stuff

Monday, August 27, 2012

I Just Made Handsome Husband Fall in Love With Me All Over Again

Some of my favorite words occur when I feed Handsome Husband an AWESOME meal.  Let me give you a little history...

...So, I used to be the world's worst cook.  Seriously...ask my parents...I used to burn E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.  No joke.  I could barely make a hamburger without turning it into a hockey puck.  It usually resembled a charcoal briquette.  This was the first time I lived at home.

I moved out...and lived with a few awesome people...and I still couldn't cook.  My roommates were amazing cooks and NONE of it rubbed off.  I liked to cook things that I could put on the stove, walk away from, and come back to fully cooked.  That doesn't work out so well.

When I moved BACK in with my parents (I seriously LOVED living with my folks) I decided that I needed to cook more.  This led to a love affair. I definitely burned a ton of things (oh mom, I still remember when I almost destroyed your stock pot with a bagged soup) and started out slow, but I don't even let Handsome Husband near the stove now.

Handsome Husband's dad is a really good cook, so it is a real feat when Handsome Husband says something is AWESOME.  I made something tonight that made him say, "This is the best piece of meat I have EVER eaten," followed by some noises that told me he REALLY liked it.

I LOVE that!  Here are some pictures from my tastebud adventure:

Look at the sear on those suckers! I cooked the peppers first to make sure that they were nice and toasty.  Then, I cooked the steak.  I did it in this order so that I knew I had a really hot pan to start.  I used Penzey's Chicago Steak Seasoning.  Best. Seasoning. Ever.

Yeah buddy.  Nom, nom, nom.

I roasted asparagus at 400 degrees with garlic salt, black pepper and chili powder.  My new favorite combo.

I cook a ddddaaaannnngggg good steak.  A perfect medium-rare.  
Now I know why Handsome Husband sticks around...Oy!

Laters,

Mrs. B

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Brain Breaks and Booty Boogies (NOT What You Think...Gross!!)

So, I am almost through my second full week of teaching for the year.  It is F.L.Y.I.N.G. by.  My school corporation adopted a new core reading program this year called Journeys.  It's definitely been a journey so far.

The curriculum is great, but lengthy.  I'm not quite sure at this point how I'm going to EVER get through all the whole group stuff in one day so that I can get to the small groups!  However, it is really showing where our students have gaps and filling them.  I have spent the last two years asking, "How the heck am I going to teach this skill?????!!!!!!!!"  I know that some people think that core reading programs (the "B" word) are evil, but I think this could be a great thing for my nuggets.

That being said, our day is WICKED full.  And by wicked I mean they get breaks during "passing periods".  Yeah...it's like high school with 7 year olds.  WHOA!  Their poor little brains are going into meltdown mode over there!  So, to get us through the day, I have begun using YouTube videos as brain breaks throughout the day.

My nuggets LOVE THEM!  They are begging for more and get their tushies in gear when they know one is coming.  They listened to one today while they were getting their homework packed up and moved twice as fast because they knew they had to be done before it was over.  NICE!  I also used one today to line up.  I let them listen to the first two verses and then had them silently dance to their spot in line.  They were sssssssoooooooo quiet.  BOOYA!

BTW...a bootie boogie is where they can dance (boogie) but they have to stay in their chairs (booty).

Here are the ones I have used so far:

"What I Am" by Will.i.am and the Sesame Street characters
This one is hilarious because there is a part when the drums pick up and all my kids like to break into drum solos.  Love it!  This one will totally get stuck in your head!

"Don't Give Up" by Bruno Mars and the Sesame Street characters

"Haven't Got a Pet Yet" by Recess Monkey
I love these guys!  This one will get stuck in your head, too!!

"Jet Pack" by Recess Monkey

Have fun singing!!!

Laters,

Mrs. B

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Baked Eggs (AKA School-week Breakfast Heaven!!)

While brainstorming some easy breakfast ideas for the year with my mom, she told me about baked eggs.  At first I thought she meant the baked version of a hard-boiled egg cooked in the oven.  I was wrong!!!  She showed me this pin from Pinterest.

