Thursday, December 30, 2010

Blog Ch #30: It's a Wrap!




KC and I had great plans for a big finale, but instead I'm showing a little end of challenge film with #1 Son.  The challenge has been way awesome.  There has been a drawback, however and it is this.  When I make something, (glog, animasher, vuvox, voice thread, movie, podcast) I get obsessed with watching it a million times.  I try to stop but I can't.  I need to learn how to gain perspective on my amazing creativity.
But on the good side, we did meet the traits of the participatory culture, (Jenkins, 2006) I do believe.  I will state them thusly:


  • Relatively low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement?  I think anyone who has watched my Care Bear Car animation can agree that expressive barriers were quite low.  Perhaps even nonexistent.


  • Strong support for creating and sharing one's work with others?  Though I rarely (never) felt that I created something extraordinary, I always felt supported and encouraged.  Thanks, pallies!  


  • Informal mentorship?  I learned from everyone and tried many new sites as a result of reading your new media entries.  Yay.


  • Members believe their contributions matter?  I appreciated everyone's comments and I tried to comment on everyone else's entries. I liked that we made that part of the challenge.  


  • Members feel some degree of social connection?  Obv.  I think of the readers as members as well.  It would be kind of neat if we all went out and got the same tattoo so we could always remember this literacy challenge. 
I do like a bulleted list.  At any rate, this was a great challenge and I'm going to try to keep challenging myself to be creative on the blog and other places in the coming year.  Happy New Year, Dears!

Penultimate Blog Challenge #29: NEW CAR


Geez louise, I've spent too much time trying to upload music to this vuvox about the new car

I've got to let it go.  I wanted to be playing Katy Perry's FIREWORKS in the background because I've heard that's a very inspirational song.  So please try to imagine that song playing while you watch. Or sing it yourself if you happen to know it.  

The new car is a manual transmission and I'm happy about that.  We used to have a corolla that was manual transmission and I enjoyed the driving of it.  Buying the new car was not too stressful.  We said a price, they said a price.  We started walking out the door.  They ran after us and gave us a new price.  We shook hands.  The car dealer guy was a parent of a kid at the compound, so that was a little weird.  But it's here and I think I'm going to be the primary driver of this new car.  I really love it. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Blog Ch 27: Zine Book Review


This is kind of neat.  I read a book and then made a little open zine reaction to it.  Check it out, peeps.  And read that book if you want to!

Will Grayson Will Grayson - lheffern

Monday, December 27, 2010

Blog Ch 26: Care Bear Car

Care Bear Car by lheffern

Make your own| Clone and edit


Saw this care bear car recently. I love it. We need to buy a car. We looked at a used car today. We brought it to a dealer to check out the mechanics of the car. They looked it over and said that the car was not a good one to buy. So then we started thinking about buying a new car. But maybe the dealer mechanics are discouraging about all used cars so that peeps get nervous and buy new. It's super hard to deal with this situation. If I had this care bear car, all my problems would be solved.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Blog Ch 25: LUPE!



#1 Son and I made this brief film about the greatest dog in town, Guadelupe.  Check it out
RIGHT HERE!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Blog Ch 24: War Is Over



I always like hearing this song this time of year. I think it's probably the only Christmas
anti war song, but maybe not, I'm not sure. Today was a good day of traditions. My mom spent the day cooking pies. DailyRos baked cookies. I tried to keep the kitchen tidy. Brotherman and Sistuh, B and B met us for lunch. A few hours of wrapping in the afternoon. We watched It's a Wonderful Life. You've gotta love Mr. Potter. He's just a crank through and through. Right this very moment, my mom's at midnight mass and good man Husbandman accompanied her. I'm going to owe him for this one. What a nicey.

Hope everyone gets something nice in their stockings. And so, happy Xmas.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Blog Ch 23: Glogster Movie Review


We saw THIS FINE MOVIE today.  I don't usually enjoy fighting movies, but
this was fabulous.  As you can see from this glog, I especially appreciated
Christian Bale's fine performance. All the actors are good.  It's all based on a true
story, the story of fighter brothers Micky Ward and Dicky Ecklund.

