Sunday, February 28, 2016

Singing the Dream

I have been waiting all year for the opportunity to chaperone a field trip, but so far they've all been on Wednesdays when I work.  I finally got my chance last week when Joseph's class went to see a performance by the Choral Arts Society of Washington at the Lisner Auditorium called "Living the Dream...Singing the Dream - a Concert for Students Celebrating the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr."

The whole of 3rd grade went to the concert, so imagine over 120 students, 8 teachers, and 16 parents all descending upon Metro at rush hour to head downtown!  It actually went very smoothly, and props to the DC government for subsidizing student transportation.  Every single student enrolled in DCPS gets a DC One card to ride public transportation for free.

We took up a huge chunk of the auditorium, but there were many other schools in attendance as well. It was really an incredible concert with inspiring songs like "People Get Ready" and "A Change is Gonna Come," and they had the kids singing along to "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands," "This Little Light of Mine,"and "We Shall Overcome."  So glad I got to be there to see it!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Gray Out

Kit's birthday (I think it was last weekend? I've lost all track of time!): a pack of 8-9 year old boys (and 1 little sister) taking Metro to Verizon Center to catch a Georgetown basketball game.  What brave parents Kit has!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Chunky Monkey

My apologies for 2 monkey titled posts back to back.  That was completely coincidental.  And no, I haven't officially resurrected cookie of the month, I just needed to find something to do with only one overripe banana.  Not enough to make banana bread, still a shame to throw out.  And so we tried out Banana-Walnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies from Martha Stewart's Cookie book.  They're kind of a mash up of banana bread and chocolate chip cookies with some oatmeal thrown in for good measure.  The word most used so far to describe them: "interesting."  But it's a cookie, so it got the thumbs up from Joseph.  And it pairs nicely with vanilla ice cream, but then what doesn't?

Monday, February 22, 2016

Year of the Monkey

We haven't been to the Chinese New Year parade since 2013 so we decided to check it out again this year.

Since we were going to be in Gallery Place, we also decided to see Kung Fu Panda 3 after the parade.   We had some time to kill before the movie started, so we strolled over to the National Portrait Gallery and checked out some presidential portraits.  Turns out this one of George Washington will be gone by the end of the week for an 18 month examination and restoration, and won't be back on display until sometime in 2018 for the museum's 50th anniversary.

After the movie we had dinner at Clyde's before taking the Metro back home.  And oh, it just happened to also be Valentine's Day.  Cupid and a cosmo, that's how we roll.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

All Mixed Up!

In trying to come up with a new idea for a homemade, non-candy valentine for Joseph's class this year, we came across these fun and inexpensive mini "magic cubes" (i.e. Rubik's Cubes) on Oriental Trading.  '80's toys seem to be such a hit with kids these days (and WOW, doesn't that statement make me sound OLD?!?), so Joseph settled on them right away.

Although I'm the one with the know-how on graphics, I decided that Joseph really needed to have creative control over these.  We tried out flat and folded cards in several shapes and sizes with different fonts and orientation, and he was quite opinionated about what he liked.  I would have voted for the classic primary colors, but he insisted on valentine colors.  He also chose "You have me all mixed up" over many other sayings ("You complete me," "Be mine or be square," "Friendship is the solution," "Love is complicated").

The finished product was a card that would fold over the top of a cellophane bag.  I printed out a ton of them (31 classmates plus 2 teachers!) and set him to work addressing them all.

Then we bagged them up and they were ready for the class party.  The kids absolutely loved them!

Joseph also made a card for his teachers, which is so very sweet: "I think you two are nice, kind people with a warm soul, helping everybody.  I think you two are overworking.  I think you should get more rest."  I'm sure they agree!

The teachers had been focusing more on celebrating friendship rather than love, and had each student make a friendship card for another randomly assigned classmate.  I was in charge of a craft for the class party, and in keeping with the friendship theme, I had the kids make an initial out of Perler beads for a different classmate.  We then attached them to keychains to use as backpack zipper pulls.  I had no idea Perler made a "letter lingo" set and was thrilled to find it at the craft store.  All I had to do was enlarge the templates so they were easier for the kids to see.  The kids really loved the idea and did a great job, but it took a LOT longer than expected to iron and attach keychains to 31 initials.

Here's the friendship card Joseph got from his classmate Clara.

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Principal's Office

Hopefully we'll only be called down to the principal's office for good things, like this - to watch Joseph and some classmates be the day's presenters during morning Jamboree.  Usually it's held outside, but with morning temps barely in the double digits some days, the kids got to use the speaker system from the warmth of Principal Lutz's office.  They each gave an example of our class's quote of the week.  (Examples: "Mistakes show you are trying," and "If you can dream it, you can do it.")

What was cuter was seeing all the parents crowded around the door trying to get pictures and videos!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Smithsonian Mosaics

I don't really know what these are all about.  School was out for another professional day on Friday, so Brent took Joseph and his friend Benjamin downtown to the Air & Space Museum.  Mid day these mosaics popped up in my email.  I think they're made up of images from the various Smithsonian museums?  Pretty neat, but you have to back away from the computer a good 5 feet.