Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Younique makeup!

I have mentioned before that I started selling Younique makeup over the summer.  I absolutely LOVE doing it and really love all their products!  I'm not just saying that because I sell it either! There hasn't been a product that I have ordered that I haven't fallen in love with right away!  I just thought I'd share some of the products that we sell in case you were interested in ordering something.  You could always begin your holiday shopping a little early as well =)

Our BEST selling product is our 3D Fiber Lash Mascara.  They look like false eyelashes but it goes on just like regular mascara.  I get a TON of compliments whenever I wear this mascara - I LOVE it!!

We also sell some gorgeous eye pigments!  They aren't pressed like eye shadows, but they are loose powder that stays on all day and lasts for a really long time!!  Check out these amazing colors:

Another big seller is our lip gloss.  What girl doesn't love lip gloss?!  They even have a little mirror attached so that you can use that to help you apply it!  My favorite colors are loveable and luxe =)

The last product I'll talk about tonight is our eye liners.  They go on very easily, last all day and don't smudge or run off.  The colors are really pretty as well!!

 If you are interested in checking out these products and all the other ones we sell, visit my website: www.youniqueproducts.com/mmkinsella

Until next time!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars=delicious!

Tonight is not a school post, but it is to share a recipe for something delicious that I easily made gluten free!  I tend to look for recipes that don't require too many different kinds of flours when making something GF because that tends to get expensive and I don't keep all sorts of flours in my house!  I have regular flour for recipes that I won't be eating (it's SO MUCH cheaper!) and then I keep an all-purpose GF flour in the house for when I'm making something that I will be eating.  Today I made these pumpkin chocolate chip bars that were delicious!!  Here is the recipe from Averie Cooks that I followed:
YIELD: one 8x8 pan, 9 to 12 generous squares
PREP TIME: 5 minutes
COOK TIME: about 32 to 33 minutes
TOTAL TIME: about 70 minutes, for cooling
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
1 large egg
3/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used gluten free flour here)
1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips + 2 tablespoons, for sprinkling


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.
  3. Wait momentarily before adding the egg so you don't scramble it. Add the egg, pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and whisk until smooth.
  4. Add the flour and stir until just combined, don't over mix.
  5. Stir in 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips.
  6. Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
  7. Evenly sprinkle with 2 tablespoons chocolate chips, smoothly the top lightly with a spatula.
  8. Bake for about 32 to 33 minutes, or until done. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. The moisture content in pumpkin varies, as do climates and ovens; bake until yours are done. Allow bars to cool in pan for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. I find the bars taste better on the second and third day after the flavors have married. Bars continue to get softer and moister for about 3 days after baking. Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
I meant to take a picture of what they looked like coming out of the oven, but I forgot, so here is what's left after bringing them to Ed's parents' house for dinner:
So good!  If you try and make them, please let me know what you think!  My post tomorrow (or Tuesday) will be about the Relaxation Station that we have in our classoom =)

Until next time!

Friday, October 24, 2014


This picture just sums it up so I had to share!!

In the mornings, I always think about the few errands that I will run after school before heading home.  It usually winds up that I run one errand, or none, and as soon as I get home, I immediately change into some comfy clothes and try and relax for a little bit before cooking dinner!  Well, by relax, I mean chasing an almost 2-year-old around the house =)  I would definitely love to be able to take a nap once home but that doesn't happen anymore!  Does this picture above remind you of you!?

Until next time!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Wow...it's been a long time since I've posted.  I'm sorry!  There's been a lot going on and some nights I just don't have the energy to post.  I also really need to start taking pictures of what we do in my classroom so that I have things to blog about!  That will be my goal from here on out! =)  Promise!

One thing we have been working on in math is making 10.  It is so important for students in the early grades to know the combinations to make 10. This helps them add larger numbers and teaches them various strategies on how to do so.  I did not realize just how important it is before I began teaching it more in-depth.  I grew up learning just how to add numbers, not really knowing what it meant or really looked liked.  This is something I try to really stress to my students and try to use as many visuals as I can when teaching all sorts of concepts.  One thing I came across last year was this cute idea from Jessica at The Littlest Scholars. Here is what we did during our Math With the Teacher station =)

Most of the students understood the concept of using the rainbow to help them figure out the number combinations.  It will be work in progress for those students who struggled with it!  I was using colored bears for this concept as well so that seemed to help my neediest learners.  

