Easter Treat!

Being 75% Italian, I love to cook and bake! Many recipes in my family are passed down through generations. One of my favorite recipes is for the Easter cookies that I have made this evening in preparation for tomorrow’s festivities!

Try these delicious biscuits with coffee, tea, or milk! It is an easy recipe with a high end reward for your taste buds 🙂



2-3/4 C all purpose flour

3/4 Tbsp baking powder

3 eggs

1/2 C granulated sugar

6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1 Tbsp vanilla extract


3 C confectioners’ sugar

1/4 C water

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp lemon extract

multi-colored nonpareils

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets and set aside.

In a large bowl combine the flour and baking powder.

In a medium bowl, add the eggs, whisking to break them up. Slowly whisk in the sugar, then the melted butter and vanilla. Whisk until everything is very well combined. With a rubber spatula, fold the egg mixture into the flour mixture.

Knead the dough lightly (this is where it says to turn out to a floured surface but I kneaded it right in the bowl). Pinch the dough off into about 1-inch ball sizes and roll between your hands to make a rope about 4-5 inches long. Pinch the ends together to form a circle and place on prepared pans about 1-inch apart.

Bake about 22-25 min until puffed and golden brown. Cool on racks before icing.

For the icing:

Set your wire rack over a cookie sheet.

Combine all ingredients, adding the water just 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach a slightly thick, but still pourable consistency.

Taking one cooled cookie, turn it upside down and dip it in the bowl of icing. Turn it back over and return to the wire rack, allowing the excess to drip off.

Sprinkle with multi-colored nonpareils while still wet (I dip 4 at a time then sprinkle and repeat).


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Weebly – My Favorite New Website Builder

Check out my new online portfolio at http://jleopoldo.weebly.com/index.html!

I was introduced to Weebly by my coworker, and I have to say, that I love the simple format and ease of this website builder.


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To Dye or Not to Dye?

Its fleshy, leathery, pink grasp is tight. Too tight. I guess it’s my time to go, but I’ve heard it is quick and easy. A little messy… yes. But, that’s not my problem.

One crack. That’s all it takes, but I’m still captive. Held in the air, staring down at the terrible scene. The white bowl is already holding ounces of the yellow and white brains of my fellow comrades.

With the help of a sharp tool, a metal rod is slowly jammed into my round bottom. I can feel the puncture penetrate all the way through my core. After its job is complete, the rod is then pushed into my head and slid gently out. The holes stand vertical of one another, exposing my delicate insides to the chilly air.

Why is this my terrible fate?? A pink hole consumes my top and pressure enters my body like a gust of wind, and I am slowly drained alive. 

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Happy Easter!


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Infographic Exploration


I believe that infographics can be utilized in the classroom in many different ways. I would love to have my students create their own instead of posters or PowerPoint presentations. I would have my students take note of any infographics that they see on television at home, or any advertisements that they are aware of. Then, I would introduce these two websites: infogr.am and easel.ly and allow my students to choose which one they would like to use in order to create their own infographics.

I had some trouble creating charts and graphs using infogr.am, and I ultimately decided to import a picture. But, I do need to go back and further explore the site in order to become more proficient with the tool.

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Voicethread Lesson!


DIAGNOSTIC PHASE: Harvest Festivals Around the World


–          Students will watch the Voicethread presentation on Harvest Festivals, and then they will create one of their own in a group based on one festival that they learned about.



Anticipatory Set: Describe your Thanksgiving tradition. What do you do on Turkey Day?

Instruction: Have students watch the Voicethread on Harvest Festivals: Ask them to make comments, post questions, etc. while watching.

As the harvest season approaches, this is a great time to learn about different cultures as well as agriculture, geography and astronomy. This Thursday, all of us will be spending time with our families and loved ones in celebration of Thanksgiving, the day that our ancestors came to America. In the following clips, you will explore some other traditional harvest festivals that are also celebrated at this time around the world.

Chusok, also known as the Korean Thanksgiving, is held on the 15th day of the lunar month. During this time, Korean families take time to thank their ancestors for providing them with rice and fruits.

The celebration starts with a family-get together, where everyone enjoys a special dish of rice cakes that are made of rice, beans, sesame seeds, and chestnuts. The families then pay respect to their ancestors by visiting their tombs.

The August Moon Festival is one of the most celebrated Chinese holidays. Families celebrate the end of harvest season with a big feast, consuming mooncakes. Chinese legends say that the moon is at its brightest and roundest on this day.

The Yam Festival is held in the beginning of August. It is widely celebrated in Nigeria. People offer yams to Gods and ancestors before distributing them to villagers as a sign of thanks.

Pongal is a popular harvest festival in South India. It is named after s sweet rice dish and is celebrated in January, lasting for three days. People celebrate by offering goods to the Gods and engaging in numerous festivities with friends and neighbors.

Succoth is a Jewish Harvest Festival celebrated in September and October. During the festival, Jewish communities hold festivities in succahs, large booths made of blue and gold fabric.

Têt-Trung-Thu or the Mid-Autumn Festival is a popular Vietnamese holiday. Parents buy lanterns for their children so they can participate in the candlelit ceremonies at dawn. Children participate in arts and crafts, and adults participate in dances and serve mooncakes.

Now that you have learned a little bit about different cultural festivals that are celebrated around the world, I would like you to continue to do more research in a group. Each group will be assigned one of the festivals mentioned in this video. Your group will be responsible for researching more about that particular festival and creating their own presentation. You will become the experts that will teach the class all about these holidays!


Guided Practice/Independent Work: Students will research one festival in depth, create their own voicethread in groups, and present it to the class.

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Instructional Framework: Flipped Classroom/Socratic Seminar

Visit my Google Doc to view my plan to integrate both the flipped classroom model and the Socratic seminar framework in an ELA classroom. 

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