Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Story Poem 2007

Most of you know that I usually write a Christmas Poem each year - this year for some reason was especially hard - I couldn't get my thoughts together. I had a couple of directions I wanted to go in... 1) I wanted to create an allegorical story using the motifs of the real Christmas story 2) I wanted to write a song-like poem, or 3) I wanted to write a fictionalized version of the real Christmas story - as seen from the eyes of a fellow traveler to Bethelehem. I wanted to tie in with modern day, because usually my poems are more reflective of the ancient birth story of Christ... I wanted to pull it together to show it's relationship to us today. Well... I don't think that really happened, but... I will keep thinking about it for next year. I am a bit disappointed with the turn out this year, but as the cards must needs get into the Post, I had to be content with this version:

Christmas Story

Two thousand winters old,
The story began
In a world with no room:
A poor stable was planned.

In a country with no king
A babe came to rest
With angels for a choir,
His worshippers the humblest.

A newborn king,
With no throne and no crown:
Yet the world’s kings came to worship
As starlight shone down.

Though the world had no room,
Weary traveler, come, and see:
Christ had time to come to earth
For you and for me.

And here are the two cards I made for this year (2 because I ran out of supplies for the 1st one!)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Torpedo Man!

My Grandpa Howard was just in CT for a visit - I learned he is secretly a superhero codenamed: Torpedo Man! Just kidding - that was his title in the Navy during WWII, but I think it's pretty cool!

Grandpa, I still turn off lights and faucets because you taught me that every time I stayed in Castalia with you & Grandma! :)

Writerly Life - My new Typewriter

Introducing my latest writerly acquisition - an antique Royal typewriter! I snapped up this guy (and the stand!) for only $35 at a tag sale! It has keys with glassed tops and glass along the sides. I have to do some research to see how old it is, and if I can get more ribbon for it, but it currently has working ribbon in it. Can't wait to write the next bestseller!

Thursday, August 30, 2007


I just logged in to find my BEST Portfolio score. I passed with a 3 out of 4!!! I know, it's not the FOUR I was hoping for, but still, I am very happy with the score! :) For those who don't know, the BEST portfolio is a huge project teachers complete their 2nd year; it's scored over the summer. If you get a 1, you have to do the whole portfolio all over again the 3rd year and if that one doesn't pass, you're OUT of teaching (as far as I've heard!). So... it's a bit nerve-wracking! Last year, I worked countless hours just to get the kids READY to participate in the portfolio, taught the portfolio unit for three weeks, and took another 2 months to write and edit the 116 page document! :) WOW am I ever glad that is FINISHED!!!!

Okay, that's all - I can breathe easier this year!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Just Peachy!

Okay, it's 11 pm and I have just spent the last 9 hours STRAIGHT canning over 22 lbs of peaches! Phew!
I now have (behold!):

8 jars of canned peaches in light syrup
6 jars of peach jam
8 jars of peach butter
4 jars of peach jam low sugar
4 jars of peach jam low sugar/honey mix (it wouldn't jell with just the honey so I had to add sugar - it still didn't seem to jell well).

...and, 6 leftover peaches... it's been a HOT day in the kitchen!
What to do with all these jars of peaches! Well, you never know... maybe YOU will be a lucky recipient! :)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Learning to Knit

I tried knitting once before and lost my patience with it, but this time, when I tried again, I found it wasn't as hard as I thought. Here's the hat I knitted! I just need some instructions in tying up the top... there's a dropped stitch, and a row of accidental purls (somehow!), but overall, I like my first hat! :)

Surprise 60th Bday Party!

Our surprise Birthday party for mom & dad went off well! They had no idea we were concocting such a surprise event, and were duly surprised! YAY! And, I promise, this slide show is MUCH shorter than the last one!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Seattle Trip 2007

Washington is a beautiful state - certainly filled with many of God's Wonders - from Mt. Ranier (which we BARELY saw the last day), to the San Juan Islands, fields of lavender, funny-looking alpaca farms, and sparkling water everywhere!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Seattle Greetings

Hello from cloudy Seattle!
We're vacationing with the McMorrises in Sammamish - so far, we've toured about every sightseeing place in town, except the Space Needle, and seen some wonderful views of the city at all times of day. We've even seen the tip of Mt. Ranier - proof that it does exist! I'll be posting a slideshow when we get home!