Well, I will definitely take pictures of things that are going on tomorrow, although we do have MAP testing going on.  Does your district take part in MAP testing in the younger grades?  It starts in 1st grade in my district and continues on up.  Anyway, that will take up a chunk of the day so we will see what is picture-worthy tomorrow!

Until next time!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Class pledge

I know I have spoken about my year last year and how it was quite difficult.  One thing that I was constantly reflecting on throughout the year and over the summer was my behavior management.  While I have always felt confident with managing behaviors, I found myself questioning some of my techniques last year with such a challenging group.  It was also a tough mix of students that I feel even the best behavior expert would have had some trouble with managing them, too!  

The management aspect has been at the forefront of my thoughts this year.  During a workshop I attended one year, the presenter stated, "You can't teach a class that you can't manage."  How true that statement is!!!  With that being said, I wanted to start off this year with making sure that the students knew the expectations of our classroom and that we were going to hold them to those expectations.  We are constantly talking about being respectful of others and making sure our students are being treated fairly by all of us.  

At the beginning of the year, we made something similar to this for our class rules:

I make this with my class every year. The middle is different with each class, but the beginning and end is always the same. We put it on posterboard and the kids all sign it.

This is such a cute idea and the kids really enjoyed doing it and participating in it!  Our wording is a bit different and we shared the marker so that we wrote some words and the students helped write some of the words, too.  All of their self portraits came out quite interesting, too!!  I think we might have one devil-looking portrait on our wall ;)

After that, we started learning our class pledge that we say every day after our morning announcements come on.  I feel like this is a really nice way to start our day and our learning!  Here is what we say:
Our morning announcements usually consist of the Pledge of Allegiance and any news that we need to know for the day.  Once they are finished, my class stays standing and we raise our right hand and recite the pledge together.  I feel like it really sums up the expectations of the day, today and every day!  (anyone get that Lucy Calkins reference?!)

Until next time!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Interval timer and math workshop

Something that I changed this year during math was doing math stations/guided math instead of whole group lessons.  Well, I guess I never really did whole group lessons in math (or maybe when I did, I wanted to rip my hair out because I've always had groups with SUCH a range of abilities that I felt like I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off!) and so I quickly decided any other way was better than whole group!  I've tried a few different ways but could never find something that felt manageable to me and I would wind up changing things up after awhile or changing everything all together...

This year, I decided that our math time would be spent doing math stations/guided math (I use these terms interchangeably) so that I could see every student every day and differentiate as much as needed.  For example, our focus the past few days was adding and subtracting on a number line.  I was able to use the same number line in wipe-off sleeves but I changed the addition or subtraction sentences depending on the abilities of the group that I had.  It worked really well!  

To explain the math stations and what they are and what the students do:

Math With the Teacher - I will either repeat the mini lesson or continue on from where we left off the day before...I also do assessments during this time when needed.

Math With a Buddy - Students work with their group to play a game that has been introduced before.

Math With Technology - Students use either iPads or the computers in our class.

Math By Myself - Right now, we have the students doing Number of the Day journal pages but plan on doing different things throughout the year. 

They rotate through all 4 stations each day.  We usually wind up having about 45 minutes of math so this works out perfectly.  Something else that has made things SO MUCH EASIER was setting up an interval timer that we use every day during math.  I set it up using www.online-stopwatch.com.  Here it is:

While it's not the best picture, if you look at it closely, you can see that the intervals are labeled and it just automatically runs through (with clean up time added in!!) so that I don't have to worry about setting a timer after each station!  The students know that they have time to clean up and head to their next station.  They all have pretty much gotten it down pat and know that they need to get to that station before the chime goes off to begin the next interval.  Does that make sense?  We use bookmarks that help us know where to go next.  I can share them tomorrow.  I hope something from this post was helpful to you!

Until next time!