Monday, February 18, 2013

Classical Conversations Cycle 1 Week 18

I can't believe I am even blogging about the last week of the third quarter already! This year has seriously flown by! We did some fun stuff this week, but I will say this was one of my "burn-out" weeks where I was running out of ideas for different subjects, and we repeated a grammar review game (the horror!). The kids had fun, though, and we even threw in a little Valentine's Day party during snack/break time. Our campus had the older kids deliver cookie grahams to different classrooms and parents bought them for students, tutors, or whoever they wanted! Sadly, since my oldest who is in my class is allergic to wheat, I got her her own valentine from her dad and I and a chocolate marshmallow heart that she could have! We all had fun, though!
Let me share what we did!

Week 18

Timeline: learned new hand motions and sang along with Timeline song #4

History Sentence: learned hand motions to go along with the song on the CC cd

Latin: My printer ran out of ink and I was going to print off a Latin chart for each of them. Since I only had one chart (I think from CC connected), I showed it to them and that they already knew the whole chart with all 5 declensions, and that we were just reviewing it. I pointed to each column as we sang the songs (just the first 2 declensions, since that is what we were doing for week 18). It was kind of boring but I wanted them to get the idea and visual for what they had just learned the first half of the year and point so that they saw that they went with each of the noun cases.

Geography: Did the same as usual, colored in/traced the new geography, reviewed some of the old geography, glued passport stamps into passports

Math: I couldn't find a worksheet on CC connected for the area of a triangle, so my husband had the idea to just give them a sheet of paper and have them draw a triangle, and then they wrote the abbreviated formula underneath it: A=1/2BxH.

Science:  I found some fun motions to go along with the four types of ocean floor: continental shelf (make a little shelf with one hand resting on another hand down by your knees), abyssal plains (palms down and hands flat at your waist), mountains (put finger tips together in the shape of an upside-down V by your chest), ridges (knuckles from both hands together up by your head)

English: more helping verbs (may, must, might), we said them faster and faster and tried to get them "out" by putting my finger over my mouth and they had to stop quickly, also they handed a ball and each said a helping verb and then passed it to the next person.

Grammar Review: We just did a repeat of a game and did BINGO since the kids really enjoyed that one, and we didn't have much time to play it last time.

 In some of our extra free time, we played musical chairs to the 2 songs for the Presidents, and had the boys against girls to put timeline cards in order from different weeks.

I'm hoping to get this last 6 weeks planned all at once so I'm not last minute trying to come up with ideas. Again this website had a lot of great games, worksheets, links, and grammar review games! Check it out if you are a tutor!!! See you back here for the last quarter!!

If you are a tutor, I would love to hear how your year has gone, games and ideas you have used, or suggestions for links or other things! Let's all share and help each other! God Bless!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Charleston Cheese Dip

Okay, so I'm a little late with a Superbowl post, so I can just call this a "good appetizer" post. I wish I could post some good recipes before each holiday, but I'm usually posting after the fact because I cook it the day of. Maybe I'll get smart and repost some of my old posts for each holiday! Duh!
Well, for the Superbowl this year, I made homemade guacamole, a yummy Charleston cheese dip, sausage hors d'oeuvres, and I brought some shrimp for my poor gluten-free child who is obsessed with shrimp and requested that for her fun Superbowl snack!
The little sausage appetizers and the cheese dip were recipes I saw on Trisha Yearwood's new cooking show. I really like her new show. She makes everything she makes look easy, and she has some great recipes. The sausage hors d'oeuvres were pretty good, but not my favorite. They didn't hold together that well when you shape them into balls, and on the health side, they were just sausage, bisquick, and cheese molded together into balls, so not very healthy. They reminded me of a breakfast sandwich. They were good, just not something I would just have to have. Watch me crave it after writing that!
This cheese dip, on the other hand, was simple and super tasty. You can buy anything to go with it that suits your fancy! You could just do crudite, or I got some bagel crisps, toasted ritz crackers, and just some plain tortilla chips. The sky's the limit!
It's super easy to mix together, and it will impress your guests! You can also substitute the crumbled bacon on top for turkey bacon, which works fine also!

