We’re Back!

It has been a very long time spent away from our diffendooferous blog.  With that said, I am pleased to announce that my diffendoofers have been progressing along wonderfully.  We have a few changes that we have made this school year.  Firstly, Princess, has changed her online username in some circles, such as with National Geographic Kids, to username,  “Tomatoes”, and Spiderman has changed his online username in some circles, such as with Nabi, to username, “Spiderboy”.  Secondly, we have decided to use primarily, Easy Peasy’s Free Online Curriculum along with MobyMax this year.  Finances were questionable to make any kind of year long commitments to other curriculum that would end up costing us a bundle of money.  Both of my diffendoofer students have new tablets.  Spiderboy has a Nabi 2s tablet, and Tomatoes has a MobyMax tablet.  The Nabi 2s was $189 + tax, and the MobyMax was $69 + $9.95 for shipping.  The Nabi 2s comes preinstalled with many educational applications for Spiderboy to learn from.  Wings Challenge, and Chores List is among two of the learning apps, for instance, that come preinstalled on the Nabi 2s tablet.  The MobyMax tablet doesn’t offer a lot of preinstalled apps.  Only the MobyMax application comes preinstalled with the MobyMax tablet.  However, there are so many free educational applications that can be downloaded and installed onto the MobyMax tablet for Tomatoes to learn from.  Both tablets can access the web using the online web safety features, which allow for me as their parent/teacher to only allow my students to access websites I have pre-approved.   MobyMax offers through their website a subscription to access additional features, such as access to progress reports, and a few other features not offered for free, for just $99/annual subscription that is renewable.  Be sure to mark down the start date of subscription with MobyMax onto your calendar (highlight all of your annual subscriptions in red with dollar amount) so there won’t be any surprise when $99- is deducted from your bank account/creditcard account and applied to your MobyMax account for the following year.  There have been many educational applications and websites I have come across over this past year, and here are just some of our favorites we have been using a lot;  Kindergarten Sight Words, BrainPOP Jr., National Geographic Kids, MobyMax, Smithsonian Kids, NASA, PBS Kids, Reading Rainbow, EPIC, IXL Math, Starfall, Notebooking Pages, Notebooking Nook, 1+1+1=1, and Slim Goodbody.  There are many more educational apps and websites we use and love.  I will list these all a bit at a time to a later blog post  or on a dedicated page which will include the websites, or applications that I will make linkable, and provide an about brief description of each to allow my readers and to remind myself to know about what each website or application offers eg. educationally, and for what kind of user(s), age or grade level the website or app is designed for.  In regards to MobyMax, Tomatoes, has been assessed to be 3rd and 4th level Math and Vocabulary, and other subjects were 1st and 2nd level just within 2-3 days of doing assessments and lessons.  I think MobyMax may not be a very reliable means of assessment as far as providing where your student may really be at with his or her learning, and retaining the knowledge your student learns from the MobyMax lessons just by itself.  I think the lessons are great, and would be best used as introductory lessons and/or supplemental lessons to provide your child with.  I am using MobyMax as both introductory and supplemental lessons.  Overall, MobyMax would give a homeschooler a means to provide their school district with progress reports of what a child is learning and where they are at with the rest of the Local, State, and Nation wide common core learning should this be required from your school district to have something significant to show them of what has been covered in homeschooling your child.  I am not a common core advocate by any means, however, given that public and online schools appear to be using commoncore, and knowing it could become complicated to show districts of what I have covered with my two students should they ever need to attend public school, MobyMax makes this a breeze for me to keep track of and show significant proof of where my homeschooled students are at each day of each year.  If I ever did need to enroll my children to attend public school, I will be most assured these MobyMax progress reports will take a majority of the guess work out of the equation for myself, and for any public school towards figuring out where my children are at with their comprehension, learning and skills.  On a different note, I will soon be using Kahoot! with my diffendoofers to help them with learning via online interactive game quizzes, etc.  You can learn about this website and application here…



