Monday, April 17, 2017

{Ee}aster {Ee}gg Week

We had an especially exciting week celebrating letter Ee. Exceptional even! Everyone loved the story of Granny E being old and deaf enough to always ask, “Eh? What’s ya sayin’, sonny! Eh? Speak up, would ya, honey! Eh?” Ask your child about Granny E and see what report you get. Fun! We found lots of Ee words, ie: eggs, elephants, exercise, Embree, and everything!


Monday, we decorated our Easter bunny bags and we dyed eggs. The bunny bags had plastic spoons for eyes and teeth, so they looked a little strange until the children added cheeks, ears, whiskers and a nose. Upon entering and seeing them all on the tables, Tallin said, “Those are really creepy bunnies!” Ha! I hadn’t thought of that, but he was right!
Then we set out glasses with colored water in each. The children did a great job of writing their name with a wax crayon on the white eggs and even drawing a decoration on them before dying them. As they carefully lowered their egg down into the colored water, it was fun to see the markings come into view, “Oooh! That’s like magic!” We sang our song about a nest several times while waiting for our eggs to dye. Then, they scooped their eggs up to see the bright colors surface after singing. They squealed with delight! “Mine is so bright!” “Look at mine!”



Then, we carefully placed our beautifully colored eggs in trays with great hopes that the Easter Bunny would come to hide them for our hunt Thursday.





Wednesday, we ripped small pieces of paper up to create a mosaic Easter egg. I instructed them to try to rip them nice and small. Tolson was very serious, as he tried his best to keep all his pieces the same size, saying, “You know, it’s so hard to rip them in the same age!” Darling! Their pictures all turned out so beautiful, a wonderful masterpiece for your Easter wall! I loved them and I was so proud of the children’s efforts. Ripping and gluing and ripping and gluing! Ahhh!

True confessions: Before instructing the children on their pictures, I wanted to crack and peel a real Easter egg to show them how the shell would look all cracked into pieces as their pictures would soon depict. I told them how my family liked to properly crack their eggs on one another’s heads in order to eat an Easter egg the “right” way, so I took one of the extra colored eggs and proceeded to crack it on my head. The trouble was, that silly egg was completely raw and broke all over my hair into a slimey wet mess! CRACK! You can’t imagine my surprise! I screamed, “Ahhh!” The children thought it was great fun and Miss Julie could hardly stop laughing! Too funny! Some of you may have noticed my nice-matted hair, while loading in the kids that day. Eggcellent! It turned out that one of my pans of eggs was timed wrong, leaving the whole batch raw. I was concerned about the spoilage, so I boiled another batch and secretly re-drew and dyed a few dozen of them, by starting anew! Miss Julie suggested I spin them and I soon discovered how to tell the difference between a raw and boiled egg by simply spinning each one. That was a first! Ha! Mrs. Julie is so smart!

Thursday, the children were bubbling over with anticipation of the Easter Bunny and the big hunt. Ammon said, “I hope he brings me 14 jellies!” But, to the children’s disappointment, I announced, pointing at those beautifully colored eggs, that the Easter Bunny had not come to hide our eggs, making it impossible to have an Easter egg hunt. NOOOO! Devastation! But Niki was ever optimistic, “Maybe he will still come while we are here!” A little later, my husband busted through the door, shouting, “You gotta see this! I think I saw the Easter Bunny hiding eggs right in the backyard!” What??? The room exploded with squealing children. They ran for the door and literally poured out to catch a glimpse of that bunny. “Where did he go?” “Woah! I found an egg!” “He must have jumped the wall!” “Look! Another egg!”


There were lots of newly hidden eggs filled with bunnies and candy, so we ran back inside, grabbed our bags and began our big hunt! Miss Julie made the same announcement about the Easter Bunny in the afternoon class and the whole scenario played out again. We had so much fun! When everyone had found their quota, they all marched in, single file, with completely satisfied grins across their faces. Tanner said, “That was awesome!” Niki added, “I loved that!” And Mason D exclaimed, “That was the best day ever!”


We managed to squeeze a few reading games in. The Everybody Team beat the Elephants, 11-10 and the Eggs beat the Envelopes, 8-5. Don’t you love the names they chose? Cute!

Mrs. Julie added our real Easter eggs to their egg totals, filling their bags to the brim. Sam asked, “Do we get to take them home?” Oh, yes! The children were ecstatic!

