What do teachers do over break? Clean!

This morning, I came across a post on edutopia.com that had a recommended reading list-5 Eclectic Book Recommendations.  I didn’t get past the first book listed. I have ordered The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo and look forward to being inspired to get rid of things even though I know that all I need to do is pick something up and put in a pile that is either for donation, keeping, or throwing out. Maybe I’ll be inspired to get rid of things that I don’t really NEED or that as Kondo says don’t give me joy.


Guess I know what I am going to be doing the rest of winter break. Who knows? Maybe, I will learn some things that I can apply in my classroom, too.

Here is a link to an article, too.


Great Pencil Sharpener!

I don’t know about you all, but I have terrible luck with pencil sharpeners in my classroom.  I can get a new one, and within a few days, a student has jammed it with something or used waxy colored pencils in it.  A few weeks ago, I came across a link to a site that had a pencil sharpener that caught my eye.  I figured I had nothing to lose.  Finally, after Thanksgiving break and being busy with testing, I was able to get some students to set it up for me.  It was a huge hit.  I told the kids that I needed to write a review on it, and they told me to mention how sharp it got the pencils.  They were very impressed and kept looking for pencils to sharpen.  Check out the site!  http://www.classroomfriendlysupplies.com/

“The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry

One of my favorite holiday stories is “The Gift of the Magi.”  I so enjoy introducing my students to the story each holiday season.

Here is what I did with my students this year.

Journal Prompt as a Bell-Ringer

–What is a sacrifice?

–What is a sacrifice that someone has made for you?

–What is a sacrifice that you have made for someone else?

  • Questions to Answer Using the Story The Gift of the Magi Questions
  • Work with a partner to write your own version of the story.  You may start from scratch or write a parody using well-known characters.