Wait… is it really October already? We’ve been back for a month already? It feels like we just started! I was very excited to return to work this fall after being out last spring on maternity leave. And boy, did we hit the ground running!
I am a SPED Literacy Coach, and I support about 15 staff members spread across 4 buildings. Part of my back to school fun involved traveling around, checking in with the teachers I support, and delivering treats 🙂
Sorry-not-sorry for the cheesy pun 😀 So grateful for Pinterest!
Our back to school PD this year had several foci, and I was thrilled to finally be getting ‘into the weeds’ with many of these topics. Trauma Sensitive Education. Word Study. Science Inquiry. College and Career Ready IEPs. EXCITING STUFF! All of it directly impacts student learning, which is incredible.
I hope you all have had a successful and smooth transition back to school, and that you are enjoying building relationships and getting to know your students. That, essentially, is the cornerstone to trauma sensitive education. I’m really enjoying meeting all the new students and reconnecting with the teachers I support to kick off an exciting new academic year!
How has back to school been for you? If you could summarize it in one word, or three, what would you say?
Another food prep activity that I am doing before Back-To-School is dehydrating fruit. This makes a great, hassle-free snack at a reasonable price, and without any chemicals or preservatives (NO sulfates!!!)! You can also preserve some of your favorite seasonal items that are about to disappear for a while (sniff, sniff… goodbye cherries!!!)
I’ve got to warn you – once you start, you will become obsessed! I have since moved on to vegetables… dun, dun, duuuun! I guess once I get my electric bill, it may curb my enthusiasm a bit…
In the pictures below, you can see my first batch.
1 Gala apple
1/2 large carton of strawberries
1/3 of a pineapple (not pictured) <— my FAVORITE!!
So as you can tell, it’s not as much fruit as it looks like. I dehydrated the fruit for about 6-7 hours. I probably could have gone longer on the pineapple. I did not do any pre-treatment of the fruit, but I have heard that a dash of cinnamon on the apples is delicious, as well as a lemon/lime spritz over everything for added zest.
Of course I make sure to cut the fruits as thinly as possible. I really like the crisp edges 🙂 For Christmas, I’d love to get a slicer to make the job go faster. I think this mandoline by Pampered Chef would be great, and this slicer by Paderno World Cuisine has nice reviews on Amazon.
Some other fruits/veggies I would like to try:
Right now, we are dehydrating fools as we prepare for my husband’s 9-day camping trip to the Boundary Waters. I am dehydrating a bunch of jalapeños, which will then be crushed into powder and used as a spice in various meals. We’ve also done a pound of carrots, and 4 red peppers. The house is really getting warm, but it smells delicious!
Do you have any recommendations or tips for food dehydrating?
Yay! The Back-To-School Fairy stopped by Room 204!
I’m very excited about a few things I ordered in the spring. Back to School shopping is such an exhilarating activity – it’s something I’ve loved to do ever since elementary school. Ahhhh…. the smell of new supplies! It’s better than roses!
What I ordered:
Manilla Folders – one for each student
Stickers (yes, even 8th graders love stickers)
Lightbulbs (I have several lamps in my room for when we are using the SMARTBoard and the room lights are off)
Invisible Tape + Dispenser
EXPO Markers for my whiteboards
Twist-n-Write Pen/Pencil – have you ever tried these? They are fantastic!
An ELECTRIC Stapler! I squeal with excitement!
An ELECTRIC Pencil Sharpener! Be still my heart!
Another crazy super-powered stapler that can do 30 sheets at a time (P.S. WHY do my students always manage to break these? I buy 2 new ones every year!)
A Magnetic File holder (This is where I have students turn in their work)
I have a few things yet that I will be purchasing with my own money:
Candy (incentives). Since I must be mindful of nut and dairy allergies, I usually get Smarties, Dum-dums, Jolly Ranchers, Peppermints, etc. Even those aren’t safe from allergies, however. I had a student who was allergic to food coloring 🙁
Granola bars and snacks for the students who forgot breakfast/lunch.
A silver Sharpie so I can try out this new idea I saw on Pinterest for a Reading Graffiti Wall. Expect a detailed post once I have finished it!
Some fashion duct tape so I can make flags on my pencils. They always walk off!
I’m curious to see how much of these supplies I actually use this year, given that we are going one-to-one with iPads. I know there will still be a significant amount of handwriting, and we aren’t going completely paperless yet. I imagine my supply list will dwindle each year as we get used to relying more on our electronics.
Do you think there is anything I missed? Do you have some Back-To-School items that you always purchase?
Fingerprint Poetry was an awesome way to start the year. It was an icebreaker, get-to-know-you activity, and a great transition back into writing after the summer off. Plus students get to write about their own favorite topic – themselves!
I was inspired with this idea when I noticed how my students never liked to write on straight lines. They love being artsy and letting their words flow like water. And what better way to personalize your writing than by making it on your own special fingerprint?
I first had them choose a finger and inspect it carefully. Were they a whorl? arch? loop? A lot of them had never really looked at their fingerprints up close, so they enjoyed this. .Then, they picked the fingerprint poetry template that best matched their own fingerprint.
I gave them 16 different options of what to write about, but ultimately tried to steer them towards a more ‘stream of consciousness’ type of writing or a ‘brain dump’ in which they fill the spaces with anything and everything they are thinking. It’s a very free flowing activity.
Next, I asked them to think about how they could use color, textures, and pictures to bring their fingerprint to life. They always impress me with their creativity! As you can see, the results were fantastic.
If you want to purchase this activity, which includes writing instructions and 3 fingerprint templates, click here and enjoy! Thanks!