Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Hunt for Triangles

In my block Geometry class, we've been learning all about triangles. Last semester, I realized how much this particular group of kids struggles with vocabulary, so I've been trying to incorporate more intentional (and exciting) practice with vocabulary. The first day back at school we played Taboo, stolen from the geometry session at Twitter Math Camp. We did this to review the vocabulary from the early chapters before we jumped back into Geometry.

To introduce classifying triangles, we made a foldable (inspired by Lisa's 180 blog). We spent some time practicing classifying triangles on paper before starting our activity the following day.

The Activity
1. Each group was to find three different kinds of triangles in the commons
2. Take pictures with an iPad
3. Annotate the pictures when we returned to class
4. Upload them to Google Drive

We used Adobe Ideas to annotate the photos this year and uploaded them to Google Drive. When I did this activity last year, we had MANY more issues trying to figure out how to use Sketchbook Express and how best to get the pictures off of the iPads. Thankfully work buddy, Jonathan, has found better ways of using iPads and has blogged about it.

The kids did a great job finding triangles around the school. Many of them were the same, but I was pleasantly surprised from a few of the groups at their creativity. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 26, 2014


I've been reading through the Bible chronologically, and I just recently started the New Testament. This has been so great, and I've loved seeing the different styles of the Gospel writers side by side.

On Friday, we had a bad weather day which meant I got to stay in bed longer and spend extra time with my precious Savior and His Word. I was reading Luke 8 when the Lord decided to blow my mind a little bit.

Luke 8: 26-39

The first thing that grabbed my attention was that this particular man was named Legion (vs. 30) because he was filled with so many demons. I always thought that when people cast out demons it was usually a singular demon. I thought it was interesting and then kept reading.

The next thing is saw was that the demons in the man were asking Jesus not to send them to the Abyss (vs. 31). The Abyss (Hell) being capitalized meant that it is an actual place, and the demons didn't even want to go there. Inhabiting a human (and later a herd of pigs) was better for them than being sent to Hell. If the demons don't want to go there, why do so many refuse to follow Christ and send themselves there? This opened my eyes to see my friends a little differently, and that I would never want them to go there either. Maybe my temporary uncomfortableness needs to happen more frequently for the sake of the people I care for. Food for thought.

The last thing, and probably the thing that rocked my world the most, was that the demons were begging Jesus, repeatedly (vs. 31). Not once. REPEATEDLY. And again in verse 32. WOAH. Even the demons recognized that Jesus is sovereign, and whatever He said was going to happen. If demons, who serve the devil, know this and their actions reveal it, why do my actions so often portray my imagined control? Instead, I should be humbling myself before Christ and letting Him be in control. I should be begging Him with the things on my heart because, in reality, He is the only one with control. 

Why do we do this? Why can the demons recognize this and we have to continually succeed with Christ, take over control, fail, repent and submit, then succeed with Christ, take over control, and repeat this vicious cycle to learn lessons? Why can't we learn the lesson and never revert back to our sinful ways? 

Answer: We're broken people. Who need Jesus. Every day.

I think God likes blowing our minds. It forces us to see how small we are and how big He is. I've been pondering these questions all weekend, and I love that He wants me thinking so deeply about His truths. I am very thankful that God is sovereign, and that I am not. Hopefully, God blew your mind a bit too. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Grandma's Recipes Part 2

Here's the Cheddar Dollar recipe I got from my grandma over Thanksgiving. The second recipe I tried from my grandma's stash was No Roll Sugar cookies. I told my students I would bake for them for Christmas and figured these would be fairly easy and delicious. I was right...so easy and so yummy!

Grandma's No Roll Sugar Cookies

1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg
2 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
colored or granulated sugar (tip for making your own colored sugar is below)

Beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, almond, and egg; mix well. Add flour and soda in increments. Shape by teaspoonfuls into balls. Roll balls in colored or granulated sugar. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten the cookies. (I used a drinking glass with a flat bottom.) Bake for 9-11 minutes at 375 degrees.

After mixing everything, roll into teaspoon sized balls, and roll in the sugar

Flatten the cookies and bake

Creating your own sugar

The store only had green sugar, probably due to Christmastime and their stash was well picked over. I knew I needed red sugar too, so I decided to make my own. All you need is sugar and food coloring.

I put some sugar in a bag, add a few drops of your desired color, close the bag, and shake until it is well blended. I did this in a few steps until I was satisfied with the brightness of the red. Note: make it brighter than you think you want it. It will fade as it dries.

Once I was happy with the color, I dumped it into a bowl and stirred it every 20-30 minutes to prevent it from clumping.

Other notes: 1) Do this the day before. 2) I actually liked how my homemade sugar stuck to the dough better than the store bought sugar.

Even experienced bakers make mistakes... 

I forgot the baking soda in the last batch I made. The cookies didn't rise, but they were still yummy. The kids still ate them, but they were smaller and tasted more like shortbread cookies than sugar cookies. OOPS!

Grandma's Recipes Part 1

Over Thanksgiving break, I was able to spend some sweet time chattin it up with my gram! She turned 91 this year, so I've been learning to treasure every moment. She would tell me stories of baking/cooking when they lived in Peru. She couldn't always get the ingredients in a recipe, so she had to improvise. A different time, and I love hearing her talk about it.

While we were talking, I asked for some of her recipes, and she got her box out to let me look through them. Here is one of the recipes I tried for Christmas presents this year. The other recipe is for No Roll Sugar Cookies. Enjoy!

Cheddar Dollars

8 oz. grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 stick of unsalted butter (room temp)
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix the cheese, butter, and flour very thoroughly. It should stick together like dough. Season the dough with the salt and cayenne pepper. Roll the dough into a long sausage shape about 1 inch in diameter. Wrap the roll in aluminum foil and chill for at least 2 hours.

To bake the dollars, cut the roll into slices 1/8 of an inch thick, spread them onto a cookie sheet and put them into a 350 degree oven. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until they turn pale gold. Never let them brown.

You can bake the whole batch and store the dollars in a tight container, or you can keep the uncooked roll in the refrigerator, slice it off as you need it and serve the dollars hot.

Making the dough

I had so many issues with this...doing the wrong thing, forgetting ingredients, etc, but by the third attempt I had it figured out. Hopefully this will help you!

As you're mixing the dough start at a slow speed to blend it together and increase the speed on your mixer to get it to a doughy substance. You don't want it crumbly. Batch 2 was crumbly and definitely still tasted a little floury.

Once you have the dough well mixed, add the salt and cayenne pepper. The cayenne can really be however much you want to make it spicy. I kept adding until I was satisfied, but my 1/4 tsp. is a good estimate.

Rolling and Baking

Roll the dough into a sausage shape 1 inch in diameter.
Wrap it in aluminum foil and put it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Cut it into 1/8 inch slices (or as thin as you can cut them). The thinner you cut them, the more you make.
Bake for 8-10 minutes. (The one at the bottom got a little too thin...it happens)

THEN EAT UP!! I definitely ate most of the second batch on my own faster than I would like to admit. They are delicious especially if you like cheese-its!

Here's the original that I had to go off of. LOVE old books!
This recipe caused all sorts of grief because I didn't have a lot to go off of based on the recipe my grandma gave me. I need explicit instructions when I am trying new recipes. Hopefully my better directions helped you out. Either way the recipe book was cool! Enjoy!!