Thursday, January 18, 2018

Knitted Bunny

              Knit Bunny

    I was browsing Pinterest the other day when I ran across a post that gave free instructions on how to made a cute little  bunny from a knitted square.  I was so intrigued that I had to try my hand at this simple project.
     I want to give credit to 

     She called it "One Square Stuffed Bunny" knitting pattern.  And it was Free! 
 Thank you Gina Michele!

        To begin, I used size 10 needles and cast on 24 stitches.  ( The pattern said to use size 13, but the largest I had were size 10) Knit one row and pearl the next row. Continue the pattern until you have a knitted a square. ( Gina Michele wrote instructions to cast on 24stitches and knit 24 rows. ) Please go to her blog because her instruction are much better than mine.

    Using a yarn needle baste a line across the middle of the piece and then up to the top and back to where you began.  You should have a triangle that looks something like this. I used a contrasting color so it would stand out in the picture.  You can use the same color yarn so it doesn't show in the finished bunny.

      When you begin to pull the ends of the yarn the bunny's ears and head will take shape. This is the view from the back of the bunny.  Before I stuffed the head, I added the eyes and nose. ( It was easier for me than sewing it after the bunny was completed.)

       The bunny is beginning to take shape and getting a personality. Stuff the head.  Pull the basted yarn tight and stitch the back of the head and down the back.

      After the back is stitched, stuff the body. Now run another basting stitch around the bottom of the body.  You may have to add more stuffing as needed.
Pull the basting stitch to tighten up the bottom to close the body. Make a knot to ensure the stuffing is enclosed.


      This little guy needed a cotton tail.  I used a white pom pom which was stitched to the backside of the bunny.  You could make your own pom pom if you are so inclined.

    Here is a great and quick little knitting project that is fun to make and just as much fun to give away to a child this spring or in an Easter basket.  I hope you enjoy making these bunnies as much as I did.

     Today I have linked up with Doodle Bugs Teaching on the Five for Friday weekly linky party. 
Please follow the link to check it out.

It is never to early to Think Spring!

Please leave a comment. I enjoy reading your messages.


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A little bird told me...

        A  Little Bird

    I have linked up with doodle bugs teaching for Five for Friday linky.

       The fifth and second graders share the first floor of our school.   We are getting ready to celebrate Catholic Schools Week beginning Sunday.  A joint hallway display, with the 2nd and 5th graders, would be fun to do.  We had a bulletin board tree on the wall, so we had a good base for our project.

A little bird    told me....   
.....St. Michael Catholic School is GREAT!  Became the fifth grade theme.   Each 5th grader  got a little bird to design and write a comment about their impression of our school.

       We needed something underneath the tree.  So the second graders  colored and wrote a message on acorns. 
 A cute little squirrel says, " We are NUTS about St. Michael School!"  The 2nd graders thought the talking squirrel was so funny.

       I was impressed this week by how many children stopped to read the little messages written by our students.  We have an OPEN HOUSE for the public on Sunday and a spaghetti dinner and open house for our school families on Thursday.  Hopefully many more people will take some time to stop and read our children's thoughts about St. Michael Catholic School, too.
     Happy Catholic Schools Week! 

  It would be very nice to read your comments, so take a minutes and leave me a note.


Monday, January 15, 2018

Martin Luther and the Reformation

Martin Luther 

       I taught a Social Studies lesson on Martin Luther, the Reformation, and the Protestant Religion.  I have had real success with interactive notebook pages this year with my students. So, this is my attempt to explain the concept.
      The homework tonight was to teach your parents about Martin Luther, the Reformation, and the Protestant Religion.  
        These are the church doors...
        This is the inside with the picture of Martin Luther. Sorry for the blurry picture.

The center section where the students had to fill in information.

        This is my model of the outside flaps which became the doors.  After  I drew the nail on the paper with the 95 reasons, of course I hammered  on my desk, just for the effect.  The boys loved it and pounded on their desks, too.
     Here you can see the finished product glued onto loose leaf with the title included.

Flip Charts are a fun way for the students to learn information with a hands on project.


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

King George Character Traits

           King George

    In order to integrate 5th grade Social Studies and Language Arts I read the story, Can't You Make Them Behave, King George?  By Jean Fritz to my Social Studies class.  We had just learned about the events leading up to the Boston Tea Party and the First Continental Congress.  I thought this would be the perfect book as a read aloud. The kiddos participated by saying, "God save the king!" very enthusiastically with an  "English accent".  They also chimed in with a loud, "Huzzah"  after the American colonists dumped the tea into Boston Harbor. 
       After listening to the story, I asked the students about the character traits they could think of that reminded them of King George III of England.  How did he act, speak, feel, and act towards other people?  This was my jumping off place.

         This is the worksheet that I gave to my students.  The character trait is written in the box  on the left side of each section.  I like to add some kind of graphic to my worksheets. A picture is worth a thousand words.

         Here are some samples of my students' work.

