Wednesday, December 21, 2011

gingerbread houses

Well, it was that time of year again. Time for the Kindergarten Christmas party....time to decorate gingerbread houses. I put them together ahead of time so the icing is solid and the houses don't fall apart as they decorate them. I gave each of the students a ziploc bag with icing in it (put an elastic on the end so the icing doesn't squeeze out the back; learned that by trial and error ;)) Each student also got a cup of goodies to decorate with. In previous years I have given them little gingerbread men to put "outside" their house, but this year I gave each of them an ice cream cone to decorate as a tree on the plate. They loved it :) Overall, we had a great time and as far as I know they all made it home in one piece....well, maybe a candy or two was eaten on the way.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

h is for hot air balloon

This week in Kindergarten we made hot air balloons. I came across an idea of putting strips of paper together to create a circle look and then I put some of my own creativity to work and created this.

I gave each child six pre cut strips of craft foam and some shapes. They glued and decorated them.

I then poked holes in each end of the strips and connected them with a brad.

When the balloon shape was complete we attached the "basket" (a dixie cup with two holes punched on either side) and connected it with a pipe cleaner. I also attached a string to the top of the balloon so it was easier to hang.
Overall, a really great craft. The students are excited to take them home and put lego men, little people or whatever else they can fit in the basket :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

b is for birdfeeder

Today we made bird feeders. I was looking online for an idea that would be simple and fun. Lots of ideas had feeders made with peanut butter as the adhesive, but I have a nut-free classroom and therefore peanut butter was out of the question. So I searched some more and eventually thought of the idea of using shortening. Safe for the birds and sticky for the seeds. Next, I wanted to find a "holder" to be the feeder. Again, lots of ideas online and saw the use of an ice cream cone. The idea showed it point side up with yarn strung through and it looked kind of complicated and also not strong enough, in my opinion. So, like I do many of my crafts, I held it in my hand, turned it round and round and decided, I needed to create a way to hold it to the tree. I came up with the idea of an elastic and three pieces of yarn that the cone would slip in and hold nicely. I gave each of the students a paper plate, a cone and some shortening. They spread the shortening with a plastic knife and then they rolled it in the seeds. I then attached the elastic/yarn holder and voila, they had a bird feeder. I was very pleased with the results. Many of the students enjoyed the messy-ness of the craft, but I did have some comments of "I don't like this craft, my hands get too dirty". It is all in the experience I guess :) I find it important to create many different experiences for the students to express their creativity. This one stretched some of them out of theircomfort zones, but they sure loved the end result, and that's what counts!
(the elastic holder invention ;))
the messy part!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Pay it forward.....

Awards are always a great way to show people honour in a way that recognizes the greatness seen in them and then shared with others.

About a week ago I was approached in the hallway at the school by Marta LaFranco(, an incredible blog filled with honest stories staright from her heart to yours!) and "presented" with an award for my blog. She read my blog and presented it with the Liebster Blog award!

One of the conditions of my receiving this award is that I present it to other bloggers of my choosing. A "Pay-it-forward" kind of favourite! It didn't take me long to think of a few of my favourites and I have decided to start by giving the award to the following two wonderful people:

Nicole Brodrecht an incredible mother of five beautiful girls . Her blog is an encouragement to all women out there who have a desire to discover a deeper sense of who they are in Christ! Her words to all women are deeply impactful and written from a genuine heart for others. Check it out at!

Karen Mitchell - is an amazing mom of three young and busy boys. Her blog is chalked full of recipes, DIY crafts and other great mommy things. Such a great resource for ALL mom's out there! She gives a fresh view of life with tons of ideas that are simple to incorporate in a busy household. Check it out at

I encourage you to show honour to someone today. Spread your love of life and those experiences that have shifted your thinking. Tell someone you care, even if it's simply with a smile.

Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.

Romans 12:10

Happy reading :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

a memory shared in secret...

I love books. When I was a kid (not THAT long ago) I remember reading stories and I definitely had my favourites. I also remember being read to. My mom read me stories and I do remember those, but often it was my Dad's story reading that I remembered as he often did them with different voices for each characters. As I teach Kindergarten, some of these favourites come back to me as I read them to the class. It brings back the same familiar feelings of when I used to hear them back when I was young. Today, I was reading The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne. As I am reading them I am remembering how my Dad would read Winnie the Pooh stories. Today's story was "In which a house was built for Eeyore at Pooh's corner". I found myself doing Eeyore's voice (as low as I could go) just like my Dad used to. It brought a smile to my face and almost made me laugh as this connected my memory, but most importantly my heart to the story. I remember thinking my dad did the BEST Eeyore voice and so today I decided I could to. Thankfully the Kindergarten kids thought I did great, some may not have even noticed as they were too interested in the story, but it sure was fun to bring in some of my great memories as a child and "secretly" share it with others. Maybe that is part of why I love teaching so much. It brings back great childhood memories and now I choose to pass those on.

