Monday, November 23, 2015

First Snow

We got the first dusting of snow of the year on November 21st. The kids came into our room very, very exited about it. I got them all bundled up and they went outside.

They stayed out for maybe 5 minutes (it was very cold!) while I stayed inside and took pictures from the warmth of the house and then they came in and wanted hot cocoa. I think we spent around 20 minutes making and drinking the hot cocoa.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Stephen's Lake Park

My Grandma Doris has a photo of my cousin Cameron squinting in front of a gorgeous, blooming crape myrtle & that's kind of the way I feel about this picture. Yes, Amelie (on the left) is cute with her friend on their nature walk, but look at all that gorgeous fall morning happening behind them :)

Amelie was off school November 1st and 2nd for an election and a teacher work day. I took off both days and had her to myself on Monday and  had her and James both at home on Tuesday. We met up with some friends from Jefferson City and played at Stephen's Lake park, walked around the lake, saw fish and a turtle, climbed up the rocks, and generally had a good time. I should have taken more photos.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Carving Pumpkins

We carve pumpkins every year. This year it was nice enough to do it outside the week before Halloween.

Amelie needed her hair up for obvious reasons :) 

Look at her reaction to the seeds and pulp. Yuck!

You can't tell very well what the designs are in this picture, but Amelie wanted one with vampire teeth (on the right) and James wanted one with square eyes and a square nose (on the left).

Who needs a jungle gym?

We roasted the seeds (the verdict again was that leaving the pulp on is easier and tastes better) and James *loved* them. Amelie wasn't quite as big of a fan.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Parent-Teacher Conferences

We had parent-teacher conferences with Amelie's Kindergarten teacher and her student teacher last night. I asked if they were going to say good things before we went & she got this panicked look on her face and said, "I don't know."

They gave us a list of the sight words that they've been working on, and I was impressed. She can read 9 of the words and spell 8 of them. The way she spells "I" (number 7) is really funny -- I can imagine her sounding it out.

She got "Satisfactory" in 
  • Listens attentively
  • Follows directions
  • Participates in discussion/activities
  • Works neatly and carefully
  • Works without disturbing others
  • Accepts responsibility for materials
  • Cooperates with others
  • Shows respect for others
  • Keeps hands and body to self
  • Practices self-control
  • Accepts responsibility for behavior
  • Reading effort
  • Math effort
  • Social Studies effort
  • Science effort
And "Inconsistent" in
  • Accepts responsibility for own learning
  • Stays on task
  • Completes work
The categories were "Satisfactory," "Making improvements," "Inconsistent," and "Needs improvement." I knew that she wasn't completing all of her work since we could see the unfinished things that she brought home in her backpack. We've been finishing them up at home & the teacher said that she finishes them quickly when it means she's missing out on something else. 

Here were the comments: 
In reading group, Amelie has been working on matching her finger to each word read. She has also been working on beginning and ending sounds of words. She has great effort and enthusiasm when she comes to reading group. 

In math, we have worked on sorting and classifying, position and location, shapes and numbers. We have practiced writing and identifying numbers 0-31 and counting to 100. Amelie identified 11 out of 32 numbers and counted to 29 on her most recent assessment. Please help Amelie practice identifying numbers 11-31 when they are out of order and count accurately to 100. I appreciate Amelie's great attitude and effort in math class. 

In writing, Amelie's effort has improved somewhat. She does her best work with adult support to keep her focused on the task. When she puts forth her best effort, she produces great work. 

In social studies and science, we focused on animal visitors from the science office, learning how to work together in our learning community, and learning more about holidays around the world. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Trick or Treating

This is a little late, but here we go! We had a great Halloween.

Amelie had several costume changes in the afternoon on October 31st. This is what she started out wearing, for underneath her ghost costume.

James had a last-minute costume change as well. He didn't wear the Jake and the Neverland Pirates costume I made for him (though he did wear it around the house several times), choosing the crocodile costume that Amelie wore when she was three out of the dress-up-clothes drawer instead.

James, 3 years old:

Amelie, 3 years old:

There's our ghost. Amelie said for a long time that she wanted to be a ghost, so I cut some holes in an old sheet.

She liked running around in it in the yard.

And scaring her brother.

But then she decided that it might be hard to trick-or-treat in the ghost costume, and carry her pumpkin, and her flashlight, and her trick-or-treat-for-Unicef box.
So she chose the tigger costume from the dress-up drawer. It was very hard waiting for it to get dark -- such a shame that the end of daylight savings was the next day! Here is Amelie staring at the clock until it turned 6:15. 

We got our first trick-or-treater before it got dark, and the kids rushed out to give her candy in the yard instead of just opening the door.

I borrowed a wig with LED lights from Nana Jana and went as an alien. I got lots of compliments, providing my own lighting and whatnot.

Still waiting, and all ready to go with buckets and flashlights.
Waiting on Dada to take a picture, too.

Finally, I said it was time.

Our first stop (as is now tradition) was at our neighbor Ann's house.

We live in just the best neighborhood. One family had a smore station, another had a bonfire and hotdogs, and another was passing out cider. I volunteered us for popcorn balls next year. Amelie's friend across the street invited a bunch of their friends over just to walk around in our neighborhood because it's so awesome. One house even did a haunted house in the garage, but we just tiptoed up to the door and ran away because it was too scary.

When we got home from trick-or-treating, Amelie put on her Princess Elsa dress from Aunt Tara (also from the dress-up drawer) and my light-up wig. Oh - and I almost forgot - Amelie raised $15, mostly in loose change, by trick-or-treating for UNICEF.

Sam made Halloween candy pancakes the next morning (as is now also tradition). Next year, Halloween is on a Monday, so there won't be nearly as much time for costume changes as waiting around all day on Saturday. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Breathing Machine

James has a long history of croupy-coughing and allergic reactions all out of proportion to his exposure to being in the bootheel or near a farm, etc. He had an asthma episode at preschool and we got him a nebulizer in the shape of a dog with a mask that looks like a fish (go figure). We've just had to use it a few times, but it's been nice and seems to help.