Wednesday, October 26, 2016


The lost papers have been found! I had a huge pile to correct last night, and as I pulled the other papers from my teacher bag, the edge of my planner fell open and I noticed my missing papers! I had tucked them inside so they wouldn't get lost...

Once again, I have a huge pile to correct tonight; I had everything be due before we leave for Camp Omega.  Most everything is handed in (I think), although there are still a few outstanding papers.  Must be done before we leave!  While we're gone, the 7th and 8th graders get a work day on their South America projects. They were all surprised the projects are due next Tuesday... I told them they'd be due either the first or second week of November!

Camp is all my kiddos have been able to talk about all week.  What to bring, what they'll do, who they'll ride with.  And we can't forget the weather either!  The weather for Camp Omega is going to be super nice.  No rain is in the forecast.  No terribly cold weather either.  But still cold enough to need layers.  Hmm, what to pack?

And now for a non-camp related story... Today I wore a long, metal chain necklace with a pendant on the end. The interactive board has "pens" with magnets in them so they stick to the board.  As I gestured with the pen, it stuck to my necklace.  I was so surprised, I said something about it to my students.  Not everyone had seen it, and those who hadn't wanted a demonstration.  So I stuck the pen back on my necklace and let go, letting the pen dangle there.  "Wow! That's cool!" were the general responses.  I thought about keeping it there all day, but decided that would be weird... who knows what the 7th and 8th graders would say!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Lost Papers

Grr... I'm kind of frustrated at the moment. I lost some papers I needed to grade! Last week, before MEA, papers to be corrected were strewn all over my desk.  I thought I had gathered them all up and clipped them together to bring home with me, but I'm missing the little half sheet of paper with my students' reading grades!

I remember setting the pile on top of my calendar so I wouldn't lose them. I debated whether I should bring them with me or not; since they're pretty easy to grade maybe they could wait.  But I think my final decision was to bring them with me.  And now I can't find them anywhere! Maybe I should check my apartment more thoroughly.  Unless somehow they're still in Fulda somewhere!  Grr... I know I never corrected them because they're not in the grade book. And I never handed them back to the kids... so where are they???  I suppose I can go back through my meeting binder and re-grade them for that week. But that's a lot of extra work that could be avoided if I could only remember what happened to them...

We learned more about pH today.  I pulled out the litmus paper and we tested some liquids. Water in Joe's spray bottle tested at a pH of 6.  The fermentation bag (another experiment of crushed cereal, warm water, and yeast) tested at a 5.  Interesting.  Now they have all sorts of other liquids they want to test.  Good thing that's our next lab!  Their assignment is to bring in at least one liquid by next Tuesday so we can test if it's an acid or a base.

We almost have the silent auction wrapped up.  Three people still need to pick their stuff up and pay for their items.  I emailed them all, so hopefully they get back to me soon!

It's looking pretty dreary outside right now, and not just because the sun's going down.  It was supposed to rain on and off all day, but it only rained for a little bit this morning before lunch.  But a thunderstorm is supposed to come tonight!  By Thursday, the weather will be nice and sunny.  Perfect for our trip to Camp Omega!  The forecast for Courtland on Friday says we might get up to 70 degrees!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Good Stuff

The conference was so good! Lots of great information about how to keep your life balanced... socially, emotionally, and spiritually.  The speaker for my first session had medical issues, so he wasn't there and I had to pick a new sectional.  Since the main speaker was so good, I picked a session he was leading (going more in depth on his speech topic- keeping a balance in your life). And that one was good too! I look lots of notes.

Saturday was the dollar bag sale at the MLHS rummage sale. I found good stuff for my classroom and some new clothes.  Last night I did up all my laundry, so now I can wear my new duds!  The stuff for my classroom is still in the bag on the lab table.  There was frost on my car this morning, so I didn't get to school as early as I'd hoped.  And then people kept coming in to talk to me.