In closing, and forgetting to mention, we have moved south again, and the following is a brief overview of some of what our diffendoofer days look like for us right now.  For the time being, we have been doing some of our learning in an actual classroom setting.  This classroom is located at our community resort activities building, and is made available for resort residents to use freely when not in use for any events that are going on for the resort community.   We also take many nature walks, along the beach or the duck pond just a very short stroll from our condo.  It is getting a bit cool now to daily use the outdoor pools for our swimming lessons.  So, we either use the gym, or indoor swimming pools a few days each week as part of our getting fit and staying fit routine.  Speaking of, we also have signed up for and joined our local Fun Warehouse, Kids Skate Free program, which my diffendoofers get to rollerskate two times each week here for free, paying just $2- per child for rollerskate rental.  Tomatoes will hopefully be able to join Girlscouts this year, as a Daisy.  I haven’t heard back from the local girl scouts here, or from Awanas yet.  Spiderboy is too young for Tiger Cubs still.  I received an immediate reply back from a local boyscout troop regarding Spiderboy being able to join.  Certainly we have plenty to keep us busy here not only at the resort but throughout Myrtle Beach, and North Myrtle Beach area.  Other activities we have available to us at the resort here include, being able to go everyday, at high noon, to the lazy river to race rubber turtles.  Winners of the rubber turtle races receive a free Frosty Jr. from Wendy’s.  At 4:30 p.m. each Tuesday we play Bingo with residents at the North Tower.  Winners receive a package of candy or snack food of their choice.  I am happy to report I have won 3 times, handing some of the goodies over to my diffendoofers for participating as players with me.  With that said, and pun intended, this blog post is a wrap!  🙂


My Very First Classroom Form

You may download a copy of my classroom form for free at the following link… http://www.eslprintables.com/printable.asp? or download a copy here RewardStickers

This form was created as a general classroom form with a variety of uses, and to also be personalized for whatever the needs and goals are. I left enough space below the form to add a legend, notes, etc., or to just keep blank. There is also room on the top of the title, “Reward Stickers”, to personalize the form for whatever it will be used for. I specifically created this form as a goal chart for my 4 and 5 year old to be used for several different needs we have within the classroom at home. I have printed out several copies of the form to be used to work on improving my children´s manners and behaviors throughout the day, for use with their daily lessons being completed, and quiz/tests/assessments taken as well as being used for my children/students to star out what time of day has past for each day of the week as they learn what AM, Noon, PM, and abbreviated day of the week it is, as just a few examples for its use. The stars are perfectly sized to put a colored star sticker inside of. Also each colored star could represent a certain amount of points for a daily/weekly rewards point system that you would like to implement into your classroom. My legend for my point system, for example might include a gold star sticker=50 points (exceptional), a silver star=25 points (above average), a green star=15 points (satisfactory), a blue star=10 points (needs improvement), a red star=5 points (below average). At the end of the day have teacher/student time to discuss the colored stars earned for that day. The form has plenty of room on it to write notes where needed, and as needed. I left enough space before the AM, Noon, and PM to write, for example, student´s specific lessons completed, quiz/tests taken for certain subject(s), or a specific behavior/manner a student demonstrated that was observed. At the end of the week there is also space at the end of each time of day row to write, for example, subject area that was improved or needs work on for the following week. This form is a wonderful way to keep track of a student with his/her daily and weekly goals that are being set forth for or by him/her, and the progress that is being made by the student, with enough space to write or stamp specific dates as well on the form. I also suggest laminating the sheet, placing it in a sheet protector, or placing it in the front or back of a binder pocket (to save on paper and ink), if the form is to be continually used, and not being kept as a permanent kind of record. For example, it may not be as important or necessary to keep a permanent record of manners/behaviors from week to week. Additionally, if you desire in lieu of colored star stickers you could also use markers, crayons, or colored pencils to fill in the stars as other alternatives. Lastly, a student of any age may even want to use this form to track his or her own personal progress towards a goal, as opposed to the teacher only tracking progress. For younger students, even small pictures can be added in front of the AM, Noon, and PM rows to help aid with goal setting for a young student not able to read or write yet to help define his or her goal for a sticker or star to be filled in. This is my very first classroom form I made originally in Paint. I hope to hear from anyone who has used the form. Feedback is definitely appreciated, Thanks 🙂

