June 2013 archive

Simple Bible Lessons

Every morning I try to purpose a simple Bible lesson with my kiddos.

It isn’t fancy.  I use a few materials that I keep in cubbies in my playroom:

~The Jesus StoryBook Bible

The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name

~Clipboards (that hang on my playroom wall – idea from pinterest)

IMG_8790 - Copy

~Writing Tools: Crayons, markers, pencils

-Paper… I just use computer paper

~Little Toys that we use to act out the stories

1) I read / summarize a story from “The Jesus Storybook Bible”  in my most expressive, kid-friendly voice that engages my little ones’ attention.

2) I sing a song about it (sometimes I make it up) but other times I use songs I grew up learning OR a YouTube video.

3)We act it out with little toys we have  (We choose the characters that seem fitting from our “little toys” cubbie).

4) We “write” about it.  This is the time I model a draw on my clipboard the main idea from the story while I talk about what I am drawing to model the drawing process.

God Parts the Red Sea Reenactment

God Parts the Red Sea Reenactment

5) Then I write my kiddos names on their papers and I write the date, name of the story, and I write in quotes anything that they tell me about their picture.

That’s it!

Then, I read the same story for the next day or two because it is still fresh, repetition is better for memory recall, & they always want to sing the song they learned the day before again.

Here is one more…

Sean Patrick helped me pick out the toys that would represent David and Goliath for our reenactment.

Sean Patrick helped me pick out the toys that would represent David and Goliath for our reenactment.

I really cherish this time with my kids.  It is a very quick and easy but meaningful time shared with them.

Some Of My Favorite YouTube Playlists

Whether, like me, you are somewhat homebound with a newborn, or you have other reasons that you need to get your kids moving (rain, heat, an injury, etc.). I wanted to share some great movement videos for young children.  My kids spend at least half an hour enjoying some of the videos I have shared below.

We only have one TV in our house, but it happens to be one that has “Apps” like Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, etc.  This makes our den my all-purpose room for sure.

My favorite playlists for MOVEMENT are:

PattyShukla’s action and movement songs

Have Fun Teaching’s fitness songs

and for

Sing -Along :

Super Simple Song’s “Easy-to-teach, Easy-to-learn Songs for Young Learners”

Harry Kindergarten’s class songs

If you subscribe to any of these channels you will discover LOTS of great educational songs too.  Have Fun Teaching has some really fun songs that makes associations with the letter formation of the letters, the sounds, and words that start with that sound.  And of course Sesame Street is so great too!

PLEASE share your favorites in a comment so I can add some new playlists 🙂

My kindergarteners loved these videos so don’t rule them out until you put them on for your kids.  They are great to coincide with learning about the body to reinforce body parts and the importance of exercise.

Here is a little clip of my little ones and a friend enjoying “Jump” by Patty Shukla.  Yes, we let them jump on the couches for this one…. I know some moms are going crazy, but ya know…. To each his own 🙂

Newest Addition to TMT Family

Hey Mommy Teachers… this is TMT Jessica here.

We are so excited to welcome little one number three to our family….


Mckenzie Beth


Big brother and big sister are so excited!

As a Mommy Teacher, a lot has been going through my mind, and I wanted to share some of the teachable moments I have been purposing throughout the week with the NEWest addition:

1)  I have set some clear boundaries for the older two siblings and I am trying to be as consistent as possible with the follow through for my expectations.  They can touch her softly/gently but not on the face.  They can hold her with mommy’s supervision, and I have set other similar physical boundaries.  The kids also have to find something quietly to do while mommy feeds the new baby (typically, they each feed their own baby dolls during this time).  We have also changed the baby dolls diapers EVERY time we have changed Kenzie haha.

2)  They are learning so many great life lessons and teaching each other so many things… Sean Patrick is in charge of “reading” to Mckayla when she wants Mommy to hold her but I am rocking Kenzie to sleep.

reading to sissie

Sean Patrick’s version of the story…”Oooh Ooh a tiger”

3)  We cant get out much right now with a newborn so we are doing LOTS of music and movement (I will write about what we are doing this week) and we are playing in the backyard to get all our energy and wiggles out as well as swimming in the plastic pool, playing backyard sports, singing and dancing, jumping on the trampoline, etc.

