Saturday, December 31, 2011

So Long 2011


//I love beginnings\\
whether its a Monday or a new month I just love the start of something new no matter how I feel

I typically do not make resolutions...I tend to set goals
Two of my goals are spelled out beautifully in these quotes:

Last year I did make some blogging goals and managed to accomplish both
blog at least ten times a month
//all in all the posts even out to ten times a month\\
acquire fifty followers
//17 wonderful followers over this goal\\
Thank you to all that have joined in and I am so pleased you have decided to stay! I would love to hear from you all!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Mark your calanders

For One Day Without Shoes
on April 10, 2012!

I am so stoked to participate in my third one day without shoes event!
I am hoping to convince other teachers to ditch their shoes to bring awareness to those that go without everyday! I still have students asking me if I am going to not wear my shoes again this year! I know not wearing shoes may give you goosebumps, but I believe the sacrifice is well worth opening students and others eyes to what some go through everyday.

For more information visit

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

These last three days

As much as I hate half days these last three were quite enjoyable. I managed to get a lot done so I can plan on the first day back...which is an inservice day!

Exams done
writing essays written
progress reports completed
grades ready to be turned in
classroom nice and clean

With everything pretty much over for the semester the students and I had some time to enjoy the little things that we never have time for

Here is what we did in snap shots

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Anthro What?

I spotted these beauties a couple of weeks ago in Anthropologie.
Whenever I am in Anthropologie I like to play my version of the price is right; where I try and guess how much anthro is asking for such an item.
Well I guessed $18 for the winter wonderland jars. Well, I was right about the eight unfortunately not the one.
Antropologie was asking for $38 dollars for one of these Mason jars.

Before setting down the Mason jar I examined every detail with the intention of re-creating one of these little jars.
 Finding trees and what not were a little bit of a challenge since every craft store already marked their Christmas supplies to 50% off
I sprayed each tree with a little extra snow and spray paint glitter to give them that twinkling that snow has. I used three old candle jars with lids as my containers. On the bottom of the jars I cut out some cotton pads and also added extra snow and glitter spray to them.
I mixed a variety of glitter and snow to make the perfect snow fall. Hot glued the trees to the cotton.
 Bam, take that Anthropologie.
 This jar is a recycled candle container. I always feel guilty throwing away any good glass jars and over the years have collected quite a few glass containers.
 I ended up spraying the lid with glitter spray as well.
 I plan on making several more once I am on Christmas break!

Only three more days!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins

This is what I would like to call the genius' who decided to have three half days the week of Christmas.
that's right Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are all half days.
To distract myself of all the merriment that I am missing at home I have created a list of distracting activities
an Anthropologie craft inspiration happening tomorrow
wrapping up Christmas presents
shopping for Christmas presents
baking Christmas treats
burning Christmas candles
and a whole lot of Christmas movies


Thursday, December 15, 2011

The one with the golden ticket

First of all I had a hay day with this comment.
I believe students just finished taking a vocabulary spelling test. The student below did not do so well on his test and when he discovered his grade this golden ticket popped out of his mouth.

Student: "Miss, I'm smart...I just choose not to be"
Me: J you have got to be kidding me. That is the dumpiest thing I have ever heard. //PAUSE\\ So what you are saying is that you can walk, but you choose to crawl. Is that right J?

Student: Miss that's not what I meant.
Me: Well, that's what I heard.
J is doing much better making sure he is choosing to be smart and not the contrary. Now, if he could only remember to bring in his home work and stop "leaving it at home."

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The one with all the water dams

I am not exactly sure how this topic came up in class, but students were trying to find a way to curse without getting into trouble. I told them that if they could work in a water dam into everyday conversations that might be one ever was successful at this.

During our common course exam there was a reading passage guessed it...the history of water dams.

Student 1: Miss, you better stop cursing or I am going to tell on you.
Me: I am just reading you the exam, which is one of your accommodations on your IEP.
Student 2: I did not know there were three different types of dams
Me: Well, did you also know there are 50,000 dams in America?
Student 3: Miss, ditches rhymes with...
Me: don't say it
Student 3: but if the d turns into a b
Me: I know, I know
Well, my 7th graders did find a way to successfully work in a water dam into everyday conversation thanks to the genius who decided putting in a reading passage about the history of water dams was appropriate.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cookies and cream cookies

I had some left over Oreos from an Oreo cheesecake cupcake
I needed to find a way to rid my home of the row and a half of Oreos.
After searching Pinterest I found a cookies and cream cookies recipe that I made a little adjustment to.
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. Baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
10 Oreos
½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup of white chocolate morsels
Preheat oven to 375° F.

