Archive for August 2011

MPM: Aug 20 - Sept 4

August 28, 2011
 Here's this week!

Cheeseburger Macaroni Hamburger Helper
Chicken Carbonnara
Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup
Chicken Fried Rice
Sausage & Mushroom Risotto
Coconut - Curry Beef

Find these recipes and others on my Recipes page!

Back to School: Crayon Wreath

August 27, 2011

I've seen this idea floating around Pinterest and teaching blogs and I was excited to try it out for my classroom door. New crayons are one of my favorite parts of back to school so I knew this would be perfect for my room.

Here's what you need:
The inside half of a knitting hoop

The bigger the hoop, the more crayons you will need. I think my hoops was 10" and I used just shy of 3 boxes of crayons.

To make sure I spaced the crayons evenly I first spaced them out around the hoop. I used a colored hoop, but you could also paint a wood one if you had an extra one laying around.

To make sure they were even I lined up the start of the crayola label with the hoop.
When I was happy with my anchor crayons I started filling in the rest working my way around.
When I had all the crayons filled in I tweaked them a little to get as close as possible to a perfect circle.
Then I CAREFULLY removed the hoop and coated one side with glue. I used elmers because it was all I had on hand, but hot glue would work much better. When I get to school I will try to reinforce mine with hot glue.

Then I lightly pressed it back down on to the crayons to make sure all the crayons stuck, and left it alone to dry.

When it was completely dry I tied on a ribbon loop to hang it from and Voila! Ready for my classroom door!


I took my wreath to school and while juggling a bunch of supplies to bring in accidentally dropped it in the parking lot. The entire thing broke into pieces! A word of advice - do NOT use elmers glue for this! I took all the pieces to my classroom and put it back together using a hot glue gun this time. The hot glue holds much better. My wreath is now hanging proudly on my door ready to greet students!

MPM: Aug 22- 28

August 21, 2011
Can you believe I forgot a menu plan last week? I can, it's been crazy hectic getting ready for a new school year. Which starts tomorrow, by the way. Lucky for me Hubbys been doin most of the cooking. Here's What we're eating this week.

Deli Sandwiches
BBQ Chicken, Corn and Spinach Quesadillas
Pork Lo Mein
Burgers and Fries
Parmesan Crusted Chicken
Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas
Chicken Lo Mein (from a box :))

Most of these recipes came from my recent All You Magazines.

This Week..

This week I will attempt to teach 17-18 5-year-olds how to:
* Walk in a straight line without running into a pole
* sit in their chair without falling over
* recognize their own name
* remember my name
* navigate the ever confusing lunch line
* make it through the day without nap time


Also, say a prayer TS Irene doesn't decide to disrupt our first week of school. If she does, and we miss part of the week, I will have to do all this training over again.

Taking Attendence

August 16, 2011
Clutter free classroom has some great ideas on taking attendence - question of the day kit!

What a great idea, lets everyone get talking! I silently take mine, but let the kids "take" it by removing their name tags from a pocket chart and clipping them on!

A Farewell to Summer

Well, it's here at last. The end of summer. Some people like to celebrate the coming of fall. They do this on the ridiculously still summer like day of September first. To each their own right? I however, dread the coming of fall because it means the end of summer. To me summer represents all things beautiful - fireworks, lazy days by the pool, lots of hot sunshine, smores over the fire, picnics, BBQs, chasing fireflies and how about 2 MONTHS of VACATION!! I loathe the end of summer. But it always comes. Sooner for me than others. Somewhere around the middle of August I head back to my classroom for orientations, trainings, and getting my room ready for 16-18 kindergarten kiddos. Last year we decided to celebrate the end of summer by taking a little trip the weekend before I went back to school. This year I've decided it needs to be a tradition and we've decided to keep it going. Letting summer go out with a bang ya know?

Last year we took a mini trip up to Titusville.
Only about three hours away, we drove up one afternoon and checked into a cheap Best Western and then ordered a pizza for dinner. That night we went on a Bioluminescent Kayak tour with A Day Away Kayak Tours. It's quite possibly the coolest thing we've ever done.

We paddled out into the Indian River and surrounding Harbors in complete darkness (it was a new moon). Every movement made the water glow. I mean, really GLOW. Bright green. Every stroke made the paddle glow green. Dip in your hand - it glowed green. Every fish, manatee and dolphin that swam by was covered in glowing green water. Just picture it - you're out in the middle of a river in pitch black, all of a sudden a green streak starts swimming towards you - faster, faster, till a fish emerges and jumps up over (or if you're not lucky into) your kayak. It was amazing and we would do it again in a heartbeat.

This year we decided to stay a little closer to home. The day before I had to report back to work we started with breakfast in our home town at Benny's on the Beach.

 Amazing food. Amazing ocean view. Enough Said.

I had the Tropical Stuffed French Toast - I highly recommend it.

From there we headed down to Miami to the Seaquarium with our Adults pay Kid prices coupons in our hands. The trip took about an hour, so a little closer than last years trip.

We spent the day watching dolphins do this:
 And whales do this:

This girl, by the way, is crazy. Notice her ponytail? She apparently learned nothing from the trainer killed at Sea World last year when she was dragged under by her ponytail.

Killer Whale Trick from Rachelle Rosenblit on Vimeo.

Here's the grand finale (all 5 minutes of it) if you like dolphins and whales flipping. And little campers getting soaked.

Dolphin and Whale Grand Finale from Rachelle Rosenblit on Vimeo.

