Leaping Olympics!

Most of my little ones didn’t exist during the last leap year, and calendars tend to perplex them.

I had to wait until nearly the end of the day to ask some older students if they knew the term “leap year”. I asked if they knew that today was special.



It’s February 29, so 366 days this year!

You’re right! And when does this happen?

Every 4 years!

You’re right! And what is this year called?

Olympic Year!

You’re ri~!…Wait, what?

That second warranty date? Nope, nobody's trying to pull a fast one on you. Nope. Not at all.

Keep calm and….

Found my new mantra!

Keep calm and pretend it’s on the lesson plan.


[H/T to Sara!]

Totto-chan, the Little Girl at the Window

When I lived in Nagoya and taught at the high school level, one of the teachers there gave me a small book called Totto-chan, the Little Girl at the Window.

I read it in about 3 train rides, and the story reminded me of my year as a Montessori school student in the Netherlands.

Which is why every year around this time, as parents nervously plot their children’s academic futures, I often find myself recommending either the book or a Montessori-style environment to anyone who will listen. I’ve long been inspired by the head master in Totto-chan, and I hope others will be, too.

Give yourself maybe two or three evenings before bedtime to read this little gem.

Then, check the book’s due date, because you’re going to need to get it back from your friends before the library fines you.

Those mini stuffed pizzas

Mini stuffed pizzas?

Yes, please!

Make your regular-sized pizza the way you usually do. Then use mini springform pans to make smaller versions. The idea isn’t new to the world, no. Just new to me. And it makes me smile.

Here, take a good look at this Evil Mad Scientist page on stuffed pizzas to see how the dough part goes. Explain all that to your pizza makers, then step back and let the excitement begin.

The big pizza is for dinner tonight, and yippee yay oh look you’ve got your lunch for tomorrow done, too!

Mathematical Knitting

Unless it’s payday, numbers often fly far over my head by the end of the week. Not that numbers fly all that much closer to my head at the beginning of the week….

Knitting stuff? I can’t tell knit 2 from purl 2, but I do know a comfy sweater when I see one.

Math stuff? I teach English, remember?

Knitting and math? Whoa. All that makes me want to dive into the nearest puddle of grammar rules and just splash around for a bit.

Frazz by Jef Mallett - Mathematical Knitting on 25 Feb 2012

Hand me a blueberry muffin, please, will ya?

Holly Golly? Holly Golly!

Holly Golly?

Holly Golly!

I don’t know why I never learned to speak in code with my friends. The closest I ever got was Holly Golly, a spelling code that I thought was remarkably secretive and remarkably cool.

Holly Golly takes at least 2 people who know the code. Player A indicates the start and end of a round by asking, “Holly Golly?” Player B replies, “Holly Golly!”

  1. Snap or clap for the vowels: a = 1 snap, e = 2 snaps, i = 3 snaps, o = 4 snaps, and u = 5 snaps
  2. Random sentences for the consonants. The sentence simply has to start with the letter you want.

Player A does all of that.

Player B listens and mentally spells out the word or phrase. At the end of the round, Player B amazes the listening crowd by saying aloud the word or phrase Player A “said”.

Fun, yes? Oh, I must have entertained my friends for hours on the way to and from fieldtrips!

Odd, though: none of those friends remember Holly Golly.

Oooh, I’m-a go remind them! Yoo-hoo….!

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