Saturday, August 31, 2013

Top Five Reasons to Go Home

So I was sitting here thinking about what to write about and I realized that I haven't written a lot about going to St. Louis yet. I mentioned that I was there and that I was packing etc. but I was busy enjoying it too much to write about it. So I am going to make a list the top five reasons why it is great to go home.

1. Seeing family!  This is reason number one because I have the best family :) And I got to see my brother come home!!

2. Not having to go to work.  It was great to have a break and a vacation.  I did have to do some work while I was gone, but it wasn't bad.

3. Being able to just sit around the house but still be busy.  My mom kept saying that everything was so busy, but it was busy in spurts.  Which was so true!! We would be busy doing something and then we would be done and have nothing to do until the next thing started.

4. Seeing old friends. Though with wanting to spend time with the family, I purposely did not let a lot of people know I was coming. However, I did see a lot of people at church and at a gathering to make it really nice to catch up with some familiar faces.

5. Sleeping in!! I got to sleep as late as I wanted to and it was great :)

Love vacations and visiting the fam :)

YAY for siblings :)

Friday, August 30, 2013

Current Events Day

So today I would do a Five Favorite Front-Page Features moment but I feel like I just did that on Sunday...cuz I did! And I feel like what was news on Sunday is still news I am going to do one local story I found out about today.

So living in Roosevelt, we are very close to a Ute Indian Reservation.  They have a governmental body called the Ute Tribe Business Council.  These six members have a lot of power in the tribe.  They make decisions about when the tribe receives their monthly government checks, manage the money they get from the oil fields, and other economic business things. Today the Council decided to boycott all Roosevelt city businesses that are not "companies affiliated with or doing business for or in partnership with the Tribe, such as oil and gas operators or contractors that maintain an office in Roosevelt."  

The picture from the Deseret News article
The reason for this boycott makes very little sense to me. The biggest reason they cite in the original press release I read (see Geoff Liesik_KSL facebook page) is that they are treated unfairly by the police.  The tribe is citing racism as the treatment along with jurisdiction issues.  The article in Deseret News shines more light on the fact that this is not the first time that they have boycotted before, and more about the fact that they are frustrated with city officials too for not negotiating further with them.

I wanted to share a little bit of my opinion on this today, because this is a serious problem in Roosevelt.  We have many races that live in our small town--we are to a certain extent a microcosm of America with everyone from Caucasian to African Americans to Asian Americans to Native Americans.  We all have to respect each other and the rules of the city.  If we just treated each other with respect, the world would be a happier place.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Blended Learning at Cedar Ridge Academy

One of the main things that I do at my school is publish a newsletter.  The students write the articles and sometimes the teachers do, but I put it all together and everything.  I have learned a lot from the previous teacher sponsor of the newsletter and I haven't changed much since she left--which makes it easier to do :)  Our last issue included three articles by teachers on our staff. We have been getting a lot of questions about how exactly our school works with the blended learning of our online and in house curriculum.  Today I wanted to share our handiwork.
A recent pic of me from the blog

Check out our math teacher's article that defines blended learning

Check out my article that answers some commonly asked questions about blended learning

Check out our science teacher's article that explains the day in the life of a teacher here

In other news, I received these beautiful flowers from a mom of one of my students.  She is such a sweetheart, and wanted to express her appreciation to me.  This was a great moment of--"Yes someone notices what I do!!" Check out this picture of me with my flowers on our Facebook page (and feel free to like us while you're there--we'd love that!)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Quotes to Uplift Your Day!

These were some cool quotes I have found recently that I thought I would share!!
Motivation Mondays - Thomas Edison
This quote has spoken to me a lot today.  I have been realizing what I have been able to do all year long and while it was not perfect, I think it was more than I ever thought of myself.  We do things because we have to usually...because no one would choose to be a lead teacher, a Social Studies teacher, and a English teacher all at the same time.

I found this article called 12 Comedian Quotes for When Your Job Makes You Want to Cry.  I expected funny quotes....but some are actually quite inspirational.  My favorites:




Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Secondary Characters

Today's Top Ten Tuesday is all about secondary characters.  To me a secondary character is like a supporting actor...he/she helps the main character be their best and/or move the plot forward. So with that criteria, here are my top ten secondary characters:

1. Calpurnia from To Kill a Mockingbird--She really keeps the family together!

2. Diane Barry from Anne of Green Gables--I love her and she helps Anne be the best character!!

3. Melanie from The Host--Because she is just really a body....and kind of a mind....I thought it is a good secondary character to Wanderer.

