Flip teaching on it’s ear

I like, no I really LIKE this poster. It sums up what I do everyday and puts a nice CrossFit bow on it. This isn’t from some high brow teaching conference, this is from a CrossFit meme. It’s something our head coach sent out. Most of you know that I now coach on the side and many of you know that endear this opportunity to help people reach their fitness goals.

There are some rich parallels to coaching and teaching. There are goods and bad, mind you.  My two greatest take aways this year are that this is the most important class I have, right now. Also that I need to be more intentional about how I mix up and vary my teaching without changing the overall outcome. There are so many ways I can enhance my lessons, flip the time, change the environment and even toss the lesson totally to make sure each student gets what they need. When break is over I will have just a little more than a 30 days left in this school year. I’m going to work on coaching these students and mixing up a lot of variables. Let’s see what the last 30 days bring.

Next year I will certainly start the year with pushing for more engagement. As in CF there are people who have to scale a workout in order to get any benefit. This year I focused so much on those students and not the over all lesson and that each student was getting better. Going to spend this Summer coaching learning how to scale so much better. Next year is my break out year.

How did your school year unfold for you this year?

New year surprise

Last week started out excellent.  My students came back really trying to learn. I was surprised cause it’s the post-Christmas blah. So proud  them.

This month is going to be a haul. We honestly only have 80 days left in this school year. It’s gone by so fast.

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A great week of new ties

Had some great bowties this week. Also lots of grey in the beard. 

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Meal prep has been excellent! I picked up this little scale last week. Sadly I found out my favorite bacon has straight up been lying to me. 

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I may do another in depth discussiin of meal prep post soon. This scale is excellent.  I still have my analog scale. This was so h a deal and had so raves I had to give it a check.  Wow. I will talk about it again soon. *Let me make sure my new plan actually works.

About to tackle another week of teaching and learning.

Since I’m not talking about ties and lesson plans

I might as well talk about one of my favorites, Meal Prep.

Let me tell you what meal prep isn’t for me. I’m not that guy hoarding a metric ton of food in the basement. I’m also not the huge, superhero sized guy with a bunch of supplements who eats only chicken breasts and broccoli (though, nothing is wrong with that basic easy to prepare meal).

There aren’t a lot of healthy fast food options near my school. Matter of fact that term is an oxymoron, healthy fast food . I can’t eat school lunch. Therefore, I always bring my lunch. Early along in the school year I realized that I wasn’t fixing a lunch a few times a week. I was so busy at night that I would forget to make lunch. Couple that with a missed breakfast a couple of days and I was in bad shape. I’d raid my co-workers snack stashes, hit the kids up for junk food and the such.

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Most of you know that I endear cooking on my Big Green Egg. One weekend, while enjoying cooking, I got this crazy idea. Why don’t I cook myself something to eat on Sunday for the week? That started my journey into meal prep. Here’s how my journey started and has grown.

  • I started out meal prepping my own lunch and a few snacks. Whatever I had in the fridge/freeze would do.
  • My wife wanted lunch, too. I started planning out the meals. She doesn’t like eating the same thing so I had to be very intentional.
  • I started looking for sales and coupons to drive my meal prep. If it was on sale, it was going on the grill.
  • This is the time that I started the transition from plastic ware to glassware. wpid-20140830_180811.jpgwpid-20140912_191558.jpg
  • By preparing for the next day the night before, I find that I’m looking forward to work and getting out the door in the morning was much easier.
  • I started weighing and measuring my food, but not serious. I still was overeating, just over eating good foods.
  • Soon I started preparing breakfast as well. Now my favorite is an omelet bowl. Wife and kids still eat cereal for breakfast.
  • I FEEL amazing. I’m not sluggish at work and I have energy to hit the gym after work. Something certainly is happening!
  • Started incorporating slow cooker. It started making less and less sense to NOT prepare dinner this way.
  • I notice that I’m getting pretty good at this whole thing. It’s not work as much as it’s a total release to be creative and express myself outside of the classroom. Besides, I LOVE when my co-workers comment on my lunch.
  • My time spent in the kitchen during the week is cut by 1/2. More time for family and other stuff.
  • It becames obvious to me that I am not eating enough. I started making bigger breakfasts, and more calorie dense snacks. I don’t weigh myself. I’m not sure how much I weigh, but my clothes do fit a little better.
  • Last week I started counting macros, Fats, Carbs and Proteins. I also have started shooting for a daily calorie intake based upon the macros I want to consume. This is a step up from just counting calories. This is certainly more labor intensive, but I like it. I did some fancy math to figure out my resting calorie usage and broke down my usage into Carbs, Fats, and Protein. In order for me to get down to sub 200 lbs AND remain strong I need to take in these amounts per day, Protein 277, Fats 64 and Carbs 84. That looks like a lot, but it really is reasonable. Currently I’m taking in P 200 Fats 125 and Carbs 190. 
  • One meal prep rule I’ve violated from the start is that I’ve never had the same meal all week. Starting next year I’m going to keep the meals super simple. I don’t mind mixing it up, but it should make it easier for me to count and weigh if I keep the meals the same. We’ll see this works out.

