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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Holiday Picture Books

With recent events, I have decided that I wanted to continue spending time with my kiddos--away from texts, and just having fun.  I want them to be able to come to school, learn, and enjoy it while they are there.  I think that are so many things that I can do using picture books, that I am having SO MUCH FUN!  I love the holidays---getting away from basals and text books and just kinda "letting loose."  My students really enjoy when we wrap a whole day's worth of learning around a book, or a "theme".    With only a few short days before break, I know I am late in coming up with this idea.   If nothing else, it will be there to refer back to for next year.  Allow me to introduce my FABULOUS idea:

Here's what you need to do if you are a blogger:
1) Think of a December holiday picture book.
2)  Create a freebie to go with it.  It can link to your blog or store.  It can be a writing prompt, craft, math themed worksheet, etc--as long as it's free.  It can even be one you've posted previously. (Please don't link it to a paid product.)
3) Grab my button, put it on your post and link it back to this post.
4) Link up with your post.  Remember to use the exact address of your post, not your blog.

If you are a follower, here's what you need to do:
1) Check back here for new posts with freebies.
2) If you find something helpful, please leave a comment.  It makes us happy! :)

I will start.  I am loving the Bad Kitty Books.  My son has been reading the chapter ones as well--so I just KNEW I had to have this one.

I love this book.  It's great to teach the meaning of Christmas, to review ABC order, to discuss nouns and verbs..I could go on.  There are a lot of things you can do with a picture book.  Here's what I'm going to do with my kiddos.

I've been having several fast finishers as we are reviewing.  I've also had 6-10 kids absent due to illnesses.  This little activity will be perfect for me to use.  

 I created two different levels of ABC order.  One students will have to look at 2nd letter (That's the Santa kitty).  The other set of cards, students will just need to look for the beginning letter.
 The recording sheet is marked with the kitty from their activity.  (Side note, I emailed Denyse from Scrappin Doodles last night---when I got this idea in my head to do a freebie with Bad Kitty.  She did a great job to get these done for me to use today! SHE IS AWESOME!)
 Here is a writing prompt too.  Students will write how Kitty changed in the story. 
 You can click the picture below if you want to grab your freebies.

I realize that I'm very last minute on this.  I think there have been many other things on my mind, as well as yours I'm sure.  I hope that finding some Christmas freebies along the way will give you more things to enjoy in your classroom.  We love our kids.  We are there for our kids.  We always will be.  

Let me know if you can use them. :)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Pinterest is a Booming Sensation!

Are you on the Pinterest bandwagon yet? 
 Last school year I tried to get my coworkers hooked on it. I roped in a few, but they didn't understand it. I typed up a tutorial last spring and sent it out. (You can see that by clicking on the word tutorial).  Over the summer, I had a coworker ask for more information, and I sent her a picture tutorial.  I think it helped, so I emailed it to a few more people (including my principal, EGADS), but I think they have a better understanding of Pinterest. Pinterest has changed a little since my posting of it to my coworkers, so here is an updated version.  I hope that it helps you as well.

Main Screen:

Joining Pinterest:
After signing up and login:

How to search for things on Pinterest:

How to block it from facebook, so you can pin til your hearts desire! :)

How to add a pin, and create a board:
Pinning and Repinning:

 Why to follow all:

I hope to rearrange my boards, if given time during Christmas break.  If you aren't following all, I'd hate for you to miss out on the great things I find from blogs, or pinterest.  Warning, I do pin a lot of "sweets"---but what teacher doesn't love sweet treats! :)

If you want to follow me on pinterest,click below:

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Wrap up the year Sale!

Usually I'm all done with my Christmas shopping by now, and have my baking list made.  I'm not sure where the time went....but THANK goodness for Amazon and Super Fast Shipping!

I'm also USUALLY organized with school for the holidays, but this year, I don't feel like I am.  I'm so thankful for the products I've purchased on TpT, and the freebies that are out there to help me "Remain Calm  until Christmas" :)

Are you a last minute shopper? Feeling overwhelmed? Let me help you!! :)  
(This sounds like a commercial, so I'll hush)

**I'm having a sale on TpT.  My Christmas and winter products are 20% off.  **
Button made by yours truly...with the adorable graphics from the talented ladies:
 Ashley Hughes--chevron wrapped gifts
Tessa Maguire--snowflake border
Jessica Stanford--chevron paper

I'm also asking friends to link up.  My last linky party wasn't as successful as I had hoped, and this one may not have oodles of people on it either.....BUT, I wanted to have one because it's also a nice way to get other bloggers recognized!!  Please check back and see if you find a new store or blog to follow (even if you're not purchasing) :)  It's always nice to see numbers increase on blogger and our stores.  

