Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Inspiration Has Hit

Just a quick note, I need to go to work. 

 Practical Scrappers, a blog I follow, posted samples of different peoples take on the December Daily.  Ali Edwards has a page dedicated to it.  It is a way to document the 25 days leading up to Christmas.  You create a blank "scrapbook" that is embellished and has dates on each page, and then just concentrate on filling it during December.

Unfortunately this would work best if this was created before December :(.

Here is where the inspiration hit... I could create one on the days of summer for my sister.  As teachers we love our summer vacation, and try to do special things with her son.  What do you think?  I have some very cool summer Cricut cartridges for embellishments!!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Old Time Christmas

Since my recent rant on my love for fall I have encountered the inevitable approach of winter.   Bah Humbug!!! A current of fear invades the back of my mind every time I hear the dreaded weatherman mention the four lettered curse word….s***.  

I find myself dreading the season for another reason this year.  Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s my recent ability to spend more time creating, but I am not enjoying the rush, rush, spend, spend aspect of Christmas this year.  It’s never fun standing in line, or spending endless hours clicking away at amazon, but this year I don’t want to buy anything.  

Before you get your knickers in a bunch…I didn’t say no gifts, just no shopping.  I used to make everyone gifts because I stayed home with my kids, which created a one income house, so it was cheaper.  Now we both work (heck even my kids living at home work) and everyone I know has two income households.  One advantage to these two income households is the ability to buy everything we need, or dare I say… want. 
What do you buy people who can buy what they want?  How can I show them I care?  I think I am going to go back to the homemade gift part of my life.  I think it might (I guess I’m hoping) mean more to my uncle to get some homemade mustard, salsa, and cornbread then another golfing calendar (I could be wrong here, he does like golfing).  Maybe Grandma will enjoy a set of 30 homemade all occasion cards to send out. 
  Perhaps my teenage niece will enjoy an altered notebook with a matching pen. 

With the internet at my fingertips for inspiration I should be able to think of lots of personal things to make.  Just the other day my inspirational friend Lauren sent me to a post by Becca at Blue Cricket Design where she shared a tutorial on how to make this advent project:

I loved it so much I had to make one…but who to give it to (my kids are grown).  The reaction I received from her upon giving it to her helped me realize how important the gift of my time and creativity is.  

Well off to find more inspiration…

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My favorite time of the year!

If you live in the Northeast, you know how beautiful this world can be.  The golds, red, and oranges of our trees. The cool air, heavy with the bountiful fall scents...grapes, apples, pumpkins. Weekends full of festivals and fun family activities.  This is my favorite time of the year.

This happiness often follows me into my classroom.  As October  arrives, I have started to get to know my students, their strengths, their weaknesses.  We have all become used to the our schedules, and the routines (because every year I change something, so I even have to get used to it). We start working as a unit.

Fall to me is a time of "new beginnings".  Many may think Spring is the season of new growth, but to me that is a mucky, muddy, boot sticking season.  Rain, melting snow, state tests.... kind of a brown sludge dragging me down.   Give me fall all year... New units, New ideas, New curriculum, New teachers, New students, New opportunities.

I know I am becoming redundant, but I LOVE FALL!  
And what a great photo opp it is!

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I have recently been asked to annotate my thinking about literacy instruction for students in a graduate Literacy class.  I have written my first entry, and although it was about my thoughts about my current and future instruction in literacy, I couldn't help but think about my literacy background, and those who created the literate me. 

My mother is a retired librarian from the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library System.  So my first thank you goes out to her, and that system. Some of my fondest memories are of the small village library she worked at while I was growing up.  Walking there after school, flipping thorough the card catalogue.  When I became a mother myself, I brought my children to the same library, my son worked there through high school, and it is the first place I head when I need books for my class.  The inter library loan of the system is enormous, and it has grown with the times, never letting me down when I need an audio book. Thank you mom and B&ECPL!

