Friday, August 11, 2006


Well, not exactly, but thought I would give Typepad a spin to see if I like it. It has some user friendly aspects that Blogger doesn't have. On the flip side, I am having to learn a new system on how to make it work and look "right". So here is the new site.... at least for the next month to see how I like it.
Check it out over here and let me know you visited. I feel like I am moving to a new city, and I hope I will like it.

Cathy Knits and More

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Reading, WRITING, Arithmetic or YELLOW is my favorite color

A teacher came to me the day before yesterday and showed the example above of a student in 5th grade. Of course the teachers were concerned with the students writing as it was obvious that she had a problem copying her work. Not only that, it was almost impossible to read. It was evident this was not a case of a child not doing their best because the handwriting looks neat. The teacher came to ask me about strategies and suggestions and what interventions might she suggest for this child.

I am a part of the assistive technology team, but usually am not one that is up on this area - but I did have a box of materials to use with students who have a variety of learning problems. Inside this box was a large envelope of colored transparent overlays, along with some instructions and information on their use. I suggested the teacher look over them and get an idea of how they work ( I had only briefly had an opportunity to observe a workshop that addressed the use of overlays with children that have difficulty reading and writing). The teacher took the materials home and read up on the information and came back the next day to shadow the student and make some recommendations. So, she began with placing overlays of a red transparency and a few others for the student to read. Nothing changed until the teacher placed a yellow clear transparency over the page. The student said, "the letters have stopped moving" - now that is a strange comment to me since I have never seen letters "move" on the page. The teacher then took a handwriting page and asked her to copy it on to another sheet. This time, the teacher made a copy of the handwriting on to yellow paper. Here is the page:

Below are the results:

Folks, I have not met this child. I would not know her if she walked in my room, but when the teacher showed this, I got chill bumps. I got excited. This student, who had transferred from a different school system, has struggled with this for quite some time. A simple change in the color of the page from which she was copying from made all the difference in the world.
When asked how she felt about this - did she feel as though it made her stand out and single her out with having to do this. She just said... "I'll just tell everyone yellow is my favorite color".

It would be my favorite color too.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Trivia Challenge

---- See this? Well, don't click on the image because I can't figure out how to link it to the page. However, it's image for you to download and link to RevGalBlogPals Trivia Challenge(click on that). If you haven't joined in on the fun, well, please join us. It's been going on for a week now and... did you know....

  • that it has been one of the top 100 popular quizzes on funtrivia?
  • that the RevGalBlogPals are doing mighty fine when it comes to average scores - we blew the other groups away when it came to average scores in comparison to tournament groups of the same size. (Go to Worldwide standings link to find out how we compare daily).

Topics can be changed to different subjects, and we will do that from time to time - we might try to tie it in with the meme of the week as the topic allows. And... at the end of the month? If you are the winner of the most games, the RGBPs are going to give your site meter a run... and ... you get to choose a topic to place in the trivia challenge. It could humble us.

One does not have to be an official member of RGBP to play, so join in on the fun. Speed and accuracy are the key to this 10 question quiz! (I have to announce to my home folks I am taking the quiz at my house, because I will for sure get interrupted in the middle of it if I don't say something - and the phone can just ring until I finish the quiz.)

So belly up to the trivia challenge and give it a spin. You'll be glad you did.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

