Welcome to my blog. I see this as a place to reflect on my teaching practices and to share ideas and strategies with other teachers.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Taking Care of Myself


As a teacher, I feel very compelled to take care of others first and to take care of myself last.  After 11 years of teaching, my body had went through quite a change - and not in a good way.  With growing health concerns (blood pressure, cholesterol, asthma, possible sleep apnea, joint pain) and a suggestion from my doctor to see a nutritionist, I decided to take control of my weight by taking better control of what I eat.





I have spent the last year taking ownership of my weight and learning how to be healthy.  I have lost 80 pounds and I want to share how I did it with EVERYONE!!  Here are my stats:

June 2015:
Weight - 213 pounds
Height - 5'3"
Clothing Size - 16 / XL
Bra Size - 40DD
Shoe Size - 8.5
Wedding Ring Size - 6.25

July 2016:
Weight - 133 pounds
Height - 5'3"
Clothing Size - 2 / XS
Bra Size - 34C
Shoe Size - 8
Wedding Ring Size - 5.25




  


I have lost the weight by making healthier food choices, eating smaller portions, and counting my calories using the FREE MyFitnessPal app on my smartphone.  




I use a food scale or measuring cup to measure EVERYTHING I eat.  I enter my food into my app before I eat to be sure I have enough calories left to eat it.  If I do not have enough calories left, I change the amount or the foods until I find something I do have the calorie budget for.  I have begun sharing my meals on my personal Facebook page with screenshots of my MyFitnessPal food diary.  You can find them by clicking here.  In that Facebook album, I also describe certain products I buy (and why) and how I prepare my foods in the lowest calorie ways.  Disclaimer:  I am not a nutrition expert.  I have found that these products and this strategy works for me (and many of my friends).  However, please read food labels and be sure that they will work for you, also.  





Last, here are some examples of what I eat daily:


Breakfast
·       6 oz of egg whites scrambled, 1 ounce fresh salsa, 2 pieces of bacon
·       a packet of oatmeal (less than 160 calories per packet)
·       1 cup of cream of wheat (prepared with water)
·       a Special K frozen breakfast sandwich
·       Special K cereal with almond milk

Lunch and Dinner
·       3-5 oz. of lean protein (fish fillet cooked with dry seasoning and cooking spray, chicken breast cooked with dry seasonings and cooking spray, 90/10 ground sirloin hamburger steaks with gravy, ham steaks cooked with cooking spray, center cut pork chop cooked with dry seasoning and cooking spray, OR chicken sausages (al fresco is the brand I buy from Walmart)
·       8-10 oz. of low calorie veggies (steamed cabbage, boiled collards, sautéed kale, steamed broccoli, steamed cauliflower, sautéed squash, sautéed zucchini, steamed carrots, no sugar added applesauce, stir fry veggie mixes, green beans, cucumbers in vinegar, or a salad with Skinny Girl dressing and NO cheese or croutons)
·       3-5 oz. of higher calorie veggies/side dishes (mashed potatoes, canned potatoes, pasta salad, sweet potatoes, green peas, butter beans, corn)

Drinks
I was drinking most of my calories.  I drank my coffee with too much creamer and sugar and I drank way too much sweet tea. So, now I stick to water most of the day.
·       a cup of coffee with sweet 'n low and one tablespoon of creamer (with breakfast)
·       water all day at work (at least 3 big bottles)
·       unsweetened tea with sweet n' low
·       unsweetened lemonade / koolaid with sweet n’ low
·       unsweetened Earl Gray hot tea with sweet n’ low
·       bottled water with zero calorie flavor pouches added

Snacks
·       light string cheese
·       fresh apple
·       fresh peach
·       fresh strawberries
·       fresh cantaloupe
·       fresh cutie orange
·       ½ cup fresh berries
·       fruit cups in water or juice
·       sugar free jello
·       carrot sticks with skinny girl salad dressing as a dip
·       light n' fit greek yogurt
·       100 calorie packs of popcorn
·       1% Cottage cheese (1/2 cup)
·       half of fresh grapefruit
·       sugar free pickles
        no sugar added applesauce


Desserts
·       strawberries sweetened with sweet n’ low and light whipped cream
·       sugar free pudding
·       sugar free popsicles
·       sugar free fudgesicles
·       light n’ fit greek yogurt

I hope this information is helpful to LOTS of people.  It has changed my life forever!  I am smaller now that I have ever been!  Good luck!



Monday, January 25, 2016

Math Centers

I have 5 math centers in my classroom.  They are Numbers, Shapes, Graphs, Measurement, and Problem Solving.  I like making each center hands-on and interactive in some way.  I also like to have some recording sheet for each center.  Here is a summary of what I include in each center:

Numbers Center

This center changes the most in my classroom.  Activities include single digit addition and subtraction, place value up to 100, place value up to 1,000, and two digit addition and subtraction.

Some of my favorites from other TPT authors are:

Roll and Add

Roll and Compare

Roll, Build, and Draw

Spin and Add

Spin and Subtract


Shapes Center

For the Shapes center, I give students a picture card from this set:


Then, they cover it with pattern blocks and complete the graph sheet for their recording sheet.

Graphs Center

For this center, I give students a seasonal or themed spinner and corresponding recording sheet.  Students spin the spinner 20 times and record each spin.  Then, they evaluate their graphs and answer a few questions.

Here are some Spin and Graph sets that I have made:









Measurement Center

My Measurement Center includes seasonal or themed picture cards for students to measure and measurement tools.  For my less advanced students, I give them Unifix cubes or a themed ruler 










Problem Solving Center

My problem solving center required some trial and error.  I eventually settled upon these activities: