Showing posts from January, 2016

What to do (and NOT to do) if you bump into your child's teacher in public

NerdyTeacherMom broke a self-imposed rule at Target yesterday. I bumped into my 8th grader's English teacher and chatted away for nearly five minutes. That was four minutes beyond the time I allow myself to chat with my kids' teachers in public places. No, I didn't ask anything about my daughter or her class. It was more teacher-to-teacher talk, like how awesome my principal is and will we finally have school on Monday after so many snow days. Even though she seemed to be enjoying the conversation, I felt so ashamed of myself!  My school is less than a mile away from my house. While it makes for a amazingly awesome commute, this proximity often doubles the length of errands intended to be quick. Let's look at a trip to the grocery store, for example. Before we get to Harris Teeter, let me interject that I am rather social. My husband says I go out of my way to speak to people. It's part of my make-up, I guess. I'm a preacher's kid. I was a cheerle

Snow day task: Write a letter

My all-time favorite snow day assignment to my children is to write a letter to an older family member. I typically recommend ideas to include. However, the more they do this, the better they seem to get at coming up with things to say.  It’s so important to me that they not only learn how to write a personal letter, but also connect with family members they don’t see often. I'll be truthful. There's usually a bit of groaning about this. But I think that's because they simply don't want to be told what to do. Both girls typically tackle the letter early (to "get it out of the way"). I don't quibble with them about when they do it, the paper they use or any of the small things. I don't edit, either. I just look at it to make sure it's written neatly and represents the family well. In Spanish 2, I teach a unit on running errands (which includes vocabulary words like “mail” ( el correo ), “letter” ( la carta ), and “mailbox” ( el buz ón ). I

Urban News Report

NerdyTeacherMom found yet another way to trick her kid into reading and sneak in a quick lesson about journalism. In our house we have a "no-electronics-at-the-table" rule. Well, really, it’s a “no-electronics-at-the-table-when-other-people-are-there” rule. Since I was the first one downstairs today, I set up the iPad to see what was going on with Snowzilla. Before I could even pick a news site, my 11-year-old had joined me. “Let’s see what’s going on with this snowstorm,” I said, navigating to my folder of news apps. Before I knew it, she’d clicked on CNN. “You can’t find local news on CNN,” I chided. “Let’s check out the AP.” “AP? What’s that stand for? That sounds boring,” she said. “It’s the ‘Associated Press.’ They have the best news. They report it, and all of the newspapers, radio stations and TV stations get their news from them,” I explained. I started reading aloud. By the second paragraph, she asked, “Why are you reading like that?” “It’s m

Snow Day Reading - Rich Dad, Poor Dad & "The Road Not Taken"

My 5 th grader walked into the room with a copy of Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad   * and asked if it would help her become rich. I encouraged her to read the first chapter and to persevere if it got boring. When she started to complain, I urged her to read the tough parts aloud. I’m proud to say that she made it through the first chapter. I had promised her a “quiz,” so I asked her a few questions to see if she actually understood: ·          Why is the book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad? ·          What were the differences in each dad’s thoughts about money? ·          What did Kiyosaki say was more powerful than money? Being the NerdyTeacherMom that I am, I felt a rush when I saw that Kiyosaki had included the poem “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost at the end of the chapter. I know, I know … my English teacher colleagues tell me that the poem is so overused that they’re nearly sickened by it. But perhaps it’s the nostalgic part of me that loves the poem. I’d mem