An Added Note by the Owner…         posted by Miss Bonkers
Please note that this form is in landscape format, and not portrait format. Landscape format was used to allow for enough space that might be needed, for example, to add all or some of the following…student name, personal notes, small pictures or drawings, a date or date stamp, a legend, and adding to the title to personalize specifically what kind of reward sticker form that it is being used for. For example, I may personalize my form as, “Behavior Reward Stickers”. Also, I might instruct my child/student to think of a behavior he/she thinks that they need to work on the most. I would next instruct him/her to draw a picture related to that kind of behavior they thought of that needs to be improved upon. If a behavior is too difficult to draw then either draw the behavior for the student if that is possible, such as an ear or closed lips with perhaps adding a zipper across the lips if the behavior needing improvement was listening, or placing an x over the lips, or write what the behavior is preferably using one word, such as “listening”. If a certain behavior problem involved with listening needs a lot of improvement, and it is an ongoing challenge throughout the day for a child/student, I suggest titling the form as “Listening Reward Stickers. This form would be a great way for both student and teacher to monitor/track, and discuss together when and why listening was more challenging for him or her at certain times of the day. My oldest student age 5 interrupts a lot, and I thought perhaps this classroom form would be helpful to her to monitor herself with the form rather than just myself monitoring her own behavior issue. I hope that by her coloring in the stars and/or her using star stickers will also help keep her motivated to change a certain behavior, or to effort herself to complete a lesson, again using the point system as a way of tracking that progress made with her lessons. Using the point system with adding a legend on the same form or another form, I also hope that she may earn enough points for a physical reward at the end of each week. The reward at the end of the day will always be there for her such as a hug with acknowledgement for any efforts she made, even if the efforts were short lived, towards doing something that was good for her to do. At the end of the week, a physical reward might include something on her wish list. For example, my daughter may have a tutu on her wish list. A tutu may require at least 200 points to be earned. So, if my daughter received 15 consistent green satisfactory stars, or maybe she earned instead 5 silver stars, 1 red star, 1 gold star, 3 green stars, and 5 blue stars, for example, she would be rewarded with the tutu from her wish list. So, being physically rewarded at the end of the week with something from her wish list may help her to become motivated each day during the week to improve upon the targeted behavior area that she needs to work on. No physical rewards would be given at the end of the week, however, should points fall below 150. Of course, I may need to adjust this point reward system, along with my legends I use, as deemed appropriate 😉

Customize or Choose at Twisty Noodle

I just personalized a mini-book at twistynoodle.com website.  This mini-book, as shown below, will eventually be added into my wee Diffendoofer’s volcano themed lap-books. Thus far the additional items for the volcano lap-book that we have been working on include;  a paper model of a volcano (just needs to be glued together), graphics and photos of volcanoes that I pre-cut for the children to paste later on, a printed out recipe with directions for making a volcano at-home as our science experiment that I found online, additional mini-books, coloring pages, flip-books, vocabulary words, circle book, and much more educational information that is all related to volcanoes.  All the material to be added to our volcano lap-book I have found online.  I intend to keep searching online for even more material for their volcano lap-books until they have more than enough material for them to put together the most elaborate volcano lap-books possible.  All of the gathered material collected so far is being stored in a hanging file folder.  Different size Ziploc bags are being used for the small and loose items to also be housed inside a hanging file folder until we are ready to put the lap-books together.  I may just create a few file folder games as well that are relative to volcanoes for more volcano learning fun.  Hmm, between all of the crafts, books, and learning material that will accumulate over time with each school subject, it would be a great idea I think now to start creating a system of storage for it all.  I have given thought to purchasing a very large light-weight steel shelving unit on wheels that allows for each shelf to adjust to the height of what is being stored on that shelf.  I could always spray paint this unit, should I need the unit to match the living decor in the home 😉


Customized 5/4/14

v is for volcano

Happy Easter Everyone!!!


        Look what the Easter Bunny left my little Diffendoofers this morning!!!

They are not awake yet, he he.  Miss Bonkers, that’s me a.k.a. “Mom”, thankfully woke up very early this morning, before the wee ones woke up, to check it all out 😉  The Easter Bunny helpers (Grammy and Grandpa) made a trip from Maine to our house last Christmas, leaving the book and stuffed bunny here to give the little ones at Easter time ♡  Diffendoofers will also enjoy what the Easter Bunny has left to include a hoolah hoop, a light up leg spinner, light up bouncy balls, a magnifying glass, a compass bracelet,  a watering can, a spade, a rake, and a shovel, re-usable baskets, and pails for homeschool activities, bug splatters, balloon rockets, butterfly nets, art smocks, Easter wear accessories, Easter stickers, Easter egg kit, mini wipe of boards, a foam airplane, crayons, and of course a variety of candies and chocolate thrown in 😉  Hopefully everyone will be in celebration today, enjoying Easter Day in whatever ways they can, and remember most of all that Christ has Risen today!

