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March 2021 Bullet Journal

I blinked and February 1st became March 1st. Time seems to be slipping through my fingers in 2021. We are on the cusp of the Covid-19 lock down anniversary. How is that even possible!?! At any rate, it is a new month and time to reveal and share my pages for March 2021.

But first a review of February

I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I failed at keeping up and staying organized with my journaling in February. I started out well, but the deeper we got into the month the busier and less focused I became. Not to mention that I nearly had an entire week of snow days in there when I forgot the day of the week.

I did complete a really cute February review page with a Top 3 photo display using my new Sprocket photo printer. I like to wrap up each month sharing Top 3 photos from my phone and a brief description of things I’m into at the time. Those pages are really fun to both make and to revisit down the road. They may be my very favorite pages of the bullet journal process because they serve as a mini time capsule.

So without further ado, my March 2021 spreads:

Cover Page: House Plant Theme

One of the top Bullet Journal influencers on social media is Amanda Rach Lee. I’ve never done a recreation of her entire theme before, but I decided to try it out this month. All of the houseplant designs are inspired by Amanda Rach Lee and her March 2021 Plan With Me video on Youtube.

2. March Calendar

This month’s simple calendar layout is made up of small boxes and plenty of blank space for notes and dates.

3. Fitness Spread

Here’s to hoping I fill more of this spread in March than how I did in February.

4. Meal Tracking Spread

Because writing it down helps me stay accountable!

5. Weekly Spread and Habit Tracker

This is a very simple weekly spread with a small habit tracker in one corner and illustration in the other.

I kept it all simple this week. As for the tools I used in creating these spreads I stuck to a basic color scheme of teal and light gray Tombow Dual Brush pens. All illustration was done using a Tombow Fudenoske hard tip pen. I used a milky white gel pen to write the dates and accent spreads–and that’s all! I hope you enjoyed this peek into my 2021 Bujo!

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Enable: Five Minute Friday

It’s so nice to start my Friday off with a link-up with the Five Minute Friday community. This is an encouraging collection of bloggers who share a common prompt on Fridays and spend five minutes free writing on the topic–no editing. I’ve met some great writers in this group. I highly recommend you check it out if you are not already familiar.

Now, on to the prompt…

Enable-give (someone or something) the authority or means to do something. (Oxford English Dictionary)

Ode to Coffee 🙂

I wake to the sound of a chirping alarm,

To cover my head and stay where it’s warm.

The struggle to rise is a daily ordeal.

I fight with my mind: I can’t think; I can’t feel.

To my feet I must get,

There is work to be done;

Life to be lived;

Great things to be won.

But what is the difference between groggy and chipper?

It’s a hot pot of coffee,

To which,

I’m the sipper.

Oh, Coffee, you wake me with such a delight.

If I have you with me I can win any fight.

I can conquer the world with you by my side.

Oh, simple black coffee, you are saving my life.

You enable my body to wake up and go,

To accomplish big things and to learn and to grow.

Woe to the day when I cannot have you.

For that day my bed will just have to do.

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Curriculum Rehab: Teacher Tuesday

As a teacher, I have never felt more engaged with my curriculum!

During the pandemic, I found a podcast, Brave New Teaching, which was really like finding my people. This is a podcast created by Amanda Cardenas and Marie Morris and it is for teachers who challenge the status quo.

For so long I’ve looked for educators who are like minded and I’ve found that while there are other phenomenal teachers out there, my pedagogy was just too “new age” for most. I can respect any educator who pours themselves into what is best for kids and I understand that looks differently in every classroom. But when I listen to Brave New Teaching, I no longer feel like this crazy teacher who is excited about technology, engagement, collaboration, book clubs, etc. I realize that there are others out there like me and I am so thankful for having found this community of ELA teachers who get behind all of the same methods that I do and who are not afraid of trying new methods and strategies.

As an added bonus, the same teachers who created Brave New Teaching also created a PD masterclass called Curriculum Rehab. (Check it out!)

This winter I reached out to my Curriculum Director and asked her to purchase Curriculum Rehab for me to help me redesign and refocus my instruction. This was money well spent, because I was able to immediately bring ideas to my classroom and from what I can tell the students are loving it!

