Sunday, December 29, 2013

Happy Holidays!

Hi there, sweet teachin' friends! I am so happy to be back here tonight posting on this little blog of mine. It is so hard to believe that the holiday season has already come and gone! I've been out of school for a week now and I still feel like I'm catching my breath! I hope everyone in this bloggin' community had a happy and safe holidays! If you're like me, you're already gearing up for our return to school in just one short week!

Tonight, I hope to share some of our wonderful Christmas activities with you. Unfortunately, I left most of our precious little projects still hanging up in my classroom, and completely forgot to take pictures! Fortunately; however, I got a brand new camera for Christmas, so I will be sharing those as soon as I can get my booty back into my classroom! Until then, I will share with you what few photos I was lucky enough to snap!

As I mentioned in my last post, the late-ness of Thanksgiving this year totally threw all of my Christmas teaching plans into chaos! I must admit, I am definitely overly ambitious when it comes to planning for Christmas. It's just that there are SO many wonderful, Christmas themed texts and activities that there is just NO time to fit it all in! Therefore, we were forced to squeeeeeeze gingerbread week into one teeny tiny day! It was exhausting but so FUN! 

We began the day by reading several different versions of "The Gingerbread Man" and talked about the many ways the books were similar and different. Next, I split the class into 4 groups and assigned each group a story element (characters, setting, problem, and solution). The kids then worked with their group to compare/contrast their story element in each of the texts. It was so great watching the kids work together, and they were so engaged in the activity, I not once had to re-direct them! When they were done, each group shared their findings with the class and we displayed their answers on a GIANT gingerbread house (picture to come), that I stole from here. It was so fun and such a great visual! Our gingerbread house is now safely hanging in our hallway at school awaiting for me to return and take its picture to share with you ;)

When we were done, we taste-tested gingerbread cookies and then used adjectives to describe them! I used this wonderful snack as a springboard for discussing similes. I recorded all of their responses on the following anchor chart. Yes.... that is an "ou" and not an "a" in delicious. Can you tell my cursive is rusty?

Some of their adjectives just astound me....scrumptious, crumbly?! I was so impressed! When finished, the kiddos created their own simile to describe their cookie and then got to make their very own {construction paper} gingerbread man.

Unfortunately, the template for these fellas are also in my classroom. I will post it with all the other missing pictures.

 The rest our time together before break was spent attending our first field trip of the year, practicing and performing in our annual Christmas concert, and celebrating the holidays with a class Christmas party! Whew! It was a whirlwind!

Although this is only my second year of teaching, I have already discovered that one of the best parts about being a teacher this time of year is all of the sweet letters I get from my students. This year, I got one that especially melted my heart:

I'm telling you, I just about cried when I saw this. Notes like this help me remember why I became a teacher in the first place. Now, I'm using all that inspiration to get ready for the upcoming weeks of school. To do so, I have put together a couple units that I hope will be helpful to you as well!

For a closer look at either activity, you can click the pictures and it will take you right to my little shop! Please feel free to e-mail or message me should you have any questions! As always, both items will be on sale until tomorrow night! Go snag em! 

Have a wonderful Monday, friends! Enjoy your break!
Happy teaching!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Hey there! I'm FINALLY back! This girl definitely enjoyed her Thanksgiving vacation way too much to even consider blogging. But, it's back to reality, and I am excited to be back here again to share with all of you! We definitely have some catching up to do…

To start, I wanted to share an activity from our Thanksgiving unit. Before starting any unit, I always like to use a KWL chart of some kind, just so I can get a grasp on what the kiddos already know. The kids also really love this time, because they get to show off all their smarts! Here's our KWL chart for our Thanksgiving unit..

This picture was taken towards the beginning of our unit…hence the lack of information in 2 of the sections. My kids loved referring to this chart during all of our writing activities, and it was helpful for keeping track of all we have learned!

Before the holiday break, we also got to get together as a school to celebrate our recent success. Our test scores last year brought my school up a letter grade in our state-wide rating system. Needless to say, we were proud of our students and excited to share the news! What better way to do so than with a balloon launch!

Clearly, the weather was horrid. But that didn't stop our fun! I wish I could share pictures of my kids faces when they saw all the balloons in the sky. Precious ya'll. I wish I could re-live it again just so I could catch it on video. 

Now, we are heading full blast into all things Christmas, and I couldn't be more excited! Unfortunately, Thanksgiving landed a little too late in November this year, and we only have 2 and a half more weeks until we are off again for Christmas! 
Imagine the horror when I realized I wouldn't have enough time to devote a whole WEEK to our gingerbread unit. 
*GASP* Say it ain't so! 
Seriously though…I am struggling to squeeze in all the wonderful literature and activities I had planned. I wish I could just add another hour {or two} to the school day. 

With no time to waste, my cuties and I have been working over time to fit in all the fun! Our latest project was making text-to-self connections. We started out by reading The Snowglobe Family by Jane O'Conner. If you haven't read this yet….what are you waiting for?! It's a precious book with so much potential for so many skills! After comparing/ contrasting the characters in the story and discussing point of view, we made a little craft about what we would do if we lived in a snow globe. I used this activity last year but decided it needed a little something special this year…

Holy cuteness. I was so excited when I saw how these turned out, that I completely forgot to take pictures of their writing. Shame on me!! 

To make this activity I took a picture of all my kids, printed and cut them out. Then we laid out contact paper and placed the pictures, snow globe outline, and snow on the back. After that we folded the remaining contact paper over and…VOILA! 

We are now preparing to celebrate gingerbread day tomorrow! The time crunch forced me to condense a whole week's worth of activities into one day, but I have faith we will get it all done! If anything, we will definitely be enjoying some delicious cookies…

If you're looking for new word work or Christmas activities, stop by my store! I will be back soon to give more details about the recent products I've posted.

I hope you all have a wonderful, stress-free, and happy week! It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!
Happy teaching!