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Teachers Helping Teachers

What happens when hundreds of wonderful TpT sellers decide that a fellow teacher is in need?
A MASSIVE fundraiser happens! That's what!
We call it Teachers Helping Teachers, and it came about after TpT teacher-authors heard the story of Diana Salmon, a New York teacher who lost a leg in a tragic hit and run accident.
Diana is an inspiration to all who know her, sending a message of strength and resilience by returning to the classroom just months after the accident.
Unfortunately, the extensive injuries Diana sustained require an expensive bionic knee for her to be at her dynamic best. This is where Teachers Helping Teachers comes in.
Diana's fundraising store, Bionic Teacher, is now the home of TEN limited edition resource bundles promising HUGE savings to all who purchase one. There is a bundle for everyone, and they all contain the most amazing products from top sellers! Best yet, 100% of the profits go to Diana's fund!
Visit Bionic Teacherdownload the freebie for Diana's Story, and take a look at the bundles. You will be happy you did! 

If you would like more information about Diana, go to

They're ALL Incredible...

Okay, so maybe I should say, ALMOST all of them are incredible.

The kids who work their hardest, do their homework, pay attention, study, and participate, are incredible. They are the future of our workforce, and when they are conscientious, I feel hopeful for the future.

Incredible kids.

The kids who keep at it, despite their limitations and disabilities, are incredible. Like the class of kids I had who decided on their own, that they would take on the mission of writing a class newspaper, and selling it for 25 cents to raise money for a local animal shelter. Was it the highest quality paper? Well, it included fake classified ads, lovingly written by one of my most challenged students. Need I say more about the quality?

But that was beside the point. Every single quarter they collected was earned through hard work, and MANY rewrites. I was never more proud.

Incredible kids.

The class that helped do their little part in trying to change our state's bullying laws was incredible. They were so moved by Ryan's Story, a presentation by Mr. John Halligan about the suicide of his son Ryan, that they wrote letters to legislators about the inadequate "laws" that were in place at the time. One senator took notice, and complimented the argumentative letters, thinking they were written by high school students! ( Boy did those kids work HARD on revising!) Soon afterward, the laws were improved.

Incredible kids.

The kids in my advisory, who work hard every day, making trinkets to sell so they can raise money for a local children's charity, are incredible. They could be spending their time chatting, but they want to make a difference for other kids.

Incredible kids.

The kids who are kind and encouraging to shy, introverted kids, or the ones others just label "odd," are incredible. Almost every time I see my "ambassadors" making an effort to be welcoming to those who are tough nuts to crack, I want to weep with pride.

Incredible kids.

The kids who are upstanders are incredible. Those who have the moral fortitude to stand up for anyone who is being attacked for being different in some way- any way- amaze me. I wish I had been as bold and courageous when I was in middle school.

Incredible kids.

Watch carefully. Look for something special about each child. Even if you have to dig deeper than you thought possible. Every child is someone's whole world. So every parent has instilled and nurtured at least one beautiful quality in their child.

Be that teacher who sees it. Be that teacher who waters that seed of potential.

If you do, you will see that they are all... incredible kids.

Did Somebody Say Sale?

I'm not much of a brick and mortar shopper anymore. Kids cure you of that. Crowds cause whining. Lines cause whining. Dehydration from dry mall air causes whining. 

And that's just me. The kids are another story. 

But online shopping? That I can do like a champ. And you can bet I will take advantage of TpT's next sale on February 25th. Up to 28% off, and no whining required. 

Take a look at the amazing sellers who've teamed together for this! The gorgeous graphic is by the amazingly talented Danielle Knight.

Danielle Knight (Study All Knight) 
The Classroom Sparrow
Michele Luck's Social Studies 
Getting Nerdy with Mel and Gerdy

Mad Science Lessons 
Juggling ELA
Krystal Mills - Lessons From The Middle 
Teaching High School Math 
To the square inch- Kate Bing Coners 
Charlene Tess 
Pamela Kranz
The Creative Classroom

Kristin Lee
Mrs. Brosseau's Binder 
James Whitaker's SophistThoughts

Darlene Anne
ELA Everyday
Lessons With Coffee
Teaching FSL
Room 213
Lindsay Perro 
Liz's Lessons 
21st Century Math Projects

The SuperHERO Teacher
Science Stuff 
Kate's Classroom Cafe 
A Space to Create

Addie Williams 
Created by MrHughes

Leah Cleary
Secondary Solutions
All Things Algebra
Tracee Orman
Live Love Math

Ruth S.

2 Peas and a Dog
FisherReyna Education
Rachel Friedrich
Linda Jennifer
For the Love of Teaching Math
The Career Ready Teacher 

Mrs S's Health and PE Resources

February Funnies

You can say a lot of things about middle school kids.

 A LOT of things.

But you can't say they're not funny. Really funny. If a few weeks go by and I haven't laughed until I want to cry, I know it's time for me to loosen up. Get a massage or a bottle of wine or something.

Sometimes there's just one class that gets you going. The class that's filled with future performers from Caroline's Comedy Club. The class that's filled with kids destined to wear lampshades at a party when they're forty.

The story I'm going to tell you was NOT that class. That's what makes this one of my favorite stories. It was as unexpected as Kanye West talking sense. Or being humble.

The reading teacher and I co-taught this class. It was eighth period, and this class was a...unique group of kids. The bell rang and "Harry" was late. Just as we were about to get started, Harry walked in. He was a big kid for 13- a real sweetheart- and I think he probably could have bought beer at the 7-11 without getting proofed.

