Post it notes

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

I have decided to accept Lisa Rivero’s challenge to write 30 blog posts for the month of September. I intend to try to add 10 posts to each of my 3 blogs during the month of September. Sprite’s Site will feature posts about posts!

Another important means of communication on Sprite’s Site is Post-it Notes.

Sprite uses the sticky Post-it notes to leave me messages. She leaves hints about her Christmas and birthday wish lists



The Post-it notes are used for planning, helping Sprite (and me) to get organized and remember meeting times and To Do lists.


And Sprite has found it useful for leaving me messages like this one.


They have also been incorporated into elaborate April Fools Day tricks


I also find the Padlet Sticky Notes Noticeboard program very useful

Padlet sticky notes page

This is a post for Lisa Rivero’s challenge to write 30 blog posts for the month of September. To read all about her challenge see


Keeping calendars

The Memory Elephant had made an appointment with the Origami Secretary Bird to discuss the delineation of duties for Memory Elephants and their owners. Not only had Sprite expected that the Memory Elephant would set up files and folders for her memories without any thought or consideration made by her; but  she had also not been filling in the calendar which she was given as a New Year gift.

This had become apparent when someone asked when Tweet and Retweet’s egglets were due to hatch and the dates they were laid had not been entered. Fortunately we knew that the blue egg was laid the day after Valentines Day and the pink egg two days later. This means they are due to hatch on 7th and 9th March. We were able to fill in the dates.

When I asked Sprite why she was not using the calendar she told me that it was just too overwhelming!  She wanted to fill in all the important events she knew about (for example the Annual Lobster Fest in October ) and all the holidays and celebrations (her blog birthday in June) and then all the Dabrowski dogs wanted her to fill in different dates as well.

Sensual Dabrowski wanted her to add all the appointments booked for Paws for Poise Parlour visits.
Intellectual Dabrowski wanted her to add anniversaries of the births and deaths of all the famous scientists, mathematicians, authors, artists and musicians he could remember. He also wanted her to record occasions such as Talk like a Pirate Day, International Dot Day and Pi Day.
Emotional wanted the dates for all the marches organized by Sprite and the social responsibility events recorded such as Clean Up Australia Day
Imaginational Dabrowski wanted her to include all the events that SHOULD exist even if they do not exist already.
The only one not anxious to write dates on the calendar was Psycho Motor Dabrowski who suggested that their time would be much better spent if they went down to the beach and flew kites.

The Memory Elephant reminded Sprite that they had heard that the Rosebud Kite Festival would be held on 10-11th March and suggested that she should fill in the dates on her calendar so that she would not miss all the fun of the event!

Filing memories

Sprite learnt a valuable lesson about her part in her own learning this week.
When she returned from visiting Meredith and Merebith she was angry with her Memory Elephant for not creating files and folders where her memories could be filed and easily found when needed.
I found her scolding the Memory Elephant and demanding to know why the elephant had not put any of her memories in files or folders.
I reminded her that Starjump Starfish,  Maxine Cowie  had advised her  in a response that she should create images of files and folders in her mind in order to file and be able to retrieve her memories and instructed her to contact her again; but Sprite had never actually taken the step of creating files.
The Memory Elephant was looking most aggrieved! “I tried to tell her that I can only put the memories in files and folders if Sprite tells me where they have to go! She has to be responsible for setting up the files and telling me where to put all the different memories if she wants to find them again! If I just file them for her without her even thinking about it, she will never know where to find anything! A Memory Elephant can only do so much, you know!”

Dandelion wishes answered! 2

A letter from Angela Esnouf

Sprite was thrilled. She received a note from Angela Esnouf of Creating Order from Chaos in the comments section which was the answer to her wish for help to get her room tidied.

Hello Sprite,

School holidays and weekends are a great time to get your room organised.
Here are some ideas to help you.

Try to keep your goal small. Instead of “tidy my room”, which has so many
steps, so many possibilities, it’s better to think of one thing in your room
that needs organising. Like “collect all the books”. Then you gather up all the
books. It’s quicker and you know exactly what to do. Once they are collected,
you can decide the next step. Have you finished with some? Could they be donated
to some other children? Are some books really special? Where will you keep them
so that you can read them again and again?