Charleston Cheese Dip
Adapted from Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood (c) Clarkson Potter 2010

1/2 cup mayonnaise
One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 dash cayenne pepper
8 butter crackers, crushed, such as Ritz
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
Corn chips, crackers or bagel chips, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, mix the mayonnaise, cream cheese, Cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, green onions, and cayenne pepper. Transfer the mixture to a shallow baking dish, such as a 9-inch pie pan. Top the mixture with the cracker crumbs and bake until heated through, about 15 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and top with the bacon. Serve with whatever sides you would like!!

There are so many ways you could make this a lighter cheese dip. You can use a light mayonnaise, a light cream cheese, swap out whatever cheese you like or prefer (low-fat, or just different varieties), or make it gluten-free by omitting the crushed crackers on top, or just leaving them off a portion of the dip. 

Serve this at your next party and enjoy!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Classical Conversations Cycle 1 Week 17

We are nearing the end of the third quarter already! Where did the time go? I can't believe it. We had a fantastic class yesterday. It was one of those days where I felt unprepared, largely didn't know what I was going to do as of Monday, and didn't know how it was gonna go. But it ended up going great! I learned from my previous mistake and planned 2 review games to make the time go by faster, and I can't wait to share a great blog that I found with TONS of fabulous ideas for tutoring! If you have found my blog then you have probably already found her blog from Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood, but if you haven't, you will thank me for the link! I was feeling quite uninspired this week, and her blog gave me quite the lift! Plenty of resources, links, ideas for review games, printables, and ways to get those kids to learn their stuff! Thanks to her we had CC Bingo printouts and a great idea for a paper airplane game that the kids LOVED!!!

Week 17

Timeline: Learned new hand motions and used the Timeline cd

History Sentence: Printed out pictures representing the Aztecs, pyramids, Hernan Cortez, and wrote out 1519 (just on Google images). Had different kids hold the pics up as we sang them while the other kids learned the hand motions for the song. Then they switched. I really like having a visual for the history sentence. The hand motions were from CC connected.

Geography: Printed off a map of Africa, and they colored the different countries that are part of South Africa. They also glued their passport stamps to their passports. There was also a really fun worksheet on CC connected that explains the places in South Africa, like "they visited Bob in Zimbabwe" and had a picture of Bob the Tomato. The kids liked that.

Latin: Just played the old favorite "musical chairs" but this week it was a "musical worm." Chairs in a wiggly worm, try to get a seat and finish the Latin song when the music stops. All kids are back in each round so no one has to sit out. I have mostly 6 year olds!

Science: Showed them a picture of a volcano in a science book, pointed out the different parts of a volcano, then used hand motions for the different parts, magma - palms facing down by waist and wiggle fingers, vents - elbows bent and arms straight together, crater - arms make a v with elbows touching, lava - hands together down by waist and come up and out like spewing lava, gases - fingers wiggling by head in the "air"

English: Gave the kids a handout from CC connected that has all the helping verbs sorted out by week. Since there were 5 this week, I separated them into was and were, and be, being, been. I would say 2 and they would echo with the other 3, and vice versa. I also wrote them on a small whiteboard and erased them and had them say them.

Math: Printed off a worksheet from CC connected that showed the area of a square. Had them write the equation once on their paper and repeated the equation a few times. Tried to explain what it meant, but it was over their heads.

Review games: Remember, from last week's experience when I ended up with a lot of extra time and kids who didn't want to play the same review game for 35 minutes, I realized that I needed to plan 2 review games at the end. Especially because the science experiments don't take 30 minutes and their presentation was a joke, and that didn't take 30 minutes either. So this week, I planned 2 fun review games, which I got from Heidi's blog via Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood.

CC Bingo. I printed off these CC Bingo charts (which can be used again and again) and had each child roll a big fat dice from our Hello Kitty Bingo. Each letter of BINGO plus the face of Hello Kitty represented a subject for CC. They had to answer the question and then everyone put a little coin on the square. There are multiple squares for each subject so that kept them all getting Bingo at the same time. It was really fun and they loved it!

Heidi's CC Blog - please visit!!

