Friday, December 7, 2012

On the Second (and Third) Day of Christmas...

I gave my students two snowflakes yesterday - one to make from paper, and one pre-cut from foam.  Their designs were amazing!  I'll have to get you some photos (sorry) tomorrow, but I found the perfect way to fold the paper to make even the worst scissor-user in the world a fabulous snowflake maker.  It was on Pinterest, and it's pinned to my winter board right here.  You'll be amazed, and your kids will ask you to fold more, and more, and more...add scrap-booking scissors for even prettier designs!

Today, on the third day of Christmas, I gave each of my students three holiday stories to read with a partner from fifth grade.  They absolutely loved this activity!  Some of my students were able to read with their cousins, brothers, and I was able to see my fifth grade daughter interact with my students, too.

We are working on a door-decorating contest for our hallway, and my kiddos love my Auntie Claus unit so much, we decided to do the whole hallway with elves, Auntie, the famous Santa Moon, and the snowy scene of the North Pole village as seen from afar, when Sophie landed from her elevator ride.  I cannot wait to finish and get you some photos!

Stay with me - I promise to take pictures on Monday!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

On the First Day of Christmas...

It's here!  It's here!  We are officially down to twelve school days left before Winter Break.  On the first day of Christmas, I gave a key to each student.  We're reading Auntie Claus, by Elise Primavera, and have learned that Auntie's "key" to Christmas is, "It is far better to give than to receive, daaaahhhling!"  The "dahling" could be the reason I fell in love with these books, initially, because it's exactly how my Great-Aunt Chee-Chee says darling, and she's from my home town (none of the rest of us talk like that, including her sister!).  She's always meant Christmas to me, too.  When I was little, and we visited her house on Christmas Eve, it was the highlight of the entire season for us.

My students actually clapped when I finished our first reading of Auntie Claus yesterday!  If that's ever happened before, I can't remember it.  They immediately understood the book's theme, and were impressed enough to start doing things for other people spontaneously - like when one of the table supply buckets fell over, and six or seven friends came to the rescue!  So sweet!

Back to the key - I used a die cut to make plain white keys from card stock, and asked the children to write their own "key to Christmas" on their keys.  I went over each child's writing with Sharpie, so that we can add glitter (like the diamonds on Auntie Claus' key) tomorrow.  Yes, one of my sweeties still said "I get the most presents" on his key, bust most said something about spending time with family, celebrating Jesus' birth, or giving to those in need, and being happy with what we have.  We're also using my Auntie Claus Literacy Stations Unit as we enjoy each of the three books in the series over the next few days.  You can grab yours at my TPT shop by clicking here.  The keys turned out to be so cute that we are going to use them as a part of our school's door decorating contest!

Stay tuned to see what I give each of my babies tomorrow (two of something)...

Monday, December 3, 2012

Thank You!

I am so excited to have been nominated three times for the Liebster Award for blogs with under 200 followers!!!

Here are the rules:
1. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
2. Answer the questions that the nominator set for you.
3. Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
4. Choose 11 other blogs with fewer than 200 followers to nominate and link them in your post.
5. You cannot “tag back” the other blog, but leave a comment on this post with the URL of your Liebster post so I can learn more about you & see who you nominate.

Eleven Random Things About Me:
1.  I color my hair to match the season - darker in fall & winter, lighter in spring & summer - 'cause I need that tan to shine with some blonde streaks in the spring, y'all!
2.  I once bought a house that was the color of Pepto Bismal, in Omaha, Nebraska.  We had it painted almost immediately!
3.  Even though my Tigers lost last night, I still absolutely LOVE them with all my bright orange heart!
4.  My first job was scooping ice cream in brown elastic-waist polyester pants...nasty!
5.  My house looks like Santa and all his elves threw up all over it - we began decorating today, and after 12 hours, I have every single Christmas item I've ever owned all over the house, and I have the mantle done!
6.  I don't think I can stand one more Spongebob episode...but my sweet little Clare seems to be addicted, so I guess we'll see...
7.  I graduated from high school the year my next door neighbor teacher was BORN!
8.  No matter what, I'll never forget my first field trip, as a teacher, when one sweet little girl asked what time it was in Charleston, SC (we left from Greenville, SC), and if you could spend a sand dollar.  So innocent and precious!
9.  My mom told me not to be a teacher.
10.  I secretly (not anymore) wish I could be an event planner or an interior designer.
11.  Because my mantle is decorated, my clock is gone, and I've looked up at a wreath at least 45 times today to check the time.

My Questions for You:
1.  What grade is your favorite, and are you currently teaching it?
2.  What's your secret stash at school - you know, post-it's, tape, or colored pencils?
3.  If you have a favorite subject, what is it and why?
4.  How are you implementing the CCSS standards in your classroom?
5.  Post a picture of your room for us to see - I know, not a question, but the question is, what's it look like where you teach your babies?
6.  What holiday tradition is most important to you?
7.  Does your school have clubs, and if so, what and when are they?
8.  How do you teach guided reading?
9.  What blogger was your inspiration for beginning your own blog?
10. Be honest, we won't tell your husband - how much do you spend on school stuff?
11. What is your most memorable moment as a teacher?

My Nominations:

Congratulations and have fun!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Shoppin' & Hoppin' plus Currently

Lots of great Linkies out there this week, my friends!  First, I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin' to show you what I bought during the Teachers Pay Teachers Cyber Monday (and Tuesday) sale...
This adorable unit features Jan Brett's version of Town Mouse, Country Mouse and Mo Willems' City Dog, Country Frog.  I added Aesop's City Mouse, Country Mouse and did a whole integrated unit on urban, suburban, and rural communities, using many of the resources in this precious unit!  We're still working, but I'll tell you, I've never had students literally beg to keep working, even though it was time for recess!  Bless their hearts - they loved all three books, and we did a triple Venn diagram to compare and contrast them.  The kids were so into it, it turned into a competition to see who could find the most similarities and differences, thus the begging to not stop working!
 My next purchase was just for me.  I love Erica Borher, and always think she has the cutest things!  If you saw the "My Purchases" section on my TPT account, you'd see how darling I really think her work is.  This resource book was over 100 pages long, so I waited until the big sale to splurge on it!  I am still feeling a little shaky about Common Core, Reading Groups, and a new reading series all at once, but much better than at the beginning of the year...still, I'm hoping Erica can help me out!

And now...Linking up with Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for Currently:
Farley's also added a "Block Party" by grade level, so I have to check that out!  

Have a great week, y'all...Tuesday, we'll be starting the 12 Days of Christmas in my room (only 12 left before winter break), so check back to see what we're up to!