4. Maximilian Kohler from Angels and Demons--Because of Max the story moves forward.  He is very important to moving the plot forward.

5. James and Lily Potter from the Harry Potter series--They are not alive for really any of the books, but they support Harry throughout all of the books and are forefront in his mind.

6. Mrs. Everdeen from The Hunger Games series-- She is not in the books very much, but I love the influence that she seems to have on Katniss.

7. Cinna from The Hunger Games series--I could not just pick one character from this series.  I loved Cinna, and I think he was a great motivation for Katniss.

8. Hannah from Little Women--She is the March's cook and really seems to do well for the girls and effectively becomes their second mom.

9. Mrs. Bennett from Pride and Prejudice- As Elizabeth's mom, she is a great influence on her and her personality.

10. Lydia from Pride and Prejudice- As Elizabeth's sister who runs away, she is really what brings Elizabeth and Darcy together!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Bout of Books Wrap-Up
This past week with Bout of Books, I had set of goals before the week began. I knew that I was going on a trip, so I wouldn't have work---so for some reason I thought that I would be able to read more!  But I read all the way through almost all of my plane trips and today and last Tuesday when I flew out where all full of To Kill a Mockingbird and Mansfield Park.  I am almost done with TKAM which is great.  I am, however, only 25% through Mansfield Park--I am beginning to understand why some people were like you need to keep trying with that book. It is a bit boring!!  I am going to finish it--because I am curious to know what this book is like and compare it to the other Austen books. 

I look forward to January when we get a new Bout of Books week!  I have also enjoyed having people come read my posts and gaining new followers :)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Five Favorite Front-Page Features

With Friday being a Bout of Books challenge day, I did not do current events yet this week.  So, I thought I would do some now.  The trick with this is that shockingly enough I have been out of the news the whole time I have been in St. Louis--so I am actually catching up to write this post :)

Manning Sentenced to 35 Years--This is a bit of a double edged sword to some people I think, on the one hand it is considerably less than the maximum sentence and he can be up for parole in 7 years.  On the other hand this is the longest someone will serve for leaks it is an interesting historical moment.

Following King's Path, and Trying to Galvanize a New Generation--It is cool that 50 years later we are commemorating the March on Washington with another one....and it is interesting that this march was more of anti-discrimination in general, not just racial.  We can always improve as humans right?

Yosemite Wildfire Increases in Size- Wildfires are the story of the past few weeks....this is the most recent one in the news between the Idaho fires and the Utah fires, we are sure are getting use to this.

This video is all about Obama's status on Syria right is hard for some people to believe that we really haven't done anything here yet.  But do we want to get involved?  It is really hard to say.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

This video is all about Nidal Hasan found guilty for Fort Hood murders....not a big surprise, but to me it is nice for the trial to be over for the sake of the families.  Him wanting to be his own lawyer and say he didn't do anything really wrong must have been hard for them.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Well now you and I are officially caught up on the world's stories from this week!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Day 6 Bout of Books Update!

So today I Read, Ergo I Write is doing an acrostic poem challenge.  The challenge is to pick a book and write a poem based on what the book is about.  The trick is to figure out a book to use!  Do I do a short one or a long one? Well....I decided on my favorite book: The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery.
The early edition cover
courtesy of Wikipedia 

Time needs to stand still
Happy times
Eventually come to those who act

Behaving differently and
Loving your husband will make you seem
Unusual to

Cissy needs a friend, and her father
Abe does too, despite what the
Stirlings say
Then go
Live with Barney
Everything will work out for the best

Day 6 Reading Update: Read a bit when I got breaks during the day...but I was a bit ambitious to think that I would get even halfway.  But it has been great to visit :)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Bout of Books Day 5 Update

Bout of Books
The Space Between did our Bout of Books challenge today--Mad Libs today.  The purpose of this was to come up with books that fit the categories for a story. These were the categories and my answers:

Place name or type (title) The Guernesy Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Anne Barrows
Fave Villain: Lucinda from Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Adjective (title): The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery
Number (title): A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Noun (Title): The Boleyn Inheritance by Phillippa Gregory
Fav Hero/Heroine you wouldn't mind spending a LOT of time with: Wanderer from The Host by Stephenie Meyer
Dessert (title): Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Help! I"m being held captive in Guernsey by Lucinda
It is very blue here!
She is demanding two inheritances to set me free!
I have just discovered that Wanderer was captured too!
On second thought, please send chocolate, and don't worry if you don't hear from us for awhile!

