I never miss an opportunity to show my students how much of a nerd I am. I might teach them Muggle Quidditch or have a bulletin board of the Physical Education components each represented by a different superhero. The health room I have created a word wall called “Wonder Words” it is decorated with a wonder woman theme and has vocabulary from the current unit. The current unit we are doing is Martial Arts. I am in no means a martial arts instructor, but I teach them what I’ve learned from self-defense, cardio kickboxing, and Tai Chi classes. They are working to earn a class from a martial artist that I bring to class. I want to also focus on the character building aspects of martial arts. We discuss topics such as confidence, discipline, and respect. What better way to explore this than inspirational anime clips.
I begin each class with a video clip and they answer a reflection question. The first two I used were from “Kung Fu Panda 2” and “Karate Kid”(the remake with Jaden Smith). Even though they aren’t anime they were still very meaningful messages. With the Karate Kid clip we watched the “Jacket On, Jacket Off” scene. We discussed the importance of following directions and understanding how to learn form mistakes and experiences. The Kung Fu Panda clip was about finding inner peace. I also intend to show a clip from “The Last Samarui” this will tie in Social Studies concepts of imperialism (you like how I did that). These are just some of the things I want them to focus on rather than fighting.
Now to the best part, the anime. Action anime are full of inspiring scenes and characters I could draw from. At the top of course are Naruto and Goku. I’ll lean towards those because I fell like those are characters that the largest amount of students would be familiar with and therefore draw a connection. For Naruto I intend to have students establish their “Ninja Way”. In Naruto they work in integrated teams. Meaningful collaboration is a huge buzz word in education. Cooperation and teamwork is major in Physical Education. Using some of the teams in Naruto to illustrate this only seems natural. Goku uses determination and consistent training to reach every goal, even after death. This is another important concepts I want them to understand. I also think using some “Attack on Titan” would be good. I teach at an urban school, with the majority of my students being at-risk. In this anime the characters live in constant fear and struggle, I think a lot of my students can relate to this. Fullmetal Alchemist, Hunter X Hunter, and Bleach are some others that come to mind that I think would have powerful messages.
I always strive to teach my students to be open minded. Everyday my goal is to teach them how to improve their physical, as well mental, and emotional health. These are themes that run throughout many Anime. These strong fighters battle personal conflict and keep their morals along the way. Hopefully they don’t think its too lame and are able to gasp the message I am trying to send.
All over social media there have been post and memes about how horrible 2016 has been. As I prepare for a new year of bettering myself, I thought it would be beneficial to focus on the positivity of 2016. New Year’s Eve is the perfect opportunity to fill in gaps and review some of the HEALTHY.NERDY.NAPPY.MOMMY awesomeness.
Being that this is pretty much National Diet Month, I was busy trying different products and recipes to accumulate myself to my new lifestyle. I did a clean eating and yoga challenge, and we started officially trying to potty train my 18 month old son. Now I know it was too early, and we didn’t stick to it well. But it gave me a good chance to get some bare bottom photos as blackmail when he gets older.
For Valentine’s Day my husband and I enjoyed a movie date to see “Deadpool”. It was a breath of fresh air to see this rated “R”, as a true “Deadpool” movie would have to be. We also enjoyed playing some “Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4”. My son transitioned from stay at home dad care, to daycare. It was hard on us all, some of this I later shared in “Peez, Ana” . But it was also for the best.
March opened with Spirit Week at my school, and as the Student Council adviser I had to go all out with a X-men’s Storm costume. It wasn’t the best (couldn’t find the right wig), but good enough for the crowd I was serving. My students were calling me “Thunder Girl”, they didn’t even know my character’s name. It was my son’s 2nd birthday on the 14th so we planned a “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” party, complete with meatball sub buffet. As he was a big boy now he also got a small “Jake the Pirate” party with cupcakes and juice at daycare. For the 3rd birthday we just might leave it at treats at daycare and family dinner.
