Sunday, December 21, 2014

Last Day Before Winter Break! (freebies)

We had a fantastic day on Friday - our last day before our 2 week Winter Break!

I handed out my teammates' gifts: hand sanitizer with a cute saying from my creative husband. Grab the free tags here!
In the morning we had an assembly where my class performed my new favorite Christmas song! It's "Santa's Coming" by Bounce Patrol - they are children's entertainers from Melbourne, Australia. They have some AWESOME youtube videos for shapes and letters that you should check out!

We also had an Ugly Sweater contest for the teachers. Here was mine:

 We all tied for 1st place based on the applause from students :)

Next some of us got together to perform "I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas" as it has Oklahoma roots! I got "voluntold" to be the hippo, but I think I rocked it :)

Once we got to the classroom, we kept the holiday atmosphere going with Holiday Goldfish sorting & patterning during Math:

We sorted first, then each student had to create an AB and AABB pattern before getting the green light to start eating! Grab the sorting sheet here.

 This little cutie decided to build her pattern all around the paper!

At the end of the day we had our party. I had asked parents to send in sugar cookies, icing, sprinkles and small candies. First we created our Christmas trees using sugar cones (oh wow, is that a 3d shape we're getting hands on practice with?!)

Each child got their own container with frosting, their own M&Ms and a spoon to use for licking spreading.
 Big thanks to Maria at Kinder Craze for the inspiration!

Next we decorated our sugar cookies! I allowed my kiddos to explore the materials as much as they wanted:
This little guy loved the sprinkles - and using a whole container on two cookies might be a bit extreme at home, but during a holiday party it's perfectly fine!

This "Grinch" cookie was simultaneously sweet & scary!

The funniest part was that most of the children refused to eat their creations - the decorating was all they were interested in and after licking their fingers they were perfectly content to forgo actually eating their sugar-laden creations. Luckily I had some ziploc baggies so I could send all that sugar home to be consumed during our break! (muhahaha!) 

Now I'm home, getting ready for the holidays with my own 5 children - and planning for all the fun we'll have in January at school - I love penguins!!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Elf on The Shelf & Gingerbread!

This week we've had a lot of fun with our Elf on the Shelf! We watched the dvd of An Elf's Story on Monday and wrote letters to Santa asking for an elf for our classroom. Since my littles are just 4 and 5, I gave them a template for their letter to help them out - I think they are fabulous!

This is a picture of ME (on the left) drawing a picture of the elf on our Smartboard! And yes, that's about how my elf looked - I always tell my kids that I'm not the best at drawing, but I still TRY my best lol. 

When our elf arrived on Tuesday - in a freezing cold, gift wrapped box - the kids quickly jumped to the conclusion that the gift MUST be from Santa! I love it when they can make connections like that! We read the story and then voted on a name. We went with what we knew this year and named him Chippy, just like in the movie lol.

Chippy balanced on top of our Smartboard speakers on Wednesday....and got knocked down TWICE when I bumped the board. Luckily he righted himself when we left the room each time, but I told him he had to start choosing safer hangouts!

Chippy doesn't play tricks on us, instead he brings us things for the classroom. On Wednesday he showed up with "magic spheres" that expanded in water - great for getting that 3d shape practice, plus the kids loved exploring them in Science Center so they were a sensory treat as well!

On Thursday he brought us notepaper and a special pen and asked us to write him letters! As kids had time throughout the day they were allowed to get a note and practice writing their name or Chippy's name or any letters around the room. The special pen made it even better and they all took turns to use it :)

On Friday he brought us  Pete the Cat and Llama llama floor puzzles for our puzzle center! He also hung out on top of our Reading Center canopy - much safer!

I'm not sure what he'll be up to on Monday, but you can find great science ideas at Dollar Tree ;)

We also spent the week creating this bulletin board display:
The kids collected the sticks during recess and we talked about graduated order and how the sticks are lomg on the bottom of the tree and get shorter towards the top.  The ornaments were made by patterning holiday scrapbook paper and the snowflakes are handprints!

