Sunday, December 20, 2009


On November 14, I took my first 2 Praxis exams: Content Knowledge and Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT). I left the testing center scared about how I did. These tests are hard. I waited a month and finallyt the results were in....PASSED!!!! I was/am so excited!!!!

Just the other day I received a package in the mail from ETS (the testing ppl) and it was a certificate of achievement because on the PLT I scored in the top 15% of all test-takers on that exam. Are you kidding me?? I was floored and extremely proud to say the least! :)

On January 9, I am scheduled to take the last 2 Praxis exams: Assessment and Reading Across the Curriculum. Guess I know what I'll be doing after Christmas! lol

My first placement for Student Teaching is January 11. I'm so nervous but more excited! I cannot believe I'm this close to finishing school and being in my career! This has been a long journey and it's almost surreal now. pinch me. ;)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


...........TONIGHT IS MY LAST CLASS EVER!! whoo-hoo!!

Too bad it's not a class I particularly enjoy AND we have to do a group presentation. Have I ever mentioned how I loathe group work?! ugh.

But I'll do it; it'll be great....and then it'll all be over!! :D

I have gotten my test results back from when I took 2 of my Praxis exams (Content Knowledge and P.L.T.) and I passed them both which is so exciting. I will take my last 2 on January 9. Begin my placement for student teaching on January 11, and God willing, will have a blast and it'll be over in the blink of an eye....ahhhh...HOPEFULLY. Prayers may commence. ;)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm sure that if you are in the elementary education field, Tuesday was a day full of treats and turkey art. I love seeing what fun projects my kids do at school....just wish there was a place to store all these treasures!

Maybe you are traveling or have already arrived at your family's place, or maybe you're hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year....whatever the case, I hope you have a wonderful, fun, and safe time.

I am thankful for so many things, but as it pertains to my education, just knowing it's already Thanksgiving is mind blowing! I just have about 2 more class days of each of my classes to attend. wow! Then Christmas break and next thing you know- Student Teaching!!

Last week was my last day in the school for Practicum. I actually had to miss the very last day because my daughter was sick, so I'm hoping to go back after Thanksgiving break to say a proper goodbye to all the kiddos; I'm gonna miss them! I got all my paperwork back from my cooperating teacher though, and she gave me some very good scores and told me personally that she thinks I'll make a great teacher. Nothing makes you feel happier than to hear someone already in the field have faith in you. Thanks, Mrs. Robinson!!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

My daughter, the Teacher

My oldest child is in 1st grade. Last night was Parent/Teacher Conferences. Kylei is a bright child who at this point in her academia hasn't really struggled. Her teacher is pleased with her progress and has started her in an Enrichment Program. But the thing that pleased me most was hearing that her teacher allows Kylei to help her classmates, because of how calm and helpful she is with her fellow classmates. Her teacher was impressed that she is not over-bearing, bossy, or arrogant.

One of the funny stories her teacher told me happened last week. Her teacher wasn't feeling well and Kylei told her that if she just left her things with her (Kylei) that she would teach the class and her teacher could go home. How sweet!

20 Interesting Ways to Use Audio in the Classroom

Thank you to Free Technology for Teachers blogger.

Galapagos Rap

Taken from here, but thought it was pretty cool and wanted to pass it on. I know it's probably not great for elementary education students, but as a college student who had to study a lot of this in my Biology classes, I rather enjoyed it.

Galapagos Rap

This video, 3.5* til Infinity, was created by some Stanford students on their trip to the Galapagos Islands. While some people may not agree with everything in the video, it's still an excellent demonstration of using multimedia resources to demonstrate knowledge. If you do teach about Darwin in your classroom, this video is an engaging summary of his ideas. There are also some great images from the Galapagos Islands in the video.

Great Costumes to Wear at School

Stolen from fellow blogger

This Halloween, scare up some fun with these history- and lit-inspired costumes:

Ten US History-Inspired Halloween Costumes
1. Put on a three-corner hat and cape, pull a cardboard boat around your waist, and pose as George Washington crossing the Delaware during the American Revolution.

