Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day, Blackboard & Howard

Well, it's Memorial Day and I hope that everyone is enjoying their holiday and taking a moment to remember all those who sacrificed their lives so that we can enjoy our freedom.

I am trying desperately to close out the school year which is why I am spending part of my holiday trying to get caught up on grading, paperwork and end of the year stuff. I hate stuff, don't you?

We are going to use Blackboard next year and have to have certain items done before we are allowed to check out of school and leave for the summer.

I'm not exactly sure what happens to people who don't complete these tasks. Will they chain us to a desk for the summer and lock us in the school until we come into compliance? Just the mere thought of that rather terrifies me which is why I am spending this holiday frantically searching for a video to embed so I can complete Item #1b. Luckily, my friend over at Teachj has a wealth of stuff.

I picked a 20 minute video on depth of field. As you can see, Howard the Shelter Cat was not impressed. Not at all. In fact, he rather exhibited the attention span of some of my students.

I'm not sure that bodes well for next year.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Education Buzz Life's A Carnival Slacker Edition

It's the end of the year and I know many of you are busy trying to close out the school year so submissions were a bit thin this carnival (other than the onslaught of advertising folks and people that have nothing to do with educational type issues). And since I was swamped with yearbooks and yearbook distribution, I didn't even get a chance to write anything particularly funny or insightful. I guess we're all just a bunch of slackers.

But here are three submissions worth looking at…

Darren on Right on the Left Coast questions an appeals court decision that upheld the dismissal of a San Diego schoolteacher who was fired for posting a sexually explicit ad and photos on Craigslist.

Stephen Karlson  provides us with an illustrative gallery of economic concepts as interpreted by elementary and middle school students while Joseph Kaye said we should incorporate graphic design for deeper learning.

We probably will take a break this summer. However, I will leave the carnival submissions open for those of you who still plan to write over the summer and will run the carnival once I receive enough stuff, so make sure you check back here throughout the summer.

Remember if you want to submit to the carnival, you can use this handy, dandy form.

In the meantime, here are people worth dropping in and checking out  through the summer. They tend to post on a regular basis…

Of course, I plan to post throughout the summer, so you will want to check back hereJoanne Jacobs posts frequently. Does does Pat over at Successful Teaching, Mr. Teacher, Darren on Right on the Left Coast, and Old Andrew at Scenes from the Battleground. Mamacita over at Scheiss Weekly is worth a gander as well as our science guru Steve Spangler. 

And, of course, don't forget Tim over at Assorted Stuff.

Also, I am launching a new blog featuring Howard the Shelter Cat and my German Shepherd Jack. It's an animal advice thing. Check it out here. You can send your animal questions, funny animal stories and funny animal photos there.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

No escape

Day 3… Still surviving the print fumes… There is no escape from this fun-filled extravaganza…Still singing my own version of Lynyrd Skynyrd's song… Oh, Oh that smell/ Can't you smell that smell?/ Oh oh that smell/ The smell of yearbooks surround you…

Monday, May 16, 2011

Welcome to my little slice of Yearbook…

Day One…
Boxes, boxes & more boxes… This is only a partial photo of the Yearbook Mayhem. 

Yep, abandon all hope, ye who enter here…

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mondays, Mayhem & "Just Mights"

Tomorrow brings Monday morning, an 18-wheeler,  and mayhem.

Not just any kind of school mayhem, but a truck load of that very special kind of mayhem–yearbook mayhem.

I think we're  ready, though, for those 65 or so boxes containing 1,300 yearbooks and weighing a gajillion pounds that will drive in our parking lot at 8 a.m.

I think we have all the important stuff…
  • Two dollies plus a wide assortment of carts
  • Some burly boys lined up to help us
  • A phone tree to make sure the burly boys arrive at 8 a.m.
  • A phone tree to make sure all the yearbook staffers arrive at 8 a.m.
And if all else fails, there's always that half a box of Whoppers stashed in my closet for emergencies. Not that those Whoppers can help unload those gajillion pounds of yearbooks, but they just might prevent me from setting my hair on fire and run screaming from the building.

Notice I said "just might prevent."

I make no promises this time of year.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Mother of all Mothers Edition of the Education Buzz: Life's a Carnival

Now that Mother's Day has come and gone it seemed fitting to have a Mother of all Mothers Edition of the Education Buzz: Life's a Carnival, presenting an eclectic smattering of educational type things buzzing about in the EduSphere.

