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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving 2014

Thanksgiving | Gratitude
Today is that annual tradition we Americans call Thanksgiving.
Giving thanks and Thanksgiving mean a lot of different things to different people.
My wish for my Green Team Gazette family is that you is that your heart is filled with thanks, kindness, love, gratitude, memories, and comfort.  I am most certainly thanks for all of you who have traveled along with me for the last 5 years.

grateful for people

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thankgiving is on its Way: Turkey Tech it Up!

We all know that Thanksgiving is just right around the corner.  If you tend to lean a little toward the techie side, here are some TurkeyDay themed interactives and websites to investigate:

From Free Technology for Teachers:  A Round Up of 10 Thanksgiving Lesson Resources:

  • This includes some great ones including John Green's Crash Course on US History (Jamestown & Plymouth Rock with a touch of sarcasm), the History Channel's "History of Thanksgiving," and 8 other fabulous resources from Scholastic, Plimoth Plantation, & more).  

From The QR Queens over at Teachers Pay Teachers:  Thanksgiving & Turkey Fun QR Codes:
Thanksgiving and Turkey Fun using QR Codes
  • For $5, you get 15 links to "all-things Thanksgiving."  Silly, serious, factual, fun, fabulous.  Songs, stories, virtual field trips, drawing tutorials, and the gobble of turkeys.  With a mobile device, a QR reader, and this set, you've got a great station or iPad activity for K-3rd graders (or even beyond)...those are the tried, true, tested ages of the kids at my school who fell in love with them.  All I know is that I'm taking a set of codes with me for my Thanksgiving feast this year.

From iTeachWith Technology's:  Thanksgiving Interactive Games:
  • These have a fun flair to them, perfect for the time between turkey and pie.  Some oldies but goodies from their Thanksgiving post a few years ago, and unfortunately a few links no longer connect, but enough fun surrounding those few, that you or your kids will enjoy a little interactive relaxation time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Holiday Spreadsheets: Christmas Prep Points to Thanksgiving Gratitude

The Holiday gift giving spreadsheet came out today in our house today. On Excel, my spreadsheet gets a new tab, revisions are made to the people to shop for & the budget starts coming together.  I can see the number of years this annual tradition of mine has been in the works, and it does bring about the memories of Christmases past.

Yes, I know, it's not even Thanksgiving yet.  But, the spreadsheet usually comes out mid-November, along about the same time as the Christmas list making (and disseminating) begins.  Its the time the request of folks and family (who like to start early) start coming my way...mostly in order for people to take advantage of crazy shopping spree days, coupons, and online specials that are brewing for Black Friday.   It's a holiday tradition (and one that annually causes me to sigh).

Once the spreadsheet comes out, it seems Christmas is unavoidable at this point.  Don't get me wrong.  I like Christmas.  My children love Christmas!! But Christmas means that snow is probably somewhere close.  (But thankfully, not the 70 inches that New York got recently!!)  It's when the Christmas "To Do" list starts spinning on it's own accord at breakneck speed.  It's the "most wonderful time of the year," but a very busy time of the year.  It can take some gearing up, most certainly!

Given that, I was struck today when I ran across this picture on my Facebook feed from Momastery.

I like it.  Of course, given the hours I just put in organizing our family of 4's Christmas list, I see this would have been a far simpler approach indeed.

In looking at my kids' requests (most certainly not "needs"), I'm struck by how fortunate they truly are, and how difficult it becomes in this media-soaked era of gizmos, gadgets, store circulars, and commercials.  We certainly have become a very "commercial" society.  Charlie Brown knew that back in 1965 with his TV Christmas special.  Some messages still hold true, decades later, though I do think more intensified.

I know I'm part-driver in my home and could (and probably should) move more to a 4-point list like this...but I know doting aunts, uncles, generous friends, and grandparents would want more of a list than this.  I know it, because I've experienced it.  And I circle back (after envisioning my totally-toy basement and turkey-esque stuffed garage)--we truly need nothing.  There is a certain sense of gratitude in know we have enough--too much, which might be especially fresh of mind as we are approaching the Thanksgiving holiday.

But it causes me to think.  To slow down.  To reflect.  What are my gifts of which I have that I'm grateful for....and what are the gifts I can give myself (by way of time, patience, and simplification) this holiday season ahead?

