Sunday, January 13, 2013

Coupon Class Went Well

Just a short update on my little coupon workshop. I had 8 or nine people attend, that was exciting! My Power Point kept me focused. I was nervous and fumbled some... If I do it again I would like to add a slide about getting one's first grocery store trip ready. Offer up a time to all go to Homeland together like a field trip. Give everyone just a quick little check list that allows someone to feel more prepared, and a little less nervous about their first trip to the store. I really pushed the coupon closet website as that the shopping list service I use.

I had two people who attended tell me they left the workshop and went to Walmart to buy the supplies they needed to start their own box. I also had teachers in my room that had not been in there before, always a plus when your new to the district :)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Teaching a Coupon Workshop

I will be teaching a coupon workshop this week to my fellow teachers at my school. The principal and vice have asked me to do so. I am really nervous about it. I worked on a powerpoint. These are the topics I plan on covering:

Where to find coupons:
loadable cards
Walgreen's coupon booklets
homeland care books
weekly adds with coupons

How to create a coupon box.
How to save time cutting and filing coupons.

Planning a shopping trip:
Using coupon matching service like Coupon Closet (local) and I heart the mart (national)
Creating a shopping envelope for the trip vs. taking the whole box

picking a store to get started
frequent shopper cards
Know your store
browsing the clearance isle

Unusual coupon finds
pool chemicals

Stocking up on good deals

Tracking your savings

Did I miss anything???

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Makings of a Solstice Garden

I read about solstice gardens and directional gardens in the Farmer’s Almanac and instantly fell in love with the solstice garden!

What is a Solstice Garden? 

Well, a calendar/rock garden that denotes a garden calendar. How it works is the shadow of a tall stationary object is cast on other small stationary objects on the solstices and equinoxes of the calendar year, also you can put rock markers on special days of the year like birthdays and anniversaries.  

Getting Started:

My 90 year old Grandmother “Nanny Jean” was woman of the year for Beta Sigma Phi. The ceremony was held at a tea room/craft and antique mall in Lindsay Oklahoma. While waiting on the program to start I did some browsing. I found a great iron trellis with a pink ball on the top of it, I had to have it, it was perfect!
I placed it around my property and watched the noontime shadows on days I was not at work and decided on a general place I wanted to put in my special garden. In December I finalized my plans I found the terraces permanent location. I also made sure the corners of my square trellis is directional noting true north at one corner, I used a compass for this step. I also decorated a temporary rock to mark the winter solstice 2012 at high noon. I hope to find something prettier in the future.

Now I know what you’re thinking and it’s not true!! Until I started reflecting on this garden this very day I did not realize that I placed the rock at high noon on the end date of the Mayan Calendar and on the day our sun is aligned with the center of our Milky Way…. but now that I do realize that it makes this whole thing so cool!

So… What’s Next:

Well the spring equinox of course.  Now that I have marked to winter solstice and my trellis has marked it’s longest shadow to be recorded I have a general idea of the area my rock garden must have. I did not lay down any landscaping material first, and I will likely need it so I will have to do that next and create the border rocks around my shadow casting area and I really would like to find a few really cute things for marking each important date of the year. I once decorated a pot for my mother and I purchased a metal garden spike with a wire and glass butterfly on it. I would love to use something like this for family birthdays.
I promise to keep this updated each calendar addition until complete!

Misty Dawn

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Character, Setting, Action!!

I love the story The Meanest Doll In The World. I love to teach about social issues through literature  Meanest Doll can help children learn how to deal with characters like Mean Mimi in their own lives.  In the end The meanest doll causes so much trouble for the other dolls they start making plots to capture her! However, the meanest doll falls into her own trap, as she gets caught she pays the price for her behavior.

Here is a sample of the story from the book.

I make a brief stop in the book where the dolls are making plans to catch Mean Mimi. Meanwhile I insert a special Reading Rainbow's Stay Away from the Junkyard episode and Michael Ives!(available at Discovery Education) At the end of the storybook Burton introduces us to Artist Michael Ives who makes a moving story box~ and we have inspiration for a project!!

This clip is not the whole episode from Reading Rainbow 
is a sample of the story book, not the Michael Ives vignette. 

The Assignment: Create a moving story box, or diorama if you prefer,  that shows your plan to catch Mean Mimi, lesson focus on character setting and action. We did this in 5 steps:
  1. create a written plan to trap Mean Mimi
  2. confer with teacher about the plan
  3. setting day: create the setting in our story box
  4. create the character of the story box
  5. create the action of our story box

*Like  Michael Ives, we create our diorama with materials we already have, we don't purchase new things! 

When we finish the boxes we finish the book, my kids were shocked that the nice dolls trap plan wasn't needed after all, and we have a talk about  how the Mean Mimi character, and people acting like her are setting their own traps!