Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Snap, Crackle, POP!

All day long I thought it was Tuesday. At 3:00, I figured out that it is actually Wednesday. Which means tomorrow is Thursday, but to me it will feel like Wednesday. Huh?

I can't even think of what's going on in my brain right now. It's all mush. Mush-mushy-mush.

I'll stop rambling and get to it! Feast your eyes on this:

Lovin' From the Oven

I know what you're thinking...

"C'mon Jordon! A rice krispy treat? LAME."

"I learned that recipe from SNAP, CRACKLE, and POP!"

This rice krispy treat is more than meets the eye. Thanks to the creative genius behind Lovin' From the Oven, we have the "Cake Batter Rice Krispy Treat".


Cake Batter Krispy Treats:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 10-ounce bag of mini marshmallows (4 cups mini marshmallows)
  • 3/4 cup Funfetti cake mix
  • 6 cups rice krispies cereal
  • 6 heaping tablespoons of sprinkles
  1. Completely melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat.
  2. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted.
  3. Next, stir in the cake mix until dissolved. 
  4. Stir in the cereal until it is evenly coated with marshmallow. Sprinkle in half of the sprinkles and mix and continue stirring. 
  5. Press the mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish and top with remaining sprinkles. Cut and enjoy!
If you're like me and you love all things Funfetti.. this one is sure to be a hit. Lucky for friends at my school tomorrow, I'll be coming to school with treat in hand.

I should go to bed. I am wearing sweatpants and a huge sweatshirt (commonly known as the gray monster). I have on a lot of clothing for 80 degree weather. I feel like Joey....

Could I be wearing anymore clothes?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Teacher Brain

After a nice little nappy nap on my couch, I was ready to hop into my lesson plans for the week. My Sunday routine usually consists of heading to school for a few hours in my classroom, but tonight I was drawn to my TV for some high quality trashy television. I'm a sucker! It's my weakness. Forgive me!

So, since I spent the majority of my time in front of the TV... I also had my computer in front of me 100% of the time. Lucky for me (and you!), I found some neato ideas.

A Teacher's Treasure is a uber great site for all teachers. After browsing her site for awhile, I stumbled upon her "Post It Parking Lot" idea. She uses post its at the end of lessons for students to reflect on their learning in the form of a sticky exit slip. BRILLIANT! Naturally, I wanted to add this little diddy to my classroom.

Last year, I attempted exit slips but I wasn't very successful. I kind of "forgot" that second graders aren't the quickest at processing and writing responses. The clock would show 3 minutes until specials and I would realize we went another day without an exit slip.

Let's be honest, will these exit slips happen everyday? No way. My time management isn't stellar (yet) and there have been several times that I look at the clock and shout ..." OH MY GOSH, WE HAVE TO GO!" and I quickly rush the kids out of the room. Isn't this the #1 do not of teaching? Probably. I'm not perfect!

Anyway, Teacher's Treasure suggests having students write the following on their post its:

Name and date
list 3 new things they learned, 
one thing they are confused about/didn't understand, 
and 1 question they still have

I can handle that! So, I bought some poster board for .63 cents for my "lot" and made three parking signs on my computer. I see three groups in science!

A Teacher's Treasure
I chose not to draw the spots in my parking lot. I guess my parking lot is more of a free for all. Park where you can! I know, I know.. it's hard not to be amazed by this masterpiece below, right? Ha ha kidding! This was simple. 

Next up we have behavior ..ahhhhhhhhh--uuhhhh--waahhhh (that's me groaning, can you tell?)

Last year, I went with the "Stoplight" approach. Students started on green and moved to yellow for a warning and moved to red for more serious offenses. This system didn't really work for me. It was difficult to manage and I found it tough to hold the students accountable. 

I'm sure it sounds awful that it's going on day 8 of the new year and my behavior system isn't quite established. But wait! My school uses the PBS system (Positive Behavior Support) and I wasn't too familiar with it, and I was under the impression that PBS would take are of any behavior plans needed in my classroom. That is partially true ...but I need something else. 

