Friday, February 28, 2014

Teaching figurative language, it's almost time for tcap y'all!

This time of year is CRAZY at school. I always feel a last minute rush, the week before our state test, to impart every bit of knowledge I have about anything, to my students. Last week my amazing, 7th grade literacy, counterpart and I decided that we were going to review figurative language. Our students need to know:



Similes and Metaphors

A little reminder on our flip chart

What students needed to accomplish by the end of the class period:

We always try to do really fun hands on activities, so here's how this lesson went down:

1. Review figurative language (All of the students had me last year, so we taught these intensely in 6th grade.)
2. Next students all received a sticky note of the color that corresponded with the poster. IE-personification was a pink, metaphors were green etc.
3. For alliteration students wrote down a consonant letter. Then, they had to trade with the person seated across from them. Next, they had to write an alliteration using that letter and post it on the poster.
4. For similes students had to write down an animal and then pass it to a different student. Then students had to write a simile using that animal.
5. For metaphors students had to so take out the "like" or "as" from their simile and turn it into a metaphor.
6. For personification, students had to write down a non living thing in the classroom, then trade again and students had to write a personification using that object.
7. After all of the stickies were posted, we went through and read each sentence that students had written.
8. The class decided by voting with yes/no index cards which sentences were actually using the poetic device. The examples that received "No's" from the class were removed from the poster and were left with the good examples.

This gave me some great feedback about which students could ID figurative language and who still needed support. It also gave me a good idea about who could actually use figurative language and who would need extra practice throughout the week.

The students loved this activity! I am praying that they will retain some of the lesson and use it for next week! Good luck to all those great teachers and students out there next week!!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What I wore Wednesday

No change on the weather front, still hating this time of year and still hating my wardrobe. Callie and I went to our favorite little thrift store over President's day and I only found a few things, it was kind of disappointing. Nonetheless here are some of the things I wore last week:
Aztec print dress :Thrifted
Blue tights: target
Brown boots: target
Grey cardigan: Thrifted
Belt: Target
Beaded necklace: some store in Arkansas
Stripped sweater: Old Navy
Chambray button up: Forever 21
Black skinny jeans: Target
Brown boots: Target
Necklace: Very Jane
Blue cable knit sweater: Old Navy
Orange tank: Target
pants: thrifted
Polka dot scarf: Target
orange heels: Dillard's (super old)
This was my outfit for 5280 Denver restaurant week with Brien's family. The weather was slightly warmer, so I thought a dress would work. 
Dress: thrifted
belt: Target
Boots: Target
Necklace: Very Jane

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

"Pinned it and did it" fringe-y scarf

Maybe you didn't know this, but I like scarves. All kinds really, infinity, lightweight, silk, knit. I like that they make feel like a grown up and they pull my outfit together. I saw this pin a while back and last spring I decided to give it a try. It's where you make a scarf out of an old tank top or t-shirt. Here is my grey fringe scarf

I decided to clean out the old tank top drawer and found this little number... and decided to add another to the collection:
It's like an extra small from before I had Kellen and it had some little holes at the bottom. So I took my snazzy sewing scissors (I have to hide this pair from my family) and I chopped the tank right under the armpits:
Then I take the bottom half and start cutting up about half way up the shirt on the raw edge. For this scarf I made the strips much skinnier than the grey scarf.
Then I pull on the the fringy pieces and stretch out the spandex in the fabric a little and here is the finished product:
Gotta love a free scarf !

Here is the original post from pintrest :

Monday, February 24, 2014

Homemade detangler, for the thrifty girl mom

We have a problem at the Wood house...with hair. I feel so bad for Brien and Kellen, but Callie and I have ridiculously long hair. And it's everywhere. I manage my long tangles pretty well, but Callie's on the other hand is still that really fine little kid hair that seems to tie its self in knots if it is not pulled up.

 So to avoid the screams of bloody murder at bed time, we used a spray leave in conditioner. The only problem was, even though it was the off brand, cheap stuff we were still going through a bottle every other week.

Being the practical mother that I am, I thought there must be a better way. So I did what any good mom does I googled homemade leave in conditioner. I found a few weird things but after sorting through those, I happened upon another B-log of a frustrated mom, who decided to make her own.

So here is what you need:
Spray bottle
real conditioner
HOT water.

Next, put 1-2 tablespoons of conditioner in a spray bottle, depending on the size. Then top with the hottest water that you can get out of the faucet and shake.

I realize that it is just diluted conditioner, but Callie's hair is not greasy and we avoid bed time tears,so it's a winner in my book!



Sunday, February 23, 2014

Kellen is 5 months

Again I sit here and think, Wow! Five months already. This time last year we were just announcing to our families that there was going to be an addition to the Wood's and now he has been with us for almost  half of a year.