What’s next? Are there clothes on the floor or in other places they don’t
belong? Dirty clothes can go straight to the laundry or clothes hamper. Do you
have a hamper in your room to catch dirty clothes? If the clothes are clean, do
they still fit? And where will they go? So many decisions to make! Perhaps you
could ask for some help if you get stuck making decisions.

I think you have enough jobs to get on with for now. But can I give you one
last suggestion? You are so clever at figuring things out. Once you’ve decided
where the books and clothes (and other things) will go, would a list of “rules”
help you to remember next time?

Let me know how it works out for you, Sprite. Which bits worked and which

Dandelion wishes answered!





Wish 1 Sprite: I wish that Dr Laurie Marker won’t be too sad without Chewbaaka and that the Chewbaaka Memorial fund will bring in lots of money for cheetah conservation.

The day after I posted Sprite’s dandelion wish I received this note from the Cheetah Conservation Fund.
And today there was another note bringing news of the cheetah cubs who are being trained to follow in the tracks of Chewbaaka and become the future ambassadors for the species





Wish 2 Sprite: I wish that someone would help me to clean up my room and get organized!

Sprite has been visiting Angela Esnouf’s Creating Order from Chaos website at  and Angela has promised she will write a letter to Sprite giving her some basic tips for getting organised.





Wishes 3 Sprite: I wish that Ginger Pony had a friend because it is really lonely if you don’t have a friend
and 4 Sprite: I wish that I could work out why Bea doesn’t like me. I wish someone could help me work it out!

Both these wishes were answered by a invitation in the Comments Section from Sue Weatherill of Horse Instincts


Hi Sprite,
You and Ginger pony and all your friends can
come and join Buddy and his team at Horse Instincts
during the school holidays if you like?

Buddy, Maestro and the herd help train people of all ages
in the subtle cues of body language and communication.
They are great at it. It is fun and easy to learn.
It can really help reduce your stress levels when making
friends and being around lots of people or new ones.
We hope you can come and visit.

Sue Weatherill

Dandelion wishes


Sprite was sitting on the grass with Columbus cheetah and the Dabrowski Dogs, blowing dandelion seeds into the air and making wishes.

This is the conversation I heard.

Sprite: I wish that Dr Laurie Marker won’t be too sad without Chewbaaka and that the Chewbaaka Memorial fund will bring in lots of money for cheetah conservation.
(You may remember that Sprite chose Dr Laurie Marker for her notable person to study for Night of the Notables   and she and Columbus Cheetah dressed up as Dr Laurie Marker and Chewbaaka)

Intellectual Dabrowski: There’s a link here for the Chewbaaka Memorial Fund

Sprite: I wish that someone would help me to clean up my room and get organized!

Intellectual Dabrowski: I think Jo was talking to Angela Esnouf from Creating Order from Chaos about that a little while ago. Her website is at

Sprite: I wish that Ginger Pony had a friend because it is really lonely if you don’t have a friend.
(I was not sure whether she was displaying genuine empathy and concern for a real problem Ginger Pony was suffering, expressing her own loneliness by projecting it on Ginger Pony, or whether this was a ploy to get a second real pony!)

Sprite: And I wish that I could work out why Bea doesn’t like me.

Psycho Motor Dabrowski: Don’t worry about it! There are dandelion will- o- the -wisps to chase!

Emotional Dabrowski:  It makes people feel sad and confused if they think people don’t like them and they don’t know the reason. It makes me sad too!

Intellectual Dabrowski: Let’s look at this logically. Do you have any real evidence that Bea doesn’t like you, Sprite? Has she said or done anything mean?

Sprite: No, not really… but…

Imaginational Dabrowski: Maybe it is the way she looks at Sprite. Sprite isn’t very good at understanding what people mean by their facial expressions. Maybe she thinks Bea is sneering at her but she isn’t really! Maybe Sprite is just imagining that Bea is sneering.

Sensual Dabrowski: I don’t know. I think Sprite picks up a lot of things, sort of by osmosis, from subtle cues like body language; so she can’t quite work out why she thinks Bea doesn’t like her; but she just has an overwhelming feeling that it is true.

