Miss McNeil’s Class

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History Class

Last year, I was super lucky and I won a place in an amazing history grant.  The grant is designed to help teachers teach history. The grant is three years long, and the first year, I got to go to classes about the colonies and the American Revolution. Then in June, I got the amazing experience of travelling to Philadelphia to learn more about those historic places first hand. I’m a HUGE history nerd, so getting to go to places like Valley Forge and Independence Hall and actually touch the places where history happened…well…I may have been geeking out a bit.  The best part was that I was with 50 other teachers who were geeking out as much as I was. It was an amazing experience. 

This year, the focus is on the Civil War. So far our classes have focused on the Mexican War and the lead up to the Civil War.  This summer, we will get to go to Gettysburg, Antietam, Harper’s Ferry and New York City.  I am so unbelievably excited for this trip. I’ve been to Gettysburg and Harper’s Ferry before, but to experience it with all the other teachers will be a completely different journey, and I can’t wait. 







Valley Forge









Monument at Valley Forge








Independence Hall and the recreation of Washington’s House

posted by Miss McNeil in About Miss McNeil,Website 2011-2012 and have No Comments

Call Me A Duck

Thanks to Dylan for sharing this. I know I have a lot of Beavs in my class, too, and I’m not trying to alienate them. I’m posting this because I LOVE the message…work hard and have goals. This one may be about attending/graduating from UO, but if you want to go to OSU or any other school, make it Call Me a Beav and it’s just as good. 🙂

posted by Miss McNeil in About Miss McNeil,Videos,Website 2010-2011 and have Comments (4)

Summer Plans?

Summer is fast approaching… what are your plans? Don’t tell Vinny or Sophie, but we are going to Disneyland in June! I mean it! Don’t tell them! 🙂 I am looking forward to taking the kids to Portland this summer, too, to visit family and friends and to go to the zoo and OMSI. Vinny will love it because there is a T-REX SKELETON! I also want to go to the lake and go skiing, and take the kids camping. I probably will work in my yard and garden, and I’m sure I’ll work on plans for next year. I’m curious… what are you all planning on doing? Or, if you don’t have any plans, what would you do if you could? Leave a comment and tell me all about it!

posted by Miss McNeil in About Miss McNeil,website 2009-2010 and have Comments (47)

About Miss McNeil

I grew up in the beautiful Rogue Valley. I was born in Medford, and I went to elementary school at Lone Pine, Wilson and Hoover Elementaries. I have a younger brother, Kyle, who lives in Portland and manages a Dutch Bros, and a younger sister, Tiffany, who lives in Medford.  My mom is a nurse at Rogue Valley Medical Center, and my dad is a retired sixth grade teacher from Ashland Middle School.

When I was in 7th grade, we moved to Rogue River where we had five acres and tons of trees. I had two horses, Scarlett and Chief. My friends and I used to ride in the hills and sometimes we would come into town and race on Rogue River Middle School’s dirt track. I went to school at Rogue River Middle School and then spent a year at Rogue River High School.  When I was in 10th grade, I went to school at St. Mary’s High School, which I really loved because it was tiny and I actually got to play sports. (I am really bad at volleyball and basketball, and would have never been able to play anywhere else.)

When I graduated, I went to college at the University of Oregon. I loved it there, even with all of the rain! I moved back home when I ran out of money and finished up at Southern Oregon University. I wasn’t completely sure what I wanted to do. When I was a kid, I had two career aspirations. The first was an architect, until I realized I probably wouldn’t be able to make real houses out of legos. My second was teaching. I loved playing “school” when I was a kid. When I was in high school and college, I thought I wanted to teach high school history. Then I spent about 5 minutes in my friend’s third grade classroom, and I just knew. Elementary felt like home.

I went back to school at SOU and got my master’s in teaching.  I did my student teaching at Washington Elementary in Medford. I got a job right after I graduated at Art Freiler Science and Technology Magnet in Tracy, California. I was a core teacher, which was teaching language arts and social studies to fifth and sixth graders.  I loved it there! We had laptops for all of the kids and we got to do fun things with technology. However, my son Vinny was born in February 2003 when we lived there, and I realized that I wanted to come home and raise him near family.

