Sunday, September 25, 2016


Circle Time.  The kids brought items that represented China or a duck because we read Ping.  This week we started our literacy curriculum Five in a Row and I really like it!  Everyone brought beautiful pictures, a globe that sings, books, a rubber ducky, chopsticks, and the pic above is of Grant showing fun pictures and items his mom brought back from China. 

How can I deny a request for bubbles?

Literature.  Wyatt brought rice cakes to eat while we read Ping.  The kids had fun saying "Ping" every time his name came up in the story.  On Thursday, we talked about what is similar and different about China's culture .

Social Studies.    We talked about how things might look good but aren't always what they appear to be.  Ping is lured in by rice cakes and is caught.  We talked about other items that could  be similar.  

Geography.  We talked about why cities are built along rivers.  We will put a little disc (a picture of Ping) on the map in our room.

PE.  We played "Red Rover".  We ended up with one huge line and one tiny line  The kids love it!  We also timed ourselves doing wall sits and planks.  We can do hard things!

Math.  Using coins and blocks, we counted up all of Ping's family (including his 42 cousins)!

Act of Service.  We drew pictures for our mail person to thank them.  For Parks, I bought some M&Ms to say thank you for your Miles & Miles of service.

Game.  We played "Love my Neighbors".  We put all the chairs in a circle (except for the person in the middle).  The person in the middle says something true about themselves like "I like all my neighbors that like to bike" and everyone that loves to bike has to get up and switch seats and the last person standing is in the middle and we start again.  It is a good game to learn more about the kids and they had a blast.  By then end, the kids were trying not to find seats so they could be in the middle.

Journal.  The kids journaled about fun things they like to do in the water and drew a picture at the top.

Science Experiment.  We played "Will it Sink or Will it Float."  So fun!  Billie brought in a huge pumice rock and it floated, while her little rock sank.  The kids brought some fun items.

Reading Time.  We read some cute books that were brought in.  Nora always has funny ones.

Yoga and Meditation.  With some of our regular poses, we did some animal ones too.

Spanish.  We played a game where, after I taught them the colors, we would look for a color around the warehouse together.  Buscamos a...

I am crazy excited about Spanish right now.  I met with my friend, Shirley, that has taught full immersion Spanish to littles and she gave me so so so many ideas.  She let me videotape and take pics of her ideas and of her singing.  Thank  you!!

Week 2:  Me and My Family

Choice Time.  Train sets and flannel dress up.

Circle Time.  Each kiddo brought a picture of their family and shared with the rest of the class.  From here on out, I will put just the circle time highlights but here is the normal outline for circle time: after we sing the clean up song we do the Hokey Pokey to start circle time, class share, songs, nursery rhyme (Jack Sprat right now), class memorization (we will start Dear Laddies and Jelly Fish), sight words (to, the and it right now), and sometimes the weather.  This is pretty loose and I interchange fun things to start the day.

Handwriting Without Tears.  This is my first year using this book and I love it.  It helps with reversals and has great ideas on how to introduce the correct way to write letters.  I plan on teaching the letters in class and helping Parks practice at home. 
 Image result for handwriting without tears

PE.  All the kids brought some wheels to class and we rode around in the warehouse.  Super fun!

Math.  On a paper plate, I wrote the number 5.  We collected five objects...5 flowers, 5 rocks, 5 blades of grass, etc. outside.



Art.  With my helpers, we outlined the kids and then they colored in their clothes and faces.

These are some of the highlights of our day!  I did not take pics on Thursday but our highlight was doing our absorption lab.  I did it with Parks this summer.  We tested aluminum, cotton balls, and other items and talked about absorption and what it meant.

Day 1. Lots of fun!

Welcome to Kinder Class

To give a little background about me...I love teaching!  I taught high school chemistry for five years (one of those included physics too).  While teaching high school, I was the MESA (math engineering and science for minorities) mentor and coached the volleyball team.  I also wrote chemistry curriculum for the Jordan District website.  During the summers I worked as a facilitator for the Quantum Learning Company.  They research the best way the brain works and we teach this to the youth and their parents.  One of the camps I lead was at Stanford so I like to say I taught at Stanford😉  I love the outdoors, hiking, skiing (snow and water), running, refinishing furniture, playing and teaching piano, singing, being a mom and wife, reading, setting goals, and teaching.  This will be my third year teaching kinders and I could not be more excited!!  I have four darling kiddos that make my life very complete.  This kiddo to the left is my son Parks, and he will be with me every day on this adventure!

