Sharing Saturday 13-34

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Thank you to all of you who shared with us last week and to those who came to be inspired by the amazing ideas shared! If you haven't had a chance to visit them, you should!! I know I am exciting to try out some of the activities.

Now that the end of August is upon us, I have decided I cannot pretend summer is not ending anymore. Well the end of August and Hazel starts school this coming week. So, in honor of her school starting, I figured I would feature a few of my favorite back to school posts from last week (there were quite a few, but I just picked three to share with you).

1) From For the Love of Spanish: Back to School en Espanol // School Supply Flashcards in Spanish
2) From Rubber Boots and Elf Shoes: How to Build a Classroom
3) From Jelly Fish Jelly: Notebook Handbag

Here are a couple of my favorite non-school posts. Ok, Hazel would LOVE both of these!!

1) From Making Memories with Your Kids: DIY Lipstick made with Crayons
2) From We Made That: DIY Washer Necklaces

Then we had two posts about postcards. Since they were on an unusual topic, I figured I would share them with you!
1) From Wesens-Art: Video Cases for Storage
2) From The Crafty Scientist: Louisiana Postcard Art

Thank you to everyone who shared last week!! I hope you will join us and share again!! If you are featured here , please feel free to grab a featured button to display proudly on your blog. 


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This week we shared some great DIY party crafts and reviewed Shindigz Party Supplies, shared our second Donald Crews book for Virtual Book Club for Kids, shared an Algerian Snow White, shared some great books for math lessons in nature, shared our homemade xylophone and shared a great story on friendship for Flamingo Friday.


We have some exciting things coming up this week!! I cannot wait to share my post on Sunday with you, so I hope you will stop by tomorrow!


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Flamingo Friday--Fish and Flamingo: A wonderful story of an unusual friendship

Today I am going to share a book Hazel and I have been enjoying. It is a tale of an unusual friendship between a flamingo and a fish. The book is called the Fish and Flamingo and is written by Nancy White Carlstrom. The two became friends and talked every day about their lives. One day the flamingo tells the fist about flying at sunrise and the beautiful pink sky. The fish tells the flamingo about coming to the surface of the water at night time and seeing the glowing stars. Each wishes to show their friend the beauty they have seen, but do not know how to do it since the friend is not awake at the correct time.

One day the flamingo tells the fish that she will be leaving with her flock the next day. She tells him to be at the same spot at the same time the next day since she will be flying overhead and will wave to him. The fish is so excited and he tells all his friends and has them come with him. 

At the time the flamingo flies over with her flock, the fish and his friends look up and see a pink sky. The fish thinks that his friend has found a way to show him the sunrise and finds it so beautiful. The flamingo looks down and sees many fish and as the sun comes out the silver on each fish sparkles and the flamingo thinks the fish is giving her the gift of seeing the stars. 

Neither friend knows that they have given their gift to one another, but they both feel so honored that the other has.

For this book, we tried out soft pastels. Hazel immediately drew a sun and I suggested we draw the sunrise. She and I added pink and smudged it all together. Then I worked on the ocean. I made it blue and then added some silver. The silver did not shine enough, so we added some glitter glue to be the fish showing the flamingos the stars. I loved how it came out and how well it goes with the story.

Making Musical Instruments--Homemade Xylophone

We found a fun book at the library. In Nifty Thrifty Music Crafts by Felicia Lowenstein Niven has wonderful ideas to take recycled objects and make music. Many of the ideas are familiar, but some have new twists. Hazel cannot wait to make a ukulele, but we need to finish our box of cereal first. This book also has rhythm blocks, panpipes, finger cymbals, colonial drum, American Indian clapper, tambourine, rain stick, maracas and a ukulele. We are definitely going to try the ukulele at some point. I also like the rhythm blocks, but we will see. Anyway we started with the xylophone. 

Now we have a xylophone, but making one is part of the fun of the homemade one. To make one you need empty jars, a wooden stick (chopstick, pencil or a stick) and water. You can also have food coloring--Hazel will tell you this is one of the best parts.
You fill the jars with different amounts of water and can add food coloring to each one. We made different colors in each one and tried mixing colors to practice what colors would make the secondary colors. We used different jar sizes, but they could all be the same.
Then you hit the jars with the stick to play it. Hazel had the best time experimenting. She tried hitting the sides where the water was, the sides where the water was not and the tops. Then she asked if we could put the lids on. Apparently I did not take a picture of this, but in this picture you can see the lids all around.
With the lids on she hit the sides and the lids to see if they made different sounds. She had so much fun with this activity. She did not want to dump it out so she could play for Daddy. She also asked if we could do it again. My little musician is always happy making music.
Needless to say, we will be doing this again. I think she liked the homemade one better than her store bought one.