Pictures from:
Christmas Spreadsheet from
Thanksgiving Santa image from: 
Momastery Pic from

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Perfect Gift: The Video of the Gift That We All Need!

We have entered that time of year when Halloween candy morphs into candy corn & feasting as Thanksgiving's not far off, which means Christmas will be here before you know it. The stores like to remind us of that, as you are getting those last bits for your Halloween costume in one aisle, while Christmas stockings (or heavens forbid, lighted Christmas trees) are up in the next one.

Given all of that, gift giving gets on your mind.  Well here, is a great tongue-in-cheek video short entitled "The Perfect Gift! Science Revealed."  For anyone who is a fan of "The Story of Stuff" and the need to declutter our lives of our "stuff," this video is for you!  Professor Gauntlett has a way of putting a smile on your face, while having you nod along, saying "yep!"

Image from;  Video from

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Election Week: Stephen Colbert Takes on Climate Deniers

Political satire might just be at it's finest during election season.  With Tuesday's election, it's not new news that political commentary this week has been a tad topsy turvy.  Should be interesting how some of the political shifts should effect the environment & environmental protection.

But Stephen Colbert this week does what he does well:  He adjusts the "perspective-cles" (think "spectacles that see with perspective") to read between the lines.  To read more on the environmental love affair with Stephen Colbert, check out the Grist's article from Nov. 7th .

"The Colbert Report" clip from; "Professor Not A Scientist" pic from

Friday, November 7, 2014

Nature Is Speaking: Coral Reef

The final installment in our November  "Nature Is Speaking" series is Ian Somerhalder as "Coral Reef."

Click to view past Green Team Gazette posts spotlighting this Conservation International mini movie series
I can't wait to see their upcoming project:  "Flower."  Let's hope all of these messages from nature open eyes, and help people to realize that "Nature doesn't need People.  People need Nature!"

Images & videos from

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Nature Is Speaking: Water

For nearly a week now, it's been "Nature is Speaking" this November here at Green Team Gazette. Today is Penelope Cruz is Water.

Click to view past Green Team Gazette posts spotlighting this Conservation International mini movie series:

Images & videos from

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Nature Is Speaking: The Soil

Edward Norton is next on the list this "Nature is Speaking" November.  Being the voice of "The Soil," he emphasizes the importance of not treating the soil "like dirt."

Click to view past Green Team Gazette posts spotlighting this Conservation International mini movie series:

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Nature is Speaking: The Redwood

As we continue forth this "Nature Is Speaking" November, it's fitting for environmental activist Robert Redford to be the voice of "The Redwood."  In it too is the voice of Lena Redford.  (I notice a commonality, there!)

Click to view past Green Team Gazette posts spotlighting this Conservation International mini movie series:

Images & Video from and

Monday, November 3, 2014

Nature is Speaking: The Rainforest

"Nature is Speaking" this November here at Green Team Gazette.  Today is brought to you by Kevin Spacey as "The Rainforest."

To view any of the previous posts this past week from Green Team Gazette spotlighting this Conservation International mini movie series, click through the listing below:

Images & video from

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Nature Is Speaking: The Ocean

As mentioned in yesterday's post, I'm dedicating the first week in November to "Nature Is Speaking" "Humanifesto" mini movie series from Conservation International.  Yesterday, we started with "Julia Roberts is Mother Nature."  Today, we will see and hear nature speaking about human impact through Harrison Ford as "The Ocean."

Images & video  from 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Nature Is Speaking: Mother Nature

According to, a "manifesto" is a "public declaration of intentions, opinions, objectives, or motives, as one issued by a government, sovereign, or organization."

So what's a "humanifesto?"

According to Conservation International and, it starts like this:

But, it does not end there.  By Clicking the Nature Is Speaking link, you can scroll through to read more.  To see that nature will continue to evolve.  The question is:  will it continue with us?  If you're like me, you rather hope so.  But what "it" needs, is us, actively working to protect the many parts of the Earth we are working on depleting.  

Conservation International created 7 (with an 8th coming) videos, narrated by voices you'll know, with messages we need.  For the next 7 days, we're going to be sharing!  May this be a November where people are listening, since Nature Is Speaking!

