Monday, April 26, 2010

The Printliminator

I have a difficult time wasting things.  I take that back.  My wife will correct me if I don't mention that I can waste time with the best of them!  I am on my children to turn the water off while they brush their teeth and turn the lights off when they leave the room.  It kills me to dump food into the trash can after every meal my children refuse to eat. Which is why I am always eating the leftovers.  Don't even get me started on the food and waste that is thrown away in the schools!

I came across the Printliminator the other day and thought about how much paper and ink this handy little tool could save.  The Printliminator website provides a video to show you how to use it.  Best of all, you don't have to download anything!  All you do is drag the bookmarklet to your bookmarks in your web browser and you are finished.

Once it is in your bookmarks, you just click on it when you want to print from a website that does not have a print option.  Then you can move you mouse around and notice that a red box shows up in different spots.  You click on the spots you want to eliminate from your printing.  If you eliminate something by mistake, you can click on the undo button to fix it.

I wish I could remember which blog I received this website from so that I could thank the person.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Compare and Contrast Castles

I came across this article in the USA Today about castles.  I have always enjoyed reading and viewing pictures of european castles.  This castle is in Arkansas and is called the Ozark Medieval Fortress.  They are currently building this castle and expect it to be finished in 2030!  Why so long?  They are building the castle using only medieval tools and procedures!   It is very interesting to see how they are using chisels, horses, and even a crane that a person has to walk on a mouse wheel to make it work.  There is always a curiosity with children when it comes to castles and I think this would be a great opportunity to take them on a virtual field trip of this site.  I think it would lead to some good discussion.

I remember my family taking a vacation to Nashville, TN one year and seeing this amazing castle with a huge wall around it.  Best of all, it was for sale!  This castle is located around Versailles, Kentucky. Construction started around 1969 and I don't think it was ever completed...until now.  It was left vacant for a long time, caught on fire, and was recently sold and renovated.  It is now called the Castle Post and is a "Luxury Tourist Inn".  I think it would be great to compare and contrast the differences between the two modern day(?) castles.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tips to speed up your PC

These things will help speed up your PC.  Try them out if needed.

The benefits of technology?

I came across this article from USA Today and it really made me analyze my use of technology. Even back in 2001 when I first started teaching in a special education classroom which I was not trained to do. Right out of college and thrown in to writing IEPs and attending those meetings to tell parents what I thought was in the best interest of their child was a scary endeavor for me. There was a ton of paper work and I made it a goal of mine (at the nudging of my wife) to not bring the work home with me. That does not mean that I was burning the midnight oil at school every night, but I did have to change the way I planned things out. I was just starting a family at that time and it was important to me to get home so I could spend time with my wife and daughter.

Now that I have a job that surrounds me with technology, I am having a hard time with the blurred line between work and family time. The portability of the technology out there has increased the amount of time spent on these devices. Now we can surf the internet and send and receive emails while going on a walk or pushing a child on a swing, but is that truly spending time with them?

I will be the first to say that technology is great and I love getting my hands on new devices, but when I am choosing to look at a cell phone while having a conversation with my children I am making the wrong choice! This article even mentions those of you who think you are wonderful multi-taskers. "And even though an always-on Blackberry mom may think she's a master of multitasking, children know better...Kids are totally attuned. They know...their parents are in la-la land."

It seems like I heard many times growing up that I needed to get my priorities straight. My parents wanted me to focus on more important things in life (God, school, family) instead of watching sporting events or playing video games. Those were my technology devices I used at that time to help me zone out and now I am zoning out in front of my Blackberry!

Technology can let parents work at home but distract from family time

Monday, April 12, 2010

West Virginia Coal Mining Article from Scholastic

With the tragic news of the 29 miners who lost their lives in the mining blast there is a news article for children from Scholastic News. At the end of the article is a cause and effect sheet about the events and article. They are located here:
and the cause and effect worksheet is located here: