Tuesday, September 19, 2017

American Week {Number 2} Remembering 9/11

Hello, fellow Americans! We had great fun in our red, white and blues for American Week. We were especially happy and severely surprised to see our little Evie, who has not worn anything but her favorite dress or her jammies twice, to break out of her norm and show up the final day in stars and stripes, top to bottom! Outstanding! Now that’s progress!

We also talked about number two and learned our poem. Then, I asked the children to tell me what 2 things we had on our bodies alike. Hands, legs, eyes, ears! Hendrix said, “Two nose holes!” Jaxson said, “Two feeta!” Navy E. said, “Two pinkies!” Chance said, “Two lumps!” I asked, “What lumps?” He pointed to his chest, “Right here!” Yep! Two lumps! I heard Miss Julie snickering across the room! Too funny! We giggled a lot!


Monday, we talked about the 9-11 tragedy and painted an American eagle on a flag plate. My goodness! They were all beautiful and so patriotic! We also talked about our flag and the children guessed how many stars it had on it. Madden said, “12!” More! Dani said, “14!” More! Navy E. said, “15!” More! Hendrix said, “16!” MORE! Lincoln said, “20 hundred!” Too many! Trig said, “15 hundred hours!” Stars! How many stars? Miles B. said, “100!” Woah! That’s twice as many! Cannon was the closest, “60!” We talked about what each color meant on the flag and sang America, The Beautiful, with sign language. Ask your child to show you how to sign the word, ‘America’ and see what you get! Or ‘shining sea’! Fun stuff!

Wednesday, we made an Uncle Sam puppet and the children did a wonderful job coloring red, white and blue clothes for him, including AB patterns. We also talked about what he would say to Americans, “I want you!” Then, we listed all the things we could do to be good Americans. It might be fun to ask your child what Uncle Sam wants them to do, just to hear what they came away with.

I was super impressed by Chance, who recognized and knew much about George Washington. I showed the children pictures of The Capital, The Liberty Bell, and The Statue of Liberty and her history. As I held up her picture, I asked if anyone knew what it was. Madden said, “An Egyptian!” Funny! She kind of… does! Ha! We actually had several that knew more about our nation than I ever expected! Way to go, Idahoes! Usually, I get to be the one to tell the first stories!

Most of our children are doing a really nice job learning the letters of their names and holding their pencils properly. Gone are the days when Hendrix would exclaim, “I can’t find my pinchers!” followed by several others, “Me either!” “Me, too!” By October, we hope to have little to correct!” They are really making great progress!

We especially love getting the random details of life from these little ones. I always say, “I won’t believe most of what they tell me at school if you won’t believe most of what you hear at home!” Ha!

Our final day, as I held up my picture of Lady Liberty, I asked if anyone remembered who had given the statue to America. Nash said, “Someone made it!” Dani said, “We got it from the Store!” Navy E., “The temple!” Lillian said, “Uncle Sam gave it to us!” Allison said, “We got it from Jesus!” Ha! But, we did have a great time creating a liberty hat with an AB pattern and just after lining them all up at the end of class, backpacks on with liberty hats in place, we handed each a special cupcake cone with a would-be flame on top. So cute! They all marched out with their torches held high! I just love dressing them all up! They are so adorable in a cluster! I love that.

We appreciate all of you and your wonderful words of encouragement and love. We adore these sweet children and consider ourselves lucky to be able to hang with them so much.

Much, much love and devotion,
Mrs. McClure
And Miss Julie, too

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Little {RED} Hen Week {ONE}

Our days were cut short for Red Week because of the holiday, but we managed to fill them up completely!

We wore red, we spelled red, we sang about it, we twirled in it and we named everything we could think of that was red. Jace said fire trucks were red. Chance said, “Strawberries!” Claire said, Roses! Allison said, “Hearts!” Navy H. said, “Blood!” Trig said, “Our tubs!” Lincoln said, “Apples!” Ryder said, “Suckers!” Preston said, “My shoes!” And Avery said, “Santa’s Hat is red!” I like red! R-E-D!