        I do hope some other teacher can use this idea in their Social Studies  or Language Arts class.  It helps the students understand that this was a real person, not just another character in a story.  King George made a huge impact on the American colonists.

 You can also find this featured on Teach
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      Please leave a comment if you have an extra minute.  I'd love to hear from you.  Enjoy your day!


Saturday, January 6, 2018

Advent Calendar

       A Family Tradition

       Many years ago my  children received an Advent calendar from my husband's aunt.  She had made felt ornaments to attach to a felt tree.
All of the cousins used these Advent calendars as they waited patiently for Christmas to come each year for about 30 years. Aunt Marian had made four Advent calendars, one for each family.  Each ornament had its own little pocket, 24 in all.

       Two years ago, my two sister-in-laws and I decided that we would make an Advent calendar for our children now that they were grown and living on their own.  Some were married and having children.  We wanted this tradition to carry on for the next generation. 

       We divided up the 24 ornaments.  Each of us would make 8.  We had to make 12 of each ornament for our combined 12 children.  

     From the top we made sleighs, angels, train engines, drums, piggy banks, houses, stockings, candles, holly leaves, wrapped gifts, horses, snowmen,bells, gingerbread men, hearts, ornaments, tin soldiers, fish, birds, wreaths, candy canes, apples, mittens, and puppy dogs.  The stars at the top were made by our Aunt Marian. 

      Here is the tree before trimming at the beginning of Advent.  All the ornaments are tucked into a numbered pocket.

       And the tree on Christmas Eve all decorated.  The little ones love to choose an ornament and snap it on the tree. This is great for eye hand coordination.   Children can talk about the colors and shapes of each ornament while placing them on the tree. 

       We added a Nativity scene under our Advent trees.  My sister-in-law found the darling set of buttons and had to purchase them.  They add a beautiful reminder of the true meaning of Advent and Christmas.


Friday, January 5, 2018


 Puppets, Puppets, Puppets!

            I have made puppets with my 5th graders for at least the last 15 years. It was a year long project starting with the collecting of the light bulbs and culminating with puppets shows for  parents and doing traveling puppet shows for other the students in our school. 
             I retired last June.  My friend, Cindy, switched grades and took over teaching my 5th grade classes. Cindy wanted to continue making puppets this year if I would come in and walk her through the  process of paper mache', painting the faces, gluing on the hair, beards, and mustaches, designing and making the clothing.   I had a great time working with the kiddos and being able to leave the mess (only kidding) behind. 

        Here are some of the finished products.  I just love them.  Every year the students manage to amaze me with their creations.

Doesn't she have the most precious face?

His necklace adds a sparkle to his face.

His eyes and eyebrows intrigue me!

The green dress brings out the color of her eyes.

                    I love the expressions on their little faces. Everyone is different with hair and eye color, beards, eyelashes, and smiles.

                Just in case you were wondering about the style of clothing , the puppets represent people from the Bible. The women are wearing a veil, crown, or some kind of head covering.   Some of the Bible stories presented as puppet shows were Noah's Ark, David's Giant Faith, Jonah and the Whale, Moses and Water from the Rock, Jacob and Esau, and  The Birth of Moses to name a few.

             Making these darlings is a long process, but very rewarding for the students in the end. I do hope Cindy will continue to have the kids make puppets in the future.

 I have  linked up with 4th Grade Frolics. Please stop by to see her new classroom for the fall.

 Please leave a comment if you have a spare minute. I'd love to read your thoughts.


Saturday, December 30, 2017

Five Little Monkeys


            Five Little Monkeys is such a wonderful finger play for the young toddler.  These children are beginning to listen and repeat actions and words. They love rhyming sounds and silly songs.  What better song than "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed"?  
            I made these little finger puppets for my granddaughter. Riding in the car seat for a long trip can be very boring a for the child as well as the adults.  But I would rather hear Five Little Monkeys jumping on the bed than a child whining or crying unnecessarily.
           Some little distraction like this will definitely help with the sanity of the adults in your car. Spend a few quality minutes with your child instead of putting on a video. Remember that children benefit more from adult interaction than screen time. 

          As you can see, there is nothing fancy about these finger puppets, and you can whip these up quickly on a sewing machine with minimal sewing skills.

               These little monkeys needed a little bed to jump on. A little tin  Altoids box was the perfect size.  I cut a little blanket and pillow from some felt and glued it to the lid of the tin. Hopefully, you can use your imagination to see the little bed. The five little monkeys can sleep inside when not jumping on the bed.  This little tin can be popped into a purse or diaper bag.

              As you can tell from my blog,  I am a proponent of being with and doing as much as you can with your young child as you possibly can.  Our children are young for such a very short time.  They grow up so very fast.  Don't let another opportunity pass you by.  
       Today I linked up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the Five for Friday linky.  Check out all the other blogs who have linked up, too.

            Please leave a comment if you have a minute.  I'd love to read your thoughts.