Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy 2013 to Zombies everywhere

Santa came!!! And brought us new tech toys!!! 2013 is already looking to be another technology-o-rama in schools and homes everywhere. I am itching to get my hands on the iPad my school district is providing to any and all willing teachers who want to learn. Two neighboring districts already have one-to-one technology integration initiatives. And nearly ALL of my children's grandparents are now on Facebook! Hallelujah!!

There was a really cool pin worth reading that shows current usage stats on the top social networking media sites. It didn't list many programs that you could use in a classroom, but there were really interesting comparisons like how much Instagram is outpacing Twitter. And 625,000 people join Google + EVERY DAY!?!?  My favorite statistic was that 80% of pins on Pinterest are actually re-pins from other people's boards, which just goes to show the power of visual media in our daily lives, and how a PICTURE of a good idea can go viral in a matter of minutes. 

Like Grumpy Cat! I am seriously obsessed. If you haven't visited their website, click the kitty to check it out. They just hit 300,000 likes on Facebook. You can even make your own memes at and insert them into your lessons for a laugh! I showed my students how to make their own grumpy cat memes for a brain break. You'd be surprised how difficult it is to think of a funny catch-phrase that is ironic, or mocking, or witty or just LOL.

In the midst of all this typing, I've been pushing my desk chair back and forth to the kitchen counter where my 5-year old preschooler is finally finishing his HOUR of homework from break. Good thing we checked his backpack tonight before he goes back to school tomorrow! Funny and a little hypocritical, how angry I get at my own students for procrastinating until the night before a due date... and here I am doing the same thing with my son's homework. Every time. Maybe counting and coloring just doesn't float my boat. Maybe I think it's a little absurd that he needs to know how to write ALL of his upper AND lowercase letters before he even starts kindergarten. Fortunately he enjoys it. For now anyway.

As a seventh grade teacher, I rarely assign homework for the weekend and never over a break. I leave that as a punishment for students who have missing/late work, that they are the only ones who have to think about school, while everyone else shuts their brain down for a while. We also have a three-day week this week, so I'm doing more learning labs and explorations with my math kids, and not assigning new homework until Monday.

Frankly, they can't sit still and aren't awake enough to do anything too strenuous, so I try to plan in something artistic and something kinesthetic to wake their brains up. For example, my 1st and 2nd hour are finally starting their Bungee Barbie lab, and my 3rd hour of accelerated math is working on my Star Transformations packet, which reinforces the concepts in Chapter 5 of our Holt/McDougal Course 3 math book. (Course 3 more closely mirrors the MN seventh grade standards than the actual "7th grade" book does)

My last piece of news is that, courtesy of the giant kitchen my boys got for Christmas, I now have a teenage-sized container to make a classroom BOX OF SHAME!!! Middle schoolers get so excited over pop-culture references. This one just takes the cake. The big question is, can I get my car door open wide enough to transport it to school??

If you don't know what the "box of shame" is, you must be one of maybe eight people on the planet who haven't seen Despicable Me yet. And by golly, you are TOTALLY missing out. Steve Carrell at his best, hilarious for parents and kids alike. And lots of quotable bits. And did I mention that the sequel is coming out next summer???

P.S. I already have a three-student-long waiting line to try it out. Photo ops soon to follow :)


  1. LOVE the idea of the box of shame!! Perhaps I'll have to borrow it...

  2. You got it! I'm actually going to have it in the commons tomorrow for anyone who wants to help decorate it.