Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Plus/Delta: What a Week!

A plus/delta chart is a great way to get feedback for a workshop, activity, or a school year.  Tomorrow my students will be completing a plus/delta to reflect on the school year.  I have used plus/delta charts for parent events at school as well as completed quite a few of these at staff development workshops in the county. This will be my first with a group of students.  The results should be interesting.  I'll definitely have to share some of the results later this week.  For those of you unfamiliar with this fab chart, the plus side allows you to reflect on the positives of the event or activity.  The delta allows one to complete the statement, "It could have been better if..." or how the event or workshop could have been improved.

Feel free to download this plus/delta chart to use in your classroom with students, parents, or  as a follow up to a meeting or workshop.

Now my Plus/Delta of the last week  

Plus (The positives)
  • The arrival of my June Birchbox. 

I totally fell in love with the bronzer. Definitely going to order a larger bottle.

  • The Diamondbacks won the local championship.  Not sure who the Diamondbacks are?  My son's baseball team.  Go SNAKES~
  • Finally finding a wedding announcement.  Poppies of course~

  • Enjoying Crazy Hat Day with the letter "C" on our countdown to summer
  • Finishing my report cards and having only 3 days left of school~ YAY

  • A successful Animal Safari with my students and parents.  It was great to see the parents of my kids.  I had to thank them for allowing me to be part of their child's educational journey. Sniff! Sniff! Luckily, they are only going upstairs, so I'll still see them in the hallways next year.

DELTA (Could have been better if...)

...I had not gotten into Sumac.  I was put on a six day steroid pack because my bloodstream needed detoxing.  The itchy patches all over my body were horrible.  I did the scratch dance for days. Itchy! Itchy! Scratchy! Scratchy!  I would have taken a picture of the worst patch to show, however it would GROSS you out.

...I didn't have to pack my house for moving.  It is true that you don't know what you have until you pack it up.  The local Goodwill store will get lots of treasures from me.  I can't believe all that I've accumulated in only four years at my current address. YIKES~ Can I say pack-rat?

...I have completed mound after mound of paperwork to end the school year. Report cards, profile cards, data tool, PEP's, end of the year checklist from the office, grading assessments, running record forms....and yes, I could add more....

... I could have done without the freak show at JoAnn Fabrics. I had to have a man removed.  Yes -from JoAnn Fabrics!  The story goes something like this. I went  on a routine run to JoAnn's to pick up some card stock to finish a project at school. While browsing through the Cricut cartridges, I noticed a man next to me. Standing in close proximity. Too close for any one. Even my relatives. Starting to "mosey" to another aisle, I noticed this person in gray sweatpants moving as well.  Suddenly, he began shaking a part of his body (not his hand either) and saying inappropriate words.  Hello- I'm in JoAnn's, a family friendly store. Not a strip joint. Keep your body parts still please. Well, everywhere in the store I went, he wasn't far behind.  So I finally had enough of the freak show and inappropriate mouthing, and boldly went up to the manager and told him a full blown pervert was browsing his store.  At first they looked at me like I was crazy, however after telling the entire story the manager kindly escorted him out.  Seriously, people like this should not be walking around.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Here's to DAD!

As a youngster, I called him DADDY.
And I was daddy's girl. 
To me he did no wrong. (and I still think that today.)
He could do most anything.

My dad was the first in his family to graduate from high school with a diploma. The first to receive a four year college degree. The only to receive a graduate degree.  My dad went on to change the lives of children in a rural county in North Carolina as a teacher and principal in the public school system.  My dad was smart and very determined.  He didn't grow up with a dad in his home, so therefore he was determined that his children had access to their dad.

As a child, I have many recollections of my dad.  He was dedicated to my mom, my younger brother, and myself.  He loved his family. He wanted us to have things he never had.  As well as being an educator, he took on odd jobs to make ends meet in the summer when school was closed for three months. No paycheck for three WHOLE months.   I vividly remember him taking on odd jobs of laying brick with a friend's contruction business.  We would leave early in the mornings and return late in the afternoons after a long, hard day of laying foundations on homes.  I recall him painting the exterior of homes during the hot, humid  months.  During lunch my mom, brother, and myself would take him fried bologna sandwiches or hot dogs from a local drive thru- his favorites.  He wasn't prideful of the jobs he took on in the summer because he took the role as head of the household to heart.

When my brother and I were old enough, he would take us with him to work on a friends farm harvesting tobacco.  My brother picked up leaves behind the harvestor and soon graduated to driving the tractor.  I ,on the other hand, started as well picking up stray leaves then was promoted to laying tobacco on the harvester belt with the adult ladies.  Dad was below us on the harvester cropping tobacco. At an early age my dad taught me the value of hard work and being independent.' And how to save money to buy our own school clothes at Sears.  We appreciated it more when we had to buy them.

My dad would take us on family vacations every year. He would carefully load and organize the luggage in the car.  We all jumped in and headed to the beach, the mountains, and historical landmarks. We even had the opportunity to visit Disney World and Hershey Park in Pennsylvania.  As a child, we were in paradise and my dad was "the bomb."

