Scratching it Out


Scratch Project

Yup, Coding is certainly not for me.  I spent an hour trying to figure this out and this is what I came up with.  As for using this in the classroom, if students already knew how, I would have no hesitation to them using it!  However, I think I would be ineffective in teaching them how to use it.  I would likely not implement this in my classroom at this point in time.  It is simply something I have never used before and therefore have next to know understanding about.  I am always open to learning something new.


Just Gotta Roll With the Punches


Welcome to round two!!!  When I first attempted to make homemade dinner rolls the end result was OK, but not what I had expected.


As you can see, my rolls varied in size and they were not rolled into uniform balls.  When they were baked, they were a dense bread and got slightly dry even after the first day.  I decided for my learning this week, I needed to try again.

I started by searching for a recipe.  Recipe searching is not an easy process for me; on average, it takes me about 3 hours to find a recipe to make.  So after all my searching I came right back to the recipe that I used to make the crescent rolls.  If your interested, you can check out the past blog post here.  I used the same recipe, but I found it on a different site.  You can find the recipe I used here.  However, I didn’t want to make the crescent shape again.  Since I have gained a bit of confidence in my bread making, I decided to make the same recipe, but into a round bun shape instead.  So I reviewed this youtube video, to assist me in the shaping.  I used a few pieces of dough to practice my technique and I discovered I needed to keep my hand closed up tighter in order to get the balls into the right shape.  After working away at this for a bit, I got the product I was looking for!


I got round, uniform balls of dough.  The recipe suggested a baking time of 13-17 minutes for the crescent rolls.  I started out with the rolls being in the oven for 15 and then rotated my pan and cooked for another 3 minutes, for a total time of 18 minutes.


The rolls ended up as light and fluffy as I could have ever wanted.  I am very happy with my rolls the second time around!  I couldn’t be happier with the improvement I have made!

Thanks for reading; It’s been a slice!

Technology and ELA


An idea I created/compiled for completing a Digital Novel Study:

Book of Negroes


1. Use Google Maps to plot locations in the book

– Give students a list of important places in the book and have them use google maps to plot the locations. This will allow students to be able to visualize and have a better understanding of where places are as they are reading the novel. It is more effective to have them do it themselves than you creating a PP and showing them – they will retain more.

2. Create an Author Study

– Do this in the form of a webquest. Students will independently learn about the author. You would have to make the webquest up ahead of time, but they could use the internet to answer your questions and educate themselves about the author.

3. Vocabulary

– Provide students with a list of more challenging words that appear in the novel. Have them use or another online source that will allow them to find the meaning of the word. Extend the learning to figure out what origin it comes from. This will allow students to refer quickly to their list as they are reading so they can decode what the word means.

4. Online Quiz

– Use a quiz as a Preassessment tool to figure out how much your students know about the historical background of the novel. You can use this information to guide other prereading activities – things you need to cover and things they may already know.

5. Research History

– Religion, Abolitionist Movement, From Americas to Africa, African Culture, Slave Factories/Slave Trade, Slavery in Americas, Slavery Rebellions and Escapes, War of Independence, Black Loyalists. You can have students present this historical in any number of ways – PP, speech, role play, essay. It would be best to present to the class that way everyone learns about each historical category.


1. Literature Circles (21st Century)

– The discussion director can use questions posted online by the teacher to guide the group in discussion. This way the students have access to the questions if they spread out around the school.

– Vocabulary Enricher should have access to a dictionary website or app so they can provide the group with information about unknown words.

– Connector can add pictures, video, Popplet mind map (allows for organization of ideas). If this is online, all group members can add to this so it would be a working document.

– Summarizer can use comic strip apps or things like iMovie to summarize chapters. This makes it easy to review as a class to make sure everyone is understanding the chapters.

– Literary Luminary can read aloud on an ebook and can highlight important passages as they are reading that they can come back to later when they are in their groups and use the passages for discussion.

**All of these tasks would be uploaded to a site like Edmodo for the teacher to evaluate – or just to make sure students are on the right track.

 2. Reading Journal Assignment

– Students would be given journal prompts as often as you, as the teacher, decide necessary. You could post the prompts online and students could respond on a blog. They could also be active learners and comment on other students’ blogs in order to extend learning. This is an easy way to keep all assignments in one place.

3. Character Analysis

– A good way to make this relevant and digital is to have students create a FB profile on their selected character. They can include things like physical appearance, personal traits, friends, family, etc.

4. Class Discussion

– You can have students engage in an online discussion where they can remain anonymous, or not. Here they can ask questions and respond to questions in a less intimidating environment. You can use programs such as Class Chatter, Poll Anywhere, Twitter, etc.

5. Skype

– Skype another classroom who is learning the same novel you are. This allows for collaboration and also may give another insight that you may not have considered as a class.You could also skype the author of the novel.


