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! 🙂 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! 🙂

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. 😉

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

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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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

Family of . . . FOUR!

Hi there!

finally went back to work today after six days off of school due to weather. It was nice to be back — I was really starting to run out of things to do around the house and I was ready to get back to my students! It’s already snowing again though so we’ll see how long this lasts . . .

New Family Member

I am so excited to announce that my little family is growing!

simplifythechaos.com

Before this gets out of hand, I should clarify that Macie’s new little sibling is furry and has four paws. (Gotcha, didn’t I? ;))

Justin and I have been talking about getting a second dog for probably a month now. We adore Macie so much and love having her in our family. She has been the perfect dog for us! However, we hate having to leave her at home by herself all day long. Justin is able to come home during lunch for now, but once he starts his medical school rotations, that will no longer be the case. She is such an active dog that we hate for her to sit around bored all day. We wanted a playmate for her!

simplifythechaos.com

Meet Macie’s new little brother, Scout!

Scout was rescued by good friends of ours last week. He was dumped off in the snow near their house and wandered up to their door in subzero temperatures (can you believe the cruelty of some people?! It makes me sick to think of how someone could do that to a puppy, or any pet for that matter) and was skin and bones. They immediately took him in. After calls to the local pound, no one had claimed him within the week and he wasn’t wearing a collar so we knew he had been abandoned and hadn’t just run away from his owners. My friend already had two dogs and so we decided to give him a home!

We are so in love with Scout already. He is such a sweetheart!

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Can you tell Justin is super excited to have another dude around? Macie is clearly a mommy’s girl so he is hoping that Scout is a daddy’s boy. 🙂

We took him to the vet on Monday and other than some worms, a bit of frostbite on his tail (again, how can people dump a puppy off in freezing temps!?), and being very small due to lack of appropriate nutrition, she said he was actually in pretty good shape! He’s receiving worm meds, an antibiotic, ointment, and lots and lots of LOVE now so he is on the mend!

simplifythechaos.com

Our vet’s best guess is that Scout is a cocker spaniel/hound mix and he is probably around 12 weeks old, though he looks much younger due to his size. We were so impressed with how well Macie took to him! She didn’t bark or growl when he went for her food bowl (although now they each have their own) and they love to play together! She does exhibit a bit of jealousy around me because she is used to getting all my attention, but overall she is very kind to him and they get along well!

They also like to snuggle and nap together 🙂

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Aren’t they adorable?

We are so happy to have Scout join our family. My heart is FULL!

The only problem we have run into with Scout is with crate training. He HATES going into the kennel. I’m not sure if maybe he had a traumatic kennel experience prior to being dumped off. We’d really like to crate train him for potty training purposes,  but I don’t want to make it a negative experience for him. I would love to hear any advice from other pet owners who may have experienced this!

Side note: If you are unable to care for your pet, please please PLEASE take the time to drop him or her off in a shelter or find someone to take him or her in. No pet should have to be kicked out into the cold and left alone.  And a huge thank you to those who are willing to open their homes to strays and rescues!

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Today’s outfit of the day. Feels good to get to dress up again and not just lounge around in sweats.

Cardigan: Old Navy

Dress: Maurices

Belt: Maurices

Tights: Express

Pumps: Maurices

Simple DIY Wine Charm Labels

Hello there!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a serious case of the Mondays. We had two days off last week due to weather so I had a hard time rolling out of bed this morning. I needed a chocolate Hershey kiss to give me an extra boost at school!

Wine Charm Labels

On Saturday night, I had a bunch of friends over for a game night. We played the F-R-I-E-N-D-S version of Scene-It and it was a blast! There was a good mix of avid and casual F-R-I-E-N-D-S fans so we played on teams — we ended up just watching a ton of the DVD clips because the show is just too funny! I highly recommend the game to any fans of the show (buy it on Amazon here).

Friends Scene It

My mother-in-law gave me a mix for a hot-spice red wine for Christmas and I decided this was the perfect time to try it out! Usually when I host a big gathering, I use plastic solo cups so people can label their cup with a permanent market. People mingle and move around so much it’s nearly impossible to keep track of whose cup is whose so labeling is key! However, hot spiced wine in solo cups is just wrong in my book so I got out my wine glasses and decided to make some labels.

