Tuesday, December 12, 2017

A morning at Pre-school

Who knew? I haven't spent much time in preschool classrooms, only long enough to read a story or share a quick lesson. But last Monday I helped my sister-in-law teach 2 groups of 3 year olds. I had so much fun! We dressed the calendar kid for the weather, we said the Pledge of Alliegence, we studied letter sounds, we sang songs, we marched around listening to music, we used free play time outside in the leaves, we ate snacks, we had circle time, we decorated a paper Christmas stocking and I read a new book. Most of them had heard of the Nursery Rhyme, Humpty Dumpty and repeated it with me. Then I read, After the Fall, by Dan Santat. It's a captivating story of how Humpty gets back up and continues with his life. It's a sweet story. The children were impressed, I know because a few days later I ran into one of the mothers and she told me her little guy ask if I was coming back to class. He then told her I taught them all about Humpty Dumpty.

Here is the link to a review of the book: After the Fall

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The 7th Annual Halloweensie Contest

The Contest: write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (children here defined as 12 and under) (title not included in the 100 words), using the words candy cornmonster, and shadow. (Candy corn will be counted as 1 word.)  Your story can be scary, funny, or anything in between, poetry or prose, but it will only count for the contest if it includes those 3 words and is 100 words (you can go under, but not over!) Here is the link to the contest:
The 7th annual Halloweensie Contest

Here is my silly entry that was inspired by a two-year old's choice for a costume.

Let's get our Halloween costumes. What do you want to be?

I want to be an elbow for Halloween.

What's scary about an elbow? What does an elbow do?

It's bony and it creaks.

Let's dress as monsters. All your friends will be dressed as monsters.

Ok, then I'll be a candy corn.

What's scary about candy corn? Everyone will eat you up.

I'll hide in the shadow of the corn stalk.

Perfect! I can be the cornstalk. You can jump out and scare everyone.

And the creaking, bending elbow will be the scariest Halloween costume ever!  

I'll be the monster.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge: Reflections of 2017 #AtoZChallenge

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge: Reflections of 2017 #AtoZChallenge

#A to Z Reflection

This was my first experience with the A to Z Challenge. I decided to participate the day before the challenge began. I'd heard about it from a March challenge that I had just completed (Two Writng Teachers Slice of Life Challenge). That didn't give me time to plan posts ahead of their due dates. I read that you needed a theme so I thought photography might be the simplest for me and that is what I did. It worked for me, but I might try to be more focused if I participate again.

From participating in the challenge sponsored by Two Writing Teachers blog, I knew how to add a link to my daily post. In the A to Z Challenge I learned how to create a link to my post instead of simply leaving the url. I liked doing that because it's a cleaner look. However, I had to go through several steps to copy and paste every day. I noticed several participants had difficulty with this too.

I didn't use Facebook to promote my blog because I don't use FB. Another participant demonstrated how to put the post on Twitter, but I didn't think to do that even thought I have a Twitter account.

I really enjoyed reading the various blogs written by so many participants. I've even started following some. The ones I visited  & commented on made the effort to read my posts and comment too. Their comments encouraged me. I found the participants to be an eclectic group that offered a variety of themes. I especially liked the blogs about ancestors, quilts, history, a short story of Hawaii and positive quotes. I Usually follow posts written by teachers, so this was a bit different. The themes were interesting and unique. I have a better idea of how to select a theme now. I found myself drawn to visit the same blogs throughout the challenge. I tried to visit different blogs, but there wasn't time to visit all. The challenge was a great experience.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Z is for Zora Arkus-Duntof, champion of the Corvette

Zora was born Christmas Day in Belgium. He grew up driving a street car and racing motorcycles. He earned a degree in mechanical engineering and was the first to hold the degree as Chief Engineer for the Corvette. This job came to him because he attended the auto show in New York in 1953, when the first Corvette was introduced. He was so impressed that he wrote a letter to the Chief Engineer at Chevrolet to compliment him and make suggestions to improve future production models. The engineers at Chevrolet were so impressed with him, they offered him a job opportunity. He changed the Corvette to have more horsepower using a V-8 in 1955 and fuel injection in 1957. And as they say, the rest is history.

I have a few pictures of Covettes below. We have owned two of these pictured the 1958 and the 1965. We have a 1966 convertible that needs restoration.

My rendering of the 65
Modern motor
Our 65 Coupe

Friday, April 28, 2017

Y is for Yolo, you only live once

I recently read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It was a retirement gift. The story tells of a shepard's journey to find his personal legend, a story of self-discovery. It's one of those books that causes you to evaluate your life. I read the cliff notes too. I'm reminded that you only get one life on this earth, so you should make it your best. Seek out your dreams, do not let fear control your actions, be intentionally grateful, and live in the present. I've tried to live my life in this way. Instead of writing my essay to explain, I've Included a few of my favorite nature pictures for your viewing pleasure.
Barn near President James & Dolly Madison's home
Blossom from the Tulip Poplar in my yard

Sunny day on the Mingo River

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

X is for Xavier Mission

I researched the letter x, I wanted ideas to connect a picture with this letter. First I need to let you know that I love old books, I collect them because they contain so much that is lost in the world today. So I have a few old books to peruse.

In New Universities Webster Dictionary from 1940 the letter Xx has 107 entries. It's a very thorough book.

In 1974, I purchased a Webster's New World Dictionary @1971 just before I started college. I used it to spell words, to find out if I should use an adverb or an adjective, to learn how to correctly pronounce the word, to uncover the meanings and to find synonyms for writing. Xx has 30 entries in it.

The World Book Encyclopedia of 1994, Xx has 17 entries. This is the most current hard bound resource I have. I used to have an app to help me, now I mostly use Wikipedia, or the dictionary from 1971.

Anyway, I think we have slowed use of the letter x. Maybe thats because it has 6 different sounds. No wonder English is a difficult language to learn. Many words beginning with Xx in the oldest book no longer appear in newer dictionaries. Xerox was not in the old book, but X-ray was. Xebec appeared in all three books. It is a 3-masted ship used in the Mediterranean. X-chromosone was only in the 1994 book.

Also appearing in all three books was St. Francis Xavier, a Jesuit missionary. That sounded familiar to me so I dug a little more, went to Wikipedia and hit the jackpot. I've been there and have pictures of the St. Francis Xavier Mission south of Tucson,  Arizona. It was established in 1692! It is beautiful! My photos aren't great because I was using a new camera, with settings unfamiliar to me.

A morning at Pre-school