Monday, December 30, 2013

Elf Ornaments (Holiday Gifts)

I am finally linking up with Stephanie @ 3rd Grade Thoughts with our Holiday Gifts for parents and students.

Here they are...
Michael's had these frame ornaments perfect for our pictures.  You may remember our Elf asked the kids to wear red.  The next day, the kids got sprinkled with magic snow, touched the elf and got a picture with him. 
I gave the kids choices of paints. 5 choices. These is what they looked like after two coats. Some of the kids decided to do just one coat of paint...as you can see :)
Add some puffy paint. Add a picture with your classroom elf.  Put back the ribbon the ornament came with... and tada!   I so wish I could show you their B-I-G smiley faces.  They were soooooo excited.
A few more :)
I brought some tissue paper, wrapped them nicely and placed them in some gift bags.  
The cards on the right: We took a class picture with the elf and a Happy Holidays sign. We made a card, each student signed it, decorated an envelope and put it in the gift bag as well.
What did the kids get?  Not much :(  A super cute scento ELF marker (of course)... and the adorable journals I made for them.  

That was enough good, right?   

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Elf in the Classroom - Weeks 1, 2, and 3

This year, my first Elf on the Shelf came to visit our classroom.  I started Elves early November... everywhere I went. I think they were following me :)   I fought it.  A little.  Then I realized I had to bring the magic to my classroom....and the adventure began.

Let's do this...picture style!

I am linking up with Michelle  and Mel's fabulous #elfintheclassroom linky.




 










I had a ball doing this!
I was more worried about the Elf than any lesson plans :) 
The kids adored him and the 'extra' work made it all worth it.
I look forward to continuing this traditions in my classroom.
I may buy an extra one next year since my own two kids were quite jealous about my classroom elf.
There was no mentioning of the guy in the red suit.  No upset parents...woohooo! 

One more post related to our awesome friend coming tomorrow.  Sorry for the extra post in one day :)

Disguising Gingerbread Man Cookies

After disguising turkeys, the kids had a great time disguising gingerbread man.  I gave my students roughly two weeks to complete this family project. They really liked it!

I have a few pictures for you.

Find it HERE...maybe for next year :)


Which one do you like?


I may not be a baker... but I can decorate a wall with cute cookies! 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

LOVE My SitSpots! (Giveaway)

Back in November I received an e-mail from Patty (Second in Line) letting me know I had won her giveaway.  "The" SitSpots giveaway!

Let me explain :)

Patty contacts me. I give her my contact info and Joyce (the creator), herself, calls me!  Let's talk about customer service, right?  She calls me one day, my spots show up a day and a half later. Yeap...extra happy teacher here.
A box can make anyone happy, but when that box has goodies for your classroom... happiness turns into major excitement. You stop what you are teaching (I certainly did), introduce these products to your students, and the excitement just continues when you see the amazing results. 

I picked red dots.  But there are other choices of shapes and colors. I love red. My classroom is full of red.

There are many shapes and colors for you to choose from.  The velcro material is quite strong!  My floor has been vacuumed over and over and they are attached  to the carpet.  They have not moved an inch.  Super velcro power included :)

So, this is how I organized them.  I started with one spot (see my rocking chair?).  I chose one of my students to sit on the spot.  I wanted to measure their personal space :)   Then I put the second SitSpot down, picked a new student... you get the idea right?  SitSpot, Student, Personal Space, SitSpot, Student, Personal Space and so on.
Once they were all set, the kids learned they had a spot to sit on from then on.  No more fights, no more arguing.  No more girls pushing each other to see who sits closest to my stinky feet and pet my legs...no more of that :) 
See? They are not on top of each other. Plenty of space for everyone :)

Now... I have to be totally honest with you. I had no idea how useful these were going to be. I had no idea how much my students were going to love them. I had no idea that something like this would make 'carpet time' so much easier. It DID!  I am beyond thrilled, pleased and super happy about this innovative product. They totally ROCK. 

Are the kids playing with them...nope :)  I was honestly shocked, but they did not. 
We also had a "how we will take care of our SitSpots conversation"...if you know what I mean.
So, this is what I want you to imagine. A classroom where each student has their own SitSpot. No fights. More time to teach. No arguing. More time to do whatever you do during carpet time.  Personal space for your students. Quick sitting time and more teaching time...score!

Joyce is amazing. Please visit her HERE to check her amazing product. I promise you, you will not be disappointed. I do not want to sound like a commercial. I just want to share my honest opinion. I am a very honest person :)

The best part... You can win some SitSpots for your classroom!  Happy carpet time my friends!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, December 27, 2013

Back to Blogging

Hello friends!  I have been absent f or a while.  Much has happened.

