Welcome to Becca's Heart for HEarts

From many years ago as member in 4-H and FHA clubs, my love grew for Home Economics-arts and teaching.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Apple Crisp made super quick

Tonight's after supper culinary triumph:

Apple Crisp using Gala apples

This list may seem crazy coming from a FACS certified teacher but since north central IL weather is uncommonly cool for late July, I decided to make a very aromatic baked apple crisp using items from the lazy susan and the refrigerator that needed to be used.

a. one pancake syrup pack from a fast food restaurant
b. two butter chips (wrapped) from a local restaurant
c. 1/2 c. pancake-type baking mix
d. 1 instant oatmeal packet (raisin and spice)

and the not so uncommon items
a. 2 Stevia packets 
b. 3 Gala apples cored and sliced thinly
c. cinnamon

*350 degrees; pre-heated
*40 minutes baking time
*in a bowl, combined instant oatmeal, baking mix, cinnamon, and then cut in the butter
*in the 8" square metal pan, used the foil butter wrappers to coat the pan with butter, added sliced apples, Stevia, and syrup and lightly folded until well-coated
*topped with the dry ingredients mix; placed in oven; remove from oven and serve while warm

Delicious! Using the pantry and quirky left-over saved items, the apple crisp was ready for the oven in about 10 minutes. The longest time was spent coring and slicing the apples. Enjoy experimenting with recipes using those "odds and ends" of items that have been saved yet need to be consumed before being pitched.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

STEM in FACS lesson resources

FACS and STEM is one of my absolute favorite pairings!...Family and Consumer Sciences and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

Resource #1:
Some alarming career facts published this year=

USA was ranked 24th and 28th in the world for science literacy and math literacy 10 years ago! Ugh! Have those rankings improved or worsened in the last 10+ school years?

Resource #2:
Vince Bertram has a fantastic article responding to the question about STEM--should it be STEAM, or STREM or STREAM, or STEMM?

His point is giving students the opportunity to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills through an integrative approach. (And even though he doesn't mention FACS teachers or other CTE departments, we know there has been plenty of STEM happening in FACS classrooms for the past 100 years!)...Did I hear an amen?!?!

Resource #3:

Rolls Royce 2012 is the sponsor for this webpage that is full of color and resources perfect for teachers and students about why STEM matters.

Resource #4:

Carson-Dellosa publishing has new STEM resource boxes available. (I'm not receiving anything for promoting them.) On their website, they have a free sample project: Solar S'mores, that can be downloaded, printed, and ready to use.

and there are other STEM resources to purchase or put on your wish list, too.

I'm hoping these STEM resources help you and your FACS students for 2018-2019! From the USA heartland, Becca S

Accessories topic post 2 expanding on environmental theme lesson planning

STEM in FACS classes...Reduce, Re-Use, and Recycle...Earth Day...

Teacher challenge:

How can you use this game board as an interactive small group activity in FACS/STEM classes?

Credit: Leah Popinski, teacher/author/blogger at Sum Math Fun

How can you use this staggered tabbed index card series idea? 

Credit: Simply Skilled in Second blog for these photos of her tab-its (tabbed index card type concept reviews) idea for students to add to their interactive notebooks. This could be an exit slip/formative assessment tool, too.

From the USA heartland, Becca S

Accessories topic: integrating environmental science with household management lessons

To trash or not to trash? 

Have you used Lino yet?


During a recent online professional development course (IL Writing Standards for grades K-8), I focused on 8th grade ELA standards that I could either use with 8th grade Intro to FACS students or a high school Intro to FACS class with 9th-10th graders typically. Besides the 8th grade ELA standards I also integrated NGSS middle school grade environmental science standards.

Lino was a technology resource I was introduced to and created 2 photo questions that could be included with the 2+ day lessons getting students to understand the waste issues inside and outside our home environments. Hopefully the initial issue of living more 'green', many teaching opportunities will be available throughout the school year to get young teens into the mode of Reduce, Re-Use, and Recycle.

My Lino question #1 can be found here:

This question is semi- text dependent on an article that is listed #1 in my final writing task project for the PD course. The term 'technosphere' is introduced in this informational text as the newest layer to planet Earth full of all our techno discards. To me this makes it a very interesting read.

