Saturday, July 29, 2017

Moose Finger Puppet

           This summer a moose crept into my life. 

           My granddaughter came to visit.  Before she arrived, I had gone to the library. Our library has a Used Book Cellar.  Of course it is down in the basement of the public library, hence the name.  I found the book, "If You Give a Moose a Muffin" by Laura Joffe Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond. The book was in perfect condition with the dust cover without a wrinkle or tear. I picked it up for one dollar.  I couldn't resist!

            This cute story quickly became a bedtime favorite. We read it together over and over enjoying the story and pictures. The illustrations are so very inviting.  They tell the story so well. Even small children are able to retell the story in there own words from the illustrations.

            The summer then lead us "up north" in Michigan for a short vacation. 
Michigan is known for Kilwins Chocolate Candy and Fudge.   We took a walk in the small town of Harbor Springs one night after dinner.  We ran into a very friendly moose!

            The moose was standing in front of Kilwins to welcome all the passers- by.  My granddaughter was amazed by this moose!  Had the book come alive just for her?  They do look similar.  The two  danced and teased each other for the longest time. 

            Well on the way home in the car, I decided that a MOOSE finger puppet needed to be made. I always carry my small box of felt and embroidery floss with me when I travel, just in case I get an inspiration for a felt finger puppet.
Here is my Moose.  He is kind of cute, in a "goofy and outdoorsy" sort of way. I tried to capture the silly moose my granddaughter had encountered this summer in Michigan.  As you can see I took this picture in the car.

          Finger puppets can be a fantastic manipulative for young children. They are easy to handle and do not take up much space.  These travel well and are great for quiet activities. Felt is quite durable, inexpensive, and easy to work with. Even a beginner can stitch up a finger puppet. 

          You can see my "Five Little Monkeys" finger puppets at the link below. 

          I store my finger puppets that are made in little Altoid tins. The lids closes tightly for safe keeping. A small piece of felt is glued onto the cover of the tin with tacky glue.  Each tin has a different color felt on the lid. The child knows by color which finger puppets  are stored in each tin.

          So, the moral of the story is, if you happen to run into a moose some day keep an open mind.  You might enjoy the journey I did!

      Please leave a comment if you have a spare minute, I'd love to hear from you.


Monday, July 24, 2017

Felt Food

Felt Food!

            I have been looking at all the posts on Pinterest concerning everyone making felt food. It looked so appealing and didn't seem that hard to make, so I thought I would give it a try.  My granddaughters have play kitchen sets, so this would be the perfect addition to their dramatic play.

                  I started out with cookies.  Round pieces of felt sewn to look like sandwich cookies were so simple to do. Adding a little bit of hand stitching to one side made it look like a frosting design on top.  I was able to work on these on the airplane or in the car when traveling.  The chocolate chip cookies were also fun and easy. Little brown, round circles stitched to the large top circle was quick to do. Some tiny chocolate chips were created with French knots instead of felt circles. Then the top and bottom were stitched together.

            Pasta was a quick and easy food to make.  My pinking shears came in handy when making the ravioli and bow tie pasta. I stuffed the ravioli with little bits if left over felt from cutting the cookies. These went together in no time at all. Very easy for a beginner sewer.

         Fruits and Vegetables were other food groups that I decided to work on.
The strawberries were also fun and easy. A half circle of red felt and a few stitches of tan embroidery floss made the strawberry come together quickly. A little green star shaped piece of felt was sewn on the top for the leaves and stem.
         The corn and carrot are made with the same basic shape. When working on the corn I machine stitched the felt in a checker board pattern to make the kernels of corn. The side seam was sewn next. Then the top and bottom were gathered to finish each piece. A piece of cream colored felt was sewn on one end of the cob to make the flat end. Green felt was added to the carrot for the leaves.

        All the fixings for a sandwich would be a good addition to the felt food collection. Making the bread was a little more tricky than I thought.  It didn't turn out as well as I would have wanted. But once you put all the pieces together, it will pass for a pretend sandwich. The cheese slices were just pieces of felt.  You can't get any easier than that!

        Egg and toast is all you need for breakfast. 

        I just had to make some desserts! Donuts and ice cream of course!          A kitchen would not be complete without dessert! These were so much fun to make.  I smiled the entire time working on them.

