Rainbow Collage Completed

Before:

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After:

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Once our colored magazine clippings were arranged by color and glued into place, Joyce applied a decoupage-like glaze to the surface. I have to give credit, once again, to Art Projects for Kids, for this great idea.

We hung the collage (as suggested by one of our students) above the inside doorway so that it is visible upon entering the classroom. We have gotten so many complements on it!

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Today is another fun art day, with new projects in store!

~Silvana

Wanted: Fairy Tale Villains!

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Wrapping up our unit on Traditional Literature, I had the children design a wanted poster for the villain of a story they had read. They needed to describe the character, the crime  committed, where they were seen last, and to set a reward.  Basically a story map of the character, setting and problem of the story. The children were able to elaborate  during their presentation. This is always a fun project, and I was really impressed with their work. Here are a few more:

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I have some very artistic students!

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Mythology is always a popular choice for this genre.

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Next month we are making Bio-Cubes. Can’t wait to see what they come up with…

Random Classroom Shenanigans

We’ve had quite a bit of fun in class the past few months. Here are some of the highlights, at least the ones I snapped pictures of.

Our traditional Thanksgiving soup, in its first stage:

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Our class, enjoying Thanksgiving soup with all the trimmings:

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Chess is a favorite game:

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And Dino Math Tracks:

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We did a big unit on clocks and telling time. Here we are making human clocks with hula hoops and our arms, an idea I found  on Pinterest. We also did a really cool timeline on the history of clocks and telling time, but I didn’t take pics of it yet.

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We did an art lesson on the color wheel and learned about primary, secondary, complementary, warm and cool colors. Then we spent a class period cutting up old magazines. After that we put the pictures together in a large rainbow collage. It was a nice, whole class, collaborative project, which was inspired by the blog artprojectsforkids.org . It only needs a few finishing touches before we hang it up!

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And the last of the shenanigans of 2012, that earned Joyce and I a well deserved break, was making gingerbread houses with milk cartons, graham crackers, frosting and lots and lots of candy! Next year, remind me to cover the cartons in foil first!

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Next year I would love to do this as a writing extension for the gingerbread houses. Too bad I found it afterwards!

Gingerbread House For Sale- Adjectives-Descriptive Writing- LOTS of activities, very cute!

2012, you’ve been lots of fun! Here’s to more shenanigans in the new year!

~Silvana

End of Year Catch-Up/Wrap-Up

photo source: carolineasmussen.com

It seems like forever since I’ve had time to sit down and write-so much has happened since my last post. It seems appropriate now, as the year is winding down, to reflect on the past months and also, to resolve not to leave my readers hanging for so long!

So here it is, the top five things that have happened since we last spoke, in chronological order:

1. We got a dog! A ten month old, full boxer “puppy” named Mia. I say that in quotes because she is a big, 57 lb baby. It became my husband’s obsession mission, towards the end of the summer, to become a dog owner. He registered with every boxer rescue in the area, and after a long process of applications, interviews, and waiting, we finally got our dog. It has been a great experience learning to become a “dog person.” We do have a cat, a leopard gecko, some fish, and two part-time hamsters (school pets), so having another animal does complicate things, but she has proven to be such a good dog and a great addition to our family. The girls absolutely adore her, and she is fiercely protective of them.

Spoiled much?

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

2. A little storm named Sandy blew into our area. We were fortunate to weather the storm unscathed, but so many of our friends and family were (and continue to be) impacted by this storm. Homes, businesses, cars, and belongings of so many people were literally swallowed up by the ocean that night. Power was out for days, even weeks in some areas. Places where I spent my childhood and teen years are now completely gone. Countless horror stories were told and retold in the early days after the storm, and our lives were put on hold for that first week afterwards. It was very difficult going back to work and school and all of our routines after such an upheaval, but we all managed as best we could, one day at a time. The one good thing to come of such a disaster was to see the way people reached out to help one another. If nothing else, we learned to appreciate each other and put the important things in life into perspective.