Sprite: I wish someone could help me work it out!

Getting organized – Homework steps

Homework was another area which we needed to get organized as it was rapidly becoming a battlefield. Sprite’s ruses to avoid doing homework were escalating at the same pace as my attempts to help her to get organized.
It was turning into homework wars!

Fortunately I found an excellent article Ending Homework Wars by Dr Michele Borba

Then there was a very helpful discussion of homework on #gtchat. For the transcript of that chat see

The Davidson Institute offered helpful advice for parents with ‘What parents can do to help their children get organized’ by S Rief in the Davidson Institute collection of articles

I found some great articles for teachers in regard to setting meaningful homework such as Five Hallmarks of Good Homework by Cathy Vatterott

and Cybraryman’s Homework System by Jerry Blumengarten

Some tips for avoiding homework wars are

• Have a set place and time for homework
• Have the routine use of the homework notebook well established
• Allow some time for relaxation or outdoor activity and a snack before commencing homework (note the life balance wheel)
• Ensure that necessary information and equipment is available
• Parents need to provide support and encouragement without taking over the work and need to be prepared to advocate for alternate or more suitable homework for the child if necessary (especially in the case of 2E students)

I noticed that Sprite had put a picture of a small dog on her pin board. “That is Rio, the Homework Dog,” she told me. The Homework Dog has his own website at

Getting Organized – Stationery steps

“Stationery steps? Do you mean like walking on the spot?” asked Sprite when I suggested that our next step in the process of getting organized would be stationery steps.

“No I mean stationery with an e as in envelope not stationary with an a as in standing still’ I said “You can find out about common mistakes people make in English usage at Common errors in English Usage”

One reason Sprite had problems getting organized in the study area of her life was that she never had the materials she needed for study in the place she needed them – they were at school when she needed them for homework and left at home when she should be handing them in at school.
Imaginational Dabrowski was getting tired of her claiming that the dog had eaten her homework and was sure she should be able to find more original explanations.

The school was making some token moves towards being the Paperless Classroom advocated by Shelly Blake-Plock but they still relied on some textbooks and ring binder notebooks.
We implemented advice from Allie Golon about using binders and colour coding for different subjects.

Gathering and storing information ‘in the cloud’ has helped as information can be accessed from anywhere online.
As well as the colour coded ring binders we set Sprite up with online LiveBinders from
Dropbox and Google Docs are useful for storing and accessing documents. Bookmarking sites such as Delicious and Diigo are also useful.

Getting Organized – Side steps!

Getting distracted is one of the things preventing Sprite (and me!) from getting organized!

Sprite was supposed to be using the using the new hourglass type egg timer to give herself four minutes to complete a particular homework task but I found her with her alarm clock, a stop watch and the egg timer turning it over and over . She was sitting with first one expression on her face, then another, changing her facial expression each time she turned the egg timer.

“What ARE you doing?” I asked.

“I don’t think I can use the egg timer to do homework because I don’t think it is accurate!” she said. “I’m trying to check whether four minutes on the egg timer is the same as four minutes on the clock and the stopwatch is. And then I have to keep on trying it because I don’t think the sand runs through at the same rate each time. Do you know why I think that?”

“Why do you think that?”

“Well because I wonder whether the grains of sand go through the middle in the same order each time and whether they approach the middle on the same angle and whether they would go faster if they approached on a different angle and if the size of the grains makes any difference in how fast they go (because what if a big one goes first and gets stuck and the others have to jump over it?)

“What experiment could you do to find out?” I asked

“Well I think you would have to film the sand grains under a powerful microscope and analyze the film frame by frame and measure it in microns and millisecs and I don’t think I can really do it with an alarm clock and a stopwatch!”

So I posed Sprite’s question to my friends on Twitter and very speedily received a reply from @ljconrad See

“And why were you putting on a different facial expression each time you turned the egg timer over?”

“Because I don’t think all seconds are the same lengths of time anyway! Time seems to go faster when you are happy and excited and slower when you are unhappy or bored. So I was trying to find out if that made a difference. But then it might not have worked; because even when I was pretending to be bored I really was interested to see whether it made a difference; so I wasn’t really bored and the grains of sand might know!”