Disabilities: Different on the Outside, the Same on the Inside

Dear Students,

I went to the AZ Science center with my kids last week. Some of the kids that were visiting the museum that day looked a little different on the outside to my boys.

Service Dog

A guide dog is working when he wears his vest or harness. When you see a guide dog, remember to look at the owner and say “I like your dog” or you can ask about the dog. That is friendly. How would it be if you leaned on the dog or played with the dog? That might make it hard for him to do his work. Remember that he is there to do a job.

Some of the kids had white canes. They were playing and enjoying the exhibits with their friends just like my boys. We saw some guide dogs too. I was proud of Max when he said “I like your dog” to the guide dog’s owner instead of petting the dog and ignoring the owner. Beautifully done Max!!

This little girl and this man both have artificial limbs. Just because their legs may be different from yours do you think they feel different on the inside? I think they are just like us. They are people too and are happy, sad, sensitive, brave and scared. Just like anyone.

Sometimes you see people that look funny. Maybe there features are not even and regular the way you expect. If you aren’t sure how to act, the best thing you can do is remember even if we have different bodies, we all have the same feelings. Our feelings always match. Look at the ways you are alike.

Before Bethany Frankel started surfing again, her friends helped and encouraged her. She remembered who she was and not what she wasn’t.

Sometimes when you let someone’s outside make you feel like staying away you miss out. Next time you see a guide dog, remember to look for their owner and say “I like your dog.” and that’s it. And if you see a friend at school that is a little bit different on the outside do the extra work and ask them to play with you.

This Kid’s Quest site has some primitive unimpressive checkbox quizzes on this topic for two seconds of fun. Surely there is something better online than this link. Digital Citizenship kids, think you can help me out?

People may look, sound, or do things differently, inside, we are all very much the same. That’s all you need to know!

The Wounded Warrior Project and NEADS are two of my favorite groups that help make life better for very deserving folks.

Pay it forward,
Mrs. Kenney

#ChallengeAccepted Matt is a tough guy. Good for him. Good for his friends.

Pixar’s Brave: If you had a chance to change your fate, would you?

Dear Students,

I went to see Brave on Friday night. I won tickets from Macaroni Kid Chandler. I confess, I belong to all the Macaroni Kids sites in the area-North Phoenix, Tempe, Gilbert and Chandler. Macaroni Kid always has ideas for fun things to do and lots of giveaways. If you like to enter contests, check out the links I added. Let me know if you win!

One reason I wanted to see Brave is I have an imp like this at home.

We attended the Phoenix Radio Disney Premiere at Ultra Star Cinema in Scottsdale. Ultra Star has D Box chairs, special chairs that move with the movie. You can test them in the lobby or pay a premium price for a DBox ticket.

Here is my little red on his first day of school.

Attending a premiere gives you something fun to do while waiting in line. People like to dress up. There is usually music, contests and giveaways. It’s a fun way to get in the spirit of a movie.

Merida "Brave" meet-and-greet

This photo was taken at the Disney Park Meridea Meet and Greet. I found the photo on Flickr.

If you arrive late for Brave, you may miss the short called Luna that appears before the main feature. Pixar includes a short before their movies.

La Luna is also a book. We checked it out from the library before we saw the movie.  Enrico Casarosa wanted to create a different look from past computer-generated films.(read more by following the link)

La Luna by Enrico Casarosa is based on the Pixar Short film. If you loved the short, this makes a good bedtime story.

My favorite part of Brave was the bear plotline.

Watching Brave reminded me of The Bear by William Faulkner. I read it in High School then reread it when I came home from the movie. I wonder if the Pixar writers had it in mind when they made the script.

View more ebooks on ebookbrowse.com

If you stay for the end credits, look for the Will ‘o Wisp to appear around Steve Jobs name. A graceful way of saying he fulfilled his destiny.

Pixar movies are masterpieces. They draw from art, music, literature, poetry and video games. You can tell the animators love to learn because the movies are so densely layered. Our family was grateful to win tickets. Of course, I’ll be seeing it again.  How about you? There are four upcoming Pixar films in the works. Do you know what they are? How could you find out?

Questions, questions,

Mrs. Kenney

p.s.  Wired has a great piece for parents about 10 things about Brave.

LeBron James: Champion Bookworm

Dear Students,

This year LeBron used books to keep his game face on. Surely, you’ve noticed the videotape of LeBron reading books before every game the past two months. Biographies, history, pop culture, best sellers, short books that explore human psychology, you name it. LeBron lying on the floor reading “The Hunger Games.” LeBron sitting at his locker reading “The Pact,” about three boys from challenging circumstances agreeing to finish college and attend medical school. It seems every time James was photographed before or after a game this spring, he was reading a book.

“It just slows my mind down…it just gives me another outlet. Throughout the playoffs, all you think about is basketball. All you want to do is play basketball. 

