Monday, October 6, 2014

Welcome New 6th Graders

Today starts a new rotation for 6th graders. They are going to their new elective classes. They always enter their new electives with use high expectations and excitement. Rightfully so. It's a chance to learn something new, try new things and explore. Who doesn't love that?
Today, we will be going over expectations and what we'll be learning in class this week.
I am going to try something new this rotation that I haven't done in the past and that is start with cooking. Traditionally, I start with sewing but I want to try something new and experiment with pacing class a little differently. I am excited about this change and I think the kids will be too.

Monday, September 8, 2014

After School Help

Parents and Students,

I will be staying after on the following dates to allow students help with their sewing projects. This time is recommended for any 6th or 7th grade student who is behind on their sewing projects. Please arrange rides to be at LKMS by 4pm.

September 10
September 11
September 18
September 25
September 29

Thank you!
Mrs. T

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sewing World

As I prepare for my 7th grade lesson tomorrow and this week, I wonder how prepare my students are for this new world. There is a mass amount of information to share with them in order to set them up to construct their PJ pants.

Seam Allowance
Cutting Line
Right side
Wrong side
and so much more.

Last year we covered several of the skills that will be transferred from making the drawstring backpack to constructing actual wearable clothing.

I've learned that in each world: the education world, the sports world, the culinary world, the parenting world, the kid world... there's vernacular that follows. You have to learn that vernacular to be successful. goes nothing! I hope what I have planned for them helps them be successful & excited to sew.

It's a world that fading and in my opinion, it's sad. I cannot tell you how many times my mom has tried to teach me how to sew & this world but I couldn't (or wouldn't, if I'm being honest) learn it. It was frustrating to me. I try to keep that in mind as I teach middle schoolers to sew. The majority of what I know I had to teach myself. My college professor in FACS was wonderful. She taught me so much but the majority of what I teach I had to teach myself. Like all things, it comes back around. I hope that I can foster some excitement & contribute to bringing this craft back.

To you Monday... may you bring me students ready to focus & a well prepared lesson that will help students understand the sewing skills they need to construct some awesome PJ pants.

Mrs. T

Thursday, August 14, 2014

2014-2015 First Day of School Reflection

What a great first day of school!! I am so excited to have so many familiar faces back in my classroom. In my 3 years of teaching I have never gotten to have that. I have always moved schools after a school year. I am so thankful to call LKMS my home. There are some unfamiliar faces. I am very excited to get to know those new students as well. I hope your first day of school or for the 6th graders- your first day of middle school was a successful one. Be ready for bumps in the road but it always works out. Perseverance is important in middle school.

I have prepared a letter for my new students who do not know me yet. I am looking forward to getting to know more students at LKMS as the year continues.

Dear New Students,

I am Mrs. Traughber your FACS teacher. This is my 4th year teaching and I think it will be my best one yet. This time last year I was barely holding on. I unexpectedly had my son 4 months early over the summer last year and when I started the school year last year he was barely hanging on. I think he may have been barely 2lbs. My son is my life now. I will share about him every chance I get. I hope you don't get bored of him because everything he does is precious to this 1st time mom.

Last year I didn't get to teach my classroom the way I wanted. I was out for 6 weeks when he came home & the students were transitioning between me and the long term sub & getting used to a new FACS teacher as the previous one had retired. This summer I had time to plan what we are going to do and make things my own so I am very excited about all we are going to do! I hope you are too.

There are some things you should know about me. Respect & communication is very important to me. I will always back you up & be there to support you. There is always a way around an obstetrical and I will be there for you to help you find a path. I love to experiment and try new ways of things. I want you to learn and I want others around you to learn as well. I work very hard for my students and will always try my hardest. I'm not perfect but I will try. I expect the same from my students.

Welcome to the FACS family and I am very excited to have you in my class. I hope you learn something and enjoy the class.

Mrs. T

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Food is amazing.
Not only does it taste so delicious but it connects people, makes people feel good and can be surprising.

