1. Valentine's Day was spectacular! My school holds an annual Jump Rope for Heart event. Luckily, the fifth graders were scheduled for the first thing in the morning. Perfect plan! In the classroom door scamper 30 excited fifth graders, hyped up on Valentine's Day, and then we immediately take them outside to use all of that energy for jump rope! The event set a fun tone for the day. We also celebrated with a Pizza Party at lunch and we ended the day by having a little Valentine's Day exchange in the classroom. Our school doesn't allow candy consumption on school grounds, so the whole celebration was rather tame with granola bars and fruit roll-ups.
2. It's a boy! We found out on Tuesday! No more calling the baby, "Toots" (although admittedly, that nickname will probably stick around). We will be welcoming Erik James around July 3rd.
3. Captain Nobody by Dean Pitchford. This book was recommended by Amanda at the Teaching Thief Blog last summer. I bought it after I read her review and finally read it last week. In short, Newt Newman, a ten-year-old boy boy feels overshadowed by his high school football superstar brother. At the big championship game, his brother is at the bottom of a tackle pile-up that leaves him in a coma. While his parents are tending to his brother, Newt creates an alter-ego for Halloween, Captain Nobody, and continues to be Captain Nobody well after the holiday. As Captain Nobody, he finds himself in some incredible situations which ultimately leads to him developing more confidence in himself and a little fame. I loved this book and since my goal is to increase reading motivation in my class, I gave a very-spirited book talk on it. Two of my fifth-graders have read the book now, and there is a little waiting list for who gets it next...
4. I found the following post on Pinterest about making your own gumdrops. I thought, "What a great Valentines gift!" My plan was to make them and to post them on "Made it Monday" through Fifth Grade Frolics blog. Fail. They were supposed to look like this:
Mine looked like this:
Sigh. I did make a couple changes that did not improve the recipe. One is that I used natural gelatin from Whole Foods so that color isn't quite as vibrant as the original. If I try this again, I am going to coat the entire top with sugar before transferring it to wax paper. The amount of sugar I spread on the paper was not enough for the stickiness of the gumdrops, thus it ended up sticking to each other like so.
5. Baseball! We attended Fanfest at Chase Field last Saturday. Cam played on a the huge inflatable obstacle courses, we ate a pretzel and a hot dog, watched some of the Dbacks players and bought season tickets! 28 games on all the home weekends! Very exciting summer activity, especially in a air-conditioned ballpark when the weather outside will reach a screaming 110 degrees in July.
6. Shrimp! My most recent pregnancy craving. I had some fantastic shrimp tacos at Chili's about a month ago and have been wanting shrimp ever since. I've since tried the shrimp tacos at Garcia's (meh), Juan Jaime's (Wow!) and made a shrimp stir-fry at home. My adventure this week will be the shrimp tacos you see on the left. The recipe for these can be found here.