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

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The sound of writing

filled my classroom today and yesterday as my ever so wonderful 8th graders wrote their essays.
Truth be told I have missed the sound last years 8th graders made as they wrote.
//strange I know\\
I was not sure when I would start hearing the soothing sound of writing with this years group. Well this was the week that we finally hit our groove and the writing is now underway.

You may be wondering what in the world writing sounds like...
well in my classroom writing sounds like this:
sharpening pencil
asking for advice
the rustling of papers
tapping fingers
sighing with thoughtful thinking
reading what they just wrote out loud to see if what they wrote makes sense

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Monkeys in the cupcake

  Mom brought home a cupcake book from the library and I came accross this delight. I have tried the store bought monkey bread and I was not I decided to try the home made version. Not too bad!
This recipe would be great for thanksgiving morning for breakfast. Not too difficult to make and the little ones can help out.

If you have been looking for an easy cupcake book with pictures and simple directions than look no farther than Southern Livings Big Book of Cupcakes.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Chalking it up

Sarasota had their annual chalk festival where chalkiest from around the country and world come and create masterpieces on the pavement.

I am venturing back tomorrow to see all the finished projects. I was amazed at how creative people are with chalk...nothing I ever drew with chalk amounted to what they created. My favorite ones were drawn using 3-D chalk!