Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Children's Christmas Books

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I was so excited to start a new Christmas tradition with the girls! Reading one Christmas story every night leading up to Christmas. Here is a sampling of those we read and enjoyed. 
A Firefighter's Night Before Christmas by Kimbra Cutlip
My girls love this book because it says "firefighter." They love all things firefighter, especially Daddy. Any firefighter family would enjoy the humor and holiday spin of this story.

Room for a Little One by Martin Waddell
Beautiful illustrations. Sweet captivating story of hospitality and love. Held Adalyn's (2 yrs old) attention.

The Story of Holly & Ivy by Rumer Godden
This sweet story was a tad too long for one evening, so we broke it up into two readings. Marin enjoyed this magical story about making wishes. It did NOT hold Adalyn's attention. Lovely illustrations.
The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett
A story that causes self examination. Good lesson in kindness.

The First Night by B.G. Hennessy
This simple book held Coralee's (11 month old) attention. Smooth words, paired with pleasant illustrations. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Hand Print Tree Christmas Cards

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This was our Christmas card for 2012 and what FUN we had creating it! One afternoon we skipped naps to make hand print Christmas trees and another afternoon we splattered a canvas in red and green paint taking pictures with reindeer antlers. That canvas hung on the wall of our family room for a week afterward (ha), but it was worth the effort.

Getting a shot of all three girls at once is an almost impossible feat, so we opted for individual shots of them displaying their age in paint covered fingers. Baby Coralee often holds out her pointer finger as a greeting. We call it her "ET Phone Home" and I was really hoping that she would cooperate, but I ended up having to just chose a photo showing just how beautiful she is (grin).

We did have ONE almost winner photo with all three girls. What's even more funny is to imagine the crazy, silly, chaos happening behind the camera to get these beautiful smiles.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Kindergarten {Our Second Six Weeks}

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Kindergarten ReCap (Our Second Six Weeks)
October 29 – December 14, 2012

We took a week off for the Thanksgiving Holiday. This blog post covers the activities we did during our time off.

Read aloud to the girls: Thanksgiving on Thursday and a Christmas book each day of December.

Completed the second Sing Spell Read and Write kindergarten book “On Track” completing the kindergarten program which included six multi page readers and a variety of reading comprehension evaluations. As well as five “my little story books” each based on a short vowel sound. She’s reading with confidence and her penmanship has improved.

Completed lessons 46 through 57 of “The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading.” The focus was primarily on two-consonant blends adding the letter “s” to words, sight word “of”, and hyphens. Also introduced consonant digraphs. Marin, often reads our bed time stories and is hungry to learn to read.

We completed Lessons 15 through 24 in “First Language Lessons.” Marin memorized the poem “Work” by M.A. Stodart. We covered proper Nouns and Places (common nouns) such as city, state. Performed exercises in story and picture narration.

Completed Lessons 16 through 27 of the Math.U.See Primer book. We lack only three lessons to complete the Primer book. Marin worked on addition plus one and memorization of addition with doubles (1+1 through 5+5). She learned to skip count by 2s, 5s and 10s. Added to the tens and hundreds place. Solved for the unknown. Learned to convert tally marks to numbers and write numbers using tally marks. Introduced addition to 10 and telling time. We supplemented these new concepts with fun dot to dot and skip counting activities.

Finished the Homes and Houses section of “The Usborne book of Living Long Ago.” While reading from this section of the book we built a four poster bed and a model teepee. We were given a paper castle to play with for a week to reiterate the areas of a castle and Marin was able to identify what types of people lived in the structures we read about.
Chose a new Science book for this six weeks. “Usborne Starting Point Science” Volume 1. We covered the first three sections: What makes rain? What makes a flower grown? And Where does electricity come from. The format of this book is similar to the History book and was more specific to Marin’s interests in the world around her.

In her Calendar note book Marin made daily notations on a calendar and learned to write the date with numbers. We are still drilling month/number association. She kept track of the number of days of school numerically and with tally marks. Everyday she practiced writing the Month and charted the weather. She practiced dialing her home phone number and wrote and addressed letters to friends four days a week. We also did a short unit on Veterans day.
We also introduced piano lessons at a very relaxed pace using “Music for Little Mozarts.” We covered the first few lessons introducing terms such a Piano and Forte. As well as covering up and down the piano. Marin learned to play We Three Kings after practicing numbering her fingers.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Painting or Naps?

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I posted this photo on Facebook with the caption "We skipped naps today to paint. I hope I don't regret this decision!" And I can positively say that I don't regret it at all because the adorable tree below was the result of that decision and became the theme for our family Christmas Card. I love the photo above because it captures (beautifully) an average day during the holidays. The girls busy with an activity surrounded by the sparkling glow of Christmas lights. Even Coralee is joining in the fun from her post under the table.

I really dislike nap time as I often feel like a prisoner to the routine. Don't get me wrong, I love the quite time that comes with resting children, but most days the work involved in getting them to nap and the lure of the outside world makes me dread the deed. So, some days we skip. Wish I could say that it always results in inspirational Christmas art, but that's just not reality.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Felt Christmas Tree

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I saw a felt Christmas tree on Pinterest and knew I had to create one for Adalyn. I decided to make it reversible because everything in a house full of girls must be PINK, but I also wanted the option of a traditional green tree. I also designed it to hang on a ribbon that I slipped over a door top wreath hanger, so that it could be moved from room to room. I used brown packing paper to create a template for the tree design. Working with the paper to get a shape I liked before cutting the tree from 72" wide green (and pink) felt. 
All three of the girls enjoy the tree, even baby Coralee. Below, is a free template I created so that you can make your own felt Christmas tree ornaments. The ornaments were embellished using the Martha Stewart craft rick rack sticker borders. Happy felting!


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