SOL #27: What’s Missing?

The moment when you reach and connect with a student who typically resists learning.

Resistance turns to willingness.

Hands down one of the best parts about being a teacher.

Trying and trying until something clicks.

Today was one of those days. During guided reading, I work one-on-one with a student who usually has difficulty focusing and engaging in learning. Today was not one of those days.

We tried a new sight word activity today: What’s Missing?

“What’s Missing” is a quick activity in which I erase a letter in the sight word and have the student identify the missing letter. Today our sight word was before.

My student identified all missing letters correctly and three magical words came out of his mouth: “I like this!”

He proceeded to suggest ideas for me to have him guess the missing letters: “Instead of leaving a space, you should put all the letters together for me to guess”. Not only was he participating, but he was providing input for his own learning.

This moment put a smile on my face today, that’s for sure.

After we finished the activity, I dedicated the last minute of guided reading to see my student’s new Pokémon book. He showed me some of his favorites, and I couldn’t have been happier.

He was excited. I was excited. It was a successful group time.

Something so simple can make such a difference.

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SOL #26: Sundays Are for…

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Sundays are for…

Sundays are for sleeping in.

Sundays are for enjoying breakfast (& not on the go).

Sundays are for spending time with family.

Sundays are for catching up on life.

Sundays are for procrastination AND productivity.

Sundays are for grocery shopping.

Sundays are for meal prepping.

Sundays are for planning and grading.

Sundays are for rejuvenating before a long week ahead.

That’s what Sundays are for…

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SOL #25: Mochi in My Tummy

slice-of-life_individualYet another trip to the store and another slice to reflect on…FOOD.

Today I took a trip to Whole Foods.

I very rarely make my way to Whole Foods, but I have been in search of jackfruit, which I cannot seem to find anywhere! I thought I would be in luck, since Whole Foods has all kinds of unusual healthy food items, but no such luck.

With a jackfruit defeat, I opted for their new mochi bar, which I saw advertised at the entrance…score!

I headed over to the bakery section to find the mochi bar. It is a self-serve bar, filled with a variety of mochi flavors. I decided to try 3 of the flavors, including matcha green tea, mango, and strawberry.

“What is mochi?”, you may ask.  Well, I learned today that it is a Japanese dessert made with sweet rice dough and ice cream!  Soft in texture on the outside, but ice cream on the inside-yes, ice cream! The ice cream part definitely sold me.

I first took a bite into the matcha green tea mochi. Matcha green tea is awesome.

Initial thought: The outside is super squishy and gummy, but also powdery on the outside because of the powdered sugar. Weird texture at first, but I liked it regardless.

After biting into the rice dough, there was a burst of green tea flavor! Soft, creamy ice cream in the center goes well with the rice dough. I was pleasantly surprised!

I had to try another. Mango was even better than the green tea mochi, honestly. Still have yet to try the strawberry, but I predict it will be just as delicious.

Mochi bar for the win!

Maybe one day I will get lucky and find the jackfruit I was initially searching for…

SOL #24: Coffee Shoes

slice-of-life_individualAfter learning of a comfy AND cute brand of shoes on a fellow teacher’s Instagram, I searched for a pair online at Target (the brand is Mad Love, you’re welcome in advance 🙂 ). These shoes are seriously unreal… only $23 and ACTUALLY like walking on clouds. (Link to comfy Target shoes)

So comfortable.

I decided to wear these heavenly shoes to work today for casual Friday to see how comfortable they were after 7 hours on my feet (HA!). At the end of the day, I decided these shoes had passed the “comfy” test.

Now, fast forward to my classroom after school.

My daily after school ritual consists of scrambling around, cleaning up the classroom and preparing for the next day. I was in a hurry today, setting a goal to leave by 4pm. While  I was racing around the classroom, I decided to help out my co-teacher and bring her travel mug to her table.

As I picked up the mug and headed over to her table, the top came off and coffee splattered ALL over the floor and onto my new shoes, white laces and all…(crying inside)!

The right shoe was really in the splash zone. It didn’t stand a chance.

By the grace of the shoe gods, my right shoe survived being drenched in coffee. I have never been so happy to have purchased beige shoes. When the coffee dried, it left a slightly faded coffee stain. Somehow, my white shoe laces still look pretty white?! 🙏

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Nothing a stain remover can’t fix.

Luckily, our wonderful custodian came to my rescue with a mop and quickly helped me clean up the mess, leaving nothing but a strong coffee smell in our classroom. 🙂

A not so bad ending to having coffee shoes. Happy Friday!

SOL #23: Running on Life’s Treadmill

I feel like I have been running on a treadmill…uphill… at full speed…

Going, going, going. Man, I really hate treadmills. 

With so much left to do until the end of March, I want to keep working until I finish everything on my to-do list.My to-do lists make the seemingly endless tasks more bearable. There’s nothing better than checking off a task on a long to-do list.

Each task completed is like lowering the speed on life’s treadmill.

Once again, tonight was spent at the coffee shop grading a reading assessment on fables.By the time we knew it, it was already 8’o clock. I did not even eat dinner yet!

So, I regretfully headed to the Wendy’s drive though at 8:30…I know I should not be prioritizing work over dinner.

