Random thoughts. Spinners and blocks.

I’ve been away from elementary school kids for a while.  June will be the 5th anniversary of my last day in a classroom.

I’m out of the loop when it comes to the latest fads.

Over the past couple of days I have noticed that teachers on Facebook are complaining about spinners in the classroom.

I had to Google it.

They are a little fidget toy that sits on a pencil and, well, spins. I found it on Amazon for ten bucks. Not cheap.

I had a box of fidget toys in my art room. They were intended for students that were hyperactive, but any kid could get one when I was talking to the entire class or reading a story. We also had inflatable balls to sit on and cushions with little rubber spikes. The kids with Autism liked the tactile quality of the cushions, but any kid could sit on it until the newness of the idea passed and they went back to sitting on the floor or on one of our stools.

I checked with an old colleague about the spinners.

“The number of spinners last week is unreal. Stores sold out. Kids that need fidgets is one thing. Every kid spinning a spinner is crazy,” he texted me.

I understand.

I had to laugh to myself though. I used to teach color mixing with a piece of tag board and some string. We made spinners. After the second graders cut out a circle on the tag board they colored them with markers and we threaded string through two holes. They twisted the string and let go.


Color theory in action.

Sometimes we put the disks on a pencil and spun it like a top with the same effect.

I should have charged ten bucks.

I have always had good ideas. I just am never was good at finding a way to monetize my good ideas.

On another topic, I was following the debate over HB40. It passed the Illinois House yesterday.

HB40 will pass the Illinois Senate and then get vetoed by Governor Rauner.

HB40 would do two things.

It would protect abortion rights in Illinois if or when the Supreme Court ever overturns Roe v. Wade. It also expands the availability of abortions in the state to poor women.

Most Repugs in the House voted against HB40. Most – not all – Democrats voted for it. Mike Madigan wants to use the vote as a wedge issue in the elections next year.

Rauner gave Madigan a gift. He was visiting a Beer Nuts factory and chomping them down while the debate and vote was going on.

Great optics, Governor. Beer Nuts contrasted with a concern for women’s health.


A new amendment to the House Republicans’ ObamaCare replacement bill exempts members of Congress and their staff from its effects.

The new changes to the bill would allow states to apply for waivers for certain ObamaCare provisions, such as a ban on insurers charging premiums based on a customer’s health and the requirement that insurers’ basic health plans cover certain services, like prescription drugs and mental health.

The GOP amendment exempts members of Congress and their staffs to ensure that they will still be protected by those ObamaCare provisions.

Politico’s Natasha Korecki reported on her Illinois Playbook that Tribune’s Kristen McQueary gets into it (HB40) with Trisha Rich over Twitter.

Kristen McQueary is the doofus member of the Trib editorial board that wrote the infamous piece wishing for a Hurricane Katrina to destroy Chicago’s public schools.

Which I helped bring attention to.

McQueary has not been a favorite of mine for a long time. She is a long-time union basher.

When I went to her Twitter link I got this:

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 10.35.38 AM

I am blocked by a member of the Trib’s editorial board whose Twitter handle is @StatehouseChick.

I wonder if the state house chick was sharing Beer Nuts with the Governor.

2 Replies to “Random thoughts. Spinners and blocks.”

    1. It is telling when a self-professed professional journalist and editorial board member blocks us from following their tweets. What an asshole.

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