The Clip Chart behavior system created by Rick Morris is all the rage! I'm hoppin' on that bandwagon reeeeal quick. Read all about the system in his FREE ebook here. I like this idea because it emphasizes the positive. Students have opportunity to move up and up as well as move down for misbehaviors.  Here are a few variations I have seen popping around the internet using Morris' system. 

The Inspired Apple's adorable Rockstar theme!

Life in First Grade blog
Life of Momma K
Sunny Days in 2nd 
Read up on the ebook link for neat shortcuts and ways to implement this into your classroom. I'm diggin' it. Hope my kiddos think the same thing!

Yikes! It's wayy past my bedtime. Happy teaching, friends!

A Little "Sammich" for Your Morning

"I could write a blog, I have thoughts." -Julia & Julia

Anyone else spending their Sunday glued to the TV like me? It's a beautiful thing after a great weekend with my girly-friends!

On Friday morning, I concocted a little breakfast dish that I had to share. On Pinterest, I found this photo and the wheels started turning.

Shutter Bean has a fun post about frying an egg inside a bell pepper and throwing it into your regular 'ol breakfast sandwich. YUM. I could spend the rest of my life eating breakfast sandwiches. I love everything about them and unfortunately they can add up (even at $2 a piece!) plus they aren't the healthiest for you!

My absolute favorite breakfast sandwich was brought into this world by Starbucks. Starbucks has brought us many delightful things, but this sandwich takes the cake!

Bacon, Gouda and Egg on Artisan bread
Let's stay focused here or I may have to hop on over to Starbucks and eat one for dinner!

Last year, I started making quick breakfast sandwiches in the morning as a quick "out the door" meal. People would later ride in my car and wonder why so many plates were roaming in the back seat. Blame the sandwich!

My breakfast sandwiches consist of:

1 bagel (toasted)
1 egg
1 cheese (american, or pepperjack tastes great too!)

I fry the egg (no juicy yolks for me!) and place it on my warm sandwich and scoot to work.

Friday, I added the pepper! I cracked my egg inside of a red bell pepper and let her cook. I assembled my sandwich and headed out the door. Warning: don't be too distracted by your sandwich and forget your lunch! :)

It was a heavenly meal for breakfast and I would highly recommend it! If you're the more adventurous type, you should test out Shutter Bean's recipe.

Bell Pepper Egg-in-a-hole

2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 1 bell pepper (any color) cut into four 1/2 inch thick rings
  • 4 large eggs
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 slices multi-grain bread (I use English Muffins)
In a large cast-iron skillet or nonstick pan, heat oil over medium high heat. Add bell pepper and cook for 1 minute. Crack 1 egg into the middle of each pepper ring. Season with salt & pepper and cook until the egg whites are mostly set but yolks are still runny, 2 to 3 minutes. Gently flip and cook 1 minute more for over easy. Sprinkle with Parmesan and place egg on a slice of toast- or serve with an English muffin like I did!
This recipe serves 4 people.

Now, I only have a short amount of time to buzz to the store, pick up a few things from school, and park my butt back on the couch where it belongs for the VMA's!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Up in the Gym... Workin' on my Fitness!

Oh, Fergie.. always so eloquently spoken. Is it really Thursday? Awesome! Which means only one day separates me and a weekend with my girly-friends.

Today, I participated in my first zumba-like dance class. Before, I continue there is something you must know about me. I think I can dance. I love to dance, but I'm not talented whatsoever. To give you a mental image of my dance skills, I have provided some pretty sweet clips for you to enjoy. After the clips, we can proceed with my post.

Are we on the same wave length now? Okay, gooood!

Even though I love to cook, I'm notorious for eating a lot of fast food. You know why? It's fast. Sometimes, I don't want to spend 15 minutes preparing, 15 minutes baking, and an hour cleaning. Sometimes, I need something quick! So lately, I have banned myself from eating excessive fast food and been eating wayyy too much ramen.  It's a little thing I like to call, "Rama-Thon". A marathon of ramen. Yes, this is what my life has come to... a cheap and easy dinner solution.

Drool worthy
Well the tides have turned tonight, ladies and gents!
Time out. I say "gents" a lot, but I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that not many males are avid readers of my blog.

