Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Photo #271/365: Campfire

Because Adventureland's campground is officially within the city limits, all fires have to be up off the ground.  They have fire rings, but they are available on a first come first serve basis.  Jacci and Donner brought their fire pit out, along with some firewood.  I'm really glad they did, because you can't have a campout without a campfire.

Photo #270/365: Family

We had a lot of fun hanging out around the campfire at Adventureland.  There was lots of talking, eating, and laughting.

Photo #269/365: Adair Fair Champ

My cousin's daughter, Shelby, was at the family campout.  She was sporting this fancy belt buckle which she won for her horse back riding at the Adair County Fair.

Photo #268/365: Gas Pumps

These gas pumps are right outside the entrance at Max's Diner.  Even the handles on the doors look like the nozzle of a gas pump.

Photo #267/365: Skelly Oil

We had our family camp out this weekend.  We were going to go to Yellow Banks, but there was no space, so we ended up at Adventureland.  On Friday evening we went to Max's for dinner.  The decor is vintage gas station.  My dad worked for Skelly Oil, so this sign caught my eye.

Photo #266/365: Pumpkins

Along with all the Chrysanthemums, there are the beautiful pumpkins.  I really like the combination of the two.

Photo #265/365: Chrysanthemums

It's fall and time for the fall flowers.  There are lots of beautiful Chrysanthemums around. These were at Hy-Vee.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Photo #264/365: Lion

This is another photo from the Asian Garden.  The entrance to the garden is guarded by this lion and his friend.

Photo #263/365: The Downtown Bridges

Like many cities all over the world, Des Moines was built on the banks of a river.  In fact, two rivers converge in Des Moines.  So it is also a city divided by rivers, and the bridges that connect the two sides are very important.  This is a view of some of the downtown bridges.

Photo #262/365: Spiral

This spiral is carved into the stone at the Asian Garden.  There are so many great details there.

Photo #261/365: Downtown Des Moines

This is downtown Des Moines as viewed through the Center Street foot bridge.  It was a beautiful day when I stopped to take this photo.

Photo #260/365: Dog Questions

Since Winnie came to live with us, I've been thinking a lot about the way different breeds of dogs have certain personality traits.  Bailey is a Bichon Frise. Bichon's were bred as companion dogs, so Bailey is quite happy to sit on your lap or beside you.  He grumbles to get more petting.  Being loved is his main occupation.

Corgi's on the other hand were bred as herding dogs.  Now we don't have any sheep for Winnie to herd, so she tries really hard to herd us and keep us in line.  If I wake up during the night and look at the clock, Winnie leaps up, runs to the edge of the bed, and checks to see what's going on.  She runs up the stairs, stopping before she gets to the top and blocks the stairs.  She turns to monitor what I am doing.  If I get up to go to the bathroom, she gets up to check things out.

Before Winnie, I had Zoe.  Zoe was a German Shorthair, which are bred as hunting dogs.  Zoe was always on the lookout.  From a very early age, she would go into a point when she saw other animals.  She was always a hunter at heart, even though she had never officially been hunting.

So how do they do it?  How do they breed certain personality traits into different breeds of dogs?

Photo #259/365: Asian Garden

We've had some beautiful weather lately, so I took some time to stop at the Asian Garden along the Des Moines River.  The only other time I had been there was last year, and the river was very high then.  None of the water falls were operating at that time, because the river was all the way up to the base of the building.  This is a peaceful place to spend a few minutes.

Photo #258/365: Tea Pots

On Saturday, my sister and I met at Gong Fu for tea.  I tried a couple new teas and brought one, Garden Grove, which I had tried on an earlier visit.  I always take time to admire the wall of tea pots.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Photo #257/365: Paper Blogs

We have been learning about blogging and how blogs work.   To understand how blogs work, we made paper blogs.  Students wrote their first blog post on paper.  They glued their post to a poster and decorated it to make it look like a blog.  Then we hung them around the room. On top of the bulletin boards, on the white board, taped to bookshelves.  We visited a blog by a teacher in California, Mrs. Yollis, and watched a short video that her students made about writing comments.  Their advice was to be positive and specific.

Armed with pencils and sticky notes we all moved around the room reading each other's blogs and writing comments on the sticky notes.  We stuck the sticky notes to the blogs.  Some people tried to sneak back to their own blogs to read the comments, but they had to wait until the end.  When we were finished, everyone got their own blogs back and got to read the comments that had been left for them.  Now we are ready to write our first blog post for our on-line blogs.

This was the first time I tried the paper blog idea, but I will definitely do it again.  The original idea comes from middle school teacher, Karen McMillan.  You can read about it on her blog, Notes from McTeach.  Also, here is a link to Mrs. Yollis's blog.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Photo #256/365: Gold Balloons

When I was  visiting my sister at the Flapjack Run, I noticed all this gold balloons in the top of the tent.  They were to be released later in the morning, but a couple of them tried to escape ahead of time.

Photo #255/365: The Flapjack Run

My sister was a volunteer at the Flapjack Run which was held Sunday morning at Waterworks park.  The Flapjack Run is a 5k and 10k race that is a fundraiser for the Kids Cancer Connection.  While she was there working, I went out to check things out.  It was a really gorgeous day.  I was amazed by how many kids were running, and even a few dogs.

