Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Teachable Moment: Memorial Day and Regular Kids Who Were Heroes

This crew was delivering supplies to French civilians during the D Day invasion and was shot down. My dad's cousin, Blake Treece, T/Sgt. Radioman, is in the second row, fifth (l to r.)
My dad was from Marshall, Arkansas. He was 21 years old when Pearl Harbor happened. His older brother, Robert, had already volunteered to fly with the English in the Battle of Britain. As boys, they had built an airplane in the backyard, and dad had participated in a local aeronautical club as an instructor. Both brothers were going to a teacher's college (Arkansas State Teacher's College), until Robert volunteered to fly with the British.
After Pearl Harbor Day,  my dad (Larry) and my aunt Maxine joined the Navy. Both my dad and Uncle Robert flew in the Pacific. My dad was a quick study, after flying Corsairs, became an instructor pilot. Robert became one of the first pilots to fly a B29 as part of the Billy Mitchell Group, sort of a test pilot while fighting the war.
Robert, Grandma, Alphia, Larry, Maxine. Just after Pearl Harbor Day.

The Lady Hamilton, B 29, Billy Mitchell Group.
Robert was captain of Lady Hamilton B 29, on a bombing mission that flew from India, over the Himalayas (called 'Flying the Hump') and China to Japan when the plane developed engine trouble, and the second target was chosen. Japanese Zeroes pursued. Robert, as captain, ordered most of the crew to parachute out (they were aided by Chinese and survived.) He and two other crew completed the mission but were shot down by the Zeroes, losing their lives in 1944.

College Memorial (OCA) with the names Robert Mills and Blake Treece.
My grandma's nephew and my dad's first cousin, Blake Treece, was a radio operator for a B-17 in the European theatre. Blake left the same college as his cousins to enlist. His plane was shot down in 1944 over France. The remains of the crew were buried by a French farmer, and recovered in 2006 due to  historical excavations of the Caen area. Blake and his crew members were then buried in 2006 in a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetary.

Another of my grandmother's nephews and my dad's first cousin from Searcy, Arkansas, Claude A. McBride, served in the Army in the Philippines, being killed in action.

Regular kids from a most regular, simple town in America, Marshall, Arkansas. Where does the courage and brilliance come from? On this Memorial Day, by my observation as a teacher, the USA is filled with such courage and brilliance in all our boys and girls. Devotion, teamwork, collaboration that leads to heroic deeds develops in the minds, spirits, and souls of kids allowed to believe in their own capacity for excellence and their intrinsic value as citizens. Kids from all demographics and ethnicities, which is, of course, what America is made of.

I feel compassion for my little grandma in the photo, knowing she would lose her Robert. And her brother and sister would lose their Claude and not know ever what happened to Blake. (They passed away before his remains were found.)

We can value their choice to serve our country and expect the same excellence and commitment to all varieties of service to continue because all regular kids can be heroes. And they're sitting in your classrooms.

Saturday, May 18, 2024

All American Cheesy Jokes and Serious Thoughts

Hurrah for the red, white and silly. And Garfield has just the light-hearted touch we sometimes need.

Try not to turn each of these jokes and riddles into too much of an opportunity to teach, though with younger children, you might have some 'splaining to do, Lucy.

Teacher: Where was the Declaration of Independence signed?
Student: On the bottom.

Teacher: The Declaration of Independence was written in Philadelphia. True or false?
Student: False. It was written in ink.

What did Paul Revere say at the end of his ride? I've got to get a softer saddle.

And just to be teachery, don't forget Longfellow's adventuresome poem, 'The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.' It's so cheesy, kids love it. 

Paul Revere's Ride

Embarrassed someone saw my crack.

Keep in torch!
Did you hear the one about the Liberty Bell? Yeah, it cracked me up.

What did the visitor say as he left the Statue of Liberty? Keep in torch.

What did one flag say to another--nothing, it just waved.

'What kind of tea do Americans thirst for? Liber--ty. Ha ha.'

                                    What colonists told the most jokes? Punsylvanians.

