Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Eagle Web Cam


I usually don't post two days in a row, but this is too good not to share! Luther College biology students have a live video camera above an eagle's nest near Decorah, Iowa. You can go to their web page and watch the eagles live 24 hours a day. Every 15 minutes you have to refresh the page. It's a little addictive, I must admit.

Eagles mate for life, and this nest has a pair of adult eagles and several chicks. They didn't all hatch at the same time, so they vary in size. The web site also has lots of information on eagles and a page for teachers. Check it out, it's pretty cool!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

This & That

This is a beautiful spring morning in Iowa. It almost makes up for the looonng winter we had...almost :-) With a son graduating in a few weeks, (WHERE has the time gone?!?) I have been spending a lot of time doing springy things like gardening & cleaning. I have also been spending time going through photos, reminiscing and shedding some happy tears now and again. It's such a good feeling to see a mostly mature and responsible young man before me and to have very few regrets about time invested in he and his brothers over the years.

I just want to encourage you today in what you do both as parents and as teachers. You are doing something very important each day, whether your day is one of those special ones that you take pictures to remember or just an ordinary day filled with laundry, cleaning up after meals and trying to mold the character of the little ones at your feet. It takes both kinds of days to raise a child, and the mundane days are packed with teachable moments and character building. Some days go just as you planned and others take delightful (or not so delightful) rabbit trails.
Embrace each day and keep your goals in mind. Ask yourself how the circumstances you are in will help you to reach the goals you have set for your family and your individual children.

This is a great time of year to revisit your goals. Sit down and write out 3-5 goals for your family for the next year. Then do the same for each child. You can think about character goals, educational goals and many other things. One thing is for certain, clarifying goals and writing them down is a great way to keep yourself on track. It's also a great thing to model to your children. Maybe you could have your kids write goals as well and then meet with each child to see how their own personal goals match up with the goals you have for them. For an older child you could have them write goals in categories; one month goals, one year goals, five year goals, ten year goals and lifetime goals. You may be surprised to see what your kids think about, especially if you have a child who doesn't share their thoughts easily.

Spring is also a great time to mix up the learning a little on purpose. Take your lessons outside. Plant a tree or a garden and learn about the growing zones. Do flash cards on the trampoline or swing set. Take a good book to the park. Do some service learning. Maybe find a new recipe and double it. Keep half and take half to a neighbor or friend. Help a neighbor clean up flower beds. Make some May baskets and deliver them to a nursing home or elderly friends. Find new ways to have your kids show their learning. Maybe a colorful poster, creating a board game, a family newsletter or blog, a song, a map, graph, cartoon, animation, podcast or powerpoint.

If you have some great ideas, share them here or jot them down and bring them to Mom's Day Out. I had about 50% of you say a day to share ideas with other moms would be meaningful, so I will plan on Mom's Day Out, Wednesday April 28 from 9:00-11:00 in my classroom. I will have a movie for kids to watch while moms share ideas and encourage each other. I will keep the kids from 11:00-12:00 for pizza and an activity so you can go out for lunch or just do errands. If your kids stay for lunch, just send $2 each to cover the cost of pizza.

That's all for now! Enjoy your day :-)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Our Medieval Castle Project

I video

We have been working really hard to finish our castle, take photos of all of its parts and then to write about the middle ages. This movie is a compilation of all our hard work! Hope you enjoy it, (and that it works...) I am also working on posting our powerpoint presentation on the Home School Assistance website.