Much Love,

Eeh....don't know if it is really all that funny :(  But it was fun to do it! Update with progress is zero, I have been busy visiting with family! 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bout of Books Day 4 Update

Bout of Books
Today there are two challenges with Bout of Books.  The first one was from In Wonderland and this one made me smile.  Hers is a road trip challenge--list books that take place in different places that you would travel to.  I had to smile, because I did this for last week's Top Ten Tuesday.  So I thought that I would link that post here as my participation in this challenge.  So click here to see my original list instead of me boring you with the same books again :)

The other challenge is an I Spy Challenge.  Paperback Daydreamer has a list of things that we need to find in books that we own.  So I am going to start racking my brain and see if I can think of all of these things in the books that I have at home.  I think the hardest thing is not repeating books!

  • snowflakes: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • flames: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (I think so...I am not confident with this one--but wasn't one of the armies the Flame Army and then there's the whole fighting thing)
  • a city skyline: Texas Hold 'Em by Lisa Cooke
  • the moon: Swinging on a Star by Janice Thompson
  • a sword: Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  • a wedding dress: Fools Rush In by Janice Thompson
  • high heels: Spying in High Heels by Gemma Halliday (note I have not read was freebie on Kindle, so I have NO idea if its any good)
  • fog: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
  • a Christmas tree: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • sunglasses: Snoopes in the City by Darlene Gardner
  • lightning: Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
  • a tattoo: Downburst by Katie Robison
  • combat boots: The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
  • hand-cuffs: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
  • a road: The Host by Stephenie Meyer
In terms of an update on progress: today I read a little bit more in Mansfield Park....I am beginning to wonder at what point Fanny will step up for herself...usually I feel like Austen women have strength which is why the books have had such "staying power" but I must not be there yet...or she never shows it--just waiting to see.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Bout of Books Day 3

Bout of Books
So today was the day that my brother came home from Ghana!! He did such a great job the last two years and it is great to have home.  But because of that I haven't read at all today!!! So my update for day 3 is no reading progress, but it was a nice day to spend with my family.

However, for today's post I wanted to jump in on Musings of a Bookshop Girl's contest. She asked:
1.  Which 5 books are at the top of your TBR pile at this moment?

2.  If I gave you a wad of cash and sent you into a bookshop right now, which 5 books would you buy to add to the stack?
So...the top of my pile...aside from the books that I am reading right now for Bout of Books (see goals/it's Monday what're you reading posts).....I have The Help, Jane Eyre, The Lost Symbol, Inferno, and Anne of Windy Poplars

If I suddenly could go to Barnes and Noble (my bookstore of choice in the big city....since I don't have a bookstore in Provo....though I saw a bookstore in Vernal I want to check out) I would probably go buy The Hunger Games because I want to own those....and the new Sarah Dessen book...maybe even this book that the "Today" show decided to promo...I know nothing about it except that and it is a dystopian...if not that then probably Gone Girl because it sounds way good and I wouldn't buy it with my own money having not read it yet :P

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Making Blog Life Easy

So today's Top Ten is all about making your blog life easier....what tools/gadgets/etc. do you use?  I am not sure if I use ten...but I do use some so here it goes.

1. Hootsuite--If you have never used and you want more of a social network presence you NEED to!  You sync up all of your stuff (ie Facebook, Twitter) and post directly from there. I can do the same post to both with one click. I can schedule posts to go up at certain times. I can shrink links for Twitter, confirm my picture that shows up on Facebook etc.  It is awesome!!!

2. Scheduling on Blogger---I can write a post the day before and schedule it to post the next day.  So convenient when I know I won't have time to blog the next day---or at work when I write like three posts in a day so I can space them out a bit. (See our school blog here)

3. Fellow Bloggers--Doing this every day gets easier as I find other bloggers to read and participate in stuff with like Top Ten and Bout of Books!

4. Feedly---I am not using this to its full capacity yet, because I haven't organized everything into my lists--but I love having lists of topics for the blogs....all of my book friends together etc. so that I can see everything easily in one place :)

5. Pinterest!! OH my goodness don't know where I would be without the inspiration that I get from this site AND the ultimate list maker.  Seriously like I use to just bookmark stuff or try not to forget about what I I just save it to Pinterest and I know it will be there later when I want it.

6. Having "go to's"--When I finish a book or watch a new movie--instant blog post...each Friday I do something with current events...or if I'm out of ideas I can think about what I'm doing in school right now and talk about some techniques there.

Well I guess it only ended up being 6.....I have been trying to think of more with little success.  Happy Blogging everyone!!

Bout of Books Update for Day 1: Today I started Mansfield Park---jury is still out on whether I like it or not.  It took quite a bit of thinking to get all of my characters straight...I have a feeling this one might have the same problem as Sense and Sensibility.....too many characters.  I am at chapter I am still trying to have an open mind. I also did a bit of reading in To Kill a Mockingbird---lots of plane time switching between the Kindle and the actual book.  Feeling really successful about today!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Packing...Packing...And Not Enough Time...

So this is a quick post because I have so much to do and not enough time to do it all! I am packing, I am finishing so many projects....oi!  So not enough time!! So this a quick post that I am doing because I don't want to miss a day.

Yay Bout of Books! Starting this week....getting all the books I need into my bag and on my Kindle :)  Next post from St. Louis :)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Quote of the Day

Today is a quick post, because it is late.  Ever have one of those days where everything seems to take longer, and you don't get as much done as you had hoped? Yep..that was me this entire weekend.  I am hurriedly writing this post because I need to get to bed before I wind myself up into an all-nighter trying to get things done--which might end up being tomorrow.  We'll see....but it is all leading up to a plane ride Tuesday afternoon!

So today's quote is:
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. --Mae West
So I had never heard of this Mae West....apparently she wrote risque plays in the early 1900s....but I don't know much else.  But I do like this quote.  We only have one life to live--and we need to accomplish all that we can.  If we work hard, suffer hard, and everything else that we are suppose to do here--then we can say that we have accomplished/survived this life.  It's not so much a live everyday like it's your last so much as actually live your life so that at the end of it you are proud of what you have accomplished.

Saturday, August 17, 2013


This week's question is:
Were you born bookworm or somebody get you into the habit of reading?
So I think that I am a little bit of both with this.  My mother read to me a lot when I was a kid, she is a great lover of books.  So I credit her with all of my love of reading and books.  There is a story that I use to sleep with my favorite book as a three year old under my pillow.  But I think that I was also born with it--I constantly was reading as a kid and became a teacher because of it.  

Friday, August 16, 2013

Five Favorite Front-Page Features
This week for Five Favorite Front-Page Features....more like four this week.  I have been closely watching the Egypt crisis, and I thought that this week I would focus on four articles/clips about Egypt from this week.

Dozens reported killed as clashes break out on the Day of Rage
When I heard about this on the news this morning, I was sadden to hear that things had gotten bad enough that they were just planning on killing one another this morning.

Obama's reaction to Egypt
We can't really take away the foreign aid because that's just giving up all the cards.  But he did cancel military exercises, so that's something

This week, CNN Student News came back and did a recap of the summer.  They started off with the situation in Egypt--which is great to catch up on.  Click this link

Last Saturday the article in New York Times set us up for this Lawless Sinai Shows Risks Rising in Fractured Egypt

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Movie Review: Thirteen Days

Thirteen days poster.jpgCurrently in my US History/Government class we are talking about the Kennedy Administration. Last week, I told you about great resources to use with the Bay of Pigs.  After teaching Bay of Pigs, I switch to the Cuban Missile Crisis and I show this clip from Thirteen Days. Until today I hadn't actually seen the movie, and I will start showing it to my class tomorrow.

So I thought I would do a movie review....

Summary: Kenny O'Donnell serves as special assistant to the president when the intelligence community realizes that there are missiles being built by the Soviet Union in Cuba.  They realize that these missiles can hit 1,000 miles away--and Cuba is only 90 miles away.  These missiles will be operational in 12-14 days, so this is not a good thing for the U.S.  They have to decide whether to do an air strike and then invade.  Secretary of Defense McNamara suggests doing a blockade, like a quarantine--which buys them some time.  What will the President do and how do we end up avoiding war?

