Monday, April 14, 2014

What Are You Reading ?!?

I read this book once in college and then again last week. This is one of my favorite books- and my favorite Jodi Picoult book. If you are a teacher this is a must read! It deals with the issues of bullying, depression and ultimatley a school shooting. READ.THIS.BOOK!

Nineteen Minutes


In this emotionally charged novel, Jodi Picoult delves beneath the surface of a small town to explore what it means to be different in our society.
In Sterling, New Hampshire, 17-year-old high school student Peter Houghton has endured years of verbal and physical abuse at the hands of classmates. His best friend, Josie Cormier, succumbed to peer pressure and now hangs out with the popular crowd that often instigates the harassment. One final incident of bullying sends Peter over the edge and leads him to commit an act of violence that forever changes the lives of Sterling’s residents.
Even those who were not inside the school that morning find their lives in an upheaval, including Alex Cormier. The superior court judge assigned to the Houghton case, Alex—whose daughter, Josie, witnessed the events that unfolded—must decide whether or not to step down. She’s torn between presiding over the biggest case of her career and knowing that doing so will cause an even wider chasm in her relationship with her emotionally fragile daughter. Josie, meanwhile, claims she can’t remember what happened in the last fatal minutes of Peter’s rampage. Or can she? And Peter’s parents, Lacy and Lewis Houghton, ceaselessly examine the past to see what they might have said or done to compel their son to such extremes. Nineteen Minutes also features the return of two of Jodi Picoult’s characters—defense attorney Jordan McAfee from The Pact and Salem Falls, and Patrick DuCharme, the intrepid detective introduced in Perfect Match.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Peek at My Week

This is going to be another Peek at My Week Rewind!  yet another crazy busy week that ended with our schools HUGE carnival!

Last week was the dreaded AIMS testing week! We made it through the LONGEST.WEEK.EVER! Now onto more fun activities! We have our 7th and 8th grade field trip quickly approaching!! Can't wait! 

As I said before this week ended with our annual PTA AIMS Carnival!! A ton of prep work went into making this years carnival a success..

The amazing people at the Lewis Penitentiary donated their lights for the third year in a row! Renting these lights would have been a HUGE amount of money so, being able to borrow them is always a treat! I happen to have a hitch on my car so I am usually drafted to go and help bring them to and from the prison. A kid overheard that I was going to be going to the prison but I don't think he heard why ...he told one of the other teachers that he always knew Miss C had some thug in her...good grief!! LOL

One of our fundraisers for the 7/8 class overnight trip is running the carnival concession stand. This is an EXHAUSTING process but ultimately fun and by now we have it down to a science!  One of the items that we sell, along with the hamburgers, hotdogs, popcorn and nachos are bacon wrapped jalapeno & mushroom poppers. The night before the carnival we cut, cleaned, stuffed and wrapped well over 100 jalapenos and mushrooms. 

My hands were still burning by the next day! Above is a picture of my BFF thank God her and Jen were there to keep me awake! It was way past my bedtimeby the time we finished prepping!

 Here is a pic of the finished product ...ok this isn't my picture! I was sooooo tired I forgot to take a picture of what they looked like! But trust me they were delish!

On Friday (aka Carnival Day) we had to finish the final part of testing and then it was time to get to work...
I made 100 bags of cotton candy..this is the messiest job ever by the way! It seems like it would be so much fun but 3 bags in I was already covered in cotton candy and over it.

Here are some pics of the night:

This is just one of the many reasons why I love, love, love my school!

And last but not least I also got my scores back on my Admin tests ....
WOOT! WOOT! Beyond happy that I will not need to retake these (expensive) tests!!

Fun week but I am excited for things to calm down just a little! Hope everyone has a great week!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Testing & Tried it Tuesday

I have a love hate relationship with testing week. I enjoy a small break from being "On Stage" during the morning but then I get soooo bored I dread it. Ugh maybe I am ready for a summer break recharge! Oh well this week I am showing off a new thing I have recently tired and LOVED!

This is an idea I snatched up from a fellow middle school blogger. I loved Heather form Smack Dab in the Middle's blog post about designing your very own custom desktop organizer. Holy Cannoli! How have I never thought about this before. One of my bad habits is opening a lot of things on my computer and also saving everything to my desktop ...drives people crazy! No seriously if you ever want to see how a person handles stress you should open 10 word documents, 10 internet browser tabs and 3 pdf's. If the person doesn't start screaming and yelling about how slow your computer is and gets ready to chick it out the window they have hit a new stage of Nirvana. 

Love it!! And it really does help to keep my desktop nice, clean and organized! 

