Monday, December 30, 2013

My Resolution

The new year is almost upon us.  A time for new beginnings and a fresh start.  
I resolve to provide you all with something new this coming year.  
At the start of each month I will post up a monthly calendar filled with activities for you and your little ones to do together.  
I wish you all a wonderful year bonding filled with shining memories.
(Feel free to add or remove to the calendar and make it best fit your family)

This calendar can be used in your home or be printed and sent home for parents in your classroom.  

Download for January available here.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Something Eternal

Saionji, the troubled and ignored duelist.  He gets seriously ignored by many characters later in the series not helping any of his issues at all.
We'll focus more on that later.  Today we're going to focus on his drive to duel; eternity.  
I'll be honest, I don't think I truly understand this drive.  Not as confidently as I understand Miki and Juri's.  
We're not going all Ra's al Ghul and talking about eternal life, but I think what Saionji is really hoping for is something constant and unchanging in his life.  
We have Touga, his best friend, but at some point the relationship changed from friendship to rivalry.  Anthy was his engaged then just a classmate once again.  All Saionji wants is for a relationship in his life that doesn't change, that stays the same.  

I think what confuses me the most about identifying Saionji's something eternal is his drive to be Touga's equal.  He tries and pushes so hard to be like Touga that it practically overshadows eternity.  It slips out here and there.  
Maybe that has something to do with his search for something eternal.  It eludes me.

Side note: I did get the DVDs for Christmas so I will begin my rewatch/episode analysis soon.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Love and Friends

Having really close friends is like being in love with people that aren't your significant others.  You always need to talk to them about things, miss them when they aren't around, find things that remind you of them, randomly finding yourself thinking of them.  When you say "I love my friends" you aren't talking just about the friends in your life but those really close people that touch your heart and make a huge difference in your being.  
So don't feel weird when I say it.  I love you.
(Not Featured: my other friends that I love)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Adventures in Medicine

As you all know, I had to go to the MedStop to be identified with the flu.  Of course, I was prescribed some medications to thwart this evil living within my body.  I had never taken any of these medications before so I had a few things to learn.

The pain killer
It wasn't until day two that I read the warning label that said not to lie down for at least 10 minutes after you take this medicine.  I did not follow that day one.  I don't know what the difference was but after reading that note I keep up for 10 from then on.  I'm also supposed to drink a FULL glass of water with this one.  It will dry you up.

The cough syrup
Prescription cough syrup is WOW!  One teaspoon and no driving for me.

The anti-flu
Is this the one I'm supposed to take on a full stomach or was that the cough syrup?  I don't know, eat and take them all together.  My husband has to take this one with me to prevent catching my sickness.  Since the doctor didn't write two prescriptions and we followed his orders, our insurance freaked out when I tried to get this refilled one day early.

Monday, December 23, 2013

A Touch of the Flu

Also known as my trip to the medstop.
So at about two o'clock on Friday, my awesome colleague suggested that I go to the nurse's office where I found myself having a temperature of 101.6
Time to go home.  Let an administrator know, packed up and went to the wonderful magical place known as The Medstop.
When I checked in, I hadn't realized that I had signed up for hours of fun.  Seriously, I didn't leave this place until 6pm.  
That day was pajama day so my sickly self was curled up in a tucked away nook of the waiting room pissing my time away as I waited with more than a dozen people in front of me waiting to be seen.  So I called people, I messaged people, I updated my status and tweeted until my phone died.  And oh what fun I had.
After some time, I noticed a huge problem.  There were no tissues in the waiting room and my nose was leaking.  Besides this lovely option:

Mmmm... That's a vision of health right there.  
Luck was with me in about twenty minutes or so when I got called back for height/weight and other preliminary glance arounds.  Tissues!!  
I was sent back out to the waiting room.  I tucked myself away back into my book until it happened.  A lady needed to sit down with her infant boy.  Agh, time to move from my spot of recluse out into where the rest of the people wait.  
Picked a nice corner chair under the tv which was displaying HLN covering the top viral videos of 2013 and other such nonsense.  As "What Does the Fox Say?" began to play, another patient entered the medstop.  Upon hearing the song, he actually made move as though he considered leaving instead of receiving medical care.  
So he signed in and sat down by my new seat.  Hello stranger that I'm not going to talk to but silently judge because you're actually reading the Flint electric magazine.  
Then I coughed myself to the point of sneezing.  In this place of no tissues.  Which upset my new seat neighbor to the point that he got up and started pacing the waiting room.  Because apparently I came off as though I'm carrying death.  But what's this?  He went back into a registration room and came back to the chair wearing one of those masks.  He even scooted his chair away from me as he sat down.  I must have looked some kind of diseased.

