Gingerbread People

DSC_7425Gingerbread Men or People

Fun, easy, delicious recipe to do with children. A holiday favorite.

Mix with a mixer:

  • 1 c. butter
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. molasses

Sift or mix together:

  • 5 c. flour
  • 1 1/2 t. soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 t. ginger
  • 1 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. cloves

Mix wet and dry ingredients together.

Chill for about an hour.

Cut with people cookie cutters. Decorate with raisins, chocolate chips, slivered almonds, licorice, and/or tiny candies.

Bake in the oven at 375 for 10 minutes.

Enjoy!

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Granola

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Granola

 

Heat the oven to 300 F with the rack in the middle.

Place in a large bowl and mix:

  • 3 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
  • 1/4 cup almond flour or regular flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Place in a pan and warm to melt:

  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil

Put 1/4 cup pure maple syrup or 1 teaspoon vanilla in the honey/oil mixture. 

Then pour over the oats mixture and mix.

Spread the mixture on a rimmed cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 15 minutes then stir.  Bake for 5 to 10 more minutes until lightly brown around the edges.

Place on a rack to cool.

Add about 1/2 cup of dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, raisins, dates) and about 1/2 cup of nuts or seeds (I prefer pecans.)   I also add about a 1/2 cup of ribbon coconut.

Stir every 15 minutes as it cools to break up the clumps.

Store in airtight container.

Enjoy!   We like it with Cashew Milk.  

 

Apples

Apples

Objective:  Help children discover and learn about apples.
Preparation:
  • Find drawings or pictures of apples and apple trees from books, magazines or old calendars.
  • Gather the following materials; Apples, Knife, Paper, Paint: red; yellow and green, Paper plate. 
  • Decide on a book to read.     Suggested books: The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall ,The Seasons of Arnold’s Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons,Ten Apples Up On Top! By Theo LeSieg.,
Lesson:
  • Read a book. 
  • Discuss apples while showing apples, pictures and/or books.  Apples are a fruit, plant, have seeds.
  • Discuss the changes through the seasons in apple trees.  Can be discussed with seasons
  • Fruits are a healthy food. 
  • It is fun to cut an apple in half horizontally to show the children the star pattern created by the core and seeds.  Use this apple to do the apple stamping in the activity below.

Discussion Questions:

  • What color are apples?  Red, yellow, green or a combination of colors.
  • How do they grow?  On apple trees.
  • How do they taste?  Sweet, crunchy, juicy.
  • What can we make with apples?  applesauce, apple juice, apple pie, apple cake, etc.

Activity: Apple Stamping  (It is fun to use red, yellow and green paint and make a stamping of each color.  Keep an apple in each color of paint and don’t mix colors.  Use paint shirts.  Do with one child at a time.)  

  • Cut your apple in half( for an apple-shaped stamp cut the apple vertically – cutting it horizontally makes a circular shaped stamp.)
  • Pour paint onto a pie tin or plastic plate.
  • Dip your apple into the paint.
  • Stamp your apples on the paper.  If the apples are carefully stamped, the star may be visible.  
  • Set aside to dry.

Making Applesauce is a fun activity with children.  Applesauce blog to be posted soon.

For more educational products and information visit www.phonicsbyspelling.com

 

Math Lesson Ideas for the Number 2 (two)

Math Lesson Ideas for the Number 2 (two)

Objective:  Help children recognize the number 2 and the word “two”, numbers are used for counting, count 2 objects, learn to write “2” and “two”.

Preparations:

  • Find an art print or picture from a calendar or magazine with good examples of “TWO”.
  • Optional:  Have connecting blocks or die-cut paper apples in two colors.
  • Have stickers.
  • Write the number “2” and the word “two” on a word card.  Use the “1 one “ word card from the “ONE” lesson.
  • Decide on a simple book, poem or nursery rhyme that has good examples of two.  Possibly use, “One, Two, Buckle my Shoe”.  (Included at the end.)
  • Have colored paper and pencil for each child.

Lesson Ideas:

  • Display the word card with “2 two”.  Discuss the difference between the number “2” and the word “two”.  Compare to the number “1 one” card.
  • Read a simple book or poem.  Discuss the examples of two. Discuss different body parts to see how many they have.  Do you have two legs?  two eyes? Etc.
  • Show the picture and have each child pick out two things in the picture.
  • Show how to make the number 2.  Have them make them in the air with their finger.  Have them close their eyes and write the number 2 in the air.
  • Give each child a paper and pencil.  Have or help them write their name.  Show the word card again for “2 two”.  Have them write a number “2” several times, and the word “two”.  (If a child has a hard time writing their letters, write the word “two” with a yellow pencil and have them trace it.)  Put out stickers and have them select 2 for their paper.  (They could also draw two things.)

Extension ideas:  Possibly include some comparison or patterning activities with connecting blocks or die-cut apples.  (small, medium, large, same, different, AABB pattern, etc.)

