Thursday, October 27, 2011

Our Pumpkin Book!

You would not believe how late I am in even STARTING this pumpkin book!! will be November next week and we aren't  finished with the FIRST page! We'll make it but the ground is a little shaky right now...

So, of course, we had to have a poem for the month for our Poetry Journals.  I had originally planned to have several poems a month for the journals but reality has reared it's not-so-fun head and I think we will be doing good to get in one poem a month.  Such is life...

Anyway, I pulled out the poem board I made for Five Little Pumpkins last year and lo and behold, it held up pretty well.  I wasn't certain how it would last since it is an interactive board for the kids to use during reading rotations. I bought all the cute little wooden pumpkins, fence pieces, moon and stars at the Hob Lob last year but they still carry them, I checked. :)  I glued it all down on a foam board and velcroed the poem cards to the board.  We have practiced and practiced reading it and will add it to our Poetry Journals next week.

Next we will make our Five Little Pumpkins artwork for our Pumpkin Book.

I staple 4-5 pages together and cut the edges in the shape of a pumpkin.  I did not come up with all this cleverness... the fabulous ladies on my team were doing this before I arrived on the scene, I am just good at copying.

Here is the Five Little Pumpkins page.  You can use Popsicle sticks for the fence or strips of brown construction paper.  It varies from year to year depending on my mood ....and my supplies.

Below is the page to use with the Poetry Journals. I tried to leave enough room for the kids to illustrate a picture next to each line.  Remember, Jessica Meacham has all kinds of poems ready to print for Poetry Journals,  I got this amazing activity from Jessica and have loved watching the kids get a handle on rhyming, punctuation and sight word recognition through this process.  Check her out  here!

Five Little Pumpkins

This is the pumpkin pattern page that I will copy onto orange construction paper for the kids to make their artwork for the book.  The script I will use on this page follows.  Have fun! 
Five Little Pumpkins Pattern Page 001

Five Little Pumpkins Script

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkin Graphic Organizer

Just a little something until I come off the high of 50's Day!

Pumpkins Graphic Organizer

Saturday, October 22, 2011

50's Day Hand Jive!

We practiced to the song, Born to Hand Jive three times on 50's Day! If you turn up the volume you can hear the song but I think hearing the kids chant the steps is hilarious! Believe me, they were worn out by the time we filmed this video but they were so adorable!!

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Friday, October 21, 2011

A Laugh for your Friday...

OK, despite the fact that I should be posting about our 50's Day today, or Heaven forbid, be in bed, I thought I would share a funny (at my own expense) story with you. (And because posting for 50's Day would require me finding the cord that connects my fancy phone (which is WAY too much phone for me to handle) to my computer in order to download the pictures BECAUSE my regular camera politely died today before I could take any pictures of said 50's Day).

Are my very long, run-on sentences giving you any indication of how my week has gone? Bear with me...

I love our staff, respect our administration and couldn't ask for a better group of people to share the daily joys and frustrations of this job with-education is a tough field today. We have to be willing to show up every day , give it our absolute best and choose our battles wisely.  The children are worth it.  As simple as that. 

I know that we all have days, weeks, months where we have to remind ourselves why we have chosen this particular career as our profession. When forced to wonder, I repeat to myself, "I LOVE these children, this job DOES matter, the children are important and SOMEONE has to want to do this with a willing heart. "Send Me, Lord.  I will go."

That being said, after depressing faculty meetings with added responsibilities, extra duties and questionable requirements added to the soup, I give you the gift of this story ...

My team divides up afternoon duty-half of us go to car line, the other half take bus duty. Michele, Susan and I take Kindergarten out every day to load buses. On Wednesday of this week, it seemed to be a typical day in the bus line. After loading the first seven buses, two remained. While waiting for the last two buses to pull up, we're chatting and laughing with the giddiness of speaking to other adults at the end of the day while holding children's hands keeping them safely away from moving buses.

We are waiting for Bus 804 ( a fictional number provided to preserve the privacy of the innocent) and notice that it is only slightly slowing down as it makes its approach to the breezeway so we think it is pulling up a little further before it will stop and load. Well, 804 doesn't actually stop (unbeknown to us, all of the older children have loaded the bus and the driver is happily moving along thinking he has everyone on board). So I start walking towards the moving bus, thinking the driver will see me and stop. I'm walking, I'm walking, he's picking up speed, he's picking up speed, I'm jogging, I'm jogging, thinking surely he will notice me in his rear view window and stop. He's moving up the hill... faster, faster. I start to pick up the pace. I start running, all the while weaving in and out of car line traffic. Now I just happen to be carrying a huge umbrella since it looked somewhat rainy when we left the building. Rain would have only made the story more interesting, thank goodness the umbrella only served as a prop in this scenario...

