Monday, 6 July 2015

Healthy eats for Teachers- Greek lamb with potatoes

Like many teachers and working Mum's I aim to serve healthy, nutritious meals to my family on a regular basis.  Does this always happen? Ummmm, no....BUT I always plan to and that is important.

Seriously though, who has time for cooking dinner after a long day of teaching?  I know all I want to do is to put my feet up and have a liquid dinner (I'm not talking about protein shakes, ya know).  My family often has other ideas though so I need to make sure I am organised so that they won't be hungry, we won't be spending money on take away food and I won't be the size of a house by the end of term.

How do I do this? Lots of planning and preparation, to find out more about my planning and preparation visit my Healthy Eats for Teachers page by clicking on the tab above where you will find recipes and weekly meal plans for a family of four.

Here is one to take with you and try out for your self. This can be prepared in advance and frozen or cooked up straight away.

My family loves Greek food and Greek lemon potatoes are a favourite in our house.  This recipe combines lamb with Greek lemon potatoes, yum!

Greek lamb with potatoes. (serves 4)

I use lamb loin chops for this recipe but you could also use lamb cutlets or lamb forequarter chops.  I use enough for each person to have 3 loin chops each but you can adjust this to whatever your family needs are.  I have used 12 lamb loin chops in this recipe, if your using more you might need to increase the amounts in the marinade and use a larger pan when cooking.


12 lamb loin chops with the fat trimmed
olive oil
1 brown onion sliced (you could also put in some small whole onions or eschallots instead)
1 lemon zested and juiced
4-5 cloves of garlic minced.
1 Tbspn of dijon or whole seeded mustard (you could also do half of each)
1 Tbspn of fresh rosemary
1 Tbspn of oregano (fresh or dried)
1 Tbspn of thyme (fresh or dried)
ground black pepper to taste
Any starchy potato that is good for roasting ( I used Dutch Creams) in this recipe I used 4 large potatoes cut lengthways into wedges.
1/2 cup of chicken stock
Juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste.

Combine the onion, lemon zest, lemon juice, mustard, herbs and olive oil.  Pour them over the trimmed lamb chops, cover and leave in the fridge to marinade for 6-12 hours ( I did mine for 6) or at this stage you can put it all in a large ziplock bag and freeze.
When you are ready to cook add your potatoes to a large baking pan along with the stock, lemon juice and some salt and pepper, cook on 180 C for 20 minutes.  Arrange your lamb over the top of the potatoes and roast in the oven at 180 C for about 20 minutes. After 20 mins turn the lamb and roast for another 15 minutes. If you want your lamb and potatoes to be crunchy around the edges, blast the last 10 minutes at 200 C.

Divide the potatoes and lamb on the plates, scoop some of the divine sauce from the bottom of the pan and ladle over the lamb and potatoes. Serve with steamed green beans or broccoli.


Sunday, 28 June 2015

Five for Frunday

I stayed home with a sick boy this week which gave me some time to get a file finished and another one started.

I finished up this 2D shape packet, click on the pic to check it out.

I am really looking forward to finishing this one, it is a maths investigation centred around a pirate looking for treasure.  Kiddos have to solve problems that involve not only number but a range of other skills.  

No pic for this one but our reports went out on Friday and I am so glad to see the back of them.  Now just Parent Teacher Interviews to get through next week and then holiday time!

I went out on Friday night with my husband and some friends to see a band called The Baby Animals, they were around in the 90's so it was a little blast from the past.  I had such a great time, singing, dancing and just cuttin' loose!  

Lead singer of The Baby Animals Suze DeMarch

Muffin quiche with lean ham, red onion, red capsicum, mushroom, chives and tasty cheese.

I like to do a cook up on Sunday afternoons so that I am ready for the week.  It makes my dinners so much more organised and healthy, it also means we have less take away.  This week I started in the morning and cooked up a batch of 'muffin quiches', I call them this because I bake them in muffin tins.  They are so delicious and means I start the day healthy and happy, they are also great to put in lunch boxes.  They are easy to freeze and just zap in the morning, the only problem I have is my daughter eating them all before I get any.  
Oh do you notice the plain ones?  They are for the food critic of the family, food that is mixed is no good apparently.
I have been thinking about posting some of the meals I prepare in advance so others can see how I organise healthy family dinners for the whole week.  I'd love to hear if there is any interest in this.

It doesn't matter who has the most cupcakes because if you have lots of them it will make you sick.

Finally, a little humour to end the post.  We have been working on solving word problems across Year 2 and this was one of my teaching buddies kids.  I love how he thinks outside the box!  You do notice how many cupcakes I eat :)

Make sure you head over to Doodlebugs to check out some more Five for Friday 

Monday, 22 June 2015

Celebration Time!

A couple of weeks ago I reached a couple of milestones and I thought it was time to throw a little giveaway to celebrate.

First up was reaching 500 + 6 followers in my store!  Yay!

Then there was this!

Over 3,000 followers on FB!

So because this is a double celebration up for grabs is two  $25 TpT Voucher to spend!  All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter below, easy peasy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Graphics Credits
Cherry Workshop
Ashley Hughes 
Laura Teacher
KG Fonts

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Bright Ideas: 2 Second Words

Welcome back for another round of Bright Ideas!

It has been a while since I have linked up and share an idea from my classroom, life has been busy!

Today I wanted to share an idea I have been using in both my Year 2 and Year 3 class called 2 Second Words.  Basically it is to get kiddos thinking about those words that they habitually spell incorrectly.  I use the word habitually because most of the time it is a habit that they have gotten into.