At the same time, it can become a lot. It can come to a point where it’s overloading to the mind, and you think about it too much. It’s hard to get away from it because you’re playing every other day, you talk about it every single day and you prepare every single day. 

The reading gave me an opportunity to, just for those couple hours of the day or those 25 minutes before the game, think about something else and get a sense of what else is going on besides the game of basketball. 

On the road to the playoffs, he read the Hunger Games Trilogy

It’s made me comfortable. I’m not saying it’s the trick. It’s just something that I decided to do at the beginning of the postseason, and it’s worked for me.”

Is that Decoded by JayZ, Thanks for letting me see what you are reading, I want to know!

LeBron used a great strategy for picking out his books. He asked his friend Maverick Carter. Maverick loves to read and keeps a book list on his PDA.

I wish LeBron has asked me!!

Way to see this through Miami! So proud to see the pact between LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh paying off in such a BIG way! – The Three Doctors

Congratulations on the championship Miami Heat,

Mrs. Kenney

Lazy DIY: Balls in the Pool

The only way to cope with summer in Phoenix is to go swimming.

The only way to cope with swimming everyday

is novelty

rain gutters attached to the concrete wall in the yard

Arizona has some pretty snazzy pools to choose from

and when birthdays roll around

we throw balls in our pool.

It’s a tough life. Maybe visiting in the summer isn’t so bad after all?

Birthday by the Numbers

You’re original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow

Maybe your reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road
Like a lightning bolt, your heart will glow
And when it’s time, you’ll know

You just gotta ignite the light, and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July

‘Cause baby you’re a firework
Come on, show ’em what you’re worth
Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh”
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby, you’re a firework
Come on, let your colours burst
Make ’em go “Oh, Oh, Oh”
You’re gonna leave ’em all in “awe, awe, awe”


By the Numbers:

Age: 7

Cake Layers: 6

Balls in Hundreds: 5

Guests: 4

Madagascar: 3

Presents: 2

Love: You

Steve Spangler Science: Strong Bubbles

Dear Students,

My favorite e-mail today was from Steve Spangler, a science teacher I follow online. You might know who he is if you ever dropped a Mentoes in a bottle of Diet Coke. He’s that guy.

Naked Eggs and Flying Potatoes by Steve Spangler

Today his email was about Volcano in a Cup and Bubble Camp. I liked the tips about mixing your own bubble juice so much I decided to reblog his article here in case it gave you an idea for something to do this summer.

Reblogged from Steve Spangler Science:

The lifespan of a bubble is measured in seconds. How do you extend the life of a bubble?

  • Ingredients – the secret to longer lasting bubbles is in the ingredients. Glycerin gives the bubble extra strength. You can also subsitute Karo syrup for glycerin.
  • Ingredients – the single most important part is the water. Good quality of water that doesn’t contain high levels of iron or minerals is the best. Distilled water is highly recommended.
  • Ingredients – Dawn® dish soap just seems to work the best for homemade bubble solutions.
  • Time – let the bubble solution sit open to the air and undisturbed for 24 hours in advance of your bubble party. The bonds in the bubble solution will strengthen.

Note: Perfectly good bubbles can be made without adding glycerin, but adding glycerin keeps the water from evaporating and makes the bubbles much stronger and longer lasting. (I bought glycerin at Walmart)

Blowing Bubbles

Use a small bubble wand. A pipette makes the perfect bubble blower. Cut the end off of a pipette, dip it into the bubble solution and blow through the other end.

Bouncing Bubbles

You now have the best bubble solution. But how do you make them bounce? Regular bubbles pop when they come in contact with almost anything. Why? A bubble’s worst enemies are oil and dirt. A super bubble will bounce off a clean surface free of oil and dirt or anything that won’t break down the soap. Bounce the bubble off your shirt or pants. Use a knit glove.

Bubble Colors

Similar to the way we perceive the colors in a rainbow or an oil slick, we see the colors in a bubble through the reflection and the refraction of light waves off the inner and outer surfaces of the bubble wall. You can’t color a bubble since its wall is only a few millionths of an inch thick. A bubble reflects color from its surroundings.

Square bubbles are not impossible if you know a little science. Start with building a cube. Our Square Bubble Maker assembles quickly and works nicely.

  • Find a container to hold about 7.5 liters (2 gallons) of water.
  • Add approximately 1/4 cup of liquid dish soap or Extreme Bubble Solution. You may need to tweak the amount of dish soap and water slightly. If you are using dish soap, avoid the antibacterial products.
  • Mix the bubble solution gently with your hand.  If the water is hard in your area, add extra dish soap or use distilled water.
  • Keep the surface free of foam.
  • Dip the square bubble contraption into the bubble solution. Always hold the model by a node. Dipping at an angle works best. Be sure that the model is immersed completely, so that all sides are covered. Gently lift the model out of the bubble solution. You should have an exciting geometric bubble!
  • Grab your pipette and blow a bubble over the cube model and drop it in the middle. You will see that the edges start to collapse and make a new shape inside the square bubble structure.
  • Gently put the larger end of the pipette up to the middle of your square bubble.
  • Very gently blow into the pipette… what starts to happen? You get a bubble inside of a bubble! So cool!

