Thursday, November 10, 2016

Our nation is Foggy right Now

On Election Day and the morning after, it was super cloudy that it should have been foggy.  The beautiful sunrise that I can see from my classroom window was not there.  

In my heart, I felt the same fogginess.  I was neither pro Trump nor pro Hillary.  I am still uncertain who should have been President.  When I was voted, I felt sick to my stomach and tears in my eyes.  I have felt for months that no matter how the Election went down, there was going to be protesting from the other side.  

I was and still am scared for our country.  There is such a divide between people right now. 

Family of mine are declaring themselves they are not going to believe in God since our "God" allowed Trump to become President elect.  

People are getting ready to move to other countries because of who was elected President.  

As a teacher in a school that is composed mostly of African American students, I heard racism come out from their mouths towards me because I'm white.  As a couple of students walked by my room, they loudly said "White people voted for Trump."  Do you know how much it hurt me?

I've taught in that district for 17 years.  I have been a champion for my students.  I don't see color.  I see individual students with wonderful qualities.  

Another student of mine ran up to me and told me that they were going to be deported to Africa.  These are 10 and 11 year olds who are worried about these things.  So scary.

We as a nation need to come together as a people.  We need to realize that even though we may look different, have different beliefs, and different sexual preferences, we all human.  We all have dreams and fears.  We are more similar to each other then we realize.

Travel - Talk to people from other areas - That's one of my favorite things to do when we go on road trips.  

I'm Christian.  I'm white.  I'm a woman.   I'm in a heterosexual relationship.  I'm proud to say that.

I won't say who I voted for.  I would have felt the same sinking feeling no matter how I voted.

We need to bring sunshine to the fogginess our nation is seeing at this moment.  Come together as a people rather than working against each other.

Thanks for reading my thoughts,
Traci


Mama’s Losin’ It

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

We didn't Know

As I looked at this week's prompts for writer's workshop, one caught my eye.  The prompt was to share a photo with a back story.  There isn't much of a back story.  It was just a simple visit with my grandma.  It shows how much family means to me.  

Thursday, October 27, 2016

What do animals and zoos have to do with multiplication?

I venture on Pinterest off and on when I am looking for a recipe or an idea for work.  However most of the time I just Google whatever I'm looking for because I sometimes will get better results.

The other day I was looking for ideas of how to teach long multiplication to my students with disabilities (SWD).  I came across an acronym for teaching 2 or 3 digit multiplication times 2 digit that I loved.

During our education career, we've been taught so many acronyms or mnemonic devices to help us remember different topics.  Do you remember learning that Roy G. Biv for the colors of the rainbow in order?  Or do you remember My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas in order to remember the names of the planets in the correct order?  My most favorite one is the one for the steps for a long division problem - Dirty Monkey Smell Bad.  I've been using that one for almost 30 years.  Now a days, they use Does McDonalds Sell Burgers but I can't get Dirty Monkey Smell Bad out of my head.

In order to remember the steps of long multiplication problems, the acronym or mnemonic device is Many ZoosMany Animals.  

Many = Multiply the first factor by the number in the ones place in the second factor.

Zoos = Bring down the Zero.

Many = Multiply the first factor by the number in the tens place in the second factor.

Animals = Add those two products together.

On many if not all of my SWD's Individualized Educational Plans, they have an accommodation of math reference sheets.  So I created a math reference sheet so they can refer to it when they are multiplying longer multiplication problems.



I also created an anchor chart for the multiplication acronym or mnemonic devices.  The anchor chart is color coded for each step of the standard algorithm.  

My students seem to love it because it reminds them of the steps for long multiplication.

This is one idea I got off of Pinterest that I love.  



Thank you for reading about my crazy life,
Traci

Mama's Losin' It

Friday, October 21, 2016

Mistake



It's a mistake not to give people a chance to learn to depend on themselves while they are young. - Walt Disney



Mistake - An error in judgement


The word mistake can be such a harsh word.  When you tell people they made a mistake, they can become defensive.  


However the word mistake can also bring about a change in a person.  They learn from that mistake and become a better person.


I've made so many mistakes in my life.  Some of which I learned from and some that I regret.  


One mistake I made is not telling my sister how much I truly loved her and wanted her in my life.  I never told her how much her life mattered to everyone.  I never told her that she really needed to lose weight and go to the doctor.  This is a mistake that I will live with for the rest of my life.  


It's been almost two months since she died suddenly.


One moment she was her and then the next she was gone.  


Even though I can tell her in prayers that I miss her.  


Even though I can write her dear Tanya letter, I can never truly tell her those things I need to say.  


I can never give her a hug.  


My boys cannot tell their aunt they love her.


That is one mistake I will regret forever.


How can I change that mistake into something positive in my life?

I can tell people that I love them.  I can tell people how much I appreciate them in my life.

Another way I changed from that mistake is starting to write more.  It's a way for me to write out how I am feeling.

What is one way you have learned from a mistake?  What is one mistake that you regret in your life?




