Use A Real Pumpkin As A Planter For Fall Flowers

The Season of the Pumpkin

Pumpkins are a big part of fall and the end-of-the-year holidays from jack-o-lanterns to pumpkin pies. All around town this time of year, you can find pumpkin-flavored coffee, pumpkin ice cream and all sorts of pumpkin treats. You see them stacked by scarecrows and hay bales on lawns.

Here’s a cool idea for using pumpkins. Make a pumpkin planter for some of your fall flowers such as pansies, violas, mums and ornamental kale and cabbages. Hollow out a large pumpkin just as you would for making a jack-o-lantern. Drill a few holes in the bottom for drainage. Fill will a good potting soil mixture and plant your fall plants.

Now you can enjoy your chilly weather-loving plants on the patio table or on your doorstep throughout the season. Then, depending on the growing zone you live in, plant the whole thing in the winter container garden or elsewhere. The pumpkin will then decompose, making rich soil.

How to Turn a Pumpkin into a Planter

 

  1. Choose a medium to large pumpkin.
  2. Decide what plants to use.
  3. Cut the top off the pumpkin, a little wider than for a jack-o-lantern
  4. Scrape the insides out thoroughly.
  5. Drill a few holes in the bottom for drainage.
  6. Fill it about three-quarters full with a good soil mix.
  7. Arrange plants and plant them.
  8. Fill in around them with more soil.
  9. Water sparingly.

You can personalize your pumpkin planter by choosing white or green pumpkins. Use a combination of plants or simply plant a pot of mums in a large pumpkin.

Tip: If you want your pumpkin planter to last longer, scrape it out very thoroughly and coat the inside of it with petroleum jelly. Break up some charcoal briquettes and add an inch to the bottom. This way, the pumpkin will last a couple of weeks.

Plants for your Pumpkin Planter

Here are a few suggestions for what to add to your pumpkin planter. These plants can thrive outdoors and withstand frost.

  • Ornamental pepper
  • Purple Kale
  • Green Kale
  • Pansies
  • Variegated vinca
  • Black-eyed susan
  • Ornamental cabbages
  • Violas
  • Swiss Chard

Some Popular Choices for Fall Flower Gardens

Pansies

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Pansies are colorful annuals that are great for the garden all year in zones 4 to 8. They come in a lot of different colors. They like full sun. Pansies can be started in the spring from seeds. Start them indoors 6 to 8 weeks before they can be planted outdoors. Water them regularly and use an all purpose fertilizer on them.

Mums

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Mums, or chrysanthemums as they are sometimes called come in a variety of colors and sizes. These plants are perennials in zones 5-9. Fall mums sold as annuals are very inexpensive and worth the price even though they won’t bloom again next year. They come in pretty rustic colors like deep gold and burgundy. You can also get white, pink, yellow and lavender ones. They like at least 5 hours of full sun. Water and fertilize regularly.

Ornamental Cabbages and Kale

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Ornamental cabbages and kale go great in the fall garden alongside mums and pansies. They can withstand temperature drops to 15 to 20 degrees, making them excellent choices for zones 5 to 7. If you are going to experience 20 degree nights for more than a day or so, they will need to be covered with perhaps a sheet.

Can you eat ornamental cabbages and kale? Yes, but they are not very tender and they are not as tasty as the others.

Swiss Chard

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Swiss chard is grown more for its tasty health benefits for salads more than it is for ornamental purposes. But its green and purple curly leaves make it attractive to use in flower gardens. For the prettiest and freshest Swiss chard, grow your own starting in spring. Then you will have Swiss chard for salads and gourmet cooking until a hard freeze. Not to mention green and purple beauty for your fall flower garden.

Other Possible Pumpkin Planter

There are so many cool ways to use pumpkin planters. I want to do a green pumpkin with burgundy-colored mums. I also want to do a gourmet cooking one with peppers and Swiss chard. Think up your own cool pumpkin planter idea this fall! This project was a lot of fun!

