Monday, January 30, 2012

Extra Recess, Just Barely

I have decided to stop numbering my photos.  I'm always behind, and I decided I might as well remove the pressure and stop worrying about it.  I still plan to take photos daily, but if I miss a day or two here or there, I'm not going to let it bother me.  So this is still a 365 Photo Project, more or less.

As I mentioned in my previous post, we are having beautiful weather here in Iowa. In fact we reached record breaking temperatures today with a high of 65.  The kids came in very wound up and chatty.  Let's face it, my kids are chatty most days.  Knowing it was going to be such a fantastic day, I gave the class an opportunity to earn an extra recess at the end of the day.  I wrote the word RECESS on the board.  If we had any letters left by 2:45, we could have the recess.  I would remove a letter when we had problems staying on task and following classroom rules.

We earned our recess, but just barely.  All we had left was this lonely R, but that was enough.


Today was a PGD Day; a Perfectly Good Day to leave early!

Kids at Phillips earn paw prints for good choices.  When they have 20, they turn them in to get prizes including a special catered breakfast in the conference room.  The teachers get a chance to earn rewards, too.  We earn these little PGD certificates for arriving at meetings on time or going the extra mile. When we want to, we can turn one in to our principal and leave right after the kids do, no explanations necessary.  I have a whole collection of them, because I rarely leave early.  I did today though.  

We reached a high of 65 degrees here in Iowa on January 30th, and you can't get PGer than that.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cheeseburger Soup and Cheesy Bisquits

I am a soup lover and today I made one of my favorite soups, Cheeseburger Soup. The original recipe came from Taste of Home Heartwarming Soups.

Cheeseburger Soup

1 pound ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup diced celery
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
4 tablespoons butter or margerine, divided
3 cups chicken broth
4 cups diced peeled potatoes
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups (8 ounces) Velveeta
1 1/2 cups milk (I use soymilk)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup sour cream

In a 3-qt. saucepan, cook beef until no longer pink; drain and set aside.  In the same saucepan, saute onion, carrots, celery, basil and parsley in 1 tablespoon butter until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.  Add broth, potatoes and beef; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

In a small skillet, melt the rest of the butter.  Add flour; cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until bubbly.  Add to soup; bring to a boil.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes.  Reduce heat to low.  Add cheese, milk, salt and pepper; cook and stir until cheese melts.  Remove from the heat; blend in sour cream.  Makes 8 servings.

I served Cheesy Biscuits with this.  These are actually called "Better than Jim 'N Nick's Cheesy Biscuits." I' ve never had Jim and Nick's biscuits, but these were definitely delicious.  You can find the recipe for these on the blog, Plain Chicken.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Day 24/366: Finished Slippers

These finished slippers are my first knitting project in more than thirty years.  I first learned how to knit when I was around ten or eleven.  It was a Girl Scout project. We used this very same pattern, but I was thinking as I was knitting these, that I know I didn't really understand what I was doing back then.  I hope these fit the person I made them for, because they seem pretty big.

Day 23/366: American Revolution Books

We are almost done with our study of the American Revolution.  Almost everyone has their American Revolution Books put together and turned in.  The kids did some great art work and some great writing.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Day 22/366: American Revolution Circle Books

We are wrapping up our American Revolution unit.  Our last project was creating these circle books which including pages about 4 important events of the revolution.  We are hanging them on a rope stretched across the room, which works okay because I'm short and the kids are shorter.

I had it all planned out, except . . . . .

We have a little problem.  I won't be able to use the screen until we take them down.  Oops!

Day 21/366: Button Box

Teachers collect lots of things, and after teaching the same grade for the past 15 years, I have quite a variety. This button collection was among my math materials, but I decided to take it back home for some craft projects.  Whenever I see buttons, I think of my grandma's button box.  I use to spend hours going through them when I stayed with her.  Some of these buttons came from that collection.

Day 20/366: Sawing Logs

My dogs spend a lot of time sleeping, and one of these dogs snores, loudly!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Day 19/366: Little Books

We are working on putting together our American Revolution Books.  As part of this project we have made mini-books, lock books, circle books, flip books, step books, and brochures.  In fact we've mad just about any kind of little book you can think of.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Day 18/366: WebQuest

We are just wrapping up our latest webquest.  This time we are learning about the American Revolution.  We have been researching and writing about some of the important events.  Yesterday we learned about the Battle of Yorktown.  We are making a circle book with our writing.

Day 17/366: Homecoming

In August my neighbor, who is a police officer, was hit by a drunk driver, while he was directing traffic at the Iowa State Fair.  He was thrown forty-seven feet in the air and was very seriously injured.  Since that time he has been working towards recovery and has spent the past two months in therapy at On With Life in Ankeny.

Phoukham came home today!  I can't think of anything happier than that!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Day 16/366: Let There Be Light

Jacci gave me an Ottlite  for my birthday.  Now I can crochet or knit and actually see what I'm doing.  I love it!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Day 15/366: Lisa

I didn't take this photo. I think Colin did.  This is my beautiful daughter, Lisa.  My sister saw it on Facebook, and sent me a copy.  It's a really great photo.

