Sunday, January 12, 2014

2014 Pinterest Challenge Chalkboard Slow Cooker and chili recipe

So I'm going to accept the 2014 Pinterest Challenge. I am challenging myself to try out something on Pinterest each month (and hopefully blog about it.)  

So here goes...
I found this Pin on Pinterest and filed it away for a rainy day. Yesterday was a 50 degree rainy day here in Buffalo (I know, in January that's crazy.) So I decided to try it.

The good news was that I already had everything I needed from previous projects so overall it cost me NOTHING!  I actually have 2 slow cookers a really nice stainless steel one and this ugly one that was collecting dust in the basement. I almost never use it because it was all discolored.

You can see the discoloring better in this picture....ewww. (don't judge)

These are the materials I used: Glidden Gripper Primer, Valspar Black Chalkboard paint, Greased Lightening Multi-purpose spray, Frog Tape, and 300 grit sandpaper.

I washed the slow cooker with the Greased Lightening spray 
(It is amazing at washing up greasy surfaces)

I also lightly sanded the surface, washed off the dust, and put Frog Tape on the areas that I didn't want painted.

This is what it looked like after one coat of primer.

and after 2 coats of primer

 After one coat of chalkboard paint

After two coats of chalkboard paint


While it's out I might as well use's how I make chili:

 The ingredients

Amy's Sweet Jesus Chili
1 pound 95% fat free ground beef
medium onion, chopped
medium pepper, chopped
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
6 oz can tomato paste
15.5 oz can black beans (undrained)
15.5 oz can red beans (undrained)
half of a 12 oz can of Coca Cola, Dr Pepper, or Pepsi 
3 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 tablespoon of cumin
1/2 tablespoon of smoked paprika
1/2 tablespoon of Sriracha Hot Sauce

Cut up a medium onion and a medium pepper (I used little snacker peppers)

Mix the raw ground beef and the peppers and onions in the pot.

Add the remaining ingredients (do NOT drain the beans...that's where a LOT of the fiber is at)

Stir well to mix and then turn on the slow cooker.  4 hours on high, or 8 hours on low.


What slow cooker recipes do you love?

Join me in the 2014 Pinterest Challenge and share your Pinterest successes

originally posted on

Modeling Mitosis with Oreo Cookies 1e: Designing Coherent Instruction

Oreo Cookie Mitosis

The problem was: What do I do with the students the day before Winter Recess?

We were about to finish the Reproduction and Development Unit but needed one or two days of review before the test.  I know a lot of teachers like to show a video but the way I see it you are essentially telling the students that "today isn't an important day, you aren't important to me, let's just take it easy."

I was looking for a fun activity that would help the students review and would entertain them and keep them out of trouble for 40 minutes.  For whatever reason I ended up googling: Mitosis Cookies and found resources and ideas on the following websites:

I then took parts from each site and created this handout for my 9th grade Biology students: Click here for the handout

oreo cookies provided by students
They brought in plenty of cookies, and I provided the colored sprinkles, plastic dixie cups, toothpicks, and construction paper.

colored sprinkles

It was a huge hit!  The kids loved it, they were ALL engaged in the lesson and were able to eat the cookies when they were done.

You can see the pictures of what they produced below.

What fun activities do your students enjoy before a vacation?

originally posted on