Teacher Tuesday: Fraction Practice

Hi y’all!

Thanks to a light dusting of snow this morning, I got to sleep in a bit! Love two-hour school delays! ūüôā I had time to get a gym session in before heading to school — I ended up being very glad for the calories I burned when I opened the lunch my hubby had prepared for me (thoughtful, huh?) and saw it included two packs of Fun Dip and a sucker. Definitely a sign that I need to go grocery shopping!

Teacher Tuesday

With all the school we have missed over the last two months, the classes I co-teach in have been focusing on getting caught up and back on track with our yearly pacing guides; therefore, I haven’t done nearly as much remediation in math and have mostly just helped give extra support to the students in class. Now that we are back on track I am back doing remediation of old topics. We’re currently reviewing fractions and I’ve come up with a few fun ways to engage the students in fraction practice.

Fraction Practice1. Simplify fractions with playing cards.

For this activity, I had the students get with a partner and each place a pencil longways on their desk. Each set of partners had a deck of cards (you could use a half-deck or a smaller amount of cards if you need it to be divided amongst several students.) The partners would take turns drawing two cards. I instructed them to put the larger card on the bottom (Ace = 1, Jack = 11, Queen = 12, King = 14, Joker = wild) and the smaller one on top. They then used an Expo Marker ((see from this post—it wipes right off!)) to simplify the fraction. If it was not possible to simplify, they just re-wrote the fraction. The partners had to check one another’s work before they could draw two more cards and create new fractions.

Variations

1. Have them put the first card they draw on top and the second card on bottom regardless of which is bigger. This may result in an improper fraction, which they can change to a mixed number.

2. Turn it into a game. When partners check one another, the students keep their cards if they simplified correctly. If one partner catches a mistake the other made, that partner gets to keep the cards. At the end of the deck, whomever has the most cards wins.

3. Change the values of the face cards. This is an easy way to differentiate instruction for learners at different levels. For a struggling group, face cards can be eliminated or simply assigned numbers under 10. For an advanced group, face cards can be assigned higher number with more multiples (24, 30, etc) to give the students an extra challenge.

4. Add operations! You can do this activity with the various operations (add, subtract, multiply, and divide) and students can show their work using the dry erase marker. See photo below for clarification!

Fraction 22. Use dominoes!

Even simpler than playing cards are dominoes! They come as fractions so it’s easy for the students to visualize the fractions. My students really loved getting to use dominoes and, of course, getting to work out problems on their desks. Ways you can incorporates dominoes include:

Practice simplifying.

Fraction 4You can have the students put the smaller number on the top if you don’t want improper fractions or you can have them just flip the domino and if it is improper, simplify it to a mixed number.

Add operations

Fraction 3  Fraction 6

Fraction 5You may want to encourage students to set up their dominoes to make simplifying easier. For example, with adding and subtracting try to find either the same denominator or ones where they can easily find a common denominator. For multiplication, encourage them to try to find “shortcuts” that help them.

The bottom line is, get creative! I have found students are WAY more willing to work if they can use manipulatives or get to try something they normally don’t get to do. These activities keep them engaged, help them practice, and are way more exciting than just another worksheet. Try something new! ūüôā

Past Teacher Tuesdays

Picture Schedules

Desk Decorating

Dice Multiplication

Writing on Desks?

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Today’s outfit was includes some bright bold colors to contrast all this snow! Details and links to available pieces on wear page.

02-18 LookShirt: Express

Tank: Target

Skirt: Express

Tights: J. Crew

Shoes: Maurices

Necklace: Lia Sophia

Valentine’s + Roanoke Trip

Hi there!

I have been off the grid lately and it’s been great! Between Wednesday and Thursday of last week we got over a foot of snow so I had no school Thursday and Friday. I spent the whole time unplugged — just hanging out with the hubby and pups! It was great! I also did quite a bit of crafting for a Valentine’s Dinner I’m helping put on tonight (more details to come in a later post!) which was lots of fun.

Valentine’s Day

Justin and I tend to keep it fun and simple for Valentine’s Day.¬† We don’t like to spend a lot of money so we always try to find something to do that is inexpensive and involves spending a lot of time together.

Our V-Day date night involved a trip to the store to buy our favorite candies from childhood that we never allow ourselves to splurge on (cotton candy for him, cookie dough bites for me!) and we also got a “game.” Technically, we bought a bunch of dice but we ended up playing Yahtzee for hours with the dice. It was the perfect, fun way to celebrate with each other! (And cost less than $10–whoohoo!)