If you ever see my Dad, ask him to do his Eeyore voice. I am sure he would love to share with you his talent for making me smile ;)

Friday, October 28, 2011

gumball machines...

another great craft....glued all pieces (pre-cut) together then glued pom poms on for gumballs. Definitely was a hit!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Today I did a craft with the Kindergartens that worked AMAZING! I mixed cornsyrup and blue food colouring together and had the students spread it on the fishbowl cutout. The syrup is so sticky they just needed to stick the fish, seaweed and rocks on top and voila...the syrup dries shiny like water. Thought I would share as it was very easy but look so pretty! The kids loved it :)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Superman pajamas?...

Thanksgiving is coming up this weekend! To prepare the Kindergarten class for this, I wrote on the morning message "What are you thankful for?". Hoping I would get some insightful answers of what we should be thankful for, we proceeded to make a chart of all the things that we say "thank you God for". It started off great...I am thankful for God, Jesus, my family, a healthy heart, people being healed, brothers and sisters, amazing...what great answers! Then it, lego and "my superman pajamas":) Superman Pajamas???
I am constantly reminded, through the eyes of a child, that there is SO MUCH to be thankful for! We are so blessed to be able to freely worship the ONE who has blessed us, to go to a school that is able to speak the Word, live in a free country, to have a voice (VOTE), to have an excess amount of food available to us, to have a family who loves us...on and on and on. These sometimes though are the obvious things that I SEE I am thankful for...but what are MY "superman pajamas", what I may not always SEE or that others don't always see? What are those not so obvious things that I am thankful for, those little things in life that are great that I technically could live without, but am blessed to have...Am I truly thankful for them or am I waiting for something BIG to be thankful for? It is said that if you are not truly thankful you are spoiled; or it has even been said you are cursing the things you have. WOW...May I truly be thankful for the things that God has blessed me with...even my superman pajamas ;)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

fresh and new

I am back in my classroom preparing for one of my favourite times of the year...BACK TO SCHOOL! The week before, school is full of fresh and new....
new boxes of crayons,
new books,
new paper,
fresh cleaned shelves and floors
...and in the midst of those fresh and new "materials", I am gaining something fresh and new...
anticipation for a great year,
wonder of how much God loves me and is for me,
a knowledge of my purpose to teach...
As I place names on curriculum books, and place new crayons in pencil boxes, I speak over those children God is placing in my classroom. It is no accident they are here and it is no accident I am here for such a time as this. This year is going to be a great year. Why? I am saying it will be so! As I walk in my purpose, one step at a time, I know God is cheering me on. And as I guide these students to discover they have a purpose too, God is cheering us on. My anticipation grows as I get the classroom and my heart ready.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

these are a few of my favourite things......

Yesterday was my birthday and I LOVE MY BIRTHDAY!!! I become like a Kindergarten student as it is just a day of fun! As a teacher, I often times receive gifts or cards from parents and students which warm my heart. This morning when I walked into the classroom, I found something on my desk that made me stop and then it made me giggle. It was a basket of some of my favourite things. It was from a parent who is an incredible listener and who must be very observant. This parent knows what I like and decided to honour me on my special day with a basket full of goodies. To some people it may not seem like that big of a deal, but to me it was HUGE! It is a basket that teaches a lesson and has taught ME three things which led to three questions to ask myself:
1. I am loved and appreciated; so who do I show love and appreciate to in my life?
2. Someone knows me well enough to know what I love; The friends in my I know them well enough? What would I put in their "basket"?
3. I was thrilled with little things and it showed she was listening to the things I would talk about that I loved; When have I missed listening to someone when they were talking aboutin the little things in life that make them smile and then acting on them?

So I am encouraged now to find out from people in my life what really thrills them, makes their life happy...then act on it.

Friday, April 15, 2011

1-2-3 What will I be?

Friday Show and Tell has come and gone and six more students told the class what their mommy does for a job.

