April 15Posted by Rachel Lesamiz on 4/15/2020
Take a wild guess. Seriously. Take a wild guess.
Tricked you! It's Take a Wild Guess Day!
It's also National Banana Day, Rubber Eraser Day, Glazed Spiral Ham Day, and Titanic Remebrance Day.
So.........write something down in pencil and erase it while eating some ham and bananas while watching Leo DiCaprio in Titanic. I was in 8 th grade when that movie came out.
I have been learning about the future of what education will look like for the rest of this school year. As is all of your teachers. If you have access to reliable internet on a device that has plenty of memory, check your email and follow the link for Microsoft Teams. More than one of your teachers are asking you to do this, so FOLLOW EVERY LINK TO START UNTIL WE FIGURE EVERYTHING OUT. Be patient. We are all learning new stuff. We are trying to not inundate (word, again!) you with too much stuff, but we may to start. Just know we will do our best to correct this.
Stay safe, healthy, and peace out.
p.s. I'm tired
I Really Miss My StudentsPosted by Rachel Lesamiz on 4/13/2020
I hope everyone is doing well. I'm sure you are missing your friends and maybe even school and your teachers (hopefully you do). I really miss you, my students. *sniffles* Since I last spoke to you, the governor and our state school superintendent made the call to keep in person instruction closed for the rest of the year. As it was the right call for continuing the effort of minimizing the spread of COVID-19, it still broke my heart. I'm a teacher because I love seeing my students everyday, getting to know you, teaching you and learning from you. I didn't get into this game to sit at a computer and teach remotely. I didn't go to school to teach that way. But here I am, having to figure out a way to teach in a way that feels very foreign to me.
Thus, I have been brainstorming many different ideas. Some ideas that have come to mind are uploading videos of some instruction to my webpage. I created Teams in Office365 for 8th grade ELA and Literature for students to collaborate, ask questions, view assignments. I may even be able to post videos there as well. And starting this week I will be partaking in several online trainings to help with teaching remotely. I'll get it figured out so you don't fall too far behind. Just pay attention to your emails and mailbox.
Today is National Make Lunch Count Day. Basically, eat a healthy lunch. Make sure your not eating too much junk.
Today is also National Scrabble Day. If you happen to have a Scrabble board and haven't done this already, bust it out and challenge a family member or two to a round of Scrabble. Don't cheat! Use real words. C'mon.
Quick question. Would you rather have to sing "Africa" by Toto every time you sneeze or would you rather sneeze 10 times in a row every time you hear the song "Africa"?
Stay safe and healthy and peace out.
Next Week: Spring BreakPosted by Rachel Lesamiz on 4/3/2020
Hello! It's Friday!
Teachers, including myself, have actually been quite busy. We've been working on how your education is going to look like over the next month, and possibly beyond. We've been planning, gathering sources and trying to contact your families. Not to mention, a lot of worrying. No exaggeration. I've been worrying NON-STOP ABOUT YOU. If your parents have not yet been in contact with your homeroom teacher, please make sure they get in contact through email. Homeroom teachers need to know if you have internet, what speed, and what type of devices you have to access the internet. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. Thank you to all who have responded!
World Party Day. Don't party. You can't gather, remember? Have a party online. Not in person. Please. Maybe start planning that awesome sleepover for when this is all over. Plan something epic. Drink a bunch of Pepsi and eat so many Starbursts that you barf. Watch a scary movie and then prank the person who got the most scared. Draw a mustache on the person who falls asleep first. But make sure to help them wash it off in the morning. Choreograph a dance to your favorite song and then video it for your SnapTok, or Tikgram, or whatever you kids are on these days. Just don't do it now. I promise, someday you will be able to throw this fire get-together.
Today is also National Find a Rainbow Day. Now, the weather today doesn't look like weather conducive (word!) to rainbows, but go online and do a Google image search of rainbows. Find a rainbow.
I learned something yesterday. Crazy, right? I know what your thinking, "Mrs. Lesamiz, I thought you knew everything already!" Nope, I still learn everyday and I am always open to learning new things. Learning is fun, and maybe that is one of the reasons why I teach. SO OTHERS CAN HAVE FUN LEARNING. The thing I learned was that people in Europe, a long time ago, used to celebrate the New Year on April 1st. Why April 1st you ask? Because the Earth wakes up in April! Animals are waking from their winter slumber, birds are migrating to their breeding habitats, plants are growing, trees are sprouting their leaves, and people are starting to plant their gardens and crops. Kinda makes sense, right? But then experts changed it to January 1st. It took a bit of time for all of Europe to follow suit, but over time, April 1st became April Fools Day. Thus, instead of celebrating the New Year on April 1st, we play good hearted pranks on each other. I found this so interesting!
