Thank a Veteran!

My HERO, my DAD!
  My dad, brother, father-in-law, brother-in-law and son-in-law are all veterans. Everyone is touched by a veteran in some way. This is a time when we should reach out and thank them.
  No matter what your political views are, these men and women have sacrificed something to help protect ME (us). All have stories to tell but most won’t share those stories.
  Growing up I did not understand nor appreciate what all my dad sacrificed. I didn’t understand (and still don’t) what he buried deep inside (psychologically) or the physical pain he endured but never complained about.
  Let’s teach our children. Reach out and thank a veteran this week, this month, this year. So…… all the veterans in my life, thank-you! But my biggest thank-you goes to my HERO, my DAD! Thank-you. I love and miss you!

Everybody’s Got Sumpin’

     As Robin Roberts says, “Everybody’s got sumpin’.”  We all have a story to tell. Usually I don’t write about personal things on this blog. However, it has been dormant for awhile and so I have decided to share MY story. Then I will go back to sharing my head-full-heart-full teaching ideas.  I hope this will speak to you.
     “Life” doesn’t care what color you are, how much money you make, what religion you are, how old you are, where you live, etc.
     My husband came down with the flu. It went into double pneumonia and then heart failure. He spent 2 weeks in ICU. He lost 30 pounds in 2 weeks. (How is that even possible??) We prayed and had people all over the world praying. By the GRACE of GOD he survived and came home. We went out with friends for his birthday to celebrate life and received a call from my son. We were wondering why he wasn’t at the celebration…..Well…..
     My 20-something year old son is healthy, athletic (a rock-climber) and energetic. He was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer (cancer had spread to his lungs, around his kidneys and lymph nodes). He recently had been laid off from his job and had lost his insurance. His temporary insurance did not cover cancer. (Who would think you needed that at such a young age??!!!)
     To get him in the door at M.D. Anderson (we live in Houston), we had to come up with $18,900! That was just to get an appointment! How many school teachers do you know have that kind of money sitting around??!!
     My best friend and TpT partner started a Go-Fund-Me account and others organized fundraising events. People all over the world started praying.
     Due to the overwhelming generosity of family, friends, acquaintances and complete strangers, Randy started treatment exactly 1 month later. He has 3 out of the 4 types of testicular cancer. One of those does not respond to chemo. We prayed. People all over the world were praying for him. He is 2 weeks out of chemo and had his first scans. The cancer is gone for now, including the tumor that doesn’t respond to chemo! We believe that is God’s hand in all of this!!
     If you have continued to read to here, I am writing this on the anniversary of my brother’s death due to liver cancer. The MORAL TO MY STORY: 1. Tell your family you love them EVERY SINGLE DAY. 2. Never leave the house or hang up the phone without telling them you love them. 3. Don’t let “toothpaste” fights upset you because they are not important.  4. Tell your friends how much you care about them often. 5. Help people when you can. 6. Be GRATEFUL for things you usually take for granted.  And…1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. 7. PRAY. PRAY. PRAY. PRAY, PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!!! 
   The old saying, “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle” should be, “Because of God we can handle what we are given.”
   I would love to hear from you!


ADHD and Learning Differences

  This is a personal post. I want to talk about one of the (BIG) reasons why I believe in hands-on, FUN learning for young children. My son is ADHD and a “different” learner. As a teacher/parent, I know what his “IQ” is. He is very smart. However, what happened to him as a young child/student/learner scarred him for life.
  You know those phonics worksheets? Like the ones that are to “practice” beginning sounds. They might show a picture the gate of a fence or a coffee “mug” etc. Well, one day he brought home a sheet with every. single. answer. marked wrong with a big red X and a big fat 0 on his paper!
   Knowing he knew his beginning sounds, I began to ask him why he missed all the answers. I pointed to the “gate” and said, “What is this? What does it start with?” His answer was “fence”. “Fence starts with ‘f’ ‘”. Then when asking about the “mug”, he said it was a “cup” and that “cup” begins with “c”.
   We went through the entire sheet and for each picture he named, he knew the beginning letter. Soooo….I went to talk to the teacher. I was told that she gave the directions and went over each picture before they were to do the sheet independently and that my son had NOT listened OR followed directions. AND she was RIGHT! However, THAT is a different skill from knowing the beginning sounds of words!! What was the objective of the sheet? Listening and following directions or knowing beginning sounds?
   ADHD children have trouble listening and following directions.
   This is food for thought and NOT meant to point fingers. That experience made me a different kind of teacher. Before grading papers I always made sure I was clear on what the objective was that I wanted to assess. Many times I realized it was just to keep the kids busy while I worked with my small groups (let’s be honest here). I thought at the time I was having the kiddos “practice” a certain skill. Well….if a child can do a worksheet without any problem, why give them a worksheet? They already know the skill. If a child can’t do the worksheet, why give them the worksheet? They don’t have a clue what it’s for and will learn nothing from it!