Egg Free Cookies: Peanut Butter Cinnamon

Egg Free Cookies

Scenario one: It is a snow day and you and the kids get the urge to make a batch of fresh, hot homemade cookies. You get out your favorite cookie recipes and decide on peanut butter cookies. But alas, you go to check on your ingredients. You are out of eggs, and you can’t get to the market anytime soon.

Scenario two: You love old-fashioned peanut butter cookies, but one of the kids has developed an egg allergy.

Scenario three: You want to make a tasty batch of homemade cookies to take to work, but some of the guys or girls are die-hard vegans.

 

Best Egg-Free Cookie Recipe

This peanut butter cookie recipe is totally egg-free. Cinnamon and nutmeg added to the peanut butter batter make them even tastier. And if you are looking for a vegan cookie recipe, substitute a nondairy butter substitute for the butter, such as soybean margarine.

 

Ingredients For Egg-Free Peanut Butter Cinnamon Cookies
  • 1/4 Cup Peanut butter, Creamy
  • 1/4 Cup Brown sugar
  • 1/4 Cup White sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Butter, Or Soy margarine
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 1 Tsp Baking powder
  • 1 Tsp Baking soda
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Tsp Nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Cream softened butter, sugars, and vanilla with mixer
  2. Fold in the dry ingredients
  3. Form into balls and press with fork tines
  4. Place on un-greased cookie sheet
  5. Bake in 375-degree preheated oven
  6. Cool and remove from cookie sheet with a spatula
Cream butter, sugars and vanilla

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Fold in dry ingredients

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Fold into balls and press with fork tines

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Easy Snacks Using Refrigerator Biscuits

Refrigerator Biscuit Donuts

Making biscuit donuts was always lots of fun for a Saturday morning with the kids. We just popped open a can of biscuits, cut out holes with a soda bottle top, and fried holes and rings in oil to a golden turn.

While they were hot, we flavored our biscuit donuts in ways only limited by our imagination. We made a traditional glaze made of powdered sugar and milk, or simply rolled then in powdered sugar or a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. Sometimes we got really fancy and frosted our donuts with different flavors and sprinkles.

Healthy Snacks for Kids

With a focus on better nutrition for children, I started experimenting with other creative ways for using refrigerator biscuits. I wanted to invent tasty, nutritious snacks that would be as fun and easy as our traditional biscuit donuts. Kids get a lot of their daily calories through snacking. We need to make sure that those calories aren’t just “empty calories” like cookies and potato chips but instead contain important nutrients.

Our new refrigerator biscuit treats are:

  • mini biscuit quiches
  • double crust mini pizzas
  • spinach-cream cheese puffs
  • ham and cheese sunrise surprises
  • mini cinnamon buns

Healthy Snacks Using Spinach

Mini-quiches and spinach-cream cheese puffs are good ways to create snacks that kids will eat using the superfood spinach. Spinach is rich in lots of vitamins and minerals like vitamins K, A, manganese, folate and much more. In fact, it is said to be the world’s healthiest vegetable.

The biscuits are rolled out flat and filled with the ingredients.

Mini Spinach Quiches with Refrigerator Biscuits

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Mini spinach quiches with refrigerator dough
Ingredients
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2cup milk
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
Instructions
  1. Beat eggs and milk.
  2. Fold in spinach, cheese, salt and pepper
  3. Roll biscuits out flat. Sprinkle on a little flour if sticky.
  4. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray.
  5. Press rolled-out biscuits into the muffin tin
  6. Fill biscuits with spinach-egg mixture
  7. Bake in a 375 degree preheated oven
Beat eggs and milk. Fold in other ingredients

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Roll biscuits out flat

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Spinach-Cream Cheese Puffs

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Spinach Cream Cheese Puffs with Refrigerator Biscuits

Again, biscuits are rolled out flat for spinach-cream cheese puffs. Then they are filled with the cream cheese mixture,pinched closed and baked.

Ingredients
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 2 TBS. milk
Directions
  1. Roll biscuits out flat
  2. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray
  3.  Add biscuits, fill with cream cheese mixture
  4.  Pinch flat and bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes
Beat softened cream cheese with spinach and a little milk.

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Fill biscuits with mixture; pinch closed and bake.

