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Ice, Ice Baby (aka “Do You Want To Build A Snowman?”)-Free Printable

21 Feb

Vanilla IceYou are a child of the 80s if you know who this gentleman is. Oh, come on! You know you remember! He is famous for ONE song that has been my anthem this week.

“Ice, Ice, Baby. Alright stop, collaborate and listen…”

And…I could go MUCH further into the song lyrics, but I don’t want to embarrass myself  and give you any inkling of how much of the song I actually remember! Ha!

So, this week in good ol’ Music City USA we have enjoyed a week of being snow and ice. Therefore, the words of Ice, Ice Baby have been continually on my lips, and these poetic 80s words pretty much summarize the weather that we have enjoyed for the past week. (And…as a side note, my hat goes off to those of you who live in the Northern regions of the United States. Snow on the ground, all winter-this is your reality. Wow, just wow! You are my heroes, beloved.)

Because my children have NO IDEA who Vanilla Ice is AND because my singing invokes eye-rolling and “M-O-M!” I decided to identify with this younger generation and bust out a song that they can recognize and sing along with. Fast forward to 2015 and a winter-themed chorus that is known and loved by children everywhere, “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” (I am secretly laughing on the inside because can’t you just picture 25 years from now? This generation will have children of their own and their posterity will “eye roll” and gasp in horror when Frozen songs are jubilantly sung by their parents. What goes around comes around, right? But, I digress…) This musical masterpiece, thank you, Disney, has been more palatable for them when compared to Vanilla Ice, and I can’t imagine why! 🙂

So, if you’ve been frozen in all week and looking for a way to build a snowman without venturing out in the snow, or, if you need another winter-themed song to get “Ice, Ice Baby” out of your head, THIS, my friend is your lucky day!


I drew this Olaf picture for use in my Classical Conversations class during Review Game time. (See below for how I used this in my CC class.) I scanned the drawing, and you can download it here to print and use at your casa. Your Frozen fanatics will have fun with this one, I hope! AND, it’s a great way to build a snowman while staying WARM! Download here: Olaf Printable. Here’s the final product!


For those of you who are in Classical Conversations and are curious about how I used this as a Review Game, here’s what I did. 🙂 I printed and laminated two copies of Olaf. I divided my class into two teams, and each team was charged with building a snowman! For each question answered correctly, they got to add another snowman piece to their team’s Olaf. The kiddos seemed to really enjoy it!

Tin Whistles Need Sleeping Bags (Oh, Yes They Do!)

23 Sep



Another re-post from the archives! I know that many of you are embarking on your Tin Whistle journey. 🙂 Here’s a funny letter I wrote to a seasoned Tutor that remains nameless to me. However, her wisdom saved me multiple migraines and additional gray hairs. 🙂 Read more here, and you, too, will want to thank this nameless Tutor after you make sleeping bags for your Tin Whistles. 🙂


Verb Conjugation Packet–free download

18 Sep

Verb Conjugation Packet 2


My Pronoun Packet was quite the success in my Abecedarians class last year. I decided to make something similar for the Verb Conjugations for use on my DIY Tri-fold Board that we will use during the next several weeks for English Grammar.



I used the same grid from last year’s pronouns and repurposed it  for my verbs! 🙂 I like having the visual for my Abecedarians, even though many aren’t yet readers. They can still recognize the “spot” that the word goes in after we review several times, clear them off, and ask them to reposition them in the correct “spot.” I also like the connection for the parents in class to see how the verb is conjugated and which principal part it represents. I also included a blank page in the document so that an older student can write the conjugations of a particular verb and match it with its verb principal part. I have uploaded the file to CC Connected. username: suzannemosley Or, you can download it here: Verb Conjugations Packet

Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood
This is a post in conjunction with Half a Hundred Acre Wood’s Cycle 3 Link Up. Visit there for more Cycle 3 resources.

Egg Carton Multiplication & Skip Counting Game (FREE printable!)

15 Sep


I thought I’d resurrect this post from the archives. This is a Multiplication/Skip Counting Egg Carton game that I came up with two years ago during our first year of CC. Read the original post for detailed instructions about creating your own game at home! I made my skip counting numbers out of construction paper. After reading my post last year, the marvelous Brandy Ferrell created a FREE PRINTABLE to share with everyone for the skip-count-cards. If you don’t feel like cutting up teeny tiny construction pieces of paper, download this free printable, “Control + P” and you’re done!

