Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Baking Frenzy

Nicole and I decided that we would bake. We did this last year and made the most delicious stollen cookies. This year we made the choice to make a lot of cookies. We made 6 different kinds and we think there were over 200 cookies made.

This is a yummy look at all the butter, eggs, chocolate and various other sundries that we used to create the dozens and dozens of cookies. And if you are thinking your eyes deceive you - you are not deceived my friend, that is a jar of nutella - food of the gods.

here are some pictures of our delicious delights. For the chocolate cookie recipe check out Sunset Magazine. I altered it a bit because they wanted you to use bittersweet chocolate - but I found that it would be too expensive - so we used semi-sweet chocolate chips. We also used nutella as well as peanut butter. They are both mouth watering.

I hope that you are enjoying this wonderful time of year. I am preparing to purge the house soon. Two of my very good friends are coming over to help me. I call myself a sentimental fool. And I like to keep things even if they are not the most useful. I worry that this is also what some people call hoarding. I will not end up like those people on that show on A&E so my plan is to get rid of a lot of the stuff that I no longer need. This means I will also be donating a lot of stuff to the Salvation Army/Good Will. It is going to be an interesting adventure.

New Laptop

All I wanted for Christmas this year was a new laptop. I told Bren that he didn't have to get me anything else. So the plan was to go to Best Buy and check out the deals. We found the one we wanted and it sat in the closet for the past month. So Today was the official day of opening my beautiful new gift.

Because my family could all get together last night we held our Christmas celebrations yesterday. We enjoyed a lovely meal of roast best and mash potatoes. Nicole and I had made a gaggle of cookies and so we munched all night long.

It was a fantastic evening of family, food, and presents.
Pictures will follow shortly!

Monday, December 21, 2009

First real day off.

Today was my first real day off of work. I woke up to the hubby's alarm - he had to go to work today. So I stayed in bed and read The Book Thief - pet the cat awhile and enjoyed the cloudy morning.

After dragging myself out of bed - I prepared for a fun filled day.
Grocery shopping
Dog park with Tonka
Dinner with the Hubby
Watching some Golden Girls

Nicole and I are making cookies tomorrow and so that's why I needed to get some groceries. She lives about 40 min from town. In a far away land called Aguanga - it's past wine country and you have to drive past a house that has a life size dinosaur on the top of it. That dinosaur is also painted bright orange. It is a highlight of the trip.

We will be baking away so that we have lots of cookies to bring to our friends and families for Christmas. I'm really looking forward to the chocolate cookies with nutella in the center. What could be better than nutella? Nothing my friends, nothing.

Now I'm off to have some dinner with the Hub - Lasagna from Costco - yummo!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Good by 6am

I will not miss you. 6am with your cold air and your lack of sun. Your crisp air and fog crawling back over the mountain from whence it came. Your alarm ringing with a sound that sends shivers up the spine. No, 6am I've seen the last of you for 2009.

7, 8, 9, 10, even 11 - those are numbers that will welcome me - calling me to adventures that have nothing to do with grading papers or calling parents. Those are kind numbers who treat you with care. The sun welcoming everyone to the day. That should be a hint to 6am - even the sun doesn't like you. It creeps out of bed a little later and later - just as we all should.

I look forward to seeing you in 2010 6am. It's not because I like you - but I enjoy the job that I go to after you greet me.

So - 6am I will see you next year!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A slip up...

I may have laughed more in this moment more than my students. It was one of those slips that I didn't even think of while I was creating a Jeopardy game to prepare for finals. Check out the template here - So while we were playing this very fun game we came to the vocabulary section.

Students were supposed to give the answer - abated - but it was a fill in the blank question so here is how it looked.

The student ____ the teacher in order to avoid the fact that he was failing the class.

This is how I read it -

The student blanked the teacher.... *laughter and a red face ensued.

Reading this to a classroom full of 30 teenagers was not a good idea. I had to take a moment before we could continue on with the game. It was one of those moments that I will remember for a very long time. And I think I will also go in and change the way the question is written.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Teaching that subject called life...

No one ever talks about the other 'subject' that teachers have to teach. Over the past 4 and a half years of teaching I have encountered all of the following - mind you this is a limited list, because if I wrote down everything it would be too long and you don't have time for that.

- Student pregnancies - miscarriages, and teen moms
- Depression - from the very scary kind - to the go get your nails done and you'll feel better.
- Breakups
- Being cursed at - you think of the word I've been called it. Most of the time it's as they are walking out the door.
- Students who have :
  • lost a parent
  • lost a friend
  • lost a sibling
  • lost their way
  • lost their faith
  • lost their hope

- Been told they are stupid - by a parent, teacher, friend, family member

- Had them cry in my classroom because it was the first time they felt safe enough to do so.

This is one of those issues that no professor can prepare you for. In the world of teaching some kids are going to love you - and others will wish for your slow and painful demise. I have had the fortunate ability to be the the teacher kids come to for help. This is a blessing in so many ways. It pushes me to be a better teacher - and more importantly a better person.

I always worry that I don't do enough and then I have day like today. When a student confides in me because she has faith that I will be able to help. She asked her friends who the best adult would be if she needed to go to someone. And all of them gave my name. I came home knowing that someones life is going to get better because I was able to help.

I wish that there was a way to teach how to do that but I don't know if there is.

Friday, November 27, 2009

How is it Friday already?

I really have loved having a week off. Don't get me wrong I have been very thankful for the week off. But I really don't know how it went by so quickly.

Thanksgiving was awesome. The whole family was at my parents house to enjoy a feast of Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, yams, green beans, bread, gravy, and pumpkin pie with whipped cream. My Uncle and cousin were able to make it out. I haven't seen Dylan in 5 years. And I don't know the last time we all had a family dinner together. Again, it was awesome.

Today I need to give the dog a bath. This is because she loves to dig in the yard. And because of the watery bit of our yard she has found that it's much more fun to dig in mud than it is to dig in dirt. This means I woke up to a very messy pup today. She looks so proud of herself - the face that says "but mom I was trying to keep you safe by digging up all the bugs." She loves to chase bugs. L.O.V.E.S. to chase bugs - she is amazed by moths - startled by spiders - and wild about worms.

I also have to give her a bath because tomorrow is the final day of puppy class. She will be completing all of her hard work and I want her to look nice. And smell good. She smells very dog like. And no one likes a stinky pup.

So I plan on grading papers and washing a dog. And trying to lengthen the day so that there doesn't seem like only two days left of my week off.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A week off

I have a week of for Thanksgiving. Yesterday I took Tonka to puppy class so she can learn how to be a good dog. She's come a long way - we learned how to give high 5s yesterday. It was awesome!

