Dear Mrs. Fourth Grade Teacher.


Truly, I can’t thank you enough for teaching the twins that snappy peppy tune about photosynthesis.

You know which one.

That disco, hip-hop number with all the choreography.

Kind of MC Hammer meets Bill Nye the Science Guy.

That goes a little like this:


“Your roots….your roots…..drinking up the water

Takin’ in the nutrients

Your stem….your stem….carryin’ the water and the food and the nutrients

From your roots to your leaves

Your leaves….your leaves…..takin’ in the sunlight….takin’ in the CO2

So they can make their own food

For me and you.”


Black and White PIllows


After hearing it 3,154 times….I can sing it to you from memory.

I know every line.

Including my favorite part in the choreography where the roots and leaves  go all old school with that hand shaking and waving motion followed by the CO2 swirl at the end.


Who needs Dancing With the Stars 2012 when you have CO2 in motion?



I’m appreciative, really.

That song and two cute singers kept me company when I was working outside.

After 3,154 times….it became my theme song for the growth chart /marquee numbers project.


Marquee Number Growth Chart


Gray White Board


1.  Prime and paint a 1 x 10 board white.

Add streaks of gray.

Leave gray paintbrush and paint next to board.

Go inside.

Come back to find gray paw prints on board.




“Your roots….your roots…..drinking up the water”



2.  Mark inches and feet on the board.

Ask around for a pencil.

Find stubby, nubby pencil and make it work.

Use stubby, nubby pencil to mark off every inch.

Then mark a longer line for each foot.

Leave space to add marquee number.


“Your leaves….your leaves…..takin’ in the sunlight….takin’ in the CO2.”



3.  Fill in pencil lines

Use black paint pen and ruler to fill in where you marked with pencil.

Line up ruler and draw against it with a paint pen.

Think how much harder it would be if you painted it with a brush.

Decide that there is a special place in heaven for the person that invented paint pens.


“So they can make their own food…”


Number Four


4.  Add marquee numbers to the chart.

Apply hot glue to the back of the numbers and stick onto the wood.

Hang on the wall.


“For me and you.”


Now don’t get me wrong Mrs. Fourth Grade Teacher.

I love snappy biology songs about plants drinking water and sunlight and CO2.

And while I truly appreciate a photosynthesis song as much as the next person….

……I’m thinking we need to go all MC Hammer on “cell osmosis in action.”

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  1. Image for Anne Presley Anne Presley

    I want this in my house - what fun that would be instead of the inside of the pantry door! Great idea, wonderful generous sister, amazing mother and creative designer - all rolled into one person - hm-m-m wonder who birthed and raised this precious one and her fabulous sister!!!

  2. Image for laura laura

    I, also, would like to know where you got the marquee numbers (I feel like I'm supposed to know but I'm such a novice at all this creative stuff). LOVE your blog! Thanks so much.

  3. Image for kelly kelly

    I love how cute that turned out! It sort of reminds me of the one on the Dear Lillie blog. You are so talented to be able to make that yourself. I forsee alot of measuring going on at your house now!

  4. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    Yes, that's a whole lot better and prettier than pencil marks on our wall in the game room when my son was growing up...when we moved from that house, I traced the marks onto a sheets of paper...oh the memories....and little cute songs about osmosis and composition of the sun helped me with questions on the S.A.T......sad but true!!.... Kudos to Kijsa!...great what are those acrylic pieces that the numbers are on?....

  5. Image for Ann Ann

    Oh KariAnne...isn't 4th grade fun? Great job on this growth chart. It will be very cool when your kids are grown (like mine) and you can look back and remember your "marking" days. Make sure and take a picture too. Sadly I did this on a wall in our old house and left it behind when we moved. I wanted to move the wall but of course realized that wasn't an option. Have a beautiful day.

  6. Image for Jen K Jen K

    Oh Bill - I think he's the reason I passed many science tests :) I love how much you love rulers! This is awesome

  7. Image for Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage

    Any song that makes you get your groove on while creating this masterpiece should definitely be added to everyone's playlists! When I make one, do I have to find a stray cat to help me recreate this look? Off to put a bowl of milk by my back door! Kelly

  8. Image for Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces

    This really is a great project, Karianne! So graphic- thanks for the tutorial! Do you remember Schoolhouse Rock from TV? You might be too young! I STILL have those songs stuck in my head from my kids...I'll never forget the Preamble to the Constitution...