Time in.
After I got my groove on tonight and had a great day in the classroom, I felt like making something in the 'ol kitchen.

Say "I" if you love margherita pizza!
I, I!
Have you ever been to an Italian restaurant and they give you a pizza the size of your face? That's the best kind of margherita pizza! Maybe not the most healthy or "portion-size" friendly, but you catch my drift.

Est! Est! Est! Pizzeria, Rome
Once again, I found a little gem on Pinterest.  Feast your eyes on the Cheesy Margherita Pizza!

Brought to you by the Pillsbury Doughboy Hoo-Hoo!


can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls or 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet
teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2
cups shredded Italian cheese blend (6 oz)
medium plum (Roma) tomatoes, sliced
tablespoons fresh basil strips


Separate or cut dough into 2 long rectangles (if using crescent rolls, press perforations to seal). Place on ungreased cookie sheet; press into 12x8-inch rectangle. Brush with oil. 
Top with tomatoes and cheese.Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hoppin' Around Part 2

Today the Blog Hoppin' topic is all about advice for new teachers. Since, I'm a wee-little-new-teacher myself (with only 1 year and 4 days under my belt)... my advice isn't that profound or thought provoking. Instead, my advice is practical and simple.

1. Get out there! Ask questions! Meet EVERYONE! I may be what some people refer to as a "social butterfly". I love making friends.. I love talking to strangers and boy oh boy do I LOVE meeting new people. I had the best experience my first year (and student teaching year) because I got involved in my school and with the staff.

The worst thing you can do is sit in your room and worry about what you're doing because you're too afraid to ask. Hopefully, you will have people checking on you ... but just in case you don't, my advice is start ASKING!

2. Journal everything. Write down the funny memories (they are great for those bad days) and most importantly, write down those troubling moments. It will make you a more thoughtful teacher. After all, we're here for the kids, right? :)

3. Lastly, it's going to get messy! Whether your room is a mess or your brain is... it isn't always pretty or "right" but man! Everyday is so much fun and a new adventure.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Remember this day ladies and gentlemen because I went to the gym. (Once again, school has taken over.. no time for crafts and whatnot!)

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a bum ... but ever since high school sports ended I haven't been the type to be motivated to hit the gym. Who know what happened?

The following cards describe me quite well!

So today, I was feeling like working out... So I did. I think I may even do it again tomorrow! Wednesday afternoon when the BF visits, we are going to hike at Ha Ha Tonka state park. Then, Thursday I may even make an appearance at my first zumba class.

Who am I?!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hoppin' Around Part 1

I apologize for my lack of crafting and cooking lately, but this so-called-thing called "school" started. It appears to have taken a hostile takeover of my life. It's also rather selfish and requires a lot of my time! Oh well, I don't mind a bit. Considering I have had ample time all summer to craft and lounge it's about time I got my bum in gear!

Since I'm putting crafting on the back burner for now ... I'm going to participate in "Teacher Week!" Blog Hoppin' is a blog dedicated to great teaching ideas from a variety of teachers. This linky party seemed like all the rage in teacher blog world. It sounded like another bandwagon was calling my name. You know my stance on bandwagons, so once again... ALL ABOARD!

Meet the Teacher Monday!

Fact: You're Never Too Old For Disney
Tell us a little something about you...
Howdy doody! I'm Jordon. I'm a 5th grade teacher at the lake. I have lived in Missouri all of of my life and I kind of love it. Don't be fooled, I'm not a cowgirl nor do I know anything about farming. The "howdy doody" was more a fun way to say hello. When I was little, I told my dad that I wanted to work at McDonalds so I could play on the playplace on my breaks. Lucky for me, I can play on the recess equipment on my breaks. 

How long have you been teaching?

This is my second year teaching! Last year, I was a second grade teacher in a rural Missouri town. Technically, I was a "Fellow".  I was a full-time Masters student and full-time teacher. It's a great program through the University of Missouri, where first year teachers have the opportunity to earn their Masters while simultaneously working as a full time teacher! It wasn't the easiest year by any means. :) Now, I'm a second year teacher with my Masters and it's full steam ahead .. chooo chooo!