Cooked some amazing dinner.
I got the idea from here

Slowcooker - I know you already love the plan.
3 frozen chicken breasts
1 packet dry italian seasoning
1 cup chicken stock
I also put two good glugs of our favorite balsalmic salad dressing.
Let cook for at least 3 hours on high so the chicken will cook.

After three hours add one can of cream of chicken soup and about a half a cup of sour cream.
Mix until all are blended. (Side note - before I added the soup and sour cream I took out the chicken breasts and cut them up into cubes.)

Boil rigatoni or penne pasta - cook until done then pour the chicken creamy yummyness over the pasta.


Today I went to Costco - picked up some paper towels and toilet paper. Then I made my way over to Barns and Nobel to pick up the next book club selection. This month we will be reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I look forward to it.

I am now waiting for my banana bread to cool and enjoying the Sound of Music!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A lesson in patients

I have become in love with bulbs. Planting them - waiting for them - seeing how hard they work underground just to head towards the sunlight. I think people need to be more like bulbs. Willing to put in the work to become something beautiful.

This is the garden on the side of my house. I have taken it upon myself to make it something amazing. Every couple of months I do something a bit new or different. This has been a slow process because there are always papers to grade. Like the stack I have right now waiting for me - but as you can see they'll have to wait a bit longer.

So A while back Costco had a bag of 50 bulbs for 12.99 - Gotta love Costco! So I couldn't resist that. Called my Gramma to make sure that Tulips liked it here in Temecula - she said they did and I was on my way home!

If you have a Winco near you - 1. You are very lucky 2. The people at Winco always seem a little strange which I truly enjoy 3. they are SO cheep! and for a girl on a budget - I love me some quality food at a very low price! 4. They have random items like - Bulbs for sale (2.49) and heeps of them. I could stood in front of the end-cap just staring. I'm sure there were some people who looked at me the same way I also look at the people in Winco.

I ended up getting Wood Hyacinths and Persian Blues. (The Daffodils came from Henry's - another amazing grocery story). I spent Veteran's Day out diggin' in my garden so that a few months from now I'll be able to see the efforts of my patients. You all will have to be patient as well, because as of today - no movement from the 70 bulbs in the ground.

Side note - I think that the word patients is terribly spelled. As a dyslexic - It may even be rude of the word patients to be spelled the way it is! So I say to you Patients - You are rude!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I'm in love with Ikea

I Love IKEA! Not only is this because on occasion I will see things made by a person that has my own maiden name but because of the ideas that flow in my brain when I see all of the amazing possibilities that could transform my home. If you are lucky enough to live near an Ikea please go there - just look around and experience the Swedish goodness.

For Example - I really wanted to put pictures up in the house - there was this wall in the family room that needed something going on... So we took a trip to the magical land of the Swedes and got some ideas.

Who wouldn't like to wake up to something like this in the morning!

This is the one I took my idea from.

So we loaded up our cart with picture frames,

And went home to create a picture wall!

Meg thought it was all very interesting! She was sad to see her hiding place disappear.

Here is our finished product! We picked some favorite family photos and are very pleased with our 'wall of love'.

Please ignore the mess on the table and the random cat toys!

For even more ideas please visit

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Book Club

A couple of the women that I work with have started a book club. We read The Art of Racing in the Rain if you like dogs. If you have ever owned a dog or you are a animal person you will love this book.

It begins with the story of Enzo the dog. He tells the story of his family Denny, Eve and Zoe and the conflicts that they go through.

I am a dog person - have always been a dog person - will always be a dog person. It made me think about my dog in a different way. Enzo doesn't like the fact that he can't tell his family what's going on around them. At one point Zoe (who is the little girl) says that she doesn't want to eat dinner. Enzo smells her dinner and can tell that the food had gone bad but her parents (Denny and Eve) can't tell. They yell at Zoe for not eating her dinner and Enzo can't explain why she won't eat the food.

It's told in such simple terms but at the same time a great complexity of thought. It's not your typical dog lovers book - one of the women in the group had started to read Marley and Me but was not able to get through it. This she finnished and really enjoyed.

Here is a picture of my little pup to encourage the dog lover in all of us!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

But I'm only one person... Who will listen to One person

"My grandfather ran off the V-2 rocket film a dozen times and then hoped that someday our cities would open up more and let the green and the land and the wilderness in more, to remind people that we're allotted a little space on earth and that we survive in that wilderness that can take back what it has given, as easily as blowing its breath on us or sending the sea to tell us we are not so big. When we forget how close the wilderness is in the night, my grandpa said, someday it will come in and get us, for we will have forgotten how terrible and how real it can be. You see?" Granger turned to Montag. "Grandfather's been dead for all these years, but if you lifted my skull, by God, in the convolutions of my brain you'd find the big ridges of his thumbprint. He touched me. As I said earlier, he was a sculptor. 'I hate a Roman named Status Quo!' he said to me. 'Stuff your eyes with wonder,' he said, 'live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask no guarantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal. And if there were, it would be related to the great sloth which hangs upside down in a tree all day every day, sleeping its life away. To hell with that,' he said, 'shake the tree and knock the great sloth down on his ass.'"
— Ray Bradbury

This is what we read in class today. I cry every time - Every Single Time. It makes me sad that there are students in my classroom that don't have a thumbprint. That there is no one to tell them that the world is better because they are in it. I try everyday to be the person that is different in that child's life. The person I want to be is someone who can be looked up to. I want to be the one who says it's cool not to do drugs or drink. That yes there is a way to have fun without being that bad kid and hang out with the wrong crowd.

I had a student today raise her hand and say "but Mrs. Parsons I'm just one person - Who's going to listen to just one person." I wanted to weep for her. I wish that there was a way to remind every single small person that one is a number that matters.

After my staff meeting today I got back to my computer and found an email from a student. She also lamented that she felt small and a bit lost - that she could not pinpoint someone who was her thumbprint. She apologised for making me take time out of my day to even read the email. It makes me so sad that there is a fear and an assumption that a teacher is only that for the hours of a school day.

My students are such thumbprints in my life. I told them this and they did the expected 'ahhh and oooo'. That's not my intention I don't want them to think I say things like this just to get that emotion out of them. It's purely the truth. I wish them the best in the world and that they get the best education I can give them. It's because I want them to be amazing humans. I need them to be great - because they are the people who are going to help me in my old age. These are the people who are going to be creating other human beings and if they are good parents those little people that they create will go on doing good.

