Sunday, December 9, 2012

Giveaway + Relfy Update + 4-Square Writing!

Hello! I have a super fabulous giveaway for you today, but first, a little update on Relfy, our Elf on the Shelf! Apparently Relfy is not aware that he is a Shelf Elf, because he hasn't been any where near a shelf in our classroom. Instead, on Friday we found him like this:


Yep, he took the left over rice we had from these:

(check out my guest blog over at PreK + K Sharing to see how I colored the rice and how we made our trees!)

and for some odd reason, buried himself in it. The kiddos were quite puzzled about it and even worried if he would be able to breathe! Luckily we realized that elves are magical and he would be able to breathe without issues if he wanted to. :P My firsties are utterly enchanted by our elf and he is the first thing they look for in the morning. Next week we are going to start getting into some writing about/with our Elf and Santa!

Speaking of writing, this week we started 4-Square Writing. Our 4th and 5th grade teachers asked us to start teaching it since if the students are already familiar with it by the time they get to 4th & 5th then they can concentrate on refining their writing rather than having to teach them the organization process. I decided to jump on board with it right away!

We started out by doing some picture sorts and did a couple of 4-Square writing prompts as a whole group. Once I felt they had the basic idea down, I let them lose on their own.

Some did amazingly well:

 She was the only one to talk about the different tastes of the food she chose. She had great organization, stayed on topic for the whole paragraph and did great with punctuation/capitalization.


Others struggled a bit but were ultimately pretty successful:

 He used "chr" instead of "tr" for the beginning sound in "triangle" :) But considering he did this 100% on his own, had proper capitalization AND remembered his punctuation in 2 out of 4 sentences, I was pretty impressed (not to mention I love the way he spelled "kind of")!

And some needed extensive help:

This little guy struggled to get 2 sentences done, even with a tutor sitting next to him and a picture dictionary. It says: Apples are sweet. I like ice cream on birthday
I have to point out that the first sample was from a Transitional First kiddo - that means she had an extra year between K and 1st. What a huge difference that year makes!  The second sample is from a child who had a super fabulous K teacher - I love her to death and she does an awesome job! The 3rd sample is from a child who did not have a successful K year due to ineffective teaching (teacher on cell phone all day, not having lesson plans, using worksheets for everything etc). I am planning on sharing these next week at our meeting. Maybe, seeing the difference laid out so clearly, we will stop considering K a "throw away grade" and start putting our best teachers in it rather than considering it a place where an ineffective teacher can "do the least harm". Sorry, got on my soapbox for a moment there, I'll try to refrain from preaching to the choir!

Another thing that went right on Friday? At our weekly whole-school assembly we had a drawing for students who had completed a track walking card. Each day from 8:30 to about 8:50 students can walk the track, as they complete a lap they get a hole punched in their card. Once their card is complete, it goes into the bucket for a drawing. Well, one of my students won and was sooo thrilled. I was so excited to see her win because she really needs as many postivie things in her life as possible. I pixelated her face for privacy, but I wanted you to see this grin:


Alright, time for this giveaway! I am super excited to announce that the nice people at Kohl's have given me a $50 gift card to give away! I blogged about them this Fall, when we visited the Witchita Falls store for some books, plush and hoodies for my boys! My boys absolutely love their hoodies and so far the weather has been so mild they haven't even needed coats since the hoodies are so warm!

Anyways, I contacted Kohl's about doing a giveaway since I really feel they have a lot to offer - both for teachers in the way of their toys, $5 books and plush, and just as a generally great place to shop for home/family too! You should check out their new toy page, where you can search by age or category! I am going to have this giveaway run from today through Saturday December 15th, and I will announce the winner on Sunday December 16th. Check out the rafflecopter to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 


54 Rustle Up A Response!:

Kaci Hoffer said... Reply to comment

Your Elf is TOO FUNNY! I really hope I win the giftcard, I need to buy some new teacher shoes :)