As an aside, I've always wanted to go to Lowell to tour the textile mill museums. The Lowell
mill girls fought for fair working conditions.  Lowell.  Another hardscrabble town.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Blog Ch 22: Interview with G.S. Scholar


I made a little interview video over here on You Tube.  Inserted annotations.  Fairly pleased with myself.  Having trouble with non blogging challenge productivity. We leave for Georgia in the morning and we are not packed at all.  But everything seems to get done eventually.

Blog Ch 21 Prezi Book Response

I tried to embed the PREZI book response I made BUT, the formatting was all wonky, so I'm
just LINKING to the PREZI RIGHT HERE!  Check it out.  It's about Jeannette's book.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Blog Ch 20 Sketch Up

I'm learning a lot with this challenge.  I learned how to make this guy on Sketch Up and then I figured out how to do a screenshot, something I'd never done before.
Tomorrow I'll probably work on a podcast or glogster poster about Glass Castle.  So hard to know how I feel about those weirdo parents.  The author is so darn zenlike cheerful in all the interviews I read tonight.  I will need a new book recommendation, so please get on that asap.  Thanks, dolls.

Blog Ch 19 PhotoBooth Writers


If you click here you'll see some first grade writers.

I'm not too happy that the foto booth wouldn't embed here, but that's okay.  Now you all get to see
DailyRos looking cute as can be.
Our school has started using the Daily 5 book to structure our Reader's Workshop.  I love walking into classrooms and seeing the kiddos working on their literacy all over the place.  D5 rocks.

Blog Ch 18 Animation?

Testing by lheffern

Make your own| Clone and edit

Not sure even what to call this.  All I know is that DailyRos's pals encouraged me to try some 3D gif animation of some photos for my next blogging challenge.  This is not 3D gif animation, but it's getting late, and sometimes you have to settle.
Good news: That Love and Other Drugs movie is okay.  Not great, but some fine chemistry between the principals.
Also, Husbandman and I played darts at a local saloon this evening.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

BlogCh #17 VoiceTHREAD!

I have a little voice thread going on over here.

It's another tiger theme, but I used the drawing tool, which makes it kind of interesting.

3 more days til vacation.  We really haven't bought any gifties yet, which is a problem.  Sure it's important to buy gifts for family members, but the blogging challenge is super important too.  And I honor my commitments.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

BlogCh #16 Podcast Book Review


I made a podcast about Patti Smith's book, Just Kids, but I guess it's too big to upload to my other
podcasting blog.  Please advise, participatory culture members!

Also, you may be wondering, why has leeway skipped Blog Challenge 15?  Well, come to find out, I had two 11's!  Rather than go back and edit titles, I'm just skipping 15.  Fair?  Fair!

I've been checking out a LOT of Mapplethorpe's photography since I finished Just Kids.  Frank Rich has a great piece today about the Smithsonian's oppressive censorship of a film by David Wojnarowicz, an artist who was killed by AIDS in 1992.  Rich writes a bit about Mapplethorpe in his piece about artists and AIDS and censorship and societal cruelty and neglect.  My brother Glenn died of AIDS in 1988.  Patti's book brought back memories of what a hard death AIDS is and made me feel again our terrible loss of friendship, creativity, kindness, love and fun that was Glenn Timothy Heffernan.

I wish I could play you the podcast because I actually purchased, imported and edited two Smith songs and they could really get you pumped up.

POSTED HOURS LATER:  Here's the podcast peeps, over at my new tumblr:

I talk about having a lucky day today in this podcast and we ended up having a very lucky event happen.  #1 son
had a bad car accident with the miniature van, but he is NOT HURT and neither is anyone else.
Stars aligning, angels calling.  (You'll know what I mean when you hear the cast).

Saturday, December 11, 2010

BlogCh #14: PummelVision


My Pummelvision from Lee heffernan on Vimeo.

