Apples, Insects, and Some Common Core Math

Hello Friends!
Boy, oh, boy the time flies! I cannot believe that it is Friday already! Whew!

Like many teachers, I have caught one of the "bugs" that are crawling around the classroom..... No, not those "bugs" the ones that make you sick! (smile)  I seemed to have caught a cold and therefore my energy was a bit drained this week! Things seem to be getting better, though; hopefully it will all be over by the first of next week!

1.  We finished our Apple unit and spent most of the week learning about Bees. We do our Insect unit in the Fall.  One of the reasons is that we can FIND insects in the Fall. In the Spring, the insects are just waking up and we cannot always find them before school ends. We have a wonderful "Kinder Garden" in the back of our school and it is so much fun to take our little ones outside to do an Insect Search. We even found a busy bee greedily searching for nectar in our marigolds!

 2.  Here are a few finished products from our paper Mache project last week. We added a bent pipe cleaner for the leaf and a real stick for the stem.

3.  For the past few weeks, we have been working on 2D shapes and number sense.
For 2D shapes, my kiddos created simple pictures from shapes. My kiddos had a lot of fun creating their illustrations and didn't even realize that they were working on a Kindergarten Common Core Standard!

 4.  For Number sense, we worked on writing numerals, creating numbers in ten frames, writing tally marks, subitizing dice dots, and making groups with shapes. I was amazed at how much they retained!

 5.  Sigh.... Fall is here....... Where did the summer go? I am not a Winter person, but I do love Fall. Here is a picture of our tree in the front yard. See the beginning of red leaves?

 Asters..... They are my most favorite Fall flower!!

And look what I found today...... This is our Easter lily that I planted in the Spring and it is blooming in the Fall! Wow!

So that's it for now... I hope you all have a wonderful and restful weekend!

Hop over to Doodle Bugs Teaching for some awesome ideas and reflections!

Until next time!!


Apple Fun and a little Pete the Cat!

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five For Friday! Yay!

We had such a fun couple of weeks with our Apple theme! Here are a few highlights!

1.  We discussed the seasons of an apple tree and painted these murals! I love them!

2.  We made apple pies from biscuit dough, apple pie filling, and cinnamon sugar. We had a few parents take the pies to our kitchen to bake which was WONDERFUL! Hurray for parents!

3.  I made small balls from newspaper and masking tape and the kiddos used paper mache glue to create an apple. When they are dry, we will add a stem and a foam leaf.

4.  My husband and my son brought our cider press to school and we made homemade apple cider! Yum!

5.  These kiddos are practicing matching different letter fonts by moving game pieces around the board.

 See the game pieces? I slipped them between binder clips and they work PERFECTLY for moving around the game board!

 6.  We discussed how an apple gets from the orchard to the market and then the kiddos made a map of its journey.

Many of these apple ideas can be found in my Apple Lets Make a Book pack as well as Four Fabulous Apple Literacy Centers.

Finally,  here are a few pictures of Pete the Cat that the kiddos made last week....

Now.... hop on over to Doodle Bugs Teaching for more Five for Friday fun!

Until next time!


Grandparent's Day Idea

Hello All!
Oh my goodness, life can get busy pretty quickly! I feel like the days are just flying by and I don't feel like I have accomplished a thing! :) I am hoping that by next weekend, things will have slowed down a bit and life won't be so complicated on the weekends!

I thought I would share our Grandparent's gift that our kinder students did this week. We celebrated Grandparent's Day on Friday. Since most of our kiddos need to make something for TWO sets of grandparents and it is so early in the year, it is hard to find a project that is cute, but easy! So here are two ideas of what we did....

Each child did 2 handprints. For this one, we simply put the handprint on a piece of white paper, glued onto a piece of construction paper and our kiddos glued foam letters around the outside edge.

For this one, the handprint was glued upon a piece of scrapbook paper with the Grandparent's poem and foamies glued to the outside edge!

Click HERE if you would like a copy of the words for the poem.

Easy peasy!  I will be back next week with a longer post!

Until next time!


We Remember........

In memory of the innocent lives lost on September 11......


What We Teach Our Children Defines Our Future

Hello Friends,

As I was pondering upon what to write for my post this week, I came across this article that I wrote for our local newspaper a few years ago. I  feel that it is still relevant for today and thought that I would reproduce it. There is only one image; the concrete goose that you see here because that is where the story began...

With the world being torn apart by war, children being ripped from their parents, and soldiers being injured and killed daily, the theft of a gray concrete goose lawn ornament seems petty in comparison. But it does point to problems we are facing in our modern world and one that distresses me deeply.