I want to do good. I am reminded of this when I look at the students in my classroom. And it is my hope that I can continue to inspire others to do some good too.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

feeling crafty

I feel like being crafty. I haven't been in the mood to 'create' over the past few weeks. But I can feel the rumbles of inventing brewing in my brains. There may be a trip to Joann's in my near future.

I want to make aprons for all of my friends for Christmas. I'm searching online to find the best one - then it's all about the fabric.

Adventures Await!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

She Cares...

So my new grade book has the option to send students emails to update them on their grades, what's going on in class, remind them of tests. So I sent an email to them last week reminding them that they needed to read and be prepared for a quiz we were going to take. I didn't think much of it. It was just a little email to get their brains in gear.

But the next day in class two girls stop by my desk and ask how I was able to send the emails. I tell them about this amazing new tool and they look at me then back at each other. The both of them say almost at the same moment "She cares! It made me feel like you really care about us"

I do care kiddos! I do care!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

dogs dogs everywhere

So a bunch of the teachers that I work with have made a book club. For the month of October we will be reading The Art of Racing in the Rain. I'm very happy to say that my copy came in the mail today. - Thank you Amazon (8.99) - I'm getting ready to go upstairs cuddle up in my nice warm bed, and read until my eyelids are heavy with sleep.

The book is written from the Dogs perspective. I am looking forward to the adventure of understanding the world from a dogs viewpoint.

On another note - last week we added a dog to the Parsons home. It has been a big change - always asking her if she needs to go potty. Trying to get all of the little pieces of paper, cords, socks, shoes, cat toys and other puppy 'no, nos' up and away. She is a funny little dog who is learning how to take walks and sit and lay down. I had forgotten what it's like to have a puppy. they are a lot of work - but it's fun work!

Voices - you must use voices

If there is one thing I know for sure about teenagers - they love voices.

There are a few that I use all the time and the kids always laugh. And I think they remember what we are discussing because I have heard the comment "remember when you said ... using that funny voice"

Here are some of the sure fire winners:
Teenage boy - think low voice, slow wording, and lots of rolling of the eyes.
Teenage girl - high pitched, lots of the word "like" and heaps of hair flips
Emu - this is my version of the teenager who is so bored by their life, I flip my hair into my eyes and slump my shoulders too.

I'm telling you start practicing in the car on the way to work and you will get their attention. That way when you do use your mean voice they will know you are being serious!

Friday, October 2, 2009

There is one of them in all of us

So many things to discuss! Amazing things have been happening.

First - I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to seeing Where the Wild Things Are - this has to be one of my all time favorite books. It makes me remember my childhood, my brother's best friend went as Max one year for Halloween. And for a few years when my school taught Lord of the Flies to sophomores I would start my unit by reading them this piece of literature. It's very important to roar a terrible roar - gnash your terrible teeth - and roll your terrible eyes when there are moments of insanity in life.

I dream of being queen of all the wild things. I would love to have a wild rumpus and then be able to sail back over a year and a through a month and end up where someone loves me most of all. The smell of something delicious is always drawing me back. The familiar life that keeps me happy - yet there is that willingness to have the adventure.

How do we build that in students?
More over - how have I been able to build this in students, in the past I didn't know what effect I had had on these students of mine. I knew that they enjoyed my class - listened to what I had to say but I don't know if I thought that I was changing peoples lives. That is what I set out to do when I became a teacher. It was not for the money (everyone knows that) and it wasn't for the summers off (Although those are nice!) but I really wanted to change the world. I was one of those novice teachers who believed that I could. Well in the last few weeks I have come to find out that I may be adding to the beauty in the world.

I've been teaching a class this year - Intro to Education - and I have a student who is taking it so that she can be like me when she grows up. I feel like I don't even know what to think about this. I never thought that people would say "I want to be like you when I grow up" - I mean I think this is every teachers dream, but I know that not every kid wants to be an English teacher. Heck, Most kids don't even want to be in an English class! So when some shy student tells me that she wants to help people the way that I helped her - I am flabbergasted!

This is a picture of the quote on my door. I see it every day multiple times a day.
I want to be true to it. I want it to be a mantra that I never forget.
When we begin to allow education to be free and honest and true the walls of hatred will break down and beauty and love will flourish.

Today is Gandhi's Birthday. 140 - quite the mile stone. He is a man who wanted to better the world around him - to make his people worthy of support and a voice.

A voice that is now recognized around the world. So much so that people in a sleepy little town like Murrieta get to appreciate his legacy.

So what will be the legacy that is left behind by this generation? Will it be technology - war - peace - hope - destruction - madness - intelligence - beauty. I hope that it is something amazing. Something so profound that I can describe it in words.
And that is what I try to work on everyday in my little world, My Monday to Friday - It's in the little things. The "Have a good weekend, and don't do drugs" farewell that I give to my students. It's in the analysis of Fahrenheit 451 that I have with my Junior classes.

So wild things - I'll keep on keeping on. And I hope you do too.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Why do I need to do this?

Because I said so - and I'm the Boss!

I'm older than you - I have spent more days on this planet - And I told you to do it, so you will.

These are the things I would like to say to my students when they drone on about how hard the work is and how they aren't going to grow up and be English teachers so why should they have to do this 'stupid work'.

But with a smile on my face and a song in my heart I turn to them and explain:

The state of California cares about your education and would like you to be successful in your future endeavors. And so they created a team of educators that put together standards that must be met at every level and class for students. By mastering these standards you then prove to the state that you can be a productive human and it will be a good idea to let you roam free in the outside world. If you don't complete these assignments then, from what I've heard, they keep you in High School FOREVER!!!!

I try and sound mean so that they believe me - if only for a moment. But in that brief moment in time when fear fills their eyes over the thought of staying in high school forever - I am truly happy. Because usually this means that they are willing to do the 'stupid assignment' that I gave them in the first place!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

21st Century Learner

A Blog - Cellphone - Computer - Netbook - Ipod - PowerPoint - Publisher - Excel.

What does it take to become a 21st Century learner? Tomorrow I will be having my Into to Ed kids make a list of all of the things that they think a student needs to know for the next generation. The class is designed to help students think about what happens next in education. We have been learning about how the classrooms of the past were conducted and how much of what happens in classrooms today is the same as it was 10, 2o, and even 30 years ago.

We have technology in our classrooms and all around us but many teachers don't know what to do with it. Heck most days I go back to the tried and true direct instruction. It's because integrating good technology is hard. It can't be thrown in. It shouldn't be used to just to be used but rather to enhance the educational process.

The grant program that I'm working on has the ability to get new netbooks (don't even ask me when they will get to us!!) - and I can't wait to be able to use them with my students. They are always asking when will we do this or that with the technology that got promised to them a while back. I am feeling the same way. I can't wait until I can get my hands on the tech toys that I too want to explore.

