Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A little Hanukkah song

In honor of Hanukkah starting tomorrow night-

5 Little latkes

5 Little latkes frying in a pan, the grease got hot and one went Bam!
4 Little latkes.....
3 Little latkes....
2 Little latkes.......
1 Little latke...
No Little latkes frying in the pan, the grease got hot and the pan went Bam!

Enjoy and Happy Hanukkah!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Oh how this speaks to me

My brain is still on Thanksgiving break but I just saw this and I had to share!
Let me know what you think, I really want to see this. I truly believe that the whole way that children are taught needs to be changed.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What happened to Halloween?

Back in October I went to some stores to get my Halloween candy. I loved looking at the Halloween decorations. Then I saw something strange, it was green and strangely enough it looked like a Christmas tree. What????? Christmas stuff next to the Halloween decor. Honestly, this drives me crazy. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday and that got pushed aside years ago. I guess Halloween is next on the chopping block. Watch out July 4th, you are next!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mommy time

A quick post today because I am enjoying "Mommy time" I had a relaxing time getting my hair done this morning. Cut and colored!  Now, I'm watching a movie too! Quite a great day. I do feel that it is important every once in a while to find some "Mommy time" If you had a few hours to yourself, what would you do?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

responsibility and chores and an allowance?

I fully believe that children can have responsibilities in the home, based on their abilities and their age. A child of three or so can sweep up crumbs with a small dustpan and broom. A child of nine can hang up their own laundry and so on. I feel that there are duties(chores) that everyone in the house does because they live in the house. Such as, setting the table, cooking, basic cleaning etc. Then there are those chores that are above and beyond, mowing the lawn, washing the car, walking the dog. My thoughts are that children should not get paid for doing the everyday chores. Mom and dad don't get paid to do the chores, we are all a part of this family and everyone helps. That phrase is heard often in my house. I want my children to learn how to manage their money.  I think this is where an allowance comes in. This gives them the chance to save, spend and deal with their money.  I do feel that if the child goes above and beyond then they can earn some extra money. Do you give your child an allowance? Do they do chores, how did you decide how much to give them and what do they have to do to get it?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Practical life-water, beans, and pitchers, oh my!

When I first entered a Montessori classroom I was entranced by the math materials. So concrete, it made such sense.  Then, I saw the practical life area.  Pitchers, water, sponges, beans, trays, what was all of this stuff and why are children using it? Well, practical life is just that, it teaches practical life skills in a fun way for children. Give a child an attractive set up of a tray, two pitchers with colored water and a sponge and watch the magic.  The child can sit there for as long as they want. It is mesmerizing. These skills, pouring, spooning, funneling and the like can then be translated to the home. It can be daunting to let your child pour their own milk for example. Find a small pitcher and put some milk in it on a low shelf in the fridge. You are still setting them up for success while keeping your sanity. If a spill should happen, let your child clean it up. This is also a part of practical life skills. These skills will lead to giving your child more responsibility in the home. There is no reason why a young child can not help around the house. A young child can dust, sweep and put their own toys away too. How does your young child help around the house?

Monday, November 15, 2010


As parents we teach our children to share (more on that another day). What I love about blogs is the sharing of information. I love mom blogs, cooking blogs, education blogs and on and on. I learn many things from them and I hope that someone, somewhere can learn from me. I recently found a cake recipe on a blog and it looked so good I decided to try it. It's in the oven now.....and the house smells like an apple orchard! I'm not the best cook so we will see what happens. Do you have a favorite blog? Have you learned something from a blog? Share away!

Friday, November 12, 2010

One of my favorite things

I just have to share this great blog-

He is amazing, innovative, creative, and very funny too! Check it out when you have a chance.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

It's Veterans Day. Many schools are closed for the day but you can still incorporate Veterans Day in your classroom.  You can adopt a soldier and write letters to him/her. At circle time you can explain why we celebrate Veterans Day. Your art center can be overhauled for the occasion. Make flags, paint with red, white and blue, make necklaces with red, white and blue beads, the possibilities are really endless. If you are in a Montessori classroom, change over your practical life center. All of the work can be changed to red, white and blue. Change your water color, sponges and the like. Maybe your children have family members that are in the military. Invite them in to speak or have a special breakfast to celebrate their service. Enjoy the day, remember why we have Veterans Day and teach your children about our servicemen and servicewomen.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It breaks my heart

This issue does not affect me directly but it breaks my heart.  In a local school system (not the one that my children are in), there is talk of school closures. Lots of closures. I feel horrible for these families. What about the rising seniors? One more year in their school and now they may have to go somewhere else. The school system needs to save money.  There has to be another way. I feel that it's always the kids that have to pay the ultimate sacrifice. We need good teachers, good schools and quality curriculum. That curriculum needs to include a variety of subjects, including exposure to the arts and foreign languages. I feel that a school can have state of the art equipment and the best teachers and it can still not be successful. The right approach is needed to teach our children. I do not feel that charter/magnet schools are the ultimate answer either. There can be great public schools along with great charter schools. There can also be terrible public schools and terrible charter schools. Yes, I do feel that Montessori is the way to go......I am biased, I admit that. What do you think? What will help fix the educational crisis that is happening in our country? Hmmmm...I guess this issue does affect me directly.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Leaf Rubbing

It's an oldie but a goodie.........
Go outside and take a walk or just go into your yard and find some interesting leaves. I find the easiest way to do this is to then tape the leaf to something. I taped it to a table. Then take some paper and put it over the leaf. Rub gently with a crayon and by magic the leaf appears. It was especially exciting when I used multiple crayons........