Using a stand mixer, cream butter, sugar, and vanilla extract together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
//mine looked like yellow sand\\

Add the Oreo Cookies and mix until the cookies are just left in small pieces.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

With the mixer on low speed, add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix until fully incorporated.

Fold in the white chocolate morsels
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

While I was mixing everything I became a little concerned that the dough was too dry. I decided to add two items to add a little extra to the blah dough.
I took my food processor and put in the four remaining Oreos and some pieces of a dark chocolate bar. I added the concoction to the dough and did a test run of the dough.
//waited patiently for the 8 minutes to run out\\
Took the cookie out and the dough, now cookie, looked just as dry.
Put the cookie in the fridge to cool took it out just as dry looking on the outside. Took a bite and oh good...not dry at all on the inside!
//so relieved\\
I am not exactly sure how the inside came out so moist, but I guess I should not judge a cookie by its cover.

//Original recipe from\\

The one with all the evidence

First of all, this student might be the loudest student I know. "A" is very business savvy and with his booming voice has great potential for his life. One day A comes up to me before lunch and offers to sell me some gum, half price (teacher discount).

Student: Ms. Hill...I mean Hall. Do ya wanna buy some gum?
Me: Are you really trying to sell me gum?
Student: Opens up his binder to reveal his stash.
Me: I'll think about it
Student who smells overwhelmingly minty and not concealing the wad that is in his mouth is asked to fork over his stash...
Student: I thought you were cool and would not take my gum...I offered you the discount.
Me: Well, you left me no choice
Student: unwillingly hands over the goods...gum and mint sprays
I decide to have some fun. I put the goods in a Ziploc bag and label it EVIDENCE. I then sent the baggie to one of his gifted teachers for further examination.
Student: Are you kidding are not seriously going to do this to me are you?
Me: A, I am just following protocol on this type of situation.
Student: Walks away in dismay
A has stopped selling gum, but is now selling school supplies to other students.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The one with no hair spray

After a student had missed a couple of days, I decided to do a little investigating.
Students 1: Miss, I heard that B is not coming to school because she does not have hair spray.
Me: Well, that sounds like a serious problem.
Me: Call home and speak with the guardian to confirm that the reason why B did not come to school was because of the lack of hairspray. My fear is confirmed student is missing school because a can ran out!
Student who missed school: Miss, you know my ... made up that lie about why I did not come to school.
Me: ...needs to come up with a better lie next time!
The hairspray issue has been resolved and B has come to school everyday!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

S'more Cups

Came across another pinterest inspiration
This one in the form of a mini s'more bite
how could anyone resist
 I formed the cup by using the other side of a tablespoon. I advise that when scooping the graham cracker mixture you use a heaping tablespoon in order to make a deep enough cup.
 You build this cup in a similar s'more fashion
 "First you take the gram you stick the chocolate on the gram and then you roast the mallow then you cover it with some more chocolate."
//if anyone gets this reference I will send you a s'more cup\\
 There was only one mishap when one cup toppled off the rack. I did the only thing logical to save it...I ate the cup
 I did not put chocolate on the top of all of them because
1. I did not want to melt any more
2. Not everyone likes a lot of chocolate

The lovely lady from Texas Cottage posted the recipe on her blog

Top five moments

I think we can all agree that at any given moment you can be blown away by what comes out of a student's mouth. Well, this semester my students did not disappoint me by their words and sometimes even their actions. This week I will be reveling the top five moments that made this semester oh so fantastic.

I feel that I have a genuine relationship with all of my students. In my classroom I am honest and kind, that is my policy.

For those that are wondering my name is not MISS; I just get called that a lot.
Apparently, Hall is too difficult to say .

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Oh spelling words

Today students took one of their many spelling tests.
There have been words in the past that consist of amusing mini words within a word.

