Pimento Cheese

For a quick summer treat, whip up a container of Pimento Cheese. You can use it to make a sandwich or spread on crackers like Triscuits or Ritz, or make an easy school lunch with this dip/sandwich spread!

1 lb sharp cheese, grated.

1 jar pimentos

1-2 tbsp mayonnaise

pimentocheese

Red pepper to taste

Combine in food processor until smooth or leave a bit chunky. 

Other serving options:

  • top a baked potato and brown in the oven
  • grilled pimento cheese sandwich
  • heat in an oven-safe dish for a warm dip
  • cut jalapeno peppers in half and top, bake till melted
  • toast on crusty french bread

(Recipe courtesy of Dot Moore)

Don’t know what to do with all that time in the summer? P.L.A.N.

P.L.A.N – Prioritize; Lessons; Anticipate; Narrow

Before you begin planning, spend some time prioritizing the things that need the most attention. For me, it was the standards. This past year my district was beginning the process of converting our standards to scales in order to help teachers and students see where they were in the progression from below proficiency to proficiency to above proficiency. As teachers, we were to analyze the standard and decide what declarative (need to know) and procedural (skill) information was needed to move students. This was difficult during the year, we were only able to get a few completed before school was out. downloadMy goal was to work on them during the summer. For me, it is easier to focus and really dig in if there is not much else going on, so summer it is!!

 

During the year, I keep a lesson notebook. If a lesson goes really well, I make a note and ask myself if there is anything to make it even better. Likewise, if a lesson flops, I make a note. I try to figure out why it was a flop, there could be a number of reasons; preparedness of me or students; student interest; interruptions; behavior. Whatever the reason, I brainstorm ways to remedy the problem. Sometimes it may be that I just need to scrap that lesson and come up with another way to teach the skill.

Unless you’re new to teaching or new to a school you have an idea of all the events of the year and a roadmap of where you’re going. To anticipate, highlight certain activities on your yearly calendar like report cards, holidays and testing. Use the curriculum to determine where students should end up at certain points of the year and then ultimately at the end of the year and then work backward for an overall picture. imagesPlan out each unit and quarter then decide how to get students there. Use your lesson notebook to add time to skills that require more practice or teaching time. 

Another thing to anticipate is getting new students and losing students. Getting new students might throw you for a loop if you’re not expecting it and sometimes they can just show up at your door with an administrator. Have at your fingertips a packet with getting to know you questions or reading/writing and math activities for them to start with. This gives them a few minutes to acclimate to you and the class while having something to focus on. This will also give you a few minutes to finish the lesson or get students working so that you can then spend some time with the new student.

In my years in administration, I’ve learned that teachers are lesson hoarders and being a teacher, I’m in that category too! If I find a lesson that I really like or enjoy, I’ll keep using it year after year, admittedly even if it doesn’t quite fit the skill anymore, I’ll keep it in the rotation. messydeskI have to narrow my lessons each summer and purge the ones that just don’t fit anymore. Sometimes I get rid of them completely; other times I’ll rework them to include technology or cooperative learning. Be open to creating new lessons that include things that students are interested in. Do some research and find out what the big thing is for the age level you teach and try to incorporate it into a new lesson. For example, you could incorporate a ‘texting’ feature into a lesson on finding the main idea. Even though there won’t be any actual texting, the idea of a lesson looking and sounding like texting might be fun or interesting for students.

Lemon Cool Whip Pie

This recipe is great to take to events, potlucks or just to have at home for summer dinners. It’s super easy, inexpensive and quick! coolwhip

1 Prepared Graham Cracker Crust

1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 16 oz tub Cool Whip – thawed

1 can frozen lemonade – thawed

Mix Eagle Brand milk and Cool Whip, add ½ of the can of thawed lemonade. Mix thoroughly and pour in the pie crust. Chill for 2 hours and then serve.