her outstretched fingers, allowing her to stroke their soft feathers.

She could even charm the butterflies to laze on her sun-warmed skin, slowly opening and closing zephyr wings tickled by a large, silky make-up brush.

As a teenager I worked at Disneyland with the assorted draft horses, Hackney horses, Lippizan mares and foals, Shetland ponies, white doves, barn cats, and wild rabbits. It was every young girl's dream to climb up on warm backs to braid manes, or nestle against powerful equestrian giants on warm starlit summer evenings.

While I attended college I worked in the local pet store, noisy as an equatorial jungle from the various animal noises, plus the humidity caused by water in the tanks. When it was slow in the store we would pull out creatures to play. Max was a hand-fed blue-and-gold macaw who loved to have his belly rubbed until he fell asleep in your arms.

Ferrets with their otter-like bodies and fun-loving personalities used our jackets as tunnels, suddenly poking out a sleeve, then just as quickly disappearing, only to re-appear elsewhere. I swear they were laughing at us, just as we were laughing with them.

Today I spotted something unusual in my Facebook feed. It wasn't just another cute animal picture. It was a video of one trusting dolphin, who came to ask for help from humans. The dolphin patiently swims in place, allowing the diver to cut off fishing line from a different human's snare. Amazing creatures!
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