Red Song (Are you sleeping tune)
I like red
I like red
A firetruck is red
Lady Bugs are red

We also learned the number 1 poem and practiced making a ‘one’ as we repeated it again and again. Have your child rehearse that for you. Your children are awesome!

One Poem
Find all our number poems and printouts here!
As the children came into the classroom on Wednesday, I instructed them to cut out a set of googley eyes and a beak. Trig asked, “What? We’re making a woodpecker?” It’s a red hen! He was funny because after he had completed his chicken face he asked, “How does my woodpecker look?” Ha! It’s a hen…like a chicken! 

Our red hen hats this year turned out so cute!
Added tissue paper for chef hen hats!
 Ahh! So cute!

I began reading the story of The Little Red Hen and I stopped to show the children what real wheat berries looked like. Everyone got a chance to grab a pinch of them. Some crunched them between their teeth. Some smelled them and some just rolled them for a time between their fingers as the story went on. When we got to the part about the miller, I turned on my wheat grinder and the children got a chance to see the grain pour into the grinder and hear the roar of the motor crushing the grain into flour. “Oooh!” Madden said, “It’s like magic!” When we finished the story, I pulled all of the flour out and asked, “Who will help me make the bread?” 

I have had several requests for the bread recipe we used for the children on Wednesday.
I am happy to share for anyone that is interested.

Red Hen Bread
6 cups lukewarm water
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup oil
1 cup potato flakes
Combine and add:
2 1/2 tablespoons yeast
4 tablespoons Vital Wheat Gluten
2 tablespoons Dough Enhancer
10-12 scoops of freshly ground white wheat flour*
10-12 scoops bread flour*
1 tablespoon salt
1/3 cup chia seeds
Add enough flour to make a nice firm sticky dough. *(totalling roughly 8-10 cups of flour)
Knead in Bosch (or mixer) for 7 minutes
Place in greased pans
Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees after raising in pans .
Yields: 4-5 regular loaves or 12 -15 small loaves
We made two batches simultaneously with two Bosch machines. 

The room exploded with eager helpers. Everyone got to help scoop up the beautiful warm flour and dump it into the bowl or add another ingredient. We watched it churn and churn. Then, each child with a bib on, took a seat at the worktables and held out their little cupped hands to have us spray them with oil. Oh, how I wish you could have seen the excited faces, twisting and shaping dough to fit into pans. Adorable! Trig said, “It looks like a person lying in a bed!” Jace said, “It looks like a baby!” Trig said, “Yah, only sticky!” Ha!

The bread rose and baked just in time to whisk it from the hot ovens to load into bags to send home. They donned their hats and marched happily out the door with their fresh loaves of bread like a parade of proud bakers with something to squawk about. It was a great day!


Too much fun with these crazy chickens!

The next day, we talked about rectangles and identified many objects in the school that looked like rectangles. We glued red rectangles on a plate to create a beautiful apple masterpiece! They were just lovely. We also practiced our gluing skills, “Make a dot! Not a lot!” The children are getting better and better. I love the great progress they are making!

We played a game, Know Your Apples and we also read a story about a big sister and how well she could help out (as opposed to the unhelpful cat, dog or pig in the hen story the day before). We had a great discussion about how the children could help as well. Que said, “I could sing a song for the baby!” Jaxson said, “I could give the baby a ‘paci’! Nash said, “My dad reads us a book!” Great job, helpers.

Speaking of great helpers, Reagan was so sweet to want to help write Kaylee’s name beside her. She is so helpful, but I had to carefully back her off to allow Kaylee to have her own experiences. I hope all of you parents are doing the same, as your children work on their fun sheets. We are seeing a few names that are still coming back displaying expert parental writing skills, which makes it difficult for your child to write his or her own name at school. Breaking these colts also requires training a few fillies and studs in the process. Ha!

Next week is our American Week honoring 9-11 and celebrating our country and freedoms. We encourage everyone to wear red, white and blue, if possible. We will allow all of those to come to the treat line first.

We want to especially thank Mrs. Walters and Miss Jessica for helping with our hats this week. We could not have finished the baker’s “toque blanche” poof without them. They were spectacular!