We had time to talk about the real meaning of Easter as the children offered their ideas. Several of them had attended the Easter Pageant on the temple grounds this week and had a lot to contribute. “Jesus was in a tomb!” “He came alive!” That gave me an opportunity to explain why we have eggs at Easter time and tell about the egg’s symbolism of a dark tomb and springing forth life. We had a great week.

If you are not familiar with the Easter Pageant, tonight is the last night to watch it this year. It is free and begins at dusk in the center of Mesa. If you go early, you may be lucky enough to get a seat, or take a blanket to sit anywhere else throughout the front lawn on Main Street. It is a wonderful depiction of the last days of our Savior, Jesus Christ’s life and one you don’t want to miss. I was amazed at how much these little ones were affected and how much they recalled and related. The actors, the music, and the Spirit of that production are unrivaled!

May I boldly take this time to declare my love for Jesus Christ, the Savior of us all! His infinite power and glory are amazing! How grateful I am for Him, for His atonement and matchless love, and His incredible hand and direction in each of our personal lives! I can’t imagine my life without Him! And I can’t even begin to tell all the times and ways His life and teachings have influenced me for good. My hopes for you and your family this weekend are that all might feel His love and power, for He lives and dearly loves each one of us! Have a Happy Easter! We love you and your precious children!

{Nn} Week


I was beginning to wonder if Nn Week was ever going to get reported on. If I were to ask the children, they would answer, “Nnn-nnn!” We learned that that was letter N’s answer for everything! No! Never! “Nnn-nnn!” I asked them to pretend to be letter N. I asked if they wanted an ice cream cone, to go to the park, to get a million presents for their birthday, even to go to Disneyland. They just answered, “Nnn-nnn!” Stubborn letter N! We found lots of Nn words. Not, now, nut, need nothing, not nice, to name a few, and of course, noodle necklace, which the children made in an ABC pattern on Monday. I was most impressed with the expertise of each child, placing the correct color of noodle on the needle at the necessary time. Nice!


Wednesday, we sang a song about building a nest and then we built one. I asked the children if they could build it without hands, as a bird does using only feet and mouths. The answer was in true letter N fashion, “No! Never!”



We placed three eggs inside with mother bird, sitting on top, as our song directed. We also got to hear a few stories about birds and nests. Fun day.



Thursday, we created a color word, bird game. The children had fun matching the colored birds with the words in the nests. We had a great time. We had time for one reading game where the Naps beat the Nones, 7-5.



Tomorrow, we will dye eggs and decorate our bunny baskets in preparation for the big egg hunt on Thursday. We are excited for a fun filled week of eggs and Easter things to celebrate letter Ee.



See you then!
Much, much love and devotion,
Mrs. McClure
And Mrs. Julie, too!

{Ch] Week


It is hard to believe we are at the end of March. March has certainly ‘marched’ in and out in a blink!

Our Ch week was challenging having to sound out Ch words. Check it out! We chose words such as chair, chain, chat and chicken. Church was especially good, beginning and ending. I told them about Chuck E. Cheese and Cubby Checkers. They thought that was funny.

Monday, the children created a game to choose whether a chip was chugging like a choo-choo or sounding like a ship. The children did a wonderful job of choosing. Walter was so adorable in his assessment, “It’s sheep like ship! Batta-boom! Batta-bing! See?” Too cute!

Wednesday, we had a chick game, choosing c and ch words. Again, the children did a great job choosing. The older children are loving the chance to hover over another child while helping them to choose the correct answer. I don’t even have to ask for helpers anymore. They just finish and begin helping. It is darling to watch. Niki is especially helpful, as she is almost always the first to finish.

Here are more fun things we recorded:
We celebrated Embree’s birthday and she told me a secret. “I gave a list to my friend so she would know what things to get me for my birthday.”

Madden said, “When I push my thumb backwards, it hurts!” Don’t put it backwards! “Oh! Okay!”

Niki told me, “I know your house is in the garage!”

As we lined up our book readers, we announced that Jane had read 354 books already and we all cheered! Lena shouted, “Jane will get flies!” I corrected her, “No, not flies, prizes!”  “Oh!” We all laughed! Great job, Jane!

