Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday Smorgasbord Linky

Any linky that involves randomness should have my name all over it!!! I just found Fabulous in First's Sunday Smorgesbord Linky and had to sign up!!! Thank you so much for hosting! 
Like I've often said, randomness and spontaneity are a big part of a kindergarten teacher's life and summer seems to be no exception. Here's a sample of my a little bit of this, a little bit of that...

I still have my youngest home for a short visit. Here are a few of his lovely instruments and recording thingys beautifying my dining room. I  actually don't mind! We haven't seen him in over a year and it has been wonderful having him home. He's very talented and I couldn't be more proud. Of his music. Not his bedroom. It is loaded with even more recording stuff-what a mess!

These are some of the river gifts that my husband brings home to me when I can't join him on rafting trips. This picture is not good and doesn't show how beautiful they are. He runs a nonprofit rafting company and is gone a lot during the summer. When my boys were young they brought me heart shaped river rocks (can you spot one?)! So sweet!

Look at these poor plants. Can you tell it was about 107 degrees outside today?

Have you seen this book? It is the dearest little story about a mother's wishes for her child by Alison Meghee and Peter H. Reynolds. If you know someone who's expecting, this would be a sweet gift. I'm a few years past the mom watching from the porch as her child leaves.  The whole book makes me blubber. But, if you lucky, those precious kids occasionally come back!

I'm off to see if anyone else has randomness in their life! See  ya! PLEASE follow me on Bloglovin'

Friday, June 28, 2013

Five for Friday

Hellooooo Five for Friday! I absolutely look forward to reading all the posts that go along with this linky! Thank you Doodle Bugs for hosting! I hope you have a restful July while on vacation!
Once again, these are really random and little to do with school. Isn't that the way it should be during summer? I'm going with the five words for Friday idea again! 

1. Art project with second grade:
2. CUTE garage sale fixer upper!
3. Beautiful volunteer of the week!
We used this poem I wrote when we sent home our morning glories for Mother's Day:

Morning Glories are my favorite flower,
They rise and shine at an early hour.
They like to climb and cling to things,
And they're ready for whatever the daylight brings.
They're bright and happy and sometimes blue,
They grow so fast it can't be true.
Why do I like them? Can't you see?
Morning glories are just like me!

Haha! Look at that. I went over the five word rule AGAIN! I didn't even make it to #5!! 

4. Great G-pa's bike on porch.
5.Not gardening, it's too hot!
Lastly, I am so excited to have a new Base Ten pack to sell on TPT next week but not until my husband gets back from a rafting trip. Darn his other job!!!! He has to help me fix one more thing. I HAVE to learn how to do all this computer stuff...

Also, I need help about Bloglovin'. I use Google Plus. Can anyone tell me if I have to switch to Bloglovin? And if I do, it better be easy!

Have a great weekend! I love those comments!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday

It's time to show a post from the past! I don't have many, but here goes. By the way, this has been a great linky party for me. I LOVE reading the other posts that everyone has added. Super informative! Many thanks to First Grade Parade!

I showed the Mother's Day poem last week and really should have included the little clay hand that goes along with it. The hand makes a great present for Mother's or Father's day, even for Christmas. Here it is:

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Heads up! Mother's Day project is here!

It's time to post something new! Here's a fun project for Mother's Day. It takes a while to complete so you better get started now!

 A shout out to my sister for this project. She's a teacher also and taught me how to do this probably 20 years ago! This sample is made out of salt dough but I have also made a ceramic version (we have a local ceramics shop that sends an expert to take over). The ceramic hand will last longer and is my favorite, but I have had years when I couldn't afford the cost and the salt dough is less expensive. This turns out well also.  Here goes...

Begin with your favorite salt dough recipe (leave a comment if you need the recipe).

Mix small amounts because it dries out quickly! I can only manage to make a few of these per day so I usually mix up enough for 4 or 5 hands. Make sure it's kneaded enough so that it feels as soft as skin!  The consistency of the dough is very important. If it is too soft it will droop. Keep the extra in a bowl and cover with a damp towel.

Flour the cutting board and roll the dough to about the same thickness as their hand. I wear an apron but somehow manage to be completely covered in flour all day. Nothing new, I'm a mess every day - paint, glitter, chalk dust...

