Saturday, February 26, 2011

A funny thing happened...

I'm reading Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing to the 3rd grade classes. They love pretty much anything Fudge says or does, and I'm loving the chance to read a childhood favorite aloud.

This week we were working on describing a character, based on what the book has told us about the character. We were thinking of words to describe Peter, the older brother and narrator of the book. I had students talking in pairs about words they'd use to describe Peter and why they chose them. When we got back together as a group, I asked for people to share what they'd talked about. I had heard several students saying Peter was jealous of his younger brother Fudge. The first kid I called on told me that Peter was jealous because Fudge gets special food when he refuses to eat. At the same time, another student right behind him held up his hands, scrunched up his face, and said, "Ugh, now I'M jealous!" [because he didn't get to share his answer, which was the same.] His teacher and I died laughing, and then I was able to take a moment to have the student dissect why he was feeling jealous so we could all understand the emotion a little better.

Man, I love a good teachable moment.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Confessions of a sometimes-blogger

  • I cannot sew, so I've recently taken to using book repair tape to hem my pants.
  • Sometimes I listen to pop radio (as in, the songs my 5th grade students listen to).
  • I feel incredibly happy when I get to listen to three good songs in a row on the radio.
  • I am a terrible water drinker.
  • I am known to eat large spoonfuls of peanut butter topped with chocolate chips.
  • I love to watch M*A*S*H episodes on DVD.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A feast! A feast!

Last night, there was a feast. We called it an Un-bleak the midwinter feast, in the hopes of increasing the joy in this generally sad, dull month. I do not love always seems to drag on, even though it's the shortest month. This year, I wanted to do something about it, and I wanted to cook a really big meal with my very good friend, Kate.

So we did it: a four course dinner using as many "seasonal" ingredients as appropriate. For us, this meant root vegetables, citrus fruits, and hardy winter greens like kale and spinach. We had SO much fun, and our feast (coupled with the sunny weather with temps in the 50s and 60s) has definitely boosted my spirits.

Course 1: Spinach Soup with Basil and Dill, yogurt drizzle, and Parmesan Crisp garnish

Course 2: Golden Beet and Blood Orange Salad with Fennel

Course 3 (Main): Baked Tofu with Root Vegetable Medley (carrot, parsnip, turnip, sweet potato, fingerling potatoes, onion, Brussels sprouts) and Roasted Kale Chips, served with Balsamic Reduction

Course 4: Lime Yogurt Cake with Blackberry Sauce

All recipes (except the cake) came from various Mollie Katzen cookbooks. I highly recommend adding one to your kitchen, even if you aren't a vegetarian (or if you're a sometimes vegetarian like me).

Friday, February 18, 2011

I'd laugh, if it didn't make me want to cry

Me: [while reading a book about animals to 3-5 year olds] Who likes to eat hamburgers? Where does hamburger come from?

Child: Burger King!

Sigh. If you know me, you're aware that knowing where your food comes from is a passion of mine. Friends, there is much work to do.