With that I will leave you for today.
Take care, stay healthy and safe. Peace out!
Day 11Posted by Rachel Lesamiz on 3/31/2020
What have you been doing to stave off boredom? If you are looking to get physical while practicing physical distancing, check out Mr. Lesamiz's staff website. He's there posting daily workouts for you! Give it a look-see, even though he's not your favorite Lesamiz, give him a boost!
Another day with empty classrooms and I'm really bummed out. When we finally come back, I have feeling it will be similar to the Marvel Universe "blip." But the whole population blipped, not just a portion of it. It's going to be great but kinda weird.
Speaking of movies, I watched The Fugitive last night. That is one of my favorite movies. It's fun. What movies have you been watching?
I'm going to tell you a random story from when I was a small child. In my childhood home we had a small decorative barrel. I think I was 3 at the time, and I though it would be a great idea to climb into the barrel. I got way into that thing. Shoulders all the way in. When I was happy with my ability to get in, I was ready to get out. Unfortunately, I was unable to get out. Now, at the time, my mother ran a daycare. So there were MANY witnesses to my embarrassing and scary, at least for me, predicament. I of course starting screaming and crying. Luckily my very handy father was home from work. He had to disassemble the barrel in order for me to be freed. But, of course before I was freed, my mother snapped a picture. I WAS VERY ANGRY ABOUT THAT.
You are very welcome.
Currently, teachers, homeroom teachers specifically, are contacting parents/guardians in order to gauge internet and device access in your home. Please check in with your guardians to make sure they respond to the email/text surveys. If they did not receive an email, let me know! You can call my classroom phone number and leave a message answering the following questions:
- Do you have internet access in your home?
- What speed is your internet? (fast, slow, cellular data, etc) If you are unsure of the speed, what carrier do you use? (NCI Data, Communitynet.com, Spectrum, etc.)
- What devices in your home are used by the student to access the internet
I will see you all soon after the blip.
Stay healthy, stay safe, and peace out.
Monday, March 30th, Day 10?Posted by Rachel Lesamiz on 3/30/2020
I have entered the time where it doesn't take much to irritate me. Being stuck at home is kinda wearing on me. Although this is tough, I'm really lucky. I have it quite easy compared to many, many others. I live in a very rural setting where it is very easy to physically distance myself from other people. I am not finding it difficult to get fesh air, exercise, and eat. I am very grateful. When you are feeling like you are being cheated in any way-which you are-just remember there are individuals not as lucky as you.
Today is Doctor's Day. What an appropriate profession to honor today. Doctor's are truly putting themselves in harm's way battling COVID-19. The virus highly contagious and most hospitals are working without a proper supply of protective masks, gloves, and eyewear. Additionally, doctors and nurses working in hot zones have been working days in a row, some for weeks, without going home. Please, let us be thankful to these professionals doing what they can to save lives.
On a lighter note, Mr. Lesamiz and our son worked all weekend at the ranch, which left me and our daughter home. So, what did we do on Saturday? Well, we watched A LOT of TV and we baked a cake. Yesterday, we again watched A LOT of TV and ate cake. We also walked the dogs, did some chores and I knitted, but mostly it was a really lazy couple of days.
Right now, my son is freaking out because his sister accidently wrecked his Lego creation while they were fighting. Fun times.
Stay safe, stay healthy, be kind and peace out.
p.s. Check your email!
It's Friday.Posted by Rachel Lesamiz on 3/27/2020
Hello Out There.
I assume you are out there. I haven't heard from many of you, though I would like to see some more messages because I MISS YOU!
Today is my brother's birthday. He's turning the big 4-0. I'm sure if life were normal, his wife would be throwing a party for him, and maybe I would have found a way to go to it, because I was going to be in Seattle, where he lives, for a conference. Him living in Seattle never worried me, but right now it does. When everything was really ramping up I was getting fairly nervous because he manages a cafe in downtown Seattle. That means a lot of face to face contact with people. He is healthy so far and since his cafe closed for the time being, I feel a bit better about the whole situation. So, Happy Birthday brother!
Today is National Spanish Paella Day. Paella is a fancy rice dish. Lots of spices, there's some veggies in there, and meat, most often seafood. It's quite delicious. Traditionally, it's cooked in a very large flat pan over fire for quite a long time.
Keep yourselves busy, be nice to each other, stay safe and healthy. Peace out.
Working From HomePosted by Rachel Lesamiz on 3/26/2020
Thursday, Day 8.
Hi there folks. No longer are these dispatches from an empty classroom. I'm here, working from home. Now I don't know about you, but it is really difficult for me to work from home. Too many distractions. My kids always having to eat and talked to, my pets needing attention, chores just nagging at me; it's nearly impossible to be productive. Like, right this minute Mr. Lesamiz is complaining about his phone. Erg.