My plan for this weekend is to make a webquest... I'll let you know how it goes :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Can I tend to the Rabbits George?

I am in love with this book. I love teaching it - I love reading it - I love just looking at it. It has been two years since I have been able to teach it because I haven't had sophomores. This year I'm on the 10th grade team again.

George looks after Lennie in a way that all of us can relate too. There is always someone who we feel close to but we don't know why. Someone to protect and shelter from the big bad world.

One of the many reasons why I love teaching it is because it gives my students the opportunity to show empathy. They are not sure why they love the characters at first. At first glance they don't have much in common with two grown men working on a ranch in the 1930's. But as the story unfolds they begin to see the friendship that Lennie and George have built - and they find themselves in the text.

Not to mention that Steinbeck is a beautiful writer! So much so that I read my students the first paragraph and then have them draw what they see. It's a great imagery project and what 15 year old doesn't love to draw. I break out the 'colors' and away we go.

I read with enthusiasm - I do the voices - I whisper when called for - and hoot and holler when the characters do too. This does two things - it keeps me entertained as I read something multiple times during the week (This year I only have two sections of English II) - it also keeps the kids listening to what I'm talking about. They have an easier time keeping the characters straight too.

We are only 30 pages in but I am loving every second that I get to read this amazing novel. It has been banned across the nation and still draws great criticism. It deals with Sexism, Racism, Disability, Profanity, and Murder. That list of topics alone would turn many stomachs - but our district has been brave enough to let us teach it - and I am thankful!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Old Friends...

Old friends
Sat on their park bench
Like bookends.
A newspaper blown though the grass
Falls on the round toes
Of the high shoes
Of the old friends.

When I was small I had a best friend who I wanted to be like.

This picture was taken on Twin Day at school. My mom helped me get those signature bangs and we both had homemade t-shirts to wear. We used to joke that Carly was a little bit country and I was a little bit Rock and Roll. (Please notice that I'm in the acid wash denim - ohhh the late 80's). She was the first person I met at Sequoia Elementary school. A teacher saw that I was new and walked me over to meet her. We were instant friends.

During the summer between 4th and 5th grade we move to Temecula and away from everything that I had known. I made friends in my new school but there was something about Carly that was kinder, smoother, happier, than all of the kids out here.

So when I was clearing out some paperwork and stumbled upon the photo you see above I was overjoyed. Now after all of these years we have stumbled back into each others lives. Through the beauty of the internet I'm able to keep up with her on her own blog and see the amazing family she is raising.

I am thankful that I have the opportunity to know her as an adult- we still have so much in common. We both have amazing husbands, have degrees in English education, and are pleasantly living lives that fulfill us.

So my old friend. Thank you for those years long ago when we were young. And Thank you for all of the years ahead - I can't wait to see what comes next.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Thanks Mom!

My Mom posted this on her blog and I thought I would bring it to you!

Friday, September 11, 2009

A wild 4 day week.

So first let me start by saying that 8 years ago today - life changed.

Here is where I was in 2001.
Living in Flagstaff - loving college life. I was late for my desk shift early that Tuesday morning. I was supposed to sit at the desk from the hours of 7am to 10am. I ran down stairs and sat reading my book. Then I heard two people walk past me and say "We are all under attack - when will it stop". So I turned on the radio and began to listen. For three hours I could only imagine what was going on. I heard the announcers talk about a plane, and the World Trade Center, and how the towers fell. How it appeared that this was not an accident. So I continued to sit there in awe.

At 10 I went to my Spanish class. The TV was on in the classroom and so I was able to see what had happened. I didn't know how to think. I still don't know what to think. It is an experience that may not ever make sense. My professor told us to go home and call our families - to make sure everyone was okay and that we would progress as normal the next day.

I walked back to my dorm room and noticed that the sky seemed so quiet. Everything was just so quiet.

It's hard to put down in to words what that day was like. Today my students and I discussed the after affects of the 9/11 attacks. It was interesting to hear how they remember the day. These kids were around the age of 8 when this happened. So strange to think about it.

So this week we had Monday off. We did some laundry and got ready for the week.
  • Tuesday was back to school night
  • Wednesday was a late start and we had to work in our PLC (professional -learning - community) and that didn't go as well as we hoped. There is one person who is "in charge" of us and that person came in and sent us all into a tail spin.
  • Thursday was a rally day so the kids were all excited about life - and not so much about learning.
  • Today I felt like there was not enough time in the day. That and after lunch I felt ready to go home. I sometimes wonder if there was a way for me to grade papers in my sleep. It would be so nice to just wake up and have a nice little pile of graded essays.

This weekend I need to grade heeps of papers. HEEPS! but I do plan on enjoying time with the hubby and meg the cat - so it should make for a good weekend.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Something to frown at - and something to smile at.

I had a friend in a neighboring district tell me that there is a board member who is planning on banning books. What year is this?!?

I'm not sure how far this will go but I hope it fizzles in the wind.

*shakes my head and frowns*

Back to School Night went well. I did make a few jokes that no one laughed at. But that can be expected. I had a few parents who said really nice things like "My kid has never talked about a class the way he talks about yours - and he normally hates English"

And then there was the moment that teachers dream of. I see this parent and a former student coming my way - He is an awesome kid and his Mom was super supportive last year. They walk into my classroom Mrs. R gives me a big hug and then says to the entire room of parents who are starring at me like I'm crazy for hugging this woman.

Mrs. R points to the crowd "You have no idea how lucky you are to have Mrs. Parsons as a teacher, She is amazing, Best teacher ever!"

Me - smiles and says thanks.

It was AWESOME! *Grins a happy grin*

Monday, September 7, 2009

A busy day.

Tomorrow is back to school night. I always get nervous about speaking to adults. I don't know why that is. I am supposed to be one after all. But for some reason I could stand in front of 3000 kids and be happy - put me in front of 25 parents and I break out into a cold sweat. I think that part of it is because kids get my jokes. I can play and be myself in my classroom with my students.

But parents are different. They want to know who they are dealing with. And this tall funny young woman - girl to many of them - is not as hart warming as they would like to think. But there are those parents who have met me before and they make the room warm and full of the smiles that ease my mind.

So here I go for tomorrow - it will be a long night!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Fire Drills Fire Drills!

So Yesterday about 2:00 (we get out of school at 2:30) I am in the middle of teaching my Intro to Education class. We are having a really great conversation about what helping people is all about - they are about to get out a piece of paper and write their own philosophy of education - and I hear it... the sound is recognizable and I know it's about to hit... The Fire Alarm has gone off.

