Saturday, November 24, 2012

Fun with Food

There was a bit of fun happening in the kitchen at church on Sunday.  A few weeks ago I promised my Junior Soldiers (Bible Class for Kids run by TheSalvation Army) that we would make something yummy to take home.  Considering my class is made up of two 8 year old boys, I figured Worms in Dirt was perfect.  Unfortunately, one of my boys doesn’t like to eat “snakes” so I had to improvise a bit.  I suppose I should explain what we actually did.

How to Make Worms in Dirt

What did we use?

  • 1 packet of Natural Confectionery Snakes (lollies)
  • 1 packet Cadbury Chocolate Buttons
  • 1 packet Plain Chocolate Tiny Teddies

What did we do?

First: we half-filled two sandwich size zip lock bags with Tiny Teddies and closed them up.  The boys really enjoyed the next part, which involved bashing the bag of biscuits with a rolling pin (but you can use anything big and heavy).  Keep bashing until the biscuits have turned to crumbs.  Then, put it aside while you deal with the chocolate.

Next: we emptied the packet of chocolate into a microwave safe bowl/ jug.  We microwaved the chocolate for 10-15 seconds at a time on a medium setting (at the end of each 10 second interval we took the bowl out of the microwave and stirred the chocolate before deciding if it needed more cooking time). 
Our's didn't quite look like this, but I forgot to take a photo so you can use your imagination.  

Then: we put our worms in the dirt! I emptied the crushed biscuits onto a plate then I got the boys to thread the snake lollies onto skewers (just because it reduces the likelihood of messy fingers, it doesn’t eliminate it completely but it reduces it).  We dipped the snakes into the chocolate and rolled them in the crushed biscuits. 

Finally: when all the worms have been dunked and rolled, line them up on a new plate and place in the fridge to set (which usually takes about 10-20 minutes). 

Of course there were leftover bits, so we mixed the crushed Tiny Teddies into the remaining chocolate and spooned the mixture into cupcake papers.  J wanted to put a snake on top, and D didn't have anything on top.  I was going to put marshmallows in the mix as well, but I forgot them.  OOOPPPPS! 
While we waited for our “worms” to set in their “dirt” we washed up and played a game.  

Afterwards we talked about recipes and how cooking can be a disaster when you don’t use a recipe or you don’t follow the recipe.  The recipe tells you what to do and how to do it.  I told the boys that God gave us the Bible to help us know what He wants us to do and how He wants us to live.  I also mentioned how our lives can end up in quite a mess when we don’t read the Bible and follow the directions that God has given us. 

Then, D (the “I don’t eat snakes boy”) scribed, while we wrote out a “recipe” for how to look up a Bible passage.  J has been struggling with this process, so I thought if he could help produce the step by step guide he might remember it better.  We will see.  So, even at Bible Class we can have anchor charts! 

WOW, there was a lot you could get out of this post.  A recipe for Worms in Dirt, a timely reminder to read your Bible AND an educational principle (use anchor charts and get the kids to help create them).  I’m so smart and now you are too!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Tapping into Words: Don't Forget the Craft

Ryan from Tapping into Words is my newest follower.  Totally unrelated to his "new follower" status, I saw his latest post in my blog roll and was intrigued.  Click the link to read about teaching author's craft.

Tapping into Words: Don't Forget the Craft

The thing that stuck out to me was Purpose.  It made me wonder if my students understand the purpose of the writing they do in my classroom.  I'm not talking about the perceived purpose (because Miss said so) but the purpose of the text type or specifically the purpose which their writing is supposed to fulfil.  I'm sure I tell them the real purpose... but do they keep that in mind when they are writing?

Only this year did our teachers begin doing "Author's Purpose" introductory activities at the beginning of the year, to explore the three main functions that a text may have (i.e. Persuasion, Information, Entertainment).  So next year, we need to take the next step.  What's that you ask? Using Ryan's questions (and probably a few more) to encourage students to consider the purpose of their writing.  Then, using their knowledge of general text purposes/ their own purposes AND their knowledge of how/when/where to incorporate author's craft.  It sounds complicated.  It is complicated.

The idea of linking purpose to text features is not a new one, but asking students to put these three concepts together and effectively turn their knowledge into skill is a big ask.

