Sunday, October 16, 2016

Easy Ways to Eat Real Rood, Even on a Teacher's Schedule

I don't know about you, but as a teacher, one of the last things that I want to do at the end of the day is make a complicated meal.  This is especially true when I have papers to grade and my own children are getting older and having after school sports and after school activities.

Despite how I feel at the end of the day, or during my 15 minutes that I have to sit down and eat, I really do believe in eating healthy, and eating real food.  It doesn't have to be complicated food, but real food.  As I may have mentioned before, my son has several food allergies.  That makes ordering pizza or take out not a good option. We have to get dinner on the table.  And because of him, I read the label of every food food that I eat.  The more that I read food labels, the more important I think it is to eat real food.  Reading ingredients leads to some kind of scary discoveries!! 

I have been a follower of the 100 Days of Real Food blog and Facebook page for a long time, and I am very excited to share my early PRE-RELEASE copy of the book with you!  

This cookbook seems like it was made for people like me (and you if you want easy, kid-friendly, real food ideas!  Busy teachers who still want to get a relatively, healthy, real food meal on the table quickly!  Busy teachers who have to eat meals on the run and pack lunches, but are looking for some new ideas!

You can still eat well, even when you are exhausted and have 15 minutes to each lunch

This book features a bunch of quick and easy recipes, most of which are not shown anywhere else (such as on her website).  There ideas for dinners, snacks, breakfasts, and lunches.  Its written by a mom, who knows what it is like to try to make lunches, get kids out of the house, and still eat well.  On top of that, many of the recipes are allergy friendly, and are marked as such.  

We are enjoying some of her recipes for dinner today.  It's a fall Sunday.  I am doing laundry and grading papers, but we will be enjoying a great fall dinner. We are having White Chicken Chili, with a loaf of bread (easily purchased), and these Cinnamon Glazed Bananas for desert.  My kids are excited because they are getting desert. I'm excited because it is sweet, but not as bad as a lot of deserts.  And I'm hoping there is extra chili for my lunch tomorrow.  

Cinnamon Glazed Bananas - easy real food desert
Click on photo for the sample recipe
White Chicken Chili - easy real food meal
Click on photo for the sample recipe
In her book, Lisa Leake gives lots of suggestions for packing lunches as well :). 

For more information on her book, or to pre-order for the guaranteed lowest price (it comes out October 25th), you can check out Amazon or check out her website or here for more inside info. And if you pre-order, and leave your information at the first link above, you will get bonus ebook.

If you are like me, you are always looking for ways to be a little healthier, and eat a little cleaner, but only if its easy.  This is a great resource to make that goal attainable!  

100 Days of Real Food Fast and Fabulous - quick and easy real food for real people


Saturday, October 1, 2016

Making a Traditional Science Lab More Inquiry Based

5 Easy Steps to Add Inquiry into your Science Labs 

We all know that there is a big push to increase inquiry in our science labs, but this is not always as easy as it seems.   Often students are not ready for full-blown inquiry, and we as teachers do not have the time, materials, or resources to allow students to investigate their own questions within a classroom setting.  

However, inquiry is based on student interest and relevancy, and on developing process skills so that students are acting as scientists, rather than just students.  This can (and probably should) be done in small steps.  Here are 5 easy ways to introduce more inquiry into your classroom. 
5 steps to make your science classroom more inquiry based.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

A Differentiation Strategy You Can Implement Tomorrow!

Easy to implement differentiation strategy

In any given class, at least in the district where I work, there is a huge range of abilities.  There may be one or two students who above grade level, some on grade level, some who struggle with reading, some ELL's, and some with other special education needs, all in the same classroom.  In order for students to be successful, they need differentiation, and they need varying levels of support.  It can be difficult to provide the appropriate level of help when students are working independently or in groups. In order to do so, there is often a huge amount of work involved on the teacher's part.  Here is a quick strategy that can be very successful!

Types of differentiation

When thinking about differentiating, I try to think of a few things: 
1. What is the overall goal (objectives) of the lesson?  How can students achieve that goal in various ways?  This is where we start thinking about differentiating the output, the number of questions, the format, etc.  

2. What additional scaffolding will they need to be successful?  (How would I help the if I were tutoring them, or sitting with them to complete the assignment?) 

It is the second area that I want to focus on in this post.  There is a lot already written on the type of differentiation stated in number 1, and perhaps I will touch on that again another day.  Today's post will focus on the type of differentiation in point number 2.

An easy to implement strategy for differentiation in group work on independent work. Hints, tips, and examples.
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