Slice of Life #18

Some days are just ice cream days.  There is nothing better than sitting on the couch watching NBC’s comedies and flipping to the March Madness games.  It’s been a tough few weeks, with the budget cuts and knowing I will most likely get RIFed in a few weeks.  But March Madness is my favorite time of year.  No matter what.

I missed the first few games because my prep is in the morning this year.  I managed to catch the last 15 seconds of the Villanova game after my students left for their buses and that was a close one.  Almost burst my bracket wide open!  Thankfully, they pulled it out.  Then I took Dublin to the park, where one of my best friends texted me updates from the games being played.  Damn Vandy messed me up.  I got home and was able to cook dinner while watching the end of the second set of games.

Then Chris and I watched the NBC comedies and I flipped back to the games during commercials.  I screamed at my TV (like most of America) at the end of the Georgetown game!  Yeah, that one destroyed my bracket just a little bit.  Ugh.  And now I am eating my chocolate chip mint ice cream, waiting for the last few games to start.  Ice cream and March Madness makes everything better.  🙂


Slice of Life #17

St. Patrick’s Day is my favorite holiday.  Obviously, I am very Irish.  My dog is named Dublin.  I have a cat named Guinness.  Chris and I even got engaged in Dublin last year.  If that didn’t prove it, I also burn in the sun and can’t tan for my life.  So needless to say, I love St. Patrick’s Day!

I love to dress up for the holiday, but today’s weather threw a wrench in my plans!  Last year I went all out- shamrock tights, green sequin shoes, shamrock earrings, and green from head to toe.  When I saw today’s weather I was thrilled because it was supposed to be almost 70 degrees.  But how do you dress for Ireland when it’s sun and blue skies?  After oversleeping by 20 minutes this morning, I started throwing clothes all over.  Luckily, I had purchased a St. Patrick’s Day t-shirt from Old Navy that proclaimed “Go Green!” with a shamrock emblazoned across the front.  I ended up wearing my jeans, the tshirt, a long pink/orange cardigan, green headband, St. Patrick’s Day socks, and pink & green boat shoes.  Maybe it was green overload, but it was awesome. 🙂

One look in the mirror and I was downstairs to throw my Guinness beef stew in the crock pot before heading off to school.  I grabbed my Irish soda bread biscuit and a chocolate milk for breakfast and raced off to school.

Slice of Life #16

65 degrees.  A gorgeous breeze blowing through the trees.  The perfect day to spend at the park after work.  So I flew home from school, put the leash on Dublin, and put him in the car.  Within 25 minutes of school letting out, we were at the park.  The sun was shining and Dublin had a blast racing around the park and hearing the mud squelch beneath his paws.  We ran around and chased the other dogs for about 45 minutes before the park emptied out.

Because Dublin was still a bundle of energy, we decided to do our second favorite thing- hike.  We spent the next half hour playing in the woods and it was actually warm enough for him to go in the creek.  Dublin loves the ocean but he had never seen a creek up close until today.  Needless to say, one he realized it was moving water he was sold.  On the extended leash, about 10 feet long, he ran up and down the creek, leaping from bank to bank.  He kept sticking his nose in the water and snapping his mouth, attempting to catch the leaves that were racing by in the current.  It was hysterical!

He may have ended up covered in mud and soaking wet, but it was totally worth it!

Young Zeus by G. Brian Karas- Appositives and Picture Books

Last week while planning my lesson on appositives, I knew I wanted to use a picture book to show my students how often writers use appositives.  And because I have  practicum teacher who would be teaching the lesson in one class I wanted to make sure the lesson was fairly straight forward.  I looked through a bunch of picture books and was thrilled when I saw that Young Zeus by G. Brian Karas was chockfull of appositives!  Even better?  My students are currently obsessed with Greek mythology, thanks to Rick Riordan’s books.  Young Zeus seemed like the perfect match for the lesson.

The back of the book says:

This is the story of how young Zeus, with a little help from six monsters, five Greek gods, an enchanted she-goat, and his mother, became god of gods, master of lightning and thunder, and ruler over all. in doing so, he learned a lot about family. Who knew that having relatives could be so complicated, even for a god?

Zeus is a young god in the story, being raised by the she-goat Amalthea.  When he learns the truth about his father, Cronus, he is determined to rescue his brothers and sisters.  That way, he will have someone to play with.  What child (or god) doesn’t long for the perfect playmate? A fantastic introduction to Greek mythology, kids will love this one.  Teachers will love it even more for it’s well-written prose.  The artwork is also gorgeous.

Plus, it uses tons of appositives!  A great way to show students the many ways appositives are used by “real” authors.  By the middle of the book, students were raising their hands to point out appositives as we read.  They also drafted their own sentences about the gods and goddesses, using appositives, after we finished reading the story.

*Review copy courtesy of the publisher

Slice of Life #15

Today I finished up teaching my students about appositives, using an activity from Jeff Anderson’s Everyday Editing.  I was a little hesitant at first, because my students can be a handful sometimes, if given a hands-on project (especially on a rainy Monday morning!).  But I decided to jump in anyway.  During my newspaper meeting, I put together the booklets and set them up, in order to save time.  I knew that having the students do it in class would result in us using most of the class period practicing following directions. 😉

To my surprise, all four classes were awesome!  They wrote their five sentences, copied them into the booklet with minimal distraction and questions, and in each class at least one student realized what we were doing.

“Wait!  This is like Madlibs!  You can mix up the sentences!”

With that, I would have them demonstrate for the class.  For the next few minutes the students would mix up their sentences, with sudden gales of laughter coming from different corners of the room.  Each student shared their silliest sentence.  And man, some of them were silly!  But by the end of the period, they were appositive experts.

I love when a lesson works out better than you planned.  🙂

Slice of Life #14

“What do you want?  A McFlurry?” Chris leaned over and asked as we pulled into the drive-thru lane at McDonald’s.  We had headed out into the rain so that Chris could pick up the holy grail of milkshakes- the Shamrock Shake.  He looks forward to them all year long.

“Nah, just a small chocolate milkshake,” I told him.

“Welcome to McDonald’s, can I take your order?” The speaker crackled to life.

“Umm, yeah.  Can I get a small chocolate milkshake,” Chris began. “And a McFlurry”

“Rfdnsa dasjfskaj” crackled the speaker.

“No!” I hissed at Chris.  “Not a McFlurry!”

“Oreo or M&M?” the speaker deadpanned, very unenthusiastically.

“Oh, not a McFlurry,” Chris corrected himself. “A Shamrock shake.”

There was a pause.

“Uhh, we don’t have those.”

Suddenly, the air was sucked out of the car and Chris was deflated.

“You don’t?”

“Forget it,” I told Chris.

“Never mind then,” he spoke into the speaker as we pulled away, disappointed.

Year #2 with no Shamrock Shakes. 😦

Slice of Life #13

Chris and I were sitting on the couch around 3pm, watching TV and avoiding the monsoon outside, when we heard a strange noise.  We looked at each other, unsure of its origin but both assuming it was the dog or the cat upstairs.  Suddenly, the crash  got louder and we jumped up in alarm.

At that moment, a huge tree crashed onto the roof of our storage closet out back, rolled off, and fell onto our back porch.  On its way down it hit the bedroom window upstairs, ripping the screen.  It also hit the grill, my butterfly tent, and destroyed the screen door to our back porch.  As of now, we still can’t get out our backdoor, as it is completely blocked by this huge tree.

Definitely the most exciting part of our day.  As of now, we are still waiting to hear back from our condo association’s emergency manager.  Don’t even get me started on how angry I am about that…..

view out my bedroom window