Early childhood coach and mama. Passionate about nature, food, art and making time to play.
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Rainbow reflections... so far we've seen alligators, a dolphin, osprey, turtles, and a crazy swimming snake (it's in our stories). And we ended our day with this. Can't wait to see what tomorrow holds!
Good morning! Two minutes after I took this, we saw a dolphin! It's going to be a beautiful day!
Tonight we were reading Kevin Henkes, and she said, "You know Mama, Lilly's a lot like me. (Mischievous grin) She loves everything, and I love everything, except spiders. I'm scared of spiders. And she has a really messy room like me too." If you know Lilly, and you know my girl, you know she's exactly right!
Slime cupcakes anyone? This self- directed activity lasted for what seemed like hours. The children had so much fun decorating their cupcakes with loose art parts from the tinker cart. They learned the hard way that certain materials are harder to remove than others! Vocabulary: ELABORATE, REPRESENT (those pompoms are cherries), REMOVE
BLTs, butter bean hummus, and watermelon mint lemonade. I love summer food. It's so simple and fresh and delicious. We welcomed our daddy home today from a camping trip. Father's Day lunch two days late! I was too hungry to get a great picture! I'm trying to experiment with dips this summer. This one was pretty good. What's your favorite?
I haven't been super strict about "mama school," but it has been fun. With my five year old we are doing a lot of number sense work. Tally marks really strength her concept of number and her ability to benchmark to 5 (7 is 5 and 2, 10 is two 5s, etc). This type of work will help her when it comes to addition and subtraction. As someone who struggled with math as a child, it's so exciting to see her (and her classmates) developing such a strong sense of number. What are your favorite math games? We adapted "war" to include tallies, and it's lots of fun! Vocabulary: FEWER (that's always a hard one), ARRANGE, REMOVE
"Where is him head?" If this boy ever gets his pronouns straight it might just break my heart. We have never found one of these guys in our yard before, and we were fascinated. Isn't it amazing? Words for the experience: UNUSUAL, DISCOVER, SPECIES
Wedding flowers on the mantle. They are coming down today, but we have really enjoyed them, and the reminder of a perfect day for @amandanmn I'm slowly, slowly, slowly adding plants that we can use for cutting to our yard. What are your favorites?
Slime is so much fun! The possibilities for word learning here are endless! Ours is PLIABLE, SHIMMERY, and FLUID. But we might do OPAQUE and TRANSPARENT soon. What are your favorite slime add ins?
So- funny story. This girl is really beginning to read. I haven't pushed it at all, but, because I've had a hand in her educational journey thus far, I know she has the phonemic awareness and alphabet knowledge she needs to begin sounding out words independently. She's also older than a lot of her classmates. I'm following her lead, and she's SO EXCITED. Today she was reading the words, "they are," but she said "they ARRIVED." Sweet little Read Right from the Start baby self-corrected, but I think she's ready to read any tier two word we throw at her. Those sight words will come with practice. For a child from a home like ours, this is probably a pretty typical story. Unfortunately, without high quality early childhood experiences, many of her classmates, most of whom live in poverty don't have stories like these. I honestly don't think it's fair that she has an advantage over her classmates because of who her parents are. We're working to ensure all children in our community have the necessary skills to be as successful in school as I hope she will be. If I can ever get my website up and running again, I'm thinking of doing a series of posts about our work in the schools and in the community. Is anyone still reading? Would you be interested? What would you like to know?
My attempt at #mermaidtoast A healthy version, for sure, but maybe not the prettiest. The children liked it! Cream cheese mixed individually with strawberry, blackberry, and a teeny tiny bit of spirulina. I tried bee pollen for the gold flakes, but that just didn't work. Have you tried it?
I've decided my body is trying to tell me to stop and rest. And I'm listening. Yesterday I slept for 18 hours while my sweet husband kept the children. I haven't been very good about listening to my body lately, I've worn myself out, and I haven't been eating well or getting enough exercise. I've literally made myself sick. I've decided that rest and wellness need to be a focus for me this summer. Any tips on taking care of yourself while taking care of your littles at the same time? I don't seem to be very good at it!
Some of the day's haul. Somebody learned the hard way that the red berries aren't the best. Vocabulary: RIPE, SEARCH, and TART!
Yesterday we took to the blackberry woods! It's hot as blue blazes in south Georgia right now, but early in the morning it's not unbearable. I think it will take multiple days of picking to gather enough for a cobbler, especially since I'm the only one who doesn't eat them all immediately. Vocabulary: SEARCH, DISCOVER, RIPE
Watercolor pencils and colored ice. It didn't take long for the ice to melt! We experimented with multiple techniques- dripping, drawing, and just letting the ice sit in its own puddle. I love the contrast of the distinct lines and the hazy puddles of color. Vocabulary: SOLID, LIQUID, TECHNIQUE
"Mama, I love being an artist!" The first morning of summer break is the best! Summer days stretch before us like an endless sea of possibilities. I'm so happy. What are you up to today? We just pulled out the glitter!
