A quick note about a few technical difficulties…a few of you have already seen this post.  I apparently scheduled it incorrectly, and it posted early.  I took it down almost immediately, but it had already gone out to a few of my followers.  Oops!  I guess there is a bit of a learning curve on this thing!
This week I offer an original poem.  It was inspired by a student I taught and directed in a middle school performance of Shakespeare several years ago.
His Own Arc de Triomphe
by Rebecca Gettelman
What is victory?
Marching into a conquered city with drums and guns?
A fake smile and gracious speech declaring someone else the leader?
A trophy?
A tickertape parade?
A hefty monetary bonus?
Victory is
a smiling student
who just gave an
unmemorable performance
of a minor character
in front of a tiny audience
and with two missed cues,
without stuttering
and while making eye contact
and in spite of an Autism label.
Victory is
I did!
I can!
I will!
Victory is a beginning.
Share your take on victory in the comments section below.
Teach On!
This Week’s Featured Product
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Designed for rising 6th, 7th, and 8th graders, this product has everything you need for a great summer reading project for your middle school students! Covers reading, writing, critical thinking and response, analysis, and more!  Click here for more information and to purchase this product.
This Week’s Journal Questions
For the teacher:  What is your most important function as a teacher?  How do you make sure that you accomplish this function?
For the student:  Who is your hero?  Why?
A Recipe from My Kitchen:
Citrus-Coconut Breakfast Custard
Citrus-Coconut Breakfast Custard
This is especially tasty with fresh fruit on top.
I recommend strawberries, mangos, and bananas!
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon (or orange) extract (more or less to taste)
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup toasted, shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • zest of one orange
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg



  1. If your coconut is raw, toast it under the broiler.  (Hint:  Keep a close eye on it–I keep the oven door ajar and watch it while it toasts.  It will go from untoasted to burnt and smoking in literally seconds!)
  2. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  3. Whisk all ingredients together and pour into an oven-safe baking dish.  I use a 1.5 quart casserole dish.
  4. Place in larger pan of hot water (a water bath), and place in the oven.  (Hint:  It is super easy to spill water into your custard.  Here is another method:  Fill your larger pan with water and check the level before you put the custard into the baking dish.  Place the water bath in the oven, place the empty baking dish in the water, and then pour the custard into the dish in the oven.)
  5. Bake uncovered for 1-1.5 hours.  Custard is done when knife inserted into the center comes out clean and the custard has a nice wobble.
  6. Serve hot or cold plain or with a fresh fruit garnish.  This has a huge amount of protein in it, so it makes a filling breakfast.  It also makes a very refreshing dessert on a summer evening!

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