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Summer Writing and Drawing

A few days ago my wife texted me a picture of our three oldest at home sitting at the table all working on something.  She had found a list of drawing prompts online and the kids were pretty excited about them. The teacher in me started getting an idea. 

I had already planned on getting the kids signed up for summer reading at the local library. My kids LOVE doing this every year. Every year I see students whose reading level drops over the summer because they simply don’t read over the summer so I’m pretty thrilled that they want to do that here. 

Next, I thought I want to find a way to get them writing too so I searched and searched for some good writing prompts. I found a few here and there but couldn’t find one list I liked so I made my own and thought I might share them here too. Summer Writing Prompts is 60 task cards each with prompts about summer or different special days during June or July. I’m thinking these would be great for writing prompts or as even some fun Table Talk ideas with the family. I gave them these tonight along with some composition notebooks and they immediately got to work drawing, asking each other questions, and writing. If this keeps up I think we can have a pretty productive summer. 

  
 

Now I just need to come up with some more math games to keep them busy too!

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Dilemmas 

It’s been a while since I’ve really posted here but I’ve been rather inspired. Of course inspiration, or what inspires us can be a miriad of things, postive or negative. What pushes people to make the decisions they make when different things happen?  What pushes one person to pursue their dreams wreckkessly without abandon? And why does that same event cause such fear in someone else? I feel like life sometimes gives us opportunities whether it be as a friend, a parent, a husband, professionally… Is being “safe” the best decision? Or should it be seen as an opportunity to leap? Whatever the decision, let’s hope we always make the right one. 

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

 
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Wordless Wednesday – Zoo Giggles

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Posted by on May 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Pumpkin Pie Pops

It all started last school year. It was my first full year back at teaching after taking a few years off and I was in a new place, where, they didn’t know me and I really didn’t know them (yet). One of the traditions at my new school is that the different grade levels make snacks for the first faculty meeting of the month. Our turn came early in the year, and, what did they say? You can bring Chex Mix. Chex Mix… (Let me note here that I was the only male elementary classroom teacher in my building.) So, I thought to myself, I’ll go big and surprise them and I made these… Hamburger Cupcakes!

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Now making them was fun, but I think I have started something that I may, or may not, be able to keep up. (That’s what I get for my “I’ll show them” attitude I have sometimes. #confession)

Well this year rolled around and I wasn’t asked to bring Chex Mix, but rather what was I going to bring next. I thought about cupcakes again, because, really, who doesn’t love cupcakes? But, I thought it about it for a while, I finally decided on Pumpkin Pie Pops. I had never even heard of them until this past weekend. I found a recipe here: http://www.munchkinmunchies.com/2010/09/pumpkin-pie-pops-and-sunflowers.html

This post gave me the initial idea, but I looked around the Internet some more and found some different versions that led me to making my own variation of it. I didn’t have access to the same ingredients she had and I honestly don’t think I am talented enough to make all the pie crust and filling from scratch. Seriously, I was already going to spend HOURS in the kitchen making about 60 of these, I wasn’t going to spend that much extra time learning how to make something that might turn out horrible! So, I ran to Wal-Mart and picked up a few things. The main ingredients, other than time, I needed were these two things, Libby’s Easy Pumpkin Pie Mix and Betty Crocker Pie Crust Mix... These are what I bought and were pretty easy to put together with just a few extra things. The extra ingredients are listed on the box/can. I believe I needed a can of evaporated milk, eggs, water, nutmeg, popsicle sticks, and sugar.

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One thing I have to note is that you will probably need more than one box of pie crust mix depending on many you are making. I was able to make about 8-10 pie pops per box. Since you have to put pie crust on the top and bottom, it requires a good bit of crust. If you know how to make it yourself, you might be able to make it cheaper. The box was probably about $2 or a little more. One can of the pumpkin pie filling is more than enough. I probably could have made a small real pie with all I had left over after making about 50-60 pops.