Thanks to Good Pal Menosky for telling me about Pummelvision.
 I knew all those web cam photos would come in handy some day.
Yay!

Friday, December 10, 2010

BlogCh #13: Unabashed Liberal Wordle

Wordle: Unabashed Liberal


I'm a reader of this blog so I decided to make a wordle with the URL. If
you click on the wordle you can see the important concepts covered here.
UL always keeps us on our toes and I'm glad for that.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

BlogCh#12: Animoto


Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.

More creativity.  I made a little Animoto movie with some fotos.
Our downtown square always looks very beautiful this time of year.
I'm enjoying the season so far.  Especially all the lights.

BlogCh #11: GPMs Collage


Good pal Menosky used PIKNIK to join my foto of #1 with her foto which is called Jazz In Motion.
I love it.  And I still get credit for the blogging challenge because I had to save it and embed it here in alittleleeway.
Today was a long day because I went to a "Literacy Cohort" meeting at ye olde administratione buildinge.  I was looking forward to a night of trying to embed some media literacy, but come to find out, #1 son has a jazz concert at ye olde highe schoole.  I wasn't going to go but maybe I will.  This will involve getting out of my pajamas, but that's the kind of sacrifice I'm willing to make for my child.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

BloggingChallenge#11: Prezi Story About My Weird Dream

Blog Ch10 A Fascinating YouTube Video



Amy Krause Rosenthal tweeted this today and I really liked it.
I wonder if this family is still doing this every day. I took about 300 facebook
webcam fotos one year. Maybe I could put them together into something like this?

Monday, December 06, 2010

Blog Ch9Russell Brand: Booky Wook 2--This Time Its Personal - The Treatment on KCRW





Russell Brand: Booky Wook 2--This Time Its Personal - The Treatment on KCRW

Hey, I've worked on TWO pieces of embedded literacy media in the past 2 days: a museum box and a voice thread.
Could not embed either one.

Yes, I'm ticked off, but I'm going to keep on with strength and stamina.

In the meantime, I really enjoyed listening to Russell Brand on The Treatment, my new favorite podcast.

You may as well.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Blogging Challenge #8: Common Assessment

Tonight I had a meeting with the Splendid Second Grade teachers.  We talked about their common assessment that has to be given tomorrow.  The teachers were talking about how they wish our assessments could have more illustrations to support struggling readers.  Happy to tell you all that I
took some photos from the text with photo booth, edited them with iPhoto, and then inserted them into a text for a test the second graders are sure to love.  Rocking the technology in Common Assessment Land!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Blogging Challenge #7 Voki Gingerbread Man


Get a Voki now!

#1 Son is responsible for this Voki's monologue.  He's really helpful.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Blogging Challenge #6: Pleasant cartoon




This is a little cartoon I made.  Simple, but
it gets a point a cross.


BloggingChallenge 5: Vuvox of Florida Trip Photos



I wanted to put music with this.  Those hopes were dashed.
Oh well.  Vuvox is cool.  Even though I made a simple one.

Today was a hard re-entry into the compound.  Vuvox helped me to
unwind and remember the good times.  Thanks, Vuvox.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Blogging Challenge # 4 Glogster Patti Smith


I'm in a little bit of a funk tonight, to tell you the truth, but I'm enjoying
reading National Book Award Winner Just Kids by Patti Smith on the
iPad.  I love reading on the iPad as I've explained in the past.  I'm inspired
by Patti Smith.  I love most everything about her.  So I made this poster
as a thank you gift to Patti for decades of great work and for writing a fantastic book
that's distracting me from some Sunday evening blues.  Vacations end and
everyone disperses.  The quiet house is pleasant, but there's still a little bit of missing.
At any rate, thanks, Patti Smith.

Blogging Challenge #3: Social Justice Film About Tigers

video
This film is better, but DailyRos had to help me with the music import.  If you haven't been to this place, you should go.

