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

2019 Senior Haikus (1st hour)

When I play baseball,

I hit as hard as I can.

I always run hard.

~Micah Knauer


Whitecaps on the bay,

A broken signboard banding [sic],

In the April wind

~Emma Brenner


Teacher yells a lot.

She gets mad at my classmates.

Classmates laugh galore.

~Kara Conklin


Upon the hillside

A generous lion roars

In spite of the wolf.

~Hunter Trueblood


Heating Summertime

A mighty, fish river waves

in spite of the boat.

~James Sullivan


Lives in a small town.

How and now, brown was the cow.

Broke through the ice. Drowned.

~James Cowell


Every single night,

The cow jumped over my fence

and ran from the dog.

~Alex Nesbit


When I go to school,

I sit in class quietly

’til the bell saves me.

~Tabria Thomas


The snow falls at dawn.

The trees are covered in snow.

Kids are in the snow.

~Mary Tracey


I look in your eyes,

I see many stars shining,

and I love you more.

~Isabella Motta


Pleasant, summertime

a spotted, hairy deer runs

at the perfect corn.

~Brady Haring


It’s time to hog hunt

Loading up the Heli-Chopper

Down goes more than one

~Drew Kloss


The summer is  very hot,

White sand under my feet,

I feel the water.

~Bailey Palmer


Dark frozen corn stalks,

beneath a darkened sky feel,

the rabbit’s warm blood.

~Connor Brown


Inclement coastline

A big, scaly frog ribbets

Watching the cricket

~Ben Francke


Stop pressuring me,

to be something that i’m not,

and you used to be.

~Megan Ludwig


In early evening,

I get hungry for dinner.

So I eat a lot.

~Maya Nicholas


At night, quietly

mice scamper across the floor,

then snap goes the trap.

~Reese Miller

The Importance of Writing…Now!

At a time when impressionable young adults may not value the importance of writing.  This. This right here is why it IS important!

Writing Contests Available!

Attached are 2 writing contests that are available to students! 

The first one is a local one through Poopsie’s of Galena.


The second contest is on the state level through the office of Secretary or State, Jesse White.   at

Student Haikus

College lit is my fave
Haikus are confusing
Refrigerator     ~Lexi

I hate being sick
Having the flu sucks badly
Hope I feel better     ~Andrew

Warm winds and pond days
Swimming splashing in the pond
No tan just sunburn     ~Brittney

Haiku’s are easy
Sometimes they do not make sense
Refrigerator     ~Rachel

I like to hunt deer
I have been to Canada
A 12 gauge shotgun     ~Rhett

I walk on the Beach
Seagulls hunt food below them
Sun shines nice and bright     ~Thomas

Worry does not help
tomorrow’s trouble. It takes
today’s energy.     ~Jack

i like to trap shoot
i like to go and play catch
i like to hunt deer     ~Jonathan

Green leaves shadows dance
As blue water lap brown sands
Summer on the lake     ~Ashley

The dog barks at night,
Lights come on and windows shut,
The sun shines on us     ~Carly

Traveling each state
Bus; adventure the unknown
Always exploring     ~Patrick

Laying in the cold
With a blanket to keep warm
Everything is well     ~Garrett

cats are beautiful
they are strong and soft creatures
cats are beautiful     ~Mariah

I love to play sports
football is the best sport ever
to bad we really suck     ~Nathan

I work at Wal-Mart
I like it but I hate it
Wish that I could quit     ~Nikki

School is annoying.
I just really want to go home.
I am so tired.     ~Kally

Sand scatters the beaches
Waves crash on the sand
Blue water shimmers     ~Kylie

Fishing the shallows hip deep in white clouds. (sic)     ~Trey




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?

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