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Prayer Shawl Ministry

Click here to read more #spiritualjourney posts.  Thanks Holly for hosting this roundup!

Click here to read more #spiritualjourney posts. Thanks Holly for hosting this roundup!

One of my close choir friends has been bringing her crochet projects to the loft for a while now. We all love to touch the yarn and watch her quick hands craft beautiful shawls. She decided to begin a prayer shawl ministry at our church. I had not crocheted or knitted in years, but I was interested in the idea, so I joined.

Baby Vivian is one month old and weighs 2 pounds.  Please pray for her.

Baby Vivian is one month old and weighs 2 pounds. Please pray for her.

Before our first meeting, a friend in my Berry Queen community, Holly, had a pre-mature baby. Vivian weighed 1.7 lbs, but she has proven to be a fighter. She is growing and developing. I keep up with her through Facebook. I decided I would make a prayer blanket for the baby. I bought some pink and white thread, a crochet hook, and an instruction book. As I crocheted, I said her name. My mantra became “Vivian Victory.”

Completed baby prayer blanket

Completed baby prayer blanket

We took a field trip last Friday. My student Emily sat next to me on the long bus ride. She watched me work on the prayer blanket. Today, she presented me with a pillow she had sewn for me. She wrote about it for her Slice of Life story on our kidblog. You can read her post here. She wrote, “And, if Mrs. Simon is making a blanket for a premature baby that is only two pounds, she must love it. So, I made this pillow. I made this pillow for someone I love.”

Faith pillow made by Emily.

Faith pillow made by Emily.

Emily’s heart has been broken with her mother’s untimely death six weeks ago. The power of grace from God has placed her heart in my hands. And what a gracious heart it is!

I am truly blessed to be a part of many faithful communities, the concentric circles of love from church, friends, family, students, and this blogging community.

Llama in a Black Pot

  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Maggie and her sauce picante.

Maggie and her sauce picante.

My daughter Maggie is adventurous, and she loves a good challenge. When she cooked for her friend’s birthday recently, the friend’s mother challenged Maggie to make a sauce piquant for the upcoming Black Pot Festival using some llama necks she had in her freezer. What? Llama neck sauce piquant? Why not?

My husband and I love local music, so we didn’t need much urging to attend the Black Pot Festival. Music, dancing, beer, food, a wonderful combination! If you have followed my blog for the last month, you know we aren’t lacking in the festival department, but we had never attended the Black Pot Festival. As usual for South Louisiana, the crowd was mixed, but we noticed quite a few hippies in this crowd, kids in their 20s sporting long beards and tattoos. Someone commented that they were nouveau hippies.

While in line for a taste, (That was the name of the game: Go where the line is longest to get a taste of whatever was cooking.) I overheard 4 bearded dudes nouveau hippies guys talking about my daughter’s sauce piquant.

Dude 1: Llama is the best, dude.

Dude 2: You got a neck, man! That’s vertebrae, like bone marrow is good for you.

Dude 3: Straight up neck! You should make a necklace out of it.

sign

Maggie and her team did not win the competition in the gravy category, but I would guess that it was the most talked about dish at the festival.

Acadian Village, a preserved historic site, was the setting for the Black Pot Festival.

Acadian Village, a preserved historic site, was the setting for the Black Pot Festival.

Sci-Port Field Trip

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.

There is a tiredness that comes when you know you have done something good, even if it made you terribly tired. That’s what my Friday and Saturday were like. So I am making a combination post for Celebration Saturday and DigiLit Sunday.

On Friday, my colleagues and I woke up really early to board a chartered bus at 5:30 AM with about 40 young gifted students to drive four hours north to Shreveport, LA. We visited Sci-Port. This field trip is a long tradition in our gifted program and happens every two years. I honestly don’t look forward to the long ride. But after it is all said and done, I feel good. It is worth it. The kids not only have a blast, but they also participate in 21st Century skills of Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, and Critical Thinking. You just can’t do this much in a classroom or with digital learning. I am a believer in field trips. My students may find a way to express their learning this week digitally, through blogging and perhaps a presentation of ideas. I’ll let them decide how they want to process their experience.

Today I celebrate a successful field trip.

We lucked into Chemistry week.  Our students learned about the chemistry of candy through hands-on experiments.

We lucked into Chemistry week. Our students learned about the chemistry of candy through hands-on experiments.

Marble mania is a challenge for small groups to create and collaborate.

Marble mania is a challenge for small groups to create and collaborate.

Add your Digital Literacy posts with Mr. Linky.

What’s Inside?

Find more Poetry Friday at Merely Day by Day with Cathy.

Find more Poetry Friday at Merely Day by Day with Cathy.

One of my Poetry Friday poet heroes is Laura Purdie Salas. She is the author of Bookspeak and Water Can Be, both of which I recommend for any classroom. She recently published an e-book What’s Inside: Poems to Explore the Park It’s a great resource for teaching young poets.

solar eclipse

There was a solar eclipse happening on Thursday. I decided to combine teaching about this phenomenon with a new poem form, “What’s Inside?” We read a few model Laura Purdie Salas poems and discussed the elements in her poems, rhyme, rhythm, along with factual information. I am posting some student poems and my own. To make comments to the students, click on their name.

