Posts Tagged ‘working with children’

Pioneer Scones

Pioneer Scones

Make your favorite bread dough or thaw out frozen bread/roll dough.  (Look at the Grandma’s Egg Bread (Orange Rolls) and Wheat Bread recipes on this blog.)

When the dough is ready:

  • Heat about a 1/2 inch of oil (expeller pressed prefered) in a heavy frying pan.  Don’t let the heat get too high and burn the oil.
  • Roll the dough out and cut with a knife into about 3 x 2 inch pieces.
  • Fry the dough until it is brown on both sides.
  • Cool for a few minutes on a paper towel.
  • Then serve with Honey Butter.   (Mix with a fork 1 cube of soft butter with about 1/2 cup of honey.)

Fun Treat!


IMG_2177 Pancakes

 1.    Mix with a whisk:

  •  2 cups flour (whole grain is best)
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  •  1 teaspoon baking powder

 2.   Heat frying pan on medium heat.

 3.    Mix in with a whisk:

  •  about 2 cups of water or milk
  •  2 eggs
  •  1/2 cup oil or applesauce
  •  2 Tablespoons honey

 4.    The pan is ready for pancakes when you sprinkle a little water with your fingers in the pan and the water dances. Cook pancakes.

 5.    Eat with syrup, applesauce, honey/butter or cinnamon sugar.  It is fun to try new toppings for pancakes.

 6.    Enjoy!

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.


Math Lesson Ideas for the Number 1 (One)

Math Lesson for the Number 1 (One)

ObjectiveHelp children recognize the number 1, the word “one”, numbers are used for counting, count 1 object, and learn to write “l” and “one”.


  • Find an art print or picture from a calendar or magazine with good examples of “ONE”.
  • Optional:  Make some die cuts of apples or something else in two different colors and 3 different sizes.
  • Have some stickers.
  • Write the number “l” and the word, “one” on a word card.
  • Have examples of the different fonts of the printed form of 1.
  • Decide on a simple book, poem or nursery rhyme that has good examples of “one”.  Possibly use, “There Was a Crooked Man”.  (Included at the end.)
  • Have paper and pencil for each child.


  • Display the word card with “l one”.  Discuss the difference between the number “1” and the word “one”.  What are words made of?  (letters)  What are numbers used for?  (counting)
  • Read  a book, poem or the Nursery Rhyme.  Then discuss the examples of one thing in the reading. Discuss different body parts to see how many they have.  Do you have 1 eye?  1 nose? Etc.
  • Show the picture and have each child pick out one thing in the picture.
  • Show the children examples of different fonts for the number one.  Encourage them to write their l’s with a straight line like an “l”.  Have them make them in the air with their finger.
  • Give each child a paper and pencil.  Have or help them write their name.  Show the word card again for “l one”.  Have them write a number “l” and a word “one”.  (If a child has a hard time writing their letters, write the word “one” with a yellow pencil and have them trace it.)  Put out stickers and have them select 1 for their paper.

Extension ideas: Possibly include some comparison or patterning activities with the die cut apples.  (small, medium, large, same, different, ABAB pattern, etc.)   Can also do a food activity with several 1 items.

Nursery Rhyme

There was a crooked man, and he went a crooked mile;

He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile:
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.

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Weather: Rain and Snow

20150709_202755    P

Weather: Rain and Snow      

Objective: Help children learn about the water cycle and how water is a part of our weather.

  • Find drawings or pictures of rain, snow and other storms from books, magazines or old calendars.
  • Collect a pan, water, a cookie sheet, and a stove or something to heat the water.
  • Make word cards; evaporation, water cycle, water vapor, and condensation. 
  • Have crayons, pencils or markers.
  • Scraps of construction paper in white, dark blue, green and yellow.
  • Print the water cycle on light blue or white paper. water-cycle-picture   If you do this activity with older children, they can write all the words.  
  • Create a sample water cycle.
Suggested books:
  • Cloudy with a Chance Of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
  • Franklin and the Thunderstorm by Paulette Bourgeois
  • What Makes it Rain? by Keith Brandt
Read a book then discuss water weather:
Discussion questions:
  1. How do you feel when it rains?
  2. Are you afraid of storms, if so why do they scare you?
  3. What activities do you like to do in the rain?
  4. Where do you think rain comes from?
  5. What other weather has water in it?  (snow, hail)

Demonstrate “condensation” and “evaporation” by heating a small pot of water on the stove. Heat the water until you see steam.  Show the “water vapor” and “evaporation” cards.  Say, “The steam is water vapor or evaporation.”  Hold the cookie sheet above the water.  Show how the water condensate on the cookie sheet. Show the word card “condensation. Say, “If we hold this cookie sheet for a long time above the water it will start dropping rain. 

