## Dishin' Up With Diane For September

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Welcome Back To School!

I know some of you have already started, but here in MI we start the Tuesday after Labor Day!

A big theme for many teachers is APPLES so I want to center my "kids in the kitchen & classroom" around that delicious and healthy fruit this month.  Apples are also really big in this part of MI.

One of my favorite books to introduce the alphabet is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  Story time is in the afternoon and is often followed by our snack, so sometimes it's fun if our snack also relates to what we are reading and/or studying.

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Sometimes I'll ask several parents to supply the ingredients to a snack-activity so that my Y5's can make or create their snack.  Click on the link to view/print the Chicka Boom snack letters home.

Making a Chicka Boom alphabet tree is a fun fine motor skill for your students.  I was hoping that all the letters of the alphabet were in a box of Alpha-Bits cereal, but to my dismay when I dumped out the box, I did not find a good enough representation of the alphabet to make it a worthwhile activity for my students to try and find the letters in their name.

In fact, the letters G, J, M, S, U, & W were entirely missing from my box!

Instead, give a cup of cereal to each child and have them pick out 8 letters.

Later, if you want, you can give your students a graphing sheet and have them sort and then count the letters in their cup and graph them, then make a class graph of the entire box.  Did you find any letters that were missing too?

Click on the link to print an Alpha-Bit letter graphing sheet.

You can also compare your results to mine if you want to do some more math extensions. Click on the link to view/print my results. TeachWithMe.com's Alpha-Bit graphing results

My husband came into the kitchen and wondered what on earth I was doing, as I had cereal spilled out all over the counter.  (Our puppy Chloe was anxious hoping for a mishap.)

When I told him I was sorting cereal, he then wondered if anyone besides me even cared?  I thought sorting, counting and then graphing letters in a box of Alpha-Bits was a great math extension; besides I really wanted to know if every letter of the alphabet was in the box.  (The answer could not be found online.)

As you can see by my photo the ratio of letters in the box is way off, and the largest plate is the one with broken letters.  Perhaps that's where the missing letters ended up.

Could the Alpha-Bit missing letter mystery be because those letters are fragile and simply break up in the package?  This could make for a great discussion or writing prompt!  Anyway, my husband thinks I'm crazy.  Are there any other creatively crazy teachers with me?  I'd enjoy a comment or two for back up.

I made two different kinds of Chicka Boom trees.  One with chocolate wafer cookies (palm trunk) and raisins (coconuts) and one with pretzel rods and red grapes.

You can have both sets of ingredients available, and let your students decide which kind of tree to make, or simply pick just a few ingredients.  I find with my Y5's, that usually 1/2 of them do not like raisins.

If you do opt for raisins, you may want to soak them in water the night before. It was my grandma's "secret" for making the best oatmeal raisin cookies, as the raisins turned out really moist, plump and juicy instead of dried out.

Ingredients & Directions:

• Granny Smith apples. (Cut apple in 1/2 and then in 1/4ths.  One apple will be enough for 2 children's palm leaves. Each child needs 4 apple slices. 4 palm leaves.)
• Large bunch of washed red grapes.  Each child will need 3 grapes for their coconuts.
• Large box or bag of raisins.  Each child will need 9 plump raisins, 3 for each bunch of coconuts.
• 1-2 bags of long pretzel rods (Chicka boom coconut tree trunk) depending on class size. (I use 2 for each student because they LOVE them, but you could cut it down to 1.)
• 1-2 packages of chocolate wafer cookies depending on class size.  Each child will need 2 cookies for their Chicka boom coconut tree trunk.
•
• You could get a package of wafer cookies that has 1/2 chocolate and 1/2 vanilla and give your students a choice of flavors.  I find that my students will usually pick chocolate 3 to 1.
• I try to include giving a choice in as many activities as I can, because I believe it is a wonderful life-skill my little ones need to learn; however, I almost always limit it to only 2, at most 3 choices, otherwise things get overwhelming for them and they can't make a decision, or waste too much time.
• 1 large box of Alpha-Bits cereal. Give each child a cup full so they can choose 8 letters to climb up the trunk.  This is a nice counting activity for them. They can simply eat the rest, or do the sort, count and graph activity above with them.
• large paper plates
• Children arrange their Chicka Boom edible alphabet tree on their plate and then eat it.

Munch and crunch away at your Chicka Boom alphabet tree today!

Remember to take some pictures so you can post them in your newsletter.

## Grapple Juice:If you've never mixed grapefruit juice and apple juice, give it a whirl for a yummy and healthy fall drink.

Ingredients
• 2 large apples (My personal favorite is Honeycrisp, but Gala is a close second, and then of course Granny Smith for it's sweet sourness.)
• 1 grapefruit
How to Make
1. Wash the fruit.
2. Core and slice the apples to fit your juicer.
3. Peel and slice the grapefruit.
4. Juice and Enjoy.

Grama Lydia's Apple Crisp and Ice Cream

My sister and I were allergic to so many things that my grama was constantly trying to dream up things my twin and I could have as a dessert.

Here's a delicious one that tastes wonderful hot out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Drizzle some caramel on the top for an extra special treat.  The cinnamon baking in the oven makes the entire kitchen smell yummy, and is one of my favorite fall fragrances to this day!

Ingredients:

• 2 large Honeycrisp or Gala apples, peeled, cored and sliced
• 1/3 Cup all-purpose flour
• 1/3 Cup old-fashioned rolled oats
• 1/4 Cup butter or margarine
• 1/3 Cup firmly packed brown sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
• Vanilla ice cream
• Caramel sauce
Directions:
• Prepare apples by peeling, coring and slicing.
• Place in bottom of a small casserole dish.
• Add oats, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and butter in a medium-size mixing bowl

• Mix together until crumbly. Break up any clumps.
• Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
• Serve hot out of the oven in small bowls with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
• Drizzle with caramel sauce. MMM MMM delicious!

Apple Smiles With Marshmallow Teeth:

Ingredients:

• White mini marshmallows
• Cream cheese
• Peanut butter
• Caramel sauce
• Red apples
• Plastic knives
• Small paper plates

Directions:

• Cut a red apple in half, then in 1/4th's then into 1/8th's.
• Each child needs 2 pieces. (1 apple will make enough slices for 8 children.)
• These become the 2 lips.
• Give each child a small paper plate, a plastic knife, and a dollop of "glue" (either peanut butter, cream cheese or caramel sauce.)
• I used caramel sauce in the photo.
• Children could also have one side where they use one of the spreads, and the other half where they use the other kind of spread.
• Spread "glue" with a plastic knife.
• Place mini white marshmallows on top of the "glue" on the bottom slice so they look like teeth.

• Spread "glue" on the remaining slice.
• Gently press this top slice on the top of the bottom "tooth" slice so the "mouth" is now shut.
• Carefully eat.  Mmmm Mmmm delicious!

Cinnamon Apple Rings:

For a yummy cinnamon apple recipe and adorable smile poem to go with it, click on the link. She made these for Valentine's Day, but I think her heart border still works for anytime.

I hope you enjoy these activities with your children/students.  Remember... "An apple a day keeps the doctor away!"

because they are such a healthy snack,

so eat up, and welcome back!

Until next time...bon appetit!

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