Saturday, March 28, 2015

My Plum Planner

I was in the market for a new planner. I have tried many planners and was never truly happy with anything. My first two years of teaching I used an Erin Condren Teacher Planner. I felt like it wasn't worth the money each year because most of the planner I didn't use. My district makes us have all lesson plans in a specific format and uploaded online. Therefore the pages for lesson plans were ultimately useless for me. My third year of teaching I decided to just make my own planner in a binder. This worked out really well for me. I only printed out the pages I wanted and was really organized. I just didn't like having something so bulky. Then my fourth year (this year) I heard about the Teacher Anchor and it seemed really great for what I wanted. Unfortunately, I didn't use it like I thought I would. There were once again so many pages I didn't use and it just wasn't a perfect fit. By December, I was back to using a binder but still searching for the perfect planner.  I have finally found it - Plum Paper! *Pictures of my Plum Planner below!*

My Plum Paper planner is the Family Planner. Plum Paper has a Teacher Planner but it wasn't what I was looking for. I wanted something that I could use for both personal life and work life. The Family Planner sounded like the perfect option for me. Since I was ordering this so late in the school year, I made it a 15 month planner so I will be able to use it for the remaining part of this school year and next school year (it ends July 2016). I chose to have the planner start May 2015 because I saw how long it can take to be printed and shipped. However, it came fairly quickly and I want to use it now!! I will make another post after I start to use it more in depth in May.

The Family Planner has 7 daily sections that can be customizable. I used this for personal life and work life. My 7 sections include Reading, Writing, Math, Science, Centers, Personal, and blank for whatever I want to use this section for. This is truly the perfect option for me. I can put all of my work things in here and I jot down the standard for that day for my own personal use. I can then add my own things going on and have an extra section for working out or anything I want. It also includes a Weekly Checklist and a Notes section. These will be helpful for getting things on track or if I have a parent conference or data meeting.

The Family Planner also includes a Contacts page and Holidays page. In addition, each month has 2 lined Notes pages. There is also a blank Notes page at the beginning and at the end of the planner. With everything stated above, the planner cost $35. The cost is great for what you get. I added additional things to my planner to make it work for me (this school year and next). I added 10 pages of Extra Checklist pages. These full pages will be used for homework, permission slips, attendance, etc. I added 30 pages of Extra Notes lined pages. These are going to be used for PLC, DP, Data Meetings, etc. I added additional months to make it a 15 month planner. Lastly, I added a Monthly Bill Tracker for each month. My add ons and the cost of the original planner made my total $56 after shipping. I felt like this was a great deal for what I was getting.

Now let's get to the good part - pictures!

*Plum Paper can be found on etsy and I am not being compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Testing Treats!

My third graders are just a few weeks ago from the FSA (Florida Standards Assessment). They have worked hard since I switched grades and got them in January. We are going to have a little Pep Rally 2 days before and the teachers will be doing a skit and singing a song (....badly).

I always love to give little testing treats before the test. These are the testing treats I will be using this year.

You can click each link to get the testing treat printables!

Testing Treat with Hershey Kisses-

Testing Treat with Smarties-

Testing Treat with Peeps Bunnies-

All the testing treats done and ready for my students!!


Friday, March 13, 2015

Advocare 24-Day Challenge (Cleanse Phase: Days 1-10)

So, this post is obviously not related to my classroom but I wanted to talk about my Advocare experience. I am currently doing the 24-Day Challenge (click HERE to learn more). I learned about Advocare from my sister who completed the 24-Day Challenge. I have been wanting to loose weight and get in shape again so I decided to give it a try.