Kellsy bell, you have changed SO much this month! I can't believe it, it's like you are not an infant any more, you are truly a baby. You have slowed down eating a litte, but you definitely like your cereal. You finally got impatient with us and figured out how to hold your own bottle (when you want to...)
You finally laughed this month! Like a for real, belly laugh! Callie was dive bombing the bed and bouncing you all around and you pretty much thought that it was the funniest this that ever happened (and it probably was, you are only 5 months old) You haven't really done it a whole lot since, but you have this smoky little chuckle that melts my heart!

You LOVE to hang out with your daddy! Most of the time you just sit in his lap and coo and talk to him. If you are with dad you are happy man! One afternoon daddy was working on one of Callie's toys and part of it looked like a spoon, you followed that thing around and kept trying to catch a bite!
You love to play, especially with your football and telephone. 

This month you figured out how to roll around, I think crawling is in the near future, yikes!

This month was SUPER rough with sleeping. Until about 2 weeks ago we swaddled you up tight, because every time you moved you would startle and wake up crying. One night you fought the darn blanket so hard that you screamed from 11 pm until 5 am. No rest for the weary. Finally daddy unwrapped you and you flipped over on your tummy and passed right out. Now every morning that we check on you, there you are on your tummy sound asleep and we are finally back to sleeping well!
You found your feet this month, pulling off your socks and chewing on your toes is a pretty fun time for you!

LOVES: Talking, making noise (especially at church and quiet places) giggling, anything your sister does, books and colorful toys, chewing on jewelry, chewing on your hands, playing with your toes.

Not a fan of: Day time sleeping, when your bottle is empty, being alone.

*time rolling over
*sleeping without your swaddle
*banana baby food
 *Valentines day
*Basketball game

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What I wore Wednesday!

I feel like I am in a  little bit of a clothing rut. I hate this time of year. #1 the weather is depressing! B, We have little teasers of warm weather and then get a snow storm. Last, everything is brown and dirty;  my yard, my car, my dog, the streets, yuck. I am ready for spring!
My Valentines day outfit!
Heart sweater: old navy
Black and white gingham button down: old navy
Dark skinny jeans: forever 21
medallion flats: amazon
Bauble necklace: very jane

Sequin Zebra tank: Target
Blazer: thrifted
Grey pants: thrifted
wing tip heels: Target

Aztec tee- Target
teal cardigan: Target
pants: thrifted
teal wedges: Target
Chevron necklace: Very Jane

Plaid dress: target
red cardigan: target
tights: very jane
boots: target
necklace: target
Belt: thrifted

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Easy Tortellini bake

During the week nights, I don't get home until close to 5, I hate it! I like to come home, get unpacked and organized from the day, start dinner, get Callie started on her homework and sneak in a workout before Brien gets home at 5:30. If that seems like a lot to jam into 30 minutes, you would be correct, therefore easy recipes=my friend.

Here is a super simple recipe that makes it into the rotation at least every other week. Tortellini bake! Here goes:

You need:
1 bag of frozen cheese tortellini (I think it was 9 oz?)
1 jar of marinara sauce
1 jar of Alfredo sauce
1 bag (8 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350
1. Combine tortellini (I don't even cook mine, I am sure you could, but that would just add more time) and both jars of sauce in a lined 8x10 baking dish.
2. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and pop into the oven.
3. Bake for 30 minutes, then I broil it the last 2 just to get the cheese bubble and brown.

That's it! You can have your life back (at least once a week!)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Cheesy chicken baked chimichangas

I love cheese and chicken and tortillas and I put them together, frequently. Here is another pinterest recipe that I modified for delicious cheesy chimichanga:

I should have taken a prettier picture!
So here's what you will need:
1lb of chicken breast (I boiled mine and then shredded it in the kitchen aid)
1 8 oz brick of cream cheese (I used 1/3 fat)
1 bag (2 cups) of pepper jack or some kind of spicy cheese
1 packet of taco seasoning
8-10 flour tortillas
cooking spray

Pre heat oven to 350

1. combine shredded chicken, cream cheese, shredded cheese and taco seasoning in a mixer.

