Thursday, December 27, 2012

The countdown is on…

I don’t know about the rest of you but I cant wait to get back to school. I may be the only teacher that feels that way, but I get bored on break. So far I have done the holiday thing (BahHumbug) cleaned out my closets, started re-organizing my home office, made new labels, and the list goes on. I have tried to stay away from the stores as I am saving for something big and don’t want to be tempted by the holiday sales and etc.

While doing my daily pinning, I ran across this pencil sharpener again and was so excited to see that it was back in stock and now available in black. Wooo Hoooo!!! It’s the little things that get me excited. Have you heard about this amazing sharpener??? I personally have not used it but definitely trust the hundreds of fellow teacher friends and bloggers who continually blog about this classroom wonder. Head on over to their Facebook page and find out how you can enter their giveaway. (Don’t forget to tell them Mrs. Freshwater sent you!!)

 

Midnight Black

BTW I am currently working on my morning work packet. I have been struggling since the beginning of the year to find an equal balance for my early birds and my late stragglers. I am hoping this weekly packet will keep them busy . I am hoping to have my January version up by Sunday just in time for the return of school. By the way when do you return?? We go back on Thursday January 3rd.

Melissa

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happy Grinch Day

As many people know Christmas is not my favorite holiday. My momma goes away for Christmas so it is always a hard holiday for me. I try to cherish the itty bitty family that I have and am very blessed this year that my baby boy is recovered from his automobile accident and doing wonderful. (God is good!!) Since I am a bit of a Scrooge/Grinch, I couldn’t wait to incorporate a Grinch day with my kiddos.

My kiddos entered on Grinch day to this…

The Grinch captured our Elf “Cocoa” and tied him up…

grinch_elf

Then he stole all of my “green” flowers and spread them around the room.

flowers

He overturned desks, crumpled up papers, trashed our library, hung crepe paper on lockers, tied up a stuffed elf, and even wrote use a mean note.

elf

grinch day

We started off with the classic Dr. Seuss Book

grinch book

We knew we had to keep the Grinch away from our house on Christmas Eve so we made Grinch Dust. I saw this idea on pinterest

I gathered all of the supplies and printed these adorable tags from fourthnten.

 grinch dust supplies

First, I had my kiddos scoop 1/4 cup of something “white” and sweet smelling into a snack size baggie.

Next, I had them add two drops of love (a.k.a yellow food coloring which turns kind of a red hue when it touches the sugar)

and two drops of joy (a.k.a blue food coloring)

Then, they sprinkle in magic sprinkles (a.k.a glitter to ward off the Grinch and to show Christmas Cheer)

Each baggie was sealed and the students added their own love and hugs to create their Grinch Dust. Once their dust was complete we added these adorable tags.

grinch dust

Next, we kept the excitement alive by creating Grinch Similes. This idea has been pinned a zillion times but I first saw in on Cara Carroll’s blog  The First Grade Parade. (She has the most adorable ideas!!! ) First, we brainstormed some words that described how green the Grinch was and then we moved onto brainstorming words that described how small his itty bitty heart was. Finally, I gave my students a paper and allowed them to create their own similes. They turned out amazing. This was my favorite activity. You can grab the simile page over at fourthnten.  I goggled “Grinch Coloring Pages” to find the cute Grinch image and I cut square of red paper and had my kiddos create their own heart

Here are a few of my favorites

(Left) The Grinch was as green as a stem of a flower. His heart was red as a tomato.

(Right) The Grinch was as green as grass. His heart was real real tiny as a real real tiny rock.

grinch 1

The Grinch was as green as the hulk. His heart was so tiny as a ring.

grinch 4

The Grinch was as mean as a bull. His heart was red as the real elf on the shelf.

grinch2

The Grinch was as mean as crazy. His heart was small as a sprinkle.

grinch 3

We had a huge Grinch-y themed party provided by our parents. (Have I told you lately that my parents rock??) They thought of everything. One of my favorite things were these adorable masks.

photo

The kids colored them and we tried snapping a group picture. Can you find me??? Let’s just say I am the albino Grinch with Prada glasses LOL.