So we create a list of words (usually high frequency) that they are continually spelling wrong.  Then depending on the child's ability level we chose 1, 2 or maybe 3 words to write on a card.  This is then stuck on to their desk/table so they can see it daily, I found these stick on label protectors at Office Works but you could just tape them on.  

The kiddos then have to focus on using these words correctly in their writing consistently.  When they can show you that, they change their word.

I get my kiddos to write their word into a personal dictionary and to glue the card into the back of their spelling journal.

This idea can be used for so many other things, letter/number formation, maths facts, content words the list is endless.

I hope you are able to use this idea in your classroom. For more great ideas follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or right here on my blog!

Now check out some other great Bright Ideas for your classroom!

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Shadow Art

If you have been following me on Instagram or Facebook you would know my Year 3 class has been investigating the Earth, Sun and Moon.  As part of this investigation we made these absolutely cool shadow statues, I got the idea from Farley over at Oh Boy Fourth Grade, you can see the post here

First we had to try to catch a day that gave us a little bit of sunshine to draw shadows.  As you can see it was a bit touch and go.  We had to do this over a couple of days because it rained all over our tracings the first day.  We made observations about where the sun was in relation to their shadow and how the shadow was created.

Then we made these little foil statues and used a torch to make the shadows, this way each person could create a different shadow.

Then we traced around the shadow and painted it black.  I decided that I wanted to throw in a quick lesson on primary and secondary colours.  I put out the 3 primary colours and told the kiddos to choose either a primary colour or to mix them to create a secondary colour.  This resulted in a rainbow of backgrounds for our shadows and really helped with my bulletin board :)

We cut out a yellow circle and the kiddos put the circle where they thought the sun would have been to create the shadow.

The last thing I did was ask the kiddos to write about how creating this art helped with their understanding about night and day.  We had a globe, a tennis ball and a torch, nearly every kiddo was able to write that night is created by the Earth being in the shadow when the Earth rotated around.

I just loved doing this activity and I will definitely be doing it again!

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Five for Frunday

I am here linking up with Doodlebugs Teaching for her weekly linky party.  Yup it is Sunday here but some things just can't be rushed ya know.

It was a short week this week due to a long weekend and because of some day swaparounds with both my teaching partners I ended up having my Grade 3's for the entire (short) week.  Peeps I loved it!  It was like having my own class again.  Don't get me wrong, I love my teaching partners and I have loved job sharing but sometimes you just want your own space and not to have to check in with others before you change things.

We have been investigating shadows and how this relates to night and day so the next few pics are all about that!

We went outside to find shadows in the morning, we traced around our shadows and took note of where the sun was.  We took photos of the shadows on our NEW ipads and will be using these photos to create ebooks that will show our understanding of how shadows are created.  We had to do this over a couple of days as the Winter weather here was not as co-operative as we needed it to be.  See that puddle in the first pic, it got bigger later in the day and our tracings were washed away :(

We took our explorations of shadows a little further and I used the art activity that Farley had shared earlier this year.  You can find that post here.  As soon as I had read that post I pinned it because I knew for sure that I would be able to do it this year and I just loved it!  I have to say some of my kids found creating the 'statue' quite challenging, we had to use a torch to create the shadows as once again the weather absolutely knew we were looking at shadows and the sun decided to hide.  
We put our artwork on tables in the corridor outside the classroom as we have very little drying space inside.  There were soooo many comments from passer by's on how amazing they looked and they weren't even finished!  I forgot to take a pic on Friday afternoon of the finished product but trust me they looked fantastic!

First draft of reports were handed in on Friday and I was soooooo happy to have that off my plate.  Writing 2 lots of reports (even though we share the load) is not fun.  Now we just have to fix any typos and errors and that is that!

I recently made it to 500 followers on my little TpT store and I will be celebrating with a little giveaway, so watch this space

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Five for Friday

Ok, I was going to post this last week but life got in the way....again.  Time seems to be something I am very short on these day!  This Five for Friday is actually over the last 2 weeks.

I have been such a bad blogger lately, all I seem to have time for is Five for Friday!  Don't think it is going to get better anytime soon with reports needing to be done in the next 3 weeks.

Well I am glad you joined me even if I am a bad blogger at the moment :)

Last week we had our national testing on literacy and numeracy, known as NAPLAN.  I am happy to say that all of my students completed the test with very little anxiety.  I am so glad it is over and as a reward I gave our kiddos an art and craft morning, they were so excited.  It was so quiet in the classroom as they concentrated on their creations, then some quiet social talk, it was a really lovely morning and a beautiful way to start the day.

This was one of the results of our Art morning.  We are calling them Autumn leaves in a Puddle, we love, love, love them :)

We had our cross country run last week, this is my son just as he finished his race.  We were so blessed to have beautiful sunshine even though it was freezing!

We have been using my Doubling Koalas game in Year 2 as we explore using doubles and near doubles as a mental computation strategy.  This game has 3 different levels so it is great for differentiation, oh and the kiddos love it!

I have already put in a solid 4 hours on my reports today and I think I will probably have another 8 hours left till I am finished them, luckily the weather is co-operating and it is cold, wet and miserable so I feel quite happy to snuggle under a blanket with a cup of tea and type, type, type away.  

 Then it's Parent Teacher Interviews in the last week of term, oh the joys!

Head over to Doodlebugs to check out some more 5 for Friday!