“If I Were a Butterfly”…Days 52 and 53

We ended our school week with two days of discovering insects and learning about the life cycle of the butterfly. The weather was sunny, windy and cool, so we spent time playing on the play set in our backyard, flying a kite and going on scooter rides. On Friday, we spread our wings and “Lived Generously” by putting some used books on our front porch to share with neighbors and by sneaking out of the house to deliver surprises to the dedicated teachers in my daughter’s life.

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The Butterfly Song, (If I Were a Butterfly)– When I was in college I taught kindergarten Sunday School at my church. My class loved singing  The Butterfly Song and requested it when we went to music class with Mrs. Becker. Some twenty-seven years later, I have found memories of singing the song and remember all of the motions Mrs. Becker taught us. I was thrilled when my daughter’s teacher sang it with her class during virtual circle time this month. I have taught my daughter all three verses but you can leave out some of them to make the song shorter. CLICK HERE to listen to the song and CLICK HERE to go to the official The Butterfly Song website.

THE BUTTERFLY SONG
(If I Were a Butterfly)
Words and Music by Brian M. Howard
If I were a butterfly
I’d thank you Lord for giving me wings
If I were a robin in a tree
I’d thank you Lord that I could sing
If I were a fish in the sea
I’d wiggle my tail and I’d giggle with glee
But I just thank you Father for making me, meCHORUS
For you gave me a heart and you gave me a smile
You gave me Jesus and you made me your child
And I just thank you Father for making me, me

The Very Hungry Caterpillar– Perhaps the most beloved children’s book in my collection, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle, turned 51 years old this year! I first shared the book with my daughter when she was a few days old, so when it came to studying caterpillars and butterflies, we just had to read it multiple times! We also enjoyed watching Eric Carle’s 1993 animated short, based on the book. When I taught kindergarten I used to show it to my students. (on VHS tape) CLICK HERE to watch the film. We enjoyed making some caterpillar art by dipping a cup in paint and adding additional detail with markers.

We also made a caterpillar out of a paper towel tube and fed him the corresponding colored tiles while retelling the story. We used the cards from this webiste in our retelling and added dice and a color spinner to invent our own math game!

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Butterfly Symmetry Art– After folding a piece of construction paper in half and cutting out a caterpillar shape, we decorated it to look like a caterpillar, opened it up and it unveiled a butterfly! We talked about symmetry and painted on one side of the wings, folding the paper in half to discover upon opening it back up, that the other side looked exactly the same! My daughter really enjoyed this activity so we made some extras to give to her Nana and Maw Maw for Mother’s Day. CLICK HERE to view a demonstration.

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Teacher Appreciation Week and a Magical Metamorphosis…Day 49

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week and I want to personally thank all of the amazing teachers in my life (past and present) who give of themselves each and every day. With the onset of COVID-19, teachers around the world found themselves learning new technologies and brainstorming ways to best meet the needs of their students while they entered the world of virtual learning. I applaud all of them for their tenacity and grit during this time of uncertainty. The Zoom chats, weekly lesson plans and daily blog posts from my daughter’s preschool teacher, Mrs. Stanglein, is the familiar that is keeping us grounded during this time of isolation.

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Dedication to Mrs. Stanglein (Preschool Teacher), Mrs. Washburn (Preschool Aide) and Mrs. Haun (Zion’s Early Childhood Director)- I have a graduate degree in early childhood education and when my husband and I began looking at preschools for our daughter, I was worried we would never find an early childhood program, or a teacher, that met my rigorous standards. I prayed for guidance and God led us to Zion Lutheran School.Stanglein

Mrs. Stanglein, you are the perfect teacher for our little one. Over the past two years you have encouraged our little girl’s creativity, inspired her budding literacy skills and ignited in her, an everlasting love for nature, discovery and investigation. And you accomplished all of this while providing a safe, developmentally appropriate, Christ-centered environment. When we first met I knew you wouldn’t be intimidated by my high-standards and could “hold your own” with this Noteworthy Mommy! And I have learned from you, especially during this time of “home schooling” and virtual learning. Thank you for reminding me of the importance of play (free and guided), providing resources to help with my daughter’s propriproceptive development and always reminding us of Jesus’ love.

