Friday, August 31, 2012

Think Smart

School has finally started and we are all together at last! The children have eagerly gobbled up every activity presented to them and many have become fast friends. On the first day of school the children were given a sentence strip with their name printed on it and were asked to cut apart each letter and then glue them on a long strip of paper in order. Their pictures were taken and the letters were counted. On the second day of school they had to locate the corresponding number, their picture, and glue them on the paper. There were loads of directions for where to glue each item, listening skills are so very important! When everyone was finished we discussed just how we should display our completed papers in an order that made sense . . . and . . . voila, an ascending graph came to life before our very eyes. As each child added their own name card they began noticing different things. 
We noticed that . . .
1.         They are in number order.
2.        They are in a rainbow but in in order.
3.        It looks like an alligator with feet and a tail.
4.        It looks like a big letter F if you take away the top one.
5.        There are 5 number 4’s and the next number is 5!
6.        The numbers are 3 – 9.
7.        The first one has 1 and the last one has 1.
8.        The 4’s have the most.
9.        The 6’s have the 2nd most.
10.      Our graph looks like steps.
11.       It looks like buildings with windows and curtains and our faces are in the windows.
Our 1st graph created using the letters in our names.
 We are going to bind our pages together, in order of course, so that we have a classroom book with all of our names with pictures.

Monday, August 20, 2012


I just love the feeling of the sand sinking beneath my feet.
We really enjoy the beaches in Maine, the smell of the ocean marshes, and the salty breezes that are always blowing.  This year we spent time on the large open beaches at Wells, Ogunquit, and York.  They aren't great for finding treasures from the ocean but the beaches are huge, sandy, and super for playing games.  The sand is so soft and really great for sculpting creatures too!

 Our last day in Maine was spent on a beach that was filled with people.  When we first arrived the tide was rolling in and wasn't quite at it's highest point.  Everyone was crowded at the top of the beach just beyond the waters edge.  We had to keep moving back as the waves moved closer and closer.  It was really fun to try and guess where the next wave would crash . . . would it reach our chairs or beach blanket?  When the tide went out the beach was huge!
This gull could catch a grape in mid air or even when bounced on the ground first. We thought it was better than a frisbee catching dog! It was king of the beach and all the other gulls ran away when this one swooped down.

Can you see the colorful stripe on the rainbow trout?

 One morning was a bit rainy so we headed to the LL Bean store where they have loads of cool stuffed animals and live fish.  The trout in one tank were really big and they had a bubble that you could step into that made you feel as if you were right in the tank with the fish.   

This little guy was really soft!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Eleanor & Ginger

Eleanor often sticks her tongue out!
We have 2 very silly cats named Eleanor and Ginger.  Eleanor is 15 years old and lets us dress her up in just about anything.  She loves to be held and snuggled all the time . . . it takes all of us constantly giving her attention to keep her happy!  She even has her own chair at the kitchen table.  Wouldn't want to miss an opportunity to get patted.  Eleanor is quite talkative too, meowing and hissing to let us know exactly what she wants.

One of Eleanor's many hats.
Ginger is very sweet but a little camera shy.
Ginger is 14 years old and was a feral cat when we found her in Richmond, VT.  In the summer she packs up her kitty bags and moves outside.  Once in awhile she'll come inside and grab a bite to eat.  Most of the time we see her prowling the back field in search of rodents to snack on.  When the weather gets cold she moves back inside and sits quietly in the house barely making a sound (unlike Eleanor who is constantly meowing).  Ginger is very grateful to have been rescued all those years ago.

Alita is holding Ginger. She is a very tiny and super soft cat. I just love her orange coat.
 We love our pets and can't imagine a day without them.  Do you have any pets?

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Can you see a wing on the lower left side?
This morning there were some big changes to the chrysalis. The outer color is beginning to blacken. This is a good sign and lets me know that the developing butterfly inside is probably somewhere around day 9 in it's life cycle. It won't be long now before it emerges and we get to see a beautiful monarch butterfly.

Monarch caterpillars eat milkweed plants. When you are outside playing keep your eyes open for milkweed and then look under the leaves for a monarch caterpillar. If you have a container to put it in make sure to put lots of milkweed in with it, it eats a lot of leaves as it gets ready to change. I'll be looking too!
This picture was found on Flickr