Tutors, I have used this in class to do a massive “skip counting” review during our Review Game time at the end of our CC day. I had 3 stations and a parent at each station. Each station went through 2 or 3 different skip counting numbers, and then, we rotated to the different stations.

Here are a few pictures of this inexpensive, stick in the sand game. If you are not a Classical Conversations family, read the original post and know that you can use this same game at home with your kiddos to practice and review multiplication facts. Also, here’s a FABULOUS Usborne Lift The Flap Time Tables book that is another great way to review multiplication facts! (You know how I love Usborne!)


imageEgg Carton Multiplicationimage

Tour the Nina, Pinta, and (not the) Santa Maria!

13 Sep


The Nina

For all of my CC friends, you are singing, “The Nina, the Pinta, The Santa Maria” in your head right now, aren’t you?!?! Several years ago, I had a friend tell me that she was driving all day to see the Nina in Chattanooga. I was confused. Did she not realize that Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492, and his ship had probably disintegrated into thin air after 500+ years? After further conversation, I learned from my friend Heidi that the Columbus Foundation  tours the waterways of the U.S. in life-size, fully-functioning replicas of the Nina and Pinta.

We were fortunate to see it last October while they were docked in Knoxville. We thoroughly enjoyed traipsing around both ships and listening to the tour provided by the knowledgeable crew. I have a greater understanding and increased respect for Columbus and crew who set out blindly on these ships back in 1492. I realized that I’m pretty wimpy! I don’t think that I would have signed up for this adventure. Ha! 🙂

Are you interested in visiting the Nina and Pinta (sniff, sniff! If only there was a replica of the Santa Maria!)? You’re in luck! Here is the 2014 Port Tour Schedule. Hopefully, it will be in your neck of the woods this year! If not, maybe 2015 will be the year for you!

Here are some pictures from our tour!


 The crew slept on the deck. Again, I’m a wimp! I don’t think I would have signed up on this adventure with Captain Columbus. 🙂 What about you??


I love maps! This was a map similar to what the crew would have used.


Listening to our tour guide! These men and women were great fun! I asked them a million questions about what it was like to live and work on the boats. Many of them signed up to be a part of the crew for the sheer adventure.


Boats are for climbing (duh!)


Fighting off the “bad guys” trying to sink the Nina!


I loved this picture because it gives you an idea of the magnitude of the ship’s size.


How often do you see a ship like this sailing down the river?!?! I’m sure barges and tug boats do a “double take.”


 A fun, memorable field trip!

Want to know more about what it would have been like on the Nina, Pinta or Santa Maria? Read Pedro’s Journal with your kiddos! We are reading it now and thoroughly enjoying it!

On the Eve of My 1st Day as an Essentials Mom: Essentials Encouragement

17 Aug


I posted last month a two-part Q&A: How To Gear Up For Essentials. (Missed the posts? Find them here and here.) A reader commented and shared her wonderful wisdom, and as I head to bed tonight and will awaken an Essentials parent on the morrow, I am repeating her sage sentences in my mind. Starting or recently beginning your Essentials journey? These words are for you and me:

I have had the pleasure of attending Essentials for five years and tutoring for three of them. I would like to also add that Essentials is a class that enables the parent to meet the needs of their student wherever they are academically. The degree of ability of the students and parents will vary, and it all works out quite nicely. Since it is designed to be a three year course which mimics the Trivium, no prior formal preparation in an English grammar program is necessary particularly if the parent chooses to spend those years simply engaging their child in good literature. Most parents will be learning right along side their students, and that is okay! If you are a first time Essentials parent, I recommend to adjust your expectations accordingly, be diligent in your efforts, and remember your second year will look nothing like your first year!

Thank you, Melinda!

Also, heading to bed reminding myself that the Lord is with me—always, and that includes Essentials class. 🙂

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?
My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore. (Psalm 121 ESV)

Repost: How Our Family Tackles CC Presentations

6 Aug

CC Presentations

Here’s a blast-from-the-past post regarding how our family puts together our Presentations for Classical Conversations. I hope that it will be helpful!


Son # 2 (age 5) with his Presentation Paper and picture prompts.

