Five for Friday

It's the end of the school year and I'm doing everything I can to keep my head above water, so my poor blog has been neglected. I have some excitement that is just too good to contain, though, so I felt a Five for Friday was in order!

I am a HUGE American Ninja Warrior fan! It's amazing. If you have never watched it, you are seriously missing out! Anyway, I was excited when I heard ANW was coming to Indianapolis and even more so when I discovered that you could get FREE tickets to be in the audience! I managed to snag 2 tickets for the final Indy shooting, at 12:30 a.m. on Thursday night/Friday morning. Needless to say, I was exhausted, but it was so worth it! 

It was set up around Monument Circle, which was so cool! Unfortunately, it started with a 3 hour wait to get in, and it was so cold! I was miserable and tired, but I was not about to miss out! Luckily, all of my misery disappeared the moment I got in. I can't even describe how amazing it was to see all the excitement live! It just got better and better as the night went on! People started streaming out the later it got, which meant I got closer and closer, and I snagged the perfect spot at the bottom of the warped wall! Plus, I saw so many amazing, talented athletes! There were so many ANW celebrities! I was trying not to geek out. 

Seeing as how I didn't get home until 6 a.m. this morning, I was running low on sleep. I wouldn't exactly say I was a functioning member of society today. We earned a class reward the other day, so I decided to save our reward (sidewalk chalk time) for today, when I knew I'd be exhausted. I can be pretty clever. There was a lot of hopscotch and even some awesome art collaboration! 

I also strategically planned a STEM challenge for today. My students are obsessed with STEM challenges, and it seemed like a good fit for my current status today. It clearly was a hit! Plastic cups and jumbo popsicle sticks. Simple. Every group got 40 cups only and used them to build a tower. I measured their tower and then they recorded their data and tried again to build an even taller tower using the same number of cups. It was a success! I liked that they only had a set number of cups, because it required them to think outside the box. It was a little noisy, but they worked so hard and I can't ask for more than that! 

I promise we actually do learn stuff in my room (even today)! These photos are from today to let you know that I am, in fact, a competent teacher. Lol! 

It's the end of the year, so I'm pulling out every trick I have to spice up literacy stations. My students love the activities from Anna Brantley's Spelling Practice in a Snap packet! They are easy to implement and fun for the students. I introduced Magical Words this week and they are hooked! They actually clapped when I modeled it for them, like I was a true magician! 

The message center from A Teeny Tiny Teacher is also a big hit! I always save it for after spring break, and it's nice to have something new to get them engaged. I have always used a binder ring to connect the ends of the rope, but the carabiner is sheer genius! It's even easier than a binder ring! Also, I like the word 'carabiner' and have now taught it to my students.

More proof that we actually learn things! Fractions are tough. Post it notes make everything better, though! They make teaching fractions bearable.

Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy your weekend! Mine will be full of watching Team Ninja Warrior episodes! 

April Favorite Things

I'm linking up with Teaching Trio today for my first Favorite Things Linky! I'm still on spring break, so I'm a little on the lazy side, but I figured a link up would be fun and simple enough!

I always felt like I "tried" to be a healthy eater and snacker. A while back, I realized I wasn't actually as healthy as I thought. So I've changed my ways a little and now I truly can say I'm trying to make healthy choices with my food. 

I get to school early and almost always stay after, whether it be for Girls on the Run or to get things ready for the next day. Many days I run after that with a co-worker. Long story short, I need healthy, ready-to-go snacks! So I'm here today to share some of my easy, healthy snacks with you!

1. Berries and almonds: No explanation needed. The only prep work here is washing the berries. I go ahead and wash the whole container at once, which makes my life easier in the long run. I prefer strawberries and raspberries, but any berries will do! I just grab some berries and some almonds and munch on them as is, but you can always add plain yogurt, as well.

2. Hummus and mini-pita: Sure, there really isn't a difference between normal size pita and mini pita, but I think the mini ones are more fun and easier to eat. Today I discovered lemon rosemary focaccia hummus and OMG! Hummus heaven! I'm picky about my spices (let's be honest, I'm picky about EVERYTHING), so I typically don't like traditional hummus "flavors" and original is a little too plain sometimes. I found this hummus at Fresh Thyme and I highly recommend it!

3. Chia Squeeze: Okay, I feel like a child eating an applesauce squeeze when I eat these, but they are so delicious! I stumbled upon them at Meijer and for some reason they caught my eye and I decided to try them (picky eater going out on a limb here). So far I have only tried the Blackberry Bliss one, but it is delightful! Essentially, it's just chia seeds infused with fruits and vegetables. It's hard to describe the texture, but it's almost jello-like...? They are so yummy, no prep, and healthy! They are packed with omega-3s, and also have good amounts of protein and fiber. 

If you have any other healthy, low-prep snacks you love, feel free to share in the comments! I'm always looking for more snack ideas!

April Currently

Look at me! Two posts in one day! I'm starting the month off right! Now if I can just stick with some consistent blogging...

