Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Friday November 15th 2019 -#Xmas Carol Taylor #Maths Jennie Fitzkee – #Interview Colleen M. Chesebro with Darlene Foster


This series is an opportunity to showcase posts from around our community and the brilliant bloggers who share with us. It would be amazing if you would follow the links to the post I have highlighted and whilst visiting follow and support the blogger.

The first author today is our food expert Carol Taylor who shares some Christmas trivia, tips and some awful jumpers!!! and news that her own farm bred turkey will be gracing their table this year. Guaranteed free range, highest welfare standards and organic. Not all of us can say that when we buy a supermarket frozen or fresh chicken!  Anyway here is a snippet and I recommend that you head over and read the rest.

Christmas…In my house…Traditions, Treats and a touch of Trivia…

Good afternoon…A lovely here though the morning was a tad chilly…Picked up some lovely fennel and some beautiful eggplants from the Kings Project Farmers market also some beautiful peppercorns and some other fresh vegetables…Next Friday will be the start of my sample Christmas menus…I will be featuring more plant-based menus as I know many people are changing and cooking with more vegetables, lentil/beans all of which I love but the menfolk here not so much…so there will also be some recipes with fish or chicken…

Today I am reposting a post from last November which I hope you enjoy…x

Christmas stockings gingerbread houses

Please head over to enjoy, especially those jumpers: Carol Taylor – Christmas Traditions, Treats and Trivia

You can find all of Carol’s posts: Carol Taylor’s Food and Cookery Column 2019

The next post that caught my attention is from Jennie Fitzkee who has been teaching pre-school children for well over thirty years, and once you read Jennie’s posts, you realise how very lucky those children are.

Hands-on Maths for Children

Often, in the flow of our day, there are unplanned learning opportunities. Typically, this is when some of the best learning and the most fun happens. Recently we were playing with Squigz, a toy with multiple sized rubber pieces of various colors that have suction cups for building and attaching. When it was time to clean up, we collected all the pieces, fifty to be exact. In order to make sure we had all fifty, we began lining up and counting the pieces by color.

Head over to read the rest of this wonderful post: Jennie Fitzkee – Hands-on Maths for Children

And two of my favourite people on one page with Conversations with Colleen Chesebro and her guest YA author Darlene Foster talking about the well loved Amanda Travel series and other aspects of Darlene’s life.

Hello everyone! This week I’m thrilled to bring you one of my favorite award-winning children’s authors, Darlene Foster. I asked her to pick three or four questions from my huge list HERE. This is Darlene’s second visit to my blog. We had so much fun last time, she couldn’t wait to stop around again!

Darlene Foster writes the kind of children’s books that I would have loved to read as a child. Pull up a seat and stay awhile. Let’s talk writing!

What kind of research do you do for a children’s book, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Find out the answer to that question and enjoy the rest of the interview: Colleen Chesebro meets Darlene Foster

Thank you very much for dropping in and I hope you will head over to read these posts in full.. thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily -Thursday October 3rd 2019 – Amy M. Reade, Jennie Fitzkee and Mary Smith


This series is an opportunity to showcase posts from around our community and the brilliant bloggers who share with us. It would be amazing if you would follow the links to the post I have highlighted and whilst visiting follow and support the blogger.

The first post today is from author Amy Reade with some great autumn recipes including cheesy Brussel sprouts.. that I must try..

First Tuesday Recipes for October

It’s officially fall and despite what the thermometer says, I know cooler weather is coming. (It’s supposed to be almost 90F here tomorrow…ugh.)

Fall is my favorite season for lots of reasons, but food is one of them. I love using apples and apple cider, pears, Brussels sprouts, squash, parsnips, and broccoli when I cook, and this is the best time of year to enjoy them at their finest.

The recipes I’m going to share this month are a simple side dish, a pasta dish, and a quick bread. Let’s cook!

***

Cheesy Brussels Sprouts

This recipe is one I made up, so the measurements are approximations. It’s easy, though, so you can tweak it to your tastes.

  • 1 c. Brussels sprouts (I use frozen because they’re smaller than fresh), thawed if frozen
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1 palmful grated Parmesan cheese

If you use frozen Brussels sprouts, pat them dry with paper towels once they’re thawed. If using fresh, just wash them.

Halve the Brussels sprouts.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat until the butter has melted. Add Brussels sprouts to the pan, cut-side down. Sprinkle with salt. Cook for about 4 minutes, without flipping the sprouts, until the cut sides are beginning to brown. You’ll have to check them, since cooking times vary depending upon the size of your sprouts.

Flip the sprouts and continue cooking until they are browned all over. Add the Parmesan cheese to the pan. Cook, stirring, until the cheese starts to melt and stick to the sprouts. The cheese should start to become golden. Serve immediately.

***

Pasta with Pumpkin Cream Sauce and Apple bread can be found here: https://amreade.wordpress.com/2019/10/01/first-tuesday-recipes-for-october-2

Amy M. Reade, Buy:  http://www.amazon.com/Amy-M.-Reade/e/B00LX6ASF2
Blog: www.amreade.wordpress.com – Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8189243.Amy_M_Reade

2013 154851dikCmd-RL._UY250_House of the Hanging Jade cover with USA Today

The first post is  by Jennie Fitzkee, who shares the wisdom gained from over 30 years as a teacher of the youngest school children, preparing them for life and infusing their absorbent minds with a love of learning. In this post, a much loved friend returns to the classroom.