Can I press the emergency stop button on life’s treadmill? I’ll even take a few speeds slower.

No, just keep going full speed. Only one more week until spring break!

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SOL #22: Grand Opening

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After work, my mom called to invite me to check out the grand opening of a new Mariano’s Fresh Market near my house! I couldn’t say no. I left work early to explore the new store with my mom and brother.

Mariano’s is a close second to TJs, except Mariano’s has the best food court… I am obsessed! You name it, they have it.

Wine bar, sushi station, homemade pizza, fresh squeezed juice stand, gelato shop…the list goes on and on!

At the grand opening, they had fresh-made pretzels in a variety of flavors…one flavor they had was red velvet?! Another interesting flavor was buffalo.

As we were walking through the bakery and sweets area, I saw taffy apples the size of my face and fudge galore. One cool area they had included barrels filled with crazy popcorn flavors…green apple, churro, garlic ranch…but I am a Chicago Mix (caramel/cheese combo) kinda girl.

My mom and I love going to Mariano’s, just to walk around and try the variety of food court options they have to offer. A simple night at a grocery store makes for a memorable time!

Mariano’s has become our “spot” and a shopping day we look forward to . 🙂

SOL #21: Coffee & Grading

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The end of the quarter is near and coffee is a necessity.

It was a grading at a coffee shop until 9 o’clock kind of night.

Laptop? ✔️️  Favorite Paper Mate Flair Pen? ✔️️  Endless stack of assessments to grade? ✔️️

Most important? My coffee and co-teacher to keep me motivated.

This particular coffee shop has the most delicious, and unusual, drinks. My co-teacher and I LOVE to come here to grade. It is one place that has kept us sane this school year.

Our liquid companion for the night:  Honey Bee Latte… so yummy!

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Nothing better than sipping a latte in a cozy coffee shop, minus the grading part…☕

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SOL #20: Spring Has Arrived!

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So long, winter!

Winter, my least favorite season, is finally behind us. (Well, hopefully.) I have always been sure that winter is my least favorite season, especially living in Illinois with frigid cold and endless snow.

Spring, a season I love, especially when it loves us back. By that, I mean warmer temps and no sign of snow. I will take rainy days and thunderstorms, but please don’t let snow revisit us this year.

I teeter back and forth between my two favorite seasons being spring and fall…the transitional seasons. I love/hate the temperate climate of Illinois. The love part is solely because I get to experience the changing of seasons in spring and fall.

There is something about springtime…

The changes in the smell of the air- FRESH.

The sun begins to peak out a little more.

Everything seems a little brighter. 

Warmth consumes our weather forecast.

Color comes back into the world.

Tree buds & flowers begin to bloom; green grass begins to grow.

The world around us comes back to LIFE.

This, is why spring is a season I long for each year.

Spring has arrived! 

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SOL #19: Trip to TJs

slice-of-life_individualSundays are typically my grocery shopping and meal prep day. Not sure why, (because the stores are madness) but it has become part of my Sunday routine.

One place I absolutely love to shop at is Trader Joe’s.

I’m sure I would fit in perfectly as a TJs spokesperson because I frequently recommend and rave about their products to others.

On my trip to TJs today, I was inspired to post about a place I love so much!

Inspired by the blog What’s Good At Trader Joe’s?,  I am going to share a list of 19 must try items from TJs. These are all items I have personally tried before, and continuously buy because they are just so good!  I will start with frozen items and go from there:

  1. Frozen French Green Beans*** (STAPLE ITEM) 
  2. Harvest Hodgepodge: 8 vegetable blend
  3. Reduced-Guilt Mac & Cheese
  4. Roasted Potatoes with Peppers and Onions 
  5. Scallion Pancakes 
  6. Mango Waffles 
  7. Sweet Potato Frites 
  8. Organic Jasmine Rice*** (STAPLE ITEM) 
  9. Mango Chunks
  10. Thin-Sliced Chicken Breasts
  11. Mandarines
  12. Dried Baby Bananas
  13. Vanilla Almond Spiced Chai Protein Smoothie
  14. Sparkling Spring Water: Raspberry Lime
  15. Coconut Oil Spray*** (STAPLE ITEM)
  16. Popcorn with Herbs & Spices
  17. Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels
  18. Les Salades du Midi Salad Mix
  19.  Chocolate Chip Waffles

My list could go on and on, but I will stop at 19 for my 19th slice.

Any TJ lovers out there with other suggestions/ favorites? I would love to hear! 🙂

 

SOL #18: A Day for Me

slice-of-life_individualA day for me. Key word: ME.

This past week has been CRAZY. No other way to describe it.

Crazy busy. Crazy stressful. Crazy tiring.

This was the week that made up the majority of my March to-do list. If anything could happen this past week. it did. I think I slept about 5 hours every day this week. 😬

After leaving work yesterday, I decided I would designate Saturday as a day for myself.

 So far I have stuck to it.

It has been a restful day. No alarm set. No priorities to tend to. A much needed day of rest and relaxation.

Now, as day turns to night, I am going out to dinner and seeing Beauty and the Beast. 🙂

I need to set aside more days like this, not only when I have a CRAZY week. It is easier said than done, but I will make it a goal going forward!

For now, I will enjoy my Saturday night after a (rare) relaxing and refreshing day.