What I Loved:
  • I loved how much history you could just tell is in this---now it is still a dramatic representation. Apparently Kenny O'Donnell is not that big of a character in real-life, but I think that helps
  • It really examines how a president makes a decision and the amount of people that really weight in on this 
  • If you didn't live in the 1960s, you cannot really completely comprehend the fear that we had about going to war again....with the Soviet Union. This movie really puts that into perspective
What I Didn't Like:
  • Kevin Costner's accent--heck everyone's Boston accents--holy crap awful!! Like there were moments where I wondered if we suddenly switched to British accents and there were moments where the same actor would pronounce the same word two different ways
  • The acting overall was kind of lame...but not horrible
  • They would go into black and white to color points it made sense but at other points it made no sense.
Bottom Line: I am excited to see what my students think and I definetely recommend it to history teachers and geeks everywhere!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Bout of Books Goals

Bout of BooksNext week is Bout of Books--where you try to read more than you usually would in a week.  Last time I participated, my goals struggled--I read but not as much as I had hoped.  My goal was to finish a book...and I still haven't finished the book that I started that week :(.  This time around I want to make it realistic, and that week is vacation.  So I would hope I can finish a book in a week when I am on vacation-especially when I am going to be on a plane for part of it.  I even hope to finish more than one--but that is setting my sights pretty high.  In terms of my book of choice, I would like to finish Mansfield Park that week as apart of Austen in August.  I am also hoping to start my new J.K. Rowling too...but I want to focus on finishing Mansfield Park.  But hey maybe I should finish DaVinci Code and Guernsey Literary and To Kill a Mockingbird too :)  I have a lot to accomplish and I am hoping that I can.  As I often do with my vacations I give myself way too much to do!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Top Ten Tuesdays: Foreign Country Books

This week's Top Ten Tuesday has us pick a favorite setting and make a list of the books that go with.  I decided to do books that take place in foreign countries because I like being able to go to a different place.  Surprisingly enough, I do not have a passport because I have never been to a foreign country--just in books :)

Top Ten Books that I Love in Foreign Countries

1. Anne of Green Gables series--really...anything by L.M. Montgomery--all of her books take place in or around Prince Edward Island

2. Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society...which takes place on the Channel Islands

3. Angels and Demons--takes place primarily in and around Vatican City

4. Da Vinci Code--takes place in Paris, France

5. Jane Austen books--all in England :)

6. The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas--Germany/Poland (not sure because the book really doesn't specify)

7. Cry the Beloved Country--South Africa

Ok now I duplicate countries because I can't think of other non-in those countries

8. A Tale of Two Cities--England and France (though mostly France)

9. Harry Potter--England/fantasy world

10. Downburst--half US/half Canada

Monday, August 12, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? August 12th Edition

aaa1 So I thought I would link up with Sheila today and tell you about what I have been reading.  Last time I linked up, I told you about the books that I was reading--and sad to say that really hasn't changed much.  I finished Safe Haven (look here for my review).  But I am still kind of reading To Kill a Mockingbird and Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society along with The DaVinci Code but I got that one on audio because sometimes that helps me to actually get a book done.  If I can read and accomplish something at the same time--like driving or unpacking--then I am very likely to actually finish it.

I have also added Pride and Prejudice which I am reading as apart of Austen in August with Roofbeam Reader but I haven't gotten very far yet. It is my read until fall asleep book---which sometimes doesn't take me very long. Next week is Bout of Books...and I look forward to hopefully setting realistic goals for that week--especially since I will be spending it with family :)

I also have added way too many books to my collection in the last few days.  Saturday I up and bought a book at Wal-mart--which I didn't think I would do.  But I got A Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling--which might be my on-the-plane-non-digital-book.  And then we had a yard sale at work with the old/duplicate books from the library and gained all of the Twilight books (yes I like cheap little things to read sometimes), Whatever Happened to Goodbye (Sarah Dessen is AWESOME!), Speak (Laurie Halse Anderson), and Crime and like 6 books for $5.  Makes me happy! :)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sunday Quotes About Adversity

Today I have been thinking a lot about adversity, patience, and faith--because in my mind they are going together today.  In Church today we talked about Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail while the Saints were be expelled from Missouri, which prompts the discussion of getting through adversities.  Tonight I have been watching lectures from a Coursera class about the Holocaust.  Today's lectures have been a bit of background on the Jewish culture and life prior to the Holocaust--these people had a lot of adversities in their lives too.  Adversities is a lot about life....whether we like it or not.

