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Writing Project! Whoop!

I’ve got another little freebie to add on here, this time, I’m posting a little project I’m going to try out in small groups.  It’s for my girls, in celebration of Women’s History Month. Go chicks!  Basically, I’d like for them to sign up, come in small groups and fill out the worksheet after a brief conversation about the Women’s Movement.   Should that be capitalized? Not sure, and I’m OK with that (you know the saying, “those who teach, should know things like that.”).  SO, below you will find a copy of the pass and the worksheet.  I am attaching this great timeline to the pass as well for some inspiration (I mean, I know they probably won’t read it, but a girl can dream). My goal is to make a book that can be given to the school, or kept in the Guidance office.  Anywho, enjoy! And let me know if you have any ideas!

I love the look of the pass, and will probably alter it for the book’s cover.  The picture is from Edutopia’s amazing page on Women’s History Month, where I initially got my inspiration to do something.  The lovely tag on both the pass and the worksheet were snipped from the always amazing Kind Over Matter. You can get the PDF by clicking the picture, or here and here.

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Patchwork Therapy

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An impromptu long snow weekend led to lots of crafty therapy.  I finished a quilt that had been in -ahem- progress for about a year now.  After some serious consideration (not really, it was more like productive procrastination), I decided to use this method that I saw some time ago on Whip Up.   It saved so much time!  Basically, I had all layers together (sandwiched right side down, batting, right side up), and then quilted everything together as I attached each line.  To take out a step in the quilty process (having to construct the top and then quilting the layers together) worked perfectly, especially since it will be an everyday couch quilt.  Here are some  in-progress pictures:

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Everything is quilted together- starting at the top, I laid out the bottom (RSD) with batting on top (using a few safety pins here and there).  I put the first line down RSU, and the next line RSD on top of it.  The I sewed all layers together.  Next, I folded over the top strip RSU, and laid the next strip on top of it RSD.  Going over and over until… voila!  Then I edged and was all done.  Sadly, all of the ups and downs on the floor to lay it out has me totally sore today.  The hazards of quilting are real people.

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I also finally finished a square by hand from the amazing Wombat Quilts.  I cannot put the fabrics together quite as well she does, but with her pattern it’s hard to mess it up!  Now, I am far too lazy to make an entire quilt, but I think it will be a lovely small something-or-another.  I just need to add an edge and back and I’ll be donezo.

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More for Career

So, as I said earlier, I have been working on a small career lesson for my 8th graders.  I found some awesome videos to use, and I was stumped trying to avoid yet another assessment to tell the babies what they must be when they grow up.  Those things still make me nervous when I take them recreationally, and I am actually in my meant-for-me profession; I can’t imagine how it must make them feel.  Granted, if presented correctly (which I think I’m still working on), I understand kids can get the point that career assessments are meant to simply explore the broader idea of what they might like.  But in the age of so many serious tests and exams, I can’t imagine they would be able to relax enough to not feel like they would be banished from all educational rights if they answer incorrectly.    Luckily, I found this really cool diagram from Willo O’brien (which turns out is actually a pretty inspirational and cool bog too):

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I’ve seen this before, but I thought this version was especially appealing.  I remade it by middle-school-izing the verbiage and adding blanks so that they could fill in the information.  You can get the PDF of the Career diagram by clicking the jpeg below, or you can snip the image to re-size if you’d like!

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Now I just have to cross all of my fingers and toes that I can get the point across to a classroom of pre-teens before the 8th grade minds start to joke about my using the words “sweet spot.”  I’ll have to work fast.

Weekend Therapy

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This weekend, my therapy was totally retail-related.  But by way of magazines…the best kind.  I have long been a fan of Euro-import crafty mags, but this weekend it was brought to a whole new level when I brilliantly thought to myself, “Self, what the hey?  I wonder if there are any super-cool quilting magazines.  Could it be?…this one looks…yes…it is larger than the other magazines…yes…QUILTY GOODNESS EURO-STYLE??!!?!”  I apologize if the picture is, in fact, as fuzzy as it looks to me, but my excitement is clearly difficult to contain.  I went with Patchwork and Quilting and Popular Quilting (I’m not really sure how I missed Popular Patchwork, except for that I must find it).  I cannot be happier with these magazines, and just feel like there is something about the Euro mags that are more current, and way mare tutorial-ish.  I have even already found a new awesome sewy blog at Diary of  a Quilter from Popular Quilting- PLEASE check it out if you haven’t seen it yet…I would say it is imperative.  It’s pretty and helpful and inspiring.

I am sure that it is noticeable that I keep posting about  sewing blogs and magazines and haven’t posted any projects.  That’s because it is very time consuming to collect all of the “data” which means I’m not actually doing anything.  I’m ok with it though, it’s part of my process (and “productivity” is relative).  On the work-front, I have been stalking Kate’s Science Classroom though, who seems to take her class beyond typical Science lessons, and integrates some really great concepts for personal growth.  I admire her going above and beyond subject matter for her students, and find there are some great ideas here that can easily fit into the Counselor’s office as well!