Maria Manore said... Reply to comment

I'd buy an Angry birds building set from K'Nex!
Maria
Kinder-Craze

Realistic Teacher said... Reply to comment

I would get some games for my room - I know my kids love Headbanz and it makes for a great recess game. Apples to Apples and Brain Quest are popular with my kids too :)

~Realistic

http://realistic-teacher.blogspot.com

Crayons and Curls said... Reply to comment

I love your elf! Too funny!
I'd buy my son a Scooter!
Cheryl
Crayons and Curls

Amber said... Reply to comment

Glad to know that my elf isn't the only one that likes to do crazy things at school, on Friday, Jingle was hang gliding!! I'd buy my nephew some Lincoln Logs, he loves them!!

Amber
ambs98@nc.rr.com

Tracy Tegeler said... Reply to comment

My kids would love the Rock Tumbler during our Rocks and Minerals unit!

Tracy
Creekside Teacher Tales

MrsS said... Reply to comment

I would definitely get some new games for the classroom with an extra $50. Love Kohl's...and love your blog!
Thanks.
Andrea
simmonsa1@sfusd.edu

Cindy Foreman said... Reply to comment

I love Kohls Care's products and if I win I would buy some of those to create a take home bag(s) with a book and a plush animal and a journal for the kiddos to write about what they did with their "guest" for the evening.

Mrs. Leeby said... Reply to comment

I'd buy my son some Legos!

Irene
Learning With Mrs. Leeby

Stacy Grasley said... Reply to comment

Love the xmas trees your kiddos created, and the 4 square writing seems like an interesting concept. I never heard of it before and will definitely be looking into it. Thanks for the chance to win!

Marsha M. Moffit McGuire said... Reply to comment

Do you have any idea what I can do with $50 at Kohls? Books, toys and a little something something for me too.
Marsha

Kelly said... Reply to comment

Awesome giveaway!! Love your blog!

Kelly
Thirsty Firsties

Pam said... Reply to comment

I like the amazing marble construction set. And of course the table and chair sets. Thanks for all the great ideas!

Pam said... Reply to comment

I would love the amazing marble set and any of the table and chairs sets. Thanks for all the great ideas!!

christine said... Reply to comment

I love all the Melissa and Doug products...puzzles, stamps,etc.!

Andrea said... Reply to comment

I would stock up on some games like the Lincoln Logs and Disney Apples to Apples to get the kids through our indoor recess days.

Mrs. Brown said... Reply to comment

I love all of the Leapfrog products! They are great!

kellybrown28021@gmail.com

Maggie at MKC! said... Reply to comment

What a great giveaway! I love Kohl's!
Maggie

Yvonne Rodgers said... Reply to comment

I would LOVE to purchase the Night Before Christmas and the Velveteen Rabbit! I always purchase a class set PLUS a set for my Labradoodles. They love the new toys when I come home from Khols!

Miss Squirrels said... Reply to comment

I know I would have to get the books and plush toys- that toto would make a great reading partner!
Miss Squirrels

Going Nutty!

misssquirrels@yahoo.com

Karyn said... Reply to comment

I would get the Leapfrog Tag Get Ready to read bundle! Your elf is too funny!

œKaryn
A is for Apple B is for Blog
Kideducator@comcast.net

K is for Kinderrific said... Reply to comment

Going to look up the 4 square writing thing...I've never heard of that! Looks promising for K kiddos to help them organize their ideas! With $50 from Kohls I would buy something from LeapFrog! I love all of their products!

Debbie :-)
kisforkinderrific@gmail.com
K is for Kinderrific

Katy said... Reply to comment

I would have to get the $5 book and plush toys. Such a great deal!

Katy
kevans927@hotmail.com

KinderRoom103 said... Reply to comment

So.... I had my 3 year old look at the toy page with me and he wanted every toy on the page! Well almost anyways! But I think we would be most likely to get the Disney Playland with balls thing... He fell in love with it!

