Thursday, August 6, 2015


This is all because of 2 lovely ladies I met in the Dollar Store yesterday!

Ok world, I'm tired of feeling sorry for myself!  Yes, we still have cancer at the Harrington household.  My son is doing amazingly well.  He is in remission and back at work.  He still is on tons of medicines and comes to UAB (the University of Alabama Birmingham Hospital) once a month for treatment.  Unfortunately, my husband was diagnosed with kidney cancer in March.  But once again, because of God's amazing mercy and my men's unbelievable toughness, we are getting through it.  BUT . . . . something amazing happened to me yesterday!  I was at every teacher's "happy place", my local Dollar Store, and I ran into 2 of the most wonderful ladies.  They too are preschool teachers, and were looking for fun things for their classrooms.  You should have seen their faces, they were glowing!!! They teach at Bessemer City, not too far from here.  Why in the world am I talking about this???  Well you see, they were happy!  School starts for them today and they were so excited.  It stirred up something in me that cancer had "tried" to take away.  Guess what cancer????  YOU JUST GOT BEAT!  Yep, those two lovely ladies stirred up my creative juices.  I walked around the Dollar Store like . . . well, like a use too.  I looked at everything.  And, yes, I even bought a few things (wink, wink).  So to the two amazing ladies from yesterday . . . THANK YOU!  I have a whole new look on things.  I'm not sure how often I will be posting, but I have a lot of new ideas and I cannot wait to get started.  Talk to you soon!!!!

P.S.  If you wrote and asked for copies of my "Quiet Spray" label or anything else, I apologize for not sending it.  I haven't even looked at my blog until this morning.  But, I'm sending everything out TODAY!!!!  Happy dance, happy dance!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Taking a Little Break

I am sorry to write and tell you all that for the next couple of months, I will be taking a break from my blog.  On May 12th, my son was diagnosed with ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia).  Some of you may remember, he is a police officer and each year he comes to my school each year during our Community Helper week.  He also recently got married.  So, for the next couple of months, all of my time and energy will be spent helping Jay and his precious wife, Brooklyn, with his fight.  If you would like to keep up with his progress, there is a Facebook page  and a Caring Bridge site set up for him.  One of Brooklyn's dear, dear friends has even set up a fund raiser for him to help with their expenses.  But all I ask is that you remember him in your prayers.  Thank you ALL and I will be back soon. - Karen

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Under the Sea

WOW, I am STILL trying to catch my breath after our last week!  We had so much fun talking about the amazing under the sea world.  Each day we went into great detail discussing a particular creature that lives in the water.  On Monday we started by talking about "fish",  just fish.  Pretty soon the movie "Finding Nemo" was brought up and we quickly talked about the clown fish.  One of our teachers has a large collection of sea shells and other sea objects.  She was happy to share with us and we loved it all, especially the shark teeth!

Our art project this week got out of hand - literally!  We started by painting our water.  Everyone had a choice to either use paint brushes or their hands.  Mrs. Christi's class opted for their hands, mine the brushes - oh well! 
Once the water was dried each child cut and added sea weed.  We also added some very cute hand print sea creatures.
But, we were STILL not done.  Next came my favorite part - a scuba diver!  And not just any scuba diver, a personalized diver.  That's right, we added our own picture and turned ourselves into underwater divers!

This project took several days and was very time consuming. But I honestly think it was worth it, don't you????
We spent an entire day talking about jellyfish!  Did you know that a jellyfish does not have a brain?  It doesn't and it made us giggle!  Lucky for us, we have wonderful people who donate things to our school and someone has sent us a some leftover fabric.  We put it to good use this week by making a jellyfish.

I don't think anyone could be afraid of this jellyfish!
We also had two big bottles of jellyfish in our room this week.

I made them with plastic bottles.  You can get the instructions here .  My class really enjoyed them.  (Just a little word of advice, be sure to either glue the cap on or do what I did and use tape.)