Have a great weekend!

Much, much love and devotion,
Mrs. McClure
Miss Julie

Bug Week

We had a great bug week. It was so fun dressing up these little critters and watching them file out the door. Adorable. 

We learned a lot about bees and bugs and the children were able to get a lot of experience cutting circles for buggy eyes. They are all doing so well, cutting precisely on the line. I am so pleased with what I am seeing. 

Monday, the bee hats and bodies were so fun. The children had a great time planning and fashioning their faces, antennas and stripes “just so” to complete their bee. Twisted little faces of deliberation and satisfaction brought the room next to silent, as each toiled away. I always wish I could give all the parents a secret peephole into the things we get to hear and see. They are priceless moments. The best I can do is to try to capture what I can and report them here. We then sang another rousing rendition of “Baby Bumble Bee”. The children squirm and scream as I smear all of the pretended squished bee guts on everyone’s head at the end of the song, “It’s all over you! Ah, ha ha ha ha!” So fun! They beg to sing it again and again! 

The design for the bee hat was pretty simple as shown above. You can easily replicate it at home with some black and yellow card stock. 

 Teaching how to assemble the bee face and use tiny glue dots and not big gluey lakes. 

 Mrs McClure and Mrs Julie are always so helpful!
To assemble, we just stapled a few pieces of card stock cut long and
layered to make "stripes".
Our bee bodies helped teach "AB" patterns and how to use small glue dots.

We had so much fun with our busy bees. We love our bee hive friends!
On Wednesday, we cut more circles and made a caterpillar face. We also linked lettered fuzz balls to create our names across the length of a caterpillar body. The children did a great job recognizing the letters of their own name and linking them together in the right order. Afterwards, we learned all about the process of a caterpillar spinning a cocoon and changing into a butterfly. 

Allison said, “I had one land on my head at the Butterfly Garden!” Taeya said, I saw a butterfly at my house!” Preston said, “I saw a butterfly in my flowers!” Que said, “Some butterflies are rainbow!” Rustin said, “I saw one at Lake Powell!” Navy said, “Caterpillars can turn into butterflies and make honey!” Eva said, “I saw a yellow one at camping but it went into the bathroom!” Josh said, “I saw a lot of butterflies at the museum! They have rules! No stepping on butterflies!” Lillian said, “I wish I could be a butterfly!” Lilly said, “I don’t want to be a butterfly! I’m a little girl and sometimes I’mscared of butterflies!” Trig said, “They don’t sting!” Navy said, “They just land on you. They’re nice!” Nash said, “I have seen butterflies on my dad’s truck. Miss Julie said, I have seen them on the front grill!” Nash was quick to rush to his dad’s defense, “But they’re alive!” So sweet! 

During our wonderful discussion, Cannon posed a question, “Why can’t zebras turn into butterflies?” So, I asked the children what they thought, and the classroom exploded with answers. Dani said, “There’s no stuff to make one!” Navy said, “They don’t have magical powers!” Kohl said, “If they turn into caterpillars, then they will turn into butterflies!” Avery said, “Zebras can’t spin and they can’t climb!” Trig said, “They don’t have the right stuff to do it!” Jace said, “They don’t have cocoons!” Madden said, “I think they turn into bees, but they don’t!” 

So, the next best thing about talking about caterpillars on Wednesday, was that the following day, our project was all about butterflies! The children had a great time gluing beautiful brightly colored pasta bows onto a page to display a colorful butterfly garden. They were all perfect masterpieces to hang up and adore, for at least a week! We ended with a butterfly story about Mittens, the Kitten, who followed a butterfly until he was lost. That completed our week. Next week is Red Week, but only after Labor Day, which is a day without school. We will plan to see everyone back on Wednesday, when we will learn the story of the Little Red Hen and crack some real wheat to grind it into flour and make our own little loaves of bread to take home. It will be a great day! We look forward to that. 

We hope you have a wonderful time with your families over the long weekend. We look forward to the stories and tales we will be greeted with as they return. We love our time with your perfect little children. Much, much love and devotion, Mrs. McClure And Miss Julie, too