Both of my grandmothers are readers, so my second thank you goes out to them.  I do not think I have ever seen my mother's mother without a book in her hand or at least within reach.  My mother still brings over bags full of books, and books on CD, and has to replace them each week.  Thank you Grandmas!

Literacy is not just reading, so I have to thank Dr. Mallette, & The Western New York Writing Project for building my writing literacies.  As my professor Barb was tough, did I say tough, I meant TOUGH!  She expected me to write extremely well organized, well thought out, well researched papers.  But she always gave me plenty of chances to earn that A.  If I knew the meaning of transitions, I sure dint know how to use them, until I finished her class.  I also figured out I could write conference proposals from her.  If I wanted that A I had to do it, now I  don't have second thoughts about submitting a proposal, and love helping other to do it too.  As her graduate assistant for NCATE she gave me a chance to write for the school newsletter, giving me confidence as a writer.  As for the Writing Project, well, nothing like writing every day, working in writing groups, being constantly inspired by others, and being told you have a voice all of your own to make you feel like YOU ARE A WRITER. Now I write just to see what I have to say (whether or not anyone is out there listening).  Thank you Writing Project and Dr. Mallette!

Finally I have to thank Theresa and my Start a Scrapbook friends for my digital literacies.  Theresa has always inspired me as a teacher educator (I often ask myself, how would she handle this situation?).  She has an awesome blog, which always has great ideas.  Much of what you see on this blog is non-nonchalantly lifted from her, or I what her blog has led me toward. Many of my SAS friends have awesome blogs about their crafting.  I love reading them, so much so my reader is mostly filled with scrap booking feeds lately.  Each of them take so much care and time explaining how they did what they did, so I can do it too.  Thank you Theresa and SAS friends.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The World's Number 1 Storyteller

Who's that you say?? Roald Dahl! At least that's what Penguin books is telling us.  They are celebrating what would be his 94th birthday (September 13th) with a Reading Dahlathon.  Students who read three Dahl books before December 31st will receive an award certificate, a Roald Dahl play, and the first 1000 will get a medal!!  You can download a calendar full of activities.

I feel a read aloud coming on.  My personal childhood favorite is Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.  I enjoyed it even more than Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (I loved all the places they visited and things they met!).  Maybe I'll let the kids vote for the first read-aloud.  Which Dahl book would you choose?  If you cant decide use the Buckswashing Book Chooser!

Teachers who have a Dahl event can submit a picture and have a chance at winning $100 for a pizza party.

Speaking of theachers read what his teachers wrote on his reportcard:

His 1931 report card:
"A persistent muddler. Vocabulary negligible, sentences malconstructed. He reminds me of a camel."
And then, in 1932:
"This boy is an indolent and illiterate member of the class."

Can you imagine " Vocabulary negligible" makes me laugh, no, strike that reverse that, makes me cry!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

July Project 12

I have finally caught up on my Project 12 pages.  I even put together May (admittedly I haven't journaled yet!).  I will not bore you with a ton of pictures, but you can see them on my Picasa account. Each month a sketch is provided, and you are at your descretion to use it to create a 2 page layout for the month.  Here is July's sketch:

The key is to include somethings from through out the month...and journal!!!  It is a great exercise in writing for a purpose, and being concise (there never seems to be enough room).  I love my July layout, so this is the one I'll share.

I used the  Life's a Beach Cricut Cartridge for the Title, and "beach" embelishments.  The tickets are courtsey of the Caursol cartridge.  The georgous paper is Cosmo Cricut the Snorkel line. 