The original pin uses the cooked eggs to make breakfast sandwiches.  I have simply been reheating them in the microwave and eating them with my hands in the car.  They are DELICIOUS!!!!! I love eating eggs in the morning, but I don't want to have to wake up 15 minutes earlier in order to cook them. I have tried microwaved eggs, but these are waaaayyyyy easier.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

First, spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.  Then, line each thingamajigger (what the heck do you call those things???!!!) with your veggie of choice.  I chose spinach because it was easy, but I think peppers would be awesome in it too.

Then, add an egg to each one.  I broke each yolk with a fork to make sure that things were spread around.  The spinach floated to the surface a few times, but I just tucked it back under with my fork.

All my eggs broken.  After that, season the eggs.  I just put salt and pepper in mine.

Put the tin in the oven (which should be 350 degrees) for 15 minutes.  (I used jumbo eggs so I needed to keep them in around 17 minutes to make sure that they were cooked through.)

Look, Ma!!!  Easy clean-up!  They popped right out.

I took them out right away and set them on the cutting board so they would stop cooking.  If you don't they could end up really dry.  YUCK! 

I bagged them up in pairs to make for an easy grab and go meal.  I have been throwing them in my lunchbox at home and heating them at school.  

These taste great!  It took 20 minutes from start to finish and 15 of those you don't even have to be there for!  How stellar is that???

Let me know if you try them!!

Laters,

Mrs. B

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mystery Date Night!

So, I was at school on Thursday when Handsome Husband texted me and said that we had plans for Saturday night and not to make any others.  I (naturally) asked what it was and he said it was a surprise.  How fun!!

We left the house at 3:00 pm.  He made me drive so that he could tell me what to do (for once!!:)).  We headed into Michigan and stopped in Berrien Springs.  He explained that there was a little pizzeria in town that he had heard was A.W.E.S.O.M.E. and that we were going to try it.  Our favorite food is pizza, so this was a great treat for me!! It's called Roma's Pizzeria. The pizza was great!  It was difficult to stop eating it! :)  (I was so absorbed with eating it that I forgot to take a photo!  Bummer.)  We had sausage, black olive and onion.  Yummo!!

Next, we hopped back on the road and headed toward wine country.  I kept trying to guess where we were going, but he wouldn't give me any hints!  We passed a few signs and I asked, "Are we going to Tabor Hill Winery??"  He just smiled and said, "I don't know."  Booger.  Well, he took me to the Round Barn Winery!  They have great wines and delicious beers.  They even make their own vodka and whiskey!  My tastebuds are dancing right now.  We hung out on the deck, listened to live music, and sipped some great-tasting beer.

Here are some pictures from our stop:

Yummy!

Isn't he cuh-ute???!!!  I love the scruff.

Cheesing! :)
Once we left there we headed toward St. Joe.  As we pulled up to the entrance to the parking lot he asked if I wanted to know what we were doing.  D.U.H.!!  He handed me a folded piece of newspaper and said that he found an article in the paper on Thursday that he thought would be a perfect night for me.  I opened it and this is what I saw:

Woo hoo!!!!!!!  It was the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra backing a Queen cover band!!  Oh my heart...frickin awesome!  I LLLL.OOOO.VVVV.EEEE. Queen.  If I could meet anyone dead or alive, it would be Freddie Mercury.

The symphony played behind this band but truly stood out.  The second half of the show was accompanied by a choral group that blew me away.  Bohemian Rhapsody knocked my socks off!  It is my all-time favorite song and I know it backwards and forwards.  Scaramouche!   Scaramouche!













I had so much fun.  He wanted to make sure that we got a great date night in before we both got swept up in school for the fall.  He succeeded!  You go, Handsome Husband!

Oh yeah...it was kind of cold that night so I wore real shoes which resulted in my first pair of socks for the year.  Aren't they great!  I only wear mismatched socks...I HATE sorting socks and always get bummed when one sock gets a hole and the other lasts FOREVER.



How was your weekend??

Laters!

Mrs. B

Friday, August 17, 2012

High Five For Friday!!!!

Thank goodness it's Friday!  I just finished my first full week of school and I am P.O.O.P.E.D.!!!  Second grade has a tough little bunch of nuggets this year.  I also forgot how much my knees and back would hurt.  Oh well...I get paid a ton!  (Psh!)


