(If you prefer, you can substitute 2 cups of nuts or 2 cups of golden raisins.)
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper (not mandatory, but they come out great this way) or spray with nonstick spray. Drop a heaping tablespoon of dough per cookie onto the sheet… you can get around 15 cookies on a large cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 10 – 12 minutes (in my oven, 8 minutes was plenty… adjust for your own oven).
That’s what I often say to my students, and no, I’m not proud of it. I wish we could answer every question, for hours on end. But sometimes we need to get to work and the questions (comments, shout-outs) are derailing us.
Then I read this quote, from NBA player Jason Collins:
“…I’m happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn’t the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, ‘I’m different.’ If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I’m raising my hand.”
Sometimes when you ask a question, there are three or four other people in the class wondering the same thing, wanting to share something identical, or similar, but they are maybe too shy to raise their hands. So you’re asking it on behalf of the group. Other times, you’re the only one who has that particular question, and that’s fine, too.
Kids, keep asking questions, and I will keep answering (or doing my best at attempting to answer) them.
What are we working on in computer lab this week? I’m working them so hard. Seriously. Even the littles! We’re keyboarding (Typing Agent and DanceMat Typing), we’re working a bit in Google Docs, we’re playing Wild Kratts on PBS Kids, we’re doing the practice questions in IXL, my favorite math program. (You can log in as a guest and do a fast 20 questions or so before it boots you out.)
Short week this week — students have Friday, Oct. 10th, off (staff development day).
This time of year, and again in the spring, I talk with the students about sneaker waves on the Oregon coast. (Warning: That video may be a little intense for the younger kids; you might want to preview it first.) My family loves the beach, and in spite of safety warnings, knowing about sneaker waves, and being, by nature, pretty cautious people, we were almost taken down by a sneaker wave last spring. So sharing this video, which aired last fall, is a sort of community service from our family to yours. Fall and spring are when the coast is the most unpredictable, so let’s be careful out there.
Now on to something a little less serious.
Pixieland was a fun amusement park, near the town of Otis, just outside of Lincoln City, where we went when I was a kid. It was open for a few years, then disappeared. What happened behind the scenes? I always imagined it was like a story from the vaudeville theater that was at the park. “You must pay the rent!” “I can’t pay the rent!” or something like that. My sister and I were always trying to pick out the exact location when we drove by. This video (which is from 2011) answered all of our questions.
More, more, more: We’re also spending a lot of time in lab on Google Docs, learning how to put together presentations (similar to PowerPoint), create documents (for stories, poems, letters and songs) and build our own websites! Kind of awesome, really, to see the kids use this amazing learning tool. They’re memorizing their usernames and passwords, so please ask them to share those with you and show your their files. They will need Google Docs for middle school and high school, too. As long as they are with our school district, this will be their cloud storage. I do encourage the students to create a second personal Google Docs account. They can share/send their files to that account and have a back-up, in case they change districts or just want to have an extra parking spot, so to speak.
Enjoy your week! And here, have a few photos
– Mrs. R
Pelican squadron (that’s what a flock of pelicans is called, for real), heading back to Depoe Bay.
Passwords for our typing program, passwords for Google Docs, passwords like “please” and “thank you” that can take you so far in life.
Passwords. How to memorize them, where to store them, and the importance of not sharing them with others. Another safety tip: If you get an e-mail from someone you don’t know, don’t respond to it by e-mailing back, don’t click on any links they might have sent, and don’t forward to friends.
Those spammers — they are tricky.
We are also having fun with our our favorites, ABCya and Starfall. Coolmath is still a big hit, too. Too much blinky & flashy on that one, though — hard on the eyes.
I love the start of a new school year. Love, love, love.
If you’re wondering what we’re up to, check Student Source — the site went through a makeover this summer and the students and I are having fun discovering some old favorites and lots of new stuff, too. Start with “Type” and go to the keyboarding games.
If you’re new here, you can also check all of last year’s entries, starting with September, 2013, and look at all the links and lesson plans, because that’s where I’m going. I love to re-do lesson plans, build onto them and go, go, go. It’s like this picture, see? You think, Argh, that is impossible, that mountain, this is never going to work! Then you’re halfway there, all the way there, halfway back down, looking up at it and thinking, That wasn’t so bad. That is life, baby!
For those of us who love Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl’s classic, here is a sneak peek at what might have been… The Dahl estate has just released some “insider info” on a lost chapter, additional characters, etc. (There’s a cool Quentin Blake video linked on that page, too.)
The book celebrates its 50th birthday in October. Time does fly.
That photo is old, kids, do you like it? My husband took it when he was a kid, of the neighbor kids and his sister. See? He’s been a photographer his whole life! He found something he liked to do and he’s stuck with it. Me? I like to write, read and teach.
What do you like to do? Maybe you’ll do that when you get older, too. Even if you can’t make money from it, you can still have fun. My writing has never paid much, but I do it when I have a chance and that’s good enough. I try to write something every single day.
Right now I’m writing…
1) this blog post
2) a new novel (a young adult book, for teenagers)
3) in my journal
4) a grocery list and…
5) I need to write some letters and cards to family and friends
Well, that’s enough writing for now, don’t you think? Are you aware that school starts again next Tuesday? Yes, I agree, it seems like school just got out last week. But we will have a good year, I know it
Leave me a note if you think of it.
ps — maybe Mr. Rawley will tell us a little bit about his old camera that he used to take these pictures? That would be cool. I’ll ask him. If you click on his FlickR pages, you’ll see a bunch more. His family thinks it’s neat that he still has these photos after all these years. I do, too.
Are you having a good summer? We are. We just listened to “What Would Joey Do?” by the incomparable Jack Gantos. The author did the reading, and we listened to it in the car on CDs from the library. Next up: “Where the Red Fern Grows,” the classic by Wilson Rawls, and “Maniac Magee,” by Jerry Spinelli. We also listened to Christopher Paul Curtis’ “Bud, Not Buddy,” which is one of my new favorites.
What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back?
Good one, yes? I’ll be at a new school next year and I am super excited about that! But I will miss my former students. Thank you all for a great year. I know that none of you are even slightly ready to start thinking about the 2014-2015 school year, but believe me, all of your teachers and school staff are getting prepared, and we are looking forward to seeing all of you!
“See you/ in September/ see you/ when the summer’s through…”
– old song that’s from before your time, kid