Junior Camp

Consider my first year as a Junior Camp counselor successful. Few buggies were seen, I wasn't entirely exhausted and I did enjoy our campers! Plus I got to make a new friend (Kelly!), and work with my mom (Hi mom!). Matthew and I were given the red carpet treatment on our anniversary - steak dinner at a table for two and a serenade on the accordion by Pastor Getto!
And in the end, the Raiders were indeed captured and brought to justice!
Will we be back next year? Only time can tell!

Monday, April 02, 2007

A good day of teaching...

Is worth only about 3 bad ones, but still... (hey that's more positive than I've been about teaching in a while - so take it or leave it!).

Today I was grading papers (that huge backlog that I got from being out sick on Friday - yeah, fun), and I came across one from this girl who, well, she really struggles to write well. She had an arrow at the bottom of the paper, saying "Please turn over Mrs. Kieras." So I did, thinking she'd just written the rest of her open-ended question response on the back. Instead, I found this cute little note saying, "Dear Mrs. Kieras. Thanks for having us read The Outsiders. I would never have read this book if you didn't have us read it, but I learned so much from it. I'm really glad you had us read this book."

Awwwwww. That was SO touching! I mean, WHEN, just WHEN does a student THANK You for teaching them something!? Well, for me, this was a first in my 3 years so.... I was so touched. (especially since I just last week had to give her a stern talking to about her work ethic! That made the day even brighter that she didn't hold it against me).

Today was also good, because I had to give a lesson on "what to do during a lesson." I kid you not. The students laughed when I said that, but... they really needed a reset with what I expect during class... things like sitting up, focusing up front, etc. They were getting a little sloppy so... they were actually VERY receptive to what I had to say, and I for once managed to say it in "love," Not frustration. I hope that tomorrow, they remember what I said. :)

Another good thing today, was the sub from Friday left me a nice note thanking me for how organized I was, saying it made her day easy and the classes a joy to teach. And then today she told me that she could tell "you're really structured, because all your classes were so good and the kids knew exactly what to do." WOW, I was SOOOO psyched to hear that. Last year I used to come back to TERRIBLE reports from the subs - it was such a relief to see the kids really behaving and doing what they know I expect! YAY!

To top it ALL off, the cherry on top of the day, we had a productive staff meeting. We had to watch a video of a teacher (one with a grating personality and poor skills) and then grade him. Then we discussed the grades (which ranged from A's to F's!) and talk about why we were all over the board. I LOVED it - I think our school needs to do more activities like that and have "courageous conversations" about what makes good teaching and hold each other accountable for quality teaching in our classrooms. I think the atmosphere at our school is too negative and too lax - with the talent at our school, we could all be doing better and contribute positive feelings to the environment (and I am the FIRST who needs to be more positive!). So... it was really amazing to have a staff meeting where I felt like I had to articulate and define my standards as a teacher to the rest of the staff. I felt like I grew a little bit today.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


This past week, I had my students bring in photos of their "Everday heroes" as we read and discuss the novel, The Outsiders. They are SO into the book, they just can't stop reading! I've had to adjust my lessons about 3 times to keep up because they just can't put the book down. Hey, there are worse things! We're going to be working on themes in the novel this week, and then choosing a final project.
After that, we'll be starting the Poetry unit, which I'm VERY excited about. Last year's unit was GREAT and I'm hoping this year will be the same. I just LOVE the poetry unit!

Plus, I get to change my bulletin boards AGAIN! Wahoo! I know, I get a lot of flak for my chameleon boards, but... I just love redecorating the classroom!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

TV Commercials

My students have been writing and filming TV Commercials to practice their persuasive writing skills. Some of them have been QUITE funny! :)
I especially enjoyed "Long Shots" - a commercial for a Golf Store. I have the video if anybody is interested... it's almost professional - bloopers and all!


Related Posts with Thumbnails