Sunday, August 15, 2010
My Hostas are blooming. I love the foliage of hostas, and this year they have been particularly lush because of all the rain. The blooms in late summer are an added gift. At first glance, the blooms are pure white, but on closer inspection you can see the purple in the unopened bud, and on some of the petals.
This is my post for yesterday, Saturday, August 14.
There is only one more week of summer vacation, and then it's back to school. I'm working on my list of tasks to be completed, before teachers start back on August 23rd. One of the things all the classroom teacher's do in my building is to send a welcome to school card or letter to each of our students.
I always make my cards. Sometimes I use my rubber stamps to design the front of the card. For the past two years, I've opted for the computer. Last year I put a Wordle of the kids names on the front. This year I made a word cloud using the website, Image Chef. I create my cards, and many other things for my classroom, using the program, The Print Shop, by Broderbund.
So, get ready, kids! The cards are in the mail. It's almost time for school.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
I went to the first Central Iowa Tweetup tonight at the Overtime Neighborhood Hub in Urbandale. I got to meet @MrsBMG, @johnccarver, @DeronDurflinger, @jerridkruse, @russgoerend, @AngelaMaiers @jamiefath, and see @shannonmmiller again. I also got to meet the adorable @HenryG.
There was even a doorprize made by @MrsBMG (Becky Goerend). I won for coming from the farthest away--the east side of Des Moines, maybe ten miles away. It will be going on my car soon.
I'm looking forward to the next one, which will be the second Thursday of September, same place, same time.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
My plan was to stop at McDonald's to pick up some breakfast, and then shoot up East 33rd to school, to work in my classroom. That was a bit a problem however. After three nights of thunderstorms and heavy rain, I knew there was flooding, but I was not prepared for what I saw. Not only was East 33rd flooded, but so was part of Hubbell.
In the thirty years I have lived here, I have never seen Four Mile Creek this high, including during the big floods in 1993. Water was half way up the sides of the trailers in the mobile home park on the north side of Euclid. Taylor House, which is a hospice, was flooded as were the new buildings near by.
My mom said she received a phone call at two o'clock in the morning from the police, telling her to evacuate, if she was close to Four Mile Creek. They called everyone within a mile radius. Thankfully, my mom's house is safe.
Every place I drove today, there are houses with hoses draining water from their basements. Water is bubbling up through manhole covers and sewers. To top it off, the current temperature is 91 degrees with a heat index of 104.
Sadly, this flood has turned deadly. A sixteen year old girl died when three cars were swept off the road, just east of Altoona. She was a student at Southeast Polk High School, where my nephew is also a student. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.
I hope this is the end of it, but more rain is forecast for Friday. I feel fortunate that my basement is dry and I have a new air conditioner. I am thankful that my family is safe. I can't imagine the frustration some of these people are feeling as they deal with the third round of flooding so far this year.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Preparation for going back to school has begun. I already have the desks arranged. Tomorrow I'm going into school to put up bulletin boards, attach name tags to the desks with clear contact paper, and hook up the computers.
When I was first teaching, I created some elaborate bulletin boards, but I haven't done much of that during the past few years. Mostly I've just slapped up some posters or displayed student work.
Back in June I attended a literacy PD. The presenter talked about focusing on three important vocabulary words after you have taught the vocabulary for each story. These words should continue to be displayed on the word wall. She called this "Three Dogs On a Porch." When I stopped by school a few weeks ago, my principal told me that our school district wants everyone to do this. It is a "non-negotiable."
Last week, when I was in my classroom, I was trying to figure out where I was going to put this word wall. I decided to use the three small bulletin boards at the back of the room. Then I got the idea to turn the bulletin boards into a porch, and put three dogs on it. The vocabulary words will go on dog bones. So I have been working to draw the dogs and create the parts for the porch. I got out my scrapbooking books and materials, and I've been have some fun with it. Here is my work in progress. If it all comes together tomorrow, I will photograph the finished product.
