Monday, May 31, 2010

May 26 Nature's Fury

Thursday afternoon was sunny and pleasant - beautiful for a spring day. The temperature was just right and there were few clouds in the sky. The weathermen insisted though that a storm was coming.

After arriving home, I sat out on the front porch with a tall glass of chilled ice tea and the daily newspaper. I felt like I could have been in Mayberry RFD.

Suddenly, the winds picked up and the temperature dropped. Too chilly to sit outside, I went inside to finish the paper. Within the hour, the skys had transformed from Mayberry to the Twilight Zone. Clouds upon clouds rolled in in a variety of shades of grey. The winds blew and the leaves turned (always a sign of rain in my family's folklore.) Before long, we had rain to accompany the clouds and wind.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May 18 Father's Day

In keeping with our class theme this year of being green and ecologically responsible, I thought that perhaps we could create recycled coasters for Father's Day. I saw an interesting blog post on weaving with strips of old magazine pages. After carefully reading, and rereading the instructions - a few times! I finally felt ready to weave a sample for my fourth graders. After weaving and unweaving several times, I finally came up with a passable coaster. It looks cool.

However, seeing as we only have 18 days of school left, there is no way we will ever finish coasters for all the dads. Back to the drawing board I go!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

May 15 An Apple for Teachers

Today was another great DEN event. This time it was hosted by the South Jersey DEN Leadership Council. For over an hour Jason and Andrew of the Marlton Promenade Apple store walked the teachers through the many classroom applications of the iPad. Several of the teachers, already owners of the iPad, shared best practices.

After a fun time at Apple with many expressions of envy, the attendees were treated to breakfast at the nearby Panera. There teachers noshed and shared ways to use Discovery Media resources on the iPad as well as the lesser iPod.

read more anout this fun event at the NJ Den Blog

May 14 Surprise

After a great evening at a colleague's retirement dinner I limped up the driveway. My husband was inside watching the last minutes of the Flyers game - Game 7 of a seven games series which was tied at 3 all. The score of the game was tied at 3 all as well. I listened to the game on the way home which made me think back to the early 70s Flyers Stanley Cup win when I list to the games on a transistor radio!

There was no sneaking in the house as Addie and Ahna, our two Portuguese Water dog sentries announced my arrival - loudly!! Uncharacteristically in heels after a long day I nearly stumbled on this likely spell-bound prince. Much to my husband's dismay, and the dogs continued barking, I simply HAD to take out my phone and snap a picture of the toad. He sat perfectly still and waited for me to photograph him.

May 12 Mother's Day 2009

I was never really a big fan of rhododendrons - I can't really say why as I am a gardener and love most things green. Anyway, for whatever reason, rhodis have never been on my list.

Well, last year, my two sons bought me a small pink rhododendron plant wich I planted under our front Silver Maple tree. This winter, as most of you know, was a gorgeous, snowy, cold winter. Although I loved it, many plants and trees did not survive. I thought for sure, after pruning more than half of a dead plant, that this rhododendron too has succumbed. But, lo and behold after a warm spring jumpstart and some cool nights, I have a beautiful flower. It is awfully pretty after all.

May 11 Color My World

"As time goes on I realize
Just what you mean to me
And now, now that you're near
Promise your love
That I've waited to share
And dreams of our moments together
Color my world with hope of loving you "

For those of you born in the last 25 years (Wow! Did I really just say that?!), these are the lyrics to one of THE most popular slow-dance songs of the 1970s - "Color My World" by Chicago.

Fast forward some 40 years (Really? Again?!) and colors make me think of Hailstones and Halibut Bones by Mary O'Neill. Every year I read this wonderful anthology of color poems to my students. They never cease to amaze me with their poems. Lines like:
Black sounds like an evil laugh echoing in your head,
Green smells like grass just sliced up by a lawn mower's blade,
Purple is the sunset when the color drains from the world.

What colors speak to you?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

May 8 Awww Shucks!

I found this surprise waiting for me when I arrives home today. The DEN strikes again!

May 7 DEN Goes Green

As part of the DEN Spring Training event, DEN Stars were asked to complete a variety of tasks and boost their DEN Stats. As a gift Discovery sent us these way cool recycling bags for the classroom. As always, the DEN continues to provide teachers with incredible tools to make the classroom experience richer for all our students.

May 6 PBS Innovative Educators

Thanks to my wonderful PLN and all the amazing things they have taught me, I was selected as one of 50 Innovative Educators by PBS.

The PBS Teachers Innovation Awards program honors teachers who are transforming classroom learning and providing children with the tools they need to reach their full potential and succeed in the 21st century.

I truly could not have done it without all of you. Thanks!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

May 5

The sub title of this post is "I Fought the Butterfly Bush, and the Butterfly Bush Won!" I spent just 20 minutes outside gardening this evening. I pulled a few weeds, watered the hanging plants, and trimmed some bushes. I had no intention of making it a long-involved process. Next thing I knew, I felst a sharp burning pain in my leg. I looked down and saw a long white scratch. It seemed minor - until I went inside and saw blood dripping down my leg. Alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and neosporin later, I am left with this oh-so attractive remnant of my gardening experience. won't tell you about the similar scar on the outside of the same leg from a rogue rosebush! Who said gardening is not a contact sport?

May 2 Clones?

As a pre-mother's day treat, I had a lovely dinner with DH and DS#2. These two men in my life look and behave so similarly. When DS was born, I immediately saw my father-in-law. Now, I had never noticed a resemblance between DH and FIL, but apparently they too looked alike. These two look so alike that strangers have come up to us in restaurants, in stores, etc, to comment on how much they look like each other. I wonder how it feels to look so much like someone else.

April 29 The Dog Ate My Homework

One of my students came into school waving this ziplock bag. This student is one of those kids who always have a smile on their face and try their best. M was holding this ziplock bag and said laughing, "Mrs. Griffin, my dog ate my homework." Other students accused him of making it up, but he insisted. He related that he had gone upstairs for something and when he came back down, Sadie, his new puppy, had indeed eaten his homework.

So, although it is a trite saying, sometimes the dog really does eat the homework!