Inexpensive Valentine's Date NightIn addition, one night last week I came home from school to this awesome display:

Valentine's TableJustin had volunteered at a local nursing home to help make Valentines with the residents and he made one for me (in addition to cutting out a ton of paper hearts). He also had the table all set and ready to go! I loved it!

Roanoke: Center in the Square

After Justin was finished with classes on Friday we took off on a road trip to Roanoke, VA to visit a college buddy of J’s. We spent the weekend hanging out at a local dog park (our friends have a puppy named Charlie and all the dogs got along SO well!), checking out local restaurants, and exploring downtown Roanoke.

My favorite part of our downtown exploration was a science museum called Center in the Square. There was quite a long wait for our lunch spot so we decided to kill some time by walking across the street and checking out the museum. We didn’t have time to see every exhibit (they had TONS) but we made the most of the time we had!

We first checked out the seahorses. These creatures are so cool!

Seahorse Tank Seahorses have a difficult time navigating water and it was fun to watch them swim around!

SeahorseNext up were jellyfish. These are absolutely fascinating to see up close! The tank had lights that changed color, which made the jellyfish change looks — super awesome!

Jellyfish TankPossibly my favorite part of the aquarium was the giant fish tank. It had plenty of different fish, including “Dory” and “Nemo” (I just love that movie!) and was so beautiful.

Fish tankFish TankI could’ve sat and watched these fish all day! (PS- Did I mention all this aquarium viewing was FREE!? There is no charge for this part of the museum!!)

Next up, we bought admission tickets and went upstairs to the butterfly exhibit.

Center in the SquareCheck out this staircase leading upstairs! Sweet, huh?

Walking into the butterfly garden was like walking into a tropical paradise. It was super warm and humid and I felt like I was in the middle of the rainforest. It was awesome!

Butterfly GardenThere were over 300 butterflies fluttering about in the garden and it was so amazing to see all the different types! So many colors! It was difficult to snap pictures of them but I got a few good ones.

Butterfly Garden Butterfly Garden Butterfly GardenThe last one was my favorite!

There were small plates of fruit around the garden for the butterflies to eat in addition to the nectar from all the flowers.

Butterfly GardenThe whole experience was super fun and I wish we would have had more time to explore the museum. Just peeking in at all the other exhibits showed me that the museum has a LOT more to offer! All in all, I would highly recommend checking Center in the Square out if you are ever in Roanoke!

Have a wonderful Monday!

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Shades of black and gray for today’s outfit! Links to available pieces on the wear page.

teacher outfit blog :: simplifythechaos.comCardigan: Maurices

Blouse: New York & Company

Skirt: Via Ross

Tights: Express

Pumps: Maurices

Necklace: Purple Peridot

Wedding Wednesday: The Suit

Okay, people. Fess up.

Elsa-FrozenWho ticked off Elsa!?

Seriously, I can’t believe it is snowing again. We have already had several inches this afternoon and school has been canceled for tomorrow. While it will be nice to have a day off, I am getting antsy for spring!! I need some warm weather and bright colors back in my life!

Wedding Wednesday

Since last week’s post was all about my dress, I thought I should spend some time this week and talk about Justin’s suit. ¬†Finding the perfect suit was (shockingly) more difficult that finding the perfect dress.

Our requirements for a suit were seemingly pretty simple. We wanted something light tan and breathable since the ceremony was outdoors. We also wanted it to be fairly casual since our wedding theme was more fun than formal.

That’s it!

You would think we would have found tons of options but we struggled. I bet Justin tried on suits from at least 10 different stores and nothing was right. Most suits looked too formal or were too dark in color. I was about to give up and have him just wear khaki pants . . . until . . .

Justin

We found the perfect one!!

Justin’s suit was from Express, which was very fitting since that has long been one of my favorite stores. It was the best combination of everything we were looking for — breathable, the perfect mix of formal and casual, and the exact shade of khaki I was envisioning! Plus, we used one of those excellent Express coupons to get a sa-weet discount. Success!!

Originally J was planning on wearing the full three-piece suit, but once the day came, he just felt that the right thing was to ditch the jacket, roll up his sleeves, and keep it casual. I actually love that he did that — it was perfect! And did you see those¬†shoes!? He found navy and yellow boat shoes to match our colors online and convinced me that he should wear them. They are perfectly, ridiculously¬†him¬†and I’m glad he found them. He definitely stayed true to himself!

SJW0302

See what I mean? He’s ridiculous. And awesome.

Justin also wore a navy and green striped tie (all the guys wore variations or blue and green patterned ties but that’s another post) to complete the look. I¬†loved¬†the entire outfit, and he looked SO handsome. Mmmmm. ūüėČ

SJW0314 SJW0327

And there ya have it! My hubby on our wedding day. Lookin’ snazzy and keepin’ it real.

