March Madness!

One of my favorite times of the year (in the sporting world, that is) is finally heeeeeeeere! First day of SPRING and it’s March Madness!

Now, I would never classify myself as a huge college basketball fan. I really don’t watch much during the regular season, though I am a huge Ohio State fan in all sports so I will occasionally watch a game of theirs. All that being said, I just LOVE the March Madness tournament!

Every year, I fill out two brackets. One is what I call my “coin flip bracket,” where every decision is based on the flip of a quarter (heads = top team wins, tails = bottom team wins). It’s so fun to see how things work out when it’s left purely to chance! I also fill out a “date night” bracket; Justin and I each fill out a bracket and exchange them. At the end of the tournament, whoever had the better bracket gets taken out to dinner by the loser. It’s a fun excuse to go out to eat and have some fun. 🙂 **Sidenote: Justin has beaten me the last two years but I have a good feeling about this year! Time to win a date!!

I have so much fun filling out my bracket that I thought I should incorporate it into my classroom too. Here’s what I did during my planning period today: Using March Madness in the classroomMy students all got really excited when they saw the bracket! I knew it would be a fun thing for them to see and keep track of the tournament with, but then I thought about trying to make this a learning experience too. Turns out, there are a lot of ways to make the bracket fun and educational! Here are a few ideas I came up with:

Making March Madness Work in the Classroom

1. Probability For this one, you have to take rankings out of the equation. I’d phrase a question like: “If all teams had identical records, what is the probability that . . .”

  • “. . . a team from the West wins the tournament?”
  • “. . . a team that begins with an ‘A’ or ‘C’ wins the tournament?”
  • “. . . Ohio State will win the tournament?”
  • “. . . the final match-up will be between Villanova and Arizona?”

Get creative! We did probability with marbles and cards and the students all felt that it wasn’t relevant to their lives. Now is a good time to engage their attention (even if it isn’t truly chance since there are rankings in real life)

2. Statistics Use the records to your advantage! Have the students discuss a particular game (have info up on the board for those who didn’t watch) and figure out a particular player’s statistics. (i.e. “Player B made 5 of 9 shots last night. What was his percentage of made shots?”)

3. Writing assignment Have the students make-up a story about an unbelievable upset (they can pick the teams from the bracket to write about) and have them give specific details using whatever writing strategy you’re currently working on (i.e. using specific adjectives, adding proper nouns, etc)

4. Graphing Have a poll question written on the board (I’m going to let students actually write on the board since they love to do that but you could have them do it by raising their hands). For example, your question could be:

  • “Who do you think will win the whole tournament?”
  • “Who do you think will win the South/East/West/MidWest?”
  • “Which is your favorite team still in the tournament?”

Collect student answers (you can have one student be the recorder as other students raise their hands or you can have them write their answer on the board — perhaps in simple tally form depending on how you worded the question). Then you can work on graphing the student responses in pie charts, bar graphs, etc.

5. Summary writing. Write a ton of statistics from a game that has been played up on the board and have students take that information and write a game re-cap summary. Remind them of important things summaries need (recount highlights and include major details such as the score) and have them make up a quote from a player or coach to include as practice for writing with quotations.

I’m very excited to implement this in my classroom! I’m going to just have a fun poll question on the board each day too so it stays interactive and keeps the students engaged. I think it will be fun! Please let me know if you have any other fun strategies for involving students in March Madness and I’ll gladly add them to my list!

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Today’s outfit didn’t exactly scream “spring” but when it’s only gonna be a high in the mid-50s, it’s hard to go too crazy.

navy and white stripes, white pants, statement necklaceShirt: TJ Maxx (exact unavailable) ~ Pants: New York & Company (similar here) ~ Flats: Target (exact here) ~ Necklace: Purple Peridot (exact here)

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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!

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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. 😉

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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

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:

simplifythechaos.comsimplifythechaos.com simplifythechaos.com