Here’s another nugget of wisdom that I gleaned from a seasoned CC Mom last year: build into your school week a time to work on a portion of  your Presentation daily. Brilliant, right?!?! I took her advice, so this was our weekly planning-of-Presentations schedule last year:

  1. Monday–CC Community Day
  2. Tuesday–No Presentation prep–a HOLIDAY, of sorts, from Presentations 🙂
  3. Wednesday–Pick your Presentation topic for the following week. Our Director gives us an AWESOME list of suggested topics for each week. This is invaluable to me as a parent because most days my brain is fried! Coming up with something on my own seems a daunting task.
  4. Thursday–Put pen and paper to the Presentation. Draw pictures on our construction paper form (see this post) or use a key word outline.
  5. Friday–Practice presentation 2-3 times.
  6. Saturday–Practice presentation 1 time.
  7. Sunday–A final run through before bed takes place, one to two times depending on how “stellar” the performance. 🙂

AND…lest you think I’m Wonder Woman, Super Girl, or She-Ra (Please tell me someone remembers She-Ra, Princess of Power?!?! Or, am I THAT old?!?!), we did NOT follow this plan weekly because, life happens! Children get sick, field trips are to be taken, or we find ourselves lost in a good book. However, just having this “target” to aim at was an amazing gift and prevented us, most weeks, from waiting until Sunday night to throw a Presentation together!

Tutor Tip: Science Detectives During Science Experiments

5 Aug

For my fellow Abecedarian tutors out there, I have been working these past 2 days on the first 6 weeks of Science Projects. (Trying to do some advanced planning and get my ducks in a row!) One fun thing that I am doing with the Science Projects this year is to dub my Abecedarians–“Science Detectives.” I will refer to them in calls as “Science Detectives” and encourage them to help solve the science mystery of the day (aka “the experiment”) using the Scientific Method. I will explain that the Scientific Method will be our “map” that we will follow to conduct our experiment, and it will lead us to SOLVE THE MYSTERY of the experiment!

Suzanne, the Science Detective

I might even dress up as a detective (or at least carry around my trusty magnifying glass) to get into character. I’m thinking that my little Abecedarians will enjoy being Science Detectives, don’t you?!?! (Their tutor probably will enjoy this as well!)

For those of you with older kiddos, you might be able to pull this off as well?!?!? I just finished a “Detective-Themed” VBS in Chicago two weeks ago, and I was the 5th grade/rising 6th grade teacher. I thought they would scoff at pretending to be “detectives,” but they whole-heartedly jumped in and loved it! So, maybe those of you with Apprentices, Journeymen and Masters might have some fellow Sherlock Holmes Science Detectives in your classroom this year, too! 🙂

Have fun LEARNING this year! To know God and to make Him known!

[photo credit: My Cute Graphics]

Repost: Year 1 vs. Year 2 as a CC Parent

31 Jul

I am reposting this article from early May. Our CC Community has doubled in the 60 days that have transpired since first writing the post. I am confident that many other communities have as well, so I wanted to share it again.Classical Conversations Parent

I can’t get you new-first time-CC Mommas off my heart and mind. I tremble when I think about our first year–all the pressure that I put on myself due to an incorrect understanding of the Classical Model, the extreme level of fatigue and burnout I felt at the conclusion of our first year. I made so many mistakes that first year! WHEW! Don’t follow–I plead with you–in my “Year 1” footsteps!

New CC Moms (and Dads) this post is for you. I wish I had known these things going into our first year. Just know that you don’t have to have everything “perfect” and all together to have a successful first year of CC! (I’ll let you in on another secret–you don’t have to for your second, third, or fourth year either!). RELAX, take lots of deep breaths! Take advantage of the gift of community; glean wisdom from “seasoned” CC Moms in your community. Enjoy learning WITH your child/children this year, have fun discovering GOD in math, science, literature and ALL things, and  most of all–PRAY! Let your CC year wash over you…and spend your first year knowing Him and making Him known.


Cycle 3 Classical Notebook Pages: Available on CC Connected–UPDATE

30 Jul


If you haven’t seen the new Classical Conversations website, don’t miss it! I love the sleek new design and user-friendly functionality! 🙂 CC Connected has been updated as well, and it is easier to navigate, particularly the “search” tool. YAY! With the new website launch, it is now possible to upload again to CC Connected. I uploaded my History Statements Copywork pages for our Classical Notebook this morning. I hope to have Science and Bible Memory Work finished soon. The Bible Memory Work is available FREE from CC for all 3 Cycles, 24 Weeks. Download here.

See this summer’s previous post to read more about our Classical Notebook and which pages I have already uploaded to CC Connected. My username is: suzannemosley