Someone walked in around this point with seven boxes of donuts.  Went back to a registration room and gave one to a nurse while another patient in the wait room received one as well.  Random donut delivery, what?
This is when my phone died.  No!!  No more tweeting the excitement of the wait room!  No more updating my Facebook to share the details!  No more phone calls and messages!
So I pulled out the book I'm reading for book club.  I still haven't gotten around to getting my vision screen and fever on top of it, I stopped after a chapter and a half. And then our delightful mask buddy decided to start giving his opinions back to the tv.  From Duck Dynasty to that surprise cam stuff, he was voicing his opinions back.  
After another series of sneezles and mask man left me to move into a chair away from me that opened up.  Seriously dude, I am not death.  You're at a medstop.  We're all sickly and dying.  If you're only so mild that you're going to run hiding from my sneezes then you need to move on from here buddy.
Finally back to the back!  A nurse has finally called me!  My time has come!
Propped on the table in my pjs, she's gonna do a swab test for the flu.  Okay, open wide.  No.  That's not where the swab goes.  I turn into a four-year-old as she swabs my nose.  I don't want it!
Then she takes it away to go through testing before my attending arrives, the same physician my grandmother still prefers to see.  
Why is it so horribly cold?  Well, from here I slept on the examination table until the physician came in to tell me that I had the flu and prescribe some medicines of all kinds.
I also polled many of the staff members about the theory that drinking more water makes for less stuffy noses and meh.  It doesn't hurt because you're flushing out the bads by flushing through your system but really any fluids will do.  

Saturday, December 21, 2013

That Shining Thing

Miki as a duelist.  Sometimes he feels quite out of place from the other duelists.  Or at least to me.  His drive to duel comes from his desire to reclaim his shining thing.
What is his shining thing?
A delightful memory.
We all have our shining thing.  That beautiful memory that we wish that we could relive again.  Even if the memory in our mind is way better than the reality of what really happened during that time. 
Sometimes we want things to go back to the way things were before a certain event.  We want that shining thing.  That beautiful memory to become reality for us in our present once again.
Is that really possible?  

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Cards

I made my own Christmas cards again this year.
Xact-I knife, cardstock, and some awesome things you all have sent my way helped to produce these:

I used a template from Better Homes and Gardens holiday crafts book for light up bags.  Just because a template is meant for one craft, doesn't mean you can't use it for another purpose.  Keep an open mind and you can create anything.
Every card is different and unique just as the people receiving them.  Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Writing Prompt: Pajamas

It's pajama day!  Well, not at my school.  My students will be doing pajama day tomorrow.
For other schools like my daughter's it is though!  
I wanted her to wear her gollashes instead of shoes with them.
"Teacher said wear tennis shoes!"
Seriously?  But pajamas look so cute with gollashes.
Well, we're in tennis shoes.

Happy pajama day to all participating!
Mama’s Losin’ It

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


CD-SC2 – The child will demonstrate knowledge related to the dynamic properties of earth and sky.
CD-SC2.4a Describes properties of water, including changes to the states of water.
WSO: Explores the properties of objects and materials, and how they change.

 Activities: Colored Ice Painting.  You can use either powder paint or food coloring to mix with water and fill and ice tray.  Place in the freezer and then pull them out for students to use of easel paper for exploratory art.

Water Cycle Bag (found here).  I haven't actually tried this one myself to know how well it works.  

Frozen Toys.  You freeze toys in ice trays or make a whole bowl full of frozen toys that can't be played with until they melt.  It's item to put on the playground with small trinkets that they can play with once they melt out.

A Drop Around the World by Barbara McKinney
Water by Trevor Day


CD-SS2 – The child will demonstrate an understanding of his/her community and an emerging awareness of others’ cultures and ethnicity.
CD-SS2.4c Recognizes similarities and differences between own culture and that of others. 
WSO: Identifies similarities and differences in personal and family characteristics.
 Activities: Venn Holidays.  Now is a great time as we're learning about Christmas. Advent, Saint Nicholas Day, Kwanzaa, and Hannukah.  Using a Venn diagram, students can dictate how the various cultural holidays relate and differ from one another.

If I Were...  This is a role playing game that students can do with multicultural dress up clothes.  They can dress in the outfits and pretend what it is like to be of that culture.

Books: Tikki Tikki Tembo
Now and Then by Rozanne Lanzcack Williams (helps to show comparing between past and present life cultures)


CD-MA1 – The child will organize, represent and build knowledge of number and quantity.
CD-MA1.4e Quickly recognizes and names how many items are in a set of up to four items.
WSO: Reasons quantitatively and begins to use some tools.

Activities: Dice Games.  The internet is full of them; printables or board games.  There are so many dice games out there.  The key here with this indicator is that the child recognizes the number they roll without having to count it.  That's why you're playing the dice game; to help teach that skill.

Dominoes.  Play dominoes with the students.  Use actual dominoes and not the cutesy picture cardboard dominoes.  Again, we're trying to build that immediate number recognition or a small number of items.

Card Games.  Remember that more or less game that we did?  Yes, while games like that help to build other skills they can also work on building the immediate number recognition as well.

Books:  Every book so far listed with numbers and quantity are an excellent source for this indicator as well.


CLL2 – The child will acquire vocabulary introduced in conversations, activities, stories and/or books.
CLL2.4b Connects new vocabulary from activities, stories and books with prior experiences and conversations. 
WSO: Uses expanded vocabulary and language for a variety of purposes. 

Okay, this can be done so many ways with so many books.  The important thing here is connecting vocabulary to a sense of understanding.  This can come from the student asking question or by us explaining where we might have seen an example of the term before.  

