The Mystery of Mysteries by Christina Hoag

I agree with your thoughts, however, I also like the mystery stories that don’t really have a conclusion. We know, or think we know who did it, but we don’t have the proof to lock them up. Sometimes the MC doesn’t use ethical means to solve the myster either.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The day went well for me and I hope for you as well!  The only person missing was my son.  I hope he comes next year.
This is also the day that I begin to develop my 2017 calendar, my word of the year and events that I want to attend or accomplish.
The 2017 calendar is filling up quickly.  I have the months listed in my notebook, my guidebook and my pinterest calendar.
My word of the year is a theme for the year.
The events guide what I want to do throughout the year.
Next week, on January 1, 2017 I will share all and grade myself on how did from what I wrote on my blog last year.
This year will be better!

A Merry Christmas and a New Year

big_smile  The day went well for me and I hope for you as well!  The only person missing was my son.  I hope he comes next year.

This is also the day that I begin to develop my 2017 calendar, my word of the year and events that I want to attend or accomplish.

The 2017 calendar is filling up quickly.  I have the months listed in my notebook, my guidebook and my pinterest calendar.

My word of the year is a theme for the year.

The events guide what I want to do throughout the year.

Next week, on January 1, 2017 I will share all and grade myself on how did from what I wrote on my blog last year.

This year will be better!


Let’s Salute the Week!

read-all-the-books Well I am continuing to read! a lot!  However, I need to post the reviews and will begin soonest.


School is ending for the year!  2016 that is.


logo1Beginning  with the new year, I will be reveiwing some book and posting some interviews with authors in the year 2017.  It will be a new addition.  I hope that I will be posting up two author’s interviews a week.


So Salute the week and reflect on the year, in this case, the year 2016.

A Book Review:  To Pay or Not to Pay?

(c) Michelle Dragalin 2016

My viewpoint is this: I like to read books and find new authors.  I will read a book, interview an author and post it on my blog.  However, I don’t think that I should have to pay for the book especially since I think of myself as part of the marketing plan.

IN addition, to posting the review on my blog, I do try to post the review on Amazon and Goodreads.  Sometimes, Barnes & Nobles and another bookseller.  I often send the link to the publisher and I post the review on Netgalley.  A site where I get most of my books.

Recently I found out how much it costs a publisher to post on Netgalley and send books.  I felt bad, because I realize that I don’t always live up to my end of the bargain and post a review.   I felt really bad after I read an email from a publisher who shared the costs of posting on a Netgalley and other sites.  I know marketing is expensive and I know that I that would like to get paid in some manner for the work that i do.  I really feel the book does pay for the cost of my time and writing. 

I once asked a bunch of book reviewers on what their views on the subject to getting paid or not for a book review.  Most reviewers indicated that they didn’t get paid and did  it because they liked the book.  Some actually got a fee for reviewing the book, anything from $10 up to $100.  There were one or two authors who were really upset that a book reviewer would even consider charging for a book review, because as she put it we were already eating into their marketing costs by receiving a book for free.  The least we could do was review the book.  THAT COMMENT I did not like!!!  As a I said earlier, I understand the expensive and most authors don’t make an independent living from writing books unless they are best sellers and/okeep_calm_and_read_a_book_by_petrapurple-d574t5a.jpgr they have several of them out there!

Myself, I appreciate it when an author follows me when I submit a review.  So to pay or not to pay for a review?  Well, it is really up the individual book reviewer, myself if someone wants to give me a few bucks, great.  However, most of the time I just like to read!!

Finally, I remember two movie reviewers Gene Siskel & Roger Ebert, I loved watching their reviews.  I was very jealous that they got paid to watch movies.  I mean, how cool!  IN an interview they said that they just followed an old adage, do something you love and figure out to get paid for it. 

So, that is one of my goals this year.  Figure out how to review books and get paid for it!! Don’t worry, no charges for book reviews.  I love to read to much. Big_smile.png

Deadlines, Data, Evaluation and Oh Yeah Teaching!!

