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Saturday, February 26, 2011

100 Days of Kindergarten

Monday, February 21st was the day. The 100th day of Kindergarten! We have been counting up to this day from the first day of school (do you remember that we celebrated the Fabulous 50's on the 50th day?...here's the link: http://donna-retirementcountdown.blogspot.com/2010/11/fabulous-50s-day-fun-friday.html). We didn't get to do all the fun stuff we usually do because we had a 2 hour delay, but we still had some fun. This is another of those last events for me. 100's Day has evolved over the years, but I think I have always done something special since I started teaching Kindergarten.
We wrote our numbers to 100...they only have to know them to 20, but I'm an overachiever! As we were writing the numbers to 100 we also made a cool 100 Days crown with 100 stickers! But, I don't have pictures of them because they were too done up as 100 year olds. They took their crowns home to enjoy.
We ran for 100 seconds and did 100 toe touches...harder than they thought. Even me with my chubby little body can put my hands flat on the floor...most of them had to bend their knees to touch their toes. Zumba is good for you!
We made portraits of what we might look like when we really are 100 years old. I drew on the chalkboard as they drew on their papers. They did pretty well, I think. You should have seen their faces when I said, "OK. Good work. Now, wad it up in a ball." HeeHee. We needed wrinkles after all.

Still pretty cute even in their dotage.

We had cotton ball races where they had to blow the cotton balls for 100 inches. Intense!




See the Heart Warming blog about one of my little one's love beyond her years shown during the race.
http://donna-retirementcountdown.blogspot.com/2011/02/heart-warming.html

But the most fun we had was dressing up to look like we were 100 years old. What a hoot. Have a look.




Yep. Check out the glasses, the shawl, the cane, the pearls...they are going to be great at 100!

Here you have the aging beach bum, the gray headed farmer and the woodsman.

She looks so cute, she makes me look good standing beside her!


The front and...
the back!











Great friends having a great time! We've got lots of good years ahead of us,
and it should go smoother now that we have practiced!



And off we go....


Friday, February 25, 2011

Snow or No...

I planned this week's Fun Friday to be a Snowy Day Fun Friday...February in Preston County...snow is a safe bet, right? Oh, no...went to school with about 52 degrees and rain! Snowy Day must go on. Stevie and I brought in lots of winter stuff to measure...skis, poles, sled, snow shoes, boots, shovel, ice scraper...and they did lots of measuring and discussing. Had it been snowy we would have dressed and gone sled riding and had a winter picnic and hot cocoa...oh well.


And then, we read the story, Three Little Kittens Who Lost Their Mittens...mittens being the wintery connection. But then we had the discussion after reading the book about why the kittens had mittens to begin with...it didn't look wintery in the pictures. Maybe they just had cold hands/paws since they have more fur everywhere else. Maybe their mom told them they had to wear them. Maybe they liked what colors they were. Maybe they shaved all the fur off of their hands/paws. Ummm. Maybe.
We made little cat hats and acted out the story. I am always looking for quick evaluations of their acting ability so I can properly cast our Spring Musical. Oh, and they love pretending. It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be fun, and they had a load of fun doing this little short story. Here are a few photos. I seriously have a great job!
We'll have to work on not turning their backs to the audience.
Oh, there are their faces!

Another set of cats...er, cast members.

This group wanted to be in "cat" poses for their picture...well, most of them.



You are smiling, right?

I go home so tired from these Fun Fridays...but it is such a good tired! Oh, and by the end of the day? SNOWING, blowing and about 12 degrees! Gotta love winters here in Preston County.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Simplest Things....

Yesterday, in an attempt to have some fun practicing math facts...I have an aversion to worksheets...I reinvented the fishing for facts game since we are studying Oceans and Islands and such as this year's theme.  I wrote numbers on the back of cut out fish, put a paper clip in front and had yardstick fishing poles with a magnet hanging from the fishing line...Mrs. Bayles did a fine job making these.  We had 2 poles, so 2 people fished at a time and then they took their two fish numbers to the table and wrote the problem inside a fish, of course, and solved using Touch Math dots.  They LOVED it!  They were hugging and thanking and saying, "I love this game!"  Game?  What game?  We're doing math here!   Teehee.  It was so much fun we played it again today and everyone still loved it!  Here are some photos to make it more real to you...enjoy!









       Serious fisherpersons!

Sometimes learning and fun can be so confusing!  Gotta love it when that happens...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Heart Warming

This is just a quick story from 100'sDay while we wait for the pictures on the whole story.
While we were having the cotton ball race, one of the little ones who doesn't take losing or correction of any kind very well, lost...of course.  Major melt down.   When it was her turn to race again, we took lots of time re-explaining how it needed to be done to be successful...she was not convinced nor very interested in trying again, but it was that whole get back on the horse thing, so she got to the line and laid her cotton ball down.  She did much better this time and even won, BUT that is not the story.  Here is the story:  the little one she was racing against, ever so carefully fiddled about and waited unobtrusively to blow her cotton ball until the struggling child had advanced hers and she never blew hers hard enough to get ahead.  And she was good at it...I'm sure the other child had no idea she was letting her win because she knew she needed to win.
Wow.  Right?  Heart warming moment that brought tears to my eyes...can't wait to tell her mother.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Flamingo Sighting!

