|Thursday, July 10th, 2003|
3:55a - Omaha
When I was in Omaha yesterday for AR, I went into Old Market, and ate in a real up scale Persian restaurant. I'd never had Persian food, so I told the (cute male) waiter that. He came over and explained me what was IN each dish, pronounced it for me correctly, and when he came back with the dish, told me how to eat it to get the best taste from it.
Later, I decided I was translating some of the music in my head, so I called him over and said, "Tell me that is Spanish I'm hearing, NOT Persian music! I keep thinking I understand bits and pieces, and I certainly don't speak any Farci, etc." He laughed and said that it WAS Spanish, and when he had a chance during the lunch crowd waiting, put on some Persian music! Delightful experience, and although the food was very, very strange, I enjoyed it. If I were closer, I'd certainly go again, take friends, and try some other stuff on the menu! Two doors down was an Indian (from India) restaurant, and at the other end of the block, a French restaurant. I'm jealous! I never knew Omaha was an "international" hub!
I got home from Omaha at 9:00 after driving five hours in rain, a light hail, and threats of tornadoes. I pulled over three times when the rain was faster than the wipers. Not fun. Not fun at all! I was beat when I got here, so brought in the stuff from the school car and cleaned Sweetie's muddy prints out of it (she jumped into the BACK when I hollered at her, so had a real mess!) and went to get the Beamer. When I got back, I went right to bed.
Tuesday night in the hotel, I continued putting quotations at the start of each chapter, which is surprisingly difficult. (Finding exactly what I want, not actually putting them there!) I had hoped to get done with the first book this summer, but I've been doing too much recreational reading in between!
And taking training in Accelerated Reader. Boy, I wish Ron had done this LAST summer! Last year would have been so much less frustrating!
This first course was mostly stuff I already knew, but she was good to tackle questions, so I got some good stuff. Our administration insists on grading the class, which is NOT the way the program is designed. She said, no more than 25% of a reading grade should be based on the Accelerated Reader... but, of course, even when GIVEN that research, our administration insists that it be 100% of the grade. I get so frustrated! I can't even get them to understand the difference between Reading Level and Interest Level. If a book is written at third grade level, and the kid reads at third grade level, then it is okay! No difference between what a third grader would be engaged by and what a 7th grader should be interested in!
I learned Ctrl A (abort) to get a kid out of a test in the middle (fire drill = kid out of class time, and just barely started = rushed, didn't read the questions after the fire drill = 10% correct... wish I'd known Ctrl A.)
One of the gals there has her STUDENTS create tests for the books not in the computer already! Now, that would be just dandy. The company quizzes ask a question every 10-20 pages, depending on the length of the book, and write the questions at the level of the book. I need a resource for setting the book level. This program only pays attention to comprehension, not any other facets of the skills it takes to become a good reader. AND, there is a way to submit teacher done quizzes to the company... I want that way! I wrote about 15 last year, all told.
She told about the 24 hour rule: Test within 24 hours of reading the book. No notes, no nothing but authorization to take the test. I don't have that trouble, as all the tests are taken right in my classroom. (Once in her elementary class a sub let a kid take 47 quizzes in one day! Now, he'd really had time to read all those books in one class period, right???)
She also showed us how to set the certificate level for the kids, and it is EASY once you know the right spot. (But, oh, finding those right spots in this stuff!)
We also get 10% off anything ordered in the next ten days. I don't think we'll have an order ready to go that fast, but, I had the blank signed, anyway.
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4:11a - Top 10 Inspirational Quotations
1) Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
2) In bed my real love has always been the sleep that rescued me by allowing me to dream.
3) Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.
-- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
4) People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily.
5) Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
6) All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
7) Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
8) We know nothing about motivation. All we can do is write books about it.
9) If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.
10) Begin with the end in mind.
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