Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Brief Respite

My youngest child is a freshman at the University of Florida and plays for their Club Soccer team. This weekend they were in Rock Hill, South Carolina, for Regional Finals. My husband and I decided to take a short break and travel to see her play. It took about 8 1/2 hours from our home in Florida.
I told my husband it was JUST the break I had been needing! We arrived just in time for the changing of the leaves, some cold weather, and some unplanned surprises! Today we went for lunch in Old Town - downtown, and decided to eat at a small restaurant "bistro". Much to our amazement, we discovered we were eating in the old McCrory's that became famous in 1961 when nine African Americans/protesters went in and sat down at the lunch counter which was for whites only. They were arrested, there was a trial, and rather than pay bail which they felt subsidized segregation in their town, the nine chose to go "Jail, not Bail".

The original counter is still there, as are the stools. The stools now have engraved plaques with the Friendship Nine's names. One of the ladies in the restaurant took the time to tell us the history and said that some of those original nine still come in to the "bistro" for lunch!

What's amazing to me is that this year is the 50th anniversary of that protest. That's hard to believe! That wasn't that long ago! (I will post photos when I get home. I can't figure out how to do it from my iPhone.)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Fabulous Fifties!

Yesterday was the fiftieth day of school for us, and in some respects it felt like it was too early for it to be the fiftieth, and in other respects, when I look back to the turbulent beginning, it felt like it should've been the 100th.  All in all we had a wonderful day, but I'm plum tuckered out, physically and mentally!  It's time for a break, I think. 

We've also had an unusual fall so far, in that illness hit us early, even before any changes in the weather.  Our class has been battling strep, the flu, and pneumonia for a month!  One of my little cutie-patooties missed the 50th day and wearing her "toodle" skirt because she was diagnosed with bronchitis and pneumonia on Thursday evening!  That's our third case in two weeks.  A friend of mine who teaches at another school said pneumonia is making the rounds in her school as well! 

All this illness hit before we had our first "cool weather" which arrived Thursday night.  We are having temperatures in the low 50's at night and 70's in the day.  It is invigorating and inspiring!  However, I know that in another day or two we will be back in the 90's.  <Big sigh>  NOW we are getting into the kind of weather that usually brings us all the illnesses.  My poor babies! 

Ah, well....back to the fifties!  Last  year was our first year celebrating the 50th day of school.  This year, I gave all the plans to my room mom and asked her if she would coordinate with all the other room moms.  They did a bang-up job!  Here's a shout-out to Amy Brandes!!!!  Our activities in the cafeteria included:
  • Coke or root beer floats with optional chocolate syrup and cherries
  • Bubble-gum blowing contest/patterned bracelet making
  • Hula hoop to 50's music, bubbles and all
  • Photography stations with a professional photographer/mom
  • Dance station to 50's music
In the classroom, we:
  • Made checkerboard headbands in by making an AB pattern forward and AB pattern in reverse (or just start with the opposite color)
  • Made a modified Venn Diagram with hula hoops to compare inventions from "Then", "Now", and "Both"
  • Used math mats to count out our collections of 50 things by 2's, 5's, and 10's (or at least to give the kids the idea of different ways of counting and to practice counting from 1-10)
  • Used five and ten frames to build concept of number

My Peggy Sues and Elvises

A Ducktail

Hula Hoop and Bubble Station

Bubble gum bubble blowing/AB patterned bracelet station
(Note:  On Thursday afternoon, our kindergarten team received a box of paints that we had ordered, and instead of "bubble wrap", the company had used this "bubble wrap" - a looooong streamer that had a bubble gum logo on it!  We couldn't believe the humor of the company nor our luck!  What a great decoration for our tables!
I went off to school Friday morning, leaving my packed camera bag on the kitchen table!  I was running late and knew I couldn't go back home.  But it occurred to me when I was in my classroom that I had the new Apple iPhone 4S with a great camera and all my new photo apps!  Woo hoo!  This one was taken with the "Hipstamatic" app - it gives it an old instamatic (50's?) feel!  Notice the "bubble wrap"?!
Another Hipstamatic photo - she thinks she's blowing a bubble!  But hey, who am I to burst her bubble?  :-)
One of the many decorations our room moms made by hand!
What I am trying to show you in this photo because I haven't received the photos from the professional photographer yet, is a tiny little peek at our photography stations.  Directly behind the girl in the black-colored shirt is a door hanging that has a cut-out for faces - a boy's and a girl's.  The children stood behind, and stuck their faces through the holes.  They look like fifties dancers.  When I get the photos back, I will post them.  They were adorable last  year, so should be this year, too.  The moms added a second station.  They paid for a huge black and pink balloon arch and hung sparkly streamers in the middle.  Then the children stood in the middle for a photo.  I can't wait to see those!  I am still amazed at one the moms planned and set up for the kiddos!  (You might be wondering what the kids are doing in this photo...Well, the photographer/mom's toddler is in the stroller and was getting quite fussy, so the kids waiting for their photo to be taken were trying to entertain her!)

Modified Venn Diagram - "Then", "Both", "Now" with photos from the Internet
We weren't quite finished at this point.  We hadn't added the iPhone, iPad, Smart Car, etc.
Math Mat - Counting by 10's
One of our moms works at Steak n' Shake and gave us the diner hats!