Monday, August 9, 2010
If you give this teacher a new mousepad, she'll want a new mouse that coordinates with it better.
I picked up this Frank Lloyd Wright designed mousepad when I was at Taliesen. It is based on one of his glass designs. It bothers me that my red mouse clashes with the colors. I probably won't get a new mouse though, unless this one quits working.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Lisa and Colin were in town this weekend. They recently returned from their vacation, which was a backpacking camping trip near Lake Superior. Lisa is modeling her unloaded backpack for me, here.
Lisa grew up camping, but our family's style of camping is of the modern restroom and travel with the relatives, who have a motorhome variety. In college she was a camp counselor at Camp Hantesa, so she has always enjoyed the out of doors. She said this was the most rustic camping she has done. Colin is an experienced backpacker. They saw some beautiful scenery and had a great time. Colin is also a great photographer, and I enjoyed seeing their pictures.
Friday, August 6, 2010
I'm not a big shopper, but today I went shopping for school supplies. I was delighted to find composition notebooks for only 25 cents each at Target, and the two pocket folders with the prongs for 15 cents each at Staples. These colorful pencil bags at Target caught my eye.
The big ouch was buying new ink cartridges for my printer. I always go through a lot of ink this time of year. I make name tags, locker tags, and all kinds of labels with student names, on my computer.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Today was a busy day. I spent about four hours at school, and the big thing I accomplished was figuring out how to fit all those desks in. I currently have 28 students on my class list, which is 4 more than I had last year. I decided to move my desk up against the wall to open up the space, and make more room for student desks. I don't sit at my desk much anyway. Most of the time I am either moving around the room, or sitting at one of the tables working with students. It took me a while, and I did a lot of furniture moving, and book moving, but I was happy with the results. It gives my classroom a whole new look. When I start this process of setting up my classroom, I begin to feel excited about starting a new school year.
After I worked at school for a while, I went to work at Huntington. Now my feet hurt, and I'm a tired girl.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
The Daily Shoot: How does your garden grow? Make a photo of something growing in your or someone else's garden today.
These aren't actually growing in anybody's garden. They were in a pot outside a local real estate office. I noticed them when I was on my way into Jimmy John's. I liked the little blue flowers.
Monday, August 2, 2010
As many of you know, I have become a techie teacher this past year. It started with an on-line class last summer. Since that time I have tried lots of new things in the way of technology in my classroom. Some of you may not know that I have also become somewhat addicted to Twitter during that time. Part of my daily routine is to boot up my Tweetdeck to check to see what the educators I follow on Twitter are talking about.
Many of them have gone to Technology Conferences in Denver and Philadelphia, to learn more about using technology in the classroom. I have never been able to do that until this past weekend, when I attended my very first technology conference. It was a worldwide conference with people from 59 countries participating, and I never left Des Moines. Click here to visit my other blog, Prospecting for Treasure, to learn more about my experience.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
This weekend I visited Thomas Mitchell Park. At 175 acres, this park is much smaller than Yellow Banks. It is located at 10509 NE 46 Avenue, outside Mitchellville, Iowa. This park is also managed by Polk County Conservation and it is much more familiar to me. Our Fourth Graders used to come here for a fall field trip each year, so I have looked for wildlife in the pond and hiked the trails, as well as supervised kids on the playground.
The tree sculpture is new. I don't remember that. I'm thinking this is a Morell Mushroom, but I could be wrong.
This park has nice picnic shelters, and some hiking trails. It has a campground with electric hookups and modern restrooms. There is a tenting area near the creek that runs through the park. It is green and shaded, but it is also close to the road. If you're looking for quiet and a more woodsy feel, Yellow Banks Park is probably a better choice. I do like the ambiance of the red foot bridge.
Thomas Mitchell Park is more of a groomed park than Yellow Banks. It is great for picnics and camping. There are some hiking trails, and a pond, but no fishing. It is a wonderful place to go, and it's just a short drive away.