Video segment about me, by the school district

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Beautiful Bread



If you're a regular follower of my blog, you'll know that my daughter Alicia is getting married soon.  So, we had the bridal shower.  It went very well!  She liked the butterfly decorations and little umbrellas.  My husband actually suggested the umbrellas; he thought "April showers bring May weddings," and said "Why don't you do umbrella decorations everywhere?"  Can you believe I forgot to use the little colored drink umbrellas that I bought?  :-(  So now, all I have to worry about is the WEDDING!

I have felt a little overwhelmed lately with trying to juggle school, my personal life, TPT, and blogging.  Sorry that the blogging has been infrequent.  I want to share with you two really cool multicultural series.  One is the "Around the World" series which introduces children to houses, shoes, hats, and bread from a wide variety of countries.  They're very colorful and are terrific for kindergarten.  The second series is all about making different types of food: bread, noodles, rice, and soup.  These books are so filled with factual information about different tastes, smells, and cultures from around the world that I think they would be a great addition to any elementary teacher's library.  They are a little high for kindergarten.  My children were especially interested in Everybody Bakes Bread because we had people come to school to show them how to do it.


Before we actually made the bread, and before we read the book, we created a prediction poster showing what ingredients the children thought you would need to make bread.  Their responses were all over the board.  Some children nailed it, but I did get answers like cauliflower, roses, candy, and perfume.  After reading the book, we went back to our poster and discovered which ingredients you could use, and which ones you shouldn't use.  The kids loved the bread-making experience.  I have to admit, I was a little nervous.  I didn't know how five classes would do it at one time.  There were many volunteers, though, and that helped the process along.

The people who did it were very organized and had a lot of games for the children to play when they were kneading the dough.  One of the games that I thought was especially cool was "Mountain, Mountain, Earthquake."  It's just what you think.  The kids make a mountain and then destroy it, make a mountain again, and destroy it, as they're saying the words "Mountain, mountain, earthquake."  They actually took the bread home for the actual baking.  I think it would've been nice to smell it baking, but I'm sure the children got to do it when they got home.  I was thinking maybe I could bring a breadmaker to school and do it in the classroom, since it only takes a few hours.

Have any of you ever done this?

Saturday, April 4, 2015

National Head Start Conference


Hi everyone, and Happy Easter!  On Wednesday, April 1st, I presented at the National Head Start Conference in Washington, DC.  It was so much fun, and a dream come true!  The strange thing is I'm more nervous about giving Alicia her bridal shower next Saturday than I was for presenting to 70 people who I didn't know at all.  The session was on one of my favorite topics (STEAM in the early childhood classroom) and it was a total blast!

I talked about making gingerbread houses for all the seasons, using Duplos in cross-curricular centers and small group projects, and a few really cool edible experiments.  It went really well, and I met some lovely people who came up and talked to me afterward.  They made me feel so warm and fuzzy.

I was wondering if any of you have a way to do seasonal gingerbread houses that don't include candy?  It was a question that came up during the presentation.

Have a wonderful holiday!