Monday, August 12, 2013

Mini Shop Vac {Bet You Didn't Know You Needed This}

I'm borrowing an idea from "The Clutter-Free Classroom" blog, which has a series on helpful classroom items that she finds absolutely necessary. Here is my necessity:

This little guy is FABULOUS for cleaning out cabinets, sucking up loose threads, random food particles, and the very worst custodial offenders: hole punches! It is soooo worth the investment (less than $30 at Lowe's) to have my very own shop vac that remains in my classroom. Just make sure you write your name all over it. It's no guarantee that it won't walk off, but it's more likely to be returned.


  1. I love, love, love reading your blog!!!! I'm implementing many of your ideas this school year. I was wondering how you handle students that miss cooking labs.
    Thanks for blogging!

    1. Thanks for the kudos! Missed cooking labs, that's a great idea for a blog post! For my junior high schoolers this past year, to be completely honest, I just let it go - it was way more hassle than it was worth. For my high schoolers in the past and this coming year, I offer three options:

      1-Cook the lab at home, fill out a reflection sheet that is signed by a parent, and bring in a sample (I do NOT sample the sample! Goodness only knows what the home kitchens are like...). Now that everyone seems to have a cell phone I'm thinking I might offer a multimedia format reflection rather than a paper.
      2-Students find a news article related to whatever unit we are on, summarize it, and explain how it relates to what we have learned in class (must attach article).
      3-I have a collection of Food Network shows I've DVR'd and burned to DVD. They can check one out, watch it, and fill out a reflection sheet on the show.

      The one exception to these options is when we do the knife skills lab, which is usually salsa. They HAVE to schedule a time to come in and practice the knife skills with me before they are allowed to use them in class.

      Typically I accept make-up labs up until the Friday before midterm reports or report cards are due, whichever comes first (our grades are usually due on a Mon or Tues).

      Hope that gives you some inspiration! I will definitely blog about this sometime in the next couple of weeks, probably as soon as I finish revamping the forms so that I can share them.

      Thanks for the great idea! Hope you have a terrific school year!

  2. I love reading your blog! I have been recruited to teach home-ec to our students this coming year at our tiny little missionary school. I have lots of questions and your blog is just the place to find answers. I wish I could sit in your class and glean knowledge from you or even have you as a mentor around me! Cooking and sewing are my passion and I hope that I am able to share the joys of it with others! thank you for doing what you do so that I can now start as well! Blessings!

    1. Wow, thanks for the compliments - what a boost for the beginning of the school year! This is a fantastic content area to teach and most kids are pretty enthusiastic about it, so it can be a really great experience. Good luck to you this year!