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Joke 904

Good way to end a week of state mandated assessments…

The Laughing Housewife

A bus filled with politicians was driving down a country road, when the bus ran off the road and crashed into a tree in an old farmer’s field. The old farmer went over to investigate.

A few days later, the local sheriff came out looking for the missing politicos, saw the crashed bus, and asked the farmer where all the politicians had gone.

The farmer said, “I buried ’em all…out back.”

The sheriff asked, “Were they ALL dead?”

The old farmer replied, “Well, some of them said they weren’t, but you know how them politicians lie.”



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Opening Words for the First Day of School

Ok, kids. Opportunity awaits.

All Access Pass

Maybe you’ve seen and heard this speech by Ashton Kutcher at the Teen Choice Awards recently.  I think this would be a fabulous first day of school opener at the middle school and high school level.  It creates an opportunity for group discussion, sets a positive tone, and totally helps you connect on their level.

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If Teachers Planned Inservice Training…

I concur.

marvelous teacher musings

Team Work

I let out quite a chuckle when I saw this picture. I’ve been there and I’ve made that face.

*Disclaimer* This blog is not meant to imply that teachers do not appreciate learning. It is also not intended to imply that we are ‘lazy’, ‘unprofessional’ or the like. We wouldn’t be in education if we didn’t appreciate its value. What we don’t appreciate is receiving the exact same training year after year. That’s not Professional Development. That’s insulting. As far as those looking for examples on what could be done during In-Service, please read my other blog entitled ‘Get on the Bus’. Any and all comments which use bad language, insult another who comments by name calling, etc. will not be posted. *

It got me to thinking…teachers are required to attend Inservice “training” before school. It’s always dreaded and I, personally, would rather have a cavity filled than sit…

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Fishing with Captain Ron

IMG_0240Our third day in Costa Rica had us up early and driving to meet Captain Ron for fishing on Lake Arenal.  I spoke with Ron several times prior to our visit, and he was ready to teach our family a few things about fishing. Even our omniscient son.  (He is 13 and knows everything!)

Ron said it would be easier if we found this little path on our side of the lake and he would pick us up on the shore.  Since we found a cow path of a driveway in the dark, I figured a path to the shore would be easier.  Plus, we would be able to see Captain Ron and his boat from the road.  I was almost completely incorrect.  (Luckily, I have been married for 18 years and am use to being wrong.)

Due to the whole area being a rainforest, we only occasionally saw the boat from the road, which was about ½ kilometer above the shoreline.   However, finding the path in daylight was easy.  It was as wide as the car, but I am pretty sure our four-wheel drive SUV could not make it up the muddy slope.  We decided to hiked to the boat.

Captain Ron welcomed us, made us wash the mud off our shoes and feet, gave us some safety tips, and got us started right away.  He was gregarious and taught us about the culture and area.  While he regaled us with stories about fishing, the volcano, and his moving to Costa Rica, I couldn’t help but notice that I had seen and heard him before.  It was an eerie feeling.  Finally, it occurred to me.  He was Bruce Campbell, the actor who plays Sam Axe on Burn Notice.  When I told my 13 year-old, the biggest Burn Notice fan on the planet, he agreed.  We mentioned it to Captain Ron, and he laughed, saying he had only seen the show once.IMG_0257

Captain Ron and our youngest, who decided to use his head as bait.

Captain Ron and our youngest, who decided to use his head as bait.

He kept to his cover story that he moved from San Diego and has been fishing Lake Arenal for over 9 years.  However, Andy and I still think we may have been helping him scout a location for a future episode or even being secretly filmed as extras during one of the peaceful scenes, which accounts for about thirty seconds of the show.

Nevertheless, Captain Ron fed us the best banana bread our family has ever tasted, sandwiches even my finicky daughter loved, fresh pineapple, and plenty of sodas, juice, and water.  He did offer to bring beer, but I thought it was too early for the kids to be drinking.

Ron was true to his word.  He taught us how to troll, which was extremely easy and effective that morning.  And, he taught us how to cast properly, but the fish did not bite.  Thus, we did more trolling, which allowed us to admire the volcano, the mountains, and the rainforest. IMG_0260

I guess it is like reading a novel.  Sometimes freshmen get focused on the ending: how many fish did I catch?  Consequently, they miss the characters, in this case Captain Ron; the description of the scenery, for instance the volcano;  and information on the culture.  I am glad we were able to take the time to enjoy the whole “freshman” experience.

