Fast Flight Friday – August 30, 2019

Fast Flight Friday – August 30, 2019

Labor Day and Girls?

A lot has changed since that first Labor Day weekend way back in 1894. The technology-driven  workplace, worker and environmental safety, and a global marketplace are just a few. One of the biggest changes? Working women.

It’s a long way from the days when women were restricted from participation in the workforce; with more barriers falling every day. In fact, today nearly half of the workers who drive the American economy are women. Yet in 2019, gender inequality is still a significant challenge to overcome.

I could cite a mountain of statistics to illustrate unequal opportunities and wages, but when I think of our role as teachers, mentors and parents to inspire and empower, my thoughts turn to preparing young women to persevere, pioneer, and change our world (including the equity gap) for the better.

There are a lot of ideas about how to help girls and young women discover and exercise their power, so for this Fast Flight Friday I am excited to introduce you to some truly wonderful places to start the conversation. A few of my favorites:

I hit this website almost once a week for inspiration.  The site bills itself as “The world’s largest collection of books, toys and movies for smart, confident, and courageous girls” It delivers on that account and more with thoughtful blog writing on a broad range of topics – from famous women spies to how to help your daughter express anger appropriately. They regularly feature girl-centric literature with comprehensive reviews and interesting groupings of titles, and it’s hard to  resist collecting them all!

Targets girls (and boys) 10-14 with profiles of exceptional women who have achieved success while overcoming obstacles. The range of women and careers profiled is broad and includes many women of color. Like A Mighty Girl, the site has added sources presented in their blog where they introduce modern and historical women and perspectives. In addition to videos, SheHeroes offers a weekly podcast. This is definitely one to check out.

The idea here is that girls should have access to “diverse and accomplished women role models to learn from their experiences and discover their own path to empowerment.” It’s friendly, well-organized and has an accessible, high quality,YouTube-style presentation. The site also has tools for exploring college majors and preparing for careers and themed activity ideas.  Bookmark? Yes!

This one is STEM specific but the wacky host, Sophie Shrand, really keeps it engaging with her focus on the science that is all around us. Set up in an episode format so viewers can browse and find something that hits their mood. One of the great features is that you can often “experiement along” with easy to find materials and instructions. A favorite, and definitely worth a visit, or two.

Be fearlessly you,

 

Julie

Fast Flight Friday – August 9, 2019

Fast Flight Friday – August 9, 2019

Happy National Book Lovers Day!

 

For book fanatics, today is almost better than Christmas! Here’s what I’m planning for my own celebration, along with a few favorite book lover quotes. Hope you’ll be able to join in the fun.

 

Visiting the Library.

The smell of old books, the crinkly plastic dust jackets and stacks upon stacks of free books. “The library is the temple of learning, and learning has liberated more people than all the wars in history.”  Carl T. Rowan

 

 Dropping in on some old friends.

What was your breakout book? The one that sucked you in like nothing before and changed your whole outlook on reading…and life? Lord of the Flies tops that list for me. Started it this morning and am loving my time with Piggy and Ralph. “The thing is – fear can’t hurt you any more than a dream.” William Golding

 

Sharing the joy.

Less than a block away, one of my neighbors has erected a little free library. It is painted a cheery red and I live for the days that I drive by and someone is there browsing. Little free library is a nonprofit organization that promotes neighborhood book exchanges. There are more than 90,000. Find a new read or leave a favorite story for someone else to discover. Check out this website to find a little library near you.

 

Having tea with Bilbo.

Some writers just know how to write food.  The Van Tassels feast in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is written so vividly you can taste the donuts, pies and cakes.  Just thinking of the first chapter of the Hobbit, An Unexpected Party, filled hungry dwarves eating seed cakes, apple tarts and raspberry jam has my mouth watering. I’m serving tea at 4:00 and serving this delicious tart. 

Treating myself.

Deadlines. Responsibilities. Life is stressful but reading is a respite from the cares of the day. Researchers have found that reading reduces stress, keeps the brain sharp and can even help you sleep better. Will finish the day, as always, slipping away with a cozy read.

 

Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination and the journey. They are home.

Anna Quindlen

Be fearlessly you,

 

 

Julie

Fast Flight Friday – July 26, 2019

Fast Flight Friday – July 26, 2019

More than once since summer began I’ve been imagining the sounds of crashing waves, endless blue water, and how great it would be to grab a book and head for the beach.

Surf and sand isn’t in the cards for me, but I did find a way to swim with the dolphins, track a shark and explore endlessly fascinating ocean life.

Ocearch.org is the site for an organization that collects data that informs scientific efforts to preserve and protect our vulnerable oceans.

For those of us who aren’t scientists, it is a landlubber’s passport to swim the world’s oceans by following a favorite shark or dolphin. There are also turtles, whales, alligators and sea lions. Each of the tracked animals has a name, photo and some identifying characteristics like their size and weight and over time, they have become an important part of my day.

I’ll admit to getting up in the morning and after a little caffeine, checking in on Miss Costa, a white shark and Melanie, a green sea turtle.

There are also all sorts of blog posts about ocean life (especially sharks) and I’ve learned so much by just browsing.  I hope you’ll take a quick trip to beach and check it out.