I know this must sound lazy paired with the ideas shared for the last Language and Literacy indicator, but this is what they are truly about.  Not vocabulary terms or dictionary hunts, but students using inferential definition to define new words.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Question: Molly

Yellow and black.
And I'm not being launched off for incorrect answer.

All questions will be answered in order they were received.  

Monday, December 16, 2013


I love questions.
Asking questions and answering questions. 
I could seriously spend months going back and forth asking and answering questions with friends from sunrise to sunset.
So ask me a question, any question.  
I'll blog your answer. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Power of Miracles

I know I'm dragging my feet on the episode analysis, but I'm really waiting for Christmas to get the blu-Ray so just be patient and you will get what you've requested.
In the meantime, we're going to look at what the student council members were looking to achieve from the duels.  The shining thing.  Eternity.  Smashing the world's shell.  And the power of miracles.
A conversation earlier this week really had me looking in more detail at the power of miracles that Juri was motivated by.  

A miracle for Juri is something many of us have looked for at some point in our lives.  Juri's miracle is to either stop loving who she loves or to have that person love them back.  Which neither seems possible to her, so the answer for her is a miracle.
I know that I've been there.  Loved someone who didn't love you back and wished to either stop loving them or to have them love you back.  That's part of Juri's charm that brings fans to her.  We feel that only a miracle could break us from that.  To break free from what binds us to them.

Friday, December 13, 2013

A Generation of Texters

I used to think that it was terrible on the kids part that our kids today were growing up with better abilities to text than to communicate face-to-face.  It was the parents fault for allowing too much tech time and not enough talk time.
Then my daughter started kindergarten.
There is no time during the day that children are allowed to freely speak and socialize anymore.  
Waiting in line?  Better not be talking.  Eating breakfast or lunch?  Quiet.  Hallways? Silence.  Bus rides?  No chatting.
Our kids are not allowed to talk anywhere save the playground for 15-20 minutes.
No wonder our kids can't talk and their oral skills are lacking.  They only rarely get to exercise those abilities.
Our kids get time to speak when answering questions or delivering papers.  They will be great in the professional world but socially the foundation is set for failure.
Pre-k we have open discussions over meals, an hour of uninterrupted social play, and more.  After that, we stop and stunt.  We could hope for repair in their social language skills by middle or high school but by that time is when they begin to type and text.  The foundation time is lost to behavior management.
We think divorce rates are high and blame the people getting married, but they never really learned how to appropriately communicate socially or emotionally.  
I understand a need for keeping a calm environment but we need a social one as well.  Now not every school is this strict.  I know that from my school.  My educational philosophy is that elementary education is the foundation.  
I'm worried about my daughters foundation.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Writing Prompt: Christmas Must Haves

There are just a few things that I really must have for Christmas this year.

The Utena blu-ray collection is my number one (one sale here).  Seriously, I can't begin to express enough of how much having this in my life would mean.

The "I still believe" necklace (sold here).  My mockingjay necklace is looking pretty rough.  I need another lovely neck piece.

The Fault in Our Stars (amazon).  I keep hearing that this book is some kind of amazing.  Or just a gift card to the bookstore would work just as well.  

Yeah, I have some other things that I might want or desire.. But these three items right here would be seriously wonderful if I could have.  Not that I won't be grateful for whatever I might get, but I really do want these three things most of all.

Mama’s Losin’ It

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

What Teachers Think You Know

Policies, procedures, oh my!
We send home a parent handbook full of these at the beginning of the school year and ask that you return the signed pages the next day.  Signing those papers tells us that you understood the content of the handbook and will now be held accountable for following the school's guidelines.  
How familiar are you with these guidelines and are you following them?
Chances are, you might be a rule breaker.  

Common rules broken:
1) Attendance - do you know how many unexcused absences are allowed throughout the school year?  Tardies?  Early dismissals?
2) Illness - your kid threw up at school but was fine the rest of the day, can they go back to school the next day?
3) Dismissal - "omg, why do I have to have to follow this protocol when I'm their mom/dad?"  Safety and security reasons. Please just kindly follow them.  Is your child going home a different way today?  Do you need to let the school know?
4) Lunch - can you sit with your child and their class?  Is the school an allergy environment that you can't pack certain foods?  Are students allowed to talk or are quiet lunches enforced?
5) Child Development - some teachers are very tiptoe about telling you that your child is behind.  So much so that you might not even realize it unless you actually understood child development yourself.  Take a minute during your next parent conference to ask if what they are telling you means that your child is on point or is in need of additional support.

