Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree~

Our book for today was Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree.  A darling story of how snipping off the top of a tree many times can make someone's Christmas a little brighter. As we were reading, the littles noticed how the same thing kept happening over and over and at the end was back right where it had begun. {Circular Story} I had the story pieces all ready to go for sequencing but because they noticed the circle, I decided to switch it up and record on a paper plate.
  I numbered the plate with 1-7 and we retold the story gluing pieces around the edge. I pulled out paper and sequins to create Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree in the middle. Talked about how writing the story in a circle made it interesting and SO fun!
WP wanted a pic of his masterpiece. :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Angels We Have Heard on High~

We have really loved using Truth in the Tinsel for Bible time this month. Today our story was about the angels. We wrote in our bible journals and made beautiful angels~
 Go HERE for a tutorial.

Luke 2:14
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Writing Strategy~

As fine motor continues to strengthen and SJ/WP practice writing, it is sometimes hard for them to concentrate on all the mechanics of the skill:
pencil grip, formation of letters, upper/lowercase, etc.
I get an email each day from Dr. Jean with lots of early childhood ideas and last week found a super idea to help with formation of letters. For

A  B  C  D  E  F  G - G?
Hang your bottoms down, down.
Hang your bottoms down.
Some letters stand tall.
Some sit on the ground.
But hang those bottoms down, down!
For SJ this was huge but not because of this song.
 I had taught her the lines as sky, clouds, and ground. If she writes a t, I say it touches the sky. If she writes an a, I say it sits on the ground and touches the clouds. If she writes a y, I say hang the bottom down. Saying this one thing was SO funny to her, it completely changed her writing. :)

Sometimes it just takes the smallest of ideas to make the lightbulb come on.
Right now I am just calling attention to my letters written and asking her if they are high, ground, or hang bottoms letters. She loves this game and also starting to pay attention to some of her formations as well.
Good job SJ! 


Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Pine Tree Parable~

Today we read The Pine Tree Parable for our storytime~
 Our Art project was our very own beautiful pine trees.
I showed them an example, drew a swirl tree in pencil, and they traced with paint.
I gave them lots of items to use for decorating:
foam shapes, glitter paint, puff paint, sequins, glitter glue.
They loved the finished product.

2 Corinthians 8:9

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Poem Work~

My s-i-l gave me such a great suggestion for EK from her teaching experience as a 3rd grade teacher.
I found a poem online, printed it, and we worked on reading at first.
Echo reading is one of our favorites and she had it down quickly.
I cut and taped it to her journal, made a couple of categories, and she began color coding nouns/verbs then recording them.
   Thank you Amy for the awesome idea!!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Language and Spelling~

Our language curriculum has been a very good choice for us this year. We are about 3/4s through First Language Lessons. Both girls have a firm foundation so we continue along. Each day the lesson gives you a written activity and I have EK complete in her journal.

Today we reviewed all we have learned about nouns and our new info about verbs. We put them on the wall and EK used a pointer to read. Both girls wrote the definition of a verb in their journals then decided on a verb to illustrate/write about.
Later in the morning I was working with EK using our new Spelling curriculum and had her code some of the words to connect back to our language lesson: Box the proper nouns, circle the common nouns, and squiggly line under the verbs. She did really well with spelling and grammar coding!!!
SJ just enjoyed drawing on her board... awesome!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Farm Field Trip~ {Fun Friday}

Today a few classes from North Hart were visiting my dad/brother's dairy farm so we decided to go too.
It was a really awesome way to get the feel of how it must have been for Mary and Joseph in the stable...
EK: cold, WP: stinky, SJ: dirty but perfect for God's plan to unfold.
   Jason, Daddy, and their crew really had everything looking great for the big visit.
We wrote thank you notes when we got home.
EK loved the baby calves.
SJ loved the chocolate milk.
WP loved the tractors.
 Thank you Jason, Mr. Ed, Ms. Paula, Carlos, and Manuel.
We enjoyed our Farm Field Trip!!!   

