December 22, 2013

Containers, Containers, and More Containers!!

As teachers we are always looking at those leftover containers as more than just trash. What can we do with them? We are always thinking of new and creative things.

After Gingerbread House making by the 1st graders in our school, we acquired all the leftover frosting containers. Every year we send home sight word cans with our children to hold the sight words learned throughout the school year. You can read about them here.

We now have so many containers, we are looking for other ideas from you! Here are just some of the containers and their lids:

What do you do with leftover containers in your classroom?

December 21, 2013

New Build-a-Bear!

We would like to introduce the newest Build-a-Bear to add to the school collection, Merry!! She was a gift from a student and she was named for Merry Christmas of course! Oh my goodness, look how cute she is!!
Check out her sparkly dress!
She is going to have so much fun living in our classroom! Welcome to the family Merry!
What do you think of Merry?
Tell us about one fun gift you got from a student this year!

December 20, 2013

Ahhh...Winter Break!

What a fun, busy, exciting, chaotic, and tiring day it has been! We started the day finishing up last minute parent gifts and any left over work from the week. Then we watched The Polar Express! We all just love this movie, even after seeing it a million times!

Lastly, we ended the day with our Holiday Party where we made reindeer food, candy cane ornaments, and Rudolph bags! The children also played Suitin' Up Santa, a fun cube game where they have to dress Santa so he is ready for his big day!

Can you say tired kindergarten teachers? We know you all understand!

We have had a lot of fun with our elves this week in our classroom, we thought we would share a few photos. We each had our own elf. Kelly's was a girl, named Sparkles. Kim's was a boy, named Candy Cane. The children loved looking for the elf everyday and seeing what they would get into next.
Aren't they cute?
Sparkles loves to paint and draw!
Candy Cane really wanted to be helpful, but sharpening pencils is hard work!
Sparkles sure did love the listening center! So many books to choose from, we hard time getting her to take the headphones off!
Candy Cane loves to be a super sleuth. He had so much fun looking for the hidden Christmas words!
Someone who wears a red suit and has a beard told Sparkles how much the children love Pete the Cat so she gave the children a new book for the library!!
Sparkles had so much fun watching the children make their ornaments, so she made one for herself too! She made a little bit of a mess, but that's okay!
Candy Cane watched the children make adorable snow globes with a mini picture of themselves inside. It gave him the idea to try to put himself into a snow globe as well. Let's just say, it was a tight squeeze!

We had a blast with these cute little elves the past week. It is time to say goodbye to them for another year. We hope they have fun at the North Pole until then!

 What was your favorite display of elf antics in your classroom this year?

December 19, 2013

Christmas Crazy!

We are on the final countdown before Christmas break! It has been a wild and crazy week!! The excitement is in full force.

Today we worked on several projects. Up first, Snow Globes! We weren't sure how these were going to work out and it was trial and error at first, but can you say LOVE!! They turned out great. Here is the final product:
First we took pictures of the children posing like they were having fun in the snow, throwing it up in the air. Then the children made "snow" out of tissue paper. First they cut pieces into a cup and then cut the pieces into finer pieces while in the cup with their scissors. We had a blast completing this project!!

We also had fun making ornaments out of popsicle sticks. The children painted, glittered, and glued these adorable creations! Look at all the cuteness overload!!


These are going to look fantastic on their Christmas trees!!

Finally, gifts for the children! They are the perfect container to bring snack in every day. There is a place to put juice or water in the top part, which also has a built in straw. Then the bottom part has a place for their snack to go! How convenient. So stinkin' cute!!

Tomorrow: The Polar Express movie day and party day! Woo Hoo!! Then a much needed and well deserved vacation!!

What has been your favorite Christmas craft this year?

December 18, 2013

Letters to Santa

What do you want for Christmas? Maybe a time machine, or a magic wand, or a maid, or even another YOU! Today the children wrote a letter to Santa Claus telling what they think their mom or dad would need for Christmas. They also asked for something for themselves. Will Santa Claus come through?
Here is a sample of one of the pages from our TeachersPayTeachers product, Dear Santa. You can check it out for yourself here:

Here is a list of some of the items requested for moms:
a yoga mat
a broom
a hot cocoa machine
a piggy bank
a flower pot
a pillow
a dish
a pencil


         Here is a list of some of the items requested for dads:

a fishing rod
 a golden football
a bathing suit
a new tire
a chainsaw
a belt
a tool box
a drink
Here is a list of some of the things the children want:
a fish tank
a cat
a star
a bike without training wheels
a make believe parrot
a toy penguin
a robot
a Build-a-Bear
It doesn't matter what they get on Christmas day because we know they will all look like this: 
What was the funniest thing one of your children asked for this year?

