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Friday, August 30, 2013

Sharing Saturday 13-34

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Thank you to all of you who shared with us last week and to those who came to be inspired by the amazing ideas shared! If you haven't had a chance to visit them, you should!! I know I am exciting to try out some of the activities.

Now that the end of August is upon us, I have decided I cannot pretend summer is not ending anymore. Well the end of August and Hazel starts school this coming week. So, in honor of her school starting, I figured I would feature a few of my favorite back to school posts from last week (there were quite a few, but I just picked three to share with you).




1) From For the Love of Spanish: Back to School en Espanol // School Supply Flashcards in Spanish
2) From Rubber Boots and Elf Shoes: How to Build a Classroom
3) From Jelly Fish Jelly: Notebook Handbag

Here are a couple of my favorite non-school posts. Ok, Hazel would LOVE both of these!!



1) From Making Memories with Your Kids: DIY Lipstick made with Crayons
2) From We Made That: DIY Washer Necklaces

Then we had two posts about postcards. Since they were on an unusual topic, I figured I would share them with you!
1) From Wesens-Art: Video Cases for Storage
2) From The Crafty Scientist: Louisiana Postcard Art

Thank you to everyone who shared last week!! I hope you will join us and share again!! If you are featured here , please feel free to grab a featured button to display proudly on your blog. 

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This week we shared some great DIY party crafts and reviewed Shindigz Party Supplies, shared our second Donald Crews book for Virtual Book Club for Kids, shared an Algerian Snow White, shared some great books for math lessons in nature, shared our homemade xylophone and shared a great story on friendship for Flamingo Friday.




 



We have some exciting things coming up this week!! I cannot wait to share my post on Sunday with you, so I hope you will stop by tomorrow!


 


Now for This Week's Party  
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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Flamingo Friday--Fish and Flamingo: A wonderful story of an unusual friendship


Today I am going to share a book Hazel and I have been enjoying. It is a tale of an unusual friendship between a flamingo and a fish. The book is called the Fish and Flamingo and is written by Nancy White Carlstrom. The two became friends and talked every day about their lives. One day the flamingo tells the fist about flying at sunrise and the beautiful pink sky. The fish tells the flamingo about coming to the surface of the water at night time and seeing the glowing stars. Each wishes to show their friend the beauty they have seen, but do not know how to do it since the friend is not awake at the correct time.

One day the flamingo tells the fish that she will be leaving with her flock the next day. She tells him to be at the same spot at the same time the next day since she will be flying overhead and will wave to him. The fish is so excited and he tells all his friends and has them come with him. 

At the time the flamingo flies over with her flock, the fish and his friends look up and see a pink sky. The fish thinks that his friend has found a way to show him the sunrise and finds it so beautiful. The flamingo looks down and sees many fish and as the sun comes out the silver on each fish sparkles and the flamingo thinks the fish is giving her the gift of seeing the stars. 

Neither friend knows that they have given their gift to one another, but they both feel so honored that the other has.

For this book, we tried out soft pastels. Hazel immediately drew a sun and I suggested we draw the sunrise. She and I added pink and smudged it all together. Then I worked on the ocean. I made it blue and then added some silver. The silver did not shine enough, so we added some glitter glue to be the fish showing the flamingos the stars. I loved how it came out and how well it goes with the story.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Making Musical Instruments--Homemade Xylophone


We found a fun book at the library. In Nifty Thrifty Music Crafts by Felicia Lowenstein Niven has wonderful ideas to take recycled objects and make music. Many of the ideas are familiar, but some have new twists. Hazel cannot wait to make a ukulele, but we need to finish our box of cereal first. This book also has rhythm blocks, panpipes, finger cymbals, colonial drum, American Indian clapper, tambourine, rain stick, maracas and a ukulele. We are definitely going to try the ukulele at some point. I also like the rhythm blocks, but we will see. Anyway we started with the xylophone. 

Now we have a xylophone, but making one is part of the fun of the homemade one. To make one you need empty jars, a wooden stick (chopstick, pencil or a stick) and water. You can also have food coloring--Hazel will tell you this is one of the best parts.
You fill the jars with different amounts of water and can add food coloring to each one. We made different colors in each one and tried mixing colors to practice what colors would make the secondary colors. We used different jar sizes, but they could all be the same.
Then you hit the jars with the stick to play it. Hazel had the best time experimenting. She tried hitting the sides where the water was, the sides where the water was not and the tops. Then she asked if we could put the lids on. Apparently I did not take a picture of this, but in this picture you can see the lids all around.
With the lids on she hit the sides and the lids to see if they made different sounds. She had so much fun with this activity. She did not want to dump it out so she could play for Daddy. She also asked if we could do it again. My little musician is always happy making music.
Needless to say, we will be doing this again. I think she liked the homemade one better than her store bought one.