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Thankful Tree

This project started because I needed to do something with my youngest child. So, the thankful tree was born. You can, of course, do this with real leaves and twigs but we decided to make our own. I did a search for "free printable leaves" many, many sites came up. I printed out two leaves and then traced and cut them out of construction paper. We then wrote what we were thankful for on them and we are continuing to add to the tree through the month. My youngest then colored in the trunk. I also printed out bubble letters so that she could make the Happy Thanksgiving banner. It was a fun project and it is making us all think about what we are thankful for. I always love to hear how children answer the "What are you thankful for ?" question.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What I love.............Montessori style

1. I love the materials.
2. I love that most materials can be handmade.
3. I love that the materials can be changed as needed.
4. I love that the materials can be changed to fit the needs of the individual child.
5. I love the peaceful nature of the classroom.
6. I love that the children are exposed to the arts.
7. I love that the children are able to work at their own pace.
8. I love that the children have responsibilities in the classroom.
9. I love that everything has its place in the room.
10. I love that the classroom is set up for the children, everything is at their level.
What do you love about Montessori?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

What becoming a mom has taught me

After nine years of being a mom, I have learned the following-
1.There are some days when I have no idea what I am doing.
2.I do not have all of the answers to all of the kids questions.
3.Snuggling with the kids is one of the best things in life.
4.Motherhood isn't easy.
5.It's ok to ask for help.
6.Volunteering at school is very rewarding.
7.It's very had to yell at the kids if they are being cute.
8.I never knew how much I could worry about two other people.
9.My kids are picky eaters and so am I, I know where they got that from.
10.I need to back off if they make a mess, it's ok, it can be cleaned up.
I'll stop at 10......for now. What have you learned?

Friday, November 5, 2010


I always said that my children would not be over scheduled...........ok, I still don't think they are over scheduled but I do think we are pretty darn close. The only days that we have without an activity are Tuesday or Saturday. I am a stay at home mom and I still feel like I do not have enough time to get everything done. I make a to do list and as soon as I cross something off the list I add three more things! How do I keep it all straight, a calendar. Ok, I have about 3 calendars but I don't know how else to keep it straight. I also use a file box that I have hanging in my pantry. Everyone gets a section to store all of those papers that come through the house, such as permission slips, sign up sheets etc. This works wonders and keeps the clutter off of the kitchen counter.
Have you found a great way to keep it all flowing smoothly? If so please share, I love a good idea!
Here is my filing system in the pantry. My husband and I have the top one and my kids have the bottom two. All of their school and activity papers go right in, I love it!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Parental judgement

You didn't breastfeed? You put your kid in daycare? You aren't working? You are working? Do these questions sound familiar? I never heard or thought of these questions until I became a mom. What surprises me the most is that these questions are frequently thrown at moms from other moms. We can be so judgemental of others. I wonder why? Why can't we support each other instead of tearing each other apart? I often wonder what the "mom world" would be like if we had conversations instead of criticism. I may not agree with some choices that some moms make but they may not like the way I do things either, and that is ok! What works in one house may not work in another. I will admit that I keep my kids on a routine and schedule, I didn't breastfeed, I have been a working mom and stay at home mom too. Over the last nine years I have found what works for me and what does not work for me. The choices that I have made may not be choices that other moms would make. That's ok because nobody knows my kids like I do......
What do you think? Have you come across other parents that question your decisions? How did you handle it?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Election day in the classroom

Election day and voting does not have to be just for adults. Bring it into your classroom too. Explain what Senators, Congressman and Congresswomen do. Explain what the president does. You can explain it in simple terms depending on what age group you teach. Hold a mock election. Explain voting and ballots too. This is the perfect time of year to get a class pet such as a fish. Then vote to see what the fish should be named. Make or color American flags, discuss the USA and discuss what it means to be patriotic. What other activities do you have in your classroom that are related to election day?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Communication can mean many things to many people. There are endless types of communication, and as teachers we communicate with many different people. One of the communication combinations is teacher to teacher. Nothing makes me happier than seeing the sharing of ideas between teachers. We are the best resource for each other. If you are a teacher and you come up with a fantastic idea, pass it on. It does not do anyone, any good to keep it to yourself. What have you come up with lately? Is it a creative new way to teach letter sounds? Do you have a great new way to use clay? Have you shared this idea? Share with us now, what is your great idea that you would like to share?

Monday, November 1, 2010

great resources

I fully believe in passing on a good find and I have found one.
This was like Disney world for me! It is an educational consignment store. There were books, manipulatives, games, toys and more.
I hope that everyone has a place like this near them.
If you have a wonderful resource by you, please share. You never know who you might help out.