Zoo or Tropical Forest?

If you answered “zoo,” you’re correct. The Fort Worth Zoo is a beautiful place to visit.  Definitely worth coming to if you’re anywhere in the area.  It has won awards and is included in the top museums of the U.S., depending on which list you’re reading.

Most people have their favorite animals they enjoy watching.  At this zoo, the giraffes, zebras, lions and elephants are amazing to me.  What awesome creatures!  But they are not the only ones I enjoy.  Just about every exhibit is interesting and fascinating.

I do have one word of warning!  If you go in the wire-enclosed area where birds fly around and above you, beware!  I went with my family, and my grand kids were enjoying looking around, that is until one of them pooped down the back of my grandson’s head and neck.  He was terrified and it really was so gross.  It wasn’t just a little bit of poop.  It was massive!  Needless to say, Mom and Dad cleaned him up and had to throw away his shirt.  The gift shop saved the day by selling T-shirts and then everything was OK.

Now, I must add for those of you that answered, “Rain Forest,” that the Fort Worth Zoo does have a rain forest in their atrium area.  And I forget to mention that the atrium is another one of my favorite things about this zoo.  So if you’re thinking about visiting, I don’t believe you’ll be disappointed.  I’ve never known anyone who was.

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Zoo Sightings: Black Bear, Black Bear…

Black bear, black bear, what do you see? I see a human looking at me!
It was so cool when the bear came up close to us on our field trip in May. Even though I teach third and fourth graders, we were still quoting Black Bear.  The kids were so excited that the bear was coming close to them, and it made the Black Bear story come alive.  Their reactions were priceless.

If you have young children and some of their story books are about animals that can be found in the zoo, consider going to visit the zoo to look at those animals.  It will make the stories come alive.

This bear, by the way, can be seen at the Fort Worth Zoo.  Check it out sometime at Zoo or Tropical Forest?   It’s a pretty awesome zoo!

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Online Education

This is a guest post by Owen Smith from eCertified Learning.

Education is considered to be a stepping stone in increasing knowledge for both professional and personal development. The practical application of education in a certain field of study can give way to obtaining a professional career or even establish a great foundation to begin a very promising business venture. However, many professionals feel that because of the job and time constraints, going to a school or attending a college is quite impossible to do, thus, coming up the wonderful idea of distance learning or online education.

Creating an investment in education can be one of the most compelling and clever decision that you could ever make in your life because it bring forth immediate impact to your future. Basically, online education plays a vital role with regards to connecting student with various colleges through online classes around the world, despite of the location, time, distance or any other barricade. Online education courses are being offered by open institutions to acknowledge the call for internationally recognized quality training and education.

Whether you are a student who is just starting with their road to learning, a successful professional who wishes to further their education through specialized and advanced programs, or simply a person who is bound by health or travel concerns, online education courses are definitely the answers to your problems.

Here are a few of the many benefits that you can be able to obtain in an online education:

  • Firstly, students are provided with the opportunity to pick out from different courses, programs and schools which cannot be taken in the area or place they are living in. This is a huge advantage especially for those people who are living in rural areas that usually include only two or even just one educational facility which most only give out limited program and course options for students.
  • Another benefit and apparently the most popular one of all is that it provides flexibility. Since they can be able to attend classes wherever and whenever they want as long as they have a computer and an access to the Internet, they can easily come out with a schedule or set up that would work perfectly for them.
  • Learning through online can enable a more centered to the students’ approach of teaching. Since every student has their own way or technique of learning that works great for them, having an online education might aid in making sure that each and every material or lesson is totally understood before going on to the next level. This could definitely result to a much better learning for anyone.
  • Online education courses materials are available 24 hours every day. This simply means that the students can get access and review discussions, lectures and other more materials that are related to their course. There are other students out there that are finding it hard to apprehend spoken discussion that is usually done in a traditional classroom setting because of too much distraction or because of boredom.
  • In an online setting, a student will only be marked as present if he or she is actually participating in the classroom discussion. Thus, encouraging the students to mingle and interact, heightening the variance of opinion as every single student is provided with the chance to speak out and share their thoughts.
  • This method of learning brings forth a number of savings due to the fact that there is no longer need for accommodation, as well as transportation costs. In addition, online education courses and programs are much affordable compared to courses that are taken in a typical school.
  • There are also several online courses that provide the chance to interact and learn things from the most renowned and outstanding lecturers and professors all over the world.
  • Since most of the online instructors come from various locations around the world, students are exposed to knowledge from the online teachers which cannot be acquired in books.
  • Students of online education are also provided with the chance to communicate with their teachers whenever they wish to. This can be done through email, online chat and newsgroup discussions. Both teachers and students can be able to discuss with each other their concerns related to their course or material without the need to wait for office hours.