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Mrs. Washburn, your quiet demeanor and warm smile makes me feel comfortable leaving my little one in your care. You provide the children with assistance and support, so they can be successful at school. Thank you for treating your students as they are your own and teaching them about God through your love and compassion

Haun

Mrs. Haun, I never dreamed of finding an early childhood center that was officially trained on The Project Approach! As I walk through Zion’s early childhood wing, your leadership and extensive knowledge on how young children learn is being demonstrated in every single classroom. Thank you for the extraordinary work you do to provide training, materials and overall support for teachers, staff, children and their parents. I benefited greatly from the parenting classes your provided during the Sunday School hour.

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My daughter with Mrs. Haun, Mrs, Washburn and Mrs. Stanglein, when Fred Bird came to surprise her at school!

From Caterpillar to Butterfly– On April 22, Mrs. Haun delivered Painted Lady caterpillars to all of her early childhood teachers. We have been tracking their progress from caterpillar to chrysalis through daily blog posts and a live caterpillar cam! My daughter has been documenting the changes in a butterfly journal.  CLICK HERE to download the Butterfly Journal. Whether it be the amazing changes a caterpillar experiences as it turns into a butterfly or the growth my little girl has shown during her preschool years, both are amazing metamorphosis’ created by God’s careful hands.

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Palm Sunday and Holy Week Activities

The way we worshiped this Palm Sunday was different from anything we have ever experienced. But COVID 19 didn’t stop us from worshiping. It didn’t stop my church family from having a palm processional (a drive by parade where our pastors attached palms to our vehicles with a magnet). In fact, there were so many cars piling into the sanctuary parking lot that it created a traffic jam for others passing by! It didn’t stop the little children from waving palms. (many crafted by their little hands out of paper) With horns honking and shouts of “Hosanna,” COVID 19 didn’t stop us from praising our King!

CLICK HERE to view our Palm Sunday worship service.

Although we continued to worship and wave our paper palms, Palm Sunday just didn’t feel quite right. Please read this article Palm Sunday: It doesn’t feel right… by Joyfully Dancing Daughter, our former DCE (director of children’s education). Her words helped me wrap my mind around the thought of experiencing Holy Week in isolation.

Holy Week Coloring Pack- In preparing for Holy Week I found this coloring pack that visually details the events that lead to Jesus’s resurrection. CLICK HERE for a free download.

Early Childhood Holy Week Chapel Service– My daughter’s preschool has shared some excellent resources. Click on this link Sealing the Tomb to download the early childhood chapel service my daughter will virtually participate in with her classmates this week.

Palm Sunday StoryCLICK HERE to view a short online Palm Sunday story.

We Have a King Who Rides on a Donkey– My daughter loves this song! CLICK HERE to sing along!

 

 

The Moon, Virtual Learning and Fresh Air…Day 2 Activities

Each day I’m going to share some of the activities we engage in during the quarantine. While I took pride in the fact that day 1 lacked technology, day 2 was filled with it and I’m simply going to be ok with that. I chose the moon activities because my daughter loves Luna Girl, from the animated series PJ Masks, and I know how important it is to create projects on children’s interests.

Scholastic Learn at Home– We are going to do one of the Scholastic Learn at Home modules every day. The modules are broken into different grade levels with each one containing four activities based on a theme. We did one on the moon and it had two books about the moon (one fiction and one non-fiction), a sequencing activity, a fiction/non-fiction sort, a video about the moon and directions for the moon crater activity described below. There were also links to other age appropriate web sites on the topic.

Moon Craters– With a tray of flour acting as the moon’s surface we collected balls and marbles of various weights and sizes to create craters on the moon’s surface. We made predications about the size and circumstance of craters that would be formed when we dropped the various balls and marbles from different distances.

Astronaut Helmets- We used construction paper, tin foil, buttons and star stickers to create an astronaut helmet. This prompted some imaginative play where our staircase turned into a rocket that went on a mission to the moon.

Outdoor Play- Knowing the importance of physical exercise and fresh air we took a walk around our neighborhood searching for shamrocks leftover from yesterday’s neighborhood shamrock hunt.

Weekly Lenten Worship We ended our day by watching the weekly Lenten service recorded by our dedicated church staff at Zion Lutheran Church. My daughter and I found comfort in seeing familiar faces and praying together.

click here to watch the service