*Thanks, Scholastic!

Scholastic’s ScienceWorld is a terrific, teacher-friendly resource for hands-on and digital resources.  Sure, there’s a paper magazine version with your subscription, but the online goodies make the magazine even better!  And ScienceWorld is already amazing.  The magazine covers a wide range of middle school science topics from around the world, saving teachers much-needed time for collecting lesson plans, materials, and inspiration.

Scholastic makes a strong appeal to kids who are traditionally low in STEM careers: blacks and girls.  For instance, this month’s edition for middle schoolers features D-J Comeaux and his Black Panther app called AfroBot Boyz.  The main article in the magazine focuses on a student who participated in the Hidden Genius Project in Oakland, California, which supports black high school dropouts.

I also love this magazine because it keeps on giving, especially to special needs kiddos.  The online teacher resources provide multiple cool projects and experiments, available by intelligent searches, including archived versions of the past three years of your subscription.  A subscription to ScienceWorld supports struggling students by linking some of them to their narrow range of interests, providing multiple means of access, supporting hands-on activities, and opportunities for partner or small group learning.

Here’s a photo of extracted strands of strawberry DNA from a recent experiment in ScienceWorld.  Very cool!  Couldn’t do it without you, Scholastic!

dna strawberry

* Stepping on literature

hobbit feet

Having trouble getting some special needs students excited about reading?  Consider classroom or individual props.  Connect math, science, and social studies to literature.  This benefits all students, as do typically brain friendly approaches.  The student above loves to read but while we are making our way through “The Hobbit,” these slip ons are FUN!

* So THIS happened! — phyllis reklis

If you have been reading this blog you may remember a statement made in a post on 9/16 as Hurricane Florence made herself felt : But here in Durham, we came through untouched this time. We never lost power or had trees down (and we live in the Eno River Woods). I shared our deep […]

via So THIS happened! — phyllis reklis

* Eyeballing Hurricane Michael

Hurricane Michael took us by surprise.  It was “only” a tropical storm by the time it whooshed through North Carolina, but it packed quite a punch.  When I left school on Thursday, I was shocked to discover that the road was blocked by a fallen tree.

tree on road

I reversed and nearly crashed when I saw this on the side of the road.

eyeball

I guess it was originally in someone’s yard, a Halloween decoration.  Not as playful as it was intended, but I’m adding it to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge!  (We are also more playful now that our power has been restored!)

* Mighty Slow Florence

We knew that Hurricane Florence was huge before she arrived, but her 5 mph speed is a nightmare for the coastal and sandhill regions of North Carolina.  Some areas have been drenched with two feet of water and the worst is yet to come, as rivers continue to surge over their banks.  We are so fortunate to be north of the hardest-hit areas (see blue dot below).  The current band of tropical rain has put us back in a flood advisory, but I’m more concerned about our pine trees with their shallow root systems in this saturated soil.

Florence 3

My dearest teaching widower just showed me a clip that urged safety for North Carolinians who have lost their power- because someone doesn’t want to go to a bunch of baby showers!  I think we are safe on that front, at least.

* Silver Resurrection

Silver Resurrection sounds like the name for Terminator movie, right?  I thought my Subaru was dead and gone, but a used engine was cheaper than buying a new car.  So I shed unnecessary tears and my precious wheels are back.  My daughter-in-law has told me you never name a tree (I shed tears over losing Baby), and perhaps that holds true for cars as well.

If only we could have a Floor Resurrection!  We’re digging out under yet another thick layer of sawdust but our subfloor in the kitchen has been covered with plywood!  Who knows?  Eventually we may have a new floor and new dishwasher.  Baby steps, baby steps.

On the other hand, I had just painted the kitchen this past weekend and now… yuck!

painting kitchen 2

Well, it’s only sawdust.  Better than what Hurricane Florence may drop on us!

 

* Waiting for Florence

As hurricane Florence slowly approaches the North Carolina coastline, most of us are constantly checking for updates, comparing previous hurricane experiences, and bemoaning all manner of things.  No water, bread, or milk in the stores, gas stations drained dry.  Schools closed as we look out a calm, gray sky.  We debate which spaghetti model best predicts Florence’s path.  Yeah, spaghetti.

