And the Winners Are…

First of all, I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to vote in our Goodbye to Cliches Contest. I can’t tell you how much my students and I appreciated every vote…all 198 of them! I especially loved seeing votes coming in from three different continents, places like Colombia, Saskatchewan, and Australia!

But, without further ado…here is the presentation I created to share with the seventh graders which sentences were voted by you as being Smarties worthy. Enjoy!

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Goodbye to Cliches Contest

ImageDo you have one or two minutes to help me determine the winners in our Goodbye to Cliches contest? Last week I had my seventh graders rewrite some tired old lines and now we need your help to determine who gets the Smarties. I would really appreciate it if you, dear reader, could take just a moment and complete this form: Goodbye to Cliches Contest. And feel free to pass this along to all your friends and family members!

Please note: This contest ends Thursday at midnight (PST). Winners will be announced on this blog on Friday, January 17th.

Thanks for your help!

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Welcome Back!



You know it’s going to be a great first day back at school when God welcomes you back in a blaze of glory!


January 7, 2014 · 6:26 am

‘Tis The Season

I shared this video with my students yesterday, hoping that a wonderful Christmas story might inspire them to sing their hearts out at the Christmas Play. We had a wonderful conversation after watching the video about what had to happen in order for WestJet to be successful in this enterprise. But mostly we all agreed that this was an amazing thing that WestJet managed to pull off. I asked my students to consider one question, and I’ll ask the same question of all of you:

What would you have done? What would you have asked for?

Merry Christmas!

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Ready For Day Two


Good Morning from the teacher’s cabin! It’s about 6:30 a.m. and this teacher is enjoying some quiet time before the chaos begins. We have breakfast at 8:00 this morning and then the kids will be off to get ready for their first “big” hike. While they’re away, I’ll be writing my blog post about the bus ride (did you know that children moo?) It will be posted here: Miss McMillan Goes to Camp.

At dinner last night I sat with Julie, Patrick K., Justin B., Caitlin C., and Shannon B. As soon as I sat down I asked, “So, how was everybody’s first day?”


Note to self: Ask better questions!

Judging by all of the smiles and laughter (and the amount of spaghetti and breadsticks consumed), I think their day was oh so much better than “good”.


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Today Is the Day

Today Is the Day

Here is the official five-day forecast for our week at Camp Caritas! Jealous?

Jealous enough to take the teacher’s place?

I didn’t think so.

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October 21, 2013 · 4:53 am

Now We’re Excited!

Not that we weren’t already excited about Camp Caritas, but after our visit with our site director Alexa yesterday I think we’re all ¬†REALLY excited about next week¬†(yes, teacher included).

One of the most important ideas that Alexa shared with us yesterday was this: students should come to Caritas with an open mind, because you get out of it what you put into it. Caritas is an amazing experience, but it can be even more amazing if you are willing to try new things and make new friends.

Another important idea that she shared with the kids is that everything we do at camp has a deeper meaning that will have students thinking about who they are as individuals and how they fit into their community. I loved it when she told them, “You are much more powerful than you could ever imagine!” So very true.

At one point during our time together she asked the kids to rearrange the furniture in the classroom so that they could sit on the floor in one big circle. But she didn’t just ask them to move their desks. Her instructions went like this:

  1. move all of the furniture to the sides of the classroom;
  2. give affirmations to three different classmates;
  3. hug your teacher.


While I have several snarky comments running through my brain about that last instruction, I have to tell you it was the best part of my day! No question. You see, Caritas doesn’t just bring the kids closer together. It brings the entire seventh grade community closer together. Teacher included.

I love that!


My next post will be full of last minute reminders and one last weather report, but in case you’re wondering, here’s the latest forecast:

Caritas Weather

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