Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gingerbread Baby comes

       You've gotta love first graders. We started our Gingerbread Unit this week and my Little Gingerbread Beannie Baby showed up in class yesterday. Oh the ooohs and ahhs he got was so cute. They had so many questions to ask HIM, not me! Who thought that their little faces could light up any brighter. But they did when they were told that GB Baby (that's what we call him for short) will stay till Christmas AND everyday he will sit on the desk of a quiet student! A hush suddenly came over the room. TaDa! It was the quietest day ever.... well truth be told it was quiet for a while, except for the little honey who was lucky enough to have GB Baby on her desk!. Oh Yeah, she was quiet.

Here is a picture of my cutie pie. 

        The best part was when we would sit on the carpet, GB Baby had to go too.  We had library and they convinced me that GB Baby should go along too. They all promised to watch him so that he didn't run away! Isn't that so cute? And tomorrow phase 2  of my Christmas Quiet Plan goes into affect. 
Candy Canes!

         Yes, I have found that I can get a lot from a first grader with a promise of a candy cane that they can eat at their desk while the work. I have special "blessing" coupons that say "Sweet treats for Sweet Behavior". I pass out these coupons blessings for any positive behavior that I see, especially in the beginning. When they get 5 blessings they may trade them for a Small Little Candy Cane. It has worked very well for managing behavior during this joyful holiday time. I mean how else do you compete with Christmas lights, trees, bells, presents, the Christmas Elf that is showing up to spy for Santa, and theBig  Elf himself! 

Here is my Blessing Coupon Freebie
if you want to give it a try
Click Here

Gotta Run...Let me know how you manage the Holiday excitement in your class. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Candy Cane Unit

I have worked this weekend (in between hubbie post surgery needs, laundry, and oh yeah lesson plans for tomorrow) and I have created 2 units for Christmas. These 2 are Christian related Christmas packages. I am working on some others that are not for those at Public schools and cannot use these. But you get to do Santa and I can't so it evens out I guess. But if it wasn't for Jesus we really wouldn't be having Christmas now would we?

Anyway here is my take off on The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg. It has the masters for the Candy Cane Poster I did last year. Here's a link back. I have added some other activities including a writing activity. So I hope you will check it out.

Really have to go and get ready for tomorrow. I thought I would be more ready but this week has been Very very busy. I almost have to get back to school to rest up. Four more weeks until vacation.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Christmas Sale

I had a great time at my convention and my head is swimming with ideas. This has turned out to be a very busy, crazy Thanksgiving.  I am so glad that I didn't have to do Thanksgiving /Birthday this year. My daughter who has a Thanksgiving Birthday went out of town, well actually out of the country with friends ( and her husband) to celebrate in Mexico.

So I thought that would give me extra time to play work on my TPT ideas. I am sure that you have heard about the big sale.
 I will have my items on sale for 20% off  
you can get another additional 10% by using the code "cmt12"!!
Get started on your wish list...I sure am!

So here I am, trying to get some of my Christmas packs done before Monday and Tuesday's big sale. But meanwhile my hubbie decides to have eye trouble and had to had emergency surgery.  I thought no problem, I can take my computer with me. There I was, with my computer in the waiting room, trying to find a plug as my computer was dying and of course I can't get any internet connection! Gratefully, surgery went well, eye will mend, and I finally finished one of my Christmas packs. 

So I will have least one item on sale for Monday and Tuesday.
I hope you will visit my store as you visit so many others. I know I have a wish list.

I am hoping to get a Gingerbread Pack, A Candy Cane Unit, and a Symbols of Christmas Pack.
I'll try.
Meanwhile I still have to grades into the computer, spelling words and homework ready for December along with lesson plans and a newsletter I have yet to do. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Brain Overload and A Giveaway Link

Just returned from a 2 day ACSI Teaching Convention in Anaheim and boy is my brain on overload from so much information. I can't wait to sit down and prepare some things for my class! From writing ideas to helps for high functioning special needs kids in class and everything in between. Whew! But it was a sweet bonding time with the teachers at my school. 

