Monday, December 2, 2013

Be grateful

During the Thanksgiving season, we like to express our thanks. Each day a person gets to share what they are thankful for and then we write it on a feather for our family turkey. On Thanksgiving day, I then had my daughter and cousins write what they were thankful for. For the little ones, I had them draw a picture and I would add the words to it. 

Small steps for writing. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Integrating Holidays: Independence Day

The kids are getting older and each year, finding activities to help them connect the meaning of the 4th with fun has been a challenge. But there have been great resources.

4th of July is a time of BBQ's, family time, friends, and fireworks. But while you are outside playing, get the kids moving in a USA scavenger hunt or guess game of the founding fathers. A favorite site I go to is I mom.

While it is an education site for lesson plans, this page has activities that have kids focus on the three freedom documents: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. There are also activities that involve students in creating time lines and posters.

America's Freedom Documents

To go along with learning about the documents, i mom has a document you can create with your family.
Two summers ago, we learned about our Founding Fathers with these cards: (you can find more here Founding Father cards)
We also did a savenger hunt with the cards from the I mom website as well.

This has been a wonderful site full of positive activities not just for the Fouth, but for each day. Enjoy and Happy Independence Day!!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Integrating reading: Use your local library

We love our local library. We take advantage of  the activities, free books, and goals they set for summer reading. We are excited for the summer reading program!! Track our reading, bring in our weekly goal sheet for a prize. Sounds good to us. And they are buckets for digging, bugs, and yummy treats. The best part about this trip was that it was Duchess' first trip to the library. She loved it.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Integrating Holidays: Cinco de Mayo

For the history, the WHY, and more reading material, check out a post from last year on this festive Holiday most Americans (Mexican or not) tend to recognize. Click here: Cinco de Mayo.

I see the term on invitations to parties, graduation invites, and sales all around. So, this year because of the business, we celebrated simple in my house.

We learned about the Mexican flag.

Then we compared it to the American flag. We talked about why there are flags, what we do when we say the Pledge, and the colors. Because my child is four, we took the time to make patterns like the Mexican flag with beads. And then of course, we read a new book I found at a Scholastic fair.

Maybe next year I will "spice" it up a bit.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Integrating holidays: St. Patrick's Day

It was fun to hide clues around the house for Diva E. She was quick with the answers and was able to share some "gold". I made large shamrocks and wrote clues that rhymed. The clues would take her to the next room to try and find that leprechaun. As we reached the last clue, I had her look all around while I pulled out the gold and placed it back at the beginning. It was short, easy, quick and fun. I did the set up the night before while she was sleeping.

We may not be Irish, but it is fun to recognize the folklore of other cultures. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Integrating History: President's Day

If you can name all of these guys below, you are amazing. I still get hung up.

Today, buildings are closed.  

 My child asked why? Isn't there only one President? I would be silly to not explain to her the history of it all. Only then, did she look confused.

I luckily had these two books on hand.

That is as far as we have gotten today. 
For the older kids, there are so many other books that would be better for their reading level. These two are my particular favorites:

If anything, challenge yourself and your kids. Take that picture from the top of all the Presidents, add our current President Obama, copy it twice and play the matching game. Add their names for a challenge. Good luck and have a wonderful day off!!

Moment in history:
Last year, the living Presidents got together for this great picture. Isn't it great to live in a country where our leadership can get along and the torch passes peacefully?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Integrating Weather: When Smog attacks

Today's idea was brought to you by my four-year old. The weather the past two weeks, well maybe three, has led commutes to work to look like this:

And signs posted while we drive like this:

Are caused by this:

Needless to say, it has been miserable. Kids haven't been able to play outside and everyone is having some serious cabin fever.

We welcomed a birthday trip to The Treehouse Museum. A place where discovery play, stories, and history meet. It was during that time, we got on the computer to read a few of our favorite Dr. Seuss.

Diva E then asked, where is the Lorax story? The original one? I had no idea, so we moved on. On the way home, she asked : Do we live in Theneedville?

What an interesting text to world connection!

So, we dug out the book: Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs.
We had fun reading it and then got out some play dough to create our own mess of weather.

 Of course if you do a google search, there are many, many activities you could do with this story. One sheet that I had from my teaching days was this gem:

For any age, students could write an extension to the story or re-create the story with their own issues.
I found this site that leads to a plethera of printable activities to keep the fun going.
Either way- have fun and enjoy another snowy, wintry day!!!