Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Wrap Up

I am not sure if anyone still reads this since I doing a horrible job updating but I am going to keep blogging away anyway.  I wanted to post some pics of our parent gift and my gift to my students.  I found them both on-- you guessed it-- Pinterest.  I think they came out great and couldn't be happier!  First we made this manager scene with the kids hand and thumb print.

I got the wood hearts from Michaels and painted them blue before the kids began their crafting. 

My aide and I found it was easiest to do the paint the kids hands in in brown, have them wash them and then move on to the next step.  We used acrylic paint which dries fast and allowed us to move fairly quickly.  

Our 4th grade buddies joined us for a wrapping party and helped us make the gifts look extra special.

I had the kids wrap their gifts in tissue paper, decorate them with yarn and Christmas stickers. 

     It was so cute to see the care they took to wrap their gifts and choose their stickers.  
One sweet boy (not the pictured) requested a bow and placed it proudly on the bottom of his package stood back and smiled.  None of us had the heart to tell him it would probably fall off.  I loved this gift so much I made one for my in-laws with my little mans hand.

     I normally give my students a book from Scholastic for Christmas, but this year I couldn't find one I liked.  This worked out perfectly since I had found this on and had planned to use to make them as our parent gift till I saw the project above.  I decided to make them for each kid and give them as their gift.  I am still not sure if they appreciated them and think they may have enjoyed a book more but hope that as they get older will appreciate it.  Unfortunately I can't find the pin for the original post but if someone has it please leave a comment and I will update.  For this project I just took each child's profile picture, cut out their heads, which I threw away and taped the outline to large flat ornaments I found at Michaels.  I attempted to make it just like the blog post suggests but found it too hard.  So mine where on clear ornaments.  Then I just filled in the profile with black acrylic paint.  I went over each child's small small features with a tooth pick as soon as I remove the paper outline.  My assistant wrote each kids name and the year on the other side in fancy shmancy handwriting like only she can.  Lastly we just put a thin layer over the paint and tied some cord make a hanger.  It was a little nerve wracking the night before our last day as I painted 21 kids faces but oh so worth it!  Sorry I don't have more pictures but as I said I was rushing and this was the only picture I snapped.

Lastly for this never ending post I wanted to share another Christmas project I made with my little Pie that is so cute!  I don't think it would work with firsties but definitely worth doing with your own little ones.  We decided to keep this one and not give it as originally planned.  I found this on Pinterest as well :)


Friday, December 16, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Grinch Day

Completely inspired to by Cara at The First Grade Parade I asked our principal to ok HR's first Grinch Day.  We used an assembly schedule and were able to end the day with a showing of Jim Carrey's version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

My kids made Grinch faces using Deanna Jumps template.  I loved reading all the ways they would make the Grinch smile.  We also used Deanna's template for a class book and had it binded by one my sweet moms to add to our classroom library.  

This may have been the only time my classroom was free of green and red clippings.  We were somehow able to clean up this project before starting our Grinch Glyphs.  I will take a picture of our glyphs as soon as I find a place to hang them.  This year I have run out of free space to display or work.

Before the movie the kids got to enjoy Grinch Punch, Who pudding (which we referred to as Who Goo) and Cara's great idea of Grinch licked candy canes.  
Here I am with some of my teaching friends.  Our Grinch shirts are from Old Navy.  

All and all it was a great Grinchy day.  Everyone seemed to have a good time.  Even though I sprung this on the teachers Friday afternoon they were able to come up with ways to  include the whole school.  PreK and Kindergarten made Grinch faces and watched the animated version with their 7th & 8th grade buddies.  One kindergarten aid told me that the 8th grade boys loved watching the movie with their little buddies and were laughing the whole time.  One second grade teacher came up with some really cute Please Mr. Grinch displays.  Third grade used the Grinch Glyph as their math lesson and our middle school the 6th grade teacher has found some Grinch social media templates on TPT and is using them next week with her class.  So thanks Cara we all loved your idea and can't wait for next year!  


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Jingles--- a girl?

Is Jingles trying to steal our brownies???  That is the question I got over and over again when my class found him (?) repelling down our wall with brownie in hand.  Of course we later determined he was just holding on to our next brownie point so he could share in our fun!  But the main point of this post is to let ya'll (yes I was indeed raised by a Virginia country boy and frequently use ya'll) know that my AJ has asked me to set out a skirt  Barbie for Jingles because she is sure Jingles is a girls name and thus my class elf is a girl.  So check back Monday to see if this is indeed the case!  (cue law and order theme song!)


Friday, December 9, 2011

December... Author Jan Brett

This month we are doing an author study on Jan Brett.  To introduce this awesome author and illustrator to my class my 4th grade buddy teacher and I set up a fun Christmas craft from Deanna Jumps Christmas Math and Literacy Fun unit on TPT. The kids had a great time and some of my most missed students got to spend time with me!  Isn't it funny how technically some kids are your students for a year but really your students for more?  I feel like every year I had a harder time saying good-bye to MY kids! 

 Buddy fun! 
 I swear even the boys love it! 
 How handsome is this little guy?!