The 24-Day Challenge has two phases- Cleanse (Days 1-10) and Max (11-24).
I bought the 24-Day Challenge Kit for $190.
In the kit you get:
- Little booklet to help you keep track and check off what you need to do/take during the 24 days (download the app too!)
- Two Boxes of Spark - I got Fruit Punch flavor (This stuff is amazing!)
- Herbal Cleanse - Get the Peaches & Cream... You'll thank me later!
- 1 box of Meal Replacement Shakes - I chose Chocolate
- One bottle of Omegaplex
- MNS (Vitamins and Supplements) - I chose MNS C (C helped with appetite control and I needed that!)
**There are things you can add on but I didn't add anything for the Cleanse Phase.

Once my kit got here I was super excited to get started. However, I was so nervous about the Herbal Cleanse. I was afraid I would be on the toilet all day.... and as a teacher that just isn't possible! We have to hold it for a long time!! I decided to take the Herbal Cleanse pills at night on Saturday. This way I could see how it would be for me on a non-work day. Now to be honest, it was nothing like I had imagined. It was made me regular (2 times a day- morning and night).

The book lists all the things you need and when you take them.
Every morning I took Spark and 1 Omegaplex. 30 minutes later I would drink the Fiber Drink (Days 1,2,3,8,9 and 10) and then have breakfast.
Everyday I ate the same breakfast. I had two scrambled eggs, a banana, and 1 piece of whole grain toast. Sometimes, I wouldn't eat the banana until later because the Fiber Drink really helped fill me up.
Now about the Fiber Drink - all me crazy but it wasn't awful. I am so happy I read reviews and got the Peaches and Cream flavor. By no means was it good, but it wasn't awful. Make sure you use a Blender Bottle, cold water, and chug it!!

After breakfast, you should have a snack. This is when I would normally eat the banana from the morning. At lunch time, you can have another thing of Spark if you need the energy (I never did). For lunch, I would always have lettuce, protein, and a complex carb. I will list some lunch and dinner ideas below. After lunch, you have a snack. I would normally eat a Cutie Orange or a bag of fruit I made each week (grapes, strawberries, apples, and pineapple).
For dinner, I would once again eat lettuce or another vegetable, protein, and a complex carb. I would also take 2 Omegaplex. After dinner (if hungry), I would have a snack. This snack was always fruit. For Days 1-7 you also take the Herbal Cleanse pills at night.

With the Cleanse Phase, you aren't suppose to have diary, alcohol, sugar, anything fried, soda, etc. I used to always have yogurt and dessert (sugary everything) everyday. So I thought changing this would be hard... but it wasn't. It was actually really easy to not want dessert because I was never hungry.

Water- drink, drink, drink! This was easy for my because I don't like coffee and rarely drink soda. I would drink about 150 oz of water daily. You should take your weight, divide it by 2, and then drink that many oz a day.

How I Felt- I was surprising energetic and happy throughout the Cleanse Phase. I did not work out (only 2 days) because of my schedule.

Lunch and Dinner Ideas- I bought a lot of chicken and turkey. I would make lettuce wraps, turkey meatballs, turkey burgers (no bun) and chicken. I learned to love whole grain pasta and quinoa. I also made hard-boiled eggs and had them with lunch and dinner as well (I don't eat the yolk). I am not a huge fan of veggies but I do eat carrots, so I ate a lot of those. I was never bored with the food I made. I used different seasons on the chicken and turkey so I didn't get bored. I loved Mrs. Dash! On average, I was eating 1,400-1,500 calories a day and never felt deprived or hungry. I used the 24-Day Challenge in conjunction with my Fitbit app and My Fitness Pal app to keep track of food, exercise, water, and calories. You don't need to use all three but I like 'em!

The Bottom Line- After the 10 days, I lost 6.5 inches (overall) and 6.9 pounds! I am feeling great about the Cleanse Phase. It was a great idea and did great things for me. I know that if I worked out everyday, I could have lost a lot more. However, I like that I lost and didn't have to work out as well!

I am currently in the Max Phase on Day 13. I will post my results of the whole Day-24 Challenge when I am finished. I will post pictures once I am all finished!

If you are interested in starting the 24-Day Challenge or learning more about Advocare- CLICK HERE!