The Internet has truly changed the way in which education is being delivered with the focus that still remains the same and that is for the students to obtain a good environment for learning.


Being a teacher, I use multiple whiteboards every day at school.  I don’t know what we would do without them now.  Years ago, we used chalkboards and had to deal with messy chalk dust at school.  Back then, we had no idea about a whiteboard, whiteboard mount, whiteboard marker, or whiteboard eraser.  I wonder how many people’s allergies were affected by all that chalk dust?  I’m so glad we have whiteboards today!

“Carly’s Voice: Breaking Through Autism”

Just got through reading Carly’s Voice by Arthur Fleischmann (Carly’s dad) with Carly Fleischmann, and I highly recommend this book if you’re wanting to learn more about autism.  Recently published, it gives another first-hand view of what it’s like to be autistic and wanting to communicate.  If you would like to know more about this insightful book, here’s a short book review.

This book, along with I Am in Here by Elizabeth M. Bonker & Virginia G. Breen and all of Temple Grandin’s books completely dispel the belief which was prominent decades ago that non-verbal autistic children should be institutionalized because they would never be able to communicate or talk, as in Grandin’s case.    Hopefully, more and more people will be educated about autism and dispel the myths which surround it.

ACT & SAT Testing Score Averages by State

Looking at a map of test score averages and seeing the scores of all the different states is interesting.   Averages of ACT Scores and also SAT Scores vary from state to state, and the statistics show which states have the higher scores.  Many families decide where they are going to settle down according to how good the school systems are in the neighborhood where they’re considering buying a house.  I wonder if some people decide which state to live in by its test score averages.  By the way, my son developed the maps at the above links.

Map of Time Zones

If you ever need a map of time zones, here is a good map that not only gives the different zones but also the time and date in each zone.  It’s especially good for those who are traveling to Hawaii.  It’s been a while since we went to Hawaii with our family after our daughter graduated from high school, but I can remember trying to figure out the time difference.  For example, looking at this map I can see that Hawaii is five hours behind us here in Central Mountain Time.  I’m a visual learner, so it helps me remember to look at an actual map.

April 2: Light It Up Blue – National Autism Awareness Month

Wear “blue”  on April 2 in support of Autism Awareness.

Go to Light it Up Blue for more info.
Teaching children with autism is an awesome experience!  True, it is challenging and sometimes puzzling (thus the “puzzle piece”), but it is so rewarding to work with these precious children.  Being able to connect with them, to encourage their language development and then see them using language on their own in the classroom and at home without any prompting makes me, those I work with, and their parents want to celebrate.  We are so happy at each milestone, no matter how small.

If you have ever been around children with autism, you will probably notice their lack of communication skills and lack of eye contact.  Usually, that doesn’t mean they don’t want to connect with you.  It just means that you need to learn how to connect with them!  And I fully believe it is worth every effort!

It is estimated that approximately one million U.S. children and teens are affected by autism.   Boys are five times more likely to have autism than girls.   There is a lot of debate about what causes autism, and no one knows for sure.  It is definitely puzzling!  

A few people with autism have shared more than any research has ever revealed.  Temple Grandin has given tremendous insight into autism.  There is a wonderful movie about her life, “Temple Grandin,” which won seven Emmy Awards and gives the viewer a window into the mind of Grandin.  I’ve watched it four times and want to see it again.  Even my husband, our college-age son, and my mother-in-law really liked it.  My husband ranked it as one of the best movies he’s seen.   I highly recommend it!

Also, there is a fairly new book, I Am in Here: The Journey of a Child with Autism Who Cannot Speak but Finds Her Voice, which was released October 2011 and gives great insight into a young girl with autism.  Speaking through poetry she has written, Elizabeth has typed her thoughts which were not sharable by audible words.  These valuable insights are a great blessing!

For more information:



In the job market today, it takes thinking out of the box sometimes.  Some people who have degrees are having to go back to school and get training in another field.   There are all types of certifications out there that can aid in getting jobs such as strength and conditioning certification, etc.  For a teacher, getting ESL or Gifted & Talented certification might help in the job market.  If that’s what it takes to get a good job then it’s worth getting the certification.

LCU Online Degrees

If you are looking to expand your knowledge in accounting, finance and human resources then you may wish to consider an Organizational Management Degree Online from Lubbock Christian University (LCU).  You will also increase knowledge and skills in professional communication, social responsibility and ethics, research techniques and much more.  Get your degree online from LCU, a Christian-based university that is fully accredited and well trusted since 1957.

Help for the Struggling Learner

When you’re thinking about Christmas gifts this year, think out-of-the-box. What about giving someone you love a gift that will help them with their struggle to learn. If you have a child in your family who is really struggling, do your research and check out Learning Link Technologies. Read their testimonials and see if you think they could help someone you love. Free tests for dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia are on their site.

Note:  I did not receive any compensation for this post.