Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Teacher Testing Tips

I tried this thing...it's called cooking. Ha!

I wouldn't consider myself a great cook (I definitely am NOT a baker! I wish I were though...It just never works out). Nice weather means cooking out. Mr. Patterson and I could sit outside all evening-working in the backyard/redecorating our patio/changing things up outside! Basically anything a homeowner would do! With all this outside-ness means using our grill!

The recipe I am sharing is delicious! I was in charge of creating the pineapple salsa, while the man of the house whipped up the chicken. We stole the recipe from tasty.com. If you have never heard of this website, you must check it out! It is magical.

The recipe calls for rice on the tacos, we did not do that. Just using a wheat wrap, teriyaki chicken, spinach as a base, and the pineapple salsa filed us up. It tasted so fresh.

                       Lucky us, our local market had pineapple on sale for $0.99 the day I went shopping!

I love mini peppers. The recipe calls for 1/3 C red pepper diced peppers. I improvised and used red and orange mini peppers. It tasted the same as a red pepper and I had it on hand and didn't have to buy more.

                         We are not big on onions. I cut up a lot, however, I did not use them all.

 Jalapenos are scary. I love using them in recipes, but, like I said, they are scary! Anytime I cut one I                                                      always wear gloves...is that just me?

 Cilllllllllllllantro! Using this ingredient makes me feel worldly. Fun fact: I grow it! My plant this                                     year has not sprouted enough to cook with. It will be ready soon.

                                                 I did not use a real lime. Just lime juice.

We made a lot more salsa than needed! We used the leftovers to snack on with chips for the next few days. We will definitely be making this again. It was the perfect dinner for the spring feeling in the air. It was also the perfect dinner to get this teacher ready for Istep!!!

Our state testing is just wrapping up this week. It is grueling. Good food is a must for a teacher during standardized testing, am I right?!

Here are some fun things we did for our 4th graders. We called them "magic pencils". We only used them to take notes. These pencils gave brain power!!!!

I saw this floating around on Facebook. I wish I knew who originally posted it so I could give them a virtual high-five. There are similar posts on Pinterest.

Mints are amazing to 4th graders. A magic pencil and a mint will allow any student to kick butt on a                                                                              test.

Each student got a post it. They were instructed to write down one thing that makes them smile. During the test they had the post-it in the corner to remind them of a happy thought. Just a little testing pick-me-up. It was so cute to see what they write down...glitter, pets, new shoes, little brother. 

If you haven't started testing, good luck!!! You've got this. Use these testing tips to help you push through.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Spring Fever

It’s that time of yearSpring is in the air, sports games have started, and I-step has finally arrived!  The pretty weather makes it more and more difficult to  hold the attention of our sweet, squirmy kiddos.  Now is the time of year that extra recesses would definitely be an advantage.  

The Joys of being a Yaya!

As a Yaya, I have had my first experience with sports.  I’ve done it as a mom.  I’ve done it as a stepmom.  I’ve done it as a teacher.  But now, I get to be a sports fan as a Yaya!  There is nothing like it.  We weren’t sure if our little guy would play, but he did and was a hit!  He is silly down to his core.  He kept us all laughing and I loved watching his sweetness.  He didn’t want to be aggressive with the other littles.  I laughed and my heart was completely full.  When it was his turn to sit out, he was talking freely with the other kids and completely enjoying himself.  I’m so thankful for the joy he has brought to our lives!  As a mom you always worry about how other people will see your child.  You don't want your child judged, or better yet, you don't want to be judged as a mom.  All of that is gone as a grandparent and the simple pure joy of watching a child grow and develop is so blissful!

Preparing for the Test

With Istep this week, we have spent the last couple of weeks reviewing, in math in particular.  If you are a teacher or work in a classroom, you know what this weather does to students and what review does to them as well.  They begin to check out!  We’ve tried to switch things up a bit making games out of task cards.  One thing that worked really well was using the cute task cards Mrs. Patterson made.  We used the decimal task cards as a scoot game.  The students loved moving around the room to music to solve the problems.  It held their interest the entire time. 

We also used the adorable multiplication task cards by printing them and stapling pages together for students to work in groups solving the problems and helping one another when someone became stuck on a problem or a part of a problem.  Our colored printer was out of ink, so we printed them in black and white and the kids didn’t even notice.  They were still really appealing with ready to use problems perfect for this time of year.

I hope that testing is going well in your part of the world.  We are testing for two weeks and are working hard to keep things interesting and to encourage our students to do their very best to “show what they know.”  Let us know if you have any special tips to make things fun and engaging for students.  We’d love to hear from you!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Weekend Project~~~Krylon Looking Glass Paint

    Living in Indiana can be a real treat! You are never really sure what to wear when because the weather is constantly changing! My closet is always confused on days I have recess duty. With this nicer weather we have had the past week I have had the itch to change my back porch a little.
    My husband and I have a thing for antiques. We love us a good yard sale. We love going to antique stores. The rustier the better:) Our back porch has a huge 4 pane window. There are only 2 windows in it, but that is OK with us! The past 2 summers the windows had chalkboard paint on them. This year we wanted to change it up a bit and give it a mirrored look. I am going to take you through the steps to paint a piece of glass using Looking Glass paint by Krylon. This can be stored outside (I recommend the piece being covered by a porch or awning) or inside. It is so easy to do!

                  First, find a surface to paint. I am using a large window as my canvas. I bought 2 cans, but only ended up using about one and a half. This can be bought at most stores. Our local Walmart and Home Depot have them. (We are not blessed with a Target or Hobby Lobby in Seymour, Indiana)

                   Before you get started you need to clean the glass surface. I started out with a razor blade and some CLR to make sure there were no streaks. (Remember, this window has been pained in chalkboard paint so it had some leftover black streaks that wouldn't come off!) When I was done CLR'ing I cleaned both sides of the glass using paper towel and glass cleaner.

               When the glass is done drying you are ready to paint! Krylon has excellent directions. I just follow the back of the can. *Don't forget when spraying on the glass you must spray the side that will be touching the surface of the wall you are using to hang.*

These directions are VERY user friendly.
Don't be nervous, remember, if you mess us you can
use a razor blade to scrape it off and start over.

This has one coat on one glass pane.
                 I painted 3-4 coats on my window. Between each coat I let it dry for about ten minutes. It is amazing what a little spring-ish weather and 2 cans of Krylon Looking Glass spray paint can do to your mood. I am ready to sit out back and enjoy doing nothing but TPT this summer.

Finished product.

                The same day I did this project we also had a hike with some deserving students. We went to Muscatatuck Wildlife Refuge, a local National Park, and took a short hike and had a snack. Our students loved it! We were able to have a park ranger lead us on our hike and explain some of the things we saw. It was a very rewarding experience, we will definitely do it again!

Even though it is not green yet, this
poison ivy can still get you!

               Wherever you are, I hope you have warmer weather coming your way! Good luck on your next painting project! Send us a picture of what you painted using Krylon Looking Glass paint.