Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Read-Aloud Books Update

We are slowly making progress on our First Grade Read-Aloud books.  At the beginning of the year, my goal was to complete one read-aloud book each week.  Unfortunately, some of the books are really long, so it's taking us a little longer and we aren't reading from the read-aloud book every night.  Izzie has never liked to read, but she loves being read too.  However, here recently, she has started wanting to read from her Easy Readers at night.  I love to listen to her read and she's getting much more comfortable reading aloud, so it's worth the compromise!   Here's our complete list and which ones we've completed...

First Grade Read-Aloud Books

1.  Black Beauty (done)

2.  Anne of Green Gables (done)

3.  Anne of Avonlea (done)

4.  The Secret Garden (done)

5.  The Jungle Book (done)

6.  Little House in the Big Woods (done)

7.  Pinocchio (done)

8.  Rumpelstiltzkin from Grimm's Fairy Tales (done)

9.  Alice in Wonderland (done)

10.  Through the Looking Glass (done)

11.  The Frog Prince from Grimm's Fairy Tales (done)

12.  Peter Rabbit (done)

13.  Mary Poppins (done)

14. Mary Poppins Comes Back

15.  Caddie Woodlawn

16.  Charlotte's Web

17.  Davy Crockett, Young Rifleman

18.  Sacagawea: American Pathfinder

19.  The Trumpet of the Swan

20.  The Saturdays

21.  The Railway Children

22.  The Reluctant Dragon

23.  Winnie the Pooh

24.  The House at Pooh Corner

25.  The Light Princess

26.  The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

27.  The Velveteen Rabbit

28.  How to Eat Fried Worms

29.  The Happy Hollisters

30.  Pollyanna

31.  The Tale of Benjamin Bunny

32.  A Christmas Carol

33.  Farmer Boy

33.  Little House on the Prairie

34.  All-of-a-Kind Family

35.  The Story of King Arthur and His Knights

36.  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

37.  Socks

38.  The Wind in the Willows

39.  The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

 Here's a list of the kindergarten read-alouds books we completed last year. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Our first official "SNOW DAY"!

We woke this morning, anticipating a lot of snow.  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing was outside.  The girls were very disappointed.  I was very disappointed.  Apparently, the "storm" was late.  However, all area schools were out, which meant a snow day with Daddy at home!  By mid-morning, the snow had arrived!  

The girls spent the morning playing and the afternoon watching Mary Poppins. 

Afterward, the girls were bursting to get outside!

 After dinner, we even squeezed in some sewing!  The girls have completed the big stuffed animal and are getting very close to finishing the smaller one. 

It was a fabulous lazy day at home.  Tomorrow, I'll probably regret that I didn't use my timely wisely as a "teacher" workday! 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Art History: Gustav Klimt

The girls have been learning a little art history about Gustav Klimt (1862-1918), who created several paintings of different types of woods.  

We're keeping a 3-ring binder with all the artists that we'll be studying, including some of their artwork.  Gustav Klimt painted the Tree of Life in 1908 and was our inspiration for the girls' newest masterpiece.   

The girls' interpretation of the Tree of Life.  


 Materials Needed: 
  • White canvas 
  • Paint brushes
  • Black and gold acrylic paint 
  • Oil pastels
I purchased the canvases at Michaels, while they were 40% off, then used my additional 15% teacher discount, which made them extremely affordable! 

I painted the canvases using black acrylic paint.  

 Then, it was time for the girls to start creating their Tree of Life.  They began by making one long straight line for the center tree trunk. 

Followed by making several branches coming off the center tree trunk.

Lastly, they made several more curly tree branches.

Their blank trees...

Izzie's Tree of Life, 7 years old

Mac's Tree of Life, 4 years old

They couldn't wait to begin decorating their tree with an assortment of oil pastels.

The finished trees!  


I LOVE the way they turned out and they look fabulous hanging in my living room! 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Christmas Morning 2013

Christmas morning is always such a sweet special time for our family!  The girls were thrilled that Santa had finally arrived and were up at normal time, 6:00am.  They rushed downstairs to find their gifts from Santa...

This year they both asked for a sewing machine and sewing supplies.  They received a sewing machine to share and their own sewing basket with supplies and a couple of the American Girl sewing kits.  

Since we have no family in the area and no where to go on Christmas Day, we have made a tradition of spreading out our Christmas Day activities. The girls were overjoyed with the sewing machine and thoroughly investigated inside their sewing baskets, where they found the cutest little pin cushions!  Izzie received a purple dog to go along with her dog themed sewing basket and Mac found a cute little pink mouse pin cushion to go along with her cat sewing basket.  Afterward, they helped make breakfast...homemade pancakes!  

After breakfast, we read the Christmas story from our Bible and reflected on what Christmas Day really represents.  

Then, it was off to open up stockings...

After stockings, the girls played a little while with their stocking goodies, organized their sewing baskets and started sewing one of their stuffed animals from the American Girl sewing kits.  These kits are wonderful for beginning sewers!  

By mid-morning, it was time to open up the gifts from the girls.  Izzie went shopping at the AWANA store for her gifts.  She got Mac some gold fingernail polish, which she loved!

I got a fabulous Christmas tin. 

She had planned on giving Daddy some brown girl flip-flops, but our puppy ended up chewing one of them, while we were wrapping gifts.  So, I took the girls to the Dollar Tree to get Daddy a gift and to allow Mac to get Izzie something too.  Daddy got a whole sticker book full of Jake and the Neverland Pirates!  

Izzie received a hot chocolate mug from Mac! 

The girls were so excited to give each other gifts, it was the sweetest!

They decided to open up their gift from Rose Cookie, our elf on the shelf.  Last year, she left them new bibles.  This year, they received American Girls crafts from her! 

Before lunch, they opened up their homemade gifts.  Every year, I always make the girls something, but this year, I purchased them homemade gifts.  Their favorite book last semester was Little House In The Big Woods.  I found these adorable bonnets at a Heritage Market and knew the girls would love them!  My little Mary and Laura...

We also read Pinocchio last semester, so when I saw these cute wooden marionettes, I just couldn't resist. They were a huge hit with the girls!

We had a nice relaxing lunch and afterward, the girls opened up another gift.  I love the way we drag out opening gifts!  

Mac had been wanting a big girl doll, aka, an American Girl Doll.  She was beyond excited to receive Marie Grace! 

 Mac spent the afternoon making several purses for Marie Grace from the American Girl craft kits.

  Izzie was thrilled with her Lego Friends!  These were her first kits and she loved them!  She spent the afternoon building all my herself!  

 Before dinner, it was on to another gift.  Mac loves taking pictures with my phone or regular camera.  However, I'm always concern she's going to break my stuff!  So, when I saw the Playskool camera and the reviews, I knew it would be the perfect fit for her.  


Do you see that face?  She was so surprised to have her own camera! She took pictures rest of the evening!  I love that she can completely control the camera and all the gadgets are very entertaining!

Izzie is very "into" making jewelry.  She absolutely adores her rainbow loom, so we decided to get her a few more jewelry making kits.   

After dinner, it was time to open their last Christmas present.  

Mac loves to sing and make music.  After reading a ton of glowing reviews about the Kidijamz, I was sold!  It is the coolest music toy, ever!  I give it 10 stars too!  It is the toy that has had the most "playtime" since Christmas.  Everyone in the family has been playing with it!   

Izzie received a box full of goodies...clothes, hats, and belts.  She was thrilled.  Did I mention she already loves clothes? 

We had a great Christmas at home.  We stayed in our pajamas all day, took all day to open gifts, and had way too much coffee.  It was the perfect day for our family!
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