TAKS Testing Good Luck Students

As a former teacher, I really miss TAKs testing day.  It was the quietest day in the school the whole year.  It was a really big day for the students but kind of a release the stress day for the teachers.  I think you were feeling that you (the teacher) did the best that you could with the resources that you had.  I do feel for the students but who among us as adults have not had to take some big test that decided everything.  For instance what about your driver license test or finals in college where everything was riding on one 24 hour block of time.

I do think there should be others factors figured into the test.  What factors???  I don’t know because I need to look at every study and every pro and con for testing.

Good Luck to all the wonderful students!  One test does not make a life or end a life.  Just try again.


Katy Residents HEB At Fry Rd/Mason Ground Beef Recall

If you bought ground beef at the HEB grocery store at Fry Road and Mason, please return to the store asap.   According to the article in the Chron, there could possible be metal pieces in the meat.  Thanks to Alison who Twitters on Twitter for the FYI.

Check out his article in the Houston Chronicle http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/6263637.html.

TAKs Testing Begins On March 3rd For Katy ISD

The testing season is almost underway.  All kids need to relax and realize one day will not determine everything.  Make sure the kids get to sleep by 8:30-9:00.  It is a long stressful day for the kids but heaven for teachers.  Surprisingly,  all the students seem to get the importance of the TAKS test and are very quiet and orderly.  On the other hand it is sad one day has to mean so much for students in  Texas.

Namaste Parents!

Houston Girl Scouts and First LEGO League Robotics Competition

Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council Houston organizes several teams of girls to compete in the First LEGO League robotics competition in January. There is much more to Girl Scouts than cookies and camp outs.

Guess what!?  I am one of the coaches (I know, I am surprised too).  My daughter loves computers and LEGOS so why not get her involved with a group of girls who have the same interests.

Since science and technology are not one of my strongest skills, I am using a book entitled “First Lego League the unofficial guide” written by two young science wizards named James Floyd Kelly and Jonathan Daudelin as a tutorial guide.

Although the book is very helpful especially when it comes to  team formation and organizing the league, I do wish they could have dumbed the robotic construction detail down a little more for people who want to learn about the gears but in tiny baby steps.  Also,  they could have added a few more pictures.  Overall the book is helpful and I will continue to keep you updated on how I am using the book in preparation for the competition.

As the coach, I am learning all of these new robotic programming skills about 48 hours before the girls learn the skills themselves.  I wish that this program was in every elementary school in the United States.  Kids need to learn about science and technology in an environment that encourages creativity not rote memorization.

My smart team of Girl Scouts will not only compete in an robotic programming tournament but they are also responsible for preparing a report that proposes solutions to the climate change problem that currently exists in Houston.  The girls are learning about science in a fun creative way without the restrictions of a classroom environment where students are punished for making a mistake.  The team learns from their mistakes and turns them into opportunities to teach themselves what to do better as a team.

My son is only 6 years old but he has tagged along to the team meetings and seems to have the talent of robotic programming.  The FLL has a competition for 6-9 year-olds too.    If you are a parent who is interested in having their 6-9 year old compete in the Junior FLL, please leave a comment and we will form a team.  There are many schools and home schooled kids who train all Fall for the competition in the Winter.

The robot/software/kit can be purchased at any time for kids or adults (my husband loves to experiment with the gears). The robot and the software called “LEGO Mindstorms” can be purchased at the Baybrook Mall LEGO store or you could order the set on line at LEGO.Com.   Here is the website link:  http://mindstorms.lego.com.

Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council will also be forming a Robotics interest group in the next few weeks.   If you have a daughter who loves or even dislikes science and math, this is the perfect opportunity for her to learn plus have fun at the same time.

Here is the website:  http://www.gssjc.org/ or contact Julie Deeter at jdeeter@sjgs.org 713-292-0203 for more information.

Power Restoration in Progress…..

We have power….Thanks Missouri PLC crew.  It took 6 trucks and about 9 crewman.  Now, I don’t want to turn on the AC because I am used to humidity.

We are definitely changing the way we live.

Hurricane Ike and a Katy, Texas Family

12 nights with no power.  It is so hot!

FEMA has left Houston.

Let me know if anyone else out there has had no power (if you have access to a computer).

Hurricane Ike: Disaster Food Stamp Locations/Phone

Update:  October 14, 2008.  To all who have commented about receiving assistance from Fema or from the food stamp office please try contacting your local city council person or the mayor’s office for assistance.  I sympathize with your problem.  Keep trying to get through on the phone lines.

Go to the Houston Chronicle webpage for more assistance information:


More than 45,000 Texans apply for food stamps

More than 45,000 Texans have submitted applications for disaster food stamps after Hurricane Ike. Here are locations where people can apply for food stamps:

1100 Greens Parkway

12121 Westheimer Road

6118 Scott St.

2110 Telephone Road

10060 Fuqua

Abundant Life Cathedral, 11230 Harwin Drive

Offices are now open in the Beaumont-Port Arthur area and many other southeast Texas locations. A complete list of open offices is available at http://www.IkeFoodStamps.com. All offices in Houston and southeast Texas will be open extended hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. this week.

People also can get applications at http://www.IkeFoodStamps.com and fax them to 1-877-447-2839.