Thursday, we made cheeping chickens, which were very cute, and the Chips beat the Chocolate Cookies 9-8 in a tie-breaker face-off with Niki and Emmett. Emmett read the word just a milli-second ahead, clinching the win. Great reading, you two! We also had time to do the chicken dance in the afternoon class. Very fun!

My book has been out since January and I have been waiting for Amazon to correct its post of being “Out of Print” before I announced it to all of you. Maybe if they had more inquiries for it, it might make the difference. I don’t know. If any of you are interested, it is the reading method I use to teach your children their letters and sounds. It is very helpful for children learning to sound-blend and read. The name of the book is “Rhett and The Alphabet”. I noticed Abby brought her copy to school this past week for Show-N-Tell.

We hope to hear from Emmett this week. His mom, Brittney has been waiting to have her baby any day now. We wish her well.

I have had trouble connecting with my contact for a fire station fieldtrip. I’m not sure we will be able to fit that in this year. Bummer!

Next week is Zz Week and we will be talking all week about letter Zz. See you tomorrow!

Much, much love and devotion,
Mrs. McClure
Miss Kristen, too!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Shamrock Week {Sh} Sounds


Shamrock Week sure shaped up to be a shocker! I will apologize if this email feels a little R-rated, but it got a bit sticky shouting out Sh words. As the children sounded out the sound of Sh, they shushed until they shouted out Shark! Ship! Shamrock! Shell! Sheep! Ben shocked us all by innocently shouting the word, shhhh-t! What? “Sh-t!” Um, maybe we should find a different word. How about shut or shift? Shelf? Show? Shomething else! Sheesh! It went un-noticed except for the giggling adults in the room! Ha! Actually, last year’s experience was close to the same. That word  seems to find its way into Sh week, the same way “poop” finds its way into Brown Week. They are four! Right?

We talked and sang about leprechauns and four-leaf clovers. Monday's leprechaun project turned out great. Niki and Gracelyn loved how the leprechaun’s eyes peeked out between his hat and his beard, “He’s so cute!” they said.

We had some time for team reading games, so I suggested we use Sh names. Once again, Ben offered his special word, “How about the Sh-ts?” “Ben… that’s not a good word.” “Oh!” So, we went with the Sharks and the Shams, allowing the winning Sharks, 6 to 4, to line up first. That afternoon, the Shamrocks beat the Sheeps, 9 to 8! We also used the Sh in our flag salute song, turning Brooklyn into Shooklyn, Susy into Shoesy, and Davis into Shave Us! Such fun shushing! Everyone giggled at every name.

Wednesday, we filled a pot with gold coins to place at the end of a beautiful rainbow of Fruit Loops. The children did a wonderful job sorting and lining up all of the correct colors in a row to form a colorful rainbow. They were all masterpieces worthy of your walls for at least a week. That day, the Shoes beat the Ships, 9 to 8 and the Shocks beat the Sharks, 8 to 6. I tried once again to stump our great readers. Brig could not be tricked and read the word ‘shamrock’ without blinking. Emmett requested a ‘really hard word’. He quickly read the word, ‘shock’, with ease, and complained, “That’s not even a hard one!” I cannot keep up with these great readers! Ahhhh!




Thursday, we cut lots of green paper shamrocks out to build a fun reading game. As the children dove into their cutting project, Ben remarked, “Mrs. McClure! I love cutting!” Jace added, “I do, too!” I said, “That’s because you have all gotten so good at it!” to which Jace answered, “I know!” I love that these children are finding joy in their successes. I love that they are enjoying their work and taking pride in their mastered skills. We spent time listening and watching each child read through their shamrock words. Some of the accomplished readers jumped in to watch and help others. Niki was an especially great helper. So cute! She stepped up as the self-appointed director, organizing other readers, “You help him over there! I’ll help Grace over here!” Sooo great! But it turned out that Grace didn’t need much helping. These children are all doing so wonderfully! I am so proud of them. Being a ‘second year veteran’ in preschool, Niki has found remarkable confidence. While I was instructing everyone about the leprechaun and the maze on their fun sheets, she helped direct us all to the shamrock at the end, “Mrs. McClure! I know the password!”

I hope everyone has a wonderful time together as families during our Spring Break. I heard about some of your family plans. And Navy offered us her information, “I’m going to California tomorrow and all my swimsuits fit me!” Awesome! Someone else is going to California to play in the “snow”. Darn, I can’t remember who!