Welcome to Ramblings of my Crazy Life!
Thank you for reading about my crazy life,
Traci
Mama’s Losin’ It

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Summer Reading 2016


One of my goals for the summer besides chauffeuring my sons around is to read as many books as I can.

I'm currently participating in a Culinary Cozy Mystery Bingo and starting next week I'm going to be participating in a Travel Cozy Mystery Bingo.  I'm also doing a June mini challenge with themes about June.

Finally I'm going to be participating in my local library's adult reading program.

I've created a document listing my books that I'm currently reading or are on my To Be Read book list.  Here is the link to the document.

Here are some resources with different cozy mysteries:


I'm also on Goodreads and will be updating my progress on there.  You can follow me on there also.

Holiday Buzz (Coffeehouse Mystery, #12)Holiday Buzz by Cleo Coyle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


It's the holidays. Claire is busy with her commuting relationship with Quinn and Cookie Swaps on Friday nights when she discovers her bakery assistant dead.

This was an enjoyable read. Some parts it seemed dragged but that could be I wanted to know more about the victim and the motive behind the killing of the bakery assistant.





View all my reviews

Murder on Amsterdam Avenue (Gaslight Mystery, #17)Murder on Amsterdam Avenue by Victoria Thompson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Charles Oakes has been poisoned. It is up to Sarah Brant and Frank Malloy to determine who poisoned Charles. The Oakes family has a lots of secrets dating back to the Civil War.

The setting of the story is the 1890's in New York City. There are many rules that polite society must follow. Charles Oakes' father was a northern that served in the Civil War. He married Jenny, a southern, after her plantation was burned down. So why after 30 years was their child poisoned?

The discussion of how Negroes were treated was upsetting. There was still resentment in society even 30 years after the Civil War. This story was set 60 years prior to the Civil Rights movement so Jim Crow laws were still legal.

The ending was the best part of the book.

I highly recommend this book.



View all my reviews



Thank you for reading about my crazy life,
Traci

Friday, May 20, 2016

Goodbye to the 2015-2016 school year

As I'm getting ready to say good-bye to my 16th group of students, there is some sadness.  This group may have driven me crazy at times.  They may have made me laugh.  They may have made me cry.  Most of all they have made me proud.  

I'll always remember:

  • Christopher Columbus (inside joke with one of my girls)
  • It's my birthday! (EVERY single day for two to three months straight from one of my boys)
  • Dabbing
  • Hitting the Quan
  • Burfing (Lying)
  • Watch Me
  • Stephen Curry
  • Using vocabulary words (One of my students will remember me using vocabulary words in my conversations with them.)
  • Starbase

I'll remember the special note from one of my parents thanking me for making his fifth grade year a great year.

I'll remember the giant hug one of my students gave me.  If I was to say who I made the most impact on, he was not on my list.  He asked me if I was going to ever see him again.  He wanted me to go onto 6th grade with him.  At 2:50 on May 25th, I said goodbye to him.  He gave me the biggest bear hug as he told me that he loved me.  Thank you D.W. for leaving me with that memory!

I want all of them to know they are all special individuals.  (I've been working on self confidence all year.)

I love all of you!  This is my wish for you.



We've made it!  Thank you for making my 16th year of teaching memorable.


Thank you for reading about my crazy life,
Traci

Monday, May 2, 2016

Three Heroes of Mine (My Students)

Sometimes writing out your feelings really helps you sort out what is going on in your head.

This weekend I got the chance to visit with three of my former students.  One was graduating from college.  Another was getting married.  The third is related by marriage to the student who got married.

I have so many emotions going on in my head.  I've been crying because of the joy in my heart.  I didn't know how much I really meant to one of the students.

T. and I traveled similar paths with our undergraduate studies.  Both of us attended Sinclair Community College and then went onto Wright State University. 

Since I had him at the same age my boys are now, he would not have known that about me.  Today I got to take him out for dinner and we just talked.  I told him about the path I took in order for me to be his teacher.  He admired my drive and determination because I had obstacles.  I didn't allow those obstacles get in the way of my dreams.

He has told me several times I was a second mother to him and that I've been his hero since elementary school.  
He's my hero because even though he has had those obstacles he never gave up and became the first one in his family to graduate with a bachelor's degree.


The young lady came to me when she was in 4th grade.  It was my second year in the district.  C. and another student of mine went up 40 points on the Ohio Proficiency Test during her time with me.  She never gave up even with her learning difficulties.  

While at her wedding, I ended up talking to two other teachers that had her while she was in high school.  The common theme of our discussion with her was how much determination and drive C. has shown over the years.  All 3 of us are proud of her.

C. is another hero of mine.  She has taught me to "Believe in myself."

The other young man I saw over the weekend is D.  We had a rocky relationship when I had him 7th and 8th grade.  He was going through growing pains at that time and wasn't fond of humans (his words).  Towards the end of his 8th grade year, I made a phone call that changed our relationship.  I called his mom and told her that she was raising a nice young man.  That is the moment our relationship changed for the better even though he'll tell you that he was my best student.

