Czech This Out, Part 3!

Dear Readers,

Here are the rest of the pics I took with my phone from Prague:



Dear Readers,

I am very excited to share with you my new book that’s coming out in January ’18! The title is, “The Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth, So Help Me Teacher.” I, and twelve other teachers, wrote two chapters each, in the anthology.  I will be in Atlanta, GA on January 21 to promote. I’ll keep you in the loop on all the happenings regarding the book.

Here’s my pic: leilaprofile1


This is the picture that will be on my book jacket cover. Although I don’t usually wear make-up on a daily basis, in this pic, I have on some foundation, eye shadow, and eyeliner. Can you believe I’m 47?!?!

Let me know if you live in Atlanta or the surrounding area!



Czech This Out! Part 2

Hello Dear Readers,

I’m back from the Czech Republic. I, my husband, & my daughter were there for the Open Source Summit. My husband and my daughter had a talk entitled, How to Raise a Tech Household. They got a chance to met Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux. Here are some pics of them on stage:




Teaching a Plot Diagram in a Weird Way…

Dear Readers,

Today, I needed to reinforce the lesson taught by the 10th grade English teacher (literary devices). I did the usual and defined them and gave examples. I even read the 10th graders a very simple story- The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and THE BIG HUNGRY BEAR. I wanted them to complete a plot diagram like the one below:

They weren’t quite understanding it, so I decided to try a different approach. I asked them about a television show they watched. One student told me about an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. We discussed it and I showed her where the each part of the diagram was happening as she described it to me. She didn’t believe me when I told her that the plot diagram plays out in every day life; she thought it was some kind of trick. So, I took her through a fight just to really prove it to her. She laughed. That’s when I gave her a homework assignment to watch an episode of Grey’s Anatomy and report back to me tomorrow. She said that it wouldn’t be fun. I told her that I beg to differ, that it can be fun to see what we’re learning in everyday life come to life, so to speak. I don’t think she quite believed me, but she agreed to do it. I’ll report her findings back to you.

Today’s Observation

Dear Readers,

Today, one month into the new school year, I had my first of 4 observations. My organization decided to split it up into four bite-sized observations instead of two major ones. I actually like this way better than the old way because I feel like the observer can get a better picture of how I teach.

Here’s a technique I learned in the summer regarding how to gather evidence from a video.

Students pick a side. For this video, they were looking for evidence to support Beyonce being weak or Beyonce being strong in the IRREPLACEABLE video.

For the sake of brevity and chaos, I put the students in a group.

Students watch the video one time just to get a feel for it and collect 1-2 pieces of evidence.

Students then watch it a second time to gather more evidence. At this point the student should have at least 3-5 pieces of evidence. If you, as a teacher, feel that your students need to watch it again, play the video a third time.

Write your evidence down

We’ll watch it a third time to gather even more evidence

Write even more evidence down

Here’s a link to my lesson:




Emotional Turmoil

Dear Readers,

I’ve been going through much emotional turmoil lately. So, I’ve been researching ways to help me through it all. In my research, I happened upon these little tidbits of information.

crying face (KimK)

  • Always remember that emotions come and go, rise and fall.
  • Resistance is the cause of every form of emotional pain.
  • When you stop refusing, defying and fighting against yourself, other people and life, you stop suffering.
  • Honor your emotions for the lessons they bring you in the moment.

I had to write this because I broke down at work today and cried. I didn’t even realize that I was as stressed as I was. I really don’t like crying at work. I think previously thought that it showed weakness. After today I don’t think that anymore. When I cried, members of my team rallied around me, gave me a pep talk, and offered their help.

I guess you learn something new everyday!