Monthly Archives: March 2013

Why do you act the way you do?

If I’ve thought it once,

I’ve thought it a million times,

Each year, a new kid,

The same,

But different.

I’ve thought,

Why do you act the way you do?


I spend so much of my time,

Trying to really figure out who you are,

Do you not see that I care?

I really, honestly care?

I want you to do well,

To succeed,

And to have every opportunity that you deserve.

If you do see that I give a shit,

Then, I ask again,

Why do you act the way that you do?


What are you so angry about?

Why are you so unfocused?

Why, when people try to help you,

Do you put your back up and then walk away?


Why do you act this way?


I’ll never know the life you live,

I have a feeling that if I did,

It would truly break my heart,

I can try to understand you,

I will always try,

But at the end of the day,

I do have enough sense to know,

That I’ll never fully get it,

There’s no way that I possibly can,

We’re just too different, you and I.


I do know,

That I’ll keep trying,

I’ll keep turning the other cheek, and then turn I’ll turn it again,

Because I know that tolerance, acceptance and kindness is what you need,

I know deep down that there are a million and one reasons,

Why you act the way you do,

I guess I just wish,

That I could help you to act the way I know YOU want to.



How do you get through to your most challenging students? What about when they don’t want to let you in?

bullying video





Who Doesn’t Love a Good Giveaway?


Confessions of a Teaching Junkie is celebrating her one year blogiversary and she’s having a big giveaway to do it! I couldn’t be happier to donate an item to her Gr 6-8 Bundle.
There are tons of awesome items to be won, bundled into three grade level packages. Below you’ll find all of the goodies that you can win in the Gr 6-8 package and the Rafflecopter widget to enter to win this awesome prize!
 As I always say, someone’s got to win! So go ahead, get to it:) Make sure to check out Teresa’s post at Confessions of a Teaching Junkie if you’d like to enter to win the K-2 or 3-5 prizes.








a Rafflecopter giveaway

bullying video

Bump It Up Boards (A Guest Blog Post)

 Welcome to Kristy, from 2 Peas and a Dog, my guest blogger for today. Thanks again for such an awesome idea, Kristy. Enjoy folks!


Need a strategy to improve student achievement? Have you tried Bump It Up Boards? They are a great visual way to help your students self monitor their achievement.

bump it up boards


bump it up


How To Get Started:

Choose a curriculum expectation or focus you see as a need in your classroom. I chose the 4 R’s [retell, relate, reflect, review] reading reflections strategy.

Collect many work samples of your focus. You can use previous student work, ask colleagues for their examples, create your own, use government standardized test exemplars or search the internet for examples.

Ensure your samples represent a range of student achievement levels – not just ones that meet or exceed expectations.

 Student Involvement:

Students worked in groups to read the responses and “grade or mark” each response based on their previous knowledge of what makes a good Retell, Relate, Reflect and Review.

A student in each group was the recorder and wrote down all of their ideas on what made the each exemplar a Level 2, (C), Level 3 (B) or a Level 4 (A).

We had a class discussion and compared our answers to ensure consistency among our expectations for Level 2, 3 and 4 work.

Final Process to Create the Board:

Type up student thinking under the appropriate curriculum expectation categories – this will become your Success Criteria.

Type up the assignment expectations and format the graded work samples to fit on to the display board.

Colour code your examples by level and attach to a bulletin board or poster board. Have students reference this board while working on their assignments to self monitor their progress.

Products to Support Bump It Boards

Free Signs and Labels

Free Four R’s Complete Support Package
2PeasAndADog Blog

Attitude is Altitude: Inspiring Video for Junior High and Above

Spring Break is here, although it looks more like Christmas Break outside of my window. No matter – a break is a break and I’m blessed to be healthy and sharing it with my boys! So far today, we’ve made rainbow layered cupcakes, had an inside picnic, played in our tent (a blanket draped over the kitchen table) and then our usuals – hide and seek, pirates and Legos! #1 is curled up with a snack and #2 is curled up for a rest and so I thought a quick blog post would be in order!

I wanted to share a video link with you, that our Phys Ed. teacher showed to me. I watched it with my grade 7 class and they really responded to it. It’s all about attitude, choices, thinking positively and believing that you can do what you are meant to do – that you are worth it. We all have challenges in our lives that we will face. What matters is how we deal with and respond to those challenges, and how we can show compassion and empathy for those around us who may be going through their own challenges.

The speaker in this video, Nick Vujicic, was born with no arms and no legs. He battled depression, suffered from bullying and attempted suicide as a child by trying to drown himself in his bathtub. His story is nothing short of incredible. He’s comical, mesmerizing to watch, easy to listen to and he doesn’t sugar-coat things. There is some mature content in that he does refer to relationships, sex and drugs and so this video would be appropriate for grade 7 and up. The video that we watched is linked below and it’s an hour long. However, if you have a look on YouTube, you’ll see MANY videos of all lengths featuring Nick that you could choose from. There may also be another more appropriate video for slightly younger viewers. 