Now as an adult, my feeling and thoughts of my dad haven't changed or been altered by time.  Even though we only talk once in a while, it's like no time has passed when we do talk or see each other.  There's nothing he wouldn't do for me or Sid. He will drive two hours to visit, deliver a new bed, clean out my gutters, or even paint rooms in my house.  He'll call via Skype to help Sid with a homework assignment.  He's always on call and willing help in any way possible.

My dad Rocks~
He is a great role model~
And I'm lucky that he is my dad~

Here's to you DAD~
Happy Father's Day

My Mom, Me, and My Dad


On another note, today at school my kiddos created Award magnets and "shirt" stories about their dads.  I think the projects turned out great.

 I used my Cricut to cut out the ribbon awards. The students layered the pieces and created a cute magnet their dads will enjoy for years to come.

 My wonderful TA cut neckties using the Cricut  which we transformed into "Daddy Stories." With the help of sentence starters from TLC Art, the students wrote a paragraph about their dads.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Nature's Song

Last month, in Nicole's post at Pencil Skirts and Noodle Necklaces, she posed the questions-

What is your outlet?  Do you have one?

Yes, I do have an outlet? 
A few actually.

When life is throwing me lemons, I choose not to make lemonade. 

Instead, I usually I go into my craft room and create.  I create whatever comes to mind - cards, mini scrapbooks, altered journals, coasters, and the list goes on.  Crafting tends to get my mind off the things that are bugging me. 

Even more than crafting, I like to go down to the lake.  Early in the morning. It's where nature sings a calming lullaby.  Songs that take me to a place of serenity.  It's at the lake that I sit and listen or take a stroll along a quiet trail.  Its there that I let God and nature take over my mind.  It is there that I can take a deep breath and smile.  It is there that there are no expectations.  Just pure enjoyment.

This past Saturday, before most of my small town was up, I took a short drive to the lake.
Stepped out...
And let nature's harmonious song begin.

The soothing sound of running water....

The breathtaking view. No sound needed. Just the view.

A bunny enjoying breakfast

The constant sound of buzzing bees

The chirping of birds on a quiet trail

Squirrels nibbling on corn as they sway on a feeder to and fro

It is here that I let God and nature take over my mind, body, and soul.

I escape to a place we call NATURE. I turn up the volume and let it play a tune that only it can play.  I listen keenly and carefully. Listening for every note.   Because it takes me away, even if it's temporary, to a place of zen. No troubles, no stress...

Just PEACE...

and total TRANQUILITY...

And then I get back into my truck,

And head back to reality....

With a new frame of mind:-)

So I pose the questions, What is your outlet?  Do you have one?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Candy Bar Awards- Cricut Style

As I approach the end of the school year, I tend to get anxious-

The sleepless nights are more frequent, the racing heartbeat is more prominent, and all those breathing techniques I learned in yoga have to be practiced all day long.

 I wish I could just do all the fun units and craftivity projects and skip all the year end paperwork. Frankly, it's just not fun. Never has been and don't think it'll ever be.

I know someone somewhere thinks it's a necessity and all the stars will not line up if all of it is not completed BEFORE the last day of school, but I'm in knots until it's all done.

End of the year awards for my students are a treat for me.  I love the "candy bar" approach and have used these awards for years.  Many great bloggers out there have created super cute candy bar award certificates.  I would love to have them.  My kids would love them.  The parents would think I was all the more awesome.

However, very shortly after I tracked back in to my room in April, the color printer which I share with 6 other great teammates ran out of two colors of ink. (We all just love printing all these wonderful freebies and units from everyone.) This means NOTHING will print.  No certificates.  No awards.  Sadly, it will not be replaced until the start of the new school year, which is July 1.  BUMMER~ I could print them at home, however the small cartridges in my HP would have to be replaced many times over and cost me a paycheck.

Since I've been on a craft kick, I searched through my Cricut cartridges and came across Locker Talk. Yippee~This cartridge has all things school related.   Leafing through the image booklet, I came across a trophy image. BINGO~

 Racing down to the Jo Ann Fabrics, I bought lots of lime green and turquoise blue paper- our school colors- for less than five bucks and created these trophies which I will use for candy bar awards this year and possibly for years to come.

I will be adding the students name and their "candy bar" description on business cards and attach in the green square at the bottom of the trophy.

Problem solved.  No color ink needed.

And they look MARVELOUS~

What do you think?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A "Wicked" Night

I love, love, love The Wizard of Oz.  It was one of the  few movies I anxiously waited to see each year on ABC television as a child. After all, this blog is titled "Field of Poppies" for a reason. Do you know which scene from this famous movie?

Knowing my love of Dorothy and her trip down the famous yellow brick road, Todd bought me tickets for "Wicked" this past Christmas. Yay! After five months of anticipation, we had the opportunity to see the performance last weekend. The music did not disappoint.  The cast was phenomenal. The storyline was , however, quite interesting. I don't think I'll ever view The Wizard of Oz the same ever again.

This musical, however,  is a must see.  If this performance comes to a city near you, I highly suggest taking advantage of the opportunity to get a little "WICKED."


Todd and I awaiting the doors to open.( He's actually hiding a stain from dinner with the program~lol)

The view outside as we wait. It was a beautiful evening to be out on the town.

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