Monday, February 21, 2011

Day #44 - Burnt Pizza

When I was a kid, I remember celebrating EVERY single holiday at school. Regardless how big or small the holiday really was, we had a party every chance we got! Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Earth Day, Mother's Day, Ground Hog's Day, etc. You name it, we celebrated it. Kayla has been in school for four years and in those four years, I have attended only TWO "holiday concerts" where the kids all get up and sing for their parents....and not one of those two had to do with an American Holiday. There are no Christmas parties, Thanksgiving parties, Halloween parties, etc. It's sad.

It seems these days, those tiny celebrations I always looked forward too, have gone by the way side. In addition to Holidays having no priority in our school system, we have also lost weekly music class, PE class, and computer lab. Now, the kids will have PE for two weeks, then have music for two weeks, and then "technology" for two weeks. The rotation then starts over and continues for the remainder of the school year. What benefits are these kids getting by having PE for two weeks, then taking four weeks off before they get to enjoy physical activity again? As a parent, it's frustrating!!!

Anyway - enough with my rant. I will get to my point: Sunday night we had to get Kayla's "Valentine's" ready for school. Although the schools are not technically supposed to have holiday parties, Kayla's teacher has found a pretty creative way for getting around the "holiday celebration" thing at school.

The kids have a glass jar in their classroom, and as they go throughout their day, if someone observes the class as a whole exhibiting good behavior and reports it to their teacher, she takes a handful of marbles and puts them in the jar. When the jar becomes full, they get to have a "Wonderful Day of Learning". The clever part of this, is that the jar becomes full just in time for all these little holidays, so these holidays are incorporated into their "Wonderful Day of Learning" (which is still educational for the kids, but also tons of fun)!

For Example:

October's "Wonderful Day of Fun": The kids got to pick out pumpkins that the teacher brought in that morning. They weighed themselves while holding the pumpkin, then weighed themselves without the pumpkin and they had to write a story problem using the numbers they got to figure out how much the pumpkin weighed. Then, they got to hollow out the pumpkins and weighed them again (minus the guts) and did the math to figure out how much the guts weighed. They also got to make pumpkin pies as a class and learned about measurements, weights, different ingredients, etc. (of course they got to enjoy pumpkin pie after lunch)!!! They also did "scary" word searches, and word grouping with "scary" words, etc.

These are the things Kayla's teacher does to still incorporate American's holidays into a day of teaching and fun for the kids. It's a great reward for them and they learn a thing or two and don't even know it. She has a great teacher this year - I love what she does for these kids!

Back to my "food" blog. We were so wrapped up into making these "valentines" for her classmates, we threw a homemade pizza into the oven, forgot about it, and ended up eating completely overcooked pizza for dinner. It was FABULOUS.....NOT!


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