Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Recess Detention Part II

During another recent recess detention, the gentlemen offenders made themselves very useful.  I asked them if they could figure out a way to attach my jingle bells to my classroom door.  (I snagged these for just twenty-five cents at a garage sale this summer and have been anxiously waiting to get them out and add some holiday cheer to my surroundings. For more garage sale finds, click here.)  

While surveying the bell-hanging situation, they noticed that my doorstop was not attached very well.  Being the helpful gentlemen that they are, one of them ran to the utility closet and grabbed the tool box.  Not only did they hang my jingle bells, but they also fixed my door stop.  I'm beginning to enjoy this recess detention thing.  

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Bust Out the Underground Railroad Quilt!

  I absolutely love history, and my students do, too.  They actually clapped when I announced that it was time for history class on Friday.  Last week we began Chapter 13 in our new history book, Changing Frontiers, published by Christian Light Publications.  I am really enjoying this book.  It is well-written and the graphics are amazing.  There are many references in the book to the most intriguing history stories, including quotes from Frederick Douglas and a section on the Amistad.  While reading about the Underground Railroad I rushed to my closet and dug out my Underground Railroad Quilt (read more about that here) and explained what each of the squares meant.   If we as teachers are enjoying the material we are teaching, our students will as well.  Jeff says, "Some days are for presenting well-prepared lectures, and other days are for busting out the Underground Railroad quilt!"  
Okay, dear. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Fish. Journals. Deep-sea Vipers. Seeing Eye Dog Allergy.

While we are in a "fishy" mood, here are two entries from my students' journals.  Note the writing on the one below the deep-sea viper.   It really fits the drawing.  Creative students are delightful.   Good work, class!  
And the seeing eye dog allergy, well, while my husband was helping me edit this and come up with a title, his eye was really bothering him.  He had let a seeing eye dog lick him in the eye, and it irritated his eye.  Jeff says we should be sweet to animals and humans.  

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Fish Pen Motivation

       I was really getting frustrated with my students' pre-algebra grades when I remembered that neat little wooden fish pen I'd picked up at the Cracker Barrel gift shop this summer.  "Okay," I told them in my best teacher voice, "whoever improves their grade the most on this next algebra test gets this fish pen."  I was holding up the fish pen as well, hoping to tantalize them with it.  But I figured it wasn't enough, and that the test was too far in the future.  "In fact," I added, going out on a limb, "if you can all make a 100% on your math today, I will get you all a fish pen."  (Positive peer pressure- they all had to make a 100 on the same day.)  Big smile.  Panic.  Where on earth am I going to find 17 fish pens, and how much will that cost?  Too late.  I had already said it, and I mean what I say. 

Of course, they all got a 100% on their math that day, and they have, with a few exceptions, made a 100% on each of their daily math assignments since I made that brave announcement a few weeks ago.  It worked!  They realized they could do it.  But now I had to find the fish pens.  I found a few lame ones, and then I found the awesome ones pictured above, only I would have had to buy a gross of them (144) for $125.  I eventually found just 36 of them for a much more reasonable price on eBay.  Yay for eBay.  So, the students all got neat fish pens, they also all are making much better math grades, and I kept my word.   And, while I was looking for fish pens, I found this fish purse.  I just couldn't resist, especially when I saw the inside-- guts and all!  Whoo hoo! 

Psalm 67 by Oasis Chorale

This is a new piece written by Wendell Glick.  

Thursday, December 1, 2016

French Fried Tatur Plow

I have heard of potatoes being called "taters", but I have never seen it spelled this way before.  Thanks to Solomon McMurray for sharing this find.  And, in case you were wondering, (I sure was), below is a picture of a three-point potato plow.  Happy Friday, everyone!  

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Recess Detention Redemption

During lunch recess, I like to stay inside.  Thus, I have been appointed to keep an eye on the gentlemen from the 7th grade who have an extra five or ten minutes to spend inside due to an offense of some sort.  One day they were perusing my science and history shelf and brought the Galilean thermometer over to me and asked me what it was.  

After I explained how it worked, they asked me if they could make the glass balls inside it move around by warming it up with their hands.  I thought that was a neat idea, so I told them to try it.  Their time was up before it heated up enough to move the glass balls, so they ran outside.  

What a great way to redeem their recess detention time.  Maybe we'll try it again another day.  

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Footprints in Our Journals

On a recent Friday I had forgotten to put the journal assignment on the board as I usually do.  One of my students asked me what the assignment was, so I replied, "Put your journal on the floor, trace your foot, and decorate it."  They all looked strangely at me, so I repeated it.  Then they went into action.  The results were lovely.  

FYI:  Monday - What did you learn in church yesterday? What was the best part of your weekend?
         Tuesday -  Students' thoughts on something from history
         Wednesday - Encyclopedia day
         Thursday - Creative art journaling
         Friday - Turn journals in to be graded

All journal entries completed = a 100%


Monday, November 28, 2016

Thursday, November 24, 2016


Happy Thanksgiving from My Students' Feet

The day before Thanksgiving break we had taken our Unit 3 history test, and most of the students had scored very well on that. (Relief!)  So, we had one day before break and I did not want to start the next unit, knowing that my students would all have dead Bambis, shopping, and turkeys on their brains for the next five days.  So, we had a History Circle-- (not to be confused with a Writer's Circle.)

 They all found something from their history books that made them either laugh, cry, or think.  Then they jotted down a few thoughts in their journals.   We sat in a circle on the floor,  munched on yummy treats which they volunteered to bring (I actually forgot to bring my own lunch that day), and discussed history. 

What would have happened if the Native Americans would not have resisted the colonists' taking of their land?  

Tom Thumb, an early steam locomotive, had only one horsepower.

Was it good or bad that people moved from the country to the big cities to work during the Industrial Revolution?  

The Children's Aid Society and the orphan trains helped homeless children.

Andrew Jackson was popular for actions which would be looked down upon today.  

Why was it such a big deal to ride a bicycle with no pedals? 

Did the cotton gin help, or hurt the slaves in the long run? 

Why did Adoniram Judson have such a funny hair cut?  

We also cut out fall leaves, wrote something we were thankful for on them, and then added them to the tree I have on my wall.  We have much to be thankful for.  Happy Thanksgiving!  

Give to Our God Immortal Praise

Monday, November 21, 2016

Creative Art Journaling

In my classroom, Fridays are for creative art journaling.  (We write most of the other days of the week.)  Above are two examples from a "fold paper and tape it in your journal" assignment.  Below are two entries from  "encyclopedia day", which is usually Wednesday.  And the last entry was from something we had learned about in history-- the state of Franklin, which actually existed, although it was never admitted to the union.