There were two mini amusing words in this weeks vocabulary words:

1. Associate
Just look at the first three imagine having middle schoolers spell that word
Student: "Miss what are the first three letters"
Me: "you are sitting on it"

2. Quantity
Student: "what are the last two syllables in that word"
Me (without thinking, says the last two syllables out loud): "look of disgust toward that student"

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Writing Hall of Fame

 I created this frame over summer break and for the life of me could not find a way to fit it into my classroom. I am the type of person that if I do not have 100% of the details worked out in my head than I will not carry the plans out. So this frame sat in my closet until a couple of weeks ago when the light bulb turned on.
I came up with the idea to hang this frame as well as the other two with ribbon from the ceiling. The frames are our own mini art gallery in the classroom.
 //I am probably breaking 92 fire codes\\
I wish I had taken a picture when each class walked in and saw the new addition to the wall. They all gathered around and pointed as they viewed the pictures of last years 8th graders and the other three writing related photos. Some of them asked why they were not on the Writing Hall of Fame while others declared that they will one day be featured on the wall.
The goal of the Writing Hall of Fame is to post each years 8th graders after they take the FL Writes. Since last years 8th Graders did so wonderful on the FL writes I some how remembered to snap a photo of them before they left for high school last year. When this years 8th graders saw the photos and heard that they could make it on the wall; it seemed to give them an extra boost to improve their writing.
//which I have already told my 8th graders that they WILL be scoring a 4\\
I will also be posting the best vocabulary essay from each grade (6th, 7th and 8th) every two weeks; under the Writing Hall of Fame.
As of now the frames hang gracefully on the wall as a reminder to students that they one day will be featured on the Writing Hall of Fame if they work hard enough.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pull apart goodness

First off
I would like to say that I had no part in making this delicious Thanksgiving bread, but I did decipher the difference between horizontal and vertical.
I did observe that the recipe requires several steps, but the end result is worth it.
After you role the dough out you cut it out into strips...the recipe goes into more detail about this process.
Then you stack the strips
And cut the dough strips into chunks
Let the dog sample the dough
//not in the recipe\\
This is where my expertise came in handy...stacking the dough vertically and not horizontal
We apparently stacked too much dough in the pan and the ends popped up a little and one piece fell victim to the oven floor.
Add a little glaze and you have an amazing breakfast

You can locate the recipe on Sunny Side Up in San Diego which we discovered on Pinterest
{a.k.a. crack for those that are creative}

Happy Thanksgiving
or those that do not celebrate Happy Thursday!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Delivering Thanks

 Today was phase one of delivering our leaves. The 8th graders tomorrow will deliver the rest and then we will see the life skills class put on a little thanksgiving play
...I am pretty siked about the play...

I am very thankful for the extraordinary group of students that grace my classroom everyday. They truly are wonderful and are the reason why I work so very hard.
I was walking out of school today and as I turned a corner I saw this beautiful tree.
The wonderful AVID team at my school created a fundraiser for a local food bank. Anyone at school could buy a leaf and write a little thank you note. The leaves are currently plastered on this massive tree in our atrium and will be delivered to each person in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Leaves Full of Thanks

To bring my students and myself into the Thanksgiving mood...
Since it seems a magority of the world has gone from Halloween to Christmas in under two seconds...
I came up with a little Thanksgiving project full of thanks.
 For this weeks bellwork assignment students have been writing a thank you letter to one of their current teachers.
I took myself out of the mix and if they wanted to write a thank you note to me than they would need to write two letters.
//oddly enough students still wrote thank you letters to me\\
 The letters were divided into goups which my 8th graders will be delivering to each teacher's door next Monday and Tuesday.
To help students write their letters I compiled a list of thank you letters words and phrases they could work into their note. As they finished each letter I edited their work. Then they traced a leaf and rewrote their letter. I assigned a couple of students to tie twine and twist a pipe cleaner to each leaf.

I really enjoyed reading each of the heartfelt letters. I find it interesting that the students that give a teacher a hard time are the ones they wrote a note to. This just goes to prove that even if students seem hot and bothered that you are holding them to higher standards; they deep down appriciate what you are doing.


Sunday, November 13, 2011


I love TOMS for multiple reasons.
This Christmas season give not only your loved ones a gift from TOMS, but a child that might not have a pair of shoes.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Ms. Stewart and her glitter

Well the mom discovered a Christmas ornament craft via pinterest.

The craft involves
 fine glitter
Pledge floor care wax with future shine
Clear ornaments
We used Martha Stewart's glitter because she seems to be the queen of glitter land
The pledge floor care was located at our local Wal-Mart...there are three different kinds so make sure you have the right one.
First take off the top of the ornament off
Pour the pledge into the orb and swirl around making sure you do not create any bubbles.
Now, just so you know the first two I made resulted in a massive mess as I squirted the pledge everywhere. I ended up having to clean the ornament and my hands to rid them of the stickiness.
Clean the orb opening with a q-tip...I of course forgot this step and nothing bad happened...yet
Pour, swirl and then dump the glitter out
And here you go a nice glittery ornament to hang on the tree
or a bird feeder