Monthly Archives: August 2015

Chasing Content – Is it September Already?

Chasing ContentChasing Content is a monthly feature here on Silent Cacophony.

This is how it works, at the start of each month I look back at the blog entries I posted the previous year in that month and highlight some of my favourites. This gives us a chance to dig through the old posts and unearth some gems that might otherwise get buried in the archives.

It’s now time for the September 2014 edition.

Read all of the posts from Last September . . .

or just these personal favourites.

Reading Salad 

A great lesson that teaches students that they need to think while they read. It uses a hands-on and is quite visual. It is simply brilliant and a great way to start off the school year.

Hula-Hoops on the First Day of School

Still my favourite activity to kick off the school year. Click through and you’ll see why. It’s a bit unconventional but a lot of fun.

The New Spider-Man, Miles Morales

I really enjoyed this comic book series and would love to see this version of Spider-Man on the big screen one day. I highly recommend you read it.

Daredevil Autographs

I collected a few more autographs last year at Fan Expo. I’m really excited about going back to the event this weekend. Alex Maleev is going to be there this year. I would so love to get his autograph. I probably won’t be able to though since he is doing a signing at the same time at the Doctor Who panel. ūüôĀ

Doctor Who at Fan Expo

Last year was so much fun. ¬†This year, the ladies of Doctor Who will be on hand. I can’t wait to see Karen Gillan and Jenna Coleman. Should be a lot of fun!

First Day of School Lesson Plan

I’ve used a variation of this plan every year for the past several years and it has never failed. It’s due for a tweaking though. I never just re-use units or lesson. I always strive to improve and build upon past successes.

Thanks for Chasing Content with me

It’s always nice to look back and see what was. Hopefully this month will be just as good as it was last year.

Kitchener Aud Skatepark

Kitchener Aud Skatepark

This skatepark is known affectionately as The Aud.

Bowl

Located outside of The Kitchener Auditorium, it is a nice place for both the experienced skateboarder and the novice.

Box

Here is a double-layered box,

Grind

some grind rails and ledges,

Hill Ledge

and a¬†double camel hump. It’s a little hard to see the contour of it in this photo,¬†but it is a nice obstacle to skate. And one that I have never seen elsewhere.

Launch Ramp with Rail

Here is the launch ramp with a rail to slide or grind.

Pyramid

This pyramid has metal grind bars on it that are very nice for the beginner to experiment with.

quarter-pipe

This quarter-pipe is a little steep. It reminds me of the Widow Maker at Beasley in Hamilton.

More Skatepark Tours

Lions Lake Trail Run

Lions Lake Trail

I collect trails. I am always on the lookout for a new spot to explore. My latest adventure was at Lions Lake Trail in Floradale, Ontario.

Lions Lake Trail Shore

The parking lot brings you right to the shore

Woolwich Dam

and the Woolwich Dam.

Lioins Lake Wooded Trail

The trail is only a few hundred meters further down.

Maple Syrup Farm

It cuts through a Maple Syrup Farm. You can see the blue lines that are used to collect sap from the trees. You can even veer off of the trail and walk toward the farm building to buy some.

Trails End

I keep running until I came to the¬†end of the trail. It wasn’t as long as I had expected, or hoped for. Either that or I just didn’t take the best route.

Floradale Park Sign

So when I came to the road and saw this sign, I thought it would be a good idea to run to the park and explore some more of the local area.

Path Back to the Trail

Along the way, there were two entrances back to the Lions  Trail that I had left to go find Floradale Park. I probably should have taken one of them and kept running on the trail.

Road

But I figured 2.5 kilometers down the road wasn’t that far. I had visions of a beautiful park ahead with more trails.

Woolwich Fire Department

I never found it. I ran on the road for way more than two and a half kilometers. I passed the firehouse and realized that I would have to run a fairly big loop on the road to get back to my starting point.

Woolwich Reservoir

I¬†pretty much never run a route that doesn’t include a trail. That section today though was a little too short for me. I know I didn’t choose the best route and could probably¬†run here again and have a different experience. Perhaps I will.

Woolwich Run Map

I love my phone app and all of the data it provides. As you can see, I ran 8.03 kilometers in 43 minutes with an average pace of 5:24 per kilometer. You can also see that there were several hills and changes in elevation along the route.

Want to see more of my trail collection? 