So that’s how I got on the Meal Prep train. If nothing else it’s very helpful in keeping me from having to eat bad food. I will also say it’s done a great job keeping me from eating out. I don’t have the desire or get the pleasure from eating out like I used to. If I do it’s 100% because I’m giving myself a break. I’m going into 2015 ready for some great things.

What about you? How did you get started meal prepping? Do you meal prep?

Happy Topics

We’re in the midst of Thanksgiving break. I’ve unplugged in a major way. I didn’t bring any work home. I’ve only been on Pinterest a few times for school stuff and I’ve been to the gym more times than I’ve even thought about work. I’m on vacation and enjoying it big time.

This time around I’m preparing a pretty nice Thanksgiving spread. We have a lot to be thankful for this year. My big challenge is spacing out the cooks. I’m going to use the BGE as well as the oven and slow cooker. Turkey and pork shoulder will get the Green Egg treatment. Roast will be treated to several hours in the slow cooker. Everything else is going in the oven. I have it mapped out in my mind. We’ll see if that’s a good place tomorrow when I fire up the egg.

Crossfit has been excellent. I’ve been in there a lot. I feel stronger. Actually, I am stronger. My numbers are going up. If I can stay on task I should be able to get my body to show the improvements. I’ve been getting adjustments from our in house chiropractor. That was a great investment. Over all I’m very excited about my results.

Speaking of results. I need to see more with my eating. I’m doing great with the meal prep. This coming epic meal prep I’m going to make sure my portions are right as well as my basic nutrients. I ended the last meal prep by having a much bigger breakfast. That certainly made me feel full longer than when I had a small breakfast and relied on a snack to take the edge off. I’m getting all the water I’m supposed to. That’s strong.

I’m going also do a better job of preparing meals for dinner. No reason to save time making lunch everyday and squander that time having to make dinner when I get home. Might even look into crock pot meals or freezer meals.

Returning to work doing a much better job counting my macros so I have what I need and am not feeding what I don’t want. I should enter 2015 with a slightly smaller waist line.

How’s everyone’s break going?

 

 

Let’s retie last week

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Last week was busy. Lots of fun activities, but at the end of the day this stuff has to stick. Somehow I need to cover each lesson in gobs & gobs of honey so it sticks. Maybe peanut butter. Whatever the analogy, I got to get as much info to stick in these little minds as I can.

Doing great with my daily filing and grading. I’m a little slack writing my plans for the next week, though.

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Meal prep has been on point. It really has transformed my daily routine for the better.  My portions are good and I’m not starving all day.

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The wife is liking the selections. I’m slowly getting rid of all plasticware for our warm meals. Glass just seems to be a much better choice. Holds up in the microwave and dishwasher better.

A very busy week

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Skip counting line. Anyone have any other good outside methods to practice skip counting?

 

Simage

 

We went out this week to practice moving along with our skip counting. There are a lot of parts to skip counting that I believe as we get it we just take for granted. These babies are really trying their best. I just have to keep it engaging for them. There’s so much that needs to be done. So much that must be caught up on. So much to lay at the feet of Christ and just let Him deal with. All I can do is clock in and give it my best every second.

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They’ve started to process of replacing my “faux” smart board with a legit smart board. I’m going to keep my faith out there they’ll be able to do it over the weekend so Monday I will have a real smart board up. It will really give me a lot more room. Since, I’m supposed to get 3 more students room is a premium. No matter what teaching must and will continue.

