Fit Moms for Life: A 6-Week Fitness Challenge

Most women, and certainly all moms I know, are terrible at putting themselves first. They often take care of everyone around them before taking care of themselves.

This very unselfish act can come at a high price. Every day, I hear:

“I just can’t lose this baby weight!” “I can’t keep up with my kids.” “I’m scared that I won’t be there for my kids when I get older.”

And the only way to change that is to learn to put yourself first.

A dear friend of mine, Mary, agreed to share her story to help inspire those of you who are ready to make a change. After years of self-loathing and self-doubt, Mary hit rock bottom. At that point, she decided that things had to change—that she was worth the effort.

Once she made that decision and started putting herself first, she lost over 90 pounds and stopped hiding from the world! Years later, she has maintained her progress and is a new person—she is trying new things that were once out of reach, enjoying an active social life, and living the life she always wanted.

Mary is one of thousands of women who have transformed their lives through Fit Moms for Life… by starting to put themselves first.

If you are ready to start caring for yourself, I can share a few ideas on where to start.

1) Get moving! The more you exercise, the better you will feel, which will give you the energy to get through the day and make other changes. Schedule workouts on your calendar like any other appointment, and stick to it!

2) Put the best fuel that you can in your body. If I had to give you just one piece of nutrition advice, I’d tell you “If your great grandma didn’t eat it, you shouldn’t eat it.” If you read the ingredient list and can’t pronounce the ingredients, or you know your great grandma wouldn’t have eaten it, put it back on the

shelf! It’s not real food. Click here for 30 quick and healthy, real food snack ideas. [LINK TO: http://dustinmaherfitness.com/2009/05/30-healthy-snacks-part-2/ ]

3) Take your nutrition a step further by never eating carbs alone. If you always eat a carb with some protein and some healthy fat (ie, an apple with almond butter; oatmeal with eggs on the side) it will balance your blood sugar and keep you feeling full.

4) Recruit someone to go on this journey with you. You will be much more successful if you are working with someone else who is also trying to get healthy. You can keep each other motivated and accountable.

If you want a done-for-you plan that will get you moving, eating healthy foods, and taking care of yourself with the support of other like-minded women, take the FM4L 6 Week Challenge.

It includes:

* 6 fat-burning workouts that are no more than 30 minutes each

* A 6 week meal plan with delicious recipes that even your kids will love

* Some of my best exercises and information to help you change your mindset and stick with these changes for life

* Access to the FM4L community and our members-only area to connect you with other women on the same journey


Learn more at http://www.fitmomsforlife.com/take_the_challenge/


Math Problem Solving

The words “problem solving” or “word problems” can be like bad words if you or your kid(s) struggle with them.  They JUST learn how to do the math and now we want them to use it to do WHAT!?  It can make everyone want to pull their hair out.  But, it is what math is all about.  And, honestly, it is what we want the kids to be able to do with the math we teach them, right!?  So, how can we make it less stressful?

Teaching Momster


One of the things that can help is for students to “see” the math that you are asking them to do.  Videos, like the ones by PrepToon, can put the Real-World reasoning behind the math into perspective for the kids.  These short videos help explain the math as well as help work through the math with the kids.


This video by Heinemann is a great way to get a glimpse into a classroom as well as the thinking kids have.  I love that the teacher doesn’t tell the kids they are wrong when they think they should subtract (rather than divide).  They can still get the answer!  And, that is what math is all about.  She helps them solve the problem by drawing out what they are telling her to do.  The conversations are AWESOME (and funny too!).


You can read even more tips on my Top Ten Problem Solving Tips over at my collaborative blog (Upper Grade Memoirs).


Want to bring some MONSTER-ific problem solving to YOUR classroom?  You can grab my Monster Math Problems on Educents for only $1.99 this week.  These differentiated task cards include a recording sheet and can be used as a center, a whole class SCOOT game, a Problem of the Day, or even a quick “filler” activity.  There are 40 task cards included (20 for each level).