Math Lessons: Math in Nature

Today I am sharing some books to combine math with nature. Now as a math teacher I know the importance of seeing math everywhere. It allows the student to really see why mathematics was invented. People needed to understand the world around them and mathematics helped them do this. 

Donald Crews Part 2: Ten Black Dots

We have a winner!! Congratulations to Doreen W. for winning the Room on the Broom DVD!
Today I am going to share our second book for this month's author in the Virtual Book Club for Kids. This month's author is Donald Crews. Last week we shared Carousel. This week we are going to share Ten Black Dots. If you do not know anything about the Virtual Book Club for Kids, you can check out my post last week or click the button on the left which will take you to the Book Club's Facebook page.

Fairy Tales in Different Cultures--Arabian Snow White

Although it has been hard to find different versions of Snow White, I found one called More Beautiful Than the Moon from Algeria. I found an English version of this story in Tales Arab Women Tell by Hasan M. El-Shamy. Now this is more of a resource book than a story book, and this story did not lend itself as well to reading to Hazel. First I will give you a small amount of information on Algeria.
From Google
Algeria is officially The People's Democratic Republic of Algeria. It is in Northern Africa. It consists of 48 provinces and 1541 communes. It is the 34th most populated country in the world. It is the tenth largest country in the world and the largest in Africa and the Mediterranean. The capital is Algiers which is also the most populated city in Algeria. 
From Google

Algeria has a long history. There were hominid remains found from 200,000 BC. For several centuries Algeria was under Roman rule. In the mid 7th century the Muslim Arabs conquered Algeria and many of the locals converted to the new faith. Algeria also has a history of pirates who attacked Christian and non-Muslim ships. Then the French took over Algeria in 1830. In 1962 Algeria gained its independence.

Algeria's economy is dependent on petroleum. They have struggled to find other forms of income. With its long history of various groups ruling it, Algeria has a variety of Ethnic groups. The major one is the Berbers. The Berbers are the indigenous ethnic group of Algeria and are believed to be the ancestral stock on which elements from the Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Turks as well as other ethnic groups have contributed to the ethnic makeup of Algeria. Berbers are divided into many groups based upon languages. (Source) Now onto our story.

The story is about a beautiful woman who was very vain. She would talk to the moon each night and ask, "Oh, moon is there someone prettier than me?" The moon would answer, "I am pretty but you are prettier than everyone." Then the woman became pregnant and gave birth to a daughter who was named Lalla Ayshah el-Khdrah. The daughter was very beautiful and grew more so every day.

The mother went to the top of her house and asked the moon her question. This time the moon answered, "I am pretty and you are pretty, but Lalla Ayshah el-Khdrah is prettier than everyone. The mother was filled with jealousy and asked the moon if she should kill her. The moon told her to wait until she was weaned from breast milk. When this happened, the mother again asked the moon her questions getting the same answer. The moon told her to wait for another milestone and this continued until Lalla Ayshah el-Khdrah knew how to cook, clean and sew and was old enough to get married and have children. The moon then told the mother to kill her or the moon would kill the mother.

The mother paid the butcher in jewelry to kill her daughter. The butcher took the jewelry but could not kill the innocent girl. He left her in the woods to let God decide what would happen to her. Then he killed an ewe and filled a flask with its blood for the mother. She drank the blood.  Meanwhile, Lalla found a cave to hide in away from all the animals. When the mother asked the moon, it replied, "I am pretty and you are pretty, but no one is prettier than you." The moon answered this way since Lalla was sleeping in the cave--underground.

When Lalla woke up, she heard seven ogres eating meat from a carcass of an animal. She remained hiding. One of the ogres said he smelled human blood. They searched but could not find anyone. When they were all asleep, Lalla snuck out for a little food and drink and then went back into her hiding space.