Word of the day: EXCITED! One more day of work until I'm temporarily unemployed! I'm so excited! Excited about spending more time with my kiddos this summer, having time to rest, and super excited about my new job! I get to be part of the team who shakes things up in our public kindergarten program! Guess what we get to do- PLAY! We are bringing play back to kindergarten and it's about time. Change is so, so hard, but these teachers are amazing. I recently asked them to tell me one thing that they were excited about and one thing they were nervous about. Here are the "excited" responses. I really have the best job in the world. BONUS- I get to continue working with my Pre-K peeps AND My big girl and I get to go to kindergarten together! What are you excited about today?
Poor cat is a glutton for punishment. Not intentional punishment, just the typical three-year-old trying to make a cat ride in his blue truck kind of punishment. I can't believe he let himself get caught. This boy was DETERMINED and CRAFTY, but the cat did manage to ESCAPE.
Not long ago I read an article that cited recent research showing that inventive spelling is an excellent predictor of reading success. This makes so much sense given what we know about the alphabetic principle. As a former kindergarten teacher, I wanted my children to be empowered, independent writers, and I saw that too much emphasis on correct spelling often paralyzed children. I'm thankful that I'm involved enough in her education to know that my daughter's kindergarten teacher will also appreciate these efforts! Can you tell we're still wedding obsessed?
Today I put my phone down and enjoyed my sister's wedding. I wish I had more pictures, but it was a day to disconnect. It was a beautiful day, she was a beautiful bride, and we couldn't be more thrilled for her and our new brother in law!
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My parents have been married 40 years. Here they are walking hand in hand to my little sister's wedding rehearsal. We are so fortunate to have fallen in love with men who had similar examples of what marriage is and should be. Tomorrow @amandanmn will get her middle name, and I'll probably cry like a baby. If I'm not too busy giving the stink eye to the flower girl or sign holder. #amandagetsamiddlename@annemking2@arbyk1
Today is my last official day of work for my current job. I'm spending it writing blog posts and editing pictures that will eventually go online. This one's my favorite! Hopefully you will be able to see it soon in a blog post about the book Gilberto and the Wind at readrightfromthestart.org ! I will work my first freelance consulting gig next week training kindergarten teachers, and my sister is getting married on Saturday. THEN -get ready people! We're going to have fun this summer! Vocabulary- POWERFUL, GENTLE, COOPERATE #almostthere#comeonsummer#ithinkican
When the clean up is as pretty as the project! I can't tell you how often I am tempted to take pictures of the sink at the end of a good painting session. I love how blurry this one is.
Allman brothers and boiled peanuts by the pool."Me like this music Mama!" Me too, buddy, me too. Growing up in Georgia, Greg Allman was huge part of our musical heritage, part of the soundtrack of every day life. He will be missed.
It's almost summer! I still have a few more days of work left, but today I feel like I have my head above water for the first time in weeks. I have lots to celebrate and lots to be thankful for. Here's to many more restful afternoons in the coming months! Also- Watermelon and mint FTW.
Last night she came running downstairs after bedtime to show us her latest creation. It's a headband that says, "I love mi techrs!" I can't believe it's her last day of pre-K!! Best year ever, best school ever, sweetest teachers in the world. @laurieherrington
Flamingo feather! We met a sweet zookeeper this afternoon who gave this to us for our collection! It was a short trip, but we had lots of fun. I don't know why we don't do it more often! You can see more from our trip in our stories. Vocabulary: UNUSUAL, SUBTLE, PLUMAGE
She tried and tried to throw the baton and catch it, and she finally got it! Look at that face! I'm pretty sure she's the most determined person I've ever met! Vocabulary: determined, persistent, ecstatic
I drank my coffee out of the most amazing handmade mug today. The artist is the grandfather of one of our children at school. I knew him in my life-before-children-volunteer-days, and he knew I would love the Rothko inspired design on this particular mug. The details here are incredible. See that face? It's so I never have to drink my coffee alone. I've been out of the classroom for eight years, and I'm pretty sure it's been that long since I received a teacher appreciation gift. This is the best one yet!
This year I've planted more flowers than food- which is really unusual. However, I might be better at flowers. Because the food thing is never as good as I envision. And these smell amazing! And making "perfume" is pretty fun. My daughter came up with the idea all on her own. It's a good thing there's more where this came from! Words: FRAGRANCE, FLORAL, SCENT
He's getting so big, but tonight he wanted me to rock him. And to teach his daddy the "hey, hey pretty baby" song because "daddy needs to practice." After 5 days of fever his sister is finally a little better, but he succumbed tonight. I love how snugly he is when he's sick, but oh, I wish the cough and fever would go away! He's pitiful, and we need a break!
I don't post much about work here, but after today I feel like shouting to the rooftops!! Last night the #geearsbustour arrived in our little town. Educators and stakeholders from around the state, but mostly Atlanta, came to see the good work that these ladies and their colleagues are doing at our school. I was so proud to show them off, and even more proud to be part of their team. Scroll through to see what the back of their shirts say. That pretty much sums us up. @tonilanneau@laurieherrington#readrightfromthestart#ccpkrocks#ilovemyjob#teachersoftheyear
A few weeks ago we received a happy little package in the mail. We won this amazing giveaway from @livieandluca and @moseyhandmade The crown is beautiful, and these are our favorite, favorite shoes because they go with EVERYTHING. We've had at least four sizes of the gold. Thank you so much!! We love, love, love our prize! Scroll through for outtakes. You know she won't let me get a real picture! Words: DELIGHTED, THRILLED, ASTONISHED
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