2. Dress up as Benjamin Franklin with a kite and singed hair. Be careful around the French maids.

3. Pretend to hitchhike as Christopher Columbus with a sign that says “India or bust.”

4. Dress up like Abe Lincoln – with two tickets in his breast pocket.

5. Test people’s knowledge of US history trivia by putting on a turn-of-the-century suit, carrying some bags of fake money, and painting your nose purple. Yes, JP Morgan really did have a purple nose.

6. Try a scandalous costume for a trio: Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy, and John F. Kennedy.

7. Wear a suit and a Richard Nixon mask. Carry a hallowed-out pumpkin filled with film. You’re reenacting the “Pumpkin Papers,” in which future President Richard Nixon used to take down Soviet spy Alger Hiss in one of the Cold War’s most notorious espionage cases.

8. Dress up as Betsy Ross with a half-finished American flag. Include a rainbow flag, a pirate flag, and yellow smiley face among your book of samples.

9. Sport your finest 1920s-style outfit, a plastic Tommy gun, a cigar, and your best Al Capone accent. Rave about the merits of the 18th Amendment and Prohibition.

10. Roll up your sleeves and get ready to flex those guns. Rosie the Riveter is one of the best “girl power” costumes in history. (World War II: Home Front)

Ten Literature & Poetry-Inspired Halloween Costumes
1. Bust out the Photoshop to make an “oil painting” of yourself aged about 50 years. Frame it, put on your best Victorian-style outfit, and trick-o-treat as Dorian Gray. (The Picture of Dorian Gray)

2. Go on a hunt after your friend who is dressed as a white whale with bloodshot eyes. Chase the whale around the streets with a toy harpoon in hand. Rant and rave to strangers about catching the whale. (Moby-Dick)

3. Dress up like a grizzled old sailor, rave unintelligibly, and hang a fake albatross around your neck à la “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.”

4. Put on a collared shirt, a tie, a long coat, and a red hunting hat. Carry a record under your arm and collect candy as Holden Caulfield. (The Catcher in the Rye)

5. See who gets the Scout Finch reference when you walk around barefoot with a banged-up ham costume and knife slash through the back. (To Kill a Mockingbird)

6. Put on a straw hat and some ratty old clothes, pull a cardboard canoe around your waist, and try your luck as Huckleberry Finn. Don’t be afeared to use *some* Antebellum Missouri slang. (Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)

7. Pay your dues to George Orwell by dressing up like a pig brandishing a liquor bottle and insisting that “two legs are better than four.” (Animal Farm)

8. Put on a long, plain dress and plaster a scarlet “A” to the front. Get your friend to dress like a priest. (The Scarlet Letter)

9. Dress up like Lady Macbeth and try to scrub imagined bloodstains off your hands. Rinse, repeat. (Macbeth)

10. For a truly terrifying Halloween costume, give your kid brother face paint, some tattered rags, a conch shell, and a (fake) pig head on a stake. Don’t let him see that you’ve got glasses. (The Lord of the Flies)

11. You'll need tights and Renaissance garb: Hamlet. Pace the streets emoting: “To be or not to be?” and “Methinks it is like a weasel.”

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Student Teaching Seminar

Yesterday was a loooong day, and only part of the reason is because we (my classmates and I) had to drive to MTSU that evening. It's about an hour's drive to the campus, but then you have to find parking.... At any rate, I didn't get home until almost 10p.m.
The seminar was a little insightful I suppose, though we still don't know many specifics and won't until closer to January. It amazes me that we won't know our placement until the week that we are to be there.
While the seminar left many of my classmates more worried and stressed, I decided that I have too many other things going on right now just with the classes at hand to allow this to stress me out YET. lol I know the day will come when it will and that that day isn't too far off.

As a side note, during a class (interesting enough, one that I'm not a part of but attended anyway- long, crazy story), I read this and thought you might enjoy it too:

1. You get a secret thrill out of laminating something.

2. You can eat a multi-course meal in under 25 minutes.

3. You've trained yourself to go to the bathroom at two distinct times of the day: lunch and planningn period.

4. You start saving other people's trash, because, most likely, you can use that toilet paper tube for something in the classroom.

