Sunday, August 19, 2018

3 Tried & True Quick Breakfasts to Go

I don't know about you, but the worst part about being back in school for me is having to worry about breakfasts and lunches again. I'm a big fan of meal prepping so I don't have to think in the mornings; just grab and go! 
Sunday evenings are my prep nights; I make enough breakfasts for 4 days.
1. Overnight Oats
When I first heard of overnight oats, I was pretty skeptical. The thought of cold oatmeal did not sound appealing, but I kept hearing about overnight oats as a timesaver. It actually IS delicious and keeps me full until recess! (And you can heat it for a few seconds in the microwave if you want it warm)
You need: 
  • 16 oz. mason jars
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup almond milk  or coconut milk
  • 1 TBSP maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 TBSP chia seeds
Stir with a whisk or put on the lid and shake.
  • Add a handful of berries (strawberries, blueberries)
  • Banana slices optional
  • Nuts (walnuts & almonds)

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Tea Can Organization

Okay, I may have a slight tea problem. . . yes, these are actually all empty Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf cans that I've stored in my classroom cupboard because I couldn't bear to throw them away. They're such a great size, they're sturdy, and they stack well. But what to do with them?
I've discovered these are the perfect size for storing Sharpies:
They are a great size to hold greetings for our Morning Meetings:
I've also used the cans for math games; they store game cards perfectly! If you want a copy of the template to personalize for your own needs, click HERE. Happy organizing!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

We Teach So Hard: What Happens When Your Team Isn't a Dream?

What happens when your (teaching) team isn't a dream? It has probably happened to all of us at some point in our careers. So what do you do?
Listen...'cuz you teach so hard. Click HERE to listen via Apple Podcast.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Becoming the Math Teacher Book Study, Part 4

With school beginning next week, I'm super excited to implement so many of these awesome math strategies and questioning techniques with my new class! Welcome to part 4 of Becoming the math Teacher You Wish You'd Had book study! If you miss the first three parts, you can catch up here:
Connecting Math and the World
How many times have you had students ask, "Why do we need to learn this? What does this have to do with the real world?" (I'm embarrassed to admit that I always silently ponder this whenever I teach about probability; will I need this other than going to Las Vegas? LOL) Chapter 8 is all about how mathematicians connect ideas. An idea I LOVE and will definitely implement is to ask families and community members to share how they use math in their daily lives. In the past I have a friend in marketing research who has come in to my class to share how her company actually graphs and uses survey and focus group results to analyze the data make business predictions! Having adult speakers share how they use math in "real life" gives validity to the math learned in school.

Fourth grade teacher, Jennifer Clerkin Muhammad, expects her students to make (visual) representations of their work to build understanding. After giving students a few minutes to solve a problem and represent it visually, she tells her kids to walk around the classroom (with representations drawn on a whiteboard) and to compare representations. Students must find a representation that was different from their own, but that they agree with.  What a great way to encourage solving problems in multiple ways and not feel there is a rush to get to THE right answer! As students circulate, Muhammad observes and "eavesdrops" in on conversations, choosing a few representations to discuss with the whole class. According to Jo Boaler, the purpose of being able to represent our work is to help make sense for ourselves, as well as how to communicate and justify our ideas to others.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018


Hey friend! Grab a cup of coffee and give us a listen as we discuss 1st day plans, tips and tricks. A new podcast episode is now playing HERE!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

3 Tried & True Tips to Start the Year off Like a Boss!

 Oh my goodness, the countdown is on! In just one week, I start YEAR 32; eek! I came across this hilarious (yet accurate!) post on We Are Teachers: 8 Back to School Emotions all Teachers will Recognize. Read it HERE
In my earlier years of teaching I used to spend the time before school focusing on the physical aesthetics of setting up my classroom (and it sure was cute!), but my focus has shifted over the years. Now I spend most of my time planning how to create an inclusive and respectful community, classroom culture, and to develop relationships. This is why I look forward to each new school year with excitement and anticipation!
Most importantly, cultivating community and the expectation of acceptance, growth mindset, and kindness within my classroom is first on my list of goals. We begin each school year creating a class mission statement. You can read more about that HERE.
My rug is a focal point in my classroom, where my small group instruction, read aloud, and morning meeting take place. We begin most days with morning meeting (think bigger kid version of pre-school circle time). You can read more about that HERE.
Learning to collaborate with others and use teamwork also helps to develop community. A very fun (and silent!) team building activity is the Cup Challenge. This is a great first day of school activity! You can read more about that HERE.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018


Exciting happenings at Tried and True Teaching Tools! I've teamed up with 3 teaching friends on a new endeavor! WE TEACH SO HARD...A podcast for teachers who love to talk shop, talk trash, and talk life. Enter our CELEBRATORY GIVEAWAY & CLICK THE LINK BELOW!