Sunday, June 28, 2015

Becoming UnShakable

I am so happy it is summer!
Happy for several reasons...First, there is just so much I like to do in the summer that I don't have for during the school year.  Things like hiking, camping, and playing outside, and reorganizing my stuff.

I also like to use my summers to recharge and refresh my spirit.   One way I do that is to join in on book study.  This way I learn new things and get new perspectives on my teaching.  This year was kind-of rough on me so I am particularly excited to read Unshakable by Angela Watson.

I got to meet Angela at a brunch with a few other teachers last year.  She is one of the most kind and incredibly insightful people I know.  We have chatted back and forth on email a bit and I find her to be the real deal....authentic.  She gave me some wonderful words of wisdom and helped me to think about all the things I love about teaching.  I am excited to read her latest book and join in on the discussions.

Along with her book, Angela is hosting an online book study group.  You can read more about it on her website, The Cornerstone.  All the information you need to join in, is right there.  She and Frankie Robinson will be sharing 20 ways to enjoy teaching in 20 days.  I am really looking forward to delving into this book and participating in the discussions.  Angela says, 

Don't wait for teaching to be fun again:  Plan on it!

Here's the BEST part....Angela has generously agreed to give away three digital copies of the book, Unshakeable, to three of my readers.  All you need to do is follow me on TpT, Facebook, or here at KinderKapers.  Enter in the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Are you ready to be an unshakeable teacher again?  I am!  I am planning on it!   I love teaching and I want to feel the joy in teaching again.  More Joy....Less Stress!  I am off to start reading so I am ready for the conversations.   Join me!!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Flip Flop Fun....A Bright Idea!

The dollar flip flop sale is over....but there are still plenty of places to get your flip flops for just a dollar.  The ones in the picture are actually from the dollar store, I bought a few more at Old Navy, and at Target too.  I figure I need 12 pair.  I recycle my old ones into the mix and use them again and again.

If you like this Bright Idea....consider following me here at KinderKapers, at my store on TpT, or on facebook.

For even more Bright Ideas check out the bloggers below:

Friday, June 19, 2015

Five for Friday....Mom is here!!

I just realized that today is Friday....isn't it wonderful that I didn't even realize that it is Friday!  Then it dawned on me that I should link up!  I am having so much fun, I need to take a minute and reflect.

So here I am....linking up with Doodle Bug Teaching and  sharing some of my already fun summer.

First my sweet class spoiled me with surprises the last week of school!  A few I am saving for September, a few I am using right away!

My room is packed for summer cleaning, but I know I will be going through my shelves carefully later this summer.  It was a long hard decision....but I am staying in second next year.  I am looking forward to some of my sweet kinder kids (I have already seen many of their names on my list) and to the view out my window, where I want to spend more of my teaching time.

June means my mom is here!!!!!  She lives in Pennsylvania and every summer she comes to Utah and Nevada to visit my sister and me.  This year my daughter planned a party for her 81st and 1/2 birthday.  All of my children and grandchildren and many (most) of my nieces and nephews and their children were able to come.  It was such a suprise and such a great visit to have everyone in the same place at the same time!!

I am having fun this year introducing my mom to blogging friends.  Yesterday we went to lunch with the fabulous Nikki from Melonheadz Illustrating.  I just love her to pieces and it was so fun to introduce her to mom.  Tuesday we are going to the Cheesecake Factory to hopefully meet up with more Utah blogging friends.

While my mom is here I have been taking advantage of her writing abilities (she is an author and teacher of writing, plus an editor for Marywood University), and getting her to edit a couple of projects I have been working on. 

I have been working on this non-fiction unit.  I think my definitions are too wordy, so it is not yet finished. 

I have been having her check over my Friendship Salad story and activity.  I love using this the first week of school, so I want to be sure it is the best it can be! You can check it out here.
Are you already having fun?  What fun things are you doing?  My mom is here for one more week...we are just getting started.  WooHoo!!  Yippee!! and Hoorah!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Red, White, and Blue....History and Fun!

Happy Summer!!  Happy June 14th.....Flag Day!  I hope you are enjoying some warm weather and time off.  This is a favorite time of year for me.

In the United States July 4th is fireworks and picnics, families and flags.  June 14th is Flag Day...that's what I wanted to share with you today....fostering patriotism in little ones through a love of history.

