Chalkline with Moses Rifkin.

Happy 3rd of July! I’ve been spending the days reading, sleeping, quilting, tving, listening, and what not.

Episode 8

This week we speak talk to the super cool Moses Rifkin. We talk about his curriculum, life, and work. If this episode were to have a title it’d be, “Hey guys! We’re not going to die today!”

This is a million things to listen week:

  1. Jenn’s History of Ed podcast which is awesome.  I love this dress code episode.
  2. NPR’s Code Switch! Guys, it’s good.  Just do it.
  3. Also, Radiolab’s More Perfect.
  4. This episode of This America Life featuring Lindy West and Roxane Gay.

To Read: Hilary Clinton’s Letter on The Toast


People Moses thinks everyone should follow: Chanda Prescod-Weinstein and Sarah Tuttle


Chalkline with Ilana Horn. (Part 2)

Dudes,  sorry about yesterday.  It got away from me.  Which is silliness as I am not doing a whole lot these days. #summer  If you listened to the first half of this then you already love Lani would be my guess.  If you didn’t you should listen to that first cause this makes less sense without it.

Episode 7

This week’s syllabus.

To Read: Okay, real life.  My start of summer reading is rereading the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan.  This is not cool.  Next on my list is finishing Shrill and For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood.

Oh, also this article Choosing a School for my Daughter in a Segregated City.

To Listen: Moses recommends this week’s On The Media about Orlando which I intend to go listen to right now.  Also if you missed Chalkline’s episode on Orlando it is pretty okay.

To Watch: Bryan just reminded me that I have been meaning to watch United Shades of American.  How about we watch and chat about it in two weeks?

Person Lani thinks everyone should follow on twitter:  duh, Fawn Nguyen.

Chalkline: Orlando.

I’m going to mess this up.  I’m going to say the wrong thing. I’m going to do something that isn’t right.  Correct me. Here in the comments, on twitter, or facebook.  But do it with some kindness and decency because this was rough, is rough, and will be rough still and I am just trying to properly use my tiny corner of the internet.

In this episode first I speak to Megan Hayes Golding from episode 1.  You will hear some stuff from her and here is the post she wrote to her students about how to handle this massive tragedy. Some of her advice will help you talk to your students. Some of it will just help your heart.

Then I talk to Maria Al-Shamma she’s a social worker and a hard core volunteer at our local LGBTQ center.  She runs Project Youth and is just an all over amazing person.  She talks about what our local center did and then general advice about talking to your LGBTQ kids/students.

I’m not going to write a ton more. Listen. This is important.

Episode 6

Donate here.

Some links. Gotta click them all.  this. this. this. this. this. this. this. this. this.



Chalkline with Ilana Horn. (Part 1)


Okay, Lani and I talk too much and Lani is always on point soo this is part 1 of my interview with Lani.  In two weeks (maybe next week?) I will put up the second part. In this part we talk about her journey to PhD work, what she’s teaching, how much she loves teachers, and her observational tips.

Episode 5

This week’s syllabus:

To read:  I’m reading Lindy West’s Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman.  As a loud women myself I love hearing that I am not alone.  On a side note I tweeted to her about something and I apparently set off the trolls and dudes, from 2 tweets interacting with her I was called a cunt by at minimum 45 strangers on the internet in the course of 10 minutes. If you want a peek into her experience here is her interview on this American Life.

To read (2): Instead of listening this week I will share the statement from the unconscious woman that was assaulted at Stanford.  Read it.

To watch: So I’m watching Being Mary Jane with Gabrielle Union.  If you want some slightly trashy and hugely engaging summer binging the first two seasons are on Netflix.



Game Time #MTBoSyearbook

I humbly request that you tweet your picture and senior quote for the #MTBoSyearbook.

All Tweets will be complied next week and posted in a most excellent spread. If you would like to put someone else in the yearbook you are welcome to do that but they can override yours for their own.

For example:  Andrew really wants Fawn in the Yearbook.  He tweets this pictureScreen Shot 2016-05-24 at 10.26.57 AM.png

With the quote,

“I’m always fucking losing shit including my mind.”

Fawn is like, OH HELL NO. And instead tweets this.Fawn Nguyen

“Andrew is super nice.  Except when he bites, which is a lot.”

I would include the one Fawn wants since it’s her spot. Even though obviously the first one is better.