What’s inside a solar eclipse?
A moon hatching out of its cocoon
“Now is my time to rule the day”
The sun is secret
Hidden away
Coming back soon
“Once again I will rule over moon”
--Kielan

Above the cosmos,
The moon still glows.
Blocking the light,
It’s a time of fright.
In the position of the sun,
It’s no fun.
When it goes away,
No more for today.
Like a Clash of Clans war,
It’s done for.
–Nigel

Tobie wrote his poem in three voices: the solar eclipse, the sun, and the moon. (I love how he marked each one.)

The sun will be covered by the moon. <———————Solar Eclipse
I just wish it would come again soon.

What's inside this ball of fire? <————————Sun
It's like life, ton of desire.

What's inside this big rock? <—————-Moon
Too bad, there's only one in stock.
–Tobie</blockquote>

Mrs. Simon tries rhyme once again. I was pleased by the unexpected rhyme of sun and phenomenon.

What’s Inside a Solar Eclipse?
Make a pinprick hole in a paper plate.
Sunset horizon, stop and wait.
A new moon crosses the path of the sun,
eclipsing our vision,
a sky-born phenomenon.
–Margaret Simon

Grace Comes

Click here to read more #spiritualjourney posts.  Thanks Holly for hosting this roundup!

Click here to read more #spiritualjourney posts. Thanks Holly for hosting this roundup!

photo 4

We know from Alexander that some days are terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days, even in Australia. And I’ve had those days. I’ve had the days where nothing seems to go right. The days where the ice cream falls off the ice cream cone, and the plate crashes to the floor, flying out of your hand like someone else is in control. But I have learned that even on those days, there is Grace. Grace comes when we least expect it. The grace in the eyes of the veterinarian who says your dog is fine. The grace in an email from a friend who says you’re a blessing in her life. The grace from the chattering birds on a wire. The grace in the clear sky. The grace in the sunrise over the sugarcane. The grace in the abundant fruit on the tree. The grace in the reflection of the sun on the bayou. God’s grace, God’s loving embrace holds me every day.

Bayou Visitors

  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Our Korean guests brought us delicious nut bars as a thank you gift.

Our Korean guests brought us delicious nut bars as a thank you gift.

This weekend was a glorious weekend on the bayou! My neighbors had a wedding. Their son and his bride met in Korea where they were both teaching English. They came home in early September, but my friend has been preparing for this event for a year or more. Our backyards meet at a line of live oaks and is a beautiful setting for a wedding, especially on a clear day in October.

We were asked to house the photographer and his son, both of Korean descent. Soomin, Saeho’s son, visited my first class on Friday. We had a delightful time learning about Korea. Soomin is ten (11 in Korea), so he fit in well with my group of 5th and 6th graders. I was amazed at his knowledge of English. I put a chart on the board and wrote Hello on one side. Soomin drew beautiful Korean characters on the other side. But how does one read that word? We eventually resorted to Google translator. There is a speaker who helped us hear the pronunciation. I gave up after the second word we tried, “Thank you.” And here was Soomin who could read, write, and speak both languages. Amazing!

A view from our yard to the wedding.

A view from our yard to the wedding.

Saeho and Soomin spent the weekend with us. On Sunday, my husband took them out on the bayou in a canoe. They even saw a real alligator sunning on a log. We never see alligators. What a treat for our visitors! (I secretly hope the gator works his way farther down the bayou.)

I am enjoying making videos in Imovie. I took two videos, one of a scan of the bayou, and one of the boys in the canoe. If you look hard, you can see Soomin waving. The alligator did not make it into the video. The music is a honeymoon waltz performed by David Greely. Relax and enjoy a few seconds on the Bayou Teche. I wish I could send you the sweet smelling air, too. (It’s sugarcane harvest time.)

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Autumn is a wonderful season for writing poems. Donna Smith shared her Fall Poetry Zeno on her blog, Mainly Write, for Poetry Friday. Holly Mueller shared an autumn poem by Bliss Carmen along with her original poem and students’ poems.

On Thursday, I presented the poem Autumn Grasses by Margaret Gibson. My students paraphrased it and talked about the imagery and metaphor. Then they wrote their own poems about autumn. Tyler went back to a picture postcard of Georgia O’Keefe’s Autumn Leaves that he had written about before. I love that he knew where the picture was and felt comfortable enough to grab it again for inspiration.

Autumn Leaves by Georgia O'Keefe

Autumn Leaves by Georgia O’Keefe

On Friday, I showed my students how I had made a poem movie with my poem This Peace. I suggested they might want to try to make their own poem movie using Animoto. I think this was Tyler’s first time to use Animoto. He found the perfect background, and after he finished putting in his images and words and the movie was produced, I overheard a gasp. He was totally enthralled and impressed with his own creation. This is what creativity in the classroom is all about, that Wow feeling.

I encourage you to teach an autumn poem and make poem movies in Animoto. You may use Tyler’s as a model. Please let me know if you do. I love to know when I have inspired creativity in others.

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