Weeks 15-16 In the Dark, Dark, Wood and the Gingerbread Man

 Weeks 15   & 16


  • In the Dark, Dark, Woods
  • Sounds of Letters Ff and Pp

  • Around the World
  • Cultural Project with Parents
  • Clothing
MathD. Geometry and Spatial Relations

•  Shows understanding of and uses several positional words.

•  Shows understanding of and uses several positional words.

  • Uses/ Demonstrates Spatial Concepts
Social Studies

  • World Around Me
  • Children around the world
Greeting CircleActivity to Unite

CD- Get Ready-Jack  Hartmann Or

(tune: Frere Jacques)

Hello, _____, hello,     _____

How are you? How are     you?

We’re so glad to have     you,

we’re so glad to have     you,

here at school, here     at school.

Activity to Connect

I’m Hiding, I’m Hiding

(Vol.1, #24)

Activity To Commit

Get Your Friends     Attention

Activity to De-Stress

Peek A Phew, Tree Sway     and Stretch

Music and Movement:

NASPE   Standard 1:

Demonstrate   competency in motor skills and movement patterns needed to perform a variety of physical activities



I know traditionally the story In the Dark, Dark Wood is left for Fall around Halloween, but I read it in late November, early December right before break and pair it with the Gingerbread Man. I pair the scenery of the woods to the scenery where the gingerbread runs around in (woods-like). We also talk about where the gingerbread man story is believed to come from women storytellers and piggy back on all the versions cited from Scandinavia, Holland,             Germany, Russia, and Slovenia (very similar). We then talk about cultural differences and similarities and culminate with a cultural feast (Holiday party where everyone brings in something native of their country). I love Miami because I got to have Egyptian, Peruvian, Cuban, Nicaraguan, American, Puerto Rican, Columbian, German, and Argentinian delights! All these cultures in one class!!!!

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After reading the story a few times I print out the words and make a book with each child (this one is my version of course). I have them use as many or few lines from the book as they wish to include in their own versions.

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After the gingerbread man we make gingerbread ornaments (non-edible). I did this recipe with my boys a few years back and they still smell fresh! We then decorate with acrylic squeeze bottle paint I got from Michaels on sale.


Original recipe makes 1 dozen, depending on size


1 cup  ground cinnamon

1 Tbsp ground cloves

1 Tbsp. ground nutmeg

3/4 c  applesauce                                                             

2 Tbsp. glue


  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Mix in the applesauce and glue. Work the mixture with your hands 2 to 3 minutes to form a ball. If mixture is too wet, add more cinnamon. If mixture is too dry, add more applesauce.
  2. Lightly dust a clean surface with cinnamon. Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters, and use a toothpick to make a hole at the top for hanging with a ribbon.
  3. Dry in a slow oven  200 degrees F (100 degrees C) for several hours, or air dry in a sunny spot for 4 or 5 days. When dry, decorate with gingham and/ or  ribbon.


If you don’t have enough cultural variety in your class, assign a country to each child and you’ll be surprised at what you can learn from one another. Embrace and rejoice at the diversity placed on this Earth (not from a boring God that’s for sure)!


“We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God.”   ―   Pope Benedict XVI

Weeks 13-14 Sing a Song


  • Sing A Song
  • Sounds of Letters Mm and   Ss


  • Sorting where things belong (water, land, sea)
  • Hot and cold
  • Sorting clothing
  • Sorting animals

C. Number and Operations

•  Shows beginning understanding of number quantity.   (H.S.13)

A. Mathematical   Processes

•  Begins to use simple strategies to solve mathematical   problems (H.S. 13)

  • Sorting
Social Studies

My Country

Pledge of allegiance

Star Spangled Banner

Greeting Circle

Activity to Unite

CD- Get Ready-Jack   Hartmann Or

(tune: Frere Jacques)

Hello, _____, hello,   _____

How are you? How are   you?

We’re so glad to have   you,

we’re so glad to have   you,

here at school, here at   school.

Activity to Connect

Dancing Hands (Vol.1,   #12)

Activity To Commit

Ask for Help

Activity to De-Stress


Music and Movement:

NASPE   Standard 1:

Demonstrate competency in motor skills and movement patterns needed to perform a variety of physical activities:








I had not been including this but I have a weekly schedule board I made where I write in what we’re working on.




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Vocabulary list and shared reading board.

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These are my computer screens during the next two weeks.

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Classroom library: All about animals.

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Table Toy Area: animal viewer, small animals, animal puzzles, animal playing cards.

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Art Area: animal cutters and letter shapes


We made tiger masks to use as we read the story.