Therefore, I know EXACTLY how you, my students, are feeling about having school at home, completely withdrawn from the classroom. Why do any school work when you need to master that dance that for some reason only involves your arms? But, I do ask you to power through and complete those packets you will receive in the mail. Also, I beg of you to email me if you have questions. Or even something funny to share. Or just to say you are out there.
Today is National Spinach Day. Boring. Although very nutritious, spinach is boring. Sorry spinach.
Now I am going to share with you something I found interesting. Triscuits. Now, I am sure you probably don't like a Triscuit. I do. They are good crackers. However you may feel about the Triscuit cracker, do you know why they were given the name? I'm sure I have pondered this before, but not recently. Until I read a Twitter thread about this very perplexing question. You may have already figured out that the name is some sort of play on the word biscuit. You would be correct. But why 'tri' at the beginning? When the Triscuit cracker was first introduced to the market in the early 1900s-yes, Triscuits have been around for LONG TIME-they were advertised as being the first food product baked by electricity. This person on Twitter figured it out; the 'tri' is from electricity. The Triscuit is the elec-TRI-city biscuit cracker. Well, there it is folks. You can entertain someone with this interesting piece of trivia on your next group chat.
Stay healthy, stay safe. Peace out.
7 Days of No SchoolPosted by Rachel Lesamiz on 3/25/2020
Today is Wednesday. Just letting you know to help you keep track of the days.
Let's talk music today. We all have favorite artists that we obsess over for a minute. The relationship an individual has with music is an especially intense one. Think about it. When you are feeling kinda sad, what are you most likely to do? Watch a particular movie, read a book, or listen to a specific song that truly speaks to how you are feeling right now? There is something about melody matched with precise lyrics that truly allows a person to exercise their feelings and work through them and ultimately come out of that funk. When you are feeling fabulously happy, again what are you most likely to do? You are probably going to put on your more upbeat music. The music that just truly matches your mood, am I right?
You are probably asking yourselves, "Mrs. Lesamiz, why are talking to us about music, exactly?" You've all heard me say this (at least my Literature students) a million times, "OH THOSE CHAOTIC EMOTIONS OF ADOLESCENCE!" Let's just state the obvious, you have SO MANY HORMONES PUMPING THROUGH YOUR BODY. Everything is SO INTENSE. NOBODY UNDERSTANDS YOU. YOU JUST NEED TO BE LEFT ALONE, OMG! In addition, you are really becoming yourselves. You are developing OPINIONS, personal style, your individuality. It's an amazing time. You are really starting to find your place in this world. You are finding YOUR music. Not the music your older siblings/parents/aunts/uncles/cousins subjected you to. I bet you found the song for when you are thinking of your crush. There is probably a song that you and your best friend share as YOUR song. You have a tune that gets you pumped up. There is just something about the combination of being a middle school kid and music that is just so magical. Music is really amplifying your emotions, I'm sure of it. Music is incredible, and this stage in your life is an incredible time for music.
Right now, as I write this post, I am listening to a playlist of songs from the 90's (I know, I'm so OLD) that I listened to OBSESSIVELY as an 8th grader. It's funny how I can listen to a song and just have a crazy sense memory from 1997. Jewel's "You Were Meant for Me" still gives me ALL THE FEELS. And Alanis Morissette's "You Oughta Know" still revives those angsty feelings toward the boy who dumped me in 8th grade. In conclusion, music is rad.
I would love it if you shared with me a song that you listen to when you are feeling certain way. I'd like to know what you are listening to!
Finally, today is International Waffle Day. Make some waffles and listen to some music.
Take care and stay healthy. Also, read a book.
Day 6Posted by Rachel Lesamiz on 3/24/2020
Have any of you forgot what day of the week it was? My son, who is 8, already lost track. We had a small disagreement about what happened on Saturday. He confused the day with Friday, but I couldn't convince him of this. What are ya' gonna do.
During this hiatus, we teachers are working to get you students some supplemental work to keep you from backtracking in your education. The goal is to keep you as close to where you were before we went on hiatus. It will be hard to motivate yourself to work. I get it. Thinking back to when I was 13-15 years old, it would have been a battle to get me to do any valuable school work at home if I knew there was no impending (another great word) deadline. I'm a natural procrastinator; I love getting things done by the skin of my teeth. It seems to be my version of an adrenaline rush. Resist being like me! I know, I'm your favorite, and all you want to be is like me. I see the fan TikToks. But please, don't emulate (I'm on fire with the words!) my procrastinating ways! Be better! Do the work! I believe in you! You are the best and so smart!!!!!