Math Lessons: Math in Nature


Today I am sharing some books to combine math with nature. Now as a math teacher I know the importance of seeing math everywhere. It allows the student to really see why mathematics was invented. People needed to understand the world around them and mathematics helped them do this. 

The first obvious lessons involve recognizing shapes all around. This is easy to do on an outdoor adventure/nature walk. Depending on the age of the student, have an appropriate list of shapes--both two- and three-dimensional ones. Make sure to introduce what each shape is ahead of time. The next obvious thing to do is to look for patterns. Several of the books I am sharing today will help with this as well. 
The first book, Swirl by Swirl Spirals in Nature by Joyce Sidman. This book does not really have math in it, but recognizes the beautiful spirals in nature. Combined with other lessons, it will fit in nicely. This book is nice because it shows animals sleeping in spiral shapes and not just the typical spirals one thinks of.
The second book goes nicely with the first. Growing Patterns Fibonacci Numbers in Nature by Sarah C. Campbell. This book is a lovely introduction to the Fibonacci Numbers: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, ... The pattern to the Fibonacci Numbers is to add the two previous numbers to get the next one. The amazing thing about Fibonacci Numbers is how they seem to appear in nature over and over. Campbell uses photographs to show this in many situations. At the end of the book there is a short expansion page with information about Leonardo Fibonacci, the mathematician as well as other topics that often are discussed with these wonderful numbers including the golden ratio and the golden spiral. For older students it would be very easy to expand on these with minor research.
The third book, Recognizing Pattern in Nature by Tony Hyland, is about a class who visit a camp in the woods and their explorations with nature and patterns. It is actual activities and problems to do with them. It of course ends with an activity on Fibonacci. All three of these books tie in nicely together. This one is better for grade school children versus preschool, but can be altered for younger children.

The final book is Right in Your Own Backyard: Nature Math published by Time Life for Children as part of the I Love Math series. This book is for older children (grades 1-4 I would guess), so we did not spend much time with it. It includes lessons on estimating large numbers, classifying, patterns, shapes and lines, charts and measurements, symmetry, deductive reasoning, time, and operations (addition, subtraction and multiplication). The book has beautiful photographs with each lesson and really brings the concepts down to the level of the child.

There are also many ideas for activities on line. Here are a few I found.
So that is our math lesson for this week!! I hope you will get your kids outside and learning some math and nature!




Monday, August 26, 2013

Donald Crews Part 2: Ten Black Dots

We have a winner!! Congratulations to Doreen W. for winning the Room on the Broom DVD!
Today I am going to share our second book for this month's author in the Virtual Book Club for Kids. This month's author is Donald Crews. Last week we shared Carousel. This week we are going to share Ten Black Dots. If you do not know anything about the Virtual Book Club for Kids, you can check out my post last week or click the button on the left which will take you to the Book Club's Facebook page.

This book goes through what one black dot can make all the way up to what ten black dots can make. We discussed our own ideas. We thought one could be a smiley face. Two could be bicycle wheels. Three could make a Mickey Mouse (or Minnie Mouse as Hazel is sure to add). We stopped at three though. 

For one month this summer, the children's librarian at our public library read this book each week for the preschool story time. We only made it to two of them that month. We went to the first and second ones. At the first one she read the book in a normal fashion. Then she gave the kids pictures to color with spots to fill in with dot stickers. We capitalized on this idea and did several of these. Actually this has been Hazel's independent activity each morning when she wakes up while I get to sleep a bit later.
I gave her the letters of her name. I got the letters from Childcareland.com. However I found them at Simply Montessori with the link there to download them. She started doing those in patterns. I gave her corn (one of her favorite foods) and some other pictures. The birthday cake came from Dot Marker Printables. The corn and tree came from DLTK Kids. I also found these wonderful ones of the Disney Princesses on The Activity Mom.

Now I gave her dot stickers, her dot markers and then we also punched some paper out. I had intended for us to make our own black dot pictures, but we never did. We did however make an apple tree.
Hazel colored the tree and then glued on the red dots we had punched out.