Here is my layout:

Monday, August 16, 2010

Top ten list update

I finally created the top ten words of summer Layout

I cut each of the photos and definitions into 3x3 inch squares.  The paper is from the Rustic stack (DCWV).  I cut the title at 1.25" with the Life's a beach font.  The definitions are distressed with wild honey, and tea dye.  I used gold pearl dust on them too.  I love it! I am considering it one of my best layouts.  The pictures do not do it justice, I have to figure out how to take better display pictures. 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My "Uncle" Bernie and his wife had a tenth aniversy party yesterday (at our cabin in the woods). I took our new Olympus E3 camera to get some photos. I got lots of good ones, but really liked how this one turned out. I like how the boy in the middle is on the car, and the other two are standing. The band looks like they are all paying attention to each other, but the guitar player on the right is looking at the boys. It all just kind of happened, no set up. I blurred the edges a little for effect. I thought I'd share. Hope you like it.
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Friday, August 6, 2010

In the last couple days I received phone calls from my mother and my husbands father. Both had lost one of their cousins. My poor father in laws cousin lost both her husband and sister on the same day. I had not sympathy cards on hand so I scraplifted this card to make some. They were very quick, and I liked the result. I used the DCWV luxury pack my secret Santa gave me last year. the ribbon is from Walmart, and the bkg is Kraft paper.  The sentiment on the inside is  the Happy memories text from Rubernecker.
Have a blessed weekend. 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Check out this Scrappin blog

 The Practical Scrappers  blog is celebrating their one year anniversary.  One of the ladies belongs to our forum.  This blog  is a great place to go for inspiration.  Check it out!!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Baby Shower Cards

Since I have the summer off, and seem to be spending way to much time spending money on crafting (both on-line and feet  in store), I have decided to make the gifts for the showers I am attending this summer. 

First is the Baby Shower.  I had the great good fortune to walk in to Jo-Anne's and find a clearance sale going on.  I bought some Debbie Mumm blank cards in a cute little buggy.  They also had "baby-boy" paper.  So I got to work on some mass production. The bottom portion of the is 4x21/2, the bottle is cut on the Gypsy using the Gypsy wanderings cartridge.  The ribbon is from American Crafts (Big Lots buy).  I inked the edges with Tim Holtz Denim Blue.  The images stamped on the envelope are from July's Utility Stamp of the month club. The Stamp on the front is from Rubbernecker Stamps.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Merriam-Webster Top Ten Lists

Check out these lists. I copy the words and definitions from the top ten words of summer, and am going to create a 2 page layout!! This just makes me want to write!  Use them in your own writing or  create your own Top Ten Word list!

Top Ten Lists

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Gary Paulsen's Words of Wisdom

One of my student's favorite authors has some words of wisdom to share:

“Read like a wolf eats.  I tell young people to read when they tell you not to read and read what they tell you not to read."

Watch this video and be inspired, I was.

Read Like A Wolf Eats

Tim Holtz Giveaway!

Hope I win this Scrapping Candy.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Writing ideas

It may seem like I'm spending many of my summer hours crafting away, but I have been very busy with educational "stuff" as well.  I tore apart my house looking for my Real Photo Post Cards for my It Conference workshop. I found them and have been arguing with my antique wireless connection my new wireless scanner, trying to scan them all into my Picasa account.  I will win!

I have also been preparing for my (and many of my teachers) endeavor into the Daily 5.  One area I am very excited about is the Work on Writing portion.  Writing is one area I believe students do not get enough practice in.  Considering this, why is it I can think of a million things to write about? When my mind fails, the internet is a bountiful provider.  Expository Essays based on  Snapple Facts, using writing prompts like those found at The Teacher's Corner Daily Writing Prompts, RAFTS generated from Northern Nevada Writing Project's WritingFix, and poem inspired writing like "Where I'm From" as well as countless other sites. 

Today one of my favorite bloggers (and professioanl inspiration and friend) posted a link to a creative writng game called Story Cubes. It looked like lots of fun so... of course I downloaded the iPhone app ($1.99), and I was off and running.  Every story I thought of was funny though...I wonder if I can write a serious one.  I can envision using this on the smart board, or on an iTouch in the writing center.  What do you think?

Now should I go make cards, or write???

Monday, July 19, 2010

How to Twitter

I am the first one to pick up new technology (notice the surge protector on my desk... chargers connected to my new Gypsy, my LiveScribe pen, my iPhone, and all my USB ports filled up...flip camera, external hard drives, etc..).