Anyhow, once you have it all rolled out, have the child gently lay their hand on top of the dough. You don't want them to press down! Trace around the hand with a pencil and cut it out with a table knife. The hand will look rough, with square fingertips. Let the kids help with following steps:

Using a dab of water, smooth the hand edges and round the fingers. Don't use too much water or you'll  end up with mush. Work on this for a while to make the edges more rounded so it looks like a real hand.

Next, flip the hand over and soften those edges as well. Press in fingernails with the end of a table knife. Flip it over again, palm up.

Press a wooden skewer into the palm of the hand.

Now fold the fingers over the skewer, ending with the thumb. Using a sharp pencil, press in the child's initials and year.

I take the hands home for next few steps. Place them on a cookie sheet and bake them at about 250 degrees until they turn light brown (it takes a long time!). Watch carefully and twist the skewer inside the hand every once in a while or it will bake into the dough and stick. Let cool completely. Your family will think you're baking bread! Ha!

Remove the skewer.

To make it look supple and skin-like, I am going to try applying a modge podge type application. I'll get back to you soon. This is a different technique than I usually use!

Next,  slip some flowers through the little tunnel you created with the skewer. Use glue to secure. I really like straw flowers and hate all things plastic, but in this case I recommend the plastic; they'll hold up better in the hands of a five year old!

Here's the poem that goes with it:
Here are some flowers bright and bold
Held by the hand you love to hold.
Someday the flowers will disappear
But this little hand will always be near.

I help the kids wrap the hands in bubble wrap, tissue and a ribbon. We make a little purse out of colored lunch bags and jewels. Wa-lah! Mommies love these keepsakes.
 I always love seeing how someone else makes it their own. Often the little changes that are made make it so much better! Be my "someone else" and please share!!! Comments appreciated!
My card is fun but I will save that for another day.  I'm exhausted!

Thanks again! Now I have to go find something to post for Five for Friday, which could be a real challenge! I'd love to hear from you!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Five for Friday

Late to the party again! My Five for Friday has become Save It for Saturday. I think I've been busier now that I'm on vacation than while I'm in school! Thanks again to Doodle Bugs !
My post this week has only a little to do with school and is truly random!

1. I spent this week cleaning my classroom. It looked like a bomb had gone off! My style of cleaning is to pull everything out and start over. It's never pretty and at one point our secretary came through and couldn't figure out where my voice was coming from! You get the picture.

 I went through files that haven't been cleaned in 10 years. Seriously. The good news is I found lots of great projects to update that I had completely forgotten about. The bad news is that some of the things I found show just how old I am. There were ditto pages!!!! For the youngsters out there, those were the pages we hand cranked on a machine with carbon paper-what a mess! My right arm was much more buff back then.

1. I always have a mini handwriting lesson for the parents at the Meet N' Greet. I'm sure you've all done this. I send them home with a practice activity and all the supplies and knowledge they need to help their child write their name properly. Hope springs eternal.

Anyway, look what I found in my dusty, old files. It's all yellow from age but you get the idea.
We cut and taped clear acetate to tag-this was a ton of work. Next, I drew green, yellow and red lines on sentence strip paper to emphasize where to start and stop. Each child's name was printed on the sentence strip with a green dot to show where to begin. All they had to do was slip it into the acetate pocket and write on top of it with a marker. I even sent home a little sponge to wipe it clean! When they were ready they could try without the sentence strip under the acetate (I always gave them a plain sentence strip to slip under the plastic for line guidance).

Now, you can buy the sentence strips with the colored lines, laminate it with their name and they just trace on top and erase. The advantage to the acetate is that they can practice without the name tag underneath. I think I'll do this for my newbies this year. An old idea reborn!

2. I found more volunteers in my yard. This one is hard to miss; it's HUGE!
3. My yard looks awful right now and will finally be receiving a little TLC from this gardener! Here is a before shot so that next week I can show you a new-and-improved picture. Pressure is on! It's the dearest home, really. It's over 100 years old and full of charm. I am so lucky.

4. My neighbor brought over some hydrangeas. Aren't they amazing?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Throw Back Thursday Linky

It's late (10pm) and here I am joining another linky party. I can live on the edge now because I don't have to get up at 5am! Woot woot!