D. is now a father.  He has told me that he is going to take care of his daughter and make sure she has what she needs in her life.  He is another hero of mine. 

I'm now going to end this blog post before I begin to cry once again.

Thank you for reading about my crazy life,
Traci

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Canadian Driving Part 1

During our Spring Break, we traveled to Niagara Falls and then to Toronto, Canada.  While Hubby was driving, I took some pictures of signs and other things I noticed that were somewhat different from Ohio.

1.  Instead of merge right, the signs in Toronto tell you to squeeze left.  We were confused at first but then realized what the signs actually meant.  It's left over from the French influence in Ontario.
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2.  On some of the Toronto city streets, they had this sign.  Pedestrians can cross in the middle of the block at the cross walk when the light is red light is lit.


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3.  Just one of the signs announcing the next exit.  The tower behind it is the CN Tower.  It's a landmark that is famous in Toronto.  I knew we didn't have time to actually visit it.  I just wanted a picture of the tower.  I have a few pictures.

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4.  Whenever there was a new town or city on the highway we took between Niagara Falls and Toronto and on the 401, there was a sign with the city or town's name on it and the population of that town or city.


 photo Spring Break 2016 2 5_zps9b0csiay.jpg

5.  This the carpool lane approaching Toronto.  Once there was no more carpool lanes, the far left lanes had signs saying that no trucks were suppose to be in that lane.  They also had signs telling people not to drive on the shoulder.

 photo Spring Break 2016 2 11_zpsysmtfxem.jpg

6.  The toll roads were interesting.  Either you had a transponder which calculates your toll or the cameras will take a picture of your back license plate.  They will then send you a bill for your toll.  Here is more information about the toll road.  We were thoroughly confused with the whole toll because we were expected to have to pay while driving.
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I have more pictures that I took while we were driving.  I'll share them on another post.

Thank you for reading about my crazy life,
Traci

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Dear Steven Tyler

Dear Steven Tyler,

On March 31, I had the pleasure of seeing you in concert at the Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls, Ontario.  A lowly special educator on her spring break vacation got to see you in person.  It was a once in a lifetime experience for me.

My kids and I don't always get a spring break together.  With scouts and camps, it's hard to take a family vacation together.  This year we all had the same spring break so we took the opportunity to take a road trip.  We decided to go up to Niagara Falls.  Hubby was looking at what things we could do while there.  The very last item was the fact you were going to be in town.  However all the tickets were sold out.  (Insert sad face)

We get to Niagara Falls.  Hubby asked the concierge how we could get at least one ticket for me.  Frank, the concierge, told us how we might get the tickets.  On March 31, Hubby put my name on the list for a possible ticket.  We made plans to go out to see the Falls at night.  Then the phone rang.

I was in pj pants at that time just relaxing.  I dressed so quickly and ran out the door.  You see my forty year old butt does not run.  I excitedly told everyone in the elevator that I was getting tickets to see Steven Tyler.  One of the men in the elevator worked at Universal Records.  I wish I got his name.  As soon as those elevator doors opened, the people told me to run.  Boy did I run!

I was so out of breath once I got to the box office.  I had my choice of seats.  I chose 2nd row center.  Oh my goodness, I was going to be close to you.

Then I went back to the hotel to get ready and to pack up my things since we were traveling to Toronto the next day.  My family knew I was excited!

Half an hour later, I was back at the casino ready to rock the night away.  I accidently got into the meet and greet line.  Then people thought I was part of the meet and greet since I wore a lanyard with my id in it.  That began a conversation with them.  While talking with them, I go to meet your banjo and guitar player.


They told me how you like the people with the floor seats to come up to the stage.  I was ready to run once the concert.  

Finally it was time to go into the venue.  Then I just sat and sat and sat waiting impatiently.  Once again I had a conversation with the lady next to me.  We were both ready to run once the concert started.

Believe me this 40 year special education teacher ran once you got on stage.  I ended up center 2nd person from the stage.  It was a moment that I could not believe was happening to me.

I fell in love with Aerosmith 20 years ago.  I loved your music while in my teens but it was not until I bought a greatest hit cassette tape that I fell in love with your music.  When Hubby met me, I had an Aerosmith poster on my wall of my dorm.  I sang "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" to my youngest when he was an infant.  Your music has defined my adult years.

Suddenly I was in front of you.  It was a moment that I will remember forever.  Thank you for that hour and half of rocking out and forgetting that I was a 40 year old special education teacher.  You took me through a journey with your music.  I once again fell in love with you and your music.

Thank you for that moment.  Yes, I touched one of your scarves.  I wish I could touch your hand.  I tried.  (Insert sad face.)

See you are the bad ass that I wish I could be.  

P.S.  My family continued with the plans.  My 10 year old tried to get into the concert.  Hubby tried to get a poster of you.  They were excited for me.  

P.S.S.  My sons had a "wedding" ceremony for us the next day.  They declared us friends.


Always and forever a Steven Tyler and Aerosmith fan,
Traci