Giant Skillet Lemon Sugar Cookie
Nothing makes me more hopeful and more determined (and in some ways, more frustrated) than listening to my 13- and 14-year-old students put on their heavy armor at such a young age. The other day I was grading tests with a few girls in my room during lunch. They had a Taylor Swift song playing in the background and we were chatting about the music video when one of them said wistfully, “She’s so pretty.”
I walk a careful line at this juncture. Even after years of reading, thinking, learning, feeling, it’s still a tightrope.
Lemon Cheesecake Kuchen Bars
My 9th graders complete a year-long travel project where they research and plan a trip to three European cities, embark on an in-depth study of travel writing, and then actually take their trip and travel write for themselves. It’s an incredible capstone project for their last year at our school, which currently ends at 9th grade.
This year they’ve chosen to travel to Barcelona, Venice, and Florence. Last year’s group also chose Florence (along with Rome and Paris), so this will be my second time there. I’m tremendously grateful that this year’s group is taking me back, because I have a loose end to tie up: I have to climb Il Duomo.
Peaches and Cream Cheesecake Braid
I’ve had a terrible day. Even those Super Bowl macarena sharks only helped for a hot minute. So let me tell you a story about an island of joy.
The island happens to be my classroom. At 1:05pm on the dot every Friday afternoon, two of my students bounce through my door. They’re not running in because they’re excited about P.E. or lunch (although they love those things, too). Instead, they’re running in to grab up their crochet hooks.
Check out 14 Simple, Healthy Meals
by Julie Ruble at Foodie.com
Thanks, Foodie, for sponsoring this post.
Four-Ingredient Protein Pancakes
Okay, I did it. I went to a hot yoga class.
Some context: I’m trying to be healthier. I’m trying to get more fruits and veggies in my diet, trying to exercise more often and in different ways. So when this coupon popped into my inbox for hot yoga classes, I bought it.
And then I realized just buying it doesn’t actually do anything. You actually have to go to the class or whatever. Oh.
Peach Cobbler Pastry Braid
I wrote this post as part of the Plugrá Butter Brigade. Thanks, Plugrá, for sponsoring this post and for making my favorite butter! I use Plugrá in pastries, especially, since its low moisture content ensures a flakier texture.
My 8th year students are completing a project to deepen their service passions this year. “Projects” in my class aren’t just projects; they’re journeys designed by the students themselves within a supportive framework I provide. Some of the kids have taken off. Their path was smooth and they fell right into the service fit for them. N.S. continued work she had already begun serving at her dance studio, where she was inspired daily. I.P. created bluebird habitats on our campus last year and decided it was a natural segue to rebuild our beekeeping program this year.
For many kids, though, it’s been a challenge. This is far from disappointing to me: this is exactly what I expect and prep them for. We call the inevitable obstacles during their project work “mountains and moats.” They require collaboration, problem solving, analysis — the very skills I want them to develop. This is where learning happens. My job is to support kids as they learn how to react responsibly to these situations. The unexpected part this year is that I’m facing plenty of mountains and moats myself.