  9. Image for Betsy(@coastal-colors) Betsy(@coastal-colors)

    This is great! I love your growth chart! Mine was always on the pantry wall! Thanks for the great tutorial! I taught Kindergarten so I know all about getting songs stuck in your head! The Number Rock ! Yikes!

  10. Image for Heather @At The Picket Fence Heather @At The Picket Fence does it have jazz hand moves in the choreography? ;) LOVE this growth chart!! So clever and darling. Wish I would have had something like that when mine were "littles" not sure if they have one tall enough to accommodate my 6 ft+ boy now! Heather

  11. Image for judi judi

    wow. those are some really steep but beautiful stairs behind that amazingly crafted diy growth chart! you're house so rocks with such unique qualities that only a cute farmhouse could have. and i'm with linda about the schoolhouse rock premable to the constitution...amazing to me how music can stick with you for so long but we can't remember what we had for lunch the day before. judi

  12. Image for Andrea Andrea

    Did you wear your parachute pants while singing your little jig? =) I love your new growth chart, and also have been admiring your lapin pillow =)

  13. Image for SheilaG SheilaG

    I can't quite hear the little ditty in my head- I'm thinking you need to do a video. With the choreography, of course. Oh, and the growth chart is just perfect. :)

  14. Image for Becca Becca

    You always make me laugh AND inspire! I love the growth chart ... truly fabulous! I just might have to have one ... thanks to you (and your sister) for such an amazing project!

  15. Image for amy amy

    Hilarious! Awesome growth chart. I love it when teachers teach our kids snappy little tunes. My kids learned one about spelling colors...I still walk around singing "p-u-r-p-l-e that spells purple. Purple." I don't even like purple. And that's the only part of the song I remember! When I am old, I shall not wear purple, but I'll sing about it.

  16. Image for Taunnie Taunnie

    Karianne, I scrolled through the pictures earlier today when I first got your post in my email but I didn't have time to read through it til now. What a hoot. I know exactly how you felt working your magic on your growth chart (which is fantastic BTW). This is how ALL my projects go. Hope you will be able to get that song out of your head:)

  17. Image for Diane | An Extraordinary Day Diane | An Extraordinary Day

    Love that your kids love the song and have a great teacher helping them learn. Love even more how humorous you are as you share your story about the song. Before you know it the song will be a distant memory and they will over shoot your very cute growth chart. Hug them tight tonight. Blessings!

  18. Image for Ally Ally

    Seriously awesome project. Where did you get the marquee numbers? I have yet to do a project that didn't have some kind of musical accompaniment from a humming/singing/tap dancing child. The joys of motherhood hey.

  19. Image for Jessica @ Mom 4 Real Jessica @ Mom 4 Real

    Too cute! Love the song, but guess what? Kate is in spanish immersion, so any songs about math or science are in Spanish! Try hearing those a million times, then when you catch yourself singing them, you have no idea what your's really weird ;)

  20. Image for Kimberly from Serendipity Refined Kimberly from Serendipity Refined

    You are a funny, funny, lady. Photosynthesis and growth....ABSOLUTELY! I get long as I don't need to turn green to do it, I'll try just about anything once! I'd LOVE to have one of these some day and marquee numbers are a brilliant addition! Oh great, now I have the "addition rock" song stuck in my head! :) Hugs to you.

  21. Image for carmel carmel

    And they say Kentucky is lacking in the education department. ;) Clearly, their teaching these kids right! Fun project - looks great in that space!

  22. Image for Amy Hoeh Amy Hoeh

    This is fabulous. My BFF has a 2 year old, and this would make a great dual Xmas present. Yay!! Ok....I know that many others have asked, but I don't see any response by you. Can you PRETTY PLEASE share where you got the marquis numbers from? Or give the size of them so I can use my Silhouette Cameo? I'd love to just buy them and have it done for me.....cuz I'm a lazy crafter. LOL! Happy holidays.

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