Saturday, December 22, 2012


Winter break is here! I don't know how I made it through but I did somehow!!! Of course, I also caught a nasty cold which basically resulted in a sore throat and no voice! Just in time for the holidays and VACATION. Joy.

Anyways, thought the best way to end this week is with an overview of gifts I've given and received to school people.

Gifts I gave:
Post-it frame for my bestie colleague!

Post-it frame for principal (secret santa) and BTSA coach.
White chocolate, cranberry, and macadamia nut cookies for the staff!
Books and a pencil for my students!

Gifts I received:

Homemade peppermint fudge in my own cup from the bestie colleague.
Skittles in a jar from a student. They know I love skittles.  :)

Gift cards!
Candles and a necklace from students.
And I saved the best for last...a personalized ornament from a student! Might have to make this one a tradition. :)
Okie dokes. I really should be asleep now. Have a 6am flight tomorrow. Heading out to Cancun for a family vacation. See you all in a week! :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sequential Writing - How to Build a Snowman

Two more days of school left before winter break! Crazy!

We went on a full day field trip to our local Space and Science center so this day definitely went by fast. Yesterday, I managed to fit in a holiday-themed activity in the classroom. I read Snowmen All Year to the class. Then I told the class that we were going to do a writing on how to build a snowman (they actually cheered!). We started off with a mini-lesson on sequence words and then we worked together to create our writing.

I challenged the class to add more details to their writing. Some kids took on that challenge.

Gave the kids paper to create their "comics". 

On a different note, the kids' gifts to the parents are all wrapped and ready to go!

As are mine! :)


Monday, December 17, 2012

Skip Counting in the Classroom

How did everyone's day go? We had a staff meeting before school today to just be around each other and get some advice as to how to approach today. It was basically suggested that nothing be discussed unless a student brings it up. Thankfully, my students all came into the classroom all cheery and happy and no comments about the events that happened last Friday. We were able to have a normal day which was good because we had quite a busy day today!

Something I wanted to share from our activities today is our review of skip counting. Due to last week being all minimum days, I felt like I didn't really spend enough time on all our math lessons last week. I figured rather than start new material the week before winter break, it would be a better idea to review last week's material.  So today, we reviewed skip counting. I originally had all these winter-themed skip counting worksheets I found online that I was going to use. However, while the kids were doing their practice round on the 2 minute math facts test, an idea came to me. (Don't you love when that happens?)

I wrote on the board...How many heads? How many hands? How many feet? How many fingers? Then I told that students that we were going review our skip counting by counting the total number of body parts in the classroom. But before we could do that, we would need to figure out which way we were going to skip count to find the answer. The kids really loved this!

Counting hands and feet by 2s was rough! 
Then, we created a tree map on the board and the kids came up with other things on our bodies that we could skip count. They came up with some great things!

Haha, of course I definitely feel like I can refine this lesson better if I had more time to plan! But I still think this was a good way to approach it. Also brought in some problem solving skills too! Maybe during winter break I will create a worksheet to go along with this lesson. We shall see. :)

Just wanted to share! Hope everyone's day went well! :)

Gingerbread Freebie again [in pictures]!

So if you read my post on Saturday, I shared a poem I created for my students to complete as a follow-up writing activity for their homework assignment, which was to disguise a gingerbread template as a community helper. I didn't have pictures to share then, but now I do so it's picture time! :)

 They came out really great! Some of the things the kids wrote are just so cute! :)

I moved the freebie to my TpT store since I wanted to see how many downloads this will get. Click on the image below to download it!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Gingerbread Freebie!

Conference week is finally over! Yay! So glad I made it through a week of minimum days and 22 conferences! The week could not have go by any slower. But we all made it through! And despite all the minimum days, we still managed to get quite a bit of stuff accomplished in the classroom.

One thing I wanted to share with you is a gingerbread poem I created and had the students complete. We wrapped up our community helpers unit this week so I thought it would be a perfect way to tie in the holidays and our current curriculum. As a homework assignment, I sent the kids home with a gingerbread template and told them to use whatever they had at home to disguise their gingerbread person as a community helper. I got some very creative ones back! Then in class, we completed the poem that I wrote. A quick shout out to my colleague Shauna for helping me with the poem!

This activity made for a great bulletin display and so of course, after my last conference on Friday (yipee!) I just had to change the bulletin so that our gingerbread disguises and poems could be on display for the week before winter break. I took pictures of it but of course left my camera at school so pictures will have to be added later. But for now, here's the poem template for your own classroom use! :)

Click on the image to download it!
Hope you like it! One more week until winter break. All the kiddies are very excited! When does your winter break start?

Freebie Fridays

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Another Holiday Gift - Wax Paper Lanterns!

So we are in the middle of parent-teacher conferences right now. As a result of conference week, we have been on a minimum day schedule ALL WEEK. Some people make think that's great but the reality is...IT SUCKS! Haha. There just never seems to be enough time to get anything done! But we're working through it...and with the help of some awesome classroom aides and my BTSA mentor, my class managed to get our other holiday gift made...wax paper lanterns!

I put the lanterns together after my conferences today. Here's what they look like! :)

Anyways, halfway through conferences! 14 conferences down, 9 more to go! I promise there will be more things to share after conferences are over! I do have a freebie coming up! :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Family Gift Idea - Calendars!

December is here which means so many things! Three weeks to...
- complete report cards
- meet with all my parent during conference week
- incorporate some winter stuff into the curriculum
- create gifts for the parents

Well, week one is almost over. My report cards are done. Conference week is next week so we have minimum days the entire week. Then the last week before winter break we have a field trip. So time to cram everything else in! :)

First things first, we need to make something to use as a gift for the holidays. I like the idea of calendars because that can be used for a whole year. Last year, as a last minute idea (like literally, during the last week before winter break), I quickly took a piece of artwork the class created, printed out a template of the entire calendar year, glued both on black construction paper, and laminated it. They came out super cute!

Of course, I want to make calendars again. But this time, I was smart and started thinking about them earlier! :) We will be using the same piece of artwork (more on that to come) but this time we'll have monthly templates instead of a full year on one page. I surfed the internet for some monthly calendar templates but didn't find one that I liked so ended up making my own.
Click on the image to check it out and download for free!
Now, the artwork. Can you tell who that little mouse is? If you guessed Frederick the mouse, you are correct! Every year, the first grade circuit arranges for docents from our local Art and Science center to come to our classes and lead them in some art lessons. These art lessons are all based on some artist's artwork. In this particular lesson, we looked at Leo Leonini's work in his book Frederick. So the class mimicked his work and created their own Fredericks! They always turn out really cute. Perfect for calendars. :)

Hope you like the calendar template! Please leave a comment if you download it. It would be nice to know how many people have been interested in my work. :)

UPDATE. Did a test run with a student who is gone for the rest of the month. Here is this year's final product! So cute!

Freebie Fridays

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Answers Revealed!

If you visited yesterday, I posted some pictures of the posters my kids created for our community helpers guessing game from One Extra Degree's Community Helpers pack. Hope you had a good time guessing! Here are the answers...

Hope you guessed correctly! :)

We have a storm coming in tonight. It's going to be one rainy Friday and weekend! @@