Monday, August 6, 2012

A Pinterest Classroom...

Pinterest, Twitter, and Blogs have changed my classroom. I have been on the look-out lately, but it still seems like Pinterest classrooms and Twitter lessons have been popping up everywhere. I love how much teachers have been sharing with one another, and how available great ideas are! I am a talker (a loud talker) so I have always communicated well with my classmates and co-workers, but social media has opened up a world for me where I can 'talk' to the greatest educators from across the world. I have discovered some of the greatest teaching-minds in nearby districts - and have even been able to 'steal' ideas from famous teacher-authors like Penny Kittle.

So, this year I will be stealing, borrowing, and sharing ideas all the freakin' time! Here are 5 of my favorites (so far) as I set up my classroom. Kiddos come in 16 days! (yikes!)

Make-over for my teacherbinder: This is an amazing post with great suggestions for sections/contents for your teacherbinder (it's a new word). Her suggestions will 'up' the productivity of my binder!

Favorite Bulletin Board: For the first time in my teaching career, I have more than one (seven, actually) bulletin boards. This will takeover two of them!

Organization for a Substitute: This is one of those ideas I'm going to have to 'age' a little for my middle school classroom, but it's still a wonderful idea. One place where all my sub copies and ideas can be - all you have to do is add the specific unit plans!

Favorite Motivator: I love the saying "Kiss your Brain" - even for Middle School! I am excited to keep this filled with Hershey Kisses for my kids that are really on-top of things that day!

Favorite Common Core Checklist: I love, love, love this chart! I had to 'steal' the idea and make mine using MS Language Arts standards - but it's a quick way to keep yourself and your students accountable for those Common Core and Iowa Core standards! 

PS: I can (and probably will) do an entire post on a-mazing anchor charts I've found!

Monday, July 16, 2012

PB Cookies and a 5k

How on earth did I cook before Pinterest?! I had a crazy craving for peanut butter last week - and found this recipe on Pinterest that did the trick. I originally had this great vision of sharing them with Kasey's family (who were in town for the weekend), but I have to be honest and tell you that the two of us have already eaten half of the batch. Whoops.

Dear Kathie Cooks
How did your PB Cookies (above) turn out so perfectly perfect? Mine were odd sizes and very bloppy. (Way to unattractive to post!) AND I burnt my fingers in the process. I have so much to learn!!

- - - - - - - - - - 

BIG announcement: Kasey competed in his first ever 5k race on Saturday. Da-Da-Da-Da! We got up way to early for a weekday and walked in the Chief Wapello Days 5k. It was a double challenge for me: convincing Kasey to finish 3.2 miles with me in 90 degree heat AND getting him to set foot in the city of Wapello. 

We didn't win any awards - but we felt much better about our pancake breakfast afterward!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

BBQ Pork

I was crazy excited about my new running shoes this morning - so getting out of bed for a morning workout was painless! For some reason, the yellow made me feel fast. That, and being able to run in sub-90s temps made for a great workout!

With great workouts comes great... FOOD! I knew that tonight had to be something good. Kase is headed off to camp this week and next (he's coaching basketball camp, but it's funnier if I picture him with a rolled-up sleeping bag) so I wanted to make a good country-style dinner for us. Enter Pinterest!

I used an easy-peasy 3-Ingredient BBQ Pork recipe. Special love to my Crockpot (Lord knows it did more work than I did!). It all went pretty smoothly (except the last-minute run to the grocery store for extra BBQ and to curb my grape craving). And if anyone can tell me a non-challenging way to shred hot, hot pork, I'm all ears!

It couldn't have turned out better -- BBQ pork sandwiches, fresh Iowa sweetcorn, and grapes on the deck! Tonight, this girl is lovin' the country!!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

And then I moved to the country.

I have been living in the country (small-town adjacent) with a boy for a month now. Woah! -- that is a lot of change that happened in one little sentence! It has been a good time - and I've had to do a few new, out-of-the-comfort-zone things: Norwex cleaning, twice the laundry, potting plants, and cooking-for-two.

Don't get me wrong - the area outside of my comfort zone is an area I hate. In the past month: I've killed Petunias (after being told that you can't kill Petunias), we've eaten more than our fair share of peanut butter sandwiches, and our home to-do list is still miles long.

I'm ready to take you all on the journey -- for many reasons I'm ready to commit to blogging. I am going to try and do it all (ha!). It's been a crazy month... but at least it comes with a good view!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Back to Basics...

I have decided to get back to the basics... the past few weeks I have been super grouchy (BF even called me out on in this weekend), and there is no excuse. I have been taking it out on my kiddos, my coworkers, and my friends. Unacceptable.

This weekend I had an epiphany -- HungryRunnerGirl style. I haven't had time made time to read her posts in for-ever. My blog reader was up to 50+ entries for her blog alone. And I was missing it… not only was I missing out on her amazing new announcement, but I also noticed that she (and my other blogger-friends) were still doing all the things that I missed doing. A ton. They were still running, cooking healthy food, and writing.

I’m not about to start making excuses… but here are a few things that have been part of my reality the past few weeks:

1. I have not been allowed to exercise the fast and easy way because of an injury – no 30-day Shred or running outside. I am only able to do the elliptical or swim at the gym. All of this meant that I avoided working out all together. I still did a little at the physical therapist – but my gym misses me.

2. My schedule has been really busy with things I normally don’t do. I applied to, interviewed for, and accepted a new teaching job in the fall. All in a matter of 18 days. (Yikes!) I had forgotten how much work applying for jobs was. It’s a job in itself! Everything else fell to the way-side.

3. I haven’t been eating as healthily as I did last year at this time – we didn’t do a ‘Wellness Challenge’ at school this year, and I epically failed at keeping myself motivated. I miss vegetables. And not feeling crappy.

4. I haven’t been writing. No explanation here, I just haven’t done it. I know my two readers out there don’t miss me! (Two is being way generous.) But it’s something I’ve missed.

So, this week and next (hello-spring-break!) I am going to work on getting back to all the things I loved doing this last spring and summer. I am going to make time for running, healthy eating (less fast-food), writing/reading, and – most importantly – reading blogs.