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Ham and Cheese Sunrises

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Ham and Cheese Sunrises with Refrigerator Biscuits

Great for a quick and healthy breakfast! Flattened biscuits are filled with ham and cheese. Fold over and pinch with a fork around the edges to make “sunrises.”

Double Crust Stuffed Pizzas

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Stuffed Mini Pizzas with Refrigerator Biscuits

Double-crust stuffed pizzas can replace milk and cookies or a bowl of sugary cereal for an after-school snack.

Flattened biscuits are spread with tomato sauce, filled with healthy ingredients and topped with another flattened biscuit. We used chopped ham, cheddar cheese and diced Roma tomatoes.

Just as pizza toppings can be quite diverse, so can the stuffings for double-crust pizzas. Make gourmet ones with things like spinach and feta cheese or Canadian bacon and pineapple.

Healthy ingredients can be stuffed into double-crust pizzas

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Place ingredients between two flattened biscuits and bake

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Fun and Easy Cinnamon Bun Project

 

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Cinnamon puffs are mini-cinnamon buns. They are fun for little hands to make. Brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with a little sugar and cinnamon, they make a sweet treat with a minimal amount of sugar. Cinnamon is good for controlling blood sugar levels.

Making aluminum foil cupcake wrappers is a fun “rainy day ” project. Use them to bake the cinnamon puffs in.

Kids can cut the biscuits into sections with a plastic or butter knife.

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Help kids make foil cupcake wrappers

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Don’t Forget About the Biscuit Donuts

We love our new, healthier refrigerator biscuit treats. But we will still have our biscuit donuts from time to time because everybody needs a little sweetness in their life.

Glazed  Refrigerator Biscuit”Donuts” and Holes

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Balsamic Ginger Chicken One-Pan Dinner With Roasted Veggies

One Pan Dinners

With school back in session, it’s time once again to look for ways to cut time in the kitchen and still come up with a healthy, tasty dinner.  Crock pot meals are great, of course, but the one-pan dinners baked in the oven are also great time savers.

I like them because the veggies retain a flavor and texture of their own.

The key to a tasty one-pan dinner is the  marinade. You can whip up the marinade the night before, easily, and marinate your meat in the fridge overnight. But even if you forget to do that, the meat will still be tasty if you marinate it for a half hour or so.

 

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Other veggies to consider: string beans, onions, yellow potatoes, eggplant, peppers.

Then all you have to do is chop up the veggies of your choice, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle on seasoning and roast them alongside your main dish.

I used asparagus spears, red potatoes, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms.

 

Balsamic Ginger Chicken 

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The ingredients in my ginger balsamic chicken recipe meld together in a delightful way. Balsamic vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard,  and ginger along with other spices meld together delightfully. This easy dinner can be ready in 45 minutes. 30 minutes to cook, and 10 minutes prep time.

Oh yeah, and the clean-up afterward is a snap.  Hence the name one pan dinner!

Ginger Balsamic Chicken Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 to 1 and 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 TBS honey
  • 1 TBS Dijon mustard
  • 1 TBS ginger
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • salt
  • pepper
  • dried parsley
  • olive oil
  • assorted chopped veggies

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix the first five ingredients in a large bowl. Add the chicken
  3. Marinate at least 30 minutes
  4. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray(I use the olive oil based one)
  5. Place the marinated chicken on one side and the veggies on the other
  6. Drizzle  veggies with olive oil and sprinkle with seasonings.
  7. Bake 30 minutes

DIY Rustic Flower Vase

Rustic Flower Arrangements

All of those lovely wildflowers we find in the woods and wastelands, spring, summer, and fall make delightful (and free) arrangements to enjoy for entertaining, weddings, and any special event. They are also nice to have around in the house or out on the porch or patio.

A DIY rustic flower vase compliments those wildflowers nicely. And the best part is, they are fun to make, not to mention a good way to reuse and recycle.

Wine bottles, mason jars, baskets, and other containers are popular items to use for DIY wildflower arrangements .

Here is another idea for a rustic DIY flower vase. It’s pretty, easy to do, and totally rustic. All you need is a big empty coffee can, hot glue, acrylic paint, and a raffia or burlap ribbon.