December 17, 2013

Turkey Claus

We read Turkey Trouble back around Thanksgiving and our students LOVED it! To continue the fun, we read Turkey Claus today and the kids were a riot over the turkeys shenanigans!

Turkey is in trouble and about to be eaten for Christmas he heads to the North Pole to see Santa and put in his Christmas wish in person. The elf won't let him in, so Turkey uses holiday disguises to sneak in and beg Santa for help!

Our children had some good laughs with our turkey disguises and matching sentences!
Isn't this tree turkey stinkin' cute?!?
After groups worked on the differentiated word or sentences, the children wrote about how Santa's elf would know the turkey was a turkey and why he couldn't go see Santa. Our children are just beginning to write more independently with a combination of sight words, phonetic spelling, and words around the room. It is a work in progress, but most of them are really accepting the challenge!Woo hoo!
You can look for this pack coming to our TpT store soon at
Have you read this book with your children?
What other fun activities did you do?
Thanks for your input!

December 14, 2013

Remembering Sandy Hook, Today and Always

As educators, we remember and honor our fallen colleagues and their students from Sandy Hook School. We honor them each day in our classrooms in which we continue their dream of teaching our children. We honor their memory with our service. Join with teachers everywhere in committing random acts of kindness to show our love for Sandy Hook.

December 13, 2013

Traveling Build-a-Bears! and a RAK

Guess who's ready to visit these GOOD girls and boys?!? Not Santa Claus.....
Sadie and Maximus! Our most favorite traveling Build-a-Bears!

The children just love these cuddly traveling friends and taking them home for the weekend! Here are the two lucky children this weekend! We hope Sadie and Maximus behave themselves. ;)
Sadie and Maximus have gone to birthday parties, Christmas tree farms, and vacations, to name a few places. They have built snowmen, rode bikes, ice skated, and more!

Sadie and Maximus both go home with a small notebook which includes a letter explaining what the children are to do with their friends over the weekend. A journal paper for the child to write about the experience is also included. They are given the option to either draw a picture of what they did together or take a photo and include it. Here is a picture of the front of Sadie's notebook and a journal for Maximus' notebook.
Sadie even has her own personalized overnight bag, but shhh...don't tell Maximus, he only has a plain old blue one.
We are slightly addicted to the Build-a-Bear experience, no doubt.

Look at these other adorable classroom friends ready for the holidays! Stinkin' cute!! They love to learn right along with the children and going to centers. They love when the children read to them!
Normally the children are only allowed to work with the build-a-bears during center time. However, as part of our behavior system, the children can earn a special Build-a-Bear ticket, which is similar to the other "Terrific Tickets" we use as behavior incentives from our TpT store.

In addition to the collection of fun Build-a-Bears we keep in our classrooms, the accessories that we keep adding help us to do dramatic play in the "cool" way! Haha! The children love to dress them up, have them act like certain community helpers and family members, and so on. SUCH a fun way to incorporate dramatic play into the classroom as a reward for the students! Yay!

What is your students' favorite reward for great behavior?

Last, but not least, in honor of those affected by the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, we have a Random Acts of Kindness freebie down below for you today!

As educators, we remember and honor our fallen colleagues and their students from Sandy Hook School. We honor them each day in our classrooms in which we continue their dream of teaching our children. We honor their memory with our service. Join with teachers everywhere in committing random acts of kindness to show our love for Sandy Hook.

If you're adding in lots of holiday fun next week, snatch up this Holiday Write the Room freebie to introduce to your students. Our children LOVE our Write the Room centers!
You can download it here.

Happy Weekend!

December 11, 2013

Self Portraits and a RAK Honoring Sandy Hook

Hello everyone!

Today was an off schedule day for us. Our students only had a half day and we had professional development for the rest of the afternoon.

The children completed their December self portraits today. We do a self portrait every month so we can see the progression of their drawing, coloring, and writing.

This child is working on her border that goes around her self portrait. Children are encouraged to use pictures that represent the month and they can make any pattern they want. :)

We also ask them to color the pictures at the top. Even though they are small pictures, we are trying to encourage them to use several colors and not just scribble one color from top to bottom.

Here is a completed self portrait with the question answered at the bottom. This child wants a computer for Christmas! Us too!! Haha!

We are continuing our Random Acts of Kindness this week and are giving you another free item today. We are giving you the December self portrait template! There are two different versions included, one is Christmas themed and the other is winter themed. We also sell self portraits for every month of the school year in our store. Stop by and check them out!

