Presidency 101

Why is it that the most important position in the world does not require any prerequisites…? It seems that those who wish to become a President should have adequate expertise in areas of leadership, diplomacy, cultural diversity, Constitutional law, how each federal agency works, specific procedures of all three branches of government, moral and ethical analysis and law.  To name only a few more suggestions, he or she should also be scholarly about past presidents and administrations, how governments around the world govern, world geography, and foreign affairs (both current and past).

To give the job of President over to a person with the only stipulation that he or she is a citizen and won the election does not seem like the most prudent idea. So, I employ a reevaluation for our county’s most important job. Just like in other fields where we expect expertise, a President must be able to see the entire picture, not just the previews.  

Perhaps we should start with Presidency 101 and go on from there.

Picture book month!

Who Knew?

I just found out that it’s picture book month, a time to pull out all those wonderful books and share a bit of your time. Some of my favorites are wordless, where the pictures guide your own imaginary story.

Alphabet books embellished with pictures are always an enjoyable way for our youngest pre-readers to spend a bit of quiet time.

Sun safely

So have a little bit of fun and celebrate!

Pumpkins can be more than Jack-o-lanterns!

Back when I was a full time teacher, I was doing research and writing educational articles that were published in various national teacher magazines and journals. To this day, whenever I see a pumpkin it reminds me of one particular lesson that was not only fun, but received rave reviews from colleagues and students.

As such, I have decided to dedicate this post all the hardworking educators who take up all their spare time coming up with new and memorable ways to teach.

So without further ado… I give you Pumpkin globes!

When pumpkins are seasonally plentiful and inexpensive these wonderful vegetables help make the most abstract geography terms make sense.

Mark the equator!

It wasn’t until in the early 1500s that most people believed if you sailed far enough away from land you could fall off the earth.  Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan is credited with successfully heading a crew of sailors that circumnavigated the earth and proved the world was round. 

Remind students that a globe is a spherical model of the earth, and a map is a flat representation of the earth. Analyze the organization of our earth in a spatial context. and pumpkins turned into globes become the perfect learning tool to provide the hands- on approach to teach longitude, latitude, meridians, parallels, continents, hemispheres, oceans, and more!

And don’t be surprised if geography is now the new favorite subject.!

Prime meridian

Alphabet Book Teaches Sun Safety All Year Round {Book Showcase}

Thank you, Cynthia!

Michigan Mama News

I received a copy ofSun Safely Alphabet Book” ($6.99 Amazon value) in exchange for this post. Any opinions expressed here are honest and my own.

Even though summer is behind us, sun safety is a year-round project we all need to remember and share along to our children.  TheSun Safely Alphabet Book is a great communication tool to educate our children and help prevent skin cancer later in life.


Excerpts from the book:

A is for APPLYING sunscreen every day before you go outside!

Don’t for get to cover your nose, ears, and even the top of your feed and hands!

B is for BLOCKING the sun during the hottest times of the day?

From 10:00 in the morning until 4:00 in the afternoon; Be sun smart!

And even though it’s an Alphabet Book…A to Z… it actually has some cool facts about desert animals, birds, koalas…

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5 tips away to help prevent skin cancer in children and teens

Probably one of the first basic skills taught to young children is the ABCs. However, did you know that teaching the ABCs may very well save a child life later in life? These ABCs are acronyms for three lessons that are easy to follow and even easier to learn!

A= Avoid the Sun at peak hours

B= Block the sun’s rays

C= Cover up

By teaching our children and modeling specific sun-safe behaviors while outdoors, we just might prevent them from acquiring skin cancer later in life. As an educational advocate for preventing skin cancer in children and teens through education, I promote sun safety through www.sunsafely.org,  a comprehensive resource and information site.

Skin cancer around the world has reached an epidemic level, however, even though there is information available that we can help our children make good choices, it is rarely part of the school curriculum and if it is, it is often mentioned as an aside tucked away in a unit in science, health, or P.E. Yet, every day we take our children out to play and expose them to a dose of carcinogen, the sun’s ultra-violet rays. 

If this sounds extreme it is not.  Schools in Australia have learned their A B Cs. In the “land down under” they have one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, and as a result have implemented a program whereby hats are required when they play outside. 

The sun is essential for sustaining life, and it does provide us with Vitamin D; however, by providing our children with sun-safe habits and behaviors, the statistic of one in five people will develop skin cancer, may go down.

Fact: Summer is not the only time to protect the skin. Sun safety is for every season.
Fact: Just a few serious sunburns can increase a child’s risk of skin cancer later in life.
Fact: Skin needs protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays even on a cloudy day.
Fact: You can have fun in the sun with smart sun sense!  

