Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Bear Walks Into A Bar...

What happens when a bear walks into a bar?? Well, in Juneau that bear gets the stink eye and some tough words from the bartender…seriously.  A bear walked into a popular local bar and the bartender shooed it back outside! Check out this link to watch the video.  And, keep in mind this is in the heart of downtown Juneau!

Bears are everywhere! Cody snapped this picture of one strolling down the sidewalk. 

Only in Alaska! A bear also wandered into a local elementary school and three other bears greeted the college freshman on the UAS campus bright and early on their first day of classes.  The bears are EVERYWHERE these days.  I live in a kooky place :)

Note: For those of you who don't know, I coach at the local high school.  I apologize for the lack of posts lately. But, I have been coordinating and hosting both senior night and homecoming.  It has been a crazy two weeks! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Preschool Literacy Center

I will preface this post by saying that I am obsessed with literacy.  Literacy is the foundation for all other academic skills. I am such a HUGE advocate (personally and professionally) for developmentally appropriate literature instruction with preschool students (and all other grades).  That being said, check out my classroom literacy center!

This is my "Literacy Tools" section of the center.  I switch materials out on either a bi-weekly or monthly rotation depending on the interest level of the kids.  Currently, it has three types of paper, notebooks, clipboards, pencils (large and small), glue, crayons, scissors, tape, one stapler, magnetic letters, and foam letters.  All of these items are available during centers (I use 1.5hours of the day for open center rotation). The super cute puppet theater is hiding behind the shelves too :)

Above is one of my favorite things in my classroom: a giant drip pan! The kiddos can use magnetic letters on it whenever they want.  It's definitely a hit. Also, you can see the benches (kind of) that my co-teacher made out of fabric, foam, and egg crates.  Super cute and practical for germ removal!

This is a basic overview of the center.  I have a work table in the middle, a book shelf (puppets stored in the top) and the drip pan lining the center.  The area is currently decorated with family pictures of each kiddo too (these pictures were snapped prior to putting up the decorations).

So far the Literacy Center is a hit! It has been such a great area and the kids have been super interested in it.  I can't wait to see how it evolves throughout the school year :)

Teachers: What is your favorite thing to put in a Literacy Center?
Teachers: What is your favorite "job?" 
Everyone: What is your favorite children's book? 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Pictures of Mendenhall Glacier

Mendenhall Glacier never ceases to amaze me.  I have often posted pictures of my visits to it and stories of the happenings there.  You can check one of my stories out here and get a little more information here if you are interested in the background on this ever-changing hunk of old ice.

I love the glacier and every trip we take to it is peaceful and overwhelming.  Words can't describe the beauty of this place.  So, I will let the pictures do the talking for me today.

Above are pictures I snapped from the trail and below are two pictures that I fell in love with and decided to enhance.  Enjoy :)

Ice cube that had been left on the observation deck. 

Stone towers created on the beach. 

What is your favorite place in nature to visit? 
What amazes you?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

First Weeks of School

The 2013-2014 school year is officially underway! (For those of you just tuning in: I teach pre-k in a collaboration program between the tribe and the public school.)  I've been back at work for three weeks and I have had students for two weeks.  The days are certainly busy but I am having fun learning about my new, wonderful class of pre-k kiddos. I teach both a morning and afternoon session so I am learning about 32 new personalities as the school year begins and progresses.  Preschool really is the most fun "grade"!

Bench seats under the magnetic board in my classroom. 
Bulletin boards have been hung, sign-in is happening with ease, and we are happy as clams here in our little classroom.

The beginning of the year always brings about a unique set of challenges as you learn about new students, families, curriculums, and assessments.  The year is already going smoothly though and after we work out a few more kinks I anticipate the classroom will become a well-oiled machine…well, as well-oiled as any machine run by a group of pre-k students (haha).

Until then, we are enjoying our lasts gasps of summer/autumn.  The views from the playground and my classroom are spectacular.  We can even hear the fog horns blaring from the giant ships in Gastineau Channel.  The kids love it.  I'd say we are off to a successful start :)

Teachers: How is the new school year going?!
Everyone else: What do you love about the back-to-school time of year? 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Return Of The Rain

The days of warm and sunny weather are a thing of the past…

Our days are now rainy and cool.  It feels a little bit more like the Juneau that I know and love.  We barely saw the sun for the first nine months that we lived in Southeast Alaska.  But, when July hit the temperatures soared into the 80's and the sun seemed to never set.  While the warm weather was welcome and appreciated I am now feeling thankful for the two weeks of rain and chilly temperatures we have been experiencing.

Cody and I have used it as an excuse to curl up with movies, cook hearty meals, and do a little bit of work on our tiny apartment.  Soup has been constantly on the agenda…we've been eating outside under our awning quite a bit! It is such a joy to sit outside and listen to the rain together.

We've been enjoying the reprieve from the constant sun. I am sure in a few months time we won't be singing the same tune.  For now, it's pretty relaxing :)

Do you enjoy rainy days?
What is your favorite indoor activity?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

How To: Freeze Wild Alaskan Blueberries

Our freezer is becoming more and more stuffed with delicious berries.  While we are eating some of them fresh, others are bound for canning and the freezer.  Even in a city like Juneau there is a serious lack of fresh (and decent) produce throughout the year.  What better way to combat this than freezing our own fresh fruit?! So, here is how we did it…

Picking blueberries at the ski area. 

1.) Soak blueberries in water for 10-15 minutes. This will soak out any worms while bringing leaves and other debris to the surface. 

2.) Place berries in a strainer for another 10-15 minutes to allow them to dry/remove excess water. 

3.) Place the berries on a non-stick pan.  Make sure that they are not piled on top of one another.

4.) Place pan and berries in the freezer (quick-freeze area) until they are completely frozen.  

5.) Remove berries from the pan and place in either vacuum-sealable bags or ziploc freezer bags. If using ziploc bags: use a straw to suck remaining air out of the bag to lessen the chances of freezer burn.  

6.) Store in the freezer.

7.) Un-freeze and add to delicious pancakes on a rainy day :)

What is your favorite type of berry?
Not a berry-lover? What is your favorite fruit?