5. You want to slap the next person that says, "Must be nice to work 7:30-3:00 and have the summers off."

6. You feel the urge to talk to strange children and correct their behavior when you are out in public.

7. You spend more money on school stuff than you do on your own children.

8. You understand instantaneously why a child behaves a certain way after meeting his/her parents.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fall Break

For the last 2 weeks my children have been on Fall Break. Needless to say, I didn't get much of ANYTHING done. My husband fussed, but I felt like they should have a real break and be able to go and do stuff, so we went and did stuff.

Today and tomorrow are my days of Fall Break....but guess who's at home catching up on housework?


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Quote of the Day

Teaching should be full of ideas instead of stuffed with facts.

Site to be Seen

This is a site I just found that it's pretty neat. Thought it would be nice to share. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Power of Imitation

"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" but should we be flattered by it all? Or should we be ashamed of ourselves?

Children Learn What They Live

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live the hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

By Dorothy Law Nolte

This video runs parallel with this lesson and I hope you'll take a look.

Free Technology for Teachers: Scholastic Word Wizard - Vocab Quiz Creator

Free Technology for Teachers: Scholastic Word Wizard - Vocab Quiz Creator This is a recent blog posing I read and love generators like this (this one is Vocabulary Quiz Maker). I just hope I remember all this little tidbits of info when I start student teaching. :D

Sunday, September 27, 2009

If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.

This video is not new, but still VERY relevant

Ideas Worth Sharing:

We all have a vested interest in education.

We are preparing our students today for a tomorrow that we can only begin to imagine.

Creativity, the process of having original ideas that have value, is as important in education as literacy.

Our current education system strips children of their creativity.

We must encourage risk-taking – in our students and ourselves.

The entire structure of education is shifting, requiring us to rethink our views on intelligence.

Intelligence is diverse.
Intelligence is dynamic.
Intelligence is distinct.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

ENGL 4510 Modern English and Language Usage

This is one of my classes this semester. I love ELA (English and Language Arts) but even I get bogged down by this stuff. This class is an online class and below is what my teacher has on the website Course Homepage for this class:

(Click on the cartoon to see it larger)

This coming week's topic is VERBS and VERB PHRASES.

To minimal required element of a well-formed sentence is the VERB (e.g., "Dog." is not a well-formed sentence. "Go!" is a well-formed sentence.) The VERB is the heart of the sentence. The VERB determines how many NPs will be required in a sentence for the verb's meaning to be fully expanded. If you can identify the VERB in each sentence, you can predict whether the sentence will have just a SUBJECT NP or also a DIRECT OBJECT NP and, possibly, an INDIRECT OBJECT NP.

For example, think of the verb love. What are the necessary NPs that appear with that verb given its meaning? The answer is a SUBJECT NP and a DIRECT OBJECT NP: Mary loves Peter.

What if the verb were give? Now, we expect that three NPs might be present (the SUBJECT NP, the DO NP, and the IO NP): Mary gave Peter a book.

What if the verb were seem? This one is a linking verb. We expect a SUBJECT NP and some type of SUBJECT COMPLEMENT (here, the forms vary): He seems happy. He seems a good student. He seems on target to graduate in May.

Try thinking in these terms when tackling the grammatical analysis of a new sentence. You may have never seen the sentence before, but you know (from experience with specific English verbs and their meaning) what types of constituents it will require. We call this the verb's argument structure.

Last example: Think of the verb fill. Knowing that someone has to do the filling and that something has to be filled and that something has to be the stuff used to fill something, we can predict that a sentence created around the verb fill will include a SUBJECT NP (Peter filled), a DO NP (Peter filled the pitcher), and a PP (Peter filled the pitcher with water).

Note: Thinking in terms of the argument structure of a verb, these constituents are the arguments of the verb fill. You don't need to worry about learning the terms arguments and argument structure. I present these terms just in case you try to do some internet searches on this topic.

Once more, please ask me questions if you need further explanations once you have read the chapter and listened to the lecture! I LOVE READING YOUR DISCUSSION POSTS!! YOU ARE AN EXCELLENT GROUP OF ONLINE STUDENTS, A JOY TO TEACH AND LEARN FROM. THANKS!