(Before you ask, Yes that sign says Kentucky Fried Chicken my kiddos wanted to work for a KFC PBS incentive. Every day no one is on Red/orange we unveil a letter. We are almost there!!)

photo

After spending the day (half year) with my kiddos and seeing their faces light up (every morning), I realized once again that one of my favorite saying from the Grinch book was true…

The Grinch Who Stole Christmas quote vinyl board

I am truly blessed everyday when I go to work, I have so many precious little angels that make me realize everyday why I went back to school in 2007 to pursue my dream of becoming a teacher. I am thankful that my itty bitty family and friends supported me along the way. I may not enjoy the festivities and hustle and bustle of the holiday season, but I do cherish all of the many blessings that I have in my life.

Always,

Melissa

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Most Famous Reindeer of all….

Most everyone knows my favorite animal is a moose. I have no clue why I am fascinated by these enormous creatures, but they intrigue me. I always used to say I wore a moose a day to keep the doctor away. (That’s when I was in my Abercrombie & Fitch fetish- I still love the moose and the clothes but have a new fetish with WHBM) Although, I love moose my favorite holiday thing besides the “Grinch” is Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer.  I remember when Hallmark introduced Rodney the reindeer- I was so excited I wanted every Rodney they made. God Bless my mother, I think she scouted every Hallmark store in the Ohio Valley that year.

I immediately began a search on pinterest to search for some cool reindeer crafts to make with my kiddos. Many of the ideas I saw used a thumbprint, a hand, even a gingerbread man upside down ( too clever).  Here are just a few of the cute ideas I pinned to my Reindeer Crazy Board. I had to finally stop searching because I was so excited to find so many cute and inexpensive ideas and some clever tricks.

Reindeer Ornament from Square Pennies

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Reindeer Light Bulbs Ornaments from PinLaVie

129692_29Nov09_reindeer_lightbulb_ornaments

Rudolph Bulb by Oh Christmas Tree Crafts

27584616437314402_ZbsbZZCm_c[1]

Paper Mache Reindeer from Family Crafts

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After scurrying around and trying to find an inexpensive way to make another ornament for my kiddos to give their parents, I thought was at a loss. Until I saw these cute gift tags from Family Fun Crafts

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and instantly I thought FLOOR/BATHROOM TILE…. My son works at Lowe’s (yippee), but did he remember to bring his momma some tile--- “Nope”!!! GRRRRRR!!!

Thank goodness I have another connection. (Mwah!!)

step

They were super easy.

STEP ONE: Dip thumb in brown paint add thumbprint

step 1

STEP TWO: Using the end of a paint brush allow students to dot eyes and nose. I had red paint and red metallic paint for them to choose from.

step two

STEP THREE: Add antlers. We used a fine paint pen to do the trick. Allow students to practice using a pencil and paper first.

Allow to dry and spray with a sealer. I used Plaid Gloss Sealer (make sure you do this outside or in a well ventilated area.

Finally attach hanger (we used ribbon) and a bow or bow tie. I had a variety of colors to choose from and many were unique and adorable.

LOVE LOVE LOVE How these came out!!!! I even had to make one myself.

Our 2nd ornament for 2012…..

untitled

We wrapped our ornies up in tissue and made these adorable bags I found on the Fiskars site. (LOVE LOVE LOVE them!!)

Reindeer Bag

 

 

Although making a second ornament was time consuming it was well worth the excitement in my kiddos voices and eyes when they had a gift for both their parents.

This was a fast and easy project and it was quite inexpensive.

Happy Holidays from my class to yours.

Always, Melissa

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Makin’ A List… Checkin’ It Twice…

Hopefully all blogger issues have been resolved and I can get back to blogging. WE have been super busy in my class prepping for the holidays. I saw this adorable snowman bulb idea on pinterest from a cupcake for the teacher and knew I wanted to make them with my kiddos for parent gifts.

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Well after gathering the necessary supplies

Chenille stems

Pom-Poms (I used 1.5”)

 

Paint Pens (I love Sharpie)

Buffalo Snow CB0513 Iridescent Flakes

Fake Snow

VICKERMAN N590600: Clear Transparent Shatterproof Christmas Ball Ornament 2.5" (60mm)

Clear Plastic Bulbs (I opted for plastic so they did not break)

A Variety of Ribbon

We made them and they came out “adorable” Here is a sample

ornie

I let my kiddos measure and cut their own chenille stem and pick their own pom-poms I had some interesting combinations. I loved this purple on. A little guy in my class made this for his momma because he said her favorite color was purple.