Good luck to all of you who are testing this week!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Currently & Five for Friday

I'm running  a little late with this post but if you read through my currently you will understand why! 

Listening: This show is hysterical! My new Netflix obsession! Next up..Finishing House of Cards
Loving: I think I am looking forward to summer break as the kids are! This year has been amazing and I will really miss this years group of 8th graders. But the pool, lazy days and sleeping past 5AM will be amazing!
Thinking: AHHHHH! I can't believe that AIMS testing week is already upon us! My kiddos have worked so hard all year that I am sure they will do great!
Wanting: Ugh! I am really allergic to whatever is currently growing right now in SW Arizona. I haven;t stopped sneezing and coughing. Blah! I have gone to bed early every night this week!
Needing: Same as above but I did find a new brand of cough drops that I really like. It's probably not new but rather new to me. They are the Walgreen's brand of Honey Lemon cough drop!
Hours & Last Day: My last day of school is May 22nd and we will only have to go a half day!! 7:30-1:15 even better teacher's can check out at 1:30!

This week we have been gearing up for AIMS week! If you remember Sunday I told you guys that we have been working on our AIMS Boot Camp competition! We completed one of my favorite activities the content vocabulary group assessment. I gave my content vocabulary test as a group test and they could use any flashcards they made. The amount of questions they got correct would be the amount of points added to their teams score. And as a bonus the team that receives the highest score gets an additional 200 points! Fantastic!

NO END IN SIGHT ..... I guess I will go buy more Kleenex and cough drops! 

Here are some things I have been obsessed with lately:

Dream Nude Air Foam- AMAZING! Goes on so smoothly and doesn't feel like I have on any makeup.
 Trader Joe's Cookie Butter - Fantastic!! I love it on gram crackers! Yummo!

 I am loving my new RoKu machine. Works so much better than me old, crummy, ridiculosly expensive and now it doesn't work blueray player.
 Bought a pair of these wide leg trouser pants and can't wait for them to get here! They will look great with my new suit jacket!
We started reading our final novel "Milkweed" By Jerry Spinelli! I cry every time we read this book! If you have never read it I highly encourage it especially if you enjoy books about WW2 & the Holocaust.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Thursday Throwdown & a Freebie!!

This month's Thursday Throwdown features one of my new TpT products. My Thursday Throwdown comes from an idea I had while teaching 6th grade social studies a few years back. 
Every week I would try to include some sort of current events lesson into my planner.  My kiddos love watching Channel One News. Do you remember watching Channel One News??? I know we watched it when I was in high school …and that is coming up on over 10 years ago: EEK! We would watch it every morning before the bell would ring. In those days there were very little graphics and hardly any music. Channel One for today’s generation looks nothing like when I was in school. Not only does it have the great news coverage but it also includes different segments that really catch my student’s attention. The Week in rap is one of my favorites!
Here is this weeks “Week in Rap
So How do I add in my LA flair now that I no longer teach SS? Every Friday we work on leaving constructive feedback and comments. We live in a digital world and with all of these wonderful  features of social media our students need to know how to leave constructive comments that build on ideas or ask questions and not create hateful comments that leave the writer wishing they never would have brought up their ideas. 
One way to practice adding professional, constructive feedback is through my Twitter Account Activity!

Here is how it works: 

      1. Start the lesson by handing out twitter activity page and asking that the students create a school appropriate “twitter” account. All they need to do is create a user name- mine was missc123
      2. Then I tell the students that we will be watching an episode of or and they will need to summarize one or two things they found interesting.
      3. Once they have finished watching the episode give them time to write their 4-5 sentences. 
      4.  Once completed the fun begins! I normally give a few directions on how to write quality comments. A quality comment is not “ya man I agree” or “that’s cool” In order to leave a quality comment they need to respond and then, when appropriate, ask a follow up question. 

      5. I set the timer for 2 minutes and ask that they not talk but swap papers with someone across the room. They have 2 min. to read the persons thoughts and respond. They need to leave their user name on  the first line -example @missc123

        6.  I normally repeat step 5 a few times so they fill up all the comment spots
        7. Finally I ask that they return the paper back to the original owner and create a few final thoughts reflection.

To close the activity (especially the first time) I ask the students what they learned from the activity!
Almost every time I do this activity they learn these lessons:
1.       Perspective – It’s nice to be able to read what other people ACTUALLY think about the topic not just the “that’s cool” or “wow dude that was interesting” comments that usually come up!
2.       Variety- The next time they do this activity many students say that they pay more attention to the smaller details so that way everyone isn’t writing about the same topic. 

I am posted this lesson to my TpT account as a freebie so download and enjoy! Have a great Thursday!!