**You may now take pity on me**

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Inspirational Teacher

I've never met this woman, but I subscribe to her blog. This is the link to a blog that Mrs. Elliott sets up for her students, their parents, and anybody else interested in what she and her class are doing.

Her class is fun and innovative and I would LOVE to one day visit it. I think she has a lot to teach others.

I emailed her once and she suggested that I do a blog much like hers when I start my student teaching. I am curious if anybody has any suggestions to go along with that or another great suggestion for student teaching....something that really wows the kids (and the administration).

I think a blog like this is cool....HOWEVER, I don't know that I'm savvy enough to do it. :( Plus, I'll only be with them for half a semester.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Student Responsibility

This is the exact speech given by President Obama to all the students watching the morning of Sept 8.

If you remember from a previous post, I was on the fence concerning this speech. My children did not get to see the president speak; our county decided not to show it because they did not want to re-arrange their lesson plans to accomodate it. This may come as a shocker to some, but I'm disappointed about that decision.

I will say that this is a decision that's led only because of the wonderful thing called hindsight and everybody knows that vision is a lot better than what we have in the present.

The White House actually publicly displayed the speech and it was available to print by Monday. I did so and watched the coverage via CNN, with the script in hand to see if he veered from it any. He rarely did and when he did, it certainly wasn't significant.

I loved that speech. I know a lot of conservatives weren't thrilled about this, though we all pretty much agreed that it wasn't the speech we had a problem with. But here's the thing: none of the teachers had to promise to do any of those lesson ideas. The speech was worth hearing.

When my kids got home from school that day, I sat them down and told them that the president had spoken to many kids and I wanted them to hear what he had to say. I read the script to them.

I know they are only 6 and almost 5, and some of it went over their heads, but we discussed it some after I read it. I encourage my blog readers to do the same with your own children. He said some things that we should be telling our kids at home.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

21st Century Learner

Watch this video and then I'd love to hear your thoughts. I'm kind of torn on the issue myself and am not sure how I feel about it all.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

President to Address the Students

September 8, 2009 at Noon EST, President Obama plans to talk to students across America (that is, if the school's decide they want to be a part of this).

Here is the story

I have mixed feelings about this. I don't really have a problem with President Obama addressing children regarding their responsibility to do well in school, to set goals for their lives, and understand the challenges of their generation.

I, like others, do have an issue with the arrogance prevalent in the suggested activities for both grade groups. Things like: teachers should take quotes and excerpts from the President's speech and post them around the room; teachers should read about the President through his books and teach the class who he is; etc.

I do however, think some of the more general ideas and questions expressed in the activities are great for kids to be exploring. Things like: What are your strengths?; What do you think makes you successful as a student and as a person?; What ideas do we associate with the words "responsibility," "persistence," and "goals?". But do we need a speech from the President to start questions like these within the classroom?

I asked my youngest daughter's teacher today if they would be watching the speech and she didn't know anything about it. I did ask that if it comes up and they are to watch it (this is Pre-K) that I would like a note sent home telling me this.

I have a conference later with my 1st grader's teacher. I will ask the same of her. I will be going to the school and will be present during the speech if their school chooses to participate. I want to know what is said to my children, especially in this arena. I will be watching it at home if they choose not to show it as school. Can't help it; curiosity will kill this cat.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dare to Ask for What You Want

That was the theme for today and oddly enough I saw it on a poster in the school office. I went to Richland School today and talked to the principal. She was very welcoming and seemed pleased that I had come in. She did inform me that she has 3 teachers retiring in December and 1, possibly 2 retiring at the end of this year. She also said that in the next 2-3 years she was fairly certain other teachers that have been working for 35 years or so were probably on their way out and that she'd be doind even more hiring! So, I was thankful to hear that even if it doesn't happen this year, the possibility is even greater that it could be in tne near future.

She said she was impressed with my resume and wrote down when I'd be graduating. She asked if I knew where I'd be doing my student teaching. Unfortunately, I live in a different county and have been told they always keep you in the county you live in. I did inform her that I was hoping to substitute some before January in her school. She said that would be great and as how she's not the type of pricipal to sit in her office, she'd get to see how I am in the classroom.