Very good read.
Now for a serious thought. The greatest founding father, in my opinion, was John Adams. He supported all citizens, and did not believe in slavery, not a bit. He and his family had no connection with slavery at all. He argued in  the Continental Congress for the abolition of slavery, foreseeing the schism it would cause in a new America; which it surely did in the Civil War. He and his wife Abigail supported integration in their home town of Braintree, Massachusetts, in the local school. John Adams had the education, brilliance and insight to see that the colonies needed to empower all the people no matter what; he worried that the British would treat the American colonies as they had Ireland. He was humble enough to recommend Thomas Jefferson be the compiler and writer of the Congress' thoughts, but historians know it was Adams who was the prime thinker. He was an innovative diplomat, a President who would see the big picture, and a faithful and loving husband and father. I think the latter should count for a lot. Thank you, John Adams, for taking care of baby America.

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. John Adams
John Adams

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/john_adams_2.html?gcl

Monday, April 8, 2024

April 8, 2024 Partial Solar Eclipse in Apple Valley, California, USA

We'll get about 58%.
I've already seen two other total eclipses-I guess that is unusual. At Hickam AFB Honolulu, Hawaii 1991 (during homeschool) and here in Apple Valley at Granite Hills High School 2017.
April 8, 2024 Partial Solar Eclipse in Apple Valley, California, USA

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Best Educational Links This Week 4/8/2024



Larry Ferlazzo

The Station Rotation Model Tip #2: Arrange Your Furniture to Maximize Focus and Engagement

Caitlin Tucker

The main goal of a flipped classroom is to enhance student learning and achievement by reversing the traditional model of a classroom, focusing class time on student understanding rather than on lecture.


10 Pros And Cons Of A Flipped Classroom

Holly Korbey

Can parents save math?

These writers and resources are some of the best
you will find online. 
Explore these sites!

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

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


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 prospered wherever there was a Catholic church worldwide--it's probably true we're all Irish. Geneticists say that Genghis Khan was the foremost contributor to Y chromosomes worldwide, followed by O' Neill of the Nine Hostages (Irish).
My grandmother was completely Irish, her mother immigrating from the Old Sod, so I have been successfully indoctrinated about the Isle of Saints and Scholars. Trust me, no demeaning stereotypical jokes about the Irish in my growing up. Sister Francis Eileen, O.P., was the principal of St. Louis Bertrand's School in Oakland, California, and her lilting Irish brogue came over the P.A. system every morning. She was cool, all the nuns I had were cool; I never had a negative experience in parochial school. Many were from Ireland, many were Irish Americans like my sainted grandmother. And I was in that school both when John F. Kennedy ran for president, was elected, and was assassinated. Powerful stuff.

I am so thankful I didn't have to unlearn prejudice and bias--my Oakland elementary school was perfect. The only almost-bias I had to unlearn was that not everyone was from my church.


I was stunned when I heard my first negative joke about the Irish. Didn't they realize we saved western civilization?

The Isle of Saints and Scholars-to be sure

And I didn't even say, "Pog Mo Thoin." Which shows a lot of maturity and restraint.

Ethnic jokes and teasing are a form of bullying--so kids and adults really need to knock it off. Are we that desperate to feel superior? The quiet kid in the back of the room won't be able to stand up for herself in the midst of  biased-based laughter. Bullying includes those jokes about physical appearance, churches, where you're from, and let's throw in sports teams since kids are so sensitive about them. Kids should have the right to be in school without bullying or humiliation of any type. Grown-ups, too.

 So, anyway, here are the jokes. (That's pretty Irish of me:  stick up for the underdog and then tell jokes.) 

Green, and Garfield provides the orange

How did the leprechaun get to the moon?

In a shamrocket.

Why is Ireland like a bottle of wine?

Because it has a Cork in it.

What would you get if you crossed a leprechaun with a Texan?

A pot of chili at the end of the rainbow.

No relation to Bono. Or the Edge.
What kind of music does a leprechaun band play?
                                      Shamrock and roll.

What do you call a leprechaun's vacation home in Fort Lauderdale?