Challenge Blog #2 Hand Turkey Movie

video
Internets has decided to show up for a bit.  So you'll be glad to know I haven't just been sitting around crying about not having internets.  No way, that's not how I roll.  I've been making a movie about hand turkeys.  As you can see, this is not the best movie ever made, but it does have heart.  And there's some pathos here too.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Glogster





Check this out. A glogster poster including digital imagery as well as a brief film. I guess
it doesn't get much better than this.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The 2010 Blogging Challenge!!!!

Friends, Huddle Up.  It's time to learn more about the 2010 blogging challenge.  When KC, Judith, Jdoc and I were at NCTE, we talked about the challenge, but ideas weren't flowing in the Magical Kingdom. While we got down to the wire, waiting to board our planes, we still had very few reasonable ideas.  We thought about a "This I Believe" kind of challenge.  Then I brought up a creative "What If?" theme where we could just write about weird imaginary things every day.  Then we finally came up with the perfect plan.

We want to come together as a blogging community to explore, consume and create media.  This is pretty cool, I'm sure you agree.  We can consume new media stuff and then just blog the heck out of it. We can also experiment with some new media whenever we feel like it.   Jenkins says that people who come together around new media become a participatory culture.  I'm jazzed about this, peeps.  Let's do this thing.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Talk

Today's the day.  KC and I talk about the cool podcasting kids at 9:30.  I feel nervous, but not crazy nervous.  I wish we weren't in Disneyworld.  Last night, after a whole day of some great and some okay talks, our plan was to head into Epcot.  That's when I balked and started shaking my head in horror as the plans were being discussed.  After a day of convention, I want to go have a nice dinner and chillax.  We did find a place to take us and we sat by the window admiring Cinderella's castle lit up and sparkly.  That's about as close as I want to get.  There's talk today about trying to make it into the kingdom for real.  I'm gearing up all my super human powers.  I was dismayed to hear that I'll probably have to stand in lines.  Oh well.  I'm going to take the DL's advice and try to consider and work for the well being of others.  Pals wanna go to the kingdom.  We're going in.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Chalk

Blah blah blah, I'm working again on ncte.  I thought about going over to promptcare because i've felt hideous for over a week now, but it's never really that bad, so I plug along, with runny nose, headache and weird intermittent coughing jags.  I have a sense of dread that we won't finish this today and if we don't finish it today I'm going to walk up to the top of Rawles Hall and think about jumping off.  At least I'm in Husbandman's office, where I usually do good work and I have a clean chalkboard in front of me. This will be key to mapping out the last important findings and implications.
Here we go.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

The Surge

I think a little blogging is just the ticket to get me moving on the ncte talk once again.  I have some goals today that basically include refining the research questions and answering the research questions.  Also a little more data analysis.  Okay, more than a little analysis.  But that's okay.  I am not going into the compound today.  I will suffer later for this, but it will be a trade off to be almost done with ncte stuff.  Yesterday was a long productive day.  It's fun listening to the podcasts and thinking about all the stuff we did together.

Twenty something daughter comes home in 2 weeks.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Suggestion

On a quick break, I read online that Good Pal Menosky had used foto booth for a cool picture so I headed right over there to do the same.  The power of suggestion is strong with me.  Now back to work on the grant I should have completed already.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Horror

Last night we saw Catfish.  That movie had some creepy twists and turns and my stomach started ACHING about half way through.  I kept thinking that this documentary resembled a horror film. Then I spent about 2 hours googling everything I could find about the movie.  Many reviewers compared it to a Hitchcock film.  So that validated my feelings.  I wish you would all see Catfish so we could have a chat about it.  I also wish everyone would read Room asap so we could chat about that.
You're all (all 3 of you) probably wondering how the ncte talk is doing.  Not great.  It's very hard and I'm freaking out.  But I have gotten some work done and that's better than not getting any work done.
Tomorrow I have to finish compound work all day so it will be Tuesday night before I get back to this herculean task.  I wish I could just say that I'm doing the best I can.  But honestly, I'm not sure I am doing the absolute best I can.   I could actually probably do a lot better if I actually really tried. And it probably would have helped a little if KC had never recommended the Angry Birds app to me.  But let's just put that out of our minds and think about it tomorrow or sometime after that. We go through this year after year.  Would we really have it any other way?  I mean I probably would have it some other way if push really came to shove, but it's time to just watch the Giants losing to the Rangers and read a bit on the iPad.  And hope for the best on the dawning of a new day in the morn.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Break