Some big takeaways from Curriculum Rehab for me were:

-creating an overarching course essential question

-promoting student driven inquiry to form unit plans

-creating units based on essential questions; not texts

-designing formative assessments to measure skills; not memorization

-developing classroom community and engagement

-giving students agency in their own learning

-managing the amount of grading that goes along with this type of curriculum

-using supplemental texts to enhance instruction and to create connections

-applying standards to real world interests and needs for students

Amanda and Marie will be opening up Curriculum Rehab again soon. If any of this appeals to you, I highly recommend diving in. If you aren’t in a position to devote time to a masterclass right now then I highly recommend their podcast which is updated every THURSDAY!

In a time where I see so many educators burnt out and just trying to survive, I feel like I have new life breathed into my instruction because of these tools.

I am wrapping up my first unit since beginning the Curriculum Rehab implementation. It’s taken a while to get through the unit because of all the snow days recently. Once I have data and a sense of how the unit went I will share 🙂

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Happy Birthday TWO

I have chosen to nickname my children ONE and TWO on here to protect their privacy and safety.

Today my youngest (TWO) is turning 3 years old!

These past three years have been filled with so much joy and laughter. She is such an independent, rambunctious, hilarious, and animated addition to our perfect little family. God knew we needed her soul and spirit to complete us. I am so blessed to be her Mommy.

Happy Birthday TWO!

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Save Lands

*This post uses affiliate links

my bohemian ring set from Save Lands

Over the weekend I was introduced to a new ethical brand, Save Lands. My husband took me to dinner for some dairy free pizza (at Pies and Pints) and then as a Valentines gift he gave me a bohemian ring set–something I’ve been wanting for a while.

Since December, I have been implementing Project 333 in my wardrobe meaning that I’ve built a 3 month capsule of 33 pieces. Part of Project 333 also teaches you to choose ethical brands with values you get behind when purchasing is necessary. That’s why I am so proud of my hubby who shopped around for an ethical brand when looking to buy my ring set.

Save Lands has a partnership with Trees For the Future and together they plant 12 trees for every item sold. My ring set came with a certificate of support which explained that my husband’s purchase planted “fast-growing, soil rebuilding trees.” Additionally, “they promote the long-term health of land, families, and communities, breaking the cycle of generational poverty, and leaving a legacy of hope for the future.” Now, that’s a brand I can get behind and a promise I can support.

That being said, I am partnering with Save Lands as an affiliate.

Any purchases you make using my affiliate link will grant me a small commission. But it isn’t about the money for me–it’s about brand awareness and paying it forward when we must buy. Check out some of their cute stuff below:

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Hamlet: A Book Review

Title: Hamlet (print+audio)

Author: William Shakespeare

Publisher: Folger Shakespeare Library (Audible)

Length: 3 hours 32 minutes

Photo Credit: Audible

In the past decade I have not had the chance to add a new Shakespearean play to my log. Admittedly, I don’t turn to Shakespeare to scratch my itch for literature or fiction. I don’t find myself in want of a new drama or comedy, but if those genres were atop my list then Shakespeare would be king and my collection of his books complete. There is no ill-will within me toward the great bard, but Shakespeare is a little out of category from the typical books I reach for on a shelf.

I am currently in the middle of earning my Master’s degree in English (from BGSU) and as one of my course assignments, I read Hamlet for the first time EVER!

Admittedly, Romeo and Juliet is the only play I’ve read by Shakespeare in its entirety. But, in my defense I read it annually with my English 9 students so it should count that I’ve read this selection no less than ten times.

Hamlet reflected the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet in many ways.

Both tales are drowned in the macabre. Both protagonists meet their deaths on the final pages. Both have conflicts of honor, love, dowry, and wealth.

Hamlet is the young son of a king whose death is still mourned on the opening pages. When the ghost of his kingly father begins to haunt the soldiers of Denmark, the young prince seeks out the will of the apparition and in doing so learns that the country has been deceived as to his father’s cause of death. The rest of the tragedy is Hamlet seeking revenge for his father’s murder which leads him to question the motives of his uncle, the new King Claudius. Talk about family dysfunction–when the play opens, King Claudius has recently married Hamlet’s mother making him also Hamlet’s step-father.

When you approach Shakespeare you know that there are certain things that come with the territory–poetic language, allusions, ironic conflict, and dark humor. Hamlet delivered on all of these expectations and then some.

