August 30, 2010

Prayer Dictionary

Living far away from lots of family and friends, I am always on the look out for ways to help keep those connections strong.  This is a great opportunity to tie in family, prayer, and language arts all at the same time!

Since we have limited wall space, we are doing a revised version of the Friend and Family Word Wall explained here at Hubbard’s Cupboard.

To make the actual dictionary, you will need:
- 1/2“ binder
- 26 sheet proctectors
- Dictionary Cover (to personalize it, you could glue a photo of your child praying on top of the clip art)
- 26 sheets of white paper 
- Name sheets  (Here is a Word template I created to be able to type in the names and add photos in the boxes.  In case that doesn’t work, here is blank pdf version you can fill in yourself (in your best teacher printing of course.)  ;-)  If you print a contact sheet of photos from whatever photo program you use, they should be just the right size.

Here is a sample of the template complete on the left, and blank on the right.

I am using uppercase letters specifically because we are only putting names in our dictionary at the moment.  I have another idea for lowercase letters on the next round.  

For non-Zoophonics users:  If you would like simple pages with uppercase letters, simply print out pages 2-27 of the Alphabet Book from Homeschool Creations (click on the image of the book to download the pdf).  If you would like pages with both upper and lowercase, you can print out a cover and alphabet pages by going to the Hubbard’s Cupboard link, then clicking on Friend and Family Name Binder Sheets.

Note: We are in a bilingual environment with half the names in English/half in Spanish.  In order to make pronunciation less confusing (”How come ‘Jose’ is on the J page when it starts like Honey Horse?“) Spanish names will be a different color.  Since I am only including first names, we will also be practicing titles in English and Spanish as we go over our names every morning.  

August 28, 2010

Week 3 - Zacchaeus is Teachable

Printables for this week:

Teachable Bible page
Teachable Chart (BW) from Hubbard's Cupboard
Bible Memory Tune Chart: Hebrews 12:11 from Hubbard's Cupboard
Zoo ABC - letter c
Zoo Math C - #3
Zacchaeus Dance
Zacchaeus Lift-A-Flap

We had a lot of fun with Zacchaeus this week. We used The Young Learner’s Bible Storybook to read the story, which emphasized the words “up” and “down.” Now the title says “bible storybook” mind you, so they take liberty to add some imagination at times. Like where “Zacchaeus stretched up as tall as he could, but only saw the back of the crowd. Then he scrunched down to the ground, but Zacchaeus only saw hairy legs.” Of course, after just reading it one time, the hairy legs detail was included in Levi’s retelling every single time this week. hehe

We also learned the Zacchaeus dance! (Thank you to Doris Johnson who posted her movement idea at’s Ideas & Lesson Exchange) I just explained the story and actions to the children, then we practiced it all together doing each movement for eight beats. Any kind of movement for preschoolers is great fun, especially if you call it a dance. ;-)

Another highlight was the lift a flap activity from the Zacchaeus ideas at Danielle’s Place. I had a little trouble getting it lined up on my computer, so I made a pdf version that is sure to line up. I printed the first page on regular paper, and the second on card stock. I had the children color Zacchaeus and the animals only on the first page, then gave them the second page to color completely. When they’re finished, take an exacto knife (and with cardboard underneath), cut along the dotted lines on the top page. Open up the flaps so you can be sure not to glue the windows, then turn it over and put glue on the remaining parts. Flip it, stick it, and let it dry, and your children will have great fun playing peek-a-boo with Zacchaeus. Unless of course you have a daughter like mine, who refused to let me cut out the flaps “Don’t ruin it Mamita! I yike it yike dis.”

Since Aryelle loves cats or “meow-me’s” as she calls them, Catina Cat was definitely a hit. However, we had so much fun with Zacchaeus that all our extra cat activities (like this recipe for Black Cat Snack) got pushed aside.

For Friday’s edition of Jungle School, we used shaving “c”ream to practice writing the letter C, our names, and any other “c”reations they wanted to make. I was surprised that they were ready to be finished so soon, but remembering the drama of dirty hands last year at this time I can say...we’ve come a long way baby! (Except for my son...the oldest, and of course the one who insisted on a straw so his hands wouldn’t get dirty. At least he lets me do his handprints now though!)

August 22, 2010

Week 2 - Samuel is Attentive

Printables for this week:

We started the week by talking about how Samuel listened to God, then made bunny listening ears.  Who knew they would be such a hit!  Peter and his Papito Matt recently recorded a song called Cangrejos Amables (Friendly Crabs) and so the children decided to turn it into Conejos Amables (Friendly Bunnies) .  Wow, phonemic awareness practice in Spanish...I just realized that.  hehe  Anyway, every spare chance they got this week, they were chasing each other through the halls screaming “CONEJOS AMABLES!!” and thank you Lord we had crashes and tears, but no blood.