Let me recap:
- Busy with teaching
- Holiday craziness
- Report card system nightmare
- Christmas shopping
- Elf in the Classroom
- Holiday party at school
- Sickness (cough, fever, days off)
- Field Trip (absent- sick at home)
- Classroom celebration
- Christmas cards
- My last grandparent past away on the 22. Stuck here- no passports!!!
- Christmas presents for parents
- Blog block
- Christmas without hubby
- Gorgeous weather around here
- Resume updated
- Quick meeting with future boss (fingers crossed)
- Tons of beautiful cards from friends and family
- Classroom party decorated by our Elf- he made a mess!  A good kind of mess :)
- Lots of extra sleep (10:30 or after)
- Present wrapping and unwrapping less than 12 hours later
- Happy kids
- Relaxed teacher- done nothing productive for a week.

Tons to share with you. Come back tomorrow. Please :)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Sunday, December 1, 2013

December Currently and 'The' Sale

Wooohooo!  December is here! Even though the year went by way too fast, there is nothing like a Christmas tree full of toys, hyper kids who do not sleep enough, yummy food , friends and family.  That's what the holidays are all about, right?

Currently...I am ...

Listening:  The Mr. worked over Thanksgiving, so his mom, sister (and husband) are coming over for a belated Thanksgiving dinner. Italian dinner and chocolate souffle is on the menu. 

Loving: my Elf in the Classroom. He is my first!  I am getting my journals together (tonight) and hoping this guy makes a huge entrance tomorrow. The boss gave me the OK to have him over. Let's juts hope I do not get in trouble with any parents. 
Thinking:  The one thing I do not enjoy much is writing my Christmas list. I can never seem to decide what I really want or need. The Mr. and I are horrible about the whole list thing. Our kids are not :)

Here is what I have so far: camera bag, fonts, clipart, clothing, laptop...and last but not least, a vacation we have been talking about for years.  The Mr. really wants to go to Argentina. Patagonia to be exact. So, you see?  I rather save my money and have a fantastic vacation next year. We are thinking April.  I really do not need anything. I want just a few things. 
Gotta love when I make connections with my teaching. My economics unit right now is all about needs and wants.

Wanting:  I am trying to pick one thing, just one thing to buy from my list. We shall see.

Needing: We have 15 days before my longest break of the year.  We get our Christmas break and the track out time, back to back! Yeap. I am SO ready. Our new report cards are on line and if I could just take a minute to say: the system stinks! I am being positive here and hope for the best this time around.

Favorite tradition:  I do not think we really have anything that amazing :(  We always wait for daddy to be home to set up the tree (he has to bring it down from the attic), then we listen to all the Christmas music we have...loudly. We decorate the tree, sing and drink hot chocolate. Nothing super 'cool'.

Stop by to say hello to Farley HERE. I will make sure to check on you later tonight or this week. I will be enjoying a family dinner very soon.

And... don't forget about the sale Monday and Tuesday. I hope you find tons of goodies!

Hoping you have a fantastic week at school!


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Gingerbread Man in Disguise

If you disguised a turkey... wait until you see what your students can do with gingerbread cookies. I have done this project for years, and now it has turned into a TPT product.

Check it out here.
Two cute examples :)  

There is a writing component to it. This teacher must integrate writing into everything we do. We usually share them during our winter celebration. Parents always love that!
Find it HERE.

I hope you do too :)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Take Me Back: Polar Bear Nonfiction (then and today)

Worked half day today. One more day to go! Came home. Rain. Stayed home. Blogged :)

Since I am using something from the past, I decided it was a good day to link back to Hope's Take Me Back Tuesday!


Back to 01/17/2012
Before we left for winter break we worked on creating our Polar Folders.
It was time to learn about Text Features and I wanted to make something they could refer back to at any given time in an easy way. I want it accessible. It is easier to open a file folder, than trying to search inside a composition notebook.
I taught 13 text features. One a day. We learned a definition of the text feature, but more importantly, we talked about what we learn from each text feature. I wanted them not to ignore them! They do have so much to tell.
The kids picked their own nonfiction book, based on interest and reading level.
I taught a text feature. Students looked for that text feature in their book and using the booklet sheets they recorded what they learned from the text feature of the day (no pictures). It was so nice to see them make the connection between the text feature and their actual learning.
I created THIS for our Polar Folders. Text Features are something I will review once we get back, but the Polar Bear Edition was well received :)


I hope you love it!  All you need are file folders and THIS :)

Today 11/26/2013 
My class finished their Nonfiction Folders. This is what we did today:
I gave each table a set of post it notes to cover each definition of the text feature. They got busy positioning nicely and neatly :)  How can post-it notes make everything so much fun?!

We then made labels of each text feature using our scented markers. Yeap...lots of sniffing at that time :)

Tex Feature hunting and labeling to make sure we can identify all of the 13 text features.l We used books from our browsing boxes. 

Simple, fun, engaging and full of learning. Ahhhh I love half days :)