Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Very Late Five for Friday!

I love a short week except when it's right before THE FEAST. I had to use all capitals because it's become a gigantic, important tradition and if 'Ol Mrs. Welchie doesn't get it all done,  there'll be mutiny on our Mayflower, I tell 'ya!

Here's a peek at our week and what's ahead, matey! I'm prepared for a rocky voyage. Argghhh.
Happy Five for Sunday. I'm a tad late. Again. I seriously doubt anyone will be reading this post and it serves me right. I'm thankful to Doodle Bugs for hosting. I'm also thankful that she doesn't close the link until a few days past Friday!!!

Even Steven and Odd Todd

Odd Todd, Even Steven
I have these two little rascals on my bulletin board. They're from Cara Carroll's First Grade Parade.  I love them and everything else Cara comes up with, by the way! You need to go and read the post that goes along with these two sillies. It's perfect! And it will ensure that what I'm about to write makes more sense...
I do this routine every day after the initial lesson during calendar time:
 As soon as we know what the number of the day is, say November 8th, we take that many cookies out of the jar.

The special person of the day passes the cookies out to two of our  stuffed animals. Most of them say the "One for you, one for me" ditty.
When they're done, we discuss why it's even or odd.
We use little paper laminated cookies with the number printed on top to place in their hands to hold for the day.
It's also at this point of the year that I turn the ten frames on our calendar board vertically. It's the perfect time for showing them to look and see if a number has a partner. If it does, they are even.
I use my apron to check for understanding. As they come through the door or line up for recess, I point to a number (or ten frame) and they have to tell me if it is even or odd. Hopefully, they begin to see the pattern! Notice that I have circled partners.

Carolyn Kisloski of Holding Hands and Sticking Together posted about all sorts of Thanksgiving ideas. My favorite is her Thanksgiving Bracelet. The kids love putting it together and it does a great job of helping them remember the Story of the First Thanksgiving.
It's the best.
I'm going to show you a different version, in case you too leave the beads and pipe cleaners on the kitchen counter. And your lunch. And report cards. And a lovely, creamy cup of steaming hot coffee. And then you commute 45 minutes up a big mountain and you are 45 minutes away from a store-much less one  that may or may not have colorful beads available. Wahhhh!
So, here's what you do if you are as forgetful...
Cut strips of paper the same color as the beads and make a paper sequence chain
(we do the same thing with Brown Bear, Brown Bear every year and it works beautifully).

White-Mayflower sails
Blue-ocean blue
Green- land
black-hard year
Brown-turkey feast
I attached the little poem that tells the story.

It's not nearly as cute as the bracelet.
It's not rocket science.
It works in a pinch.
It's survival .
Until you can remember to get the beads into the car.

I think that it's humorous that I sell aprons, considering that I don't sew. I got a D in 8th grade sewing and pretty much  made a pledge to stay away from all things sewy. My husband runs a rafting company and repairs tents and camping gear with a very sturdy sewing machine. He sews. In fact, my boys were always surprised to hear that other mommies sewed. They thought dads were supposed to sew costumes and such.
Anyway, every year for the FEAST, I make vests for the kids from a pattern and then I use my trusty glue gun or stapler to assemble them. The kids will decorate them with colored paper shapes.
They're lots of work and I'm not sure worth the effort, judging on how quickly the kids take them off after the class Thanksgiving picture...

I was forced to learn about cutting patterns because the bid for our aprons didn't include cutting out the pieces. So guess who has cut fabric for hundreds of aprons?
By hand.
That's right.  If you're wearing one of my aprons, chances are good I cut the pattern pieces!
I have impressive calluses on my right hand.

We tried weaving a placemat for our FEAST also.

Now I remember why I switched to a simpler placemat in years past.
Oh my word, weaving with 5 year olds is tough!
Does anyone have a secret?
We tried everything to make this easier.
We even cut off the end of the mat, thinking that if they could lift the pieces up to weave that it would help.

To no avail.
I think it's developmentally inappropriate.
For me.

We spent some time learning about the Mayflower this week. We ate biscuits, beef jerky, cheese and drank water to simulate a meal that the pilgrims may have eaten on board the ship. Granted, the pilgrims had hard, stale biscuits and cheese, really tough jerky, and not the freshest sampling of water.
We also had a trunk for them to check out. We read how the families could only take one trunk and that many of their belongings had to be left behind. They had to figure out what they would have taken on the voyage. Which one toy would be taken? 
My parent helper taught them how to play finger string games, which many of the kids had never seen. They had a great discussion about being creative without toys.
By the way, the book is fantastic!

I'm not sure that I'll be posting next Friday (Sunday) after the FEAST. I think I'll be recovering.
Here's a hope and a wish that all your Thanksgiving dreams come true!
Ladybug wish.


  1. Oh Sandy, this is such a great post! Your feast is awesome! The kids will remember that forever. And I love, love, love the paper chain idea. That's a great one! You make the best things in your class! Where do weekends even go anyway?! Have a great week!

    1. I've said it before, thank goodness for your comments, Carolyn! Love you to pieces, you are a good friend!

  2. Hey sandy. I will send you pics but I use pillowcases for our Indian vests/dresses. My daughters kindergarten teacher did it years ago and it stood out in my mind. I have the students bring in any kind of pillowcase-doesn't matter the color or if it has fabric. I just tell the parents to please wash before sending:) and that it will be cut up.:) we use permanent markers to draw Indian designs on it. I cut them into vests for boys and dresses for girls and cut the fringe. It's super easy and quick. Also, message me about my special apron.:) I'm getting turquoise one if you don't do the other or I may get both����

  3. I was totally late on 5forFriday too! I love that you do a feast for your kids..I bet they love it! Have a wonderful few days and then enjoy some rest--it looks like you deserve it :)
    Caitlin @ Confessions of a Teachaholic

    1. Hi Caitlin! Ha! I'm amazed I posted at all! Lots of prep for that Feast! Happy Thanksgiving, my dear!

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  5. Wow Sandy! You do SO much for your students. I see so ideas many that I want to try...maybe not the feast:) I do the woven placemats too and I hear ya. I have to do it in small groups with a parent volunteer. One thing you might want to try is use a backing and use 2 stapled colors in an AB pattern and having just 1 color on the added strips. You can see a picture on this post That way the students know to lift all brown first, then flip them back and lift all orange strips. They catch on to that quickly, but still need to be reminded to push the added (yellow in my case) strips over as far to the left as they will go. Don't give up yet:) It's a great skill for them.

  6. I immediately went to the post about weaving! Genius!