Monday, October 22, 2012

Personalize your cooking! {Munchy Monday}

I was really going to try to stick to healthy recipes on Monday but today I can't resist going in a different direction (a little). If you missed my post about, you can see it here. Check it out before you read on. Today's post is irresistable (especially to my wallet). Personalized cutting boards... Whhhaattt?? I was so excited to open my PickYourPlum e-mail today :)

Here they are:

Can you honestly pass those up?? I didn't think so. I am ordering one with our last name and then all of our names listed, but I was thinking of grabbing a monogrammed one for my classroom as a little clutter catcher on my desk. Just to remind myself to keep my junk confined to a smaller space.

So, although this is not a healthy recipe, it does have something to do with food. :)

Have a great week!

Friday, October 19, 2012

More Halloween Fun! {Freebie Friday}

I love any game that gets my kiddos up and moving around. They all nailed their test yesterday so today I plan to reward them with a little holiday fun. We will be playing:
Mummy Addition March

{ You can find it here in my TpT store }

It's a super fun way to get your students moving and better yet, practicing those addition skills! Each student wears a math problem on their back. They must walk around the classroom and ask other students "yes" or "no" questions in an attempt to figure out what number they are wearing. Other students must solve the problem, then answer the question. For a simple example: If I am wearing 2+2 I would ask you "Is my number greater than 10?" You would then need to solve the problem in order to answer my question. (Of course 2+2 is a simple example, this game includes single, double and triple digit addition). Better instructions are included in the download.

Have fun!!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A little Discount {Webby Wednesday}

Wednesday! Where did you go?? In my defense, we cancelled school on Monday (YES!) due to a power outage so I have been a little off schedule. I was in Tuesday mode yesterday and totally missed my Webby Wednesday post.

TpT has been a blessing to my family but I could still use all of the discounts I can get! So today I bring to you: These girls have put together an awesome website STUFFED full of discounts. And not the kind of discounts where you say "Oh yea great, another coupon for something I will never use." They don't just bring coupons to the table, they also highlight great specials and sales at some of the best stores.  Today, I bring to you their "Teacher Discount" page.

This is a long list of stores and websites that offer discounts for teachers. Just a little tip: make sure you read the "comments" section. Some of their readers have left additional discount tips. :)
Speaking of saving, does anyone have a website that would save me time on entering grades?? I could really use it today!
Have a fabulous day!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Healthy and Tart {Munchy Monday}

The weather has been so cold and gloomy lately. I love the cool breeze but I need a little pick me up. So this week I wanted to bring you a great snack to give your school day a little pick me up. For a long time I have been putting lime or lemon juice on my apple slices when I pack them for lunch. The citrus keeps the apples from browning (a little tip if you're serving sliced apples at a party). And the lime flavor adds a little zing to my plain apples. I found a great alternative on the "Raw Apple Snack"
Easy Easy! Juice a lemon and an orange into a bowl. Slice your apples nice and thin (like in the picture), soak the apples in the orange/lemon juice and stick them in the refrigerator. To keep them fresh, I would suggest slicing your apples in the morning before you leave, but you can juice the lemon and orange the night before.  Tart, yummy and healthy!!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Get organized! { Freebie Friday }

You might be wondering why Freebie Friday is being posted on Thursday. As much I would like to force today into being Friday, that's not what I'm trying to do here. I'm in a wedding tomorrow so I'm fairly confident I won't have time to post. Of course I don't want to leave you hanging so i'm going to go ahead and post Freebie Friday a day early. No harm in that!

I have a list of freebies from TpT sellers I plan to feature throughout the school year, but today, I'm sporting my own stuff. :)

I present to you, my Daily 5 Organizer! Here I go again with things that make my life a little easier. Simplicity people, simplicity.

Here's the download (Just click on the picture):

It a pocket chart organizer that allows you to see what center each student is at at a glance. Students put their name card on the row of whichever center they are choosing. You can control the number of students at each center by limiting the number of spots you open on the chart. Easy-Peasy! Here's a preview of the layout:

Go check it out! Who doesn't want to be more orgainzed anyways?

Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Classroom Management Tool {Webby Wednesday}

Happy Wednesday everyone! I want to start by saying classroom management is not my strong suit, but I'm getting better. I can attribute the new calm in my classroom to several things, but the most important component is A fabulous classroom management tool that allows you to track points, print class reports, add notes, take attendance, and print individual student behavior reports. Best of all, you can share these reports with parents at conferences or parents can access them from their home computer at any time. Believe me when I tell you, when my students found out their parents can watch them gain and lose behavior points throughout the day from their work computer, they straightened up in a hurry. It's no longer an empty threat to tell their parents, they can just see for themselves at any time. Saves me time, and we KNOW I love a good time saver.

Here's how it works: Setup your class and assign each student an avatar. You can then assign positive and negative behavior tags. (I kept the generic ones because they actually work really well for me.) I can then pull the avatar screen up on my iPad (through the ClassDojo app) or on my laptop and project it on the board for students to see. When students are behaving, or misbehaving, I can add or subtract points accordingly without taking the time to verbally address them.

Here is an exmaple of a class setup (These are NOT their actual current points):

I reset the points daily, but the website stores them with a time stamp for each student and as a class. Here is an example of a report printout:
I use a lot of incentives too. If they reach a certain amount of points in a day, they get a piece of candy. If they receive 10 points per day for a week, they get to choose a new avatar. ClassDojo is just getting started too, I hear they will be adding lots of great stuff soon!

