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Archive for the ‘Great stuff’ Category

On a cold Sunday afternoon, my favorite things to cook are a big pot of soup or a roast in the oven. Here’s my favorite vegetable soup recipe:

Deb’s Christmas Vegetable Soup

3 cans each: peas, green beans, corn

Add 1 bag baby carrots & chopped cabbage (1/2 head)

Put it 1 lb. ground beef (crumble it up- don’t need to precook it)

Add 2-3 large cans of V8 juice to fill large pot

Simmer 2-3 hours. Add rivels 15 min. before serving.

Rivels: (these are PA Dutch mini dumplings)

Mix in small bowl with fork: 1 egg and ¾ cup flour with a little salt. Drop into soup and stir to break up.

And my favorite roast beef recipe, cooked in my large red Le Creuset Dutch oven:

Chipotle-Coffee Pot Roast (from Country Home magazine)

PREP: 35 MINUTES   COOK: 2 HOURS

1  2- TO 3-LB. BONELESS BEEF CHUCK POT ROAST

1   TBSP. INSTANT ESPRESSO COFFEE POWDER

2 TSP. GROUND CHIPOTLE CHILE PEPPER OR CHILI POWDER (HOT OR MILD)

1/4  TSP. SALT

1   TBSP. COOKING OIL

1  14-OZ. CAN BEEF BROTH

3   TBSP. TOMATO PASTE

2   TBSP. BALSAMIC VINEGAR

3  CLOVES GARLIC, MINCED

2  LARGE PARSNIPS, PEELED AND SLICED 1/2 INCH THICK

8    OZ. BRUSSELS SPROUTS, TRIMMED AND HALVED OR 1 RED SWEET PEPPER, CUT INTO

CHUNKS

1  LARGE RED ONION, CUT INTO THICK WEDGES

See the Country Home magazine website for directions.

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One sure sign of the beginning of the school year is when my local Target starts to stock back-to-school items in their $1 section. Some of these items cost $2, or $2.50, but they are still great finds for organizing your classroom. What bargains have you found this year? Share your story in the comments section and if you have a photo, send it to d.diller@live.com

Great for organizing pencils , markers, and other supplies at small group tables or work stations

All sorts of great bins and buckets -- for books, for supplies, extra paper. The only limit is your imagination!

More great bins and step-stools -- for stepping and sitting!

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What a joy it was to keynote at Indiana State Reading Conference! While there, I had a chance to meet Linda and Tom Warren, owner of TopCopy Books. These folks know children’s literature and helped me find several new titles to use in my teaching! To contact them, email topcopybooks@gmail.com. Can’t wait to share these new books with kids!

New Titles for Math:

  • Wild Fibonacci: Nature’s Secret Code Revealed by Joy N. Hulme
  • For Good Measure: The Ways We Say How Much, How Far, How Heavy, How Big, How Old by Ken Robbins

New Fun and Creative Titles:

  • Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys by Bob Raczka
  • My Best Friend is as Sharp as a Pencil by Hanoch Piven
  • Mirror, Mirror by Marilyn Singer

What are some of your favorite new titles you’ve been reading to your kids?

 

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Great posters

I saw good things displayed on the walls of the instructional coach’s office at Goode Elementary in York, PA. These “tracks of their learning” showed me what was most important at this school. During my visit here, I had the opportunity to plan and model lessons with the staff as we worked together in this room. Here are a few things I saw on the walls:

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On Saturday morning our instructor at the gym said, “Would you like to do stations today?” Everyone enthusiastically said they’d like to try something different! So she set up areas all around the room with equipment and exercises with which we were very familiar.

She reviewed how to do each exercise (that we knew from previous lessons) and then assigned each of us to a station. We spent 1 minute working out continuously at each one, and then our teacher told us to switch as she watched the clock (so we wouldn’t get worn out and not want to do the next one). She planned for a balance of what we would practice at each station… some for upper body, others for lower. We had a jump rope station, the chest press station with free weights and a bench, the kettlebell station for lower body strength, a biceps curl station with a body bar, a station for crunches with a medicine ball, the “plank” station on a mat, the ball rollup station with a large exercise ball, and the triceps station with free weights, to name a few. We got a great workout and had fun. The time flew by!

At the end of class, our instructor asked if we’d like to have stations on a regular basis. We all said we would. She’ll vary the activities from time to time so we don’t get tired of the routine. I kept thinking of all the parallels between what we did here and literacy and math stations.

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An update on Atlas

Atlas, our Great Dane puppy, is now almost 5 months old and weighs 62 pounds!!! When we got him, he was 11 weeks old and weighed 27. On Sunday morning while Tom was reading the paper, Atlas crawled up on the ottoman by his feet. It’s one of his favorite places to hang out! When Tom is gone, Atlas searches the house for him. He’s content to take walks and go to the park with me, but he much prefers curling up with Tom.

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It was such a treat to speak at CCIRA in Denver. What a great conference! I had the opportunity to hear one of my favorite authors, Katie Wood Ray, talk about teaching writing. She began with a quote from a young child that just made me smile… “Are we gonna learn about that guy who books?” Out of the mouths of babes! The children she’d been working with were studying authors and learning about the craft of writing from books written by these authors. I celebrate using mentor texts and doing author studies with kids for the purpose of helping them become better writers!

Here are a few books Katie shared that I’ve added to my library of books to use with kids to teach writing:

 

And, of course, I’m ordering Katie’s newest book, In Pictures and Words. 

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