Loving GOOGLE Classroom, Part II

Dear Readers,

I promised that I would update you on the progress of my GOOGLE Classroom. Well, it’s going swimmingly. I really love it. The 10th grade History teacher showed me a feature where the students can download a doc that I put up. They can either download it and make a copy of it or everyone can edit the same document. She also showed me how the student can turn in the assignment. This makes grading so much better and easier. It’s mostly all in one place.


I like the ease of use. It’s not as hard to get around as I originally thought. I’m loving the new ME; the ME that tries out different technology. So far it’s working out really well for me.

Right now I’m working on making a GOOGLE site. Last year at this time it was so out of my league, now it’s something that’s totally do-able. In fact, I’m almost finished with my new classroom site. If I didn’t enjoy the little bit of anonymity that I have, I’d share it the site address with you.

That’s another thing. I shared a little too much information and people keep finding me on   Facebook. Not sure why people would want to find me, but they do!

Anyway, I love GOOGLE Classroom and we’ll see how my students love the new classroom site. If they like it, I’ll post a mock duplicate website to show you what I’m working with.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

MOCK I.E.P. Assignment, Part I

*Please feel free to give any input on this rubric if you have any!*

Dear Readers,

I am so ridiculously pleased with myself regarding my assignment. I’ve been thinking about how to put it together for a couple of months now. The reason is because I’m trying to teach my students how to lead their own I.E.P.s so I’ve been teaching them little by little how to do that. I’m not sure how successful I’m being at this because some of the students still don’t know that I.E.P. stands for Individualized Education Program.

I began at the beginning of the year by telling & showing them an actual I.E.P. and explaining what Present Levels of Performance (PLPs) are, what Goals are, how long they have to reach their goal, and what their disability/learning difference is.

I say that I’m not sure how effective I am because the information seems to be going in one ear and out the other, as sometimes happens with students with a learning disability.

One strategy I was using was asking the students 5 Quick Questions. It was 10 questions that I split into two parts because 10 questions at one time seemed to be too much for them. Once I thought about it, 10 questions for the whole week still seem like too much. So, now I’ve cut it down to just 5 Quick Questions for the week. I decided, in order for them to keep the information in their heads, I’m just going to give them the same 5 Quick Questions for the 3 days/week that they come to my Lab and use the best score. This way they don’t have to worry about only seeing the information once and not again for a couple of weeks until I gave them the questions again, nor do they have to worry about getting a bad grade.

I’ll let you know how it works. But, I digress. So back to the lecture at hand. I’ve come up with an assignment that I think will make help the information stick in their heads. Here’s the rubric. (Warning: It’s pretty ugly.) I say that it’s pretty ugly because it’s long. However, there is a method to my madness. Although there’s still some fine tuning I need to do, my plan is to break in into parts.

MOCK I.E.P. Rubric Continue reading


Dear SELF,


The stuff you text to yourself @ 3:00 in the morning may very well be unreadable the next day. Apparently, “Quibble, wibble, wobble” is not a real thing!

Here’s the story behind this text. I’ve been having a hard time at work lately and hadn’t been laughing much. Well, that sure changed this afternoon at lunch when I finally settled down to read my “brilliant” texts that I texted myself at 3 a.m.

Let me just begin by saying that I use this particular tactic of sleeping on my problems and letting my subconscious work it out. It usually works for me. However this time, it did not. I was out of my mind to the point where I was texting myself complete and utter gibberish.

Here are some of my gems that I texted myself:

  • A relationship should be better than a sale!
  • Sporadic moments where the price/value of the relationship is lowered.
  • Shoe on the other foot.
  • 8 Principles
  • Ali Baba & the 40 Thieves
  • & of course Quibble, wibble, wobble!

I know that in some faraway or parallel universe, this means something!

Put On Your Oxygen Mask First!

Dear Readers,

If you’ve ever rode on a plane before, you know the spiel the stewardesses give you about putting on your oxygen mask first in case of emergency. They tell you that you have to help yourself first. You can’t help anyone if you’re no good and can’t breathe.

Oxygen Mask

I said (wrote) the above to say that at my organization’s regional PD, teachers with perfect attendance were recognized. You know, I’ll probably never get a perfect attendance award. For one thing  I believe in using my sick days, or as I like to call them- mental health days.

If you work in a particularly stressful job (like teaching) as I do, I am totally in support of taking mental health days for, well, your mental health. You have to take care of yourself. If you’re struggling, upset, or burnt out, you are no good to your students.

A happy, healthy, and together teacher is of so much more value than a grouchy one. So, remember to put on your oxygen mask first!

Bye for now!

Go Off-y Nuclear Me!

Dear Readers,

I know the title is strange but that’s what I did. I went off on a student today. Usually I’m more patient and will try to figure out why the child was having a bad day. Well, today I’d just received word that I’m getting two more students. That was not something that I wanted to hear. I’m already overwhelmed and feel as if I’m not doing the best that I can, and now I have two more to add to that!!!!