How do YOU tackle word problems?  I would love to hear from you!


Teaching Momster


Use the Cut, Paste and Spell Activity with 100 Sight Words

Looking for a fun activity to add to your Sight Word lessons? These cut, paste and spell activities have become a weekly staple in Kindergartener teacher Maria Manore’s classroom. Maria is currently offering 100 Sight Word Activities on Educents at a discount. That’s 100 weeks of printable, no-prep activities to have on hand!

We took Maria’s “I can help at school” Sight Word Unit for a spin. Any reason to stop working and start coloring is a good reason, right?

Creating a booklet for each Sight Word is a very useful tool for Kinders and First Graders. Not only are students learning while they create the booklet, but they can also keep their booklets to refer to each time that word comes up that week.

Check out this snippet of Maria’s blog post about the Interactive Sight Word Readers and learn how to use them in your classroom or homeschool lessons!

Here is a peek at “When I am 100…”

adorable emergent reader for the 100th day of school
The title of each book displays the featured sight word in bold bubble letters. My students always color this word. I like that it makes them really pay attention to all of the letters while they color (the time this requires makes it a more effective method of studying the letters than simply tracing the letters).
adorable emergent reader for the 100th day of school
Each page inside of the book contains a predictable sentence with the very-important featured sight word missing from the page. See those boxes? Students cut out letters, unscramble them, and paste each letter into the boxes on the page. A cutting sheet with all of the scrambled letters is also included in the pack.
"When I am 100…" emergent reader for the 100th day of school
"When I am 100…" emergent reader for the 100th day of school
Once the letters have been glued into place, it is time to color. This particular book contains Melonheadz graphics so you just KNOW how fun they are to color.
"When I am 100…" emergent reader for the 100th day of school
Once the book is complete, it is the perfect addition to my students’ book boxes.
Interactive Sight Word Reader for the 100th day of school

Learn more about the 100 Interactive Sight Word Books on Kindercraze.com!

Want more Cut, Paste and Spell? Maria is also offering a Sight Word Color Word Mini Bundle of Emergent Readers this week for less than $5! Check it out!



How to Teach Economics to Elementary Kids with Music

If Frozen has taught us anything, it’s that music makes everything better. So, the mother-daughter duo of SOL Train Learning had the brilliant idea to combine one of the driest subjects in education – economics – and apply a tune to make economics lessons stick (or, just play the economics songs on repeat until the song sticks!).
Included in the Economics Songs & Units package are three units: Community Helpers, Goods and Services and Wants and Needs. Each unit contains a lesson plan to follow, a song to complement the lesson, and a printable book about the subject.  Here’s a run-through of how SOL Train Learning’s Economic Units will help learners ages 4 to 7 understand the basic fundamentals of economics.

Check out these super cute community helper finger puppets.

Sheets to use as a matching activity-matching the community helper to the correct setting. SOL Train kiddos used these pictures for scenery for their puppet show. Pam says they were so cute dancing their puppets to the community helper song.

Another one of Pam’s students made this to go with her puppets. So creative!!

This is just one of the no prep sheets included in this pack.

Pam’s students wrote a page for their class book about community helpers.

This is another little book that comes with this large bundle!

After Pam’s class completed the unit on goods and services, they became producers and made their own products and wrote about them. Pam says her students loved doing this! :)

In other SOL Train Learning news – we are so happy to see that Pam & Brittany’s genuine dedication to musical learning is encapsulated in a Kickstarter! They are raising money to produce a Science CD. Watch the video and if you like what you see, donate or tell all your friends that may be interested in boarding the SOL Train’s cause! The funding deadline happens to align with Brittany’s due date, so we hope that her baby’s birthday will be celebrated with a new Science CD for her future lessons!


Cool Science Lego Fun with Fizzing Slime from Little Bins Blogger



We found a truly simple fizzing slime recipe on Little Bins for Little Hands. Follow the recipe and it will work! Three ingredients and that’s it! Easy fizzing slime to amaze everyone even the adults! Of course, we still love the regular slimes Liam plays with too!