Gloria.

Gloria joined the classroom today, and oh what a homecoming it was. It’s doubtful Santa Claus would receive such a welcome. After all these years we are still amazed at the difference Gloria makes and how children are drawn to her. It started many years ago…

You see, Gloria is different. She is very shy and loves to wear black. She’s not pretty on the outside, but she’s beautiful on the inside. In order for children to learn about the world, they needed to learn about the people in the world. And that meant introducing them to diversity… to Gloria.

Children don’t even see that she’s a puppet. The word witch is never spoken. It isn’t even a thought in their heads. They see her ‘insides’; that she needs help singing the ABC’s, that she loves Maine, and likes to be read to. That’s what children really see.

When Gloria arrived today, we introduced her at Morning Meeting. She was shy and did not speak. She looked all around, and we realized she didn’t recognize the classroom, as we have moved. That took some explaining! Then, Gloria looked at the children. She knew her Aqua Room friends from last year. One by one, they came up to hug Gloria. The hugs were more like the jaws of life… it had been a long time since they had seen her. McKinley cried. We did, too. Delaney buried her head into Gloria. On and on.

Please head over an enjoy this wonderful post about the love that someone called Gloria can bring to the classroom: https://jenniefitzkee.com/2019/10/02/gloria-3/

Connect to Jennie – Blog: https://jenniefitzkee.com/ –  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennie.fitzkee – Twitter: https://twitter.com/jlfatgcs

And last but certainly not least… a post from Mary Smith, sharing her experiences working in Afghanistan…the setting for her wonderful book No More Mulberries (highly recommended).

Travels in Afghanistan (2).

DSCF1050

Cocooned in my black nylon, slithery, stifling burqa I retreated into a review – it was certainly not planning – of what had brought me here. Adult life had begun in a dull, but safe job as a junior bank clerk in South West Scotland. Numerically dyslexic, it was highly improbable that I would have ever fulfilled my mother’s ambition to have a daughter become one of the first women bank managers and after a boring year I left to hitch hike around France and Italy with a boyfriend.

Back in Britain we settled in Blackburn, Lancashire where I tried a succession of jobs from being a nanny to making car components before landing a job with Oxfam. It was a job I loved and would probably never have left had not the mini-bus driver taking our pool team to a match in Blackpool not been going to Pakistan. Somehow during the course of the evening it was decided I should accompany the wife and sister of a friend of the mini-bus driver when they returned to Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, to see their family.

While there, I visited the Marie Adelaide Leprosy centre and was deeply impressed by the work I saw being done there. In conversation with Dr Pfau, the dynamic German sister who had worked for over 25 years on the leprosy programme she suggested I stay on for three years to set up a health education department. ‘But,’ I pointed out, ‘I don’t have any medical qualifications.’

Head over to find out why that was not an impediment to Mary starting her new life and three years later a hair raising drive in to Afghanistan: https://marysmithsplace.wordpress.com/2019/09/28/marysmithsplace-travels-in-afghanistan-2/

Mary Smith, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Smith/e/B001KCD4P0
Website: http://www.marysmith.co.uk/Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5239367.Mary_Smith

Please visit Amazon or Mary’s website to view all her books.

No More Mulberries - web ready51ArFSI2FFL._UY250_

Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if you would head over to read these posts in full.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – September 4th, 2019 – Jennie Fitzkee, Sue Vincent, Robbie Cheadle, James J. Cudney


A return of the Blogger Daily at least once a week.

It is an opportunity to showcase posts from around our community and the brilliant bloggers who share with us. It would be amazing if you would follow the links to the post I have highlighted and whilst visiting follow and support the blogger.

The first post is very timely as children and teachers return to school, and it is by Jennie Fitzkee, who shares the wisdom gained from over 30 years as a teacher of the youngest school children, preparing them for life and infusing their absorbent minds with a love of learning.

Finding Joy – A Letter to Teachers by Jennie Fitzkee

This is a re-post of a letter I wrote to teachers on Joy.
Joy is the magic word!

Dear Teachers,

As you start your new school year there is one word that will get you through the uncertainty and the worry. It’s the same word that is the heart of educating. That word is ‘joy’. No, it’s not the happiness that children bring. It’s the happiness that you bring because it inspires and ignites the mind and the heart of children. Yes, that’s how it works.

Children come to you with big eyes, looking at you to teach them. They don’t know what to think. They want to learn, yet what they really want is to be inspired to learn. That is where you can make a difference.

What do you like? Because whatever it is, from math to music, that ‘like’ will become your best buddy, your guiding star, and the foundation to teach all the things that you like. It will also become a portal to help you teach the things you may not enjoy. If you know that every day you have some window of time to teach what you love, then you become an educator. You go beyond teaching curriculum; you teach the child.

Do you like reading? Does Because of Winn-Dixie or Charlotte’s Web make your heart jump? Well, carry that book around and read it aloud on the playground, in the lunchroom, or at the bus stop. If this is your passion, children will know, and they will listen. They will learn.

