Friday, May 23, 2014

Five for Friday May 23

I'm linking up with Kacey from Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!
Last Saturday was a perfect day with my girls!  We started off bright and early.  Ellie came down and we fueled up with some Dunkin Donuts coffee.  Of course.  Then we were off to our yearly trip to the Tioga Terrace Garage Sales.  This is my Christmas in May.  Every year we look forward to it.  Tioga Terrace is a wonderful neighborhood with about 750 homes- and every year they have a neighborhood garage sale. Thousands of people come, and it is like a treasure hunt.  This year, I did find some Melissa and Doug puzzles- for a quarter each!  WHAT?!   (I gave her a dollar, because really... ) I got a few other little things for my class, too.  I am out of room in there, and know enough not to turn into a hoarder- so I didn't get many school things.  We all found some fun things and a great time.

Every year the girls get Matt something strange. It's their mission.  We were thinking back to at least 5 or 6 years of what we found for him.  This was their contribution this year.  What a lucky brother.
ET mug- who doesn't need one?
 This paper mache' guy with tiny ankles. 

Then, at night, Ellie took Emily (for her graduation) and me( for Mother's Day) to this painting class at Wine and Design. WHAT a great time we had!  Matt and Ellie took us to dinner first.  Oh what fun memories that day!
Here were the other new friends we met in the class.

Here are our finished paintings. I love how they are all different.  My little leaves sort of took on a Christmas light look.  (Try not to focus on my hair- what is going on?!)

One of my FAVORITE Writing Mentor Texts is The Jolly Postman.  It seems like as I am reading it, the children are already thinking what notes they want to write and include in their stories before they even start!

 This is from Amazon:
The Jolly Postman goes from home to home in a fairy-tale kingdom, delivering letters to such familiar addresses as "Mr. and Mrs. Bear, Three Bears Cottage, The Woods." Every other page is an actual envelope, with a letter tucked inside. The letter to the three bears, for instance, is from Goldilocks, who apologizes for the trouble she's caused and invites Baby Bear to her birthday party. Some authors would stop with this cute concept, but the Ahlbergs have given this book their all. The story of the postman's travels is told in charming verse; the pictures are delightful, full of clever detail; and the results are frequently hilarious. (The wicked witch of "Hansel and Gretel" fame, for instance, receives a circular from Hobgoblin Supplies Ltd. which advertises such appealing products as Little Boy Pie Mix.)

The children loved the story, but most of all, they were taken with  the envelopes and real letters tucked inside.  I did condense the story a bit, because some of it was a little wordy for my kids- and in one part someone gives the postman champagne which I left out, too...  but the book is just a clever, sweet idea.

Reading this story was my entire mini lesson- no need for anything else but this on each table (along with scissors to cut tiny note size papers for the envelopes and glue sticks to stick on envelopes):
and LOTS of this:

The children were so busy and so focused, I didn't even interfere today. I just let them go so they could get their ideas down and create.
She's way ahead of me- thinking of Father's Day!  Bless her heart.

This book will be a keeper!
She wrote notes to all of her kitties.

 This story was about a jolly dog who loved to joke. It made me laugh!

I posted about our love of Letting it GO in my classroom. 
You would think none of us in that room would have a care in the world if you judged us on the number of times we sang about, talked about, or wrote about Letting it Go.  Sometimes I just need to let those words sink in because...
They really aren't.  
Anyway, I shared some ideas of ways I try to help me the children realize that.

I also found one more version of the song that made me smile.  It's even better if you close your eyes. Do it.  You'll feel just like your favorite Disney friends are singing along with you.

My sweet Sandy from Kinder-Gardening shared some fabulous ideas for dandelions- and this wish jar was one of them.  I went right out and made one for me.  My sweet husband just mowed down about a MILLION wishes- so I actually had to go down the road to find some.  I just loved this idea. 



Today was Grandparents' Day at our school.  Grandparents visit their grandchild's classroom for an hour before lunch, and then go to the gym to have a special lunch with the child.  I always get nervous planning for this day, and then when I am in the moment, I always wonder why.  The grandparents are so relaxed and happy.

