May 28, 2015

Yearbook Signing

I'm curious...

Do you have a typical message that you leave in students' yearbooks?

Year after year, I struggle with wanting to leave meaningful messages to my students, especially those with whom I feel a special bond, but there is always a line of students waiting. 

A simple signature feels too impersonal to me. 

My favorite, which I've used with my seventh graders since my first year teacher, has been 

"Stay Gold!" 

as a nod to The Outsiders, which we read together that year. 

My last group of students from my first teaching gig finished high school last week. I sent them a shout out on Instagram and used the hashtag #staygold. They loved it! And I love that they still have such fond memories of that novel and the activities we did in class!

Give me some new ones, guys! 

Yearbook signing makes my hand cramp!

May 27, 2015

Giveaway: 5 Second Rule, The Classroom Edition

I'm a big fan of Ellen Degeneres and love following her on various social media platforms. I love that I still get to catch the highlights of her show even though we no longer have cable!

Last week, she posted this hilarious clip of a game called 5 Second Rule with Pamela Anderson. If you haven't seen it, I highly suggest taking a three minutes out of your day to watch video!

I immediately checked the app store to see if this was something Ellen created like her Heads Up game, which I ADORE! Sadly, this is not her game, and I sure didn't want to shell out $15-$35 for the real version.

After my search for a digital version came up empty, I decided to make my own version of the game, suitable for classroom use. And after about 5 hours staring at PowerPoint, I have a version to share!

I plan to play this with my students tomorrow on our last day of school. Since grades were due Tuesday, this has been a week of movie watching, and while that's convenient and easy for our teachers, it makes for a long, boring day for our students. 

Tomorrow, we have each of our classes for about 30 minutes before lunch and our big Tiger Bash (basically a field day with a bouncy house). Instead of filling the morning with yet another movie, I decided to host a game day with my kids. After all, this is probably the last opportunity many of them will have for any organized activity for weeks to come!

The game includes 64 questions and is set to a timer, so you can pretty much hit play and let the game run itself (except that you do need a scorekeeper because I haven't quite figured out how to make that work in the template I created. It's pretty fast-paced game, which is sure to help hold your students' attention in these last hours before freedom!

In honor of the end of the year, I would like to give away 2 copies of this game (one here and one on Facebook) to my readers! (Hint: get additional entries on my FACEBOOK page)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

May 18, 2015

IMWAYR: Fat Girl Walking

I was called out yesterday on Facebook by a sweet reader (hey there, Jill!) regarding my lack of recent posts. I have to admit, it's nice to know I was missed, and it was definitely the swift kick in the rear I needed to jump back into writing... and reading because I've been terrible about that too.

Since it's Monday (and the last one of this school year, I might add), I want to talk about a book. It's not one I've read yet, though I have been doing quite a bit of reading recently, but one that I KNOW will be on my favorites list when it's released TOMORROW.

Brittany Gibbons first popped up on my radar several years ago when I was introduced to her hilarious blog, Brittany, Herself (though back then she was known as the Barefoot Foodie). I found her honesty refreshing and her sense of humor spot-on!

I remember watching, my heart racing, as she stripped down to a bikini on stage during her TedX talk, and I knew in that moment that she was my hero. What I love most about Brittany is that she whole-heartedly believes that everyone deserves to feel beautiful and love their bodies exactly as they are. Today. Not after they lose the weight, but right now!

To that end, she has created a Curvy Girl army where 400+ women from every walk of life have come together to support each other. We talk about body image, careers, children, relationships, and even share funny memes (which you know I hoard for my monthly meme calendars). These women have become a sisterhood. They are a 24/7 support line (bonus points for reaching women all over the world so someone is always available to talk). Brittany is not just our mentor; she has become a friend.

I can't wait to get my hands on this book! Be sure to grab a copy for yourself and maybe one for a friend, especially if that friend could use a reminder that she is worthy. ;)