Please head over and read the rest of this wonderful and inspiring post: https://jenniefitzkee.com/2019/09/02/finding-joy-a-letter-to-teachers/

Connect to Jennie – Blog: https://jenniefitzkee.com/ –  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennie.fitzkee – Twitter: https://twitter.com/jlfatgcs

The next blog post is from Robbie Cheadle as a guest on the blog of Sue Vincent who incidentally loves guests and if you would like a fantastic place to showcase your blog and books then head over and find out more…

Robbie has recently been on tour of England and Scotland with some wonderful tales to share on her return.. This post is about the legendary Highwayman Dick Turpin.. but was he really that legendary… A snippet to whet your appetite and then click on the link to find out the truth.

The myth of Dick Turpin by Robbie Cheadle

Fiction writer, Harrison Ainsworth, glamourised thief and highway man, Dick Turpin, in his 1834 novel, Rookwood. The novel is set in England in 1737 at a manor house called Rookwood Place and the plot revolves around the mysterious death of the owner, Piers Rookwood, and the subsequent rivalry for inheritance of the property between his two sons.

During the course of the story, Dick Turpin, a highway man, is introduced at the manor under the pseudonym Palmer. During his stay, Palmer makes a bet with one of the other house guests that he can capture Dick Turpin. He is eventually forced to escape upon his horse, Black Bess. The horse, although fast enough to stay ahead of all the other horses, eventually collapses and dies from the stress of the escape.

In the novel, Ainsworth describes Turpin as galloping north in the dark: “His blood spins through his veins; winds round his heart; mounts to his brain. Away! Away! He is wind with joy.” Ainsworth’s depiction of Turpin, together with the local narratives, poems and ballads that resulted from it, gave Turpin a notorious posthumous status.

Head over to read the truth about Dick Turpin and don’t forget to check out the opportunity to guest post with Sue Vincent: https://scvincent.com/2019/09/02/guest-author-robbie-cheadle-dick-turpin/

A small selection of books by RobbieCheadle, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ Blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/Goodreads: Robbie Goodreads

A small selection of books by Sue Vincent, Buy: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sue-Vincent/e/B00F2L730W – Blog: http://scvincent.com/  – Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6551588.Sue_Vincent

Finally today author James J. Cudney with a post on the subject of authors reviewing each other’s work… and also a request for your views on the subject.  I have read two of James’s books and have the rest on my TBR.. he had reviewed several of mine and I appreciate the perspective that another author brings to a review. I can recommend that you take him up on his author for this reciprocal support.

AUTHORS: Have You Read and Reviewed One of My Books?, by James J. Cudney

I ask this question specifically to authors because I want to be sure I’ve acknowledged and thanked any author who has taken the time to read and review one or more of my books. As a writer, part of my job is to see what other people think of my books. I check Goodreads, Amazon, BookBub, blogs, and social media daily to see any new reviews from any type of reader. If I’ve received a positive review, I always “like” it on the tool where the review was published. I rarely comment unless it’s on a blog post, as that’s more interactive to me. If I’ve received a bad review, I will cry. Okay, that’s not true… but it will make my day a bit worse. And I won’t like it. I’d rather the negative reviewer have an open mind and message me to discuss what they didn’t like.

ACTION ITEM: If there is an author who has reviewed my work, I would like to return the kind gesture. I generally use Goodreads to find reviews from authors, then pick one of his or her books to read and review within the next month. I can’t search every site or tool, so that’s what I use as my starting point to check for them. As of August 31st, I believe I’ve located all the reviews (not just those with a rating) and reciprocated by reading some of that author’s books too. If you’re an author, and you’ve reviewed my book, and I haven’t acknowledged it or reviewed one of yours, please let me know by responding to this post or privately. It’s accidental, and I want to be sure we’re supporting one another. Let me know, and I’ll correct it.

Head over and chat to James about reviewing each other’s work and also if you have reviewed one of James’s books, he would like to return the favour.. so opportunites for everyone.: https://thisismytruthnow.com/2019/09/03/authors-reviewing-each-others-books-have-you-read-my-work-yet

A small selection of James’s books  Buy: https://www.amazon.com/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M Website/Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com/Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17128817.James_J_Cudney

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope that you will head over to read the posts in full – Until next time.. Sally

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – Teaching: it’s The Cake and the Frosting by Jennie Fitzkee


Welcome to the series  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Pre-school teacher of over 30 years, Jennie Fitzkee, has been a welcome guest here many times but this time, Jennie has let me loose in her archives… this will be fun. In this final post, Jennie shares her analogy for teaching…

Teaching: it’s The Cake and the Frosting

Our everyday learning in the classroom reminds me of a big cake. The necessary ingredients are science, math, reading, writing, language, geography and the arts. A cake is mixed by hand, just as our learning is hands-on.

And, the frosting? That’s our unit of study. It’s the fun, the glorious way to encase and show off our cake. Italy is a beautiful frosting. So was the Rainforest, and Hawaii, and India, and Jan Brett. Regardless of the frosting, or our unit of study, there is always a cake and the important learning that happens.

