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May Means Mother’s Day Cards May 1, 2010

Posted by alwaysjan in Art, Teaching.
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2 comments


April showers bring May flowers, STAR testing, and, what’s that other one? Oh yeah, Mother’s Day. This year Mother’s Day falls on May 9th, the day before STAR testing begins. So this week my third graders will be cranking out Mother’s Day cards. Actually it’s a great way to remind them that both “Mother’s” and “Day” need to be capitalized, as there’s always a question like that on the test.

Last year I finally got around to making five templates, so students can take turns tracing MOM. (Taking turns – a valuable skill NOT on the test.) When folded, the card is around 5×6.  I actually have them use card stock, so they can color it in with markers. (I’m notoriously stingy when it comes to letting students use markers.)  They color in the positive space and then the negative using a variety of lines, and geometric and organic shapes.

When they’re done, I have them flip over the card, so they can see it says, “WOW.”  They think this is way cool. I explain that both MOM and WOW are palindromes and give them several other examples. (One year I conveniently had a Hannah in my class!)  So this week my students will walk out of class with a cool card for “dear ole” and some more esoteric information that will NEVER appear on the STAR test.  LOL.

Comedy Traffic School – Not! March 15, 2010

Posted by alwaysjan in Personal.
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8 comments

I was speeding. I admit it. But the time should fit the crime. What on earth possessed me to sign up for online Comedy Traffic School? “I don’t hear you laughing,” my husband called to me from the next room during what turned out to be a 7-hour ordeal. On a Saturday.

It didnt help that I’d spent so much on time on the computer in the past three weeks that my husband accused me of hooking up with terrorists in a chat room and planning to kill the Swedish cartoonist who made the mistake of putting Mohammed’s head on the body of a dog. I assured him that as a die-hard Pearls Before Swine fan, that was too lightweight to even register on my radar. By the way, did you know that “Radar spelled backwards is radar?”

Just to make sure you don’t go straight to the questions, you’re warned that odd sentences are planted in the text. You need to be able to recall these to prove you read EVERY word of the California Vehicle Code. So one minute you’re reading about how high the fog lights, er I mean lamps, need to be off the ground, and then you suddenly bump smack into a clunker like, “My favorite fern is my best frond.” or “Jacques Cousteau’s fingertips were always ‘pruney’.”

Just to provide some levity, there’s some side splitting jokes like the Five Things NOT To Say To a Police Officer. The first one was, “Sorry officer, but I was reaching for my bag of crack when my gun fell off my lap and wedged between the accelerator and brake pedal forcing my car to go out of control.” Or, “Excuse me, but which one of the Village People are you?” It only got worse.

Did you know, “a Toyota” spelled backwards is “a Toyota?”  Just wanted to make sure you’re still paying attention. More important is that you pay attention while you are driving, or you too could spend a Saturday afternoon in front of the computer with no prospect of a trip to Sweden.  “Ancient Egyptians shaved their eyebrows to mourn the death of their cats.”  Hey, you passed!