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In the math area I had students sort into items we wear, animals, and items found in the house.

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House Area: Sorting animal puppets into “cages” by characteristics.

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House Area: In the story the tigers take a bath. We practiced good hygiene using baby dolls.



Candy Coated Pecans

We just love these. My boys (the hubby included) love it in salads. I just snack on these all the time.

Candy Coated Pecans


  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2- 1 cup (depending how sweet you like it) packed brown sugar or white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups pecans
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • (optional) sprinkle 1tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp sugar mixture before baking.


1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Grease the parchment.

3. Beat egg whites until foamy. Add brown sugar, water, honey and vanilla extract. Stir until smooth.

4. Mix pecans and stir until coated. Pour the coated nuts onto prepared cookie sheet.

5. Bake until browned, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir at least once half way through.

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Our Lord needs from us neither great deeds nor profound thoughts. Neither intelligence nor talents. He cherishes simplicity.
-Saint Therese of Lisieux

Teacher of the Year!

While at the hospital with my son, I received a text from my boss that stated I had been selected by my school for teacher of the year. In the middle of the real pain I am undergoing I have to recognize I am blessed to work in a great school. I give my students and their families 100% of myself. I relate to my special needs parents now more than ever before. I am so blessed-

“You know well enough that Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love with which we do them.”-Saint Therese of Lisieux

I left a little thank you gift in all the staff’s mailboxes.

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“Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.” –Pope John XXIII

Mockaroni and Cheese

Finally, after much searching I was able to make what closely resembles macaroni and cheese. We needed something to cheer us up after John relapsing. This kids loved it!

Macaroni and Cheese (Sort of:-)


  • 2 cups uncooked macaroni pasta
  • 1/2   cup whole milk (or any unsweetened almond milk/ soy, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp Mrs. Dash onion seasoning (or onion powder)
  • 1 cup cauliflower or/and broccoli


1. Cook pasta according to box directions (most pasta has 0 sodium but some of the new veggie variations have sodium-check labels). I add veggies mid point of pasta cooking and drain along with pasta when done.

2. In a sauce pan add butter and milk. Once melted add all other ingredients and whisk until it thickens.

3. Add pasta to sauce  and veggies.


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“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” – Shel Silverstein

REAL Low Sodium Meat Pizza

My 4 year olds favorite food has always been pizza. We use to go to Miami’s Best which was one of our favorites. Since my son was put on a restricted sodium diet he has not had pizza. I had been researching for over 3 weeks to find something remotely close to a real pizza. I hit it with this one. I can’t begin to tell you how happy this made my boys. John even said it was the best pizza ever! I have to admit I cried. I have tried so hard to have John enjoy the things healthy children enjoy only a better version of it. I am happy we are eating better, truly. John has probably saved us all in the long run and for that I am in a way grateful. So, anyway here is the recipe.

Pizza Crust Adapted From: http://www.insanityisnotanoption.com/2013/10/low-sodium-pizza-from-scratchgood-food.html?m=1

Pizza Crust  (recipe yields 1 – 12″ pizza)


  • 1 1/2 cup bread flour
  • 1 single pack dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp virgin olive oil (keep separated)
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp Mrs. Dash Tomato Basil Garlic Blend
  • 1/2 tbsp Mrs. Dash Garlic Herb Blend
  • 4 garlic cloves minced

For 2 Pizzas

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1  1/2 Tbsp. dry yeast
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 6 Tbsp.  olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 Tbsp. Mrs. Dash tomato basil garlic blend
  • 1 Tbsp. Mrs. Dash herb blend
  • 8 garlic cloves minced
  1. Mix yeast, water, 1 tbsp oil, spice blends, garlic, and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Pour in the flour and mix until blended well. Note: Mixture may be too sticky. If so, just add a little flour and mix until it doesn’t stick to your hands (a little sticky is OK, we’ll get to that in a minute).
  3. Pour 2 tbsp oil in a bowl, roll the dough into a ball, cover it with the oil, cover it with a paper towel, and let stand (5-10 minutes).
  4.  Once your dough has risen, make sure it is coated well with the oil, place it on a foil lined pizza stone or pan, and begin working it into a crust formation. She recommended oiling your hands to work the crust to prevent drying out instead of flour. It worked out great!
  5. Crimp the edges up, put it in the oven for 7 minutes on 375 degrees, take it out and place toppings.
  6. Cook your pizza in the oven for 25-35 minutes on 375 degrees. She recommends trying it on the  grill. I can’t wait to try it! In Florida, we’re always grilling.