I made a twitter account months ago, and have not used it very much, somehow I couldn't grasp following others, tweeting... any of it.  I belong to Diggo a social bookmarking website, and someone in my New York State Reading Association group posted a link to this resource Twitter Handbook.

It is very informative, perhaps I will master it now.

On the technology note, I found this page on our conference Ning while I was preparing my presentation for the It Conference.  It made me giggle!

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Some one on my startascrapbook site gave us a "create a collage" challenge.  I started with the page from the recipe book and do not know how I ended up with the Woman theme.  I needed one more element, and had just ordered the "Well behaved women" stamp from Rubbernecker.  I couldn't help myself, it made sense in my head!  All of the shapes are from the "From my Kitchen" Cricut cartridge.  I used the Tim Holtz distressed inks for everything except the stamped images, they were stamped using Versafine ink. 

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June Project 12

The Project 12 challenge is simple. The idea is to create a layout on a monthly basis which recaps what you’ve been doing.  Whether you took 31 photos, no photos, or 100 photos, simply choose your favorites that best described what you were doing that month, and create a layout. Using the Page Map above, I created the following layout for June.

 Before printing the pictures of my nephew, I used the focal Black & White button in Google's free photo program Picasa.  The paper I used was all from a loose paper package I bought at Big Lots.  The tough guy embellishment is from K & Company. 

The brown card-stock used in the back of the Lay Out and for Journaling was bought individually at A. C. Moore, it is called Paper Bag.  I used Plantin Schoolbook  at 2" for the letters June.

The white Balls on each side were cut from the  same cartridge at 2" and embossed using Swiss Dots in the Cuttle Bug.  I glued it down with the divots facing up to look like a golf ball, and facing down to resemble the ball he is holding on the right side page. 

The tag on the left hand page is stamped with Tim Holtz's Mini Muse stamps and the sentiment is embossed.

 The journaling says....
"June is one of the most stressful times in the Kondrick Household.  What is the old saying...If momma isn't happy, nobody's happy.   Well with grades, testing, end of the year ceremonies, reports, packing classrooms, and saying goodbye to students who have tugged at her heart strings all year, momma gets a little emotional.  Luckily she had two events to keep her happy. H****** H*****in **********a, and the first Annual Ripley Faculty Golf Outing.  J. D. went from being a sweet soft cuddly boy, to a terribly tough toddler during the H.H. when his Aunt Cheryl bought him a tattoo and Doo Rag. It also came as a surprise to everyone in the family when Karen transformed from an "I've never even hit a golf ball" player, to a member of the Winning team (okay they probably would have done better without her, but she had lots of fun)."

Summer reading and Audio Books

When we handed out the summer reading assignment this year, we added a sentence about how listening to audio books was allowed.  I also provided links to Sync YA so they could download free audio books.

Today Mary Buckley posted this Hi & Lois cartoon.  It made me laugh out loud.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I have ventured out on my own

My last entry discussed how I am inspired by those around me (virtually that is).  Tonight I just had to share my own creations.  Just like reading and writing, the more you do it, the better you get.  At first you need examples, and scaffolding, and then... you gain confidence, and next thing you know your riding with no training wheels.

I made 3 cards tonight.  The first one was a card for a member of the scrapbooking/Cricut community, Monique Griffith who  was just diagnosed a few weeks ago with Stage 3 Breast Cancer.  My pink stamper asked people to make/send her cards.  The  paper was all from one stack, whose cover sheet  fell off long ago, so I can not tell you the brand.  The heart is stamped in Distressed Ink Peeled Paint, and stamped with Stamp'n up's Rustic Rooster. 

 The next two cards began as distressed tags.  I used some of the techniques I learned from the videos I watched the other day (Thinking Inking Distress Inks Part 1 & part 2).  The first tag is clear embossed with a weeds stamp from Rubbernecker, then inked with the new Honey Distressed ink (using the stamp on the craft sheet, mist, then smosh the tag method).  I tore the bottom and then inked with vintage photo.  The ribbon is Martha Stuart (just bought on clearance at wal-mart) and the t is from stampoloy hand drawn alpha (clearance too).  

