Saturday, March 7, 2020

Women's History Month: Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa, Leonardo Da Vinci

Mona Lisa is the most famous painting in the world. It is said it was Da Vinci's favorite. Aside from the extreme beauty and skill of the painting, there is something fascinating in her smirk, oh sorry, wistful glimmer of a smile. The mystique of womanhood teasing with a secret, maybe. Sitting in the Louvre, where so many fancy French queens had lived, there she is--the only royalty left in France.

Previously, only sacred pictures were commissioned regularly--and there are plenty of interesting Da Vinci saints and madonnas. But Mona is Every Woman--confident, relaxed, knowing who she is--without halo or crown. Like us.

Mona Lisa Song by Nat King Cole

Mona Lisa 

Women's History Month: Malala

MzTeachuh: Women's History Month: Malala: Malala is a young teenager who has come to international fame over the last two years by writing about her experiences in seeking an ed...

Educational Links 3/8/20

Some of the Best Audio and Recording Apps for Educators and Students

How Mindfulness Helps You Find Time


9 Things Educators Need to Know About Coronavirus


“How Do I Better Coach a Splintered Professional Learning Community?”

4 Strategies to Improve Group Work

Many teachers believe that group work is valuable for students but still struggle to implement it. Here’s how to avoid common pitfalls.

Women's History Month: Two Irish Mums Won the Nobel Peace Prize

The Peace People Rally, Ireland, Betty Williams and  Maireed Corrigan 

'The Troubles' in Ireland are well known, conflict between two demographics (Catholic and Protestant) that share the same religious root: Christianity. Its been going on since Cromwell. But a lesser known fact is that two Irish mums won the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize for beginning a Peace Movement in Northern Ireland to combat the carnage.

To quote the Nobel Committee in 1976: We admire Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan for tackling so fearlessly the perilous task of leading the way into no-man's land, in the cause of peace and reconciliation.

Mairead (Corrigan) Maguire

'Gandhi taught that nonviolence does not mean passivity. No. It is the most daring, creative, and courageous way of living, and it is the only hope for our world. Nonviolence is an active way of life which always rejects violence and killing, and instead applies the force of love and truth as a means to transform conflict and the root causes of conflict. Nonviolence demands creativity. It pursues dialogue, seeks reconciliation, listens to the truth in our opponents, rejects militarism, and allows God's spirit to transform us socially and politically. '

 Maireed Corrigan Maquire 

Betty Williams 

"That first week will always be remembered of course for something else besides the birth of the Peace People. For those most closely involved, the most powerful memory of that week was the death of a young republican and the deaths of three children struck by the dead man's car. A deep sense of frustration at the mindless stupidity of the continuing violence was already evident before the tragic events of that sunny afternoon of August 10, 1976. But the deaths of those four young people in one terrible moment of violence caused that frustration to explode, and create the possibility of a real peace movement...As far as we are concerned, every single death in the last eight years, and every death in every war that was ever fought represents life needlessly wasted, a mother's labour spurned."

Betty Williams

The Sky Is Cheap Entertainment: True Supermoon in March!

I will celebrate the Worm Moon because as a gardener,
I love my wonderful earthworm community!

March's supermoon, called the Super Worm Moon, peaks Monday night. According to NASA, it got its name from native tribes in the northern and eastern United States. They called the last full moon of winter the “Worm Moon” after the earthworm casts that appear on the ground as it begins to thaw in springtime

Supermoon: Exactly When You Should Look At This Week’s ‘Super Worm Moon’

The March full moon of 2020 is a worm moon and a true supermoon

March’s full Worm Supermoon to rise this weekend

Festival of Irish Arts and Music Day 3

Celtic Cross History and Symbolism

Van Morrison, the Irish lad from the North.


Van Morrison - Be Thou My Vision 

More traditional version by Enya:

Be Thou My Vision

 Be Thou My Vision

A friend of mine sang this lovely hymn at my wedding. Although my grandmother who raised me was 100% Irish, she was from Denver, and a western, All-American girl;   I can't say we really lived the Irish culture, although I did have some interesting family stories and a deep belief in Christ and His precepts from Irish Catholicism. I continue to do  my research on Ireland, and incorporate Irish richness of soul, thought, and talent in my life.