We're keeping the Gingerbread them going too - we've read several versions of The Gingerbread Boyas well as Jan Brett's Gingerbread Baby and Gingerbread Friends .

 We tasted Gingerbread too:
Not only had most of my kiddos never tasted a gingerbread cookie, most of them took their cookie's head off in the first bite!

We love matching our ten frames and numeral cards from my Christmas Ten Frames pack - those little gingerbread cookies are too adorable and the kids can't get enough of them!

We're also still working on our Gingerbread Math Readers:
I love introducing the reader in the pocket chart since it helps so much with Print Concepts. Many of my littles come to me with zero knowledge about reading and doing pocket chart stories like these help us nail down print directionality, and one to one correspondence between spoken word and printed word.

This next week we'll be finishing up our Gingerbread Unit, making a TON of handprint crafts and somehow squeeze in a visit from Santa, a class party AND a performance at our final assembly of the year! I can't wait!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Gingerbread Factory! (Freebies!)

We're going into week 2 of our gingerbread unit and we have been having so much fun! Take a look at the transformation of our Dramatic Play Center:

When I told my students that we would be transforming our Dramatic Play area, they came up with a list of items that they would need. Top on their list was a sign (they love reading this Environmental Print freebie). I drafted my daughter to make it for us and the kids were thrilled with it!

We added some simple cooking items from Walmart and the Dollar Tree, to convert our regular kitchen. The key to this was to provide real items - the engagement level shot through the roof when real bowls and wooden spoons were used versus the toy plastic ones.

The recipe book is also a must - the kids loved learning about following a recipe, and I love that they come over to have me taste their creations and say "I put some vanilla in this one!" or "Does it have enough cinnamon?" We are really expanding our vocabularies!

 Over the course of 3 days we rotated everyone through the center at least once so they could "bake a gingerbread cookie":
We used sequins, buttons, pom poms, stickers and lots of glitter and glue! Once we had all made a cookie, the cash register came out and it was time to purchase those cookies! Now we choose and pay for a cookie and then sit and eat it at the table while the "waitstaff" hover nearby, pushing more cookies!
We'll keep our factory open for another week - making more cookies and having a ton of fun ordering and paying for them! The best part about the center is hearing the interaction between the children and I'll often hear them break into song (we're practicing this Gingerbread Cookie song for our concert) or start reciting the lines from one of our Gingerbread Readers!

Come back tomorrow to see what we've been doing in math with our gingerbread theme! 

Now, on to the freebies!

First, the 2014 Winter Holidays Tips & Freebies Ebook is out! My contribution is on page 26 :) This is a must-grab because there are 50 pages of tips and freebies!

Next, a flash freebie for the next 2 hours! My new Gingerbread Rhymes pack! I had to use these adorable little gingies and what better way than with some rhyming practice?! Go grab it now and remember to leave some feedback love!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Cyber Sale Ideas & FREEBIE

Just a head's up that there are just a few more hours left for the Cyber Sale at TPT! You can save 28% off my entire store!

Here are  a few of my favorite packs for the season:
 Gingerbread Alphabet Match-Up - students match upper to lowercase letters or to a beginning sound picture card!

Gingerbread Skills Pack  - tons of Kindergarten Math & Literacy skills covered in this pack!

Gingerbread Sight Word Game - all 220 Dolch words, 3 ways to play & extra blank cards!

Gingerbread Cowboy Roll & Cover Games - my students love Roll & Cover games & I love these graphics!

Christmas Ten Frames Pack - great ten frames practice! Includes 3 different themes AND print n go worksheets!

Winter Ten Frames Pack - great for January or if you can't do holidays!

Snow Much Measuring Fun Pack - tons of fun with lots of measuring concepts, including time. length, height, & graphing ! Here are some pics of it "in action":

I want to thank each of my followers for supporting me! It makes me so happy to share my creations with you. Your support means the world to me and my family! Without selling items on TPT I could not buy so much for my classroom nor afford the little "extras" for my own 5 children! Bless you!

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