Monthly Archives: November 2009

Homework for Monday

What Did You Say?

Yes, that’s right, Grendel. I said “Homework for Monday.” Don’t worry, though. My students LOVE getting last minute homework assignments that have to be done over the weekend…even if it IS a holiday weekend! Trust me.

Mmmm...I Love Homework!

Oh, come on, Connor! That’s the oldest line in the book…”the dog ate my homework!” Puh-lease! Besides, we do a lot of homework on our blogs, so unless you’re going to start chewing on computer cables find something else to gnaw on!

Now, on to your assignment! It involves some research, but I’ll provide you with the websites to read which should make this much easier. First let’s start with our guiding question for this activity:

Why is McTeach so excited?!

Using the following websites, write a one-sentence answer and post it here as a comment. Got it? Excellent.

First website: The Picture Show Blog – Freeze Frame

Second website: Palmer Station

Third website: South for Summer

Oh please, that's so easy...

…even a dog could figure it out!

Alright, George, take it easy. At least give them time to look over the websites I so painstakingly put together. Then they can add their comment to this post and tell us what they think the answer is.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Can’t wait to see you on Monday!!



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With Gratitude

I asked my students this week why it is important to express our gratitude. As usual, they had a lot to say. I think Kate summed it up quite nicely on her blog:

It is important to show gratitude because everything deserves gratitude. Even the little things, like a bluebird landing on your windowsill, deserve thanks. What you take for granted are blessings (and even miracles) for others.

We do take much for granted in our lives, and I think that has a lot to do with how busy our lives have become. We just don’t have the time to stop and notice the bluebird on our windowsill, or the brilliant red leaves outside our classroom window, and say a prayer of thanks.

Autumn Leaves

How can we remind ourselves of the importance of noticing each and every gift, each and every treasure, that are given to us each day? Perhaps an even better question is: Why do we need reminding?

I know that each of my students is a gift for me to treasure. I don’t often need reminders of this fact (mostly because they remind me of it every day). But today my students gave me a reminder of why I’m so thankful to work with such amazing young people. They wrote me a poem of Thanksgiving! And you know me…I just had to share it. It really touched me that they would spend so much time writing something for me (especially something that’s not being graded!). I Hope they know how very grateful I am that I get to spend my days with them.


Happy Thanksgiving

In place of food this year
we all thought we’d give
blessings of another kind,
blessings made not from hand,
but instead made from the mind.

So your feast, like any other,
of course shall include
turkey, pudding, stuffing, pie,
and a whole lot more food.
But instead of normal turkey,
or normal pudding or pie,
we have a few more ideas
that we would like to try.

T is generally used for Turkey,
dark or light the same,
but instead this year T is for
the thoughtfulness you express each day.

S is for Stuffing,
oh that delicious stuff,
but we thought S meant a little more for us.
Like what a Super teacher you are
or how you always Smile.
Or even how you are Sarcastic
every once in a while.

G is for the Gravy,
the flavor on the table.
The gratitude we feel for you
is what makes us able
to see in new light
all the things around, in the sky,
and on the ground.

P is for Pumpkin Pie to polish off each meal
adding but a little cream
to sweeten up the bites,
but to us it means you Push us,
to try and reach new heights.

H is for Ham,
the tender delicious meat,
but H for us is the Happiness
you share with us each day
that we all think of as a treat.

C is for Cranberry Sauce,
the topping on the food.
You teach us to be Compassionate,
Caring, Courageous,
and try not to brood. [vocab word!]

B is for the hot rolls of Bread
set out on the table,
and B is also for Believing
we are always capable
of doing anything we try,
and if we want to even touching the sky.

M is for the Many Mashed Potatoes,
soft and warm and inviting,
just as you Magnificently make
our many classes with you exciting.

Y is for Yams,
the other type of potato,
but Y is also for You being yourself,
and not yelling when we are
not quite mellow.