I thought you might like to taste some of the recent ‘cake batter’:

Reading and letter recognition, a daily constant, had an “ah-hah moment” when we read the book Froggy goes to Hawaii. The word ‘Froggy’ is in big letters on many of the pages, followed by an exclamation mark which we had just learned about. That sparked a huge interest in recognizing letters and actually sounding out words. Since then, every time we read a book that has some of the words in large print, such as Toot, Toot, Zoom or My Truck is Stuck (Literacy Tree books); we are obsessed with both recognizing the letters and sounding out the words. We then find rhyming words and sound them out.

Writing has become a popular activity. We use ‘Handwriting Without Tears’ with emphasis on the terminology of ‘lines’ and ‘curves’ and using those shapes to create letters. September introduced Mat Man, and last week our Italy writing activity had children so ready, it looked like the line at the deli counter. Children practice writing their name on paper with three lines, therefore three practices. We used a vertical surface to make the map of Italy and a pizza parlor tablecloth, and our paintings for the Art Show are done at an easel. All of these activities on a vertical surface are developing the muscles needed for writing.

Geography is highlighted so many times with studying different countries. The best part is, every time we pull out our Big Book Atlas, we become sidetracked and learn even more. We have learned about the equator, the poles, and the oceans. Children are always drawn to the map of the United States, and the learning keeps flowing. We have used the atlas to track the travels of Dr. Dolittle, and we’ll be tracking the travels of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Math and Science has been exciting with the hatching of twenty baby chicks in the kindergarten. The circle of life is in full glory. Our favorite science fair activity was using a hair blow dryer to blow ping pong balls into the air and keep them steady.

Of course you know that Art and Music has been a major contributor to our ‘cake batter’ as the children made significant pieces of art, inspired by music, for our annual art show. I bumped into a former student (now going into kindergarten) who told me she was in Washington DC last week and visited the National Gallery of Art. I was there, too! We marveled at the coincidence. Then she said, “I saw the Mary Cassatt”. I did, too! She said, “Jennie, I saw the flower painting we learned about.” Wow!

My classroom makes the best cakes and frostings!

©Jennie Fitzkee

About Jennie Fitzkee

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It’s the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That’s what I write about.

I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease’s bestselling book, “The Read-Aloud Handbook” because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.

Connect to Jennie

Blog: https://jenniefitzkee.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennie.fitzkee
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jlfatgcs

My thanks to Jennie for permitting me to share these wonderful posts from her archives, always something to learn.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives #PotLuck – Childhood and Summer, Then and Now by Jennie Fitzkee


Welcome to the series  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Pre-school teacher of over 30 years, Jennie Fitzkee, has been a welcome guest here many times but this time, Jennie has let me loose in her archives… this will be fun.  In this post Jennie compares childhood and summer.. then and now.

Childhood and Summer, Then and Now

On summer evenings my greatest pleasure is sitting on the porch and reading. My porch has soft lighting and wood everywhere; bare wood and rough wood. The ceiling is the roughest wood of all, and my husband wants to paint it. Oh, no! That would be a travesty. I knew it would, but I didn’t know why… until I sat out on the porch this week.

I heard thunderstorms in the distance. I stopped reading to listen and just be in the moment. I was transported back to my childhood at summer camp, Camp Dekanawida in Salt Rock, WV. This was overnight camp. There were no day camps or sports camps. Camp was, well… real camp. We slept in a cabin, learned swimming and archery, sang songs every morning and evening. I remember the nighttime counselor hunt, the bonfires, and the hikes. To this day, I can still sing the camp song. Every word.

It’s been sixty years. Seems like yesterday.

My porch and all the rough wood, along with the thunderstorms, brought me back to my childhood and to summer camp. That’s why I didn’t want to paint or change the wood. It was a link to my best memories and to what shaped me as a child, and as an adult.

I love music. Today I sing with gusto, and pull children into songs from patriotic to fun. I introduce them to opera, and classical music. We sing,”Old MacDonald” in Italian. I am constantly humming and bringing music to children. I know this all started with Morning Sing at Camp Dekanawida.

I love stories; telling stories and reading aloud began at camp in the cabin, and around the campfire. No, it did not begin at home. Summer camp was full of stories. There was nothing else but each other and the big, wide world. So, stories and talking, and getting along were important. Ghost stories were scary, yet fun.

I learned to be brave. I mastered a jackknife dive. I went into the woods at night. I pitched a tent.

In the words of the classic book, Charlotte’s Web, “…where there would be no parents to guard them or guide them.” We had each other.

Fast forward to today at my school’s summer camp. Jackson is in my group. He is now seven (a big guy). Years ago he was in my preschool class and the champion of my chapter reading. It is wonderful to connect with a child again! We haven’t missed a beat.

   

So what happened here? We sat outside to talk and laugh. Then we fooled around inside. Bunny ears on the photo were perfect. Camp and the great outdoors will do that. I am giving Jackson and my other campers a small taste of camp in my childhood. Summer and camp brings all the important things to life: laughing and being silly, and discovering the wonders of the great outdoors.

It’s the best. I learned that sixty years ago.

©Jennie Fitzkee

About Jennie Fitzkee

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It’s the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That’s what I write about.

I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease’s bestselling book, “The Read-Aloud Handbook” because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.

