The Cool Kids

Friday, December 13, 2019

Use Your Words: December 2019: Sweet.




Hey-O friends!


Today’s post is a writing challenge created by Karen @ Baking in A Tornado.  8 participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words for someone else to use in a post. All words must be used at least once. All posts will be different as each writer has received their own original set of words. No blogger knows who received their words or in what direction the writer will take them. Until today.   
My words are: 
wind ~ profit ~ lady ~ base ~ older
They were submitted by Dawn@: https://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com
Thanks, Dawn!

Once in a while, when the wind blows just right, I remember how much I miss teaching. The ache for it happens much less now that I'm older and my energy isn't as high. Still, I stop and reminisce about how much joy I had telling stories, doing activities, and watching children's eyes glow in awe as they learned while having fun.

I'm not working for profit anymore. I'm no longer teaching a room full of young people. But something wonderful has taken up my free time. Grandkids! Like my own children, they won't stay young for long, so I am choosing to soak up every minute I get with them. 

One of the perks of getting to watch my five-year-old grandson, S. three mornings a week, is getting to share with him some of the activities I once did with my students.

This past week, S. and I read four different versions of "The Gingerbread Man". I taught him a song and we acted out the story with little finger puppets. He was able to retell the saga to his grandpa and watch him laugh at S.'s storytelling.

On another day, we made paper gingerbread people and tried to come up with solutions on how to make sure the Gingerbread Man would stay in the oven until the old lady could take him out to decorate. (The old lady in the story, not me.)
S.'s solution was to tape the base of the cookie to the pan! Haha. We finished that morning decorating gingerbread people.
decorating and tasting Gingerbread Men

Putting the Paper guy who's taped to the pan in the (turned off) oven,


On the last day, we decorated a gingerbread house, discussing what rooms might be inside and which window the "real" gingerbread man might have jumped from.

 S. was engrossed the whole time. You know it might be going well if your sugared-up little man keeps his attention focused for large chunks of time.
I was in charge of the glue.


Some might say, "Big Deal, you had fun. It's just a little kid. What does that have to do with teaching?"
My answer is that the whole thing was teaching/learning. Without calling it what it was, S., age five, was learning:

*What a beginning, a middle, and an end are in a story."
*How to retell a story.
*How to talk about how four different stories of the same Gingerbread man can be different.
*Learning the words to, and reciting a song.
*small motor skills of decorating tiny ginger people cookie.
*small motor skills of cutting and gluing paper gingerbread guy. (and taping him to a pan!)
*Hypothesizing the ending of a 5th story based on the other versions of said story. (Using prior knowledge).
*Coming up with solutions to problems. (How would we keep him in the oven?) 
*Spatial skills/Problem solving (Imagining where rooms are located in the Gingerbread house and knowing that the Gingerbread man escaped through a window, where the kitchen might be.
*Senses: How the cookies smelled, how the candies tasted sweet and sour, hearing and singing notes in a song, how cookies feel (HOT!) coming out of an oven, and how the house and cookies looked with different colored decorations.
*Sharing: retelling the story to Grandpa, and later, to sisters and brothers. S. took all the cookies home, so I'll assume he shared those cookies with family.

Those are some skills, man! Children are incredible.

What in the world does any of that matter? Sometimes we underestimate the capabilities and hands-on knowledge that little people gain, simply by playing/experimenting. No written tests needed. Just experiences.
Ugh. Those sweet little hands.

Lord, I've missed it. Thank heavens for grandbabies. And for the simplest of stories.



Have a sweet weekend, friends.
-Michele

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:
                     Baking In A Tornado
              Wandering Web Designer
                     Spatulas on Parade
                           On the Border 
                                Sarah Nolan
                   Southern Belle Charm  
                                     Climaxed   
     Part-time Working Hockey Mom           

20 comments:

  1. Getting to see a lot of the parts of this experience up close, I can say that you were truly in your element and I'm sure it will be something that S. will remember for a long time. S.'s responses and excitement about all the activities showed the impact it had on him. It shouldn't be a surprise as I've lost count of how many times we've run into a former student or parent of a student of yours and they recount the special experiences you made for them or their child. Thanks for sharing your gifts with so many people and good job using your words, we are very proud of you! Love, M

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Mark, You are beyond kind here. I do know you understand the importance of experiences though. Those Grandpa Donut days are beyond special. Thanks for once again allowing scrap paper, gluesticks and other crafty stuff to lay upon and all over the house. <3

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  2. Loooove your activities (next time please let me join...) And while I acknowledge all the important skills you're nurturing, I just want to add the importance of the "simple" social interaction in general, the talking, the attention, the fun and the laughter! So many kids who get "parked" in front of the TV are not getting any of this!
    My boy is only 11, but I already miss our time before he started school. Mornings just spent doing gingerbread stuff or exploring the market.
    Happy Friday!