Images & Video from

Friday, October 31, 2014

Tech Tidbits: Autumnal Events

In my role during my new day jo this year, I am the Technology Specialist. Along with integrating technology in the classroom & curriculum (and troubleshooting), to the 3 year olds to the 5th graders, I am known as the iPad Lady. Everyone loves the iPad Lady, and the iPad Lady gets a lot of hugs rom the li'l guys. Life is good!

So of course I had to capitalize on it this Halloween & go as "The Queen of iPads."

This is a new position to my school, so I do a lot of inventing as I go along. Part of this led me to create a weekly email I call "Tuesday Tech Tidbits." In it, I address any tips or tricks we need to have on our radar at our school, but some of the more fun things I do is share resources. This week, I shared some of the upcoming events of Autumn. Here's a smattering here for you to peruse, use, choose, or refuse! ;-)

Fall & Fall Foliage

Daylight saving: This weekend: Nov. 2, 2014
Spring Ahead, Fall back

Election Day: Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014
Veterans Day: Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014

Picture of me on Halloween from my calendar; Leaf image from; Fall Back image from; Election day from, Veteran's Day

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Going Green At Halloween

Halloween is in the thick of the autumnal season.  The richness of the colors, the crispness of the leaves, the scampering of squirrels, and brightness of the pumpkins all shout out during this time of the year.  That, combined with the spookiness of the wind in the trees, the candlelit jack-o'lanterns, some wind-blown ghosts....Halloween has a lot of natural elements to it.

Given that, it's the perfect time to go green this Halloween:
Copyright Notice
Green Halloween Logo from; Green Jack-o'lantern from;  WWF pic from; GTG logo.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

From "What's Possible" to "A World of Solutions"

Every great movie deserves a great sequel.

In my last post, I wrote about the short climate change video that was narrated by Morgan Freeman for the Sept. 23, 2014 United Nations Climate Summit.  That video, "What's Possible," painted a picture of world I think we'd all like to live in and a call to leaders to help us get there. Now, versus later.

In the sequel, "A World of Solutions," Morgan Freeman is back.  "Climate change" often has an air of "doom and gloom" associated with it.  Yes, it's a planetary problem that can be huge, overwhelming, and depressing.  But out of the peril of the problems rises a need for the buoyancy of change and a willingness to take action & make things happen.

I tell my students all the time: every good story needs a problem and a solution.  Morgan Freeman, director Louie Schwartzberg, producer Lyn Davis Lear, writer Andrew Dickson, the Moving Arts Studio, and the Lear Family Foundation are offering that solution in "A World of Solutions."

Together, we can make it happen:  "through actions large, and small."

Video from ; image from &

Monday, October 20, 2014

What's Possible?

Anything, especially if Morgan Freeman is involved.  (But, that could just be my own personal opinion!!)

The last time I wrote, I was pondering the planetary population, here as it is on the cusp of 7. 3 billion people.  As you sit and ponder about 8 million people by 2025 & how 7 million more people will fit in a mere 11 years here on Earth, you begin to worry a bit.  But through worry, you also look at the flip side of the coin.  With hope and faith, you wonder "what's possible."

Luckily narrator Morgan Freeman, director Louie Schwartzberg, writer Scott Z. Burns, producer Lyn Davis Lear, & Moving Arts Studio also have pondered "What's Possible."  in the new short video of the same name.  Created for New York's 2014 United Nations Climate Summit, the video presents that climate change is conquerable, but we can't be slow about it.  The time is now.  When you watch the video, you do get the feeling that it is possible due to determination, activism, technology, and momentum.

The bigger question might not be "What's Possible," but rather, what's delaying us from doing what we need to do!!

To learn more about the September 23, 2014 UN Climate Summit 2014, be sure to check out the UN Climate Summit webpage and webcast archives.

Video from; image from

Saturday, October 18, 2014

7.2+ Billion & Counting

Nearly 2 years ago (almost to the swiftly approaching day) on October 31, 2011 it was projected that we reached 7 billion people planet-wide. Here's an anticipated infographic from that time period 2 years ago.

Where are we now--just 2 years later?  A good 265,000,000 more people and the second!!  That rounds up 7,300,000,000 people! That's 7-point-3 BILLION people. To see exactly where we are, population-wise, the Worldometers website can show you how swiftly it changes by the second.  In the time it took me to write this piece, the population jumped well over 2000 people.