 

Be Fearlessly You,

 

Julie

Fast Flight Friday – July 12, 2019

Fast Flight Friday – July 12, 2019

It is HOT and I’m working hard to avoid the sweltering heat and humidity. Still, I don’t want to feel trapped inside while summer passes me by.  Here are a few “compromise” picks to check out.

 

Homemade Popsicles

40 recipes for tastes ranging from kid-friendly to adult Friday Afternoon Club.

 

Out after dark

There’s something about looking up to the stars that is completely captivating. Your cell phone can make your viewing so much more fun as you unlock the secrets of the night sky with a great app. It’s like having an astronomer on call.

 

Saturday afternoon with an old friend

Lately, I’ve been thinking about my ‘tween summers; stuck in that awkward spot between childhood and full-on adolescence.  As with most of my life, books were the ticket to other places and adventuring friends who helped me feel okay where I was. I think when Saturday afternoon rolls around, I’ll escape the heat curled up in one of my favorite reading nooks and venture out with a best old buddy two. A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, Lord of the Flies….

Check out the reading nooks at the link above for inspiration.

  

Be Fearlessly You,

 

Julie

Fast Flight Friday – June 28, 2019

Fast Flight Friday – June 28, 2019

I’m definitely old school when it comes to summer. I think kids should ditch their devices and go outside. But on hot afternoons when the air conditioning beckons, here are a few of my favorite places for productive fun.

Make up a Story

Create and share your own story! Lots of props, scenes and ideas to get started and you can even upload your own photos. Also a great place to find new stories by other young writers. It’s free to use and share your work. Reasonable fees to publish or print. https://www.storyjumper.com/

Do some Science

SCIENCE WITH SOPHIE is a quirky but solid STEM show that targets girls, yet is engaging for all. With a cast of characters (all played by Sophie) viewers can explore the science of some unexpected everyday things.

https://www.sciencewithsophie.com

Goof off with a Good Game

Remember playing “Telephone”? Telestrations adds drawing in the place of whispering but keeps all of the funny reinterpretation. With a fast learning curve this one is a likely winner for family gatherings or a fun afternoon for a group of kids from the neighborhood. It’s a cooperative game so the competition angle is dialed down. It’s appropriate for ages 8 and up and I also love that there is a Spanish language version, and you can also find a racier edition for adults.

Be Fearlessly You,

 

Julie

Fast Flight Friday – June 14, 2019

Fast Flight Friday – June 14, 2019

Here’s to rest, relaxation and little windows of time to let the mind wander where it will.

  • If you love on-line quizzes and trivia and want to impact world hunger – freerice.com will probably become your new obsession. Test your knowledge with vocab and subject quizzes about famous paintings, quotes, world landmarks. If you’re ready to find out everything you’ve forgotten since high school, tackle literature, chemistry symbols or human anatomy. You can play for one of 100’s of groups or start your own. Set up an account and you’re a contender for a position as a top player. For each correct answer, the site owners donate 10 grains of rice to the World Food Programme. There is even an SAT section and many of the quizzes make for a pretty good review.

 

  • Fresh, fun, imaginative. Ukranian artist Alexy Kondakov photoshops figures from classical paintings into utterly mundane everyday scenes. Check it out on Instagram.

 

  • Happy Birthday Harriet Beecher Stowe. Did Uncle Tom’s Cabin inspire you to confront injustice and fight the wrongs of the world? Celebrate Harriet’s birthday and revisit the novel that changed the world. Reconnect here.

 

Be Fearlessly You,

 

Julie

Fast Flight Friday – May 31, 2019

Fast Flight Friday – May 31, 2019

Ah, Fridays and the promise of a little unstructured free time ahead. Sure, there will always be the laundry, but the great thing about the weekend is those little slivers of time that aren’t completely mapped out. If you’re seeking a little something for those little slivers…..

Fly to Mars. Sort of.

Even though it will be years before the first humans set foot on Mars, NASA is collecting names (to be stenciled on chips) to send to the Red Planet with its Mars 2020 rover. Here’s how to hitch a ride:  https://mars.nasa.gov/participate/send-your-name/mars2020/

I love history. Can’t get enough – especially when there is some new discovery or insight I have yet to learn about. It’s easy to while away the minutes (and hours if you’re not careful) on All That’s Interesting a neat site that has good pics and just right article length. They have science and news, too. https://allthatsinteresting.com/

Trivia, quizzes of all kinds, and hearing about interesting people? This is one of my fave trivia podcasts to enjoy when I want my mind to soar free but I still have to drive, mow or mop. Ask Me Another from NPR. https://www.npr.org/programs/ask-me-another/?showDate=2019-05-24

Be Fearlessly You.

 

Julie

Fast Flight Friday – May 17, 2019

Fast Flight Friday – May 17, 2019

I keep hearing forecasts for a rainy, indoor weekend ahead. Guess I could clean or organize something, dig into one project or another. Or maybe I’ll …

  • Chill with some music history. At Radiooooo.com you pick a year, a country, and the site returns a song from that time and place. It’s like traveling the world while taking a dance-break.

 

  • Bang on the drum all day? Created by designer Jono Brandel, Patatap.com is a “portable animation and sound kit” for your keyboard. Any key from A to Z will produce different sounds with accompanying motion graphics. And, when you’re ready to change it up – just press the space bar to get all new sounds and graphics for each key.

And, some ideas from Teachers First for using Patatap in the classroom

 

 

Be fearlessly you!

 

Julie

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