Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fish Tales

Today we met for our Camp Read A Lot and I think my campers are up around the 60 book mark!  I'm so thrilled to see them excited about books!

Today my theme was Swimmy, a book about a courageous little fish who solves his problem and gains some new friends in the process.  This is a sweet story with beautiful illustrations.

For lunch I served blue jello with some red swedish fish.  Yum {not so much, but the kids liked it}

Here is Grandma's bookworm:

1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
2.  Corduroy
3.  The Story of Ferdinand
4.  The Runaway Bunny
5.  Make Way for Ducklings
6.  Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
7.  If You Give A Mouse A Cookie
8.  Doctor De Soto
9.  Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
10.  Goodnight Moon
11.  Alpha Oops! The Day Z Went First
12.  Pretty Salma, A Little Red Riding Hood Story from Africa
13.  Madeline
14.  Thunder Cake
15.  On A Summer Day
16.  Swimmy
17.  Caps For Sale

And here are our campers with their red fish.  If you are not familiar with the book Swimmy, all of the fish that are his size are red, he is black.  They band together and swim together to make a giant red fish to outsmart the other big fish and not get eaten.  Swimmy is the eye.
You can see our red fish with our black Swimmy eye.

Our camping snack today was mini s'mores.  These are good.  You need the new mini graham crackers and mini marshmallows and chocolate chips.  Just place the marshmallows on the cracker and broil them for a minute or two.  It goes fast so keep your eye on them.  Then remove them from the oven and put a chocolate chip on top.  These ARE yummy.  I will make lots more next time.
We gobbled these right up.

After a treat from the treasure chest, they went home and now I have to get busy and think of some more fun activities and some more prizes!

Stay tuned.

Here are the other 2 posts about camp read a lot ~ here and here.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Reading A Lot!

Welcome back to Camp Read A Lot.
{To see the first post ~ go here.}

The campers all came to Grandma's on Sunday to celebrate Grandpa's birthday and I thought we had better get a picture in their cute shirts before they got all messy.
I made the banner with my girls' cricuts and just love it.

Here is the list of books that we have read at Grandma's so far.

1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
2.  Corduroy
3.  The Story of Ferdinand
4.  The Runaway Bunny
5.  Make Way for Ducklings
6.  Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
7.  If You Give A Mouse A Cookie
8.  Doctor De Soto
9.  Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
10.  Goodnight Moon
11.  Alpha Oops! The Day Z Went First
12.  Pretty Salma, A Little Red Riding Hood Story from Africa

My little campers get so silly posing for pictures.  

Today we finally painted our caterpillars.  The kids are suited up and have their sunscreen on so you will see some ghostly faces.

Clean up is a snap with shaving cream.   We did a little practicing of correct letter formation while we were at it.

Such a cute picture of Ben.

Our finished caterpillars don't have eyes because we ran out of time, but we did get some legs on them. They are just pipe cleaners cut in half.

At lunch we made caterpillars with our grapes and strawberries.  

And with that, I think we are done with caterpillars.  

The bookworms are up in the family room.  Every book read to the 3 little ones gets written on a circle. Elizabeth had to read her own books ~ although we have modified that so some of the ones her mom reads she writes down too.   

Here is a peek at Jackson's bookworm.  You can see the kids have been reading up a storm.  This should look quite interesting come August.

And here is a little visual of our treats for me to remember.

I am taking the 3 big kids, one at a time, after VBS this week, out to lunch and to the bookstore to pick out a book.  They filled out the Barnes and Noble reading club so the free book is from there.

The "treasure chest" sits in our living room and is filled with all sorts of junk.  The kids know about it of course, but they aren't allowed to ask for something from it.  It's something I just offer up now and then.  The boys especially love to get a treasure.  I'm actually getting kind of desperate for some cheap treasures to put in there too.  I always scour dollar bins looking for stuff because my stuff is getting kind of tired.
I had to laugh last time we had the box out, Cooper saw a robot in there and he said "Hey that's mine."  Sure enough there was a letter  C on the bottom.  I always put a C and B and J on things as the boys get the same cars and action figures often.  So I'm sure I found the thing on the floor and just popped it in the treasure box.  I think a few other things in there are forgotten toys of theirs!

So, there you have our Camp update.  We only do the camping activities when all 4 are here together, and I am busy planning our next few visits.  I have to get busy and think of a few fun treats too.    We have received prizes through 30 books, but I know the next time they come they will be over 45.  

My 3" circle punch is getting a great workout!  

I love to see my grands so excited about reading!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Grandma's Camp Read A Lot

Once upon a time, when my girls were in college, I got a "real" job at an agency that had a grant to do after school tutoring to "at risk" youth and it had an emphasis on literacy.

It was a dream job for me, totally God planned for my exact circumstances.  I loved it and I worked at it for 8 years, until my granddaughter was born.

For several summers I ran an 8 week small summer camp for grades K-6 called Camp Read A Lot.  Their parents were at our agency for parenting classes, or GED, or budgeting etc.  

I had to plan activities that spanned those grades and they were all focused on children's books.

Now, reading is my absolute favorite thing, and both of my daughters are avid readers too, and we are determined to make readers of the next generation.  So...

Welcome to Camp Read A Lot

Of course every camp has to have a T shirt!

These were made by a friend of Laura's.  Aren't they darling?