I'd flat out answer these questions but each school can be different.  To know what the policies are at your child's school; read the handbook.  Lost the handbook?  Ask the teacher.  We can provide you the answer and/or another handbook. :)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Five Favorite Web Resources

My Five Favorite Web Resources (for teaching)

  1.  This is the official website for Bright from the Start, Georgia’s Department of Early Care and Learning.  That division governs the pre-kindergarten program.  All of the guidelines, procedures, policies, and more are located on this website.  Everything that you will ever need to know to in regards to pre-kindergarten classrooms is located on this website.
  2.  Prekinders is an amazing website run by a Georgia pre-kindergarten teacher.  She shares many of her activities and resources that work successfully within her classroom setting with others to positively impact the educational experience of many.  You can also follow her on pinterest, twitter, and facebook for additional links and information that she posts for fellow educators.
  3.  Dr. Jean Feldman is a retired educator who has various music albums to assist in education, books, and additional educational resources (and many for free).  She can also be followed on facebook for her latest educational inspirations.
  4.  Little Giraffes was originally created by a kindergarten teacher.  Much like pre-kinders, she shared successful classroom ideas, printables, and more with fellow educators at no cost.  Since she moved to teaching another grade level, A to Z Teacher Stuff offered to take over hosting the website to keep the information available to any and all who wishes to utilize it.
  5.  Smartboard Exchange is a website where teachers can upload smartboard activities that they have designed and download activities to implement in their classrooms using the smartboard at no cost.  

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Being a Fan of Utena

Before this blog, I really just took a commenters spot in the Utena fan world.
My number one place to communicate with other fans is the Revolutionary Girl Utena Facebook page.  
It's seriously well put together while everyone involved on conversation is open and accepting of the opions of others.  It's seriously the happiest place for me to discuss my fandom with other like-minded people.  And then there's stuff like this:

I seriously teared up and cried a little about that.  
I'm stupid crazy enough just for Utena and when the admin of this page directly engages in conversation with me I feel stupid fangirl as if I'm talking with a celebrity (though in my book, they are one).

And then, on my tumblr the other day, this happened:

For those of you that don't know, Empty Movement is the name of the internet's number one website for all things Utena!
How did, wait what?  
Um, thanks everyone that listens to me go on about Utena.  Even major names like that.  

Friday, December 6, 2013

Secret Santa

I love taking part in Secret Santa.  Getting little gifts for coworkers to brighten their day and a big gift to let them know that you really care.
My first year ever participating in Secret Santa was about ten years ago.  I had a really sweet coworker that got me a nice outdoor sign for fall.  For years I have continued to put that sign out at the start of fall.
This year was the sign's last year.
Our gutter spout has clogged up odd with years of leaves in there that no one ever cleans.  Is it the groundskeeper's job or something because none of our other neighbors have clean gutters either.  We really can't get in there to clean them because there's some weird gutter gate over them.
ANYWAY, that gutter problem has killed the fall sign.
The leaves have scrunched in there in such a way that it streamlines water from the rains on to the sign.  It has swollen.

So, no more fall sign.  I'll miss you sign.

I hope my Secret Santa got her gift yesterday.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

My Characters

I have a few stories that I post on my other blog.  Each story has a focus character and a reason why I wrote them.

Katherine - I've love Katherine Excalibur for years.  I revived her for a Mutants and Masterminds campaign with a bit of a different twist.  I enjoyed the campaign so much, that I wanted to write it out.  Still working on it.

Melusine  - Haha!  Okay, so later in the campaign Katherine came across a journal.  Not the only journal that I'd ever come across as Katherine but the first one that the ST didn't have some elaborate hand-held copy that I could actually read.  So I made one.

Holly - Another connection to Katherine.  I haven't posted this far yet so SPOILER ALERT Holly is Katherine's daughter.  Her's is really like a "ten years later" epilogue to Katherine.

Tavi - Tavi was born from a conversation between myself and the person who played Thalia in Katherine's story.  Again, going back to Katherine.  Tavi was the random curiousity of what-if.  What if Thalia and Chaud had a child.  

Nathalia - Nathalia is the character backstory of a Vampire the Masquerade character.  It's a bummer the campaign didn't last long.

Helen - Helen started as a wild hair to write a smutty masquerade sex scene.  Flat out.  Then I changed my mind part-way through.  

Zoee - Zoee was a question.  I really don't want to say too much about Zoee because I haven't posted up much of her story yet and really want to keep the twist there still.

Okay, there are some more stories than them but I don't know if I'll be posting them here or not..

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


CLL2 – The child will acquire vocabulary introduced in conversations, activities, stories and/or books.

CLL2.4a Demonstrates understanding of more complex vocabulary through everyday conversations.

WSO: Uses expanded vocabulary and language for a variety of purposes. 

This indicator's activities focuses on conversation.  Playing telephone, puppet talk, and many of our earlier suggestions work for this indicator as well.  Talk, talk, talk with your students.

Read, read, read as well.  Not just use books on CD or YouTube readings.  Actually read a book to your students.


CD-MA1 – The child will organize, represent and build knowledge of number and quantity.
CD-MA1.4d Describes sets as having more, less, same as/equal.
WSO:  Uses words and representations to describe mathematical ideas. 

Activities: Graphs.  Graphs are a great way for children to express their opinions as well as to discuss more, less, same as/equal.  Some educators use the daily lunch choice to demonstrate this.  That's fine, but there isn't anything anywhere saying that you must review lunch count with them everyday.  Don't drain the fun out it.

Number bags (original idea).  Okay, while the original idea is also a great tool for teaching addition, take a step back and we can work with more, less, same as/equal.  Children can work to identifying which side has more, less, or same as/equal.  

