Monday, November 26, 2012

Cyber Monday and Auntie Claus!

Surely y'all stayed away from the malls this past weekend, right?  Okay, really, who can resist a great sale?  I just can't bring myself to get up at the crack of dawn and drive myself to the mall in my pj's for the extra, extra 10% off, but, yes, I was shopping this weekend!

The next best thing is Cyber Monday - where I'm not embarrassed to shop in my pj's - and when Teachers Pay Teachers will be having a site-wide super savings sale (actually, it's two days long, but whooo's counting?)!  You can save up to 28% on almost every store, so get going, even if it's in your pj's!

Finally, after weeks and weeks, I have completed my Hugenormous Auntie Claus Series Unit!  Here's a preview for you:
At over 45 pages, it is comprehensive!  It was so much fun "chatting" with author Elise Primavera via e-mail, and even more fun putting together all the activities I've done with her award-winning books over the years, but lots of work to bring them up to par with the CCSS.  These books, as I've mentioned before, are a few of my faves to use in December, because I've never had a student say, "I already know that book!"  Not to mention, that I LOVE the stories and the artwork...You can pick up a copy on TPT at 28% off through Tuesday by clicking on the preview above!

Making Merry,

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Last Minute Thanksgiving Mini-Unit

With just a few days left before Thanksgiving Break, I am happy to share a new mini-unit with you!  This craftivity is adorable, and includes common-core aligned reading and writing activities, along with making either a Native American or Pilgrim boy or girl.  It features two of my favorite Thanksgiving non-fiction books written on a second grade interest level, The Story of the Pilgrims, by Katharine Ross, and Giving Thanks...A Native American Morning Message, by Chief Jake Swamp.  You can pick up this mini-unit by clicking on the picture here:

Have a wonderful holiday, full of peace, joy, thanks, and family!  All diets suspended until January 1, 2013, beginning now...
Many Thanks to You,

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Gobble up some Freebies!

Y'all...can you believe it?  We only have 8 school days left before Thanksgiving break!  I don't know how in the world I'll even get through explorers and jump ahead to Pilgrims by then, but we're on our way.  I found a great video on today.  It held every single one of my babies' attention at the end of the day, after testing in the morning, and after a be-a-utiful recess!  It's called Animated Hero Classics:  Christopher Columbus, and does a really nice job of explaining the childhood dream of travel, the quest for funding the voyage, and the accurate portrayal of Columbus' discovery of the West Indies.  I'm telling you, my kids have never been more interested in history!  I'm planning one more day with a few explorers, and then moving fast to the English Pilgrims' arrival.  We've already studied Native Americans, and I've previewed the Cherokee Trail of Tears to my babies, because our focus in South Carolina is change over time in our local community, and the Cherokee are the most prominent Native Americans in the upstate of S.C.  They're hooked!  I think after Thanksgiving, we'll move forward quickly, again, to the Indian Removal Act.  I know, history buffs - I'm skipping YEARS of history, but I really like the idea of comparing the Pilgrims' arrival and relationship with the Native Americans to the continuous push westward, including taking over Native American lands.  Maybe I'm just a sucker for the dramatic, but the irony of our history intrigues me, especially given our nation's current policies on immigration!

So, I got a little ahead of myself!  I wanted to share some Pilgrim activities with you.  One of my favorite books is Three Young Pilgrims, by Cheryl Harness.  It's a little long for reading in one lesson, but is full of information about the Pilgrims' motivation to travel to America, chronicles the lives of three documented siblings aboard the Mayflower, has diagrams galore, and is a touching story about the difficult and deadly trip from England to America.  We use the book to make booklets similar to these pictured, and this anchor chart.  Although I found the booklets on Pinterest a few years ago, I can't remember who first posted them, so if they're your's, please let me know, and please know that I'm not claiming your work, but wanted to share the ideas, and a great resource for doing them!

We also make Pilgrims and write personal narratives about all that for which we're thankful.  They are so stinkin' cute - we use pink colored chalk on their little cheeks to blend in some rosiness, and then spray them with hairspray to "set" the chalk.  My kiddos are amazed to see chalk, and even more amazed to see it "set".  Their parents love these projects, too!  You can click HERE to get your pilgrim collars and hats, as well as our list of facts about the Mayflower for free.  Just cut big circles for the Pilgrim faces - I'll get y'all some photos soon - I can't find any of the ones we made last year :(

Happy Turkey Day!

P.S. Friends, I'm still working on learning about Google Docs, and only the first page of each of the above documents shows up, so for now, get those for free at my TPT shop.  Sorry!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Currently, Talking to Elise Primavera & an Election Day Freebie

Wow!  I filled out a "contact me" on Elise Primavera's website, you know the ones, that usually don't even get an answer, and she, personally responded from her personal e-mail address!  I feel so honored!  Y'all, she is one of my absolute favorite authors for kids' books, especially the Auntie Claus series.  I've used the three books for Y.E.A.R.S in December - most of my students don't know the stories, and I love having fresh holiday stories from which to teach.  Anyway, I thought with my new TPT store, I'd try to share my lesson plans with y'all, so I asked her permission to use her artwork.  Although she wasn't able to let me do that, I'll still let you in on the plans, minus the graphics.  I promise to put cuteness in, but you'll have to buy her books to get the full of my favorite things about her books is the illustrations, which she does herself.  Ms. Primavera is incredibly personable and sweet, at least via e-mail, and really wanted to know more about my lessons and TPT before answering, which makes me love her even more.  Be watching for my three-book literacy and math units to go with Auntie Claus, Auntie Claus and the Key to Christmas, and Auntie Claus, Home for the Holidays coming soon on TPT.

Thanks to Tori, at Tori's Teacher Tips, I finally know how to correctly hook up to Farley's Currently linky!  I'm kinda impressed with myself, but mostly with Tori's tip on how to make this work!  She's amazing, y'all, and I feel like she's my friend, even though we've never met.

Go to my TPT store today for your FREE copy of my best-selling Amelia Bedelia 4 Mayor Unit!  It's perfect for making the election come "home", or you can use it later when studying local government, idioms or contractions.  It includes all three skills, and, let's face it...everybody loves Amelia Bedelia!

Happy Elections - GO VOTE!