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Peach Caprese Power Salad

Peaches are in season and I can't get enough. Even though peaches don't need anybody to make them more delicious, I still love using them in unexpected ways. My favorite this summer is this salad! Packed with healthy super foods, you will want to eat this salad every day until the peach farmers cut you off. Enjoy!

Serves 1

1/2 cup of cooked quinoa, cold
1 fresh peach, peeled and diced
1/2 avocado, diced
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
1 oz. fresh mozzarella, diced
fresh basil, add as much as you want
drizzle with balsamic reduction or balsamic vinegar (about 1-2 tsp)

Mix all ingredients and drizzle with balsamic. That's it!

This recipe is also compatible with the 21 Day Fix! Just modify the measurements to fit your containers. If you're not on the 21 Day Fix, then I would add extra mozzarella's delicious!

Hosting an End of the Year Family Day!

Hey, everyone! This weekend I am teaming up with a bunch of bloggers around the country who have spring fever, baby! We are ready for summer vacation but are filled with ideas and freebies to get you through the last few weeks of the year.

This week was a special week for my kiddos, as we welcomed our families in to our classroom for our annual Family Fun Day! I used to do a Mother's Day Tea and Donuts with Dad, but over the years my students have had different family compositions that made me decide to change it up. Instead of celebrating each individual parent, I invite the families in to have an end-of-the-year family day to wrap up what we've done this year!

Here is a look at what we do for Family Day

Inspiring Learning Spaces: Phase 1

Have you ever stopped to think about how much has changed in education over the past 50 years? Technology is the most notable change, as many classrooms now are brimming with iPads, Chromebooks, SmartBoards and QR codes. However, with all of the changes and progress we have seen in education, there isn't a lot to show for it inside the four walls of a classroom. I know what you're thinking.. "Umm, what about Pinterest? My classroom is cuter than it's ever been!" But despite chevron labels and pom poms hanging from the ceiling (don't hate, I'm right there with you!) our classrooms are still pretty standard. If you're in denial, I want you to consider this: when you envision a classroom, what pops into your head? If you were playing Pictionary and the card you picked was "classroom", what would you draw? Most people would draw a classroom with rows of desks and a teacher at the front. 50 years ago the teachers had all the knowledge and the students were there to receive that knowledge. That is no longer the case.

classroom environment

Education is drastically different now than 50 years ago and so are the students, yet our classrooms still look the same. The kids still walk in the door in the morning and sit in their hard backed chairs (which have probably been in the room for 30 years) and we still stand in front of them barking out orders in front of a board (but now it's interactive, YAY us!) Do you see where I'm going with this? If we always do what we've always done, we will always get what we've always got. Once I began researching more I found that tons of teachers had caught the same bug!

Read Across America- A Peek at My Week ( & FREEBIE!)

Why do the weekends go by so fast? I swear it was Friday 10 minutes ago! I don't normally look forward to Monday but this week I am excited to get back to my classroom and dive in to Read Across America Week! You can learn more about Read Across America Week by clicking here.

This is one of my favorite weeks of the year and one of my favorite units to teach my kids. Every year when we celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday and Read Across America, I am reminded how important read alouds are and how much my students enjoy them. It's sad that read alouds are often the first to go when we are trying to fit everything else in. Dr. Seuss's stories are the best for read alouds because they are silly, funny and full of tongue twisters. I can still remember my dad reading me Fox in Socks when I was a little girl. He had the whole book memorized by the time I was 5 years old. I used to make him read it over and over again. How many books can we say that about?

Here's a look at what I have planned for my week and what I have done in the past. A few years ago I decided I would focus on one book per day and try to plan activities that were based on each book. This year I am excited to add What Pet Should I Get? to my plans! Have you read it? My Nana and Poppop gave it to my son when he was born and we love it! We read it during bath time because that's the only time he sits still long enough to listen to a Dr. Seuss book. I whipped up a writing response sheet for a shared writing activity on Friday. You can grab it at the bottom of this post!

If you're teaching about Dr. Seuss this week, make sure you check out the Seussville website. There are tons of resources there and lots of interactive activities!   

Happy reading!

How to Make Fruit & Cheese Kabobs- Writing Freebie!

Happy New Year everyone! Today I'm sharing an activity (and a freebie!) that I will be doing with my class this month as we continue to fine tune our sequencing skills and our how-to writing. I love doing a hands-on activity before we do how-to writing. I have some very concrete learners and it makes a significant difference when they can actually DO what it is that they are writing about. Making any sort of kabob is a good way to practice patterns, sequencing and fine motor skills. For the past three years I have had students with peanut allergies so this is also a great way to use food in the classroom without worrying about nut allergies. I always call home to my allergy parents to make sure they feel comfortable with the activity first. They have always been happy to have their child involved in a safe food activity at school, since those are few and far between for our allergy kids!

Whenever I do a cooking activity with my class, I try to prep all of the materials beforehand. For an activity like this, I suggest divvying up the ingredients onto plates or into bowls so each child has his or her own set of ingredients. Then you also avoid any sticky fingers from contaminating the ingredients. Yuck!

Depending on the level of your kiddos, you can talk about kitchen safety while you prep the ingredients. I always teach the kids about washing produce, knife safety and clean hands.

You can play with the food and make different kabobs to hone in on different skills and modify to match the needs of your class.
Here are some different ways I have used kabobs: 
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