Basic Rules

  1. Tweet with #MTBoSYearbook
  2. Include your name, a picture of yourself, and your quote
  3. Yes Elizabeth it has to be your face and not a monkey
  4. You can include other people but be sure to tag them so they can override
  5. The deadline is Next Friday June 3


Spread the word friends.


30 things

Thirty things I have done (and will do) since I turned (and while I’m) 30.

  1. Dyed my hair blonde and pink
  2. Filled a two bedroom apartment with furniture and love.
  3. Managed Mulligan’s first health crisis
  4. Began the foster care process
  5. Spent the night in the gym with 80 seniors
  6. Held auditions for the second school play
  7. Took 27 hours of foster care classes
  8. Worked out twice a week for three months
  9. Made new friend
  10. Got my best friend a job at my school
  11. Failed a test (for the second time)
  12. Drove to and from Vegas to take said test
  13. Got my home inspected
  14. Supervised Pride Week
  15. Hosted a Talent Show
  16. Co-Hosted a Baby Shower
  17. Put up a second production
  18. Started a Podcast
  19. Became more involved with the local LGBTQ community
  20. Saw a friend be ordained
  21. Attended a student’s father’s funeral
  22. Saw my cousins for the first time in years
  23. Graduate our first class of seniors
  24. Learn how to work out properly
  25. Let a child into my home
  26. See my best friend get married
  27. Put up a musical
  28. More things
  29. to be added later
  30. to this life reminding

me just how good my life is.

Chalkline with Tina Cardone.

My mom always laughs because I refer to Tina as the loveliest human I know and soon you will all understand my love.   Tina and I talk special ed, class sizes, busing, nixing the tricks, foster parenting, and more. Her kindness and generosity of spirt shine through in every word she says.  I hope you will enjoy this as much as I did.

Episode 4.

This Week’s Syllabus

To Read:  Lani’s post on creating a sense of belonging in the math classroom. It’s so good I wrote a post about it.

To Listen: Stuff Your Mom Never Told You.  Pick a topic their research is top notch.

To Watch: This Vine.  Which I definitely haven’t watched four hundred and seventy five times.


Tina thinks everyone should follow the MTBoS Blogbot.


There is a one period release available at my school next year for a math teacher to work with the department to facilitate conversations and observations and help share best teacher practices.  It’s a thing I am interested in maybe doing. In order to apply they want three letters of rec and a cover letter. Since it’s the only writing I’ve done today I thought I’d share the ROUGHEST draft of the first part.

I almost went to graduate school.  When I was deciding to teach at Del Lago it was a debate between that and a PhD in Adolescent Psychology.  I had taught for 3 years in a department that I thought was great.  I was fairly convinced I was an excellent teacher.  I was wrong. I was a good teacher.  I worked mostly on my own and a little with the group.  We all liked each other.  That seemed like enough. My two years at Del Lago have taught me that it is not even close.

The curriculum comes first.  As a department we have spent the last three years writing pacing guides and assessments.  We know that all students in the same grade are receiving the same basic instruction and the exact some assessments.  When we find time we have conversations around big ideas and important problems.  I want to be the TOSA next year to give more opportunities for that.  Our department has two positive pieces in this area already: we like each other and we like the curriculum.  A little bit of questioning and some freeing up of time has the potential to push this work forward.

Secondly, the work we have done with Teacher’s Development Group has been invaluable.  It has been hands down the most effective professional development I have ever done.  This is the main reason I want to do this TOSA work.  Every teacher in our department took away a little something different from the work with TDG we would talk about it and focus on it for the first couple weeks after the studio days.  Then the conversations would be less frequent.  Teachers work hard and there is always something to be doing.




That’s all I’ve got there will be more eventually but tomorrow is an all new Chalkline. 🙂

Lani gets me.

Ya’ll, this post.  This post is it.

In case that wasn’t enough of an enticement it is a post by Lani about belonging in the math classroom.  I really believe it applies to all subjects but math is a good starting point.  I was going to write a bunch about this post but I’d prefer you read it yourself.  I’ll just say this: names matter, identities matter, belonging matters.



I took this picture today after spending hours digging through my mom and aunt’s facebooks looking for a picture of my grandmother wearing this necklace.  I want to write a whole post about how much I miss her but I am exhaustion. So, not tonight.  For now, know this, I got her steel trap mind and Tom got her luck.  I’m not sure who made out better.