Kids' Korner at Macdonough School

A Before and After School Program of the Northern Middlesex Y

Family Night: Kn-‘OWL’-edge is Power May 11, 2014

Filed under: Site Happenings — KK @ MacD @ 8:51 pm

On Wednesday April 23rd, Kids’ Korner at Macdonough School hosted the fourth Family Night Event of the 2013/2014 school year: Kn-‘OWL’-edge is Power Family Fun Night: A World Book Night Event with Sandbox Arts and A Hope for Raptors.

Family Night Flier

When our application for World Book Night was approved and our request for the book Hoot by Carl Hiaasen was accepted, plans for an owl-themed literacy event seemed like a great idea! We held our event on April 23rd, following our Afterschool program for the day. A group of our fifth grade participants assisted in setting up the room for the event beforehand. The first 25 families to arrive received the WBN copy of Hoot. The first 30 children who arrived were given a card-stock owl crown which boasted, “Look Whooo’s Great!” Each family was provided with a KIP Passport and an ink owl stamp to keep. Over a pizza and salad dinner, we explained to the families that they were going to travel around the cafeteria, completing a variety of owl-themed centers and challenges. Families were instructed to independently explore the centers and stamp the corresponding space on their passport as they completed each activity. We urged families to return their completed passports for a chance to win some owl-themed prizes that we had purchased (mugs, water bottles, stuffed animals, books, etc.). Each center featured a correlating FUN FACT about owls and a detailed explanation of the center’s activities, with explicit directions. Our WBN Kn-OWL-edge is Power Centers were as follows:

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* World Book Night Welcome Center: Create a customized owl book mark for your new copy of Carl Hiaasen’s Hoot using provided bookmarks and colored pencils.

* “Owl” Do Some Math Center 1-“Create an Owl” Dice Game: Each roll of the dice earns a owl body part. Head, Wing, Talon, etc. A complete owl wins.

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* “Owl” Do Some Math Center 2-“Color an Owl” Dice Game: Each roll of the dice earns another crayon color for a color-by-number owl picture provided. A complete owl wins.


* Super Science Center 1-Owl Puke: Owl Pellet Dissection Station, with bone charts and explanation sheets. Explore sterile owl pellets and decipher the bones within.

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* Super Science Center 2-Owl Eyes: Owl Eyes-Spy Books and Eye-Spy Game to test visual acuity in comparison to an owl’s eyesight.


* ***Super Science Center 3-Owl Friends: Meet a REAL Owl (A Hope for Raptors, a raptor rescue organization with 2 live owls to share: One Barn Owl. One Great Horned Owl).

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* NEST-le Up in the Owl Book Nook: Choose from a variety of Owl-themed fiction and non-fiction picture books and completed a FAMILY MINI-REVIEW Book Report.


* “Owl” Make Some Music Center: Sing some Owl Finger-Puppet Plays and Songs with plastic owl finger puppets and take-home song sheets provided.

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* ***Sandbox Arts Movable Mural Art Center: Paint the Movable Mural with Sandbox Arts (a local art co-op that brings a large movable canvas to paint our owl theme upon). Follow the Owl/Knowledge is Power theme.

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* Owl Arts and Crafts Center: Great Horned Owl Toilet Paper Roll Craft. Create an owl using recycled toilet paper tubes, designer paper cuts and craft eyes.

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* Origami Owl Center: Owl Origami. Fold a square piece of paper into an origami owl using the take-home directions provided.

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* Barn Owl’s Dinner-A Literal Scavenger Hunt: Barn owls eat 12 mice a night. Spot the 12 mystery mice hidden around the room before the WBN Family Night is over.

* Owl Art Gallery: Famous Owl Art Pictures from around the world/history, set up behind the food station. Enjoy some artistic owl pictures.

* Owl Celebrity Search: Spot the 10 “famous” owls around the room from movies, television, books, and more (Woodsy, Hedwig, Jareth, Soren, and more).

* “Owl-ing” Photobooth: Pose for the camera based on the Internet sensation of “owling.” Though we aren’t sure if these are legit owl poses…

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* Owl Ink: A Temporary Tattoo Parlor with owl-themed temporary tattoos.