This month was the grand debut of HEALTHY.NAPPY.NERDY.MOMMY! During Spring Break we did indoor camping in our little apartment living room. Complete with a fort, s’mores, kababs, and baked beans.It was also my husband’s birthday which and our dating anniversary that marked 9 wonderful years being together. We celebrated with a family party at his cousin’s, complete with Baskin Robin ice cream cake, a game stop gift card, his favorite Snickers & Bacon- Cheddar gourmet popcorn, and a gamer screen t-shirt. His celebrations tend to be more family inclusive while mine are typically dates with just the 2 of us giving me a mommy break.
We celebrated Mother’s Day with yet another movie date highlighted in (Marvel)ous Mother’s Day. I cannot express how much I enjoyed “Captain America: Civil War”. This month I officially became a “Flexi-Vegan” and I was experimenting with vegan and allergen free recipes.
This is one of my favorite months because it marks the end of the school year and time for a short break. I always teach summer school, but in June I get a couple weeks off before I have to crack back at it. We enjoyed a small beach trip with my parents. It was also the month a tried my first Cross Fit class, and started watching the original “Dragon Ball” series for the first time.
The biggest thing that happened in July was the introduction of Pokemon Go. I was so excited about this game, but that excitement quickly fizzled and I don’t even have the app downloaded on my phone anymore, but they were good times while they lasted. I’m interested to see what the craze will be this year. July was capped by seeing Kakashi’s face in the latest episode of “Naturo: Shippuden”
I don’t know which is a bigger deal my wedding anniversary or Otakon. I don’t think my husband would even be mad at it. I talked about our excitement for Otakon in 6 Anticipated Events for a Nerdy Mom and fully anticipated doing a full post on it, but that never happened. So this is your mini overview of it. It was bitter sweet, as this was the last year it would be in Baltimore, MD. But I am excited for the new location. Otakon 2017 WILL have a post, maybe even an entire page dedicated to its greatness. In preparation for this trip and the start of a new school year, I got crochets for the first time. Its a great protective style, and I’ll never set for 10 hours getting individual sengalese twist or box braids on this thick head of hair again. Oh, yeah my son came back from staying with my parents while we were at Otakon potty trained! He still needed the pull up for night and doesn’t poop until then.
I entertained the ideas of starting a garden. I starting some romaine, but I didn’t follow through. For this spring though, I plan on starting both an indoor and patio garden for herbs, fruits, and veggies. Look forward to pictures, how to’s, and testimonials in the near future. I also developed an addiction to the online make up line Colourpop. I’d never been a make up girl before, but I found myself needing something to step it up a notch. Lipstick for me is the easy answer (I love Matte). Just the lipstick, some eyeliner, mascara, and maybe BB cream and I’m good to go. From my first purchase in August to now, all of my profile pictures feature me in one of their shades.
In the last week of October I went on my first cruise! I had so much fun and relaxed with friends and family. I became known as “the girl that ate all the weird food” because at dinner I always tried the most exotic thing on the menu. Why would I pay all that money for something I can eat any day? We enjoyed the dinners and events on the ship as well as the beach and sights of Nassau, Bahamas. I might save big for a Disney cruise in the future, I’ve heard, while expensive, they are the best. Disney should do a line dedicated to Marvel or Star Wars since they are taking over everything. Universal Studios could take on a Harry Potter cruise as well.
In November my son woke up early in the morning vomiting several times within two weeks of each other. I took him to the doctor the second time, and they said it was probably to different viruses. After leaving the doctor I started thinking he might have food allergies like me. Both times he never had a fever or acted sick, it was just vomit or diarrhea. It could be allergies or an intolerance at the least. I took him off dairy for a week, but didn’t really notice a change. After he returned to his normal diet he didn’t have anymore stomach issues, so maybe it was just the stomach bug like the doctor said. We of course enjoyed Thanksgiving with family. I took an allergy pill, ate what I wanted, and hoped I wouldn’t end up in the ER with anaphylaxis.
The holidays are busy for everyone. We began this month by putting up our Marvel Christmas tree. I’d seen some superhero, Harry Potter, and Star War variations. Ours was simple we just added some superhero masks we had from our wedding photo booth along with our normal red and gold decorations. My birthday was the 17th. We had a quiet, childless, evening at home watching some Luke Cage on Netflix, with carry out sushi, and wine. I found out two days after my birthday that I won “Teacher of the Year” at my school. I had a great Christmas as it was the first our son was really excited and understood what was going on. We later celebrated my birthday and the life of Carrie Fisher by finally watching “Star Wars: Rogue One” and I realized first hand that The Force is with Me. My husband and I’s catch phrase has become “the rebellion was built on Hope.”
