Saturday, July 27, 2013

Back to School Bingo---free printable

I'm on vacation, and am full of little blogging ideas---geocaching adventures, new grandbaby pictures, the assault on education by the North Carolina General Assembly.  I'm saving all of that for later.  Instead, I'm thinking about all of my speech and special education buddies who are returning to work (without instructional money for the most part).  Rather than spend your meager salaries on TPT materials, here's something for free.  This bingo game is good for simple vocabulary, game playing, and prepositions.  The kids also have to talk in sentences.

Click here for the game in Boardmaker

Click here for the game in pdf

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Call for Action

I took all of this off of my friend Jim Tignor's blog.   Education in North Carolina is in dire straits thanks to the 2013 General Assembly. 

Top (or Bottom) 10 Facts Every Educator & Parent Should Know 
The 2013 budget is en route to Governor McCrory & will be signed

1. Eliminates 9,306.5 education positions -- 5,184.5 teachers, 3,850 teacher assistants, and 272 Support Personnel (guidance counselors, psychologist, etc.).

2. Provides NO pay increases for educators, continuing North Carolina's race to the bottom of national salaries. In 2007-08 North Carolina was ranked 25th in the nation in teacher pay, last year our state was 46th. With no additional pay, next year North Carolina undoubtedly will be at the bottom.

3. While gutting public schools and educators, the legislature adopted a $50 million school voucher program ($10 million 2013-14, $40 million in 2014-15).

4. The North Carolina Budget eliminates career status for all teachers. Senate legislation, that received no public hearings in the House, was placed in the budget to eliminate career status for teachers. The new standard requires each school district to identify the top 25% of effective teachers without providing any criteria on how to accomplish this ranking of professionals. Teachers will be placed on a 1, 2, or 4 year contract. The top 25% will be given the option of receiving $500 to compensate them for the loss of due process rights. NOTE: the new system will be phased in over the course of the next five years.

5. North Carolina no longer values educators who work on their continuing education through Masters or Doctorate level degrees. Beginning in the 2014-15 school year, educators will receive no additional pay for additional degrees unless your job requires (counselors, school psychologists, etc.)

6. Grades Schools (A-F), 80% based on standardized test scores, 20% based on growth. No other variables will be considered in this grading.

7. Eliminates the Teaching Fellows Program, once heralded as a national model for recruiting teachers into the classroom, the program is no longer funded.

8. Reduces targeted education funding:
• Cuts Textbook funding by $77.4 million dollars;
• Cuts Classroom supply funding by $45.7 million dollars;
• Cuts Limited English Proficiency funding by $6 million dollars.

9. Retired educators will receive NO Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA).

10. The General Assembly will be back next year.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Our family's little princess

While the world welcomed the baby prince into the world, our family welcomed Lily--our first grandchild.  Same birthday!  Both families are so blessed. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Biking in the Quiet Atmosphere of the Night--Peace Corps news

Newspaper article featuring Andorra
My daughter, Andorra, has been in the Peace Corps for over three months.  I am posting her latest blog entry here in which she translates a newspaper article written about her in the town she's in .  If you would like to read all of her  blog entries, go HERE.
We miss her very much, but her occasional blogs, along with video chats and Facebook messages, keep us connected.  I can see that she is doing fine!

Andorra's entry:

This is my article in the newspaper, translated for your convenience. Translating from English to Indonesian and back to English causes it to be a little bit inaccurate in parts, sorry!  Enjoy this awesome article. My counterpart and I had a good laugh about it.