The other thing that Ryan reminded me of was my own writing and it's purpose.  When I'm writing my blog I need to consider my purpose and audience in order to determine how I will write.  Sometimes I spend a great deal of time considering what I will say and how I will say it.  Often, I just let it out (like right now).  But I think, whether I realise it or not, my purpose at the time does change the style.

Lots to think about!
Thanks for dropping by Ryan!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


The NYR Theme for November is “cry” and when I first saw it I almost cried.  ‘What a stupid theme!’ I thought.  But, as I considered it further, I decided it wasn’t so stupid after all.  Other themes this year include; laugh, think, feel, escape, dream and discover, so I suppose it makes sense that we include CRY. 

I figure there are two paths we can take to explore the CRY theme.  Firstly, I could tell you about books that have made me cry… there are three that come to mind.
Secondly, you could follow the rather twisted meandering journey that my mind takes when I think about the word CRY.  Let’s go with number one.  We might explore number two another time.

Books that made me CRY…

Looking for Alibrandi

Looking For Alibrandi
I have mentioned this book before.  “Alibrandi” was required reading in year ten and I’m not afraid to admit that I enjoyed it.  The story of a 17 year old girl’s final year of high school was relatable for me.  The descriptions were vivid and the Australian setting made it even more real for me.  The family craziness, self-esteem issues, closet skeletons and school pressures made me feel like I was reading about a friend.  So, when a minor character in the book committed suicide (I don’t think that counts as a spoiler) I cried.  I cried and I cried.  It made me sad but it reminded me that life isn’t really so bad after all.  Come to think of it, I might have cried after I got the result for my Essay about the book too. 

Good Night Mr Tom

This book was recommended by a colleague of mine.  It was included in the Special Education Library at my school for class novel studies.  As the SEP Year 8 English teacher, it was my job to choose a novel for our class to study and my colleague recommended "Mr Tom".  
Goodnight Mr Tom
The story is not at all similar to mine, as I came from a loving home and have not been evacuated from the city.  But, the characters were credible and the plot was unpredictable.  I won’t tell you what happened that caused my tears to flow, but I did the “ugly cry” in several parts of this novel.  I decided not to use it as a novel study because it was just too sad for me!  This one was probably the most emotional for me.  I remember the day after I finished reading Good Night Mister Tom, I entered the staffroom and literally “threw the book” at my colleague!  The poor man didn’t know what hit him.  LOL.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
If you haven’t heard of this novel, you must have been living under a rock for the last couple of years.  John Boyne has won some critical acclaim for this fictional recount from the perspective of a German Officer’s son during World War II.  The simple sentence structure and innocence of the child narrator makes this book an easy read that quickly cuts straight to the heart.  Again, the plot is not predictable.  Well, not to me.  This book was also recommended by my boss and the poor man had another book thrown at him when I finished it.  

Despite my random temper tantrums, the boss did get a kick out of my intense involvement with the books he recommended.   The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas was so captivating that on two separate occasions I missed my station when reading it on the train.  As far as I’m concerned, the “whether or not you miss the train test” is the best indication of readability.  My boss enjoyed telling people “M keeps missing her station because she’s reading.  Hehehe.”  If you haven’t read The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, you should.  But make sure you have the tissues handy. 

If you end up crying about an event in the book, you have invested in the characters.  That is the sign of a good book.  Then again, if you don't cry, it doesn't mean that you haven't invested in the story or that it isn't a good book.  Reading evokes emotion, whether you are laughing, crying, yelling or rolling your eyes, you are feeling something, so that's good. 

The National Year of Reading is nearly over.  I'm not sure what it will be like next year, but I hope I get to read more.  

Happy Reading

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Very Important Question

Is it possible for the hair on one leg to be longer than the hair on the other leg? 

Yeah, it has been a while since I shaved my legs.  It is fairly safe to say that I blog more often than I shave my legs.  The fact that the blog posts have been few and far between lately can give you a nice idea of how long the leg hair has been. 