There are 2 other informational texts that I wanted to follow the reading of technosphere. One is a list of top 10 household items that are made of microplastics that we need to stop using or try to slowly eliminate from our lives (items like laundry/dishwasher pods, synthetic fiber clothing, etc.)

In my writing task I had several text-dependent questions to focus students back to the article(s) for their written responses.

The 2nd question on Lino shows the inside of a hoarder's house inside and another one's outside as a way to expand the discussions from the landfill photo in the 1st linked Lino question given earlier in the post as well as the required readings

Online article links can be found using these:

a. I love this website because text complexity/word level is suggested plus power words vocabulary are also listed to assist teachers and students=

b. The version I used was featured at another site. This link is for the original=

c. This 3rd informational text can be used as a timed reading, PARCC readiness, or as an extension of this lesson. I like this article on garbage because it separates trash into 4 categories and briefly explains each one. And because it is from a website that offers reading comprehension building texts there are questions attached. With the focus on my intended lesson to be for a household management unit, I would create my own text-dependent questions.

Hopefully these technology connections can help you during the school year.

From the USA heartland, Becca S

Monday, June 18, 2018

Tidbits for consumer education on using Answer Garden and a Scholastic Choices Feb 2018 article on teen money matters

I'm getting close to finishing an online professional development course on using digital technology for assessments. For last week's module we were to investigate 10 digital tools as a possibility to use one or two in a new assessment lesson plan. So with my husband being in the hospital during the module time, I'm trying to catch up now and decided to create a quick blog post to share my personal exploring of digital technology uses in Answer Garden for consumer education (financial literacy) content.

I've create 3 sample assessment questions about teens knowledge on money management practices using Answer Garden.

https://answergarden.ch/717045 for question one

https://answergarden.ch/717042 for question two

https://answergarden.ch/717040 for question three

Another connection for my potential lesson plan is to use this article:

Scholastic Choices for February 2018 has an article titled Teens Just Wanna Have Funds with a Lexile level of 1150L. I was able to access the teacher guide page but not to save or bookmark the actual article, however by visiting the site it should be able to be read.

My Answer Garden question three link up above is a paraphrase of the essential question from the teacher guide:
"Why is it important to start practicing good financial health while I'm still a teenager?"

The teacher guide has these parts to the resource page:
a. summary paragraph
b. essential question (already shared just above here)
c. objectives
d. Health Ed standard
e. Key vocabulary
f. close reading questions (3)
g. critical thinking questions (3)
h. classroom activities (2: making connections/NHES 3 and a watch and learn/NHES 5 & 6)

This resource guide page is T7.

That's what I've developed thus far. Hopefully as other FACS teachers read this, they will explore Answer Garden and see how they might be able to use this digital tool as a resource in their classes.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

personal home space being rebuilt post 2

Post 1 yesterday showed a house full of purple painted walls! Yes, purple! 

I have loved all things purple and pink for a very long time, but for many years it was isolated to clothes and fashion accessories. In my first apartment as a young single 22 year old, I started decorating my bedroom with purple. But by the time I reached my later 20s I had already switched to burgundy and hunter green followed by the trend of mauve and sage green combo.

Then about 13 years ago, I started using purple again for a spare bedroom.

1 1/2 years ago, our current home was purchased through a personal property and real estate auction and imagine what color of paint was in the LR-to-DR open area? Yes, a taupe-gray-lavender hue!!! I was so excited to be able to bring out all my extra stored items and start filling this place with all things purple. So 2 bedrooms got a light pink-lavender paint. A new bedroom made out of the enclosed front porch got a vibrant purple. And I started using purples in other rooms too.

Then the fire happened last August while I was in the hospital and unfortunately we've been displaced since then and have had to work with insurance company and their hired crews to go through the process of valuation and restoration.

The crews are getting closer and closer every day now and it is getting exciting. Finally! I've been sort of numb for so many months now. I still can't dwell on many sentimental gifts that have been lost or the treasured antiques that we've discovered in our travels and now lost. Since almost all was lost in our kitchen and being displaced to a rental house property, we needed to have some minimal kitchen wares in order survive. We also were in a financial flux to be good stewards of the monies advanced and another issue of not wanting to buy too much during this time because it means moving things at least twice.

So in the rest of the post I will show you some home décor purchases and kitchen buys or gifts.