The final card is just inked with sage, denim blue and red brick.  I used Tim Holtz masks and stamps.  The sentiment is from the Pixie expressions  Explore travel set. 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Creative~ if tutored

I belong to a forum called The great think about belonging to an online community is how you all inspire each other.  One of the ladies posted a link to a site that had tons of tutorials.  As in every other online adventure I embark on lately one thing led to another:

I went to the new site, then I added it to my Google reader feeds, then I started reading past posts on there, then it directed me to this you tube video which had started my distress ink buying sprial, so I watched it again and went into the craft room and created this card.

The background butterflies are from blockhead, I inked the entire stamp with Spiced Marmalade Distress Ink, and just touched Fired Brick on a few parts, then I misted the stamp with water, stamped the image on the card, then applied the heat gun to dry it out.  The tags were inked with Vintage Photo Distress Ink, then I misted a smaller butterfly stamp from All night media (an old stamp I just found) with water, blotted it and then applied it to the tag, drying it right away, if you look close it almost looks like a watermark.  Finally I used an archival black ink pad and stamped the additional butterfly images (same as the water ones) and the Tim Holtz mini muse  sentiment stamp.

I can be creative. I just need some inspiration!  Thank you online communities!

Friday, July 9, 2010


My husbands wonderful family just spent their hard earned vacation in New York.  I love being able to spend some time with them and their children.  Yesterday we drove the short hour over the border to the falls.  I know this is a wonder of the world, and as a person who lives so close, I do not visit often enough.  As we sat in front of the falls at the Table Rock lookout my 8 year old neice asked me a question:

"When does the water run out?"  When I told her it doesn't, she said " It has to, look at all of it, it has to run out.  Where does all of the water come from?"  " Why won't it run out?"

 I tried my best to convince her that it would keep flowing like it had for thousands of years.  I told her about the great lakes, the water cycle, and any other reason I could think of, but she questioned my reasons.  I finally had to tell her to just believe me,she would have to take it on faith.

Today I began to think about questioning. I tell my students to think about the questions they think about while reading, it will make them better readers.  How often do we really think about questioning?  How often do we question? If questioning while you read makes you a better reader, does questioning while you walk though life make you a better person?

I am not sure if the answer to that question, but I do believe questioning makes me a better teacher.  "Did I reach all of the student's with this lesson?"  "How can I  improve this lesson?"  "Do I know enough about this topic?" " How can I make this a memorable experience?" "What new teaching strategies are there?"  The questions I ask myself are endless, and although many have concrete answers, some are just rhetorical.   And some times I just have to close my eyes, believe in what I am doing, and take it on faith. 

We should all question like a child, and believe, even if it seems to awesome to believe.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Altered State

Well Summer is officially here. I read two professional books, stated my must read list, and promptly got sidetracked.  I have fallen into the Tim Holtz,distressed look hole. I started with the inks and stamp pads I had on hand.  I bought the tags at office max ( box of 100 for $5), and I was on my way.  My first few tries were promptly thrown out, but here are the next few I made.

I had no clear embossing pads, so I used the distressed ink red on these, not the best, but a start.
This morning I was ready to create a tag with a purpose.  Here it is:

I still do not have a good blending tool, so my "tea" inking is a little heavy and uneven, but I love the embossing and painted on ink in the pots. 

Of course, I didn't think I had enough of the right tools so I had to internet shop... and found these amazing sites: Rubbernecker, Blockhead (great prices, and amazing selection), and Simon Says Stamps (accessories).

I hope to finish City of Lights on the beach tomorrow (between dips to cool off, we're in the middle of a heat wave here), and then back to some YA titles.  This grown up reading is taking me forever!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

News Flash... Teacher gets summer off...NOT

Well it's officially here for me, my summer vacation.  How do I know? Is it because the signatures on my end of year checklist have all been collected?  Is it the bare walls of my classroom?  Maybe it is watching my colleagues walk the hall in shorts, tee shirts and the usually "banned" unsafe footwear.