We had a few new contributors this time  so here's a big hideeho welcome to our newcomers. They brought some new thoughts to toss out on the midway. 

Aparna Vashisht over at Huffpost Education talks about the need for a parent revolution. Now before you start hyperventilating, this post is worth a look. Only one point I have always wondered about and teachers hear it often, "I know we are often afraid of the teacher because we don't want any backlash." Backlash? I'm sure there are some teachers out there like that, but there are those type of people in every profession. I would say most teachers would never do that. We are professionals. OK, sorry for the editorial comment, but I encourage you to hop on over there and read that post. She has a lot of interesting things to say.

Joseph Kaye in his post Earthquake & Education analyzes a recent article he read. He makes an interesting observation that "the natural disaster is simply the end product of a series of social disasters." Check it out.

Dan Leeman over at Music Education For All discusses the national standards for music education and promises to provide  "hands-on, take-back-to-your-classroom resources."

Some of our old friends are back…

Michaele Sommerville talks about developmentally appropriate practice over at Kindergarten's 3 Rs: Respect, Resources and Rants.

And speaking of those little kindergartner tykes, Mathew Needleman  over at Creating Lifelong Learners examines whether those little guys are too young to be given iPads. (Jeez Louise, I wish someone would give me an iPad!)

Darren over at Right on the Left Coast, who is still recuperating from his ski accident, met with his long term substitute teacher and writes about a little faux pas that occurred.

Oh dear, Joanne Jacobs presents this post (which many of you may have already seen): "Who is Osama bin Laden?" Truly an OMG moment. 

And just in case you didn't know these guys, David Singer at Criminal Justice USA, gives you 10 other Al Qaeda players you should know.

Alicia Arnold over at Daily Creativity says it's important to take time to get back in touch with your playful side.

And this post really doesn't have much to do with anything, other than if you like space stuff, here's a list of 10 sites that monitor that sort of thing.

Well, that's it for this edition of the carnival except for my post, "May, Panic & Yearbooks" which you might find somewhat amusing. 

The next carnival will be back here Wednesday, May 25. If you would like to submit, the deadline is 6 p.m. central time, Saturday, May 21, and you can use this handy, dandy form.  I'm not sure what our summer schedule for the carnival will be, or if we'll just take a break I'll let you know.

Until then, if you would like to host an edition of the carnival, please let me know by emailing me at Also, don't forget to let me know if you find any broken links or problems with this edition of the Ed Buzz. 

As always…
“I’ve got this feeling that there’s something that I missed…”
–Snow Patrol

And, if I did, my apologies.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Me, Deadlines & Howard

Unfortunately, I was too busy preparing the upcoming Education Buzz: Life's a Carnival (which will be featured here on Wednesday) that I really didn't feel up to posting something. I was also exhausted from spending last week mired in the final newspaper deadline of the year.

And, yes, that all pretty much sucked the life right out of me.

Then there's the palatable panic setting in as we anticipate the arrival in a week of our 1,300 yearbooks.

I know you probably don't care about all of that. Instead, you are probably more concerned about Howard the Shelter Cat and how Howie is dealing with this end of the year madness.

Well, fear not, while I was smack dab in the midst of deadline disasters, my husband sent me this photo of Howie sitting in my reading chair taking a break from doing whatever it is cat's do…

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May, Panic & Yearbooks

The month of May finally arrived bringing with it a slew of observances and special days. 

Special days like Mother's Day, National Peace Officers Memorial Day and Memorial Day

And oh yeah, let's not forget Teacher Appreciation Day.

Yeah right.

But every high school journalism adviser on the planet knows what the real month of May is all about.

May screams spring yearbook delivery. And we all know what that means. Panic. Sheer screaming panic, and not just any kind of panic, but a Freddy Krueger kind of panic.

May screams 5-alarm Hair-on-Fire! Hair-on-Fire! Hair-on-Fire! in four-part harmony. 

It screams grab your passport, pack a bag and go underground–deep underground because somehow somewhere sometime in May there will be a yearbook adviser featured on the six o'clock news who somehow somewhere managed to completely ruin the life of someone somehow somewhere by something that was or wasn't on some yearbook page. I've written about my yearbook panic attacks before. 

My 1,200 books are scheduled to arrive in just a few weeks giving me just enough time to get really wound up into a frenzy. Would someone please hand me a paper bag before I hyperventilate myself into unconsciousness? 

My ship date is May 15–just one day after Dance Like A Chicken Day. 

Rather ironic, don't you think?