When the ogres awoke the brother again said he smelled human blood and noticed some of his food and drink was gone. They searched again, but could not find anyone. Then they yelled that if someone was there, they would not harm the person. When Lalla came out they were stunned by her beauty and said she was their sister. She would cook and clean for them and they would give her whatever her heart desired. She cleaned them up and discovered they became human again. They moved into the forest and she was very dear to them all. In fact they all began to fall in love with her.

Meanwhile, her mother asked the moon again her questions. She was in shock to learn Lalla was still alive.  She was so angry and jealous the mother dropped dead.

The brothers had all fell in love with Lalla and each wanted to marry her. She found a trick to not marry any of them. Then the cat and Lalla got into a fight and the cat put the fire out. She had to go to an ogress house to get a flame. The ogress gave her a flame but also ashes that dropped so she could follow the girl home. While Lalla was sleeping and the brothers were not home, the ogress went in and put seven needles into Lalla's head. The brothers returned thinking she was dead. They put her body on a horse and let it carry her through the forest. A prince was out hunting and found her. He fell in love with her, but the king insisted she must be buried. The undertaker discovered the needles and removed them and Lalla woke up, but was unable to talk. The prince insisted on marrying her. Soon Lalla became pregnant and gave birth to a son.

Years passed and the boy grew up and was playing in the garden. Some of his friends teased him about his mother having no relations and he went to his mother and cried about it. For the first time she was able to speak and told her son to tell his father that he wants to see his seven maternal uncles. This happened and Lalla, her son and soldiers and servants went to look for her brothers. She glimpsed the seven walking in sorrow and sent the soldiers to get them. She invited the brothers to dinner. At dinner her son asked her tell him a story and she told him the story of her life. Her brothers realized who she was and embraced her. Then they went to the house of the ogress and killed her. In her house they found seven maidens whom they saved and married. They all lived with the prince and Lalla.

Since I did not read the story to Hazel, I did not do any crafts for this one. Sorry!

Shindigz Party Supplies & DYI Ideas Review

Disclosure: I was given a gift certificate to purchase the items I share here. All opinions are my own.

Now those of you who have been following know how excited I get for Hazel's birthday. I tend to go overboard with the party. I jumped at the opportunity from Shindigz Party Supplies to be given a gift certificate to review some of their DIY Supplies. Now Hazel's birthday is not until December and we often have the party in January--well New Year's Day. This year we are planning on the big family and family friend party then and doing a half birthday party for her school friends (and friends her own age). 

Sharing Saturday 13-33

Thank you to everyone who shared with us last week and who visited the wonderful posts shared!! I know I was amazed at all the great ideas. If you missed any of the 50 posts shared, go back and be inspired. There are still summer inspirations as well as back to school ones and so much more was shared!

Flamingo Friday--First Day of School Jitters with a Flamingo Book

Today we are sharing a book by Jamie Harper, Miss Mingo and the First Day of School. Now the teacher of the class is the only flamingo in the book, however this is a fun book with many interesting animal facts. Miss Mingo's class consists of many animals including an ant to an elephant and a giraffe. Plus she even has a narwhal and an octopus. The theme of the first day of school is to tel what makes you special. Miss Mingo starts with how she eats upside down and her food makes her pink. Slowly the students begin to share something special about themselves and warm up to each other. The day ends with a pool party in pelican's pouch and using giraffe's tongue as a slide. 

This book is a fun reminder how each of us is special in our own way. I know many students and teachers are anxious about the first day of school each year. I know Hazel is extra anxious since we are switching her school. This book shows how many are shy and that is all right and if you open up and are yourself you will have fun.

To go with this book, I made up a little memory game. Hazel and I had fun playing it. The cards have each animal on them with their special characteristic in small print. To download your own copy in Word, click the picture below.

I know many schools have started or are starting next week. Hazel's new school does not start until after Labor Day, so we still are enjoying another week of summer. The change of schools has caused quite a bit of anxiety in Hazel, but we know it is the right thing for all of us. She has been very clingy this summer because she is afraid of the unknown.