Check the Photographic Tour Archive (over 50 trails to explore with me)

Doon Skatium – Kitchener’s Mobile Skatepark

Doon Skatium

Kitchener has a mobile skatepark that it sets up in various neighbourhoods throughout the city. It is called “Doon Skatium”

Doon Box

They often set up shop outside of the Pioneer Park branch of the Public Library

Doon Rail

I love this rail! It is great for beginners, since you can skate right on to it without having to olley.

Doon Fun Box

They have an array of ramps that include a fun box, quarter-pipes,

Doon Launch Ramp

a launch ramp, and more. Apparently, they have more ramps in the trailer that they can set up depending on the crowd any particular night.

Doon Mobile Skatepark

Here’s an idea of what the whole mobile park looks like when it is set up. Apparently, there were more ramps that they could have brought out as well.

More Skatepark Tours

Ain’t Nothing Like the Old School (Commodore 64)

Commodore 64

I had the urge to dig out my old Commodore 64 and play some old school video games.

Computer not Working

When I turned it on though, I couldn’t get any of the games to load up. I knew what the problem was so . . .

Fixed Disk Drive

I took apart the disk drive and fixed the door lock mechanism. It was quite easy. All I had to do was slide a pin back into place.

Bubble Bobble

And I was playing my all-time favourite video game, Bubble Bobble once again.

Burger Time

I love these old school games. Anyone remember Burger Time?

What’s your favourite Commodore 64 game?

Beasley Skatepark – Hamilton

Beasley

Beasley is the first permanent outdoor skateboard park that I had ever seen.

Beasley Bowl

It’s the¬†oldest skatepark on the entire Eastern Seaboard. People have been coming here since the mid 1980s to skate.

Bottom of the Bowl Addition'

I skated here a lot when I was a kid and it wasn’t until many years later that parks like this became commonplace.

When I skated here as a teenager, this ramp didn’t even exist. Skaters have been maintaining and improving the park¬†for years now.

Bowl Addition

This ramp¬†is a new addition as well. It’s only about five years old.

piano ledge

I love the look and feel of this park.

Pyramid

It was nice to get back here after all these years and enjoy a skate on a very familiar park.

quarter pipe

This is the famous Widow Maker quarter-pipe.

rail

a standard rail,

start ramp

and the launch ramp.

This weekend, they are running their 23rd Annual Sk8 Jam.

Beasley 23

It’s always a lot of fun. Hope to see you there!

Virtual Skatepark Tours (over a dozen great parks to visit)

The More You Do, The Better You Feel

More You Do David Parker

The More You Do, The Better You Feel: How to Overcome Procrastination and Live a Happier Life by David Parker

I received this book in the mail a little while ago and I kept putting off reading it.¬†I’m not sure why. I knew there were things I procrastinated about. I knew it. But I also knew that I kept putting those same things off.

For all of us that have that problem in life, this book offers some great advice and ways to combat it.

The Concept

Here is how David Parker explains the concept of the book . . .

“If you work at overcoming your own habitual procrastination you’ll start overcoming the fear that has interfered with your ability to deal with the tasks and projects that you’ve learned to automatically shy away from. You’ll discover that you are far more capable than you thought possible, and your new definitions of yourself will be based upon newer self-beliefs garnered from positive experiences.”

Writing Helps

He suggests writing in a journal and he shares how that simple act helped him break out of his funk. He writes, “I accumulated enough material to begin taking a look back at what I had written, and this presented me with an opportunity to observe the ways and patterns in which my mind worked.”

And then something interesting happened . . .

“it was if all those reminders had connected in some odd way . . . ¬†There seemed to be a relationship between the length of time a task was left undone, and the effect it was having on my emotions. The connection was so real; it felt almost palpable.”

Sometimes, all you need to do is take a step back and get some real perspective.

How It Applies to Teaching

Another strange thing happened to me while reading this book. I began to see some of my students within the pages.¬†Some of them don’t like school and try their best to avoid doing work. Many of them get through their academic career doing very little.

Parker puts it this way . . .

“Many habitual procrastinators have remarked that they began noticing what they could get away with from an early age. The practice is commonly called getting over on others.”

Some students put more effort “into the act of not doing” than it would take to just do the task before them. And “if [they] continue the act of getting over on others, it can be difficult to put an end to this sort of practice. After all, who wants to give up a skill that they’ve worked hard at developing over a lifetime?”

