Saturday, November 30, 2013

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas & CYBER Monday

   Are you ready for some Cyber Monday deals? Well as you try to make your purchases between your lunch and planning periods on Monday do not forget about the GIANT sale over at Teachers Pay Teachers. Many stores are up to 28% off with checkout code CYBER.

   You have got to love Colorado weather! The warm, dry 60 degree day today was a great opportunity for me and the boys to get the outside of our house to match the inside Christmas feel. What we thought was going to be an hour away from the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park (my boys obsession for years) ended up being a three hour project. But we had fun in the sun! Here is a little glimpse of our work.
 My oldest helping decorate our fence along the greenbelt. 
 Checking to make sure everything looks perfect!
 My youngest getting the wreaths ready to hang. 
 We had to test out the lights even though it is not dark. 

 Our front porch
 We decorated in the house yesterday
 Our tree
and stockings hung with care by my boys.
Let's bring on December!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Black Friday Sale

   Happy Thanksgiving! Hopefully you all had a great day with family and friends. I had a quiet day with my two favorite boys setting up our Christmas decorations and having a Harry Potter marathon. The hubby had to work today...those jailed youth require 24 hour attention holiday or not. So we had a little feast this morning before he left. This is the first year I will be staying home and skipping the Black Friday shopping in the stores and be shopping from my computer instead. I have a little Black Friday treat for all of you. My TPT store is 20% off so head on over by clicking on the image below.

Monday, November 25, 2013

December in a Nutshell

   The last week before Thanksgiving break has come and gone so quickly. Our First Thanksgiving Reader's Theater and 2nd grade feast was a huge success! Here is a little glance at our feast after our play...
   Our kiddos enjoyed lots of mashed potatoes, corn, rolls, pie, and turkey.  And my little kiddo got to disguise his own little turkey for his first grade class last week. Here is his before turkey...
 and his after picture of his favorite living thing on earth...a PENGUIN. 
   Helping my kiddo with his penguin reminded me that December is just a week away and it is time to prep all our holiday Christmas activities. Here is a look ahead at the month of December in our classroom.
   During our Daily 5 Math rotations we will be using my math journals and Polar Express Math Centers each day.  
      During our literacy block we will be comparing and contrasting different versions of the Gingerbread Man. Here is the anchor chart we will be using with each story using sticky notes. 
   We will also go more in-depth with sequence of details, character traits, and comparing and contrasting the settings, characters, and themes. Here are a couple items from my unit. 
   Our writing will include some activities from my Arctic Animals Nonfiction Unit. My kiddos will learn about various arctic animals, which will lead up to our Polar Express unit, and write a research book based on what they learned. This unit contains over a dozen graphic organizers of arctic animals, writing templates, and literacy and math centers. 
   And what is December without a visit from The Elf on the Shelf? This little elf will come packed in a box our first day back from break. My kiddos will infer what is on the inside on the box by using the clues from the outside of the box. Inside will be The Elf on the Shelf book, elf, student journals, and a letter from Santa. My plan is to have our classroom elf hide each day around our room the first week and then become mischievous the last two weeks before Christmas break. My classroom kiddos will draw and write what the elf is doing each morning in their journals. You can get my Elf on the Shelf unit, with package labels, Santa letter, student journals, persuasive writing templates, and math centers, and all of my other December themed units by clicking on the above images. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Weekend Break

   My teammates and I had a crazy week last week. We have a couple of challenging students this year and the moon must have been aligned a certain way because boy were they off. And not in a good way. Needless to say I needed a break...a mental break. So I spent the weekend doing absolutely nothing school related, Booksource related, or even TPT related...well until about 5 minutes ago. I spent the weekend taking a break from it all to cleanse my mind. I got to visit with my nephew who was visiting from Florida Friday night...
He may not look too thrilled here, but he was a happy camper.
   And then my kiddos got to spend the weekend with my mom, AKA Nana, so the hubby and I got to go to dinner and a movie...ALONE. It was so strange go to an 8:45 pm movie. And then today my kiddos and I joined Nana and my brother for lunch. It was a perfect weekend of no stress. I promised myself on Friday that I would not do one ounce on work, but I had to share my First Thanksgiving Reader's Theatre. My writing kiddos will be learning about the struggles and successes of the Pilgrims and Native Americans the next two weeks. We will be using Scholastic's First Thanksgiving resources and my Reader's Theatre. You can use the FREE Scholastic resource below and get my Reader's Theatre by clicking on the image.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Where Are All of the Turkeys?

