RR English Times with Mrs. M

a classroom blog

The 30 Day Challenge

It is a new year and a new challenge!  A 30 Day Challenge!

As I was pinning my life away on Pinterest, looking for ways to begin my school year- I am always changing my classroom- I stumbled across the idea for challenging students to a 30 Day Challenge.  It was inspired by Matt Cutts’s TED talk,, to challenge yourself and others to improving one’s self.

I decided this would be a great way for myself and my students to start out on the right foot.  Thus, I’ve assigned it to all my students.  The ideas are endless and some are even simple.  For instance, could you give a compliment to someone everyday for 30 days?  I could, but I probably don’t. Do you drink enough water? Raina, pictured above, is challenging herself to drink one gallon of water a day.  She researched a healthy amount of water and has set it as her goal for the next 30 days.

What seemingly easy challenges, and ones that have many benefits for you and for others?!

For me personally, I am going to spend 30 minutes a day doing something fun with my kids.  Seems silly, but we do the mundane everyday, and I don’t know if what we do is actually fun.  Will we enjoy each other more at the end of the 30 days??? The second challenge, because I’m naturally an overachiever, is to spend 30 minutes a day outside, whether that be walking, gardening, etc. I need the fresh air and sunshine.  It honestly affects my mood, and so I think it would be beneficial to see how much better I feel at the end of 30 days.

We will be documenting as we go.  Depending upon what you choose to do for 30 days, you may need to jot down times, distances, compliments and to whom, etc.  Keep it simple, use the calendar (August 22nd-September 30th makes 30 days) to document, keep a journal, etc.  The ideas and options are endless. Below is a screen shot of an app that Mr. Wurster is using to track his distance and time for his 30 Day Challenge.

Wurster stats

So, community members, parents, and guardians, are you up for the challenge?  Pipe in with a comment if you are willing to start today! We’ll be sharing progress, via this blog, as we tackle the next 30 days!

Featured post


What Students Really Need to Hear


classroom pic

This. This man’s words.  He says everything I cannot put into my own words; thus these are my words, too. Please read the attached “source” link.

Source: What Students Really Need to Hear

A list of my dream jobs:


  1. A poltergeist
    1. Being loud when people are trying to sleep and being creepy are my specialty.
  2. A banshee
    1. I’m very good at screaming.
  3. A horror movie sound effect
    1. I can also screech and make a creaky door noise.
  4. A potato goblin
    1. Living under a bridge and eating stolen potatoes sounds fun.
  5. A sound artist
    1. I’ve been told this is called a composer.
  6. Join the Ghost Adventures TV show
    1. Hunting ghosts is my idea of a good time, plus I have the introduction to the show memorized.

By: Line Kuzniar, student writer

Juniors are selling RR tumblers!


All juniors are selling River Ridge tumblers (and other collegiate tumblers) for $20 through October 18th. All profit earned goes into the individual accounts of the sellers.  This money can be used towards the class trip next year or towards cap and gown. If you are interested in one, I would be happy to send a junior your way. Just let me know!


***The selling point for me was that the image (not a paper image) was between the layers of plastic, thus it wouldn’t scratch off in the dishwasher.


3 things that feel like home



I asked my Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition students to list 3 things that felt like home.  Their lists are in the comments.  What are yours?

5 words that touch our souls:

5-words-that-touch-my-soul-picMy Highland Dual Credit American Literature students were asked to list 5 words that touch their souls.  Their answers are in the comments as follows.  What are yours?

Raising Competent Adults


A colleague of mine shared this blog link with me, and it is ringing so true.  I, as a parent, will be working on making my children competent adults. I’ll start with laundry this week, today in fact, as it is piling up. I have been patting myself on the back for only checking my son’s grades just before midterms, and by Traigh pulling them up in Skyward himself.  This has not always been the case for me as a parent, and to the teachers who’ve had my littles, I’m sorry.  I do feel like children need to make mistakes and learn from them.  So, please be hard on my children, as I will be hard on yours inside and outside of class with my expectations.  We are only making sure our community of kids are successful and competent later on in their lives, when it is of the upmost importance.

I believe in this shared blog’s post so much so, that I am contemplating handing copies of this post out to parents who come in for parent-teacher conferences and/or sharing it with parents who email me with questions regarding their student and his or her grades.  Just think, your junior or senior will be an adult here, very shortly.  They will be able to buy lottery tickets, parent (yikes…too soon?), and make right and wrong decisions that could (and I hope this would never happen) land them in prison.  Don’t you think it is time to stop enabling our children?  I’m in, are you???

Brace yourselves for the hard truth:


Shakespeare Field Trip


With the help of the PTO, sophomores and seniors are taking a field trip to see Shakespeare’s A Comedy of Errors at the American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wisconsin tomorrow, September 22nd, 2016.  We leave at 7:45am and will return when school is normally dismissed. It is an outdoor theater, so dress appropriately.  We are providing lunch:)

To prepare for the Shakespearean comedy, please view the below youtube Folger Library video.


6 Word Memoirs

6 word memoirs.jpg

Following in Ernest Hemingway’s footsteps, we wrote 6 word memoirs about yesterday. They follow in the comments.

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