Deadlines, Data, Evaluation and, Oh Yeah Teaching
Today, I did all of that and still have deadlines to meet before tomorrow morning.  I have list of  accommodations that I need to turn into to the Site Assessment Leader.  I have been promising that poor woman the list for over a week now.  
In addition, the progress reports are due tomorrow.  I have a re evaluation to complete by Thursday morning.  Today, the administration team came in while I was administrating one of the test and the paraprofessional in the class worked with the students. 
Two of the mild moderate teacher met with me so I could makes sure that we were on the same track, they didn’t need help and they remembered that the progress reports were due tomorrow.  Now I need to write up my notes, send them to the teachers and adminsteremtion because I need to make sure that they have been completed.  
Teaching, oh yes, I did some of the at today.
Did I mention that three administrators come in at the same time? One had a laptop, one took pictures and the other looked around!
I am very thankful that the paraprofessional who works in my class, cleaned the room on Friday.  I was sick all weekend!

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Oh well!  This is why I became a teacher and thank goodness for technology!  It will all get done!!!

Let’s Salute the Week!!


It is officially December! 

Of course it has been December for 11 days, but I thought I would officially welcome it !    Last week ended with me going home from work with a cold and touch of the flu.  As a result, Friday and Saturday were spent on the couch.  My only job was to keep the fire going.  I didn’t have to walk the dog and my husband went out and bought my medicine for me.  The “cold” was a bronchial cold which requira-cozy.jpged an inhaler, Tylenol, and  congestion cough medicine relief.  Now I am on the mend!

While I was on the couch and in between tending the fire, I read, A LOT!!!!.

A Taste for Murder by Burl Barer

Murder Between the Lines by Radha Vassalread-all-the-books.jpg

Purr M for Murder: A Cat Rescue Mystery by T.C. LoTempio

Killer Cocktail by Tracy Kiely

A Perfect for Manhattan Murder by Tracy Kiely

The Final Vow by Amanda Flower

Fudge and Jury by Ellie Alexander

Against the Paw by Diane Kelly

For Whom the Bread Rolls by Sarah Fox

I will be reviewing the books on the blog this week.  I will be combining some of the books because I want to do a couple of author series because I really enjoyed the books I read this weekend. 

Mystery Thriller Week

IN addition, between tending the fire, reading, taking medicine and naps (which were interrupted by fits of coughing) I kept up with social media and noticed that there wasn’t  a Pinterest Board for Mystery Thriller Week, so  drum-roll

I was asked to develop a Pinterest board for Mystery Thriller Week, which I am. . . . in the process of doing.

Let’s Salute the Week!!  It will be a great week!!

The Achievement Gap

The “achievement gap” in education refers to the disparity in academic performance between groups of students. The achievement gap shows up in grades, standardized-test scores, course selection, dropout rates, and college-completion rates, among other forms in which success is measured.

The achievement gap is a problem, no doubt about it, a very serious problem in education.  What is the cause of this problem?  According to several sources, the achievement gap is the result of:

            a.  cultural relevance understanding within the school community
            b.  performance of the school as a whole
c.  socio economic status of the school location
            d.  location of the school in the district
            e.  quality of the educator

 As I listened to my co workers speak at oue meeting today, I became more and more upset.  There were countless references about how tests, curriculum and other school materials were not made or relevant to “our children”, but they weren’t referring to all of the students at the school.  They were referencing the African American children at the school. Our school is so much more than that, we have over 20 difference cultures represented at our school.  We mirror the population of the United States which currently illustrates how the nonwhite population has increased by 1.9 percent to 116 million, or 37 percent of the U.S. The fastest percentage growth is among multiracial Americans, followed by Asians and Hispanics ( Our school has about 37%, probably higher, of African American scholars, followed by non white hispanics, Native American, Muslim etc. .  . down to less than 1% of white scholars.

The staff at this school seemed to represent the population of the school, which I thought was great.  It also isn’t a red school (a low performing school), we are thin sliver away from green (a good school).   In addition to a such an ethnic difference among the staff, there are male teachers at kinder level.  Granted the male is a special educator, but still we have male teachers in the general education classroom as well.  Finally, a school where the staff and the scholars mirrored one another.

