Friday, September 1, 2017

Who Wants to See our Church Directory Photos?

My parents, my sister, and our family recently had pictures for our 2017 church directory. We had multi-generational photos together while we were there too. In 2010, we did the the same thing. It's funny how seven years doesn't seem that long ago until you compare the two photos.

They give you a free 11x17 picture while they try to sell you lots of different packages. Mom and Dad said they put their free picture of the two of them under the bed. 

Anyway, we opted to pay for the digital rights for the pictures this here they are:

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year

Happy 2015!  I hope you all had your collard greens and black eyed peas for the new year! 
Here's a recipe for collards that I modified from this site:
2 lbs pre-packaged fresh collards 
32 oz chicken broth
2 cups water
Ham bone
1 yellow onion diced
1 clove of garlic minced
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T canola oil
Cook ham bone in chicken broth and water bringing to a boil.  Then reduce heat to simmer for about 30 minutes.  In a separate Dutch oven, put oil with diced onion, minced garlic (I only side part of 1 clove) and salt. Sauté until onion is transparent. Add collards. Meanwhile, remove the ham bone from the broth, and add the broth to the collards. Cut any meat left on ham bone, and add to collards. Then cook for about 1 1/2 hours on low. Yum, yum...Southern collard greens!




Wednesday, January 22, 2014

10 Random Facts...

It's Wife Wednesday, and I thought it would be fun to ask Hubby to give me 10 random facts about himself. We've been together for over 20 years, so let's see if he'll surprise me!

10 Random Facts About Hubby (as given by Hubby himself):

1. "I don't need glasses." Wait...he didn't need glasses until he turned 43.
2. "My 1st concert was Cool and the Gang at Six Flags."
3. "I'm the baby of my family."
4. "I've painted houses for over 30 years."
5. "My first car was a '79 Mustang that wouldn't run when it rained."
6. "My favorite color is blue."
7. "My favorite food is a Chick-fil-a sandwich. "
8. "My favorite restaurants at Disney World are The Flying Fish and Ohana's."
9. "I paid my own way to college."
10. "My family had about10 different breeds of dogs when I was growing up: golden retriever, English springer spaniel, Brittany spaniel, pug, German shorthaired pointer, sheepdog, vizsla, English bulldog, and Bassett hound."

And there you have it, not too many surprises for me. I guess I know him pretty we'll after all these years!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Teacher's Job is Never Done: Reviewing Curriculum Standards

Today I want to talk about curriculum standards on Teacher Tuesday. As educators, we teach using standards by subject area to guide instruction.  One of my favorite things to do is to analyze standards. That's what I'm doing tonight:
I have stacks of documents all focusing on teaching language arts in 2nd grade. I also have lots of devices across the table where I can have access to other electronic documents as needed. My goal is to compare the current Common Core Language Arts standards to the previous GPS standards and to standards from other states that are modifying Common Core. 
"Why am you doing that?"
I'm glad you asked...
Our school is preparing for a vertical team meeting on Language Arts soon. Since I am new to 2nd grade this year, I want to make sure I know where we've been and where we're going in Language Arts instruction.  
This comparing and analyzing the standards also helps me make sure I am being the best Language Arts teacher that I can be. Are my students getting the best education that they can receive in my class? 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Experience History: MLK, Jr.

When I was in the 6th grade in 1986, my class memorized a portion of the "I Have a Dream Speech" by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  My friend, Shelly, and I can still recite some of it: "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
In 2011, Hubby and I were fortunate enough to take our children to the Lincoln Memorial. We stood on the very spot where MLK, Jr. stood when he spoke those words. There is a marker on the ground  where he delivered his speech.

If you can't make it to Washington, D.C., then you can visit the exhibition at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta. Here are some pictures from our visit in June 2013:

So on this Mom Monday, I encourage you to get out and visit historically significant sites. Help your children experience the history that they learn about in school. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

We LOVE Disney!

It's Wife Wednesday! If there's one thing you should know about Hubby and me is that we LOVE Disney! We love it in the sun! We love it in the rain! We loved it when the kids were little. We love it now that the kids are bigger. We love the rides. We love the food. We love the resorts. We love the characters. We LOVE Disney!
 Hubby loves to make a spreadsheet to plan out our visits. He plans the parks, restaurants, parades, extra magic hours, etc. months before we get there. If you need any tips, just let us know! Here are just a few pictures through the years:

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Teaching Handwriting: Top 5 Handwriting Tips

It's Teacher Tuesday, and today handwriting instruction is on my mind.
I LOVE teaching handwriting! I've been teaching for 17 years. I taught 3 years in Pre-K, 13 years in Kindergarten, and I'm currently teaching 2nd grade. My love of handwriting instruction started my first year in Kindergarten. WAY back then...we had standards called QCC (Quality Core Curriculum). There was a long checklist that you basically looked over as a teacher to make sure you were teaching each item on the list. It was, as they said, "a mile wide, but not very deep." If you weren't careful, you could get caught trying to teach so many little things that you couldn't do all of them justice. At the end of the year, I was going through the checklist to make sure that I'd covered all of the things on the list. I realized that I had taught handwriting, but I hadn't really done it the justice that is deserved. I thought..."If I don't give them a firm handwriting foundation in Kindergarten, then who will?"
There are current standards under Common Core that require students to have nice handwriting, but I believe handwriting in many schools is getting pushed to the side. The current standards are stated as follows:
Kindergarten:  ELACCKL1a:  Print many upper- and lowercase letters
1st Grade: ELACC1L1a: Print all upper- and lowercase letters, ELACC1L1k Prints with appropriate spacing between words and sentences.
2nd Grade: ELACC2L1g: Creates documents with legible handwriting.
3rd Grade: ELACC3L1j: Writes legibly in cursive.
4th Grade: ELACC4L1h: Writes legibly in cursive, leaving space between letters in a word and words in a sentence.
I'm glad these handwriting standards are written for the current standards, but I would like for them to be a little more specific. Yes, students should print letters legibly, write legibly, and write in cursive legibly as these standards state. However, do you see how a teacher could be just looking for legible writing rather than actually instructing students on how to write legibly? If the teacher doesn't give students a firm handwriting foundation with direct instruction on how to form letters to make legible words and sentences, then how will the students learn?
I am lucky to teach at a school that recognizes the importance of handwriting for our students' futures. We had a handwriting committee meet to develop handwriting standards specific for our school.
Handwriting continues to be a favorite part in my classroom. This school year I am extra excited because I get to start teaching cursive. I created my own alphabet lines for my classroom using PowerPoint. We use D'nealian manuscript at our school. I have the print and cursive letters displayed, and I refer to them often.



I also remind students of these pointers during handwriting instruction. They are my Top 5 Handwriting Tips:
1. Sit up with nice posture.
2. Hold your paper with your non-writing hand: hold your pencil correctly.
3. Think about the size of each letter and where letter starts.
4. Wait for instruction on how to form each letter; do not practice letters incorrectly.
5. Practice and review letters you have learned.

Happy Handwriting!