Monday, June 18, 2018

Flip-Flop Keychain

Last week I mentioned the flip-flop keychain that I just had to make. Yeah, those got done sooner rather than later...


Aren't they just the cutest things? From this picture you can't really tell scale. Maybe from this one...


They're small. Key sized.

Yes, I made two. After finishing the first one...


...(in orange, naturally), I needed to make another right away.


I mean, once I got the hang of it, they were kind of fun.

And by "get the hang of it", there were some transcription problems. The pattern is actually a video. In Italian. But someone kindly captioned it in English.

I don't work well having to refer back to a video. I need the instructions printed on paper. So, I wrote out the instructions. However, I misinterpreted the toe part of the sole, and that made for some mistakes early on.

Once I found that mistake, I was good to go.


And if anyone would like me to make them one, I will sell these in your choice of colors (depending on if I can get the crochet thread in that color). I'm not sure of price yet, though.

If you crochet, here's the video (in case you're looking for a new project).

Friday, June 15, 2018

Three Sentences


Middle school ELD (English language development). This is one of those classes where you wouldn't realize the students aren't considered "fluent" in English just by talking to them.

The teacher had us practice writing sentences. We only had three to do, but we managed to make this take the whole period.

How did such an activity take the entire period? Some of it was due to language struggles, but the rest was just middle school squirreliness. Combine that with sub day and end of the year...

We did have another activity that we never got to.

Anyway, your assignment (if you choose to participate) is to write their three sentences. You may add more words than assigned, but you must have one of each of the words listed, and in this order:
  1. subject, helping verb, predicate, adverb, prepositional phrase, punctuation
  2. subject, conjunction, subject, past tense predicate, prepositional phrase, adverb
  3. subject, helping verb, predicate, article, adjective, noun, adverb
(They'd been doing this sort of thing for days. I even pointed out what the sentences should look like. I had them write sentences on the board and helped them "fix" them. But the playing around...)

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Blind Final


End of the year means end of the year IEPs. The special ed. teachers are busy.

The teacher of the visually impaired classes had one IEP third period. Her English student had a final to take.

Ms. D gave me the test in Braille, a typed copy of the test, and the original page (from some published book). She told me that I'd need to help Kelly with her reading.

I gave Kelly the Braille test. She put her paper into the Braille machine and we got to work. She read the first sentence...

And I understood why my assistance was required.

In case you've ever wondered, hearing a student who's visually impaired sound out words is exactly the same as hearing a sighted student's reading attempts. Although, some letter confusions were not the letters I'd expect.

She'd read the sentence. I'd nudge her towards getting the correct pronunciations. Then I'd leave her to figure out her answer, and she'd Braille it in. (So, I have no idea if she got it right or not.)

This took the entire period.

(That's why she's in special ed. If she didn't need the extra help, she'd be mainstreamed out to the regular ed. classes. They can accomodate students who are visually impaired.)

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

All Over the Place


It was the penultimate week of school...

(Keep in mind that my posts generally appear the week after the week in which they occurred. And I only do subbing stories Wednesday through Friday, so I'm cherry-picking the most blog-worthy events.)

(Yes, this is still late, comparatively. But in my part of the country, this was normal. I say "was" because next year we're joining you all. Our first day of school for the 2018-19 school year is August 20th. Which is way early for us. I guarantee whining will occur, especially with our shortened summer this year.)

...and I was kind of all over the place. Three days of middle school. Two days "roving" (well, one actual roving day and one that turned into a roving day). One day with a severe special ed class. Well, one and a half. The roving day had a couple of those classes as well.

Yet, I've been struggling to come up with blog posts.

I could tell you about Monday's severe special ed. class. But the most interesting thing about that day was how badly sunburned one of the instructional aides had gotten over the weekend. (It's a long story about him working on a historical ship.)

Tuesday had one awful period (out of five). Awful, as in I had to keep them from talking over the movie. Yup, a video day. What's more boring than writing about a video day? Working one.

Wednesday was one of my roving days. And I was able to pull a story out of it. You'll see that one tomorrow.

Thursday I covered a teacher who works in three different classrooms. And since I covered an extra period in the time between the two classes in the same room, I spent the whole day travelling. It's not as bad as it sounds. Alas, the drama class had little drama. The leadership class did as they were told. And the ELD classes... Well, I'll have a story from them on Friday.

And finally, Friday I had a lovely day with well-behaved seventh graders preparing for their finals. Seriously, they were actually working. And asking questions. That were relevant. There was one period with two students, but that was because the eighth graders were on their end-of-the-year excursion to Knott's Berry Farm.

Some weeks finding things to write about is hard.

Happy birthday to my niece, Olivia. She's 17 today. I will ask her what she wants me to make for her at some point today. What do you think she should ask for?

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Bloodthirsty Vehicle


At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements. 😉

I have my klutzy moments. The other day, I stepped out of my father's car, and as I shut the door, it caught on my leg. It was just a nick, but...

"I think your car has developed a taste for blood," I told my father.

I meant it as a joke, because a few months ago, a similar thing happened to his wife. Although that time it was a much bigger deal. She really scraped her leg up, and it took a while to heal.

But, because I do have a bit of a twisted imagination (and we're all aware of Christine)...

What if you discovered your car had a taste for blood? What if a series of minor accidents (of the nick-a-leg variety) started happening? Would you wonder and/or worry? Or would you chalk it up to a twisted imagination?

Monday, June 11, 2018

New Infinity Scarf

Last week I mentioned my newest knit project. That I had just ripped out. I went down one needle size, cast on again, and I've made a little progress...


It's only about an inch in length (well, width), but that's over 324 stitches in a round. I'm happy with that. For now.


I'm looking ahead to the next infinity scarf. I had one stitch pattern I thought would work, but alas, I don't like how it works up. Maybe I'll have to crochet it...

I also found a couple patterns that I really like. There's this beanie made with short rows. I love how that looks. And then there's this crocheted mini flip-flop keychain. I'm definitely going to make one (or more) of those. (Due to copyright concerns, I'm only sharing links. Please do take a look. The pictures will tell you why I need to make these.)

Of course, there may be more jellyfish in my future...

Friday, June 8, 2018

The Pinata Project


Eighth grade math. It's the end of the year, so they were working on a final project. They were making pinatas.

It's a volume exercise. They were to use at least three different shapes, put them together in such a way as to suggest some sort of critter, and then calculate how much volume (for candy) was in the thing.

As you can imagine, they made quite a bit of a mess. This was the last day they could work on the project (it was due Monday), so mostly they had the main body complete, and most were doing some detail work.

(That may be a bit simplistic. We are talking about eighth graders. Some of them had barely started the project.)

The teacher had left all sorts of materials for the kiddos to use. (I imagine many of them were paid for out of her own pocket, such is the state of school funding these days.) They had rulers and scissors. There was construction paper and tissue paper. They had glue sticks and markers. And there were two hot glue guns the students could use.

I bet you can see what's coming...

"Ouch! That glue is hot."

Well, yeah. When you plug the hot glue gun into the wall, melt the glue, and then touch that melted glue, I'd imagine it's hot.

I didn't say this, however. I feigned concern.

"Are you okay?"

I offered to let the student go to the health office. I'm not a monster. I even suggested using the restroom and running cold water over any burns. But the girl didn't get burned. She had just not been as careful as she could have been.

Then it happened again. And again. Throughout the day, various students yelped in pain at the hot glue. (The glue guns weren't thrust upon them. They had to choose them and then use them. I imagine the teacher spent some time going over the proper use of them on a previous work day.)

I found this quite entertaining. Does that make me a terrible person?