1. From Metamora Mennonite Women's sewing guild, this beautiful quilt coverlet=

My aunt is a part of this busy and generous group and knew I would love to have a quilt in purple! Thanks, Auntie!

2. From a Dollar Tree shopping trip yesterday in Peru, IL, I bought these home décor items and organizers=

"Enjoy the little things" has some grays. And the "love is all we need" has some blue which will be another accent color I'm planning to use. Black, white, silver/chrome/stainless steel, and gray will be the neutrals and metallics that I will also focus on including throughout our rebuilt home.

3. Kitchen ware gifts from my sister's family=

The Turkish cotton kitchen towel set has a sage green, gray, white, and lavender. The drying mat is a creamy ivory. The little cutting board is white and so are the darling Mason jar salt and pepper shakers! There is a small clear glass storage containers with a hinged snap on lid. And then a set of terrific silicone spatulas!!!! Thanks, sis!

Thank you Lord for all our many blessings both large and small! 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

personal home space being rebuilt post 1

Basic facts: House fire August 13, 2017

*reported by neighbor at approx. 5:10-5:15 pm

*insurance adjustor estimated $71,000+ for structural and labor costs for rebuilt

*and $19-20K in personal total loss or severely damaged items

*fire marshal and arson investigator determine cause was nightlight bulb in the laundry room (not the holder or the outlet or the wiring)

About mid-December, construction crews begin working earnestly on interior with exterior completed before weather and temperature conditions worsen.

These interior photos were taken today, January 9, 2018 and show great promise that soon all will be finished for us to bring back items that survived and those few items we've purchased:

foyer's new light fixture and freshly painted ceiling and wall across from front door

BR 1: doors stored temporarily for bedroom and closet; baseboards, walls, & ceiling were given fresh paint with new ceiling fan

BR 2: closet is the 'near' wall on right side and has small area to the left of the closet and there some small space to the left side of doorway that I didn't photograph

LR looking toward the DR/office space on right; on other side of wall seen on left is a 1/2 bath, a 3rd small BR that they are still working in  and the main full bath; the kitchen doorway is shown at back

Main Bath: the wall had to be cut between bath and BR 3 in order to get the ordered shower stall to go in and now they are fixing the wall on the BR 3 side. Plumbers are still working on this.

Kitchen: This room is next to the laundry room where the fire started so there were lots of projects in here. Originally the water heater was in the here (to the right a foot or so from what's shown). With some agreements and additional costs paid by us, the water heater got moved into the basement. The plumbing for the sink is barely showing there on the left. The window used to be twice that size but the old window on the left was not replaced per my request because the previous owner made decision with her kitchen cabinetry on that sink wall to come out into the window space. To me it was a reflection of poor planning or use of space to have done that. Since that wall had to be rebuilt, sealed, insulated, etc. it didn't cost us anything extra. Appliances just got ordered on Friday, January 6. For the kitchen we will have a stainless steel refrigerator, sink, microwave, and stove/range.

Laundry room/mud room: I was standing in the doorway on the kitchen side and am looking towards the right in the space and out the west wall windows.

Laundry room/mud room: Still standing in the kitchen doorway shared with this space, I've shifted to look more towards the south wall to show new overhead light fixture, new back door to the enclosed porch, new wall paint, new ceiling paint, etc. The outlet below the window is where the nightlight was plugged into that it's bulb exploded causing the fire. So this room and the not shown "closet" on the left or east wall of this room that has the basement entrance's floor 'door' have been totally rebuilt from roof down to the sub-floor.

And this completes the tour for the majority of this little 900+/- sq. ft. home at this time.

Color palette has some shade or tone of purple in every room as you move through different zones or from east to the west and southwest corner. Lots of white will be used everywhere in the window, door, and baseboard trims as well as the boiler baseboard heat vents and most standard overhead lights. Brushed nickel, chrome, and stainless steel will also be found throughout to in plumbing and lighting fixtures. Vinyl flooring will be a imitation slate look. The LR and DR/office area will have a low level loop carpet that has a mixture of grays, black, tan, and brown colors. I did that to add some visual interest plus a visual 'grounding' to help prevent the house interior looking too feminine. The carpet is to put down on Wednesday January 10.

I will post again soon as excitement builds as we draw closer to moving back in. (squeal)