The second week of the story time, the librarian read the story backwards--starting with ten. The project was to make a paper watermelon slice (half a paper plate colored and then a semicircle of construction paper glued on) and count out ten small black beans for the seeds. The Watermelon Counting Game is to be played with a friend. The friend chooses a number between one and ten and you have to put that many seeds on your watermelon.

So that is what we did with Ten Black Dots. I know there are many more things you can do. Several of them are here and there are even more if you Google them. Now here is the blog hop. If you have an activity, craft, etc. to go with a Donald Crews book, add it here!

Fairy Tales in Different Cultures--Arabian Snow White

Although it has been hard to find different versions of Snow White, I found one called More Beautiful Than the Moon from Algeria. I found an English version of this story in Tales Arab Women Tell by Hasan M. El-Shamy. Now this is more of a resource book than a story book, and this story did not lend itself as well to reading to Hazel. First I will give you a small amount of information on Algeria.
From Google
Algeria is officially The People's Democratic Republic of Algeria. It is in Northern Africa. It consists of 48 provinces and 1541 communes. It is the 34th most populated country in the world. It is the tenth largest country in the world and the largest in Africa and the Mediterranean. The capital is Algiers which is also the most populated city in Algeria. 
From Google

Algeria has a long history. There were hominid remains found from 200,000 BC. For several centuries Algeria was under Roman rule. In the mid 7th century the Muslim Arabs conquered Algeria and many of the locals converted to the new faith. Algeria also has a history of pirates who attacked Christian and non-Muslim ships. Then the French took over Algeria in 1830. In 1962 Algeria gained its independence.

Algeria's economy is dependent on petroleum. They have struggled to find other forms of income. With its long history of various groups ruling it, Algeria has a variety of Ethnic groups. The major one is the Berbers. The Berbers are the indigenous ethnic group of Algeria and are believed to be the ancestral stock on which elements from the Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Turks as well as other ethnic groups have contributed to the ethnic makeup of Algeria. Berbers are divided into many groups based upon languages. (Source) Now onto our story.



The story is about a beautiful woman who was very vain. She would talk to the moon each night and ask, "Oh, moon is there someone prettier than me?" The moon would answer, "I am pretty but you are prettier than everyone." Then the woman became pregnant and gave birth to a daughter who was named Lalla Ayshah el-Khdrah. The daughter was very beautiful and grew more so every day.

The mother went to the top of her house and asked the moon her question. This time the moon answered, "I am pretty and you are pretty, but Lalla Ayshah el-Khdrah is prettier than everyone. The mother was filled with jealousy and asked the moon if she should kill her. The moon told her to wait until she was weaned from breast milk. When this happened, the mother again asked the moon her questions getting the same answer. The moon told her to wait for another milestone and this continued until Lalla Ayshah el-Khdrah knew how to cook, clean and sew and was old enough to get married and have children. The moon then told the mother to kill her or the moon would kill the mother.

The mother paid the butcher in jewelry to kill her daughter. The butcher took the jewelry but could not kill the innocent girl. He left her in the woods to let God decide what would happen to her. Then he killed an ewe and filled a flask with its blood for the mother. She drank the blood.  Meanwhile, Lalla found a cave to hide in away from all the animals. When the mother asked the moon, it replied, "I am pretty and you are pretty, but no one is prettier than you." The moon answered this way since Lalla was sleeping in the cave--underground.

When Lalla woke up, she heard seven ogres eating meat from a carcass of an animal. She remained hiding. One of the ogres said he smelled human blood. They searched but could not find anyone. When they were all asleep, Lalla snuck out for a little food and drink and then went back into her hiding space.

When the ogres awoke the brother again said he smelled human blood and noticed some of his food and drink was gone. They searched again, but could not find anyone. Then they yelled that if someone was there, they would not harm the person. When Lalla came out they were stunned by her beauty and said she was their sister. She would cook and clean for them and they would give her whatever her heart desired. She cleaned them up and discovered they became human again. They moved into the forest and she was very dear to them all. In fact they all began to fall in love with her.

Meanwhile, her mother asked the moon again her questions. She was in shock to learn Lalla was still alive.  She was so angry and jealous the mother dropped dead.