DIY Rustic Flower Vase

Gather twigs and prune them roughly to  the size of the coffee can.

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Paint the coffee can brown with spray paint. 

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When the paint drys, glue the twigs around the can.

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Add a burlap or raffia bow, and you have a classy looking rustic DIY vase!

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Roasted Cabbage Wedges: Versatile Side Dish

 

Roasted Cabbage “Steaks”

Are you looking for a snazzy, quirky new side dish? Roasted cabbage wedges or cabbage “steaks” as they are sometimes called may just be it. Fresh cabbage is sliced into wedges and brushed with olive oil, rubbed with crushed garlic, and sprinkled with Kosher salt and cracked pepper. They are roasted on a cookie sheet in a medium oven.

Roasted cabbage wedges is a very versatile side dish. It will compliment any meal from beans and taters to gourmet cuisine. But the best news is, roasted cabbage wedges are nutritious, inexpensive and delicious.

Eat More Cabbage

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Cabbage is a healthy cruciferous veggie like broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and greens. There are three varieties: green, red, and savoy. “White” cabbage, common at the supermarket is a very light green cabbage. There are different varieties of Chinese cabbage. In the western world, Napa cabbage prevails. It is also rich in nutrients.

Tasty as roasted garlic wedges are, you get the most health benefits from steamed, sauteed, or raw cabbage. If you are interested in cabbage’s cholesterol-lowering benefits, eat some steamed cabbage at other meals. By steaming, the fiber can bind together better with the bile acids in your digestive tract. This makes it easier for the bile acids to be excreted. It is this process that lowers cholesterol.

All varieties of cabbage contain nutrients called glucosinolates, which have been shown to help prevent human diseases. Red, green, and savoy cabbages contain different patterns of glucosinolates, so for the maximum benefits eat all three. All also have significant amounts of polyphenols and serve as anti-inflammatories.

Not surprisingly, red cabbage has the most dietary benefit. Its rich, red color shows that it is rich in anthocyanin polyphenols, a powerful antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory.

If that’s not enough, cabbage is a good source of vitamin C, Manganese and other goodies like fiber.

Ways to Eat Cabbage

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As mentioned, the healthiest way to eat cabbage is by steaming it. Raw is next. It also goes through the fiber binding process that steamed cabbage does, making it second best at lowering cholesterol.

Cabbage can be sauteed in healthy oils like olive oil. Try using it along with other veggies in a stir- fry. Then there are cabbage soups and cabbage rolls. Raw cabbage is used in tons of salad recipes, like my delicious broccoli salad recipe. And don’t forget the coleslaw and sauerkraut.

But for now, try roasted cabbage wedges with just about any dish.

DIY Arrangements Using Fall Wildflowers

 

Simple Beautiful Wildflower Arrangments

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A stroll through a park, meadow or forest is a wonderful way to unwind and get in touch with the cycle of life. Blue skies and vibrant colors on an autumn will inspire you to spice up your traditional decor this year with your imagination and what you find on your walks.

The daily grind of life often smothers our creative thinking process. Creativity is often defined as using resources available to you to produce original material and ideas. While it is resourceful to use other people’s ideas, you can gain self-satisfaction from seeing your own ideas come to life.

If you live in an area with a variety of deciduous trees that change color, collect some pretty ones and take a close-up look. You will see that most are spotted, two-toned or have a “tie-dyed” look. Take a bag with you so you can pick up the best specimens. I’ll bet you can come up with a creative way to display them. Just remember that if you are going to use them in an arrangement they will dry and crumble in a day or two so be prepared to show your display right away.

Goldenrod is a prevalent wild lower across North America that showcases in the Fall. There are several varieties, and they take the rap for aggravating allergies when it is actually ragweed that is the bad guy.

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Using Goldenrod in Arrangements

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A big bouquet of goldenrod alone in a glass container makes a tasteful centerpiece. Add a ribbon of Autumn colors or designs if desired. Depending on the region where you live, the fields are rich with an assortment of Fall wildflowers. Finding and identifying them can be a fun activity as well.