Fall break means we have 2 days off.  My goal is to work a bit on the NCTE talk.  So far I have not worked on it, but I have had a facial and I also went out to lunch with Husbandman.  Now I'm fooling around with the internets.  Just watched Eminem's Not Afraid video.  Then I texted #1 son to see if he liked that video.  Then I decided to blog.
This is probably why I don't get anything done.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Overnight

Husbandman and I headed up to Indy for the weekend.  We checked out the fantastic Andy Warhol
exhibit at the IMA.  Then we had dinner at a fine eatery.  Then we watched the Giants beat the Phillies, much to our delight.  While we watched, I read this awesome book on the iPad.  I am not sure if I'll ever read a real book again.  Can't even find the words to tell you how much I enjoyed it.
Tonight I'm missing the offspring.  #1 son has been sleeping all day.  Teendaughter keeps living in California.  If they were here watching Amazing Race with us right now, all would be right with the world.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Desserts

Husbandman's birthday is today, the day after my birthday.  Every year Husbandman makes me a pumpkin pie for my birthday.  This year's pie was top notch.  I buy Husbandman a cake.  This year I went to a most excellent bakery and bought a large chocolate cake.  Husbandman did not think that it made sense for me to buy such a large cake.  Damn it, it's your birthday buddy.  You're going to be having your cake and eating it too for awhile now.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Watershed

So far, I've made 50 turns around the sun.  And so far, it's been a great ride. 
The trip to Maine was fab.  These D5 sisters draw on all the peeps I love.  People like Nancy
Atwell and Donald Graves.  And they talk about miscue analysis and kid choice and
actual reading and writing.  So refreshing!  I had a few nice walks and took some photos of lighthouses,
fall foliage and tall ships. Colleagues were funny and relaxed and extremely collegial.

I wake up this morning ready to seize the day and this generous gift of a promising year.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Table

This year, I'm a co-manager of Homework Table.  For 40 minutes each day, little peeps who did not do their homework at their actual homes come to "homework table" instead of having fun at recess.  Some of the kiddos have no idea how to do the homework.  Some of them can barely write their own names if you want to know the god's honest truth.  So I look thru their hw packets, find the easiest assignments and then basically walk up to the board and have them copy brief, but relevant answers.  I get those little peeps through that homework like there's no tomorrow.  Their heads are spinning by the time they leave, but their homework is in the bag.  I'm not crazy about homework and I don't care for homework table, but I get the job done.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Bite

Great.  I have a bug bite on my leg that's super itchy.  I put cortaid on it, but I keep scratching it.
And the Braves lost tonight.  And my other question is...why does Amazing Race come on
at a different time each week?

Friday, October 08, 2010

The Call

 
Yesterday I went to the library with some first graders.  We got to go on THE BOOKMOBILE.  This is kind of neat.  Our first bookmobile started serving readers in 1929.  A gal who I think had the name of Helen rode that vehicle around town for 30 years.  The guy who drives the bookmobile now has been driving it around for 20 years.  I think driving the bookmobile might be a pretty good job. It's neat that the shelves are tilted back so the books don't drop off the shelves when the bookmobile takes a sharp turn.  It's also neat that they're making a new bookmobile in Ohio.  We'll have that bookmobile in a few months.  Our current bookmobile is 15 years old, so it's probably overdue for a replacement.  It would be neat if I could have the old bookmobile.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The Visits