Now I know I have not shared much as to why we have made the decision to switch schools. We had a bit of a discipline/communication issue last year. There was one student who had a few impulse issues and Hazel had a few run-ins with him. One being something inappropriate said to her. I found out about it from another child or that Hazel had cried quite a bit that day and it took me two hours to find out why from her. Then towards the end of the year she told me that the same boy was going under the snack table and biting her legs and pinching her. The teacher's response was that she thought it was only pinching but biting was unacceptable. Now pinching was unacceptable to me and the fact that it was happening quite often and I had not been told anything by anyone. Now many of the students had issues with this boy (one refused to come to school anymore even after he was kicked out). But what bothered us most was how it was dealt with and that we heard stories that it was not the only time where they had these kind of issues. We decided then that this was not the place for our innocent, shy, rule following (to a fault) daughter and looked for something else. We went to the opposite type of school and now she is going to be attending a traditional Christian school. She is excited that she will learn to read this year, but scared to be leaving what she has known. 

To ease this transition, we have read books about the first day of school, we have had playdates with a few of the students in the new school and we have had several visits to the school. Today she got to spend some time talking to one of the teachers when we stopped by for a visit. I think this helped. There are several blogs that have wonderful lists of books to read, so I am going to leave a few links for you in case you want to ease the day as well.

Lists of First Day of School Books
So that is our story on going back to school. We have truly found Miss Mingo and the First Day of School enjoyable to read and educational. Plus it has enabled me to have many conversations about the first day of school and making new friends. 

Picture a Tree--Book Inspired Art

Today we are sharing a wonderful book, Picture a Tree, by Barbara Reid. This book is a fun book that looks at the different ways to picture a tree for example trees look differently in the four seasons. Through its wonderful story and picture it compares spring trees to paint or art class and it compares trees to other things like a tunnel, an ocean and more. It also looks at how trees can be used as homes and as toys (for example pirate ship, or clubhouse). It is a fun book to get you noticing and thinking about trees and nature more. 

How do you picture a tree? We decided to paint some trees. Here is how Hazel was picturing trees this day.
Hazel's first tree was pretty basic, but I was happy to see how her painting could actually look like something and not just a mess of colors. After this tree I asked her what trees look like in the fall. She added a tree to the painting.

She however decided to make it with unusual colors for the leaves. As you can see she had fall color paints, but used blue, pink, yellow and silver. At least I know she is creative.

After painting two trees she wanted to paint her old way--just colors everywhere, but she was practicing mixing colors. So that is our simple way to think about trees. How do you picture a tree?

Preparing for National Hunger Action Month

September is National Hunger Action Month. This year I thought I would get a head start. I am joining the amazing group of bloggers again called Moms Fighting Hunger. We are joining with No Kid Hungry to try to help combat childhood hunger in our local areas. Last year I challenged you my readers to join me in gathering food for local food pantries. Again I will extend this invitation to you. Last year I also helped plan a story time food drive at my local library, but since I got started late, it was in October. We used the theme of Stone Soup for it. This year I am starting earlier. I passed on Jen's from The Good Long Road idea of a food drive themed around The Very Hungry Caterpillar back in the spring, and we discussed doing a story time theme, but it hasn't happened. We are now thinking of doing some combination with the library's food drive around Thanksgiving. 

This year I wanted to do something bigger too. So I decided to gather emails for many local libraries and preschools and offer them the story time themes of Stone Soup and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I gathered craft ideas and story telling ideas for both on Pintetest boards: The Very Hungry Caterpillar Board and Stone Soup Board. I also put together outlines for both story times with options of additional books, story telling props and crafts and activities. (You can click picture or caption to get the free downloads.)
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Set
I also did a generic flyer to advertise the story time with spots to fill in each places information (in red). The flyer is in Word, so it would be easy to change.  Here is The Very Hungry Caterpillar. A big thank you to Vickie from Mrs. Plant's Press and Chelsey from Buggy and Buddy for allowing me to use their pictures on my outline.
Stone Soup Set

For Stone Soup, I used pictures from our story time last year on the outline and including a tutorial on making the story stones we used. Then I made a generic flyer again for this story time theme. Finally I made a set of memory cards to go with Stone Soup. The ones I printed, I forgot to center the page so you could print double, but I have fixed it in the printable.

I figured it would be a fun activity and also an easy take-home activity. I have not found as much on Stone Soup as I did The Very Hungry Caterpillar, so I wanted to add some more to it.

I then sent these as attachments to the local libraries and preschools. Above is the e-mail I sent out. I am sharing all of these in hopes that others will want to use them. Either to send out to local libraries in your area or to plan your own story time food drive. 