It is quickly becoming obvious that this driver is not stopping so I move up to a run (now bear in mind, at 45 yrs. old, I am LONG past my fighting weight which really only lasted for about six months in 1989 anyway, so my physical prowess must have been a sight to behold for the 7,645 parents in car line). So I am running UP hill waving said umbrella madly, yelling for the driver to PLEASE stop. At this point, cars are honking, parents have rolled down their windows yelling in vain trying to help my attempt to get the driver to stop this bus!!! I am asking the Lord in silent prayer to please not let anyone have their phones out because I do NOT want to see this play out on youtube.

Blessedly, the driver pauses just long enough at the top of the hill to give me time to catch up to him. I run to the door of the bus, try to catch my breath and the driver, bless his heart, just looks at me... just looks at me. I have to tap the door with the umbrella and stare at the driver pleadingly to o.p.e.n. the door! When he does, I breathlessly try to tell him, politely and kindly, that he pulled off without Kindergarten and did he not notice?! He said he saw me running behind the bus and didn't know what I was doing back there?! Really?!!! I told  him, with all due respect, that the next time he sees a fat teacher RUNNING behind his bus, waving an umbrella, would he please STOP the bus!

The story does have a happy ending.  Susan walked up behind me, on the trail I had blazed through the car line, with the four children in tow to finally, safely load them onto Bus 804.  They look somewhat stunned at having witnessed this sorry display but all's well that ends well.

Having put these precious children on the bus, Susan and I turn to walk with grace and dignity back to the building. There are a few morals to this story, I have decided.

1) Dress accordingly. I mean, you never know what you are going to ask of your outfit when you get dressed in the morning for this job. Dress for maximum coverage and minimal jiggling.

2) Allow these moments to let you find the humor in your everyday no matter what outside factors creep up in your job to seemingly steal all of the fun. There will be SOMETHING in your day to make you laugh. Embrace it when it comes, it may be all you get that day!

If anyone is still with me here, and bless your heart if you are, I will cheerfully post on 50's Day this weekend.

Bless all of you who join me in hanging on to the fun in this job and giving these children a reason to laugh, hope, smile and succeed!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Your comrade in arms,

Saturday, October 15, 2011

More Fifties Fun!

Mr. Potato Head Pattern

Fifties Fun Facts

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fifties Day Graphic Organizer Freebie

I wanted to show you the pages that I have used the past few years for our Kindergarten Scrapbook for Fifties Day.  This year, I am going to have a Mr. Potato Head art project for the kids to make for the artwork for this page.  (Another great idea from's addictive~*~*!)  Once I have the pattern made, I will share and let you know how it goes.  I also have included a Graphic Organizer for Fifties Day to help the children formalize in their thinking specific ways life was different in the 50's from the way it is now.  I'll let you know how this goes, also!!

Fifties Graphic Organizer

Another Fifties Game Freebie!

Fifties Fun Math One to One Correspondence
Fifties Fun One to One Correspondence Directions

Saturday, October 8, 2011

50's Day and some Freebies!

The 50th Day of school is FAST approaching!
We are currently on our mini Fall Break and I wanted to use this time to put together a few fun Fifties Games, not to mention...clean out my closet, re-organize my bathroom and clean up my desk.   Uhhh, we'll see how that goes... And BTW  we are officially on the 100 day countdown to the mister coming home!!  80 days DOWN!
Thank you, again, for all of your sweet messages and prayers, he is doing well.

But First...

OK, I HAD to break down and finally order one of these.
The past several years of putting something together has gotten old
so I bit the bullet and ordered this costume from Glor's Store on ebay. $75 later,
it is mine but the quality is amazing and she makes them in many colors
 and plenty of sizes! I also ordered some white Keds but there are plenty
of saddleshoes out there if you're feeling crazy!

I made this chart last year using Google images so that we could
 compare and contrast life in the 50"s and life today.

Of course, we had to read Dick and Jane books!

Although, Little Golden Books were first published in the 40's,
you can find plenty that depict life in the 50's.

On the 50th Day of School, we all wear 50's clothes, have our picture taken
 in front of the "jukebox" holding a (gasp!)real live vinyl album!

We transform the classroom into a "Soda Shop", play 50's music,
drink sodas from a glass bottle and have ice cream floats! 
 Last year, I had a darling little girl with allergies to dairy and nuts
so we had Jello sundaes instead!

 We had Fifties Fun Centers with Mr. Potato Heads, Slinkies, Charlie Brown coloring pages,
Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs and Silly Putty-all toys that children played with in the 50's!

This year, I am adding a 50's Graph from Deanna Jump and a few games that I have put together. 
It is a super fun day and good way to teach the children about the life
their grandparents (or great grandparents!) lived.

Rock and Roll is Here to Stay,
We Had Fun on Fifties Day!
Fifties Fun Math Patterning Directions
Fifties Math Patterning

I just added this label that I cut out and attached to a Crystal Light container with Mod Podge and scrapbook paper for the pattern pieces.
Fifties Fun Patterns Label

Saturday, October 1, 2011