Sunday, May 13, 2018

Memories of My Mother

My mother has been on my mind a lot for the last few months. I have always called my mother "Mama." It's a southern thing. I never called her mom or mother-- just Mama.
She helped raise three daughters while my father was in the Navy. I'm sure raising three "Navy Brats" in California in the 70's was not always easy! We moved around A LOT! Each time my father was transferred, we would rent a place for a few months and then move onto the base and live in Navy housing. Even though Navy life was hard, her daughters did not end up in jail, on drugs, or pregnant. And today, we hardly ever swear!
My mother had many challenges in this life that really limited her. She had so much difficulty communicating with others. One way my mother was able to communicate was through teasing and joking. I know that that sounds weird, but she knew that we loved her when we paid attention to her and joked around with her. Once in a while we would go too far, but most of the time she would laugh and wag her finger at us, saying "shame on you."
Bonnie and I taught my mother how to say "I love you" in Spanish so she could tell my father she loved him in a different language. Instead of "Te amo mucho," we taught her to say, "Bese me culo" which does NOT mean I love you.
I could convince her of things that couldn't possible happen. I once told her that doctors had changed the length of time a women was pregnant from nine months to eight months-- because nine months was just too long.
I remember thinking that I shouldn't tease her as much, so I stopped for awhile until she asked me if I was mad at her.
Even though my mother could be tricked and teased, she always remained a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ. I knew she loved Him and I knew that she spoke with Him often. I remember seeing her earnestly pray for her family every day. Her faith in her Heavenly Father and Savior never ever wavered. She set a wonderful example of always having faith, hope, and charity.
Many people found it difficult to understand Mama. Those who took the opportunity to get to know her loved and adored her!
As I live my life, I hope I can be as faithful and as kind as my dear Mama.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My Sea-Worthy Classroom

This is my 2nd year using a nautical theme in my classroom. Being a Navy brat, this just feels right! This is the back wall of our classroom. I took a panoramic photo and it looks like I have a round wall. It really isn't round. I just did not know what I'm doing. I have a sailboat for each student. I have 55 students this year, so there isn't as much water as I would like. The sailboats are made of scrapbook paper. This year I used the non-fade butcher paper.

This is the "S.O.S--class helper"board. I made them out of styrofoam circles and red cording. The "Skipper" is the most important job in the class. This student leads the class in the pledge, passes out papers, is the line leader, feeds the fish, is the office runner.... I have to have 2 Skippers because I have two groups that come into my classroom. To the left, I have my girl and boy hall passes.
 "All hands on deck" This board is not finished yet. I have the students help me finish it. Together, we discuss what our class rules should be. I type them out and put them on this board. For the boarder, I have my students trace and cut out their hand prints. It is really cute when it is finished and I love how the kids already know what our classroom should be like.
I have this on my front wall to take up space. I bought it at Hobby Lobby when it was on sale. A lot of craft stores have a nautical section.

A Great Catch is where I display student work. The distance marker was a gift from my daughter. It shows the places I have traveled to.

On top of the cabinets in my classroom, I have nautical decorations. There are ships, lanterns, a treasure chest, globes, a helm...
I have a sand collection on my counter. I try to collect sand and sea shells from different beaches that I go to so that my students can get a feel of the beach.

This is our calendar area. It is by my desk in the front of the classroom.  I also use this board to keep important papers that I can not afford to loose. I purchased the anchor and captain's hat at a party store. The ship bell came from Hobby Lobby.
My "Star Student" board. I plan on giving out this poster to each student sometime during the first week of school. I think it will be easier to use these posters instead of having the students bring one from home.

More of the birthday banner. This helm is in between our windows (Hobby Lobby).

I made this last year and hung it on our door. It is now just on a white board in the back of the room.

I have this flag in the front of my classroom. I tell the story of  Captain James Lawrence. He said these heroic words after being mortally wounded on the U.S. frigate Chesapeake,  on 1 June 1813. I teach at a Title 1 school where some of the children in my class live in very difficult situations. I want them to know that with determination they can accomplish anything!

