Thursday, April 16, 2015

What a Difference One Month can Make!

I feel like I just posted Ambree Kate's two-month update, and here were are again with another month gone by. It has certainly been a busy month, though! This little girl continues to captivate us as she grows and changes a little bit every day. Check out the difference a month has made…

Isn't that incredible?!?

Here's a quick recap of this past month!

I went back to work. It really was a bittersweet experience because I was so glad to see my sweet students again, but leaving our little girl has been pretty rough. I won't lie; there were tears shed. However, walking into my classroom to find this precious "Welcome Back" sign waiting for me made the first day back a little better.

And coming home to do this every day is definitely an experience that I am treasuring.

This little girl seems to be full of smiles these days! She loves to coo, and she is rather expressive. I can't get enough of these smiles.

She has become far more aware of her surroundings in the past month. She loves the mobile on her crib. At first, we just let her spend a little time there each day to get used to it, but it wasn't long before she was ready for new sleeping space at night. So she has now transitioned to sleeping in her crib through the nights.

Her first night was quite an adventure, though. She had a blast wiggling, scooting, and kicking around. The sleeping part came later…

We took her to church for the first time. She did so well during the service! Going to church as a family is such a precious experience. We took our first "family" pictures after the service.

Last, but certainly not least, Ambree Kate also experienced her first Easter this month. I love taking this sweet baby to church, but there was something extra special about having her there on such a holy day. It will be years before she comes to fully understand the reason we celebrate Easter, but this mama felt extra blessed to start sharing the occasion with her now.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Easy-to-Make Alphabet Knowledge Activity

A fellow teacher shared this easy-to-make resource with me. It's pretty self-explanatory, but all you need to create it is a cookie sheet, masking tape (I used a cute washi tape), and magnetic letters. You can see the way I structured the board in the picture below.

You can use it several ways, but basically, this activity helps develop alphabet knowledge as students arrange the letters in order, with a vowel beginning each row. You can begin with a completely empty board, or you can place the vowels and have the students arrange all consonants. Once they have arranged the letters, extend the exercise by questioning students about which consonants follow each vowel, but ask about the vowels in a random order. Have students touch each letter as they name it to further enhance the multi-sensory experience.

Extend use with this tool by continuing to use these letters in a dictation exercise, (particularly with basic CVC words). Students pull out the letters they need, arrange the letters to spell the words, and then place the words back on the board in the correct positions.

Another tip: help diminish confusion of reversals of similar letters by drawing a dot at the top of each letter. This helps students see which direction each letter should face, so they are less likely to confuse those b/d, m/w, p/q pairs.

Monday, April 6, 2015

On the Menu: Coconut Oil Biscuits

Okay, friends, I have a new "healthy" obsession: Gimme Some Oven has an incredible recipe for 3-ingredient Coconut Oil Biscuits, and you have to check it out. This is one of those recipes that I pinned ages ago, but just recently actually got around to baking, and I really wish I had tried them sooner. These biscuits are so tasty, and they really are three-ingredients-easy to make. You get the made-from-scratch, clean-eating experience without much hassle at all. I get to make just enough of a mess with these biscuits (a big enough mess to feel like I've done something significant in the kitchen, but not so much that I am afraid to attempt the recipe again…)

I'm intentionally leaving the recipe out of this post so you will visit her blog and get all of the information there. I promise it's worth the online trip! Also, if you want to save the information, please make sure you pin from Gimme Some Oven, rather than any of my images. Have fun!