• Art,  Creativity,  Lists,  Process

    Ten Tips: Keeping Art Brushes, Sponges, and Stamps Usable

    One of the things I learned from our first Creative by Discovery Mixed-Media Art Party was that sharing tips I’ve learned about the process in the past three years is a “how-to” I can gladly contribute. Here are a few things learned along the way…. Ten tips for keeping brushes, sponges, and stamps usable… (because it gets expensive replacing them!): Do not leave brushes/sponge brushes in water for long periods of time. Do not let paint, ink, or adhesives dry on brushes, sponges, or stamps. Let them rest in a brush tub, to keep them moist. Use the scrubber in the bottom to gently loosen paint. Change water often when painting, especially…

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  • Life,  Lists,  Process,  Writing

    The Counting Game….

      chicken Crystal Light cat food coffee creamer Creating my list for a quick stop at the grocery store is a mental game for me: Make a mental list. Repeat it a few times out loud. Count the items. Keep the numbered items in my head. Enter the store. Go to it! I’m sure people wonder why I have a quizzical look on my face as I stand between aisles. Actually, who am I fooling? They aren’t paying any attention to me. They’ve got their own lists and looks.  I wonder:  Are they playing the counting game, too? Yesterday I added Chobani yogurt, celery, and cheddar popcorn to the cart {bonus!}. Seemed to be a C…

  • Great Reads,  Lists,  Writing

    Six To Consider: Writing Books Worth a Look

    I’ve always got a stack of things to read, don’t you? My stack’s typically related to my latest interest or project. I’m a nonfiction reader, my current stack a mish-mash of art techniques and inspiration, small business ownership, and the craft of writing. When writing evaded me over the past year, I figured I’d read about writing until my own writing mojo found its way back! And my dear husband, who reads mostly on his iPad or iPhone (BIG screen) feeds my wish to have books near me… Christmas 2014 found a stack of Writing books and Writing magazine subscriptions under the tree…. a welcome diversion in a year that was often silent. Here are a…

  • Classroom Life,  Instruction,  Lists,  Process

    Becoming Unnecessary

    A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary. ~ Thomas Carruthers Become unnecessary?  Why would I do that? Because as teachers and as parents, it’s our responsibility to our students/children. My two cents?? Teach kids the definition of integrity: what you do when no one is looking,” … and get out of the way. Ever wonder why some teachers seem to just have it all together?  You walk into their room and things are humming along.  These folks might be your colleagues or they might be your own kids’/grandkids’ teachers.  What makes things different in these classrooms? If you’re a teacher with a classroom, a student in a classroom, or have visited a classroom,…

  • Classroom Life,  Lists,  Process,  Students' Words

    Why I Teach: Ten (Important) Reasons

    Students Students Students Students Students Students Students Students Students Students   Oftentimes, when I tell people I’m a high school teacher, I get this response (or a slight variation), “Oh, wow!  I could never do that! Teenagers these days….” Truth is, the teenagers have been the only reason I keep coming back to the K-12 classroom.  Let’s be clear ~ some are a royal pain in the buttola:  mouthy, lazy, disrespectful, not interested in anything an adult (especially a teacher) has to say, and well, just teenagers.  Increasingly, they have no boundaries and an overdeveloped sense of entitlement… products of our changing culture/society. If you’re a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, big brother/sister, fellow teacher, remember being a teenager, or have…

  • Lists

    Friday Five: Influencing, Spelling, Coding, Zipping, Creating

    What did you learn this week? I love to learn new things, and think a day’s wasted if something new doesn’t make its way into my already-bustling brain.  A few random things learned this week:   German, Irish, Spanish, Indian, and Chinese influences are significant in Jamaica. *Thank you, Ms. Sheldon W., for sharing interesting insights about your culture.  Fascinating! The word misogynist has a ‘y’ in it.  Wanted to use this word … wasn’t sure how to spell it. Notepad in Windows is a text editing tool that can be used to build webpages.  Really? You can zipline in Sonoma County, California.  Had no idea! SCAD (Savannah College of Art & Design) offers…

  • Instruction,  Lists

    5 Ways to Build Authentic Reading and Writing Into Any Class

    Why do you read?    Chances are pretty good your answer goes something like this: I don’t read much. I don’t like to read. I like to read, but don’t have time. Or, if you’re a reader, your answer might be more like this: To escape. To learn new stuff. To keep up with the world. For my work. I read to my kids/grandkids. I read to my students. Recently, while visiting blogs discovered via Twitter, I ran across a great post from Heidi at 21st Century Classroom, titled Blogging Helps Me Understand Reading, in which she talks about authentic reading and writing. She says, “If you were to ask teachers to…