Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Sandy Hook Sadness

Sandy Hook Sadness

The day the tragedy happened in Sandy Hook, we were very ill with the flu. I posted the blog button that was scheduled with all other bloggers, that would appear on December 16th. We all agreed not to blog that day. 

Much to my dismay, it never appeared. Why? I'll never know. I checked my postings and there it was. Scheduled. I thought that I might have forgotten to schedule it because of the high fever I had that day. But no. It was scheduled.

I did my student teaching in Newtown. Sandy Hook is a section of Newtown, sort of like a village within a town. I remember being horrified when the news first broke. 

I thought I was in a delirious state of mind from fever, but when I woke up hours, later, it wasn't a bad dream. The quiet, beautiful town was headline news. How could something like this happen? 
What kind of monster could do something like this? My mind was reeling. Not in Connecticut, not where I spent formative time, teaching fourth graders under the guidance of one of the nicest, most capable teachers I've ever met. 

My neighbor called and was frantic. Two teachers from our town had taken positions in Newtown and she wasn't sure the names of the schools or where they are now. Later, we found out they were safe. One had been at Sandy Hook Elementary last year, but she had been transferred to another school, this year. The other teacher was in a school at the northern end of Newtown. What a relief.  

I'll end this post to say that the local news has been reporting that the town is overwhelmed with all of the teddy bears, gifts, and other things people from around the world are sending. They show updated pictures of it, on television and at this point, they're not sure what they're going to do with it. All of the biodegradable items, like flowers and the Christmas tree, wooden items may be turned into "sacred" soil and placed in a park as a memorial, but there is much more than can't be recycled. The news reports are saying as of today, that sending money, for the families, is better. 

God bless the little children and their families, the brave staff, the residents of Newtown and people of the world. God has wrapped those who were taken from us, in his loving arms, where they'll remain for eternity. When I was young, our minister always told us that God loves us and has a plan for each and everyone of us. His words have always been a source of comfort, especially now.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

North Pole Prepositions


I've always noticed that kids don't know the proper use of some prepositions. So many times I hear someone say, "I'm waiting on line" which should be "I'm waiting IN line". I ask my students if they're standing on a line drawn in the road. Another expression I hear very often is, "I'm babysitting my sister." UH?  Where's the preposition FOR? "I'm babysitting FOR my sister". 

Not to get off the subject of prepositions, but another expression that drives me crazy is "I'm going to grow a business". Grow a business is an expression that's made its way into the English language without anyone giving it a thought. More appropriately, it might be stated.. "I'm going to create a business". When I think of the word "grow' I think of planting my vegetable seeds so they'll grow during the summer.  Don't mind me, I'm just having one of those grammar days. :)

I love the winter even though I often complain about the frigid temperatures and snow. I love winter sports, winter games, winter, winter, winter! Then why do I complain? LOL!! Maybe I do want to live in a climate where there are palm trees, white beaches and temperate conditions??? 

I've had many great comments about my North Pole Prepositions since I CREATED the packet. (Notice I didn't say "... since I GREW my North Pole Prepositions packet :) Kids have to guess which prepositions fit correctly in the sentences and then draw pictures of them. Their illustrations are so cute and funny! 

photo of North Pole Prepositions, grammar, ELA, teacherspayteachers,com

Snowball Synonyms

I'm having a great time creating my snowball lessons! I guess it's because Mother Nature opened her seasons door and winter entered like a bull. There never seems to be a gradual change in our area. One day it's in the 70's and the next ay, it's teeth chattering 30's. We had an unusual October Nor'Easter that set the pace for others to follow.

 I remember my cousins coming to visit from Mobile, Alabama, one winter. They were 10 and 7 years old and had NEVER seen snow. An over night snowstorm dropped 6 inches on us and when we woke up the next morning, it was truly a "winter wonderland".

What we didn't realize is our cousins had run out, grabbed our sleds and were flying down our back hill with reckless abandon. They didn't realize that you have to HOLD on to the sled and steer it, otherwise, a tree just might jump out in front of you. I pulled on my snowsuit and went flying out the door, waving my arms and yelling STOP STOP! 

They were too far away to hear me and before I knew it, they were flying down the hill, waving wildly back at me. They must have thought I was cheering them on. Fortunately, they made it to the bottom of the hill safely.

My Snowball Synonyms is a cut/paste activity. I love these kinds of activities because kids love hands on activities. Match up the synonyms, paste them in the snowballs, while thinking of snowball fights with friends and making snow forts with HUGE snowballs!

Have fun!

photo of Snowball Synonyms, ELA, grammar, Teacher Park,