Life has been a little crazy around here with all the packing and preparing to return to Iowa. I'm getting more and more excited as we can start ticking the big items off our list of "things that need to be done" before we can move. Yesterday we were able to cross off a big item- selling my car. It is a little bittersweet because I've had my little Corolla since I was 16 and it has been an amazing car. Sure, it was never a show-stopper, nor was it beautiful or swanky, but it certainly was, and still is, reliable. I couldn't be more pleased that we're selling it to a sweet girl that is so excited to have it as her first car. It will be wonderful for her!
On the packing side of things - holy moley. You never realize how much stuff you have until you start putting it all into boxes. My apartment is a box maze right now. Literally. Can't wait to load everything into our Pod this weekend and ship it off to Iowa. If you're ever looking into moving, definitely look into Pods. It will be SO much easier to not worry about a driving a huge U-Haul across the country. (Trust me, it's about as much fun as it sounds... and I didn't even drive it. It does take about 11 days for everything to be delivered which means we'll be sleeping on an air mattress for a while and living out of suitcases, but anything beats the U-Haul option again.
So life is really starting to fall into place! Everything is settled with Patrick's job. We have both of the vehicles sold and one waiting for us as soon as we roll into Iowa. Plus I can't wait to live in our new townhouse! Now I just have to hear back from the job I interviewed for. ;) Keep your fingers crossed.
Speaking of job interviews, I decided to create a unit plan to showcase what I would envision teaching for three weeks in a 9th or 10th grade classroom, hence the creation of my monster 130 page unit plan covering Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried. For anyone who hasn't read this collection of short stories it is AMAZING. There is a ton of controversy over whether the collection should be classified as fiction or non-fiction, which makes for some great opinion based discussions with your kiddos. I would LOVE the opportunity to teach this unit with a group of students. The idea actually stemmed from a unit that was taught by one of my Practicum cooperating teachers and a National Endowment for the Arts lesson plan that can be found online at the following website http://www.neabigread.org/books/thethingstheycarried/readers02.php.
I thought there were some good points in the NEA lesson, but I decided to expand upon it and add a LOT more fun activities, including a mini-lesson that I taught over one of the stories while I was in my Practicum class. The unit is Common Core aligned, has 15 days of clear lesson plans and materials, tons of vocabulary and terminology posters, extra extension/final project activities, pop quizzes, a final exam and everything else you need to help your high school students succeed. Browse through the previews below then head on over to my Teachers Pay Teacher's store at the following link:
Let me know how you like it! Also, I must admit... it felt pretty good to write lesson plans for secondary students again!