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* EGG-stimation Station: Guess the number of chocolate eggs in a mason jar.  Congratulations Alyssa C. and Monica!

Our WBN event hosted 94 people, with 28 of our program’s families in attendance. It was our biggest Family Night Event turnout of the school year (of many years, actually). At the end of the night, every copy of Hoot was distributed. Each owl crown was atop a child’s head. Families were enthusiastically involved in the centers; thumbing through their free copies of Hoot, basking in the natural wonder of our live owl exhibit, painting an artistic owl rendering on the 8 foot mural, breaking apart owl pellets and marvelling over the interesting discoveries within.  A fun time was had by owl!


March Fun Friday Themes! March 13, 2014

Filed under: Site Happenings — KK @ MacD @ 11:10 pm

March Fun Friday Themes!

Daniel shows off all of his Stars and Stripes for the camera.


3/7-Mardi Gras on Vendredi: Wear Mardi Gras colors of GREEN, GOLD, and PURPLE! Wear Venetian masks and beads!  PS: It’s Fat Tuesday on Fun Friday and for CATCH, we are going to eat some WHOA and SLOW foods!

3/14-Devonna Day: Wear YELLOW!  It’s Devonna’s Birthday and her favorite color is YELLOW.  We are going to have some healthy yellow treats for CATCH Nutrition!

3/21-Post Patty’s Party: Just because St. Patty’s Day was Monday doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate on a Fun Friday!  Wear your GREENS and we’ll eat some GREENS!

3/28-Pajamma Jammie Jam: Wear your PAJAMMAS to KK for a Slumber Party Fun Friday.  We are going to watch a movie and eat air popped popcorn for CATCH Nutrition!

David herm...I mean, Uncle Sam enjoys a Patriotic Punch provided by Melanie and Becca, from the Macdonough PTA.


Reading Rocks: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

Filed under: Site Happenings — KK @ MacD @ 11:01 pm

Reading Rocks: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

They say that March comes in like a Lion and leaves like a Lamb…so what better book to choose for our March/April Reading Rocks Club but C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe?

The  Olders have received a copy of the book to keep.  Our first session was spent creating bookmarks to use while we read the book.  The children were instructed to use both sides of their bookmark.  On one side, they were to draw what their “wardrobe” looks like from the outside with the door shut.  On the other side, they were to draw the mythical land that they WISHED their wardrobe door would lead.  After making their bookmarks, the children were given some time to begin the first chapter.


Our second club involved the use of Scranimals by Jack Prelutzky.  In the book, in the land of Narnia, the children encounter several animal oddities, including a fawn (half man/half goat) and a centaur (half man/half horse).  The other animals they encounter are strange and some even speak.  We used inspiration from the Scranimals book to create our own animal oddities.  The children were able to draw their creations and share them with each other. Some of the really cool ones were:

Corn on the Cob + Unicorn = Unicorn on the Cob

Lemon + Minion = Leminon

Bacon + Anaconda = Baconaconda





March’s Independent Enrichment Centers!

Filed under: Site Happenings — KK @ MacD @ 10:49 pm

March’s Independent Enrichment Centers!

The monthly themes for March are Mad Science, Irish and European Americans and Responsibility.  The Independent Enrichment Centers have followed in suit.

SUPER SCIENCE: Kerry Clancy’s Classification!

When visiting the Super Science Station this month, the children will be able to classify objects based on if they are LIVING or NON-LIVING.  A poster is provided that children can use to decide if something is living.  It tells the different characteristics and traits of living things. Because the theme for the month is Irish Americans, the items they are sorting ALSO have an Irish theme.   Some of the items they have to decide between are “Rainbow” or “Potatoes” or “Irish Soda Bread” or “Irish Setter” (and more).  There are two baskets available for sorting. The challenge of the center is to find which basket has more items.  There is also a tricky “Leprechaun” in there that has everyone pondering…

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SUPER SCIENCE: Animal Cell Exploration Station!

Since the children are exploring the differences between LIVING and NON-LIVING things, there is an Animal Cell Exploration Station.  Two posters depicting animal cells when viewed microscopically are available.  One goes in depth about the roles of the organelles within an animal cell.  One simply labels them.  Also available at this center is a plastic model of an animal cell so the children can explore hands-on.