We will plan on seeing everyone back on Monday, after Spring Break and St. Patrick’s Day! Have fun! Be shafe! Shee you later!

Much love and devotion,
Mrs. McClure
Miss Kristen
Miss Julie, too!

Letter {Qq} Week



I am finally finding the time and energy to write this email. With the past Lehi Days events, my week has been filled to the max. I think we served more than 3000 people yesterday at the barbeque, our biggest crowd ever.

Letter Qq was quite the quizzical letter in question. Qq just can’t quite quack, “Quh!” We flapped our arms and tried to quack all week, but we just couldn’t, “Quh!” We also sang our flag song with letter Q at the beginning of our names. We giggled with almost every one, and Quaxon,  Quiki, and Queena were especially fun. Quit it! Ha!

Monday, we colored a beautiful queen and sewed around an AB patterned quilt. The children were so great, choosing their own two colors to make their patterns with. I did not need to give any added instructions. We have practiced AB patterns so many times, that I stood and watched it all unfold before my eyes. It was poetry in motion. I love it! I love it! Then, the children carefully laid their quilts over their queens and quietly, put them to bed. “Good night, dear queen! (kiss!)” Okay, some omitted the kiss, but it was all very sweet!

We read a story about finding a pet for a queen. So, I filled the last 5 minutes of class with questions about queens. “What kind of pet would you get for a queen?” Mason E said, “A dog…a baby one!” Bria qualified that, “A service dog!” Niki suggested, “A little fluffy puppy with fur on his face!” Mason D offered, “A cow would be a good one!” Grace said, “A cat would be good! Jaxson announced, “I have a cat! His name is Pugley!”  Brig added, “A dog would guard the castle! Brody added, “But, if it’s a cat for a queen, put spikes on it!” And Emmett ended it by saying; “Knights are better, because they have armor!” I love our discussions! That day, the Queens beat the Cookies, 7-4 and the Quicks slaughtered the Quinns, 10 to 5. I tried once again to stump Brig, but he sounded out the word ‘quarter’ and led his team to victory! That boy can read anything!

Wednesday, we made a crazy queen, coloring her as crazy as possible. The children loved this project and couldn’t wait to explore their own creativity, “Look at mine!” “Don’t you think mine is crazy?” “I’m going to give her a swirly-dude face!” So cute! That day, the Quarters beat the Quacks, 10-7 and the Quacks beat the Quicks, 9-8! And Brig read ‘quitter’ for the win! As the children waited on the small wall for their parents to arrive, Navy found a small rock from my neighbor’s yard in my grass, “Oh no! Brother McClure is not going to like this!”

Thursday, we colored a dinosaur book, trying carefully to keep the same dinosaurs on each page the correct color, a tricky exercise. The children did a wonderful job. Then, the Quilts beat the Quests, 10 to 6. Niki said her birthday was in 10 years. And Ammon announced, “I’ve been reading my books! 44 pounds!”

The children are doing such a great job reading during our games and the tally of books keeps mounting. I am absolutely thrilled. I love watching this whole process happen. It fills me to no end!

Next week is Shamrock Week and we will be talking about leprechauns, rainbows and pots of gold as we learn about the combining of letters s and h. We look forward to that. Please be aware that the following week is Spring Break and we will not have school during that entire week. Thank you so much.

With each week that passes, we love your children more and more. We live up close and personal with each one of them, practically in their faces most of the time and we get to know and love them as our own. I always feel so fortunate to be trusted and blessed to hang with these perfect little people. I love them so!


See you on Monday!

All my love and devotion,
Mrs. McClure
And Miss Kristen, too!

Letter {Jj} Week


We jumped in and out of Jj Week in a jiffy with just two short little days to report on. We did manage to find some great Jj words like juice, jungle, jaguar, jam and jug. Adelyn offered drip as a J word pronouncing it “jrip” and Emmett was certain that Drew spelled his name with a J, “Jrew” but after rocking their little worlds and setting them straight, we carried on with jack-o-lantern and jelly bean. Each year, we discover new words to help straighten out. As a child, I remember learning that jore was drawer. “What? How can it be drawer? I’ve been saying jore all my life!” Ha!