2. Whip it all up until combined well.

3. Then divide it out among the tortillas.
4. Fold tortillas up like an envelope.
5. Spray with cooking spray and sear(?)  in a hot skillet for a minute or two. Then flip and brown the other side a little.
6. Place in a lined dish and bake for about 15 minutes. Then flip them and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
7. Serve with salsa, sour cream, guacamole, etc.  I also made some re fried beans and Spanish rice to go along with ours to make it a real meal.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Book club and yummy recipes

Every month or so a group of my favorite people get together and hang out have intelligent conversation about literature. Our book groups consists of my mom and mother in law, both of my sisters in law, and one of my best friends and her mom. I would like to pretend that we are all very intellectual and read very challenging classic novels, but not quite. We actually have read some of the classics, but we mostly do "light, fun" reading. This last meeting I was able to host and we all got together after reading The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks.
Cover art

I am going to be real honest, I didn't not read the entire book, I am currently about 3/4 of the way through it. This is a typical Nicholas Sparks, romance, tragedy and life in a small southern town.
To honor the book I made a big ol' crock pot of blue ribbon chili (one of my favorite chili recipes from Callie's grandmother) and big ol' plate of strawberry cookies.

So here is the recipe:

You will need 2 lbs of lean hamburger
1 can of pinto beans
1 can of black beans
2 cans of ranch beans
1 can of rotel
11/2 tsp of the following spices: garlic salt, Italian seasoning, parsley flakes, bay leaves and chili powder
2 cubes of beef bullion

1. Brown the ground beef in a skillet on the stove top, drain and add to the crock pot'
2. Combine additional ingredients
3. Top off the crock pot with water
4. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for about 8 hours

I made my main dish into a chili bar with cheese, sour cream, fritos, oyster crackers and corn bread,

For dessert Callie and I made strawberry cookies. They were amazing, here is the recipe:

1 strawberry cake mix
2 eggs
2 cups whipped topping
Powdered Sugar

In a large bowl, use a mixer to combine the cake mix, eggs, and whipped topping. Refrigerate dough for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll 1 inch dough balls in powdered sugar, then drop onto a lined cookie sheet. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges.

Overall, book club was a success!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

What I wore last week

A few outfits from the last week, I have gotten behind!

Limited blouse: thrifted
Gap pants: thifted
Polka dot jacket: target
nude heels: target

Stripped sweater: target
tank: forever 21
black skinny jeans: target
leopard flats: target
scarf: DIY out of an old tank top (more about that to come)

Sweater: forever 21
stripped tank: thrifted
dark skinny jeans: forever 21
necklace: very jane

Sweater: old navy
stripped dress: target
grey tights: kohls
grey boots: kohls

Friday, February 7, 2014

Conversation hearts valentines lesson plan

A few years ago I wanted to do something fun but challenging with my students on Valentines day. Thus the conversation heart letter was born.
I have my students choose a handful of conversation hearts, they get to eat some and use some in their Valentines letter.

Next they choose a person to write to. I ALWAYS try to encourage them to write to a family member.I am trying to be wholesome here!

Then they draft their letter incorporating in the hearts. At one time mine said:

"Dear Mom,
                  You are the best mother and I know I will 'TXT U' forever! If you ask me over for dinner I don't think it will be '2bad' because you are great chef. 'Don't tell' dad that I like your cooking better.
I will always be your 'baby girl'
                                              LUV U,
                                                          Your daughter.
This letter makes NO sense, I just wanted to have a finished product!
 After the kiddos draft their letter then I have them put it on nice paper and glue on the hearts.
The kids "luv" it and it is pretty challenging especially for some of my second language learners or students who don't text.

Here are the instructions I post on my Promethean board along with my finished product:

I found this letter in my desk from circa 2011. The hearts and glue don't quite stand the test of time, but still a keepsake for parents of kids who are "too cool"!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

"Pinned it and did it" Valentines day art!

A few weeks ago the kids and I had off of school for the MLK holiday. The weather was kind of chilly so we stayed inside and did crafts! You have not lived until you have tried to paint a 3 month old baby's hand to make hand print art. It didn't come out exactly like we planned but it was cute and I have some nice art to commemorate our crafty day at home!

So the first things we made was a heart painting. I found a heart cut out on the Internet and cut it out and taped it to some left over canvas that I found in the basement (score!) We taped the shape to the canvas.

Then Callie picked the colors that she wanted the heart to be and I let her get to work finger printing up the canvas. It kept her busy for like an hour. (double score!)

Kellen watched...

And finally finished product! (forgive the unbrushed hair, it was a day off)
So here is the original:
valentine craft, tape the heart shape, kids use dot painters (bingo style) markers, then peel off heart template... (maybe use an eraser on the bottom of a pencil instead?)

Thanks Pinterest!

Kellen's craft was supposed to look like this:l
Omg, omg, omg!!!! I need to do this while I still have small hands and feet to do it.

But, like I said, painting a tiny baby's clinched fist = ridiculously hard. So instead it came out like this:
We had one extra canvas that surely couldn't go to waste so Callie painted her self a little heart:

Here they all are on display!