Acting out the bible story is a great way to really “make it stick,” and Samuel is an easy one to work with.  Make God’s voice magnified by using a toilet paper roll tube to wake up the sleeping Samuel, then have Samuel run to Eli and get sent back to bed three times. Talk about how they both might have been feeling/thinking.  Finally, have Samuel wake up and say “Speak Lord, I am listening!”  (In our bible, the story finished with God telling Samuel he was going to punish Eli’s wicked sons.  I was not going to focus on that part, but when I skipped it Levi said “Wait Mamita!  You forgot that God told Samuel he was going to punch Eli’s sons.”  hehe) 

Other highlights of the week included:
- using our listening ears to play ‘Mama Bunny Says’ a.k.a. ‘Simon Says
- making the Attentive Booklet from Hubbard’s Cupboard
- using “b”lowpens for the first time
- baking banana bread together

Friday Edition

We did our first independent cutting activity...balloons!  I love the different personality everyone's balloons have.

To end our day, every got a balloon with their name written on it.  We talked about how Samuel was a prophet of the Lord, and how in 1 Samuel 3:19 it says "The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground."  We threw the balloons up and tried to keep them from falling to the ground.  Just like the bunny ears...chaos soon erupted, but isn't that the joy of preschoolers? 

August 16, 2010

Jungle School Fall Schedule 2010

Here is our Jungle School Fall Schedule.

The week number corresponds to the lesson plan covering that character trait at the Hubbard's Cupboard website.

For the Dictionary column, I listed the animal friend we will be working on, then left space for you to write down your friends and family that start with the letter.  See the Prayer Dictionary post for more info.

Note for Panamanian Jungle School participants:  I wrote down the date we would be meeting to introduce the lesson.  For example, August 20 would be the introduction day to week 2 (Attentive, Samuel, Bubba Bear), then you would continue week two the following Monday through Thursday.  In the our home, we will be ending the week with our Friday session, that way I can work out the kinks and post the weekly blog the weekend before you would begin.  Make sense?   

August 15, 2010

Week 1 - Creation

We had a great first week of Jungle School!  I was expecting a lot more resistance, as we went from two months of pure vacation mode to a very structured school schedule.  Although it is just a class of three, I feel as exhausted as with 20 Kindergarteners!  I am very glad to have structure back though, and I think the addition of Peter really helped with getting in “school mode.”

Here are some photos of our highlights:  

Getting their own pencil boxes, who knew it could be so much fun!  All they have inside are a new box of crayons, scissors, a pencil, and gluestick, but they are a treasured possesion.  We set out some magazines and construction paper for cutting and gluing practice.  They had never used a gluestick independently before so we practiced with our glue song to the tune of Farmer in the Dell,  “A little dab will do, A little dab will do, We don’t use too much glue, A little dab will do.” 
Peter with his airplane creation
Levi focusing intently

Making the animals "orderly"

Being so orderly she refused to cut her pages,
and just wanted to glue them on “perfect,”
her favorite word as of lately.

We also broke out the playdoh.  We tried creating man and bringing him to life, but learned that only God's spirit can breathe life into creation.  

We finished off the week by doing an adaption of the Creation Layer Snack (from  Here’s what we used (sorry for the blurry photo):

Day 1- a scoop of ice cream and chocolate syrup for light/dark
Day 2 - mini-marshmallows for the sky
Day 3 - ONE sprout for a tree to plant (which the boys dug out before they ate, and Aryelle refused to let touch her bowl in the first place...but it looked cool!)
Day 4 - sprinkles for the stars
Day 5 - Goldfish crackers for ocean creatures
Day 6 - Animal cookies (and 2 gingerbread men would’ve been perfect)
Day 7 - Top it off with whipped cream for God taking a rest

I used these sequence cards (from to help us visualize the days.

Printables for this week include:

Jungle Life

We went to meet our new cousin on Thursday.  Isn't she beautiful!
The monkeys were very excited to hold the baby.

By the end of the day on Thursday, they were exhausted too.  They fell asleep on the way home from the hospital, and dropped again for an extended power nap.  Wow, Jungle School is such hard work! 

August 7, 2010


We have a new addition to our Panama Family...Matt and Misty have adopted a very special 4-year-old boy whose school name will be Peter! Levi was very excited to find out he was 4 too, and Aryelle is just working on saying his name in Spanish. Rolling those “r”s is still a tricky, making him “Pelito.” hehe He will be joining us for school every day. Woohoo! We are so glad to have you in the family!