Saturday, January 25, 2014

Slim Down Saturdays....January 25th

Happy Saturday! I am linking up again with Gina from Third Grade Tidbits for Slim Down Saturdays. 

This has been a great experience so far with all the support from other teacher bloggers.  I highly recommend linking up.
Now for this week's update:

Ultimate goal: I tried on my wedding dress this past week while at the seamstress’s.  It fits, but I definitely want to tone up my arms for the big day.
Gain/Loss for the week: I lost 2.4 pounds this week.  After seeing zero pounds last week, I was frustrated.  It all paid off this week though.
Total since starting: I'm down 7 pounds over the past 3 weeks.
Positives form the week: I finally made it to a spinning class on Friday night.  It was amazing! I will definitely be trying to make it to a class or two each week. 
Something to do better: I’ve been falling asleep on the couch and then struggling to fall back asleep once in bed.  I need to get more consistent sleep by getting into bed before falling asleep.
Goal for next week: Eating healthier can get boring when I repeat the same healthy dinners too often.  Last night I tried a delicious pad Thai made with spaghetti squash instead of noodles…mmm.  This week I will try at least one new recipe to spice up our dinners.
One word: “Excited: I am excited for my wedding…it’s just 83 days away.  We have been checking off a lot of things on our to-do list this past week.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Slim Down Saturdays - January 18th

I am linking up with Gina at Third Grade Tidbits for the third Saturday of Slim Down Saturdays. 

I was a little discouraged to not see any weight loss on the scale, but I have to stay focused and remember that I am still down 4.6 pounds.  I am still drinking a ton of water each day and tracking my points.  I made it to the gym four times this week, but I still hope to make it to a spinning class this week.  After plateauing this early in the game, I know I need to step up my cardio this week.  I really hope to hit at least the 5 pound mark next week, so I must stay focused and not get discouraged. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Day in the Life...

I am so glad that Amelia, from Where the WildThings Learn, started this linky party.  Just last week, I was searching for other teachers’ schedules to see how they fit it all in.  This is not my every day schedule, but it is my schedule 3 out of 5 days a week.  On Wednesdays, we have early dismissal at 1:00 to allow for meetings and professional development.  On Thursdays, my students go to science for 50 minutes in the morning, so this switches my schedule up a bit.

Morning Work: Most teachers do not open their doors until 8:25, but I like to give my kids a chance to start their day calmly.  They come in and work on a math problem solving activity.

Math Meeting: This is one of my favorite times of the day!  During math meeting, my students practice using math talk in discussions about how to solve the problems on the math meeting board.  I like to incorporate open-ended or multiple answer questions to really get them thinking and talking. 

Math Mini-Lesson:  I use this time to introduce new topics or review any misconceptions about the previous day’s lesson.

Guided Math Groups: I have 4 math groups who rotate through four 15-minute stations.  M- Meet with the teacher, A- At your seat (independent practice), T – Technology (xtramath or scootpad), H – Hands-On (math games or other hands-on activities). I love this time because I can differentiate each lesson and meet each student’s needs. 

Math Closure: This is a time when we come back together as a class and talk about what we learned in math that day.  Sometimes I use this time for exit tickets, quizzes, or additional math group time.

Phonics: We take this time to do whole class blending with the week’s phonics focus, dictation, and independent phonics practice. This is not a time that I love, but it is mandated.  I have been working to spice this time up a bit.

Guided Reading Groups: This is similar to my guided math groups in that my students rotate through 4 15-minute stations.  R- Read with the teacher, E – Elbow-Elbow Reading (Buddy Reading), A – At the Computer (Raz-Kids), D – Daily Journal. My students cheer when it is time for Guided Reading.  Again, I love this time to be able to work with small groups and really understand what they are thinking while reading. 

Language: Right after lunch, I spend 30 minutes covering an area of grammar.  I usually start with a whole group mini-lesson that involves a lot of think-pair-share to get my students talking. After the mini-lesson, my students complete a group or independent activity.

Writing: I use a modified writer’s workshop with my second graders.  We meet as a whole group to discuss the focus for the day.  Then the students go back to their desks to get writing. I can then meet with individual students or pull a small group.

Reading/Social Studies:  I am trying to use social studies texts to meet the common core standards as much as possible.  I also use this time for author studies.

P.E.: We rotate our students through P.E. activities 3 days a week. The kids enjoy this time because we mixed up our classes, so they are with a mix of second graders from all 5 classes.

Read Aloud:  I began the school year trying to teach Social Studies after P.E., and it just wasn’t working.  My kids love this read aloud period and it has made for a much smoother end to our day.

Pack Up/Folders/Independent Reading: While my students are reading silently, I am calling students up to get their behavior chart filled out. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Slim Down Saturdays - Week 2

Thank you again to Gina from Third Grade TIdbits for setting up this linky.  Putting my goals up here has really helped me stay focused. I am feeling optimistic about my first week of focusing on my health in 2014.  

I made the decision to only weigh myself at my weekly Weight Watchers weigh-in. This was really hard to follow, but I think it really kept me focused and motivated.  In the past, I have weighed myself multiple times each day, and would easily become frustrated if I gained a pound.  I hope that only weighing myself once a week will boost my motivation.  Plus it will keep me going to the meetings.

Now that I am drinking at least 64 ounces of water each day, I don’t know how I survived without it.  I feel so much better when I am well hydrated.  Now I can’t go anywhere without my water bottle.

I did not meet my goal of going to the gym four times during the week…I only made it once during the school week and two times over the weekend.  Last minute afterschool meetings kept me at school until 5:00 two days last week.  This really zapped any motivation I had to go to the gym after work.  I am going to strive for going to the gym 3 times during the week no matter what time I leave work.  

 I can't wait to see how everyone else did during their first week!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Five for Friday

It’s finally Friday! Unlike many teachers across the country, I had a full 5-day week with students this week.  I am exhausted, but I am impressed at all we were able to accomplish this week.  I am linking up with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday.

We began studying camouflage this week.  I got this idea from Amanda at One Extra Degree, and it turned out even better than I imagined.  I was so impressed with how precise some of my students were when “camouflaging” their butterflies in our classroom.  These are just a few of the butterflies that are hiding around our classroom.

Thanks to some amazing donors (through Donors Choose), my students now have brand-new sports equipment to use.  It was like Christmas again when I showed my students the new equipment.  They were so thankful and wrote adorable thank you cards.  I can’t wait to incorporate the new equipment into my P.E. lessons too.

Patricia Polacco is one of my (and my students’) favorite authors.  This week I read Thunder Cake to my students, and focused on sequence of events.  My students worked in groups to put the events of the story back in order.  They did such a great job working as a team!

The reward for all their hard work was making thunder cake in the crock pot.  Thank you to Amanda at Teaching Maddeness for the recipe.  As you can tell, my students loved it! I love how these two kiddos used their napkins as bibs….too cute!

Finally, I am excited to share my new avatar.  I have long been a fan of KPM Doodles’ clipart.  Kirsten made this great custom avatar for me.  I’m not sure exactly how I’ll use it, but I think it turned out great.  I hope everyone has an amazing weekend!



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