December 31, 2015

Ring in the New Year with a Freebie and Sale!

 Time to ring in the new year...on the blog of course!
If you are like me, you return to your littles next week.
Part of me is excited (I've missed them).
Part of me is sad (I'll miss "me time").
But despite my emotions 2016 is continuing.
Here is what I prepared (a short 2 weeks ago) for us to learn about when we return tomorrow!
Resolutions OR in terms of 1st graders Goals.
This book does a great job at explaining what a resolution is in first grade "terms".

{If you don't have the book, find a great read aloud HERE on YouTube}
We read it Monday and make our own resolutions after learning how and why we make them.
Together, we make two class resolutions or goals. We also made a personal goal we could keep during this new year.
{Last year's example} 
We like to get artsy so we will create our first craftivity of the new year with our new goal!
This year my goal is to promise to take care of others.
To reach my goal I am going to giving them more medicine.
This year my goal is to promise to exercise.
To reach my goal I am going to play football.
We normally don't spend too much time talking about the new year.
In the past I have also used this sheet to briefly discuss why we celebrate the new year.
This quick little sheet your kiddos can fill out that helps them look back on last year and forward to the coming new year!  
Find it in my TPT store where you can download for FREE!
Make sure to look around while you are there because everything in my store is 20% off today and tomorrow!

Happy New Year to you and your family!

December 30, 2015

Holidays in the Classroom Recap

Now that Christmas has come and gone, let's recap how the last few days before the holidays looked in the classroom!

Our most fun day of the entire year has to be Polar Express Day!
What's better than:
Hot Chocolate
Santa Letters

Even our elf got in on the fun!

After watching the movie we tend to craft it up!

We did some addition with our leftover marshmallows that we didn't put in our hot chocolate.
I gave each student a hand full of marshmallows. 
They had to count them and come up with their own addition sentence. 

We described our hot chocolate using adjectives. 

Mid December we wrote our letters to Santa and sent them to the North Pole.
The best part of the last week was receiving our letters from Santa!

Each kiddo received a personalized letter from Santa and a bell just like off of his sleigh in the movie The Polar Express! 
 {Here's how it's done...}

The last few days in the classroom are always the most patience-testing but also the most magical and fun days we will experience all year!

December 15, 2015

Gingerbread Maps

While doing our unit on gingerbread this past week, the artist in me really really wanted to let my students design a gingerbread house, because who doesn't love decorating gingy houses!?
But I knew I had to incorporate it somehow into my instruction to make it meaningful!

So I found mini paper sacks at Hobby Lobby...because I was not about to wash out milk cartons from lunch! Germs and hot milk just don't jive.

We spent 2 days (20 minutes each day) assembling our houses.
The first day we "built" them. The second day we decorated them.

We had been studying maps, their features, and cardinal directions.
Brilliantly, I decided we should make a Gingy Neighborhood!
So we created a class map for our houses.
We named the streets and added a compass rose.

We played a "game" to place the houses on the neighborhood map.

I started off by choosing a student & telling them where to place their house based on my directions.
"Put your house north of Peppermint Lane."
That student then got to choose a friend and told them where to put their house using directions.

Our neighborhood filled up quickly!

This was also a great assessment tool to tell whether students were able to give directions using a map and follow directions using a map!

December 10, 2015

Christmas Gifts for Your Students

You'll find this post is short and sweet,
an idea or two for a really nice treat.
So grab your pen and some paper too,
to jot down these ideas for a student near to you.
pencil for writing all through the year,
book to bring you Christmas cheer.
'no shoes' pass and stickers too,
candy cane and chocolate will have to do.
Top it off with a Merry sack,
Christmas break is turning back!
So here's a gift from me to you,
bringing Christmas joy and good times too!
Here is a FREE printable of the poem {in the middle of the pictures} that goes along with the gift.

December 7, 2015

A Yummy Week--Teaching with Gingerbread

It's officially THE most wonderful time of the year!
We always kick off December with a little tons of gingerbread fun.
Here are a few of the books we read throughout the week.
I use many of these stories to teach or reinforce lessons on comprehension skills such as sequencing, making predictions, retelling, etc.
Here are a few of the book responses we use:
In the past I have created this H-U-G-E gingerbread house. On it we compare 3 of the books we read during the week.  We also create and decorate our own gingy boys and girls and write our own story to go along with them!
I adore these tasty little cookies SO much that I created a Gingerbread Literacy unit to go along with our fun we have. Included are the responses you saw above and more!
Literacy Fun with Gingerbread

Beyond reading, we have even more fun with gingerbread!
This fun science experiment from Abby is always a hit.
And who couldn't end the week without decorating AND eating some of these delicious gems!
It may just be the hit of the week!
To top of the gingerbread madness, I had my room mom come up and decorate our hallway and my door as a GIANT gingerbread house, complete with our team picture!


December 4, 2015

It's a Christmas Friday!

The first full week of December has already passed!
Geez that was quick!

Here is what I've been up to at home and in the classroom the past few days.
Check out some shopping, decorating and freebies below.



December 1st came and rightfully so, my parents volunteered to decorate my door!
This is my 3rd year to go with the gingerbread theme.
My room is the dead end of the hall from the front of the school.
What more perfect sight than a gingerbread house!


I love to instill kindness in the hearts of my kiddos, especially this time of year when the crazies seem to come out in us ALL! We use Susan's FREE stocking stuffers each day.
First thing I have them do after they unpack, is pick a new friend to write a nice note to.
They stick it in their stocking and get to read them at our class Christmas party!

You can find her FREEBIE {HERE}.


Today we reviewed how to describe a noun using adjectives.
We used my newest FREEBIE that you can find {HERE}.
They chose a noun and wrote it at the top of their light bulb, their adjective to describe it went in the middle. We hung them up across the room and "lit up our room"!


I came across this shirt when scrolling through IG and knew I HAD to have it, HAD to!
You can celebrate Jesus' birthday too by ordering it {HERE}.


I was just getting into the groove of enjoying the coziness of my festive home when Thanksgiving break ended. The fire, the lights, the spirit.
2 more weeks!

December 3, 2015

Experiencing Letters to and From Santa

I'm sharing my {hands down} favorite activity we do all.year.long only because it is probably the one thing that brings the kids the most joy during this time of the year. 
Teacher high...priceless.

Next, have your students compose their letters. This is normally a 2 days process.

Mail off those letters!

Your letter "from Santa" will arrive back.
This is the BEST part of the whole process.

The joy is unimaginable. I wish I could share pictures of their faces and comments from the past.
After they each get their letter, we sit in a circle and if they can read their letter they do, if not I help them out.

You can find my Letters to Santa pack in my TpT store.

It includes 25 editable letters you can personalize to each student. 
The majority of the letters are typed...all you have to do is add each student's name!

Spread the joy and magic of Christmas to your students!