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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Slow Cooker Teacher Savior: Applesauce

I have a child that loves applesauce, I usually have several apples lying around that need to be used ASAP, and I am a busy teacher that has very little time to make meals from scratch.  So, when I saw this post from Mrs. D at The Third Wheel blog, it reminded me again of why I love my slow cooker so much.  It reminded me that I need to share some of my life-saver slow cooker recipes.

First up: Applesauce!

*8 cups peeled, cored, and sliced apples (1 average apple is about a cup)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup water

*Alternatively, I have also used 4 apples and 3-4 pealed and sliced pears


First, peel, core, and slice the apples and add them to a slow cooker greased with PAM spray. I use gadget similar to this one to core and peel the apples. It saves me a TON of time.  Bonus:  It will also peel and core pears (although they need to be firm, not ripe) and potatoes! 

Next, you add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 cup water and mix up it.  Yum!

Set the slow cooker for 4-6 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.  I have 2 slow cookers, and they both cook foods at different temperatures and rates.  Thus, the ranges of time and temp :)

Now, I KNOW there's no way a busy parent or teacher is going to have time to turn the slow cooker off or down at EXACTLY the end of its cook time.  So.....

I recommend this slow cooker.  I have had this for over two years now and it is AWESOME!  You set it for the cook time and it automatically goes into "warm" mode when the cook time is up.  So handy when you will be out of the house for longer than the recipe calls for!

When the apples have cooked and are mushy, you just mash them right in the slow cooker with a potato masher.  You can wait for it to cool before you mash it, but I don't.

That's it!  Now you can enjoy fresh applesauce by itself or mix it into things like smoothies or baked goods.  Enjoy!

Do you have any slow cooker meals that save the day when you are too busy or tired to cook?  I'd love to hear about them!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Figurative Language with Song Lyrics

Even though I am a 7th Grade Science teacher, I occasionally get to help out in other classrooms and subjects. The other day, I got to plan for one of my favorites: Language Arts. They were working on figurative language, also one of my favorites.  One of my best-loved activities for this uses song lyrics.

And did I mention that music is STILL used in my 7th grade science classroom?  That's because it's so important to me.  It can change the mood of the room in an instant and the students relate to the lyrics.

So, The Beatles, Beyonce, and Blake Shelton in the classroom?  Yes, please!

I created an activity in which students are looking for similes, metaphors, hyperbole, and personification in various song lyrics.  They sort the lyrics according to what type of figurative language they represent and then draw a representation of their favorite lyric.

This packet includes:
~A teacher direction page
~A student direction page
~A lyric sorting page
~5 pages of lyrics
~A color-coded answer key

If you'd like to pick up a copy, click here.