Be creative as you look around your particular region. I found that leftover blackberries dried on a fading vine added interest to my bouquets along with some yellowing wild grapevine. Learn to include what is indigenous to your region.

After your walk, look around your home for glass vases, old watering cans, and other containers to creatively display your finds. Acorns seed pods, red berries, small pine cones and other natural objects can be placed in glass jars to display.

Fall Art Projects

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When I was a child we pressed our leaves between sheets of wax paper with a warm iron to help preserve them. Nowadays we can take this process a step further with clear Contact brand plastic sheeting. A great project to do with kids is to create leaf place mats for Thanksgiving.

 

Other ideas for preserved leaves include mobiles or sun catchers. Follow directions for making a mobile and use your leaf cut-outs. Purchase small suction cups at a craft store and glue to your leaf cut-outs for some unique suncatchers. How impressed your guests will be to see real leaves as sun catchers in a sunny window!

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Be Creative,Be Green

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What I have attempted to relate by sharing my projects is that by opening up to the natural resources around us we can help our creative juices flow. I have often found it satisfying to use others’ ideas as a springboard to come up with personalized projects.My projects will not look exactly like theirs because I have used my own resources. And unlike plastic decorations, natural items are mostly free and always a sustainable choice. Being a good steward to Earth is one more thing to feel good about. Happy Autumn!

You may also like this idea for a simple, sustainable wreath.

 

Using The Calendar For Teaching Basic Math Concepts

Elementary Math Using the Calendar

A calendar is a great tool for teaching basic skills to elementary age children. Walk in any elementary classroom and you will likely see a colorful, seasonal calendar attached to a bulletin board and surrounded by a variety of teaching aids. A table may be added to the area to hold manipulatives, games and task cards, making it double as a math learning station.

You don’t have to have a classroom to use a calendar for teaching math. Parents, homeschoolers, and tutors can use any calendar as long as it is a monthly one and not a daily display calendar. Activities vary from grade level to grade level. The following teaching suggestions are divided into primary (PreK-2 grade) and elementary ( 3rd-5th grade). They will help meet the math teaching standards in all states.

Primary Grade Calendar Math

For really young students, like pre-k through grade one, or older, disabled students, the teacher will want to build the calendar together with the class.

Number Recognition

On the first day of the month, review the names of all 12 months and introduce the new month. Pass out number cards (1-30, 31 or 28) and have students bring the correct one to pin on the calendar.

Ordinal Numbers

Calendar time is the perfect opportunity to introduce students to ordinal numbers and their endings. Each day, demonstrate how to write the date as 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and so on.

Number Sequencing

Use the calendar to practice skip counting by 2s and also to talk about numbers that come before and after. If today is the 22nd of the month, ask what yesterday’s date was. What will be tomorrow’s date?

Time sequencing

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Number Riddles

Increase children’s number sense with number riddles each day. Vary in difficulty as time goes by. Examples:

    1. I come after the number 3. What number am I?
    2. I am the sum of this Tuesday and next Wednesday.What number am I?
    3. I am the number of the 2nd Tuesday this month. What number am I?

It is important for children to develop a sense of time. Use calendar math time to learn the order of the months and the days of the week. Look for songs and rhymes to use for teaching the order of the days and months.

Question students about what month comes before and after the current month. This is a good time to talk about seasons also.

Vary the difficulty of questions as time goes by, challenging students to think.

      1. What is the date one week from today?
      2. What month will it be two months after Christmas?
      3. What was the date two weeks ago from yesterday?

Place Value

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Beside the calendar, place a ones, tens hundreds pockets chart. You can even use three plastic cups stapled on the bulletin board. Be sure to use the labels ones, tens and hundreds. Beginning on the first day of school, the teacher shows the calendar math helper how to place a straw or Popsicle stick in the ones pocket.

One the 10th day of school, it is time to “bundle” the straws or sticks with a rubber band. Every 10 days from here on, you will bundle and add to the tens pockets. The kids will be thrilled when there or 10 bundles of 10s on the hundredth day of school.

Operations

A calendar makes the perfect number line for simple addition and subtraction. Show students how to add problems like 6+ 9 by starting on day six and jumping forward nine days.