   So I feel like the time change could not come at a better time. I feel totally recouped from the Halloween craziness. I spent Friday afternoon putting all of my Thanksgiving themed math and literacy centers out and updating the writing tools and resources in my writing center for the kiddos to use. I wanted some more Thanksgiving themed stickers and headed out to the stores yesterday. Can you believe that all of their "fall" items were already on clearance and I couldn't find anything turkey?!?! Did I sleep for more than that extra hour last night and Thanksgiving already passed us by? I love Christmas, but come on...I want to celebrate Thanksgiving too! After five stores I finally found my stickers for my kiddos sticker stories.
   Here are the resources my kiddos will be using the next couple of weeks before fall break and our pumpkin life cycle writing unit from a couple weeks ago. Click on the images to get a copy for yourself.
   This upcoming week we will begin our Persuasive Letter writing unit. Our kiddos are having a Thanksgiving feast the Friday before fall break so we are writing letters to our awesome superintendent  about why he should come to our feast. We will be using three stories this week to help guide us in our persuasive writing.

   Sophie Peterman Tells the Truth is one of the funniest stories I have ever read so I am excited for my kiddos to hear it. This was one of the books I have worked on for Booksource. Another reason why I am so excited to be creating teacher resources for them as I get exposed to books I can use in my classroom! We will be using an anchor chart from KinderGals to help brainstorm our thoughts as cooperative groups to create two groups letters as practice before we will work on our own persuasive letter. You can click on the anchor chart image below to be taken to KinderGals to download the anchor chart for FREE.
   In math we will be using ads from local businesses and restaurant menus to add together items we want to purchase if we began with $5.00. We will be doing ALOT of whole group purchasing before our kiddos begin purchasing on their own. Pictures to come later this week! I am also so excited to see our benchmark and advanced kiddos from our Walk to Read room present their readers theatre during our literacy intervention block. I think it is going to be so motivating for my intensive kiddos to see and hear their peers reading so fluently and with accuracy.
  Have a great week and keep an eye out for those turkeys!

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Day After Halloween...Sugar Overload!

   Does anyone else feel like they were run over by a bus? The day after Halloween should be its own national holiday or at least a teacher work day. I am so exhausted from our Halloween festivities yesterday and all my kiddos were Energizer bunnies today. Too much sugar perhaps? Yesterday we celebrated our bat unit with a fruit bat cookies and cupcakes were allowed. It took a little convincing to some parents that we needed fruit donated and not sweets and boy did they come through! We had so much fruit we could have feed a full colony of bats!!! Here is a few pictures of how we spent our day exploring and learning with bats.
 Rolling and adding up two or three dice and then adding or subtracting 10 to find the sum or difference.
 Don't they look so cute in their costumes?
Did you know that a bat can eat over 600 mosquitoes in one hour?
  Making our 100 mosquito plates.
 Bat Stew...yum!
 Adding or subtracting our "stew sticks" and sorting into the correct answer cauldrons.
 Bat Fact Families
 Measuring various sizes of bats with the grossest candy ever made...CANDY CORN. Don't you just love this little superhero and white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland?
And an interactive center rotation with my kiddos favorite Lakeshore Learning Promethean board game....Place Value Haunted House. You can purchase this awesome resource HERE.
   I am really glad my kiddos had a great time trick-or-treating even though I feel as if we did not get that much learning in today. I am just grateful that we did not have any meltdowns including myself!