Monday, December 3, 2012

Cranberry Christmas~

We began our day reading from our Advent Chapter book Jotham's Journey, then our Truth in the Tinsel reading/ornament, and also from our Jesus Storybook Bible
The littles LOVED Cranberry Thanksgiving, we HAD to have Cranberry Christmas too.
A lovely story we will enjoy reading every day this week~
 One of the characters in the story is Mr. Whiskers and boy does he have whiskers. I asked them if they knew anyone else this time of year that has big whiskers... SANTA!
That lead into our art activity for the day~ Santa Wind Socks.

1 8x12 white paper
1/4 sheet 8x12 red paper
1/2 sheet 8x12 pink paper.
~ Glue red to top of white (hat)
~ Glue pink right under red (face)
~ Cut fringe on the bottom white and roll with pencil to make whiskers
~ Add wiggly eyes, pom pom nose, smile, cotton
~ Staple into a wind sock and add hanger   

Just so you know, we always do things like I just shared in addition to our reading/writing/math curriculum.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Advent for Advent~

Today we discovered the meaning of Advent and used our day to prepare~ Advent for Advent!
We read our Bible and talked about how most of it leads up to the greatest Gift ever~ Jesus.
I explained to them the month of December is a time to prepare for Christmas and will read through many scriptures on the journey.
I talked about the first part of 'Advent'ure being Advent SO we will be on an ADVENTure for the next weeks.
We made a chart of what we learned AND made up a song~
(EK filled in some of the blanks and SJ circled her sight words)
 {Our Advent Song~ tune: I'm a Little Teapot}
Last year we used Truth in the Tinsel as our Advent curriculum making each craft and hanging on our Jesse tree.
This year I am making things a little simpler by using the paper ornaments but then I wondered what to do with them.  
We hit the jackpot at Target/Michael's yesterday/$1 aisle.
Found the cutest little trees to decorate and hang our ornaments on so today everyone made their very own Jesse tree~
 We also made paper chains to count down days until Christmas and practiced counting to 100 by 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10s. Made a dot paint tree too.

We painted a little wreath that will hold our advent candles to be lit starting this coming Sunday
 And I am busy cutting our ornaments that will be hiding in our calendar pockets to be colored each day while we read our scripture, then hung on our trees.
A great Advent day for Advent!  

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Christmas Humbugs~

Today we read The Christmas Humbugs all about little Humbugs that come to spoil Christmas searching for more humbugs... 
 We talked how we would be keep the Christmas spirit in our house and NO humbugs.
EK: I will listen to mommy and daddy.
SJ: I will listen to mommy and do what she asks.
WP: I will play outside. :)
They loved making their own humbugs and hanging them up~
 Praying a beautiful Christmas season for all of us!!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

In the Christmas Spirit~

Over the next weeks until Christmas we are sprinkling in a few of my favorite Christmas books along with our regular curriculum.
Yesterday we read Olive, the Other Reindeer and watched Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. We read a non-fiction reindeer book and compared what we know from each.
  Each little created a Reindeer paper bag puppet and stapled a non-fiction little book on the back.
They have loved making their reindeer retell stories or read their fact book attached.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thankful Friday~

Our Fun Friday meshed with Thankful Thursday and became...
Thankful Friday!
We enjoyed a morning of remembering and praying for people we are thankful for~
(PS... we LOVE Amelia, Rosemary, and Jessica too!!!)
 And made cute turkey cards for them.
God has blessed us with SO much love and we want to give it right back!!!
I am also SO thankful to be home teaching these three little ones and the opportunity to share ideas on my blog.
Thankful for everyone that takes the time to read.
Blessings and love to each!!!  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Silhouette Update~

How To~

1. Sit child in front of a window with side facing you and have them hold still while you shoot a profile shot with your camera.
(Zoom in so profile takes up most of shot)
2. Print the photos out as 8x10 on regular copy paper.
3. While holding copy and a black piece of construction paper, cut the silhouette very slowly and carefully. 
4. Glue to white tagboard with rubber cement.

That's it! Keepsakes forever!!!  


and decided to put a little different spin on it.
Meet Munchie~
Scott cut a slit to create a mouth on a tennis ball and I added the wiggly eyes... Munchie.
What does he like to eat???
Colors, numbers, letters... just about any skill you can think of~
   I used colorful letters (gathered A-Z), put #s (1-26) on the back
and dropped everything into a big basket with a dry erase dice (color dots attached).