Enjoying Caruban's Quiet Night Atmosphere
A soul is called to becoming a volunteer. That is Andorra Katherine Morgan, who was willing to leave behind her family in the United States. She now must wrestle with the routine of teaching English at her school in the Madiun regency. And at the same time, learn the culture of Indonesia.
"The weather here is actually as hot as in America during the summer," said Andorra Katherine Morgan during an interview.
But in the matter of atmosphere, the woman from North Carolina felt much differently. The proof is in the bicycle that she bought with Rp. 1,5 million that she uses daily. Including, enjoying the beautiful village atmosphere such as in the rice fields.
Andorra is a volunteer from the agency Peace Corps, the U.S. Government's program of cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Culture. She admitted that she was often hot, especially with her house being quite far from the school - about 3.5 kilometers. [This is not true. I live ~ 500 meters from school.] "It is often hot here. Temperatures such as these affect me in activities," she said in English.
Even so, she said it was not a problem. In the agency, Peace Corps, she is prohibited from riding a motorcycle or driving a car. The reason is for safety assurance. "So I can only ride a bicycle or public transportation," she added. But for the matter of the hospitality of the people of Indonesia, Andorra gave a thumbs-up. Although often limited in communication because of the language difference, she stated there are still people who are willing to help. Including, teaching her Indonesian. That, she said, fit with her desire to learn the attitudes and culture of the people of Indonesia. "People here are so friendly. They like to accept people from any background and that makes me adapt quickly," said the woman who likes to collect batik clothing.
In addition to teaching English, Andorra is also trying to spend some time actively providing a private class. It is done outside of the school hours. Moreover, she claimed the students liked her teaching style, the face-to-face system. Andorra is willing to not get paid. "I do not charge anything," she said. [I do not remember saying anything in this paragraph. This may be referring to the English Club at my school.]    
Her job at this school will last for two years. When she misses her family, she will communicate through video calling. Before setting foot in Caruban, she trained for two weeks in Malang. [Two months.] In Caruban, Andorra claimed to like the night atmosphere because it is quiet and not too crowded. And so, her bicycle becomes her loyal friend to enjoy the evening in Caruban.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Guess the mystery school lunch entree.....

I don't understand why Extended School Year lunches need to look like this.

If you want more wholesome looking lunches, go here to Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Pinterest page.

If you 'like' my page on Facebook, I'll love you.  All of my stuff is free, so it won't be like I'll send you anything that no one else has!  In other words, you don't need to jump through hoops to get 'freebies' or 'giveaways'. I just want to be 'liked'. 


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Who Runs? Printable book and icons (free as usual)

If you enjoyed my last book, "Who Swims?", you will like this one entitled "Who Runs?"  I originally created this in Tarheel Reader, but then downloaded to share more easily here.

This is the same pattern--consistent verb with varying nouns--great for a child who is beginning to learn to put words together.  This book is also good for early literacy, and you can work on simple questions.  For more advanced children, they can add their own pages of things or people that run. Act it out with stuffed animals.  Possibilities abound!


You'll have to forgive me if I've been a little lax in blogging.  Pick the excuse.

a. It's summer
b. My work hours are less and I'm trying to have more fun.
c. I'm expecting my first grandchild in a week.
d. All of the above.



Click here to download this book and icons.

Have fun! You all are terrific!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Koran by Heart

I'm on vacation, sort of, maybe not.  I'm actually working in the Extended School Year program, but I live for long weekends.  No creative posting much this month, sorry!   It's about all I can do to propel myself through the mornings, four days a week, keeping a chipper attitude.  The kids get my full attention, but there's little left for blogging.

Anyway, my daughter, Andorra, has been in Indonesia for three months now (Peace Corps).  She has now been sent to her permanent school in Madiun.  Never heard of that town?  I hadn't either.

Indonesia has the 4th largest population in the world---a fact that surprised me.  This country also has the largest Muslim population in the world, and my daughter is placed as an English teacher in a Muslim high school. The country as a whole appears moderate in terms of religious practices--Andorra does not have to wear veils or head scarves.  She does appear to have adapted to a more conservative style of dress which is the only big change I've seen. 
Her school

I  don't know much about the Muslim religion, but at our public library, I happened to stumble on an excellent documentary featuring kids from all over the world competing in a Koran reciting competition in Egypt.  This movie, Koran by Heart, featured three specific Muslim children--one from Senegal, one from the Maldives, and a boy from Tajikistan.  These kids were gifted in their ability to memorize and recite the Koran in Arabic (none of these children actually spoke or understood Arabic).  In all, over 100 children were competing, and the recitations were mesmerizing.  For a deeper review of the movie, go HERE to the NYTimes. 

Personally, I had never read much or watched many movies featuring Islam; but on many levels, I recommend this to everyone interested in gaining a deeper understanding of all cultures.  Luckily, this movie is on YouTube.

Click on this image, or watch on YouTube directly HERE.  This is one of the best movies I've seen in a while.  I highly recommend!!!