Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Gratitude......turns what we have into enough, and more." - Melody Beattie

It's been a crazy winter - my first blog entry since last November - and the best word to sum up the craziness is "gratitude."  Amid and among normal family and grandfamily stuff: two of our families moved to new homes, my sons took their basketball teams to state finals (two different states), my daughter-in-law graduated from an intensive post-bach nurses training, and my husband landed in the hospital for a couple weeks with a critical infection, now in remission and recovery.  So "gratitude" is the key word:  grateful all things were safely and successfully resolved, and grateful we're on the other side of it all, and in one piece!

I finished one subplan during the winter:  "Ships and Shipwrecks" for 5th/6th graders.  Take a look:

There are reading comprehension passages and follow up activities on the Sultana, Titanic, Andrea Doria, and Edmund Fitzgerald.  And for kids more interested in vacation cruises than shipwrecks, an opportunity to design and promote their very own dream cruise.  As with all my subplans, there is minimal teacher preparation - perfect for a last minute sub teacher day.
On another track, Jack Apps Education is now a real company - Chris (co-writer and "limited liability partner") and I went through all the filings and paperwork without having a clue what we were doing - and now we're for real!  Our first app, "Build Compound Words" is for sale on your ipad, and we've begun working on "Build Plurals." 
Our educational apps are unique because we use pictures of real objects and people rather than cartoons - so important to help diverse learners make connections to the real world around them.  Another goal is to supplement our apps with printable materials, providing built-in practice for students to write words and sentences in a variety of formats. Our  printable products are available at,, and soon on our very own Jack Apps Education website.
But back to thinking about gratitude - this winter has been a rollercoaster ride and I've once again learned (for maybe the millionth time) to be grateful for the gifts inside each and every moment.
Best and always,