4) We are learning about the differences between babies and ourselves (how they eat, sleep, what they can not to that big kids can do like walk, talk, etc.) and we have compared the letters in the kid’s names now that we have a new name to explore  (With play dough letter stencils and bath foam letters mostly).


One activity for older kids that I think is SO GREAT and I had to share as an idea for you to keep in your memory bank (or pinterest board) for when someone in your family or a close friend has a new baby is a “Tips for having a new baby” LIST.  My creative niece came up with some humorous tips that I should consider now that I have three young kids.  Her mommy teacher, my sister, supported her in this writing process and they even re-wrote it to make it more presentable – GREAT handwriting practice.   The night she came to visit us, she read it aloud (great presentation for reading, speaking clearly, and practicing “public speaking”).  It was REALLY thoughtful and adorable….It is now on my fridge. Read the tips below and enjoy!

Rough Draft

Here is her Rough Draft


Here is the re-written list of parenting tips ... from a 7 year old's point of view!

Here is the re-written list of parenting tips … from a 7 year old’s point of view!


Blending and Segmenting Sounds

I just have to share a funny moment between my 3 year old and myself today…

I have been working on blending sounds with Leyson and today I wanted to test his understanding…

 Me: “/b/, /a/, /t/.  Put it together…”
Leyson:  silence
Me: “/b/, /at/. Put it together…”
Leyson: silence
Me: “/b/, /a/, /t/.  /b/, /at/. Put it together…bat. Let’s try another.
Leyson: “No.  /t/,/A/,/k/,/i/,/t/,/u/, /p/, /ar/, /t/. Take it apart!”

I don’t think he likes blending, but at least he figured out segmenting on his own!  And it’s pretty obvious that despite my classroom background, my own kids aren’t always receptive to my teaching efforts.

However, when they ARE excited about learning, how do I teach about blending and segmentingBlending is taking separate sounds and putting them together to make a blended sound  and segmenting is taking them apart, separating the sounds.  That’s easy to remember, right?

I blend and segment a LOT as if it’s perfectly natural to do in conversation.  My kids and I will be talking about baseball and I will say something like, “Don’t forget your baseball bat!  /b/ /a/ /t/ put it together… BAT!”

(Letters inside of / /  represents the sound those letters make.)

When I say “put it together” I take my two index fingers and bring them together to add a little visual to our blending efforts.  And would you believe that to “take them apart” I touch my fingers together and move them apart from each other?  I’d like to take credit for that simple little trick, but alas, someone got to the wheel before me.

When playing I also use toys to help me sound things out as well.  Today I used Hot Wheels to help me blend the sounds together.  I grabbed three cars to segment DOG – /d/ /o/ /g/ – and each time I said a sound, I moved a car up an inch.  This allows your child to visualize how many different sounds are within one word.  Three cars = three different sounds.

Kids really pick up on this repetition, and through that they begin to do the same thing in their heads.  They can better hear the differences between the sounds in words and how sounds work together to make words.  This is beneficial for when we sit down with written words and can break them down sound by sound then piece them back together.  Blending and segmenting are essential skills to learn in order to be able to READ!  This is also a skill that is often looked over in early reading programs that teach reading through visual repeitions such as flash cards.

Even after all this talk lately about putting sounds together and taking them apart, Leyson still missed the mark completely when showing off his baseball trophy with his name on it…

Leyson:  “L…e…y…s…o…n.  That spells ‘mine.'”

So just because he’s blending and segmenting does not mean that he’s reading quiet yet, but baby steps!

Side note:  your child does not have to know all 26 shapes of letters and their sounds for you to begin the habit of blending and segmenting sounds in everyday conversation.  Your goal for this is EXPOSURE… and through repetitive exposure, your child will begin to grasp the CONCEPT of phonemic awareness:  letters make sounds, sounds when put together make words, words are separated from other words and when put together they make phrases and sentences which make up our thoughts and conversations on and on and on!  When we understand this concept, we are ready to learn how to READ!

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