Monday, March 16, 2015

Breakfast at breakneck speed!

I am NOT a breakfast lover. I don't like pancakes, abhor waffles, could do without donuts, etc etc. what I do love is carbs... A bagel, toast, pasta, a muffin, rice, happy, happy happy! 

However, I have been really conscious about eliminating a lot of carbs from my diet. The biggest challenge to that is upping the protein without turning strict carnivore. 

Then take into account that I dislike breakfast so much, and if it's not convenient I'd rather just whine pout ,do without ,and then get super ravenous and eat everything and anything later on. 

So these methods are really a godsend! Add to it that I can make 12 at a time and get three or four breakfast out of it, and it's a winner! 

Again, it's an easy and super quick recipe. I took nine eggs, a cup and a half of shredded cheese, and salsa verde. I have also used a tomato basil sauce and pepperoni in the past, or olives or mushrooms, basically anything you could stick in an omelette. Bake it in the 360° oven for 25 minutes. Ta da! Delicious! And most importantly I don't have to worry about breakfast or lunches for the week!

* well healthier anyway! 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

When a child doesn't qualify...

This past weekend was a huge milestone for the eighth graders in my community who attend a Catholic school. Acceptance letter weekend! This is when they find out if they have been accepted to the high school of their choice. 

Now for children who have no learning differences, this could be a pretty stressful weekend but as long as their grades are good it's probably a definite in. Acceptance is based on the HSPT (high school placement test), grades, and teacher recommendations. 

But what about the children who don't take standardized tests well? Unfortunately admittance is much more uncertain for those students. If the child has an IEP or documented learning difference, The school will definitely try to work with the family to make sure that the student will be able to be successful.

However, if a child does not qualify under district policy, and is not at grade level or a good test taker, the path is tricky.

The first thing to do would be to talk to the admissions personnel and find out exactly why they feel the child wouldn't be a good fit. There is nothing wrong with begging and pleading. Oftentimes, assuring the school that you are well aware of your student's academic limitations and promising to support with private tuorting will help. 

Parents can request an individual education evaluation from the district. This is like getting a second opinion from a doctor. What this will do is have the district pay for another private evaluation. 

Parents can pay for a private evaluation. If the parents disagree with the findings of the original IEP they are welcome to pay for private testing. This can be expensive, and is often not covered by insurance. There is also the risk that the same findings will be determined. 

Then of course there is researching the remedial program at the local public high school. Because the child is not eligible for special education services according to the district IEP, developing a good relationship with the counselors is imperative to success. 


Monday, March 9, 2015

Lunch making Loathing

I hate making lunch.

I may even hate lunch in general, although that has slightly changed since second grade. You see, second grade is when my mom got fed up with my demands for lunch perfection and turned the kitchen over to me.

Now as teachers, I realize that we have all of this time for  a long leisurely lunch. But if I don't plan ahead, lunchtime equals scavenging time. Seven mints found in the bottom of my desk? Been there! Giving in to the breathed on, up for grabs goodies in the faculty room? Done that. Today's culinary masterpiece was none other than carrots and hummus... Which I didn't even take out of their containers first, just threw in my lunch bag. Womp womp. No creativity there. 

When I do cook, I love meals that I can get some mileage out of. I have no problem with eating the same thing for more than one meal as long as it is good.  This is an amazing thing because it means I don't have to aimlessly hunt for food in the morning.. As long as I prepare it the night before. 

Tonight's dinner, which makes it tomorrow's lunch, and possibly Thursday's lunch, is pizza bubble bread. A favorite which is so easy I don't hAve to think about it, just scrounge around and drop things on cut up biscuits. I've made it with many different toppings including chicken, artichoke, pineapple, olives, mushrooms, you name it.  Now because I haven't gone to the grocery store, tonight's bubble bread was a leeeetle simpler, but no less delicious!

Preheat oven to 350. In a 9 x 13 pan tear up two tubes of biscuits. I use the larger biscuits and tear each one into 4 to 5 pieces. And pizza sauce or tomato sauce if you're desperate, garlic, Italian seasoning, cheese of choice and pepperoni. I use turkey pepperoni as a semblance of healthiness.  Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. Add about 30 minutes, I always do a check. This is because the middle biscuits don't cook at the same rate as the outer...so I cut the middle open a little for the cooking to take place. Once finished, be prepared to have some self control so that you don't eat the whole pan...or try to eat the whole pan....the whole pan might be a little much. After all, you gotta save some for lunch!

                                       
   


Saturday, March 7, 2015

More than Environmental Camp, ...life camp

Every year my school sends the sixth graders ( and the 8th graders) to a week at Caritas Creek, an environmental education camp located in Northern California.

Now I may be a teensy bit biased, since *I* attended Caritas as a 6th grader some years ago, but it is one of the best run programs around. Not only do the kids learn about the ecosystems at camp, they also learn life skills. The kids learn empathy, how to deal with stress and negative people, how to appreciate nature and look for the ways God is present around them. They learn that they have choices and that their choices have consequences.  They learn how to relate to others.

The first day is devoted to 'new discoveries', learning how to look at the things around them with different eyes. Then it's all about 'connections'. An acronym used is SONG ( connected to self, others, nature, and God). The latter half of the program is devoted to change, what can they do as 6th graders that can impact the world around them.

We had GORGEOUS weather this year.  It was hard to come back and I pray that we'll be able to keep our Caritas spirit going throughout the rest of the school year and the kiddos' lives.