Find the simple ingredients, steps, and ways to turn FIZZING SLIME into a learning opportunity on the Little Bins for Little Hands blog!


Math Madness Wednesday: Martin Luther King Jr. Activities

Teaching Momster

“Intelligence plus character-that is the true goal of education.”  One of my favorite quotes by Martin Luther King Jr. is the one I strive to instill in my kids (both my own kids as well as my classroom kids).  Many classrooms are learning about Martin Luther King, Jr. this week and next.  This amazing man has left our world changed for the better.  While there are many ways you could incorporate MLK Day into your learning about this American icon, this week, I want to focus on ways to bring MEANINGFUL learning to your classroom.


This week, my kids worked on this pack by Kim at For A Love of Learning.  They had so much fun reading about Martin Luther King, Jr.!  They also enjoyed sharing their dreams for the country.  And, as a reward for their hard work, they had fun completing the word search.

Picture2 Picture4 Picture9 Picture11 Picture14

Educents also has a lapbook pack available too.  I love that it has so much available, including a “quick study” in case you don’t have time to teach from all the rest of the resources!

MLK jr pack

Want to turn either of these resources into a math lesson?  After students read about the life of MLK, have them use those dates to create word problems for each other to solve.  You can assess if students understand how to write word problems, as well as solve them by having them include an answer key.  Bonus–you know have a collection of student-written word problems to leave out at a center or for fast-finishers!

martin luther king wordle

Want some more great ideas, including short VIDEOS and ART ideas (like the one above) you can use to teach about this holiday?  Head on over to my Teaching Momster’s blog to see my list of 10 amazing ideas/resources.  How do YOU teach about Martin Luther King, Jr.?  We would love to hear more ideas!

Teaching Momster


Member Spotlight: Meet Monica

Here at Educents, our members are like our family. We love learning about you, your little learners, and what educational resources are a best fit for your lessons.

DSCF2118-1Monica, Thrifty Mom and Homeschool newbie

Favorite color? Rustic Orange

What is a good piece of advice you try to follow? To be a strong leader you must be willing to sway but never to the point of bending

What is your favorite Educents deal? To date my favorite Educents deal has been the Wondrous Worksheets purchase I made for $5 which has given me a year of downloads from their site. I have been able to compile so much learning material!

Name one goal you want to achieve this year. This year I aim to remove the craze and usher in the organization!

Would you recommend Educents to friends, co-workers or family? Absolutely! I have provided the Educents website to multiple people; friends, family and people I randomly meet in the teaching isle of the craft store! I tell them all about the fantastic deals, ease of use and variety of information and products. I have even mentioned the new shop by grade feature.

Any tips to help Monica achieve her goal of getting organized? Leave your ideas in the comments! 


Creation Illustrated – Enriched Eduction Through Interactive Articles


If you love nature, storytelling, cooking and MORE, then you are going to enjoy the Creation Illustrated Magazines that show Mother Nature at her finest. These beautifully crafted and action-packed magazines provide a perfect balance of an enriched education by challenging you mentally, spiritually and physically. The stories told and lessons learned are great for religious-based homeschooling or Sunday school. The magazines come in clusters of four, parallel with the four seasons (winter, spring, summer, fall), and each article is coordinated to that season. Beyond nature’s beauty, stories of biblical creations, sciences, plants and animals are featured in-depth.


One article is called “Life Sustaining Soil” where you learn what makes dirt ready for planting a garden. Can anyone guess what makes dirt ready for planting!? You got it – WORMS! The story continues by providing the facts on why and how worms help us grow a garden. How fun is it to learn something new and then do it yourself at home! But that’s not all! In every magazine you can look forward to the “Genesis Cuisine Recipe” that features one vegetable in every magazine (squash, yams, peas, etc.,) and provides a variety of different recipes such as; squash risotto, yam bundt cake and spring pea hummus! The Creation Illustrated Magazines include articles that are great tools for expanding mental development while preparing for physical work. Learn how to garden and cook delicious meals through stories and then DO IT at home!