Feed the mascot.  Have a stack of index cards with various quantities of objects on each one (one pizza, three goldfish, whatever you wish).  Students take turns; one flips a card and the next student flips one card.  The student with the card that has more, can feed your mascot (alligator, little old lady, monster, whatever you want to feed).  Maybe your mascot is getting full and wants to eat the one that's less.  If the cards are equal... BURP!  All the cards come back into play again!

Books: More or Less by Stuart Murphy
ClassMade (don't be afraid to make your own book with your students to demonstrate this indicator)


CD-SC1 – The child will demonstrate scientific inquiry skills.
CD-SC1.4d Experiments, compares and formulates hypotheses related to scientific properties. 
WSO: Asks questions and begins to solve problems that arise during explorations.
 Activities: Grow A Critter.  These are simple toys that can be picked up at the dollar store that grow in water.  Students can generate hypotheses of what will happen to the object in the water.
Planting Seeds.  Again to generate hypothesis based on previous exploration.  An important thing to note about this indicator is that student learn to generate hypothesis based on their observations from previous experiments.
Colored Ice on Oil.  This would be fun after students observe and explore the process of melting ice.  Color water with food coloring and freeze.  Place the ice cubes on oil in a clear container and allow students to hypothesize what will happen before watching what happens when the water begins to melt.  


CD-SS2 – The child will demonstrate an understanding of his/her community and an emerging awareness of others’ cultures and ethnicity.
CD-SS2.4b Explains diverse customs and cultural celebrations within the home, classroom and community.
WSO: Identifies similarities and differences in personal and family characteristics.
 Okay, I really want to just take the time to say a few things about this indicator instead of providing activities and books.  We're at the time of year where we all want to start discussing Christmas and other December holidays.  Talking about these traditions and customs, reading books bout them help to fill this indicator.
Some parents get touchy on this subject.  Please keep in mind that you are teaching cultural acceptance and understanding, not a holiday.  The desire is that students accept and understand the differences among one another, even if they don't have the same traditions.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Decorative the Christmas tree is fun for me.  I like to change the "theme" of the tree each year.  From "it's a girl" to candy canes.  This year, it's lights and brass ornaments.
Even with the theme, there are other special ornaments that have home on the tree.
This was the first ornament I bought with my husband, back when we were dating and living in our one bedroom miniature apartment.

This is the first ornament after we were married.  There's a fortune cookie in the back with a pull-out message.

These are made by my brother.  One every year to add another memory to our tree starting with the year I got married.  It's a sweet timeline to review over with the holidays.

I have lots of sweet ornaments crafted by students over the years.  None the same, each different and unique.  Like this cute apple ornament made from a crushed soda can.

Speaking of child-made ornaments, can't forget the beauties that my daughter crafts at school.  

It's also nice to have ornaments that remind you of places you've been and rare things you've seen.

And, of course, we have our Christmas spider on the tree.  If you don't know the legend of the Christmas spider, it's a German custom to place a spider on the tree.  I need to remember to get one for my daughter's bedroom tree.

Speaking of her bedroom tree, she has important ornaments just for her on that tree.  Ornaments that she made with me or given to her by family member.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Dr Pepper Tuition Dream

For more than ten years now, I have been teaching as a paraprofessional for the Georgia State Lottery-funded pre-kindergarten program. My first two years were spent as a head teacher in the classroom setting before the program guidelines changed requiring that I earn a higher level degree to be able to be a head teacher. Each year, I continued working towards increasing my education while attending trainings and keeping informed on the latest classroom guidelines. My passion for teaching doesn't stop with the bell at the end of the day. I want to build a safe, nurturing environment for students to grow mentally, physically, and emotionally while building a strong and positive foundation for learning. Unfortunately, there are very few programs locally that will allow for me to teach and go back to school at the same time. As a parent in addition being an educator, I cannot afford to quit working to return to school so I attend Liberty University through their online program to be able to continue building positive classroom experiences for my students while I continue my educational growth. Thank you all for doing what you can to not only assist my educational future, but the future education of every child I teach.

Vote for me please!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

What Utena Means to Me

So, from the results of last week's post it looks like the demand is for episode analysis.  Unfortunately, I have a research paper due soon so the episode analysis will have to begin after that.  No worries though, I'm almost done with the semester.  The episode analysis is really going to take some sit down time.  I have most of the movie written out in a journal, but the episode analysis is something I really want to sit down and put more than just a few sentences out.  Any Utena fan knows that it needs more than that.  In the meantime while I work on my research paper (it's about how Common Core kindergarten standards do not build a successful foundation for academic learning, not Utena) I will entertain you all with some random ramblings about Utena.
Today's rambling: What Utena Means to Me
Utena is a visual form of Hotel New Hampshire to me.  Utena, like Hotel New Hampshire, came into my life at just the perfect time that I was ready for both of them.  These two things took everything that I thought I knew, grabbed it, shook it around, and kicked it a little.  
My favorite thing, it really makes you think.  It doesn't at the start.  At the start you just go with the flow.  Then stuff starts happening.  Then you have to start reading in between the lines or the show just appears as nonsense.  Analyze it. 
And there are NO CHEATS.  There is nothing printed really on what means what in that show.  Ikuhara isn't giving up that information anytime soon.  Or does he in the blu-ray release?  I can't imagine so...
In the short, I love Utena because it was highly influential and it makes me think. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

You Aren't Perfect

Disclaimer: I'm not perfect.

