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Falling for the Hodgepodge

Goodness, but is September really over already?  It really did fly by!  Let’s get October started off the best way by jumping into the Hodgepodge!  Thanks, Joyce!

1.  Are the leaves turning color where you live? Have they begun to fall? Will you have to rake when it’s all said and done? Is that a chore you love or loathe?

The leaves are starting to fall, but I won’t be raking them.  I have a company I pay that takes care of my yard, so whatever floats their boat is fine with me.  I tend to be laid back where it comes to my yard.

2.  When did you last shake like a leaf?

I last shook like a leaf when my principal walked into my classroom a couple of days ago.  I don’t know why I still get nervous after four years, but I do!!!!  Fortunately, my students were working hard at the bellwork I’d prepared.

He had a surprise to share with me, so I worried in vain.  My friend, Barb, had been named as Secondary Literacy Coach of the Year for the State of Florida!  I’m mighty happy for her because she deserves the honor!  Plus, I wrote a magnificent letter of recommendation, boasting of her wonderful attributes.  I definitely would not be the teacher I am without her mentoring.

3.  After 20 seasons with the NY Yankees, Derek Jeter played his last official game Sunday afternoon. Jeter has been described even by opponents as a ‘class act’, both on and off the field. The NFL is back in action this month too, with several players in that sport also making headlines. What are your thoughts on athletes as role models? Should a professional athlete be expected to act as role model or is that going beyond their job description? What responsibility do the organizations these athletes work for have when it comes to dealing with off the field behavior? Discuss.

I believe that anyone who is in the public eye naturally takes on the persona of role model.  Unfortunately, it comes with the territory, whether or not a person asks for it.

I think that athletes ought to take special care with this responsibility.  They are being paid exorbitant amounts of money and bring tons of revenue to organizations and even cities because of the skills they possess.

In the same vein, I think that organizations have a lot of responsibility when it comes to holding their employees, for that is what athletes are, accountable.  Why should athletes who bring in lots of money be slapped on the wrist for horrible actions?  I think that an organization represents itself by how it holds their members accountable, and I know that I would think twice about giving my money to a company that didn’t push high standards.

4.  What season of the year is toughest for you in terms of your health? Why?

It’s strange, but I think that summer is toughest for me.  I seem to push through the other seasons out of necessity, but come summer, when I can kick back and relax after ten hard months of constant work, my body shuts down.  Stress rolls off, often in the form of illness, as my body recovers.  I really must work harder at relaxing during the other seasons of the month!!

5.  The top six healthy food trends of 2014 according to Eating Well are-

clean eating (more veg, less meat, less sodium, limit alcohol and processed foods)
trash fish (you know those fish that get caught in fishermen nets and are thrown back? It seems chefs are finding creative ways to make them more appetizing)
cauliflower (this year’s IT vegetable)
kaniwa (essentially baby quinoa, so like quinoa only smaller)
fermentation (think pickling except with twists on flavor we’re not accustomed to)
community supported food (farms operating with community support/membership).

Okay-so how many of the hot healthy food trends for 2014 have you experienced, encountered, enjoyed? Any you’ve tried and said ewwww? Any on the list you’d like to try before year’s end?

As you guys know, I do the clean eating thing.  I’ve been a vegan since December 2010 and have never felt better!  I love cauliflower and regularly add it to my salads when we eat out.  I’d be willing to try kaniwa…sounds like the perfect addition to my vegan lifestyle!  Fermentation is supposed to be very nutritious and would be willing to give it a try.  I’d also love to find a local community-supported farm!

6.  In seven words or less, bid September adieu.

Bring on a much-awaited Fall Break!

7.  What’s something on your October calendar that makes you happy just thinking about it?

Let me repeat my answer for #6…FALL BREAK.  The thought of having a four-day weekend makes me a very happy teacher indeed!  I’m hoping to have my lesson plans finished before I close my door that Thursday so I can get as much rest as possible.

8.  My Random Thought

Well, it’s finally happened.

I’m pretty sure we turned a corner in my classes and have finally settled into a comfortable routine.

I still have about one child per classroom that I need to work extra hard at winning over, but for the most part, I think that my students and I are beginning to click.

I’m using ClassDojo.

One would think that the site would be too “elementary-ish” for my high school students.

Think.  Again.

I gave them the option of using it after I showed them what it was about, and they LOVED the monster avatars.  Some students have logged into their accounts with their own codes and customized their own avatars.

Every time I award points, a sound plays…specific to whether it’s a positive or negative point.


It’s pretty neat how the kids are holding each other accountable for the student-created norms we set up the first week of school.

Something neat I noticed today was how students were helping each other…and pointing out when others were being helped…so they could be rewarded by positive points.

I like the reports, which allow us to have conversations about what we did well and what we need to work on.

You should have seen one of my class when it learned that they had gone from -4 to 99 points!  They literally sat up straighter in their chairs.  This made me smile.

Students are trying to earn 2,000 points for a party.  Sounds easy, but it’s not!  Still, they have a goal, and with me posting updated point totals weekly, they are starting to make progress…

Which makes for happy students…

And a happy teacher.

2 Responses

  1. I know you are ready for a break so enjoy your long weekend! I do hope you find some space now and then during the work year to take a breather. Glad your classes are going well!

  2. That gave me a good laugh: working harder at relaxing. LOL

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