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I’ve been working on the railroad

All the live long day.

I’ve been working on the railroad

Just to pass the time away.

Don’t you hear the whistle blowing,

Rise up so early in the morn.

Don’t you hear the captain shouting

“Dinah, blow your horn.”

Dinah won’t you blow

Dinah won’t you blow

Dinah won’t you blow your horn.

Dinah won’t you blow

Dinah won’t you blow

Dinah won’t you blow your horn.

Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah

Someone’s in the kitchen I know

Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah

Strumming on the old banjo.

And singin’

Fee, fi, fid-dlee-i-o

Fee, fi, fid-dlee-i-o

Fee, fi, fid-dlee-i-o

Strummin’ on the old banjo.

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“I’m fine. I’m just waiting for Ricky. You should go back inside before you get cold.”

Ivy appreciated his loyalty to his friend, if not his dismissal of her. Deciding no one ever got anywhere by being reserved, she kept her smile and sat down casually beside him.

“No way. I couldn’t possibly leave you out here alone,” Ivy insisted. That did seem to get his attention, and he finally paused with his writing, turning his intense gaze on her. Her mouth dried up and she swallowed dust. He stared for a long moment before reaching out, running his fingers through her hair. Ivy was so surprised, it didn’t occur to her to pull away.

“Why are you the only blond person in your family?” he asked. Her face flooded with embarrassment as all of her old concerns again came bubbling to the surface. “I’m sorry, that was rude,” he corrected himself, his hand falling away.

“No, it’s okay. I often wonder the same thing,” she admitted, patting her hair where he had just brushed it. He stared at her for another moment before turning his attention back to his school work. “Why do you study so much?” she asked, trying to turn his attention back to her again.

“I don’t have much likelihood of getting into college. I know it will be too expensive. But sometimes I hope that if I put the work in, I’ll have a chance,” he explained with a shrug. Ivy was surprised at his admission, having always assumed he and Ricky would either just drop out or give up school once they made it through their senior year. It had never occurred to her that he would want to continue to educate himself like most other high school kids.

“Of course,” she replied lamely. His attention wasn’t on her, and she felt slightly dismissed. Instead of letting him be, she examined his profile and found herself softening towards him. Perhaps it was just the afternoon sun, but that evening he seemed less intimidating and more like a normal boy, just trying to find his way.

“What do you want to go to school for?” she asked quietly. She was attracted to him, but she knew nothing about him. He looked up again, as if surprised. He examined her closely, as if unable to trust that she was interested in him.

“Architecture,” he said after a moment.

“Really?” Ivy asked in surprise. He nodded, gesturing to his notebook.

“Our school looks particularly good on an application for college, and I’m hoping it will be enough to get me a scholarship,” he explained.

Ivy nodded in understanding. She too needed to keep her grades high to get into a good school and receive a scholarship. “Have you figured out your senior project yet?” Ivy asked, knowing she was secretly fishing for an idea for her own project.

“I’m going to submit a new design for the front of the school. I know they won’t actually remodel, but designing something will be good practice anyway. I’m also completing an internship at an architecture firm downtown. My supervisor will inspect my design and either approve it or give me suggestions for how to improve it.” Leon held up the notebook that he’d been writing in. The page was covered with measurements, numbers, and small drawings. It looked like organized chaos. Ivy was very impressed.

“Wow, I had no idea,” she admitted.

Leon dropped the notebook back into his lap and shrugged. “Why should you care? It’s not like we’ve ever really spoken before this year. We aren’t exactly friends, Ivy. If it weren’t for my best friend’s attraction to your sister, you wouldn’t even know I exist,” he pointed out.

Ivy swelled with righteous indignation, preparing to defend herself. Except Leon was back to his notebook again, and she had been dismissed. He wasn’t hurt or angry at her. He simply accepted their relationship. It was clear he hadn’t spent any time dwelling on it. She thought about her behavior towards him over the last years. Leon had always been polite and enjoyable company. But she had dismissed him, over and over again, in her pursuit of popularity. He wasn’t cool to hang out with, so she had done her best not to associate with him.