Holy wow, we're at the pissiest time of the year now.  I've seen way more soapbox rants than I care to trying to make everyone feel horrible about their holiday decisions.
Guess what?  We're all horrible people.
In some way, shape, or form you are not perfect.  You somehow have committed some holiday offense.  So get off your soapbox and deal with that fact that some of us will shop.  Some of us set up Christmas lights November 1.  Some of us will not take down our trees December 26.  Some of us will not be spending time with our families.  Some of us won't even be calling our family members.  Some of us will choose to play Elf on the Shelf.  
Don't judge me.  I won't judge you.  Shut up, and let's all be thankful that we have the option to celebrate in our own fashion.
Unless that's your own holiday tradition; pissing on the traditions of other people.  Which then by all means, open yourself up to having the same done back at you. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


CLL1 – The child will listen to conversations and demonstrate comprehension
CLL1.4c Extends/expands thoughts or ideas expressed. 

WSO: Uses expanded vocabulary and language for a variety of purposes. 

Activities: Language Charts.  Work with student about writing out ideas on paper.

Writing Cards. Word cards matched with pictures in your writing area expose students to new words while visually demonstrating their meaning.

Conversation.  Talk with your students.  When you sit down with your students at lunch, the playground, during centers, or at any other free moment in the day try to engage them in conversation as much as you can.  Strive for five.  Work to go back and forth in conversation with a child at least five times during each interaction.  

Books: Every and any title that you read can expand the vocabulary and language of your students.  
Nursery rhymes and fairy tales are great foundations for building young children's vocabulary.


CD-MA1 – The child will organize, represent and build knowledge of number and quantity.
CD-MA1.4c Matches numerals to sets of objects with the same number, 0–10.
WSO:  Shows beginning understanding of number and quantity.

Activities: Number Wall. (pinterest source)  Each number contains a dot respective to the quantity of the number.    Not really an activity but a wonderful visual if you have the wall space.

Cover Up.  Have various stars with numbers labeled on them (1-6) on a laminate sheet of paper.  Students roll a dice (one with the dots and not the numbers).  They can cover up the number for however many dots appeared on their roll.

How Many Spots? (printable here)  This is a game that you place the corresponding number of pom poms on a cow that matches to the identified numeral at the top of the page.  This game can be manipulated from cows to dogs or any other item.

Books: Pete the Cat and His 4 Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin
Counting Kisses by Karen Katz (or any of her other counting titles)
10 Chirpy Chicks by Debbie Tarbet

The key to finding books and activities appropriate for this indicator is finding something with numerals present as well as objects demonstrating numeric quantity.  While Over in the Meadow is a great book about quantity, most copies do not display the numeral on page.  


CD-SC1 – The child will demonstrate scientific inquiry skills.
CD-SC1.4c Records observations through dictating to an adult and drawing pictures or using other forms of writing.
WSO: Communicates experiences, observations, and ideas with others through conversations, representations, and/or behavior. 
Activities: Observe and Predict.  Fold a single paper in half.  On one half of the paper, have students draw what it happening now with their observation project.  On the other half, have students draw what they think will happen.
Observation Journals.  Instead of filling your science area with observation sheets for experiments, have every student a journal where they can record their observations or stores their observation sheets.
Books: It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles Shaw
What Is a Scientist? By Barbara Lehn
S is for Scientists by Larry Verstraete


CD-SS2 – The child will demonstrate an understanding of his/her community and an emerging awareness of others’ cultures and ethnicity.
CD-SS2.4a Identifies and follows rules of the classroom community and displays competence in engaging in appropriate social behavior.
WSO: Demonstrates awareness of rules.
 Activities: Taboo.  Have a taboo buzzer from the Taboo board game.  Teachers act out scenarios and when one doesn't behave appropriately or breaks a classroom rule, students may buzz the teacher.
Fix It.  Using scenario pictures, teacher explains what is happening to students.  If a student can fix it, they pick up a plastic tool to tap at the picture as they explain the appropriate behaviors that could fix the situation.
What If.  Students make a class book of what would happen if we didn't follow rules or act appropriately.
Books: We Share Everything by Robert Munsch
One Bear in the Picture by Caroline Bucknall
Don't Eat the Teacher by Nick Ward

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Black Friday

Since she became my mother-in-law, we've spent every Friday after Thanksgiving participating in the Black Friday sales.  I look forward to the hours we spend together shopping and talking.
Yes, we're going shopping on Thanksgiving.  We've already got our cooking and shopping plan in place so that we can have a wonderful time together.
I believe in family and tradition, Black Friday is part of that.  
But Black Friday is more than shopping for me as well.  Yes, I spend all morning with one of the most amazing women in my life but my day doesn't stop once the shopping is done.
The remainder of Black Friday is when I get to start decorating for Christmas.  Night Before Christmas comes on the television (because I think watching it between Halloween and Christmas is the perfect time for it), the Christmas tree finds a home, wreaths come out, lights are hung.  The magic of Christmas fills our house the rest of Black Friday.
Why not start decorating sooner?  My husband is not a fan of my love for decorating but part of our compromise is to keep holidays separate.  That's how I took Black Friday as my day to bring Christmas decor in our home.
And I love every minute, from the 2 am shopping to the 4 pm decorating.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Writing Prompt: Dragons & Unicorns