Have a great “hump” day!! If you are getting snow like me, be safe out there!

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Today’s outfit was inspired by the Style Me Feb prompt “shades of sea and sky.” And yesterday’s was inspired by my desire for SPRING. Details on Wear page!

02-12 Outfit

Shirt: Express

Pants: Old Navy

Flats: Target

Necklace: Purple Peridot

Bracelet Set: Ruche

02-11 Outfit

Sweater: Old Navy

Blouse: Express

Pants: Kohls

Pumps: Maurices

Necklace: Lia Sophia

Clutch: Coach

Wedding Wednesday: The Dress!!

As I write this blog post, I’m having a hard time staying awake. And no, unfortunately it’s not very late in the evening.

I woke up at 5:00 to go to the gym (highly unusual!) and actually got out of bed and went (more unusual!) I was feeling SO good and really proud of myself . . . until I left the gym at 6:30 and promptly got a phone call from school that we had a two-hour delay.

Excuse me, what!?

At least I could come home and take my time getting ready and do a few things around the house before going in. But still. 5 a.m. Sheesh.

Wedding Wednesday

In other news, it’s Wedding Wednesday!

Once Justin and I got engaged, one of the very first things I started planning was . . . my wedding dress!!

A few things I have learned about wedding dress shopping through my own experience and also from several friends sharing their experience with me:

1. Set a budget!¬†Wedding dresses come in a VERY wide range of prices and it’s easy to get sucked up in the tulle, rhinestones, and chiffon and get carried away into a dress that is way more than you want to pay. Be very upfront about your budget to the wedding dress sales associates and be very clear that you only want to see dresses that are actually in your price range. Also don’t be afraid to shop the clearance racks or buy a dress right off the rack to get a discount.

simplifythechaos.com simplifythechaos.com

2. Take 2-3¬†people dress shopping with you.¬†Too many people = too many opinions. This is¬†your¬†day and your dress and it should be exactly what you want! I went dress shopping two different days; the first day I went with my mom and future mother-in-law and the second day I went with my two sisters. For me, having two people there was perfect! Just enough people to get feedback and affirmation but not too many that I felt overwhelmed with opinions. This also worked because everyone I took had a clear idea of what I wanted and what was going to work on my body and was super supportive; I do not recommend taking anyone who you think will try to make you wear the dress¬†they¬†want even if it’s not what you want or be critical of your taste.

simplifythechaos.com simplifythechaos.com

3. Take pictures along of dresses you like . . .¬†I took 3-4 magazine pictures of dresses I¬†loved.¬†Again, you don’t want to take along too many pictures — just enough to give the sales associate an idea of what you’re looking for.

simplifythechaos.com simplifythechaos.com

4. . . . but keep an open mind!¬†While I ended up getting a dress just like I was picturing in my mind, many of my friends say they got something the¬†complete opposite of what they originally thought they wanted. One girl wanted a floor length mermaid gown and ended up with a tea length dress full of tulle. Another friend thought she wanted something very glitzy and beaded but she ended up with a beautiful floor length gown with lots of tucks and not one single bead. So be willing to try on a few dresses that are nothing like what you thought you wanted; you might surprise yourself! Also be willing to try different veils, belts, and other accessories to make the gown “yours.”

simplifythechaos.com simplifythechaos.com

5. Have fun! This is not supposed to be a stressful day. When I went with my sisters, we made it a whole day: lunch, shopping (not related to weddings) and lots of girl talk. We laughed and joked during all the dress fittings and the sales associate did a great job of keeping it light and fun. Don’t put tons of pressure on yourself to find the “one” dress immediately. It took me two shopping trips to find the “one” so don’t worry if it’s not one of the first few that you try on.

simplifythechaos.com simplifythechaos.com

All the dresses above were ones I tried on and liked for different reasons, but there was always something about the dress that didn’t feel quite¬†right.¬†The dress I ended up picking out was chosen for me by the sales associate. She saw the pictures I brought in and selected a few from their racks that she thought would fit what I was looking for. I wanted something with¬†lots¬†of detail and I wanted a very dramatic train. I also wanted something fun that I could have a good time and dance in without worrying about messing up the dress all day (I’m a pretty big klutz!)