Likewise, subtract by jumping backward in time. What was today’s date six days ago? what number sentence shows that operation?

Counting Money

Counting money is a lot of fun using calendar math. Each day is a penny, five days a nickel . Trade two nickles for a dime on the tenth day.

The 25th day of school is a quarter. Trade two quarters for a half-dollar on the 50th day of school. Use large paper coins to display the money in a piggy bank pinned to the calendar math bulletin board. So if it is the 62nd day in school, for example, you will have a half-dollar, a dime,and two pennies.

After 99 cents, kids will be thrilled to add a paper dollar for the 100th day of school.

Graphing

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Students can help the teacher create a pictograph or bar graph depicting the number of rainy days, sunny days, etc.

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Elementary Grade Calendar Math

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For older students, days can be added one at a time at the calendar circle times. Although some of the objectives are the same, skills become more advanced with each grade level. They still love counting the days of school and modeling the ones, tens, and hundreds, but now, they will use the day to write decimals and percentages.

Number Sense

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Patterning is an important skill that will help students later on with algebraic concepts. Some teachers like to use seasonal symbols like pumpkin, ghost bat. Others just use colors. You can use geometric shapes and help students identify them, covering an important geometry standard.

Use the calendar time to learn about odd and even numbers and prime and composite numbers. Tell whether each day is odd or even. Let the calendar math helper write these in the correct place.

Have students tell whether each day is a prime or composite number. The 13th of the month is prime because its only factors are one and 13. Is October 25th a prime or composite day? Composite, because it has 5, 1 and 25 as factors. On “composite days”, have students create factoring trees as part of their morning work.

Students can use the calendar for harder skip counting like 3s, 4s, and 6s.

Place Value

Show students how to write “big numbers” by turning the month into a number. For example May 25th, 2014 would be written as 5,252,014. Whatever the date is, start on the right and place commas after each set of 3 numbers. December 22, 2016, would, therefore be 12, 222,013.

Have a place value pocket chart from ones to ten millions pinned to the calendar math bulletin board. The calendar math helper can place number cards in the pouches to show the date.

Use ones, tens and hundreds for counting the days in school. Students can write these as decimals and percentages. For example, the 82nd day of school would be written as .82 and 82%. The 102nd day? 1.02 which is one whole and 2 tenths., or one whole and 2 percent.

Operations

Students in later grades are expected to be able to perform column addition and regroup. Pick three or four days and have students add them together. For example, say, add last Wednesday’s date, today’s date and next Thursday’s and Friday’s date together.

Use the calendar for teaching fractions. For example, the 6th of December would be written as 6/12ths. After introducing simplifying fractions, a student could show how to reduce this to 1/2. Some days will be improper fractions. For example,February 7th would be 7/2. Students can divide to get the mixed number 3 and 1/2. December 12th will be 12/12 and makes the whole number, one.

Counting Money

Counting money is pretty much the same for all grade levels. This skill can be parallel to place value and decimals. One way to make counting money more complex it to add days together. For example, what is the total of the 160th day and the 161st day. Students would add $1.60 and $1.61.

Some teachers of older students use thousands and add them to a depositor each day. For example, the 1st is $100 dollars, and the 10th is $10,000 dollars. Likewise, the 20th is $20,000. Add another thousand to the depositor on the next day, the 21st.

Time Sequence

Again, time sequence and awareness of time is important for elementary students as well. Make it more difficult with more complex tasks.

      1. You have a dental appointment 2 weeks from next Tuesday. What is the date of your dental appointment?
      2. We started our Social Studies unit five weeks ago from yesterday. What date did we begin the unit?
      3. What will be the date nine months after Christmas day? What month is five months before December?

 

 


Healthy Smoothie Recipes For Kids: The Funny Face Gang

 

Food Research and Healthy Eating

Do you remember Rootin’ Tootin’ Raspberry, Goofy Grape, Lefty Lemon and the rest of the Funny Face Drink mix gang? They were powdered drink mixes introduced by the Pillsbury company in 1964. Promoted as a sugar-free, artificially sweetened beverage, they were designed to be highly appealing to children.