Thank you ClassDojo for turning the behavior issues around in my classroom! :)

Let me know if you try it out! I would love to hear if it works in your classroom too!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Sandwich on a Stick! { Munchy Monday }

What a weekend! I went to a bachelorette party on Saturday night, and let's just say this mama of two can't party like she used to. Ouch.

As hard as it is for me to ever be brief with my words, today I have to. It's a teacher workday packed with meetings and lots to do. So I bring you a lunch idea that is about as quick and easy as my morning needed to be today. I said last week that I cannot stand sandwichs. Something about them just grosses me out. But we all know sandwichs are popular because they're easy to eat on the run and easy to put together. So here's your genius alternative:

I'm a teacher, not a photographer. So I'm using this appetizing picture from (On a side note, I live for my kids cute little parties, and is a perfect resource for them!) Back on track, it's as simple as it looks: sandwich ingredients on a toothpick. You could do this without the toothpick but it's not nearly as appetizing. Who honestly just wants to shove a whole slice of turkey in their mouth? Ew. Eating your sandwich (minus the bread and carbs) off of a toothpick is so much more fun and there's ZERO mess. No crumbs. Nothing. So give it a try, you can pretend you're at a trendy party :) Believe me when I tell you, you'll have lots of "Oh my gosh. I never thought of that!" comments and lots of teachers following suit. Sandwichs are so out anyways.

Just make sure you get creative with your ingredients. Use things you maybe wouldn't put on a normal sandwich. Add some cucumbers, green peppers, cherry tomatoes, celery, cubed cheese, olives.... look at that, it's already healtheir to eat a sandwich on a stick :)

Have a great week!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Math It Up! { Freebie Friday }

Finally Friday! I love Friday's and I love FREEBIES! So it only makes sense that I bring one to you every Friday. This week I want to tell you about a math freebie. My student's love this game so much I now use it as an incentive for good behavior at the end of the week. If they earn their behavior points and get their work done, we save the last half of class for this game on Friday's. It's for any grade, any age and any level or learning. It's called "Math It Up" and it's from "Teacher on the Loose!" over on TpT.

Here's a picture of it hanging on my classroom wall:

Students use the numbers on the poster and "Today's Sign" to create an equation (on a worksheet included in the download) then they solve it and make another one. Who couldn't use more practice??There are printable numbers 1-99  and all 4 signs (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) so you can adjust the sign and numbers for your grade level. I mix it up weekly and also use it as an activity for my fast finishers. This is truly a game you can use for the entire school year. Can't ask for much more than that out of something free!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Read! Read! Read! {Webby Wednesday}

Hi everyone! I was readdyy for this Wednesday. I wanted to share one of my favorite websites with you., have you been to it? If not, it's a must! I found it last year in a desperate search for more reading resources for my Title I reading students. The library in our school was put in half way through the year so books were in short supply around here. This website is stuffed full of free books you can read online. You can enlarge the book to the size of your computer screen and click to turn the pages. It will literally add TONS of books to your classroom library without taking up space. You do have to create a free account, but thats easy. Here's a look at their homepage:

And their library of books....
You really can't beat free books. And because I love so much... I just created a Thanksgiving lesson around one of the books found in their library. The book is called "T is for Turkey" (just click that title to go straight to it  or you can just search for it in their search box). The lesson itself focuses on fluency, writing and comprehension, of course. (I'm a Title I teacher. I can't help but run to fluency activities). The lesson is based around this Thanksgiving read aloud about the "real thanksgiving story". I have included a Readers Theater script that would make for an adorable little Thanksgiving show for parents or neighboring classrooms. Also included is an A-Z book where students can practice writing and coming up with their own Thanksgiving-y words for their book. And can't forget the colorful letter cards for students to hold up as they read their part in the Readers Theater. Readers Theater is an excellent way to promote fluency in your little readers. As always, it is Common Core aligned. I hope you check it out!
Have a great rest of the week everyone!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Healthy Peanut Butter Dip {Munchy Monday}

When I'm listing my favorite foods, I put Peanut Butter very (very) close to the top of the list. I love it. I love it with fruit, with chocolate, by itself, I just love it. When I met my husband I found out that when his personal training clients want to "bulk up" (gain weight) he advises them to eat spoonfuls of peanut butter whenever they're hungry. Bad news for me. I assure you I am definitely not trying to "bulk up". Ever. So I thought that meant the end of the peanut butter road for me. He suggested I dip my lunch fruit in yogurt. Not a fan of yogurt. So I needed a middle of the road alternative, the taste of a great fruit dip for my lunch without the "bulk up" of my beloved peanut butter. I've searched high and low for a great dip, in comes "Life Made Whole" and her wonderful "Healthy Yogurt Dip".

I don't need to even give you a recipe because it's right there on the picture. (I used her picture because I wanted you to see just how simple it is.) Throw all of the ingredients together, stir and refrigerate. I love this because its healthy and easy to eat. I don't always use the the natural peanut butter though. (If you chose to use natural peanut butter, it may not keep quite as long, but you should get a few days out of it.) I spoon a little into a small tupperware and because it's so easy I can eat it as a morning snack or with my lunch. It's a light little pick me up :)
**Everyone has different taste, so if this snack isn't for you, don't you worry, I have a lot more where this came from!
{Note: In my quest to bring you healthy lunch options, I will also provide you with the original source of the recipe (unless of course it's an original from our kitchen). They should get credit for their great ideas and best of all, you'll be able to use their websites/books for even more healthy choices}
Let me know if you try this one. I think you'll love it! :)