Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sugar Plums and Snowy Days

What is this little boy doing on such a snowy day?

Could it be he found a sugar plum?

If so, where did he get it?

Miss Forbis had just read Night Before the Night Before Christmas to the class. No, not the famous poem – rather Natasha Wing's funny book that begins “Oh, no! It's the day before Christmas Eve.”

And we had just played drums while Miss Paula played Tchaikovsky’s “Sugar Plum Fairy” (from The Nutcracker) on her ipod player. (Watch it at: )

All this to-do about sugar plums. But just what was a sugar plum anyhow? Actually, a sugar plum is actually not a plum; It’s a piece of French candy known as a dragée, about the size, color and shape of a jellybean. They are widely associated with Christmas from Clement C. Moore's poem "Twas the Night Before Christmas."

And now Miss White had made some Rice-Krispie treats and Miss Forbis had covered them with Pillsbury vanilla-cream frosting. They placed them right in front of the boy – along with Gummy Bears, Skittles, and… could it be the fabled candy itself?

Visions of sugar plums had danced in his head long enough. The little boy would try one and see for himself. And so, he administered the coup de grâce to the treats, the Gummy Bears, the Skittles and to what was most likely the sugar plums.

So let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Fun with Bells

Meet our eight-member Frankie Lemmon Ringers. We play small bells and big bells, loud bells and jingle bells, and whatever bells Miss Paula brings in. The sound of bells – especially at Christmas – is just glorious. To many of us it brings joy and comfort.

Today, after Miss Forbis read to us from There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Bell, we ran the gamut of fun with bells—from ringing jingle bells together (while singing a reindeer song) to ringing a giant sleigh bell one by one.

We learned that a good bell ringer has two traits: a sense of rhythm and being a good team member. (Being able to read music is not required!) It's the ultimate in teamwork because each of us is responsible for one note. We have to play it when it’s our turn or sometimes together – and if just one person is missing, the music doesn’t sound quite right. Also, you have to concentrate; if you let your mind wander while you're ringing, you're lost.

Oh, yes, we found a new thing you can do with bells. It’s called "jingle bell rolling". Each of us soaked a jingle bell in red, green or white Biocolor paint. Then we created our own design by rolling it around on construction paper in the bottom of a box. Neat!

There are a lot of different “bell-things” you can do with your friends – you can even say goodbye to them. Did you ever say goodbye with a sleigh bell? Try it sometime! Watch how these ringers do it at:

Friday, December 3, 2010

Escape of the Gingerbread Baby

On Tuesday, we all gathered for a class photo.
Then we baked a gingerbread man.

He had two round eyes, a round red nose, a happy mouth, and shiny clothes. He was supposed to bake for eight minutes but one of my friends (I won’t say who) grew impatient and opened the oven door too soon. The gingerbread man escaped, but he was still a baby!

Well that cheeky baby led us on a wild chase, all the while singing, “I am the gingerbread baby, fresh from the pan. If you want me, catch me if you can.”

We chased him and chased him but we could not catch him. Then he ran outside, where even a cat, a dog, three goats, Martha and Madeline, a mama pig, some villagers, and the milk and cheese man couldn’t catch him.

Meanwhile my friend (I still won’t say who) was feeling guilty. So he stayed behind and baked an elaborate gingerbread house, which he put outside on a shelf. Just as the wily fox was closing in, the sassy Gingerbread Baby vanished before his eyes.

Where did he go? Look close. You may see him smiling and winking from his new house!

Who saved the gingerbread baby? I’m not saying, but it may have been one of the Argyle twins!

I am wearing an Argyle sweater
an Argyle sweater
an Argyle sweater
and that’s all I will say!

My thanks and apologies to Jan Brett, author of Gingerbread Baby, from which most of this story was "borrowed".