3. I turned 40!

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Now here is another thing I survived relatively unscathed! My husband had great intentions of planning a surprise party, but Sandy had other plans. Regardless, I spent my birthday with loved ones, feeling loved. I always thought turning 40 would be depressing, but actually I am really happy with life and feel blessed in so many ways. Not to mention that my brother and sisters got me this sweet new laptop that I am using right now, John got me an iPhone 5, and I am now thoroughly technologically geeked out!

4. An unspeakable tragedy occurred in Newtown, Connecticut, that, as a teacher and mother of a six year old, hit me especially hard. My heart felt like it just couldn’t handle it, and I shed many tears for those innocent souls. I don’t know what the answer is, or if there even is an answer. But I do know that teachers all across America had the same conversation at school that Monday, that we replayed scenarios in our heads, while parents hugged their children tighter and we once again moved on, with heavy hearts and minds.

5. Finally, the holidays arrived. We followed traditions, visited family, ate and drank merrily, spoiled our children and counted our blessings once again.

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The new year awaits, stretched out like a blank canvas, full of promise and potential. The idea of the “new year” has always been exciting to me. A fresh start, a clean slate, a chance to break old habits and start new ones.

I now leave you with some poetic musings:

 The Year

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That’s not been said a thousand times?

The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.

We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.

We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.

We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our brides, we sheet our dead.

We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that’s the burden of the year.
~Silvana

New York Comic Con 2012

Otherwise known as the freaks and geeks prom!

You can keep your football and your baseball. For us, October is all about the Con!

We took the girls last year and had so much fun, we decided to make it a new tradition. This year we only went on Friday night. We waited too long to get tix, and they sold out fast.

These pictures will speak for themselves!

Heading to Artist Alley

All our favorite DBZ figures!

Just Dance 4

Lego insanity

I mustache you a question…

A mustache with a mustache – only $20

Adventure Time!!

    

White Spy

Some shots from the Lily Cam

Lily was quite enamored of this crazy cat lady!

Distant cousins, perhaps?

More Jake and Finn

Quidditch, anyone?

Phoebe and Mr. Freeze

I totally fell in love with these little organ pillows and their catchy slogans – too cute!

Lily got a friendly wave from Darth

Season Three starts tonight!

So much fun and randomness

No, thank you, Comic Con.

See you next year!

~The Frasiers

Apples and Pumpkins and Pie, Oh My!

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Went pumpkin and apple picking this weekend

and I finally made the pumpkin pie I had been promising John since last fall.

A little over zealous with the apple picking? I may just end up with nine pies after all!

Picked one biggie for carving and seed toasting, and a cute little one.

Looking cute in a pumpkin patch.

Very excited for Halloween, and happy to finally feel some cool weather!

~Silvana

Breakfast Cereal Bars

Whipped up a quick breakfast treat for my kiddies on this glorious, lazy Sunday morning.

I had a huge box of original Cheerios sitting in the pantry that wasn’t being eaten, so I made these cereal bars that come together a lot like rice crispy treats. Instead of using melted marshmallow and butter, use honey, sugar and peanut butter. Still sweet, but a little healthier. I adapted this recipe for Cheerio Bars from www.cdkitchen.com.

Here’s how:

Start with a small greased pan and about 3 cups of Cheerios (or any cereal). Sprinkle in some sunflower seeds.

Put 1/4 cup of turbinado sugar and 1/2 cup of honey in a small saucepan and heat until syrupy. Then add about 1/2 cup of peanut butter to the saucepan until melted through.

Pour the peanut butter syrup over the cereal and mix until blended through. Then pour into the greased pan and press into the pan so it sticks together firmly. my mixture didn’t quite fill the pan, so I smooshed it all to one side of the pan, and it only filled half the pan. If you spread it too thin, it will fall apart when you cut it, so don’t worry about having it fill the whole pan.

The hardest part of this is waiting for it to cool! You could substitute any nut or seed you like, or dried fruit, or chocolate chips. The variations are endless.

My taste testers gave this four thumbs up!

Happy Sunday!

~Silvana

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