Thank you to First Grade Parade and Throw Back Thursday!
It's sort of silly that I'm even joining in because I've only been blogging a short time. My most popular past post (say that three times) was two paragraphs long. You read that right, two short paragraphs long. It was a poem I wrote for Mother's Day and it received over 580 visits! Now, that may not sound like many visits to you, but it still holds the record on my little blog by a long shot!

Here it is:

Mother's Day Poem

Here's the poem to go with the Mother's Day hand:

Here are some flowers bright and bold
Held by the hand you love to hold.
Someday the flowers will disappear
But this little hand will always be near.

 I'd love to know if you could use this silly little poem. A comment would mean so much! Thanks!  What do you do for Mother's Day?

That's such a whimpy post so I hope it's ok to put up another. It's my Art Portfolio. This is a great thing to get ready before school starts or have your parents put together for you at your Meet the Teacher meeting.

March 2, 2013

Art Portfolio

So, this is what I brought home to work on this weekend. I keep walking right by and conveniently finding other things to do! Anything. Scrubbing the sink looks more attractive than tackling this mess. It's actually worse than it looks because there's more stuff behind both chairs!

One of the things I have to do is file art work. I've piled things under my desk for a while now and thought I'd better get to work.  I wanted to show you the paper bag art portfolio that has served me well over the years. Once again, I have no idea who taught me how to make them! I really would love to give credit to the right person!! Anyway...

Get paper grocery bags that have handles. Begin by cutting down the side seam and around the bottom of the bag. Toss the bottom aside. Turn the bag inside out and pull the handles up so they are showing. Using clear strapping tape, go around the open edges to secure the side and bottom. I add strapping tape to the other side as well just to make it look better. Put the child's name on the handle and label the front. Easy!

I write "Kindergarten Art Portfolio" but our second grade teacher writes "Second Grade at a Glance." I am sure you will come up with something clever. I have had parents make these with me at the beginning of the year at the Meet-N'-Greet. It's a great way to get them made ahead of time. They're sturdy and easy to carry. I store them in a copy machine paper box. If you have a student aide, filing art work is the perfect job for them. Hmmmmm, I wonder if I should be worried that no one signed up to be my aide this year...

I hope this helps someone! What do you use to store classwork treasures? Please leave a comment and let me know if this post has been helpful!! I think I'll go bake cookies...

Friday, June 14, 2013

Five Word Five for Friday

I'm linking up with sweet Doodle Bugs for the Five for Friday.
Five Word Five for Friday:

1. Terrifying end of year picture:
2. Classroom ready for rug shampoo!
3. Holly Hock volunteers outside cottage!
4. Picture, projector, trace, paint, Modge-Podge.

5. Hello and goodbye Mrs. Welchie!
Boy home, happy mom, cooking!
Oh my gosh! I can't do it! My husband gave me the challenge of using only five words for my random happenings. I guess he thinks my posts have been a little too wordy. If you've read my posts, you know that's how this kindergarten teachah rolls! I am a babbler from way back and thought I was up to the challenge. Guess not! Tough Toasties!

I'll work on my sleeping challenge instead. I made it until 6:30 this morning! Pitiful. Have a great weekend!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Five for Friday/Graduation

Yeah! Five for Friday!! I love this weekly linky where I get to name five random things from my week. Thank you Doodle Bugs for hosting.
And what a week it was...

My Kinders graduated today!! I'm exhausted so I hope this post makes sense...

1. We had been practicing our graduation songs for days and my Kinders had been singing so loudly that I spent all week explaining to them that screaming is not the same as singing. So, of course, at the ceremony today you could barely hear them; they froze up like deer in the headlights. As a matter of fact, someone in the audience kept yelling: "Louder!!" I didn't want to become THAT teacher - you know who I'm talking about - the teacher who sings louder than the kids - so I just smiled and we muddled through. Well, they are so dang cute no matter what they do, they still got a great ovation from the audience - of course it was a pretty easy crowd.