I had one little guy who didn't have grandparents come because they were out of town.  Sometimes a parent or older sibling will come instead.  Today, this little guy was my helper. At the end of the day, he said it was the BEST Grandparents' Day EVER- so I guess he was happy with the way things turned out. Although at first, this morning on the rug when he told me they couldn't come and was sad, sad, sad,  I said (trying to be nice), "I will be your grandmother for the day!" To which he replied a blood-curdling, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" The other kids were sort of speechless. Then I made a face and everyone laughed. So I told him I would really need a helper  (instead of me being the grandma), and life was so much better for everyone.  Phew.

We had 32 grandparents in our classroom (which is crowded with just the 18 of us).  But it worked out just fine. My face was as red as the ladybugs, and I thought it was going to rain in there because it was so humid, but it was fine.  We played Sparkle and I Have, Who Has as they arrived. Once everyone was there, we sang a few songs.  We voted and came up with My Favorite Things, My Mother is  Baker, and Let it Go.  Of course.  So precious. Except the boys got SHY- and all of a sudden it sort of looked like, "WHY is she punishing those poor boys making them sing Let it Go?!" Oh my.

We have had a week of Eric Carle, so I thought it would be fun for the grandparents to do some projects with the children.  We did some centers.

We painted grouchy ladybugs.  I sprayed them with clear gloss once they dried so they can be put outside in the garden. These made me laugh because I'm pretty sure the grandparents let them do these all by themselves!
These were from last year once I sprayed them.
We colored and painted fireflies with glow in the dark paint.

We decorated houses for hermit crab, which I didn't get a good picture of... because I totally lost my camera there for a while.  That is so me.

On the rug, the children each read 2 stories they chose to their grandparents and showed them their stories in their writing folders.  Everyone wrote a special story for their grandparents ahead of time, too.

We gave each grandparent a lupine that we planted when we read Miss Rumphius- and The Tiny Seed. 

We finished up reading Grandpa's Slippers- a perfect story for the day.
The children ate with their grandparents in the gym, which was decorated so beautifully.  And then they could go into the cafeteria and dress up for the Photo Booth with their grandparents.  They all LOVED that part.

I think everyone had fun.  I'm still tired.

Have a wonderful weekend!  Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Gee, great ideas. I may use them for Grandparent's Day next fall. I think your right the grandparents probably did let them decorate their own ladybugs. TY

  2. Your Grandparent's Day was spectacular. Those kids and their grand parents will always remember the special day. I love when they come to school because it is all about the kids. You are right the older people are more relaxed!

    I also love you poster "Some Things are not Important!" Again, you are so right. Don't sweat the small stuff. It doesn't matter anyway.

    I remember my daughter having the postman book and loving opening all those tiny letters. Great little story and fun!

    Thanks for sharing!
    Teachers Are Terrific!

  3. Gosh Carolyn... I'm exhausted just reading about your Grandparents Day! We do one too, but nowhere near as busy as yours.

    I {love} The Jolly Postman! I am definitely going to steal your idea of having the kidlets create notes adn letters in their writing. :)

    Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep!

  4. My Kinders have been singing "Let it Go" all year as well. We have watched every YouTube video we could featuring ANYTHING from Frozen

  5. Your painting came out beautiful! I have always wanted to do one of those! I love the dandelion jar and your grandparents day looked busy, but super fun! I love your little ladybug rocks! Have a nice long weekend! :)


  6. Wow what an awesome Grandparent's day! My school doesn't do a Grandparent's day, but back a few years ago when I long term subbed in a kindergarten class we had Special Person's day and I remember being SO very nervous! I wish I'd have had your fabulous ideas back then!

  7. I want to go to the yard sale and painting class with you and your girls. I'm jealous! Grandparents are the best, aren't they? They are so happy to be with their grandchildren! I love the lupins and the little picture cups. I'm spending hours painting heart shaped rocks this weekend and should have just let the kids paint them! Silly me! Have a great weekend, Carolyn!


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