What are you looking most forward to this school year?

Everything! I'll be honest, it doesn't take much to excite me. I bought new post-its the other day and I was on cloud nine. Being in a new district and school has me excited about absolutely everything. I'm already loving my school and everyone I work with. The district adopted a new reading series this year, so I'm working hard to understand it completely so that I can use it to its capacity! Since I'm in 5th grade this year, it's a whole different ball game than my little second graders. I'm pumped about the conversations and learning experiences that we'll have in the intermediate classroom!

What do you need to improve?

Everything! I have a long way to go until I reach "master teacher" status. I've got a lot of work to do and soo much more to learn. This year has been a little easier adjusting to since I do have some experience, but it's still a new adventure everyday! In a way, I love that I don't know anything because it gives me more drive to learn more. On the flip side, I can't wait to be the one giving advice to new teachers. For now, all I can say is ... write everything down (copies to be made, grocery lists, tv shows to watch, student quotes and funny stories, dismissal changes, books to read, etc.) It's impossible to remember everything..  sometimes it's impossible to remember anything. 

What teaching supplies can you *not* live without?

Post-its! I literally have every size you can imagine. Scratch that, I love all pads of paper regardless of the sticky-factor. A friend and I are often exchanging cutesy pads of paper because we both love them!

Coca-Cola! (I refer to it as "Coke", but I don't want people getting the wrong idea!) I prefer a large coke from Sonic. Sadly, the closest Sonic to me is now 15 miles away! That's too far for a coke in the AM

BOOKS! I am seriously addicted. My classroom library is exploding at the seams. I wish I could display all of my books, but I just don't have the room. Plus, a lot of my books are picture books... eek! Anytime I can find a way to connect a unit and/or lesson to a read aloud, I do it! Read alouds can add so much to as lesson, I would never deprive my students of that experience!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Quickie Cookies

Back to Schoolio
Today was the first day of school! Not only was it the first day but it was my first day in 5th grade!! Well second if you want to get technical.. I was a school child, once! Since Alissa wasn't here to take my photograph before I headed out the door, I was forced to set my camera on my microwave and photograph myself. At 6:30 this morning I realized that my camera doesn't "stand alone". Oh well! here you see my first day photo at approximately 6:40 AM.

For some odd reason, cooking and crafting have always been a de-stresser for me. A short break from reality where I can enter into a weird twilight zone. After school, I was in the mood to bake.... so I went for it!

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that I love me some Nutella. It's delicious in every way. I'm having deja vu... oh that's right, I've already had my "dedication to Nutella post". I'll spare you the details.

Guess where I found this fantastic idea for Nutella Cookies? Oh yes, you guessed it! PINTEREST! Click here to visit A Busy Nest to view her site and recipes.

The best part about this recipe is it only requires 4 ingredients. Woot woot! Four is a pretty easy number to handle (even for me).  I had to use splenda because my sugar was MIA.

Runaway Egg
Four Ingredient Nutella Cookies

1 cup Nutella
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend all ingedients together well. Form into 1-inch balls.  Place on cookie sheet. Press down firmly with bottom of floured glass. Bake 7-8 minutes or until set. Cool.

A Busy Nest photo
Is yum even necessary? You know these bad boys were/are t-a-s-t-y.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hungry Hungry Hippo

Whew! After surviving my second Meet the Teacher afternoon/evening I was one hungry hungry hippo.

I felt a photo was necessary.
I have been waiting/dying to try Picky Palate's chicken taquitos. Click here to access her recipe index. So on my drive home I started thinking about dinner. Okay, let's be honest. I'm always thinking about food... so I knew this was a good idea long before 5:00.

I got home and dumped everything in my living room and headed towards the kitchen. I pulled up the recipe on my computer to find I was missing the first 4 ingredients. Shucks!

