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!