So, this is what happened. Usually I stand at the door at the beginning of class to greet the students. However, another student came in and was needy, off the bat, so I was distracted. Well, this particular student took advantage of that and came in loud and wanting to play. I told him if he wasn’t ready to sit in class without disrupting, that he could step out of the classroom for a couple of minutes. He did exercise that option; he went to the counseling office. Once he returned, nothing had changed. He was still disruptive. At this point, I was still trying to work with him, but he continued. I called him and the other disruptive student over to my desk and gave them two choices since I’d already talked to them about 5-6 times at this point. I gave them the choice of behaving or having a parent conference. They said they’d behave. Do you think they did? No, they did not. So, after he’d been disruptive for about the 10th time (I’m not exaggerating!), I told him to leave the class and go to the counseling office.

I was honestly at my wits end. I’ll talk to him to tomorrow. However, even though I’ll talk to him tomorrow and see if he had a bad weekend and that was the reason for the misbehavior, he’s still going to have consequences- lunch detention. I’ll let you know how it goes by the weekend because right now I am about to go out to a movie with my husband.

Bye for now!

A Great Day!

Dear Readers,What matters most...

*Warning- This post is going to be kinda’ long!*

Today, was a great day; I had so much growth. So, this is what happened. One student tried to sucker punch by calling a surprise parent conference, two other students were on the verge of committing a hate crime, and yet another had an epic meltdown.

After all of that, why do you think I say that it was a great day?

Well, I said it thought it was a great day because of the way I handled it. I went through the proverbial fire quite well & unscathed, thank you very much!

Several days at a time

Situation #1- Surprise Parent Conference

Do these ever end well?

You don’t have to answer that. I’ll answer it for you. No, they do not!

In order to tell you about this student, I have to give you a little background info. This particular student, I’ll call her Disney, likes to skirt the rules since she doesn’t think that they apply to her. She also likes to use her disability as a crutch. Another thing she does is tell everyone who will listen that she’s only a kid. However, the next minute, she will tell everyone who will listen that she’s almost grown since she’ll soon be 18. Well, make up your mind! Which one are you?

Did I mention that she takes absolutely no responsibility for anything. EVERYTHING is always someone else’s fault.

So, that’s how this particular student behaves. Since she takes absolutely no responsibility, she was trying to get ahead of the problem and have an excuse as to why her grades were low. So she came up with the brilliant idea to say that I wasn’t helping her. She even bad-mouthed me to the other teachers, who told her that they knew it wasn’t true. I asked her about it and she insisted that I wasn’t helping her. I think that’s because our ideas of “help” are totally different. You see, the SpEd assistant last year practically wrote her papers for her. So, when she says I’m not helping her, what she’s saying is that I don’t write her papers for her.

There is no way I’ll do someone else’s work. I didn’t do that for my own children; I’ll never do anyone else’s work. Why would I do that? Not to mention that I would be taking valuable learning experiences away from them. Part of learning is struggling. If the student doesn’t struggle or wrestle with something a little, then they don’t learn as much; at least, that’s my thinking on that.

So, unbeknownst to me, she told her mother that I hurt her feelings a week ago (laughable). Now, this is laughable because she holds nothing in. The moment something bothers her, she says something about it and keeps talking about it until she gets resolution. That’s why I didn’t buy that I hurt her feelings. She is very conniving & not very nice. That’s all I’ll say about that.


Now, on to Number 2. Two of my most unruly students were throwing homophobic slurs against one of my other students. So, I shot a quick email to the 9th grade counselor to have a conference with them so they wouldn’t commit that hate crime later in the future. They came away from the meeting with contempt for me, cursing me as they walked down the hall, taking no responsibility, whatsoever.

I didn’t know what to say because everything is always everyone else’s fault. Nothing is ever their fault. I just wonder if they’re ever going to wake up and smell the proverbial coffee. I’m so uncertain about their future. I hope it ends well. I’m not sure what else I can do for them since they take absolutely no responsibility for their actions. Time will tell!


On to the last & final matter. One of my students had an epic meltdown and thought he was nothing because he got a “D” on an assignment which is equivalent to an “NP” in my organization. Believe me when I say that it was epic. He was throwing his pens & pencils and he was on the verge of tears. His English teacher asked if I could take him out so I went to speak to him. He said that he couldn’t because he didn’t want to miss class. I let him know that the English teacher said that it was okay for him to leave. So, I take him out of the classroom, ask if he wants some water. He says that the water fountain right outside the class is nasty, so I take him to another fountain. While walking down the steps, I continue to talk to him to calm him down. I offer him a ball that I have in my classroom to replace his stress ball he lost. He declines. I also tell him how my son likes to play in water. He admits that he likes to play in water too, so I send him into the men’s restroom to get his water fix. After that, he’s calm enough to go back to class. I tell him that we’ll work with his teachers to cut his assignments.
“Is that something that makes you happy?”

He nods!

We go back into class.

He’s happy!

Keep in mind that this all happened in one day. Although I was exhausted at the end of the day because of the sheer emotional output, I was fine. Once I took a nap, that is!

So, that was a my day- my great day!

I hope your day was great, as well. Bye for now!