I hope you’ve enjoyed my year in a glimpse. I look forward to sharing more with you in 2017, Happy New Year’s to you and yours.
My students know well by now that I am a nerd. I say many things like, “If you need a pencil let me know now, otherwise you’ll have to get it done via telekinesis.” Or when students are talking I’ll say something like, “you should not be talking, if you have a question ask me, help will always be given at Hogwarts for those who ask for it.” I get all sorts of weird faces. After one of geeky references, a student asked, “are you an undercover, geek?” Another student responded, “No she’s an undercover freak.” Needless to say that student received an unpleasant phone call home that afternoon. Nevertheless, I never miss an opportunity to expose my students to my geeky interest.
Last year I introduced my students to a new sport, Muggle Quidditch. I teach a non-tradition PE class, that focuses on a lot of group and individual activities such as Yoga, Martial Arts, and Zumba. I am still required to teach team sports objectives, like offensive and defensive strategies, so I decided to find an activity that would cover that but not be the basic soccer, basketball, and volleyball. I each brought the librarian to do the introductory lesson for it. The school I teach at is a inner city, low performing school. Most of the students are Hispanic and African American, so some of them had seen at least 1 of the Harry Potter movies, and hardly any had read the book. I was very happy to see that after we went over this, some of the student had checked Harry Potter books out from the library. They can see that I’m just bubbling with excitement as I’m discussing the rules of the game, recalling examples from the story. I also tried to hook them by saying that universities like UNC and Duke have Quidditch teams that participate in championships, and a few of our high schools have intramural teams as well. After my first time teaching the unit last year it was a huge success. Mainly because of incorporates aspects from so many sports.
For those that don’t know in Muggle Quidditch you obviously can’t fly, but you still run with a broom stick between your legs. We use hockey and lacrosse sticks, since we don’t have a class set of broom sticks lying around. There are 3 chaser, that score 10 points by throwing a quaffle through the goal. In official Muggle Quidditch they use volleyballs as the, we use gator balls. We made the goals from volleyball standards with a hula hoop duct taped on the side. Keepers defend their teams goal from the other teams, chasers. Beaters use a bludger to get people out. In the official game they use dodgeballs, we use smaller soft foam balls. Then there’s the seeker who catches the snitch which awards there team 30 points and ends the game. If you don’t know Muggle Quidditch you’re probably wondering how we have a snitch, since its a small, gold, flying ball. The snitch in this case is a neutral player, with a tennis ball hooked to them in a sack or bag. In the college games it hangs over their butt, no way I’m doing that with middle schoolers. They tie it to their belt loop instead.
This year effective lesson planning and having activating strategies has been a big push in our district. For those not on education an activating strategy is used to get the focus and attention on what you’re going to teach. It should gasp upon prior knowledge they can connect to what they learn. So I decided to do “mix-pair-share”. Student mix and walk around the gym randomly. While they walk I play Harry Potter theme music in the background. When the music stops they pair with the closest person to them. Then share the answer to this question, “If you had magically powers what would you like to be to do the most?” Some student said things like be super strong, speed, teleportation was a biggie. I then explained that when I see movies or read books I often wish I could do the things they are able to do with magic. With Quidditch we can experience a part of the fantasy world.
My 7th and 8th graders had been asking thoughout the year if and when we would be playing Quidditch again. The librarian gave me a quidditch book. I offen get dibs on new sci-fi/fantasy books that come through the library given my interest. I haven’t read it yet, but I hope it can give me new ideas for my 7th and 8th grade classes. My 6th grade classes seemed intrigued. They had to get the whole presentation and take notes since they’d likely never had played it before. I enjoy bring some of my world to my classes. Any showing them that their are no barriers. Hispanics can play basketball, and blacks can play soccer. And a chubby
black girl can be a nerd, like me.