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I enjoy meal preping so much. It does add a little normalcy to my lunch routine. Now as I get my portions in line I hope to get better and better at selecting the right kinds of food. I’m making the switch from plastic to glass containers. I’m going to do a little video about some of the issues I’ve found, but the most obvious is that microwaving plastic can be rather nasty. I found these at Kroger for $3 a piece. Can’t be that with a bat!

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If you get the hint, I got the charcoal!

Let’s review and retie this week

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This school year has been amazing.  A real turn around has been that they’ve squashed meeting during our planning times. My trams planning is Friday afternoon.  Also we’ve moved from weekly lesson plans to 4 week plans. So that means I’m planning for the future weeks by pulling anchor charts, centers, assessments and the such.

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This system is outstanding for me. I was able to get so much done today. Even with a few hiccups, I still got a ton done. 
My last post was about Meal Prepping.  It has been fantastic. I’d suggest everyone give it a shot if you want to control portions and your overeating. It’s so much easier to eat clean, do the whole30 or just paleo by meal prepping. 

CrossFit has been great. I’m glad I returned to CrossFit South Cobb. There’s been some uphevala at the gym and all I can say is I am so proud of this community.  There’s something about CF and how they build community.  Can’t imagine the support we see in other gyms.

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It was a good tie week as well. 

This has ZERO to do with teaching

You know that recently I finished my CrossFit level 1 cert. That was so much fun and it took a huge thing off my “to do” list. Now I’m focusing on a much healthier Jason. I really, truly do my best to be an easy going guy. I’m not as successful as I’d like to be, but I’m getting there. One thing that keeps me sane is prepaing my food. I know it’s a small thing for most of us. I can’t eat school lunch under any circumstances. I’ve gone an entire day sans food, because I just can’t bring myself to get food from the cafe. I have been known to eat cole slaw from there in years past, but we’ll talk about that later.

For the last month I’ve been doing a major “meal prep” on Saturday or Sunday night. (This week I’m going to do it while cooking out for Labor Day.) This is a serious undertaking. I cook breakfast, lunch and dinner for myself for 5 days and my wife lunch for 5 days. It’s much easier than it sounds. Here are a few tricks I’ve learned.

  • Follow Meal prep blogs. You can get a ton of neat ideas from Instagram.
  • Buy a good set of plastic wear or glassware for carrying your lunch in. Plastic isn’t the choice, but if you’re on a budget it’s what you may have. Glass is better of course. But it’s more expensive.
  • Incorporate your MP in with your normal cooking. I adore my Big Green Egg and it obliges me to cook all my meal prep every weekend. Cooking outside has also kept my house cool.
  • When you’re grocery shopping, look for deals. I’ve been known to hit up the market multiple times a week to get all my fixings for my meal prep.
  • Also don’t be afraid to store things in the freezer until you’re ready to use them. Chicken is on sale? Buy it ALL. Put some in the freezer and you’ll be happy you did.
  • Variety, variety, variety. My wife hates my bacon wrapped chicken thighs. I just keep finding bacon and chicken on sale. (I need to stop making bacon wrapped chicken thighs for a while)

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Not sure if everyone does it, but I’m all in for meal prepping. Now if I were all in for prepping my lesson plans.

Snow Jam 2014 the Refreeze

I appreciate the rest and relaxation, but my over Winter.  If it was a misbehaving friend I would have politely thrown it out my house. It’s time for you to go.

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There were some great pics, but I’m over it. Two more days of rest then back to changing the world’s of the students in room 157.

How did you make it through this crazy winter? My mainstay was my family and my grill.

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What about you?

Cooking and Teaching

I think I've told you how much I like grilling. Since getting my Big Green Egg for Father's day I've cooked some great meals. It's a relaxing and enjoyable experience for me. By no stretch of the imagination am I  a chef. I'm a weekend warrior at the best description. Mainly because I'm using others recipes, ideas and techniques. I'm not creating my own. I'm having a grand time, but I'm not waiting for a call from Food Network. 

What could I do to get them to enjoy the academic process and even grow to the place where they're creating new projects and so on? Right now they're just consumers. They sit in the seat and wait to be fed information that they may or may not take fully. My task is to get them to move from the dining room and get into the kitchen. Then once there I need to get them excited about the kitchen so much that they want to create new dishes and meals. 

My family raves about my creations. In my daughters and wife's eye I'm the best. Their involvement makes it easy to plan and grill. This is what makes the entire thing enjoyable for me. 

How can I get my students and their families into education as such?