Sick Today

I’m home sick today (I hope you’re being kind and respectful in my absence, ladies and gentlemen!), so I’m using that time to catch up on reading and do more research for my trip to China.

We in the Puget Sound are fortunate to have two fabulous library systems, the Seattle Public Library and the King County Library System. I especially love the fact that since we moved, our local branch is fewer than ten blocks away and I can have all my book holds delivered there.

I amused by the “similar books” function on the SPL site. I know that Google and other search engines can sometimes misinterpret your search’s intent with humorous results, but I’ve never had it happen on the library’s site before:

One result of my "China guide" search

One result of my "China guide" search

Truck by Donald Crews? Really, this book is the key to being a sensitive tourist in China?

Truck, by Donald Crews

Truck, by Donald Crews

Well, at least the search engine has good taste — Truck received Caldecott honors in 1981.

Speaking of children’s media, I checked out a few DVDs to help me get my brain wrapped around the basics of Chinese.

Early Start Mandarin Chinese with Bao Bei the Panda

Early Start Mandarin Chinese with Bao Bei the Panda. Volume 1: Colors & Animals

Dance & Learn Chinese with Mei Mei

Dance & Learn Chinese with Mei Mei

Chinese For Kids, Beginner Level 1

Chinese For Kids, Beginner Level 1

I’ve gotten off to a very slow start. Very slow. Learning languages is extremely difficult for me, but I’m up for the challenge…

Now off to make more tea and nap.


This Just In: New Nines Song!

About ten minutes ago, with the help of my talented class, we wrote a new multiplication song. My students told me they were still struggling with their nines times tables, although we learned a few other strategies earlier in the year. This is what we came up with:

When the Cats Go Meowing In
(To the Tune of “When the Saints Go Marching In”)

Oh when the cats
Go meowing in
Oh when the cats go meowing in
Well, nine lives is their luuuucky number
When the cats go meowing in

Oh 9, 18
Oh, 36 and 45
54, 63, 72
And 81 go meowing in
**There’s 90 now**

Soon to come: our first music video!


Thank You!

We asked some of Ms. Houghton’s friends to send us postcards from their cities so we could see what communities are like in the world. We talk about the post cards at our class meeting, and we’ve been learning a lot. We wanted to thank the people who have sent us cards so far:

Carrie Hoover, who sent us a postcard from Portland, Oregon:
We learned that Portland has a lot of good breakfast places and she doesn’t have to use a car.

Scott Cendrowski, who sent us a postcard from New York City, New York:
We learned that Scott works at a magazine that is close to Times Square in Manhattan. We were wondering, what do you like about your community, Scott?

Stephanie Simpson, who sent us a postcard from Cincinnati, Ohio:
We learned that Stephanie likes living on the Ohio River.

Ms.  Sukovaty, who sent us a postcard from Maui, Hawaii:
We learned that Ms. Sukovaty likes going to the Maui Aquarlium.

Franny Howes, who sent us a postcard from Lansing, Michigan:
We learned that Franny likes Lansing because the people there are friendly and they are like neighbors. We also learned that Howes is Franny’s last name, and that Franny House is not a place in Lansing.

Emily Bingham and Lindsay VanHulle both sent us postcards from Traverse City, Michigan.
Emily likes that she can do many things outdoors, like riding bikes. Her postcard was a picture of her favorite spot to hike.  Lindsay likes all the cherries in Michigan, and she likes the summer cherry festival.

Jamie Gumbrecht sent us a postcard from Atlanta, Georgia.
We found out that Georgia is close to Florida, and that Atlanta is where Martin Luther King, Jr. was born.  Jamie likes living in a big city and the weather there.

Jessica VanDerKolk