 Our 4th grade buddies take their responsibilities so seriously and do such a great job!  

The Mailbox has some good activities for The Mitten that helped us review sequence and retelling.  Next week we are reading the Gingerbread Baby and Gingerbread Baby and Friends, thus we made gingerbread babies today.  We are also going to read as many Jan Brett books as we can.  All the while reviewing for our unit test!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Thanks to

Teachers Pay Teachers I have had some real fun with my first grade loves!  We have been busy answering Christmas themed prompts and crafting away!  Everyone in school has something to say about what the 1st grade is doing(Granted my husband and bank account aren't too happy about my love affair with TPT)!  Our pilgrims from Deanna Jumps unit were a hit and now we are "elfed up".  Here is what our hallway display looks like... 

 Totally stole this idea from Abby at The Inspired Apple.  The only thing I changed was to add the red pom-poms for noses.  I often wonder if I am the only teacher who makes one of every project / craftivity her students do.  I swear I live first grade every year again.   
On my To Do List this weekend is to some of my school's teachers reindeer as well.  
Next we elf'ed ourselves!  Using a template I got off TPT I had my kiddos make themselves elves and then answer the questions
  1. If were an Elf on the Shelf my name would be...
  2. I would hide... 
I used the AWESOME Christmas clip art I won from What the Teacher Wants and hope I can share this (very simple) printable soon.  I named myself Spice :) 



Monday, November 28, 2011

Contraction Caterpillars

 My class made these Pinterest inspired  (SHOCKER, I know) "Contraction Caterpillars"  to display before parent teacher conferences.  They were a huge hit and looked SO darn cute on our wall.  I love how one is standing up and looks like the little caterpillar from "A Bugs Life"!  Funny story, one my sweeties went home and told his parent he had made contraptions during grammar that day!  Anywho these were super easy, just a oval for the face and each contraction and then two trapezoid shaped legs with root words for each contraction.  Easy Peasy, soo darn cute, and a great reference to remind students= winning!   


He's HERE!!!

 My class elf Jingles is back for the holidays.  I think I love this little guy as much if not more than the children do.  If you don't have an Elf on the Shelf at home or in your classroom, trust me you need to get one.  There is no better and faster way to improve behavior than to tell a believer that their elf is watching and will report to Santa what they see.  I can't wait to see what type of hiding spots dear Jingles finds this year.  :)


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I'm Thankful!

I have been super busy and away from my computer in the past two months and thought maybe this Linky Party hosted by Rachelle at What the Teacher Wants would be just the thing to get me going again!    

1.  What are you thankful for in your classroom?
Umm lets see...  
  • This year I am super thankful for my Elmo document camera, LOVE LOVE LOVE it!  I this is our second year with them but I just love it more this year.  
  • As far as non material things I am definitely thankful for my students!  They are an awesome group somehow each one seems to give me exactly what I need when I needed it!  

2. What person are you most thankful for?  Gosh just one person is hard!  I am thankful for my family as a whole that's for sure!  I can't pick just one my heart won't let me so I am picking my 3 kids and will have to be okay with cheating.  My 3 are what keep me going and without them I would be nothing.  I am thankful to God for giving me such wonderful kids that make me a better person.  

3. What 3 blogs are you most thankful for?
Again another hard one!!  Picking just three is really difficult!  
  1. What the Teacher Wants is definitely a must!  I must have all of Rachelle's TPT units they are just SO AWESOME!  I love all the ideas these ladies share and am amazed with how generous they are!
  2. Cara at The First Grade Parade is another.  I love all her ideas and am so jealous of her artistic abilities!  I mean really she must be one of the most fun cutest teachers ever!
  3. Last but not least I love me some Babbling Abby from The Inspired Apple.  I swear she was the first teaching blog I found and I am SO THANKFUL because through her and all her blogging friends (see above) I have become a better teacher!
4. What guilty pleasure are you most thankful for?
No shocker here but PINTEREST!  Hands down the biggest time vacuum in my life today.  I no longer watch TV, or play online games, which my husband is super thankful for by the way, but I can not give up Pinterest.  I must say though I am not sure it really qualifies as a guilty pleasure?  I mean I have been able to make and create some really cool things all because of Pinterest!  

5. What are you most thankful for?
This year I have to say I am most thankful for my faith, without it I would not be where I am today.  Being Catholic and my belief in Christ has allowed to be get through a lot and also given me the best job at the best school I know.  I am also extremely thankful for my friends and coworkers!  Some of which serve double duty are are both.  I work with an awesome group of women, am blessed to have a wonderful boss and am supported in my day to day life with two amazing best friends!  (Who I need to say ASAP and more often as shown by the fact I have no recent pictures of us!!!) 


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

HR Presents-- A Bad Case of Stripes

This year in prepartion for Open House and Parent Teacher conferences my hall used A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon to demonstrate story elements.  Every student from grades 1-5 made a picture and or wrote a sentence for their grades given section.  I think it was so cool to look down the hall and see the story progress.  Every grade had some great artwork!    I am already thinking up next years story...