Sunday, December 14, 2008

Shall we Wii?

Okay, now that I have your attention...
What does a teacher do when she is sick and not at school? After heading to the doctor and getting a prescription, she heads to the drug store. While waiting for the prescription to be filled there is ample opportunity to see what's new.

Pictured is my latest find. I bought a wireless game. Yes, it is similar to a Wii...but the price does not have as many spaces on the place value chart (very teacher-like comment, huh?).

My plan for this system you ask? Um, well, at the time I did not really think past the cool factor. I base out of the "resource room" at our school which is like a study hall for students with various academic, physical, or emotional disabilities. Kids were VERY excited to see what it could do. As soon as the first game loaded I knew I would need a plan for use. At this point I am thinking of having sticker charts for positive reinforcement. I give daily grades on a 1-4 point basis for work effort. Maybe this would help?

No matter how they earn time I know it will be fun. I have already tested the system out on 2 students. They didn't want to leave school!
Here is a quick clip of one of the students bowling:

Let me know if you have any ideas for use. I am always open for new suggestions!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Social Networking Possibilities

Recently I have had conversations at school and within my Professional Learning Network (PLN) regarding the use of social networking services such as Skype and iChat. I have tried to carefully listen to both sides of the discussion...

Pro: Imagine the possibilities for students to connect to peers across the country and world to learn from each other. Personally, I would like to have students practice fluency, interviewing skills, and just plain structured socialization practice. I am sure there are many more in which people could name...

Con: How is this technology secure? How can it be filtered to protect our students? Is the bandwidth adequate for such an endeavor? Will students abuse the technology when they are at home by chatting without parent permission or knowledge that they have set up their own accounts? Many things to consider and quite valid...

So, what am I to do? That is where this post comes in to play. I would like to hear what you think about using video chat with students. Chime in!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

First Staff Development

I made it through my first district staff development!
This comes after a couple of rough days with students. Those kinds of days when one questions their reason to show up in the morning.
But, I showed up today, continued my "cup is half full" attitude, and prepared for the class.
I had my wiki ready for links of all of the software, hardware, and websites reviewed. I presented each topic in a way similar to which I would my 75 year old mother.
I tried to look around and see if people were engaged or looked like a "deer in the headlights". I would say, generally there were smiles. The kind of smile you might have when you find something new or cool. The kind in which you have when you find something that could help others be successful.
All went well except for one part...The custodians locked all of the school doors except one. The one which is the farthest away from the computer lab! This will now come to the top of my list when preparing for new classes.
So, I guess I will do this again in the future. I had fun. I felt like I made a connection to some who may not have considered computer technology.

I would like to hear about your first experience with presenting to peers. What was the highs and lows of your seminar?

Thanks to all,
Your Pal,

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Flat Stanley

Stanley's travels are now beginning. Our special eduction class at Lux Middle School in Lincoln Nebraska, which consists mostly of moderate to severe students, have been hearing about the book Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown.

Stanley is flattened when a bulletin board falls on him. This does not stop him from having adventures. He is just the right shape to be put in an envelope and be mailed around the world! Imagine what he will see when he arrives at his destinations. Who will he meet? What activities will he join in to?

This is where you can help out...If you are willing to have Stanley mailed to you (snail or email) we would be more than happy to share him with you. This adventure will last throughout the entire school year. This gives plenty of time to invite Stanley to hang out with you.

I have started a "glog" to track some of the adventures. Stop by often!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

What we should learn from the story of Noah's Ark!

I just came back from services and this week's story was that of Noah's Ark.
The lay-leader shared this bit of humor prior to the reading:

Everything I Really Need to Know
I Learned From Noah's Ark
  • Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.
  • Stay fit. When you're 600 years old, someone might ask you to do something Really big.
  • Don't listen to critics. Do what has to be done.
  • Build on the high ground.
  • For safety's sake, travel in pairs.
  • Two heads are better than one.
  • Speed isn't always an advantage. The cheetahs were on board, but so were the snails.
  • If you can't fight or flee--float.
  • Take care of your animals as if they were the last ones on earth.
  • Don't forget that we're all in the same boat.
  • When the doo-doo gets really deep, don't sit there and complain--shovel!
  • Stay below deck during the storm.
  • Remember that the ark was built by amateurs & the Titanic was built by professionals.
  • If you have to start over, have a friend by your side.
  • Remember that the woodpeckers INSIDE are often a bigger threat than the storm outside.
  • No matter how bleak it looks, there's always a rainbow on the other side.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Value of Time

Our lay-leader read this to the congregation during Rosh Hashanah. I thought it was worthy of passing on

The Value of Time

Imagine there is a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400.
It carries over no balance from day to day.
Every evening deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day.
What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course!
Each of us has such a bank. Its name is TIME.
Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds.
Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose.
It carries over no balance.
It allows no overdraft.
Each day it opens a new account for you.
Each night it burns the remains of the day.
If you fail to use the day's deposits, the loss is yours.
There is no going back. There is no drawing against the "tomorrow".
You must live in the present on today's deposits.
Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness and success!
The clock is running. Make the most of today.
To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who failed a grade.
To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who gave birth to a pre-mature baby.
To realize the value of ONE WEEK, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realize the value of ONE DAY, ask a daily wage laborer with kids to feed.
To realize the value of ONE HOUR, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.
To realize the value of ONE MINUTE, ask a person who missed the train.
To realize the value of ONE SECOND, ask a person who just avoided an accident.
To realize the value of ONE MILLI-SECOND, ask the person who won a silver medal in the Olympics.
Treasure every moment that you have! And treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time.
And remember that time waits for no one.
Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow a mystery.
Today is a gift.
That's why it's called the present!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Where i've been...

