"One can never consent to creep when one feels the impulse to soar." ---Helen Keller

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Blue Moon Time

August will give us a blue moon!

What is a blue moon? One definition of a blue moon is when you get two full moons within the same month. We will have a full moon on August 1st and August 31st. Most full moons occur every 29.5 days, so it is rare when it happens in the same month.

This link has some interesting facts about them. Blue Moons

Take some time to sit outside and enjoy the view!!!

Moon Ring

This picture was taken a few years back outside my home. My son called to tell me that I should go out and look at the moon. He knows my obsession with space. I researched this and found out it is called a moon ring. It is sometimes called a winter halo and is caused by refraction of the light from the full moon in the ice particles floating in the upper atmosphere. This is the opposite of  a rainbow where light refracts in the water vapor that makes up clouds.

So much to see and learn.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Old vs. New

First of all, when I wrote the post "Rest for the Weary", I didn't realize how much it was for me. I have spent time just resting my weary self. I am back and will try to get started on the upcoming school year. I have been reading, thinking about lesson plans, and having some fun. I have taught my daughter to sew this summer. She is doing great, and it has been a blast to be together and share one of my favorite hobbies.

One of her creations.
With the sewing, a discussion came up about old vs. new. I had been sewing on a 50 year old machine that my belonged to my mother. I had actually swapped her a newer machine for an older one about ten years ago. It is a fabulous machine, and I have always loved it. "Lots of memories with it." With our new adventures together, we decided it was time to get the machine that I had always said I would get when I retired so that I could embroider (monogram=love).   I am loving my new machine so much, that I wonder why I was waiting!!?

The new machine brings me to my point... While I love my old machine still; it has so many good memories with it and has done a wonderful job, my new machine is incredible. The old one made most of my wardrobe growing up and has given me many great hours of fun, but it just doesn't have the capabilities that the new one possesses.

As teachers, do we often miss out on something that would surpass the old machine because we are clinging to the old. Sure, it does a good job and has many things to boast about, but something new is out there that could do more if we only tried it. Many things come and go and we have to be sure and test them to see if they really work better. That should always be the guiding force, "does it really improve things?" I would hate to think that we never moved forward. Many things in our lives change...Just to name three...
1. Microwaves have changed the way I do hotdogs and popcorn and quite frankly I am glad about that. 
2. When I first started teaching, I never made copies...just thinking about it makes me flinch...You had to type everything on a typewriter with a carbon copy with no mistakes (really!), and then put it on this round drum contraption that wound them out. You got ink everywhere...remember smelling your test paper:) I do not want to relive those days.
3. I got my first gradebook program on an Apple IIc my first year teaching. I did it the old fashioned way just long enough to appreciate the computer.

I wouldn't want to dismiss the past ways, but I want to keep abreast of changes and not get left behind.

So this year, whether it is the latest teaching tip or some new technology, don't let it go by without trying it. It might just be better than you expected. It could even do a better job. Your students will appreciate your efforts. Something to think about.