Meteorologists are debating the merits of the American versus European computer models.  We have this centuries-old rumble with Europe, you know.  And while the rest of the world measures kilometers, we are talking about wind speeds of 140 miles per hour.  And degrees Fahrenheit.  And inches of barometric pressure.  A hurricane event could be a terrific way for us to segue into the metric system because we need immersion, not random lessons.  Opportunity lost.  I guess no one at the beach wants to hear about immersion.

Florence has been a wonder of nature, though.  Whether seen by infrared or from the ISS (below), she is a magnificent storm.  If only she could stay in the Atlantic!

 

Florence

Watch a video here

 

* Sharing my world, one nut at a time

I love Cee’s weekly challenges and enjoy reading her responses, too!  Did you know she’s been trained by her cats?  Check out her post to see how clever those rascals are.  Another special treat on her blog: Cee has posted “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” because they’ve had a drought for TWO months but it just rained!  Whoa.  I think we got all their rain and someone else’s too.  So here we go:

Do you prefer eating foods with nuts or no nuts?  I am a nutty person.  Nuts used to upset my tummy but now I enjoy them all the time.  Even as a “milk.”  As I have dropped dairy and gluten, nuts have moved up my food chain.  In fact, it seems that nuts are everywhere.  On the road, at work, in stores- and yeah, in the mirror.

Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed?  Anyone who has had nightmares about monsters or nutty stuff knows you must keep the closet doors shut.  If I wake up, I don’t want to see a shadow over there.  I’d go nuttier if I didn’t secure those closet doors.

Are you usually late, early, or right on time?  Yikes.  I am going to be late for school because I am blogging!  I am often late because I haven’t planned my exit carefully enough, so I’m running up and down looking for my phone or car keys or sweater or lunch or something!  I do plan my exits somewhat but nutty things happen.  Must be my diet.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  I appreciate my dearest teaching widower for putting up with me at my worst, like when I lost it after my car blew up, our house keys were stolen, our kitchen floor was wrecked, a hole remained where a dishwasher should go, our insurance company sent a letter denying our claim, and the stacks of laminate in the hallway almost reach the ceiling.  So glad we went to the beach!

beach 4

* Faith and phobias

I’ve posted a four-part series on overcoming phobias through Reid Wilson’s program, which uses current brain research to change the way you respond to fear.  As a Christ-follower, I had prayed in desperation for 12 years that God would heal me.  I tried to worship my way through panic attacks.  I tried biofeedback and meditation on God’s word.

I felt in my heart that God was going to heal me, but how long would it take?  And what if I “lost” the healing when I was on the freeway?  At its worst, I immediately fainted when I tried to drive on any road with more than two lanes.  All my fears seemed valid.  After all, I would crash and kill someone if I fainted.  How could possibly God help me?  When would he help me?

Several years ago, God began my healing by showing me how much fear runs through my brain all the time, not just on the road.  If you watch the video below, you’ll understand why.  Desperately, I contacted a psychiatrist, who referred me to a weekend workshop offered by Reid Wilson (offered that very weekend and I was able to get in!).  I hoped for a miracle but nearly ran out of the building as I realized that this was something I had to do.  But thankfully, I was not alone in this.  God was with me.  His Spirit encouraged me that I was made for freedom.

The wonderful aspect of this freedom to drive is that I don’t have to be phobia- or fear-free to be FREE!  I recognize that my brain is simply doing what it was made for, that my amygdala is trying to protect me.  I love the intricacies of God’s creation in my brain.  He has made a new way for me to enjoy his splendor.  He has given me a new way to glorify his hand on my life.

Am I weak in faith if I am afraid?  I am like the man who cried out to Jesus, “I believe!  Help me in my unbelief!”  I don’t have to “keep” my faith; my Savior does it all for me.  From beginning to end, I am safe in His arms.

Part of my story is shared below. Of course, my name is misspelled.  There may be 24 different ways to spell Katharine but Jesus knows who I am!