After talking some, I was able to tell her who my family is and she goes to church with my grandmother and she went on and on about her. My grandmother was a teacher as well as one of my aunt's. She noted that teaching was probably in my blood. :)

All in all, I was VERY pleased by the exchange and I'm just keeping my fingers crossed and praying that I do great this year in school and that at the end of it all, I will be asked to teach there.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Nervous Wreck

My dad called me last night and had run into a teacher at Richland who informed him that she would be the new assistant principal there starting next year. Dad began telling her how I will be graduating in May and would love to work there and how we'd recently heard about the various openings they will have about that time. She said that many people are hoping for those jobs and told Dad to pass it along to me that she suggests going Now to talk to the principal and let her know my school situation and that basically I'd like my name in the hat. AAGGHH!

I'm very thankful for the advice but I'm extremely stressed about doing this. I don't know this principal and to be honest am just not sure how to initiate this conversation. I am hoping to get by their tomorrow for this lil impromptu introduction. I know that I need to try and sub some over there this semester (since I won't be able too when I start student teaching in Jan) but between classes, homework, kids, family, working out, and trying to finish up those things I need to do before graduation...I am clueless how it's all going to work itself out.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Job Opportunity

The school I went to growing up was a K-12 rural school that was less than 10 minutes from my home. It was predominantly white, middle-class students and teachers and we all felt like a big family in my opinion. Unlike the school in town, so I've heard, ours was usually quiet and respectful. There weren't many fights or many disturbances.

More often than not, the teachers knew our families before they even had us in class...some even went to high school with our folks. It was fairly small school. I graduated with just a little over 100 kids in my class.

About 5 years ago, the school had to add on and they built an elementary school right down the road. It now holds K-4 and the old high school is now 5-12. I haven't been in the high school to see how much it's changed now that it has more room basically. I have observed and subbed in the new addition which is really nice.

I say all this to say, that if I had my wish, I would work in this school. I know the people, the community, and I believe it's where I belong.

I found out today that one of my favorite teachers, our music teacher, told me that she knew of 4 teachers that would be retiring after this year, right when I will be applying for jobs!! She even said she'd put in a good word for me :0)

This is one thing that I will certainly be praying for. This year they got a new principal and I don't know her like I did the previous. I am hoping she's going to be just the kind of principal I want to work for. Any and all prayers on my behalf are always welcome! lol

Thursday, July 2, 2009


I finally finished my last summer class. I have until the end of August off before the Fall semester starts back. Whoot! I aced both classes and just have four more before student teaching. I'm so grateful that it's almost over, though it's a bit intimidating to realize how close I am to having a class of my own. Praying that this is my true calling and that I'll be a successful teacher and mentor.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Kids“ Views About the Sea


This is a picture of an octopus. It has eight testicles. (Kelly age 6)

Oysters“ balls are called pearls. (James age 6)

If you are surrounded by sea, you are an island. If you don“t have sea all round you, you are incontinent. ( Wayne age 7)

Sharks are ugly and mean, and have big teeth, just like Emily Richardson. She“s not my friend no more. (Kylie age 6)

A dolphin breaths through an asshole on the top of its head. (Billy age 8)

My uncle goes out in his boat with pots, and comes back with crabs. (Millie age 6)

When ships had sails, they used to use the trade winds to cross the ocean. Sometimes, when the wind didn“t blow, the sailors would whistle to make the wind come. My brother said they would have been better off eating beans. (William age 7)
I like mermaids. They are beautiful, and I like their shiny tails. And how on earth do mermaids get pregnant? Like, really? (Helen age 6)

I“m not going to write about the sea. My baby brother is always screaming and being sick, my Dad keeps shouting at my Mom, and my big sister has just got pregnant, so I can“t think what to write. (Amy age 6)

Some fish are dangerous. Jellyfish can sting. Electric eels can give you a shock. They have to live in caves under the sea where I think they have to plug themselves into chargers. (Christopher age 7)

On holidays my Mom went water skiing. She fell off when she was going very fast. She says she won“t do it again because water fired right up her fat ass. (Julie age 7)

Submitted by Bill, Gettysburg, Pa

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Can't be happening!

