I am! I am! I absolutely can not wait until February!
In other news, my classroom door (and hallway) that I blogged about here did win the overall school decorating contest! My students were so excited! You've never seen twelve prouder kiddos - of course they are all DYING to know what the prize is. I have no idea, since that was something our principal mentioned, via e-mail, that he'd do. Y'all, what if he forgot? I need some ideas before January 6th to be sure my hard little workers are rewarded for their super hard work on that project! After all, they took a poll on the theme, tabulated the votes with tallies, then graphed them. Then they read The Littlest Elf to make text-to-self and text-to-text connections to go with their personalized elves. They learned about symmetry as they each made a symmetrical snowflake to add to the overall design. I hung it all either after school, or during planning periods, and had some help from a sweet mom who volunteers each week, too, so no instructional time was wasted! I love it that we have this contest annually, and that my students are SO into it every year, but mostly that I can work in several academic skills while they do their part to add to the decor. Amazingly, it all fit with second grade common core standards, and I'll bet not one student knew they were actually learning while they worked.
I hope you all had a wonderful Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and wish you a fabulous New Year!
With the new year, it's a clean slate - a new beginning, and a time to reset the classroom. I always begin with resolutions (have y'all seen that adorable commercial on TV where the little kid says he's making a New Year's Revolution?) for myself and my students. We talk about what we've done well, and what we can improve. Mr. Hughes has an adorable free resolution mobile that I'm excited to use this year. I love to use my New Year's Resolutions CCSS Unit, too. It turns out so cute with a party hat and horn! I always give the kids a party horn on our first day back, and they add it to their writing when it's completed. These are from last year:
It's also a great time to review the classroom expectations, procedures, and renew the students' enthusiasm for learning! We started what I call The Daily Five Plus One (math) just before Christmas Break, and my kiddos were really excited. I know they'll be ready to get going on more aspects of the six options they have for learning! Whatever your procedures are, be sure to review them on those first couple of days back.
Hugs and Happy New Year,