Thursday, December 27, 2012

Catching Up, Part I

Follow Me on Pinterest
My district has approached full day kindergarten in a unique fashion.  For the first trimester, we work with our partner and our students come for half a day.  Beginning second trimester the kids come to school all day.  I love blogging, however after we go full day, I'm out of steam by 3:00.  Hence, I'm pretty far behind here at throothelookingglass.  So I'm going to post a few pictures and ideas from the past couple of months.

I don't know about you, but report cards create a great deal of stress for me.  It's tough to assess and keep the little ones engaged, productive and reasonably quiet.  This year I came up with a simple way to assess sets.  First, I placed numbers on the flannel board.  When I called on a child, they took their name card out of the pocket chart and placed it in the felt tray.  (Placing the name tags in the tray reminded me who had made the sets.  I do have memory problems from time to time:)  Next they used felt critters to make a group for each number.  After completing the task, they went back to whatever they had been doing before I interrupted them.  When I had a moment I pulled them back and we went to the board to go over their work together.  Afterward, they cleared the board and returned their name card to the pocket chart.  Then I called the next child on the list.  It worked really well for me.

This apple is another example of a project I found on Pinterest.  The apples were so cute, but the pockets were empty.  I didn't want to send them home empty, so I asked my WH to create apple seed number flash cards to put inside.  Using the seed from KPM doodles Johnny Appleseed digital clip art , he put the numerals on one side and a group to match on the back.  I sent a note home with them asking the parents to review them with the kids as part of their nightly homework.  They can also be used to practice number order and to name the missing number.

We took a trip to the pumpkin patch a week or so before Halloween.  My grade level colleagues and I purchase the little pumpkin faces kits from Oriental Trading and have the kids decorate their pumpkins before taking them home.  It's great fun.

We don't have a Halloween party per se, but we do make treat bags and decorate cookies.  Here are the treat bags.  I got the idea from Pinterest.  I love that site!

This year we have a nice group of moms who volunteer regularly.  They're terrific helpers and I love them all.

While cruising through Pinterest one evening in early November, I came upon the cutest Veteran's Day craft activity.  It is necessary to have parental supervision when putting this project together.  We did it in stages.  It took three days to complete.  Day one  we made the head.  Day two the kids wrote.  Day three we put it all together.  They were so proud of their finished product.

One of the fourth grade teachers at our school sent out an email asking for student work to send to soldiers in Afghanistan a week or two after we made these cute little fellas.  The children willing contributed to the care package.  I hope the soldiers who received them enjoyed them.  The kiddos  were so proud to have their work sent off to cheer up the troops.  

My husband and I are working on some activities for January.  I look forward to sharing them with you. 

Enjoy what's left of 2012!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Follow Me on Pinterest It's late afternoon.  My dad just left and I'm sitting here thinking about how blessed I am.  We had a very quiet and peaceful Christmas day.  Dad came for dinner.  My wonderful husband cooked and it was delicious!

We exchanged gifts and sat around reminiscing.  In February it will be five years since we lost mom.  I didn't expect my dad would last very long without her, but he is part of the greatest generation and does what needs to be done.  I'm so proud of him.  They were 3 weeks shy of their 62nd anniversary when she went to sleep in Jesus.  I'm thankful she is no longer suffering and I'm thankful for the faith that sustains us.  We know this separation won't be for long.  I'm so grateful to Jesus for coming to earth and giving His life so that we might enjoy eternal life with Him and our loved ones should we accept his invitation.

I only put up one tree this year.  I don't remember school ever being as crazy as this year has been so far.

The ornament at the bottom center of the picture has a photo of our Fluffy.  We lost him in October.  We lost our 17-year-old, Schmoopy, in February.  We miss them both.

Here's the gingerbread tree.  I usually put up a fruit tree as well as one with coffee ornaments.  Hopefully I'll get them up again next Christmas.

Even though we still have our dear little Indiana, I didn't have the heart to hang the kitty stocking.  Fluffy was the only one who actually enjoyed the little treats we purchased for them all.

This morning, our precious Indiana was content to sit on a chair watching my husband cook dinner.  He also likes to sit in the kitchen window and observe the finches feasting.  I enjoy watching them too.

Last week I dressed the table with a linen cloth and napkins, my Lenox "Holiday" china, Waterford crystal, candlesticks and a centerpiece.  About an hour before my dad arrived I started thinking about the linens and cringed at the idea of laundering and ironing them.  So I took it all off and re-set the table with our everyday dishes and snowman placemats.  Nobody even noticed!  I will put the Christmas finery back this evening.  I enjoy looking at it.

I have a nice little collection of Santas that usually adorn the free surfaces around the living area of the house, but I only set out a handful this season.

I love birds.  I have them scattered all over the house. The little fellow on this bowl is one of my favorites.

All my trees are fake, so I like to have a touch of the real thing somewhere.

I wish you all the best of the holiday season.

Merry Christmas!