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Meat Topping


  • I lb. ground turkey or ground beef
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1/2 bell pepper chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2  Tbsp. ground oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. Mrs. Dash garlic herb seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp. Mrs. Dash onion herb seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp. Mrs. Dash tomato basil
  • 6 whole garlic cloves ( we like it whole but chopped is good as well)


  1. Sautee garlic, bell peppers and onions in  olive oil in sauté pan. For about 5 minutes until onions are translucent but not browned.
  2. Add meat and brown on medium/ low heat. Chop with a flat spatula the into small bits as you cook. Drain any excess water and re-season if necessary (I don’t have to but it depends on how much water is in the meat).




Pizza Sauce

I just make my marinara sauce but instead of using whole can tomatoes I use crushed tomatoes for a thicker sauce.

Yield: 4-6 servings


  • 1 28 oz. can low sodium crushed
  • 5-6 basil leaves
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp Mrs. Dash tomato and basil seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp Mrs. Dash Italian seasoning
  • 1 bunch parsley chopped
  • 4-5 garlic cloves (I’m telling you, we love our garlic in this family)
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp unrefined sugar (optional)
  • 1 carrot stick chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. sofrito (optional)



  • Place everything in a blender (except meatballs)  and eat raw. That’s what I do if I’m pressed for time and want some living food  in my kids.


  • Place everything in a pot and simmer for 1 hour.
  • Cool down.
  • Puree in blender.
  • Add back to the pot and heat meatless meatballs in sauce before serving.



  • cherry tomatoes
  • cilantro
  • parsley
  • 1/4 cup low salt mozzarella (for both pizzas- we are really strict about this. To be honest, the meat sauce was so good the cheese was unnecessary).
  • nutritional yeast sprinkled on top


The pizza prebaked.




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The baked pizzas! YUM! FOR REAL!



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Proverbs 14:1 Homes are made by the wisdom of women.

* So are warm pizzas😉 Tee hee…oh joy!


Nephrotic Syndrome and Life After


As you have read my four year old was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome Aug. 2, 2013. Some of you have asked how I knew, what is the prognosis, and you may be going through this with your child as well. I will continually update on my son on this very same page instead of creating new ones to make it easier to track the progress. Let me start by explaining the syndrome itself according to The National Kidney and Urologic Diseases found here- http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/childkidneydiseases/nephrotic_syndrom/

“Nephrotic syndrome is a set of signs or symptoms that may point to kidney problems. The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs found in the lower back. Each is about the size of a fist. They clean the blood by filtering out excess water and salt and waste products from food. Healthy kidneys keep protein in the blood, which helps the blood soak up water from tissues. But kidneys with damaged filters may leak protein into the urine. As a result, not enough protein is left in the blood to soak up the water. The water then moves from the blood into body tissues and causes swelling.”

John’s Story…

My son had a low grade fever for about 3 days. We decided not to go to the pediatrician since he wasn’t super congested and we weren’t ones to run the the doctor at the first sign of a cold. On the 4th day he was fine but a little swollen around the eyes. My husband thought it was congestion related. However, as the day progressed I went to my fathers house were my boys love to ride their kid sized motorcycles. I noticed his legs were swollen. My father dismissed it and said he was gaining weight. I went home and just could not shake off that strange feeling. I told my husband that I thought it was more than just a congestion. He normally is the worry wart so he said to just take him to the pediatrician if it eased my mind. Well, I took him that same day. By 5 pm when I took him, he had pitting edema on his legs. The doctor left his fingerprints on his legs! I knew something terrible was up. He ran a protein test and said he was excreting it in the urine. I was sent to the ER which I bypassed thanks to my Dr. and 3 days of diuretics (furosemide), albumin transfusions, prednisone and a brief talk with a dietician and nephrologist who said he needed a no salt/ low salt diet later, we were sent home. All the while I am in panic mode because his cholesterol due to this onset was 454! He also has an aortic aneurysm and I was so worried about clotting his arteries.

This was taken in the pediatricians office. He’s a skinny little guy and his ankles were plump.

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This was a picture of him by 8:00pm being admitted.

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Receiving his infusions.

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God was my strength during these times. He sent me my angels in the form of friends and family.

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This was his first week home. Much thinner, dark circles under his eyes and happy to be with his family.

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12 weeks later he was in remission! My little fighter!

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That is what prompted me to start this blog. I left the hospital overwhelmed, confused, uncertain about the future, and just plain scared. I responded in the only way I knew how, trying to help someone else who might be in my situation. We believe diet is the most important preventative measure in this condition. Only time will tell if we are correct.