“You’re right Leon,” she finally said, staring at the ground. “I have been rude to you. Maybe even mean. Ironically, whenever I have spent time with you in class, either for a project or anything else, I enjoyed myself. But you aren’t cool, and you’ve never tried to be. You don’t fit in with my friends, so I snubbed you. I’m sorry.”

Leon didn’t say anything for a long while, and Ivy finally looked up from the ground she had been staring at so intently. His eyes were a clear blue, but she couldn’t read what he was feeling.

“But now that your friends are rejecting you, you need someone else to pay attention to you,” Leon decided. Ivy gasped.

“No!” she insisted. “Look, I won’t pretend I was the nicest person in the past, and I’m sorry for that. I’m not being nice now because I’m bored though. Look, I don’t know what Ricky’s deal with Rose is, but I do appreciate that he seems to be looking out for her. He didn’t have to come by today, but he did. His involvement with her has forced me to hang out with you a little more, and I’m glad that has happened. Leon, you’re a really nice guy. I’m happy to spend time with you.”

Leon didn’t look convinced and Ivy didn’t blame him. Would she be so open to talking to him if her friends were around? Maybe not, but it was becoming clear to her that it was her loss, not his.

Read all of Ivy’s Search by getting it on Amazon here

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Over in the meadow

In the sand and the sun,

Lived an old mother turtle

And her little turtle one.

“Dig,” said the mother,

“I dig,” said the one.

And they dug all day

In the sand and the sun.

Over in the meadow

Where the stream runs blue,

Lived an old mother fish

And her little fish two.

“Swim,” said the mother,

“We swim,” said the two.

And they swam all day

Where the stream runs blue.

Over in the meadow

In a hole in a tree,

Lived an old mother owl

And her little owls three.

“Whoo,” said the mother,

“We whoo,” said the three.

And they whooed all day

In the hole in the tree.

Over in the meadow

By the old barn door,

Lived an old mother rat

And her little rats four.

“Gnaw,” said the mother,

“We gnaw,” said the four.

And they gnawed all day

By the old barn door.

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Tissue paper in variety of colors

Heavy cardstock paper

Cake treat pops (baking aisle of craft store)




Cut piece of 5.5 x 1.5inch cardstock and toll into cylinder. Slide into treat pop

Cut long strips of cardstock and fold each strip like an accordion – 3-5 pieces

Cut tissue paper into confetti sized pieces

Cover opening of treat pop with piece of tissue paper. Tape down edges to secure.

Cut out cardstock to cover treat pop and tape.

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Materials: paper, graphite pencil, foil, 9V battery, LEDs, tape

Use graphite pencil and draw any design on your paper where all the lines are connected and make sure to create thick, bold lines with your pencil. Keep a gap at either end. (car was the image they used)

Place the battery on one of the gaps. Align the positive and negative ends with the graphite lines.

Take an LED and bend the bottom ends of the wires

Tape the wire at the end of the lines across the other gap, aligning positive and negative wires (the longer side of the LED is the positive side). Make sure your LED stands upright. The wires should be in contact with the graphite lines

What’s going on? Graphite is an electrical conductor. Success of a circuit will depend on the length, thickness, and amount of graphite on the paper. The longer the graphite path, the dimmer the light.

Experiment: draw lines of different lengths and thicknesses.

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Baby Beluga in the deep blue sea swim so wild and swim so free

Heaven above and the sea below and a little white whale on the go

Baby Beluga Baby Beluga is the water warm is your mama home with you so happy

Way Down Yonder where the Dolphins play were you drive and splash all day

waves roll in and the waves roll out see the water squirting out of your spout

Baby Beluga Baby Beluga sing your little song sing for all your friends

we like to hear you when it’s dark and you’re home and fed curl up snug in

your waterbed moon is shining and the stars are out

good night little whale good night baby

Beluga Baby Beluga with tomorrow Sun another days begun you’ll soon be waking

Baby Beluga in the deep blue sea swim so wild and swim so free

Heaven above and the sea below and a little white whale on the go

you’re just a little white whale on the go.