You can purchase these treasures of Irish art and skill which are reknown throughout the world.

Irish Chantilly lace‎

My wedding dress was made of Chantilly lace... so elegant for just a simple girl such as myself.‎

One of my children had the privilege of visiting Ireland, and brought me back Waterford Crystal with stories of Irish friendliness. She says I would love it there. I'm surely planning a trip back to the Old Sod, especially County Cork.

This last treasure is from the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland. I will someday purchase this pattern (one of my Irish clans, the O' Sullivans) in a nice, cozy merino sweater, I think.

Irish wool knitting pattern, O'Sullivan clan‎‎
There are numerous sites to purchase clan tartans if you have connections to Ireland. It is very fun to claim your heritage because the Irish are magnanimous and welcoming--no questions asked, no geneologies or DNA required. In our family, we have several Celtic surnames to choose from--kind of a typically American experience. Some sites allow you to design your own original tartan.

This is the O'Sullivan tartan.

Teachable Moment: In Praise of First Ladies--As Different As They Are

This is totally non-political. In reading this post, I doubt you could tell who I plan to vote for or not; who I have voted for or not; or who I may have written in or plan on writing in. This has nothing to do with politics. This post is in praise of a small group of women who have served the country as First Lady, and we should take note.

Melania Trump visiting a school in Africa.
 Melanie Trump is the second naturalized citizen to be First Lady (the first being John Quincy Adams' wife Louisa from England.) Ms. Trump is from Slovenia. The emphasis of this First Lady involves helping children.
The "Be Best' platform will focus on three main issues facing today's children that Mrs. Trump said are of particular concern to her: physical and emotional well-being, social media use, and the opioid abuse. 
 “I feel strongly that as adults, we can and should be best at educating our children about the importance of a healthy and balanced life.”

Michelle Obama, wife of the 44th president, Barrack Obama, has focused on helping kids be healthier through the Let's Move! program. Kids across America have learned to love healthy food through improved lunches. I recently had a second grader tell me how he loved squash. Cool. Check out the Let's Move! site--it is really special.

" I am determined to work with folks across this country to change the way a generation of kids thinks about food and nutrition." Michelle Obama

Laura Bush, wife of the 43rd president, George Bush, was a librarian--it follows that literacy would be her focus as First Lady. She has worked hard not only for Americans, but she has particularly declared the rights of girls for education worldwide.

Her foundation works for libraries in the USA.
"Once a child learns to use a library, the doors to learning are always open." Laura Bush

Center for Southern Folklore

As First Lady and wife of the 42nd president Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton worked to begin Save America's Treasures--is a United States federal government initiative to preserve and protect historic buildings, arts, and published works.
Save America's Treasures

  The arts are not a luxury. They are an integral part of our lives as individuals and as a nation.” Hillary Clinton


Barbara Bush, wife of George H. Bush, 41st president, established Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, empowering children and their parents to succeed,
through  family literacy programs, young children are prepared to start school ready, and parents are given a second chance to improve their literacy skills. You may recall she is a children's book author, the proceeds went to Mrs. Bush's Literacy Campaign.

Millie's Book: As Dictated to Barbara Bush 

"I strongly believe that if every man, woman, and child could read, write and comprehend, we would be much closer to solving many of our nation's serious problems." Barbara Bush

Nancy Reagan, wife of  Ronald Reagan, the 40th president, was the First Lady through most of the 80s. She began the well-known program "Just Say No," an anti-drug program aimed at students.

 "Say yes to your life And when it comes to alcohol and drugs, just say no." Nancy Reagan

Rosalyn Carter, wife of the 39th President, Jimmy Carter, supported many causes, but
her prime interest was in the area of mental health, and assisting caregivers through The Carter Center Mental Health Task Force.