No, it's the echoing, self reflecting voice, chiming in my head like the irritating alarm that I beg to leave me alone every morning of the school year.  Did you really make a difference in that child's life Karen?  Is she a better reader because she had you for a teacher?  Have you stopped the awful "Didn't your elementary teachers teach you anything?" cycle?

It has been 6 hours since I walked out of the building and I have already started my "How I will improve my teaching list."

Walk with me will you.

I will spend my summer...

Becoming an expert in the Daily 5, so I can use it effectively and help my fellow teachers successfully implement it.

Reading lots of books.  Adult books so I model reading for entertainment.  YA books so I can be a book whisperer to my students.  Some of the "classics" that fill my classroom, so I can remind students what was so great about them.

(I will begin my summer with the following books:   City lights, This means war, Red pyramid,  Downsiders,  Matterhorn, Everlost,  Everwild, Blood oath, Mazerunner, Boxcar children, Gordon Korman)

Researching data walls, deciding what data will inform my instruction and how to present it to my colleagues so they realize displaying data is a reminder of what we need to do, not a "you didn't do this" showcase.

Listening to podcasts like Books on the Nightstand, and TED Talks.  Inspiring me to read more, do more, think more.

Yep, I will be taking the summer off.

Lazy teachers... I wish I had their jobs.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


When is reading reading, when is it not reading?  I recently saw this cartoon posted on one of my feeder blogs, and it made me laugh:
The reading teacher and I have prepared a parent information night on reading for our school.  It will be held the evening of the March 2nd, Dr. Seuss' birthday (as well as my daughters!) and a day many of the schools in our country celebrate Read Across America Day.

On of the topics I plan on discussing is how to engage your Middle School student in reading. One way I hope to encourage parents to encourage their children to read is through electronic media.  Many of our children own the "newest, coolest" mp3 players, and smart phones.  Is listening to a book "reading"? Heck yeah!  Does the teacher in me want the student to be reading along with the text, so they not only hear a fluent reader, but begin to associate what the words sound like with what the words look like? Yes.  But being an avid audio book listener myself, I know the benefits of listening to beautifully written ( and read) words and using my mind to transform them into the picture in my head all readers create, no matter what the medium.

Whether you are buying an audiobook subscription, or checking out audio books free from the local library: Reading is reading.  Listening is reading.  E-readers are reading.  Step out into the 21st century and encourage your child to read... 

Well, at least that's my perspective!

By the way, did you know: Any person who lives, works, attends school or pays property taxes in New York State is eligible to receive a New York Public Library card free of charge. Having a card will give you access to their electronic media which will allow you to download ebooks, audiobooks, music, video, talking picture books, and more.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tuesday is book club day....

Monday's are the longest day of the week; if not already damned by the simple curse of being the first day of the work week, my day is blessed with only a lunch and a 20 minute planning period at the very end of my day. My planning period falls at 9am on Tuesdays, which is a better option than my marathon day, but leaves me questioning my desire to stay after with a group of 5 or 6 students for an additional hour to discuss books...

Then we start talking, and talking, and talking. I have given up trying to think I am in control of the conversation. We all read the same book (which someone has "convinced" the others to read the week before) and we try to talk about the characters, or why we liked the book (or didn't) or the message the author was trying to share, but we never stick with that one book. As all good readers know, everything is connected, this character reminds you of that character, this passage reminds you of that movie, and this movie reminds you of that book... somehow we end up far from the book we started with. It is beautiful. I laugh; we share our lives, the characters lives, our dreams, the characters dreams. I laugh, I even cry a little (usually from laughing so much, but sometimes just because I'm moved).

Then we try to decide on a new book for next week.

Today's conversation went like this:

Joe: Mike thinks we should read Rules.