I have lost my jump drive that contains everything I've done in school, including the work that I still have to turn in! Please Lord, help me find it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting." -Edmund Burke

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Hats off to the Class of '09

MTSU's commencement ceremonies were this morning, and my family went to cheer on my good friend, "Ro" who received her degree in education. Thank goodness I love her cuz it's almost not worth it. It was hot, LOOOOONG, and what drove me nuts is that EVERYBODY (ahem, the family & friends) talks through the entire ceremony. I could feel my temperature rising and was actually getting a headache from trying to hear the speakers through the noise that consumed that gym. AAAGGGGHHHH!! It is totally one of my pet peeves for people to talk while others are talking. It's rude to the speaker and it's rude to those wanting to hear. I finally gave up trying to hear which is probably why my headache never got too bad.

I wish I could've done more for my friend, cuz I really am proud of her. She is going to be an EXCELLENT teacher!

Side note: I start summer classes Monday and I'm so dreading it!

Go Class of '10 !!!!! :)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Quote of the Day

"You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them." -Ray Bradbury

I think this is a good one for today and the future to come. We live in a world of TV, video games, computers, cell phones, Ipods, etc, etc. I think anybody reading this knows that we have found many ways to entertain ourselves with these gadgets. We use them for our news too. If we don't want too, we never have to open another book, newspaper, dictionary, encyclopedia, or magazine to find out news, information, meanings...or whatever again. So what does this say about the culture of America? The world? We are so "plugged in" today and that is our IS our culture. If we took those things away, what would happen? How would we cope? Could we? I've often said, "What did we do before cell phones?" It's hard to remember now. I use my cell so often and feel I NEEDED it. Would we say that if books were suddenly gone? Would we feel life couldn't go on WITHOUT books? I know that books are still a viable consumer product, but I would like to know if or how much book sales have dropped when TV was created? Video games? Internet?

I love to read and many of my friends love to read, so I would be very sad if books were no more, but even I use the internet alot to find out just about any question I have. Getting through college without the net....I don't know how people used to do it....honestly. I feel so priviledged in that regard.

At any rate, this is just thoughts to chew on for the day. I hope we all find the time to pick up a good book and pass it along when you're done.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Good teaching is more a giving of right questions than a giving of right answers."
-Joseph Albers

Why should you read to your students?

Why should you read to your students? How will you choose the books that you read? What kinds of books will you read?

This is one multi-part question from my final exam (READ 4015- Language & Literacy in the Elementary School, K-6)

Here is my answer:

There is no greater way to create a love for books in children than by reading aloud. Reading to children sparks their imagination and gives them a sense of wonder. It will help them appreciate the gift of literature, develop and enrich their own language, and build implicit concepts about reading and writing. Reading to children helps them learn to read in subtle but important ways. It is through reading that children develop a scheme or a sense for stories. Children can use their schema for stories to comprehend material. A story schema is developed early in the lives of children who have been read to frequently. Reading to children also provides models for writing as they develop a sense of plot, characterization, mood, and theme.
When selecting books and other materials to be read, I will keep in mind my students' age and interest levels. I will select materials at times so that they will coincide with other daily or weekly classroom activities. There may be times when a child requests a certain book and if appropriate, I will be honored to read it to the class.
I will incorporate many different types of literary genres: fiction and nonfiction books, fairy tales, nursey ryhmes, newspapers, biographies, plays, etc. I will read books that talk about families of different ethnicities, race, and culture, especially making sure that I read about the types of families of the students in my class at that time. The reading-to-children time must be for enjoyment only. There may be a moral in the story and that's okay, but I will not have this time become a structured lesson.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Once you learn to read, you will be forever free" -Frederick Douglas

Monday, May 4, 2009

Boost Your Child's Test Scores

I saw these on a teacher's desk when I was helping proctor the TCAP (Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program) Achievement Tests a few weeks ago:

1. The breakfast for better grades- instant oatmeal helps you to have better spatial memory.

2. Visualization that calms nerves: Tell child to imagine their favorite place if they get frazzled during test. Visualizing something calm and happy triggers the brain to produce relaxing alpha waves in less than 30 seconds, slowing heart rate and breathing.