Then after school, Mrs. E and I (and Miss S too) went over Christmas program ideas.  We decided to use an old program from seven years ago and pick new songs.  My job it to type everything up so we can plug in names/songs before the Sunday School teachers need the program.

Tonight is the 7th and 8th grade class trip fundraiser at Buffalo Wild Wings in Mankato.  15% of your bill goes to ILS if you mention it.  I'm meeting up with a friend from college to eat there, and run some errands too since I'll be in Mankato.  I better get going!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Pastor's chapel today was about his trip to Guatemala.  He and some other gentlemen in this area (one more guy from our church and a bunch from other churches in the district) went down there for about a week to scope out whether we'd like to sponsor a church down there.  It made me miss El Salvador!  Since the countries are next door neighbors, it's no surprise that the cultures are similar.  Happy people in very poor conditions.  Although I think El Salvador is slightly better off than Guatemala (just based on Pastor's stories).  He's going to show pictures and tell more in church this Sunday.  We also have our quarterly meeting, so I should probably be around for that.

Today's the last day of school this week! We have the Lutheran Educator's Conference tomorrow in Mankato.  After that, I'm Fulda bound!  My siblings and I never made it to the corn maze... hopefully we'll be able to check it out this weekend.  There's also the $2 bag sale at the Martin Luther Rummage Sale.  Gotta stock up on art supplies and cool stuff for my classroom! Hopefully there's a good selection of books.  And my prize box can always use donations.

Tonight instead of ladies' bible study, there's a bonfire at the parsonage.  It's pretty crisp outside right now; I'll need to bring a heavier jacket! I think I have just enough time to go home, change, and eat supper.  After the bonfire, I'll most likely curl up with a good book and pack for this weekend.  Tomorrow's conference starts at nine, so I'll have a little more time than usual in the morning.  Hopefully I can get all (oh who am I kidding? MOST) of my school work done so I don't have to think about it for the rest of the weekend.  The past two weeks have been crazy so a little rest and relaxation is just what's needed!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Chemical Reactions

Our first "intense" science lab was today.  Both the goggles and safety aprons were pulled out of the closet.  I haven't used them in two years, so some of them still had masking tape name tags on them... the tape had gone gooey and was super gross... They're clean now! A little bit of wet-wipes and paper towel action did wonders on the goo.

My class had so much fun with the lab.  They used pipettes to squirt two different liquids together and then watched to see if a chemical reaction occurred.  There are four different signs this has happened: bubbles, a precipitate forms, the temperature changes, and/or there's a color change.  Of course at the end of the lab they wanted to dump everything together and see what happened.  Not a whole lot! Just a little fizzing.  Then came clean up time... blech. All the substances we used were dumped in one pail (and then dumped in the woods).  This includes: lemon juice, vinegar, baking soda, salt water, milk, and egg whites.

After school was dishes time.  Our last volleyball and soccer games were today, so lots of kids stayed after school.  One of those girls LOVES doing dishes, so she washed pretty much everything for me! The test tubes, beakers, spoons, buckets... now it's all drying on the lab table.

Our games went well.  We played Immanuel Mankato; they only have one team, but they had enough players to put mostly littler girls in first and then the big girls for A squad.  Their girls are super tall! So B squad got creamed.  A squad, on the other hand, played amazing! And we won both games!  Woohoo!  One of the coaches got cookies and frosted them to look like volleyballs (and put the girls' numbers on them).  She also got them a box of candy for having such a good season.  The mom of the only 8th grade girl brought her flowers and a balloon for her teammates to give her.  It was quite the festive night!

So now, volleyball is officially over.  And the volleyball drama with it! (hopefully).  Now on to the next thing!  My next big hurdle is Camp Omega.  We finally picked our classes; the guy had typed my email in wrong, so I never received the email.  But that's straightened out now.  The toughest thing is going to be finding chaperones... I've had one potential nibble as of now and a tentative bite (if no one else volunteers).  So we can go for sure, I just don't know who our other chaperones will be.  It would be nice to have some firm yeses though!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Lots of Little Crabs

Sigh, unfortunately, I'm not talking about the little critters with pincers... I'm talking about all the students (and quite a few teachers... ahem... me) at school today...

