Friday, September 28, 2012

How School Should Be

Last night was back-to-school night for my 6th grade Middle Schooler. I was so impressed with the enthusiasm of all the teachers. They are focused on helping the students succeed, learn and have fun. They are eager and smart.

Their methods and projects are as creative as our kids. Here's a social studies assignment my daughter did for today. It's a brochure, "Welcome to Confection Island, the sweetest place on Earth." The assignment was to make a real or fictional brochure, story, or poem with pictures and descriptions of 6 land forms.

Hers are: Meringue Mountain, Hot Chocolate Lake, Cream Cataract, Caramel Canal, Cake Canyon, and Peep Plain, where the Peep bunnies live.

The High School in our town has recently adopted a 1:1 computer initiative where each student was given a computer. The teachers are incorporating computers into their classrooms, and students are using them for homework and research. There are many opportunities for the school to be creative, and for the kids to learn at their own pace. There is also the chance that computers will interfere with the deep interaction and discussion between teachers and students.

And, of course, no sooner had we gotten the computers than a column appeared in the local paper calling for increased efficiency and class size to lower the budget. For our town, this is totally the wrong approach. Here's my response to our local paper in full support of our amazing teachers:

We should do what is necessary to make parents across the country in every school so proud of their teachers and students. It is our most important investment.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Someone Likes Damp Cushions

Yesterday afternoon I wanted to sit on the reclining porch chairs as I wrote in my journal, but the cushions were wet. I took them off the chairs to hang dry. Underneath the damp crease of the cushion sat this toad. It was the second toad I found in two days. Toads are nice surprises. They make me smile and stay long enough to get a good photo.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Back with New Plan

I'm going to try to post the occasional (or maybe more often) single photo with a short text. Somehow the longer posts of the past seem too overwhelming now. I feel like my brain is always full of swirling emotions. I need to focus on the reality before me, focus on the things I'm doing.

Working: I got a job (paid) in our local library
Cooking: It seems my kids are growing so fast and need so much food. I feel like I'm shopping, planning, baking, chopping, and cleaning up so many times a day. It's seems never-ending.
Biking: I'm going to ride to Walden Pond with my daughter's 6th grade. I'm getting in shape.
Painting: Finally I finished the pieces for our pergola. They had been stained reddish-brown.

Painted pergola puzzle put in place.