Saturday, March 7, 2015

Slim Down Saturday- March 7

How was everyone's week? Health wise- I thought mine was alright. Actually fairly decent. I didn't work out as much as I wanted but I ate pretty healthy all week. And then I stepped on the scale today. It has been 2 full months of this and I have made NO progress. I am at a standstill. I didn't make it to the gym as much as I wanted this week but I DID start the 30 day abs/squat challenge and have stuck to it each day. Which is huge for me- I usually give up after 3 days just because I forget a day or two and don't want to catch up. But I am determined this time. So even though the number isn't budging, I am just not giving up. I am going to revamp things, change my workouts, change some eating (though I am running out of things to change), and keep trying.

With that, here is my chart for this sad week...
Like I said, it isn't great. 2 FULL months since starting and not even down 2 pounds. I am not going to sit here and pretend it isn't discouraging because it is. I am just not going to let it stop me. I did have some positives all week. I am weird in that I don't count my weekends when I am thinking about "the week" and "next week" when doing these posts. I'm not really sure why, but it's just how my brain works I guess. So during the work week- I made my step goal 3 out of 5 days. The two days I didn't make it, I was around 8,000 I think and the days I DID make it had so many extra that it averaged to 10k a day. So not terrible.

I mentioned above that I started the 30 day challenge. And so far, so good. A friend added me to a challenge group on facebook and I truly think that is why I haven't given up. Because it is holding me accountable. And, it helps that my little almost 4 year old likes to do the sit ups and squats with me.

Next week, I need to work out more, and drink more water. I was doing really great with my water (great for me) but this week, I have no idea what happened. I guess I just wasn't thirsty? I don't know but I didn't even finish half of the water I brought to school and usually I have been finishing it all before the day was over and having to refill when I got to the gym or home.

My goal- 1-2 pounds. I am going to keep it at a number because all week, I kept saying to myself that I had that goal and it really helped me eat right. I am hoping it will continue to help.

And my quote- A quick workout is better than no workout. I completely agree with this. If nothing else, situps, squats, and pushups at home are better than nothing. I used to (years ago) do squats while brushing my teeth, wall pushups in the shower, and some other simple leg exercises in the shower. Those things (at that time) were literally the ONLY thing I was doing and it worked. I was losing fat in my legs and toning up my arms. I am going to add all of that back into my daily routine too, so if nothing else, I have done that each day (plus my 30 day challenge).

It dawned on me I completely forgot to add the blank template last week. SO sorry!! I was in a rush. Here it is. Hopefully I have some friends joining in again! Even if it was a rough week- share something positive!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

What I'm Reading Wednesday

I am back with another what I'm reading post... and this week is a book by one of my favorite authors...
The Shopaholic series is one that I have been reading for years. I absolutely love these books and their lighthearted nature. I have laughed through every one of these books. If you haven't figured out yet, I am most definitely a light and fluffy book kinda girl. I like books that don't require me to think too deeply or get too emotional. And these books are just that. So imagine my excitement when I walked into Barnes and Noble to find this book. I had no idea a new one was released! I instantly bought it, even though I own way more books than I have time to read. And this book moved right to the front of the line up.

In this book, Becky and her family are moving to LA for her husband's job and she can not wait to start living the lifestyle of a star. Except she isn't a star and is having a hard time becoming one. She decides she wants to be a stylist and goes through a few people to get herself there. The should-be easiest route would be to become Sage Seymour's (the actress her husband is in LA doing PR work for) personal stylist through the help of Luke (her husband). But he is not as supportive as she had hoped he would be. Through a twist of fate, Becky is given the opportunity to dress Sage's "enemy" and things take a crazy turn...

Becky is caught in the middle of a faux feud, her dad and best friend's husband have gone missing, and she has to decide what kind of person she wants to be...

While I love all of the Shopaholic books, this one I would give a 4 out of 5 stars. I wasn't AS engaged in this book as I usually am and the ending left a lot open, which I assume means there will be another book... at least I hope so anyways! Either way, I would still suggest this book, especially if you have followed Becky's story from the beginning. And if you haven't followed from the beginning, I would definitely recommend the entire series!

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts? Or if not, is it on your wishlist?

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Slim Down Saturday February 28, 2015

Is anyone even still around for this? I realize I kinda gave it up this month. I had posts ready to go but I never got them out. I haven't been the best about working out lately, mainly because I am just tired. Seriously. And cold. I am so sick of the cold! But I am making it my goal, once again, to get my butt back to the gym and work out. I only went once this week and only because my 3 year old dragged me. Literally- SHE wanted to go because she wanted to play in the kids area with the other kids. I dragged my butt there and was glad I did but then one thing after another came up and I never went. I can ONLY go between 430-830 because that is when the child center is open, so I try to stay at work until 4:15 and then go.... because once I am home, I am not going to go back out. I get too relaxed. It's just how I function. Anyways, I am making it my goal to go back to 3 days a week.
Even with only going once, I did lose a pound, thanks to eating not too bad I guess. I gave up chips and dip for Lent and haven't been drinking pop a lot lately. I drink it less than once a week. I decided that my goal for next week is to lose another pound. I rarely make "weight loss" goals from week to week because I don't like to but I am thinking maybe it will push me to keep going if I put it out there.