One last note:  While perusing the crafty book section at my local book store, I couldn’t help but notice this precariously placed self-help book.  Regardless of the fact that I mix therapy and crafties right on this here blog thang, I had to refrain myself from leaving a note that says, “Crafting is in again!  Just because I’m crafting on a Saturday night doesn’t mean I have low self-esteem!  I choose this life! I have friends (friend) and everything!”

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Career Lesson

I have been looking for a career lesson to go along with an assessment explanation that wouldn’t overwhelm the middle school babies with the feeling that they must choose their life path immediately or else they would end up unemployed on their friend’s couch with unwashed hair and a desolate future.  I mean, is it me, or do we sometimes skip a huge step in the whole helping-children-decide-their-future-at-the-age-of-two game?  So, I decided to start by just looking for informational videos of different jobs.  This way, kids can get interested in professions in general, before they even start to think about which one they think is for them.  I found some good videos here, and then hit the JACKPOT with the Gigniks site.  These videos are so unlike many of the career informational videos available- they are young (a dude that forecasts sports trends), and diverse (a STEM chick on a motorcycle), and interesting (a kid that gets paid to make robots, and another that designs roller coasters).

I picked three or four to show the kiddos, and made a small sheet for them to fill out.  I’m going to have them first guess what the professions are, because these are all really awesome and unconventional.  How many kids will know what a “Tech Evangelist: is (um…because I had no clue)?!  Then they will later write what they learn it actually is.  There are also good vocab words like “intern,” “networking,” and my favorite new term, “resume-bombing.”  I can also see a ton of opportunities for discussion, and the main point is that we should think openly about jobs, because there are many variations and non-traditional jobs out there; if you like computers, it doesn’t mean you have to sit at a desk all day, if you like to play sports, it doesn’t mean you have to be an athlete or coach, and so on.  Thanks California Career Center for putting some time into videos that are appealing to the littles.

Lemonade!

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Today was our first Saturday make-up day, and boy did those parents tuck-and-roll those kids right out for a free Saturday! Smart little cookies they are, as I would have done the same thing, you betcha.  It was a full-fledged day, and the kids and staff alike were really positive and productive.  I decided to make a little treat for my teachers, and handed out these cards this morning.  I mean, I was busy, but those ladies and gents were classroom-ready and took to their feet for the sixth day in a row this week!  We certainly made lemonade with our Saturday lemon (plus, I still think my snowcation was lovely). The image is below if your teachers are needing a pick-me-up.  I just sized it and inserted/copied the image on a business card template (mine had ten per page) to staple to the lemonade pack.

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Tracking Time

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Sooo…Today I had to start tallying my time for work, delineating how I spend my time (e.g. P/T Conferences, 504 meetings, one on one, group, department meetings, etc).  It is sort of hard to break apart all of the components of such crazy, moving days.  You sit down and start responding to parent e-mails, start to organize classroom student response forms, get called down for a registration, get stopped with a class change form on the way, get an impromptu lesson on departmental goals upon walking into the office, talk with a family about a student’s history and choose classes, stop in at the lunch room on your way back and discuss some friend drama-rama, offer consultation on a student with a teacher picking up their class, speak with a student in the hall who has been put out and reiterate behavioral goals, return to a ringing phone, and then try to remember what it was you were trying to do before you left your office 15 minutes ago. How in the world is it possible to outline the tasks that you do all day, every week, within a month, throughout an entire year?  And when we don’t record everything, we feel as though on paper we look like we may not be doing enough to justify our profession.

But alas, it must be done.  Recording what I do throughout the day has saved my butt plenty of times.  In going over a student history, recalling why I made one decision over another, catching a student not living up to the things they agreed to; I refer to my notes all the time.  But still, I find myself thinking, ‘wait, I remember talking to that parent, what was it that they called about? Or, I did talk to that kid, but I never agreed to change his class past the deadline, or did I?’  One thing I have learned through internship and counselor subbing has been to make my own worksheets for processes that help me get the job done.  In Grad school, I remember professors encouraging having us make worksheets in class, and begging us to really get cozy with Microsoft applications that can be helpful.  Well let me tell you, I spoon those puppies now- and Word and Excel are the big spoon.

This is the Daily Log Sheet I created to keep record of everything I do.  It is based on a sheet one of the lovely ladies had made that I subbed for when I was on the maternity circuit.  I keep it on a clip-board that I bring with me everywhere like a besty.  Then I move it over to a Daily binder, and have a running log.  This way, if I so happen to forget to record my goings ons daily like I am supposed to (which I typically do), I have a reference to go to.  Between this, and appointments in my Outlook Calendar, I can usually get the majority of my time down.  I love to hear how other people track there time though, and like to take bits and pieces as I alter things.

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