Throwback to Christmastime

I realize I haven’t done a picture update since Christmas so this post will be a recap of the end of 2016 until now .

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One Wednesday afternoon I brought my tribe to my house to make Christmas cookies. I was thankful for Destiny’s help as it was quite a bit to manage and also for the mothers’ contributions of cookie dough. It was a fun time and worth all the clean up afterwards! The oven couldn’t keep up and we were short on pans  so while the cookies were baking the children went outside and ran off some energy.

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Ashton with proof of helping in the cookie baking!

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The last day of school before Christmas vacation and the children were very excited to get their gifts.

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Kickball has been our lunch break game pretty much since school has started. This warm,beautiful December day was no exception and everyone enjoyed a competitive game.

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All ready for the Christmas program and looking sharp! The children did a great job and it was a major relief for me to have it behind us altho it was fun .

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One afternoon I randomly did this science experiment with them. We put water in a bowl and squirted shaving cream on top of it to resemble clouds. Next they spooned food-coloring dyed water onto the shaving cream and it was suppose to go through the clouds and “rain”. It didn’t work exactly like it probably should have but I think my students had more fun making a mess and mixing colors anway:)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~ HOME FOR VACATION~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I spent the week of Christmas vacation with family and friends in my home state of Minnesota. That was the best Christmas gift next to the real reason of Christmas.

FAMILY is a wonderful blessing for anyone to have and I’m so thankful for mine!

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from shortest to tallest: Amber, Logan, Audrey, Kerek , Austin  ;    from oldest to youngest: Audrey, Kerek , Austin ,Logan, Amber

I’m so glad distance doesn’t change the fact that we are still family:)

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Penny , our Basset, did not carry a pleasant aroma for a couple reasons.For one, she’s a dog and secondly she spends most of her time in the calf barn.  So, I took it upon myself to give her a bath. She cooperated very well altho I could tell she didn’t just love the whole bath thing even if it was in a “modern,” indoor bathtub with comfortably, warm water. FYI, we don’t use this bathtub aside from giving dogs baths. LOL

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Ahhh… what a beautiful Minnesota sunset.

As much as I love Minnesota and the people at home, I was ready to come back to my new home in Maryland. I realized that in a sense MN is no longer my home but instead I have 2 homes. One with family, friends , wide open spaces, and brutally cold winters which I call Minnesota and the other with a wonderful  job, new friends, and the beautiful eastern shore with a very mild winter that I call Maryland. Both are great places because I am currently where God wants me to be!

 

Serve God with your whole heart in the place He currently has you! He has you there for a purpose 🙂

 

 

 

English~ A Confusing Language

Because  I’m teaching first grade, I have the privilege to be their first teacher in a school setting as well as  the huge responsibility and joy to teach them the basic concepts of Math, the English language , and many other things ~well. I often wonder if I’m teaching them well enough . How will my teaching affect them in future years? Will it make it easier for them or will they limp along through the rest of their school years? I try to do my best and rejoice with them when a new concept is understood and makes sense. However, when it comes to the English language  I can’t understand it all.

” Why doesn’t gas and yes have double s’ ?” asked a curious Kierra.

“I don’t know. I don’t always understand the English language ,” I replied, wishing I could explain it to her .

It was one of those situations where you hope they don’t notice (the inconsistency ? of the language) and yet are glad when they ask , knowing they are paying attention and are curious!

And then there was the time I walked right into one of those “inconsistencies” as I was discussing the newly learned consonant blends sc and sk  with my first graders. They were taught to use the vowels a,u,o, with C and e and i with K and the same applied with the consonant blends sc and sk. ” For example, ” I said,” Skunk. What would you use there? Sc or sk?” I asked as I quickly wrote it on the board.

” Sc ,” was the slightly confused reply after looking at the word written on the board.

I looked at the word skunk  and noticed that it does  not follow the rule. According to the rule , it should be spelled “scunk”. Sweet! How was I  suppose to explain that one?

I once again confessed that I didn’t understand why it didn’t follow the rule ( and wondered why that was the word I choose ?!)

And then there are the vowel sets. How are they suppose to know when to use ee or ea? Why do we use ie to spell pie and die and y to spell by,fly, and try? Thankfully for the u,o, a vowel sets it’s easier to teach them that ue,oe,and ay go at the end of words and that ui,oa,and ai belong in the middle of words. How did I learn to keep them straight? By memorizing how the words are spelled? I wish I knew!

When they finally have the k~e,i and c~a,u, o mastered, Language throws another hurdle at them. Today they learned when e,and i follow the letter c , c changes and has the s sound but when a,o, or u follow c,it is has the k sound.

Wow! What a language! I realize I need try to be more sympathetic with the ones of mine who take a little more explaining and little more patience when it comes to Learning to Read and Language Arts. ( How fitting! Language is an art!)

My apologies if I bored anyone with an elementary English Language. I just had to vent my confusion and annoyance(?) with our wonderful, English language and if anyone has any explanation why it is this way, please let me know so I can better explain it to my young, eager learners!

Only from the mouths of little ones:~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

” Draw a line from the top left corner of the rectangle to the bottom right corner. What 2 new shapes did you make?” I say as I assist first grade with their Math .

“Gavin?”

A brief hesitation then, ” It makes two triangles but they look more like ramps!” He then proceeds to tell me of a time when he ramped with his bike and swerved just in time to  miss hitting their van and then having to avoid  a near collision with his brothers car!

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I went over to Ashton’s desk to help him with a Learning to Read question. However, he had other things on his mind and says,” When I’m 40, I’m going to get a banjo!” Upon a little questioning , I learned he was going to play it to. From there it turned into a class discussion about instruments…..(sigh) We eventually got to his question and proceeded with our day.