 Please feel free to copy my ideas or share yours with me this year!  Here is the outline of my class:

-Choice Time.  I have a lot of manipulatives the kids can play with and with each other to start class.  I will be working with individual kids at this time on their Reading Lesson book...a couple pages a day.
-Circle Time.  Here we will sing, do class shares, a class memorization piece, and practice some sight words.
-Literature.  We will read our story
-Social Studies.  This will be based on the story. 
-Handwriting Without Tears.  1 page every Tuesday
-Music.  I have an elderly widow friend that is a retired elementary teacher and would love to come sing songs with the kids on occasion with us.
-Act of Service.  This will be once a month.  We will bring different people from the community.  For example, we will bring in someone from Meals on Wheels to give them some place mats we'll make again this year so the elderly can eat on some seasonal place mats the kids will make.
-Run a Business.  We will be making items like healthy smoothies and some snacks to sell to other classes and teachers.  We will be learning about money/math on a basic level.

-Choice time and individual Reading Lesson
-Circle Time
-Language Arts
-Science Experiment
-Reading Time.  Students are welcome to bring books every day that match the theme (or just ones that they like).
-Yoga and Meditation.  We will do this around once a month
-Spanish Intro.  We be singing and doing some fun activities to introduce them to Spanish
-Sports.  We will be moving class time to the open "warehouse" area where we can spread out and play more.  For this section, I'm thinking of how if you took your child to a soccer class or kickball class, that is what this time would look like. 
-Play Practice.  Throughout the year we'll do some little plays for each other and little fun mini performances with the the help of my student aids.

The three books I'll be using for my curriculum:
Handwriting without Tears
The Reading Lesson:  Teach Your Child to Read in 20 Easy Lessons
Five In A Row by Jane Claire Lambert
We will also be using a journal where half is blank so they can draw pictures.

Welcome Lesson Tuesday
Choice Time.  I found some all sorts of fun and different types of blocks this summer at garage sales to add to our choice time.  The kids loved them!

Circle Time.  The kids brought a stuffed animal with them.  We always start with the Hokey Pokey and this week we did it with our play buddies.  The kids had the opportunity to introduce themselves to the class and share a toy that they like to play with too.  During this time we will do a class share, songs, stories, class memorization, sight words, check and talk about the weather, and do some class nursery rhymes.  We read a giant sized version of "The Little Engine that Could" and the kids loooved it! 

Math.  We marched and moved while we counted to 100.  For one hour of our class, we get the whole warehouse to ourselves so we have lots of room to play.

Art.  We drew the kids' names (I have some amazing helpers this year) on colored paper.  They put stickers or cut out pictures from a magazine to stick right on top of their name.  They turned out so cool.  This where I first got the idea.

Name Art: what a fun way for kids to practice cutting, gluing, and tracing their names.                                                                                                                                                     More:

Here's how ours turned out:




Game.  We played a game where the kids would say their own name and then that of the person they threw the ball to so they could get to know each other.

Review.  We went on a bear hunt and then talked about what we did today.  It was a great first day and a gentle step into our normal procedures.

Welcome Lesson Thursday
Science Experiment.  We talked about chemical reactions today...what they are and how we can tell they occurred.  We did the Mentos/Diet Coke explosion.  The kids loved it.  We talked about bubbles, sounds, and how the diet coke and mentos changed to form a new substance.
Image result for diet coke mentos

Yoga.  We introduced yoga to the new kiddos.  We do poses and say little chants that go with them:  while doing tree pose we say "I am friendly", warrior pose-"I am strong" in a very strong voice! etc.
Image result for yoga poses for kids i am brave
We also did some animal poses.

Spanish.  I downloaded some Spanish songs to show the kids that we'll be learning.  We sang them in English first.

Sports.  We had the kids line up and do a catching drill.  It's hard for little kids to throw underhand so we practiced that today.  We also played Red Rover.

Review.  We went on a horse race to end class and review our day.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Rainy Day Activities.

My husband sent me these ideas from a website the other day when it was raining.  We ended up taping (with painter's tape) butcher paper to the floor and let the kids color away.  Thought I'd share this fun list with you...

