Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Five Little Speckled Frogs

This class is a singing class! We've already enjoyed a number of songs. This morning and the morning before we've been singing "Five Little Speckled Frogs." Yesterday Alex, and today, Ben ably assisted by moving the finger puppet frogs as the verses went by.

If you happen to know this song, sing it with your child tonight at bedtime!

Satisfying Snacks

Alex and Ben have shared snacks to open the year. Alex brought blueberries, grapes, and sandwiches cut in quarters.

Ben brought bagels with cream cheese and carrots.

Snack is a good time for the students to practice good manners and develop the habit of being neat and cleaning up after themselves.

We hear the words, "please," "thank you," and "you're welcome" more at snack than at any other time of the day. These are nice words to hear.

I like to talk a little about how the food we're going to eat came to our plates from the farmer to the family who brought it to our classroom. We are actually very fortunate to have such good quality food is such abundance.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Poncia's Gift

At the end of his kindergarten year, Max, now in third grade, gave me a present: a one gallon seedless red flame grape plant.

I planted it near the trellis in my front yard and it's been growing there since. In the middle of the night for the last couple of weeks, raccoons have been climbing up and sampling them, but, frankly, they've been over-eager. The grapes have been sour.

But the heat over the weekend has pushed a lot of sweetness into the grapes. It's harvest time!

I'll bring some into school to share with the kindergarten.

Thanks Max, Olivia, and the rest of the Poncia family!

Monkey Bars

Hanging from bars comes pretty naturally for most young children. It feels good, the stretch that gravity gives your arms and shoulders as you hang from your hands. Give kids the opportunity, and they'll swing with almost as much joy as monkeys.

Getting across the high monkey bars at our school is no easy feat for most kindergartners. I know for sure that I could not have done it, even by the end of kindergarten. The bars are too high, too long for most.

But on the second day of school Nicky proudly told me he could do it, so I grabbed my camera and took his picture.

He's the first this year to do it.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

End-of-summer-vacation flowers

When these pink bulbs begin to line the roadways round here in early August I know that summer's about to end and school will begin. Their blossoms will last through the first weeks of school and begin to fade as the memories of summer dim.

They have many names, but I prefer to call them "resurrection lilies" because the blossoms appear long after their spring green foliage has browned in the sun and withered away to almost nothing—making the plant look dead, which it's most certainly not.

The pink blossoms rise up and herald the new school year.

Blueberries for snack

Here's a typical snack: blueberries, rice cakes, some lowfat milk. For a handful of students, this was their first opportunity to try blueberries. Almost all who did decided that they tasted good.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Back to School

Well, hello!

I'm back after a fabulous summer break.

After two days of room cleaning, I'm ready for tomorrow, Wednesday, the first day of the 2008-2009 school year.

For new parents, please be sure to sign the blog permission slip so that I can include your child in the online newsletter. It looks like this:

Also, please note that starting Monday, we'll be sharing snacks brought in by the students in alphabetical order, beginning with Alex. The calendar for the rest of August is here:

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Soundabet's Back, Sort of....

Interested in Soundabet, but wondering where the website is? I took it down. My kids are grown; I don't need the hassle of an online business anymore. But you may want to order something from me. Here's what to do:

Order the old-fashioned way: by order blank. E-mail me at dangurney (at) yahoo.com. By return e-mail, I will send you an attached PDF file that is the order form. Print it, fill it out, send it to me a purchase order from your school or a check or money order to my PO Box:

Dan Gurney's Soundabet
P.O. Box 2255
Sebastopol, CA 95473

I'll fill it pretty quick and send it by US Mail to you.