The Funny Face gang gave Kool-Aid man some stiff competition until the drink mixes were pulled off the shelf in 1968 by the FDA. Due to advancing food science and research they were declared unsafe for being sweetened with cyclamates. The company turned to saccharin with no luck. Finally, in 1972 they added vitamin C to a “just add sugar” beverage mix but Kool-Aid won in the end and the Funny Face gang is no longer available.

Health Benefits of Antioxidants 

Advances in food science and research exploded into the latter part of the 20th century and continues to grow in producing valid and reliable results from research. For some time now, health organizations have recognized and promoted eating lots of fruits and vegetables for their antioxidant-rich properties.

Thanks to research we know that anti-oxidants, as the term implies, attacks damaging oxidation in animal tissue. They contain vitamins, minerals and enzymes (proteins that assist in chemical reactions) thought to prevent the development of several chronic diseases including the dreaded “c word,cancer.

In response to modern food research findings, we would like to introduce the Super Foods Smoothies For Kids gang: meet Strawberry Kiwi Karl, Pineapple Mango Maggie, Coconut Chocolate Chip Charlie, Banana Blueberry Buster and Cherry Vanilla Vanessa.

Smoothies are very healthy and kids can make them easily. Provide the ingredients and they can make them with minimal help from adults. The only kitchen equipment needed is a blender. For safety, make sure the children understand never to stick hands or utensils into the blender while it is churning. It is best that the adult cuts up the fruit for the smoothies

Best Yogurt to use in Smoothies

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All Super Food Smoothies For Kids are made with Greek yogurt. Because Greek yogurt has been strained to remove liquid whey, which contains lactose and sugar, it is an excellent smoothie choice for the lactose intolerant. It’s significantly higher protein content keeps kids full longer helping them avoid later snacking on high fat and sugar foods. It gives smoothies a creamier texture than regular yogurt that children will prefer.

All yogurt contains a higher amount of carbs when sweetened with sugar. Super Foods Smoothies For Kids are sweetened with honey. Although honey is sugar in another form, it contains some trace minerals that sugar doesn’t. Since it has a higher sweet taste concentration it will take less honey than sugar to sweeten, making them more palpable to kids.

Comparison Of Regular And Greek Nonfat Yogurt
Nutritional Unit
Regular Yogurt
Greek Yogurt
protein
9 grams
15 to 20 grams
carbohydratres
13 to 17 grams
5 to 8 grams
calcium
30 percent of recommended daily intake
20 percent of recommended daily intake
fat
0 grams
0 grams
sugars
12 grams or more
2.5 to 3 grams
Based on 6-ounce servings

Best Recipe for Greek Yogurt Smoothies

The best basic recipe for smoothies using Greek yogurt calls for 3/4 cup of yogurt, 1 and 1/2 cups of fruit, 1/4 cup of water and 3 to 4 ice cubes. Sweeten with one tablespoon of honey, Use less with blueberries thanks to their natural sweetness. Blend all ingredients in a blender.

Fruit combinations for each Super Food Smoothies For Kids are listed below with some of the nutritional benefits especially relevant to kids.

Super Smoothies for Kids Characters

For added fun and involvement try having the kids make hats for the smoothie characters. Color and cut out the hats below. Punch two holes with a hole punch. Thread a colorful straw through the hats. Draw faces with Sharpie markers(it washes off of glass easily) for the smoothie characters.Kids will enjoy helping to make garnishes for the smoothies using fruit and skewers.

Use one or more of the fruits listed below, or come up with your own favorite fruit combo and give your Super Food Smoothie a name!

Kiwi Karl

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Strawberries are loaded with vitamin C. They help boost immunity and reduce inflammation.Strawberries are associated with better eye health and help fight cancer causing free radicals.

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Kiwi fruit is thought to help reduce wheezing and coughing at night especially benefiting children with asthma.

Pineapple Mango Maggie

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Pineapples contain Bromeliads that help with digestion, speed recovery of injury and reduce swelling.

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Mango fruit is a source of Glutamine acid which has been shown to be of use to boost memory and improve concentration in children.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Charlie

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Dark Chocolate dark is very rich in poly phenols which are good news for chocolate lovers. Poly phenols are known to be inhibitors of the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.