3. The finger game that beats brain freeze! If your child goes blank during the test, tell him to draw a spiral on scratch paper and trace it with his finger 5 times. Freezing during a test is due to the "fight or flight" response, a biological reaction that shuts off clear thinking. But focusing on something else- especially a spiral- clears the head!

4. The eye move that triggers memory instantly! Your child studied the facts but suddently can't remember them? Teach him to move his eyes back and forth from left to right several times. This stimulates communication between the two sides of the brain -the logical left and creative right- so your child will have better recall and be able to solve problems more easily.

5. The tongue trick for better concentration! Does your child find it hard to concentrate during a test? Have her place her tongue up against the roof of her mouth and breathe deeply three times. Brain scans show this simple movement affects the brain's limbic system, which is responsible for feelings and emotions, and triggers the release of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin, so she'll have less anxiety. And within 30 seconds, her mind should be clearer.

I don't know that I'll ever remember to tell my kids these and am still a bit skeptical about the effectiveness of some.

I had a history teacher that passed out Tootsie Roll pops every time he gave us a test. I think it helped me relax. I noticed teachers handing out pieces of gum during the TCAP. I think having something to chew on can help relax you and give you an outlet for stress.

How about a pack of Smarties for each kid with a note:
Be a "Smartie"! Do your best on your test.

Quote of the Day

"The good teacher must relate his teaching to the world of his students as it is, not as he would like it to be." -Herbert Foster

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Unplug Update

Okay, so the National Unplug week (April 20-26) was a week of MUCH less tv and internet time. I was online for classes of course...and I'll admit to sneaking into blogspot once. The television proved a little trickier. I had to remind the kids for the first couple days that we're not watching TV. I got some pleas, but overall I thought my girls handled it great. Thankfully the weather was BEAUTIFUL that week and they spent a great deal of time outside playing with friends and coming in tired and sweaty. I loved it!!

I will admit that on Thursday night my two shows (Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice) were watched. Those are truly the only shows that I was worried about missing...and in the end, I gave in to selfishness.

My husband didn't really go along with this whole thing and he continued to play his video games...which unfortunately are becoming an obsession I think. Personally, I don't see the excitement in it, but I digress.

I am proud of the girls and I and think it will make it easier for us to "unplug" more often.

I did miss blogging though and had SO many things come up that I wanted to blog about, but I'll live.

ONE FINAL EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT: I took my last Final Exam today so I am officially done with this semester!! :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Best Fit

In many of our class assignments, I am asked to pick the grade I would prefer teaching and base my lesson plans, etc with that age group. I hate this question. I honestly don't know. I have reasons for and against each grade, and don't really think I'll know until I am in the classroom...but by then I'd like to think it wouldn't matter; that I can make everyday such a fun and exciting learning experience that it won't matter. But I honestly just don't know.

I have made lesson plans, classroom managements, PowerPoints, First Day "script", etc, etc for nearly all grades K-6.

I am taking ELED 4350- Theory to Practice (Practicum) in the fall. I am hoping that after being paired in one older grade and one younger grade I can get the feel for which one will be a better fit. I know all in all it still won't matter. When I first graduate, I will just be happy to be offered a job in whatever grade and subject I can.

So should instructors constantly ask us to pick the grade we want for assignments or should they make us branch out into various grade levels so we'll be ready when we are placed elsewhere?

Friday, April 17, 2009

ACLU Threatens Suit in Gay Web Site Filtering

ACLU Threatens Suit in Gay Web Site Filtering

April 17, 2009

Last December, when Andrew Emitt starting looking for college scholarships, he turned to his high school library, hoping to find Web sites that would guide him.

Gay high school senior Andrew Emitt has joined forces with the ACLU to end blocking of LGBT resource Web sites, which they say is "protected speech."
(ABC News)But the Tennessee 17-year-old is gay, and when he searched for organizations that might be friendly to LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) students, he hit a firewall.

