Friday, September 30, 2011

Saturday Stumbles

It's October 1!!  How did we get here?  I love October because of the promise of cool weather, pumpkins, fall colors, sweaters and boots.

Twelve days of Christmas
Oh I love this!  Such a fun way to let someone know you're thinking about them.

Pumpkin Pie and Spiced & Sugared Nuts
These would make a great neighbor gift or a little something for the co-workers because you could make a lot of them.

It Is Real
Lauren took the words right out of my mouth!  I know I get strange looks from people when I tell them I have "bloggy" friends that I've never met...but It.Is.Real.

On Friends
Do you have friends like this?  I literally feel spoiled sometimes because of the great friends I have.  They are the gems in my life.

So what did you find this week?  Check out the guidelines then link up below.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Saturday Stumbles

Welcome to the weekend!  Hope you have something fun planned.  I've got plans to see a very exciting soccer game on nephew!  That's about the highlight of my weekend!

Are you ready for some stumbles?

Crockpot Potato Chowder
Fall weather brings about all sorts of good food and this is one I'm dying to try!

Color Scavenger Hunt and Nature Bracelet
I'm always looking for fun stuff to do with the kiddos and this is fun and educational.

10 Ways to Celebrate Worldwide Day of Play
Kids don't get outside and play enough.  I think we can all agree on that.  I love this list to help kids get outside and play!

Chicken Parmesan Skillet Pot Pie
Deliciousness in a skillet!

So what did you find this week?  Link up below so we can all enjoy!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Top 10 Things Your Middle School Teachers Wants You to Know

We are now a month into school and I'm already ready for Thanksgiving break. Is that bad??

Actually I have to say I really enjoy my kids this year. Some of them really make me the one who told me he needed to go to the bathroom to do #2. Mind you I teach 6th graders. I'll have to remind of him of that in a couple years!

But while teaching itself can be exhausting, a lot of the time it's the parents who require more attention than the kids do. So I've compiled a list of things that your middle school teacher wants you to know.

1. Make your child responsible/accountable for their work
Middle school is the time to give your child some independence when it comes to their work. I hate to break it to you, but in the grand scheme of life, the grades your child makes in middle school won't make or break them. So it is a good time to give them some wings. Making a low grade (even an F) on a single assignment isn't the end of the world. Use it as a teaching tool and find out why they think they got the low grade. If the low grades become a pattern, then it's time for a conference.

2.Ask your child.
When I get an email from a parent asking about why their child got a certain grade, my first question is always "have you asked your child?" Remember #1 above? Yeah, well THIS is where that comes into play. I promise we don't roll a die to get a grade for your child. THEY should know why they got the grade they got. If you could get into the habit of asking them, then they will begin to see THEIR grades as THEIR responsibility.

3. Partner with us.
While we want your child to be accountable for their work, that doesn't mean you should take a hands off approach. Help us by reinforcing what we're doing in the classroom. For example, in my classes we're studying rocks. Do I expect my parents to be geologists? No way. But walk with your child out in the yard and let them talk to you about a rock they found. Ask them questions about it. The fact that they're talking about it is good for them.

4. You may have to help more than you're comfortable with.
If you have a special needs child or a child that needs more support than the average student, it may require more work on your part. I had a conference with a parent of a student who requires extra support. The parent basically told us that she only wanted to help with what was convenient for her. I really wanted to reach across the table and strangle them. I will help your child be successful in the classroom, but I need your help in doing so at home.

5. Email during the day.
If it's well after the school day, then I will not answer your email. If you need something immediately, email me during the school day or no later than an hour after the school day...because chances are I'm still there. But believe it or not I do have a life and responsibilities I have to get done once the school day is over.

6. Stock up
One of the easiest way to help your child be successful is to make sure they're stocked up with school supplies. I can tell you right now that one glue stick will not last the whole year. One of my favorite lines I hear is "Someone stole my scissors" [or insert any said school supply]. But the problem is that kids think once their stuff gets stolen (or more times than not, LOST) they think they don't have to replace it. I do not have enough supplies to stock up 105 students. Please make sure they plenty of what they need and replenish when it runs out.

