Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Christmas Questionnaire: 2014


Last year I set up this fun little linky party, so I thought we'd do it again.  I love hearing about fun Christmas traditions and seeing how everyone celebrates the season.  
So here we go! 

1. When do you decorate? 
We usually decorate the day after Thanksgiving but this year I just couldn't wait.  I was so excited for lights and stockings. Here are a few of our decorations.  

2. Elf or no elf? 
I have an elf both at home and in the classroom. They are a bit of pain to keep up with, but the magic for my kiddos is totally worth it.  Here are few of our elf photos. 
Our School Elf Jingle
Our elf at home, Elfie.
3. Christmas Cookies or No Baking for You? 
I remember making cookies each year with my mom and I still carry on the tradition with my boys. But I also have an annual baking night with two of my sweet friends. This year we included the husbands. It was a Bourbon and Baking night. You can probably guess what the men did.  We love these cookies with holiday M and M's!

4. Favorite Holiday Tradition? 
Mine would have to be a tradition we just started a few years ago.  We do Random Acts of Kindness each day in December before Christmas.  Yesterday the boys took Christmas cookies to an elderly neighbor. We often pick up the tab for someone or hand out gift cards as people enter a store. Sometimes we just draw pictures and say thank you.  We also started this new tradition. The boys pick one book a night to unwrap and read each night. They love it and I cherish our bedtime routine. 

5. Favorite Christmas Movie? 
I have to say I have many.  We always have to watch the Elf on the Shelf Movie to kick off the season, as well as Elf, Christmas Vacation and The Grinch. How cute is this Elf shirt? Love Crystal's t-shirts. 

6. Snow or No Snow? 
Do you like a White Christmas? I think Christmas is the only acceptable time for snow. After Christmas, I'm so over cold weather.  I would love to move to Miami just for the months of Jan.-April. 

7. Favorite Christmas Song? 
Mary Did You Know? will always be my favorite. I especially love the Pentatonix version this year. 
8. Favorite Gifts to Give and Get? 
Here are some gifts I've purchased this holiday season and a few I'd love to receive. In fact, a few I purchased and kind of want to keep.  You can click any of the pictures below to check out the items. 

HTML Map

If you want to link up your Christmas Questionnaire I would love to read it! Just add my button above and link back to this post. 













Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sunday Sneak Peek!


I'm linking up with my friend Deedee! You can check out her linky party here! Here is a peek at week and a look back at some of the things we did last week. We'll be continuing our Holidays Around the World unit, reading If You Take a Mouse to the Movies and going on field trip to the Children's Theatre. I also have my big OTES evaluation on Tuesday.  It will be a busy week for this teacher.  Check it out by clicking the image below.  


Last week we had a week full of elf fun. We used my Santa's Little Helpers unit during Shared Reading time.  

 We compared the Littlest Elf and the Little Christmas Elf.
 We also discussed character traits. 
 We also talked about data collection and ways to represent data. 


We also continued our travels to Sweden. Here are my St. Lucia and Star Boys.  
 We also traveled to Mexico. Here are our pinatas.  
I hope you all have a festive week!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

What I'm doing and What I Bought

I can't believe how much I have to fit into these next 3 weeks. I seriously don't know if I can find the time for all the fun, but I do love all the activities I have planned.  This week we are doing my elf unit called Santa's Helpers  and using a few fun ideas from blogging friends, as well.  I thought I'd share what we've been doing the past couple of days.  

 Yesterday we began our elf unit by watching the movie Elf on the Shelf.  I love that movie so much.  I'm such a 5 year old, sometimes.  Next we wrote letters to Santa asking for our very own classroom elf.  These ideas are from KinderCraze. Maria has a cute little freebie.  Santa sent us this pretty package along with the elf my kiddos later named Jingle.  