SO many ways you could play and even within the same game for various learning levels.

EK: Roll dice, find letter that color, say letter/sound/word, and spell word that begins with letter. Feed it to Munchie.

SJ: Roll dice, find letter that color, say letter/sound/as many words as she could think of. Feed Munchie.
(later will have her sound out her word and write on dry erase board OR magna doodle)

WP: Roll dice, find letter that COLOR, name the color and try for the letter. Feed Munchie. 

Biggest underlying skill is building fine motor skill when squeezing Munchie's mouth open. SO awesome.
After ALL the letters had been eaten, mom had the honor of emptying Munchie. SJ said he had a BIG burp. LOL   

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Silhouettes and Delicious~

As we continued our Cranberry Thanksgiving week,
we have certainly enjoyed various parts.
One of their favorite has been the silhouette page 
so today I shot each one of them and created a most beautiful keepsake... their silhouettes~

They LOVED guessing who was who... pretty easy and looks JUST like them~
 Right before lunch we mixed the ingredients for Grandmother's Famous Cranberry Bread~
Each one helped with the recipe~
It baked while we ate lunch and after picking Rosie up from school, we all had a piece for snack~
  Everyone agreed... Delicious!!!


Monday, November 12, 2012

Cranberry Thanksgiving~

This week we continue our Thanksgiving study with a FIAR book I wasn't really looking forward to BUT...
 We fell in LOVE with it!
The kids loved it SO much we read it again tonight so daddy could hear it. 
We also started our new chapter book and dove into social studies locating the New England states... we learned all about cranberry bogs too. (Cranberries were in our Mystery Box today.)
EK and SJ really loved putting on a puppet show for each other with the turkey finger puppets.

We were also able to squeeze in an adorable art activity~
Making Turkey Handprints for our art gallery~
   Starting to look like Thanksgiving in our classroom. :)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Turkey Day~

This week of school has been pretty easy and smooth...
Focusing on the first Thanksgiving and its meaning.
Today we read a few books, sang lots of songs, played with turkey finger puppets, read Thanksgiving ABC book and matched letters, 
and created the cutest feather turkeys ever!!!
They all drew something they are thankful for:
EK~ Jesus.
SJ~ Food I eat.
WP~ My daddy.
I am thankful for ALL of that and SO much more.  

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Today we did a hodge podge of activities:
Read several Halloween books, sang and learned lots about our skeleton, made a skeleton book, and our skeleton with Qtips~

Dad brought us a big bag of Halloween candy and we graphed it. We also created scary spider hats to wear~

LOVED having our cousin Karleigh to celebrate this fun Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Black Cats~

We read The Witch with a Twitch today~
{Don't normally do anything witch but this story is more about the cat}
 Very cute story and we made our very own pet black cats.
Later our very sweet neighbor brought over edible witch hats for dessert... perfect timing. :)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fun Friday~ Pumpkin Day

Scott and I had planned to take the littles to pumpkin patch today but after checking times found out it opened at 5pm... NOT the ideal time for little ones to be pumpkin picking.
SO plan B went into effect...
Scott ran to Walmart and chose a BEAUTIFUL pumpkin ($7) for...
Pumpkin Day! 
We grabbed it right away and headed to the school room:).

First it had to be named~ everyone agreed on Bumpy and for some reason they all wanted to take a ride~
 We all made observations and recorded them on a language chart.
The next step was weighing each of us and Bumpy... then lining up in order of weight. Love that they noticed it was with age as well.
 Everyone guessed how long a string would need to be for circumference of Bumpy but we were all off~
 By this time everyone was getting a little hungry so we measured how tall he was with unifix cubes and were off to make 'Jack o' Bunuelos' with tortillas, butter, cinnamon sugar, and orange sugar. They loved 'carving' their own pumpkins~
 When tummies were full, we headed out for pumpkin carving~
   EK and WP LOVED pulling out the pulp... SJ NO way! She did pull the eyes, nose, and mouth out but grabbed a towel right away. LOL
Love the photo of them holding Bumpy.
Everyone excited to light him up tonight and let him shine.