More Bubble Fun

  • Try bouncing bubbles between you and a friend. How many times can you bounce it before it pops?
  • Try blowing the strong, super bubbles onto surfaces you can find in the backyard. Will they pop in the grass? On a rock? On tree bark?
  • Use the Square Bubble Maker to blow bubbles. Dip it in the solution and blow a bubble through the bubble wall. Our bubbleologists made what they called “worm bubbles.”
  • Dip the Square Bubble Maker in the solution and run with it. Does it make a trail of bubbles?
  • What else can you use as a bubble blower?
  • What about Giant Bubbles? Fill a baby pool with bubble solution and using a hula-hoop as a bubble wand, try and make the biggest bubble you’ve ever seen.

How does it work?

Why do you need soap to blow a bubble?

You can blow a bubble in plain water but it won’t last long. For starters, pure water bubbles will evaporate quickly. Second, soap decreases the pull of surface tension, allowing the bubble to last longer.

Soap molecules are made from longs chains of carbon and hydrogen atoms. One end of the chain is hydrophilic, meaning it likes being in water. The other end is hydrophobic, meaning “water fearing” – it doesn’t want to be in water but will attach to grease.

This is how soap cleans…the hydrophobic end attaches itself to the grease on your hand or your dinner plate, letting the water sneak in underneath it. The grease is loosened and surrounded by soap molecules and is carried off with the water during rinsing.

In soapy water, the hydrophobic end does not want to be in the water at all. They work their way to the surface and push out of the water.  With the hydrophobic end sticking out the water, the soap film is protected from evaporation. Grease does not evaporate.

Why are bubbles round?

The physicists will tell you that bubbles enclose the maximum volume of air in the minimum amount of bubble solution, so that’s why they are always round. In the Square Bubble activity, as you dip the Square Bubble Maker into the solution, the solution is stretched between the struts and the bubbles cling to the sides of the structure, causing the bubbles to be square.

Additional Info

Thank you to Exploritorium.edu for more information on the science of bubbles.

Now until August 31, 2012 SAVE 20% on the Bouncing Bubble Kit. Regular price: $29.99, sale price $23.99. Use code CAMP12WEXB at checkout (I don’t get any credit for linking here, I just copied it because I think I want to buy it, and I want to share the discount from my e-mail with you.)

You can visit Steve Spangler’s Blog for more ideas and sign up for his e-mails if you like.

Mrs. Kenney

p.s. I found this fun blog about using soap bubbles. I hope you enjoy the Rainbow Snakes

From the blog, housing a forest, learn how to make Rainbow Bubble Snakes.

Man on a Wire: Niagara Falls Tightrope Walk

This is what dreams are made of, people. Pursue your dreams. Never give up. Mine might seem strange, but anybody that’s dealing with any battle – focus on that other side.
Nik Wallenda

Dear Students,

Did you see Nik Wallenda walk on a tightrope over Niagara Falls this week?

Do you wonder how he kept his balance?

Nic Wallenda is a 7th generation aerialist. He is a member of a famous family, The Flying Wallendas.

Nic Wallenda’s feat reminded me of other tightrope walks that captured our imagination.

You can borrow Man on a Wire from the public library to learn more about Phillipe Petit’s living art.

In 1974, French funambulist Philippe Petit threw a tightrope between the two towers of the World Trade Center and spent an hour walking, dancing, and performing high-wire tricks a quarter mile in the sky. This picture book captures the poetry and magic of the event with a poetry of its own: lyrical words and lovely paintings that present the detail, daring, and–in two dramatic foldout spreads– the vertiginous drama of Petit’s feat. The Man Who Walked Between the Towers is the winner of the 2004 Caldecott Medal, the winner of the 2004 Boston Globe – Horn Book Award for Picture Books, and the winner of the 2006 Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Children’s Video.

This is as close as I will get to walking on a tightrope!

Mirette on the High Wire is a picture book set in 19th-century Paris. Mirette, a child helps a daredevil who has lost his edge to regain his confidence. Many traveling performers stay at Madame Gateaux’s boarding house, but Mme.’s daughter Mirette is particularly taken with one guest–the quiet gentleman who can walk along the clothesline without falling off. Mirette implores the boarder to teach her his craft, not knowing that her instructor is the “Great Bellini” of high wire fame. After much practice the girl joins Bellini on the wire as he conquers his fear and demonstrates to all of Paris that he is still the best.

Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully

In 1876, Maria Spelterini crossed the Niagara Gorge on a tightrope.

Nik’s goal was to help inspire others to take on difficult challenges and to overcome fear in life. Nik said, “People ask why I would do this, but it goes back to the reason why I wanted to do it in the first place,” he said. “It wasn’t to get rich, it was to pursue a dream and to inspire people.”

Safety first,

Mrs. Kenney