The job I am in now has way too much computer stuff to it.  I love computers as we all know, but I don't like entering data and I'm not too crazy about sending stuff on email that I've already sent to people several times.  And I don't like data entry.  Just want to be super clear on that.  I had a huge batch of scores to send to the district today and it's been hanging over my head for days.  Today I would work on the scores for 20 minutes and then run into a classroom for 20 minutes.  I kept that up all day long.  So on my visits, I did a variety of things.  Quizzed some firsties on their sight words.  Most of them knew most of them!  I sat with some 2nders who were making thank you cards.  They saw Give a Mouse a Cookie today at the Cardinal Theater Company and they were riding HIGH on that action.  I sat next to a thirdie who was freaking out about a cognitive test he was taking.  Talked him down and helped him through the last long pages.  I did a bunch of other stuff too.  Because I didn't stay at my desk doing data entry I didn't get to leave school until 8:30 pm.  Not the worst thing in the world because i took a break at 7:30 to watch the chimney swifts swirling into their chimney for the night.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

The Dinner

video
Husbandman and I went out to dinner last night.  I made a film about it.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Friday, October 01, 2010

The Outing

I took a day off from the compound.  Went to hear these 2 bad boys talk.  Went to the zoo.  Went to a sculpture garden.  Ate some meals.  I feel good about getting away for 24 hours, but now I have to settle into working on the ncte talk.  Be prepared to read a ton about ncte prep in the next month.  Don't worry, we'll all suffer through it together.  We can do this.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Idea

Geez Louise, Today the compound was getting me super down.  But then tonight I had a brilliant idea about a compound conundrum.  Now I'm waiting for my bosslady to email me back because I want
her to think my brilliant idea is super brilliant.  I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Future

Never go backward.  Always be movin,' movin' forward.

This is a quote from Some Sing Some Cry.  I read a review of this book this very morning in the NYT.
After a restful weekend I am ready to be movin' forward.  And I won't be going backward.  No way will I be going backward to the loopies yelling in my face and the widespread panic about teendaughter being so far away during a medical crisis.  After a weekend of rest, hours of watching HOARDERS, a nice dinner out and an entertaining movie, I'm ready to blog and then slog.  #1 Son is here reading my draft.  He believes a good ending would be, "F*** Yeah, World."

I'm going with it.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Lotus

Crooked Still.  Chicha Libre.  Bernard Woma.  Nation Beat.  Red Baraat.  Genticorum.  Khaira Arby.
Night one of Lotus was a great success.  In an hour I'm going to slog a 5k.  Haven't done this in about ten years.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Titanic


Read about The Titanic with some 2nders yesterday.  We were doing a lesson on "asking important questions."  It was hard to get the kiddos to focus their questions on the text because they were fairly absorbed in the loss of life involved. We got comments like Are the dead bodies still in the boat?  Did the souls escape and are the souls traveling around in the sea? Are the people sad that they died on the boat? Do the people who died wish they hadn't gone on The Titanic?  Stuff like that.  All valid, and probably even important, but not tightly connected to the text about the 3 scientists who descended 2.5 miles to the boat in a nifty little submarine.  That's okay. It was fun at the end because we did a quick write, answering one of our questions.  Then we all sat in a circle.  Teachers have microphones this year, so I passed around the mike to the readers.  The 2nders were thrilled to be using the mike and that was fun to see.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

The Busy-ness


This job keeps me hopping.  It's actually pretty insane how many things there are to do and to keep track of.  Lately I've been doing more than my share of complaining about this.  After I complain, I always feel overwhelming guilt.  After the guilt floods through me, I usually move into pensive reflection, and I spend a few moments contemplating whether or not I'm happy with my job.  I usually conclude that I AM happy with my job. Overall. In order to walk the happiness walk, I have decided to really work on minimizing my complaining.  There's no reason why I can't do this.  I've done many difficult things in my day. (Case in point: Couch to 5k program I finished this summer).
Granted, this particular change is going to require a complete personality shift, but I might be confident about pulling it off.  Please try to send me encouraging thoughts.  Whenever you think of it.

Monday, September 06, 2010

The Pontoon


Had a super day on the pontoon today with a group of great pals.  You really can't beat the 3 day weekend.  There were many work related items I should have done this weekend.  I did a few things, but not nearly what should have been done.  That's just the way it's going to have to be.  I am going to read my book tonight in keeping with my new vow to watch less telly.  The only problem is this:  Hoarders is on tonight.  I'm going to have some decision making to do.  Possibly some rationalizing as well.