Nursery Rhyme:
One, two, Buckle my shoe;
Three, four, Shut the door;
Five, six, Pick up sticks;
Seven, eight, Lay them straight;

For more educational products and information visit www.phonicsbyspelling.com

Letter Formation

Teaching Handwriting

Teaching a one-stroke method for Lowercase letters (except for “f, i, j, k, t, and x”) makes handwriting easier, neater, faster, and makes cursive easier when they are older.   Letters are started one of 4 ways:

  1. First, “l, i, j, t, h, b, p, r, n, and m” are started with a straight line down, and finished with an up and over the hill in the case of “h, b, p, r, n, and m”.   The “b” is made by coming straight down, then up and over like an “h”, then tucked under.  (Associating “b” with “h” and helping children connect their similarities will help children keep “b” and “d” straight in their mind.)
  2. Second, the letters “a, d, g, q, s, and o” are started by writing a “c”.  Such as, “a” starts like a “c”, then go up and touch where the “c” starts, and come straight down.  Wait about 6 weeks after you have taught “b”, to introduce “d”.  This will help children keep these two letters straight.  Associating “d” with “a” and connecting their similarities, will help children be less confused between “b” and “d”.  Most children get them mixed-up.  Just keep comparing “b” to “h” and “d” to “a”, and they will eventually get it straight.  Here is a sample instruction for “d”:   “d” is made by starting at the broken line, go around like a “c”, then go up to the top line, then come straight down to the bottom line.
  3. Third, “u” and “y” are started by drawing a smile, then come straight down.  In the case of “y”, add a hook like in the j and g (For example see picture below).  Teaching “y” this way will do two things.  It will make the “y” easier, and it won’t look like an “x”.  Also, it will make the transition to cursive easier.
  4. Fourth, v, w, x, k, and z are the angled letters.  These are harder for children to form.  Teach these later in your instruction, unless the child has one in their name.

We have phonics based lesson plans that provide great ideas for kindergarten, preschool, or home schools.  Visit our website.  www.phonicsbyspelling.com

Stop the Spread of Germs

Teach How to Not Spread Germs

(A good lesson for the first day of school)

Objective: Introduce the concept of germs as micro-organisms that can make us sick.  Teach children how to stop the spread of germs.

Preparation:  Have the following materials:

  • Hand washing facilities
  • Liquid foam soap
  • Paper towels
  • Materials for model germs such as pom-poms, pipe cleaners, wiggly eyes, foam shapes, etc.
  • Construction paper
  • Decide on a book to read — Suggested books:  Germs are not for Sharing by Elizabeth Verdick, Germs! Germs! Germs! By Bobbi Katz, The Adventures of Micki Microbe by Maurine Burnham Guymon

Lesson:

Read the book(s) then discuss.  Discussion Questions:

  • What are germs?  Germs are tiny living things called micro-organisms. They can’t be seen with our eyes alone, but they can sometimes make us sick.
  • How are germs spread?  When you sneeze or cough germs rush out of your nose and mouth into the air.  Germs can be on your hands although they cannot be seen and can spread to things you touch.
  • How do we prevent them from spreading?  Cover your face when you sneeze or cough with your elbow or shoulder to stop the spread of germs with your hands.  If you stay home when you are sick, your friends at school won’t get sick.
  • When is it important to wash your hands?  You need to wash our hands after you cough, sneeze or blow your nose, play with a pet, or go to the bathroom.  We need to also wash our hands before we eat.

Have the children practice washing their hands.  Role-play washing hands.  (Squirt soap on hands then rub in for about 20 seconds or the length of a simple song, then wash and dry.)

Activity: Make Model Germs

It is fun to have children create germs.  Have the children make “germs” from pom-poms, pipe cleaners, and foam pieces glued to construction or heavy paper.  You can have them draw on eyes or use wiggly eyes or sequins.  Let them be creative and show their interpretation of what germs look like.  Write the word “germs” on the paper.

For more educational materials and information visit www.phonicsbyspelling.com

 

Discipline Tip–First Day of School

Discipline Tip—First Day of School       TH

 

The beginning of a new school year is a good time to set the tone for the year at home and in the classroom.  Here are a few tips to make the first day of school the start of a great year:

·       Know every child’s name and work to make each feel welcome to your class or your home.  It is fun to sing a simple song that includes each child’s name, for example “Here we are together, together, together.  Here we are together in our school.  There’s ____, and _____, and (continue to include all the children).

·       Only have a few rules and voice them in a positive manner.  (Never use the word “Don’t”.  It just puts ideas in their heads.)  Sample rule:  “In our school everyone treats everyone kindly.” (Then invite the children to create ideas of how they can treat each other kindly.  With children who can read you can help them create a list of the positive ideas the children come up with.)

·       SMILE!

·       Believe children can mind and behave.  Your attitude is contagious.  

·       Plan fun, simple, and short activities.  Keep it a fun, interesting day. 

·       Set a simple routine.  This way, children know what to look forward to each day.  Vary the activities inside the routine.

·       Never use bribery.

Have a great, enjoyable new school year.

For more educational tips and information visit www.phonicsbyspelling.com

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