Category: education

Day One Hundred Sixty-One

Today I introduced the final project of the year for World/English (the multi-genre project) by having students brainstorm topics. This project can be about anything they think is currently important to the global community, so it’s wide open and awesome. I’ll post the full topics list here when I have it. 

It’s a ton of fun to do the intro, but I struggled with my Block 3 class. I had a headache that was super distracting (if anyone is wondering why I didn’t take anything for it: painkiller allergy). Plus, we had an assembly (school-wide: on mental health) partway through the block, so it was choppy, and I felt rushed. But it got done.

Block 4 was awesome. The students got into the idea of this project immediately, and had so many topic ideas (and twice insisted on coming up with more just because they figured they could). They dug into the research, and I had some cool conversations about the links between different topics (like…gender, race, poverty, global warming), a goofy chat about pandas being better than otters (from two boys researching vulnerable and endangered animals), and a very serious discussion of school violence. 

One of my girls found that chart that shows deaths in US school shootings and deaths in the military this year, and started showing it to the kids sitting around her, which generated quite a stir. When I was asked to weigh in, I said this was something my family found tough to take. My dad is retired army; my brother is active duty. He went to war… And now they all worry about me. 

A lot of people do. 

That’s something I’m still sorting out my thoughts on…

Anyways. It was a good class.

Coach T and I ran practice today because The Head Coach was at the seeding meeting (say that five times fast) for States. Afterwards, I made myself presentable for academic awards. Mr. B and I always give out the ones for social studies. I get nervous, but I like recognizing outstanding students, so I deal. After presenting, I got a sudden allergy attack, so I spent most of my time to sneeze in the background during the other award presentations. So awkward! 


7th grader: Y’all makin’ my weave itch.


8th grader: Miss, you didn’t take no cookie from lunch?
me: Yeah, I had two.
8th grader: I stole this one. I put it in my titty. See? My titties are worth something.

Whenever I tell a student what their next step…

They’re like:

Another project I’ve never done before, but ki…

Another project I’ve never done before, but kids loved & came out beautifully!

Kids chose any snack and painted it. Some did logos zoomed in, some did the entire package, but the creativity was wonderful! Kids had so much fun because they were painting the things they eat/drink all the time.

When other kids walk down the hallway they always point at these too— I get more excitement about these artworks in the hallway than I do from most others.

Another month, another comic about gun violenc…

Another month, another comic about gun violence for Ohio Schools magazine. I wish this topic wasn’t so evergreen.

Since I’ve been VERY MIA this year… her…

Since I’ve been VERY MIA this year… here’s what my kids are finishing up this week!

Paper mache and clay. Full disclosure— last time I did paper mache with a class was in student teaching. I usually do clay or plaster. I’m not great at incorporating 3D works because it’s what I enjoy doing the least BUT this year I had each grade do 2 3D projects and it was beyond worth it! Huge engagement and success!

I love saving 3D for the end of the year because things are so hard to keep their attention. Re-vamped some of my units this year too— giving more choice and control to the kids and it has worked out wonderfully!

So here are some 3D works. 8th grade made paper mache animals, 7th grade made paper mache food, 6th grade is working on coil pots.

When the out-of-control student comes back aft…

When I briefly leave the class and return to f…

Students are like:

Day One Hundred Fifty-Nine

You know, today was glorious, at first. It’s a perfect spring day, it’s payday Friday, and Mr. W and I did a karate demo for my ninth graders during World (and it was so much fun). Katas, tricks with body mechanics, sparring… Mr. W did the “one inch punch” to me (on my shoulder so I could twist and dissipate some of the force, and Mr. F still had to catch me).

And then there as an incident in the hall.

And then our SRO hurried of for… something.

And then there was a shooting. 


I’ve said before that nothing is as wrenching as listening to kids in public schools after mass shootings. The resignation is terrible. But there’s a defiant joy, afterwards, and a desire to affirm life. 

And so I found myself here with my athletes this afternoon:

That’s the public beach a few towns over, where we gathered for a team spag. Conference championships are tomorrow.