As a teacher, I know that many of my students struggle with our study of Shakespeare. Over the past several years I have given the option to students to use audio versions of Romeo and Juliet. Curious to the benefits of such reading I decided to give it a try with this first read of Hamlet. I found that the Audible version (pictured above) of Hamlet was enticing. This rendition was a recorded dramatization and so hearing the effects and emotion in the parts really did aide in my understanding. I highly recommend listening while also following along with the text.

This reading was a great reminder for me to return to the classics every now and again. Check out my Goodreads account if you want to see what’s up next in my reading. I am aiming for 24 books this year. What about you!?!

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Jamboard: Teacher Tuesday

There are a lot of great things happening in the classroom now that we are back to full capacity. One of my aims on here is to give more glimpse into the creative efforts I am putting into my courses. I’ve kept myself sane during pandemic teaching by enjoying the process of CHANGE. I’m trying to embrace the lasting changes that the pandemic has brought to education.

Many of you don’t come to these pages looking for teaching inspiration so I will keep it brief, but every so often I would like to highlight some things I’m utilizing in my classroom.

Here’s a look at a new tool: Jamboard (a Google add-on)

For this collaborative tool, students get a virtual sticky note and write their name on it. From there, they drag and drop the sticky in the correct category. It is a great tool for formative assessment and small group data collection. It is also a live document so I had it projected on the screen in the front the room and they could watch one another respond. In using this tool for assessment students could anonymously add sticky notes.

I got the theme for this Jamboard (as well as many more) from Ashley Bible. It was a $3.00 download on TpT, but so worth it!

The Ameri Brit Mom

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February 2021 Bullet Journal

Here we are a week deep in February and here I am just finally getting these pages done. School is back in full force for me and it’s a been a couple of weeks of hard adjustment. I am stoked to be back in the routine of teaching at full capacity, but my body and emotions are exhausted.

If you clicked on this post I know you are far more interested in the work and letting it speak for itself so here is a glimpse into my February Pages:

1. Cover Page: Donut theme

This theme kind of came together naturally. I am a huge fan of just about any donut and the pink and purples really brought the joy and life to the pages to match the theme.

2. February Calendar

A simple, horizontal spread using color and black pen to label each day.

3. Fitness and Self Care spread

This month I am really trying to focus on self-care (something I am currently slacking on). Along with tracking my workouts per usual I would like to track any time I do a self-care activity.

4. Meal Tracking

Meal tracking has become a vital part of my bullet journal. It helps me hold myself accountable for what I put in my body each day.

5. Weekly Spread and Habit Trackers

I am so in love with this simple, yet functional spread. I love the vertical layout and the enticing donuts floating about.

The Ameri Brit Mom

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The Cousins: A Book Review

Title: The Cousins

Author: Karen M. McManus

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Copyright Date: 2020

photo credit: Amazon

Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah, young cousins and heirs to the infamous Story estate, are surprised at their estranged Grandmother’s invitation to spend the summer on her private island together. For their entire lives they have accepted the fact that something happened between their parents that caused them to be iced out by their wealthy mother, Mildred. But after the push from their parents to go, these reluctant cousins are reunited on Gull Cove Island ready to figure out the family secret.

From the moment they get to the island it becomes obvious that Mildred was not behind the invitation. She has evaded them at any opportunity leaving them many opportunities to explore the island and get to know each other.

Over the course of the summer Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah uncover many buried family secrets–even the one that explains the longtime estrangement of their parents from their mother. Deceit, regret, and danger meet them along the way.

I really enjoyed this newest work by McManus. She is a YA thriller genius and has authored some of my favorite books within the genre. Like her other stories, she packed this tale with red herrings and twists that often left me astounded.

Check out my Goodreads account if you want to see what’s up next in my reading. 

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Burr Oak State Park Getaway

Last weekend my family ventured to an Ohio State Park. Our destination was Burr Oak in Glouster, Ohio. Each morning we awoke to a fresh blanket of snow and the beauty of a natural winter enveloped us. While at the cabin we did a winter hike (at nearby Ash Cave), swam in the lodge indoor pool, cooked our favorite meals, escaped to Athens for some famous coffee and campus touring and RELAXED.

A winter adventure of this sort is brilliant for the soul. Instead of trying to capture all the feels of this adventure in words I am just going to share the pictures–because they speak for themselves. Enjoy!

The Cabin and Lodge

Ash Cave

Coffee Stop in Athens, Ohio (home of Ohio University)

The Ameri Brit Mom