Ahh, Friday!! Anyone!

This week in science we are building beams. It’s a structural engineering competition we do at Technology Students Association. I asked the seventh graders to write three people in their class whom they would like to work with. One student wrote, “anyone.”

Guess who a majority of the students had on their shortlist? Yes, the same student who wrote anyone! What a gem!

Ah, Friday! A Few of My Favorite Things of the Week

Inspired by MrsDrPoe‘s post, I’m posting a few of my favorite photos of this week too. It was a rough week for me–some bad things happened, but lots of good things happened too. I snapped pictures of many of the happenings.

I harvested my sunflowers.
My history class and I did history, prayed and walked at the cemetery.
We had a chili cook off at teacher inservice.
We had Miss W and Davo visit from Tasmania.
Miss W came bearing gifts!

Ah, Friday…Looking Forward to NaNoWriMo

I am so excited this time of year. It is just about time for NaNoWriMo!

I have written two nano novels. Mediocre at best. At worst, they are boring, redundant, childish, and so much more. Fifty-thousand words each, lacking in rich description, minus realistic dialogue, missing winsome characters, and so much less.

However, I know that I write better today than I did two years ago, before I wrote my first novel. That much is true. I’ve always enjoyed writing, but I would have been a good technical writer–not a novelist.

Now I teach English and literature to junior highers, which is daunting and humbling. My 8th grade students write novels too. This week they have begun to create their accounts, think up ideas, and plan their noveling strategies.

On November 1, a blank yet hopeful Google Doc greets us. By the 30th we experience the sweet thrill of victory when we “win” NaNoWriMo.

My students keep me going so I too can experience victory. They believe in themselves, each other and me. Because of them, I believe in myself, too.

I can hardly wait!

Here is a video of last year’s group…

Ah, Friday…

I had been looking forward to Friday all week–not only is the weekend coming, but today eighth graders and I went on a field trip to a harvest festival celebrating local and regional history.

My students and I have been studying local history. Among other things, we have laughed at the antics of the early grifters who made money electing themselves to county offices and then faking the building of schools and bridges to get bond money.

We have also been creating an online museum of artifacts belonging to our grandparents’ generation (or an older generation). Some of the photos in the collection are just beautiful, contributing value to the world of images available with a Creative Commons license. I am so proud of them! Check out these gems from Becca and Paul and Paris.

At the harvest festival today we saw apple cider pressing, blacksmithing, rope making, a peg barn, a one-room schoolhouse and a sod house. We talked to historian interpreters who shared much about the history of our local area. I took many photos that showed life on the prairie one to two hundred years ago, but my #TFotoFri favorite was one that conjured a laugh outloud family memory for me. It’s a picture of a syrup pail, which when emptied would have been cleaned out and used as a lunch pail.

I grew up hearing this story of a lunch pail:

When it was (great) Aunt Sally’s turn to make the lunch, she took leftover biscuits and made sandwiches. The filling she used? Leftover dumplings, which in my family means biscuits cooked in chicken soupy gravy. That day when the older boys, including my grandpa, took the lunch pail out of the coatroom and dug in for lunch, they found their sandwiches–basically biscuits on biscuits. How does that sound for a meal loaded with carbs? The family of five siblings ate their dry sandwiches, but they never forgot the day their little sister made that lunch. My siblings and I were the third generation who laughed about that one.

Here are a few more pictures from the Harvest Festival.

Foto Friday

“It’s Friday, Friday!” (OK, that’s all!)

It’s actually Foto Friday. Having not posted photos for nine days now, I have been going through photography withdrawals. I fell in love with taking pictures over the summer as I participated with many wonderful educators in the June-July-August Project (My post about #JJAProject)

Now I’ve decided to post a photo each Friday showing something from my week, most likely school-related since that’s what keeps my head spinning and my shutter snapping these days.

Here today is a photo of an old swingset, edited on BeFunky.com. It’s an old wooden swingset with lichen growing on the seats. Life can be found in many places.

I am so excited that my science students are joining me in making a life science photography portfolio this year.

Today is our first day. Third period we will walk to a nature trail in town, geotag a special spot we will “adopt”, take photos, make sketches, press leaves, identify species. Then throughout the various seasons, we will visit our special spot noting changes.

Can’t wait to get started!

Does anyone else want to join a Foto Friday Challenge with me?

P.S. I have just been looking around and there are many Photo Friday and Foto Friday challenges (Here’s one for dog lovers). Maybe some teachers would like to start a new one!

Saturday followup…Thanks, Sheri (@grammasheri), for an excellent post about a new #TFotoFri hashtag for teachers. Next week, my Friday post will be entitled, “Ah, Friday…” too.

Now we also have a Flickr group to collect all the participants’ Friday photos. It is at http://Flickr.com/groups/TFotoFri