Thursday, April 26, 2012

Still looking right

The last time I blogged, I was going right.  It would seem odd if I was still going right because that would be a circle.  Nonetheless, I am at least looking in the right direction.  On the weekend everything seemed to be going wrong, I mean totally not right.  I spent most of Saturday in bed, in pain and in tears.  This made it very difficult to see in the right direction let alone articulate anything that was going right. 

Thankfully, the weekend ended and my week picked up.  So, what has been going right this week?
  • 9C understands modality and they have finally remembered how to write a thesis!
  • The BFF is always running and I think she may get to where she is going one of these days.  I am so grateful that she stops every once and a while to sit with me.  Especially after my sad Saturday.
  • I have found a relaxation technique that seems to work for me... one day I will be brave enough to share it with you.
  • I have a dentist appointment on Saturday... yes this is good news.
  • The literacy meeting went well this afternoon.  I said what I needed to say, lead the meeting and delegated.  What I really want to say is that I was confident. 
  • Nanny got home safely today.  I'm sad that she is not "just around the corner" but I will get over that because she is happy and safe and home. 

That's enough of that. 


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Going Right

This staying positive thing is tricky, but here goes.
  1. I have some very good friends.  I have the BFF too, which is even better.
  2. Today I got to hang out with Nan (who rocks).
  3. One of my year 9 classes (we won't talk about the other one) remembered that we were learning about Persuasive Writing before the holidays. 
  4. There is food in the house.
  5. Mild Weather (it is finally cooling down).
:) M

"When I am afraid, I put my trust in You (God)."
Psalm 56:3

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Parental Tales

Last week I called home.  Dad answered, as he usually does, and I asked how he was going.  He said, "okay, I suppose."  While I expect this sort of response from Dad most of the time, I was concerned because he sounded quite distracted.  I asked, "You sound distracted, what's the matter?" 
"I've been looking for the Rates bill all day and I still can't find it!" Dad answered me.  "Your mother cleaned up yesterday and I think she's moved it." 

The rest of the conversation was brief and boring so we will move on.  I talked to Mum next and she swears that she didn't touch any papers.  They had it out and that was that.  I should probably mention at this point, that Nan is staying with Mum and Dad for a few weeks. 

A few days later, Dad came home from his usual trip to the post office and said, "So Nan, it turns out I didn't lose the Rates Bill after all,"
"How's that?" asked Nan. 
Dad grinned and answered, "It came in the mail today."


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Amazing Scientific Discovery

After months of intensive research, including observations and collation of data, I have made a monumental discovery.  My observations will undoubtedly alter the direction of science as we know it.  The conclusion I have made is actually rather obvious.  I am surprised that I did not come upon it sooner. 

My bathroom is a Time Dilation Field

It only works after a complicated combination of taps are turned on and off.  When you use the cold water in the basin first and then use the shower and go back to the basin, it activates a slowing down of time within a localised field.  You might think that I have gone totally nuts.  You might believe that I have officially lost my marbles.  However, I am certain that this is the only logical explanation for my observations. 

In the morning, after I have had breakfast, I glance at the clock to see that I have half an hour before I have to leave for work.  I pull out my clothes for the day and head to the bathroom for my morning "routine".  Before walking into the bathroom, I glance at the clock again and see that I still have 26 minutes before I have to leave for work/church/ an appointment.  I do not dilly-dally in the bathroom.  I clean my teeth, have a quick shower, wash my face and arrange my hair.  When I emerge from the bathroom I look at the clock and discover that I only have 2 minutes before I have to leave.  AAAAAHHHHH!!  This happens everyday.  Weekdays, weekends,  holidays, special events and quiet days at home are all held up, while I am in the bathroom. 

I am convinced. 
My bathroom is a Time Dilation Field and that's that. 


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Nothing on TV

The silence is driving me nutty! 

