Caramel Puffcorn and a Classroom Tour!
Today was the YUCK-est of all days. Total yuck. Complete yuck. I would like it to be done now. The past few days I have been battling a nasty cold. I knew this was coming. As Sammy so delicately phrased it “you are essentially one big germ in charge of 26 little germs”. So yeah, we all knew it was only a matter of time. THE SICKNESS IS HERE. I woke up Sunday morning feeling completely achy, with a sore throat and lots of sniffles. I initially thought it was a combination of allergies and exhaustion from a late night spent at the Iowa game Saturday (go Hawks!). By Monday morning, when I still felt gross, I learned this was not the case. I battled through my day, using only about a million Kleenexes. “MISS JOHNSON YOUR NOSE IS ALL RED, DO YOU WANT ME TO GET YOU A TISSUE?!” a student kindly screamed in my face.
This morning, I crawled out of bed feeling as though I was crawling out from under a rock where I had been smooshed the past hundred years. Following a small meltdown in my mentor’s classroom, it was decided I should probably get a sub. After a frantic scramble to get all of my sub plans together throughout the morning, a saint came and replaced me once my students were at lunch. I scurried home, put on some home clothes, and I’ve been hibernating in bed ever since. YUCK YUCK YUCK.
BUT. I have two things to share with you that are not yuck at all! FIRST UP, my most favorite tailgate snack EVER, my mom’s Caramel Puffcorn. You are going to love this sweet, crunchy, melt in your mouth snack that can be thrown together with only 4 ingredients that you most likely already have on hand, 1 bag of Old Dutch Corn Puffs, a big brown paper bag, and a saucepan. DONE. You’re going to be the hit of the party with this snack! I took it on Friday to our school tailgate party, and a colleague immediately asked for the recipe so she could make it Saturday for the game! SECOND, I have several classroom photos to share (if you are interested in my kindy-garten lifestyle). I would love to share where I spend my days with my littles. It truly feels like a second home (most likely because of the percentage of waking hours spent there).
BUT FIRST, Caramel Puffcorn
1/2 cup butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 bag Old Dutch Corn Puffs
Pour bag of Old Dutch Corn puffs in a large brown paper shopping bag. I asked for several at HyVee, and they gave them to me for free.
In a saucepan on the stove over medium high heat, melt together butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup. Use a spatula to continually stir and clear sides of the pan. Once melted and combined, bring to a boil.Now, add the baking soda and stir until frothy. At this point in time, the mixture will get very puffy and turn a color that reminds me of a root beer float (!).
Pour the mixture over the Old Dutch Corn puffs. Mix with a wooden spoon. Fold down the top of the bag and microwave for 1 and 1/2 minutes.Take out the paper bag. Shake the bag to mix the corn puffs! This step is really important, otherwise puffs can get stuck to the bottom of the bag and burn.Then, mix with a wooden spoon. Microwave again for 1 and 1/2 minutes, once again shaking and mixing.
Finally, fold down the top of the bag one last time, and microwave for 1 minute.Spread the corn puffs on wax or parchment paper to cool.
ATTEMPT TO EXERCISE SELF CONTROL AND NOT IMMEDIATELY EAT THE ENTIRE BATCH.
And now, my classroom!
Here I am on the first day of school! You can call me Miss Johnson, although, as experience has shown, I will respond to “HEY TEACHER”.
In the left corner of the room, you can see our doorway! Our room is (conveniently) located next to the lunchroom. Yippee! As you can imagine, the noise levels during lunchtime can get a bit distracting (as well as the variety of interesting scents).
I’m fortunate enough to have a huge amount of cupboard and storage space, as you can see. You can *just barely* make out the glimmering oasis in the mirage that is my coffee pot on the counter. Crazy Miss Johnson requires caffeine for success in the morning.I wish you could experience how homey it makes my room feel.
In the left middle you can see my “teacher chair” where I lead most of my instruction, as well as my easel! My students sit on the big blue “frog” carpet in front of me.
Students are grouped into pods of 4 or 6 students, with community supplies in the middle! So far, so good. (Note the 26 purple crayon boxes purchased the night before school on my one millionth Target run…)
Ahead you can see our teeny tiny classroom computer lab (4 computers) in the corner.
You can also see COMMAND CENTRAL, where my desk and rainbow table are located! I wanted to consolidate my space in the room as much as possible, to allow for the most space for kiddos! I am kind of crunched in my little pod once I sit down, but this arrangement allows me to both have access to my desk and rainbow table (where I will be leading small groups) at the same time.
In this photo you can also see our word wall, which will be FILLED by the end of the year, and also the number line posters that I chose to COLOR BY HAND (#firstyearteacherproblems).
In this last shot you can glimpse the door to my storage closet, my associate’s desk, and, MY FAVORITE PART OF THE ROOM, OUR CLASSROOM LIBRARY! You can also see the purple book boxes where students store the books they check out from our classroom library. Cute, huh?
I feel so lucky to work in such a beautiful and bright space with lots of natural light! I am excited to see what changes and additions happen throughout the year.
Hug a teacher the next time you see one, he or she probably really needs it right now! (Maybe also bring them a grande non-fat vanilla latte too, just an idea..)