1.  I got this wicked cute dress in the mail from Old Navy today.  I can't wait to wear it on Monday!
2.  I got this cuh-ute shirt from Old Navy as well.  I got it in hot pink and sea foam green.  It is super comfortable and doesn't make me look huge-mongous.
3.  I got the Schoolhouse Rock DVD for $10.99 at Meijer tonight!!  The second grader in me is extremely happy!!!  Oh...did I say second grader??  I meant second grade TEACHER.  Tee hee.
4.  My Birchbox came this week!!!  I loooooovvvvveeeee getting the new products each month.  I get a new perfume almost every month, too!  That is awesome.  I love smelling great but hate shopping for perfume.  I think they are too expensive most of the time.  
5.  My new Us Weekly came in the mail today and I am about to curl up with it and do some mindless reading.  Yay!!

Have you checked out Lauren's High Five For Friday post yet??

Laters!

Mrs. B

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Post-It Plan Book!

I saw this post on...wait, what's the name of that site...?...OH YEAH!  Pinterest!!!!  It's been so long since I've been able to get on there and browse since school has started that I forgot!  (Yeah right...I didn't forget...I think about it daily, but I need sleep more at this point in order to survive!)

I have struggled the last two years to find a planner that truly worked for me.  The first year I used a normal plan book (a mass-produced, pre-separated thingamajigger) and last year I created a Word document that I customized to fit me.

I found that there were sections that I never wrote in and others that I needed to be much bigger.  The three main sections that I needed were reading block, math, and miscellaneous.  Only 3!!!!  Why in the world I ever had at least 10 for each day, I'll never know.

My school corporation has said that no matter what, we need to have 40 minutes of science, 4 days a week for the 1st and 3rd quarters this year.  My team decided that instead of doing a bunch of things half-way that we would split grammar/spelling, writing and science up between the three of us.  I got writing!!  I'm super psyched!!

Because of that shift, I now only NEED to write down information about 3 THINGS!!!!!!  How stinkin perfect is that??!!

Here is what you need:


  • a spiral-bound notebook (she suggested a vinyl cover because they last longer...I agree!)
  • Post-it notes (I picked up 3 packs at Target during a back-to-school sale)
  • marker (Crayola or permanent)
  • ruler
  • scissors
Here are some photos from my adventure...yeah...I called it that.  I am a bit dorky when it comes to crafty things.



Here it is!!!  Isn't it beautiful?

I laid the Post-it notes out on the page to get an idea of how much space I needed.

I had to bite the bullet and make Friday smaller...I can deal :).    The purple is the "Targets" column.  Blue is reading block, pink is math and green is writing/miscellaneous.  Man!!!  That's sexy!!



Here is this week in the works.  I bought some funky shaped Post-it notes to show changes or notes that I actually had to notice (I don't notice things sometimes...hey...are you perfect????).  I find it easier to read everything and plan for the week this way.

The original poster shared her "Daily Schedule" page.  I did not because we are only 1 week into the school year.  Plus, Monday is the only different day.   Tuesday through Thursday are the exact same and I don't know when my students are going to be pulled out for speech or other interventions yet.

I had a sickeningly fun time making this thing.  For serious.  Writing in it still appeals to me at this point...5 whole days into the school year.

I'll update this post once I get more of this year under my belt and mess it up a bit more! :)

Laters,

Mrs. B

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Permission

I am giving myself permission to skip a post if I feel like there is nothing to write or that I am dog tired (like today). The last time I tried to blog, I boxed myself in and put a ton of pressure on myself to get one done each night. There are just some night where that doesn't work. This is one.

I've been getting up at 4:45 every morning to go running with Handsome Husband and I am pretty pooped!

So, goodnight and see you tomorrow!!

Mrs. B

P. S. While you're here, check out one of my favorite teaching websites.
http://www.jmeacham.com/
I have bees using her resources for over 2 1/2 years. I can always find something to look at!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Flowers!

It has been an interesting couple of days so far...my new group is a V.E.R.Y. chatty bunch of bananas. Don't get me wrong...they are very cute!  Ok...on to my real point...

