Sunday, December 22, 2013

Copy Paper Box Lids

One common workplace item that I frequent scavenge are the box lids to the copy paper. They truly come in handy for SO many things! Here is one way I use them in foods:

When I refrigerate overnight ingredients (like sugar cookie dough/above left, or chocolate chip cookie dough/above right), I group the containers by class and nestle them in the box lids. That way when it's time to set up, I only have to pull out one box rather than four or five bowls. The dimensions of the lid fit the depth of a typical refrigerator perfectly, and the sides keep what I'm carrying from sliding off.

I have a kid in my third hour who writes about poop a lot. You've probably had a kid like this yourself, so don't judge : ).

The lids are also good for supplies that you only use on occasion. For example, this year I've decided to store the hand mixers together outside of the student kitchens. Outside of the baking unit they really don't get used much, they take up room, the cords get tangled, and so on. I also always do a quick check of all the mixers before a lab when we haven't used them in a while (make sure the beaters still fit well, the motors are running, etc). This is much easier and quicker to do when they are all together, rather than having to go kitchen to kitchen.

When we do need them, I just set the box lid out on the table with the ingredients and the kids grab one. It's also handy that it's easy to inspect the mixers for cleanliness when they turn them back in, rather than when they surreptitiously stuff them in a drawer.

More on copy paper box lids - and the boxes themselves! - later...

Saturday, December 21, 2013

My Agenda


I left work yesterday fifteen minutes after the final bell. All of my grades have been posted, my classrooms are sparkling clean and organized (thank you, extended final exam class periods), and my agenda for the January 6th Institute Day is taped to my computer monitor. Am I bragging? Nah..... well, yeah! I am walking away!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Egg Cartons & Table Space

I don't know about you, but I think this semester just flashed by! Finals are next week already!

 Egg cartons can take up a lot of space on an ingredient table, so I have two cartons that I've cut down to a smaller size:

If my kitchens need a total of six or less eggs, I use the little guy; seven to twelve, I use the bigger one. I just take eggs out of the newest carton, place them in the appropriately-sized one that has been trimmed down, and set out for the kids to use. Then I store it for the next time I'll need it.

Extra hint: I usually place one extra egg in the modified carton, so that the kids don't throw it away by mistake.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

They Can Use Tools!

A couple of days ago my classroom was really hot. I mean, REALLY hot. And I'm not complaining, because I've been in freezing cold classrooms and I waaaaaaay prefer the heaters that work too well over those that don't work at all. During my last class of the day, a student asked if he could open one of the windows and sit by it while working on his cross-stitch project. Since it was legitimately uber-hot, I didn't have a problem with this idea; however, that window is nearly impossible to close. So I told him he could as long as he PROMISED he would not leave until it was closed, and warned him it was difficult to do so. He swore he'd take care of it, so I allowed it. Then during clean-up time he of course couldn't get it closed, and I reminded him of our deal. Here's how he came through:

He told me it was "hillbilly-rigged" - his words. True that. But I'll give him credit, he did figure out a way to get it closed.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Through random teacher-blog-stalking I stumbled onto #Nerdlution, and I thought what the heck? I'm in!

For 50 days straight (starting yesterday, Dec 2nd), I'm committed to writing in my 10 year journal every day. What's that, you ask?

An AMAZING journal in which each page is dedicated to one day of the year, you write just a few lines, then you come back to that page the next year and add a few more lines. Hence, you can easily see what you were doing on that day the previous year(s). Love this! Purchased it last December and could hardly wait to get started! And then... well, my last entry was March 14th, which was the point at which I admitted to myself that things at work were just not going to get better and I just did not want to remember the details of it in the future. Unfortunately, once I gave up the habit I didn't get back into it later, so here I am in December again and while I should have a full year completed I only have a couple of months or so.

And thus I am getting back on the horse! Every day for 50 days I will make sure to write my entry. That way when Dec 2, 2014 rolls around I will have a full year completed.

I discussed the whole #nerdlution thing and the 10 year journal thing with one of my classes, and I've got one of them hooked on the #nerdlution idea and a couple of them are really interested in the 10 year journal. Love it when I can get kids excited about stuff I'm excited about!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Currently December!

The last month of the year is officially here! Which of course means it's time for another Currently with Farley!

Listening - I LOVE the music from this show! And naturally, "A Charlie Brown Christmas" is THE best Christmas special of all time!

Loving - I have always been big on Christmas cards - there's something so festive and cheery about them! Even with Facebook, email, etc, I've found Christmas cards one of the best ways to keep that "connected" feeling with people you've been separated from for a long time. I've moved around quite a bit my entire life (between being an Air Force brat, changing careers, changing schools, etc), so the annual exchange is really important to me. So anyway I make sure to keep up-to-date with my Christmas card list and addresses, and always strive to get those cards in the mail the day before Thanksgiving. Mission accomplished! Though I'll admit a few people at church today gave me a hard time about it : ).

Thinking - I'm trying my units in my "Orientation to Family & Consumer Science" class in a different order this year, and I've wound up in an awkward spot. We have two weeks of class left and then final exam week; I really can't stretch out our current unit (Child Care) any farther, but two weeks is too short for others I've done before. Perhaps a two week refresher on basic manners... ?

Wanting - Kitten + Christmas tree = uh oh. Not that I'm surprised by this, but it's a challenge nonetheless. The tree is braced, so he can't topple it - that's the biggest concern. Now I'm just worried about him chewing on the lights. At the suggestion of a great many people we sprayed the bottom branches with apple cider vinegar. The little brat walked right up to them and started licking the vinegar off. But, once it dries he doesn't seem to care for the scent. A good 'ol fashioned squirt with the water bottle helps too. I just hope there's not utter carnage when I arrive home from work tomorrow.

Needing - To finish writing semester exams; they are due to the main office by the end of the week! Yikes! I've never been required to submit them so early! About half of them were really easy, but since I have one new prep and am reorganizing another it's taking more time to complete those exams.

Favorite Tradition - Nothing beats a marathon of Christmas movies with a lit tree in the background and hot cocoa in hand!