What he discovered is that 107 schools in Tennessee -- including his, Knoxville Central High School -- use software that can block Web sites catering to gay issues.

Emitt couldn't find any education sites, but he could find those that promoted "reparative therapy," which promises to change homosexuals to heterosexuals.

"I wasn't looking for anything sexual or inappropriate," said Emitt. "I was looking for information about scholarships for LGBT students, and I couldn't get to it because of this software. Our schools shouldn't be keeping students in the dark about LGBT organizations and resources."

I personally have a problem with colleges even having scholarships and other resources that cater to LGBT students, just like I disagree with the same for minority students. Where's the equality in it? I am all for scholarships, but I believe they should be based on academics or other criteria that excludes your race, sexual preference, gender, and other things that give no clue to the type of student you will be or what you can give back to society.

After that, my morals and political thoughts don't allow me to speak about this in an unbiased manner.

Think Outside the Box & Turn Off Your TV

National Turnoff Week April 20-26

Worried your kids are watching too much TV? Did you know that American children watch nearly three hours of television every day? Or, that children spend more time each year in front of the television than they do in school? Yikes! Well, unplug the TV, the computer, and the video games (adults too!) and explore the magical world of books. Give your children the chance to learn and create, and to spend time with theh most important person in their lives....YOU!

Thanks for the info Books-A-Million.

I know my family will unplug (as much as my school work allows me too). I often wonder just how much more my family could get done if it wasn't for the TV. Or, how close we would be. I doubt there'd be the age-old "I'm booooorrred!!" because we'd have to learn how to entertain ourselves.

Sidney Wood once said, "An educated man is one who can entertain a new idea, entertain another person, and entertain himself."

Monday, April 13, 2009

Quote of the Day


....sorry, I had to throw a lil political humor in there...Forgive me? ;)

Ingredients of a Good Teacher

Have you ever read those silly little "recipes" that show the ingredients of say, a Mom? 3 c. Love, 1 tsp meanness, 1 gallon patience, etc...

There are certain qualitites and characteristics we come to expect of good parents, good preachers, and good teachers. I'm sure there's a butt-load of good ones, but if you had to pick the Top 5, what would you say?

One of my favorite teachers this semester told us her Top 5 and I believe they're good ones:

1. Positive Attitude
2. Flexibility
3. Compassion
4. Good Communication Skills
5. Loves Learning

I know you'll agree that these are pretty good...seems they would be a good Top 5 for Moms and Preachers alike too. :)

I KNOW these are good qualities to have, but as I sit and think about whether I possess them, I'm not real sure. Sometimes I have a crummy attitude; I'm not sure I'd be thrilled to have all my hard work at lesson planning go down the tubes for x,y,and z; I do feel I have compassion (until I get that angry parent in my face, or I get the lazy/no good parent, etc); I can communicate my feelings and wants my husband (LOL), but will I be able to do that with my co-workers, my kids' parents, my kids??; I do honestly feel that I enjoy learning, but again sometimes that's all relative. Learning what? Science?-heck naw! New classroom management suggestions? Bring it on! Learning in general? Sure.

I suppose only time will tell how all these will play out once I'm in the school system, I do know that I will try my best and I'll certainly ask God for help.

I think having a good support system, whether in- or outside the school will be a necessity.

So, I ask....Do you possess these qualities? Do you have better ones to add?

Do you believe I should get out of the teaching field immediately?!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Shift Happens

This was 2006 current, but is still very evident (if not more) today and into the future:

Thursday, April 9, 2009


I'm starting this blog as a place for educators, present and future (and past I suppose), may come and see what I'm doing as a pre-servie teacher and as a place for me to post various topics, videos, etc on education that I find interesting, disturbing, insightful, etc. This is a place for parents as well to see what is happening with education and to keep up with things.

Some things will be what I'm doing in school. Others will be articles or videos I find about the education world. I plan to post links on the side bar for parents and teachers as well.

I can't say what direction all this will take. This is a chance for me to keep up with what I am doing in these years, so later I can reflect on what I was thinking now versus what I will be thinking about education in the future. Could be interesting.

So, follow along.