We moved back to the Rogue Valley and bought a house in Medford. I worked for two years as a substitute and as a tutor at Sylvan. My daughter Sophie was born in December 2004.  In September 2005 I got my job at Central Point Elementary, teaching 2nd grade.  I could not have picked a better school! I absolutely love my job and the people I work with have become my second family.  My daughter will be in fifth grade at CPE this year, and my son will be in seventh grade at Scenic,  and I feel that it is such a blessing to be able to see them during the day and to have such a close relationship with all of the people who are working with them.

This will be my  fourteenth year teaching, and I can’t believe how quickly it has gone! After a few years of teaching 2nd,  I asked Mr. Rowley (our principal) if I could switch grade levels. I loved second grade and my team, but we knew we were not going to need four 2nd grade teachers that year. I thought a lot about which grade I wanted to go to. I was really excited about 4th grade, because that meant I would get to see some of the same kids that I had back in 2nd. I didn’t get all of my old class back, but I did get several kids that I knew before, and I really enjoyed seeing how much they had grown since I knew them last.  Later, I switched to a 4/5 blend. That means I got to have all new fourth graders and some new fifth graders. I also got many fifth graders back that I had the year before. (Yay!) I also got to experience to my THIRD YEAR with a few poor, I mean lucky, kiddos, who I had in 2nd and 4th. Mwahaha! Three years with those six kiddos made me feel like they were practically my own kids. I may have cried like a baby on the last day of school saying goodbye to them. The next year I taught 4/5 again, and I got to loop with the majority of my fifth graders, which was so amazing. I love getting to have kids twice, because we know each other so well, and I know their strengths and weaknesses right off the bat.  I was also excited to get to know all of my new 4th graders, although some of them were familiar faces because I had their siblings before. 🙂 The next year I got moved with Mrs. Qualls to teach a 1st/2nd blend. It was  my first time with this particular blend, and I was excited to partner with Mrs. Qualls. I was also thrilled because I already knew a few of the kiddos through their older siblings or from seeing them in Sophie’s class. Then I moved to 3rd grade for three years.  Last year I got to move back to 4th! I am also really looking forward to getting to know some of the younger siblings from students I had in the past. It’s really special to get to have kids in my class that I have known since they were babies! I am also really excited to get to know all the new faces, as well. I am really looking forward to another year in 4th grade!

Miss McNeil’s Schools:

Fifteen Things About Miss McNeil You May Have Not Known

1. My first car was a convertible 1970 VW bug named Prudence. I had her for 13 years. I still miss her.

2. My horse Scarlett got her name because in 6th grade, I adored the book “Gone With the Wind.”

3. My grandfather was involved in politics when I was a kid, and I helped out in his elections when I was in elementary school. I campaigned door to door for him.

4. I love to watch UO football. I had a friend who played and he used to get me tickets to go. I got hooked.

5. My kids and I went to Alaska, where I saw a grizzly bear eat another grizzly bear, which was super gross.

6. I have cats named  Flower and Gary (after Spongebob’s pet snail). We also have a frog and two guinea pigs. We also have a part time dog named Loki.

7. I have struggled to keep a classroom pet. Once I had “Assassin”, the killer goldfish. He  killed several fish, and two crabs. However, I’ve gotten better and the fish seem to survive. We also have two pets, guinea pigs named Princess Penelope and Super Sidney. (They belong to my daughter.)

8. I am probably the only teacher in the school who doesn’t drink coffee. 🙂

9. I have been to  Tokyo Disneyland, and a couple of years ago, I got to take my kids to Disneyland. Next summer we are going to Disneyworld!!

10. My favorite artist is Vincent Van Gogh, but no, my son is not named after him.

11. I am obsessed with the Beatles, and my favorite song of their’s is “For No One”, but I DO in fact listen to other music, too, inspite of what former students may say. Right now, I don’t have a favorite song, but I have been listening to a lot of Mumford & Sons and Of Monsters & Men, but that may change in a week.

12. My favorite TV show is “Project Runway”.

13. My dad says I learned how to read when I was 2, and I haven’t ever stopped since.

14. When I was in high school, I went on an exchange trip to Japan. I had my 17th birthday in Hiroshima.

15. My friend Amanda and I took Prudence on a road trip through Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Canada, Washington and Eastern Oregon. We got all the way back to Crater Lake and we hit a deer.

My favorite books when I was in elementary school:

Anastasia Krupnik series

Little House series

Anne of Green Gables series

Sweet Valley High series

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

All of the Ramona books

posted by Miss McNeil in About Miss McNeil and have Comments (46)