How can we get our little ones excited about ideas that are so abstract?

We can start with a flag....flags being a symbol of the country we live in.   Flags where colors are identifiable and easy for kids to see and remember.  Flags that kids like to create and wave.  Flags that tell stories.
This flag was drawn by the wonderful Melonheadz Illustrating.

The first American flag was officially adopted on June 14, 1777.  Of course there were flags before and there were even several different versions after.  But on June 14th, Continental Congress adopted the following: Resolved: that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.
Without specifics not all flags looked exactly the same.  Some stars had 5 points, some had six or eight.  The stars were also on the blue field in a variety of arrangements.

 Probably the most recognizable is the circle version, known as the Betsy Ross flag.

Did Betsy Ross sew the 1st American flag?  We do not know that for certain....but we do know that she and George Washington were friends (their family pews were next to each other in Christ's Church in Philadelphia).  We do know she was an excellent seamstress and we know that she did design and sew flags (among other things).   And we know that her grandchildren told of her recounting the family story of George Washington coming and asking her to make him a flag from a sketch that he had drawn.  Whether it be all true or part fiction, children remember things better when there is a story.
Clip Art is by Melonheadz Illustrating
Don't forget Francis Hopkinson of New Jersey, we know he designed the 1777 flag (he sent a bill to congress for his work).
Flags were mostly used for navy ships and battlefields.  Having a national flag was not a common practice at the time.  Many of our early flags were just loosely based on the resolution of 1777. 

There were several different ways to place the stars and until 1912 it was up to the flag-maker to decide exactly what that would be.

Originally it was thought that there would be a new star and a new stripe for every new state.  The flag that flew over Fort McHenry when our national anthem was written had 15 stars and 15 stripes.

Later it was realized that to continue to add stripes would create a flag whose proportions were all off.  It would be too cumbersome, so the flag code was changed in 1818.  We went back to 13 stripes for the 13 original colonies, and stars were to be added for each new state.   The new flags would become official on July 4th of the year after the state was added.

Most kids love a parade.  They love real things, so I like to get a small flag for each student, put on some great patriotic marching music and have a parade.  You can do this for the 4th of July in school or around the block.  You can also celebrate Flag Day, Memorial Day, Veteran's Day, or here in Nevada our statehood day, October 31st.

It is fun to have your students make their own flags too (counting practice, following directions, being observant, beginning to make the abstract concepts of patriotism and country more concrete).

If you use 9x12 white paper you need to cut these parts:
  *red stripes 1/2 or 3/4 inches wide
  *blue canton 6x5 inches
If you use 12x18 white paper you need to cut these parts:
  *red stripes 1 inch wide
  *blue canton 8x6 1/2 inches

1.  cut the red stripes and blue field.
2.  Glue 7 red stripes all the way across the flag (spacing won't be exact, but it will be close).

3.  glue the blue field in the upper left corner (gluing on top tof the stripes is so much easier than figuring out what needs to be short and exactly where they need to be).
4. will need 13.  There are several ways to do that.  You could use stickers, but there are also die cuts, painting, stamping, or just a white crayon or chalk.

If you don't want to make a flag, but you want something that flies in the wind, try this windsock.

You will need:
   *one piece of construction paper or cardstock. (I like the 12x18 size)
   *party streamers
   *decorations (stars, paints, flags, markers, and crayons)
   *a spinner/swivel (from the fishing isle at Wal~Mart)
   *clear fishing line (or any string)

Making a windsock is so easy!  Start by decorating your piece of paper.

Then, tape or glue streamers to the bottom inside of your paper.  I also added a strip of tape to the top for reinforcement. 

Next,  staple your paper into a cylinder.

Finally, punch 3 or 4 holes into the top and string the fishing line through the holes.  Tie the spinner to the center of the strings

TaDa!!!  You have a windsock that spins in the breeze.
Don't forget to add some music and books to your celebration/learning.  This one, from our own Debbie Clement is so good.  You can read more about it here and you can buy it for your own here.

Another favorite of mine is this book by Peter Spier

I love the inside covers...they are filled with flags!  The words are the words to our National Anthem with pictures to illustrate them.  LOVE his attention to detail!

Hope you will be having a ton of fun this summer.  Don't forget to throw in a little red white and blue action and share with your children and your students a bit of the history of our wonderful country.