According to the UN World Population Report, here in 2014, we are only 11 years from a predicted 8 billion by the year 2025.  Future plans?  If current trends continue:  9 billion by 2050.  10 billion around 2081,  And 11 billion by 2100.  Now, while I won't live to see 2100, that's only 86 years from where I'm sitting.  My children might not see it, but my unborn grandkids probably will.  So 2 generations from now, we'll be on the rise of over 3 billion people (which is just under half of our current human population of 7.265 billion people right now).

I don't know about you, and I don't know about my unborn grandkids, but I suspect none of us (or them) will want to live like sardines.  How will we fit?  What will the impacts be on our resources and the environment.  How are we going to generate that much "stuff" with all our material desires for "stuff" in just 86 year.  Houston, we have a problem here.  We are only one planet of one size.  What's it going to take to stop it, and slow down that Worldometer clock?!?!

And given what we are doing currently to our planet (with refusal to truly address global issues of pollution, deforestation, marine debris, climate change, energy consumption, and more), what will the planet we have created look like, 86 years from now?

Images:  In 5 minutes: 7 Billion People from;  Worldometers logo from, 7 billion people:  ipad app:

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Blast From the Past: October Green Team Gazette Newsletters

It's hard to believe that 2010 & 2009 were 4 and 5 years ago.  Here's a TBT: Throw Back Thursday to Green Team Gaette when it was in its newsletter infancy (aka: pre-blog!)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Columbus Day, 1492, and Do I Celebrate or Am I Blue?

On the path of full disclosure:

I had Columbus Day off today, and I loved it.  I really did.  3 days are the size that every weekend should be.  Especially here as I begin a new year, and a new job.

I. Love. 3 Day Weekends.

Yes, this is spoken as only a teacher can speak!


Did I toast good ole CC?

Did I raise a glass to the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria?

Do I think Chris C is awesome to end all awesomeness?

Do I post a flag and take over a native community--much like he did, back in 1492?


I am a girl who enjoys a teacher day off, but I am also a girl who has taught a half dozen years in Florida.  Good ole Chris Columbus is not revered in Florida.  Good ole Chris Columbus isn't revered many places.  In MOST places.  Chris Columbus was a greedy you-know-what.  Especially here in the aftermath of his true creds being outted and his reputation for being a not-so-nice-guy brought to the fore-front.  The Vikings even beat him too it by 500 years.  And you know what kind of guys those Vikings were!

Yes, it is still a federal holiday for some.  In fact, as of last year, 23 states AND DC did give their working folk the day off.


As a way of combatting the CC'conundrum, some people go the opposite direction, like Seattle, and declare the day "Indiginous People Day." (Check out the video!)

One of my favorite Christopher Columbus classroom traditions is to read the Jane Yolen book, "Encounter."  It tells the tale of CC's acquisition by way of takeover of the Tainos people.  It doesn't paint a pretty picture.  Every year, I have students comment on how wretched and evil good ole Chris looks.  This book trailer does a nice job of summing up the book.

But no one can quite do the anti-PC-holiday quite like John Oliver.
Take note:  it's not kid-friendly!

Christopher Columbus pic with stamp from; Columbus Day map from; video from

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Calling all Kindle Books: FREE!

Books are the way to your heart, the way to your soul, the way to everything about you!

Given this eWorld, books are also on the digital platform.

Here's a pretty nifty link that takes you to a multitude of free iBooks and eReads.  Be sure to check it out:   Free Kindle Books For Your Kids

Pic from

Friday, October 3, 2014



You like science.

You consider yourself a scientist at heart.

You feel the planets would be in line if all the people in the world were out there, doing something, about SCIENCE!

SciStarter is for you!

It houses a database of citizen science projects that are easy to approach, easy to attain, and draw you right in on the scientific level!  Students, teachers, scientists, and more can all be at the same place at the same time!  You can go right in and find projects that might be suited for you, your students, and all of a sudden.... you are there, making a difference!!

And sometimes you get there by way of a little F-U-N!

If you are looking for some fun AND scientific projects to do with your students, then Citizen Scientist is the way to go.  Once you are in on the website, it's only a matter of clicking along the parameters, and you are knee deep in a project you want to be in!  And you are making scientific news, collecting data as you go!  Search projects by free/low cost, featured projects, projects suitable for students or children, projects you can do by outdoors, do--it-yourself projects, or ones where it list available teaching materials.

Citizen Science pics:,