I have been struggling with my own adversities of health, disappointment, and sorrow.  And this weekend I have reflected a little bit on these past few months--adversity is necessary, patience is needed, and faith gets us through.  These quotes have helped a lot in my reflecting.

This quote from Neal A. Maxwell reminds us about the fact that we need to have faith in God through out our trials.  Everything happens for a reason, and they will work out in His time.  Trust in His timing. Picture Link

Attitude is everything. If I choose to mope around all day long, get angry, or bitter about what is happening in my life then I am directly affecting my life more.  And in my humble opinion, the adversity will probably last longer than it would have because you aren't learning what you need to from your trial--not a hard and fast rule but I am always of the opinion that you should try to learn from what is going on.  Picture Link

Finally, we should never give up on life.  We need to keep walking.  The last few months it has been waking up in the morning and putting one foot in front of the other.  If I can just get through today, maybe tomorrow will be better.  I sure hope so! Picture Link

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A New Recipe To Try: Teriayki Chicken with Vegetables

So as I have mentioned on here before, I absolutely love Pinterest!  However, I often pin things and then never use them.  I have been wanting to rectify this situation, and yesterday I actually started making progress on this by trying one of the many recipes that I pin all the time.  Maybe I will try to make this a regular thing on here :)

So the recipe was for Teriakyi Chicken with Vegetables. It looked simple enough--I like the low prep time.

Awesome About It:

  • Super healthy.  With my husband on Weight Watchers we keep track of this pretty close--I think with the rice this was like a 20-point meal which is a perfect dinner number for him.  
  • We loved the fresh I did not use organic veggies as the recipe calls for because I'm not like that and it was still good
  • The sauce was better than we thought--the honey seemed like it might not work but it was actually perfect
What To Change:
  • Don't need the reduced sodium soy sauce....regular soy sauce would probably have been fine.  The recipe really is just written by a health freak :P
  • Def double the sauce...not that it was dry, it just could have used more
  • Next time probably brown the chicken in its own skillet and do the veggies in a separate skillet--carrots first because they take longer and then add the broccoli...the carrots could have used more "on the skillet" time allowing them to caramelize 
Overall though I highly recommend....and we have lots of leftovers for later :)

Our leftovers...told you there was a lot :)

Friday, August 9, 2013

Five Favorite Front-Page Features

 Donald Graham, the Post Co. chairman and chief executive
Today I thought that I would pick one headline from each weekday this week from the Washington Post since they were sold this week. Learn more about the sale in Monday's article.  This was an interesting article to read, because like everyone I was surprised by the sale.  But the sale will allow Post to explore and grow as they become a private company again, the Graham niece will stay on as publisher which is great, and Bezo (the new owner) and Donald Graham have been friends for a while. I also liked to hear that they are not currently/planning to downsides and lay people off.

Tuesday's article highlights a big story of the week: Terrorism alert highlights potent threat posed by al-Qaeda's Yemen affiliate The whole world learned the name Nasir al-Wuhayshi and started to think of him as the new Osama bin Laden. 

Wednesday's article: Israel says Iran is accelerating nuclear quest....this had quieted down for awhile--interesting to see it back in the news again.

Thursday's article highlights another big story of the week: Obama cancels meeting with Vladimir Putin No surprise there with the admittance of Edward Snowden last week

Friday's article caught my eye: Phillippines to open negotiations with U.S. on expanding military presence They want the U.S. help to keep China out of their waters.  This could complicate our relationship with China. It is interesting that the Phillippines wants our help considering they don't usually like us there, with the whole "We use to own you" mentality. 

That's the important articles from the my humble opinion :)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Some Great Social Studies Resources

This week I have been gathering different resources to teach my lessons with.  I thought that today I would share some of my favorite websites this week.