There is plenty on TV, but nothing that piques my interest.  It is Friday night and here I sit, cross-legged on the lounge, in a quandry about how to wittle away the remaining hours of my last official day of holidays.  I took this as a golden opportunity to "get something done" and maybe even cross an item or two off the dreaded "to do" list.  But then I got online...
"I will just check Twitter.  It will only take a minute.  While I'm checking Twitter, I will just open up Pinterest. I won't go to the main page.  I will just check the pinners I follow, that way it shouldn't take long.  Of course, I have to check my email.  Something important might have come in during the last few hours.  You know, since Mum has turned off her computer, my sister has been feeding and bathing children and my Dad has been watching Star Trek.  Something important might have happened.  I mean, the BFF is in the next room, but she might have sent me an urgent email.  Okay, I will pop over to my Blogger Dashboard, because I am actually in the mood for some blogging and if I can actually manage to organise my thoughts this would be a good opportunity.  Just flick back to the Twitter tab... you know how fast Twitter moves.  The three new tweets might have been directed at me; probably not, but maybe.  Okay, back to the dashboard, Oh, ten more page views, I will just check the other statistics.  That's weird they are still going to that post about Diamantes.  Was it really that inspiring?  Hhhhmmm, now which blog idea will I commit to tonight? I should include a pic.  Readers like photos and then they might "pin it" where will I get a pic from? I could search my photos folder.  What about Pinterest?  That tab is still up, I will just hit refresh.  Oh look, another Tweet." 

So it is 8:20pm and after 40 minutes of tv free silence.  I have just come to the first (catch up) blog post.  The multiple tab option was made for multi-taskers.  It is such a shame that I am not a multi-tasker.  I don't have many things happening at once so much as I jump from one task to the other bouncing off the walls of my skull and my internet browser all at the same time. 

I told you that reading my blog would be a step (or two) inside the mind of a "creative genius" and today I have delivered.  Tours are a rare delight.  You should feel special. ;)

I hope your Friday night was a little more focussed than mine.  Or at the very least, you found something to watch on TV. 


Friday, April 13, 2012

I promise I wrote this yesterday

I really enjoyed participating in the Positive Linky Party I have decided to reinstate "Thursday Thankyou Day" so that I can continue focussing on the positive.  So here goes.  Things I am thankful for today:
  1. 1. The internet... we love to hate each other and we hate to love each other.  I have to admit that the internet enables me to do a great many things in the comfort of my own home and pyjamas!  For this, I will am eternally grateful.
  2. I had some quality time with Nan in the last few weeks (a rarity since she lives interstate).  She is such good fun.
  3. I may not have got everything done on the "to do" list, but my two week break from school was good.
  4. The BFF rocks.
  5. Because I can have a list that has three, or five or ten, but not two, or four, or nine.... prescription medication can be a wonderful thing!

:) M

Monday, April 9, 2012

How to blog. A process story.

I am always whinging that I can not get my mind in the right gear.  I struggle to organise my blog content so I have more or less given up.  I decided to just write.  I still haven't decided which hat I want to put on when I blog.  Who am I today?  teacher? blogger? writer? friend? storyteller? aunt? sister? daughter? who knows?!

When I put on my chosen hat for the day and start blogging, I inevitably twist and turn, lose one hat and put on another.  Then, my blog post becomes a long and winding road of confusing tidbits of information and silly stories that don't seem to be linked in any logical way.  I think that sometimes it's okay to just get it out of one's head and into the ether.  Sometimes it is important to just "get it out" and it doesn't really matter where it ends up.  It doesn't matter if your blogpost sounds more like a proverbial "dog's breakfast" of random status updates from various social media sites.  But, sometimes, well, more often than not, it is really important to get a message across.  When the message is important, the words need to be organised. 
I could sit here and ram all of my last week's stories and insights, discoveries and observations into one long and dizzying post.  Or... I could plan it, title each one and decide what will go where.  I like the latter idea personally.

There is a slight problem.  My hands have already had enough keyboard dancing and trackpad sliding for one day.  Perhaps my real problem is not RSI or lack of organised thought at all.  Perhaps I need to blog BEFORE I get on Pinterest ;)


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Positive Linky Party

I found a linky party that I wanted to join and so I did!  If you don't know how the Linky Party concept goes read on...A blogger comes up with topic/question and blogs about it then invites fellow bloggers to link up to the post and comment on the topic or answer the discussion question as well.  There might be a prize or some other form of incentive.  What I like best about Linky's is that at the end of it all, you end up with a great list of links to blogs all commenting on the same topic.  You also might see new blogs and get a chance to explore their other posts.  There is also the added bonus of some free promotion, as you contribute to the Linky and your name is at least noticed by a bunch of other bloggers who may just like you and come back to visit or even promote you to their own followers.  That's that then.

The question on our minds is "What went right today?" As this is a teacher Linky Party the focus is on teachers and students.  As I am currently on our Easter Break (Australian Teacher) I am thinking back to the last two days of term.  The gracious host of this most positive of Linky's is the Confessions of a Teaching Junkie author.  Click the link below to visit the original post and see the list of other party go-ers!  My response is below.

:) I would love to hear about your "positives" of late... even if you are not a teacher!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What did I do today?