Question: What does your mommy do for a job?


- she puts makeup on people for weddings
- she's a doctor for babies
- she works at Divine, she makes my meals and takes care of me.
- she helps the baby
- she helps daddy on the computer when he tells her what to do.
- she is a nurse, she protects people from falling and bugs and stuff.
- she teaches people about Jesus.
"What kinds of things?" I ask. I can't say, she says too many words!

I want all you mother's to know that you have children who love you dearly. They may not know EVERYTHING you do every hour of the day or what your "job" is, but they do understand and remember your actions towards them....caring and loving in every meal made, hurt kissed, dish washed, book read and heart touched.

The mother's heart is the child's school-room. ~Henry Ward Beecher

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

show and Tell continues....

So today there was another round of "what does your mom do for a job." And again there were some priceless answers I just HAD to share :)

Question: What does YOUR mom do for a job?


- she uses a calendar (uh, you mean calculator) oh yeah, a calculator and figures out numbers.
- she bakes cupcakes....that's it.
- she lets me play with my toys and she lets me play Donkey Kong on Tuesdays. ("wow, that's a GREAT job" I said. he followed with "I KNOW"
- she holds a baby in her tummy. (that is definitely a job!)
- she kisses me (is that all she does? yup, that's it)
- she makes me lunch, takes care of me, reads me stories, works on her ipod. (he would have kept going but we ran out of time)
And probably one of my favourites....
- she teaches university students how to read!

Needless to say I never go through a show and Tell without a chuckle.

One last thing. I need to print a retraction....Today I was told from a child who did their show and Tell on Monday that she was wrong...her mom does not work on a blackberry, she uses an iphone. Got it :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

what does your mom do for a job....

Well, it is that time of year again in the Kindergarten classroom where we discuss what our moms do for a job. It never ceases to amaze me the outlook that children have of their moms and what jobs they do. Below are some of the answers I got today during show and tell.

Question: What does your mom do for a job?


- she types on her blackberry. (anything else, I ask?....nope, nothing else, that's it)
- she takes care of ME! (that entails more then they know! )
- I sweep for my mommy cause she has a baby
- when my clothes get dirty my mommy puts them in the dryer for me
- my mommy works so I can go to Disneyland!

well, those are the ones so far from todays show and tells. Stay tuned for Wednesday and Friday's show and tells as I am sure there will be some great ones :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

what is in a name?

What is in a name? When my husband and I were expecting each of our sons, it was a big deal choosing what name we were going to be calling our child. The meaning of the name was extremely important as it is spoken over them daily.
I am called a lot of names in Kindergarten. I have many names as a teacher....Every day I am called the following at least once; teacher, Mrs. Barnes, Mrs. Barneses, MR Barnes, on one occasion one child yelled "Hey Barnes!", and one of my favourites I get called is "mommy" (not only from my own son, but the students will call me not even thinking and then quickly switch when they realize) Thankfully they have all been good names:) Yes I have been yelled at in my face, kicked by a child and more; but I have also been a shoulder to cry on, arms for an embrace and a kiss for a sore finger, just to name a few. I may be called a lot of different names and I believe my names have a meaning..."to make a difference". Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something. ~Author Unknown
Kindergarten is my something

Friday, January 21, 2011 for moose

Each week in Kindergarten the students are taught a new phonogram. This week's phonogram was "m". Each week along with the new letter and sound we make a craft. Today it was a moose. The students always get so excited to do a craft and today was no exception. One of the students stopped a teacher in the hallway and said "GUESS WHAT WE MADE FOR CRAFT! MOOSES!"
So learning the plural forms of our crafts will come later.... :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Today I had the Kindergarten class over for a field trip in my own backyard. This month in our class we have been learning and talking about things to do in the snow. So to put it into practice I planned a trip to my backyard where the class went sledding on our hill. So picture for a moment 23 children and 9 adults all sledding, laughing and playing in the snow for a good solid hour and a half; and then they all enjoyed some yummy hot chocolate and baking indoors. It was one of my favourite field trips ever for a few reasons. One reason was because we could not have asked for better weather. It was cold, but not too cold; mild, but not too mild, a perfect sledding weather day. The other reason was because it was in a comfortable environment. The kindergarten class was very excited to not only be going sledding, but they were going to MRS. BARNES' HOUSE! So much anticipation, excitement and fun! I hope it was a trip they won't soon forget....I know I won't.