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Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

My father, an Iwo Jima survivor.
In honor of this upcoming Memorial Day...some poems:

This poem was written by my cousin's 17 year old daughter:

this is for the soldiers
theresa soya

this is for the red
the red that beats through the heart
and bleeds through the clothes
of every american citizen,
of every american soldier
this is for the white, the black, the yellow,
the red, the brown skin of the soldiers
who fight not for the respect of a man
but for the love of a brother,
this is for the blue,
the blue and the hope that comes with tomorrow,
the hope that tomorrow comes
with the sky a little brighter
this is for the flag that waves through that sky
this is for the stars
and this is for the stripes
whipping through the wind and ripping
but never falling in the fight

this is a thank you,
this is from the kids who aren't quite sure what to say
and pray with shaky words but stable ambition,
this is from the kids who know what sacrifice means
but haven't quite felt it yet
and this is from the kids who have every reason to hate war
this is from the kids who've ever lost a soldier before
this is from the kids whose only connection to that breach
is that flag that they wave
this is from the kids who know all too much
and this is from the kids who know nothing
but regardless,
they care

this is for the troops that stand taller everyday
this is for the service that speaks for itself
this is for the wake-up call, the trumpets that sound every morning at 5
and the alarm that forgot to ring back in the states
this is for the gift santa couldn't bring
this is for the freedom
and this is for the safety,
this is for the soldiers stationed in Iraq, Iran, and Haiti
this is for the soldiers who wrote "home" on their wish list
this is for the ones who won't make it back for Christmas
this is for the honor and the bravery showed
this is for the valor and the courage bestowed

this is for the strength it takes to run and to train
this is for the pride it instills to stand and salute
this is for the soul that aches and writhes with pain
this is for the ones wearing the boots
this is for the ones with the insignia holding up the world on their shoulders
this is for the heroes
this is for the soldier

These poems were written and recorded by some fourth grade students.

Today and everyday...Celebrating the lives of those men and women who have shown courage and bravery by serving their country...We thank you!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Lifelong Learners

Yesterday I was working with my mom on creating a flier for her art association sale.  We were using her PC laptop (I'm a Mac girl by nature!).  We were using Windows 7 (I'm a Mac girl by nature!) and both getting slightly frustrated.   I explained to my mother that the beauty of using a computer is that it is mistake tolerant (thank you Karen Janowski for sharing this idea!).  Mistakes are easily fixed by using the redo button. After a little bit we were both in sync and the flier was completed!

On the drive home I was thinking about how even at 78 and 85 my parents are life long learners. Beside keeping current with new technology, they are always bettering themselves. My mother is always going to art demonstrations and has even attended Webinars to advance her techniques. My dad is always starting new projects which allows for learning.  He writes news letters which promotes learning and is always learning something new with the computer!

Does being a lifelong learner come naturally?  This article by Scott Young suggests that you can Cultivate Lifelong learning.   (I dislike his first paragraph but the 15 steps make sense!)

Are you curious about your learning style?  Finding out how you learn best might help you become a lifelong learner.  Check out this short quiz from Edutopia. (you do not need to sign up).

I always thought I was a visual learner! (Interpersonal-interesting)
As teachers and parents, we should model lifelong learning to our students and children.  Sharing what we have learned and how we learned it is one way to model.  Learning something new along with the children is another. Help make connections to what you already know and what you are learning! (Thanks Mom & Dad for being my Models!)

I consider myself a life-long learner.  Just recently I received my Graduate degree, participated in an Edublogs teacher challenge and joined Twitter to share & learn from other educators. This has enabled me to learn new strategies and techniques to engage, motivate and help my students become life long learners themselves!

Every day presents an opportunity to learn something new.  Time to go learn! 

What was the last thing you learned?

What was the last thing you learned?... at