This Super Kid with the Baloon Helmet wasn't running, but he was playing a little football.

Oh, yeah!  And there were Flapjacks there, too.  Except the line was pretty long, so I left without having any.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Photo #254/365: Remembering 9/11

There are 2,977 flags here on the grounds of the Iowa State Capital Building.  They were placed here by the United States Air Force.  There is one to honor each person that died in the attacks on September 11, 2001. You can read more about them here

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Photo #253/365: Toy Animals

Learning Post is not only a teacher store, it is also a toy and book store.  They have lots of small figurines and building kits.  I liked some of these animals.  If I was a kid, I'd want them.

Photo #252/365: Wheat

This is another sculpture that hangs in the hall at Plymouth Congregational Church.

Photo #251/365: Fourth Graders are #1

There's no doubt about it.  As these pencils say, Fourth graders are #1!

Photo #250/365: Bookmarks

I've been thinking about bookmarks lately.  There were some colorful ones at Learning Post, but I think I'm going to make my own.

Photo #249/365: A New Kind of Dice

I've never seen dice like these.  I guess you only need to roll one to get two numbers.  I guess we'll rough it and use the two I already have.

Photo #248/365: Happy Jack o' Lanterns

I made a trip to learning post today to pick up my new magnetic hall passes.  They are already displaying books and decorations for Halloween.  I liked this little basket of erasers.

Photo #247: Grape Vine

Thursday night was the first DMEA Rep Assembly meeting, and since I hadn't held a meeting for building members, I had to go.  So it was another trip back to Plymouth Congregational Church.  This sculpture hangs in one of the halls.  It looks like wood, but I'm not really sure if it is.  I do like the monotone color with the detailed carving of the grapes and leaves.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Photo #246: Good Bye Poem

I have been getting so many great ideas for school from other people on Pinterest.  We all know the first two lines of this fun poem, but our class has been learning lots of other lines that go with it.  It is our launch at the end of the day, and what a great way to end the day.

When I first saw the poem it was written on a chart tablet, then I saw it in fancy print.  That gave me the idea to use my Printshop Deluxe program to make my own version.  Then I had a larger version printed at Walgreens.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Photo #245: Top Ten Facts Presentations

I am really liking the way the Top Ten Facts posters are coming out.  Each person is presenting their poster to the class, then we are displaying them in the hall.  It is a great way for me to get to know more about the kids.  I will definitely do this project again.

Photo #244: White Lily

These beautiful white lilies are some of the other flowers at the funeral home.

Photo #243: George's Flowers

My cousin, Karen, died of cancer in April.  On Monday, her husband, George, joined her.  He also died of cancer.  Whereas Karen had been fighting cancer for many years, George was just diagnosed three weeks ago.  It was so sad to be back at the same funeral home with the same people in such a short span of time.  I feel so sorry for their children who have now lost both of their parents.  We are all adults, but you are never ready to lose your parents.

These beautiful flowers were from my Aunt Barbara and Uncle Mark.

Photo #242/365: New Room Arrangement

One of the cool things about networking with teachers around the world, is you get to see inside their classrooms with out every going anywhere.  Many teachers in my PLN were sharing photos of their classrooms as they were setting up this fall.  That's where I got the idea for this new room arrangement.  I never would have thought of this. Desks are arranged in 4 U-shapes to enhance group work but no one has their back to the front of the room. I did this on Thursday and it seemed to work well on Friday.  I don't remember who had this idea, but I like it!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Photo #241/365: Hosta Blooms

My Hosta plants are pretty beat up after all the heat, but they have enough life left that they are producing these blooms.

Photo #240/365: Top Ten Facts

We are doing lots of activities to help us to get to know each other.  Borrowing from David Letterman, and a poster I saw for sale at Really Good Stuff, I created this poster.  We have done all the prewriting and tonight the class will complete their posters.  I am so excited to see what they do.

Photo #239/365: Testing!

This is the first year that we are taking our reading tests on the computer.  It was kind of stressful this first time around, but one of the advantages is that kids can see how they did immediately.  This is the pretest.  We will improve by the time we take this test again.

Photo #238/365: Our Social Contract for 2011/2012

One of the first things we did, now that we are back in school, was to create our social contract.  We brainstormed words to describe the ways we want to be treated by others.  Then we put those words into a Wordle. The more times a word was mentioned, the bigger it is in the Wordle.  The bigger it is, the more important it is to us.

After we put the social contract together, we all signed it.

Photo #237/365: Coleus and Petunias

The Coleus and Petunias are a nice combination in these pots.

Photo #236/365: Small Pink Petunias

In those same pots at Hy-Vee, I also found these small pink petunias.

Photo #235/365: Coleus

When I'm having difficulty finding things to photograph, I often find inspiration at Hy-Vee, along with the ice cream, bread and milk.  These coleus were in the large pots outside the store.

Photo #234: Giant Pink Flowers

We have been back in school for a week now, and life has gotten very crazy.  I'm way behind on my photos, so I'm just going to post a bunch that I have taken during the past week or so. I stopped and took this photo along Hubbell as I was driving from my Mom's house to Altoona.  I don't remember what these are called, but they sure are big!