I see tons of creative wine charms using wire and beads on Pinterest and to be honest, I’ve already scoured craft stores for materials to make some of my own. I think it’s such a cute way to distinguish glasses but I have never had the time or energy to put forth into the task. For my game night, I wanted something simple, cute, and most importantly, quick!

simplifythechaos.com

I started with a piece of beige card stock and some brown gift tag labels from the $1 bin at Target (am I the only one who loves that part of the store!?)

simplifythechaos.comI decided to go with the thin banners on the bottom right corner of the sheet. I had two sheets of tags so I could make twelve total labels.

I cut out around the banners and left room at the top for a single hole punch.

simplifythechaos.comNext, I pulled out a bunch of white twisty-ties (is there a more scientific name for those? I really have no idea!) that come around various items in my pantry such as bread. Being the frugal person I am, I keep all the ties in a magnetic tin on my fridge because you just never know when they will come in handy. I was very glad to have plenty to choose from!simplifythechaos.com

I kept all the labels out next to the wine glasses with a pen for people to write their name and attach the label to their glass.

simplifythechaos.comSimple? Check.

Inexpensive? Check. The tags were 2 for $1 in the Target bin and I already had the card stock, single hole punch, and twisty-ties.

Quick? You betcha! The entire process took 10 minutes maximum.

I was very pleased with how these turned out and I got compliments on them from my guests. One modification I might make in the future would be to try to get chalkboard label tags so I can re-use them with different guests’ names. Since everyone at game night was a good friend who is sure to be back at my house for one thing or another, I am saving them for the future anyways!

Have a lovely Monday!

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Today’s outfit was dots, dots, and more dots! Seriously loving the polka dot trend right now! As always, outfit details and links to available pieces can be found on my “wear” page.

simplifythechaos.comSweater: New York & Company

Blouse: New York & Company

Pants: Express

Flats: Target

Necklace: Purple Peridot

Stud diamond Earrings (not pictured): Lia Sophia

Recent Outfits:

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Operation Stress-free Christmas Card Picture: Step #1

Today, a very exciting package came in the mail!

Macie Hat #2

A puppy Santa hat for Macie!

This past weekend, a few friends and I drove to a nearby city for an overnight girls’ shopping trip/weekend away. (It was SO nice to get some quality girl-time in . . . and of course, score some major deals!) As we were browsing one of the many stores, one of the girls picked out coordinating outfits for herself and her husband and casually mentioned they’d probably wear them for Christmas card pictures.

Pause. What? People are thinking about Christmas? Didn’t fall just begin?

Truth is, I’m a bit of a procrastinator and had my friend not said something, Christmas card pictures wouldn’t have even crossed my mind for about another month. Then it would have taken me a week or two to decide what to do and at least another week to get it done. I’d be lucky to get the cards out by Christmas eve! The  whole thing would be rushed and stressful, and I’d probably be dissatisfied with the results.

Not gonna happen this year! I’m inspired to “simplify the [upcoming] chaos” by planning ahead! Let Operation Stress-free Christmas Card Picture begin!

All my enthusiasm aside, I have no delusions that I’ll be able to pull off something glamourous. I see all the adorable Christmas card pictures where the couple is wrapped up cozily in Christmas lights (J & I would just look like a tangled mess) or is having a cute snowball fight and still looking picture perfect (My face gets ridiculously red in the cold so I’d look like Rudolph). Then I realized that J and I don’t need to do anything spectacular because we have a spectacularly cute puppy who can steal all the limelight and be adorable enough for us all!

Macie Hat #1

Cue Santa hat! (Bonus that is was only $2.99 plus shipping!) Now I just have to get her to like wearing the hat so it will stay on long enough for a picture. So far, she’s up to keeping it on for about 1.2 seconds. Anyways, I consider this a significant success on Step #1 of Operation Stress-free Christmas Card Picture. Yes!

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Last week, I posted about re-vamping spring clothing to give it new life for the fall/winter. Even though I did score some new clothing on the shopping spree, I’m still digging out spring clothes and giving them new life. It’s actually fun to find new ways to wear things and it’s also very budget-friendly!

Here’s today’s teacher-friendly work outfit:

Outfit #1

Cardigan: Old Navy

Lace cami: Express

Grey pencil skirt: Laundry by Shelli Segal (found at Ross!)

Grey suede pumps: Bandolino

Bangles and earrings: Ruche (shopruche.com)

I LOVE mint and paired it with other pastels all spring and summer long. I paired it with grey to transition it to winter and really like the way it turned out!

On a side note, taking self-timed shots with a puppy in the room sometimes leads to this:

Outfit #1b

Hmm. We might need to work on her a bit before she’s ready for her big Christmas card debut after all . . .