Wednesday brought World History where we compared the Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas.  I printed off a 3-Circle Venn Diagram and we discussed their government, location, social structures, and religions.  To continue our comparison we read the creation story of the Mayans and the Incas.  This website reads the stories to you and pairs them with animations too.  The students really seem to enjoy them...they do chuckle a little bit at the corniness though. Click here for the Mayan story and the Inca story.

Tomorrow I am covering the Election of 1960 and the Bay of Pigs invasion as we start learning about the Kennedy administration.  My favorite thing about doing the Bay of Pigs is that I have found a simulation that allows the students to assume roles of Kennedy's advisers to figure out what to do before they "know" the end of the story. It allows them to read primary sources it's a win-win.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Quotes to Get Me Through the Day

I think everybody gets the days that they just want to give up and not try anymore...I seem to be having a lot of those today is a reminder of the quotes that help me get through the day.

Everyday is holding on...and everything always changes, so can you roll with it?

Everything will eventually work out!

I love reading!
And then just come home and escape from reality!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Top Ten Tuesdays: Sequels of Books

Today's Top Ten Tuesday is about books that you wish had a sequel.  I have a cavat to give to this list before I do....and we'll see if I end up at 10...but I understand that authors are done writing about the characters.  There isn't more to tell in the story, there isn't more that is needed to say...but sometimes I wish there was more to the story!! I am sad to end the world with these characters...which is how they ended up on the list. So in any order, here they come.

1. Harry Potter...prequels or sequels--I was just hoping to have more about the characters.
2. The Host...some people stay away from Stephenie Meyer, but I loved this book and she has talked about a sequel, so I am patiently waiting for it.
3. Mockingjay....I want to know more because I did not like how it ended!
4. Downburst...this is a little known book by my friend Kate Robison (check it out on Goodreads) and she is working on a sequel...but I just can't wait!

Hmm...I guess that's all of them!  I wonder if I'll think of more later, and then add to this list!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Teach History With Literature

BenFranklinDuplessis.jpgStudents walk into an eleventh grade history classroom in an American high school.  Today they are learning about the Declaration of Independence, and how the US won independence from Britain. The teacher instructs for ninety minutes, using the history textbook and the Declaration of Independence as a document-based study.  Afterwards, some of the students walk down the hall to their English class.  In English they are studying the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. However, this instruction is completely separate from their related studies in their earlier class.  A few students make connections on their own, but most are just trying to get through the long passages and don’t even realize the significant relationship.  These students are missing the connections that a concurrent study of literature and history would allow for—learning in context. History should be learned through this concurrent study by using traditional readings and literature to gain greater understanding of the events of the past.

Traditionally, history is taught through textbooks and the writings of scholars.  These scholars and writers use newspapers, speeches, and other fact based primary sources to compile a clear picture of what actually happened.  This big picture allows for the reader to make judgments about the people involved and to ask questions as to their motivations. These texts are usually written in an objective manner, which allows the reader to not be influenced by the writer’s personal views.   By reading a third person narrative, the reader gains knowledge of the event.

Reading a piece of literature based on historical events also allows for learning. These pieces of literature can come in historical-based fiction and first person narratives.  Historical-based fiction often requires the author to research the historical events to create the setting for the characters that they will create. While the characters are not actual people, when based in a historically accurate scene, the characters create an idea of what it was like to be living in that time period.  First person narratives are usually written in the form of autobiographies, memoirs, etc. These narratives serve as a view to what it was really like to live there.  By reading these different types of literature, the student can learn more about the historical event, because the reader experiences the event—almost first hand.  As we read a story, we put our own view into the story, which creates a text-to-person relationship.  These text-to-person relationships allow for learning to be more permanent in a student’s mind.  First person narratives also allow for anecdotes, while third-person historical narratives do not.  These anecdotes allow for a student to remember the events with more clarity.  These stories give life to the history, because we can picture what happened a long time ago even though it may be foreign to us.  With these connections, a student can learn from a first person narrative or a historical fiction novel.