Activity: Help children learn about the water cycle by making a water cycle collage picture.  (Tearing paper is a skill that most children have to be taught.)
  • Give each child a sheet of light blue or white water cycle picture paper.
  • Tear dark blue paper big enough to fill half of the bottom part of the paper to look like the ocean. Have the children glue it on their paper by the word “ocean”.
  • Tear a sun shape of yellow. Have the children glue it by the word “sun” above the ocean. Talk about how the sun heats the water and causes it to evaporate. Help them write “sun” on the sun.
  • Tear a piece of white paper and have the children shade it with gray with the side of a crayon to look like a rain cloud. Have the children glue it on their paper opposite the sun by the words, “rain cloud”. (Explain how the droplets of water vapor come together and cool to make a cloud and when they get too heavy they condensate on bits of dust and begin to fall to the earth as snow or rain depending on how cold they are.)
  • Have the children draw the rain coming from the cloud by the word, “rain” below the cloud. Discuss the ways the rain helps all living things and all the benefits of rain and storms.
  • Tear a piece of green or brown paper to look like a slope of land coming down to meet the ocean. Have the children glue it next to the ocean piece of paper by the word “land”.
  • Tear a strip of blue paper to look like a river. Have the children glue it on the slope of land by the word, “river”. Talk about the collection of rain into rivers, lakes and oceans
  • Read all the words on the picture together.
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Symbols of The USA–The Statue of Liberty


The Statue of Liberty

Objective: To introduce children to The Statue of Liberty as a symbol of USA promise of freedom. 


  • Find drawings or pictures of The Statue of Liberty from books, magazines or old calendars.
  • Have green crayons, pencils or markers and paper for the children.  (Print,”The Statue of Liberty” on the paper.)
  • Suggested book:   The Statue of Liberty by Lucille Recht Penner


  • Read the book then discuss while showing pictures:
  • The Statue of Liberty is one of the most recognizable symbols of the United States in the world. For many visitors traveling by sea in days gone by, the statue located on Liberty Island, in New York harbor, was their first glimpse of America.
  • The statue symbolizes liberty and democracy.
  • The Statue of Liberty is a huge sculpture that is located on Liberty Island in New York Harbor. This monument was a gift to the USA from the people of France.
  • Liberty was designed by the French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi. The hollow copper statue was built in France – it was finished in July, 1884.  It was brought to the USA in 350 pieces on a French ship.  The statue was reassembled in the USA and was completed on October 28, 1886.
  • Liberty’s right hand holds a torch that is a symbol of liberty. There are 354 steps inside the statue and its pedestal. There are 25 viewing windows in the crown. The seven rays of Liberty’s crown symbolize the seven seas and seven continents of the world. Liberty holds a tablet in her left hand that reads “July 4, 1776” (in Roman numerals).
  • This is the poem that is mounted on the base of the statue.  Emma Lazarus wrote it.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
with conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
a mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame,
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
with silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”


Discussion questions:

  • What is liberty?  — the power of choice.
  • What is a symbol? —  something visible that by association or convention represents something else that is invisible.
  • What are some other symbols of our country? — The Flag, Eagle, etc.


  • Draw the statue. Give each child a paper and a green pencil or crayon. Help the children draw the statue one step at a time. Wait to start each step until all children have completed the previous step.
  • Pictures of the kids: Take each child one at a time. Wrap a green sheet around the child and attach at shoulder. Have them wear a Statue of Liberty headband (you can get them from Liberty Tax or have them make one). Give them a flashlight to hold in their left hand. In their right hand give them a small poster board with “July 4th 1776” written on it. Have them pose like the Statue of Liberty and take a picture.


Mammals    20141208_133905

Objective: Children will learn the characteristics of mammals and how they compare to other animals. 

    • Find drawings or pictures of mammals and other types of animals from books, internet, magazines or old calendars.

    • Make word cards for the words, Mammals, Animals, Yes, and No.

    • Have paper and crayons.

  • Suggested books:

      • Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae
      • The Hat by Jan Brett
Read the book(s) then discuss while showing pictures.
Discuss the characteristics of mammals

    • All mammals are warm-blooded.

    • Most young are born alive.

    • They have hair or fur on their bodies.

    • Every mammal is a vertebrate. 

    • All mammals have lungs to breathe air.

    • Mammals feed milk to their babies.


Play the Yes and No game with pictures of different animals.  “Is this a mammal?” Then place the animal on the yes or no pile.  (This gives an opportunity to discuss characteristics of different animals.)

Have children draw their favorite mammal.  Write the name of the mammal on the picture.


Spellings and Their Sounds

This is a handy list of the sounds for each spelling.  

List of Consonant Sounds for Each Spelling.

