Sunday, October 14, 2007

All in a Day's Work

This has been such a beautiful weekend. We were even able to turn the AC off for the majority of yesterday and today. OK so it got a little warm this afternoon, but we "toughed it out" just to save a tad on the electric bill. Not to mention we wanted to have the windows open in our bedroom while we painted. We started with the master bath last weekend. It looks so much better than it did. We started on the bedroom today. Instead of disassembling the bed, the dressers and anything else--we just moved everything to the north and west side of the room. We have the south and east walls painted now and the other half of the room we'll get to as the week goes along.

I really hated being couped up all day--hence another reason to open all the windows. At least it let all the pretty sunshine and the cooler weather inside while we were painting. Of course I love the smell of a freshly painted room--not to mention when something is freshly painted it doesn't look like old and ragedy! The walls no longer have grimey fingerprints all over them. The window sills, baseboards and doorframes are grease and grime free and best of all, dust free!!! Of course that won't last long.

But the best part of the day was when we were waiting for the first coat to dry enough to put on the second coat (and yes, it did dry that fast!) I started going through some of the free online resources that I found for teachers (especially for spedsters, but a lot of the resources are good for all levels of general education as well). There is a fantastic resource that allows you to use either current pictures on their site or upload your own. Then you or your students can talk about the picture--perfect for finding out what a student knows or doesn't know when they have troubles putting their thoughts on paper. It also gives the students (or teacher) the ability to post/type in their thoughts and ideas about something. For those that can neither talk or write, but can draw--or even just scribble or have hand-over-hand assistance, a special pen is used to "doodle" on the pictures. It can then be saved to the site. The teacher has the ability to moderate anything any of the students (or anyone else) puts onto the site. It also has the option that only those in your class, or school or even just you and the student can see. So if you're worried about the entire internet world seeing the pictures or what you or your students have to say about them, Don't! I think the very best part of the entire deal is that if you are an educator (and you have to use your school email address and agree to a couple of other terms--that are easy enough) it is FREE!!!!

It is called Voice Thread Pro, and you can go to this site to find out more about it: I really hope that you are able to go to this site and are interested in it. Am I going to gain anything if you do? No, unless you opt to share your voice threads with our group so that we can see how they work with your students or parents or other teachers. I plan on trying to get to this site from the school--with my luck, even though it is an educational site AND it has the word " blog" within it, it will probably be blocked as well. I really think this is a really cool tool--and wouldn't it be great, Doyla, to document the students' feelings and abilities with this for the MAA? (BTW, for those of you who don't know, that is the Mississippi Alternate Assessment).

Ok, I'll get off my soap box about this. I haven't even used it, but I'm excited about it just from the description and the ability to see how it works.

Hope all of you had a great weekend--since it was beautiful weather. Stephanie and Jay, I hope your bands did well if you took them to the Gold Medal Classic. Here's hoping all of your teams won this weekend.


Jewels said...

I was sorry to read about your loss. My prayers are with you and your family. My husband lost his father almost 6 years ago and our son was born 3 weeks before his death. Talk about a crazy time in our lives! My sweet husband would go from my hospital room to where we were over-the-moon excited about the arrival of our second child and only son to his dying father's bedside a few doors down the hallway in the same hospital. He was diagnosed with cancer and was gone in less than 6 weeks. I consider that to be a blessing in the midst of profound sadness. My beloved aunt died just 6 days after my father-in-law so that time in our lives is pretty much a huge blur.
To answer your question about the tooth my daughter, this is not her first one. She only has ONE baby tooth left now. We have been through many teeth pullings and one major accident where her front permanent teeth were knocked out (6 of them). Let me take a minute to tell you about this accident and I hope other teachers will read this and THINK. As you probably know, Taylor (daughter) has hydrocephalus and various issues that go along with that. She walked with her class (she was in 2nd grade at the time) to a Homecoming Pep Rally held at the high school where she attends school. As they were leaving the gym, the teacher told them to put their hands behind their backs or in their pockets. How many times have I said the EXACT same thing to my students over the years?? I discovered I would NEVER utter those words again as long as I live. Taylor was shoved or just fell (I firmly believe it was the former) and didn't have time to react with her hands (seeing as how they were clasped behind her back) and my baby caught herself with her face (not her hands) on the pavement. This story is very long but to make it shorter, she had major surgery to wire in her teeth using an arch bar and had to be syringe fed for 6 weeks. Her face was a mess for a while. Her scars have almost completely healed (except for a small one above her lip and some on her knees), but I don't think my emotional scars will ever heal. Wish I could just erase the moment I first saw her covered in blood, you know? I wrote this book on your blog to tell you that for her to pull one of her teeth (although it is almost the last one!) is a MAJOR thing in our household. And yes, she gets big bucks for those teeth! lol She forgets about the money after a couple of days and we just put it back for the next one. lol TEACHERS...let this be a reminder...don't tell your kids to put their hands in their pockets or behind their backs!!!!!!!

Your "Esha" the Teacher said...

I checked out the link to the and found it to be probably the best suggestion of a FREE resource EVER! I can't wait to check it out at school. If I can't use it at school I am going to be crushed! This is a great reasource for my students because they LOVE to share there work abiet it may not be the best. I watched each of the example threads and instantly fell in love with the program. I am gonna try to use the program with my summer camp classes too (SEA CAMP). They will love sharing what they learned about their favorite sea animals and I can even post pictures we take on our island excursions. Thank you so much for sharing. Again I love your blog and I am going to "Furl" it. I hope you keep this blog up even after the class is over. You are a "wealth" of interesting and insightful information.

Mrs. Ashe said...

I'm really interested in the I checked into it and it got my attention. I began to think of which of my students could use it. I had no idea anything like that existed! I thought that as long as my kids had trouble reading and writing, the Internet was mostly off-limits!

Thanks for the info, Shelley!