Spare Time Writers

I am SO excited to finally be student teaching in the fall. I was blessed to have an incredible field experience teacher who let me teach a unit on my own. That alone is an experience most students do not have before their student teaching. Another blessing that is coming with student teaching in the fall is that I have the entire summer to prep. I have already met with my co-op and she is in the same hallways as my field experience co-op so we already know each other!

I will be teaching 9th and 10th grade honors. When I first started college, I thought that I wanted to be a college professor. I wanted to run to that position as fast as humanly possible. Then I got into a classroom. I was spoiled with an amazing group of 9th graders, and I fell in love.

Writing can be a struggle and at times very boring, especially for high schoolers. Unlike elementary ed, secondary teachers usually don’t walk away with baskets of goodies at the end of their student teaching…or holidays…or at all really. I have come up with a way to get both.

I scoured pinterest, blogs, books and the internet for pictures and writing prompts. Some of the writing prompts are as simple as captioning a picture. Some are personal, asking the students to write about a mentor or a favorite book. Others require the students to write a scene or short story using a provided sentence, setting, character or phrase. Some are silly while others are serious and heartfelt.

I am going to be putting these prompts in a bucket. Students will be able to grab one if there is time at the end of class, if they need/want writing inspiration-whenever. They then write and return both the prompt and their writing to a bin. If there is time at the end of class, I will open the floor for students to share what they have written through the week, if they so choose. I will collect their writings throughout my 16 weeks of student teaching in a binder as my keepsake and memento of my time with them.

You can use these writing prompts for your own creative writing to aid writers block. You can use them in a classroom. I have done the work and I am now sharing it with the world, because, sharing is caring.

I suggest printing these spare time writers, cutting them, and pasting them on index cards for extra strength. To really make them last, laminating them might not be a bad idea either!

Happy Writing!

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Valentines, Sugar Cookies and Babysitting

I wouldn’t be seeing the kids that I babysit on Valentines Day, so I decided to do it a bit early. The idea started at Target, and really, don’t most great ideas start there? In their Dollar Spot, they had these cute scratch ‘n’ sniff puzzles for Valentines day. The kids love puzzles so I grabbed one!

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As I walked around, part II came to mind- “I should make sugar cookies with the kids!” So heart-shaped cookie cutters, hot pink vanilla frosting and some Valentines Day themed sprinkles were all juggled to the counter. After purchasing everything I asked Mom if this activity was pre-approved. She was ALL FOR IT!

The kids had all had their Valentines Day parties at school on Wednesday since they don’t have school Thursday/Friday this week so they were all hyped up on the holiday spirit! After Mom left for class, I dumped the puzzle out on the island. Because I am evil, I would not let them look at the box, it would have given away the surprise! They had to complete the puzzle to know what the surprise activity for the night was!!!

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By the end of the puzzle we’d lost one….he was hiding near by!

While the kids ate dinner, I pre-measured out all of the ingredients so that they could help me dump!

Sugar Cookie Ingredients:

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1 cup sugar

2 sticks room temp/softened butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

1/2 cold water

*Pre-heat the oven to 350

1. In a mixer, cream butter and sugar. I had one of the kids sift the flour/salt/baking powder at this time.

2. Add in 1 egg and vanilla until well mixed.

3. Slowly add in the dry ingredients. This is a very dry/crumbly dough and it will be in lots of little crumbly pieces.

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4. Slowly add some water until it starts to form a better ball.

5. Dump on a lightly floured surface, you might want to wet your hands to knead/work the dough a bit. I split the dough into 4 small balls, lightly floured the surface for the kids, rolled out the dough and let them go to down with the cookie cutters.

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6. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes. I found that 7 minutes was perfect.

While the cookies were baking/cooling I prepped our decorating area. Using their kiddie divided dinner plates, I poured in the different sprinkles for them. Each kid also got a small bowl of hot pink frosting and baby spoon to frost their creations.

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We had a great evening of (early) Valentines Day fun, food and decorating! Because nothing says I Love You like a giant heart cookie smothered in frosting with half a pound of sprinkles and candy hearts! ❤

Frozen “Potty Party”

I’ve started babysitting for a new family! Obviously a MUCH better gig than retail. They have two little girls, Zoey and Julia. They have been in the throes of potty training Zoey the oldest for a few weeks. The last time I was over I promised Miss. Zoey that if she was going potty on the potty we would have a Frozen day! She was trying to earn the movie as her reward. I went over today with bag of goodies! Really, any excuse to foo some kind of crafting and use glitter!

The first activity- Frozen Gooze! We did Frozen mountains with shaving cream as well. Of course we played the Frozen Soundtrack on loop. Since my name is Anna, Zoey is convinced I’m THAT Anna and I’m not allowed sing any Elsa parts because SHE is Elsa and I am Anna. My shopping list is below:

Blue Glittery Elmer’s Glue

Liquid Starch

Cheap Shaving cream

Glitter- white, silver, blue, purple, iridescent

Blue/Purple Food Coloring (optional)

Buttons/Sequins

I pre-made the gooze the night before since the girls are still a bit on the young side. I mixed the whole bottle of glue with about 1 cup of liquid starch and sprinkled in all different kinds of glitter. This gooze can be kept in a zip-lock baggy for months! To make it more “Frozen” I kept it in the fridge to add another level of sensory play! 😀 Michaels had the pack of different glitter on sale for 79 cents, I had a 40% off coupon on the glue and the starch was less than $3. I spent about $5 on the whole project.

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Zoey and I had a BLAST playing with the glittery gooze! Zoey is not allowed on social media, so here are some pictures of me having way too much fun right along with her!

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The Frozen Mountains were my favorite to do with the her while the youngest was napping! With the cheap shaving cream, she got to help me foam it up! Of course I got great blue and silver sequins and forgot them at home! 😦 She still had a ton of fun just smooshing the shaving cream all over herself…and me. This was the messier of the activities so we did this one outside since it was BEAUTIFUL day!

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After lunch it was nap time for both girls and mom got home from running errands. I do believe we had quite a successful Frozen Potty Party.