This weekend was the big Pork Chop Dinner and Silent Auction for our school.  There was a pretty constant stream of parents texting me/calling me on Saturday asking questions about the Pork Chop Dinner.  When do I work? Is school unlocked? Where are the extra tickets? Can someone come pick up my silent auction donation?

But everything went fine on Sunday.  I had some more early morning phone calls/texts, and some last-minute silent auction donations.  All my bell players showed up! Hallelujah! And we sounded mostly decent... I caught a few mess-ups; hopefully they were minor enough the congregation didn't notice.  After church I supervised the silent auction room.  No one came to relieve me, so I had to wait to eat lunch until after the auction.  All but one of the items sold, bringing in somewhere around $1500 for the auction side of things.  A bunch of people wanted to pick up/pay for things at school this week, so all those items had to be loaded in my car and transferred to my classroom.  A few people picked their items up at school.  Still a few more to go.  I think everyone is still recuperating from the big weekend.

After school today we had our last volleyball practice.  One of the coaches came up with a cool volleyball game for the girls to play (since we have one last game tomorrow and that's it). But the girls were all crabbing at each other; one girl even started crying.  Then another girl tripped going up the bleachers during a water break and spilled another girl's water bottle all over her... causing the wet girl to cry too.  Sigh. It was a long practice.

And then after practice we had our end of the year volleyball party at Swany's.  We had told the girls to bring $5 for pizza.  When we pooled the money, we had just enough to cover the bill! Whew!  I didn't actually eat any pizza. By the time I got there (after quickly packing up my stuff at school), most of the pizza was gone and I figured I should leave it for the girls.  They finished eating before 5:00, so we sat around for a half an hour (well, the girls were giggling and talking and playing obo-shen-a-ten-ta-ten and getting suckers from the counter and... you get the picture) waiting for parents to come pick their girls up.  But I think the girls had fun, which is the important thing.  Only one more volleyball thing to go! Woohoo!

We started our testing today. Instead of IOWA tests, we're doing Fast Bridge testing, which we'll do three times a year so we can actually monitor our students' progress and do something about it if they need help in areas.  I had been planning to wait a bit before doing the testing, but when I explained how it worked, they wanted to do it today. So we took the reading test.  They did all right.  Two were in the at-risk category.  The rest were in the middle to high somewhat at risk level.  The other nice thing about this test is that it tells you the specific skills the students are struggling with.  My class, across the board, struggles with homophones, end punctuation, context clues, analogies, and comparing characters.  Some of that is no surprise; we haven't learned it yet or it's something that they've been struggling with so far this year.  Some of it is a little surprising. I'll be interested to see how they do on the math portion we take tomorrow.  But at least now I have an idea of some of the things we need to work on!

Friday, October 14, 2016


The 5th graders were reminiscing on the playground at afternoon recess today.  "Remember back in kindergarten?" they kept saying.  It was kind of hilarious.

We also put up our Church Year Chain for art.  It's crazy how excited the 6th graders were to do it! Everyone got started on stapling the strips together; we had two girls tag-teaming the cutting.  We put it up in record time.  Now our room looks festive again.

The other out-of-the-ordinary thing that happened today was the toilet in the boys' bathroom overflowed and started flooding the bathroom.  This happened while the 7th and 8th graders were in my class. One boy went to use the bathroom and came back saying it was flooding.  Half the boys wanted to be the ones to fix it.  Another bunch ran to watch.  The remaining students and I decided on an impromptu field trip to the hallway to see what was going on.  It didn't take much to unplug it.  Someone found a mop and mopped up the overflow water.  They took care of it and came back to class.