I chose this stunner from designer Justin Alexander. I don’t want to sound cliche, but the¬†moment¬†I tried it on I knew it was the ONE. It was exactly what I was picturing in my mind and I didn’t want to take it off! (All photographs below are taken by the phenomenal Rothwell Photography — check them out¬†here)

Copyright Rothwell Photography
Best part about this dress? It was SO easy to move in and the train had so much going on that I didn’t worry about every time I bumped into everyone – – even if I snagged it on something, no one would be able to tell! And I could¬†definitely¬†get my groove on and boogie all night long which was so fun!
 
This is actually inspiring me to go try on my dress again. Maybe I’ll prolong sleep for a liiiiitle while longer . . .
Have a fantastic “hump” day and for those of you brides out there: happy wedding dress shopping!
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Today’s outfit. Deets on “wear” page. Enjoy!
02-05 LookDress: Kohls
Cardigan: Express
Boots: CL by Laundry
Belt: Bluetique
Bracelets: ShopRuche.com
Earrings (not pictured): Target

Style Me Feb

Hi there!

I had a bit of a sleepy morning today and it took me a long time to wake up! i always get less sleep on Monday nights than other days of the week because Justin and I watch “The Bachelor” (yes, he watches on his own free will!!) and then I somehow always get sucked into “Castle” even though I’m already super sleepy. Both shows captivate me . . . for very different reasons. ūüôā

Style Me Feb

On sleepy mornings like this, waking up and selecting an outfit seem to be extra hard. My brain doesn’t want to function yet and it’s far more interested in finding a way to sneak back under the covers than color-coordinating and figuring out an outfit.¬† Lucky for me, I recently discovered “Style Me February” on Instagram and it has made getting dressed SO much easier!

Style Me FebStyle Me February was put together by Hilary (check out her adorable blog here) and so far I am loving it! It is a fun challenge (and sometimes very difficult–try wearing Broncos colors to a Super Bowl party while also incorporating animal print!) and helps give me ideas in the morning. Even though I had little brain power this morning, having a “theme” was a helpful way to kick-start an outfit!

This is also a great challenge for me to not shop and try to find ways to achieve the daily theme without buying new things. It’s inspiring me to get creative and look for new ways to utilize the stuff already in my closet. Win-win!

I encourage you to join me in this month-long challenge — even if you don’t want to attempt the whole thing but want some inspiration for a day’s look, check out the #StyleMeFeb hashtag on Instagram. It’s really neat to see how others style according to the day’s theme!

Happy Tuesday!

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Today’s Outfit: “The Chicness of Black and White.” As always, links to outfit pieces can be found on the “wear” page.

02-04 Look

Jacket: Maurices

Tank: Express

Pants: New York & Company

Flats: Maurices

Necklace: Purple Peridot

Bracelets: Express

Super Bust + Treadmill Workout

Hey there!

I hope you all had a great weekend and are refreshed for another week! Some of Justin’s college friends come into town on Friday night and we had a great time hanging out with them and catching up. We also spent a lot of time playing games, which was awesome! Justin and I are huge gamers so we love when other couples come and are up for a little friendly competition. ūüôā

DominosLast night we went over to our friend’s house to watch the Super Bust (oops…I mean Super Bowl). Nearly everyone there had wanted the Broncos to win, so we were all really depressed most of the night. When the game got out of hand we ended up switching back and forth to the Puppy Bowl which was way more entertaining in my mind.

Speaking of puppies, how cute was the Budweiser commercial with the puppy and horse!? I died. SO adorable!!

Super Bowl CommercialTreadmill Workout

I have had a lot of knee injuries over the years and lately, running on a treadmill has become more painful on my joints (I know, I sound more like I’m in my mid-eighties rather than mid-twenties). Wintertime is the worst for me to stay motivated to keep my cardio routine up because I can’t run outside and I get bored on the elliptical every day. I recently tried mixing up my routine with some incline walking/light jogging and it has made a huge difference! I still get my heart rate up and feel like I got a good workout but I switch things up enough so that my knee doesn’t bother me by the end of it!

I wanted to share my routine with y’all in case anyone else could benefit from a change in workout. **Please note: I am not a personal trainer. This is just a workout that I have found to be beneficial to me. It may not be right for you, so please speak with a medical professional before making any changes to your current workout routine.

Treadmill Incline WorkoutThe thing I like about this workout (besides the fact that I can do it without causing pain to my knee) is that it keeps me from getting bored on the treadmill. Having to switch gears every two minutes keeps my mind occupied and my body from getting bored. I hope it works for you!

Have a wonderful Monday!

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Here’s today’s outfit of the day, plus some catch-up outfits from the weekend. As always, links to available pieces can be found on my “wear” page.

Sweater: Forever 21

Jeans: Maurices

Boots: Forever 21

Scarf: TJ Maxx