I had a fantastic day today, and I took several photos with my phone, but none of them turned out very well. I will be happy to get my camera back when I go to school tomorrow.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Day 14/365: Relearning How to Knit

When I was in Girl Scouts, I learned how to knit.  We made a pair of slippers.  Over the years I tried knitting every now and then, but I was more partial to crochet.  It has been at least 30 years since I have tried to knit anything.  Several of my on-line friends are knitters, and I have been wanting to give it a try again.  I found that same slipper pattern that I first learned with, and I bought some yarn.

Today I went to the library and checked out some more books about knitting.  One of the big advantages of trying something new in this day and age is, if you get stuck, just Google a solution.  Up pop tutorials including videos to teach you how to do it.  I'll let you know how this goes.

Day 13/366: Finished Scarf

I finished my scarf.  It took me six years to get around to using this yarn, but I really like the way it came out.  Unfortunately, I left my camera at school.  I had to take the finished photo with my phone, so it doesn't have the clarity of the other two photos.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Day 12/366: Future Projects

I am really enjoying the color and texture of yarn, and there is yarn in this basket for lots of future projects.  I bought some new knitting needles and I'm going to try knitting again.  I learned how to knit when I was in Girl Scouts.  The first thing that I ever knitted were slippers; knit 9, purl 1, knit 9, purl 1 . . . .  I found the exact same pattern in a book I checked out from the library.  I'm going to knit another pair of slippers.  It's probably been at least 30 years since I knitted last.  I have been a crochet girl.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Day 11/366: Deserted Hall

Wednesdays are always early release days. This afternoon many people were required to go to meetings away from the building. I was lucky and got to stay in my room and working on math instruction.  By 4:30 I was the only one on my floor. I'm there by myself lots of times, but with the wind picking up outside, and the cold drafty hall, it felt little creepy.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Day 10/366: New Name Box

Our name box was missing, so I had to make a new one.  I use the name box a lot to group kids for activities, partners and sometimes to pick who goes first.  I looked for it for a couple weeks, before I gave up and made a new one.  These little sample tiles were in the cabinet of my first classroom here at Phillips twenty-two years ago.  I had boxes and boxes of them.  Now I'm down to the last two boxes.  When I use them up, I guess I'll have to retire.

As I knew would happen, I found the old name box, just two days after I made this one.

Day 9/366: Snack Time

All I have to say is "Who wants a Greenie?" and these two are ready.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Day 8/366: Making Progress

During December I started crocheting, sewing, and card making to make Christmas gifts.  Once I got involved with technology I had pretty much quit doing crafts.  It felt so good to make things again, so I am determined to keep it up.

Lisa gave me this yarn, along with the pattern, for my birthday in 2006. It had been that long since I had done any crocheting.  Now I'm "hooked" again (excuse the pun, please), and I am making progress on this scarf.  I'm about half finished. I love the way you take a ball of yarn and turn it into beautiful fabric, and something useful.

Day 7/366: Tea Run

After being home for a week and a half, and having Lisa, Colin, and Michael home, who also drink tea, it was time to make a tea run.  Jacci met me at Gong Fu.  It was incredibly busy, and we were lucky to have a table.  This time I picked up Constant Companion, Absolute Almond, and Le Tour de France.  Now I can face the week.

Day 6/366: No Thumbs

We are studying the human body.  On Friday, we ended our school day with a science experiment. We immobilized our thumbs with masking tape and experimented doing daily tasks like writing, tying shoes, and zipping jackets.  The kids had lots of fun, and hopefully learned a thing or two.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Day 5/366: Loyal Friend

Wherever I go, Winnie goes too, even if it's just up the stairs for a minute or two.  Sometimes it's annoying, but she is truly a loyal friend.

Day 4/366: Battery Operated Candles

I received this set of battery operated candles for Christmas from my friend, Nadine.  I really like them, and one of the best things is that they have a remote, so I can turn them off and on from bed. The light looks amazingly real, and they're a lot safer, just in case I fall asleep while they are on.  I placed them on my Depression Glass Cake Plate, and spread some of my rocks (really minerals) around them.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Day #3/366: My Head is Full of Children

Day #3/366: My Head is Full of Children
Originally uploaded by BarbaraLN

This wall hanging is hanging outside the artroom, which is right across the hall from my room. I think the Art Teacher must have busy over winter vacation.

Day #2/366: New Mail

Day #2/366: New Mail
Originally uploaded by BarbaraLN

When I got to school on Monday, these were in my mailbox. We were all pretty excited.

Day 1/365: Blue Potholder

Day 1: Blue Potholder
Originally uploaded by BarbaraLN

Last fall I decided I was not going to do a third year of 365 Project, but it's like an addiction. I've been going through withdrawal, and I was feeling left out, so I'm in. Here is photo #1/366. I've been doing a lot of crocheting during the past month and I just finished this potholder on New Years Day. I like the way it came out.