Pumpkin Patch

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Well, it’s that time of year again where we go pumpkin hunting.  The kids don’t seem to feel to old for this event, and I love to be walking around on a farm... READ MORE

All Things Apple

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Thank you so much for your kind comments on my last few posts.  Our Apple computer is still  under repair and that has been quite a fiasco, let me tell you; but God... READ MORE

Spider Research Craftivity

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We’ve been a little spider-obsessed lately, finding spidersand especially intrigued by the different kinds of webs that they build. Here is my latest classroom project, similar to the Spider Research, this is a... READ MORE

Incorporating Reggio

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I have been experimenting, and they have been experimenting. I’m really interested in kids and making their learning meaningful.  I want to teach in a way that gets kids motivated in the most... READ MORE

Homemade Banana Bread

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Thank you so much for your comments on my last post about Reggio in the classroom.  I’ve been meaning to post this project for weeks, but now that I am working again, I... READ MORE

M&M Cookies

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Well, having experimented a bit, I have come up with a new layout for my recipe book, which is quick, easy and I like the look.  I saw this beautiful layout that Kathy... READ MORE

Morning Start

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The beginning of the day is such an important time: getting prepared for the day; eating a nourishing breakfast and spending a bit of quality time together;  setting the tone for the day. ... READ MORE

Pumpkin Patch

posted in: Events, Family Life | 0

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Well, it’s that time of year again where we go pumpkin hunting.  The kids don’t seem to feel to old for this event, and I love to be walking around on a farm on a bright, cloudy fall day.

_MG_3429After the careful selection comes the washing,

_MG_3440and we made it to the scooping stage too:

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Can’t wait to see what they decide to carve!

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If You’re Not From the Prairies Art Project

posted in: Lesson Plans | 0

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I think the best way to teach students about Canada is to take the most visual journey possible, the next best thing to actually taking a trip.
When teaching about the Prairie provinces, the book If You Are Not from the Prairie, written  by David Bouchard, is a powerful teaching tool both in its poetic language and painted imagery.

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I read it slowly to the students, emphasizing the repetitive words, “flat”, “sky”, “grass”, “wind”.

After the reading, as a class, we discuss the pictures, focusing on the horizon, the colours, foreground and background.

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The students choose from photocopies  of some of the key pages from the book, which they, themselves attempt to sketch.

After sketching, they outline the bolder lines of their drawing with sharpie pen.  In this lesson, I shrunk the artwork on the photocopier, to darken their pencil lines as well._MG_4678

To finish the project, the students used water colour paints, mostly blues, yellows, greens and browns to paint their pictures.

A few carefully chosen spots in their paintings, such as a barn or flower, are painted with a bright, bold colour, such as red or pink. Lastly, the students use sharpie to print the key word that goes with their picture, such as “grass”, “flat” or “cold”.

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The students were thrilled with their finished pieces and others enjoyed them too.  Likely a small, but hopefully an accurate glimpse of the Prairies.

All Things Apple

posted in: Crafts for Kids | 0

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Thank you so much for your kind comments on my last few posts.  Our Apple computer is still  under repair and that has been quite a fiasco, let me tell you; but God in his grace is showing mercy even in this technical situation.  I am hopeful that we will have all our photos and data back and I am praying that it is not at the first price that I was quoted!

Right now, my mind is filled with thoughts of costumes, spooky decorations and Halloween crafts, but I have this post on apple-y stuff, that I wanted to do a couple weeks ago, so I hope you’re in the mood!!  After this delightful trip, we decided to have an “apple fest” and make as many things with apples as we could think of.

First, we made caramel apples, which I will post about when we retrieve our photos.

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We made these very cute turkey apples Thanksgiving afternoon with gummy bears, fruit loops, corn candy, raisins and marshmallows.  The kids loved eating them.

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Then, for desert at Thanksgiving dinner, I proudly made my first apple pie.

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It’s so interesting being back at work, because I am coming from conversations with other moms about baking, gourmet cooking and crafts,

and entering conversations of the best fast food, quick meal ideas and butterball turkeys.  At the beginning of the year social, we were discussing juggling work and home, soccer schedules, dance and gymnastics classes.  Naively, I asked the other primary teachers, “How do you finish work and get home every night on time to cook a nice, home-made meal?”  They all looked at each other and said the same phrase, “I do take-out!”

Whether at home or work, ordering take-out or making home-made, or simply enjoying apples,

Happy Monday to you!

ps I have just been noticing all of the home-made bread around a number of blogs!

Spider Research Craftivity

posted in: Lesson Plans, Uncategorized | 0

IMG_2993We’ve been a little spider-obsessed lately, finding spiders_MG_3019and especially intrigued by the different kinds of webs that they build.

IMG_3034Here is my latest classroom project, similar to the Spider Research, this is a Research Craft that is fun to display afterward and great to use as a Halloween decoration.  _MG_3084Here’s the Spider Craftivity:

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Which you can find here on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Enjoy!

Incorporating Reggio

posted in: Classroom, Lesson Plans | 0

I have been experimenting, and they have been experimenting.

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I’m really interested in kids and making their learning meaningful.  I want to teach in a way that gets kids motivated in the most natural way possible.

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I am learning about the Reggio Emilia approach and trying to use the ideas in my classroom.

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What I notice is the kids are excited and engaged, and management is minimal.  Right now we are doing a unit on Sound.  The students are using recycled materials to build instruments,

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telephones, experimenting with different cup sizes and types,

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bottle xylophones, looking up sound effects on the internet, and having a blast playing with real musical instruments.  I also hope to do radio plays and recycled junk wind chimes.