My mom has an amazing cookie recipe. It's my dad's favorite! He talks about it all the time. My parents married while they were both in college. My dad played football for the University of Central Missouri, back then it was Central Missouri College. It was before it changed to Central Missouri State University (I had to even think about how that name went it's been so long since I used CMSU). My dad would tell us, his daughters, how he'd come home from football practice and my mom would have chocolate chip cookies baking. She'd always save him a spoonful of dough. My students will tell you at this point in the story I'd cringe. RAW COOKIE DOUGH!! Come on mom! You know better.  Well in my family, my mom's cookies are legendary!

Last weekend my dad went skiing. He's 60 years old and in good shape but there are things a 60 year old man should not do. Skiing is the limit. He pulled something in his back and is in a lot of pain. He's very active. He's a wood craftsman. He's trying to get his custom furniture making business up and running. Now, he's bound to bed & his recliner by crippling pain. I decided to bake him some cookies. No, I don't have my mom's recipe. I found a really good recipe online that is a hit with my husband and I.

I brought the cookies to him and my mom yesterday. There were 27 that the batch made. Today, I went back to help around the house and I noticed that half the bag was gone. He loves them. My mom tried them and she reluctantly surrendered and said mine were better. I couldn't believe it. My mom taught me to cook. I have all of her recipes memorized, expect for the cookies, she won't let that one go yet. I have changed little things about the recipes. I'll add a dash of this or a smidgen of that... My dad asks for me to come over and cook for them to give my mom a break. He'll ask for me to make it, "mom's way." But he wanted MY cookies, ok they aren't MINE. They are William Sonoma's recipe but it's made with a dash of love from my heart.

My dad always told me that food tastes best when you add a dash of love into what you make. No matter what you make, make it with love. He said the people eating your food will be able to tell. For some reason. I think he's right. No, I'm not crazy. Try it sometime.

In the mean time, here's the chocolate chip cookie recipe that has our family all crazy lately.
ENJOY! Make it with a dash of love for someone you care about.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/4 cups (6 1/2 oz./200 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (1 stick/4 oz./125 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz./105 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
6 Tbs. (3 oz./90 g) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups (15 oz./470 g) semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix on low speed until blended. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir in the chocolate chips.

Using a small ice cream scoop or heaping tablespoon, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the dough mounds 2 inches (5 cm) apart.

Bake the cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until the bottoms and edges are lightly browned and the tops feel firm when lightly touched, 10-13 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Makes 30 cookies.

Recipe website <<<<Givin' them credit! 

Mrs. Traughber

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Start of a New School Year

It's almost that time of year to start thinking about a new school year. It's a very exciting time of year for teachers. It's a time where the creative gears in your brain start rotating on hyper drive. I find myself using all my alone minutes working on ways to teach my students new things and get things lined up and prepped to be a great teacher.

Today, I've broken out the textbook and reading chapters I didn't get to read last year searching for new information to use to help convey my excitement for cooking with my 8th grade students. My goal this year is to revamp my 8th grade class.

Yesterday, I went to Mardel to take advantage of a sale they had. By my 4th year of teaching I've nearly bought everything in that store. However, I found some great new decorations and bulletin board ideas and all I can think about now is getting into my room and start decorating it. I've got a great idea for the 1st day of school to get kids excited about FACS class and it will help create a bulletin board. I think it will be a huge hit with parents as they come to back to school night too.

I have so many ideas running through my brain right now that I find it hard to sleep at night. Working on becoming a great educator is something I am passionate about and I strive to be as years of practicing education continues. Just like doctors, we as educators can only practice our craft. There are new techniques, new practices and new ways to teach the millennial learner. I am most excited about the beginning of each school year because I've seen improvements in my skills. I can't wait to see how much I've grown as I start my 4th year of teaching.

Happy 2014-2015 to ALL!
27 More days of summer.

Mrs. Traughber