"Someone told me that dragons never really existed. I know unicorns are just fantasy. It is fun to think about these things now and then. What do you suppose life would be like with these creatures roaming around?" -The One Minute Writer

Whoa whoa whoa whoa, let's start with the first sentence there.  I do not agree with that at all.  I do believe that dragons existed.  I believe dragons and dinosaurs to be the same creature.  When you read old texts, fables, and stories (yes in fables some bits are false but it's also based on bits of truth as well) but we hear the word dragon.  The word dinosaur was coined in 1841, so of course dinosaurs wouldn't be mentioned in any ancient legends because the word didn't exist then.  But they had the word dragon.  
How amazing it is to me the theory of dragons being dinosaurs, dinosaurs being dragons.  
Now unicorns, I always believed the theory of someone looking incorrectly at an antelope for the longest of times.  But then wouldn't their visual error be corrected once the beast began to move?  The theory makes sense as a child but as an adult reviewing it, I can see room for error.  
What do I think life would be like of they were roaming around today?  To me, in their realistic forms of dinosaur and grassland creature wouldn't be too far different in our lives.  In their fantasy forms of pillaging villages and blessing virgin girls, holy wow that'd make for a HUGE difference in our reality.  

Saturday, November 23, 2013

La Fillette Révolutionnaire

The people have spoken, and as hard as Juri fought for the power of miracles to break free of what binds her it was Utena who arose victorious in the end; beginning her stride to revolutionizing the world.
So what's in store for us now with our Saturday postings?  I really enjoyed having Saturday as my Utena day and would love to continue that.  I'll let you all decide what the new Utena focus will be.

What will be the next focus of Utena Saturdays? free polls 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Marvelous Meatloaf

I seriously enjoy this meatloaf recipe so here it is for share to you guys.  This recipe serves 6.

1 pound ground chuck
1 egg
1 half cup breadcrumbs
1 half cup french's French fried onions
2 tablespoons garlic powder
I half cup milk
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons mustard
1 half cup ketchup

1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Get out a decently large bowl for mixing this all together.  
3. In large bowl; mix the ground chuck, the egg, the fried onions, the breadcrumbs, the garlic powder, and the milk.  I use my hands to massage it all in while crying about how the cold makes my elbows hurt.  I think that's what they mean when something's made with love.
4. Clean your hands (you've just handled raw meat and eggs for goodness sake).
5. Grease a 12-muffin pan (I use PAM but whatever works for you).
6.  Place equal amounts of meat into each muffin spot.
7. Put in oven for 15-20 minutes.
8. Immediately mix brown sugar, ketchup, and mustard.  I recommend a spoon instead of the hands-on method that I previously mentioned but it's your meatloaf.  
9. Remove meatloaf at the timer and spoon the ketchup mixture atop your meatloaf muffins.
10. Place back in oven for 5-10 minutes.
11. Remove from oven and serve atop bed of rice.  Or whatever you made to go with your meatloaf.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Writing Prompt: 8 Must Read Books

"List 8 books you've read that you think everyone should read in their lifetime."

Alright, I'll do you one more and enlist my book club members into making lists too!

1. The Hotel New Hampshire
2. An American Tragedy
3. David Copperfield
4. The Incarnations of Immortality series
5. The Hunger Games trilogy
6. Anything by Roald Dahl
7. Wicked
8. Then Again, Maybe I Won't 

 1) Jesus and Buddha as Brothers
2)The Harry Potter series
3)The English Patient
4)The Perks of Being a Wallflower
5)Treasure Island
6)The Hobbit
7)Little Women
8)The Help
To that list I had a hard time deciding on The Outsiders, Where the Red Fern Grows, there were a few others as well.  The Secret Garden, The Alchemist, Rebecca, The Count of Monte Cristo, Atonement, I had a hard time narrowing down the list to 8.

Harry Potter series, His Dark Materials, Where the Red Fern Grows, The Red Tent, Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Thousand Splendid Suns, A Prayer for Owen Meany, and..... Um.... Gonna have to go with Where the Wild Things Are.  I forgot almost every Roald Dahl book!  And I thought of another, the Fault in Our Stars.

The Secret Garden 
Grimm’s Fairytales 
To Kill a Mockingbird 
DragonLance Chronicles (ok to be fair this is three books combined into one volume but they were amazing) 
The Last Unicorn
Pet Cemetery
And Then There Were None
The Westing Game
Mama’s Losin’ It

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


CLL1 – The child will listen to conversations and demonstrate comprehension.
CLL1.4b Listens to and follows multi-step directions.

WSO: Follows two- or three-step directions. 

Activities: Simon Says. You don't have to stick with Simon giving a single-step instruction.  Start with single and move up into more steps to the directions.

Listening Ladybugs. (found here)  This game can be adapted to fewer directional cues or for different creatures instead of ladybugs to fit your students' interests.

Music.  Specifically, music that gives directions such as the Chacha Slide, Tooty Ta, and the Silly Pirate Song.

