Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Favorites!

It's time once again to share with you some of my favorite finds of the week!

First, especially poignant this week in light of Teacher Appreciation, I found a link to a great video clip via The Teaching Channel.  It's a performance of Taylor Mali's poem, "What Do Teachers Make?"  I know that many of you may have seen this already, but much like my inexplicable desire to reread "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" every December, I love revisiting Mali's words and hearing this emotional response to a common question during this week every year.  While the calendar says that it's "Teacher Appreciation Week," and it's wonderful to feel the sincere recognition and appreciation for the challenges that teachers face on a daily basis, it is still clear that our profession continues to be maligned and misunderstood by many..."What Do Teachers Make?" reads like an anthem to me. I hope you find it as inspiring:

My next favorite of the week is a blog post from Erin, a bloggy friend at Miss Lifesaver.

I love her blog and all of the great ideas that Erin shares.  Usually, on Tuesdays, Erin shares a Teacher Tip - something that she has found from a variety of resources and tried in her classroom.  This week, however, she had a different kind of post, and I loved that she shared it during Teacher Appreciation Week.  In the post, she explains how she, like many of us, spends so much time and energy focused on students that are behavoirally challenging and interfering with the learning of others - and that, also like many of us, she struggles to find ways (and time) to provide positive reinforcement to students that always seem to make the right choices.  Erin explains how she decided to show one such student in her class that his positive attitude and outstanding efforts, both academically and behaviorally, were noticed and valued.  It makes for a great Teacher Tip post!  Take time to visit her blog and read her story. It serves as a great reminder that, as she wrote, "everyone wants to be appreciated."

Lastly this week, I want to share something a little different.  Besides some of my more obvious loves of reading, writing, blogging...I also LOVE to cook!  I can't get enough of Food TV and The Cooking Channel and I'm constantly adding to my cookbook collection and Pinterest boards.  Yet, with busy weekly schedules, not to mention my son also getting older and becoming more involved in different activities, I'm finding I need to choose recipes that are not only healthy, but quick to prepare during the week.  I tried a good one and want to share it with you!  It's a quick crock pot, kinda dump (the ingredients in) and go (get on with your busy day) kind of meal.  Make a little rice and get out some yummy taco toppings at dinner time, and you're done!  Here's a link to Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken via  It was super yummy, and even my little guy - who is the pickiest eater I have ever known - liked to help me make it AND tried it.  It was a winner-winner chicken dinner...for real!  I hope your family might like it, too.

Any favorite things that you have found this week and would like to share?  Post in the comments below.  We would love to see them!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Brand New Look!

I am so excited to be writing my first post on my newly designed blog!  In the spirit of spring renewal, thanks to Megan at A Bird In Hand Blog Designs, Middle School Matters Blog has a whole different look. I've been wanting to do something like this for a little while, but I wasn't sure how to go about it.  Now, I can tell you that if you also happen to be a teacher-blogger and are thinking about a redesign, don't hesitate!  It has been really easy to work with Megan, and the results have been so much better than I even hoped for.  She has lots of different packages to offer - and they are all created with teachers in mind.  An even better idea...if someone you know is a teacher and either has a blog or is thinking of starting one...what better gift for Teacher Appreciation Week then hooking that lucky person up with a brand new design?  Just a thought! :-)

Speaking of Teacher Appreciation Week, I just want to take this opportunity to remind you about the fantastic sales happening right now at both Teacher's Notebook and Teachers Pay Teachers.  Both of these online resources for teachers are showing some love - details below:

Check out both sites to find great savings across the board!  Be sure to visit you wishlists and make the most of this opportunity!

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