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Toilet paper tube, colored paper, translucent beads, container lid – plastic, marker, scissors, hot glue, ruler, pencil, reflective paper, masking tape, exacto knife, decorations

Wrap the colored paper around the outside of the toilet paper tube and secure it with masking tape. Trim any excess paper to the size of the tube

Trace three circles onto the plastic food container lid using one end of the tube. Cut each circle out

Hot glue one circle to one end of the cardboard tube

Cut reflective paper so that its length is 1 inch shorter than the tube and its width is 4.5 inches

Fold the non-reflective side in thirds about 1.5 inches away from the short sides of the paper

Tape it together so that it creates a triangular prism. The reflective side should be facing inside

Insert the prism into the tube so that it lays flat against the circle you hot glued in step 4

Trim one circle so that it fits snuggle inside the tube. Push it down into the tube so that it just fits over the triangular prism

Fill the tube almost to the top with beads

Hot glue the last circle to the open end of the tube

Decorate the outside of your kaleidoscope and use it!

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Materials: snack cups, toy plastic animals or dinosaurs, water

Fill Dixie cups with water and drop items in. put in freezer. Let freeze for 4 hours

What tools would a paleontologist use to excavate fossils? Knife, metal spoon, pumpkin carver, and hot water. Use a straw to drop water on ice.

Try different methods

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Collect gummy bears. Keep a few for control and for snacks.

Guess what will happen.

Heat 1 cup of water on stove. Slowly add salt and stir. Continue adding salt until it no longer dissolves and a few salt crystals remain at the bottom. Poor the solution in a bowl and let mixture come to room temperature.

Repeat process with sugar.

Fill last bowl with normal water.

Place a few gummy bears in each bowl and keep a few for control.

Observe what happens and discuss osmosis.

Further exploration – change salt or sugar contents, test different types of liquids, try different types of gummies, weigh the bears before and after.

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I like to eat eat eat apples and bananas

I like to eat eat eat apples and bananas

I like to ate, ate, ate apples and bananas

I like to ate, ate, ate apples and bananas

I like to eat eat eat apples and bananas

I like to eat eat eat apples and bananas

I like to ite, ite, ite, ipl’s and bananas

I like to ite, ite, ite, ipl’s and bananas

I like to Oat oat oat apples and bananas

I like to Oat oat oat apples and bananas

I like to eat eat eat apples and bananas

I like to eat eat eat apples and bananas.

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Materials: colored paper, rice or lightweight paper, pencil, scissors, glue stick, balloon.

Cut the body of the jellyfish out of colored paper.

Cut tentacles for jellyfish out of rice paper

Glue tentacles to the back of the body.

Secure jellyfish to a wall with tape

Blow up a balloon and rub against hair for static. Float the balloon over the tentacles

Experiment with different lightweight papers such as cellophane and plastic wrap. Where else will the balloon stick, such as your hair or the wall.

What’s going on? When you rub the balloon against you hair, negatively charged electrons are transferred from your hair to the balloon, creating static electricity on the balloon. When moved close to the tentacles, positive charges on the tentacles are attracted to the negative charges on the balloon.

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I went walking in early May,

And here’s what I saw on my merry way.

A farmer planting rows in the ground,

Baby bunnies hopping around.

A boy in blue flying his kite,

Brave baby bird’s very first flight.

Calves in the meadow with mama cow,

Pink piglets oinking near mama sow.

Little lambs so woolly and white,

Fuzzy chicks gave me delight.

The flower bells do ring and ring,

My heart does sing, I love the Spring!

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The ants go marching one by one,hurrah, hurrah.

The ants go marching one by one,hurrah, hurrah.

The ants go marching one by one,

The littlest stops to have some fun

And they all go marching down to the ground.

To get out of the rain

Boom, boom, boom.

2… two by two … tie his shoe

3… three by three … plant a tree

4… four by four… shut the door

5… five by five… take a dive

6… six by six… pick up sticks

7… seven by seven… count to eleven

8… eight by eight… calculate

9… nine by nine… check the time

10… ten by ten… say “the end”

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