1) Something I LOVE about teaching…is the creativity in planning. Yes, I enjoy being in my classroom with my students, but I LOVE getting to create, design, and try new activities and lessons. I generally take hours to plan a lesson getting every detail just right and thinking it through before delivering it. I am inspired by anything from a commercial to a trip to Disney world to my students themselves. Once I have an idea, I just have to try it! One of my best-sellers is just that – an idea that was “sparked” as my students were drinking energy drinks one morning, and we had an impromptu conversation before class about the energy drinks vs. coffee or any other beverages, for that matter. I did a little research and came up with this very engaging and standards-based lesson.
2) One lesson I’ve tried that I LOVED is… Brynn Allison’s nonfiction resource “A Bit more Giving” freebie with my juniors. I used the lesson before Christmas break, and I thought the questions were spot-on, but more than that I was shocked to find out how many of my students did not participate in any charitable giving during the holidays. I’ve organized such opportunities in the past before with my students and various clubs I’ve sponsored such as the Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box in conjunction with my Christmas Shoes Close Reading Lesson and Project, but with time constraints in our schedule during recent years, I hadn’t made time to do it. After reading the short text linked in Brynn’s lesson with my class and realizing the great need, I decided in that moment that I would do a lesson on giving earlier in the season next year and help my students organize an opportunity for them to give back to our community.
3) A special Valentine’s Day gift idea… is chocolate, of course! My husband loves chocolate of any kind AND chocolate chip cookies are his all-time favorite, so every now and then I’ll make this delectable delight! It’s a simple recipe, which is great for me, and it never fails to please! I also like that I can make just two servings, so we don’t have any temptations left over.
Molten Lava Chocolate Chip Cookie Bake
Vanilla Ice Cream
Spray two ramekins with cooking spray. Take 3 chocolate chip cookie squares and make them into a ball that you can flatten. Press the flattened cookie down into the bottom and sides of the ramekin. Next, put 3-4 Hershey Kisses in the center. Repeat the same balling and flattening process with the other 3 cookies and place them on top of the Kisses being sure to cover them entirely. Cook according to the package directions on the cookies. Top it with vanilla ice cream, and voila! You have a sweet treat for two!
4) Something I would LOVE to read…. if I ever get time is The Maze Runner. I know I am very far behind since it’s release date, but I am generally reading and re-reading texts for class. So, I usually don’t have a lot of time for personal reading. I’m going to put it on my Kindle, and hopefully, I’ll have some time on the flight to Vegas for the TPT summer conference! (See me there presenting on the design panel… What an honor!)
5) A blog post that I LOVE is… Secondary Sara’s ACT test-taking adventure! Yes, she took the ACT as a teacher! I’ve tutored ACT classes before, and I’ve been teaching juniors for several years now where there is a huge focus on ACT test prep. Everything Sara experienced and related as a truth is what I always tell my students, and her post gives that such validity. I do believe I am actually going to share her experience and findings with my juniors before they take the test in March!