I teach in a portable building and so our alarms go off about 45 seconds after the rest of the schools. I say to my kids - "where are my keys - grab all of your stuff" - they look at me like they are a bit confused and then the ear splitting sounds begins in my room as well. So I grab my little red clip board - my keys - my M114 sign (we got these last year after an Eagle Scout took it on for his project. Now every classroom has a sign to hold up so students know where their teachers are) - but I neglected to grab my sunglasses. We walk out to the parking lot where we are to wait until the all clear. Then we wait. My students ask me what happens if the drill goes past 2:30 - and I assure them that it's probably just the foods room going a bit over board and we will be back to work momentarily. I was wrong. So wrong. So we continue to sit - and after ten minutes a student runs up to me -

"Mrs. Parsons, I just got a text from my friend and they said that the history department is on fire" -K
"K - I am sure that this is not the case, but there might be a building that's not doing to well" - me
"Oh Mrs. Parsons you know what I mean, wait I just got another text, yeah the air conditioning system is on fire" - K
"Well then, looks like this might take a bit longer than we thought" - me

My brain is thinking, I really hope this isn't true because it's 98 degrees outside and the blacktop is not helping. So we continue to wait... 15 more minutes. The other teachers are now beginning to walk around asking - what do we do if it goes past 2:30 we'll have a riot on our hands, the Friday of a three day weekend. And sure enough as the minutes ticked away, we began to see the natives get restless. They began to move towards the gates and murmur about what was taking so long.

2:30 - no movement
2:31 - nothing
2:32 - adults begin to look at each other and wonder
2:33 - zilch
2:34 - now we are beginning to complain
2:35 - we get the all clear - 3,400 children cheer!

I go back to my classroom and am sad that I lost the last 30 minutes of what was going to be a great lesson. But this is part of the joy of education. So I grabbed my purse, locked my door, and headed out for my own three day weekend. - I also had to take the 60 essays I have to grade too.

After a few hours of being at home I get a call on my cell phone from our fearless leader Mr. D -our Principal. It turns out that there was a problem with an air conditioning unit and sure enough there were some sparks that lead them to evacuate the school. He was sorry for the inconvenience at the end of school but that everyone had handled the situation with "Class, the Bronco way".

My Goodness what a start to a long weekend!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ethos, Pathos, Logos

Your Morals - Your Heart - Your Mind.

Today in my Expo class we were discussing the Rhetorical Triangle and how authors have to focus on audience in order to ultimately achieve their purpose. I was talking about devices that authors use in order to achieve these goals and talked about Ethos, Pathos and Logos.

Now I would love to say that I too learned about these things in high school but sadly, I did not. I wish I had because it would have made College a lot easier. I had professors talking about Pathos all the time and I had no clue what they were talking about. So slowly I was able to figure out what was going on and with the help of a little thing called the Internet off I went!

So today when I had a student who raised their hand and asked the question "thethos, mathos what?" I took the time to provide them with a 'teachable moment' - we took about 10 minutes to explain what the words mean and how authors use them to produce an emotion from their audience.

So for those of us who have forgotten or maybe never covered this in HS.

Logos - appeal to Logic - encourages the audience to think
Pathos - appeal to emotions - encourages the audience to have emotions
Ethos - establishing credibility - appealing to the ethical views of the audience

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

New school year resolution

So I'm not very good at keeping New Years Resolutions. I know this about myself and embrace this aspect of my life. I didn't make one this year because I didn't think it would happen for me. So the new school year has started and I have decided that I'm going to try and blog more. I am teaching three different classes this year - English II (10th Grade) - Expository Reading and Writing (11th Grade) and a new class Intro to Education. I have been trying to be a more reflective teacher and this is a way for me to cover what I've been teaching and blog more often.

So today - we covered imagery in my English II class. We have been studying short stories and I wanted them to review the stories we have covered. I gave each student a piece of paper and had them make a movie poster for one of the stories. I got some really awesome artwork - other kids sat and tried to pick their nose. The goal is for them to use the imagery and produce a piece of work that reviews their own reading and understanding of the text.

In Expo we finished the play The Crucible. We covered how Proctor wants to keep his name and protect his children from the problems that would fall upon them if he had let the paper he signed be pinned on the door for all the town to see. The kids are not happy with how the play ends. I tried to tell them that it is indicative of the time period it was written in. After that they seemed a bit happier - but they are all mad that Abby gets away with it. I can't say that they blame them.

Because I'm on block schedule - tomorrow is the same thing all over again!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

It's been a while

so let me fill you in on what's been going on in my life the last few weeks.

RESEARCH PAPERS - I have been mental - absolutely crazy grading massive amounts of research papers. some of them were really good. and it makes me feel like a much better teacher when i read those ones. And then there are the those that make me want to rip out my eyes because they have not paid one once of attention to what i have taught them for 10 weeks. Let alone all of the work we did last semester. But one good thing is that i only found one paper that plagiarised. I know that doesn't sound like a 'good thing' but in years previous i have found 4 or 5. So i think i'm getting through to them.

I have been busy with being the senior class advisor. In the next three weeks i have the following events.

28th - presidents farewell - ASB banquet
29th - 5 year wedding anniversary
6th - Casey gets into town - she stays overnight
7th - Senior reflections from 5pm to 7 - then at 7 I need to get over to the Crystal Apple awards that i have been nominated for. (Third year in a row !!)
8th - Senior Luau - from 5 to 8
9th - Senior Scholarship night
10th - Gradnight Disneyland
12th - Graduation - ball my eyes out when i watch those wonderful kids that i've known the last for years walk across the stage and enter that new phase of their lives.

It's hard to believe that i'm so looking forward to the 12th but at the same time it could stay so far away. I am unable to believe that it's been 4 years. I have been pulling my hair out thinking about what i am going to say at the senior reflections night. Nicole and I have to get up and speak to them from the advisers perspective. How do i tell them that i have loved watching them grow and learn and change into the joyful and intelligent people they are today. After all i have known some of these students now since they were 13 - now their 17 and 18 year old young adults. i know that I'm going to sit down and write multiple multiple copies and revisions of what i will say. but that's because i want to get it right. i want them to know how much they have changed my life.

I must search for the words... always in search for the words.

Friday, May 1, 2009

May Day.... May Day!!

The flowers are growing in my garden and I'm excited! Back in January I went over to my gramma's house and got some bulbs from her garden. I have been trying very hard to become a green thumb. And so far I think it might be working. Take a look at what I have been up to.