The 14 of us began by eating a fantastic diner at the Cheesecake Factory But while we were waiting for everyone to arrive, my BFF and 2nd grade teacher, went shopping. There was a sale at the Skechers store, a BOGO 1/2 off. We found these lightweight, very flexible sneakers called "GO Walk". OMG they are the most comfortable, cushy soft shoe ever! I wore them for two days walking around the Anaheim convention center without tired feet. I bought black since I thought they were a little more dressy with my jeans.

I have so many blogs to follow and catch up on. I also want to let you know about a giveaway for a Binding Machine that Nicole at Teaching with Class is giving away. If you have never used a binding machine you need to check this out. They are used for binding paper together. I use them for class books, Parent Handbooks, Birthday books that I give each student that contain stories written by their classmates about the the Birthday Student, scrapbook gift to parents, and so much more. Go to Teaching with Class and enter.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

TGIF before vacation

       We made it thru the week and ended with a very successful Pumpkin Tasting. Since we have been doing many activities involving pumpkins ( I discovered that my little ones think pumpkins are for Halloween jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin pies come from the store) I decided to have parents bring in anything made from pumpkins. Some of my parents really did some scrambling and we had some great treats. The favorite was Pumpkin Milkshakes  made from pumpkin puree and vanilla ice cream blended together with some spices and a dollop of whip cream. YUMMMY! We also had pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, muffins, bread, tarts, cheesecake and even pumpkin shaped rice krispie treats. I was busy doing crafts, monitoring parents and keeping track of kids so I didn't get to take pictures so I'll have to wait for my Photo Mom to send me some. But here is the picture of our turkey craft.

These turkeys are "stuffed" with a bag of rice and come with a recipe for leftover turkey casserole. I have had this pattern for years so I have no idea where it came from. But it always so much fun.

The recipe is simple:

Gobble-Good Turkey Casserole
1 can of Cream of Mushroom soup
1 can Cream of Celery soup
1 package onion soup mix
1 cup uncooked rice
1 and 1/2 cups of milk
2 or 3 cups of leftover turkey

Combine all ingredients in a large casserole dish. Bake covered 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

All in all it was a pretty fun day. I even put up one Christmas BB to get a head start when we return. Meanwhile I am packing to go to a 2 day conference and will return just in time to make Thanksgiving dinner. The problem will be that my head will be into making activities for my class not cleaning my house (which is never my 1st thought) and cooking a big meal. I think I need a pause button.

For the 4 weeks, I  am planning activities around The Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett, Symbols of Christmas, and The Christmas Story.  I'll try to post next week.

The Gingerbread stories I use for comparison to the Gingerbread Man are:

Interesting twists to the original story.

Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone.

Monday, November 12, 2012


I am sure you are like me and are saying "Where did November go?" We have been so busy but it feels like a marathon, maybe the Ironman, it just keeps rolling into the next event.  My class is so great and I am so proud how much they are reading. I had a proud moment last week when we were talking about the 1st quarter ending. I was giving out reading awards (all but one child read over 250 minutes in October! WOW) and I reminded them that two months ago most of them couldn't read and look at them now! And one little girl said, "But you always told us we were readers and now we are!"  It starts with believing.

Here is a freebie maybe you can use for Thanksgiving.  I have included 2 versions; 1 for those at a public school and 1 for those who would like a Christian version.

Giving Thanks

Also we had our Great Pumpkin Day with five stations. The kids had so much fun weighing, measuring, and exploring. Thanks to so many of you who have shared your ideas, especially  Cara Carroll with her The Great Pumpkin Investigation Package

My class and parents had so much fun. 
Here's some pictures from my class.

And here is our Pumpkin Wall Gallery

And lastly, I who never wins anything...DID! I won Jenn Bates'
new, Thanksgiving Read the Room pack. Yeah and just in time since I don't really have any center themed activities for this week. Shame on me, I know. But now I do. 
I know the class will have so much fun with this. 
Thanks Jennifer Bates at Finally in First