Listening: I got lucky and had beautiful sunshine my first few days of vacation, but it's rained pretty much all day today. I can't complain too much, though, because it's a perfect excuse to curl up with a good book and get some blogging done.

Loving: I am on spring break and I am in heaven! It was a much needed break, and I have thoroughly enjoyed myself so far. I am so grateful we have 2 weeks off, so I spent the first few days on a mini-vacation and getting adult stuff done and now I have a relaxing week in Florida and get to spend some quality time with my family. 

Thinking: I normally have a hard time turning my brain off, but I feel like I've actually taken a true break, and I have just been enjoying myself. This has definitely been a relaxing vacation so far!

Wanting: I left the house for what I thought was a short bike ride yesterday, and ended up watching some kiteboarding and falling asleep outside. I woke up to what turned out to be a minor sunburn. My poor skin is very unhappy with me right now. Plus, I have terrible t-shirt and short tan lines! Eekk!

Needing: I gave my blog a complete makeover, but I still have to finish a few things. I know if I don't get it done over break, it will never happen, so I need to get on that!

Whatever: I'm not a fan of April Fools' Day. I'm gullible and I don't always have the same sense of humor as the rest of the world. It stresses me out. Like the whole Trader Joe's ordeal. It was traumatizing. I'm sure it wouldn't be so bad with first graders, but still. I'd just rather not.

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to head back to Farley for more April Currently fun!


Five for Friday

I'm on spring break, which gives me plenty of time for a little light blogging! I am so grateful I have 2 weeks of break, so knowing I still have another week is an amazing feeling! I might cheat a little and include some things from the end of last week. I'm a bit behind...

My aunt and uncle hosted Easter lunch this year, and they live about 3.5 hours away from me, just outside of Chicago. Since I was on spring break, I decided a weekend vacation would be perfect! So we headed up to Chicago on Saturday morning to check out the Museum of Science and Industry. It did not disappoint! We saw a replica of the Wright Brothers' flyer that was the first to take flight, so I had to send a photo out on Class Story on Dojo, because we just learned about the Wright brothers in social studies! We also took a tour inside the U-505 submarine (the only German U-boot in the USA), which was cramped, but super interesting! I love bicycles, though, so one of my favorite exhibits was the Art of the Bicycle. It was amazing. We stayed until the museum closed because I had to see everything! 

Easter itself was also enjoyable. I don't see my family too often because of distance, so it's always nice to see my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Plus, my grandma is a good sport. She let me play with Snapchat with her. #bestgrandmaever

My parents live in Florida, which means I have the ultimate destination for spring, summer, and fall break vacations! 5 minute walk from the beach, pool in the backyard (I'm still working on convincing them to get it heated), and nice warm weather! It's amazing! Plus, I get to spend time with my parents and their amazing dog! It really is a win-win.

Yesterday we biked to Deer Lake State Park, which is only 2 miles down the road, to check out the amazing dunes. We also happened to stumble upon 2 guys who were preparing to kiteboard. So naturally, we had to stay and watch them! They took their nice sweet time getting set up, but once they got going, it was totally worth the wait! It was an amazing show! 

When we set off, however, I just thought, "Oh we're going for a short ride and then coming back!" and didn't even think about SPF (we're not to that point in Indiana yet). I dozed off outside where we stopped to get a snack and woke up to some serious shorts lines! My arms look similar and my face is a little tender too. Lesson learned.

My blog is getting a makeover!!!
I've been drooling over some of the new "modern" blog designs and have been wanting to update my look a little too. I spent countless hours last spring break googling and creating and pouring sweat and tears into doing my own blog design. I figured if I could do it then, I could do it now. I cheated a little this time and paid for a template from Georgia Lou Studios, and it was 100% worth the $12 I spent! It made my life 1,000 times easier and I have only entered ONE line of code (so far). I still have some things to tweak, touch up, and add, but I love where it's heading! I love the Instagram feed at the bottom and how easy it was to customize everything! I highly recommend Georgia Lou Studios if you have any interest in DIY blog design.

My mom also just happened to make this AMAZING piece for me! How much does she rock?! She loves to create art with recycled glass and she's always so generous for making pieces for others! I love, love, *puffy heart* love it!

This is technically from last week, but it was last Friday, so I feel like it's okay. Plus, it's too cute not to share! 

We just started learning about the basics of fractions in math last week, so I figured the day before spring break was a perfect time to bust out Fraction Bubbles from Michelle Hudgeons. The kids were absolutely shocked that I let them chew bubble gum in the classroom, and no tears were even shed because of inability to blow a bubble (although, I definitely had some frustrated littles). This activity is both fully educational and hilarious for adults and children alike. It was just what we needed right before spring break!

I missed putting together a video newsletter for February, but we were able to pull one off for March! The best part is watching them watch themselves when it's all put together. Their reactions are priceless!

Enjoy your weekend!