I added their names and the year on the back of the bulb. Next, we wrapped the bulbs in tissue paper and then placed them into white lunch sacks. Then, I printed an image onto cardstock and asked the students to use their “best artistic” skills to color. Once they colored, I had them cut the image out and then we stapled it onto the bags.  I love how these came out and it is a gift and wrapping made from their hearts.

snowbags

snowbagsii

Tomorrow, we are going to attempt to make another ornament. Oh My… I have so many little ones who are from split environments and feel they need a special something for both. Tune in for our next ornament adventure.

P.S. These ornaments were simple to create, but a word to the wise the snow is a MESS. Next year, I will put down a plastic (throw away) table cloth and maybe a few on the floor. OH My Oh MY I think we sweep up snow for two hours Laughing out loud 

Always, Melissa

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Santa… We have a PROBLEM

Can you say  blogger + scheduled posts = flop for this not so savvy tech teacher. Grrrrrrrr

I apologize for the mishap. I scheduled several days ahead because I knew I had a crazy schedule this week, my son had doctor’s visits, we had birthdays, Santa's workshop, and the list goes on and on. I am so sorry for the mishap. To make up for it all I will add the sale items to this post.

On the 8th day of Christmas (7th and 6th days too) Mrs. Freshwater gave to me

a SALE on her Mitten Magic, Snowy Days, and Reindeer Games Math & Literacy Packets

Mitten magic

 

Snowy days

image

 

Enjoy the three packets today. PS Thank you for the sweet emails inquiring about the specials and freebies. You are all AMAZING!!!!!

Always, Melissa

Monday, December 3, 2012

12 Days of Christmas (Day Three)

Good Morning Everyone. I know the holiday buzz has hit my classroom. Our elf “Cocoa arrived last week and has been in all kinds of mischief. Oh my word!! I absolutely love watching for my students to enter the room to “look” for Cocoa. Some days he can be very sneaky and mischievous. Although I am a bit of a scrooge around the holidays, I love seeing the pure innocence and excitement in my students eyes talking about Christmas.

While searching for something on etsy, I found some adorable items.

Look at these adorable blocks by JN Designs I <3 them!!!

Christmas wood blocks-Grinch stacker blocks-part of the "Grinch" collection

Then I saw this sign by Creative Memories by SH I love love love this quote from the Grinch. “Perfect”

The Grinch Who Stole Christmas quote vinyl board

OMW!!! This shirt is too darn cute by RC Embroidery

Personalized Embroidered Christmas -The Grinch Hand - Adult T-shirt

Alright enough with my etsy finds. I could post pictures all night long!!! Even though, I may not enjoy the hustle and bustle of the holidays. I do feel it is sometimes challenging and almost impossible at times to keep the students focused and motivated about learning during the month of December. Last year, I created a sight word reinforcement activity called Snowman Slap to help encourage my kiddos to keep practicing their words.

Snowman Slap is a sight word game played like “Bang”. Last year, my kiddos begged me daily to play. It was a fun and innovative way to help them practice their sight words and to increase their automaticity with the words.

On the 10th day of Christmas, Mrs. Freshwater gave to me…. the link to her freebie Snowman Slap Sight Word Activity.

image image

Always, Melissa

Sunday, December 2, 2012

12 Days of Christmas (Day Two)

The Polar Express is such a great movie to share with your kiddos at Christmas. I have been searching the internet for different ideas to incorporate in my 2nd grade classroom. I pinned some adorable ideas to my polar express board.

Some of my favorites:

Smores Trail Mix from The Loopy Ewe

Polar Express Tickets  from Lidia Barbosa

FREE-Polar express ticket

Hot Cocoa Bar from The Actors Wife

Hot chocolate bar and movie night! This sounds like a new tradition in the making.

Special Delivery from Mrs. Morrow’s Class

Head on over to her blog for the tips and tricks of this “chilly” surprise!!!!

Use this idea for Polar Express Day

On the 11th day of Christmas Mrs. Freshwater gave to me a sale on her Polar Express Unit. Today Only This 123 page unit is $8.00

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This 123 page unit centered around a polar express theme will have your students believing. There are 19 different math activities and 14 different literacy activities to utilize during your polar express theme adventure.
Some Math activities included are:
Patterning
Measurement
Tally
Counting
Addition
Graphing
Ordinal Numbers
Time
Plus More

Some Literacy activities included are:
ABC Order
Sight Words
Rhyming Words
Emergent Reader
Syllable Counting
Ending Sounds
Beginning Sounds
CVC Words
Plus More

PS Don’t forget to snag up my two Polar Express Freebies too!!!

Polar Express I have-who has game

ticketbyticket

Always, Melissa

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