We fed some seals and sea lions:

And we also saw lobsters, sea turtles, sharks, stingrays, alligators and manatees!

And then chose to end our day back in our hometown at our favorite Greek place, Chris's Taverna.

They mean it when they say best Gyro's in town.

So there you have it. Our end of summer celebration. Bennys, the aquarium and some delicious Greek food. From Lake Worth to Miami  and back. By the time you read this I will be back at work, dreaming of next summer!

Cat Nappin'

August 14, 2011
The past 48 hours have been a blur of kleenex tissue, vicks vapor rub, long naps, and cold medicine. And this cat  (my normally allusive, moody, cat) has not left my side for one second of it.
He really can be sweet ... when he wants to be.

Back to School: ABCs

August 13, 2011
Ask any teacher about the cost of the items in their classroom and they could go on and on and on. I believe teaching has got to be one of the only jobs where you spend your OWN money. There are ways to keep costs down, if you get creative. Here are some ideas to get you going. These are perfect for a pre-school or kindergarten classroom, or mommies at home with little ones. *Note - these are not original ideas and I am not claiming them as my own. They are just ideas I've pulled from around the internet to make for my class!

ABC order:

Alphabet Caterpillar

I made this using bottle caps from leftover bottles (gatorade, water, milk, etc.) then stuck a letter sticker (target dollar spot)  on each one. Have your child (or students) put the letters in order to make a caterpillar. You could even make a cute face for the beginning.

Silly Band Match up

This was made using alphabet silly bands from target dollar spot and a printable from Simply have the kids match the silly band to the correct letter.

Upper and Lowecase Matching:

Aquarium Rocks

The dollar tree sells clear craft rocks in two sizes. For this activity you will need a pack of big ones and small ones. Write one Upper case letter on each large rock and one lowercase letter on each small rock and let your child match them up! Permanent marker works best, but remember to write it backwards, so it's right side up when you flip the rock over! You could also use stickers, or computer printed letters glued on the back.

Laundry Clips

This game was made using a table from microsoft word, one lowercase letter for each box, and dollar tree laundry clips. Print an uppercase letter on each clip and have your child clip them next to their corresponding letter. You can also flip the activity by printing a chart with capitals and writing the lowercase letters on the clips

Sight Words:
Got more of those bottle caps? Stick letters on them and have your child build high frequency words, or fill in missing letters on words they know.

These are just some of the ideas I've made to use in my classroom this year!


Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

August 10, 2011
Ya'll this Chicken Recipe is GOOD. It's not hard, expensive, or time consuming. You probably have most of the ingredients on hand. The combination might sound out there - but trust me, it WORKS.

Pretzel Chicken with Mustard - Cheddar Sauce

total time:  about 30 minutes

serves 4

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
about 6 ounces of salted pretzels
salt and pepper
2 eggs
vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon spicy mustard
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Completely butterfly each of the chicken breasts, making a total of 4 thin chicken breasts.
One by one, put the chicken breast in between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and flatten slightly with a mallet.
Put the pretzels in a food processor and process until you have fine crumbs.
Put the crumbs in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper.
In another shallow dish, beat the eggs.
In a large saute pan over medium heat, heat up the oil, about 1/8″ deep.
Dip each chicken piece into the pretzels, then into the eggs, then back into the pretzels.
Add to the hot oil in the pan.
Put the chicken into the hot oil and cook until the pretzels are browned and the chicken is cooked through.
This only takes about 3 or 4 minutes on each side.
Meanwhile, make the sauce.
In a saucepan, melt the butter.
Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute.
Whisk in the milk and the mustard, and cook until slightly thickened.
Stir in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper, if needed.
Serve the chicken with the Mustard-Cheddar Sauce, and sprinkle a generous amount of parsley on top.

We had ours with baked potatoes and peas, thanks to The Atwoods for the tip! 

Back to School : The Lunch Box

Late August is a great time to stock up on snacks for back to school because EVERYTHING is on sale. Stores run all kinds of buy one get one sales, and prices are at an all time low, because everyone is going back to school. I try to stock up on 7 or 8 different snacks. To keep things fresh I divide them up into individual snack size ziplocs. This makes grabbing a snack to throw in the lunch box a snap on busy mornings and is much cheaper than buying bags of snack sized chips.

This year I grabbed:
Mixed Nuts
Baked Lays
Mini Pretzels
Fruit Snacks
Granola Bars
Wheat Thins
Cheeze it's
Wheatables in Pecan and Almond
Veggie Straws

I keep them in a box on the floor of my pantry so they stay all together. 

As for the rest of the lunch box, I try to include:
* A dairy - cheese stick, yogurt, cheese cubes, etc.
* A fruit and/or veggie - applesauce, cut up veggies w/ranch, apples w/ peanut butter, celery w/ peanut butter, cut up fruit, etc.
* A Water Botle or occasionally a soda
* Occasionally a sweet - a cookie, pudding, rice krispie treat etc. 
* A Main Dish - Most of the time this is leftovers from the night before, or a sandwich (PBJ, PB and Banana, Deli Meat, chicken salad, tuna salad, egg salad, etc. )  but here are some cute ideas from around the internet:

Sandwich on a Stick

PB and Jelly Sushi

Thai Chicken Wrap
Picture of Thai Chicken Wrap with Spicy Peanut Sauce Recipe

PB and Banana Hot Dog

Monster Cookies
Picture of Monster Cookies Recipe

Happy Packing!