Well, as we have gotten towards Christmas and things get busy, I have decided to let this blog go; at least for a time. I have found that I just don’t have the time to really put into this the effort required.
I will instead be focusing more on my class blog and try to get more parent/student involvement. I just couldn’t keep up with two blogs.
Anyway, I hope you were able to find some good stuff here and if you enjoyed the site let me know and I may reconsider coming back to this one in a different format.
Sorry for my absence. It is report card week and I have been quite busy preparing and writing about the successes of my students. It is always a difficult yet reflective process. I will be back next week with more poems, pictures and resources.
Today’s site is a great one that can be used for a wide range of ages. It is a Math Dictionary which not only gives great explanations for mathematical terms but is also interactive in that it allows the users to see the term in action. I have used it in my class not only as a demonstration term but also as a way for students to explore concepts being taught in class as an intro or a fun extension.
I like the generosity of numbers.
The way, for example,
they are willing to count
anything or anyone:
two pickles, one door to the room,
eight dancers dressed as swans.
I like the domesticity of addition–
add two cups of milk and stir–
the sense of plenty: six plums
on the ground, three more
falling from the tree.
And multiplication’s school
of fish times fish,
whose silver bodies breed
beneath the shadow
of a boat.
I’ve been spending my weekend watching TED online. I don’t know if you know TED but it is the online fixture of the conference which is explained as “standing for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds.” Through the website, the conference organizers are striving to share the ideas and thoughts of several prominent thinkers. Now, if you are anything like me, you love to spend time on the computer but your wife’s not so crazy about the lack of quality cuddling time. Here is where this site gets full marks: these are videos you can share with your wife! Though you are still spending time on the computer, your wife won’t mind because the videos themselves are relevant, interesting and entertaining. She’ll want to watch them with you!!!! Now you can do both of the things you love to do, all at the same time and, as a bonus, you’re learning lots of great things!
Just as a teaser, here is one of the videos on education which is very relevant to where our education system needs to go.
I read because one life isn’t enough,
and in the pages of a book I can be anybody;
I read because the words that build the story
become mine, to build my life;
I read not for happy endings but for new beginnings,
I’m just beginning myself and I woudn’t mind a map;
I read because I have friends who don’t, and young though they are,
they are beginning to run out of material;
I read because every journey begins at the library,
and it’s time for me to start packing
I read because one of these days I may want to leave this town,
and I’m going to go everywhere and meet everybody,
and I want to be READY !
Today’s poem is actually just a portion of a poem I love to use with the class as a way to not only get their attention but also to signify that their time is up and that we are going to be moving on to the next thing. It comes from Alice In Wonderland but I also know that it comes at the end of the first part of Harriet the Spy which I read to my students. A great book!
“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”
If you would like to read the rest, go this website.
Today’s post is supposed to be picture day but my grandfather passed away last Saturday. So I thought that I would combine a picture with a celebration of his life. I did not take this picture, but it is one I found as we were going through his house.
My grandfather was an amazing man. Cheating on his age, he went over to England for the Second World War, repairing and servicing aircraft for the RAF. He never talked much about the war as it was quite painful for him and he didn’t want to share much about it. He grew up on a farm in Nova Scotia as so many did, the son of Burpee and Alberta MacGowan. He would tell me many stories of working on the farm. He would tell these stories with a mixture of wistfulness and exasperation as he recollected all the orchards that he had to help maintain and pick apples from. He also recalled driving a car for the first time and driving into the ditch with a load. He was more worried about getting in trouble from his parents than what would happen with the load. After the war, he returned, as so many did, to find that jobs were not readily available. He borrowed money and built the second Volvo dealership in Canada. Grandpa’s character and integrity quickly helped to establish him and he was very popular. Indeed, as time went on, he sold and serviced so many cars that it seemed like the whole valley was greeting him as he went out to do chores or errands around town. He loved and was married to Joyce MacGowan for many years. Following her death, he reunited with his highschool sweetheart, Florance MacGowan, and they were married for many years sharing a loving relationship until she passed away this past spring. We were so happy when he was able to remarry as he was a man who thrived on relationships and was desperately lonely after the death of his first wife. In fact, we laugh now, but his routine during that time was to go to Burger King everyday for lunch. They knew him by name and always had his lunch ready for him. By the end of the summer, they knew us as well and had our lunches ready for us.
He was always caring, loving and kind. Depsite his battle with Alzeimer’s, he lived a wonderful life, full of strength, vitality and humour. One of my favorite memories of him is staying up late watching tv one day when I was visiting and him coming out of the bedroom. He never slept well and that night I guess he got up to get a drink and saw me watching tv. Anyway, he sat down and we watched an old movie with music and dancing (I think it was a Fred Astaire movie.) He was so amazed at the dancing. It was wonderful to see his face lighting up in amazement as the dancers climbed up and down staicase railings and around the rooms of the house. He remembered that for a long often mentioning to people who visited the amazing dance steps he had seen. I think he forgot that in his youth he was also supposed to have been a good dancer and a ladies man as the young people he hung out with went from dance to dance on the trains that connected the towns and villages of the valley.
I will miss him very much and will treasure my memories of him. He was my grandfather, a great man and I loved him very much. Thank you, Grandpa.