Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

     For the first time in long time, since before we were married, my husband and I are spending Christmas quietly at home! Oh we had our traditional Christmas morning with my grown kids, no grandkids yet, and my parents which is so fun. We are truly blessed to have 3 generations together on Christmas morn...well actually it starts Christmas Eve. Let me back up...

     My daughter and I do a spaghetti dinner at Grandma's house, then we all go to their church for Christmas Eve service. (the Grandparents love showing us off to all their friends :D). After the service we take them home and the Kids come to our house for cookies, cocoa, and our traditional movie; National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. Oh! And don't forget their one Christmas Eve gift, their new pj's!. This started when they were little and they still expect it! the oldest is 29! (I didn't do it one year and they stomped around and sulked for the whole evening!)

     Then Christmas morning, making cinnamon rolls for my Son-In-Law (the best SIL ever!) and an egg casserole begins the Christmas festivities. The gang starts arriving around 8:00am so I have to have lots of coffee ready! The casserole pops into the oven while we start the present passing, and is done usually as we finish with gifts. The best thing, we all agreed, was spending time together, laughing, eating, and reminiscing. This year my daughter and her husband are spending the afternoon at his family's house so we agreed to do our BIG dinner on the 26th. Hence our quiet afternoon.

     Some people have a hard time with their children growing up and "traditions" changing. Yes, our traditions have changed but our center hasn't ... our family. My kids bless us by wanting to be with us and not just during the holidays. Things are different than when then were small (I'm not so tired from staying up all night putting out toys - LOL) but the importance of being together hasn't. That is something to be Merry about!

Merry Christmas to all and God Bless Us, Everyone!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas tree poster

A week to go But I think my class is already gone. They are giggling and chatting with a little bit of work here and there. So I guess I could fight them or join them, well maybe not go that far. I have all kinds of Christmas projects to to do but I am trying to have some learning taking place. So chose to do math games to review strategies and problem solving; We have so much fun with Ericas Bohrer's Domino Math Unit. It was a rainy day, which means inside recess. And guess what they were begging to play. Yep more "domino games" Thanks Erica. Tomorrow we are going to do the Plus One sheets.

They really got Fact Families and love making up their own.

For Phonics we are looking for patterns and then matching the rules. I writing words on sentence strips. I pass them out to different table groups and they go to town cutting or marking up the words, then matching it to the rule card. Meanwhile I am throwing in an craft thing or two. 

We finished the Candy Cane Legend last week and I thought that was the best. But oohs and aaahs today when I showed the Christmas tree poster made my day.

It was a fun afternoon project.
There are 7 ornaments showing items that are commonly seen at Christmas plus I left a blank ornament that the kids drew something that important to them. There were many dogs, families and friends drawn.
Then we wrote the significance of each ornament and glue the sheet to the back of the poster.

They were so cute talking about where they were going to hang them in their rooms. I love it when they are so excited about a project.

So tomorrow we will begin making our parent gifts.. I know I am a little late.  I didn't know what to do and was searching and searching, when a parent came in with a box and said "can you use these?"
Well I almost always say yes to that question and was very surprised to find 5"x7" plexiglass frames
 (the kind that sits on a desk or shelf). So we will be decorating those, drawing a picture to put in the frame, as well as picture of them and a maybe a hand print.

We are also going to decoupage green tissue paper to the lids of frozen juice. I have their little school pics to put in the middle and tiny little pompoms to use as berries. Hopefully they will look like wreaths. But I say a paintbrush and messy, watery paste is a successful project no matter what.

We will see what other mess we can make tomorrow.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Silence for Sandy Hook Elementary

As a 1st grade teacher I personally feel a lose and heartache for all the 

students and their families at Sandy Hook Elementary. How do we possible 

explain this tragedy occurring to such innocent little souls. I am sure that I am 

not alone feeling this shock and grief. May God find some way to use this for 

good, because I right now can't.

I am joining my fellow teachers in a day of silence for teacher bloggers on Sunday, December 16, 2012. You can show support also by only posting the picture below on your blog and titling your post as "Silence for Sandy Hook Elementary" .

God bless our smallest ones.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Christmas Tree & other Symbols

We finally got our tree and it is a really nice one this year, well on three sides (I don't know if trees really have sides?) and the "hole" is really only at the bottom so I don't think that counts. We put that side to the wall and I think we are good. 
 I think it looks pretty good!

Well as my family and I were decorating, reminiscing of Christmases past and being reminded of events that went with each small ornament.
 ( We have a very eclectic tree! ), I began thinking about all the things that make Christmas. That made me wonder where did these traditions come from and why. Interestingly, many are founded in the Christian meaning of Christmas, in the story of when the Christ child was born.

Of course as I was surfin' the net and learning about the symbols of Christmas, I had a vision  a brainstorm. I could do a unit for my class about the Symbols of Christmas.

                   ....And so I did. Here is my unit on the common decorations that we see
around us everywhere at Christmas time; 
angels, stars, gifts, evergreen tree, candy canes, and lights

I know that Christmas is getting close, but this is a Ready to Go Unit, with a craft and some other fun things. Please check it out at my TpT shop.

It includes 
this Craft and Book

This is an old picture, but it gives an idea of what it looks like.
 I need to take a new one with the cute ornament balls
and pictures of the symbols on them.
The Jesus Tree is a book by Annetta E. Dellinger

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Another Giveaway Link

I just can't get enough... I am supposed to be pulling out the Christmas lights and decorations to encourage my helpful elves to pitch in after we go get our tree today. Instead, I am checking out pinterest (but I have to find a craft for my kiddos for parent presents) and keeping up with by Bloggie Friends (so many fantastic ideas). So many that my head hurts trying to figure out how I can possible choose just a few!!! Anyway I ran across this giveaway that I found at Growing Firsties. It is so cute and such a fun idea for encouraging "STAR"readers.

She has great resources to help Star Readers set goals to become even better readers!
Check it Out!

New Christmas Ideas

We have been having so much fun comparing the different Gingerbread stories. We even read The Matzah Man .

After a week of reading a variety of Gingerbread themed books we were ready to embark on our own creations. First we made and decorated our own to create our main character. I used various shades of brown construction paper to represent cookies  and box full of things that was glued on to make buttons, etc. This summer I came across some new crayons, well new to me. The are called Construction Paper crayons by Crayola. 

WOW do they make the color POP

The little artists couldn't stop coloring.
We then started planning and writing our story, I am so impressed with their creativity and writing ability. They are all going the past the "5" sentence requirement; 
opening sentence
beginning, middle, ending
then a closing.

Meanwhile I have updated my Nativity Packet. It is up to 19 pages. I added a guided writing booklet that can illustrated and new picture cards with Bible references that can be matched to the vocabulary cards. 
These can also can be used to sequence the Christmas story.
I hope you will check it out.

AND If you have already purchased be sure to go back and download it again to pick up the new pages. Meanwhile...