Paper Airplanes. They all made and decorated a paper airplane. Luckily my husband was there to help them make really cool ones that flew long distances. They got an extra sticker for decorating it with something related to CC. Then they all stood on one wall, and waited for their question. After they answered it, they all flew their airplanes, and of course were trying to see whose went the furthest. Then they would all go to the other wall, and just kept going. The boys especially loved this game.

Towards the end, I asked them if they wanted to keep doing airplanes or play Bingo again, and since the class was split, my husband led Bingo and I led them in airplanes. It definitely was a way better week for Review!! And all thanks to
Heidi's CC Blog!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


image credit
 I love an extent. I never used to be a morning person. Waking up for school/college was a drag and I hated being up that early. In my "older" years, I have come to realize the beauty and stillness of the morning. I love that morning light streaming through the windows. Listening to the sound of brewing coffee. Eating breakfast by the window and watching runners and walkers on the trail behind our house. Eating breakfast as a family. These are some of the things I love, but it doesn't always look like that in the mornings.
A lot of mornings are just running around trying to get everyone fed, things picked up, making the bed, getting dressed (if I'm lucky), cleaning up breakfast, and starting school. But I treasure those little moments even in the craziness. I still get to make the coffee. We always see people out on the trail no matter what the weather. I still get to sit somewhere and eat my breakfast. And I also love to light a candle in the morning. Kind of a little slice of peace in my hectic morning!
And I do cherish those precious Saturday mornings. The only morning in the week that doesn't involve school or church and we can just lounge around in our pajamas and do as we please. We don't make our beds that day, or get dressed right away in the morning. We sometime have a special breakfast, and the new Pioneer Woman cooking show is on. I love those mornings. Especially when Tad is off from work.
Ahhh, mornings. Someday I will get up earlier than my kids like I used to and really savor the quietness, the time with God before they wake, and my coffee before the craziness starts! But for now, I'll just take them when I can get them!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Classical Conversations Cycle 1 Week 16

Tomorrow is week 17 already and I'm just now getting this blog post out about week 16! Sorry about that! I really like to have them out sooner in the week so parents can help their kids with the material and tutors have a chance to look at it before they teach it (if they are a week or more behind us in their CC schedule.) So again, sorry for that. Some weeks are just crazier than others, or I just don't get around to getting the blog post out soon enough!
This past week I ended up with a lot of extra time in our class, and honestly, my 6 year olds seem to get bored playing the same review game for 20/30 minutes at the end. So for this week, I think I'm gonna plan 2 review games, so we can switch it up at the end and not end up with a lot of extra time. I think our science experiments and presentations have been less that 30 minutes and that is what has been giving us extra time at the end. We even stop 10 minutes before 12 so we can do stickers, treasure box, and clean-up chores and we still ended up with a good amount of time at the end! But I had a tutor visiting my class, and she helped me fill the time with some review games!
So anyways, here's what we did for week 16:

Timeline: learned new hand motions and sang Timeline song, #4 on cd

History Sentence: learned the hand motions (including over the head YMCA-type motions for the Olmecs, Mayans, and Aztecs) and sang with the cd. 

Geography: used the big laminated maps. Used plastic fish/dinosaurs to find geography, traced/colored new areas and repeated the names. Glued passport stamps in passports.

Latin: played Ring Around the Rosie and sang Latin with the cd, when I stopped the music, they would fall down and finish where the song left off, usually answering which declension and whether it was singular or plural.

Math: area of a rectangle, printed off a ws from CC connected, they filled in another worksheet with A=LxW and filled in the blanks.

Science: Said the different types of volcanoes in a sing/song way to remember them.

English: helping verbs: am, are, is. Said them several times and then had them say them one at a time. If they missed, they were out, and went on until we had a winner.

Grammar Review: Had 2 teams. Had 1 chair across the room from each team. One person from each team had to run across the room, pick a subject card off the chair, have their parent/helper read their question and ring the bell first. Then they had to answer their question for a point. We ended up eliminating the "points" because it got kind of confusing with the bell. But it was fun!

I feel like each week, I learn something new about how to improve the class, interact better with the kids, or make it more fun. This weeks learning tip (for my class, anyways) is to have 2 review games planned, to keep them moving and doing something different. Have a great week!