My quote is to be patient. I am the type that gets discouraged when I work out and eat healthy and lose barely anything, if anything at all. And then I get in a funk and give up. I have to be patient and realize that it WILL happen and I WILL like how I look, it just takes time.

Hopefully next week I will be reporting another pound lost! If anyone is around to link up, feel free to join in!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Bright Idea... to make sure no one forgets ANYTHING

I know--- you are thinking "this girl can't be serious... there is no way to make sure everyone remembers everything"... But I am here to tell you that there IS a way. There is a way to make sure your students remember what to bring home every day without having to say it 100x or write it on the board. It has only failed me once or twice because of my own chaos during dismissal.
(**Disclaimer- a coworker introduced me to this idea but I think it is too good not to share.)

I have been away from the Bright Ideas sharing the past few months because life has just been chaos and I have chosen to enjoy time with my family. I am hoping that my followers understand that sometimes a girl just needs a break. (Proof- My daughter will be 4 in June and I am currently blogging on my mommy blog about our vacation we took when she was TWO... so yeah...that.)

Anyways, back to this bright idea!

Have you ever had students forget something they needed for homework? Forget to bring home their entire folder? Forget WHAT they needed to bring home? And then at the end of the day you are repeating the same thing 500x or you are making this list on the board...
As if we don't have enough going on at the end of the day, we have to add in constant reminders of what to bring home and making lists on the board. And if you are anything like me, you very well might forget yourself!

Here is a way to make sure that does not happen.

First- every student needs a crate. You line them up against the wall. I keep mine in number order. This way I know which crate belongs to which student. What you keep in the crates is up to you. We keep all text books and notebooks in there. (Our desks have reading folders and notebooks as well as religion books and folders and writing journals because we use those almost daily.)
Throughout the day, students place things they will need to take home ON TOP OF their crate. If we finish a science lesson and they need their book for homework, I tell them to put it ON TOP of their crate. This allows me to see at a quick glance who does not have it prepared to go home.
At the end of the day, I fill out conduct sheets and check planners (these stay in desks too since we use them regularly) and tell students to grab everything off their crate and pack up. Because I check the planners and fill out conduct (which is in their homework folder), it ensures they have both of those things in their hands ready to go home. They quickly walk by their crate and grab their pile and go pack up their belongings for the day. Since my crates are in number order, I can see who forgot to grab something and a quick "hey T you forgot your math notebook" and we are on our way. (Admittedly, I HAVE forgotten to check a couple times because we were rushing to get out the door and I had a student forget something.... twice. Same kid both times. But most days when I check I don't even have to remind anyone.)

That's it. Simple right?! I couldn't believe the ease of this. My biggest fear was that the crates would become messy- with garbage, pencils, who knows what else. But as you can see, they haven't. I am really impressed!

And another benefit of this... whenever you get papers you need to pass out, you can put it ON the crate. A lot of times there will be things in my mailbox to give to students after students have already left (because I always forget to check close to the end of the day). And I know me. I KNOW I will forget to give them the papers the next day. So I simply take the papers and place one on each child's crate so they see it in the morning and put it in their folder.
Simple. Genius. I love it!

For more bright ideas, check out the link up below!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What I'm Reading Wednesday

I am going to try to bring this weekly post back because I know I am always looking for a new book (even though I own over 250 that I have yet to read)... yes I am a book hoarder. Lucky for my husband MOST of those 250+ books are on my ereader so I don't have to worry about how much space my books take up. However, our house did come with a little built in book shelf which made me so happy! I have wanted a built in shelf for as long as I can remember. And my husband actually thought I was going to use it for decorations... UM NO! The only time my books come down is Christmas because I have a LOT of decorations and they fit in the shelf perfectly. I mean, just looking at this makes me happy!
The shelf above holds only books that I have not read yet. Once I read a book it doesn't go back on that shelf because, well, I have a bad memory. I don't want to have to look at my goodreads account to see if I have read a book that I already own. I use goodreads to keep track of the books so I don't double buy (I have done it more than once).

I have read quite a bit recently (more so over summer than now) and I want to share the books with you. My goal has always been a book a week but some books are taking me longer due to all my other hobbies and such. But it's ok because I have plenty of books to share! I am definitely not going to be posting these in the order I read them because I never kept track of when I finished a book until this year.

So with all that said... the first book I want to share with you is...
(Clicking the image will take you to the book on amazon)
This is the first book I read by Jodi Picoult. The only book I have of hers on my wishlist is House Rules, and I have yet to read it. But there are a ton of books in our faculty room for us to borrow and I saw this one so I decided to give it a whirl.

Honesty- it took me over a week (maybe two) to really get into it. I read the first 30-40 pages 3 times I think. There are a lot of characters that get introduced right away and I was just not remembering them all and who each person was because I was reading for a short amount of time then taking a few days away due to exhaustion and being busy. But once I got into the book, I had to keep going. Now, I don't usually read "deep" books. I read fluff. I read brainless books. Books that make you laugh, smile, and saw aww.... chick lit. So when I finished this one, I had to take time away from the serious stuff. It is intense.