 When we received the package we opened the box and immediately read a note from Santa, as well as the book.  After finishing the book we discussed the important details from the story. This also helps us to better understand how our elf works. 
(Please excuse the sloppy, last minute charts.) 
This was literally a what can do since we still have time lesson.  
After reading our Elf on the Shelf book, we read our Shared Reading book for the week, The Littlest Elf. Since my kiddos had just had practice with details, I sent them off with their reading journals to record details from the story on their own. After about 10 minutes, we came back as a group and shared the details they recorded.  

 In the afternoons we work on our Holiday Express unit.  I've tried out many new units and always come back to my little unit I made years ago with my sweet friend Terry.  We always create pocket books for our kids to put their information in for each country,  as well souvenirs they make along the way.  When we introduce a country, we find it on the world map, color a map of the country, color the country's flag, read a book about the holidays and then record new learning.  Today we learned about Sweden.  Tomorrow we'll discuss St. Lucia further and make a crown of candles and Star Boy hats.  We'll also eat some yummy cinnamon rolls. 

I'll post more pictures from this week soon, as well as a sneak peek at next week when we do my newest unit

Are you all taking advantage of the TpT sale. I keep feeling as if I need to go back and snatch some more up before it ends.  Here is what I bought. In addition to some of my products that are on sale.  You can link up too at Blog Hoppin'! 









Sunday, November 30, 2014

It's beginning to look...

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here. I really need about 3 more days of break, but I must say that these next 3 weeks of school are some of my favorite weeks of the year.  I love teaching about Holidays Around the World, getting a visit from our magical class elf, and all the great Christmas crafts and units, make these weeks so fun.  

Speaking of looking like Christmas, I just love when my house is all decorated. It makes this heart happy.  
 I must say I also love our tradition of Christmas Random Acts of Kindness and the visit from our elf Elfie.  He came the day after Thanksgiving and brought the boys pajamas, breakfast and a few more treats. He also brought a friend. 



In addition to going back to school and having some holiday fun, there is also that big TpT sale tomorrow.  I can't wait to fill my cart with lots of fun clipart and activities for the future.  

Here are some of my units I'll be using soon.  

Hope you have a happy first week back! 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Five For Friday: November 21st

Holy Moly! I just looked at the date of my last post and I stink y'all.  I'm so sorry.  This life gets so busy sometimes and I can't even breathe.  In fact, I was teaching yesterday and was overcome with such horrible pain, I could hardly breathe, so I left to have the ER check me out.  It just so happens this teacher mama had a kidney stone on conference day. So we got that all diagnosed and rushed back to school for my conferences.  I mean who has time to be sick? But I'm back in action and here with my 5 for Friday.

After break we'll go back to 3 weeks of celebrating the holidays.  I'm getting ready now.  These holiday products below are all 20% off for the weekend.  
I'm especially excited about my Merry, Merry Mistletoe centers.  They are differentiated and there are several levels for each center.  You can check this pack out below. 


I posted my conference form on instagram and had some requests to share it. If you'd like the form, click below.

Every year our sweet counselor Mr. Kist heads up Everybody Counts week.  
First grade always learns about being blind. 
We learned about Braille and Mr. Kist makes all of their names in braille. 



 They also learned how to guide each other to complete a task.
 They did not find it easy when they couldn't see.

 Trying to identify objects.
In addition to these activities, I was given a book that was absolutely perfect for our week of Everybody Counts.  This book was not only great for teaching about how someone who is legally blind gets help from a guide dog to navigate, it also was great for teaching point of view.  This book is told by the guide dog. The kids fell in love with Sammy.

When we return from break we'll be doing our Holiday Express Unit. I've done this for the past 14 years and its one of my favorite times of year.  Below are my plans for the next two weeks.  
I'm also pretty excited to have our elf join us again this year.  My elf unit listed above will be put to good use our first week back. I also love the ideas Maria of KinderCraze shared last year. She made the experience magical for her sweeties and I can't wait to do the same.  If you want to some cute elf activities this unit is on sale.