Saturday, May 25, 2013

Balancing a Life, a Blog, and a 3 Day Weekend

Yes, I still DO write an environmental education blog (with a twist of edtech on the side).  It's been awhile, so I know some of you have been wondering about that!

No,I'm not on a hiatus or sabbatical... just in a current chasm: I have fallen, and I can't get up!  That's what you get at the end of a school year. (Less than 2 wks away, but who's counting?)

This past week, my earliest bedtime was the wrong side of midnight, and some nights well past that.  Time and responsibilities and soccer practice and cooking dinner and doing the laundry and paying the bills and being Single Mom while Dad was in Canada for wonder I've been up late!  Then after the kids go to bed, there's still the grading of papers, the planning of lessons, and the attempt (even at the end of the year) to be a teacher who still creates things which will actively engage her school kids.

The bigger problem is that I haven't figured out a way to turn off that side of me that wants to be the "human sponge"... That part that wants to be soaking in information from everywhere about everything!  So in the still of the night when all are snuggled in bed, I find myself strolling in Cyberspace for all sorts if things to satisfy my perpetual mental quests.

It's been said before: there are not enough hours in the day!!!

Yet, at some point there's a breaking point of exhaustion. A point where the best solution is to sleep--to sleep in the same way we eat popcorn at the movies:  voraciously! Or you find yourself deep in the need to go off and wonder the woods for a getaway!

There's more to this brain space, but I have a 3 day weekend ahead, so it'll have to wait. No doubt, it'll crop up here in my blogosphere in the next few weeks. 

So here during this Memorial Day weekend, in addition to taking some time to think about the real reasons we should be celebrating this weekend, check yourself.  That's my plan. At the crossroads of "Work" and "Relax," which way will you find yourself not only pointing, but going?  

Maybe I'll see you there!!

Image from

Saturday, May 18, 2013

He Speaketh to Nature

In the past, I have called him the The Deer Whisperer.

Now I think he answers the calls of downy-fluffed birds.

My son has an uncanny knack of being "one with the Animal Kingdom." He's not quite Grizzly Adams, but he has a talent.

At the tail end of last week, my boy brought me out to the front yard to show me the little robin he found. The tell-tale signs our li'l friend was a robin was from a smidgen of orange on his feathery chest, and his mama who was occasionally squawking from a nearby fence.

We got a quick and up-close peek, but knew not to touch or even feed (despite our natural instinct to want to).  We'd been paying attention to Jennifer Keats Curtis when she came to Eagle Cove School during our Earth Week to talk about Animal Rehabilitators.  My Nature Boy asked if I knew of any "Wildlife Protectors" to call, and aside from Jennifer (who was probably busy with dinner right about then), we didn't.  So we relied on Mother Nature and Mama Robin, and gave our baby fledgling some space, peace, quiet, and privacy.

A half hour later I came back to look for our li'l fluff ball, and he was nowhere to be seen.  Safe, no doubt under a bush or with his mama.  As it should be!  And this mama had a warm spot for her li'l human buddy who has an outdoor eye and a way with wildlife!

Pictures from my camera, using the Motivational Poster app for iPhone to create the above images.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

I saw this picture today on The Green School's Facebook Page, and thought it was just too striking not to share--especially here on Mother's Day.  It has a great image of honoring Mother Nature, children, and of course, the mothers that were so vital in creating them (from body to being who they are)!

May all of you mother's out there (those that are grands, steps, ones in our memories, and ones that are not mothers by blood but by love, commitment, and heart) have a glorious day today!
Photo: Love your Mother--Earth! Happy Mother's Day from Green School!

Image from The Green School of Bali, Indonesia's Facebook Page:

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

ECS Earth Week: Eco Kits

I've said before that Earth Day at Eagle Cove School is an event bigger than just one day.  Yes, we are an eco-week in the making!

One of the things my class did during our ECS Earth Week was to make outdoor  exploration kits for each of the other classrooms.  I've written before about "Exploration Backpacks."  In my mind, I have been thinking this was a vital addition to recess...and Earth Week was the perfect place to make this happen.

When you picture recess at an elementary school, you see a lot of different things:  games of tag, kids swinging on swings, playing soccer or kickball games, and a myriad of other activities.  But there are also the drifters who are trying to find something else to do.  The scientists.  The explorers.  Maybe not the run-around-types, but maybe the look-under-the-rock types.  So with a tote with a bird chart, a leaf identification card, a couple notebooks, some pics, some pencils and crayons to record the observations, a magnifying glass, and even a've got a true bag of goodies!!

Presented at our Earth Day celebration concert, it's been fun seeing the kids of all ages (PreK to 5th grade) embrace the intrigue of investigation.  From little ones in PreK and Kindergarten to bigger kids grades 3rd and up...seeing them running around with eco kit in hand, trying to spot treasures, hunt worms, or find all sorts of hidden goodies in nature....  THAT makes for a great recess!!

Pictures a la my camera!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Best. Field trip. Ever.

Cross curricular is the way to go.

Just like a recipe:   Combine a synchronized study of Rivers of the World and Bridges.  Insert some mapping.  Fold in in reading and writing.  Add in some environmental studies.  Mix in some math and measurement.  Then pepper in some paintbrushes, a scenic locale, and some creative water color techniques.

With all of this, you have the makings for a great field trip!

Combine with iMovie and you've got an excellent movie-style memoir!!! Check out our li'l video collection of 3rd graders hitting up Sandy Point State Park with paintbrushes in hand to "paint" the bridge!!!

"Painting" the Chesapeake Bay Bridge from Vicki Dabrowka on Vimeo. Pics from our adventure and a couple others via my Google search..