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Everything posted by msjones

  1. I never had a class where every student celebrated Christmas. That's part of why I find this story so bizarre. I don't think I know a public school teacher who would assign such a narrow topic. We've got a huge mix of religions around here -- it'd be silly to assign a 'Christmas traditions' presentation.
  2. Because the teacher assigned it. She shouldn't have, but she did. I still think the teacher must be a rookie.
  3. Seems to be a good time to update 'ignore' preferences, after reading some of the responses on this thread.
  4. One of the beauties of the American school system is that everyone is tossed in together -- especially in the early grades. I loved teaching my students that in the US, we may strongly disagree about topics and beliefs that are very important to us. But, we aren't nasty about it and we don't have to fight or belittle anyone. I loved teaching that we have the freedom to disagree, to speak and share our beliefs, to criticize the government, the church, the Establishment in General. I really tried to teach them how fortunate we are to have those freedoms and that those freedoms are enhanced by an education. In other words, I tried to teach them that Americans don't freak out every time someone disagrees with them or presents an opposing opinion. Ah. Speech over. Feel free to disagree if you like. I won't freak out.
  5. I'll say it again: this kind of thing is a regular part of being in a public school classroom. Kids say lots of things. They are little kids. The teacher could easily have let her finish and just called the next child up and left it at that. I almost guarantee that none of the kids felt harassed or intimidated or worked up by the Bible verse. Possibly, a kid would have blurted out that his family thinks the Bible is a big lie, or whatever. When I was teaching and 'issues' like this came up, I said something like, "Susie shared what her family believes. Thank you, Susie. Class, be sure to ask your parents about what they believe, and you'll have your turn to share, too. Now, line up for recess... blah, blah, blah." Normal day-to-day stuff...
  6. If you're going to send your child to public school, you need to be prepared for him/her to confront other beliefs. Little kids speak very openly about what they believe. Yes, little kids do quote scripture. They also sing songs, talk about YouTube videos, use foul language, talk about the beer in the fridge, about the movies their parents watch, about Daddy's boyfriend, people going to heaven/hell, what they think of the president, etc. etc. Usually the other kids don't bat an eye. I wonder if the teacher was a rookie, because that kind of thing is routine.
  7. Hooray! That is just what I wanted to hear. My family loves this bread and I never intend to buy another pricey 'artisan' loaf from the store --especially if I can use flat beer!
  8. I had a little 'evangelist' in my class just about every year I taught. (FWIW, they were usually very dynamic, well-liked children.)
  9. Also, I just need to add... As a teacher, one needs to be prepared to handle family differences calmly and gently. I had students with all kinds of backgrounds in my classes. Rich, poor, atheist, Catholic, Mormon, Muslim, Jehovahs Witness, children of young-earth creationists, children of secular university biology professors, etc. etc. etc. That's the public schools. Kids tend follow the teacher's lead. If the teacher is calm, respectful, and gentle about conflicting family backgrounds, usually the students will be, too.
  10. Fair. But if the teacher feels that way, she shouldn't ask kids to do presentations about holidays with religious significance.
  11. I do add yeast. But not much. I'm going to be really adventurous and give it a try. I'll let you know how it turns out. :)
  12. My recipe is from Cooks Illustrated. It is SOOOOO easy and very, very, very good. I just don't want to have to open a can of beer every time I make it. I'm going to try it with flat beer tomorrow and I'll let y'all know how it turns out. 3cups unbleached all-purpose flour (15 ounces), plus additional for dusting work surface 1/4teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast 1 1/2teaspoons table salt 3/4cup plus 2 tablespoons water (7 ounces), at room temperature 1/4cup plus 2 tablespoons mild-flavored lager (3 ounces) 1tablespoon white vinegar INSTRUCTIONS 1. Whisk flour, yeast, and salt in large bowl. Add water, beer, and vinegar. Using rubber spatula, fold mixture, scraping up dry flour from bottom of bowl until shaggy ball forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 8 to 18 hours. 2. Lay 12- by 18-inch sheet of parchment paper inside 10-inch skillet and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead 10 to 15 times. Shape dough into ball by pulling edges into middle. Transfer dough, seam-side down, to parchment-lined skillet and spray surface of dough with nonstick cooking spray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until dough has doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with finger, about 2 hours. 3. Adjust oven rack to lowest position. Lightly flour top of dough and, using razor blade or sharp knife, make one 6-inch-long, ½-inch-deep slit along top of dough. Pick up dough by lifting parchment overhang and lower into 6- to 8-quart heavy-bottomed Dutch oven (let any excess parchment hang over pot edge). Cover pot and place in oven. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Once oven has reached 425 degrees, bake bread for 30 minutes. 4. Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is deep brown and instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 210 degrees, 20 to 30 minutes longer. Carefully remove bread from pot; transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.