        I know that my felt food doesn't meet the standards of the food you might find on Etsy, but I hope my granddaughters will enjoy playing with their assortment of felt goodies for years to come. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Felt Flower Headband


           After my granddaughter was born, my daughter saw a headband with a felt flower.  She said, "Mom, I think we can made that."  Of course we took the challenge and made a trip to JoAnn's for felt and an elastic trim.
              It wasn't as hard as I thought it might be. I started with paper and pencil to make a pattern for the flower.  I cut a circle about the size of a CD.   As I stated to cut the spiral, a scalloped edge was included.

      The rectangular piece is used for the middle of the flower.  This felt piece was fringed along one side.  Then the rectangular piece is rolled to form the stamen, middle part, of the flower.  I stitched the felt as I rolled it, but you could use hot glue to hold it together.

Sorry about the fuzzy picture.

       To made the petals of the flower,  you begin wrapping from the outside of the felt circle. As you wrap, sew or glue the felt around the stamen. The flower will begin to "build" itself.

       We made leaves to add another color.  

        As it turned out, the leaves were a little too big for a newborn's head.  The leaves were removed for the finished product.  
        I do believe that my 5th grade girls should be able to make these flowers.  Maybe for Mother's Day.
Please leave a comment if have time. I would enjoy hearing your thoughts.

Have a wonder day.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017


                                          This is my daughter's puppy, Barkley, a little Yorkie. He is very lovable and loves to snuggle in for a nap.

                                            What more can I say?

                                            Enjoy your day.  He is.

Maybe this is what he was planning.

Leave a comment if you like.  It is always fun reading your comments.


Monday, June 19, 2017


 I retired from teaching last June. This year has been great but so different from my 25 years of teaching 5th grade.  This quote kind of sums it all up for me at this time in my life.

       I found this quote, at the beginning of June a few years ago on Pinterest. We used edline to communicate with parents and students. Each of our classes has its own page.  So for the image I used this quote to send my students off for the summer.

  Today I am linking up with Stephanie at Forever in Fifth Grade for Show and Tell Tuesday.   I am not able to upload her cute graphic at this moment. Please accept my apology.

Please leave a comment.  I enjoy reading your notes and thoughts.
Come back soon.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Animal Bed Tins

                Left over felt and mint tins are a good combination for a little summer project.  In a few weeks our family will be getting together for a week long summer vacation.  I told my nieces that we would do some craft projects.  I thought that these might be a good jumping off place to get us started. Some years have been so very nice Up North in Michigan, but some have been cold and rainy.  You have to prepare for both.
       So, I made these little animals that the kids could play with. Possibly the older girls might make more for themselves. Basically, an egg or oval shape for the body and some small scraps of felt for the arms, legs, and ears.

                    Today I am linking up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for 
Monday Made It! 
Check out all the great links and ideas.

I gave this penguin a fish.

          I started out sewing them by hand.  The little brown bear is hand sewn,  All the others are mostly done on my sewing machine. 
       Here they are tucked into their little beds. They each have a tiny pillow, sheet, and blanket made from felt scraps.


Brown Bear

Wise Old Owl

Of course the bunny needed a carrot!

   My nieces and nephews enjoyed playing with their new little friends. Tucking them into bed each night was a great way to end a busy day while on vacation.

 I saw this idea, Bedtime and Picnic Playset  on

Please leave a comment if you have a spare minute. I'd love to hear from you.

 Enjoy your day!


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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Personal Offices are Beneficial

               Today I am linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for Made it Monday. 
     Thank you, Tara, for the link up opportunity.

     I am the teacher at school that makes all sorts of things out of junk. So here was my version of a personal office.

        If you know me at all, I don't throw anything away.  (I have lessons from my first years of teaching.)  I also don't like to spend a lot of money on things that I can make myself.  A few years ago my class needed new personal offices and I found these boxes in the school cardboard recycle bin.  St. Michael Parish hosts fish dinners on Fridays during Lent.  So there were plenty of these fish boxes for the taking.  A application of wide clear tape on the corners, and I was done. They fold up and store on a shelf.   These personal offices have lasted for a good many years and didn't cost me a dime.

      As you can see these boxes were the perfect size for our 5th grade desks. Each child has a private place to take their test.  I also like to turn desks for test taking.