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In addition to fiber, vitamins and minerals scientist are discovering certain medicinal benefits for coconut. Some of the research indicates enzymes in coconut may kill the flu virus, attack herpes, measles and hepatitis-c among other benefits. Turns out, coconut is a highly nutritious food.

 

Blueberry Banana Buster

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Blueberries  contain  fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B6,and phytonutrients. The fiber in blueberries helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood and decrease the risk of heart disease

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Bananas  help maintain healthy blood pressure by decreasing sodium and increasing potassium. Researchers found that children who ate a banana a day had a lower risk of developing asthma.

Cherry Vanilla Vanessa 

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Red cherries are packed with anti-oxidants that have anti-inflammatory.Heart health benefits are also linked to cherries.

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Vanilla extract can help children’s nausea, help heal wounds and may reduce anxiety.

Use fresh or frozen cherries for the same health benefits

Super Smoothie Gang Templates

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Sub Sandwich Recipe: Easy Healthy Pizza Sub

Easy Healthy Pizza Sub

 

Pizza Recipes

Did you ever know anyone who didn’t like pizza? Probably not since pizza is quite possibly one of the world’s favorite foods. In fact, the Neapolitan, a true Italian pizza is number two on the World’s 50 most favorite foods. With a few simple ingredients, it’s probably the local version of US southern cornbread. A crust made of wheat flour, three kinds of tomatoes, olive oil, salt, and basil makes the Neapolitan a classic.

History of Pizza

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Historians tend to credit Greeks rather than Italians with the invention of pizza. This is probably because of their habit of piling different ingredients atop flatbread. The earliest Italian pizzas were either sweet or savory mixtures on flat bread. The word pizza first appeared in Latin text in the town of Gaeta in southern Italy around 997 AD. It was a noun describing an endowment that certain tenant farmers were to present to the town bishop at Christmas and Easter.

A flatbread existed in 16th century Naples called pizza. A poor man’s dish, it was sold in the streets long before it became a recipe. By the 17th century, the flatbreads in early pizzas were covered with a red sauce that was later replaced with tomatoes and perhaps fish. By 1843 toppings were growing more and more diverse. In the late 18th century the culinary art of adding tomatoes to yeast flatbread became commonplace in Naples. Pizza became a tourist attraction much like shrimp creole in New Orleans.

In June of 1889, it is said that a Neapolitan chef created “Pizza Margherita” in honor of the Queen consort of Italy by the same name. It was garnished with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil to represent the colors of the Italian flag.

Modern Day Pizza

Pizza got a slow start in the New World, or North America, as European settlers thought tomatoes to be poisonous. The dish was introduced in America in the late 19th century when Italian immigrants arrived in America. Sold on the streets, it became a popular food in cities like NYC, Chicago, and Philly; and the rest they say is history.

Today pizza comes in all sorts of forms and variations. There are mini pizzas, with pizza ingredients atop a halved English muffin, pizza rolls frozen in a box for snacking and pizza salad. Pizza recipes offer everything from gourmet pizzas to healthy pizzas. There are even fruit and dessert pizza recipes.

Try a submarine sandwich pizza for a fun twist on pizza. Use whole wheat sub rolls, low-fat cheeses, fresh chopped veggies and lean ground beef or pork. This healthy mixture will allow you to slip in a few pepperonis and still have a healthy meal.

 

Ingredients For Pizza Sub

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  • Four whole wheat sub rolls
  • 16-ounce jar Italian sauce, pre-made or homemade
  • One 8 ounce package Italian cheese mix, shredded
  • 1/2 cup each red onions, green peppers, mushrooms, black olives, chopped
  • 1 cup ground beef or sausage, cooked and crumbled
  • pepperonis
Instructions
  1. Lightly toast halved rolls. Spread with Italian sauce
  2. Add pepperonis and ground sausage or beef. Top with cheese mixture.
  3. Sprinkle on onions, peppers, mushrooms and black olive slices.
  4. Top with another layer of cheese, and return to oven until the top layer of cheese melts.