Plan a bright future and Sun Safely!  It’s as easy as counting to 5!

1. RUB IT ON Apply sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher -Reapply every 30 minutes when you are outdoors

2. COVER UP- Protect your skin by wearing shirts and pants that cover the arms and legs.

3. LIMIT SUN EXPOSURE From 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. is the best time to seek shade

4. GRAB SHADES Sunglasses protect the tender skin around the eyes and reduce the risk of developing cataracts. Wear wraparound lenses that block 100% of both UVA and UVB rays.

5. GET A HAT – Brims should be at least 3 inches the way around your head to protect ears, neck, and side of your face

For more information on prevention ideas directed to schools, educators, parents, children, and teens, lick on to www.sunsafely.org . Links and resources from around the world and the U.S. are all dedicated to preventing skin cancer through education.

For our youngest readers click to find Sun Safely Alphabet Book: 26 letters to sun safety.

Remember, educating children and teens is our first defense in helping prevent skin cancer later in life!

Be Sun Wise When Shopping for Back-to-School

You’ve made a list of the things your child will need for school from pencils and backpacks to sneakers and socks, and even their favorite snack to pack in their lunch. But wait, you may have forgotten the one item that could be a lifesaver. Yes, that’s right, I said life-saver…did you remember to buy the sunscreen?

Ongoing research about ultraviolet (UV) radiation and its effects on the skin show how sunscreens may play an increasingly important role in defending the skin.

Students in K-8 usually have recess or PE outdoors from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; one of the most intense and hottest times of the day. According to the American Cancer Society, one blistering sunburn in a child’s life could double a person’s chances of developing melanoma later in life.
However, sunscreen is only one item in the list of sun-safe precautions. Unfortunately, teaching sun-safe behavior is not universally recognized in every school. But parents and caregivers can take the lead.

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends following these tips:
• Dress children in sun-protective clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
• Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to exposed skin every morning. (check with your pediatrician or family health care provider for suggestions about sunscreen)
• If permitted by your school, teach children to reapply sunscreen when going outdoors for recess.
• Teach kids to look for shaded areas in which to play.
• Protect yourself and lead by example.

For more resources and information, check out http://www.sunsafely.org. Educating children and teens is our first defense in helping prevent skin cancer later in life! Remember, sun protection should be on the top of your school list!

Sun Safely Alphabet Book available at Amazon children’s books.

Another matter

Aurora Borealis; the Northern Lights.
Aurora Borealis

When is a substance not a liquid, solid, or gas? Give up? When it’s plasma, the fourth state of matter. (Not blood plasma, which is something different.)  Alas, my elementary school science failed me. And now…literally, decades later, I have become re-enchanted with this fact.

So, for those of us who are a bit out of touch with plasma, I’ll paraphrase a bit about this state. To begin with, what exactly is plasma?

Plasma is a super-heated gas that becomes so hot its electrons leave the atom’s orbit and roam free. A gas becomes a plasma when extreme heat causes its atoms to shed their electrons.

Okay, that’s cool, but where is it? We recognize the other states of matter, but what about this mysterious thing? Plasma is the most abundant form of visible matter in the universe and believed to compose up to 99 percent of what we see in the night sky; populating the infinite regions of interstellar and interplanetary space. Like the sun, stars are enormous balls of plasma. The fusion fueled by plasma creates the energy that gives us sunlight, which as we know, is essential for life on Earth.

Hmmm, so if this plasma is another state of matter, where else is it found?  Lightning, neon signs, fluorescent light bulbs, a candle flame, some television and computer displays are all examples of plasma. Like a gas, plasma has no shape or a definite volume unless it is enclosed in a container. However, distinctive from gas, when under the influence of a magnetic field, it may form structures such as filaments, beams and double layers.

Can we see it? Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, is nature’s way of showing it to us. This occurs because plasma particles hurled from the sun interact with Earth’s magnetosphere, (the magnetic field that surrounds us).

Today’s esteemed thinker is English chemist and physicist, Sir William Crookes (1832-1919). He discovered the element thallium and invented the radiometer, the spinthariscope (a device for studying alpha particles), and the Crookes tube. Not a household name, Crookes discovered the electron when he was reconstructing the Cathode Ray. By placing black vanes on one side and silver on the other, it caused the vacuum tube to spin when it hit the light. Since the Cathode Ray had previously been built, he needed to call it something else. Today it is known as the Crookes’ Tube.

In 1879, while playing with an experimental electrical discharge tube (in which air is ionized by the introduction of a high voltage through a coil), he discovered “Plasma”.  Originally Sir William Crookes called it radiant matter. However, in 1928 Irving Langmuir, an American chemist and physicist, renamed it because he was reminded of blood plasma… go figure!