Growing up in a rural Indiana town, I had two wonderful parents who gave me the guidance I needed to face a diverse world. I have been told that one day my dad came home and told my mom that he purchased a "country house" for us for $3,000. It needed a little repair, but it would be perfect for our six member family. When he took my mom to the second floor of the house and she saw a hole in the wall that was large enough to put a small pillow through, she burst into tears. But through hard work and determination, my dad made a home for us that was filled with love, warmth, and solid walls!

It was in this house that I learned many life lessons. I learned that my mom was a good cook because we ate our meals together at home in the kitchen. I learned to pray before each meal. I learned that the meal was not finished until the dishes were cleaned up. I learned that you should say please. I learned that grandparents were to be respected and not put into a nursing home because you were too busy to give them care. I learned that you must give more than just money to your schools and your church - that you must volunteer your time and talent as well. I learned that when people came to your house to visit that you turned off the television and listened to what they had to say. I learned that adults were to be respected and when they were talking, you did not interrupt and you waited until they had finished talking. I learned that even though my brothers were quality athletes, the time we spent together at Thanksgiving and Christmas was more important than a basketball tournament. I learned to put others first. I learned that even though friends are important, my family would always be there for me. I learned that what belonged to others did not belong to me. I learned that I was not entitled to anything unless I worked for it and proved my worthiness.

It saddens me that many children today are not being given the basic moral values we were given when we growing up. It is not unusual to see children throwing temper tantrums in stores because they want a particular toy or food. And sadly, it is not unusual to see parents give their children what they scream for because it is a difficult job to contain a screaming child. I see parents yelling at their children during athletic events because their children did not perform as they thought they should. I see parents so involved in their own jobs that a daily meal together at home is just too much trouble - grabbing something at a local deli or restaurant is easier. I see parents so exhausted from their day at work that in order to grab some much needed rest, they turn on the television babysitter and sit their children in front of it for hours. I hear parents tell their children that if you want something, take it = never mind what happens to the other guy. I see people yell at a food server simply because they didn't bring them exactly what the ordered.

Certainly, the world is a better place in many ways. When I was in high school, the only athletic opportunity a girl had was to be a cheerleader or a member of the pompom squad. Many people were killed in cars because not every automobile was equipped with seat belts. Women and minorities were hardly ever seen in leadership positions or as physicians or lawyers. It is such a miracle to be able to keep in contact with a person with just the touch of a computer button. Many wonderful changes have come to our world. But basic moral principles that should be a guide to us are shifting. This is what concerns me.

As a working mother, I understand how hard it is to work out of the home and continue to be a good parent. I know that I am not perfect. I don't think I can ever give my children what was given to me completely. The world I grew up in is gone and a faster paced one has arrived. But we must continue to remember that what makes our country great is our love for others and a commitment to make the world a better place. We must teach our children that in order to achieve, we must work for it and not feel a sense of entitlement. We must teach our children to be involved in a cause - not for profit, but because it is the right thing to do. Our children must stand up for themselves, but not at the expense of others or simply because they feel it is their right to have what others have. Our children must know that having the best house, the fastest car, the most wonderful vacations, and the coolest clothes should not define a person. Being the most responsible, the most trusted, having the kindest heart and loving family are things that define one's character.

Losing my concrete goose makes me sad. It was given to me by my parents. It brought me many years of smiles.  But what saddens me most is that it was stolen by a person who feels that he or she is entitled to something simply because it was wanted and so therefore theirs to take. Because we have hidden ourselves behind our phones, our ipads, and our computers, the PEOPLE part of who we are become a thing of the past. How many times do we see people sitting next to each other, but not communicating because they are reading what is on the screen in their hands? Conversation is becoming a lost art. Young people do not come to the door to pick each other up; instead they text to say they are in the driveway. When this type of interpersonal contact is removed from our lives, it is no surprise to see that we are seeing more and more children being bullied.

I love my country. I am proud to be an American citizen. But just as I am proud of my three wonderful children, I know they are not perfect. It is my responsibility to teach them how to be strong moral adults. Is it not our responsibility as U.S. citizens to continue to remind each other that we are strong because we are committed to basic values? Our children are our future. Will we have a strong, healthy country in the future? This can only be answered by what we do as parents. Teach your children well. They define you and our great country....

PS - My husband replaced my lost concrete goose the following Christmas. It is still standing and continues to bring me smiles!

Until next time,