Nathaniel Bacon, William Berkeley, & Susquehannock

If you’re a history buff, then you know how these three guys relate to each other. If you’re not, then here’s the skinny. In 1632, William Berkeley was governor of Virginia. Nathaniel Bacon, a wealthy plantation owner, was his right hand man. Bacon (of the famous Bacon’s Rebellion) wanted the Indians land. However, since Governor Berkeley was making money trading furs with the Indians, he didn’t want anything to change. If he gave into Bacon’s demands and threw the Indians off their own land, he wouldn’t make money trading with them. So, Berkeley kept putting Bacon & his cronies off; telling them to basically make peace with the Indians. Well, this wasn’t good enough for Bacon. He decided he was going to have the land whether Governor Berkeley said so or not.

So, why do I mention all of this? I mention this to tell you about my student’s re-enactment of this moment in history. I wanted them to be able to see things from others perspective. However, things took on a life of their own (in a good way). That’s why I put this in their MUST DO packet. They really got the message. I will videotape it next year. So excited!

What Will My Quickening Experience Be Like This Year!!!

What will my Quickening experience be this year? I am so looking forward to this. I am eagerly awaiting the experience. I remember the first year when I had my Quickening experience. I could not believe how intense the experience was. It was like all the information I was trying to absorb during the year was suddenly being absorbed all at once. I quickly wrote that information down and put it to good use. Right now, I am in the planning my room change. I am going to get some thematic fabric from Joann’s and cover my boards with them. Then I am going to structure the classroom so there’s a better flow to it. I will actually post before & after pictures my room in August. I am really looking forward to planning and relaxing. So, let me get to it. Bye for now!

This Time…

So many times I’ve begun this journey; so many times I’ve failed. Oh, but this time would be different, I told myself. And somehow, I knew that it would be. Today, May 18, 2011, is the re-beginning of my journey. Yes, I did say re-beginning. Hello, New Beginning!

Ghirardelli For Everyone!

My 4th graders are finishing up Chapter 9 in their Social Studies book, “Oh, California”. One of the immigrants we’re studying, who came to California to seek his fortune in the gold mines, was Domenico Ghirardelli. Thankfully for all you chocolate lovers out there, he didn’t make his fortune in gold. He made it in chocolate and his legacy lives on.

In order to make a connection from the past to the present and make the lesson real for them, I gave them all Ghirardelli chocolate squares. They were super excited. I think they’ll remember that Ghirardelli was important to California history, don’t you?

A McGyver-Like Presentation!

You know how McGyver was able to make a bomb from a chocolate bar, a rubber band, & something else? Well, that’s what I felt like yesterday. I was able to throw together a presentation from some string and two pieces of bubblegum. Well, it wasn’t that drastic, but I only had a granola bar, two packets of syrup, a packet of ketchup, a bottle of ginger ale, a couple bottles of water, a bottle of Broma Cleanse (a colon cleanser) and a bottle of Oil of Oregano.

Here’s the story. Yesterday, my school had Family Fitness Night. Every teacher had a station. My original station was a physical activity station that I was not too thrilled with. I wanted to do the nutrition presentation, but it was already taken. There’s a long story in here, but today I don’t feel like writing it. So, to make a long story short, I left my P.E. gear at home since I was running late. By a sheer stroke of luck, I was assigned the nutrition presentation at the last minute. Even though I had no presentation materials, I wasn’t worried. I am excellent at presentations. This is what I did. I practically did it with a shoestring and two pieces of bubble gum. I grabbed a Sweet & Salty granola, ketchup packet, two packets of syrup, my Oil of Oregano, a bottle of Bromacleanse (a colon cleanser), a bottle of ginger ale, and a couple bottles of water. I looked at the stuff that I had and wondered what they all had in common. Lately, I’ve been researching the harmful effects of high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup is in nearly everything. So, of course, there’s high fructose corn syrup in ketchup (3rd ingredient), syrup (1st & 2nd ingredients), and ginger ale (2nd ingredient).

So, that’s the way I decided to go. I explained the Food Pyramid to refresh everyone’s memory, asked a couple questions about that. Then I went it for the kill (j/k) with the questions regarding the high fructose corn syrup. Finally, I tied it all in with the Oil of Oregano and the Bromacleanse after I  presented an example of a healthy menu. I was pretty proud of myself. I’m not sure if you can understand what a great feeling I got from this, but I do. I am so proud of myself. I definitely pulled a rabbit out of my hat with this one.

It Still Surprises Me!

It sill surprises that all my students bought into my classroom management system. I use Lakeshore Learning money. They get so excited during payday. They relish counting their money. They count it like it’s real. Even though I’ve been using the Lakeshore classroom money for three years now, it still surprises me how much they enjoy it.

At the beginning of the year, when I created the time sheet, I showed them how to fill it out. I also showed them how to write a check. So, every three weeks, I pass out three time sheets & three checks. If they lose either of them, they don’t get paid. I’ve had much success with this. Only three students have lost checks or time sheets so far. If you guessed that I stuck to my guns and did not pay them, then you are correct. They were pretty upset at first, but quickly realized that I was not going to cave.

For those of you unfamiliar with my classroom management system, here’s a post.