The brothers had all fell in love with Lalla and each wanted to marry her. She found a trick to not marry any of them. Then the cat and Lalla got into a fight and the cat put the fire out. She had to go to an ogress house to get a flame. The ogress gave her a flame but also ashes that dropped so she could follow the girl home. While Lalla was sleeping and the brothers were not home, the ogress went in and put seven needles into Lalla's head. The brothers returned thinking she was dead. They put her body on a horse and let it carry her through the forest. A prince was out hunting and found her. He fell in love with her, but the king insisted she must be buried. The undertaker discovered the needles and removed them and Lalla woke up, but was unable to talk. The prince insisted on marrying her. Soon Lalla became pregnant and gave birth to a son.

Years passed and the boy grew up and was playing in the garden. Some of his friends teased him about his mother having no relations and he went to his mother and cried about it. For the first time she was able to speak and told her son to tell his father that he wants to see his seven maternal uncles. This happened and Lalla, her son and soldiers and servants went to look for her brothers. She glimpsed the seven walking in sorrow and sent the soldiers to get them. She invited the brothers to dinner. At dinner her son asked her tell him a story and she told him the story of her life. Her brothers realized who she was and embraced her. Then they went to the house of the ogress and killed her. In her house they found seven maidens whom they saved and married. They all lived with the prince and Lalla.

Since I did not read the story to Hazel, I did not do any crafts for this one. Sorry!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Shindigz Party Supplies & DYI Ideas Review


Disclosure: I was given a gift certificate to purchase the items I share here. All opinions are my own.

Now those of you who have been following know how excited I get for Hazel's birthday. I tend to go overboard with the party. I jumped at the opportunity from Shindigz Party Supplies to be given a gift certificate to review some of their DIY Supplies. Now Hazel's birthday is not until December and we often have the party in January--well New Year's Day. This year we are planning on the big family and family friend party then and doing a half birthday party for her school friends (and friends her own age). 

Hazel and I sat down at the computer and went through all the birthday party ideas on Shindigz's site. Now as we were looking at them, many of them she said she wanted, but when she had to choose, it came down to a Minnie Mouse/Daisy Duck (and possibly Mickey's Clubhouse) party and a flamingo party. Since she is known to change her mind, I figured I would do mostly generic things for this review.  Here is what we bought.

The only things absolutely having to do with her themes are the Minnie Mouse watercolor paint boards as favors (I bought 3 packages of them) which were on clearance and a jointed flamingo cut out. Let's face it with Hazel's love of flamingos, this can be used for so many things. Now the hardest part of this for me was trying to figure out what to get with my gift certificate. My order including shipping could not be over the amount in order for me to use it and I had so many great ideas. The other thing I bought because it was on clearance is the mini gingerbread cutouts. I got these for an activity at church I am helping plan. Since we are displacing the gingerbread houses that are on display every year, we thought we would mark where we are moving them to with some cutouts like these and the price was too good to pass up. Everything else I ordered was to try one of their crafts or put my own twist on them.

I ordered five of the votive holders so I could decorate them for her parties. She is turning five this year.  I loved their idea of the DIY Pink Dazzle Round Votive Holder. I bought the light pink dazzle glittered ribbon for the bow.
DIY Pink Dazzle Round Votive Holder
From Shindigz
I did not use glue on mine yet, so my bow is not perfect on it. I know it will be great at the Minnie Mouse party though. I am thinking I will use battery-operated tea lights or votives in these.
Now I also was inspired by many of their other candle options. In particular I love their DIY Glitter Snowflake Votive Candle Holder. Since we are not having a snow/winter theme to our party, this wouldn't work. I changed it to be polka dots with the embellishment being a heart button (I bought a package on clearance ages ago) and a Minnie Mouse and/or Daisy Duck sticker. I bought the polka dot ribbon for this as well as the washi tape. For the washi tape I bought two shades of pink and the purple (for Daisy). I loved how easy the washi tape was to use for this.
After playing with these. I sat Hazel down to ask which was going to be the kids party and which was going to be the family and family friends party. She decided she wanted the Minnie Mouse/Daisy Duck to be for her age friends and the flamingo party for the adult one. So I took all of my decorations off and went with the DIY Pink Tulle Votive Candle idea.
DIY Pink Tulle Votive Candle
From Shindigz
I thought this would be a better look for the flamingo party, so I did all five in this. I bought two colors of the 6-inch pink tulle (pink and hot pink), so I made some of each. I also plan to use the tulle to decorate the doors and possibly any thing for the tables. I also have the tulle we used for decorating for the princess party last year, so I can use that again this year.