CI3Some other articles that are enjoyable include The Disobedient Fawn, Subduing the Earth (weeding with a tarp is genius!); He’s the King (why Jesus is likened to be a lion), and The Busy Woodpecker.

Keep in mind the magazines are not just limited to stories, they also feature “Creation Stewardship” with plenty of information regarding food and water conservation, a Photography Contest for youth to get out of the house to explore nature, and an ending poem to wrap it up!

If you’re interested in learning more and seeing a magazine up close, you can click here for a FREE magazine!




Classroom Games to Play with January Words

Isn’t it great when you get feedback from other teachers after a lesson? We loved reading this story by Pam from SOL Train Learning.
I was so excited about what the ELL teacher told me today about what one of my ELL students said to her in group time with her! She came to me and asked, “Pam, what in the world did you say to Juan!” “He told me that he wanted to be “positive” Juan in the “New Year” and have a good “attitude.”
I was thrilled to tell her he was using words from our January Calendar. Now the cool part about all of this is Juan has been crying a lot and having a bad attitude.
This is our Brain Bounce Game that has task cards that ask questions about our January Calendar words. My kiddos love playing this game because they like to break into teams to play.
This is what the task cards look like.
You can get the entire bundle at 57% off at Educents for a limited time! Just click on the picture to check it out:)
Thanks for sharing, Pam!

Math Madness Wednesday: Get Them MOVING!!

Teaching Momster
Welcome back to school!  I hope you have eased your way back to school (or soon will).  Of course, I know some of you have already had your first delays or snow days of the year as well.  That got me to think about how this time of year can be so tough on kids who need to move around.  Not only have they just come back from a break where the rules and routines were not normal, but if you live in a cold climate, they also can’t get outside to wiggle around either.  One way to help with that (besides lots of Ibuprofen for the headaches!) is to add movement into your classroom.  Kids like to get up and move and you want them to be learning at the same time.
I like to move it move it
So some teacher friends and I have teamed up to load you up with resources to make teaching a bit easier!  It is a good mix of printables along with activities that will get them out of their seat!
I asked one of my friends, Tami from Kamp Kindergarten, to share about her product that is included in the bundle.  Here is what she had to say:
From Tami, at Kamp Kindergarten
My items from the bundle include 2 Around the Room activities (one for addition and one for subtraction).  These can be used similarly to Read the Room, but these include math facts instead.
Students can carry their recording sheet on a clipboard, travel the room finding the cards you have hung up, and record the entire equation.
I use these little clips that are around my room so I can easily switch out the cards I use with these activities.
And, for easy storage, I include a copy of the recording sheet, as well as the cards, in a sheet protector and add them all to a binder so I can easily find everything I need in one place.
I love getting the kids up and moving and this is a simple way I do it.  The directions are rules are the same, but the cards and facts can easily be changed out.
 These are only 2 of the 9 total products in this MOVING bundle!
Full retail value of $37.25 and only available for a limited time.  $13.99 which is 63% off!  Extreme value alert!
Includes 9 instant downloads and 532 pages of materials
including centers, printables, author studies, crafts, lap books, and much, much more.
Academic Concepts Covered
  • addition to 20
  • missing addends
  • number lines
  • adding doubles
  • skip counting
  • subtraction to 10
  • 2D shapes
  • patterns
  • story elements
  • sight words
  • decoding CVC words
  • writing

Check out the other previews below…






63% off and only for a limited time!  Head on over to Educents to stock up for the kinder and first grade classrooms!


While you are over there, make sure to grab the FREE color-by-code activity.  It is another way to keep the kids engaged while practicing skills!


color by code snow kids pic

Join me next week as we discuss ways to integrate Martin Luther King Jr. with Math activities!

Teaching Momster