A lepre-condo.

 Love Irish music. O'Sullivan's March, The Chieftans.
My gggrandmother (later immigrated to Kansas)  was a Sullivan leaving from Cork in 1844, and who survived a coffin ship to Grosse Isle Quebec.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Black History Month: Wholy Holy by Marvin Gaye


Ah, wholy holyCome togetherWholy holyPeople we all gotta come together'Cause we need the strength, power, all the feelingWholy holyOh Lord, come on get together, one anotherWholy holyWholy holyWholy holy we should believe in one another (believe in Jesus)Jesus left a long time ago, said he would return (believe it)He left us a book to believe inIn it we've got a lot to learnOh, wholy holy (oh Lord)We can conquer (yes we can) hate forever (oh Lord)Wholy (wholy holy, wholy holy)We can rock the world's foundation (Yes we can)Everybody together, together in a wholyWe'll holler love love love across the nation (Oh, oh)Wholy holy, all together in wholyWe proclaim love, our salvationOoh, ooh

Thursday, January 18, 2024

What is trauma-informed teaching?

What is trauma-informed teaching?

6 ways principals can improve family engagement

6 ways principals can improve family engagement

Helping Kids With Flexible Thinking - Child Mind Institute

Helping Kids With Flexible Thinking - Child Mind Institute

Around The Web In ESL/EFL/ELL | Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...

Around The Web In ESL/EFL/ELL | Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...

Executive function challenges and learning: 6 ways to help your middle-schooler

Executive function challenges and learning: 6 ways to help your middle-schooler

Using Checklists in the Classroom to Enhance Efficiency | Edutopia

Using Checklists in the Classroom to Enhance Efficiency | Edutopia

What Students Are Saying About School Cellphone Bans - The New York Times

What Students Are Saying About School Cellphone Bans - The New York Times

Sunday, January 14, 2024

MzTeachuh's Meditations: Make your plans. Go for it.


Make your plans. Go for it.

For I am convinced [and continue to be convinced—beyond any doubt] that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present and threatening, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the [unlimited] love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 Romans 8:38-39 Amplified Bible

Monday, January 8, 2024

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

MLK Quotes: #1-22

MLK Quotes: #1 


MLK Quotes: #2 


MLK Quotes: #3 


MLK Quotes: #4 


 MLK Quotes: #5


MLK Quotes: # 10

MLK Quote: #13


MLK Quotes: #22

Cheesy Football Jokes And A Pep Talk From Bill Walsh


What do you put in the N zone to stop

the other team from scoring? 

A Scorecrow.



Where do hungry football players play?
In the Supper Bowl.

 What did the football say to the punter?
"I get a kick out of you." 

 Why do coaches like punters?
Because punters always put 
their best foot forward.   
 What do you call a lineman's kids?
Chips off the old blocker.
What football player should you be suspicious of?
The quarterback sneak.


The saga continues.


Why did the football coach go to the bank? A: To get his quarter back!
Q: How do football players stay cool during the game? A: They stand close to the fans?  

Which football team cooks gourmet meals together?
The Kansas City Chefs. 

Now, Bill Walsh, that's the coach of coaches.

He wrote some very positive advice for teachers and everyone who works with kids. 

"Kids who take part in any sport get to feel the euphoria of victory, 
but they also learn how to deal with loss."

"Having to play a role determined by coaches, whether it is exactly what a player hopes for or not, teaches the acceptance of authority -- but not an automatic, robotic acceptance."

"Athletes have to also understand that anxiety is not a flaw, and that overcoming it is possible -- and sometimes a lot easier than they thought."

"The social elements of team sports have far-reaching effects. Team members develop the ability to communicate under stress. They learn to respect others whether they like them or not, and if a team is ethically coached, its members also are taught to respect their opponents no matter how fierce the rivalry."

Bill Walsh, one of the best ever coaches
For full article:
Fit for Life: A Coach's Pep Talk

Former San Francisco 49ers coach Bill Walsh discusses the importance of physical fitness in school and beyond.