  13. The teacher probably shouldn't have assigned a 'Christmas tradition' assignment at all, if she didn't intend to allow a child to share anything from the Bible.
  14. If you bake Almost No-Knead bread that has beer as an ingredient, maybe you can answer my question. I wonder if I can save an opened beer for the next day's bread? I assume I could -- I don't think the carbonation plays a key role in the recipe. I believe the beer is there for flavor and possibly to feed the yeast. Anyone know? I don't want to throw out a beer after only using 1/3 C. (And I really don't want to drink it. :))
  15. We had two cribs for quite some time. My first was just so happy and cozy in there that I didn't see a good reason to move him out. He liked getting into his crib. He wasn't the type to climb out, so that wasn't a big concern for me. Nice long nights of sleep and peaceful afternoon naps were my main concern. :)
  16. I'd try the crib again for sure. Make it nice and cozy and appealing. She might be so happy to have it back -- you never know. If it doesn't help, them start in on the napping-in-a-regular-bed training.
  17. How does he sleep? Might he still need a nap? An earlier bedtime? My preschoolers were never at their best unless they'd had their full sleep. Just a thought...
  18. I never did TWSS. I did sit through SWI with my kids and so learned the general approach. We loved SWI and so went on to using the theme based programs. The two I think are best have been All Things Fun and Fascinating, and the Medieval History Based WRiting Lessons. I did not care much for the Narnia unit or the Character Based unit -- didn't finish those. But the other two were excellent and my kids and I both enjoyed them. I recommend them all the time. (And no TWSS required :) )
  19. I wouldn't suggest staying in any of the cities you listed other than Seattle or Bellevue. They're ordinary suburbs with nothing special to offer a tourist. Also, it can easily take 45 - 60 minutes to drive into the city from any of those spots at the wrong time of day (which could be any time of day, unfortunately). I'd stay in downtown Seattle for sure. Save the car rental money and stay at a nice hotel -- Edgewater, Inn at the Market, or one of those near the water. You'll have a beautiful view of the mountains and sunsets (if the sun comes out :) ) and proximity to so many good restaurants. Just about any store you want is downtown, and if you want a bigger Target or a lower-end department store (i.e. Penny's) it's quick and easy to take the bus from downtown to Northgate Mall.
  20. We've been through similar issues. Very hard to realize your child has lied to you. :( A few things that really helped: We encourage our children to talk with us if they think a rule is unreasonable. They need to do it at a non-conflict time when we have time to listen and discuss. They must discuss respectfully and we really listen to them. We've kept most rules the same, but have changed a few. I'm glad we made those changes. It has promoted a different attitude about rules in our family. In calm, non-conflict moments, we discussed their habit of lying and let them know we were going to help them break the habit. We approached it like we would approach a less insidious habit. We emphasized that we would help them. We discussed ways we could help -- those ways were different for each child. Then we tried hard to be encouraging and supportive as they learned and grew-- rather than just angry and disappointed about their lousy behavior.
  21. Lots of these ideas look yuuuummmmyyyy! But, if you're trying to keep the weight down, you'd need to have really small portions of some of them.
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