Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Craziness

I am TIRED!  Can I say that?  It has been a crazy week, with crazy fun, and crazy kids, and not enough time to do it all.

I am joining with other bloggers to share some of that fun on this last Friday of the year! ( Did I say tired?? )  Oops!, there is not a linky this week....but here are Five crazy things I have been up to in my classroom.  Enjoy and have some Christmas Break fun!

First up is Jingle our Classroom Elf.  He made his appearance late in the first week of December and has been having fun in our room ever since. 

He brought crayons and snow, he has put up a tree and paper chains, he hung out in the tree house with Jack and Annie, and he was the first thing everyone looked for each morning.  Today he was on top of the globe with the list of good boys and girls.

Jingle has kept us busy.  We wrote about him each morning, so along with tasks he brought from time to time, he has been a great asset to our journal writing.

Next is a shout out to my WONDERFUL husband....who suffers through itchy wigs to play Santa.

Our music program was this week.   Not only did our music teacher do a great job, but a fellow teacher gave up all her preps these last two weeks to play the piano for each class during their music class and got us organized with some backdrop decorations.  I work with awesome teachers!
I guess it is not Christmas without parent gifts....this year we made glittery candle holders with old jars, glue, glitter, and battery operated tea lights.  They were easy peasy and the glitter didn't scatter too much, but they did take a couple of days to completely dry.

We wrapped them up in Rudolf paper bags.

Today was party day.  We did a gingerbread house/Santa's workshop party.  I had several projects hanging around that we didn't have time to do, plenty of  paper, jewels, glue, markers and such, so my students got to choose and create while we helped them assemble their houses.  After lunch, when the houses had a chance to set, we added the candy.

All was finished just in time to head home.  Pack up was easy because we had paper bag "suitcases" that we started filling first thing in the morning.  As projects were finished into the bag they went.  The end of the day went....get your lunchbox and backpack, put on your coat, pick up your bag, hold on to your house and out to the bus you go!

Have a wonderful Holiday Season!  I am going to spend time with my crazy crew....

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A little Elfin Magic

An elf came to our classroom this week!  Here is how he arrived:

Thanks to Cara Carroll from First Grade Parade and her wonderful free ELFis pages he came in style!  He was cold (from being in the freezer) when my room was called and told by the office staff we had a special delivery at the front office.  I sent my helper of the day, but my class was afraid it might be something heavy, so I sent along an extra student.  When they came back with the box my class of second graders were through the moon with excitement.  We careful unwrapped his snowy insulation.

(they made sure no one touched and after recess when he had jumped to a new location they grabbed up the tulle and ribbons to take home).  Oh My Goodness!!  I could not believe how excited they were!!!

After much discussion and voting we named him Jingle.  He brought us crayons on Day 2.

What else is in store??  Along with journaling there will be: Task Cards for magical learning, a little mischief, a book to read, a puzzle to complete, some jingle bells (isn't that appropriate because of his name) for hands on learning.  Stay tuned for more ........

You may want to get started with this book.  I made this book for our elf to bring when he came to Kindergarten.  You can get it here:
Add caption

It does come in both color and black and white.

This Jingle Bell game is good for Kindergarten, First, or Second.  They all need practice with missing addends and what better way than to have our classroom elf bring some nice jingle bells to "play" with??  This is free in my store and you can get it here:
This also comes in color and black and white.
I am excited about all that Jingle can help us do in the next two weeks, so I am sure that my students will be too!  One of my teaching philosophies is....if you can't beat them join them. 

Take their excitement and use it!  Have a WONDERFUL week!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thankful for parent teacher conferences

November is a great time to teach  about Thankfulness.

This turkey is on a fellow Kindergarten teachers bulletin board.  Isn't he cute?

November is also parent/teacher conferences.  They terrify me....there I admitted it.  As much as I love meeting with the parents, the idea of parent/teacher conferences just scares the bejeezus out of me.

I want to start my conferences on a positive note, so one thing I do is have the parents write on a turkey feather three compliments about their student.  This accomplishes two things: first, it has us talking about good things regarding their child, and second, it gives me  feathers for our turkey bulletin board and a chance to compliment each student, making them feel wonderful.

This year I took those turkey feathers as a chance to introduce thankful journals.  We brainstormed things we were thankful for using this fun organizer from Jen Bradshaw at Teacher Karma
Then we picked four to use in our journals.  I just had my students fold their paper in four sections and in each section write and draw about something they are thankful for.  Just a simple 4-square graphic organizer for planning.  We revised our writing by adding the word because to what we had written the day before.  I wanted more than just I am thankful for statements.  I wanted thoughtful reasons.

We are in the process now of writing our foldout pages to add to this book created by Jennifer at 4mulaFun

I have so many things to be thankful for, I could fill a hundred journals.  Model for your students true gratitude by making your own journal.  Happy Thanksgiving!