Monday, September 29, 2008

From Trash to Treasure??

Every year in school, the students get involved in 4-H. Each month they have a contest to promote different skills. The first month is usually entitled 'From Trash to Treasure' which works to encourage the students to create something useful and wonderful from trash.
I want to believe that I am encouraging this in the classroom this year by my own actions!
Our first Social Studies Project will be making Pyramid Trading Cards. These are similar to baseball cards in that they will have a picture of a pyramid on the front and statistics about the pyramid on the back.
The cardboard base of the trading card will be cut from cereal boxes. The kids liked the idea of bringing in trash to school that we then use!

Another project I want to work on is to make models of pyramids. The pattern I have uses a 21" square piece of poster board. I want to avoid asking my students to buy poster board, but I have yet to find a source for thin cardboard (paperboard) that will yield a 21" square. I thought about using a smaller piece of cardboard, but then the model is to small for the other part of the project. Other types of cardboard are not thin enough to fold well. I have some friends who work in retail, I plan to ask them if they receive anything in that I can use for this!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Can I reduce paper towel usage further?

Over the past year or so, I have stopped using paper napkins and tissues. I was just contemplating paper towel usage.
I do not use them to dry my hands, nor do I use them for cleaning.

I find that the only time I use them is to pick up a mess the dogs have made.
It is time to designate some old worn-out dishtowels for this purpose. Then the only use for paper towels would be when Vince makes his greasy, stinky steak sandwiches.

Can I come up with a method that will work and that Vince will use? Ah, there is the question of the day!!

I know my mother use to use brown paper bags to absorb grease, but we no longer get paper bags when we shop. We bring our own.

I have some old dish towels that are not terrycloth, so perhaps they would work and not leave terrycloth fibers on the steaks. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


We have started our Social Studies Chapter on Egypt. Yesterday, we created T-charts showing what the students know about Egypt and what they want to know about Egypt. The plan is to create cross-curricular lessons involving Math and Social Studies. After reading an article in Education Week about the need to extend learning time, I am even happier that I am planning to make this Egypt unit work for more than one subject.
Over 25 years ago, A Nation At Risk was published, which was a report urging the American public to see that our nation was falling behind other countries and that our education system needed to be reformed. While there are always changes being made, it is up to the individual teachers to work hard at making the most of the time we are given.
One of the challenges for the students will be in the project area of this unit, they will only be able to re-use items to create their projects! There will be pyramids, hieroglyphics and trading cards created. Let's see how they do!