Mary: Mr. K likes that one too

Sue: Okay, but can we take two weeks to read this one, I have this (plop) pile of books I want to read this week too! How 'bout we read to page 89.

Joe: hmmm, page 120

Sue: page 104 (She really doesn't understand how to negotiate I thought)

Joe: okay, 89, I want to read this (plop) pile of books
Me: (lol) Rules it is.

The students leave, and I reflect on my day, thankful I stayed.

Teacher post script... In the 2 hours before book club I received an excitement filled hug from a girl who had "lost" the book she was reading. When I told her the chorus teacher had found it she leapt across the room and gave me a bear hug. A reluctant read, who hasn't read a whole book in months, finished off Skeleton Man by Joseph Bruchac, a book I handed him yesterday with the instructions "Read chapter 1 tonight and come back and tell me about it."

What a day! I think I will go back tomorrow!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Photographs: The Power of Images

On a recent tour of my Google reader, I found myself propelled into the Library of Congress. I have visited this page before and even used some of their photo analysis worksheets. Today, however, I found a Professional development module that was very informative and inspiring.

The description:

Analyzing Primary Sources: Photographs and Prints

Learn how photographs and prints from the Library's collections can increase student engagement in the classroom. Topics covered include:

* The power of images
* How to analyze photographs and prints
* How to find images from the Library of Congress
drew me in. I have used Real Photo Postcards in my classroom lessons, and used them in my Western New York Writing Project lesson.

Photographs are something that touch us all. It's why we scrapbook, and keep photo albums. We oh and ahh over photos of our childhood as well as our parents parents childhood, even though we have no memories connected to them. We create stories in our imagination, a springboard for the writer in us all.

I was excited to be reminded of this with this great tutorial. Take a stroll, even if you are not a teacher, the photos and resources will inspire you.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Project 12 Post

"The Project 12 challenge is simple. The idea is to create a layout on a monthly basis which recaps what you’ve been doing. Whether you took 31 photos, no photos, or 100 photos, simply choose your favorites that best described what you were doing that month, and create a layout."

I liked this idea because it gave me a chance to write-admittedly I do not journal enough in my scrapbook pages. This one forced me to.
Posted by Picasa

My Snow angels are my family and friends. January was filled with both. I usually worry about driving in the snow, but it was smooth sailing this year. The Hilliker Christmas on Saturday the 2nd was filled with games. Screams of triumph & defeat could be heard from participants of Wii, Euchre, and Left-Right-Center. We celebrated Grandma Bylbie's 86th birthday on Friday the 22nd. Fish Fries at Cookies (courtesy of Uncle Paul) then on to Grandma's house for brownies and ice cream. After the men pulled the truck out of the snow (Dad, Howard, Pat) they spent the night at the cabin, while the girls (Ginny, Jessie, Karen) & Dan spent the night at Ginny's so they could get to the January crop early. The month ended with an outing with our "outside of school" friends Lisa and John. We played games at the Sabella's on the 9th, and then went to Pizza Hut & bowling on the 30th. Looking back, for a month when I could have stayed inside sipping hot chocolate, I was blessed to spend time with my SNOW ANGELS.
Hopefully I will get next months done, I have already started taking pictures.

New Years Resolutions...

Its a new year.  Well technically, its the second month of the new year.  I have started exercising, and now I am mastering turtle exercise...slow and sure.  I have spent enough time with family to be annoyed, and not enough time being "the best teacher in the world."  So the one thing I am sure of is the best intentions do not necessarily mean the job will get done.

Now I will try to back up those best intentions with peer pressure. 

I plan to:
Read more (including adult fiction which I've ignored lately)
Exersise a few times a week (at least enough to burn off that extra slice of pizza)
Journal more (I have decided this can be on this blog, in my scrapbook, or in my writing journal)

Keep me honest.  Call me on it.  Or at least praise the little things I do, positive reinforcement, no matter how small or deserved, will keep me going for months!

Okay, I'm off to do one of the things I said I'd do.