This whole idea kind of started with the 30 minutes it takes for  sunscreen to soak in.  You see, when the grands come to swim their mothers lather them in sunscreen, as they should, but then the poor kids just sit and look at the pool and it is a loooong 30 minutes.  So I decided this year we would read as we usually do, but I would dig through my old work stuff for some simple crafts to do to go along with the books.

And as the story goes, if you give a mouse a cookie...

I got a little carried away with the fun stuff.

I wanted clip boards for them to write on, because we are outside and all of my outdoor tables are "holey."

These are great because we can keep the papers in them and they are pretty cute too!  Of course I ordered these first and I didn't know what our shirts were going to look like.  I wish the bookworms were the same, but I'll get over it.

First day of camp.
Excited campers!

The campers are hard at work.  Our first book was The Very Hungry Caterpillar {you saw that coming didn't you?}
I found some printables here.  They were great too, had some color matching for our almost 3 year old, some printing copying for our kindergartners, and some writing for our 2nd grader.  She's looking up the words in the book.

These were the totes for each camper.  Things were a little hectic and I didn't get a picture of all four of them.  I just put a toy, a bubble thing and 3 books for each child to start them out on a summer of reading.

My daughter's cricut and vinyl made Target dollar bins pretty cute.

Our camping snack was a different kind of s'more.  I used alpha-bits cereal, mini m & m's, and mini mini marshmallows. 

I got these cute bags here on Etsy and the stickers here.

I have decided that prizes and treats will be awarded for every 5 books read.  These are the bookmarks that will accompany the book for the prize for 5 books.  The treat for 10 books will be Movie Morning.
That was an easy decision as I have to watch all 4 kids on Wednesday morning.

I gave each child a baggie of 3" circles.  We are making bookworms to decorate our family room.

I am reading books from this list.

So far we've read:

1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
2.  Corduroy
3.  The Story of Ferdinand
4.  The Runaway Bunny
5.  Make Way for Ducklings
6.  Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Follow along on our reading adventure.

Any guesses on how many books we read?

*updated here

Sharing at Richella's Grace at Home party.

Friday, June 1, 2012

A Little Visit to DC

Bob and I took a little trip to our nation's capital on Mother's Day weekend. 

{that little sentence just cost me about 10 minutes search to see if I should use capital or capitol.  I think I have it right, but I won't bet the farm on it.  I will only admit to being an elementary school teacher ~ of the lower grades.  I'm obviously getting weaker all the time in spelling and grammar.  But I do remember that the principal is your PAL ~ is there a little ditty for this dilemma?}

Any hoo, we headed off to DC {easier}  for a wedding of Bob's coworker.  They had booked us into a hotel in a newer area called National Harbor across the street from the Gaylord Hotel.  This is the view out of our window looking at the edge of the Gaylord and the Potomac River.  National Harbor seems to be a small area on the river with some hotels, lots of restaurants and shops. It wasn't too far from Reagan airport, and you could take water taxis from that dock in the picture.

After our adventure exploring the freeway and bridges, using both the GPS in the rental car and my IPad, we arrived at our hotel in time for the western themed rehearsal dinner hosted at the hotel by the groom.
{Gotta love that talking GPS and I quote "keep to the right and keep to the left as you exit ~ Huh?  We kept to the right and to the left and crossed the bridge next to our lane and could see our exit but were prevented by the concrete barrier from actually exiting.  We adapted}    

Saturday was the wedding, but we had the morning and early afternoon to explore.  We have been to DC before, and "done" most of the city sights so we decided to get back on the highway and head to the Chesapeake Bay.

There is a really big bridge not too far from Annapolis that crosses part of the bay.

I'm not so crazy about these big bridges.  And my husband is a bridge engineer.  I close my eyes, luckily he's driving.

The wedding was Saturday evening.  We boarded a boat and went up and down the Potomac.   It was so beautiful to see the buildings lit up at night.  The wedding was small and intimate and just so special being on the river. 

Sunday morning we headed to Mount Vernon.  We'd never been before.

Now that's a lawn.  How did they mow that back in the day?

What a beautiful home. 

This was the greenhouse or summer house.  I guess I should look in that book we bought in the gift shop.  The gardens around it were so pretty.

Approaching the main house.  You can just glimpse the river in front of the house.

After we had we toured the museum, gift shops, and had lunch we were ready to go to Part 2 of our Sunday adventure.

When we were trying to decide what to do on Sunday, I knew Mount Vernon would be the first thing but then I was stumped.  So I just looked at the map and Manassas VA just popped out at me.  I know very little Civil War history but I did recognize this name and the battle of Bull Run.  { I hate to admit it but I think it is from Gone With the Wind, the only Civil War book I've read a million times.}

We did the driving tour of the battlefields and it was very interesting.  I must confess that I was confused when I'd read the little signs, because they would mention various Generals etc, and you could tell that they assumed you knew a little about the outcome of the battles.  I didn't know if a general was from the north or the south, although, as I texted a TX friend who IS a big war buff, at least I know who WON the war;-)

A terrible battle was fought at this peaceful little spot.  It was terrible to remember how much blood was shed here.  It really is hard to even imagine it.

So many have paid for the life we have today.

 And are paying.

Virginia is a lush, green, beautiful state.
So glad we had the chance to go back.
We will come again.