Sunday, December 18

wrapping up Christmas

It is finally Christmas break!! I am so excited. That last week wore me out. I was determined to get all the fun holiday goodness that I planned completed and I did! Our party was super fun and the kids were well behaved. For our book exchange, so many ways to do it, I decided to play hot book. We all sat in a circle and passed a wrapped book. When the music stopped you got to keep it. The circle got smaller and smaller until everyone had a book. Then they all unwrapped their books. I had my kids bring gently used books so they did not have to spend money.

How to decorate a Christmas tree interactive writing.
We also used this for graphing how many lights, ornaments, stars, and presents were on our tree.

Candy cane graph from Deanna Jump's Christmas math and literacy unit. The kids who liked candy canes painted the red stripes. The kids who did not like candy canes cut out a star and added glitter to it.

This is what the kids made for their parents. Our laminator at school is broken so I didn't get to laminate them. I thought about using my Scotch laminator, but film is too dang expensive to laminate 25 of these things.

This is what I gave to my kiddos for a gift. I provided the label if you want to make elf pillows. My packaging is not very cute- ran out of time.

Enjoy your break off from school!!! My husband is finally home from Anguilla. He gets a little time off then he will start hospital rotations in Chicago. Anyone teach in Chicago? Email me if you do.


Wednesday, December 14

Reindeer and The Grinch

We spent a day on reindeer this week. Love the extra touch on the reindeer Teacher Bits and Bobs added.

We also wrote reindeer applications. We had already read non-fiction books about reindeer and completed a reindeer tree map so the kids knew what skills were needed to be a good reindeer. The application came from ??? I used this last year.

We used interactive writing to complete the reindeer tree map. Kim Adsit wrote a great post on interactive writing over at her blog. We get in a circle and pass out the white boards and markers and everybody writes while I share the marker with someone.

Interactive writing in action

We've been singing this cute song to the tune of camptown ladies.

Grinch Day!!!!
Activities inspired by Deanna Jump and Cara Carroll

This one is so cute! It says, "To make the Grinch grin I would be his girlfriend." Love it!

Grinchy adjectives for when his heart was two sizes too small.

 Who pudding and green candy canes.

Grinch dolls were at Kohl's last year.

Grinch shirts are from Wal-mart. All but one kid dressed in green today. It was so fun and everybody looked adorable.


Tuesday, December 13

Gingerbread Man and Christmas

Well today I had to do it. I pulled the Santa card. "That's it, I'm calling Santa!" Oh you should have seen their faces. I was trying my hardest to control my laughter. I pulled out my iphone and called up Santa with one of my apps. If your kids are getting restless and you need a motivator for good behavior call Santa. We have been having so much fun with our gingerbread theme. We have been working on this fun rhyme Kim Adsit has posted on her website. Great for role play and one less.

We have read lots of versions of the Gingerbread Man. One of my favorites is the Gingerbread Girl. After reading the book we mapped the story.

We worked on story elements and added to our chart after each story. The titles came from Deanna Jump's gingerbread unit.

This graph can also be found in her unit. We graphed which part of the cookie did you bite first.

After eating our gingerbread cookie we used adjectives to describe the gingerbread. They used this to help them write list poems.

We also measured my huge gingerbread cookie with peppermints. We first made predictions about how tall we think gingerbread man is. I recorded the guesses and then we measured. We found out which guess was closest to the actual number by using a number line. Then they compared themselves to the gingerbread cookie. The recording sheet and peppermints came from Mrs. Lee.

I picked up some candy canes from wal-mart tonight while out shopping for Grinch day. This is my graph from last year. Planning to do this tomorrow. You can find this in Deanna Jump's Christmas math and literacy unit.

We made Santa Claus and wrote our Christmas list to Santa.

Then as a class we brainstormed what Santa wants for Christmas. Another idea from Growing kinders.

I pulled out Candy Land {sight word edition} to play in stations.

We practiced retelling a story using this book.

Thursday, December 8

Singing the alphabet {The First Noel}

Here is a holiday download I think you will like. Sing the letters below to the tune of The First Noel two times. It is hilarious! Perfect for this time of year. You can listen to this song on the Reading Teachers Network. Enjoy your last week and a day of school!

I sang this with my class and I about died laughing. Finally after about the fifth time singing a little girl shouts, "There's no L!"


Tuesday, December 6

Holiday party planning

Today my students helped me decorate our classroom for Christmas. We put on a Christmas station on Pandora and had fun decorating and singing. I have yet to set up Christmas at home. Holiday parties are right around the corner. If you are stuck for ideas here's a look at what I will be doing.


Friday, December 2

what we did in November

I back from my blogging hiatus. I haven't checked up on the blog world in over a week. That is a long time for me. November flew by. I crammed all the holiday goodness in. I got to do everything I wanted to do except for the adorable pilgrims from Jennifer over at First Grade Blue Skies. Just couldn't muster the energy to cut any more patterns.

We read I Know an Old Lady who Swallowed a Pie and wrote text to self connections, "If I were the old lady, I would swallow. . ." Love this craftivity from Cara Carroll over at The First Grade Parade. Darling!

I did these last year with my kiddos and again this year. The writing prompt can be found in Deanna Jump's Thanksgiving math and literacy unit. I traced each child's shoe to make the turkey body.
3 step how to writing and coffee filter turkeys

Pilgrim boys and girls

They had to make their own hair, eyes, mouth, and nose using construction paper from our scrap box.

Pilgrim girls and Pilgrim boys compare and contrast

now and then compare and contrast

Native Americans writing and craftivity.
The writing prompt says, "The Native Americans taught the Pilgrims how to . . ." This idea came from Deanna's website under November.


10 little Indians writing and craftivity from Julie Lee's blog. We sang this over and over again changing out Indian for Pilgrim, and Wampanoag.

Cut a sentence activity using the sentence "The Pilgrims sailed on the Mayflower." This was seen on Deanna's blog last November. 

Mayflower Tree map
the kids charted . . .
why they sailed
who sailed
what is was like

yes this is huge! Also from Deanna.

We made long legged turkeys. You can find the instructions and poem in Deanna's Thanksgiving unit.

Here are some of the books we read for enjoyment and to build new learning.

Happy weekend!
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