I was asked for the recipe, so here it is… my version at least.

1. Preheat the oven to about 350 degrees.
2. While the oven is preheating, mix the pie crust and pumpkin pie filling in separate bowls.
3. When the pie crust is ready, roll it out thin and flat. I used a cookie cutter to make the shapes of pumpkins. Each pop required 2 cut outs. Half the cut outs I left alone for the base and the other half I cut out pumpkin eyes and smiles to make it look like a Jack-o-Lantern.
4. I laid about 9 bases on a wax paper covered cookie sheet and pressed a Popsicle stick onto each one. I, then, sprinkled a little bit of nutmeg and sugar on the base.
5. Next, I put a spoon of pumpkin pie filling on each base and then placed the Jack-o-Lantern faces on top and pressed and crimped the edges with a fork.
6. After sealing them, I sprinkled a little more nutmeg and sugar on the top before putting them in the oven.
7. I baked them for about 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. (Obviously cooking times vary.) I let them cool before eating any or wrapping them up.

Since I was taking mine to work, I individually wrapped mine in treat bags and tied them with ribbon. Everyone (and some of their kids) seemed to enjoy them. I’ll definitely make these again.

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Hamburger Cupcake image from Image from http://www.duncanhines.com/recipes/cupcakes/cabaker77/hamburger-cupcakes

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2012 in Do Something

 

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Wordless Wednesday – They Got There Together

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2012 in Wordless Wednesday

 

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Bring Life With Books

I took one of the boys to the Dream Big Summer Reading Kick-off at Irondale Public Library. We had a pretty good time making a few crafts (a paper lantern and a Dream Jar) and they shared the videos below (that I was able to find on YouTube). While I enjoyed them both I really wanted to talk about one of them the most.

The second video they shared, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, really hit me as both a parent and a teacher. I thought it was an inspirational and fantastic film. (My students will see this too!)

In the writers own words, “Inspired in equal measures, by Hurricane Katrina, Buster Keaton, The Wizard of Oz, and a love for books, “Morris Lessmore” is a story of people who devote their lives to books and books who return the favor.” I couldn’t agree more with this idea and looked at it as a challenge to myself as a parent and a teacher.

I have always loved books. They are powerful and full of life. I love the thought that reading a book brings a book to life. I also love the thought that reading a book brings life to us. It’s my opinion that a room (home, class, etc…) without books it a room without life. What a responsibility I have (and a privilege) to introduce my children to books and to reading! I hope to bring this new life to them through books and I hope this, in turn, brings new life to some books.

This actually works as an excellent introduction to the first video they showed us which was a short called Moongirl. (I found it on YouTube too!)

This video kind of proves my above point. I won’t put a spoiler here, but I will say that it shows the power of imagination which I think comes best from reading a book because, only there, can you replay a story in your mind with all the voices and movement and extras.

On a side note, I also found that there is a book version of this short which can be found here:The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore and the video can be purchased on itunes here: The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore film. Of course you can check out their website here: MorrisLessmore.

You can also get the book/dvd gift set of Moongirl here:Moongirl: The Collector’s Edition Book and DVD Gift Set

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2012 in Children's Books, Parenting

 

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Summer Has Arrived!

Summer has finally arrived. The kids are major excited. This summer, two of the kids will be home with me and the youngest will still be in “school” through the end of June.

Last summer, it was just the oldest and me. The summer, #2 joins the mix. This past week was our first full week and we had a really good time together!

What did we do?

Good question. Last year, my oldest and I did a summer blog together telling what we did all summer. I thought it would be a good thing for us to do together and good way to relive good memories. He just told me he wants to do it again this summer. I have a weeks worth of posts to catch up on, but I’m looking forward to getting the other blog up and started again. This summer, I hope to put him more in charge of the writing.

Still want to know what we did? Take a look at our other blog to see what happens When The Sun Shines On Me!

 
 

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