Connect to Jennie

Blog: https://jenniefitzkee.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennie.fitzkee
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jlfatgcs

My thanks to Jennie for permitting me to share this post from her archives and there will be another one next Thursday..

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives #PotLuck – How to Teach a Child to Become a Superhero by Jennie Fitzkee


Welcome to the series  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Pre-school teacher of over 30 years, Jennie Fitzkee, has been a welcome guest here many times but this time, Jennie has let me loose in her archives… this will be fun. There are many life skills that a child needs to learn, and one of those is about doing the right thing.

How to Teach a Child to Become a Superhero

Superheroes. Every child wants to be a Superhero. Ask a child, “What does a Superhero do?” and you will hear everything from “save the day” to “help people” to “get the bad guys.” These are good things, and Superheros are icons of goodness.

In a child’s eyes, that means doing the right thing.

The problem is, their whole life–all four years–has stressed “Do the right thing!” A constant reminder of what to do, and what not to do, can often make children feel frustrated. Even worse, feelings of not measuring up creep in.

I assume, right off the bat, that a child is filled with goodness. And much more:

Kindness, check.

Helpfulness, check.

Bravery, check.

The check list goes on and on.

Whether or not these are true, a child lives up to our expectations. Knowing that a teacher thinks they measure up with all the “right stuff” is nothing short of a golden key, a free pass, and a warm blanket.

And that is the start of teaching a child to become a Superhero.

Positive affirmations slowly become part of everyday, like grains of sand collecting to make a sandcastle. Then, the hard work begins– teaching children to overcome obstacles. Resiliency and Persistence. I become the cheerleader along the way. “You can’t…yet. But you can if you keep trying.”

“Yet” is a powerful word.

Remember The Little Engine That Could? I think I can…I know I can…I can.

Now, children feel empowered. Powerful. They naturally want to spread their wings, or capes, and do good things. Once their bucket is filled, they become bucket fillers, or Superheroes.

And what about the child who is angry or mean? That is merely a layer of mud over gold. Children aren’t born that way. They’re golden at birth. I just have to wash off the mud. I know that they’re already filled with goodness. Remember that checklist? That makes it easy to wash away the anger. I’m a champion of good, and so are children at heart.

We wrote picture stories about being Superheroes. In doing so, it validated each child’s accomplishments. Children decorated their stories and wore capes for a photo.

From the oldest:

To the youngest:

We are all Superheroes!

©Jennie Fitzkee

About Jennie Fitzkee

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It’s the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That’s what I write about.

I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease’s bestselling book, “The Read-Aloud Handbook” because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.

Connect to Jennie

Blog: https://jenniefitzkee.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennie.fitzkee
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jlfatgcs

My thanks to Jennie for permitting me to share this post from her archives and there will be another one next Thursday..

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – “The Stop Game”, From Dinosaurs to Poetry by Jennie Fitzkee


Welcome to the series  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Pre-school teacher of over 30 years, Jennie Fitzkee, has been a welcome guest here many times but this time, Jennie has let me loose in her archives… this will be fun. She is always coming up with creative ways to engage the children.. and here is just one.

“The Stop Game”, From Dinosaurs to Poetry

I invented a game for reading-aloud children’s books that are, well…long or potentially boring in the eyes of the child. Poetry! Fact books! In my heart, I know these books are hugely important. I just needed to find a way to engage children and help them see, the way that I see. Or, perhaps the way that I know. I do know, and the “how to do it” just comes to me. The Stop Game is the perfect answer, a solution that children love.

Here is how it works: I hold a book up and partially open it, so I can fan the pages with my thumb. I tell the children, “On the count of three, say STOP.” I begin to fan the pages on the count of one. Breathless anticipation is an understatement. I keep fanning the pages, and when I get to three the children yell STOP. Oh, how they yell, because they’re excited. Then, I show them that page, the one when they said STOP.

We are learning about dinosaurs this month. Besides making great dinosaur art projects, I wanted to teach children facts. After we used a 100-foot measuring tape in the hallway to see the real size of dinosaurs (Brachiosaurus was 85-feet, the entire length of our hallway), I knew children were ready for more learning. I had a great fact book about different dinosaurs, so we played The Stop Game. Oh my, today is day three of children begging for this. And, they remember the facts! The Stop Game repeated a dinosaur page today. When children asked where the dinosaur lived, Kate blurted out, “Australia!” There is a column along the right that lists location, size, enemy, food, and more. I am grilled on these facts every day. Isn’t that wonderful?

Children are excited to learn specifics about dinosaurs. They can’t get enough. They’re four-years-old. Thank you, The Stop Game.

Poetry is a fundamental in reading, words, and rhyming. The simplest of words written in poetry have the most powerful meanings. I read poetry to children. And, we play The Stop Game to make the words come alive. Poetry+The Stop Game=Understanding.

The first poetry book I fell in love with was Shel Silverstein’s A Light in the Attic. It is a classic, and continues to be one of the best poetry books for children. Every page that The Stop Game lands on, is a good poem.

My favorite new children’s poetry book is Outside Your Window. The poetry goes through the seasons and all the animals within each season. There is a wide variety of poetic style, so every poem sparks a different conversation. Children love this book. They love poetry. Playing The Stop Game allows them an opportunity to really listen to the words. It is wonderful.

“The Stop Game” actually started with the dictionary, years ago. A big Scholastic Children’s Dictionary. Every time we read a new word, I used the dictionary to look it up, with the children of course. It was exciting to pull out this big book, show children the fore edge (opposite the spine) with red markings that indicated the letters in the alphabet- and then open the dictionary to see those red alphabet markings. Honestly, this was very exciting. After we looked up the new word, we wanted to look up many more new words, over and over again. So, we played The Stop Game, opened a page, and discovered a world of words. Author Patricia MacLachlan would have said, “Word After Word After Word.”

©Jennie Fitzkee

About Jennie Fitzkee

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It’s the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That’s what I write about.

I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease’s bestselling book, “The Read-Aloud Handbook” because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.

Connect to Jennie

Blog: https://jenniefitzkee.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennie.fitzkee
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jlfatgcs

My thanks to Jennie for permitting me to share this post from her archives and there will be another one next Thursday..

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Family – One Picture for a Thousand Words by Jennie Fitzkee


Welcome to another post from the archives of Jennie Fitzkee. Jennie has enjoyed a career as a pre-school teacher for over thirty years, and has some inspiring posts that reinforce that the ability to read and books, are two of the best gifts we can give our children.

In today’s post Jennie shares the connections that she was able to make between reading Little House on the Prairie and her own grandfather from a similar era and his experiences of mining. Living history is so important to record and to have a connection with someone born in the 1890s to learn first hand what life was like, especially if you can pass it on to a future generation… spanning the past and present…

One Picture for a Thousand Words by Jennie Fitzkee

image

Our final chapter reading book this year at school was Little House on the Prairie.  The last chapter that we read was ‘Fresh Water to Drink’.  Pa and his neighbor, Mr. Scott, were digging a well.  Pa was careful to lower a candle each day into the deep hole to make sure the air was safe.  Bad gas lives deep under the earth.  Mr. Scott thought the candle was ‘foolishness’, and began digging without sending the candle down into the well.  The rest of the chapter was an edge-of-your-seat nail biter.

I love this chapter.  So did the children.  I realized I could connect what happened down in that well to something real; a portrait of my grandfather as a little boy wearing miner’s gear, including a candle on his helmet.  My grandfather and his father had mines in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.  I grew up with their stories and photographs, including this portrait.

I brought it to school the next day to show the children.  “This is my grandfather”, I said.  “He went deep under the earth, just like Pa and Mr. Scott.  What is that on his head?”  Children couldn’t sit.  They jumped up, pressed against me and each other, all wanting a closer look.  “That’s fire!” someone said.  “No, it’s a candle” said Owen.  “A candle is fire.” said Miles.  “What did he do?”  Ah, those wonderful, spontaneous questions that spark the best learning.  This was ‘a moment’, fifteen children eager to hear more and learn.

I told them about mining, going underground, and about the candle.  I then showed them the Garth Williams illustrations in the chapter ‘Fresh Water to Drink’, with Ma and Pa turning the handle of the windlass to get Mr. Scott out of the well, and Pa digging the hole that is as deep as he is tall.  We talked about how hard that would be.  We imagined what it would be like inside the hole:  Dark or light?  Hot or cold?  Then someone asked, “How old is your grandfather?”

I was connecting generations and connecting learning.

I’m in mid-life, where I have a strong, real link with the past and also the present.  My one arm can reach and touch my parents from before 1920 and my grandparents from the 1880’s and 1890’s   They were just here ‘some years ago’.  My other arm can reach and touch my children and grandchildren, and all the preschoolers I teach.

I find this mind boggling; I’m equally part of the past, a long line of family history, and part of the present, teaching children and learning.  I want to connect all the lines.  I want people to know that I was there with Nan who was born in The 1880’s, and with Lulu who was born ten years later.  I want people to know that I understand life from that point forward.

More importantly, I want my preschoolers to have a firsthand piece of history.  It is a ‘real’ way to enhance learning.  That happened with my Grandfather’s portrait.

©Jennie Fitzkee

About Jennie Fitzkee

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It’s the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That’s what I write about.

I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease’s bestselling book, “The Read-Aloud Handbook” because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.

Connect to Jennie

Blog: https://jenniefitzkee.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennie.fitzkee
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jlfatgcs

My thanks to Jennie for sharing this post from her archives and it would be great if you could share how far your personal connection to your family stretches in each direction.

My parents were born in 1916 and 1917 and I met my grandmother who was born in 1890 the youngest in my own family is 12 years old so that is span of 129 years of living history.

If you would like to share your stories about family, including our fur babies.. then please take a look at the details.

Posts from Your Archives and the theme this time is all about family.

  1. Personal memories of childhood or teens that are still fresh in your mind.
  2. Family history, stories of your parents, grandparents and further back if you can.
  3. Fur family past and present.
  4. Favourite recipes.
  5. Memorable holidays.
  6. Places you have lived.
  7. Memorable homes you have lived in.
  8. Grandchildren tales.
  9. Any family related post – education, health, teen years, elderly care, lifestyle.
  10. Please remember that there are some younger readers who visit.

I think you get the idea.

The aim of this series is to showcase your blog and any creative work that you do from books, art, photography and crafts. You pick between one and four links to posts that you have written for your own blog from the day you started up to December 2018, and you simply send the link to those blogs to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

You have to do nothing more as I will capture the post and images from your blog and I will then post with full copyright to you.. with your creative work and your links to buy and to connect. I might sometimes need a little more information but I am quite resourceful in finding out everything I need.

So far in the Posts from Your Archives from September 2017, there have been over 700 posts from 200 + bloggers that have reached a different audience and encouraged more readers for their own blogs and current posts.

Previous participants are more than welcome

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -#Family – My Mother’s Fairy Tales by Jennie Fitzkee


This is the second post from the archives of Jennie Fitzkee, who with a career as a pre-school teacher for over thirty years, has some inspiring posts that reinforce that the ability to read and books are two of the best gifts we can give our children. On her blog she also shares wonderful posts about her family and will be sharing four of those with us in the coming weeks.

My Mother’s Fairy Tales by Jennie Fitzkee

My mother gave me her childhood book of fairy tales when my children were young. This wasn’t a book she had ever shown me, or my brother and sisters. I think it was my teaching and my newfound love of children’s literature that prompted her to give me the book.

I was thrilled and excited. I read many of the fairy tales, especially the ones I knew. I remember calling Mother and the conversation we had on the phone. It went something like this:

Me: “Mother, these fairy tales are terrible.”

Mother: “What do you mean?”

Me: “They’re violent.”

The silence was deafening. I could see the stiffening and the tension, and I wasn’t even there. I could see the eyes tightening and the chin rising, even though I wasn’t there.

My mother was a no-nonsense, tough woman. She always idolized her grandfather who was a coal miner from Wales. He came to America, made a fortune in mining in Pennsylvania, lost everything in the depression, and then built his fortune once again. It wasn’t the money, it was the grit her grandfather had that my mother admired.

Mother’s father, her beloved grandfather’s only son, was killed in a mining accident when he was in his 30’s. Mother’s mother (Lulu to me) practically fell apart and spent a year in Paris with her children to recover. That year, 1928, they lived in the same apartment building as the famous singer Maurice Chevalier, who often sang to my mother. She was eight years old.

A fortune was spent in only a year. My mother watched her mother in weakness. After that, my mother became a very strong woman. When my father, her husband, died as a young man, my mother was able to manage her four children with a positive presence and a stiff upper lip.

And that is why she bristled when I told her that her Grimm’s Fairy Tales were violent.

Cinderella. Well, in the original Grimm’s story, there is no Fairy Godmother. Instead there is a weeping willow tree by her mother’s grave, and birds. The birds get her the dress for the ball…which lasts for three days. They also pick out the lentils from the ashes for Cinderella so she can go to the ball.

The glass slipper. OMG. The evil stepmother tells the first daughter to chop off her toe, and the second daughter to cut off her heel in order to make the glass slipper fit. Of course the blood sends the Prince back to the house each time. When the Prince and Cinderella marry, the birds peck out the stepsisters’ eyeballs. Really.

Do you recognize many of these titles? “Little Red Cap” is the original “Little Red Riding Hood.” It has two different endings. I read this to the children at school last week.

Popular fairy tales are popular to their readers. In the days of the Brothers Grimm, children died, life was hard, disease and terrible working conditions were common. Hot water and a big meal was a luxury. Therefore, those stories were not scary or violent to their readers. Even into the early 1900’s.

Today, people think Disney movie adaptations are violent. If my children called me to tell me how violent Disney movies were, I would have been just like my mother; shocked and defensive, and bristling. Shielding children from what happens in life is not the way to go. Storytelling and books and fairy tales are a good thing.

I’m my mother’s daughter.

©Jennie Fitzkee

About Jennie Fitzkee

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It’s the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That’s what I write about.

I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease’s bestselling book, “The Read-Aloud Handbook” because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.

Connect to Jennie

Blog: https://jenniefitzkee.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennie.fitzkee
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jlfatgcs

My thanks to Jennie for sharing this post from her archives… I remember reading the Little Match Girl and weeping buckets aged 7 … those fairy tales are not all Happy Ever After…..

What was the fairy story that you remember most?

If you would like to share your stories about family, including our fur babies.. then please take a look at the details.

Posts from Your Archives and the theme this time is all about family.

  1. Personal memories of childhood or teens that are still fresh in your mind.
  2. Family history, stories of your parents, grandparents and further back if you can.
  3. Fur family past and present.
  4. Favourite recipes.
  5. Memorable holidays.
  6. Places you have lived.
  7. Memorable homes you have lived in.
  8. Grandchildren tales.
  9. Any family related post – education, health, teen years, elderly care, lifestyle.
  10. Please remember that there are some younger readers who visit.

I think you get the idea.

The aim of this series is to showcase your blog and any creative work that you do from books, art, photography and crafts. You pick between one and four links to posts that you have written for your own blog from the day you started up to December 2018, and you simply send the link to those blogs to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

You have to do nothing more as I will capture the post and images from your blog and I will then post with full copyright to you.. with your creative work and your links to buy and to connect. I might sometimes need a little more information but I am quite resourceful in finding out everything I need.

So far in the Posts from Your Archives from September 2017, there have been over 700 posts from 200 + bloggers that have reached a different audience and encouraged more readers for their own blogs and current posts.

The only issue is the number of photographs and if there are more than five photographs in the post I will do a reblog rather than a separate post. (Media space)

Previous participants are more than welcome

If you are an author who would like to share book reviews and interviews on Facebook then please click on the Literary Diva’s Library image

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Family – Childhood, and Train Whistles, and My Grandmother by Jennie Fitzkee


Delighted to welcome back Jennie Fitzkee, who with a career as a pre-school teacher for over thirty years, has some inspiring posts that reinforce that the ability to read and books are two of the best gifts we can give our children. On her blog she also shares wonderful posts about her family and will be sharing four of those with us in the coming weeks.

Childhood, and Train Whistles, and My Grandmother by Jennie Fitzkee

Summer evenings on the porch are quiet, except for the occasional sound of a train whistle in the distance. I love that sound. When I was a little girl, a train whistle meant excitement and memories. I was born and raised in Huntington, West Virginia. It’s “the big city”, and the central downtown area was the train station. There is something majestic about a grand, old train station with polished brass and wood. It was history, kept alive.

Trains were prevalent throughout the state. With a countryside of enormous rolling hills and dramatic landscape, it was the trains that people depended on to transport people and goods from the cities like Huntington out to the country. Roads? The interstate didn’t exist, and most roads were more of a roller coaster than a highway. But the trains had been there ‘forever’, it seemed. They could go everywhere. Dependable, and oh so exciting!

My first childhood memory is the sound of a train. I was sleeping in the family log house in Lowell, West Virginia. This was way out in the country.

The Log House

The house today is known as the Graham House and is on the National Historic Register. But, back then in the 50’s, my family still owned the house. The history is thrilling; it is the oldest two-story log house west of the Appalachian mountains, built in the early 1770’s. My grandmother, Nan, lived in the house until she was married. She told me many times the story of Indian raids. On one occasion the children were in the summer kitchen and ran to the house. The boy did not survive and the girl was kidnapped. It took the father eight years to get his daughter back, trading horses with the Indians. Family stories; so important.

Nan

The sound of the old steam engine train whistling by as I slept at the old log house is one of my fondest memories. That was what I heard every evening as I fell asleep. I loved it, and I loved that old house. Hearing a train again today in the evening on the porch takes me back to those childhood days. I stop to listen, not wanting to miss one whistle. Wonderful memories.

In 1964, I boarded the train in Huntington with Nan and my cousin Laura to return for a long summer visit in Lowell with family, and of course the Log House. We always called it “The Log House.” I remember the excitement of the train ride, and the feeling of going past places and vistas that people never get to see from a car. The first thing I did when we arrived at the Log House was to run upstairs and find my bed; the one I slept in as a child. I remembered. By then, 1964, the house was no longer in the family, so we slept at our cousin’s house next door. And, I still heard that train whistle, even though many years since my childhood had passed.

When I recently visited the house with my husband, my first visit since 1964, I immediately recognized everything. I ran up the stairs and felt along the wall beside my bed, as there had been holes for rifles to go through when fending off an Indian raid. The holes were still there, just as I remembered, and just as Nan had told me.

Is it the sound of the train that makes my memories crystal clear? I think so. On the playground at school the far away sound of a train goes by in the morning. Often I have the children listen carefully, and then I tell them about sleeping in a log house and listening to a train. Stories are the keepers of words and memories.

©Jennie Fitzkee

About Jennie Fitzkee

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It’s the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That’s what I write about.

I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease’s bestselling book, “The Read-Aloud Handbook” because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.

Connect to Jennie

Blog: https://jenniefitzkee.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennie.fitzkee
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jlfatgcs

My thanks to Jennie for sharing this memory of the past….so pleased that she managed to go back and visit.

If you would like to share your stories about family, including our fur babies.. then please take a look at the details.

Posts from Your Archives and the theme this time is all about family.

  1. Personal memories of childhood or teens that are still fresh in your mind.
  2. Family history, stories of your parents, grandparents and further back if you can.
  3. Fur family past and present.
  4. Favourite recipes.
  5. Memorable holidays.
  6. Places you have lived.
  7. Memorable homes you have lived in.
  8. Grandchildren tales.
  9. Any family related post – education, health, teen years, elderly care, lifestyle.
  10. Please remember that there are some younger readers who visit.

I think you get the idea.

The aim of this series is to showcase your blog and any creative work that you do from books, art, photography and crafts. You pick between one and four links to posts that you have written for your own blog from the day you started up to December 2018, and you simply send the link to those blogs to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

You have to do nothing more as I will capture the post and images from your blog and I will then post with full copyright to you.. with your creative work and your links to buy and to connect. I might sometimes need a little more information but I am quite resourceful in finding out everything I need.

So far in the Posts from Your Archives from September 2017, there have been over 700 posts from 200 + bloggers that have reached a different audience and encouraged more readers for their own blogs and current posts.

The only issue is the number of photographs and if there are more than five photographs in the post I will do a reblog rather than a separate post. (Media space)

Previous participants are more than welcome

If you are an author who would like to share book reviews and interviews on Facebook then please click on the Literary Diva’s Library image