Thure de Thulstrup - L. Prang and Co. - Battle of Gettysburg - Restoration by Adam Cuerden.jpgHowever, just learning from a history textbook or just learning from a piece of literature leaves holes in the knowledge of the subject.  These two genres need to be used together to create a complete package. Learning from a history textbook gives historical context to the literature.  If one reads The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara, (a historical fiction novel about the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War) and has never heard of Gettysburg, he/she might be lost. However, if the student reads The Gettysburg Campaign: A Study in Command by Edwin Coddington, he/she now has a context to read a great piece of literature in.  Overall, the student now has a very clear picture of what happened at Gettysburg and a wealth of knowledge of the events that transpired there.

In addition, reading first person narratives along with scholarly based narratives, allows for the facts to have a backing. Scholarly based narratives, while often making attempts at unbiased writing, cannot help but to be influenced.  Sometimes, the government might even have a say in what records are erased or kept.  A first person narrative, though biased in its own right, serves as a witness.  No one can completely disagree with someone’s experiences.  By writing down memories, a permanent record is created that cannot be erased later on down the road when a dictator wants to “rewrite history” to fit what they need. As a result, first person and scholarly based narratives together create a great framework for the truth.

Overall, the students at American high schools should not be learning about the Declaration of Independence in one class and then turn around to learn about the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin in a different class without at least a mention of the other class.  Greater understanding and knowledge can be achieved by reading historical literature and scholarly-based writing.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Make Scripture Study a Priority
As it is Sunday, I often try to do a spiritually based blog post.  I found out about this blog post and then this one via a friend. This blog post was entitled The Battle of the Brains, and the second post was a follow-up.  I wanted to respond to this post from Segullah.

The whole point of the post is that every time we see an image/learn something etc. we create a new neuropathway in our brain.  When we revisit that image/knowledge, we travel that path again.  To quote the blog post:
...when the brain is not currently occupied, we long for that image. That is why we constantly check our phones or email. That is why, when we have a free moment, we click onto a favorite blog, check facebook, and tweets, or any other source of input we frequent. Without realizing it, we have begun to crave these places of input, hunger for them, to the point where they can surreptitiously dominate our time.
So....the whole point of the post was that we should be reading our scriptures all the time! Because if we don't we won't be redoing those paths that often at all.  The post also pointed out that the impressions that we get need to be written down and then re-read again to see if there are patterns.

This surprised me....I do re-read what I write at some point but not that often to allow my brain to remember things.  The follow-up post is from a few months later, and Segullah shares stories about how she has learned about how to deal with challenges of life through going back and reading through her notes.  I definitely want/need to make my scripture study an important part of my life, and re-read what I write down so that I can learn what I need to learn!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Words to Live By

Today has been the first Saturday in the new home.  We have a lot of boxes to unpack is just one of those times where I am like--UGH! I should have gotten more done!!  I had a lot of plans of what to get done with everything that I need to do in my life.  I have school grading to do, boxes to unpack, projects to finish, books to read...I had way too many goals today. This quote from President Hinckley is great to remember on days like these...

Friday, August 2, 2013

Five Favorite Front-Page Features with Cedar Ridge Academy

Today in my U.S. History and Government class at Cedar Ridge Academy Therapeutic Boarding School we were able to go over some current events that have affected the world around us. We focused on three main stories: the Zimmerman juror speaking out, Ariel Castro's trial, and the Manning/Snowden situation. We get to have great discussions, watch videos, and the students write great opinions as to what they think the situation should be/change to.  Click here to see what they wrote today, and go below for the videos that we watched courtesy of ABC News and NBC News.

Zimmerman Case:

Zimmerman Juror Speaks Out

Travyon's Mother Speaks Out

Ariel Castro Case:

Castro Pleads Guilty

This video discusses Ariel Castro's final day in court

Visit for breaking newsworld news, and news about the economy

Snowden/Manning and Espionage:

Bradley Manning's Conviction:

More Leaks from Snowden

Edward Snowden is out of the airport...

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Reflection on July

This month has been crazy!  The biggest thing this month has been participating in the To Kill a Mockingbird read-along...though I still want to give you an actual review of the has been great fun to read most of it and share some of my ideas.  It has also been the month of traveling, packing, and moving!  So it makes sense that my top three posts this month have to do with that.

#3: TKAM Part 2 

#2: TKAM Reflection Part 1

#1: Homeowner

This month has two challenges in mind for me....the Austen in August and Bout of Books so I am excited to do some more reading this month!! I am going to add Pride and Prejudice to my current read list!

Bout of BooksAustenInAugustRBR-Button