This is the front walk of the house. I've been ripping out all the boring looking daisy flowers and adding in all sorts of fun bulbs and things of that nature. Right now I'm on the hunt to find a good plant food for my hungry gardenias. Yey for having fun in the dirt. As soon as my bulbs start poping out of the ground I will be sure to add pictures of the pretty spring colors.
But for now the ground will have to do.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Some random pictures and thoughts.

Nicole and Sunny are two of my dearest friends. This is a picture of us at CADA - a leadership camp for teachers. On the last night there is always a big dance party. So we get dressed up and play the night away. The whole idea is for schools to book the DJ for dances and events. So they give all the teachers a big party. Lots of good food and wonderful music. Let me tell you - we danced the night away. Sunny is one of the best dancers I know. It was a wonderful night with friends!!

Taco cat! Brendon likes to pretend that Meg is a taco and he is going to have a nice little snack. She pretends to be mad, but we know the truth.

This is Meg the cat trying to hunt a mouse - it did not end well for her, as the mouse got away.

I do not like it when people show off their lack of brain cells - see above. Blurg ...

Friday, April 10, 2009

A great day with friends

Today I went to hang out with my friends Sunny and Nicole. We had a lovely lunch which Nicole prepared for us. A nice cold pasta salad with peppers, onions, basil, salami, and a little Italian dressing. Ice tea and some peta chips and hummus.

We sat and laughed and talked and enjoyed the company.
Nicole and her husband Dave live out in the hills. She lives about 40 minutes from town. In the hills of wine country. It was very cold today in the hills of temecula so she invited us to enjoy a little time in the spa. More laughs ensued and wrinkled fingers soon arived.
Our dear friend Sunny will be getting married this summer so we were trying to help her find flowers that she liked. These were some of the things we looked at and loved!

We liked this option to put up photos of friends and family with a simple bit of twine and cloths pins.

Or this lovely one. Sunny really loves daisies and would like to have mason jars on the tables. We also thought that it would be cool to add cut limes into the jars.

On Monday we will be going with her to the wedding site to help get ideas about flowers and how to make the place very 'Sunny and Dan'. After having been together for 10 years we can't wait to help them celebrate!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The art of...


One of the exciting things about being on spring break (or any break from school for that matter) is going out with my friends to the karaoke bar at pchang. I don't like the fact that smoking is allowed but it's a small price to pay. It's a few great hours with friends, laughter, and there is always one great crazy person.

Last night was no exception. There was a woman who decided that she was going to dance and dance .... and then dance some more. This was not nice calm dancing, no this was an out of control dancing queen. Two girls got up to sing some 80's rap song (i don't even remember what song) and this strange dancing queen - we'll call her DQ for fun - got out on the floor and got her groove on. There was an older man who decided he wanted to dance with her and so DQ started rubbing and loving all over this guy. We were peeing our pants we were laughing so hard. It was as if the music was just making her crazy.

At one point DQ decided to take her top shirt off. We couldn't help by laugh more because the undershirt she had on barely covered her bra. So there we were sitting trying very hard not to point and laugh. But we did a little bit. How could we not. Here we were looking at DQ in all her glory and so we sat and smiled and laughed.

What a wonderful evening.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Schools out for spring break!

For the next two weeks I will be enjoying - sleeping in, going to the gym, reading books, lesson planning, grading papers (well maybe not enjoying), gardening, getting some new clothes, shopping with friends, going out to lunch, seeing the fam, watching movies, hanging out with the hubby, staying up late, and just loving my two weeks off.

I love that the school district made spring break so late this year. I know that it was a long long time in between breaks. and now there will be a solid two weeks where I have very little expected of me. And I'm so okay with that.

What I'm really looking forward to is working on this project for the Holocaust remembrance day on April 21st. I have been working on a grant for school and was able to obtain some very cool tools. There is a program called Captivate (Adobe) and it has a lot of cool capabilities that I am looking forward to playing with. I want to be able to present to my students the voices of history that have been silenced and the voices of today that continue not to be heard.

It's giong to be a great adventure.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring time

This beautiful creation is from Martha - I have loved everything she does from the time I was a little girl. I would sit and look through copies of Martha Stewart Living for hours trying to figure out how I could make those different items.
I love spring-time. It means the start of the new year and flowers begin to make themselves known. It's also in part because my birthday is in April and I love my birthday. It's not because I like the prezzies (although that never hurts) but i like to be noticed. Shocking i know but i'm kinda an extrovert. My students are always making fun of me for it. I'm the person who would beg to be the host - put me in front of 3000 people and I'm good to go.
But back to spring time. I love the weather as well. i like the crisp mornings with dew on the grass, and the warm sun that begins to take the chill out of the air at around 9 or 10am. I like that living in temecula means that i get to see all of the hot air balloons on my drive to work.
As a teacher i love spring because it means i have two weeks off that begins April 3rd (i'm not counting the days hehehe). I also get to see the progress in my students because this is the time of year when juniors become focused and more mature. they can see the light at the end of the tunnel that is 'high school' and so they get focused and begin to care about the words that i'm saying.
This is also the time of the year when i get to celebrate my wedding anniversary. this will be 5 years!!! and I'm looking forward to so many more.
so spring time i'm ready for you - bring on the birds chirping - the bunnies jumping - and the warm days. I'm ready!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

For my English peeps

If you are an English teacher - you know that there is a beast that looms over you. It is a monster that if left untouched can be even more harmful than when tackled head on. That monster lives in the heart of children - and it is called MLA. For those of you out there who do not need to worry about this 'thing' then you have no idea how scary this is to teach for the first time. I remember going home and wanting to cry.

It is the way we cite sources - and ultimatly format papers so that plagarism is left far far behind. For me I have come to love the beast. I know - I know I'm a freak of nature. I like teaching the research project. (please have me commited)

One of the ways that I have learned is to use a sample essay (a good one that was written by our AP english teacher). And today I tried out Human MLA. I printed out the different parts of citation onto a peice of paper - so that when put together they look like this (Smith et al. 98). - and I give students the pieces of cardstock - they go up to the front of the room and then have to make the citation in front of the class. - this is a very low risk activity, so even the timid kid in the back of the room can participate.
I am hoping that the kids will do well on the quiz that's at the end of the week. I'll keep you posted. I had fun and it looked like they did too. What a great day to be a teacher.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