Books: Howway For Wodney Wat by Helen Lester
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear illustrated by Michael Hague


CD-MA1 – The child will organize, represent and build knowledge of number and quantity.
CD-MA1.4b Recognizes numerals and uses counting as part of play and as a means for determining quantity.
WSO: Shows beginning understanding of number and quantity.

Activities: Old Mother Hubbard.  (original source)  In this game, students roll the dice and count out the appropriate number of treats in their puppy's dish.  This game can be used with seeds in a pot or reworked using any combination of items.

Counting manipulatives.  Did I lose you on that big word there?  Manipulatives are counters.  They can be bear counters, bug counters, dinosaur counters. (Lakeshore catalouge of counters)  

Non-standard measuring.  Don't look scared, it's more simply and enjoyable than you think!  Take pancake cut-outs to measure students.  Use laminated feet for students to count the steps from reading to writing.  

Books: Over in the Meadow by Ezra Jack Keats 
Big Fat Hen by Keith Baker
One, Two, Three by Tom Slaughter 

Why didn't I focus on recognizing numerals?  If you visit the GELDS website and pull up this indicator, you will notice that the recommended activities and video focus on counting.  The following indicator (CD-MA1.4c) focuses on counting paired with numeral recognition, by their definition.  
Don't blame me.  I didn't write the GELDS, I'm just trying to help clear them up a bit.


CD-SS1 – The child will demonstrate an understanding of his/her family and an emerging awareness of his/her own culture and ethnicity.
CD-SS1.4b Describes similarities and differences between self and others. 
WSO: Identifies similarities and differences in personal and family characteristics.
 Activities: Family Graph.  At the base of the graph, have the options of mom, dad, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, grandparents.  Children get their photo added to the column equal number of times to however many people live in their home.  

People Puppets. These can be made in any number of ways; people craft sticks, people cut outs, paper bags, etc.  
Family Involvement.  Invite families to come in to the classroom.  They can help with classroom activities, speak about their family setups, or cultural backgrounds.
Books: David's Father by Robert Munsch
Is Your Mama a Llama? By Debora Guarino
Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother Too? By Eric Carle


CD-SC1 – The child will demonstrate scientific inquiry skills.
CD-SC1.4b Uses simple tools correctly to experiment, observe and increase understanding.
WSO: Uses senses and simple tools to explore solutions to problems.
Activities:  Magnetic Experimentation.  In an ice cube tray, place various objects in each separate slot (cotton ball in one, paper clip in another for example).  Students will use magnets to identify which objects are magnetic and which are not.

Magnifying Pictures.  Take pictures of students and shrink them to smaller sizes on your computer.  Print the small sized pictures for students to use magnifying glasses to see themselves in the pictures.
Colorful Explosions.  Fill cookie tray with baking soda.  In small cups, have vinegar with food coloring and pipettes.  Children use pipettes to drop vinegar into baking soda for very visual results.  This activity can also exercise students fine motor skills.
Books: I Spy (use with magnifying glass)
What Magnets Can Do by Allan Fowler
I Use Science Tools by Kelli Hicks

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Friends' Fandoms

Like I mentioned before, I've made some really cool internet friends because of fandom.
But what about all of my other friends?
They have their fandom obsessions same as I do.  Be it Harry Potter or something else.  We don't alienate each other because of our difference in fanfoms.  We actually still include each other in fan discussions or open our fan feelings with each other.
We can understand the feeling that what we're talking about means to the other and the impact it's made on our lives.
We also look for opportunities to share information related to another's fandom to the other.  That's one of my favorite parts about having separate fandom interests in a friendship.  Anything you stumble upon the internet that's related to their fandom, you share at any opportunity.
My friends quickly post Disney items on my wall which I love.  I think it's nice that they understand those are things that I love and would love to know more about.
I love this with my friends, because then it can lead to awesome gems like this:

Monday, November 18, 2013


Yay!  Continuous progress towards making the convention an amazing event!

Many of you might be wondering why I do so many posts for MGA Con after every meeting that I attend.
Because it's AMAZING to me.
1) I've never been a convention volunteer before so super cool on that experience.
2) I'm helping with the birth of a convention.
3) Meeting new people and making new friends.

This will be our opening year of awesome and amazing!  People like me, people like you, this is what is going to make it amazing!
I know you're simply going to love what we have planned for you.
Come on by to Heroes and Villains and sign up to be part of something amazing.

Psssttt!  It's going to be awesome!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Someday, Together, We'll Shine

Last week's duel was between Arisugawa Juri and Kaoru Kozue.  The cool and collected Juri easily stomped out the wild animal Kozue from the duelist arena.   The final black rose signet crumbled to dust in this tournament moving Juri into the winning position. 

Round 6, Duel 16:  
Arisugawa Juri versus Tenjou Utena 

The new girl in school has just challenged Juri to a duel after school.  Utena brings with her a kendo stick to the dueling arena.  How will this compete against Juri's rapier infused with the Power of Dios?  We've seen what happens when Utena faced against Juri when Utena weilded the Sword of Dios, but what happens when Juri is Utena's first duel at school?
  Who shall be the one to move forward to End of the World?
The Absolute Destiny Apocalypse.
Arisugawa Juri versus Tenjou Utena free polls