1.Family Genealogy

– Have students trace their own family history. They could write a narrative of an ancestor. They could do this through online websites, emailing family members, or conduct some type of an online interview.

2. Explore Real Historical People

– Email history groups and research stories of real people who went through the same things as the main character in the novel. This could be presented or handed in.

3. Have an Online Class Debate

– Have students prepare and go online in a safe space and formally debate something that may have been controversial in the novel.

4. Dramatic Readings

– Have students prepare a dramatic reading of the novel. They could use PP and include images that may enhance their reading and make it realistic.

5. Webquest
– Have students complete a webquest after reading the novel, perhaps looking through historical websites or other websites that may supplement their reading of the novel.

6. Panel Presentation

– Allow students to research in groups controversies related to the novel and have them present action plans of how they, as a social action group, would work to combat change in the world. Allow time for questions of other classmates and have the learning be extended as much as possible.

Join Ebineezer in his Adventure!


Five Card Story: A Dog’s World

a Five Card Flickr story created by Taylor

flickr photo by bionicteaching

flickr photo by bionicteaching

flickr photo by Serenae

flickr photo by bionicteaching

flickr photo by bionicteaching

Meet Ebineezer. Ebineezer has a look of yearning in his eyes because he saw that he could not pass through the gates. Ebineezer wanted to go through the gates so that he could get his paws on the delicious looking ice cream sandwiches. Incredibly determined, Ebineezer thought that maybe the taxi van could give him a lift and help him get to the ice cream sandwiches. Sadly, it did not work out for Ebineezer, so he pondered the day away on the sidewalk staring at the incredibly green leaves on trees.

Review 360 by Taylor and Kourtney


Ms. Gorham's ABCs of Teaching

Today we will be discussing Review 360which is a behavior tracking application that is used by school divisions to allow schools to target and solve behavioral issues that students may have. Some of the benefits of the program are the ability for classroom teachers to input information regarding student behavior. The teacher can choose whether they dealt with the issue in their classroom or whether the issue is being dealt with by administration. Since all teachers have access to the entered information and can offer their input a well-rounded picture of the student is created in various environments, making it easier to figure out where the issues are stemming from. The program allows teachers to create intervention plans to eliminate the behavior, not only in their classroom but throughout the school. This can be a great communication tool amongst teachers and for SST’s and administration. The data is recorded objectively, for example latency, duration, frequency, etc…

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They’re Toast as Far as I’m Concerned


This weekend, for my learning project, I decided to attempt breadsticks.  I chose this recipe for Cheesy Garlic Breadsticks.  The dough was easy enough, kind of followed the guidelines of a pizza dough.  After the dough had risen, I punched it down and cut it into two halves.  I rolled each half into a rectangle and sliced the short side with a pizza cutter.  I rubbed roasted garlic on each one and smothered them in butter.  After cutting them, I decided to twist them a bit.  This recipe did not have the breadsticks rising again, so I popped them into the oven.



The breadsticks turned out alright.  I wish they had flavour kneaded into the bread just to give them a bit more flavour.  Also, these were quite dense and had a lot of crunch on the bottom.  I was honestly a little disappointed by these breadsticks and I will try a different recipe and some different methods next time.

Thanks for reading – it’s been a slice!

Just Loafing Around


After having my rolls turn out so well, I decided to keep on trucking on and try my luck with french bread.  Garlic/Cheese bread is a favorite in my house, so I thought it would be awesome if I could learn to make the bread!  I found a recipe after looking through pintrest.  I chose this recipe because I liked that it made two loaves.  I found some of the ingredients to be weird…I have read a lot of recipes since I started this project and no bread recipes have ever had vinegar in them, but I just decided to go with it!  I had no problem following the recipe and making the dough.  I am getting some serious muscles from kneading all this bread – even though I have a stand mixer at my parents house, hopefully my mom will bring it for me this week!  After letting the dough rise (it pretty much tripled in size) I punched it down and divided it into two portions.  I had no clue how to shape french bread, so I used this website to give some instructions.  I also decided to supplement with a youtube video.  I also learned a helpful tip from this video, that you know your dough it ready to work with if you stick your finger in it and it doesn’t spring back up – I tested it out on this recipe and it worked excellent.  Both yielded different techniques and so I used one on each loaf since my recipe produced two.  I found no real difference in either method, nor did I prefer one more than the other.  After allowing my bread to rise for another hour, I basted an egg over top of it and put some slices into the top.  I found that it was incredibly hard to slice the bread and realized I was supposed to do it after shaping, before allowing the second rise.  Isn’t hindsight great!  I baked the loaves for 20 minutes then I rotated the pan and allowed another three minutes for the one that was at the front of the oven to brown.


I was very happy with the way these turned out.  They are huge – I wasn’t expecting this big, so I cut them in half before freezing.  Will definitely make this recipe again.

Thanks for reading! Its been a slice!