It's a jungle out there

So i just got back from a leadership conference. the theme was CADA-fari and it was AWESOME. i can't believe how much fun i had. And learned sooo much. There are so many things that i want to bring to my classroom. here are some of the ideas i plan on implementing when i get back to my room on Monday.
Vocabulary Jenga -
put numbers on the pieces and also words like - sentence - synonym - antonym
have students come up and pick a piece. if they pick a number they look at the board with all of the vocab words on the board and then give the definition for the corresponding number. next kid goes - and so on.
I'm going to _____ University -
Using a large piece of brown butcher paper cut our the shape of a suitcase. Laminate the piece of paper so that you can write directly on it (use whiteboard markers) write the words I'm going to ___ University and every month put in a new college. it's like a college spotlight. also put on the paper 5 fun facts about the university. when it's on the wall point it out to students to spotlight colleges and universities that might not always get the spotlight.
i'm looking forward to these new adventures!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

it may not be much

but i love my sink in the downstairs bathroom.

when we were searching for houses back in August i always loved the homes with the pedestal sink. And now i have one!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

My Funny Valentine

An ode to the man i love:
B - bad breath in the morning but i love the way you always seem to steal a kiss
R - random phone calls just to say that you love me and are making sure i'm okay
E - everyday i see your face i fall more in love with you - especially when your eyes smile
N - never a day goes by that we don't have at least one GREAT hug
D - doesn't ever take himself too seriously - which i love
O - over my heels crazy insane in love with you
N - not one to ever miss a joke - you make me laugh so hard i have cried and maybe peed my pants a little
My husband and i have been together for 9 years - but only in person for the last 5. this love affair of mine is very important to me. the other day my friend Suzanne was talking to me about a conversation she was having with other friends. and how relationships and marriage is very different in 2009 - she was having trouble seeing how some of these 19 year olds get married and then divorced a year or so later because it was just "too hard".
then she gave me a great complement. she said that she saw brendon and i as an example of how a young marriage can work. it made me smile a very heart happy smile. Brendon and i have gone through quiet a bit (to say the least) to get to this point. and so now everyday i cherish the gift of marriage with this funny valentine of mine.
For the day of feb 14th we did a few things around the house. i planted some bulbs that i got from my grandma's house. bren mowed the lawn. we put the wonderful costco lasagna in the oven and watched a movie on the couch. it was a lazy day around the house. but i love a good cuddle on the couch.
overall a wonderful day with a wonderful hubby!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Hey Brotha!

My brother Evan and I are four years apart. I can remember the night he was born. It rained and rained and rained some more. I was staying at my grandma's house while my parents went to the hospital. I don't remember much about life before Evan - he has brought a very alive spirit to my family.

I can remember that while we were growing up my mom had given us toys for both genders - Evan had a doll and I had toy cars. Evan took of their heads and used them as bombs : ) - while I used the cars to drive my dollies to the store. My mom didn't let us have toys that had anything to do with violence (something I very much believe in) and Evan felt that he was missing out - so he took a piece of cheddar cheese and bit pieces out to shape it into a gun. He has always been all boy. Not only this but he has been a ladies man his whole life. His first love was a girl named Amy - he came home from preschool and was so tired from the day that he fell asleep - as he drifted off he called her name Amy Amy Amy. We joke that this is in part because he was born on Valentines day.

Once Evan went to school and the children were learning about dates and birthdays - Evan said his was on Valentines and the teacher scolded him because he didn't say February 14th. That woman was a mental case anyway.

He has a tender heart that brother of mine. He has always been able to empithize with those around him. He has the ability to see someone and take their life into his mind and ponder what it would be like to be them. I admire this very much about him.

He is also a jokester. We spent our youth with smiles on our faces. Much of the time it is due to the jokes that he makes.

So as he begins his 23rd year of life I say Happy Birthday Brother of Mine! Cheers to so many more.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

An Open Door

has a way of opening peoples minds. This is the door to my classroom. This is the door that opens up the books of years past. This is the door that children beg to get into. This is the change that I wish to be in the world.
We have a teacher on campus that has this awesome machine that cuts out stickers of whatever you want it too. So I spent 10$ and got this quote. I thought about which one I would pick for a very long time. I wanted it to be something that I would see everyday and be glad. I wanted it to remind me of what I am doing and why I do it. There is something special that happens in room M114 and sometimes I can't really put my finger on it. - I have wanted to teach for a very long time - 4th or 5th grade is when I really knew it would be my path in life. And so when I got hired on as a 10th and 11th grade english teacher four years ago my dream came true.
I will never forget the very first day of school. I remember thinking "oh wow they are really letting me do this on my own." I remember fixing up my classroom and making sure that all of the goodies that I wanted to be in the right place were just so. And then the kiddos made their way into the room. I have learned a lot over my short 4 years of teaching - much of this coming from the 15, 16, and 17 year olds. My greatest hope is that they gleam something from me. I know that I cover the standards (and well I might add - my state test scores are always above the average) but i want to teach them to be better people once they walk out this door.
Having the ability to work with young people keeps my mind sharp. And it keeps me laughing.
As I enjoy this lovely 4 day weekend I am thankful that early on Tuesday morning I'll be able to walk through a door that reminds me to make a change in this world. Even if it's a small one.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Where are my parachute pants when I need them!

This is a sign that is in my neighborhood. It makes me smile, for so many reasons. the idea that some child would risk the consequences of being caught defacing property for this work of art warms my hart. now don't get me wrong i do not like tagging in any way. i can list multiple reasons why this is wrong and no child should think this is okay. but i do enjoy it.
my friend Cuirstaun and i were driving around and saw this sign. both of us starting laughing so hard. in part because with the handwriting it appears to be a younger soul who put this artwork up - and neither of us could figure out how they would know the great works of MC Hammer. as that genre of music is a bit old for these young kids. maybe they are getting it from an older sibling.
i stopped the car and gave Cuirstaun my camera because we had to have this for time and all eternity. so I'd like to say thank you to that feisty little soul who took the risk to add a little sunshine to all the children who grew up in the late 80's. so that we can all take a collective breath and sing. Da na na na - na na - na na STOP - HAMMER TIME!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Weather makes children turn into the devil

I teach high school. i love this about my life. i do not like it when the weather changes from warm to cold or cold to warm - it is because the children turn into crazyness. today the progression of weather changing from warm to very cold and rainy made the almost full grown kids - i mean these are 16 and 17 year olds - into 5 year olds who scream about nonsense.

a real conversation - i wouldn't lie to you about this.
me - and so when we look at Montag we can see that he is missing something from his life
boy - it's windy outside
girl - it's gonna rain
me- kiddos let's focus - B why don't you explain what Montags conflict is
boy #2 - i heard it's gonna rain all day tomorrow
girl #2 - i heard it's was supposed to rain at no
me - focus children focus - yes i heard it's going to rain - let's get back to the book

this is the kind of day people think about when they picture a high school classroom. half of my students were looking out the window waiting for the sky to fall. the other 25% were paying attention to me and the rest were looking at the clock praying for the day to be over.

and then there was the moment that makes me say "yes i can come back to work tomorrow and deal with these pumpkins" this boy (not one from the earlier conversation) comes up to me after class and says
' hey mrs. parsons that lesson today was really cool. it totally made me think about what it would be like in that world that the characters live in'

and then there were the words that make me jump up and do a happy dance.

