Oh What a February!

9:38 PM Sarah Koves 0 Comments

I am so thankful that the end of February is just a few days away.  I am NOT anxious about daylight savings time at all, but this has been one heck of a month.  Because of this, I am going to ramble for a little while.

One of my favorite bloggers, Love Teach, talks about the Dark Evil Vortex of Late September, October, and November.  I think one needs to be created for the month of February.  It is the shortest month of the year, but it seems to drag on and on and on and on and on....you get the point.

First off I have to use the words of a very smart man that I work with: "There are two kinds of people in this world: problem makers and problem solvers."  I have seen this over and over this month as I have been called upon to solve problems others have created or experienced.

Do you ever have days when you feel like adults are needier than the kids or have taken on the behaviors of the age group you work with?  I do, and I think there have been days this month where I have been needier and more teenage than my students.  I guess that is why I teach high school...to be a perpetual high school student.  I believe being able to laugh at myself is healthy.

We had a fun professional development day this month.  We had a massive potluck lunch that included all the staff district wide.  I wish I have a picture of the food table...it was never-ending.  We then had a scavenger hunt type activity that we did around the building.  There were some great videos and pictures. It was nice to spend some time together with other staff and not have to worry about our jobs; we just enjoyed each other's company. This is my amazing scavenger hunt team; I got to take the picture.

We also have a contract offer get voted down this month, so that brings on some added stress.  I hope we can band together and move forward.  I think too often people get so focused on the 'in the moment' things that we don't always remember that we need to look long term.

Thanks to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, an anonymous donor, and Donors Choose I got a great professional development kit of items this month.  Not only did this include the Samsung Chromebook 2 that I am typing this on, but it also included some AMAZING books that I added to my stacks of teacher books.  Thanks to AJ Juliani I now have a plan to read 40 books this year!  

I started tonight with Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess.  I think it might be a game-changer book for me.  I did as AJ suggested and read the first 25 pages, and like he said, I found myself going farther than that. I am excited to put this on my "What I am Reading" sign that we now all have outside our classroom doors.  I have up on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

I am surviving this month by shutting myself in my room with my students as much as possible and enjoying them, their lives, and their experiences.

I am also surviving on massive amounts of hot chocolate with and without butterscotch schnapps.

I am looking forward to spring and some warmer temperatures.  My birthday is in March, and although I am over the age where birthday celebrations are necessary, it does bring a good reason to CELEBRATE all month.  I also am excited about a trip to Chicago with my mom and my girls for spring break.

Let's share some advice to survive the longest short month of the year!

How do you deal with the problem-makers in your life?

What helps you survive the stretch of February?

What are you looking forward to as soon as March rolls around?

Stitch Fix February #5

7:47 PM Sarah Koves 0 Comments

In August I signed up for my first Stitch Fix.  The promise is that for $20 (which gets credited towards any items you keep) you get five items hand-selected for you by a stylist.  You fill out a style profile and link a Pinterest board.  I think my stylists are getting better and better.

I'm sorry for the blurry pictures, but hubby needs some photography classes.

The second I opened the box I was in LOVE.

The first item was kind of a shock to see because I am pretty sure my profile says that I don't do horizontal stripes.  However, this item with my Kut from the Kloth pink skinny jeans from-I think-Fix #3.  It was sooooo soft and comfy.  I'm not sure it is warm enough for school right now as temperatures are hovering at freezing, but it was nice.

Tart Milla Crew Neck Knit Top in Black $58


Item #2 was a glorious find as well...purple skinny jeans.  They are shorter than any other pair I have, ankle jeans for sure.  They also have zipper detail on the ankle, which I don't have.  I am torn on these.  They aren't AMAZING like my Kut from the Kloth pair.

Just Black Dean Skinny Jean in Purple $78


Item #3 was a burnt orange drape cardigan.  I don't own anything that color, and I wasn't really sure what to wear with it.  Here I opted for a black skirt and tank.  This one might take some real planning if I keep it.  I think my tan cords would go nicely too, but with what underneath?  What kind of scarf?

41Hawthorn Abriana Longsleeve Knit Cardigan in Burnt Orange $48


#4 is a necklace that I pinned, and my stylist picked it out for me.  I love the length and quarterfoil shape..I am a Phi Mu.

#5 is a dress identical to the one I received and kept from my last fix.  I asked for another one in a different print because I have gotten so many compliments on it.  This purple one is even better.

Bancroft Trisha Clover Charm Layering Necklace $32
41 Hawthorn Renesme Geo Cube Print Faux Wrap Dress in Dark Purple $78

Even Mr. Twitch loved the box so much that he refused to let me have the box back.

This is most certainly the best box yet, but what do you love most?

If you are interested, please use my referral link.  I earn $25 for each person who uses my link.