I may try to find some flamingo embellishments to put on the bows. We'll see if I can find any.
DIY Spider Web Ball Jars
From Shindigz
The final product I bought was the cobwebs to make this Halloween decoration. Hazel and I just finished reading Charlotte's Web for the second time, so I thought she might enjoy this one for that as well. I quickly just threw this one together to show you, but plan to redo it with Hazel closer to Halloween. Now I used a recycled jar and I know we have the spiders in our Halloween supplies, but the cobwebs had some in with it, so I used those.
Now there are some decorations and favor ideas I hope to make for the parties, but have not yet. One is the DIY Pink Tulle Poms. I have the tulle to make them already.
DIY Pink Tulle Poms
From Shindigz

I also love these lollipop favor displays, but since the party is not until December or June, I thought it was too early to try this yet. I chose to share the princess themed ones, but they have many different themes.
DIY Princess Lollipop Display
From Shindigz
Now I considered ordering some of the personalize things like the stickers and banners, but decided with the software I have I can make them myself and did not want to lose the chance to try some new things. I also wanted to spend this money on things I might not allow myself to buy otherwise. I also have to say how quickly my order came (less than one week) and how easy it all was. Plus they send you entertaining emails when you place an order and when your order is shipped. They are not the same boring emails most companies send. So next time you are planning a party, I hope you will stop by Shindigz and check out what they have to offer. I know I plan to order more from them for these parties! Stay tuned for more on them as we get closer!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Sharing Saturday 13-33



Thank you to everyone who shared with us last week and who visited the wonderful posts shared!! I know I was amazed at all the great ideas. If you missed any of the 50 posts shared, go back and be inspired. There are still summer inspirations as well as back to school ones and so much more was shared!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Flamingo Friday--First Day of School Jitters with a Flamingo Book


Today we are sharing a book by Jamie Harper, Miss Mingo and the First Day of School. Now the teacher of the class is the only flamingo in the book, however this is a fun book with many interesting animal facts. Miss Mingo's class consists of many animals including an ant to an elephant and a giraffe. Plus she even has a narwhal and an octopus. The theme of the first day of school is to tel what makes you special. Miss Mingo starts with how she eats upside down and her food makes her pink. Slowly the students begin to share something special about themselves and warm up to each other. The day ends with a pool party in pelican's pouch and using giraffe's tongue as a slide. 

This book is a fun reminder how each of us is special in our own way. I know many students and teachers are anxious about the first day of school each year. I know Hazel is extra anxious since we are switching her school. This book shows how many are shy and that is all right and if you open up and are yourself you will have fun.

To go with this book, I made up a little memory game. Hazel and I had fun playing it. The cards have each animal on them with their special characteristic in small print. To download your own copy in Word, click the picture below.

I know many schools have started or are starting next week. Hazel's new school does not start until after Labor Day, so we still are enjoying another week of summer. The change of schools has caused quite a bit of anxiety in Hazel, but we know it is the right thing for all of us. She has been very clingy this summer because she is afraid of the unknown.

Now I know I have not shared much as to why we have made the decision to switch schools. We had a bit of a discipline/communication issue last year. There was one student who had a few impulse issues and Hazel had a few run-ins with him. One being something inappropriate said to her. I found out about it from another child or that Hazel had cried quite a bit that day and it took me two hours to find out why from her. Then towards the end of the year she told me that the same boy was going under the snack table and biting her legs and pinching her. The teacher's response was that she thought it was only pinching but biting was unacceptable. Now pinching was unacceptable to me and the fact that it was happening quite often and I had not been told anything by anyone. Now many of the students had issues with this boy (one refused to come to school anymore even after he was kicked out). But what bothered us most was how it was dealt with and that we heard stories that it was not the only time where they had these kind of issues. We decided then that this was not the place for our innocent, shy, rule following (to a fault) daughter and looked for something else. We went to the opposite type of school and now she is going to be attending a traditional Christian school. She is excited that she will learn to read this year, but scared to be leaving what she has known. 

To ease this transition, we have read books about the first day of school, we have had playdates with a few of the students in the new school and we have had several visits to the school. Today she got to spend some time talking to one of the teachers when we stopped by for a visit. I think this helped. There are several blogs that have wonderful lists of books to read, so I am going to leave a few links for you in case you want to ease the day as well.

Lists of First Day of School Books
So that is our story on going back to school. We have truly found Miss Mingo and the First Day of School enjoyable to read and educational. Plus it has enabled me to have many conversations about the first day of school and making new friends.