If you are linking, here's what you need to do:
1) Use the button (you can either copy the image URL or save it to your computer)
2) Link the button to this blog post.
3) Link up below with the link to your store.  

12 in '12--My Favorites

Kristen (AKA Teeny Tiny Teacher) and Hadar (AKA Miss Kindergarten) are doing their end of the year linky party.  Last year it was 11 in '11.  This year it's 12 in '12.  Cute huh? :)

I had to look back at my 11 in '11.  A lot happens in a year, doesn't it? I even saw my old button on the linky party.  Thank you Kristen for designing my blog.  It is just beautiful! :)    It was nice to look back on the old linky and think how this year went, to see if I accomplished anything, to see if I met my goals.  Wow, what an eye opener!  Time goes so quickly!

Okay, here are my 12 in '12!! :)

12) Favorite Movie Watched:

We usually watch more TV than movies---and when we do watch movies, it's generally during Christmas break---BUT, I actually have two.

One was released last year, but we rarely go to the movies (Do you know how expensive that is???  AND I *HAVE* to have popcorn and a drink ya know!) ;)
We watched Contagion this spring on DVD.  I am in LOVE with Matt Damon.  Yes, hubby knows this and has learned to deal with it. 
The other one WAS released in 2012.  I love humor (and unfortunately sometimes that humor is raunchy).  I love the American Pie movies (don't judge)!

11) Favorite TV series---OHH MY!!  You should see my DVR box right now because there are SOO many and I can't keep up with them.

My favorite is Two Broke Girls. It was my favorite last year too.  LOVE this show!!

10) Favorite Restaurant--I have to say that I'm still partial to ANYTHING that the Disney restaurants  cook up, but I tried a new (new to me anyway) Pizza Place this past weekend....uhm, HEAVEN! We usually just stick to our old favorites when we go out, but I wanted something different...so glad we did because I LOVE the chicken BLT!!
By the way, any place where we don't have to cook and clean up the mess is HEAVENLY!!!

9) Favorite New Thing I Tried--besides new foods as mentioned above?  Camping with my family.  Growing up, my family really never took "family vacations" but we did go camping quite often.  Those are some of my favorite memories.  I wanted to make the same memories with my family----SOO:
We bought a camper.  I so loved my weekends this fall and am ready for the spring!!  We enjoyed the Halloween Campout at our local state park as well.  Also a new favorite---and now going to be a yearly tradition!!
Yes, the campsite is decorated.  You would not believe how all out some families go.  It was a blast!

8) Favorite Gift you Got---I woke up on my birthday with this made by my daughter.  She made a cupcake box, and placed cupcakes inside it.  How cute, right??

7) Favorite Thing I Pinned---Have you checked out my Sweet Treats board on pinterest?  How do I pick just one?  I do love quotes though, so I will show you one that I really love!

6) Favorite Blog Post----Without a Doubt, my Nailed It post about Getting my Craft on!

You can click the picture to see my post!

5) Best Accomplishment----No matter what year it is, no matter what else I do---my best accomplishments will always be:
My kids!!!

4) Favorite Picture--These were both on the same day---I love the action shot of them running and playing at Jockey Ridge.  Then of course, y'all needed a picture of me (HAHAHA, you're welcome) :)

3) Favorite Memory--
     I honestly can't pick just one.  Every day that God blesses me to spend another day on Earth, is another day of memories.  Every day that I get to wake up to my husband and my kids is a day of unexpected adventures to come.  

2) Goal for 2013---
       Trying to figure out how to make this happen:

1) One little word---

Yes, it's that simple, yet so powerful.

 *Let people help if they offer.  I have such an I can do it all by myself attitude.  I have such a hard time letting people help.  It's not that I think that I do it better, I just hate causing extra work for anyone.
*Let it be or let it go.  Some things in life, you can't change.  Let it go, and don't stress.
*Don't LET it get you down.  There are too many positives in life to focus on. Don't worry about the small things.
*Let yourself be happy.  
*Let mistakes happen.  We are not perfect.  Don't be afraid when a mistake happens.  We are only human.
*Let friends and family "in".  If someone asks, what's wrong, they genuinely want to talk.
*Let kids be kids.  Let them get dirty.  Let them make messes.  Let them be little as long as you can.
But most importantly:
LET God handle it.  He leads you down a path.  He guides you through it.  Let go, and let him!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Holiday Fun

Is it just me, or does it seem like the kiddos are geared for Christmas from Thanksgiving on?  I try and try to go on with our "normal" routine--Treasures, Envision, ya know---that stuff!  They are so excited for Christmas, and I can't blame them.  I guess I'm ready too!  Sometimes though, if you can't beat them--join them.  That's what I'm doing from now til Christmas Break!

