Showing posts from August, 2014

NC Politicians rewriting the past year

I mentioned a few posts ago that Thom Tillis and Pat McCrory were featured in a ridiculous ad about a brighter future for our children . This is the beginning of the election season's rewriting of educational history - especially those who are in office and would like to be seen in a favorable light. Claims will be made that they teachers one of the largest raises in NC history. I wrote about those raises earlier.     To get this raise, they had to take the money from other places.  NC budget pays for teacher raises from reserves, lottery, cuts to programs Critics say pay claims in NC budget not accurate And the budget is a mess. Oops! McCrory Racing To Fix Budget He Just Signed The NCGA has treated teachers poorly. I could list all the ways again, but I've already done that . As wonderful as the start to this year has been in the school house, apart from the job itself, this has been a demoralizing year for educators.  The NCGA needs some fresh faces. Faces that support publi

First week of school!

I guess this is actually week 2, but it is week 1 with the kiddos. We reviewed procedures and everyone (but K) got to check out a book! I worked about a day a week this summer in the library. I wanted it to have a different feel this year. Changing schools in the middle of the year has some limitations (even with a smooth transition). There is just not enough time to learn the library and move things to where you want them. We did make lots of changes last year. I had great assistance from Kim, Bobbie and Stephanie. I couldn't have picked 3 better or tenacious workers if I'd advertised! There were unused shelves and unclear division lines between sections. We made some displays and reorganized some labeling. We used index cards in places to help identify popular books and sections. All that helped with students finding what they needed. And we weeded and weeded and weeded. I was a little surprised this summer that I still found books to weed.  This summer though, I worked on a

ice buckets & charitable giving

There has been a lot - ranking right up there with baby and pet pix - on social media about the Ice Bucket Challenge. Most of it has to do with ALS. Your friends have done it, their friends have done it, George Bush and Ben Affleck have done it. AND ALS has had a huge financial benefit. Great news for ALS! If you have chosen to participate in this icy challenge, please know what I'm saying here is in no way a criticism of your generosity and participation. The whole ice bucket thing just makes me uncomfortable. I'm a stick in the mud, I know, but I don't like wearing my PJs to school or dressing wacky for crazy day either. I've been cringing since this started. I was wondering about the beginnings of this challenge, and I ran across multiple articles that explained it.  This Is Why Critics Are Slamming the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge  does a decent job, and you don't have to take a subscription or log in like so many I found. I'm not sure the title is really all th

Back to School! 2014-15


Professional Meetings

Today was the professional meeting for Library Media Coordinators for WSFCS. Mixed emotions on these. I'd always rather be at my school - this week is a tough one regardless of how ready I've ever felt walking into it. To many things to do! However, it's valuable to meet with others in the same job listening and talking with them about what we have in common and how our schools are different and the things we do.  I got lots of ideas from today. Some I'd already been thinking on and some were new. I'd been planning on doing stations this year, but I heard some other ways librarians are using stations with students. We talked about different ways to do literacy, maker spaces, gaming, data uses. We had a gal from MackinVia come to speak with us. I haven't been able to log into that, but based on what we saw today, I think it could be great! We talked about county things that are not so exciting but that are good to know like evaluations.  Tomorrow, I have to hit t

Day 1 of 14-15 school year!

I love the first day of school! It's great to see everyone and start getting things in order. I love making plans with others and trying to figure out how to make them really happen. Going out for lunch is fun. We don't get to do that very often!  I moved tables and chairs trying for more floor space. I think I've got it but won't know for sure until all the extra tables from today's meeting. Tomorrow I've got a workshop. Thursday is open house.  Whoosh! Week will be over before I know it!

In NC, our children's future just got a little brighter

Sometimes you just have to wonder if these folks are on the same planet with the rest of us? Can they not even do their own math? Carolina Rising Releases Statewide, “A Little Brighter,” Back to School Advertising Campaign

Gates Foundation Funds "Consumer Reports" for Common Core Resources

Oh my goodness! Could we throw some of this money into funding things that are really at issue like students entering kindergarten that don't know their last names, virtually no planning time, and high drop out rates would be high on my list. I'm all for strong standards but even if ccss met that need, this is ridiculous.