100 dollar "gift" cards for Georgia teachers

This year, Governor Sonny Perdue budget included 10 million dollars for each teacher to receive a 100 dollar gift card to purchase classroom supplies. The money is to be used during the tax free holidays of August 3-6. On August 3, I went to the local Walmart to purchase supplies. I knew, being in a small town that teachers would be on the store like locusts on a field. Purchases included glue, markers, card stock, crayons, staple remover, laminating contact paper, and craft supplies (pompoms, craft glue, foam sheets). Total came to approximately 95 dollars. I had left my list at home so I knew there were items I had forgotten and figured that I would pick up the items, use the balance of the card and then pay the rest out of my pocket.
The forgotten list included a kitchen timer, which I need to use while assessing students, paper plates, and coffee filters (for projects in the classroom). Preschool classrooms have all kinds of odds and ends in their room to use for art projects for little hands to create using fine motor skills and their imagination.
So, when I went to the checkout register, I separated those items from my personal purchases. I knew it would be over the balance of my card, but wanted to use up what was there. Well, it denied me - was it because I wanted to purchase items that might not be thought to use in the classroom?
I thought I was being a good steward of the money I was issued. Sure, I could have purchased more expensive items that are deemed school supplies and it would have gone through as a purchase (not that I had a lot of money left on the card).
It's the tip of the iceberg of what teachers spend in their classroom each year. I love the idea of a gift card - I think a better idea is to issue us the money we are allocated during the year, and allow us to purchase items as we need them and see them. There are many times I see a book or an item that can be used in the classroom throughout the year which have been reduced - Each and every month, teachers need supplies that come up that are not anticipated in long range planning. It may be because of an idea that arose during planning for next week's lesson. Well, can't really do a purchase order - that will take weeks before the item arrives, if it is approved and there is money in the budget.
It's not an election year next year, so it will be interesting to see if teachers get the 100 dollar allocation. Of course, it's interesting they call it a gift card. I bet their state allocated Visa is not labeled a "gift card".
Yes, we will have more money to operate our classroom - it varies from year to year. From now on, we will have to purchase the supplies and materials the more conventional way - through purchase order or out of our pockets. Much will come out of the pockets of teachers.

Teachers, how much do you spend of your own in the classroom?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

A Book Meme

Carolanne tagged me for this meme.

One book that changed your life
Hard question since many good books have had such an impact on me to change my life or my way of thinking. The Seven Story Mountain by Thomas Merton comes to mind. The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris is another book. In terms of "changing my life", I think books have more of a way of shaping us along the journey.

One book that you’ve read more than once.
The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

One book you’d want on a desert island.
The Book of Common Prayer
However, I hope I never have to make a choice. There are so many good books to take to read.

One book that made you laugh.

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson - that's a laugh out loud book. It's one of the funniest books I have ever read. It's about two men's hike through the Apalachian Trail

One book that made you cry.
Marley and Me - I cried like a baby.

One book that you wish had been written
Find a Job you Love and You Never have to go to Work.
(Makes all the difference in the World!)

One book that you wish had never been written --
The latest book I wish had "never been written" is
Left To Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculee Ilibagiza - certainly not because of the discovering God, because I wish the holocaust never happened, or any for that matter. It disappoints me so little was done for this poor country during this time. Seems as the world just sat back and watched and did nothing.

One book you’re currently reading
The World is Flat - it's a bestseller - history of the 21st Century and the impact of globalization in the world - fascinating!

One book you’ve been meaning to read
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

Now tag five people -
Nike's Psyche, Emily, Mary Beth, LutheranChik, and Norma

Saturday sky and blooms

I went to a friend's house this morning to deliver some boxes and her large oak tree offered a glorious view of the sky through its branches and leaves. So I offer this view of the sky on a hot summer Saturday.

On her steps, her morning glory, which shows off every summer had a collection of blooms that called the camera's name.

Lastly, an althea bloom caught my attention - member of the hibsiscus family, it's also called Rose of Sharon.

Oh, am I still knitting? You betcha, just haven't gotten the camera out to capture some of the progress, or lack of, yet. Just keep in mind the blog is Cathy knits and MORE.

Friday, August 04, 2006

RevGalBlogPals - Friday Five

This week we have a treat: a guest Friday Five composed by NotShyChiRev. Enjoy!
1. Describe the last play or musical you saw. (At least provide the what, when, where, and why). What was your opinion of it?
"Anything Goes" by Cole Porter. Our local little theatre put it on and it is always a joy to watch people from your community have fun and do a good job at it to boot!

2. All time favorite play? Musical?
WEll, it's not fair to ask a musician to have to choose ONE musical. Several stick in mind. I never ever tire of the Sound of Music and Oklahoma is another fine one.