 This is an new addition to my classroom this year. This is a map of the Caribbean. Some of my favorite places on earth!
 An English proverb I found this year. I have this in the front of my classroom as well.
Our Ship's Log runs along the bottom of our front wall. I use this wall as a time line of our school year together. I take pictures of important events and staple them to our ship's log with a description and the date of the event.

Thanks to my wonderful family, I am ready for school!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Can Third Graders Fall In Love?

This year all Utah third grader students will be given an informational and opinion writing test. I decided that my students should get practicing.

Over the last week I gave them the prompt, "Can Third Graders Fall in Love?" I wanted them to write about something that they felt strongly about. This was probably the first time I didn't fall asleep while reading my students' papers.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Can third graders fall in love?
Love is when two people like each other and spend the rest of their life with each other. In my opinion, third graders should NOT fall in love. One reason is that it is gross. Another reason is that I don't like anyone. The last reason is that boys are weird. Because of all of these reason I think third graders should NOT fall in love.

Love us when two people like each other. In my opinion third graders can fall in love. People sometimes like each other at early ages. That sometime increases. I know people that have already fallen in love. I know this because I see people talking about who they are in love with. Another reason is that I know people that are in love with me. Third graders can fall in love.

Love is when one person likes another. Sometimes two people like each other. My opinion is that third graders can fall in love. Who says you have to be in high school or older? I believe this because I once had someone like me and that was in second grade. So, if second graders can fall in love, third graders can. I don't think they should but I believe they can.

Love is a boy and girl kissing or they like each other a lot and they want to get married. My opinion is no cause we are not the right age to do it. I wouldn't cause it is gross. Cause you can't date before you are 16. I hate it. It's the grossest thing I've ever seen. I hate dating before I'm 16. I hate love in third grade. I really hate this topic.

My goal is to find a few more fun prompts!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Pirate's Booty

Marty and I went to Puerto Rico a few weeks ago for a vacation. We loved it! There were some spectacular sights such as the Bioluminescent Bay and El Yunque Rainforest. We flew in on Monday and spent the rest of the day getting our rental car, finding our hotel, and exploring San Juan at night. I tried mofondo for the first time. I really liked it but after a week of eating it I got a little tired of it. It is mashed plantain bananas. It doesn't taste like bananas but more like a potato. The rainforest was beautiful. I was able to bring back some umbrella leaves and some colored rocks that the native Puerto Ricans used to mark themselves for various ceremonies. After our visit to the rainforest, we went on a bio bay tour. This is probably the coolest thing I have ever seen. It was kind of like Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland only we rowed ocean kayaks and it lasted for two hours. I am sure Disneyland was trying to recreate this beautiful area. We started out rowing through a mangrove forest and then into the bay. By the time we got to the bay it was getting dark. Once it was dark we were instructed to move our hands around in the water. The microorganisms living in the water glow when there is movement. This was really cool. The darker the skies got the brighter the water would glow. We played in the water for quite a while. It was pitch dark on our way back through the mangrove forest. We had little lights on the ends of our kayaks to help guide us back to shore. Occasionally we would row into the roots of the mangroves but most of time we just enjoyed the fireflies over head and the still glowing water. I really loved the bio bay and will do it again if I get the chance! The next day it rained most of the day. We decided to drive around Puerto Rico in search of good beaches and Puerto Rican roasted pork. We found a good beach that is famous for surfing in December. In between rain showers we swam and played in the water. On our way back to the bathrooms to change clothes, a man called to us. He said something like, "hey, are you guys white?" when we responded he asked us to come over and talk to him. Once we walked over to him we realized that he was really drunk. He asked us where we were from and then proceeded to tell us all about himself. He has been in PR for about 19 years. He told us that he was a pirate and that he makes his living smuggling drugs in and out of the United States. I was thinking about grabbing my camera and snapping a picture when he decided to show us that he was a white man who had a very dark tan. He stood up, turned around, and pulled his swimming trunks down to show us his tan line. A real pirate's booty! The next day the rain cleared up and we toured old San Juan. That was really a hot but fun day. On our last day we went snorkeling. I continue to have my sea sickness problems but I did not throw up. I actually was able to snorkel for about an hour. We saw tons of fish and even a sting ray. Puerto Rico is a wonderful place to play and relax! We loved it.