Today is National Cheesesteak Day. If are not aware, the cheesesteak is the sandwich Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is famous for. I've never been to Philly, but I know that the Philadelphia Flyers has the best mascot. His name is Gritty. He makes no sense, but he's great. I don't even watch hockey. My favorite TV show, The Goldbergs, is set in suburban Philadelphia. And to bring us full circle, there is an entire episode based on cheesesteaks. Look for it; it's a strong Barry episode. Someday I will have an authentic Philly Cheesesteak from Pat's or Geno's, but until then I'll try making one at home.
Serious talk time. Without a doubt, I care for you and your families' health and safety. Please listen to what our health officials suggest and please don't leave your homes unless it is essential (medical attention and fresh air for example). Practice social distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from people you don't live with. These are measures that may seem extreme, but I want these weird times to be over as quickly as possible and I'm sure you do as well.
With that, here is your ELA task for the day. I'm stealing this idea from the fantastic Mrs. Cheeseman. She's such a fun, creative teacher; I couldn't help myself. The New Yorker magazine holds a caption contest every issue. They have a cartoon with no caption and asks readers to write a caption for it. Then they select a winner and publish it in the next issue. I'm going to hold a caption contest here. Take a look at the cartoon below and come up with something funny. Enter your captions in the comments below. Please use your first name and remember, keep it PG-12. Have fun and I can't wait to read the entries. I will announce the winner next week!
P.S. find some happiness today and stay safe and healthy.
How to Stay BusyPosted by Rachel Lesamiz on 3/23/2020
We have entered the second week of no school and honestly, I am really bummed out. I would be lying if I said this social distancing and semi-quarantining wasn't hard. It is. But the thing is, I am keeping myself busy. Being productive is a great way to pass the time. Plus, when the day is over, you can say you got something done. Here are some of the things that have kept me busy:
- Baking. I've done quite a bit of baking. If you read my previous post, you know I made a peanut butter cheesecake. In addition to that, I have baked three loaves of bread, biscuits, and cornbread. Baking is fun for me. It's challenging and when you're done, and everything went ok, you have a delicious product.
- Cooking. I've also been cooking. I have made homemade chili, pork chops, and other meals.
- Exercising. Now, some people hate exercising. Not me. I love it. I need it to keep myself from going out of my mind. Not only does exercise benefit the body, but also the mind. Studies show that exercising improves the health of the brain in more than one way. Exercise increases "heart rate, which pumps more oxygen to the brain. It aids the release of hormones which provide an excellent environment for the growth of brain cells. Exercise also promotes brain plasticity by stimulating growth of new connections between cells in many important cortical areas of the brain." (Scientific American, 2018) This means exercise helps you learn more easily. Fascinating! Plus, it reduces stress and anxiety. Right now especially, we need to manage stress in healthy ways. Exercise is self-care.
- Working in my classroom. I've been coming into my classroom every day we would have had a regular school day. This is helping me because when I have a routine, I feel better mentally. When I have no routine, I don't feel good about myself. You may be asking, what am I doing in my classroom when there aren't any students? I have been organizing, sorting, writing this blog, planning and preparing for when students come back to school.
- Giving my kids work. Don't be mistaken, my kids get plenty of sitting around time, but they have been doing enrichment activities. Currently I had them research native animals of eastern Washington. And now they are busy constructing dioramas of the eastern Washington ecosystem where they display those animals they researched. They are having a blast. When they are done, I'll be sure to share pics.
- Listening to music and podcasts. Doing this really helps make chores less tedious. With everyone being home all of the time and all the baking and cooking I've been doing there are way more dishes to wash.
- Reading. Reading something other than the news and social media is quite important. You need to detach, at least for a little bit.
- Watching lots of TV. Between Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon Prime, there is no shortage of entertainment.
There ya' go. That is how I've kept busy.
Now here is the fun stuff. Today is National Puppy Day. Puppies are the best. They are nothing but soft, furry bundles of love. Don't even get me started on puppy breath. I love puppies. Spend some time today looking up pictures of puppies. Try not saying "aww" out loud every ten seconds. It can't be done when you are looking at puppies.
Today is also World Meteorological Day. It's a very hard word to pronounce, but put simply, it's all about weather. Weather is very interesting. It's more than just rain, wind, snow, heat, cold, etc. Did you know geography affects weather? It's so interesting. Google "how does geography affect weather." It's neat stuff, especially for you science-y folks.
Finally, your ELA task for the day, if you choose to accept it. I would like you to write for fifteen minutes about what you are feeling right now. How are you coping with being out of school and routine, and not seeing your friends? What are you planning to do to keep yourself busy? Any other thoughts? Please, try this. Writing down your thoughts is very beneficial. When I am done writing these posts, I feel so much better.
Until next time, stay safe and take care,