At the end of our first really spring like day...not to be confused with actual spring...I went for a drive out to Shangri La Ti Da (where we are building our retirement home) to see how it had survived most of the winter.
One of the fruit trees has been flattened by the deer.  Really, laying on the ground flattened!  One of the others looks a bit nibbled and the other one looks fine.  The bees had a couple of guards at the door of the hive and when I looked in the back, there was action inside.  Yea!  The arborvitae look pretty good and the tarp was happily flapping on the foundation!
At the top of the driveway, the flamingos have landed and taken a stand...

And this is the view from the top of our property looking north east...can't wait to live here!

Presidential Fun Friday

We had Presidential Fun Friday today because up until 3 days ago we were to have Monday, President's Day, off, but executive decisions have been made and we will be having school to make up for a snow day. Whatever. Now I will have Hundred's Day on Monday and all will be well.
So, we learned about Abe and George. Abe is a favorite with us here in WV because he signed us into statehood. The kids learned facts...but until the very end of the day, had trouble telling who was who from a photo/picture/drawing. They could tell you lots of facts, but then called George Abe or Abe George. I think we got it figured out in the end. Here are the cute photos of the cute kids in their cute hats for each of the presidents. Enjoy...
We also made necklaces with actual real quarters (Washington) and pennies (Lincoln). You should have heard their plans for spending all that money!

What can I say? Oh, well, I got my hair cut short, but you can't really tell in this photo, with the hat and all...


So, all this discussion of things presidential reminded me of two funny stories.
When I did this lesson with 2nd graders, that had to "show what you know" by writing about each of the presidents. One of them, that I still have hanging on my refrigerator, says this:
"When Abraham Lincoln was a boy he lived in a log cabin. When Abraham Lincoln grew up he got married and moved to a Gettysburg address. Then he became president. Abraham Lincoln never lied."
Don't you LOVE that??? To a 2nd grader an address is somewhere you live, not a speech.
Another time, when I was teaching 4th grade and we were studying the Revolutionary war we discussed how the colonists were taking on the best trained and equipped army of the time with nothing but clubs, farm tools and hunting rifles. At the end to "show what you know" they took sides and had a debate. At one point one of the "colonists" said, "We should get a lot of respect because we beat that fancy army using nothing but golf clubs." Evidently all clubs are golf clubs!

See? History can be fun! Remember to be proud to be an American on Monday and every day!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Blue Whales and Whale Sharks, Oh My!

Just to remind you, our theme this year is Oceans and Islands.  We finished our time in Australia with a stint as pirates and now we are sailing off to Japan.  As we cross the open ocean we are studying the wildlife that lives there...well, not all of it, but whales and sharks for now.
We measured the actual length of the blue whale - 100 feet, and the whale shark - 60 feet.  I do believe that the blue whale is the biggest mammal and the whale shark is the biggest fish.  Did you know one of the littlest sharks is only about 6 inches long?  We had to go out in the hallway of course and it was a bit amusing to watch the other classroom doors shut as we made our way down the hall, which is only about 120 feet altogether.  We weren't being THAT loud, but we were having more fun than "regular" class.  Oh well.
We had drawn and colored 1:20 scale models of both creatures...you can read the kid conversation about my artistic ability in this post -
http://donna-retirementcountdown.blogspot.com/2011/02/overheard-conversations.html
The next step was to stuff them and get them glued shut...here we go.

Stuffed...

and glued...TEAMWORK!



They were pretty impressed with the results.



We spent time in two different groups learning many facts about sharks and whales and making a book for each group.  At the end of the day we had a little contest.  I divided them into two groups and they just had to tell a fact for their team - Sharks or Whales.  We wrote them all down and posted them in the water behind the hanging creatures.  In the short game time (20 mins.) they came up with 23 facts for each team.  I love a tie!  Everyone is a winner. 


We used the facts to write form poems for each creature as a follow up.

Next, comes some of the other creatures of the open ocean and the levels of the ocean and stuff like that,  until we reach Japan. 
ps.  I finally took down the beautiful hanging snowflakes, seen in the photo above where they are holding the whale, but I'm still hoping for some snow!  Did I tell you that the snowflakes were what we did for Christmas gift exchange?  They are. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Dinner With My Valentine

My little husband and I eat out so often, or eat seperately so often, that eating together at home is a real treat.  Tonight we cooked together and ate together and chatted together...yep, this is why I got married!  Love my little husband for ever and always...
Dinner was served on my lovely Fiesta dishes - pink and red, of course!  I might have included something green, but the little husband picked corn instead of peas!  It was tasty and I will be going right to bed (or you can call it my art studio, if you prefer) to sew up a Whimsical Woolie, with at least 3 or 4 of the furries with me,  while I listen to the Mountaineers play basketball and my little husband practice his banjo...love this kind of evening!
Appetizer course...
Main course....
And dessert!

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you...my friends, who check in here from time to time.  Hope you got to share some love with someone special today!