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.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Slim Down Saturday Jan 31, 2015

Sorry I am a day late here friends! I had planned to get this up yesterday but my best friend and goddaughter came over and visited and then we ran errands and by the time we got home, I decided to stay away from the computer. I assume everyone can understand that. :) But I am here, a day late, with this week's Slim Down Saturday.
This week was not a good one for me. I think I only made it to the gym once or twice. I don't even remember. It was a VERY long week... It was Catholic Schools Week, which in itself is fun but so exhausting! Our kids had so much fun (and so did I) but it tired me out. Not to mention I had an appointment with a new doctor and I disliked him so much that it caused me entirely too much stress. But I am determined to have a better week.
As you can see from my chart, I made no progress. I didn't even have any real positives. I stayed away from pop again all week, which is a plus. I didn't gain so that is another plus. But I also didn't lose. I didn't expect to lose anything being that I didn't workout hardly and that I didn't eat the best. OH but I DID have one positive that just happened that I didn't add to my chart- during our Friday events for Catholic Schools Week, a picture was taken of me from behind (not OF me, I just happened to be IN the picture) and, I didn't HATE the way I looked. I wasn't disgusted. And THAT is a HUGE step!

My goal for this week is to do some type of workout every day. Even if I don't get to the gym each day I am going to try to do some workout at home. I am going to make myself a schedule of what area I want to focus on each day so at least I have something to follow. I was going to buy myself some weights yesterday to use at home on days I don't get to the gym, but I didn't. However, I think I am going to go back today to get them.

I am also debating ONLY tracking my weight at the beginning of each month. I used to do this and it helped make me less discouraged because then the +/- of .2 doesn't phase me as much. I am HOPING that I will have more than a few tenths of a pound each week from now on, but who knows.

If you want to link up, grab the image below and join in. Again, sorry I am a day late this week!!

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