What am I doing tonight? Since the bell rang at 3 this afternoon I have taken my daughter to PT, weighed in at WW (down 46 lbs!), went to conferences at the high school, and am in the midst of sifting through IEP information and test adaptations. Sounds like the the school year!
I am back to 6 hours of sleep averaged per night. It is hard to fit everything into one day. By the time you switch your "hat" from teacher to parent and back to teacher in the evening the day stretches to its limits.
Mind you I am not whining. I have chosen this path. I LOVE what I do. My students make me smile each day. Watching their progress makes the hours worth while. And my family? Of course, my life would be nothing without them! Granted, having a husband that travels out of town almost 3 out of every 4 weeks makes life a bit more challenging, I would not change a thing. I will survive. At least if I have a steady stream of Diet Pepsi!
So, I sit here at my kitchen table at 10:08 pm "taking a break".
I would like to hear from you...what is your typical day like? What makes it worth while?

Your Pal,

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Flip Video Offer

I love my Flip Video camera. I take it everywhere I go. I get excited thinking where I might use it. My best example was on the last day of school. We were completing field day and I thought it would be fun for my student in a power wheel chair to show what it is like cruising down the hallway. The result was a view of students who may not realize the need for a handicap ramp to be clear. Also the tendency to not listen to someone saying "excuse me". What I learned from this is the power of spontaneous. I captured a moment in time that may impact future decisions. Or, at the least I have a moment in time of a very brave young man.

What is the reason for this post? It is actually an offer I found online for a $50 Flip Video Ultra. The price is normally over $125. So, if this is ligit...join in the fun!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

1/100th of a second

After watching 2 swim races at the Beijing Olympics I cannot get past the thought how the technology we have today has impacted daily life.

Just 4 years ago I am sure there would have been some head scratching trying to figure out if the races were a tie or declare a winner with the chance of protest. Even the speed at which replays occur most likely have improved.

Now to my point. What part of our daily lives could be changed if we were aware of each 1/100th second. Would that be a good or bad thing? Would 1/100th of a second make us feel that we have made the most of the time we have with our loved ones? Hmmm....

So there you have it. My thought for today.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


It is 12:19 am on July 29, 2008. What the heck am I doing up? That's a great question. Could it be my husband is out of town which means he is not hear to remind me to go to bed? Is it because my 19 year old daughter was sent a platinum Visa card with a massive credit limit? Maybe because it is because I just spoke to my father in Las Vegas?

That is it! I talked to my dad. So, why does this keep me up? I think it is because talking to him made me think about "tradition". Still wondering about the connection? I will tell you. It is because my father brags that he has 5 daughters just like Tevye in Fiddler On The Roof! How many can say that?

The whole tradition thought process led me down the path of thinking what kind of traditions am I passing down to my children (and possibly others as well). Wow, that is heavy stuff. No wonder it is so late.

I know I have instilled a sense of faith, right and wrong, fair play, acceptance of differences, etc. But is that enough? What am I missing? Is there ever enough? That is what keeps me up tonight...

Now I sit here and listen to the Broadway soundtrack of Fiddler (really!) and wonder if I will get any sleep in the next few hours.

So for now, think about what traditions you may pass down...are they the ones you want?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Random thoughts for today

It is Monday, July 21, 2008. Holy crud, where is the summer going? What have I accomplished since school ended in June? Why do I even care?
Hmmmm, that is a good question. Is my self worth based upon concrete products of work? If I am not thinking about school on my time off am a less of a teacher? One would think the answer is simple. But, it isn't. To me top educators are always looking/listening/searching for ideas that may benefit their students. It may not be a purposeful strategy, may just be a passing thought of "this is cool" or "I could use this".
So, what comes of this pondering? I will try and keep a journal of what catches my eye during the day. A running log of "stuff I might use"...
In the mean time I will continue to help my youngest daughter after knee reconstruction, and support my firstborn with her new career path. Of course I will enjoy every moment my husband is home (travels up to 3 weeks each month).
Ahhh, I feel better!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

At the hospital

My youngest daughter had her knee operated on yesterday. All went extremely well! So far the drugs have kept her with little or no pain. Whew! Possibly going home today.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Social Networking

I have been spending much time networking with people who have similar interests. Of course I mean technology!

Currently I am using Plurk and Twitter.
My screen name for both are: lfeld52.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

How many of you can say your dad is a REAL clown? Well, my dad and husband are both Shrine Clowns! I am proud of their mission to use their talents to raise money
to provide free health care for children. The greatest gift one can give is their time. The value far outweighs money.

Happy Father's Day!

There is no one like my dad. At least in my opinion. How many of you out there can claim your dad is a REAL clown? My dad is "Buttons" the clown. He has had this altar ego for 30 or so years. I am proud of his mission to provide free health care for children. By the husband is the clown on the left with my daughter in between

Friday, June 13, 2008

Going to Persia

Okay, not quite as exciting when I say it is in Iowa!
I will be heading to a family get together in Persia. When I was loading the map photo I realized that the tornado that hit the Boy Scout camp is very close. Yikes.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

First video upload

Random thoughts June 10, 2008

Here are some things I am thinking about (random of course)

-Why does heat rise? my upstairs is so hot compared to the main level
-Will the high winds bring more storms?
-Will I remember all of the Twitter ideas I find each day?
-Will my brisket be done in time for dinner?