7. Encourage us.
Everyone loves an "atta girl" or a pat on the back. Teachers are no exception. An email or a post-it note just to say "hey, my child loves your class or they talked about this fun thing they did in your class" would totally make my day. I actually have a folder in my Outlook that's just for those kind of emails. When I'm having an off day I go straight to that folder.

8. Label your child's stuff.
If you're going to spend $100 on a North Face jacket, then please put a name in it because it WILL get misplaced. If they lose stuff at home, they will certainly lose it at school too. Label jackets, pencil pouches, lunch boxes, binders, jump drives, etc.

9. Schedule smarter.
If possible, please, please, please, try and schedule appointments on teacher workdays or half days (if you have them). I know it's not possible sometimes, but the problem is that when kids miss a day or class in middle school they miss a lot. In elementary, they are used to making up a day's assignments by completing a worksheet. In middle school, though, there is so much they miss in class discussions or activities that just can't be duplicated. For example, tomorrow my kids are doing a simulation activity where they are acting out the rock cycle and all the processes that happen to a rock. There's no way a kid can make that up. They miss the discussion that will take place and I will have to depend on them to read about it to make it up. It just won't be the same.

10. Take notes.
I'm just putting it out there...Christmas break is only about 3 months away. Kids still give gifts to their teachers in middle school (and, yes, we like them!!). But when a kid can have up to 8 different teachers, it can be overwhelming. I've already written a couple posts on ideas you could be thinking about.

Please know that you the parent and I the teacher are on the same team. We both want what's best for your child!

Now I need to go finish grading some lab reports!

Linked to Amanda's Top Ten Tuesday.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Saturday Stumbles

Whew...I've been busy making cupcakes for a Toy Story birthday party. I'll have to get some pictures posted once they're set up at the party. They're pretty cute...if I do say so myself!

Moving on to the stumbles!

Witness to Apocalypse
Granted this is about a week late and I had every intention of posting it last week, but somehow it got by me. This is a collection of eyewitness accounts of the events of September 11. From people who were in the towers and got out in time to people who made one small decision that day out of their ordinary routine that altered their life forever. A very sobering read.

On a lighter note...
Cheese Stuffed Zucchini rolls

My parents moved out of our childhood home about 3 years now.  Someone purchased the home and was going to move it off the lot. (Why anyone would want to buy a 31 year old house and transport it is beyond me)  Before they did that, they let us see it and take some memorabilia.  I got a couple of bricks, found some old birthday cards (from when I was TWO!) and a window.  I have no idea what to really do with any of it but I know I like having a piece of the only home I've known.  This, however, is something I'm thinking about doing with the window.

And one last recipe from my friend Jessie!
I've got chicken tenders I've been dying to do something with and this is the perfect dish!

I can't wait to see what you've stumbled!  Read the guidelines and link away!

Friday, September 09, 2011

Saturday Stumbles

Well, here we are! Another weekend! Time to share what you found stumble worthy this week.

Homemade ranch dressing
I just don't comprehend people who don't like ranch dressing. What's NOT to like? It's the sole reason I can down celery...well, IT and peanut butter!

Disney Bound
This is the coolest site that my friend Amanda showed me. This lady creates outfits based on Disney characters or movies. So cute!! Here are some of my favorites she created from one of my favorite Disney movies, The Little Mermaid:

Who knew you could freeze cream cheese?  Check out this list to find out what else you can freeze.

My stumbles were all over the place today.  Just wanted to keep you on your toes!  So check out the guidelines and link up below!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Saturday Stumbles

Happy Labor Day weekend! I hope you get to enjoy a little time off and relax with friends and family. I'm celebrating my dad's birthday with the fam at the pool.

Pop-Tart Pops
Mini pop-tarts on a stick...doesn't get any better (or cuter) than this!

Tin Foil Dinner
I've been looking for quick and easy dinners and this has so many possibilities.

Crockpot Sugared Pecans or Walnuts
I am definitely saving this for Christmas. What a simple and easy gift...packaged in a cute mason jar or box! I can see the cuteness now!

Peanut Butter Sheet Cake
I'm thinking about making this for my dad's birthday. I could eat anything peanut butter!

Now it's your turn to link up!  Share with us what you've stumbled this week.  Read the guidelines and add your link below!

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