Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sunrise in New York

When I was living in New York, I started working on the Thimbleberries block of the month quilt.

The year was 2005.

The program used 12 blocks to make 2 lap quilts. I finished the first set of blocks to make the 'Sunrise' quilt and since I was still in NY at the time, the name of the quilt became "Sunrise in New York". Only the top was put together.

Its sister quilt (Sunset), which I finished in Tennessee, became "Sunset in Tennessee".

I moved to Tennessee in the end of 2005.

Sunset in Tennessee was machine quilted by another quilter for me and finished in 2006.

Sunrise in New York was partially machine quilted by me. I finished the label and the binding and then I planned to hand quilt the 6 large blocks myself. I usually have one quilt that I am hand quilting, so I can work on my skills.

Here is the finished quilt:

Here is a shot of the label I put on the quilt when I finished the machine quilting of the sashing and borders.

Please note the date of March, 2006. Yes, I know it is now March 2010. Yes, it seems to have taken me 4 years to hand quilt 6 blocks.

All I can say is that I enjoyed the journey!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Surface Area

Teaching Math is truly a challenge. While I like Math, I know that not everyone else does. Especially 6th graders!

Last week we learned how to calculate the Area of squares, rectangles, triangles and circles. We had to learn all of these new FORMULAS !!! (You remember these: A = lw, A = 1/2 bh, A = r2)

Some of the kids got the hang of this right away, others were just trying too hard. I told them that sometimes you have to just accept things on faith, other times you have to look for a deeper meaning.

Just accept these formulas on faith. They are right and they will work.

I managed to get this through to the kids and we moved onto formulas for calculating Surface Area this week.

I started with showing them how you can take a three-dimensional figure and flatten it out into a net. This is one for a square pyramid:
To find the surface area for a square pyramid, you just find the area of all of the flat shapes: one square and 4 triangles.

The formula is based on the formulas for each individual shape, added together.
So the formula for finding the surface area of a square pyramid is: lw + 4(1/2 bh)

Each problem gives the kids the measurements for the length, width, base, and height.

We practice picking the correct formula for each problem (as we learn 3 different shapes and their formulas).

Then we go through the steps to solve this problem.

There is the BIG PROBLEM!

I realize that a lot of the kids do not want to follow the steps, write down what they should be doing, stay organized, pay close attention to what they are doing, or double check their work.

It does not seem to matter how many problems we solve independently, as a group or on the boards. Some will follow the steps and find success. Others will ignore what their classmates and I are doing and continue to try it their own way.

Vince says that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Yesterday, I had one class talk about tips on how to work these problems and get them right every time. What did they tell their classmates? Follow the steps, check your work, stay organized, use the right formulas.....the same advice I have been giving. I thought that perhaps if it came from their classmates it would have a greater impact.

I was wrong. I still had some of these kids today ignoring everything we spent the past 3 days on.

But we need to move on.

Next hurdle...formulas for Volume.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mucus and Tissues

Having just recovered from a two week illness, I realize that I spent a lot of that time thinking about mucus.

Yes, it is not the most pleasant of topics, but one that I want to discuss briefly.

As I used up hankie after hankie attempting to rid my sinuses of this stuff, I wondered why (and how!) I could produce so much in just one day.

I found this article on How Does Mucus Production Occur.
and found out that 'adults produce around 4 cups of mucus each day just from the sinus cavities and nose. It is also produced in other parts of the body. Mucus flows from the nasal passages down the throat, to the stomach."


And that is under normal circumstances.

"Also, as one of the roles of mucus is to remove particles, mucus production is stimulated by airway infection and irritation." So that hayfever, or allergy, or cold will allow your body to increase its mucus production. As long as there is irritation, there will be excess mucus.

Well, I found it difficult to bring enough hankies with me to school, so I resorted to a box of tissues. I have not purchased or used tissues in more than a year so I had to search for a box that I knew I had hanging around in my car. It was rather crushed, but the tissues were quite serviceable.

Unfortunately, I used that box up in a day. The next day, I raided the classroom stash of tissues and worked my way through that box.

At night, I used my Seventh Generation Toilet Paper until I washed the hankies. Unfortunately, my nose did not like the TP. After half a roll, I had a rather sore nose. I did a load of hankies and since those are much softer than my TP, my nose was a bit happier.

I realized that I love my hankies much better than my TP for managing my mucus. I also am now in a situation where I no longer have a spare box of tissues hanging around. I wonder what will happen when the next excess mucus producing event occurs!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Resolutions: February Update

I spent last weekend nursing my cold and so I did not get to post this update! However, with a month filled with Snow Days off from school, I have had time to make more progress on some of these resolutions!

So, here we go, February's update on my Resolutions

1. Cease drinking soda. I had one glass of Coke from a bottle that Vince brought home. I did not actually enjoy it and found that I was drinking it very slowly while working in my studio.

2. Do not purchase new clothes for one year. One pair of jeans purchased!

3. Save the savings. This month's grocery shopping netted a whopping $1.75 in coupon savings!

4. Reduce my personal belongings. Four paperbacked books went to Gleaners. I did purchase 6 new books though. Two of them are for my Professional Development resolution, two were fiction and two are for school. I also donated 4 pairs of shoes to the Soles for Souls collection our class did.
5 pairs of jeans/pants left as well (although I did bring in one pair of jeans--unfortunately I needed a bit more room in my jeans!) These jeans along with 2 shirts are up on Freecycle.
I found a home for the Tupperware sifter (Thanks Cat!) that I had replaced with a metal one in December.

I also found a home for the extra Tupperware Quick Shake container (Thanks Sherry!)

5. Read at least 3 books to improve my teaching skills.
I am still reading "Differentiating Math Instruction", in fact I may have to start over as I have become lost in the technicality of some of the material. It focuses on a new teaching technique called Response to Intervention (RTI). My brain keeps shifting to how to apply this in the classroom as I am reading about it. I need to focus just on reading the book through before I focus on how I am going to apply it.

6. Keep my tax records more organized for 2010. Things are filling in nicely here.

7. Walk 10,000 steps each day. I wear the pedometer every day that I am not home. I do not wear it around the house as I know right now, I am not walking very many steps at home. Once the weather warms up I will be out and about while home.
I am still averaging 7,000 steps a day.

8. Reduce my fabric stash. I finished the Car Club projects (that used up 10 yards). I also finished the Cat in the Hat baby quilt for Amber (who loved it!). I started a baby quilt for Jennifer (using hexagons that I already had, and fabrics for the background and borders that I already have in the stash!)
Janice gave me some leftover fabrics that I stitched into a small girlie quilt. I used a yard for the backing. That quilt is basted and ready for quilting.
I put borders on a patriotic stack a deck quilt (1/2 yard) and located backing fabric for that one.
I pieced a backing for the Prairie Schooler quilt (2 yrds). That quilt is basted and ready for quilting.

So total used: 13.5 yards!

9. Make time for ME! Reading and quilting were this month's activities! I finished two of the books I received for Christmas. I also started the first book in a 12 book series of which Rob bought me the most recent one for Christmas. I am one of those people who cannot remember what happened in a series (especially one this long!), so I re-read the series from the beginning when the newest edition comes out!

10. Blog about these resolutions every month. DONE!