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SORTING STATION: Blarney Stone Sorting!

This math center tells a brief history and the legend of the Blarney Stone, a popular tourist attraction in Ireland.  In the YELLOW SORTING WHEEL are a variety of colored stones.  They have different colors, designs, and shapes.  The children can sort them based on whichever trait they choose.

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MATH MONDAY: Shamrock n; Roll!

This math center features games that use dice….hence the “roll.”  The Pot of Gold Dice Game requires 2 dice, 22 mancala gems, and a special game board.  The children take turns to roll the two dice and add the total of them.  They place a gem on that number on their game board.  The first child to fill the board wins.  If you roll a number you already have, you skip your turn.  Our game of Yahtzee can also be played at this center during March.

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MULTICULTURAL CENTER: Catch the Country! and Find the Flags!

This center has four world map place-mats and a list of all of the countries in Europe.  With a friend, children can try to locate each of the countries on the list.  This center also boasts a poster of world flags.  Using the same list of European countries, children can try to spot and identify the flags of each European country.

Multicultural Center1


This month we are focusing on RESPONSIBILITY.  The writing prompt asks the children to pretend a friend has offered to take over your chores.  Children are prompted to write about the chores they do and how they do them.  The winning entry receives a prize from the prize box. Entries can be placed in the Creation Station Bucket for consideration.

Creation Statoin Writing Prompt


After reading a short prompt, the children are urged to draw what they think a leprechaun looks like.  Children are encouraged to provide a description of the leprechaun’s physical attributes.

Creation Station Art Creation Station 1

BOOK NOOK: European Literature!

Our March Book Nook has several books that are either FROM a European country or have a European setting.  Thank you to Eva for helping label the books by country with Post-It notes for our interested readers.

Book Nook


“OWL” Be Responsible at Kids’ Korner!

Filed under: Site Happenings — KK @ MacD @ 10:25 pm

“OWL” Be Responsible at Kids’ Korner!

We’ve re-purposed our Participant Owls and changed up our KKatMac Bulletin Board.  In the corner by our Peace Table, you will see our newest addition, the Job Tree (Great Job, Devonna).  It boasts, “OWL” Be Responsible at Kids’ Korner.

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Children have been assigned different roles at KKatMac.  Some examples are: “Swift Sweeper” or “Game Cabinet Cleaner” or “Peace Keeper” or “Circle Time Sheriff” to name a few.  The children are expected to meet the expectations of their roles (which are also included on the bulletin board) in order to earn their bi-weekly paycheck.  Not all children have been assigned for this first round.  They will have a job the next time.

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Some children have expressed to us that they’d like to have a certain position for the entire year.  I think PHASE 2 of this project will be creating job applications that the children have to fill out to prove they are qualified.  I think PHASE 3 will be that they actually have to interview for the position if they if they want to be solidified in a particular role.



Small Town Celebrity Visits KKatMac!

Filed under: Site Happenings — KK @ MacD @ 10:15 pm

Fun Friday.  Fat Tuesday on a Fun Friday….

AND Quentin Phipps!!!!

How lucky were we?  Our City’s Treasurer and Downtown Business Director, Quentin Phipps spent an afternoon with us, enjoying some pizza and casual conversation.  Quentin answered some of the children’s burning questions about “the money” and what his job is like and then played a few rounds of Skip-Bo.

 Qs Visit 1 Qs Visit 2


Mardi Gras on Vendredi!?!?

Filed under: Site Happenings — KK @ MacD @ 10:10 pm

Mardi Gras on Vendredi!?!?


Our Fun Friday theme for March 7th was Mardi Gras.  We asked the children to get decked out in the three Mardi Gras Colors: Purple, Gold, and Green!  FAT TUESDAY on Fun Friday it was indeed as we indulged in the leftover pizza from Family Night the night before.

Of course, in true CATCH fashion, we discussed if eating that much leftover pizza was a WHOA, SLOW, or GO…but we did it anyway!  Fat Tuesday (on Friday) only comes ONCE a year!



Do you know what the three colors stand for/why they are the symbolic colors of Mardi Gras?  The first COMMENT(er) on this post with the correct answer will receive a FABULOUS PRIZE!