You can download your freebie here!

As educators, we remember and honor our fallen colleagues and their students from Sandy Hook School. We honor them each day in our classrooms in which we continue their dream of teaching our children. We honor their memory with our service. Join with teachers everywhere in committing random acts of kindness to show our love for Sandy Hook.

December 10, 2013

Snow Day Superstitions? and Remembering Sandy Hook

When we were kids and it would snow, we would sit in front of the TV or listen to the radio to hear that our county had closed schools. Oh the joy of seeing the county name scroll along the bottom of the screen! Now, we get text messages to let you know and you can just stay in bed if you want. Haha!

The other thing that is changed, is all the snow day superstitions! Wow! Did you have all these superstitions when you were young? Maybe we just don't remember. Here are some of the ones we have heard of in the last few years:

1-pajamas inside out and backwards
2-spoon under the pillow
3-ice cubes in the toilet
4-yell "Snow Day" into the freezer
5-do a "Snow Dance"
6-put a white crayon in the windowsill

These are hysterical! Wonder where all of these ideas came from? They definitely worked for us today. We had our first snow day! Well, we had a rain, sleet, snow, and then sunny day!

Do you have any other fun and exciting superstitions you do while hoping for a snow day?

Everywhere around the country people are honoring those affected by the tragedy at Sandy Hook last year. Have you seen this video Emilie Parker's mother made? Please take the time to watch it, it is very touching and a wonderful tribute to her daughter. Let's honor all of those that lost their lives that horrible day and do something selfless for others.

Here is our Random Act of Kindness for today in their honor. Kelly and Kim are giving you their Winter Wonderland of Super Centers for FREE! It will only be free until 12:00 noon tomorrow (December 11th) and then it will go back up to its original price.
You can download it here.

December 9, 2013

Playful Penguins, Remembering Sandy Hook, & a RAK for You!

Who got snow this weekend? We got some snow which quickly turned to ice. As a result, we had a 90 minute delay to the start of our school day. Now, a delay doesn't mean we come to school 90 minutes late, we have to be there on time. The students are the ones who come 90 minutes late. The good side is we have extra time to work on our classrooms. My car was one big ice cube this morning! The first picture is of the icicles hanging from the bottom of my car and the second picture if of my footprints in the crunchy icy, ground.
We have been having so much fun learning about the Arctic Tundra, the animals that live there, and then more specifically about polar bears! This week we are traveling to the other end of the world and going to Antarctica to learn about penguins.
Today we read The Emperor Lays an Egg by Brenda Z. Guiberson. This is a great book to help learn facts about the emperor penguin.
We discussed how the penguins have to keep the egg on their feet to keep the developing chick safe from the harsh weather. We challenged our children to try to hold an "egg" (a ball) on their feet. They quickly found this was a very difficult thing to do:

So, we brainstormed ways in which we could make this easier. We decided to try without our shoes:

This was a little easier and the children were able to "waddle" a few steps without losing their "egg". However, it still wasn't easy. What if we had a brood pouch like a penguin does? Hmm...that might help for sure. So we used a sweatshirt and tied it around our legs and tucked the "egg" under the pouch. This time we could "waddle" even further. We felt like our egg was safe and warm now!

We then learned that the poor father penguin endures some of the harshest weather while taking care of his egg. How does he stay warm? By huddling together with his fellow penguins! So we gave it a try. We huddled together in a group and when you are in the middle of the huddle, you are definitely nice and toasty! Aww...look how cute they are!
After reading, we played comprehension bingo! We love bingo and what a fun way to review what we have learned from the story. Here is one of the cute bingo cards:
To tie up the lesson, children had to complete their daily journal by writing about something they learned about penguins today. The first sentence: I learned something new about penguins today! was dictated to them and they were to write any sounds that they hear. They then were to write a second sentence on their own telling their fact. Here are two examples of today's journal:

Last, but definitely not least, we are offering a RAK for you today in honor of all those that were affected by the events last year at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The blogging community is coming together to remember and honor all of those that had to endure this horrible act of violence.

Kelly and Kim are working to give all of you a freebie every day this week in their honor. Today we are offering three different penguin themed write the room pages for your classroom.
You can download them here.

As educators, we remember and honor our fallen colleagues and their students from Sandy Hook School. We honor them each day in our classrooms in which we continue their dream of teaching our children. We honor their memory with our service. Join with teachers everywhere in committing random acts of kindness to show our love for Sandy Hook.
 We hope you enjoy your freebie. Please come back tomorrow to look for another one as we continue our week of honor. Stay safe, be happy, and hug your loved ones!
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