One day was spent talking about our friend the octopus.  We counted his/her eight legs and read about their feeding habits.  We even made our very own octopus to take home.  It was made with an empty paper towel roll.  
CONFESSION TIME!!!  I made this octopus! 
I have never posted a picture of something I did. 
I always post pictures of the children's work,
but I forgot to take a picture of the octopus before sending them home. 
Now you know that you cannot spend a week talking about things that live in the sea without talking about sharks.  Okay here it is, the theme to JAWS!  Sorry, I just had to do that.  After much discussion about sharks we quickly came to the conclusion that . . . . WE LOVE SHARKS!  Here is the shark we made.

The children cut a small paper plate for his/her teeth.
Our Fabulous Fun Friday came too quickly and we headed to our kitchen for science fun and cooking!  We spent a great deal of time playing "Sink or Float?".  Everyone grabbed objects from our room to see if they would sink or float.  There was only one rule - NO BOOKS!  It was a lot of fun! 

Next, we had some fun with Skittles.  Everyone got a clear plastic cup and two different colored Skittles.  We patiently waited (and we did not have to wait long) and watched.

We quickly found out that if you DO NOT touch the cup, the colors will not mix!  OHHHHHH!  FUN!  Then, the coolest thing in the entire world happened . . . .

Can you see it??
The little "S" on the Skittles floated to the top!

Of course no week would be complete without a little cooking fun.  This week we made "ocean cookies".  

If you are wondering what the red Skittle is doing in an ocean, you aren't alone.
We just wanted to eat a Skittle, so we called it a clam!
Now do you see why I am tired????  We had a great week and I am resting up to do it all over again on Monday.  I hope you stop back by to see what we are doing!

Our Fine Feathered Friends

It may not seem like an exciting unit to some people, but we spent last week talking about "birds" and I'm not sure if our class could have had any more fun.  We have flapped our wings, tweeted and even tried to fly around our room, all while talking about our winged friends.  On Monday we made our "garbage birds", this was what one of my students called it when he realized we used an empty toilet tissue roll.  "T" said that toilet tissue rolls were suppose to be in the garbage, hence the name "garbage birds".

The are rather funny looking but we didn't mind because they were so cute.

On Tuesday we talked about the different types of birds that we see near our homes and school.  Soon the discussion turned to where birds like to hide to protect themselves.  Everyone agreed that a tree is the best place for birds to be.  So . . . . we decided to put a bird, or two (or three) in a tree!  First, we painted the sky.  We used several different colors of blue paint to make our sky look "real".

Next, we painted a tree branch and rolled a paper towel tube, wrapped with yarn, over our tree.

As soon as it dried, we put everything together!

If you look closely at our little birds, you may be able to tell that their wings and tail feathers were made with our finger prints.  Everyone was so proud when they took this home.

We also decided that we needed to "feed the birds", so we made our very own birds feeders.  Everyone strung "Fruit Loops" cereal onto pieces of yarn.

We added a straw so the birds would have a place to sit.

Hopefully, the birds will like Fruit Loops!  One of my sweet Mom's sent me this photo of the bird feeder in their tree!
I hope the birds liked it as much as we did!

We talked about baby birds leaving their nest and how the momma bird knows when it is time.  After much (MUCH) discussion about birds learning to fly (everyone had their own idea of how birds learn) we made one of my "saddest" art projects.  This one always makes our parents sad.

The children made the nest by using a ruler to draw the lines.  We had so much fun with the rulers that we set-up a center just to let everyone experiment with them. 

Our "Fabulous Fun Friday" got really crazy this week!  Since our letter of the week was "Y", we decided to explore YARN!  I simply went to our supply closet and grabbed ALL the yarn I could carry.  Next, I cut it into VERY long strips.  There was only ONE rule - do not tie anyone up with the yarn.  What happened next was a WHOLE LOT OF FUN!

