Monday, June 10, 2013

Chevron for the classroom

Let's just say my classroom needs a little updating for next year. And with moving classrooms, this summer is the perfect time to do some re-decorating. I am totally diggin' the whole chevron thing right now (maybe a little too much), and after making a trip to the fabric store, decided to go with grey chevron and a sky-blueish color scheme(kind of goes with the sky blue & lime green decor I already have). I bought several yards of the chevron fabric and a few of the blue polka dot (pictured below) to make chair pockets with. Remember my trial run found here?

This weekend at a garage sale, I picked up this mini stool for $2. It needed a paint job, but had some potential. I touched up the legs with white spray paint and then made a chevron pattern with painters tape. I spray painted the seat with blue, then removed the tape & painted those parts yellow. MUCH cuter! My students will use this when sharing their writing or for sitting on during independent reading. 

Last but not least, I saw a similar canvas with initial letter on Pinterest and headed to Hobby Lobby for supplies. I started by choosing a coordinating blue for the letter (my future last name initial!) and then chose a gray to make a chevron pattern with the white background of the canvas. Then, I decided it was a little drab and outlined the pattern in yellow to match my stool. After it dried, I hot glued the letter to the canvas. This will go on a shelf behind my desk (should I wait til October when it's actually my initial?)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Paleo Week 1

So, it happened. I joined the Paleo craze. So far I am loving it! I printed out this poster and it now hangs proudly on my fridge. Basically, you eat like the cavemen did: protein (meat, fish, eggs), veggies, healthy fats (oil, seeds, nuts) and a little fruit. You DON'T consume: processed foods, beans, grains, alcohol, etc. 

In my first week, I really didn't crave or miss anything like I thought I would. Towards the end of the school year, I got on a big junk food kick: candy, treats & ice cream parties on the reg. at school, what was a girl to do! I would come home exhausted and reach for the first thing to fill my belly (usually something that came in a package & was totally unhealthy). 

Here is the rundown of my first week. I can't say I didn't cheat a little, but I am feeling healthier and more energized already:

Day 1: This was our closing day at school for teachers, so I was super-busy & had to eat on the run. A lot. 
Breakfast: small apple, egg & sausage off of a McDonald's breakfast sandwich
Lunch: Subway salad with turkey, lettuce, tomato, onion, green peppers & italian dressing (I've been letting dressings be my cheat...they can't be that bad, right?)
Dinner: Although I had planned to go to the grocery & had this huge list of Paleo-friendly items, it starting storming and pouring down rain on my way. Who wants to carry in groceries in the middle of a downpour? So I went to Qdoba instead & got their Naked salad with grilled chicken. Yummm!
Snacks: almonds & grapes

Day 2: 
Breakfast: 1/2 grapefruit, almonds (busy morning + no groceries)
Lunch: taco salad (made this a-mazing taco meat in the crockpot with ground beef, taco seasoning & Ro-tel) on top of lettuce with avacado, mexican corn & tomatoes (and ranch oops)
Dinner: Taco salad (it was so good I had to go back for seconds)
Snacks: raisins Monkey Salad, grapes

Day 3:
Breakfast: mini Larabar (who knew these were Paleo-friendly?), grapes
Lunch: chicken, lettuce, salsa, fruit (we had a going away party for someone at work and it was surprisingly easy to make good choices)
Dinner: Taco salad
Snacks: raisins

Day 4: 
Breakfast: Southwest eggbeaters & grapes
Lunch: Wendy's small berry almond chicken salad
Dinner: Taco meat, mexican corn & 1/2 avacado
Snacks: almonds, grapes, Lara bar

Day 5: 
Breakfast: southwest eggbeaters, banana sliced with honey drizzled on top
Lunch: Strawberries & almonds with honey on top, Lara Bar
Dinner: Lexingtonian salad at Drake's restaurant (lettuce, tomato, bacon, vinaigrette)
Snacks: raisins, almonds, chips & queso (BOO!)

Day 6: 
Breakfast: banana, Lara bar
Lunch: Salad, grilled chicken breast & green beans from restaurant
Dinner: Mermaids salad (greens, chicken, eggs, bacon, pecans, vinaigrette...whoa protein and delish!)
Snacks: raisins, glass of wine (whoops, social obligation)

Day 7:
Breakfast: Egg & sausage from breakfast sandwich at gas station
Lunch: chicken burger from Trader Joe's topped w/ avacado (these are awesome!) & salad (see picture below

Dinner: Turkey slices & roasted squash & zucchini with barnyard rub seasoning

Snacks: dark chocolate- covered raisins from Trader Joe's (cheater), grapes

Thrifty Teacher Finds

This weekend, I had some awesome garage sale finds for $.50- $1.00 each!

The first thing I found is this collection of mostly brand new educational games. And of course, I have already post-it labeled what I plan to use them for (so I don't forget haha)! 
1. Sight word game- erasable boards with different sight word families at the top. Students have to find the matching word tiles and then write the word with dry-erase marker. This could be used in small groups or as a center.
2. Scrabble cards- could be used for any word work center or game to make words.
3. Counting bears activity set- I just LOVE these bear manipulatives and so glad to get my hands on another set. We just had a PD training about the importance of number sense and addition in first grade. I thought this would be a great resource for students who are in the stage of counting collections and then adding them together. You could differentiate by covering one or both of the addends and it also reinforces that a number stands for a collection that can be added onto. The possibilities for these little guys are endless!
4. My first number pairs card game- so I know that this is targeted for pre-school, but thought it would be good for small group intervention or a center. You could  have kids first find the number and collection picture that matches it, then find the other pair and add them together to solve an addition problem.
 This might be my absolute favorite find! Brand new, never opened Dr. Seuss game treasury. I haven't explored all the games yet, but there is an alphabet game that will fit nicely with our first Reading unit: Alphabet Books and Children Who Read Them. Now, if we can just keep all the pieces together....

Kindergarten & First Grade Activity Books- I can use these to pull resources for homework, morning work, extra resources worksheets, etc. There are lots of great activities in here!

Where do you find bargains for the classroom?