Harry looked like this:

We rushed over to him, grabbing tissues for Harry's bloody nose. The blood ran down his face and there was a huge blotch on the front of his shirt. Harry mumbled that he was fine and tried to get to his desk, but we insisted he go to the nurse. He couldn't go alone, lest he pass out in the hallway from blood loss. Looking around, we quickly chose a friend to accompany a reluctant Harry to the nurse.

When Harry and friend left, we turned our attention back to the class. They were giggling.

How could you laugh at poor bloody Harry, we asked, appalled.  

The laughter just got louder and more obnoxious. There may have even been some snorting.

Finally, somebody broke down and told us the story behind Harry's bloody nose.

There was no bloody nose. 

Harry put a red pen up his nose. The red pen up Harry's nose chose that moment to explode. While up Harry's nose. 

Let me tell you, we were out of control. Our laughter was loud and obnoxious. There may have even been some snorting.

Fast forward a couple of weeks, and the event depicted below happened. I turned around from the board and found Billy with at least six pencils in each nostril. 

It was pretty impressive, actually.

I can't wait for you to read the stories from other teachers who are contributing to the Secondary Smorgasbord February Funnies Blog Hop, brought to you by me and Pam from Desktop Learning Adventures.

Wut's Betta Than Free? Nuthin' Say Me

Okay, so I'm no good at bustin' a rhyme. I don't even really know what that means. But I'm trying to honor the Grammy Awards, which I will not be watching.

What I do know is that Brain Waves Instruction, Literary Sherri, Getting Nerdy with Mel and Gerty, and Lindsay Perro have compiled 4 free Can't Live Without It eBooks filled with over 100 FREE print-and-teach resources.

I can't wait to dig in and use some of these resources. Here's my Can't Live Without It page:

My resource page is on analyzing nonfiction human interest articles:

You can get this at my TpT store. And you can get the entire ELA eBook here

All right teacha, come and getcha resource
Cause we all know that you probly need

SLEEP. I obviously need sleep.

Enter an Epic Giveaway to Lift Your Spirits!

I'm snowed in. Well, not really any more, because I dug myself out. But I wish I were still snowed in. Because now my back hurts and I'm cranky.

If this wonderful giveaway hadn't entered my life, promising ELA riches to one lucky winner, I might have felt compelled to call in sick and eat a sleeve of Thin Mints. Then I would be sick.

I keep Thin Mints in the freezer for emergencies such as this one. Emergency crankiness.
Before I tell you about the giveaway, I'm going to vent a little. You can skip the venting and head straight to the bottom of this post if you are strictly here for the giveaway.

But I thought you were my friend. Just sayin'.

For every single snow storm, hurricane, heat wave, ice event, and overall crummy weather day in the history of dangerous weather, I have been by myself. Except for my kids and dogs. Who, mind you, used to be babies. Little tiny ones.

My husband works for a major utility that keeps the lights and modems on in a major city. I won't say its name, because even though you are my friend for reading this, you might send me hate mail due to the major rates they charge. Every friendship has limits. Even ours.

When my firstborn was two weeks old, there was a hurricane. My husband refused to leave us alone... until he made sure the flashlights had batteries. He's thoughtful that way.

We were too stupid to think it might not be a good idea. Even though, mind you, only two weeks earlier I was appalled that the hospital was so irresponsible that they just let me stroll out with a defenseless baby. Poor judgment if you ask me. (Case in point: the hurricane incident.)

Firstborn is away at college now, and nothing has changed re: the husband's job. I'm still the one "in charge" every storm. (Don't even talk to me about Hurricane Sandy, that witch.) So, I keep Thin Mints in the freezer.

Believe me, this giveaway is a bright spot in my cold, snowy, minty life. It was put together by the wonderful Jackie, from Room 213, and the terrific Mary Beth, from Brain Waves Instruction, It has AMAZING ELA resources that YOU can win! For free. Like, just by clicking some keys. In fact, this might be a nasty rumor, but Jackie and Mary Beth told me that each person can get 50 chances to win. And wait till you see the prizes!

 I tell you, if I could enter, I would. It's much better than a Thin Mint binge.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Middle School Nonfiction Books

I'm gnashing my teeth trying to come up with a quick blog post about nonfiction, so I can go read some...nonfiction! I'm finally getting around to reading Unbroken. My son keeps asking me to hurry. He's already read it and he wants to discuss it.

Get that? 

He wants to discuss it. 

With me. Mom.

His mom. 

It's not even my birthday or anything.

People like to discuss books with me. I'm not sure why, but after school I usually have a room full of kids who want to talk about what they're reading. Some of them aren't even my students, but they come in anyway. 

Maybe they're secretly looking for food. I never have any, but I probably look like someone who would have a lot of food around. 

I must disappoint them, so they figure, well since I'm already here, I might as well stay a while and talk about books. Maybe next time she'll tell us where the secret food stash is.

I'm always happy to oblige. Except when a kid I don't know very well asks me a question like Why did the guy in my book go to jail? What does it mean to... clock a john? 

True story. I think I may have pretended there was a violent skirmish in the girls' room, causing me to run in and save the day. 

I am a coward, masquerading as a hero. 

Luckily no one was hurt. Unless you count John.

As I've been saying ad nauseam in recent blog posts, I've discovered a new appreciation for young adult nonfiction. It's a new appreciation mainly because there was nothing much to appreciate before.

So I thought you might like a list of some titles to pick up for your classroom library. I have some more on my Middle School Nonfiction Pinterest board, but clicking on the image will take you to a list of about 20 or so books. 
Right now I only have about three or four nonfiction titles left on my shelves. That's right. My kids are eating these nonfiction books up. 

Maybe I should start keeping food in the room.