Our attitude affects everything that we do. How do you try to encourage a positive attitude in your students?


bullying video

Making Crystal Shamrocks with Borax to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

Report cards have gone home. Parent-teacher interviews are over and March Break is just 2 days away. Life is good!

At report card time, I always have my students do a self-assessment and I have them assess me and my teaching. One thing that a student said in the most recent assessment, was that we don’t do enough “art”. Fair enough. However, they all have an actual  “Visual Arts” class – so don’t feel too badly for the poor art-deprived dears! It’s just that they want more!

Anyhow, we really don’t do much in the way of arts or crafts projects. So, I had a little peek online and I found a fun looking activity. The short version? Use Borax crystals to make a pretty ornament.

With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, I thought – we’ll make crystalized shamrocks for decorations. I really can’t just do something fun without an actual “outcome related” purpose – it’s just not in me!  This activity goes along with what students were studying on solutions in Science in their last unit and I also had them write a set of instructions for doing the activity – just in case someone from another class saw the ornaments and wanted to know how we did it. Got to get that purposeful writing in there!

Making a Crystalized Shamrock (or any other shape)

Form a shape with a pipecleaner – a shamrock, spiral – heart, snowflake…Some students may want a template to refer to….

Tie the ornament to a pencil so that you can suspend it in a jar

Add three cups of boiling water to 1/2 cup of Borax crystals

Stir to dissolve

Suspend your ornament in the solution, with the pencil across the top of your jar

Make sure that your shape isn’t touching the sides/bottom

Within 3 hours, crystals will start to form – leave overnight for best results!

The finished product is really cool – crystalized shamrocks!


How does it work? Basically, when you add the crystals to boiling water, more Borax is able to be dissolved creating a supersaturated solution. As the water cools, the molecules become unstable and the excess crystals separate from the water molecules and cling to the pipecleaner.

We had only one “dud” with this activity which was kind of a bummer! A teachable moment, though! Why didn’t Peter’s work? The students figured out pretty quickly that we must have put fewer crystals in his water and  if it wasn’t supersaturated, there weren’t any crystals to be released from the water molecules upon cooling and so – no crystal ornament.

St. Patrick's Day Borax craft

St. Patrick's Day Borax craft

 St. Patrick's Day Borax craft



St. Patrick's Day Borax craft



St. Patrick's Day Borax craft



St. Patrick's Day Borax craft



St. Patrick's Day Borax craft


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

bullying video

A New Money Saving “Deals” Site for Teachers ~ Educents

educents money saving site for teachers

I just wanted to let you know that I found what looks to be a promising money-saving “deals” site specifically for teachers. We all know that we spend WAY too much of our own money on our students and in our classrooms. That being said, none of us have any plans of stopping, either. We get what we need for our students – period.

This new site is called Educents and launches in early April.

The bonus? You get a $15 gift certificate to the site JUST for signing up (which takes about 20 seconds). I haven’t used the site since it’s brand new – but I just wanted to share in case it really is something special AND they only have the sign up deal on for a limited time.

Sign up to get your gift certificate now! I figure, we’ve got nothing to lose! We can check out the site when it officially launches in April, see if we like it and spend our gift certificates.

Here’s to buying more and spending less! (My husband will LOVE to hear about this;)

Hope you’re having a lovely Saturday!

bullying video


To This Day…Have you seen this amazing video? Bullying, name calling, abuse…so powerful!

It’s been so busy here lately, I feel like I haven’t blogged in forever! Hubby’s out of province during the week for another 5 weeks and so I’m pretending to be Supermom, doing it all! That being said, I’d like to give a shout out to all of the single parents out there. I don’t know how you do it. I’m counting the hours until Hubby’s home on Friday evening and he just left at 5am this morning! You’re pretty fantastic people and I can only imagine the stress that you’re under – trying to do it all, all of the time, with NO back-up. You rock!

Okay, topic shift.

A teacher at my school found this pretty awesome video on YouTube and I’d like to share it here. I haven’t shown it to the kids yet. I was in tears though, as I watched it this morning. The subject matter? Bullying, name calling, abuse…it’ got it all and it’s powerful.

If you have 7 1/2 minutes, and you teach middle school and up – have a look. It may be something that you want to share and discuss with your students. It has over 5 800 000 views and is incredibly poignant and thought-provoking. 

Let me know what you think – especially if you choose to share it with your students.

Thanks again for sharing, Ms. Curran:)


 bullying video