"I believe that one of the most important things to learn in life is that you can make a difference in your community no matter who you are or where you live." Rosalyn Carter

Betty Ford, wife of the 38th president, Gerald Ford, was remarkable in her candor about personal challenges. She supported recovering from substance abuse, as well as openly discussed her challenges with cancer and alcoholism. She established The Betty Ford Center for substance abuse and addiction.
My makeup wasn't smeared, I wasn't disheveled, I behaved politely, and I never finished off a bottle, so how could I be alcoholic? Betty Ford
Pat Nixon, wife of the 37th President, Richard Nixon, as First Lady was enormously effective supporting volunteerism worldwide and, in fact, volunteered personally. She encouraged a "national recruitment program" to enlist thousands of volunteers to carry out a wide variety of community services. One of her missions was to inspect ten "Vest Pockets of Volunteerism" programs that addressed pressing social problems that fell outside of purview of legislation.

"Our success as a nation depends on our willingness to give generously of ourselves for the welfare and enrichment of the lives of others."

My makeup wasn't smeared, I wasn't disheveled, I behaved politely, and I never finished off a bottle, so how could I be alcoholic?
Read more at:
My makeup wasn't smeared, I wasn't disheveled, I behaved politely, and I never finished off a bottle, so how could I be alcoholic?
Read more at:
Lady Bird Johnson, wife of Lyndon Johnson, the 36th president, encouraged the beautification of the nation's capital through the planting of flowers, in particular, by starting the Society for a More Beautiful National Capital and she was instrumental in promoting the Highway Beautification Act, which was nicknamed "Lady Bird's Bill.

"Where flowers bloom, so does hope."Lady Bird Johnson

Jackie Kennedy, wife of the 35th president, John F. Kennedy, is quite famous for supporting the Arts and renovating the White House. Her televised 'White House Tours' were quite a phenomena in the early 1960s. through her efforts, the White House was declared a museum. 

"Everything in the White House must have a reason for being there. It would be sacrilege merely to redecorate it—a word I hate. It must be restored, and that has nothing to do with decoration. That is a question of scholarship." 

Setting Up Routines for Your Class

MzTeachuh: Setting Up Routines for Your Class: Until we get it right. Five Important Classroom Procedures Desi...

Irish Blessings #6

Friday, March 6, 2020

Irish Blessing #5

Educational Links 3/7/2020

5 Great Teachers On What Makes A Great Teacher

Schoolhouse Crisis: Teachers Exiting

A Framework To Support Schools In Preparing For Coronavirus

Doubling Recess Time to Put Play Back in the School Day

Unidentified Dyslexia Takes Heavy Toll

3 Ways to Make Better Use of Reading Science

Teaching reading is hard. But there are fundamental things we know about how kids learn to read—the key is to remain nuanced in their application.

Purpose for Writer's Workshop

MzTeachuh: Purpose for Writer's Workshop: The Ulitmate Writing Workshop Routines Guide The...

Refining Classroom Rules and Norms

MzTeachuh: Refining Classroom Rules and Norms: Create Your Classroom Rules WITH Your Students for a Powerful Start to the Year

Music for Women's History: You Don't Own Me

MzTeachuh: Music for Women's History: You Don't Own Me: Lesley Gore 1964 Just for Women's History Month. (And this song was written by a man!) Lesley Gore- "You Don't Own ...

Cheesy Jokes and Serious Thoughts for St. Patrick'...

MzTeachuh: Cheesy Jokes and Serious Thoughts for St. Patrick'...: We're all Irish on St. Patrick's Day--and since the Irish diaspora was over  600 years long, and  the Irish lived long and prosper...

Festival of Irish Arts and Music Day 2

Tara Brooch
Tara Brooch

A History of Ireland in 100 Objects 

Tara Brooch

Celtic knot

From the book of Kells

Here is a site not only with color (colour) pages, but with the source of the knot design. 

Outline Celtic knots examples to colour in 

Some researchers believe the Irish harp was the first to be developed.

Egan harp.
O' Carolan was a blind, itinerant harpist from the 16th century who would play for his keep--playing original music every sunrise and bedtime.

Turlough O'Carolan 

Carolan's Dream - played on celtic harp