Seaweed Soup! (Plus Farm Freebie!)

Oh my what a week! I can't believe it was only 4 days! We had some good times and bad, but we ended the week on a high note so that's always nice! First, I have to share some cute things my firsties have said this week - things that made me grab a post it note to jot it down so I wouldn't forget!

One of my darling girls practices subtraction problems every night. We don't have homework (yet!) so every morning she brings me a scrap of paper where she has written down a few problems of her own to solve. On Wednesday, she came up to me and proudly told me she knew what 17-5 was. Of course I asked her what the answer was and she got it right! When I asked how she had figured it out, her eyes got really big and bright and she grinned at me as she said "I used my toes!"  How stinking cute is that?!

Later that same day another darling brought me an emergent reader which had icons above the words to give clues. She proudly read through the book, each page said "my _______" and the theme was geographical features like river, hill, mountain etc. The final page had a picture of the Earth on it, and she read it as "my future!" rather than "my Earth!" I was so tickled to realize that she equates an image of Earth with the word "future", what a powerful connection she has made!

Today one of my sweet boys handed in his paper, with his name (which is only 2 letters long!) taking up a good 1/4 of the page. Before I could even say anything he quickly blurted out "I wrote my name big so, you know, old people can see it!" How's that for thinking on your feet? I could have pointed out that it was highly doubtful that any geriatrics were going to be perusing our papers any time soon but I let it slide because I was trying too hard to keep a straight face!

Alright, on to the Soup part! We made Seaweed Soup in class on Friday. It was the end of our Ocean theme and one of the other teachers had gotten the idea from somewhere online but didn't actually have a recipe or anything.
I tried to get this book to read aloud, but although my local Hastings had it in stock, it wasn't on the right shelf and after 30 minutes of combing the stacks I finally had to admit defeat and just order it online to read later. From what I've read/heard from others it's a great book for one-to-one correspondence (some of my firsties are still struggling with that!) and sets.

Even without the book, the soup was a success. We used spinach leaves as the "seaweed", added salt since the ocean in salty, and tri-color pasta shapes to represent different oceanic items - the wagon wheel was our jellyfish, the shell pasta was a hermit crab's home, the spiral pasta was a piece of coral while the green penne were underwater caves where eels lurked to catch unsuspecting fish! Here's my ingredient list:

1 bag fresh spinach
 1 large can chicken stock
 1 1/2 cans water
Salt, garlic salt, and onion powder.
1 bag tri color pasta shapes

Oh, the onion powder was the sand while the garlic salt was crushed shells with pieces of algae. I let 2 of my firsties pour in a small palmful of salt, while everyone else got to put in 2 shakes of either the garlic salt or onion powder. We cooked the first 4 ingredients in my crockpot on high for about 3 1/2 hours, added the pasta and cooked it for another hour. Honestly, the pasta was overdone, so next time I would add it in the last half hour, but the kids didn't seem to care much! It smelled great as it was cooking too! I had 17 kids yesterday, plus myself and a grandparent, and this recipe made enough for us all.

I served everyone before I passed out the spoons so no one was tempted to sneak a bite first, plus it gave the soup time to cool down a bit. I talked to them about taking a "No, thank you" bite (taking a small bite to be polite when someone offers you something and at least tasting it before saying no) so we all took a bite at the same time. For the next few moments all I could hear was "Mmmmmm!" "This is really good!" "This is the best soup ever!" or, my favorite: "I didn't think it would taste good but it does!" In fact, almost everyone finished their bowls and about 1/2 of my firsties asked for seconds! They even ate the spinach!
Here's the permission slip I sent home to make sure there were no allergies to any of the ingredients - I didn't have any allergies listed on file, but I wanted to double check :)
Seaweed Soup

I know I promised pictures of all our crafts, but I totally forgot to take a picture of the HUGE ocean display I put up at the end of the day with all of our orcas, crabs, sharks and collage fish. I will make sure to take some on Monday.

 Next week's theme is going to be "Down on the Farm".  I am also going to be concentrating on cvc words (onset and rime) in reading. My firsties are beginning to be expert at ladders (like these from Fun 2b In First) so I went ahead and made another set of farm related ones.

Farm Word Ladder
I'll be working on some more math and reading farm activities, so check back soon!

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