I love getting flowers.  Handsome Husband loves to get me flowers and I love to get them.  We went to a gathering on Saturday where he won a gift certificate to a local flower shop I said that I would love for him to send me flowers at school some time.  He gets me flowers at home all the time, but during the school year I am able to enjoy them more at school more than at home.  He made a very good point and stated that it would cost almost double (if not more!) for him to have them delivered.

I got an email today that said I had something in the office and I hoped...hoped...hoped it was flowers...and it was!  He drove all the way to my school (40 minutes from home) to deliver flowers to me.  Unfortunately, he was worried that my new principal wouldn't allow him to visit me in my classroom and didn't ask to be able to bring them to me, so he was unable to meet my new nuggets. :(

I was super excited and skipped all the way to my room!  Well, I skipped in my mind because I am a clumsy fool and would have probably tripped and messed up the whole deal!

They are so pretty.  I'm excited :)
See my A.W.E.S.O.M.E. plan book to the left of the gorgeous flowers?  That will be later this week or next week.
I have the best husband...go him!  He even folded my laundry for me last night.

Mind you, he did it all wrong (...ok. Differently than I would have.) but I didn't have to do it!  Sweet guy.
Laters,

Mrs. B

Monday, August 13, 2012

Thankful...

Today marks the second day of school (with kids).  I'm tired.  Tired.  I can't imagine what it's going to be like with kids of my own.  A personal goal for myself this year is that I try to stay positive.  I am pretty positive anyway, but sometimes I need to try harder to stay positive about my class and students.

Here we go:

I'm thankful:

that even though Friday and today were yucky, rainy days it cleared up long enough for our little nuggets to have outside recess at lunch.  They needed to run as much as I needed the fresh air.

for my team.  They are an amazing bunch of women who have only made me better and made me challenge myself over the last two years.

that I have had the same team for the last two years!  One member is misplaced this year, but still in the building (so far!) and I still get to see her every day.

that I perfected roasted veggies and fish over the summer so that Handsome Husband and I can still eat a healthy meal when all I really want to do is sit down and stare at a wall for a while.
Totally cooked the acorn squash in the microwave.
that Handsome Husband reminded me that I DVR'd Batman and Robin over the weekend so that I have an awesomely horrible movie to grade papers to.  (I have REALLY, REALLY, REALLY bad taste in movies.)

that I only have 22 new nuggets to start the year with.  3rd grade has 26 (which is what we ended with) and kindergarten had 27, 28 and 31!  Holy cow!  Luckily we decided to add another Kinder section today.

that I have a job with a permanent contract.  It makes life a lot less worrisome.

that I can hear Handsome Husband washing the dishes in the kitchen as I type.  He's awesome.

What are you thankful for?

Laters!

Mrs. B


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday mornings

I love lazy Sunday mornings. My pastor (and father) gave me the day off from singing in the church band. I wanted a lazy weekend before my first full week of school.

I got my wish! I woke up at 10:00, played my new Professor Layton game for a while and came to a local diner for some Sunday morning grub. This diner was completely renovated last year and has only 3 tables and some bar stools and can seat around 25 people at one time. Cozy! We love to support local businesses. :)


Laters!

Mrs. B

Friday, August 10, 2012

High Five for Friday!

It's Friday, Friday!  First day of school!  My new little nuggets are an interesting bunch to say the least. I'm going to have an interesting year! 

1.  This is our class hamster.  I have re-named her...are you ready??!!  Her name is...Hermione.  Yes, yes.   I am a ginormous Harry Potter fan (although, I don't dress up OR own a wand :)).  We are calling her Hermie for short.  My students were OBSESSED with her today.  "Can we hold her?  
when can we play with her?  Why is she sleeping?  When does she play on her wheel?" 




2.  On the left are the new puzzle pieces that my new students have created for our class puzzle.  It's amazing to see how different they all are, but how they still fit together so well!  (This was NOT a Pinterest idea, btw.)  The picture on the right is the puzzle that last year's class created.  We left it up all year and added to it as we got new students.  It's such a great story and conversation starter!

3.  We started the year off right with one of my favorite authors.  My new nuggets were laughing their tooshies off as I was reading.  They interacted well!

