Thursday, June 27, 2013

Classroom Tips!

Happy Thursday & Happy Birthday to my marvelous husband!! This is one of the Molten Lava Cupcakes I baked at 11pm last night, so that I could wish him a happy birthday with one right at Midnight! It was a wonderful time together & I wish him many more years of love and happiness. He is an awesome dad and the best husband a girl could ask for.
Worried about class behavior? Do you have some outspoken students? Try rewarding GOOD behavior instead of giving attention to the bad choices being made. This is a pail in which I put names of students that I catch being good. Whether it's helping out someone else, sitting and working quietly, achieving something awesome...anything at all of the sort. At the end of the 2 weeks I pull a name and that person gets to pick from the treasure box. Our treasure box holds a variety of items (Special eraser & Pencil packs, Art Supplies, new books, craft supplies, games etc.) but the most popular items in the box??? TIME WITH YOU cards! They are simple postcards with fun outings on them, that take place outside of the home with a parent and just the winning child. The kids go MAD for these! It's completely obvious how much they love that one on one time. 
One negative about schooling year-round? The non-stop ringing of our doorbell with different neighborhood children asking my kids to go out and play. After the first week of this, I had the kids make a door hanging sign that will go on the backdoor. Now the kids know when to ring the doorbell and when it's not a good idea. I am slipping this through the laminating machine and then we will be in business for the rest of the Summer!
Looking for ways to display art work or to use as a drying rack? This cafe rod is sold inexpensively in a multipack and just hooked onto the wall using cup hooks. I used curtain clips to hold the art work and it's done! Simple, inexpensive and awesome! It allows for multiple small gallery displays throughout a classroom!
Brave the storm and a rainbow will follow. Enjoy every minute my friends!
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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bedtime Routine?

Discussing bedtime routines tonight! What are yours at home? The kids start showering at 7 over here and then that is followed by teeth brushing and reading in their beds for 30 minutes. Hugs, Kisses and Lights out happen by 8:30. Please share what you do in the comments!
My children are 8,7 & 5.
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Wonderful Word Wednesday...

Rain, Rain, Go Away! We have been under tremendous rain storms with a lot of flash flooding lately! I hope you are all staying warm and dry and safe out there! We've have some water in the basement but as always, it could be worse. I hope your week is going well so far!
We love words in this family and are always chattering on non-stop. One thing I am noticing though, is that my children tend to use lazy words and their writing needs a bit of a PUNCH! In order for them to begin using more colorful and vibrant words, I have a Thesaurus in a basket on the table with highlighters. They look up the word they are using, and find a good replacement word. They highlight the word in the book and also on their paper. This is helping them expand their vocabulary and spell different words! 
Sticking with our love of words, I purchased this SAT vocabulary flashcard book and we have a word of the day. In the beginning of the day we read the word and I write it on the board. We discuss the definition and attempt to use it at least once in a sentence that day. There is no test, it is just a chance to increase vocabulary. I then clip the flashcard to a board in the classroom where it stays all day long and we just continue to add to them daily. Every now and then I will catch them browsing through the words and I always catch them trying to use them! 
Space in a classroom is like gold, as I am sure many of you know! In order to conserve space and also to allow my children access to everything we have in the classroom, I have to get pretty creative on where to put things. My youngest uses sentence strips for his spelling words and creating short sentences, I have these hanging from cup hooks on the side of a bookshelf, so that they are off the floor and using up space that would otherwise be wasted! 
I tell my children this every single day. It is nice to be important but it is more important to be nice is another thing I always tell them.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tuesday's Tools

I've been a busy Mama getting the tools out of a bin and onto a tool wall for the kids! Let me tell you, their face was like Christmas morning when they first saw it all. Pegboard and some framing scrap wood was all I needed for this simple project and came out to less than $5.00 as we had the hooks at home already. 
Mounting measuring tapes becomes an easy job when you add a thin metal strip behind 2 small blocks of wood and then you just use the clip on the measuring tape to hang it on.
We've been doing some work around the house and the little guy absolutely loves to help out! He gets his hat, clips his measuring tape to his pants and pencil, so he's ready to go.
Do you know how easy it is to make a plinko game? Pegboard, wood dowels and some scrap wood is all you need! The kids absolutely love this game and it's perfect to use indoors or out!
Enjoy every minute my friends!

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Menu Plan & Parenting Tips!

Monday! Hope you all had a fantastic weekend!
Monday: Stuffed Burgers and Garden Salad
Tuesday: Bean Burritos served with Chips & Salsa
Wednesday: BBQ Chicken served Button Mushrooms and Spinach Salad
Thursday: Grilled Skirt Steak over Rice with asparagus and Garden Salad
Friday: Picnic Dinner and a Movie in the Park
Saturday: Birthday Pizza Party
Sunday: Grilled Brats served with Grilled Veggies and Garden Salad
Get creative with your fruit and watch it fly off the table! We took a picnic to the Zoo and when I was grabbing some extra napkins from their snack counter, I saw some coffee stirrers. I grabbed them and skewered our fruit! These were gone in the blink of an eye!
Use empty spice containers as vials for a nature sample!
Masking Tape and a new car make the cutest most inexpensive gift for boys! Add larger car sets for even more fun. They use the tape to make roads. I usually start the first strip of tape with a plastic bread tab that they can re-use to find the end over and over again and I also add black dashes to the center of the tape on the first section so that they can see how easy it is to visualize tape as road!
Use a gumball machine capsule to house dice and keep them from flying across the room
Our 2013 Bucket List is seeing a lot of action and we have been striking things from the list almost daily! go to the original LINK and link up any posts about Summer or your very own bucket lists!
Enjoy every minute my friends, for as you wake up each morning, you realize how another day has come and gone so quickly...