56 days of summer - day 56

Today was the last day I counted for summer vacation. I was totally lazy today, although I did wash clothes and write this post. It was a very full week. I worked three long days at school - mainly cataloging. One day I had to finish my manuscript rewrites and go to a very old friend's funeral. That was just a tough one. There are technically two days left in summer with this Saturday and Sunday, but those are my coming to grips with vacation is over days. I have got to say that sleeping past sunrise is a gift to cherish! Recap of my 56 days of vacation. Went to the beach for 8 days in two trips. I love the beach! I wrote and edited one math book for Carson Dellosa. It will be called  Applying the Standards - Grade 5 . Unlike other books I've done for CD, this book is 100% new content and was a ton of fun to write. I got offered another book in this series while we at the beach and was really sad to have to turn that one down. Developed a theme for the library,  made libr

Revenge of the Dinotrux by Chris Call

From Barnes & Nobel : The Dinotrux’s boisterous second adventure takes them from prehistory into the present day. Fed up with being stuck in a museum, they escape and unleash their vengeance: Dumplodocus carries off houses, Septisaurus drinks an entire swimming pool, and Cementosaurus dumps a gushing, gray “present” in the town square. After a reprimanding from the mayor, the Dinotrux are sent to school and learn how to put their energy to better use. Gall’s dinosaur/machine mash-ups are, once again, the star of the show, commanding attention (and generating laughs) in every action-filled, rust-toned scene.

Maria had a Little Llama by Angela Dominguez

From Goodreads : Everyone knows about Mary and her little lamb. But do you know Maria?

Nighttime Ninja by Barbara DaCosta

From Goodreads : Late at night, when all is quiet and everyone is asleep, a ninja creeps silently through the house in search of treasure. Soon he reaches his ultimate goal...and gets a big surprise! Will the nighttime ninja complete his mission?   With spare text and lush illustrations, Nighttime Ninja is a fun, adventure-filled story about the power of play and imagination.

56 days of summer - 49 (I think)

We went to the beach for a few days. One morning, I worked on a scope and sequence for K-5th. Got a good start. My manuscript was back for rewrites. I was happy with what was suggested and most changes were due to me asking for too much in too little space. Hoping to get those pretty much finished tomorrow.

Cast your vote for or against common core.

Intelligence Squared Debates is hosting Embrace the Common Core You can cast your vote for which side you support!

Please, Do not call Tim Moore's office if you've got a question

Image Or you might be called an idiot teacher. Here's a screen shot of the post. What does it cost our elected officials and staff to be nice to their constituents? Well, we know what happens when they aren't.

Did you know . . .

I was going to add this little tidbit to yesterday's post about the pay of NC teachers, but I didn't save it and couldn't find it! Thanks to my friend Johnny for posting it today! Why Teacher Pay Matters Guess who the largest employer is in most counties in NC? The school system. It is the largest employer in 64 counties. It is the second largest employer in 12 other counties. There is only one  (yes one) county in the state in which the school system is not in the top three employers. If you think of a raise as an economic stimulus, more money in the pay checks of 95,000 teachers (spread out from Manteo to Murphy) will mean more middle-class people buying groceries, going on vacations, etc. And that will have a real, immediate economic impact on the state as a whole.

What is Campbell Brown hiding?

Campbell Brown calls herself a journalist. But more importantly to my role as educator, she's involved in a couple of initiatives that are pro charter school and more than a tad anti-public school. On the Colbert Report  (on which she is called an "education reform advocate"), she made a couple of statements that I'd love to ask her about, so off I go to her facebook page ready to engage in conversation! Silly me! The number of comments is clearly visible on each post, but I can't see them. Wondering why, but I commented anyway, Now, I can see mine but still no others. The number of comments is growing ,and still I can only see mine! Well, now I can also see a friend's comments too. Thank you Malinda! I find it strange that a woman associated with a group called  The Parents' Transparency Group is not transparent. Oh, the irony.  So what is Campbell Brown actually hiding? If her project is so worthy, why isn't she engaging the educational community at

Teachers and raises in NC

We keep getting news of an "Average" 7% pay raise for teachers. Not knowing how many teachers are at each step, I can't do that math easily to know if that statement is true. What I do know is that when you look at the word "Average" over 36 steps, a ton of room is left for maneuvering and posturing. Everyone has access to our state pay scales which is why little images like this one can be made. Not sure that really shows what I want to highlight, so I'm using information taken from  2013-14 salary schedule  and the 2008-09 salary schedule . AND of course the now famous 2014-14 proposed schedule  (begins near bottom of page 50). I used year 17 for my compairson. It's right in the middle of the NEW 4th step.    The "raise" looks much better than last year's salaries, but look at the numbers compared to 2008-09. Not a lot of progress, but a little. Oh, and Masters National Boards will no longer be figured off of Master's pay, but off of