These pictures truly do not do justice to the excitement and fun we had.  Of course there was a huge mess to clean-up (but when is that NOT the case?).  As a matter of fact, it was so much fun no one wanted to stop to go outside!  Now THAT is the sign of a good time!
Thanks so much for stopping in and visiting with us.  I hope you come back again!

Sunday, April 6, 2014


I love spring, it is such a happy time!  My class came back from our Spring Break with lots of energy and I returned refreshed and ready to go!  We started our unit on Spring this past week and here are a few of the highlights.

I have very few regrets when it comes to things I did with my son as a child (not that I did everything right, it is just a don't believe in regrets).  But, one of the things I would have done differently is hand print art.  I just don't have enough!  I think that is why this first activity is one of my favorites.  We put the children's hand prints in a circle.  The children ALWAYS decide on what color they want to use.  I feel this is part of what makes this art work so special, no matter what color they choose.  Next, we have the children cut out the leaves and the stem.  As the children are cutting, we talk about the different parts of the flower and the importance of each one..


I back the stems and leaves with brown construction paper to make them POP OUT.  This is a very special piece of artwork because it highlights our cutting skills and we will be saving it for our upcoming art show in a few weeks. 
Here in Alabama, like in most of the country, we always have a lot of rain during the spring.  This past week was very rainy so we spent an entire day discussing RAIN.  Our art project for the day was really fun, we made it rain!  We started by mixing blue paint, a little glue and water in a large container.  Then we used some really fun droppers to put small and large drops of "rain" onto our papers. 

"This is fun Mrs. Karen, but when are we going to make it rain?", "T" said.  So he lifted up his paper and . . . . .

"It's raining Mrs. Karen, it is raining!"

After they dried, they still looked great!


I love Pinterest, and I'm sure if you "follow me" you know I am almost obsessed (hahaha).  I saw this the other day and knew my class would love it!  Of course, we changed things a little and made it our own.  We started by painting a large paper plate yellow.

 I love when little "S" said to me, "I know that we are doing more than this!".  I just giggled and assured her that we were.  Next we painted a stem and leaf. 
We all have our "special" ways to paint!
If you look closely, you may be able to see that I outline the leaf and stem with hot glue.

I'm not sure if this was really an important step, but the children seemed to like it.
We had to wait a whole day to let it dry. 
Next, comes the wow!  We cut slits all around our paper plates and added real sunflower seeds to the middles.  Everyone picked their favorite colors to finish off our masterpieces.

I love these so much!  Everyone could not wait to take them home!  We were so proud!
Our "Fabulous Fun Friday" had to extra special this week.  We had survived a fire drill on Wednesday and our water was cut off for a couple of hours on Thursday, all because of construction in a nearby building.  As always, my class was amazing so I wanted to do something special.  Our letter of the week was "K" so I brought in my keyboard and opened up my large jar of keys! 

Everyone loved counting the keys and making key rubbings.  We even tried to put them in order from smallest to the largest.  Of course all this was done while someone was playing "songs" on the keyboard. 
Our art project was very simple, but is started our conversation about "wind" and it was a great way for us to review our shapes.
Our discussion about "wind" was very lively and fun.  I brought a box fan from my house and we took turns seeing what items would "blow in the wind".

The shredded paper was the most fun (of course) but it was also the messiest! :) 

Everyone knows that on "Fabulous Fun Fridays" we HAVE to cook, and cook we did!  We made our very own "cookie flowers"!  Each child cot a cup of cookie dough and colored it their favorite color food coloring.  Next, we squished it out onto some aluminum foil so that they would look like a flower and added chocolate chips for the centers.  (NOTE:  Mrs. Christi and I wrote each child's name on their aluminum foil with a sharpie so everyone could eat their own cookies.)  Into the oven they went and YUM  . . . .

okay, maybe not "yum" but if you look closely, maybe you see a flower????  It didn't really matter because everyone loved eating their very own flower cookies.

It was a long and exhausting week but I can't wait to do it again!  I hope you will visit us again soon.  Our next unit will be all about birds!