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Welcome Wednesday & Classroom Tip!

Happy Wednesday and a great big WELCOME to all my newest readers! I hope you all know how much I truly appreciate your finding my little corner of the Internet and following along. I love reading your comments and e-mails and enjoy chatting with many of you over on my Facebook Page. I hope you enjoy what you find here and know that it warms my heart to share with you the ups and downs in our life!
Our mailman came bright and early today and showed up with many packages! Don't you just love days like that??? Each and every package was chock full of books! We ordered some for our Summer Curriculum and others just for fun! What's your favorite thing to get in the mail?
I found this LARGE cork board at an estate sale for a whopping 1.50 on half price day and I couldn't wait to get it home. Behind this space is where our fuse box is located and it's hideous as are all metal doors. I first framed out the box in wood and then put 2 nails into the wood, so that I could suspend this cork board over it and completely cover it up! Now it's easily removed and yet covered nicely. The next step was to make this board somewhat prettier. I didn't want to spend any money on  bulletin board sets at the teacher store, so I only used what I had on hand.
Voila! I love the punch it packs with color! It holds important information that we have going on at the moment, along with our reading chart. Our goal is to read 100 chapter books this Summer!! Hopefully we can do it!

 Now, about that Classroom Tip. Look below the cork board. See that curtain rod? It's a skinny cafe rod (about 2.00, but our house came with 50 or so of them when we bought the place!). I have it held up by 2 cup hooks and now it holds an assortment of flashcards! The cup hooks make it easy to remove when needed and the binder rings on each set of flashcards make them easy to flip through and store. No more torn and bulky boxes.
Enjoy every minute my friends!!

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tasty Tuesday!

Picnics in the park are always a way to get the brain recharged and ready for studying!
Tuesday Tip: Save individual portion containers for disposable snack cups at picnics and outdoor play!
A favorite from today's picnic? Diced Cucumbers and Tomatoes, Chopped Basil and Dice Green Onions with a homemade Greek Dressing!
Greek Dressing Recipe:
1 1/2 quarts olive oil
1/3 cup dried oregano
1/4 cup pepper
1/4 cup salt
2 quarts red wine vinegar

Mix all ingredients together in large container and store in airtight container. I use this on EVERYTHING and my kids absolutely love it! It's a Salad Dressing, Marinade, Veggie Vinaigrette, Bread/Toast brush...etc...
Enjoy every minute my friends!

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday Math and Menu Plan

Happy Monday my friends! We had such a busy and fun weekend that I wish I had more time to share with you all the excitement and fun, but we spent a lot of time in the sun, at the movies and of course together! Today brings a new week that we are looking forward to and I plan on sharing some fun tips and good times we had .
Play as though playing real UNO, though before putting your card down onto the existing stack, multiply the 2 numbers! For younger players, they can add or subtract the 2 numbers. Fun and so simple to play!
♥ Making Math Fun! ♥
My 7 year old is mastering his multiplication tables and in a way for him to do well on his timed tests, we play games to help him learn them! Can be played alone of with many people!

This one is so simple and only uses a 2 dice, graph paper a marker and colored pencils (Number of pencils varies based on how many are playing). Make sure at least 1 die goes to 9 or both can go to 9 or however high or low you would like to start with.

Roll the dice and multiply the 2 numbers in your head. Say answer aloud and then begin working on the graph paper. Mark the boxes across from 1 die and then mark the boxes down from the second die to make a box. Color in the entire area and then count each and every box colored. Is the answer the same as what you worked out in your head? Write the correct answer in the box you colored. At the end of the game, each person adds up their boxes and the one with the highest area covered (or highest score) on the paper wins!
Monday: Grilled Chicken Salad with Homemade Greek Dressing
Tuesday: Polish Sausage and Potato Pancakes with Green Beans
Thursday: Keema Aloo served over Jasmine Rice with Naan
Friday: Avocado Ham Sandwiches with Homemade Pasta Salad for our Picnic in the Park with Movies!
Avocado Egg Salad is my Healthy Alternative to Egg Salad!

Swap out the Mayo for Avocado and then add in some cilantro and a squirt of lime and it's so delish!
My children like to eat it with cucumber slices. 
12 Eggs
2 Avocados
Chopped Cilantro
Juice of 1/2 small lime
1 celery stalk chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
Dash of Paprika
Mix all ingredients together to desired consistency. Serve on rolls or with veggies!
Enjoy every minute my friends and have a wonderful week!

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Relax & Enjoy

Sorry it's been so quiet lately, we have been studying and relaxing on the screen porch just enjoying the weather and listening to the rain. We had a tornado scare yesterday but all is well!

Enjoy every minute with your family my friends!

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