"thank you" he smiles and tells me to have a good weekend.

I know I will :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

In Love

Can I tell you that I am completly mental for these things. I could really sit and eat them all day everyday. i think it goes back to my childhood and always wanting some sort of tasty treat. one thing about working at a high school that helps feed this addiction of mine is the vending machines. i have a TA that i sometimes send to get me one. i always supply the dollar. i convince myself that they arn't so bad because they have 0g fat ... i know that this is a lie but it's a lie i'm willing to tell myself. mmmm LOVE THEM!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Brown Van theory

This my friends is a brown van - no it is not brown in color but it is 'brown'. while in college my dear friend Casey introduced me to the brown van theory. this is the idea that there are cars in the world that are just creepy. that somehow someway there is a very odd old man driving this car and he may jump out and take small children into the night. so the browner the van the more points you get (it's kind of like the if you hit pregnant nun you win the game).
so one day Bren and i were driving around and saw this thing. it's an ice cream truck. that has caution children spray painted on it. not with stencils, not with an artistic flair, but by freehand. i made him get my camera out of my purse and take a picture of it. in part because i couldn't believe my eyes. i had no idea how this thing could make money. i know if i saw that driving around in my neighborhood i wouldn't go near it.
so be on the lookout for brown vans they are always a sight to see.

Teacher fun

today in my last class of the day i lost total control. and normally i don't do that - i am the kind of teacher students hate because i keep them doing things until the very last moment. I'm always telling them that it's my time. and so there we are discussing the beginnings of The Great Gatsby - and outside it's starting to rain, then with the clouds overhead and the rain beginning to fall it happened. the downfall of the class - outside students heard the sound of "the conch" now this class is one of my advanced English classes. so these are the kind of kids who really do want to be at school, and plan on going to college. so they hear this most odd sound of someone blowing into a giant shell and they start to yell - it's the conch !! it's the conch!!! we must go to the meeting !! they are calling for a meeting!!

so you might be wondering what are these strange children talking about. they are making a connection to lord of the flies that they all read last year as sophomores. i almost let them run down the way to the other classroom to prove that when you call a meeting people do show up. but then i thought better of it. but i sat there laughing my butt off thinking that here is this group of 30+ kids all wishing they could act out a book. i adore my little nerds. they do work so hard. so after that moment when i tried to go back to the book it was just too much. so for the last 10 min of class we just sat around and laughed. i do think it's moments like these that make my life so good. not many people get to laugh that hard in a cubicle. :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

That's what she said...

I have a student who is always waiting for a moment to lead the class into the depths of insanity. Sometimes i have to stop myself from laughing with them. today was one of those days. i was showing my students how to use ebsco (an online data base to use for research) and i was using the scroll button to make the screen larger. -if you don't know this trick it's amazing hit ctrl and use the mouse to scroll up and it magnifies the screen- someone from the back of the room shouts "how did you do that" so i tell them about this trick that i think is wonderful. and i happen to say "well you use this button and it gets bigger and bigger" and this student we'll call him CrazyPants McGee says in this very small but still noticeable voice...that's what she said. Normally i would send him out of the room and scold him for being inappropriate. but today.. today i just stopped, looked, and held back a giggle.

it's these moments that i'm so glad that i don't teach 3rd graders.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Oh Happy Day

Yesterday I was able to watch the swearing in of the 44th president of the United States - Barrack H. Obama.
I feel that this moment in history will be something that I talk to my children about.
I almost missed the exact moment when he placed his hand on the bible Abe Lincoln used. This is what happened. My school has the ability to watch cnn live via the computer. So there I am getting ready to watch this moment in history and the sound goes out. So I send a kid across the way to another teachers room. They come back and say that yes the sound is working in the other room. Looking at my class I start shouting go go go! I WILL NOT MISS THIS.
All 30 of us leave my room and run into the other classroom. there are now over 60 people in this one room sitting anywhere there is room. some are on the floor some are sitting on top of desks. but all of them were quiet. it was really amazing. seeing that my 1st period class are some of the loudest children on the planet. then they asked the audience to please stand - and the whole room stood up. (this is where i begin to cry) i couldn't believe how short it really was. and the fact that 12noon is the moment he became the prez and in real life world it wasn't until 12:04 was the moment he took the oath.
it was a very unreal day. i am still trying to remember all of the things that happened. WOW

Monday, January 19, 2009

This weeks lesson plans

Okay - so I teach 11th grade English. This week is going to be the starting point of the amazing, outstanding RESEARCH PAPER!!! Did you hear that noise... children are crying somewhere in the world because of those two words. They are planning ways to come down with a cold or may take to the streets in protest.

But it is a wicked web I weave. This is the plan for the week. Because Today was Dr. King day we had the day off so tomorrow we begin the journey head first.

- To the Library to pick up the wonderful F451 by Bradbury.
- We come back and pick research topics - we go over all 10 options and students pick what they would like to spend the next 8 weeks learning about.
- 'When they give you ruled paper, write the other way' begin the conversation about the novel we are reading. I love this conversation becuase it shakes some students out of their little world. They can't imagine a world where they don't have structure. mmmm I love opening that can of worms.
- The first paragraph. Students will read the first paragraph and their homework will be to draw the first paragraph - a literal representation of the text.
- Their other piece of homework is to write me a paragraph about why they want to write about their topic and what they hope to learn from it.

- Turn in Homework
- A quickwrite - The week America Changed - no matter how students felt about the results of the election it is very important for them to reflect on what has happened and how history has changed because of President Barack Obama
- Begin reading the novel - go over the idea of science fiction.
- a couple of journals

add in some jokes about farting and falling down and you pretty much can see what my life is like


DISNEYLAND!!!! Casey and I spent Saturday at the happiest place on Earth. It doesn't get much better than that.

Tomorrow Tomorrow I love you Tomorrow!

Tomorrow a new day begins, a new American day. A day when we can all take a collective deep breath in hopes that our time has come.

I know that there are things that will not be fixed by President Obama. But it must be a time when all Americans - come together to say that the government must listen to it's people. And it is also time that Americans must let their voices be heard. We can not stand silent any more.

I can't wait for Tomorrow!
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