Back to the point: I was standing in the bathroom and having just finished shaving my left leg, I stepped my right leg on to the edge of the bathtub.  I looked down at my right leg which appeared much like one belonging to a gorilla.  My eyebrows (I had them waxed on Sunday night, thanks Bestie) furrowed and a frown took over my face.  The hair on my left leg wasnt that long.  It couldnt have been that long.  The hair on my right leg was so long it could have been plaited but Im sure the other leg was not so furry.  There was a bit of fuzziness, I will admit, but there couldnt have been that much.  Im sure there wasnt.

So, here is my question.  Can the hair on one leg be longer than the hair on the other?  I wonder if this has something to do with the time that I only had time to shave one leg and didn
t shave the other leg until the next day.  Dont look at me like that, you can
t tell me that you have always had time to shave both legs at the same time. 

I Googled it and there wasnt really an answer.  Ha, Google doesnt have all the answers!  

Thats that then. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I can't think of clever post title.

I am back today with a new word.  Sorry I have been “off the grid” for a little while, work will do that.  Not only that, my RSI has decided to flare up.  Considering how busy I have been and how much I have been doing on the laptop (even without blogging) it isn’t much of a surprise.  So, today’s word is something I wish I was. 

According to


 [luh-kon-ik]  Show IPA
using few words; expressing much in few words; concise: a laconic reply.

Before I go... here is a nice play on words and cute little cartoon to give you all a smile.  

I know a lot of people have been doing it tough of late.  I hope you are all well. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Staffroom For Improvement Apple Story

Our school is entered in the Staffroom for Improvement and I entered their storytelling competition tonight, in an attempt to win some bonus apples for my school.  The brief: how many apples does your school have? what other things do your apples equal if each apple has a diameter of 8cm? Include some love for QTMB (the financial institution running the competition).  My entry might have been a few minutes late, and I'm super concerned that it didn't make it in time.  :( 
Anyway, I decided it was a fairly awesome effort considering I spent most of my time researching and composed the actual story in less than 10 minutes!!! AAAHHHggggRRRHHHHAAAAA!

I have not edited it, so forgive any typos that may have slipped through.  I hope you enjoy it! 

Last week Miss H took her class on a virtual tour around Queensland.  They saw a whole lot of BIG things in Queensland, all from the comfort of the air conditioned staffroom that her school had won in Staffroom for Improvement.  The QTMB also paid for her class to have its very own data projector so that they could see the pictures of all the big things, projected on to the wall. 
First, they saw, The Big Pineapple which is 16 m tall.  Fred, called out from the back of the room, “hey, Miss H, if we stacked apples up to the top of the Big Pineapple, we would have 200 apples.”  Miss H smiled and said, “you are quite right Fred.  I wonder if we can work out how many apples it would take to be the same height as the next thing.”
The next BIG thing the class saw was the 6m Cow in Yandina.  “I know,” said Fred, “that’s 75 apples.”
Miss H flicked through the presentation and the class worked out how many apples would stack as high as each BIG THING.  There was the Big Mango (12m, 150 apples), the Big Gumboot (8m, 100 apples) and the Big Marlin (another 100 apples).  The Hard Rock Guitar in Surfers Paradise (10 m, 125 apples) was impressive, but not as impressive as the Golden Guitar in Tamworth that was 12m high (that’s 150 apples).  The big mango was 12m high too (another 150 apples)!  But Fred’s favourite BIG THING was the Big Ned Kelly in Maryborough which was 8m (another 100 apples). “Let’s add them up,” said Jenny.  All the children started scratching out their apple numbers in their books.  “It’s 1000 Miss, ” called out Fred.  That’s 1000 apples.  “That’s right, Fred, it is 1000 apples,” replied Miss H as the bell went for morning tea.  The students streamed out of the room, while Miss H opened her lunchbox and ate an apple.  “1001” CRUNCH!

Make sure you vote for your school. There are only a few days to go in the competition! 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Have to Share this LOL

Before I show you the cartoon... a quick story. 

When my eldest nephew was a baby and toddler, my Mum and I used to sing to him.  We often sang when in the car to keep him settled.  We did this with the other children, but not to the same extent.  One of our favourites was BINGO.  We would sing all the verses with clapping to replace the letters and everything.  We were quite excited when Mr 1 would clap his hands at the same time as us while we were singing.  This was before he was even talking in full sentences.  The kid could clap in time!  

Anyway, I literally LAUGHED OUT LOUD when I saw this and I had to share.