Spending a week in Costa Rica with Chris was absolutely amazing. We were both so excited to have a nice and relaxing vacation. Although, I had to lecture Chris about taking care of his things though. I'm sure you can guess which passport belongs to him...
We stayed 20 minutes outside of La Fortuna at the Lost Iguana Resort. We made such a great choice with this resort. There were two different hiking trails on their 120-acres in the rainforest that kept us busy in the early mornings. The staff was very friendly and helpful. Here are a few pictures I took from the resort:
There is so much to do in Costa Rica so it was very easy to stay active while having fun. We did a night walk and a day walk through the Arenal Hanging Bridges Park, kayaked in the Peñas Blancas River, hiked over the lava flow of the 1968 Arenal Volcano eruption, and crawled through the tightest spaces amongst bats and crickets in the Venado Caves.
I'm really scared of bats, so the cave tour was really creepy, but turned out to be my favorite activity. The limestone was beautiful and the water was so refreshing because we got so hot and sweaty from all the climbing and crawling around in the cave. We didn't have waterproof cameras (why didn't we buy a Go Pro??) so we only took a before and after picture of the Venado Cave tour.
I am a little late with the 3rd TpT Seller Challenge: Make Your Masterpiece. I worked on it for two days as soon as I got back from Costa Rica. I'm really happy with the way it turned out. The CCSS aligned 1st Grade Morning Work for Back-to-School follows the same format as my best-selling summer packets with each day including 5 math and 5 literacy problems.
If you like the 1st Grade Common Core Morning Work for Back-to-School, stay tuned for the back-to-school homework packet. Also, my 1st Grade Morning Work packets currently on TpT is aligned to Minnesota State Standards (we adopted CCSS for Literacy, but not CCSS for Math) but I'm working to revise them so that the packets are aligned with the Common Core State Standards. I'm halfway done with the year-long morning work packets, so you can expect the updated version on TpT by the end of July or the first week of August.
I love going out to eat, so I don't end up cooking too much at home, especially during the summer. However, the few times a do cook during the week, I always avoid using fresh herbs simply because I end up throwing 75% of it away. I try not to be wasteful so I usually end up using dried herbs. I was elated when I saw smaller packages of fresh, organic herbs at the grocery store yesterday and only $1.50! I made crusted pork chops last night and they tasted significantly better with fresh herbs.
Chris is slowly moving into my condo and my closets are exploding! Time to look into a closet storage system!
I finished my 3-credit Minnesota Writing Project Open Institute called "Writing Process and Thematic Inquiry: Writing for Social Justice" at the University of Minnesota right before I left for Costa Rica. I learned how important it is to design lesson plans with social justice themes. Bree Picower (2012) suggests that an elementary social justice curriculum is beneficial to help "students care about and critically understand inequalities in the world around them."
I created a lesson plan with the social justice theme of bullying. Bullying prevention needs to be addressed in schools as early as possible. Jensen, Brisson, Bender, and Williford (2013) found "A considerable proportion of students who bully their classmates in elementary school continue to be perpetrators during middle school." Hopefully my proactive approach will be effective at the elementary level, in turn, hopefully deterring acts of bullying at the secondary level.
I chose this brilliant book called Nobody! A Story About Overcoming Bullying in School by Erin Frankel from Free Spirit Publishing. I created a lesson plan targeted for 3rd grade students, but it could be easily modified for 2nd grade and 4th grade students. You can download the lesson plan for free for use in the classroom. No part of the download can be used in any other way without the prior written consent from me by clicking on the "envelope icon" at the top of the page.
Jenson, J.M., Brisson, D., Bender, K.A. & Williford, A.P. (2013). Effects of the youth matters prevention program on patterns of bullying and victimization in elementary and middle school. Social Work Research, 37, 361-371.
Picower, B. (2012). Using their words: Six elements of social justice curriculum design for the elementary classroom. International Journal of Multicultural Education, 14, 1-15.
Thanks again to Doodle Bugs Teaching!
And a shout out to Third in Hollywood, Sparkling in Second, Peppy Zesty Teacherista, and Teach.Create.Motivate!
Have a great weekend!