Friday, September 03, 2010

The Band


The first grade teachers were so nice today.  They gave me an IU silly band.  (Go IU!  Fight fight fight!) I was absolutely thrilled and I THANKED them profusely.  (I'm bringing back the thank you).   But here's the thing.  I walked down the hallway happily checking out my new silly band and not 10 seconds after I got the cool IU silly band as a special gift from our first grade teachers, one of our administrators told me gleefully that a note was going home, this very day, banning silly bandz!  I held up my arm to show her my new silly band and she just shook her head.  I didn't sense any compassion at all really. Geezlouise.  Sillybandz are awesome.  And everyone should have as many silly bandz as possible.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

The Writing



We wrote about friends today in 2nd grade.  Then we made paper dolls of our friends.  In 3rd grade we wrote "ODES to our PENCILS."  We worked pretty hard, but I usually leave the compound in a better mood when I hang out with the peeps.
Right now I'm watching Project Runway.  I think Tim Gunn was a little mean with one of the designers. Be nice, Tim.  Everyone should be more pleasant.  I'm going to work on this myself.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Table


I'm kind of wishing I hadn't volunteered to sit at the "homework table" every day.  I guess it's not the worst thing in the world.  Homework isn't the happiest event in the world, tho, and I've been able to work with kids on happy events most of the time in this new gig.  I may have to be super helpful with the homework table.  I want the peeps to like me.

The Meeting


We had most excellent fun celebrating the birth of my mom.  Now it's time to get back to work.  But this day involves an all day meeting at a school not my own. Usually at the all day meetings I find out about a whole laundry list of things that are now part of my job.  But maybe that won't happen this time.
It will be good to see everyone and catch up with the literacy events at other schools.  I usually pick up a few good ideas along the way.  I'm on my way to Starby's so that I can be extra attentive during the assignments and information dispersal. Last year I forgot about a few things until it was TOO LATE.  I wasn't super impressive when that happened, let me tell you.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Choice


The peeps love the new school.  After a week of making schedules, I'm finally getting into some classrooms to read books, sing songs, tie shoelaces. Today I read a book called Cowboy and Octopus.  I highly recommend it.  I read Cowboy's parts with a great cowboy twang.  I could tell the second graders were impressed.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Felines


Friday was a little bit on the tough side.  I had to repeat my mantra many, many times, silently to myself. It did help.  Still, I ended up kvetching maniacally to some friends and family for a good part of Friday afternoon.  This is exactly what I want to avoid this year.  Today I was able to put all the aggravation behind me because the fam and I drove to the Exotic Feline Rescue Center.  They have over 200 lions, tigers, bobcats, mountain lions, servals, and jaguars. The big cats freaked me out a bit, but they also got me back on track in the happiness department.  Thanks, Big Cats!

P.S.  Has anyone out there read that Lemon Cake book by Bender?  Any good?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Kinders


I spent 7 hours straight with the kinders today.  We had a plan to keep all 50 of them together for the day, work with them in small groups, observe them in a variety of settings, and then make their actual class lists this afternoon.  I volunteered to run the station in the gym.  I was pretty proud of myself.  With 6 groups of kids, we ran laps, played around with bouncy balls and ended up our time together racing around like maniacs on little scooters.  I tried to jot down anecdotal observations whenever I could.

At the end of the day, we talked about each kiddo.  Mostly I contributed comments like, "He could really kick the ball far" and "He was super fast on the scooters."  I had a few other stories to share like, "Yeah, he was the kid who took his own tooth out 2 days ago" and "Poor guy got bitten by a dog last week.  Right on his booty."  Most of my observations weren't considered relevant to the making of balanced class lists.  But they were basically all I had.  Now the Kinders are assigned to classes.  They'll have their FIRST real day of school tomorrow.  Good luck, kinders!  Maybe we can play in the gym some other time.