The Story About Ping-“describes networking in terms even a child could understand”

I could not resist posting an Amazon reader’s review I had read below (highlighted in blue) that I came across by happenstance, whilst in a “serious” search on the web that I was conducting to compile a list of educational and moral books together to add to the Diffendoofer School library.  “The Story About Ping” book I have seen mentioned countless times on many homeschooler sites, especially during Spring, with many homeschoolers using this book as an aide to accompany a water theme, or earth day theme, etc.  So, of course “The Story About Ping” was one book that made my list to check out more thoroughly.  So, just to be sure what this book was exactly about again, and what the reviews were being given on the book, I did a quick search on Amazon, and started reading the reviews.  Hence, this is when I came across reading John E. Fracisco review of the book.  The author of the review, John E. Fracisco, tells us in a delightful, humorous, and imaginative innovative way that “The Story of Ping” wasn’t exactly meant to be written as a child’s story book, originally in 1933.  However, John E. Fracisco does state, “The book describes networking in terms even a child could understand”.  You really must read the entire review below to hopefully understand as I had, the humorous tone that the author intended to present to his audience in his review 😀  In closing, perhaps I actually should use “The Story About Ping” book as an aide to help my Diffendoofers understand how networking works, using John E. Fracisco’s review as a sort of guide to start out with 😉

The Story About Ping

Book cover: The Story About PingThe book by this title has nothing to do with networking, but that didn’t prevent a reader from Upper Volta, Uzbekistan contributing this short but delightful review, which was was briefly seen at theAmazon.Com bookseller web site, and is saved here as part of the story about the other ping. *grin*

The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack, Kurt Wiese (Illustrator)

Reading level: Baby-Preschool

Paperback – 36 pages (August 1977). Viking Pr; ISBN: 0140502416 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.17 x 8.86 x 7.15



The tale of a little duck alone on the Yangtze River, The Story About Ping is a sweet and funny book with wonderfully rich and colorful illustrations. On a day like any other, Ping sets off from the boat he calls home with his comically large family in search of “pleasant things to eat.” On this particular day, he is accidentally left behind when the boat leaves. Undaunted, the little duck heads out onto the Yangtze in search of his family, only to find new friends and adventures–and a bit of peril–around every bend.

The exceptional illustrations bring the lush Yangtze to life, from Ping’s family to the trained fishing birds he finds himself among to the faithfully rendered boats and fishermen. Certainly intended to be read aloud, The Story About Ping deserves a place on every young reader’s (or listener’s) shelf. (Picture book)


A childhood classic. “Kurt Wiese and Marjorie Flack have created in Ping a duckling of great individuality against a background (the Yangtze River) that has both accuracy and charm.”–The New York Times. Full-color illustrations.

Synopsis of the audio cassette edition of this title: A little duck finds adventure on the Yangtze River when he is too late to board his master’s houseboat one evening.

Card catalog description: A little duck finds adventure on the Yangtze River when he is too late to board his master’s houseboat one evening.


Customer Comments

A reader from Upper Volta, Uzbekistan, March 7, 1999

Excellent, heart-warming tale of exploration and discovery. Using deft allegory, the authors have provided an insightful and intuitive explanation of one of Unix’s most venerable networking utilities. Even more stunning is that they were clearly working with a very early beta of the program, as their book first appeared in 1933, years (decades!) before the operating system and network infrastructure were finalized.

The book describes networking in terms even a child could understand, choosing to anthropomorphize the underlying packet structure. The ping packet is described as a duck, who, with other packets (more ducks), spends a certain period of time on the host machine (the wise-eyed boat). At the same time each day (I suspect this is scheduled under cron), the little packets (ducks) exit the host (boat) by way of a bridge (a bridge). From the bridge, the packets travel onto the internet (here embodied by the Yangtze River).

The title character — er, packet, is called Ping. Ping meanders around the river before being received by another host (another boat). He spends a brief time on the other boat, but eventually returns to his original host machine (the wise-eyed boat) somewhat the worse for wear.

The book avoids many of the cliches one might expect. For example, with a story set on a river, the authors might have sunk to using that tired old plot device: the flood ping. The authors deftly avoid this.

Who Should Buy This Book

If you need a good, high-level overview of the ping utility, this is the book. I can’t recommend it for most managers, as the technical aspects may be too overwhelming and the basic concepts too daunting.

Problems With This Book

As good as it is, The Story About Ping is not without its faults. There is no index, and though the ping(8) man pages cover the command line options well enough, some review of them seems to be in order. Likewise, in a book solely about Ping, I would have expected a more detailed overview of the ICMP packet structure.

But even with these problems, The Story About Ping has earned a place on my bookshelf, right between Stevens’ Advanced Programming in the Unix Environment, and my dog-eared copy of Dante’s seminal work on MS Windows, Inferno. Who can read that passage on the Windows API (“Obscure, profound it was, and nebulous, So that by fixing on its depths my sight — Nothing whatever I discerned therein.”), without shaking their head with deep understanding. But I digress.