Update on Scire Plushes

I got everything sorted out. If you are on Ravelry, page information can be found here.

If you don't have Ravelry, then you should get it because it's free, wonderful, and helpful. =) However, I do have the PDF pattern on Google Docs. You can view it here.

If for some reason, neither of those options are working for you, please let me know, and I will gladly email it to you.

If you do make a plush, I would love to see your finished projects!


Little Scire Plushes

Like I've mentioned before, I have a lot of goals/ideas for making this upcoming school year (two weeks!) a better one. As soon as I take pictures of my (hopeful) attendance system next week, I'll post them, but in the meantime, I want to post about my plush friends I've been working on.

I know we are supposed to foster more intrapersonal rather than interpersonal competition for students, but I think that I little competition between students is healthy. I am -hoping- to have wall space (I'll be sharing a room), so I can put out little beaker pictures with their names on them. For every "A" they receive on a chapter test or test-weight assignment, I will add a sticker to their beaker (In previous years, I have done a cut out for every chapter, but A--it's a lot of paper, and B--a lot of kids would just recycle them, or worse, throw them in the trash as they were leaving).

But for the top student, I wanted to do something extra fun. I have LOTS of stash yarn, but they are mostly small random amounts that other people have given me. I know this website is pretty sweet, but a lot of them were more yarn than I had, or time-consuming. So I created these guys.

Scire Plush

They are crazy easy to make; all you need to know how to do is chain and do single crochet. I was feeling adventurous, so I decided to write up the pattern and make it pretty with Paint.NET. I am hoping to figure out how to make the file accessible (since Blogger doesn't really allow it), but I hope to get it on Ravelry on the next day or two. I'll let you know.


Tunes Tuesday--Queen

With school quickly approaching, I'm torn between celebrating the last of my freedom and getting prepared for the next ten months. On a lovely day like today, I opt for the former. =)

Queen--I Want to Break Free


Another Back-To-School Cardigan

This is my last week before I gear up for school to start! We have our in-service days on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week, and then we start with the 9th grades after Labor Day...I'm ready and not ready at the same time. EeK! I have yet to have an official back-to-school nightmare, so I guess I'm doing okay so far.

I started this project back in December, and like most of my knitting ventures, it takes me INCREDIBLY long to finish. While I do appreciate knitting, it does not have the same quickness of result that sewing does. To be fair, you don't have to -make- the fabric when you sew; you just buy it.

I found this pattern on Ravelry called Abalone. For those of you who don't have a Ravelry account, you can download the free PDF here, courtesy of Hedgehog Fibers.

The greatest change I made was to do crochet (hdc) around the edges instead of picking up and knitting. When I do that, I tend to leave ugly holes everywhere. I like how the crochet looks.

Any new creations for fall (or back to school) that you recently finished?


Peach Pie

Until recently, I had never made a pie before. With the exception of pumpkin, I'm just not a fan of pies. However, when the boy went to the beach with his family for a week, I figured I would make him a homecoming present.

The recipe comes from the Baker's Dozen cookbook (which I've mentioned before here and here), and the pie was a success. I will admit that for my first pie I cheated with pre-made pie crusts, but if it is something I get into more, I will go the completely home-made route.

My favorite thing about the pie is the actual pan I baked it in. I got it for Christmas last year. If you are a fellow nerd, I found it online here.

Have you baked a pie recently? What kind of pie do you like?



Just got back from the -worst- vacation I've ever had--hands down.

I did make a swimsuit for my trip, and I'll be sure to post about that tomorrow.


Goals for the new school Year

**This is not a crafting post; it's about teaching and assessments. If this does not interest you, I am not offended =P**

I can no longer avoid the Back-to-School sales. It's already August. I am trying to plan this year.

I have been with my district for 4 years this upcoming September, and I have taught the following:
  • Accelerated Biology (biology for the 'average' 10th grade student)
  • Accelerated Science 9 (physical science for the 'average' 9th grade student
  • Microbiology (junior-senior level elective course at an "accelerated weight")
  • Environmental Science (junior-senior level elective at an "academic (below accelerated) weight")
And this year I am teaching Science 9 (physical science at the "academic weight") and science 9 inclusion (the aforementioned course but with enough IEP students to have an extra person in the room (IEP teacher, aide, etc). As I mentioned in February, last year was my first year that was really unsuccessful in my eyes. I really did not like my job, and I was strongly considering quitting. It did not help that this year my salary is going to be reduced.

Originally, I told myself "well, then FINE". I will put in the bare minimum. Many of the teacher who have taught Science 9 told me to use their stuff and not make new stuff. And I really considered it...
But I couldn't. I am not someone who does a crummy job on really anything, so this past summer I have been buckling down. I almost have all of the material (Powerpoints, test, quizzes, worksheet packets, labs) for all of the chapters up to the midterm covered.

I am really worried about behavior issues (one of my biggest problems last year), so I've been reading up on teaching books. I re-read the First Days of School (I have two copies--one I got in college from our professor, and one I got as part of my new teacher induction program from the professional development staff).

I made a whole list of things I want to do differently this year from the book:
  1. Always maintain a "No EXCUSES" attitude--no more late homework. Ever.
  2. Create corrective assignments for tests
    1. If permissible, earn points (not full amount, but some amount) back on test?
    2. Mandatory?
  3. If showing a video, skip the dreaded WS but pause frequently to initiate discussion and quiz at a later date
  4. Post a daily schedule DAILY (I would be good and then stop for a week or more...) with learning objective, etc
  5. Chunk big research projects even better so no portion of the assignment is over 5 days long
  6. Start of the year with an email home (I did this every year but last year)
  7. Send an email home about each chapter (there is a parent letter with the textbook; I plan to modify that)
  8. Simple discipline reminder
    1. Smile.
    2. Observe stu's reaction
    3. Pause
    4. Say stu's name
    5. PLEASE (followed by request),stu's name
    6. Pause
    7. Thank you, stu's name
      1. I will have to practice this A LOT!!!
  9. Have the seating chart projected on the board the first day so they don't whine about being moved right away
  10. Have the first warm-up (I am trying to be cute by calling them brain energizers) be to fill in their info sheet
  11. Have THEM take attendance (beaker cutouts they can decorate; then they move from a folder to "present" on a bulletin board when they walk in
    1. Velcro? Magnets? Pushpins? Clothespins?
  12. Have 5 core rules--no more
  13. WEEKLY discipline (I think I was too forgiving last year giving 4 strikes DAILY)
    1. Name on board--warning
    2. Check next to name--email home
    3. Two checks next to name--detention to fill out behavior modification plan; parents called
    4. Erased every Friday
  14. Come up with a dismissal procedure and actually PRACTICE it and STICK TO IT
  15. Come up with an attention-getting procedure and actually PRACTICE it and STICK TO IT
  16. Use objectives for each chapter with test questions (I want to go into more detail, but I'll save it for another day)
Does anyone have this book? Has anyone tried the procedures? I am skeptical, and I worry they are juvenile, but I really want to try them.

Do you have any goals for things you want to do differently this year? One of the things that I like about teaching is every fall we get a new start...