Learning is an art, and so is teaching.  We are weaving the concepts and vocabulary of Sound with exploring, discovering, recording and sharing.  It really is a change in thinking and practise for me, but it gives the kids so much more power over their learning.  There is always more for me to learn, and it is exciting to see it all grow and evolve.

Homemade Banana Bread

posted in: Recipes | 0

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Thank you so much for your comments on my last post about Reggio in the classroom.  I’ve been meaning to post this project for weeks, but now that I am working again, I find I spend much less time at the computer than last year when I was at home full time.  I must say, I do enjoy the balance of teaching with being at home.

When I’m at home I think a lot about two things:  cooking and cleaning.  Both which I come to resent at times, but I also enjoy both in the idea that I’m caring for and nurturing my family.  I remember when I was growing up, that I loved my Grandmother’s home so much.  She was always in the kitchen cooking and baking and she was always there to listen, visit and serve up a great batch of goodies.  Thinking of my Grandma, I thought I’d love to create a collection of our favourite everyday recipes.

If you are like me, you might have a cupboard that looks like this,

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With favourite recipes in it that look like this,

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This made me want to have a neat, organized book with all of our favourite recipes in one place. I thought a little binder would be great so we could keep adding recipes as we go.

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I thought I’d start our recipe book with one of the things we bake the most.  Banana bread.  We first got this recipe when Mark and I lived in Uganda and bananas (especially the small, sweet ones) were in abundance.  We have continued to bake lots of banana bread, because the kids love it and it’s a great way to use up those old bananas.  I’m not used to photographing food, so if you have any tips, please share…

I have been completely inspired by Molly Irwin’s style in her December Daily album and to my surprise, she has a new and very beautiful book that she just created here.  Now I’m so eager to learn more about digital scrapbooking!

Here’s another page for my recipe book that I’ve created:

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I’d like to show more pages as I make it and I’m excited to see how it turns out!

M&M Cookies

posted in: Recipes | 0

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Well, having experimented a bit, I have come up with a new layout for my recipe book, which is quick, easy and I like the look.  I saw this beautiful layout that Kathy over at katiemaedays created, and she told me she used the Mosaic option at Flickr’s Big Huge Labs. Thanks, Kathy!!   Then I added text in the Gimp.  Here’s my first layout .  I haven’t actually made these cokies a lot, but they were very fun to photograph.  They were delicious too!

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I first got the idea from the Ikea kids cookbook (Cooking with Children), but we didn’t have all the ingredients, so I ended up following the recipe here.

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If you have any M&Ms around give these cookies a try and have a fantastic weekend, everyone!!!!

Morning Start

posted in: Family Life | 0

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The beginning of the day is such an important time: getting prepared for the day; eating a nourishing breakfast and spending a bit of quality time together;  setting the tone for the day.  It’s my great desire to make mornings organized, peaceful and relaxing, but so many times this is hardly the case.  There is a lot of coaxing, reminding:  “Hurry up!  Get your clothes on!” (Even yelling!)  Sometimes crying, meltdowns over a certain outfit, huge spills at the breakfast table, panic, pressure.  “We’re going to be late!!!!!  Hurry up!!  Brush your teeth!  Do you have your library book?”

“Mom, I just have to get my show and tell!!”

Sometimes I’m just about in tears leaving the house.  I know I’m not the only mom who’s experienced this; I’ve talked to lots of moms about it.  One told me, “I’m like an animal in the morning!”  I have three children ages two to six. One way that I have tried to bring some level of order to our mornings is through the Morning Start chart.

 

I saw it on the Super Nanny Show and a friend of mine had one that she had drawn by hand.  This one the girls and I made together.  I think they were five and three years old.  My oldest daughter created the title.  The chart takes away the nag factor.  If the girls are forgetting their responsibilities, I ask them to check the chart, or I say, “Morning Start.”  For the most part, they are eager to do what’s on the list, and I can attend to other things, like cleaning up the table and even doing my own make-up in a leisurely manner.  Then the kids get time to play before it’s time to leave for school.  We have also been setting the timer as a “race” to see how fast they can do shoes, coat and backpacks at the door.  One minute is the current record.

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Morning Start certainly helps to make our mornings more pleasant and manageable.

How are your mornings?

Pinecone Turkey Craft

posted in: Crafts for Kids | 0

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Thanksgiving is a holiday which encourages one to pause and give thanks for the abundance that we have been given: family, friends, nature, pets and nourishing food.  It is also a time when one can think quite a bit about turkeys, which are typically ugly, but not the ones in Thanksgiving stories and the very cute crafted ones.  On a sunny October afternoon, paper bag turkeys, plate turkeys and hand turkeys can be seen proudly paraded about the schoolyard.

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I thought I’d join in with these festivities by making pinecone turkeys with my class at school and with my children at home as well.

They need a lot of white glue, or a glue gun works well, too, with a smaller group.
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The stands are made from sawed off “wood cookies”, which my husband kindly provided.
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The bodies are pine cones and the heads are made from acorns. Then add on the googly eyes, a felt beak, feathers and puffy orange pipe-cleaners for the feet and waddle, which Miranda differentiated from the “snood”.  Sometimes a small part of the pine cone has to be removed for the acorn to sit right.

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And there’s one cute Thanksgiving turkey.  Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends!!

How to Make Caramel Apples

posted in: Recipes | 0

One rainy night, something exciting was happening in our kitchen.IMG_9372

Can’t say that some samples weren’t tasted.

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It took awhile to unwrap all the toffees.

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We got the sticks from Michael’s.

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One thing to warn:  The hot caramel is very, very hot (we had a burn).

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But they were oh, so fun to make and tremendously delicious.

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There aren’t many things better than homemade caramel apples.

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