Did that stop me!? No way jose. I made due with what thingy-ma-bobs (also known as ingredients) I had and started cooking.
Tempting Shredded Chicken Taquitos
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped red pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno pepper
2 cups cooked, then shredded chicken breast
3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (14 1/2 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
burrito size flour tortillas

1. In 10-inch non stick skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and jalapeno pepper; cook 3 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring frequently. Stir in chicken, 3 tablespoons cilantro, salt, cumin, pepper and tomatoes with green chilies; cook 5 minutes. 
2. Place oil into large skillet over medium heat. Place about 2 large Tablespoons of chicken mixture into each tortilla. Tightly roll, securing ends with toothpicks. In batches, place taquitos into hot pan. Pan fry until nice and golden brown on each side. Remove, transfer to a paper towel lined plate to dry. Serve and enjoy!

I sat down at my usual spot at the kitchen table and laughed along with Robin, Barney, Marshall, Ted, and Lilly. No, those are not my imaginary friends, guys. 5:00? HIMYM! Everyday!
Paired my taquito with a hearty helping of chips and salsa!
Full belly and happy heart ready for day one of 5th grade!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Frankie Says RELAX

I'm a fan of parties in all shapes and sizes... so naturally, I'm a fan of linky parties. Since I haven't had much time to craft this week I'm going to party instead.

The Teaching Thief has asked other teachers what their top 10 must haves are.... so once again, I'm jumpin' on that bandwagon.

10. SWEATPANTS. I prefer the XL pair that I can throw on as soon as I get home. I usually barely make it into the door before my shoes are off and I'm into comfy clothing.

9. Fancy schmancy pens. This year, I'm all over the "sharpie pen". yep! It's a another bandwagon thing.

8. POST-ITS! I have post its in all shapes and sizes and they are everywhere in my classroom. Most of the time I write reminders on post-its and they usually don't even make it back to my apartment. Oh well! It's the thought that counts.

7.  Stationary. A coworker gave me a package of thank-you's last year as a "back to school gift". I remember her telling me that I would use them often. Boy was she right! I was often writing notes to parents thanking them for various things. Plus, it's a good excuse to browse that oh-so-wonderful isle at Target.

6. Yoga DVD OR Just Dance! Last year, I started doing yoga a few times before school. It was my alternative to a 12 oz red bull. Weird, huh? It broke up the routine of my mornings and was enjoyable. If I wasn't in the mood for yoga, I would get my groove on to Just Dance for Wii. Yes, at 6AM I was jamming to "Hey Ya!" by Outkast.

5. Pedicure! I got mine on Thursday of last week. It was ah-maze-ing.

4. My camera. Have you noticed I photograph everything? My freshmen year of college I took 11,000 pictures. I wish I was lying to you.

3. Starbucks/Red Bull/COKE. This one is self explanatory. Caffeine is highly necessary.

2. Time to yourself. I'm all about my Friday and Saturdays. They are my days off from work. I'm a "go-into-work-on-sunday-kinda-gal" but on Saturdays I like to relax... like Frankie has instructed us to.

1. SUPPORT! Nothing is better than a great group of friends to fall back on. For example: this morning I text messaged my sweet friend Jolyn and she wrote back with kind and thoughtful words for my Tuesday. Just what I needed!

Different Strokes for Different Folks!

Image Source
After reading one of Love 4th Grade's latest blog posts, I was intrigued to ask my teacher friends what music they play in their classroom. As an undergrad, I was fortunate to experience time in each grade level K-5. In many classrooms, teachers were playing music in the background. The genre on the juke box varied from room to room. So, I wondered what were some classroom favorites.... and I've got some excellent answers!

First, I'll share a few of my favorites.

Louis Armstrong

Sleep Through the Static

A 1st grade friend in southern Missouri likes to close each day with Uncle Kracker's Smile.

A 5th grade friend, who you can follow here, likes to start each day with Sunshine by Michael Franti.

During transitions, two friends like to play Jim Brickman to calm the kids. 

Two friends in Columbia like to jam to Glee for several occasions! For example, the students may need their spirits lifted or during transitions at the end of the day. Super idea!

When in doubt, go with the classics! They even sell cheap classical music CD's at the dollar store. Now that's a deal!

Of course, you may have those students who like to boogy woogy (and now how to, right Ann?) So you may want to play...

What music do you play in your classroom?

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