Saturday, February 25, 2012

All about (or a little) Hippos.

This week was only four days long because Monday was President's Day, and I was grateful for a short week. My teacher, Mrs. J- was out all week because of the flu, and so I became responsible for all the little things I never realized she did for me. I took attendance and learned how to send the sheet to the office. I learned to write many many lists of students who needed to complete make-up homework, students who were tardy, students who needed work to do during in-school, students who needed extra help, students who needed to spend time in the guidance counselor's room...and on and on.

And I took calm breathes and plunged in the days, hoping I was doing something correct.

Currently, my students are finishing up their research unit, and yesterday I brought home a large and (I'll admit slightly depressing) stack of papers to grade.

I had my students write their reports in little blue paper books so at the end of this project they can take home a book all about the animal they researched.

One of my students cover reads, "All about Hippos" by H-.
The pages are set up carefully:
Page 1 : Introduction
Pages 2-4 : three main points and supporting details (each point goes on a separate page)
Page 5 : Conclusion
Page 6 : Works Cited.

It sounds simple, but it's been a long and tiring process for all of us,  I think.
I only have one week left at the Middle School, and I will miss these children and the teachers. It has been a wonderful experience.

But I'm glad it's the weekend.

I did laundry, went for a run and made these breakfast bars this morning....happy Saturday!

Breakfast Bars
(adapted from a recipe on Pinterest)

1.5 cups oats
2-3 ripe bananas
1 cup applesauce
A handful of raisins
About 1/2 a tsp. of cinnamon
A handful of cinnamon chips (optional)

Bake for 350 degrees for 30-35 min.

Next time I'm going to add nuts and and maybe coconut.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Old and New

Valentine's Day has come and gone in the 6th grade hall at the middle school, and I am left with many Valentines and candies on my desk.
I remember Valentine's day being a big day during school, even in High School, and Tuesday was the same for my students. They dressed in red and pink and had an excuse to eat way too much sugar...and the cafeteria ladies made chocolate cookies with pink M&M's peeking through.

But I celebrated Valentine's that evening with friends (old and new) eating authentic Indian food with our fingers (it's cultural apparently) and baking double chocolate fudge brownies.

I'm thankful for reasons to get together with friends. I hope your Thursday has been wonderful and full of ordinary beauty.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Today my 6th graders demonstrated how to do "something" for 4-H. Some demonstrated how to use chopsticks, some how to build a birdhouse, some how to play the guitar, and most demonstrated how to bake brownies, cookies, and my favorite chocolate crackers.

My student, K-, handed out little bags of crackers to me, my teacher, and the 4-H lady. I broke off a corner while the 4-H lady told my class about 4-H camp this summer and ate it. Chocolate saltiness exploded in my mouth and I quickly broke off another piece. By the end of the day my bag of crackers was empty, and when I got home from school I looked up the recipe. I plan to make these very soon.

Saltine Chocolate Crackers

  • 4 ounces saltine crackers
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (My student used half dark chocolate and half white chocolate chips, which I would recommend)
  • 3/4 c. chopped pecans (My student did not add nuts, but I think I will when I make these)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).
  2. Line cookie sheet with saltine crackers in single layer.
  3. In a saucepan combine the sugar and the butter. Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes. Immediately pour over saltines and spread t cover crackers completely.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over the top. Let sit for 5 minutes. Spread melted chocolate and top with chopped nuts. Cool completely and break into pieces.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Student Teaching.

I've been teaching for about a month now, and I am getting used to early mornings and early bedtimes. The sunrises are beautiful in Tennessee when they surround the mountains with pink and purple sky. At first I hated teaching (oh no!) because of the early mornings and fears of being a terrible teacher. But I'm learning to enjoy the rhythm of the days, and by 2:50 I'm exhausted but satisfied that I have purpose in this profession.
So many children come from broken homes, and I am thankful I can offer a smile or affirmation. I enjoy the evenings off that give me time to write and read. I lesson plan and grade a little after school, but mostly I can get these things finished during my planning period and over the weekend on Saturday mornings at the coffee shop.
God has been my source of strength, revival, and hope these past few weeks, and I am beginning to find joy and contentment in Him.
I'm beginning a Research Unit with my 6th graders tomorrow and am excited to see how this goes. I've already had a few lessons flop due to high expectations and inexperience, so I'm crossing my fingers.

Happy Wednesday!