A very good question.

  • Slept in
  • Started a Harry Potter Marathon
  • Checked email
  • Chatted online with a friend
  • Blogged (twice)
  • Cooked a Pasta and Tuna Bake Thing
  • 5 loads of washing
  • Caught up on blog reading
  • Browsed on Pinterest
  • Googled (I'm not telling what)
  • Had about a million brilliant teaching ideas
  • Promptly forgot about 999 999 of them!
  • Stetched
  • Contemplated the remainder of my holidays
  • Dishes
  • Contacted the union
  • played WordDrop on my phone (very important).
Considering my day is not yet over, I am hoping that this little list of mine will get longer.  We shall see.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Shortlist Announced!

I'm not sure if I have mentioned that this year, 2012, is the  National Year of Reading in Australia.  NYR12 is the reason that my blog reading list has swelled to number blogs in the twenties.  I'm not sure if this is a big number by regualr standards, but we all know that I am not regular!

To the point... I am very excited that the Children's Book Council of Australia has released the shortlist for their Annual Book of the Year Awards!!! I am also excited that I am familiar with a few of the author's and have at least heard of half of them.   
You can follow this link: to view the list.  I found it on the Children's Book Review blog so I'm sure there will be additional information including reviews of the shortlisted books. 

I found it interesting that at least two of the books are linked to currect Australian Curriculum Units.  There may be more, however I am only familiar with year 8 and 9 English units and frankly, that is quite enough. 

Happy Reading!
:) M

Getting the Teacher's Attention

I seem to be struggling with my "titles" lately.  Don't you just love Irony?!
Despite gaining a permanent position in a secondary school.  I am a primary school teacher at heart.  My brain works like that of a primary school teacher and I will not apologise for that.  In fact, I was originally hired for my primary school brain.  Much like most primary school teachers, I spend at least some of my holiday working on resources for my classroom.  I made these lovely "attention grabbers" during my last holiday.  I haven't posted them until now, because I wanted to use them in my classroom first.   I planned on giving you an overview of my creation process, but you will probably come up with your own way of doing things.  Also, I think you should be able to figure it out simply by looking at the pictures. 
I developed this resource after a bit of Pinterest browsing and a number of discussions with our head of middle school.  It seems odd, but I think she is a "primary school teacher" at heart as well.  I haven't really found a good name for these yet, so suggestions would be nice.  The kids call them "our plates". 
Anyway, here goes...
Students have these flip books on their desks during independent working time.  I (the teacher) move around the room helping students who need assistance.  Students begin with their green "page" (plate) facing up.  This signals to me that the student is working well and feeling confident.  If I see a yellow "page" I know that the student is okay, but would like me to check something.  Either they are finished and want to make sure they have completed everything correctly before moving on, or they need some reassurance.  The red plate, is my favourite. A red "page" means "HELP. NOW. I'M STUCK!"

Introducing this strategy with teenagers is very different to working with children in the early years.  I decided that my year 9 students would respond more positively to humour.  So, I made it a bit of a joke.  Green means "Go Away Miss, I'm fine."  Yellow means "When ya got a minute, can ya check on me please?"  Red means "AAAHHH, Get over here NOW!  I think I'm dying."  Hopefully you can imagine the joking tone in my voice, the loud come backs from the kids and the smirk on my teacher aid's face. 

The plates are now a part of our daily routine and if I forget, the kids remind me... "Miss, can we have our plates please?" 

Monday, April 2, 2012

i don't have a great title

I don't know how to label this... so I won't.

There have been a miriad of F words in my life of late. 

These are obvioulsy in no particular order.  The other F word is the naughty one.  It has been used by the young people in my life.  One student decided to insert a pile of "F" words into a page of notes that I asked him to take down.  He was angry with me that day, because I changed the seating plan and did not allow him to sit at the back of the room.  Another child wrote it backwards on the outer window of my classroom so that my students would be able to read it without straining.  I reprimanded him of course... but I had to tell him how impressed I was with his spelling.  Another incident of "F" words was a youngin' texting it to his big brother in frustration.  You see the big bro was teasing him.  He didn't like it and instead of saying "stop I don't like it" the way grown ups tell him to, he chose to call him an F head.  I have to admit I was also impressed with his spelling, as I know how he struggles.  I will get back to my rant about "Stop I don't like it" later. 

There is really very little point to my titleless rant today, except to say, that the letter F has been at the Forefront (two f's) of my mind.  There must be a reason for that... I just don't know what it is. 

Fare thee well