Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Soccer Coaches Dinner Party

Back in December, we were invited to a dinner party with all of the coaches and wives for Ed's team. The four couples got along really well, and it is now a monthly affair. We are hosting the travelling party in just over two weeks, and I have no idea what to cook. I do know that I want to use the wonderful altered casserole dishes that my friend Paula made. In fact, I need to see if I can buy a couple more. So I am trying to plan a meal around beautiful handmade casserole dishes. I'll post a picture soon.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Our New Soccer Game

Amy, Sam and I spend a lot of time watching soccer. We do this activity in beautiful weather, cold weather, rainy weather, you name it. (Although we do not play when it is lightning.) Today, Amy and I played a new game at Ed's game. I said, "What number is Ed?" Amy replied,"Seven." Then I said, "Spence is Ed plus two. What number is he?" "Spence is nine." "Chris is between Ed and Spence." "He's eight." "Jack is Chis times two." "He's sixteen." Amy and I went through all nine players like that. The only operation she doesn't do us division.

Friday, March 19, 2010

This Weekend

Plans for this weekend:
Alex attend birthday party
A little shopping for something new to wear to the next two items
Dinner out with Dave and another couple
Fiddler on the Roof
More soccer

I hope to fit in some pillowcase-making and some Round Robing messing around.

I need to write lesson plans for the next three chapters of Outliers. I need to design graphic organizers for the rest of the AP Calculus review.

Oh, and I need to grocery shop.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bike Riding

Every year, the my little people's school has a Tryke a Thon to raise money for Children's Healthcare of Altanta. This year, both kids have new bikes to ride. Sam took to riding a bike instantly. Amy was a little slower to get it. After dinner tonight, I took Amy out to ride her bike. Sam was riding circles around her, but she finally got it. I think they will both have a great time riding around the gym.

I took pictures, but I need Dave to get them out of the camera for me.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Teaching English/Language Arts

The Georgia High School Graduation Test (GHSGT) had four parts-- English/Language Arts (ELA,) Math, Social Studies, and Science. I am teaching the ELA and math reviews this week. We are teaching the kids to take notes and highlight while reading. I am addicted to annotating now. I can't read without a highlighter in hand. It is crazy.

Since I am going to see Fiddler on the Roof this weekend, I wanted to read some Russian history. So I borrowed a book from the AP World History teacher. I went to read it last night, but realized I couldn't highlight it. Today I copied the pages so I could annotate.

Our school's literacy coach thought that was pretty funny. However, she got very excited when I explained my multivariable calculus students were reading and annotating and generally working with Outliers this week.

So I have learned a lot from teaching English this week.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Number 77

This week, school is consumed by graduation test review. We call it The Blitz, and all juniors participate. Since blitz is a football play, (which play I could not say,) we had a football theme the first day. I got to wear a football jersey. I wanted to be 77, which is the number of one of my students. However, it was the largest jersey, and I am not the largest faculty member, by far. So I got to be 58, which is the number of a kid I had last year. However, we wear jerseys again on Friday, and the coach is conspiring to get me 77 on Friday. Keep your fingers crossed.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Some days I write an email

The President of the Smithsonian, Dr. G Wayne Clough was the Dean of Engineering at Virginia Tech when I got my BS degree. He was the President of Georgia Tech when I got my MS and PhD. I was the first person he ever handed three diplomas to, and he hugged me when I walked across the stage when I received my PhD. My parents and I had lunch with him the day before graduation.

Whenever I have a rough day at work, I fantasize about working somewhere else. Some days, it is just at a different school. Some days it is at a college. But many days it is at The Smithsonian. And on a couple of particularly stressful days, I have even composed an email to Dr. Clough asking for a job.

What would I do at the Smithsonian? I could curate science exhibits. I could do research. I could meet First Lady Michelle Obama. (I really like her!) I am sure Dr. Clough could find something for me to do.

But for now, I will keep on at my school.

And fantasize about opening a bookstore cafe on North Hutchinson Island in Florida.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


I am reading the book "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell. I know, I am late to the party. Actually, I am reading it because I needed something independent for my multivariable calculus students to do this week while I am teaching graduation test review. It is a very interesting book, and I have had no problems coming up with activities for my class to do based on the boom.

However, I think what I am really learning from the book is that I need to work hard to give my kids every opportunity that I can. My kids are pretty smart, which helps, but will only take them so far. The opportunities we give them are also extremely important.

Another interesting idea I have gleaned from the book is how important little teaching moments are. These little teaching moments help kids learn to navigate in life, how to deal with people. Little things like how to talk to doctors and authority figures, how to "customize" your environment, all of these things need to be learned.

Anyway, I am not quite halfway through the book. I don't agree with everything he says. However, it has given me a lot of food for thought.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

From my phone

I thought I would try something new. I am posting from my phone. I cannot do anything fancy, yet, but if I download the non-lite writer, perhaps I could do more.

In case anyone is interested, here us what is going on in my life:

Three of the four kids are playing soccer. When we do not get rainouts, we can have 7 games in a weekend. This weekend was completely rained out.

I am still teaching high school math. I am also working with a local university on a grant to change their teacher prep program.

We have started a "dinner club" (for lack of a better phrase) with three other couples. Once a month we have dinner together, and we rotate houses each month. It is a lot of fun. April is our turn to host. I have to figure out what to serve. The host makes the main dish, and the other couples bring salad, appetizers, and desserts. We may grill steaks and/or shrimp.

Next weekend we are going to Fiddler on the Roof with one of the couples from above.

For my birthday, my older sister flew in from Chicago. We went shopping and to a comedy club. Then Amy and I went to see the ballet Cinderella by the Atlanta Ballet. It was a great weekend, even if there was a snowstorm.

Amy is reading. A lot. It is fun.

Sam is growing. He carries around a pillowcase the way other kids carry blankets. The pillowcase is named little sheet.

Ed is having a good year at school and at soccer. He just downloaded Treasure Island onto his Kindle app on his iPod.

Alex is a high school freshman. He us doing well in school. Soon he can get his learner's permit. I am not sure how I feel about that. Certainly he can't be that old?

Well, that is all for now.