Reduce the Number of Tasks

Reduce the number of tasks you have to do. This way, you won’t feel overwhelmed, and you can get more done. And the more you do, the better you feel.

It reminds me of a phrase that I have heard time and time again. I never quite understood it though.

Give it to a Busy Person

I am a member of The Lions Club, a service organization run by volunteers. At one meeting, we needed a member to take on a specific task. I was too busy to volunteer for this particular task. I was surprised to see that no one else stepped up for several seconds. Then finally, one person agreed to take it on. The member beside me said, “Want something done? Give it to a busy person” and we talked about how he might have been the person with the most on his plate.

The More You Do, The Better You Feel

So, we can see that the title of this book goes beyond the procrastination aspect. I do a lot of things; I skateboard, write, produce a radio show, DJ at live events, do some community theatre, work a few jobs, and make time for my family and girlfriend. And I feel good about being able to do all of that.

And There’s More

I took lots of notes while reading this book. I just might have to write an additional blog post or two. Let’s see if I have time to do that.

My List of 2015 Reads (30 books and counting)

You Can’t Handle Shakespeare’s Power

Kill Shakespeare Vol 3

Kill Shakespeare: Volume 3 – The Tide of Blood

This comic features a fictional world where all of the characters of the Bard’s work exist in one time and place. It is a brilliant concept and executed perfectly. This is the third edition of the on-going trade paperback collection.

(Spolier Alert)

William Shakespeare is one of the characters in this series. Many people believe that he is a myth, but a few know that he is real and want to seize his power. They believe that with his pen they can be the ultimate ruler of the universe.

Prospero captures Shakespeare near the end of this comic and steals his quill. They both leave the fictional world and crossover into the realm in which Shakespeare creates, and it wasn’t what Prospero was expecting.

Shakespeare's The Airy Nothing

Shakespeare call this realm “The Airy Nothing”

Kill Shakespeare - All is Nothingness

Prospero is ultimately lost in the world of the blank page. It’s overwhelming. He tries to create something, but fails. What he envisioned for his perfect creation in the world, he simply can’t make happen in the chaos of nothingness.

This was such a powerful scene and a great payoff for reading three collected editions of Kill Shakespeare. I was expecting the series to conclude because of it. It was a perfect ending point.

It turns out, it was only the end of the chapter, not the series. Just like the works of Shakespeare, the works of this comic are strong and bound to continue for sometime.

My List of 2015 Reads – novels, comics, non-fiction, and more!

Beasley Skatepark Documentary

It’s very cool to skateboarders taking such ownership of their neighbourhood park. Beasely has such a rich history and I was there for some of it. I was sitting on the sidelines at the very skateboard competition shown in this documentary.

I went every single year, sat on my board, and watched very talented skaters do all sorts of crazy tricks. It was always a lot of fun. I miss those days. Haven’t been to the Annual Beasley Competition in years. Perhaps I should do something about that.

The 23rd Annual Sk8 Jam runs next weekend, Saturday August 15th, 2015.

Beasley 23

I’m going to do my best to get back to my hometown for this. It is always a great event! Hope to see you there!

Find out more about this park and their events from The Hamilton Skateboard Assembly Facebook Page.

Chasing Content – The Best of Last August

CC AugIt’s hard to believe that it is August 2015 already. Time seems to be flying by. That’s one of the reasons I love having this blog. I can take a moment to look back at what was. Won’t you do that with me right now?

It’s time for another edition of Chasing Content.

Read all of the posts from last August,

or just these highlights . . .

Grade 2/3 Long Range Plan

This is my newly revised year plan that I used to teach a combined Grade 2 / Grade 3 class last year. It is very detailed and can help you in your planning. Feel free to download it as a PDF or as a MS Word document that you can customize to your needs. Happy Teaching!

D-sisive Shout -Out

I got some great praise from a musician that I have been following his entire career.  I was so stoked to see this interaction on Twitter and Instagram.

Coyotes and Deer, Oh My!

It’s amazing what you can come across during a quiet and peaceful trail run.

Classroom Management for Dummies

A great video full of tips for both new and experienced teachers.

The Best of August 2013

I love doing these posts every month. It’s great to look back and relive / remember all of these great events, topics, and articles. I like how I wrote this particular one too!

Thanks for Chasing Content with me!