I truly wish all of you could have seen the jellybean sorters in action. Because we just had a sorting lesson with valentine hearts the previous week, these children all took off without a hitch, sorting and grafting with ease. We had extra time for letter games and team reading where the Leprechauns beat the Alligators 10 to 7 and the Violins beat the Go Toros 9 to 8. The rising scores are an indication that more students are reading more words, which I loved seeing. Great job readers! Brig continues to amaze us with his command of large words. I gave him a six-letter word in an effort to challenge him and he read it in a snap! I am so proud of our amazing readers!

Thursday, our reading game included letter J in every word, so it gave the children lots of chances to sound out letter J. We used all of those J words again in our reading game, too. I strongly encourage you to pull out that game again and again to review letter J. Many of the children got J and G mixed up and catching it early with continual correction could be the ticket to solving a lot of confusion for your child. I know what you’re thinking… “Not my child!” Brace yourselves. You may get a JOLT!

I have been extremely busy since October in a huge production process to celebrate the 140th year of pioneers settling the Lehi Valley here. I had been asked to write and direct a musical and since then, life has not slowed down since. With auditions through November and rehearsals three times a week through January and February, we are closing in on the climax of what this will be. If you are not familiar with the tradition of “Lehi Days” here in the valley, let me invite you to a week of wonderful family activities and fun.

See you next week when we concentrate on Letter Q. Quinn and Quintin will especially love it! Quite!

Much love and devotion,
Mrs. McClure
Miss Kristen

Valentines Party Week



Our week began by celebrating Valentine’s Day with a great party. I loved that many children arrived wearing reds or pinks adorned with hearts to add to the fun without even being prompted to do so. The children brought in they personally signed valentines and we had a great time passing them to each member of the class, “Will you be my valentine?” and then, thanking each for what they all received. So polite. Sooo sweet. Miss Kristen and I got our share of very special valentines, too. We feel so very loved and appreciated. Thank you!!! Walter was thrilled with the party, “This is the best day of my life! No homework!” Ha!




We frosted Miss Connie’s very famous cookies and each child chose a certain sprinkle to shake on top. As we were spreading and decorating, I stopped to tell everyone how wonderful the cookies were, “Miss Connie made these especially for us! She is Talli’s Aunt. Talli call’s her, ‘Aunt Connie!’ Isn’t that right, Talli?”  To which she replied, “Can we just focus on the cookie?” putting us all back on task as we giggled and I quickly recorded that adorable remark. Thanks, Talli. We also heard from Gracelyn, who expressed her very strong opinions to Abby, sitting next to her, “My name is Gracelyn! You keep forgetting! I NEVER forget my name!!!” These little girls are definitely large and in charge!!! Ha! We laughed and laughed! They certainly love to have their say! It keeps us all on our toes.




We played Valentine Bingo and captured the chance to have many winners earn prizes, barring their duty to pay attention and place candy hearts in the correct space! We had a great time. And, in the end, everyone felt like a winner when they each marched out the door with their big bags of loot and valentine wishes and prizes. It was a fun day, “The best day of our lives!”




Wednesday, we learned about letter Yy and yipped and yelled about letter Y with his karate and yoga! Ask your child about letter Y’s yelling. You might get and earful! Yep!

We worked on a Yummy Tummy reading game. The children are really getting exited about reading. They beg to play reading games, even when it’s not a Thursday. So, when Show-N-Tell goes quickly, we steal us a little time to squeeze a game in. I love the chance to “strike while the iron in hot” and take advantage of this enthusiasm to read in these little ones. So many times, that chance is lost when they grow a bit older, but now is the perfect time. They are so like little sponges. They beg for it and I can’t get enough of it, either. I tell them, “You’re doing it!” and see astonishment in raised eyebrows and sprouting smiles of gratification and amazement in them, “You just read that word!!! You are so good!” I love it! I love it!


Miss Kendra was there on Thursday to help with yummy hamburger puppets. We love Miss Kendra. Some of you may remember her. She was a teacher with us for 6 years, back when her children were young. We love when we get a chance to invite her back to school. She played some reading games with the children and while I was away at Connie’s son’s wedding, the Dogs beat the Cats 7-6 and the Ironman team lost to the Teamers 6-7.


Much, much love to you all!

Mrs. McClure
Miss Kristen
And Miss Kendra, too!