His nephrologist believes he has minimal change disease although they are not certain until a biopsy is performed and he would rather wait before a more invasive procedure is done. He was placed on prednisone 5ml in the am and 5ml in the pm for 4 weeks. Then, they tapered him off 4 weeks later 5ml in the am every other day. I now know real prayer for the first time in all my life. It has kept me sane and given me strength and allowed us to live the moment not waitanxiously for what lies ahead.

One must not think that a person who is suffering is not praying. He is offering up his sufferings to God, and many a time he is praying much
more truly than one who goes away by himself and meditates his head off, and, if he has squeezed out a few tears, thinks that is prayer.
–St. Teresa of Avila


11/11/13- Three months since onset…

John is undergoing his first relapse. He had a fever over night and we took him the next day to the pediatrician and he had trace amounts of protein. Steadily it has been rising until as of 11/16 he has +4 with no swelling. His nephrologist said to wait unless there is swelling until his appointment on Wednesday, 11/20 with a urine sample from the morning (that is the only time it is collected) and we will discuss if he will have to be started again on prednisone. On the one hand, the diet has helped prevent the swelling but that has not prevented the protein to spill😦 So sad, but prayerful and optimistic.

This is him now during his first relapse.


As soon as we know he is relapsing we start measuring protein  in the morning. weighing him on the same scale as soon as he’s up and taking his blood pressure (he has an aneurysm). I do love him so much and I know every mother feels as I do. I wish I could take this cup from him.

‘When it is all over you will not regret having suffered; rather you will regret having suffered so little, and suffered that little so badly.’ –St. Sebastian Valfre


John has now been placed on prednisone again as of 11/27/13 (Thanksgiving Day). My husband and I are so down but we continue to have faith and hope amidst our pain. He ‘s still leaking protein in the urine. On his first onset he stopped after 4 days of the medication. I’m starting to get worried, but faith and love for my little fighter.  We set up the Christmas tree yesterday and finished decorating just in time to start our advent calendar.

2/11/14- kidney biopsy

Well, because my son is still on prednisolone because every time we take him off he relapses, kidney biopsy there we went. I am happy to report results were that he has minimal change disease, however, steroid dependent.

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Well, I have been through quite a bit in the last two months so I have not written anything for a while. As of tomorrow the doctor would like to try him on an 8 week course of Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan). As he explained, we can not continue to give him corticosteroids for such long times. So, I buckle up for another emotional roller coaster where I’m praying Jesus is my seat mate holding my hand as we hit scary falls and fast curves. Will keep you posted.

As iron is fashioned by fire and on the anvil, so in the fire of suffering and under the weight of trials, our souls receive that form which our Lord desires them to have.–St. Madeline Sophie Barat

Weeks 9-10, To Town

Weeks 9   & 10

Reading/LA/ Skill

  • To Town
  • Hey Diddle, Diddle Nursery Rhyme
  • Syllable Awareness

  • Positions and Motion
  • Body Parts, Body In Motion

F. Geometry and Spatial Relations• Begins to recognize and describe the attributes of shapes. (H.S. 13)

C. Number and Operations

• Shows beginning understanding of number quantity. (H.S.13)

*Color Recognition

Social Studies

  • Transportation
  • Planes, trains and Automobiles
Greeting CircleActivity to Unite: Jack HartmannOr(Tune: “The Mulberry Bush”)

This is the way we start the day,
Start the day, start the day.
This the way we start the day,
So early in the morning.
First we smile and shake a hand,
Shake a hand, shake a hand.
First we smile and shake a hand,
So early in the morning.
Then we sit down quietly,
Quietly, Quietly
Then we sit down quietly,
So early in the morning.
We listen very Carefully,
Carefully, Carefully.
We listen very carefully,
So early in the morning.

Activity to Connect: Peter,Peter Pumpkin Eater (Vol.1,
#2) & Little Miss Muffet (Vol.1, #2)

Activity To Commit: Please and Thank You

Activity to De-Stress: Wheel Roll…Flat Tire

Music and Movement:

NASPE   Standard 1:

Demonstrate   competency in motor skills and movement patterns needed to perform a variety of physical activities





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I add this chair for all my helper “drivers” to help me during greeting circle.


Block Area: I add cars and trucks and ramps that will only be taken out during these 2 weeks we’ll be covering transportation. These were my boys toys at some point or things I find in garage sales.

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Kids Getting Creative in the Block Area

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Computer Area: These are my backgrounds.

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Book Area

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Table Toy Area Additions


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Art Area

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Painting with wheels. This car is off roading, lol.


We made traffic light snacks for fun Friday and watch  a bit of Cars “Maters Tall Tales,” or Chugginton, maybe Thomas (he’ s not that popular around my class this year). I guess next year it will be Planes I can show as well.