THanks

Karmen
carmenb194@gmail.com
Karmens Kinders

Tina said... Reply to comment

I would get the What's Gnu game and a leapfrog product. Love leapfrog!!!
Tina

Tina said... Reply to comment

I would get the What's Gnu game and a leapfrog product. Love leapfrog!!!
Tina

hibiscus118 said... Reply to comment

Great giveaway!

Sara said... Reply to comment

I'd either buy a Mr. Potato Head or some sort of board game! I can always use some more games.

Sara
Miss V's Busy Bees
ventrellasara@gmail.com

susan said... Reply to comment

I would love to get the Melissa and Doug Wooden Art Easel.

Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies said... Reply to comment

I would love the electricity kit and the eco dome habitat kit!
What an awesome giveaway!
~Lorraine
Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies

Bren P. said... Reply to comment

I would get the Melissa and Doug magnetic wooden alphabet and some children's books! Thanks for the chance to win a gift card! :)

Bren P.
The Teacher Diaries
The.Teacher.Diaries.K4@gmail.com

Katie Smith said... Reply to comment

I would love to get any book character stuffed animals. I'd love to fill my classroom with picture books and the animals that go with them someday.
Katie :)
I Want to be a Super Teacher

Anonymous said... Reply to comment

My two boys love Thomas the train, I would pick one or two of the sets Kohls has to offer. Thanks for the chance! Liene @ LLucane at yahoo dot com

Delighted said... Reply to comment

Books for sure! The characters that go with this would be great too!

imgoingfirst@gmail.com

izzie said... Reply to comment

I'd buy stuffed animals and Kohl's Cares books. My kinders love to cuddle when they read.

izzie said... Reply to comment
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cherie said... Reply to comment

I would love the Melissa & Doug Activity Cart if I win!

cheriemae@gmail.com

Lori said... Reply to comment

I would buy Leap Frog.

Debbie Minter said... Reply to comment

The wildwood workbench for my grandson.

Jennifer Vukosic said... Reply to comment

I would get some new board games for my classroom.

Jen
jeneratorj@gmail.com

Mrs. Mac said... Reply to comment

I loved the owl they had - so cute!

larcher0411 said... Reply to comment

For my own kids I would love art sets. For my classroom more games would be great!

Lori

littlelori0411@yahoo.com

Megan Horman said... Reply to comment

Your elf is very sneaky! I would love to with the Kohl's card. There are so many great things to buy but they always have such neat books and animals to go with them. The kids would love to read to the animals.
Megan
mhorman@north-cedar.k12.ia.us

Brianne said... Reply to comment

I love Kohls books and stuffed animals sets!!
bl3982@yahoo.com

dbednars said... Reply to comment

I would get puzzles and games for my classroom. Thank you! dbednarsk@yahoo.com

Ellen said... Reply to comment

I would get some games for my classroom!

Teacher-ific said... Reply to comment

I would get Disney Mickey Mouse Master Moves Mickey by Fisher-Price

Tamara Williams said... Reply to comment

I love love love the writing idea. I will definitely be telling my partners in crime to check out your blog! I would buy my son a new coat with the $50. He so needs one since he is growing so fast. Thank you for sharing!

Randee said... Reply to comment

What an awesome giveaway! I LOVE Kohl's for myself, home, and school. The Kohl's Cares books and animals are a great deal for a great cause. I definitely spend some of the $50 on books!

randeeschatz@hotmail.com
"How about them apples?"

A.Laine Elise said... Reply to comment

I'd love to get a new board game.
family74014 at gmail dot com

Live, Laugh, I LOVE Kindergarten said... Reply to comment

The colored rice would be perfect for so many activities! Love it!

Kimberly Ann
Live, Laugh, I LOVE Kindergarten

Teresa Smith said... Reply to comment

I love your elf. I need to get mine moving. He has been watching over us from the same place for a while. I would get some more books and plush animals for my class and maybe some games.

cheryl alexander said... Reply to comment

Would love to get some new games for the class

aaltw_515 said... Reply to comment

Angry Birds Hammin' Around Building Set by K'NEX
both of my kids would love this

sethandtjay@yahoo.com

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