Saturday, September 14, 2013

Promoting Responsibility with my own Immaturity!

     Well, the last few weeks of quiet can only mean one thing. School is back and in full swing! Now, I've been promising pictures of my classroom, and I have some! However, I'll be showing you my classroom a few little pieces at a time. Not because it's a work in progress or anything...

      My first glimpse into the classroom is a small but powerful area. In our district, Fifth grade and Sixth grade are in one building together. I happen to love this idea and think it works fantastically (not biased or anything). However, that means that the move from 4th to 5th is a BIG one. Students go from being in a very Elementary school setting to one that is a step closer to Middle school. They have lockers and they switch for classes. This transition requires a lot of work, but it is also crucial. Students, for the first time, have to truly be independent and responsible for their education. That happens to be something I love to instill in my students. Their education can't be taken away from them and it is something to cherish and work hard on.

     For this reason, I try to create a classroom that fosters that independence. Each area is a tool that they can use to become responsible. The first area I am showing you is at the very front of my room. (On each side of the door!) It is where work is received and turned in. First, let me introduce you to the Absent Bin. In the past, if students missed school they would frequently just be handed what they missed. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not just making my students fend for themselves! However, I believe that a great step for students to take is to come back from an absence and take the initiative. Instead of waiting for someone to come to them, they can take the first step. It shows that they understand that what they missed is important.
     Now, just because it fosters independence doesn't mean it can't look hilariously entertaining! My entire room this year has a Despicable Me Minion theme. I can't get enough of those little dudes. They crack me up! What you are looking at is a box that can hold hanging folders. 

     Inside, are 4 folders with a few extras behind. Each folder is designated for a specific subject. The last folder is called "Friday Folder." This is because, each Friday students have a special folder to take home graded work and flyers to their parents. This folder then gets signed and returned so that I know their parents saw all of the most important papers. If a student loses one of those papers, they can get extras in that folder. The subject folders get filled with extras of each paper I hand out in that class period for the week. 
     The beauty in this is that students don't even have to ask for papers they missed. They are able to walk up to this box and find the information they will need for each class missed. Obviously I am always around if they need to ask questions! 

     On the other side of the door way is where work gets turned in. At the beginning of the year, students get several reminders to turn in their work each period. As we go through the year they get fewer reminders. This enables them to begin to make it a habit to enter the room and turn in work immediately. Of course- they are entertaining as well! 
     Seriously can't get enough of the Minions. ANYWAY, here are two very important parts of my classroom. You also get the sneak peek of all of the Minion signs/decorations that I've made for the room. Enjoy, give me your feedback, steal the idea for yourself or do all of the above. I'm just glad I finally had a few moments to show you what I'm proud of in my room! 


Monday, September 2, 2013

For When You'd Rather Eat Wings

Hey Friends,
        We're at T minus 15 hours to the first day of school! I am working on making sure that everything is ready (or as close as it's gonna be!).

         This recipe has been ready to shoot out to you for a bit now, and I'm excited to share it with you. Every so often I get the craving for wings and that kick of hot sauce. Of course, I very rarely have wings in the house, and they're not always the healthiest option for my hot sauce desires. Lucky for me, I found this method of dressing up veggies with the taste of wings!

You Will Need:
*one head of cauliflower
*2 tsp. olive oil
*1 tsp. garlic powder
*1 tsp. paprika
*1 tsp. chili powder
*1/2 tsp. kosher salt
*2 tbsp. hot sauce (or as much as you want!!)

     Let's get kickin'! Preheat your oven to 425, and get to washing that cauliflower. Once it is washed, break it up into little florets in a medium sized bowl. In a separate, smaller, bowl combine all of your spices. Apologies ahead of time; my mind went to La La Land and didn't get pictures of these first two steps.
     Believe it or not, you don't have many steps left. Drizzle your olive oil over the cauliflower florets and toss them a bit to make sure they are coated evenly. Next you're going to coat these florets with your spice mixture. It should look like this:
          Pull out a cookie sheet that will be able to hold all of your kickin' florets! I like to cover my cookie sheets in tin foil so that the clean up is THAT MUCH EASIER! :) Spread your florets out on the sheet so that they are all in one even layer. 
    Pop these babies in the oven for about 25-30 minutes. They'll start to have some crispy, burnt edges to them when they're ready. When they come out of the oven, I like to dump them back into that original large bowl. That way, when you coat them with hot sauce, you pick up some of the extra spices that were left behind. You can't stop me from making sure there's LOTS of flavor.

    Pour in your hot sauce and mix to coat. Let's face it, I don't usually stick to my 2 tablespoons. I drown these suckers! It's all about how much spice YOU want.
     Ta Da!!! You're done! These things are so tasty and are a big hit for me and the mister. I think it might be the only way he's eaten cauliflower!
     Let's be honest, are these a complete trade for wings? Heck no. BUT, when you're looking for that spicy hot fix- they're great. Give it a try and let me know how you like 'em!

     To all you fellow teachers out there, get it started with a bang! I'm looking forward to meeting my new group of kiddos, and showing you my fabulous classroom. Much love to you all.