I got the idea for the snack here-http://www.theseasonedmom.com/traffic-light-graham-cracker-snacks/

Other great sites:




“Never be so busy as not to think of others.” ―     Mother Teresa,  The Joy in Loving: A Guide to Daily Living    



Weeks 7-8, The Farm Concert

Weeks 7   & 8


  •  The Farm Concert
  •  Little Boy Blue
  • Compound Word Awareness

  • Farm Animals
  • Things that come from animals on a farm.
MathB. Patterns. Relationships, and Functions Recognizes simple patterns and duplicated them.

C. Number and Operations

Shows beginning understanding of number quantity. (H.S.13)

E. Measurement

Orders,compares, and describes objects according to single attributes.

Participates in measuring activities.

Patterns (ABAB, and ABCABC)

Social Studies

  • Country Life
  • All about the farm and farm noises.
  • Compare city and country.
Greeting CircleActivity to Unite: Jack HartmannOr

(Tune: “The Mulberry Bush”)

This is the way we start the day,
Start the day, start the day.
This the way we start the day,
So early in the morning.
First we smile and shake a hand,
Shake a hand, shake a hand.
First we smile and shake a hand,
So early in the morning.
Then we sit down quietly,
Quietly, Quietly
Then we sit down quietly,
So early in the morning.
We listen very Carefully,
Carefully, Carefully.
We listen very carefully,
So early in the morning.

Activity to Connect: Baa, Baa, Black Sheep (Vol.2, #4)

Activity To Commit: Listen/ Follow Directions

Activity to De-Stress: Mooing or Animal Noises

Music and Movement:

NASPE   Standard 1:

Demonstrate   competency in motor skills and movement patterns needed to perform a variety of physical activities

Body Management Balancing


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Computer Backgrounds

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Block Area Ideas

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Table Toy Ideas:

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Book Area:

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Math/ Science Area: Patterns and Food that Comes from Animals. I will include a picture of the chicken and cow I have but I haven’t laminated those. Coming soon.

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House Area- Play Horse, Cowboy hats and scarves

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We watch a video from discovery education on shearing sheep and then I place shaving cream on a ball or white balloon with a sheep face painted on it. They shave it with popsicle sticks.

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We milk cows. I fill up a white glove with water and then open a small hole with a thumb tack on each finger. Kids watch a video on milking cows and during small group time we get to milking.

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After we milk the cows, I serve them milk and cookies.


We also make butter from heavy cream and a jar. However, it takes at least 30 minutes. We filled heavy cream in a baby food jar about half way. Every 5 min. the kids would  turn the jar over or shake it. Eventually, you get butter and you can put it on toast. Kids didn’t love it as much as I did. But, I thought I’d mention it because your class might enjoy it.

Enjoy God’s bounty..

God asks little, but He gives much.-Saint John Chrysostom

Weeks 3- 4: Mrs. Wishy Washy, Jack and Jill

Weeks 3 & 4

Reading/ LA/ Skill

  • Mrs, Wishy Washy
  • Jack and Jill
  • Word Awareness

  • Hygiene
  • Nutrition
MathPre-K Math Checklist and activities to observe students math abilities.
 Social  Studies

  • My School and School Community
  • What is a school?
  • Getting Adjusted
  • Getting to Know Your Teachers
  • School Personnel On a School Tour
  • School Rules
  • Playground Rules
 Greeting CircleActivity to Unite: CD- My School Family-Jack HartmannOr

Name Song: Teacher: I have a name. You have a name. I will call you by your name. Child: I’m ___. That’s my name.

Story:  (Sing a Song of Sixpence)

It’s time to watch and listen,

We’re going to read a book.

We’ll sit down on the rug

And use our eyes to look.

We’ll look at pictures,

And hear the story, too.

Oh, what fun it is to share

This story time with you!.

Activity to Connect: You Touch My Nose (Vol.2, #16)

Activity To Commit: Greet

Activity to De-Stress: Draining, Dish Wring

Music   and Movement:

NASPE   Standard 1:

Demonstrate   competency in motor skills and movement patterns needed to perform a

variety   of physical activities

Loco   motor Skills




GallopingMost of the pictures I have from these weeks I could not crop faces. So I will post websites with activities I use. I will do a better job next year of taking headless shots, lol. http://www.makinglearningfun.com/themepages/MrsWishyWashyPrintables.htm http://www.pinterest.com/chvaltin/preschool-mrs-wishy-washy/ http://www.thevirtualvine.com/mrswishywashy.html         211 IMG_4166

Cleanliness is next to Godliness they say! Mrs. Wishy-Washy sure knows…