I'm sure you have seen this floating around the internet:

Great advice right? 
Last year, we did these cute little Santas suck in a chimney.  The idea came from Cara Carroll.  Her ideas are just Phenomenal!!  You can find her post <<HERE>> along with other awesome Christmas ideas. 

Last year when I made them, it was all about the craft.  I just wanted to see how cute they looked in the hallway.  This year, I wanted my students to tell me how they would help him.  I added a little lined page to the craft.  Here is what they look like.

After reading the story, students completed a sentence on how they would help get Santa out.

The Santa craft tied in well with our Math unit on Shapes.  We've been talking about congruent shapes, symmetry, plane shapes, and solid shapes. As we made our craft, we talked about many of those concepts.

First, students were all given a piece of red construction paper.  I showed them that we were going to make a square and two rectangles from it.  Then we folded our paper so the corner met the bottom edge.  They saw that they had a line of symmetry with two congruent triangles.  We cut off the excess (where the paper didn't overlap each other) to have a rectangle.  We then folded the rectangle in half and made two smaller rectangles.  Again, they saw they were congruent. 

This pieces became the legs and the chimney.
 We added a black rectangle on the top, and made "bricks" with our crayon. We discussed the word staggering as we added our bricks in between each row.  Then they glued their writing to the middle.
 We added cotton to the bottom of Santa's legs for his fur, and added cotton to the chimney for a snow effect.  (Since doing this Friday, I saw the 3D effect for snow on the chimney using glue and shaving cream--I LOVE it!) 

Here is a copy of my writing page if you want to use it.  You can click on the picture to grab it.
Thanks to My Cute Graphics (and DJ inkers) for the graphics/fonts.

Now, for this week.  I'm doing little mini units by the day (or couple days).  I'm not organized (or talented enough) to do those great visual lesson plans that you see several other bloggers doing.  BUT---I can share with you my plans for the next two days.

I will be doing a Gingerbread mini-unit.  
We will be reading these two great stories!

Then we will use a few of the writing activities (as there are a variety of writing prompts) 
The stations/games that are in this pack are to meet the needs of the variety of levels in my class.  The Read and Write the rooms are color coded (and different graphic) for my below and on level group.  One group will be working on short vowel (CVC) words and the other on digraphs.  The math stations are set the same way.  One group will be working on writing math facts/fact families, and the other group on missing addends. The spinner games in the pack are for my Fast Finishers (and to continue throughout the holiday season).  

For my high level firsties, I plan on using some of the activities in the Bubbly Blonde's pack. 
You can click HERE to see her blog post.
OR go straight to her store HERE

I love how I can enrich my high ones with her packet!!  There are some great on level activities I will be using through the holiday season as well. Perfect for fast finishers too! :)

 For math, I am using the Gingerbread Graphing  I included in this pack for a math lesson and .  
Lori from Teaching with Love and Laughter has this great freebie that goes PERFECTLY with the little graph activity.

You can click <<here>> to see this freebie on TpT. (Please leave feedback if you download)
We still will continue to review shapes, etc as set in Envision (as I need to stay on track with our Pacing chart) so
 I am also putting my Shaping up for Santa Game out for stations as well (also a good game for fast finishers or inside recess).
<<HERE>> is the post link in case you missed it before.
Other great things I'm including in this mini-unit are:
Kelley Dolling (Teacher Idea Factory) Bakin' Up Adjectives. 
<<Here>> is Kelley's blog link from her class, and <<here>> is the TpT link.

I also came across this great mini book on verbs from Christie at First Grade Fever.
<<Here>> is Christie's blog link--with a cute verb song anchor chart.
<<Here>> is the link to her FREE book on TpT.  (Be sure to leave feedback if you download)

Teaching with Style has a fun activity for a Gingerbread Hunt that my kiddos are going to LOVE!
Click <<here>> to see it. 

Somewhere in this mini unit, I want to find time to do Jen's craft.  I have loved these things since LAST YEAR.  Here's a pic of hers.
Is he not the CUTEST???  Check out her blog post <<HERE>> and she just recently posted some AWESOME gingerbread freebies.  You can see them <<HERE>>

Three more great ginger things before I leave this UBER long post!
Check out this freebie Katie (Queen of the First Grade Jungle) made.
<<Here>> is the link to her blog post (where you will also see her AMAZING gingerbread printables for her Busy Teacher's Friend). You can visit her store <<here>> for her freebie (Again, remember to leave feedback).

Look how cute this little dude is!  
He comes from Miss Kindergarten's Gingebread Family set.  How cute is this packet she has?  
Check her post <<here>> and her store <<here>>

I love Denise from Sunny Days bump games.  Check out her Gingerthemed one! :)
Click HERE

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