This book is about Sterling High School- a completely normal school, until one day there is a shooting that turns everyone's world upside down. Even the people in the town. Friendships are strained. Victims are plenty. And the one student who would be the best witness for the state, can't seem to remember anything from that day. And the shooter has issues of his own that we find out more and more about through the story.

This book makes you stop and think about what it is like to be different, what goes through the shooter's mind, what causes these events, and if anyone is really how they seem to be.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars, mainly because it took me a while to truly get into it. I did like reading it but it took too long for me to get going with it. It is very 'heavy' in terms of the types of books I read, but I did enjoy reading it and seeing the story develop and getting a look into each character's life and what events shaped them into the people they came to be at the time of the incident.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Slim Down Saturday Feb. 7, 2015

Confession- I don't even want to post this week. It was a BAD week for me. I ate awful. I didn't make it to the gym. I had no ambition. I did however buy some weights for at home...

I decided to not weigh myself this week. I know it was a bad week and I don't want to discourage myself by seeing a bad number. See, that is how I get. If I see that things are not going good, instead of becoming more motivated, I just give up. And I don't want to give up. So I made the smart choice to not bother looking today. And just start over and get my act together this week...

Seriously- one point since the year started. Probably actually a gain at this point. I have to get my act together. I looked into things like Whole 30 and cleanses and everything else people do. But, I know they won't work for me because of my sheer pickiness. I just don't want to get my hopes up and dive into something that I fail at because I give up. So instead I have to be better about what I eat and get myself to the gym regularly. I swear I say the same thing each week and I am just failing.

The one good thing is that I bought some weights to use at home. So at least on days I don't make it to the gym I can get some strength done. I usually use 7.5lbs each at the gym but I decided to get the 10lbs (yes I know that is not a lot to some) because I want to push myself and know that I will be stronger for it.

I also plan to make a meal plan for next week. I don't necessarily eat "whole foods" or "clean" or any other style of food. But just having a meal plan and knowing what I plan to cook and buying all the ingredients makes it a guarantee that I will cook instead of eating crap or ordering food. I already know what foods I want to make, I just have to get a grocery list ready so we can shop tomorrow.

So how was your week? Grab the blank chart below and link up! I am about to make a workout plan...

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Measuring Matter

I know it has been a LONG time since I have been around with a content post. But I have been taking a break from spending all my time working/related to working. And honestly, it has been a wonderful thing. I am enjoying time with my husband and daughter, spending time with friends, and enjoying my hobbies. But I did want to share with you all something I did with my students. My class (as I am sure ANY other class) loves to do hands on activities. Especially in science. They have loved doing STEM activities. We are currently learning about matter and I felt like the best way for them to fully grasp mass and volume and measuring matter was for them to actually measure. And they LOVED it. I tried to find something that would incorporate the basics of measuring but I just couldn't find exactly what I wanted, so I quickly made something and gathered some classroom supplies for the students to measure. 

This little packet includes three basic activities for students to practice measuring mass, volume, and length/diameter. I wanted to get the students familiar with terms and tools used. 
One of the stations that students participate in is measuring length. The main point of this station is to make sure students are using the correct side of the ruler. One of the biggest mistakes I have seen children make is to use inches when they are supposed to be measuring in centimeters. The students measured the height inside an empty cup, how many centimeters of water are in another cup (think rain gauge type measuring), the diameter of a roll of tape and then the diameter of the inner circle (the cardboard) of the tape. This one was pretty simple at surface level. But a mini math lesson was also included. Students had to measure to the nearest centimeter and HALF centimeter. I found that some of my students weren't really aware that when measuring to the nearest half you could still end up with a whole number. 

Another activity included is the measuring mass station. This, I would say, was the fan favorite! Students first had to practice finding the mass of common classroom items using a balance scale and gram stackers. They measured a glue stick, a bar magnet, and some stacking cubes. They loved being able to measure mass of items and try to figure out what needed to be adjusted to find the correct mass. Once students had enough practice measuring mass they had to apply their skills to finding the mass of a liquid in a container. They were given a full Capri Sun and an empty Capri Sun pouch. The students had to find the mass of the full and empty pouches. They then had to figure out how they could use those two measurements to find the mass of JUST the liquid that is in the full pouch.  I loved watching them try to figure out how they could do this and make the realization of WHY they were doing what they were doing.

The last activity we did was to practice measuring volume of irregularly shaped objects by using water and graduated cylinders. The first thing students had to do was practice pouring given amounts of water. I made them call me over after each amount they were to practice pouring so that I could check and sign off on it. The point of this was to teach students that they need to get eye level with the graduated cylinder in order to make sure they have the right amount. After they mastered the measuring of just the water, students had to find the volume of pencil top erasers by putting them in the water and seeing how much the water level increased. They put in one eraser, then two, then predicted what the volume of three erasers would be.

I would have to say that these activities were a huge hit. I originally planned for it to only be a one period lesson but I wanted to make sure to FULLY explain each station and what was expected of them so it ended up taking us two periods. Which I was fine with it because they were fully engaged in their learning and genuinely excited.

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