The next thing we are doing for Hunger Action Month includes our long talked about butterfly party. Hazel made up a Butterfly party song she sang at the library yesterday while playing her ukulele. Sorry I couldn't figure out how to turn the picture with the software it was in. We sent out our invitation to the party asking people to bring fruit for a fruit salad and a can of fruit or vegetable for the local food pantry.
I included the video in the invitation and somehow my clip art did not show up. Oh, well. Hazel is so excited for it. I will post more as we get towards it.

So that is what we are doing for Hunger Action Month. Will you join us and get the word out to help our hungry children? After all, one in five American children are from a family who struggles to get enough food on the table. In a country as great as the United States, I think we can do better for our children.

Around the World in 12 Dishes: Exploring Egypt Part 2

Last week we shared our first Egyptian cooking, which was Date Cake. Today we are going to share our Egyptian Dinner recipes. Our dinner recipes came from Foods of Egypt by Barbara Sheen.

Virtual Book Club for Kids--Carousel

It is time for the Virtual Book Club for Kids again. This month's author is Donald Crews. Today we are going to share his book, Carousel. We picked this book since Hazel loves riding carousels. This is the first real ride she went on and ever since she has loved them. Here are some pictures of her on them.

Room on the Broom Movie and Book Review

Today I get to review one of our favorite books and the DVD made based on the book. Now NCircle Entertainment sent me a copy of the book and DVD for me to review. All opinions are my own. The book is Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson. Now Room on the Broom was one of Julia Donaldson's books we shared in March. We really loved her books and learning about her through the Virtual Book Club for Kids. Now one of the things we love about Donaldson's books is they usually rhyme. Rhyming makes books fun to read and hear.

In this wonderful story, the witch and cat go for a ride on the broomstick. The wind picks up and carries off the witch's black hat. They go to the ground and look for it, but cannot find it. Then a dog comes out carrying it. He asks if there is room on the broomstick for him. The witch says yes, and the three are off again. This time the witch holds onto her hat, but she loses the bow in her hair.

The witch keeps losing things until she has gained two more animals who want to ride the broomstick.
The frog who is the last addition is so excited he hops and the broomstick breaks in two. At this point the witch is riding in the front of the broomstick and all four animals are in the back. The animals half drops down and the witch continues to fly on her half.
The witch is followed by a dragon who loves to eat witch with french fries. The dragon catches her.
Just as the dragon is about to eat the witch, a four-headed creatures comes out of the lagoon. The creature scares the dragon and tells him that the witch is its.
The dragon leaves the witch alone and escapes the scary creature as fast as he can. Then the four-headed creature becomes the four animals and they clean the mud off themselves. The witch pulls out her cauldron to make a new broom and tells all the animals to find something to put in. Then the new broom comes out with a perfect spot for all of them.
I got all the characters and cut-out props from Making Learning Fun. They were patterns for felt board pieces to tell the story. We cut out the pattern pieces and put them on popsicle sticks, so Hazel can do it as a puppet show. The cauldron with the netting (filled with some candy) was sent by NCircle DVDs. Making Learning Fun also has headbands to have a class act out the rhyming story and play dough mats to learn letters! You can also get other activities at the NCircle Website.  And you can get even more activities at the Room on the Broom Website. (See picture below for samples.)
Now for the film!! The Room on the Broom film sticks pretty close to the book. It fills in some places so the story flows better on the screen and it shows the dragon hunting the witch. This part scared Hazel a bit even though she knew the story, but she is easily frightened and does not like to see scary things on television (in books she usually covers scary pictures with her hands or asks me to). We however loved the film. We watched it as soon as it came. She was so excited to get it.

The characters in the film look very much like the ones in the book and it is a wonderful way to see the story in action. We really enjoyed it!!

Now the nice part of this story is the witch is nice and cares about the animals. Hazel is not afraid of witches since her exposure to them for the most part has been this book and the book Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman. In both the witch is very nice.

Now NCircle has allowed me to offer a copy of the Room on the Broom DVD to one of you, my fabulous readers!!  The suggested retail price is $9.99 and came out on DVD August 6th.  You can also check out the trailer and more information about the film here. And their Facebook page! To enter the giveaway, just do the Rafflecopter! Good luck!! And if you do not want to wait for the 26th to find out if you are the winner, you can go buy your won copy here (including a downloadable version) or here (as well as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway