Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Summer Passport: Mexico

Many of you all know that I take my time with my kids very seriously.  I am also a Type A personality.  If I don't have things planned out, then I get aggravated and frustrated and not a whole lot gets accomplished.  Because of these lovely personality traits, I start planning my summer with my kids starting in April.  With my new position as a reading specialist, I tested either an individual or small group of students every day during SOL tests.  These are our state tests here in Virginia.  Everything is now online, so the testing window lasts a little over a month with some kind of test happening almost every day in May and June.  The rules are incredibly strict, so during testing I cannot read, write, or go on the computer, but once the testing is done in my room, we can do all of that as we wait for the rest of the school to be done testing.  So, this is where all my planning began. 

I decided that the whole summer we would spend time learing about different areas of the world.  The World Cup was about to start, so I figured this was the perfect theme to help the kids understand that all these teams came from all over the world and this World Cup was a BIG deal!  With that idea in mind, I just needed to focus on one country a week. 

The first week of summer we learned about Mexico.  We decided on this as our first country because my brother-in-law's birthday was that week and his family is from Mexico, AND Kroger was doing a Taste of Mexico event for three weeks and all Mexican food was on sale.  Score!  Here are a few things we did together:

We made banderitas, or papel picados, during Make Something Monday.  These are flags that are hung up during any kind of celebration in Mexico.  All you need are scissors, construction paper, and string.  We folded the paper four times and then cut out shapes.  It's almost like making a snowflake.  My sunshine girl made the orange, pink, and red flags, and Little Bear made the purple one, can you tell?

Tuesdays are Time to Read Tuesdays.  Little Bear is at his daycare, so Sunshine and I head to the library so I can tutor and then we head to storytime.  We also use this time to check out books and look up books about the country we are studying.

Wednesdays are What's Cooking Wednesday.  I don't have a picture of our meal, but we made an authentic Mexican meal on this night.  The kids and I made homemade salsa and served it with guacamole, tacos, and all the fixin's.

On Thursday, we call is Thinker Thursday.  We are conducting science experiments on this day that doesn't necessarily go along with our theme.  Sunshine and I were so excited to make a rainbow in a jar.  This was a pinterest fail.
See?  Pinterest fail.  Do you see a rainbow in there?  I kept thinking in my head, "Nailed it!"  Sunshine and I had a blast trying it out togther, so that is all that matters!
Fridays are Fun Fridays.  We spent our fun Friday at the pool since we were going to head to my sis and brother-in-law's later that day to celebrate his birthday.  We made pinatas for him!
We took balloons and blew them up.  Then we made a mixture of one part flour to two parts water.  We dipped newspaper strips in this mixture and laid them on the balloon as our first layer.  That dried overnight, then we started our layers of tissue paper the next day to add some color.  It took us three days to make them since you have to let them dry in between layers.  Then you pop the balloon and fill it up with candy!  My brother-in-law was surprised!  We loved hitting them at his celebration and getting all of the candy.

I am loving my time at home with these two rascals.  We even made tie dye shirts!

And yes, he got a haircut this past week!