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    Replies
    1. You are welcome to come learn with us anytime, Tamara! You are so correct about the social interaction. It's definitely missing in these days of computers/tv/gaming. A few social skills and being the example of politeness goes a long way today. Hey, 11 year old's still love to hang out with their cool mamas! <3

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  3. It is wonderful that your grandson has such a marvelous teacher who can make everyday experiences both fun and educational. It also reminds me what a great loss the community incurred with your retirement from the teaching profession--the paid one, that is. You were what every parent hopes their child's teacher will be like: caring, creative, fun, tolerant, accepting, observant, knowledgeable, energetic, and kind in all things. We are so proud to call you daughter (nice catch, Mark), and pleased to watch you make such a difference in the fragile lives of your grandchildren as shown in today's post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ok, John. Making me cry all over my3rd coffee of the day! Your words mean so much. I wish there was room for teachers like me. All children really need is the guidance and allowance to learn and play. SO much is lacking today with kids sitting forward in their desks at school and in front of computers at home. Thank you once again for your kind response and for reading these silly posts <3

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  4. I love this post so much!!! I taught kindergarten years so and then homeschooled my boys. I do miss it and my grans are far away. I’m in complete agreement. My boys learned the most when they didn’t know they were learning. Baking bread. Making quilts. Craft day. Sweet memories

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    1. Aw, Dawn. I didn't know you taught too! How fun! So you get it. And you remind me how fun it will be to bake bread! Perfect for these cold days. I hope you're well and that your holidays will be full of love.

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  5. I love that you're using your teaching skills to connect with your grandson. You are, in fact, making the most of every moment with him.

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    1. Thank you, my friend. It's been a wonderful thing having them in our worlds. Good for my soul.

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  6. Twinnie, have we really been friends that long?!
    I love seeing you enjoying being a grandmother. It looks great on you!

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    Replies
    1. We HAVE been friends for a long time, Sarah! But, we just got those beautiful grandkids two years ago. My daughter and son in law adopted and our whole lives turned up side down for the better. I love being a grams! Also I'm so glad to see your beautiful face on in the challenges again <3

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  7. Our babies have been such an incredible thing in our lives, but the AMAZING grandparents they ended up with is a blessing we count everyday. Grandma Shel’s house is full of snacks, stories, toys, and so many fun activities. The amount of love and time you pour into them is something they will treasure for the rest of their lives. I love you and I’m so thankful to have such an incredible example of a teacher to look up to!! S bragged about the Gingerbread Man to his brother and sister alllll week. We were all a bit (extremely) jealous. Love you and your endless talents. ♥️

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for bringing those sweet kids into our lives. You and Micah are amazing parents and we are blessed to be in your little family's world. You know you can always come to your mama's and make your own Gingerbread Men at any time; if your room is clean. Oh wait, does that still work? LOVE you forever.

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  8. Oh, how I would love to see you in action! I can just picture how amazing you are with S.! What a great week you two had... so special! I must admit, I miss being around those little ones, too! I miss you, too! Love you, girl!

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    1. Hey_O, Stacy! It seems like it wasn't all that long ago when you were helping me with Alexandra. She was so small then! Now she's the mama! It's crazy, but in the best way. You would love the stuffing out of the littles. Hope you're doing well, girl. I miss you right back. <3

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  9. My grandkids are my reward for not killing my own kids when they were little. (Rena)

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    1. Amen, sister! LOL! Who knew how differently it would feel having little ones you can give back at the end of the day?

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  10. And the greatest blessing of all: spending time with Grandma! The best reward on both sides! :)

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    1. You know what? Spending time with my grandparents was my favorite thing in the world. I want to be that for these little kiddos. I certainly feel like I'm getting the good end of this deal <3

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