Then I blubbered my way through this poem I wrote:
Well we've come to graduation, how fast the year has gone,
It's time to take your sneakers off and put your flip-flops on.
It's time to put your pencil down and remove your thinking cap;
It's time for you to take a trip, and for me to take a nap.
But before we break for summer and out the door I shove you;
I want to take a moment, to tell you each how much I love you.
Annie I love your beautiful eyes, and Kenny I love your giggle;
And Michael I love the way you wiggle, wiggle, wiggle.
David I love the way you think and Peter the way you care.
And Christy what I would give, if I could have your hair
Sally I love your artistry and Kathy the way you sing;
And Laura I am forever thankful that you found the diamond from my ring*.
Brian I love your tenderness; And Katie I love your heart.
And Taylor I love the way you are so very smart.
Natalie I love your sweetness, Betty I love your compassion;
And Crsytal please don't ever, lose your sense of fashion.
And Joey, Joey, Joey, how much I love your zest!
I cannot wait for next year (but first I need some rest).
And all of you together! Well, you make me grin from ear to ear.
We've had a fun adventure; it's been a wonderful year.
But now it's on to first grade; and then grades two and three.
And lickity split, before you know it, you'll be as old as me.
You'll be doctors and farmers and fancy cake bakers.
You'll be pilots and poets and computer game makers.
You'll be rock stars covered with shiny jewels, you'll be fireman covered in cinders.
But whatever you are, for the rest of your life, you'll always be my Kinders.
So, my wishes for you come in one last little burst.
I hope you always remember to put other people first.
I hope you always remember to sing and to dance.
And I hope you never find frogs in your underpants.
That last line was a huge hit!

*True story!

2. Their diplomas came with a pair of those big, black, nerdy-looking eyeglasses and my Kinders were swift to put them on so they could look extra smart. It made a great group photo opportunity. We had also taken pictures of them with their caps and glasses on and we hung them above the "Congratulations!" banner. The first grade class joined us for one song and then high-fived our kinders as they were lead out of the gym by their soon to be first grade teacher. There was a little reception in our classroom afterwards where their parents collected art and took their portfolios home. The families pitched in with some tasty treats for the occasion.
3. Here are the bulletin boards that were up in our classroom for graduation:

I wish I could show you these cute sunflowers with their pictures in the middle. If you look closely, you can see they encircled their portrait with real sunflower seeds.
4. We had our school art show this week. I teach art in the afternoon and absolutely love watching what the kids create. I wish you could see the apple bowls more clearly. They were beautiful!
5. My jasmine is blooming on the side of our cottage. It smells heavenly.!
That's it for me! I have a busy weekend. School isn't out until Tuesday and I don't know what I was thinking, but we have Pirate Day on Monday and Surf's Up Day on Tuesday. ARGHHHHHHH!! and Hang Loose!

I love your comments!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Funny Stories Linky

Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together

I'm joining in on my blogging buddy Carolyn's linky party over at Holding Hands and Staying Together called Favorite School Stories. You're supposed to tell a story about something funny your students have said or done. We all have plenty of those! Here's mine:  

I’ve been called a lot of funny names in my career, Mrs. Belch, Grandma, Mrs. Welchie, Mrs. Tooty Ta, and Teacher but I never thought I’d be referred to as a reptile. 

It happened like this…

A few years ago I had a cute Hispanic child in my class named Miguel. He barely spoke any English. Communicating with him was always tough because I never really knew if he understood what I had said and I rarely understood what he had said. Fortunately, he had a bilingual classmate who translated for him. One day, during circle I thought Miguel was paying particularly close attention to my words but actually, he was paying particularly close attention to my neck.

During calendar time Miguel asked something in Spanish. His translator explained that Miguel wanted to look at my neck. Wondering what in world was going on I said, "Sure, go ahead." He stood up and, in front everyone, came up to look more closely at my neck. He was very serious and we were all curious.  Finally he reached out and carefully touched my neck with his hand. In a hushed voice he said, "Tortuga." I looked at his translator for help. He was shaking his head no, almost in a fearful way. Finally, after much effort to assure him everything would be fine, he said, "Mrs. Welch, he thinks your neck looks like a turtle." 

My look of horror and then uncontrollable laughter surprised my class. From the mouths of babes! I'm going to invest in more collared shirts. And neck cream.

When you're done be sure to check some other posts on Carolyn's blog. She has lots of fun things going on in her classroom and writes with a great sense of humor!