C is lastly for CHOCOLATE,
and I feel there is nothing more to say
except that your Caring
gets us through each day.

It does not spell anything out
other than the fact
it spells out how we feel about you
which is that for a fact
You are the best
teacher in the world
and you of all people
completely deserve
to take a break
and take a rest
and just know that you are the best.

So we just all want to tell you it’s true
when we say
Happy Thanksgiving
from us to you.


You’re all a bunch of goofballs! And I wouldn’t have it any other way!! Happy Thanksgiving!

Oh, one more thing…”once in a while”??? Seriously? Do you know me AT ALL???  😛


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The Power of Prayer

Father Declan Says

Make me a channel of your peace
Where there is despair in life let me bring hope,
Where there is darkness only light
And where there’s sadness ever joy.

O master, grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console
To be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love with all my soul.

~Prayer of St Francis of Assisi

As I’m sure you’ve heard, Father Declan has recently been diagnosed with cancer. I have always believed in the healing power of prayer and have asked the seventh graders to keep Father Declan in their prayers. Do I think we can heal such an insidious disease with a few prayers? I don’t know. What I do know is that Declan is a kind man who doesn’t deserve to be ill. What I do know is that knowing that students are praying for him every day may just give him the strength and the courage he needs to face this battle.

That is enough.

I spoke to my students this morning after mass about saying a prayer for Father Declan at the same time each morning. Won’t you join us? Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, would you be able to stop for a few moments at 8:30 A.M. and say a prayer for Father Declan? Any prayer will do.

Over the weekend, I told my students I would not ask them to get up early to say a prayer. We decided on 12:00 noon for this weekend if you’d like to join us at that time as well. There’s power in prayer; there’s power in numbers. Somewhere in there lies a formula that even this non-math teacher can handle.

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This Will Be Fun

In class today, we began our celebration of National Geography Week by creating a survey about the places where people live. I sent that survey out to the world via Twitter, Plurk, and Facebook. So far forty-five people have filled out the survey. The furthest city listed in our survey? Auckland, New Zealand! I wonder how much my seventh graders already know about New Zealand…


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Help Me!

There are just too many fabulous artists in my seventh grade class! I need help choosing the top five Google Doodles…I can’t even narrow it down to a top ten! Can you help me? You can view our Camp Caritas Google Doodles (plus one extra special Doodle) in the slideshow on my PBWorks page (WordPress doesn’t currently allow the embedding of Google docs).  Assuming you are able to make a decision, please vote in the poll on that same page. You can choose your two favorite Doodles. Please only vote once.

I really appreciate the help!

Great Google-y Moogly

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My Powerpoint

I have uploaded my social studies powerpoint to the Assignment Blog (on the social studies page, oddly enough).

The Beginnings of Islam

I will do this with future presentations also, but I still expect all students to take notes during class. Taking notes while a teacher is lecturing will be an invaluable skill in high school and college. Get used to it now! 😉

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Highlighting and Underlining

Looking for Something?

Looking for Something?

I’ve attached the highlighting and underlining handout to the links page on Miss McMillan’s Assignment Blog. I’m sure you’ll be referring to it many times! 🙂

Links Page

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Many Thanks!

Happy Birthday, McTeach

Happy Birthday, McTeach

Well, they did it. My wonderful seventh graders actually had me speechless this morning! Don’t worry…I got over it. But it took a moment or two.

I cannot tell you how grateful I am for your birthday gifts. The album of notes from my students was, by far, the best gift I could have received…even better than chocolate. I know!! Can you imagine such a thing? Well, actually, you could if you were a teacher feeling so much love and appreciation from her students.

I especially loved what one student wrote: “We’re not just a class and a teacher…we’re a family.” That’s so very true. You’re the first people I think of in the morning, and the last people I think of at night. I carry you in my heart wherever I go, and am ever-so-grateful that God brought all of us together.

Many, many thanks for making this teacher feel so very special, so very loved.


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