My catch!

My catch!

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District Gives Students Teacher-Rating Gadgets

I love Satire!

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Dear Dustin,

Dear Dustin,

It has been nine years since we first remembered your service to our country.  All of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines gave some, and you, 21 other Marines, and a Navy corpsman gave all.

I remember your smile and your hard work at The Swim Club.   I could always count on you to get any job done.  If it had not been for you and Chris, I may not have ever been able to get the pool ready for the opening on Memorial Day Weekend.  Memorial Day.  We no longer own the pool.  Memorial Day is not about opening the pool.  It is about remembering.

Much has happened over the years, and I have had time to reflect on all of the young people who have been part of my life.  There have been many who joined a branch of the service:

David, who cussed in class, willingly did twenty-five push-ups as punishment, challenged me to push up contests.  I could beat him when he was a freshman, but he won every time I saw him his senior year.  Yes, David was a Devil Dog like you.

Kenny, all 120 pounds of him, went into the Army Reserves and loaded 60-pound rounds into a tank.

There is Michael who is a fighter pilot, and Dillon who repairs the jets.

Nadia and Sam went to Annapolis, one to be a Naval officer and one to be a Marine officer.

Then there is Aaron, who willingly jumps out of helicopters to save others as a Navy rescue swimmer.

And Billy, who graduated from The Air Force Academy with the desire to fly drones, so future Marines and soldiers won’t have to be so close to the small arms fire that made your life so short.

My children know your story Dustin, not just your service to America, but to our family.  Thank you.

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How Grassroots Groups in Texas Are Beating the Testing Lobby

Look at the money being spent…

Diane Ravitch's blog

In my list of categories on this blog, the words “Texas” and “testing” are side-by-side. One of the biggest stories in the nation today is how ordinary folks–moms, dads, and students–in Texas are slaying the monster that ate their education.

Over the past 20-30 years, Texas became drunk on testing. The lobbyists for Pearson–headed by Sandy Kress, the architect of NCLB–made sure that Pearson won a five-year contract for nearly $500 million in 2011 at the same time that the legislature striped away $5.4 Billion from the public schools.

After I wrote a post about the last minute flurry of bills about vouchers and charters and online charters in this legislative session (which ends May 26), I received this informative comment about the state of education in Texas:

“Texas public schools will survive. Sen. Patrick is doing some good things by shepherding HB5 through the Senate. He learned from his…

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Wisdom from a 5 year old!

I need to remember this everyday.

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Breaking News: Providence Students Win Major Victory!

It appears testing has reached its peak…

Diane Ravitch's blog

Congratulations to the Providence Student Union, which exposed the inadequacy of the NECAP (New England Common Assessment Program) as a high school graduation test. As a result of their activism, the Boston Globe today opposed the use of NECAP for that purpose.

Instead of just protesting or writing letters to the editor or to elected officials, the PSU engaged in political theater. They invited 60 accomplished professionals to “take the test,” a test made up of released math items. And of that group, 60 percent would not have received a high school diploma.

Way to go, Providence students!


Dear Linda,
This just in: The Boston Globe published an Editorial  this morning calling on Rhode Island’s Department of Education to reconsider using the NECAP as a graduation requirement!
You’ve got to read this.


Flunking the test

  APRIL 11, 2013

STARTING THIS spring, Rhode Island high school seniors will…

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For my students… Do you agree or not? Write your thoughts and turn them in for extra credit.

Open Book Journeys

Animal FarmAnimal Farm

Author: George Orwell
Publisher: Penguin Books
Published: 2008
Type: Paperback
Pages: 95

What’s it about?

Mr Jones of Manor Farm is so lazy and drunken that one day he forgets to feed his livestock. The ensuing rebellion under the leadership of the pigs Napoleon and Wellington leads to the animals taking over the farm. Vowing to eliminate the terrible inequities of the farmyard, the renamed Animal Farm is organized to benefit all who walk on four legs. But as time passes, the ideals of the rebellion are corrupted, then forgotten. And something new and unexpected emerges… 

Such a relief. This is the first book that I’ve chosen off my ‘Classic’ Reading List, where I tackle my shocking habit of avoiding renowned pieces of literature. Amazingly, I’ve never read Animal Farm before, and I didn’t even know what it was about. Yes, you read that correctly. Not entirely sure how…

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