Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Isometric Cubes!

Let's not forget this ever so important Leap day! This might be the one day of the year I wish I taught elementary school, just so I could spend an entire day celebrating something! ha Did you know you can get a free cookie from Subway?? 

However I am well into my teaching for this week! I am bribing the kids with if they work hard these next 2 weeks, I will let them have a whole week off (Spring Break!). They think I'm so clever! I wanted to share a few picture of our extra credit that my kids did. I started off by giving them dot paper. Their goal is to start by making the dots into hexagons and then transforming the hexagons into cubes. It's a project that allows some kids to thrive that normally don't. Not all my kids can visualize the geometry of the cubes and so for some it is a really hard extra credit! I always love how they turn out though!  Enjoy.



Monday, February 27, 2012

Communication Fail

This past week I was on the receiving end of some of the worst communication… ever.

I love my accelerated classes; and I take pride in being the only accelerated teacher on campus. That being said, I rarely get to meet with the other accelerated teachers from the other middle schools. Tuesday was a professional development day, and they figured they would give us some time to meet. There are 4 middle schools in my district, therefore there are 4 accelerated teachers. The meeting started off great until I found out that I have been teaching the wrong curriculum for almost 6 months, not kidding. I'm going to keep this short and specific or I will be typing for days. 

TAKS is changing to STAAR. At the beginning of the year I sat in my math department head’s room and we called the district assessment coordinator to confirm that my students would still be taking the 7th grade STAAR test. I technically teach all of the 8th grade curriculum during my school year. I was told yes, they would take the 7th grade test. Apparently all of this changed though, and September 1st I should have been informed that my kids were going to take the 8th grade test, when the 8th graders take it.

This entire time I’ve thought my kids were taking the 7th grade test on April 24th, but they are actually taking the 8th grade test on March 29th.  

They have 2 days of writing before they take the math test, so that leaves me with 16 school days (counting today) to finish teaching my students the entirety of the 8th grade curriculum. I came back to my school and cried. I felt so overwhelmed and so angry with whoever didn’t tell me about the change. Unfortunately, no one is even taking responsibility and they are all just pointing fingers at someone else.

I finally had one of the math coordinators come visit me during my class. She said she had heard how upset I was (really? I told her she was smart to come while I had kids in my room). I told her I just wanted them to realize how it was really my kids that were affected. I know they will be fine and probably do great on the test, but there are 4 teachers in the district this affected and I just cannot comprehend how they didn’t think to make sure we were absolutely clear on what we were doing. An email; a simple email could have told me all the information I needed to know. We live in the age of technology, why was that so difficult to do? I thanked her for trying to help, but told her I could work with my 8th grade teachers and get everything figured out. The good thing is I have the support of everyone in my school. My principal and math department head are just as upset if not more upset than I am! That gives me a little relief that at least it wasn't just me who did not know. So as of now, I have a game plan and today was the first installment of assigning videos for my kids to watch as part of their homework. I am hoping that these videos will give them a better idea of the lesson the next day and we can move a little faster. I'll keep you updated on how that goes! 

So I would really appreciate any and all prayers throughout the next 3 weeks. I am praying that my kids will stay focused and hang with me as there will be some days I’m teaching two lessons in a day. I am praying that I have the strength and energy to make it through these next weeks. They are going to be stressful and I am going to be worried. I am also trying to remain absolutely positive about everything, especially in front of the kids. And then, of course, a ton of prayers on the day of March 29th

Friday, February 17, 2012

You are my Cytoplasm

You are My Cytoplasm

Oh the day of love! I seriously love teaching in a middle school on Valentine’s day! I love my students who think to give me a Valentine’s day gift! They are so sweet and precious when they do. I even got a rose from one of my girls this year! It really did make my day (especially since we had a basketball game that night!).  I love watching the kids walk around with their puppy dogs/stuffed animals and the big decision of trying to come up with a name for it all. I love the awkward interactions of couples where the girls gets the boy a gift, but the boy didn’t get the girl anything (so typical!). I love the anticipation building all day til 6th period when the carnations (that kids have been buying all week) finally get sent out! I love the “What, from my secret admirer??” And then the conversations for all 7th period of, “Do you know who my secret admirer is?” “Well I heard…” It makes the day go by quickly and I am all for that! 

This year the science teachers did an awesome project where the students had to create valentines. However, they had to use cell vocabulary in their valentine’s! I loved the ones I received, but this one was my favorite:

This was on the back! ha

I’m not necessarily the biggest V-day fan, but it is another day to reflect on all the people that help me get through my days. So, to all my cell walls that hold me together, thank you. To all the cytoplasms that fill my days with laughs and happy thoughts, I appreciate you. To all the nuclei that center me and ground me in who I am, I am forever grateful that you are always there.

I know I am a few days late, but Happy Valentine’s day!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Stupendous Superbowl Snacks!!

I made a ton of food for the superbowl... I loved it all. Enjoy!

These were the awesome Chocolate-Strawberry cupcakes!!! I didn't even need the frosting. They are awesome.

These were zucchini chips. Next time I make them, I will slice them a little thicker.

"Pop Em Like it's Hot" .. yes, I made them just for their name. Crescent rolls, cream cheese, bacon, and jalapeno... what is not to love. YUM.

Probably the most unique thing I made. Spinach and Cheese Bites... but I got the most compliments on these! Which I was super glad, because they're not the prettiest things ever.. balls of spinach? I'm a spinach fanatic.. but I wasn't sure what other people would think. They were the highlight and I can't wait to make them again. Spinach, stuffing mix, and parmesean cheese is basically it! 

If you need any recipes, let me know! I am more than happy to share! I'm ready for the weekend already, how about y'all?

Friday, February 3, 2012


I have a real issue with the word prayer lately. I feel as though the social media world has made the word a lot less powerful than it should be. Simply put, I think the word prayer is overused.

How often do you see comments on facebook that say, “I’ll pray for you.” I always end up thinking, but are you really? Are you really having a conversation with God and asking him to help/protect/guide/speak to the person you’re thinking about? I feel as though it’s just kind of become what people say, “Oh, I’ll pray for you,” and yet they never think about it again except maybe to gossip to their friends the next weekend. That is NOT what I grew up believing what prayer was. I grew up singing songs like “I believe in the power of prayer, cause I’ve seen it first hand and I know He’s there.”  I grew up believing when things get too tough and I don't know what to do to get on my knees. I used to cry when I'd hear the song "I get on my knees" because I knew what an influential and emotional moment that could be. The words "bow your head" do not just mean to close your eyes. Prayer is a verb; its an action. I think today's society has made it more of a noun, just a thing. To how many people is prayer just a thing? When someone tells me they’re praying for me, I expect them to literally be praying for me. I don’t believe that’s a selfish request; I think it’s what we, as Christians, do for each other.

 If I tell someone I will pray for them, I will be praying for them. Last summer I started a physical prayer request list. It sits in my drawer beside my bed. I add things to the list and cross things off the way I see fit. There are some things still on there from last summer, but they are things that I am still praying about. I find that the actual list helps me to keep up with my requests better. If I put someone’s name on the list, I see it every night. It’s impossible to forget about someone when you’re looking straight at their name. I attempted to start this in my phone, but I find that I get too distracted by other things. So a physical piece of paper in front of me works the best for me.

This is definitely not some “holier than thou” issue where I think my way is the best and only way that works. I think as long as you find a way that works for you, that’s great! And if everyone who ever says they are praying for someone is remembering to pray for them, than this blog can be a moot point.

I think there are a lot of words we overuse in today’s society; but prayer should not be one of them. Its purpose and influence is too significant.