       When each child finishes their test, they keep their personal office up as not to disturb any classmates.  Some students become very anxious when they see other children finishing early and turning tests in before others.  This also gives everyone the same amount of time to complete and check over answers written on the test paper.  So many times children rush through a test and leave answers blank.  Other children don't bother to reread paragraphs or short answers that they have written.  Before anyone turns a test I ask them to check all their answers and reread what they have written.  Then I ask for a "show of hands" of those who have found a mistake.   I see smiles of those students who have found a mistake and have made a correction.

    Here is the view of the inside of the personal office.  You can see close ups of the attachments of a previous blog post, "Personal Offices".


      Do you use personal offices or study corrals in your class? 

Please leave a short comment if you have an extra minute.  I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas.  

Have a Fabulous day!


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Pueblo Project

                   Pueblo Project is complete!  Yeah!
All 88 of our 5th grade students participated in making our pueblo.  This project completed our unit of study of Early American Native Indian Tribes. My students didn't realize that this really was helping them study for their test. I didn't want to tell them or it would have spoiled the fun. The assignment for each child was to make a box, ladder, or kiva  for the desert southwest pueblo village.  I stressed that this was a child made project.

   I know this picture looks more like the ruins of a pueblo in the desert southwest, but it was only the beginning of our cooperative learning project. 
       This is only a small part of the items crafted by my 5th grade students this year.  Everyone had an opportunity to add something onto the pueblo because the Anasazi Indians  or the Pueblo People would have worked together to construct their pueblo to live in under rocky cliffs of the desert southwest region. 

Here are close up pictures of the construction. Jello boxes, cardboard toilet paper rolls, and toothpicks were our building materials. Small pebbles and tiny twigs were added to the landscape after the building phase was completed.

          Many parents who come into the school commented on the pueblo project.  They were excited to see the results of the individual student work come together as a finished project.
       Finally,  I will have my students become TRAVELING HISTORIANS.  They will take the challenge, if they choose, to write about the pueblo and how the early Native Americans would have made it.  After reading over their information, students will be chosen to travel to other classrooms in the school, with the pueblo, to teach about the Indians of the Desert Southwest.

       This project is so much fun for the kids to make in school. Every time it turns out to be different but yet the same. The great thing is that nothing has to be perfect.  Give it a try in your classroom. You won't be disappointed.

       Thank you parents for bringing your children to St. Michael Catholic School.  You are doing a great job raising incredible young ladies and gentlemen.  It is a real pleasure to teach our children each day.

 Please leave a comment if you have a moment, I'd love to hear from you.


Thursday, June 1, 2017


 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 for this year.  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.

                The puppets represent people from the Bible.  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.

Happy Summer!


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Jamestown ideas

         Jamestown and Roanoke
Part of the 5th grade curriculum is learning about Jamestown.  I gave my students several activities in order to focus on Jamestown.  
         Before the kids had a quiz on Roanoke and Jamestown, they made a "What I know about..." flip chart in order to organize their information.  Here is a close up of the images for the two flaps. I love to have my students make flip charts as study aids.  5th graders still need hands on activities.  The kids like the action of opening and closing the flaps while studying.

      This is the outside of the Roanoke and Jamestown flip chart.
            The students then organized what they knew about each colony and wrote the information under the correct flap.  As expected, some students wrote more and some wrote less. 
          After the flip charts were finished,  the students passed their flip chart to a partner.  Each child would read the information the their classmates had written.  The review became more beneficial because they were constantly reading different information and also reviewing the same information worded differently.

I was very pleased on how this activity helped my students on their Roanoke and Jamestown quiz.
  The students worked in groups of three to label and color the Jamestown fort. Much discussion went on during the process. 


      The lastly, the students chose one of three writing activities about the Jamestown colony. 

1.  You were a settler of Jamestown and wrote a post card to a family member that you left in England.  Postcards always have a picture on the back, so design an illustration of Jamestown on the reverse side of the post card.

2. You were a settler of Jamestown and wrote a letter to Captain John Smith stating how you felt about his leadership abilities and his rule for work in Jamestown.

3.  You were a settler of Jamestown and voiced your opinion if life was easy or difficult for you.  Would you stay in Jamestown or decide to return to England?

      It is great to make your students feel empowered in their learning.  Giving them choices is one way to do this.  Some of us are better writers and others are better using their artistic creativity. These activities can be altered for diffferent ability levels in your classroom.

      Today I linked up with Doodle Bugs Teaching.

      Please leave a comment if you have an extra minute in your busy day. I'd love to read your ideas.