  • b/bb                      Bb or silent
  • c                            Kk or Ss when the C is followed by an e, i or y.
  • ck                         Kk
  • cks                       Xx/KS
  • ch                         CH, SH for French origin words, or Kk
  • d/ed                      Dd or Tt for the suffix -ed
  • f/ff                         Ff or rarely Vv (of)
  • g/gg                      Gg or Jj when the Gg is followed by an e,i or y
  • gh                         Gg, Ff or silent
  • gn                         Nn
  • gu                         Gg (guess)
  • h                           Hh, or silent as in hour
  • J                             Jj
  • k                           Kk
  • kn                         Nn
  • ks/kes                   Xx/KS
  • l/ll                          Ll, rarely Rr (colonel) or silent when followed by f, m, k, or d. (calf, calm, yolk, could)
  • le/el                       Ll
  • m/mm                   Mm or rarely silent.
  • mn/mb                  Mm
  • n/nn                      Nn or silent
  • ng/n                      NG also when a N is followed by a K it has the NG sound
  • p/pp                      Pp
  • ph                         Ff or Pp
  • pn                         Nn
  • ps                         Ss
  • pt                          Tt or at the end of a syllable it can have a Pp/Tt blend.
  • qu                         Qu/KW
  • r/rh                       Rr if at the beginning of a syllable or word
  • s/ss                      Ss, Zz, _S_(ZH), or SH (sugar)
  • si                          _S_ (ZH) or SH
  • sh                         SH
  • t/tt                         Tt
  • ti                          SH, or Tt
  • th                         TH as in thumb, TH as in this, or Tt (thyme)
  • v                           Vv
  • w                          Ww or silent vowel helper (know)
  • wh                        WH, or rarely Hh (who)
  • wr                         Rr when at the beginning of a syllable
  • x                           Xx/KS at the end of a word/syllable, or Zz at the beginning of a word
  • y                           Yy when it begins a word/syllable otherwise it is a vowel (Look at Vowels)
  • z                           Zz or rarely _S_ (ZH) (seizure)

List of Vowel Sound for Each Spelling

  • a                  Long A, UH, AW (all), or short Aa when followed by a consonant in the syllable
  • a_e/ai          Long A, Short Ee (said), short Ii (mountain), Long I (aisle) or Short Aa (plaid, have)
  • air                AIR
  • ar                 AR OR when following a “W” (warm), or ER when it is a suffix (dollar)
  • are               AIR or AR when all alone (are)
  • au                Long A, AW, or Short A (laugh)
  • aw               AW
  • ay                Long A or Long I (kayak)
  • e                  Long E, UH or Short Ee when followed by a consonant in the syllable
  • ea                Long E, Long A (break), or Short Ee (head)
  • ear               EAR or AIR (bear)
  • ee/e_e         Long E or rarely Long A (matinee)
  • ei                 Long A, Long E when following a “C”, or rarely Long I
  • eo                Rare Long E (people) or Long O
  • et                 Short Ee, or Long A (ballet)
  • ew               Long OO or Long U
  • ey                Long E, Long I (geyser, eye) or Long A (they)
  • i                   Long I, UH, Short Ii when followed by a consonant in the syllable, Long E (pizza)
  • ia                 Long I (diamond)
  • ie                 Long I if it ends the first syllable, Long E, or rarely Long A (lingerie)
  • i_e               Long I, Long E (machine), or Short Ii (give)
  • igh               Long I
  • is                 Long I (island), or Long E (debris)
  • ir                  ER or Long I (fire)
  • o                  Long O, UH, Short Oo when followed by a consonant, short I (women), Long OO (to), Short OO when following a “W” (wolf), or UH (son)
  • oa                Long O
  • oe                Long O or Long OO (canoe)
  • o_e              Long O, UH (some), Short Oo (gone), or Long OO (move)
  • oi                 OY
  • oo                Long OO (boo), or Short OO (book)
  • or                 OR, or ER when it follows a “W” (work) or at the end (doctor)
  • ore/oar/oor  OR
  • ou                OW, UH (double), AW (cough), OR (four), Long OO (soup), or Short OO (could)
  • ow                Long O, or OW
  • oy                 OY
  • u                   Long U, Short Uu/UH when followed by a consonant in the syllable, Long OO (tuna), or Short OO (put)
  • ue                 Long U or Long OO
  • u_e               Long U, Long OO (tube) or UH (judge)
  • ui                  Long OO
  • ur                  ER
  • y                   Long E multi-syllable words, Long I first syllable, or Short I when followed by consonant

More phonics materials available through our website.

Precious Time

Precious Time (The first few minutes after school.)


The first minutes when you see your child right after school are the time when you will learn the most about their day.  With our mobile phones, it is easy to be on the phone when picking up children or when they walk in the door resulting in those precious few minutes being gone. 


If you end your call and take those few minutes to listen, you will always be thankful for your time with your children.  You will learn things that will save a lot of heartache. 


Enjoy your time with your special ones.

Need Attention

Remember, children need to have attention.sidebar-children

  • Try to give positive attention before the child has misbehaved. Right after they have misbehaved it is too late for positive attention.
  • Keep positive attention real. Children see right through anything fake.
  • Some positive attention ideas are: Read together, play a game, sit with them, take an interest in what they are doing, or invite them to be a helper.

Enjoy the little ones in your life.  What are your ideas for positive attention?

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