3. “The Producers,” “The Philadelphia Story,” “Hairspray,” “The Wedding Singer”…all were movies before they were musicals (okay “The Philadelphia Story” was a play and then a movie, and they changed its name when it became a musical, but whatever). What non-musical movie do you think should next get the musical treatment?

I don't have any idea!

4. Favorite song from a musical? Why?

Another unfair question... for a musician to answer.
I've always liked "Out of my Dreams" from Oklahoma.

Out of my dreams and into your arms I long to fly
I will come as evening comes to woo a waiting sky.
Out of my dreams and into the hush of falling shadows,
When the mist is low and stars are breaking through
Then out of my dreams I'll go Into a dream with you.

Won't have to make up anymore stories
You'll be there! Think of the bright midsummer night
Glories we can share.
Won't have to go on kissing a daydream
I'll have you
You'll be real Real as the white moon lighting the blue.

Out of my dreams and into your arms I long to fly
I will come as evening comes to woo a waiting sky.
Out of my dreams and into the hush of falling shadows,
When the mist is low and stars are breaking through
Then out of my dreams I'll go
Into a dream with you.

5. The most recent trend in Broadway musical revues is to construct a show around the oeuvre of a particular super-group or composer, where existing songs are woven together with some kind of through story. The most successful of these (“Jersey Boys” (The Four Seasons), “Mamma Mia” (ABBA), “Movin’ Out” (Billy Joel)) have made a mint, but many (“All Shook Up” (Elvis), “Hot Feet” (Earth, Wind and Fire)) have bombed. What great pop/rock singer/composer or super-group should be the next to be featured, and what might the story-line be for such a show?

Bonus question for singer/actors. Favorite part you’ve ever played/sung.
As always, let us know in the comments if you play! And standing ovations (as well as more visits, no doubt) for those who link directly to their posts.
I had a heck of a fun time being one of the nuns in "The Sound of Music" - I was one of the ones that got to sing "How do you solve a problem like Maria?" (I wonder who of the matriarchs of the RevGalBlogPals is Maria? :))

But I think I really enjoyed being Mrs. Paroo in "The Music Man" as I got to have an Irish accent in the play in high school and those that did not know me thought I was from Ireland (please just remember that in high school you can have nailed the accent just a little bit at they would have been impressed.

I think REVGALBLOGPALS trivia tournament MIGHT just tie in this weekend with this theme! Go to the tournament to find out (Saturday and Sunday for the change in topic!)

First Day of School

For many, this will be the first day of school - at least for the approximately 6000 children and the teachers of these children in this county. Many of us have jitters. For some this will be their first year - for others, their last year. Pray that each day will bring growth and knowledge to student and teachers!

Have I given up knitting? No, but I haven't taken any pictures of my work lately. One project is in its infancy, so don't want to take a picture of circular needles with a couple of rows completed, nor do you want to see it! I will try to post a couple of pictures this weekend of some little projects completed.
Now... off to school!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Sonic Report - Where's the cherry limeade?

WEll, today our little town had a Sonic Drive In open. We parked and placed our order and I was so excited... I was going to get to order my favorite drink from there. Diet cherry limeade - mmmmmm what a treat. And then.. the reply came. I'm sorry..... the diet Sprite that we use in that drink is working right now. Uh... what do you mean? No? Diet? Cherry? Limeaid? Well, I did something blasphemous... I told them to do diet Coke with the cherry and lime in it. Well, it was definitely second fiddle to the traditional drink. But oh my gosh...
I'll get over it.

Trivia Quiz is so much fun!

The past couple of days the RevGalBlogPals Quiz has been so much fun! Of 2000 registered quizzes, yesterday we were ranked 23 in popularity! Not bad huh????

So take a shot at it - don't be shy - go here and have fun.

Now just for funsies - Saturday and Sunday I will change the subject matter general knowledge, religion (imagine that) sports, literature, and I think I can even get more specific - anyway, we can give it a try.
Place your recommendations in the comments - and your selection just might be it!