1. Find the thimble (Hide the button) -  take turns hiding and finding the thimble or button
2. Kitchen Band - use only pots and pans to make music
3.  Arts and Crafts  -  Kids Craft Club
4. Make popcorn and watch a movie
5. Make an indoor fort using a blanket and a table or chair
6. Memory Game- put ten toys in a pillow case and see who can remember what's inside
7. See who can hop on one foot the longest
8. Musical chairs
9. Coloring
10. Build a huge castle out of blocks
11.  Clean your room or pick up all they toys
12.  Walk with a book on your head for 10 ft.
13.  Take the Math Quiz
14.  Have a tea party
15.  Guess what's in the bag - put object in a brown paper bag and take turns guessing the contents
16.   Read a book to your brother, sister, mother, dad, sitter....
17.  Make a racetrack with obstacles and drive your toy cars through it
18.  Have an indoor picnic
19. Draw food items on paper plates and color them
20.  Play a board game
21.   Run in place for 5 minutes
22.  Do 20 or more jumping jacks
23.  Touch you toes 25 times
24. Read a book
25.  Make homemade playdough (clay) and build something
26.  Make a glitter picture
27. Make paper dolls
28. Make cookies or cupcakes (get a adult to help)
29. Make a rain gauge
30.  Tell jokes
31.  Play kid safe online games
32.  Have a Congo line
33. Dance
34. Make forts or houses for your play solders or stuffed animals out of pillows and blankets
35.  Be a super hero, put on a cape made from a towel or blanket
36.  Sing- a-long to a CD, ipod  or the radio
37. Sing Row Row Row Your Boat,  and Are you Sleeping Brother John 5 items each
38. Draw a picture
39.  Pretend  you are an animal, make noise and walk like an animal, try being a monkey, elephant, horse, duck and ?
40. Find 10 things in your house that start with the letter  "P"
41.   Play penny hockey on a table
42.  Build a house out of cards
43.  Play Mother May I?
44. Play Simon Says
45. Put of a play about your favorite movie
46.  Make a paper chain
47.   Make paper airplanes
48.   Play geology games
49.  Play dress up
50.   Put together a puzzle

Sunday, February 24, 2013

 Easiest Oatmeal Ever.

We're always rushed in the morning with 3 small kids...trying to get to the gym before preschool or other activities.  My kids loooove oatmeal so here are my tricks to making oatmeal (using old fashioned oats...not from the packets):

1.  Put oats and enough milk to cover them in a larger bowl (I use my bigger soup bowls...smaller bowls will boil over).  

2.  Heat in the microwave for 2 minutes.

3.  I can dish out oatmeal to two other bowls (one kid eats out of the bowl I used to microwave).

4.  The kids pick their toppings.  Some sweetners we've used:  agave nectar, bananas, raspberries, blueberries, brown sugar...they almost always ask for some peanut butter.  Nuts are yummy too.  I like to throw any fruit we have in the fridge in the mix.

5.  I put any leftovers in the fridge and the next day I add a little milk, heat it up, and they eat it again.

The kids get out the bowls and spoons so it takes no time to do this.  I have no problem making it even if only one kiddo wants it because it's so quick.

Monday, January 7, 2013

 A Suddenly Salad.


I feel like I get in the lunch rut and think something like a salad would take too long to cut all the veggies.  So, this is what I came up with...I threw a bunch of bags and toppings on the table and let the kids fix their own salads.  They loved it.  Healthy and yummy.

Here's what I set out (basically grabbed what I had on hand):
bag of salad
box of goldfish (I took them out of the stocking bag)
bag of almonds
cut apples and left them on the cutting board
ricotta cheese bucket

I used Dr. Oz's dressing recipe:
5 T olive oil
5 T vinegar (I used balsamic)
5 t honey

I put the dressing in a little Tupperware to serve and then stir for later. 

 These were perfect little pieces for the little man to eat too. 

This salad was just as easy to but together as pb & j!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Dried Pinto Beans in the Crock Pot.

Pour the entire bag of dried beans into a
colander and rinse under cold water. If you see any beans that have broken in half, or skin that floats to the surface, get rid of it. Also pick out any beans that look shriveled and gross.

Dump all the beans into your crock pot. Add enough water to cover all the beans and an additional 2 inches.

Cover. Do not turn on. Let the beans soak for at least 6 hours, or overnight. If you live in a very warm area, and the crock pot won't be in a room that is climate-controlled, put the stoneware in the fridge. You don't want bacteria to have the opportunity to grow.

In the morning, dump the water, and rinse your beans. The water will be bean-colored.

Put the beans back into your crock pot and cover with enough fresh water to completely cover the beans with an extra 2-3 inches.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

The beans are done when they are bite-tender. Don't worry if the water hasn't all absorbed. You're going to dump it, anyway.

Drain the beans.

When cool, put 1 2/3 cups of beans into storage containers or freezer bags (you're adding this amount because you aren't adding filler-liquid like the cans have). The beans will store nicely in the refrigerator for 1 week, or in the freezer for 6 months.

Use as you would canned beans in your favorite recipe.

I found the info. for the beans HERE.

I used my pinto beans for our ...


half onion
can corn
2 cans beans of choice 
taco seasoning to taste
8 oz Catalina dressing

Just mix together and serve with chips.  We eat it as a meal.  So yummy!  You can also serve with green peppers if you like.  If there are any ingredients you don't like, don't add them.  Kidney, black, pinto beans are yummy in the dip.  Enjoy!