Sunday, August 30, 2009

Scene: A garage sale (where else would I be on a Saturday morning?)

I amble over to the wife with 3 books in hand.

“How much ?” .

“Books are $1 each” . She takes a second look at the titles

“Honey, are you sure you want to sell these books?” she calls out

“These books” were 3 Engineering texts with good ranks and selling prices of $100 each.

“Nah, I don’t want them anymore” replys Honey

“Are you sure? “

“Nope , don’t want them”

“I think….and she's distracted by another customer.

I quickly shove $3 into Honey’s hand and make a bee line for my car.

Hit the gas and hit the road. Hope nobody thinks to write down my license plate number.

The weather was tolerable till 9:30, so maybe one of these days it will be fall again. Best garage sale haul I have had in a VERY long time.

Monday, August 24, 2009

1 Day Down, 179 to Go!

Snippets from the first day of school:

The first child of the year to grace the Assistant Principals office is in Kindergarten. He's never been to school, daycare, Mother's Day, Sunday School or any other setting involving groups and rules. His reply to the teacher when told to get in line "I don't want to and you can't make me". I fear he'll be a frequent flyer.

One class has both an aunt and her niece. Said aunt and niece are both 5. I suspect the aunt became an aunt while still in the womb.

We had a gullywasher of rainstorm but thank goodness the skies opened after the busses rolled.

Not as many students were retained as in the past. For once we don't have any 13 year olds in the 5th grade. We do , however have a few that are already 12.

Thanks to an uncertain economy we had very little teacher turnover this year. Most folks aren't fool enough to let go of a steady job that comes with a pension.

Given the number of Moms I saw today with "baby bumps" I would say I have job security.

Thanks to the help of a couple of library interns I started out the year totally caught up. I'll enjoy it while it lasts. Which it won't.

On the whole the kids seem happy to be back in a place where there are routines and they get 2 squares a day.

I was the recipent of many hugs as the kids came down the hall. Felt good.

And, like all teachers on the night after the first day of school I can barely keep my eyes open.

Good Night!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Six Word Saturday is a new one that's winding its way through the blogshpere. Blogging meets Twitter? When the mind is dense (it's hardto get a good nights sleep when you are the filling in a kitty sandwich) these sort of things help prime the pump and prompt a post. A tip o' pen to Scheiss Weekly for the link.
Thrift Stores yield Books equal Sales.

That's been my life this summer. School starts on Monday so expect some changes!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

More on Apps

Tonight is "catch up on reading the blogs I haven't been reading" night.

Granted, I'm not reading ALL of them and I'm doing a great deal of "mark all as read" when they aren't but such is life when there are 879 blog posts in ones Google Reader.

One that I did read was a post by CoolCatTeacher that pointed me to 50 iPhone Apps to Get Kids Reading. All the SBISD libraries are supposed to get an iTouch or two this fall and I'm on the prowl for ways to use them. I plan to turn the kids loose with them, but after my encounter with sexy lingerie I want to make sure there is a fence around the corral.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Musings While Fasting

Had one of those fun medical tests that require one to fast and hang out in the waiting room.
Ah, the joys of getting older. Not.

  1. Real Simple Magazine is not the best choice of reading material when one is fasting
  2. Coffee always smells really good but when you can't have a cup it smells extra specially good.
  3. Waiting room chairs are uncomfortable.
  4. White slacks and pink underwear are not a good combination.
  5. White slacks & pink underwear with the word "WOW" on the backside are a very bad combination.
  6. If you are wearing white slacks & pink underwear with the word "WOW" on the backside you should avoid bending over.
  7. I wonder what the wearer of the white slacks & pink underwear with the the word "WOW" on the backside would do if I pointed out her fashion faux paus?

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Second Life Redux

I've been musing on Second Life and it's possible uses. I'm quite certain I'll never develop an affinity for it, given that of all the 23 + 11.5 things it's the one that really requires dedication and an interest that extends beyond the school day. Either you like it or our don't. There are so many players out there that folks like me must be the minority.

I'm wondering if it couldn't used in High School or Middle School by kids who are already fans. The teacher wouldn't have to spend days teaching it since they students already know how it works. Since it requires an e-mail address it would be hard to use in elementary school like mine where many of the kids don't have one.

The Second Life Wiki has some interesting ideas. I really like the idea of using SL to facilitate second language learning. There is such wide gulf between the the regular ed and the ESL / Bi-lingual students. They don't mix or mingle and so many of the bi-lingual students are really mono-lingaul, despite being native born American citizens. This SlideShare (Hey, there is another 11.5 tie-in) gives a good and simple explanation.

Seems there now a Teen Second Life for kids ages 13 -17. Educators can buy private "islands" and that's an interesting concept. A social studies department could buy an island and the students could recreate the world of Ancient Greece, a Shakespearn theater, a Colonial market or the Battle of Gettysburg. It's not a project for everyone but it's one that could be given to the G/T students.
This sort of thing is right up the alley of many of them. Linden Labs appears to be the front runner with this sort of thing.

So, I still don't care for Second Life (but then I don't like Chemistry either) but I can see it has real potential in the high schools, provided the school has a teacher with passion and an IT department that is willing to unblock Second Life.

Library2Play 2 - Thing #11.5 The End!

I'd really hoped to finish this by July 31, however the book business got in the way. My July ended with a record high monthly gross & I found myself packing over 100 packages during he last week of July.

So now it's August weekend orders are all packed and it's time to finish this up. Besides, there are cats sprawled on my packing table who have it quite clear that they don't want to be disturbed.

1. What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey? I'd already used Wordle and Bookr at school and I'm looking for a Facebook 12 step program so it's safe to say those are my favorites. ScreenCast and SlideShare will make their debut this year.

2. How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals? Of course, just as the first 23 things did. So many of them are now a daily part of life and I've had great fun sharing them with the kids, who also adored them.

3. Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
No not really, having done the original 23 Things. I knew Second Life was complicated but had no idea it was THAT complicated. Uploading a video was way easier than I thought it would be. I keep struggling with Twitter. Every time I think I've grasped it the "hows and whys" float away.

4. What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept? I love on-line learning and the fact that I can do it at home in my jammies. Maybe it would good to pair folks up in clusters so that everyone gets some comments on their blogs. I've an informal blog network but folks who are new to blogging don't.

And on that cheerful note - I'm FINISHED! And I get my flex days. Yeah for flex days.