Sunday Scoop 2/8

9:24 AM Sarah Koves 1 Comments

I am getting my Sunday Scoop ready to hopefully motivate me to get moving this morning because it is going to be a BUSY week, and we only have students 3.5 days.  

1) Part of our PD on Friday is a potluck lunch.  My hubby is a chef and gets food amounts and people numbers, so he has to help me finish this, so the sign up can go out.  Friday is celebration PD, which means food and fun.

2) We also have PD tomorrow, and I am responsible for printing the M-STEP questions for the morning, so I will need to go into the school (a whole three blocks) and get those done.  This is the Michigan test this year; we are in a transition year for testing, so who knows if we will ever see these kinds of questions and classroom activities again.

3) My oldest went to a friend's house Friday after school to celebrate her and another girl's birthday with a weekend-long sleep over.  I get to go pick her up and bring her home.  Somewhere in there I need to get her gifts wrapped for Tuesday.

1) Tons of ideas for products and personal record for January sales are lighting a fire under my behind to get some of these things up and posted. Maybe I can get one done today.

2)The girls and I are heading North for the weekend, so I need the laundry put away in order for them to pack their suitcases.  I want to be on the road by 3:30 Friday.

1) I have a little project for my February SLANT box partner that I want to get done.  I am so happy to have met Ashley.  She has started a little blog, so check her out: Teach Your Heart.

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Blogger Exchange of Teachers Pay Teachers Product and Giveaway

9:30 PM Sarah Koves 1 Comments

I just finished up participating in a fabulous Teachers Pay Teachers product exchange organized by

Learning to be Awesome
 Who also happens to be a past SLANT box partner!

I got paired up with The Teacher Team

I received a copy of their Shades of Meaning lesson.

I used this product with my 11th grade English classes who are currently in between literature and writing units as we prepare for the ACT test that Michigan administers in March.  I thought this would be great to help them with their word choice in writing.

I started with the Power Point to introduce shades of meaning with examples using temperature and volume.  We even practices speaking in different shades.  The students had a blast doing this because I was giving them permission to be loud.

When we got to the temperature shades, the students added examples of their own and explained where they thought they would fit on the thermometer.

Then a quick review of synonyms, and we were off like a prom dress as my mother would say.

I chose to project the assessment that came with this instead of making copies to save paper.

We did the first one together on the board.

Students spent the rest of the hour looking up the words they didn't know (what a great secondary gain from this activity-new vocabulary) and discussing where the terms were positive or negative.  The students had great conversations about the words, what they meant, and which words were paired together.  I got to spend a few minutes just enjoying their conversations, which is unusual in a class of mostly teenage boys.

I would recommend this product to anyone looking to build word choice.  It would even work and a self-standing lesson to use on a day where you need a quick sub plan.  I have taught grades 6-12 during my career and this unit would work well for any of those grades.  I will probably be repeating this with my AP Literature class very soon. 

Thanks so much to The Teacher Team for sharing.  Be sure to enter my TPT giveaway and check out the other exchanges below.

February Currently

7:42 PM Sarah Koves 0 Comments

Thanks Farley for the great linky and template!  Check out the other currently posts.

Listening: Last week during spirit week we had an 80's day.  The students got me to play 80's music on Pandora instead of my usual instrumental.  I love 80's Pop Radio.  I knew and loved every song it played that day, so now it is my go-to station.

Loving:  Donors Choose  I am currently on sixth project this school year.  I have received almost $2000 in supplies and books for my classroom through my projects.  My students are excited, and I am working on getting some other teachers at my school up and running.  I cannot financially provide everything my students need, so this helps.

Thinking:  I think I am in the running for a part-time curriculum director's position, and I am working on some plans to show what I can do and what my goals are.  It is kind of consuming my brain right now.

Wanting: I really could use a little extra income this time of year, so I am looking at both our community college and Michigan Virtual High School.  If not now, maybe I can get a summer gig to keep me busy...LOL

Needing:  I don't know if I have said how much I don't like the cold...I live in Michigan...I am sitting here watching the snow fall.  I really need some sunshine and palm trees; a fruity drink wouldn't hurt either.  I am so unproductive on days like this.

Pageant Title:  Sarah means princess in Hebrew...so that one is obvious.  I am always making lists and my friends jealous because of how much I get done on Saturday.  I was pretty good yesterday: laundry, dishes, floors, bathrooms, made soup and bread, played, and watched some TV.

Check out the 20% off sale at my TPT Store today:

Throwing a Sale for Super Bowl Sunday

8:27 AM Sarah Koves 0 Comments

Everything in my store is 20% off today.

Here is a good freebie for Presidents Day

See my whole store on sale:

Here some of my newest additions/updates:

Check out other sales:

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