Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Shopping

I love to go Christmas Shopping. I love buying presents for other people. I love to think about them and think what they could use, what they love, and what I'd love for them to have. Earlier this month, I asked the girls what they wanted for Christmas.

Allison wanted an easy bake oven. Sure they seem fabulous - but - yeah... So I bought her some cake mixes, frosting, and sprinkles. Allie also wanted earings,a sewing kit, for barbie doll clothes, and a wii game. Nat bought Al earings. Santa bought her the sewing kit and the wii game. I bought her doll furniture for her doll house, some jeans and of course, pajamas.

Natalie wanted Art supplies. So I went to Michaels and did the best I could. Those supplies are spendy. I also bought her the cake mixes, frosting, and sprinkles, jeans, and jammies. Santa gave her the sewing kit and the new Harry Potter movie.

Jason wanted pocket ts and socks... Santa got him the socks. I got him pajama bottoms, pocket ts, and a nice shirt from Eddie Bauer.

While I was at Eddie Bauer- I noticed a beautiful red wool coat. I had been looking for a new winter coat - and there it was. And boy, did it look sharp on me. So into the bag it went. They even gave mea gift box. And there it was under the tree- from me to me.

I never knew wool could be so warm.

On the Wii

Last year- Santa gave us a Wii. WII love it. We don't buy a lot of games or anything. It only seems to come out on rainy, snowy, or cold days. But that's why we bought it. A few times last summer, I commented on how I would like to get a Wii Fit. I forgot about it. I have a membership to the gym - ohhh yeah.

So this year, under the tree was a Wii Fit. Many critics have expressed doubt. But- I like it. It's a great way for someone like me who is snowed in to move. It's a great way to try and get my brain and body moving. Of course the girls love it too. Allison is fun to watch hula hooping... Natalie is too, but that's between you and me. Ok? shhhh...

One sort of cool sort of awful thing about my mii is that it is shaped according to my bmi. YIKES. That's not very flattering. Even my girls say, "Mom you're not that fat." Well thanks girls - sort of. There's no way of getting over the denial of being chubby than having your wii balance board saying "ouch" when you step on it. BRUTAL!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Lonely Hearts

What I miss least about being a teen is the whole love crap.

Naaa... just kidding.

Sure it's fun to have a crush on someone, to look to see if they see you, to laugh loudly to see if they notice you. What's not fun is ... they don't see you, they don't notice you, and they probably have a crush on someone else.
I have to tell you - At first, I felt sorry sorry for the kids - but now, I sort of wonder if they need it - just a teeny bit - you know to deflate their big heads- you know - make them humble?

Of course, some of them are humble. It's difficult to not be noticed for your quirkiness and cool lego type movies.

I watch, cringe, and remember and cringe again.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Fireflies

The day before Thanksgiving, my seventh graders had a quiz on Love That Dog.. When they were done, they asked me if I would play Owl City's Fireflies for them. I did. I'm glad I did. Imagine a dark room full of thirty twelve and thirteen year olds. Most of them have been together since preschool. They have squabbles with each other. Crushes back and forth. There's bullies, weirdos, brainiacs, book worms, and beauty queens. Some of them probably have horrible home lives. Some of them probably have magical home lives. And for five minutes they are together in my class singing a
sweet song
.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Paper Clips


During my Study Hall, one of my eighth grade boys from another study hall came into my room. He had four boxes of paper clips. He had 200 paper clips.

"Can we connect these paper clips?"

"Sure"

It took them two minutes to do the work. They wanted more paper clips. I scrounged up another hundred.

They took the paper clip chain around the school asking teachers who were not busy for more paperclips.

They had six more.

I hope they'll remember what single paperclip can mean.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Anne Frank and Paper Clips

Do you remember a time when you didn't know who Anne Frank was? I forgot that I didn't know who she was at one time. And so, I was confused when I handed out the play version of "The Diary of Anne Frank," and students were asking me who she was.

There are many times when I'm teaching and a student doesn't know a what a word means. Sometimes, I'm truly surprised, but most times, I don't bat an eye and tell them what the word means and move on.

Yesterday, I had my students watch "Paper Clips" a documentary about a small middle school in Tennessee that has a memorial for Holocaust victims. When we first watched the video, the students thought I had gone nuts. What in the world is Mrs. Aakhus making us watch now?

But as we watched, the room became more silent. I had planned on watching fifteen minutes a day throughout the Anne Frank Unit. I pressed stop and asked them to open their Anne Frank plays.

"Mrs. Aakhus?" called a student. "Can we watch this for the rest of the hour? We know it seemed as though we didn't like it, but now we do. This is good."

I pressed play. My sixth hour students finished watching it today.

My seventh hour students can't sit though an entire movie during the length of the film. We'll stick to the original plan. They are enjoying the play. These kids are half way into the third scene of the First Act.

Two eighth grade sections. Two different classes.