4.  These were waiting for me when I got home (at 7:45 pm).  Oh Handsome Husband!  You R.O.C.K.! 


5.  Check out this new endeavor by the granddaughter of a woman at our church.  She's in FIFTH GRADE!  She is an amazing young woman with some terrific ideas!  She was tired of the B.O.R.I.N.G. athletic socks out there in the world and decided to do something about it.  Rock on!  Check out www.supersillysports.com!


Now, I'm off to bed so that I have the energy I need to do some school work this weekend!

Laters,

Mrs. B

Here is a quote from one of my nuggets that happened at the end of the day:  
As we were getting to leave at the end of the day I noticed that one of my students had a puddle of "hanitizer" (as second graders seem to call it) in his hands and was attempting to rub it in.  As we walked into the hallway I noticed that he had his hands cupped in front of his face and was inhaling deeply.  I asked, "Do you like the smell of hand sanitizer?"  to which he responded, "I love the smell of hanitizer...nail polish...and permanent markers!"  I just about lost it in the hallway!  I chuckled, grinned and just walked away.

I love second graders.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Objectives

Tonight we had our "Meet, Greet and Eat" night at school.  It's pretty easy to understand. :)  The parents come to our school, we meet them and our new students and then they eat dinner.  It also marks the night before the first day of school.

I am super nervous!  I told my teammate Sch. that I feel better than I have the past two year, but about as good as I'm ever going to feel!  I am ready and wicked excited to have my first day with my students, but scared that I will totally forget something that I will need.

Back to the title of the post...objectives.  My school adopted the TAP program (an alternative assessment program for teachers in Indiana) last year and one of the Indicators on our rubric is Standards and Objectives.  What it looks for is if your content aligns with the standards and if the objective for the lesson displayed.  I struggled with having the objective listed each day where the students could find it so decided to see if I could make it any easier.

Here is what I came up with:
Language Arts (soon to say "Reading"), Math, Writing, Grammar.

I bought some frames from the Dollar Tree, printed the content areas that I needed onto some card stock, placed the card stock in the frames and affixed them to my board using 3M Command picture hangy thingermajiggers.  (I can see that they have a real name, but this is what I call them.  I describe them as 3M plastic-y velcro-y thingamajiggers.)  I will write the objective(s) on the glass of the frame with a dry erase marker.

I thought this was pretty nifty (as did this person.  I hated that this link didn't go to the actual site, but this is what I had to work with...sorry.) and so did the rest of my team!  I described it to them, but they needed a visual...as I usually do as well...and they wanted them, too!  Now, the students in second grade know EXACTLY where to look to find the objective for the day! :)

Wish me luck on my first day of school!!!

Laters,

Mrs. B

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Curriculum Organization

My school corporation adopted a new reading curriculum this year.  We knew that there would be a lot of materials involved, but we didn't realize that they were spread out over a toooooooonnnnn of boxes, books, and manuals.

While browsing the wonderful world of Pinterest I stumbled upon this blog link where she explained how she organized all of the curriculum.  I was inspired, to say the least.  My team members decided to board the crazy train with me, however, and do theirs too!

Here are some photos to show what we did:
I went to Staples and bought 1 1/2" file POCKETS.   We chose the pockets so that nothing would fall out the sides like would happen with a file folder.  They cost around $30.00 total.  We color coded them by unit.  Each unit has 5 "lessons" (weeks).  The last week is rainbow because there were 6 folders of 5 colors.  

We bought Post-it label tabs (color coordinated, of couse) and labeled each lesson.  Lesson 1, Lesson 2, etc.

The Grab and Go booklet.  It has blackline masters, reproduceable materials, running records, assessments, etc.  There is one for each lesson (week).

We have 3 reading levels (below, on, above) and a vocabulary reader for  each lesson (week).  The lesson plans that go to each book are provided for us (woo hoo!!) so those are included in each folder as well.

Each 2nd grade lesson had 10 High Frequency Word cards
The cards were numbered, so it was easy to check and see if I was grabbing the correct ones for the lesson.

There were 4 retelling cards for each lesson.

There were 8 vocabulary cards for each lesson.  My only gripe with these are that they are NOT  labeled as to which lesson they go with so they will be a bear to file if they ever get out of order.

Here is the finished product.


So much neater! 

I have a picture of what it all looked like before, but it is being held hostage by my camera at school.  To be posted...

Laters!

Mrs. B