However, when there is talk of cultural relevance, the reference is African American vs White, not Muslim or Hispanic.  Nor is there any discussion of the individuals who are mixed and believe me there are several scholars who fall in this category as well. Little discussion of developing good teachers, just recruiting good teachers and hope they stay. As a result, only one part of the problem is discussed and addressed, the other issues are not mentioned.  If they are mentioned, it is only for a moment and no solutions are discussed.

This is a touchy issue!  How do we resolve the achievement gap? Obviously, there is a problem, but what is the solution.  Brown vs. the Board of Education illustrates without a doubt separate but equal is not equal.  It is up to us to make it equal, make it equitable to everyone.   My own opinion is that when we develop a relationship with our students and their families.  We can work on the achievement gap by working on relationships among our school community. Educators can work together. We can also work on closing the achievement gap by promoting, developing and PAYING good teachers all over the nation.

Standardized testing will not show or bring good teachers forward.  Time shows how good a teacher is based on their students achievements over the years.  Good teachers , who are present for the students, have good relationships with their students and educate their students are needed in all schools.  We as a nation need to promote this so our children, all of our children will be successful.


The Associated Press. (2013) retrieved from


Editorial Projects in Education Research Center. (2011, July 7). Issues A-Z: Achievement Gap.

Education Week. Retrieved December 6, 2016, from


Book Review: All the Little Liars


All the Little Liars by Charlaine Harris

This series “An Aurora TeaGarden Mystery” is turning out to be a favorite.  I originally discovered it on Hallmark Mystery Channel and really enjoyed the series.  there were a couple of books I wasn’t greatly impressed with, but this one “All the Little Liars”  I really liked.


Aurora’s half brother is living with her and her husband (yes, she is married and pregnant), when he disappears.  As Aurora goes through the process of trying to locate her young half brother, she discovers how cruel children can be to one another.  Not only that, but also found out what parents would do to protect their children when they are cruel to each other. It’s sad how much trouble three little bullies can cause other people in their circle.


As a elementary education teacher, I know how cruel some children are to other children. Not only has a elementary teacher, but as a parent.  We weren’t as nice as the young girl’s parents.  Between my son and a call to the police, the bullying stopped.  The parents of that child remind me of the bullies’ parents in this book.      Children can be MEAN!!!!     I agree with the main character, I would press charges against the individual and the parents knew I would, althought I think they were more frighten of my husband..  Only then would the parents of the bully wake and realize that they needed to do something.

This is a great book on so many levels and I encourage everyone to read the book.

Book Review: Book 1 & 2 of Lady Hardcastle Mysteries by T.E. Kinsey

Book Review: A Quiet Life in the Country
Book 1: A Lady Hardcastle Mystery


This blog will include two reviews in regards to a new series. I am very excited about this cosy mystery series, (my opinion) because of the main characters who are involved in this series. This is a something that I have said before, I have found a new series and author to review as the days go by, so it is very interesting.


Lady Emily Hardcastle and her lady’s maid, Florence Armstrong have moved to the country. They have led an exciting life prior to this move, Lady Hardcastle’s husband had been murdered in Chrina and she and her maid Florence Hardcastle made their way to China via India. They are getting to know the countryside based on their social status, (a titled member of nobility and a servant). A man has been murdered and an expensive stone has been stolen. Who as done this? It is a very interesting path that the characters take to resolve the mystery. After all they are women and new to the country.


I really enjoyed this story and was very interrested in finding the the new book in this series. The book really takes into account the time and society where the women are living. Readers will enjoy the book.
Book Review: In The Market for Murder
Book 2: A Lady Hardcastle Mystery


This book follows “A Quiet Life in the County” where Lady Hardcastle has recovered from her wounds. She and Armstrong are invited to a market where animals are sold. Afterwards they go to a “restaurant” where they have a delicious pie. Both Lady Hardcastle and Armstrong enjoy the outing, except Armstrong is frighted of cows. They are asked by the local police to help investigate the murder of local man (who is not well liked). The en result is very interestting and the reader will enjoy the journey that they characters take as the mystery is resolved.


This was a wonderful book. I like it and look forward to the next book. Especially, since Lady Hardcastle has bought a car. The sale of the car was very interesting and funny. In addition, how the car will fit into the next mystery. READ IT!!!!


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