Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Salt Dough Ornaments

Yayy!! The ornaments came out perfectly! I ended up leaving them in the oven for the full 6 hours.  Today the kids painted them beautifully! They dry really fast so I ended up painting 2 coats of the varnish on top to make sure they were shiny! I love how they turned out and all the kids are super excited to give them to their parents!

On a different note, looks like our friend Wings got in a little trouble...
 The kids had me hysterically laughing when they came in and saw this in the morning. They couldn't believe that Wings was tied up and they really couldn't believe that their toys come to life also!  Some of the students were worried about Wings so we made sure to leave him with a pair of scissors so he could get out :)
I hope everyone is enjoying their last couple of days! I am just hoping to make it through the craziness of the holiday party tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Almost Winter Break!

How fun are these soldiers lining the Kindergarten hallway?! I love them!! The kids love making them (I usually like their book buddies to help out) and they are actually pretty easy!! But anyways....

I am so excited for winter break!! I am really planning on just staying home and RELAXING!! Of course I need to get things done around the house, Christmas shop, work on some new units, train for a marathon (not my idea!!)....but, my number one plan is to sit on the couch and catch up on my tivo!! 

For now though, there are 3 more days of school and I still haven't had my students make a gift for their parents.  When I got in the car today I had a text from my sister asking if I watched The Chew.  I hadn't even heard of it..but she went on to tell me how this morning they made salt dough ornaments and they came out super cute and EASY!! So, it was perfect timing.  I texted her back, told her to come over and help, and sure enough...
 I have salt dough ornaments baking in the oven as we speak!! Tomorrow I will bring them to school and let the children paint them.  When they are dry I will paint them with some varnish, tie on a ribbon, and WA-LA! We have our gifts! Super cute! 
How to make them? It's only 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of salt, and 1 cup of warm water. Mix together, roll out, cut your shapes, and then stick them in the oven at 200 degrees for somewhere between 4 and  6 hours...mine are at about 2 hours right now :) Oh, and don't forget to poke the holes in them! I used a pen even though the show recommended a straw!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Our Elf is Here!

My kids were so super excited when I introduced our Elf on the Shelf.  We read the story together and talked about how you cannot touch the elf or he loses his magic! But first you have to give your Elf a name.  My kids brainstormed some crazy names for our Elf and when the voting was done we were left with.....Wings!!! haha Then we talked about how the Elf is a great listener, but Santa does not let him talk to children. Throughout the rest of the day I would overhear students going up to Wings and telling him what they want for Christmas... you know, the little itouch, a nintendo, a new baby brother!!
Every night Wings flies back to the North Pole and reports to Santa.  When he comes back in the morning he is always in a different spot in the classroom...On Thursday he was fishing for some goldfish 
Then, this morning he made our cooking activity for us! We were supposed to be making reindeer cookies in our morning center..but Wings got to it first.

He even squirted some icing onto our feeling picture cards and turned those frowns, upside down!!

So fun!!
I know there are a couple other teachers doing Elf on the Shelf as well. If you are, let me know if you have some good classroom ideas! My teacher bff next door (who just started blogging) has a little Elf of her own named Sparkles! Check out her blog over at Paste and Pearls and become one of her followers!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Holiday Ideas

Our school actually has off this whole week of Thanksgiving, which is SO nice! On Friday before I left school, I made sure to prep some projects for the week we get back.  I am going to teach Christmas and Hanukkah the first week so I can get some cute projects hung around the classroom and on our bulletin boards. Some of the things I prepped were..
A super easy and cute reindeer.  You just need to cut tan paper in half (long ways) and the rest the kids do on their own with scrap paper. I do not give them any patterns for this one!
A menorah.  Another easy one to prep :)
This one I let the kids choose which one they want to make.  I give them a single hole puncher to punch the holes then they put tissue paper on the back. These are great to hang up on windows if your classroom is lucky enough to have them! (I unfortunately am not)
 I also prepped a bunch of CUTE projects that I found on pinterest..
Kids write about what they would do if Santa was stuck in their chimney... (great vocab word for my students because I am sure some of them have never seen a chimney living in south Florida!)
Super cute 'reindeer tryouts' from Mrs Morrow's Kindergarten
Cute wreath from Our Small-Town Idaho Life

  And a super cute project where you Read The Best Christmas Present of All and kids write about what they think the best gift of all is (cannot be store bought).   
I am also hoping to do this to my classroom door on Monday...another thing I found on pinterest :)
 Simple but cute!
So much to do :) But so much fun!!
I hope everyone is enjoying their break!!  

Thursday, October 27, 2011

October Activities

This is kind of a random post, but I wanted to share some cute activities that we did this month.  Last week we learned all about bats and at our Friday Cafe we made some of our own, YUM!
This week we talked more about spiders.  The children did SUCH a good job on their spider books.  I love them!! If you want a copy I am attaching the link.  When you put the book in for copies...copy page 1 and 2 front and back and page 3 and 4 front and back.  It is much easier to prep that way! :)

 My students also worked on some Halloween Riddles.  
 Give all the students a 'flip book'
 Then have them glue on their riddles and try to answer them.
 Have the students open it up and draw a picture of the answer!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Red Ribbon Week and Pumpkin Decorating Contest!

There are so many exciting events coming up at our school..and they are all turning into a competition!! Ahh that makes me nervous!! Next week is Red Ribbon week.  Our school does something different everyday..Walk Away From Drugs (kids wear their favorite shoes and crazy socks), Put A Cap on Drugs (wear a cap to school), Hugs Not Drugs (bring your favorite stuffed animal to school), etc.  Well...we also have a 'decorate your door' contest.  I was walking out of school today, only to see this door..
How can I possibly beat the cuteness of this door? I Love it!! I am taking suggestions :)
We also have our annual storybook pumpkin contest coming up. This morning my class decorated our pumpkin.  They worked so hard together, I was so proud of them! We had a painting station, hand tracing/cutting station, decorating letter station, even some students punching holes...they pretty much did the entire thing!! And look at how our pumpkin turned out...

 Can you guess what book we did?? 
I am excited to see what all the other classes came up with this year! I am sure they are amazing!!

Poetry Notebooks

My kids this year absolutely LOVE poetry and I LOVE that they LOVE it!!! :) We do one poem every week.  I have the poem written out on chart paper and I introduce it to the class on Monday.  On Tuesday/Wednesday (depending on when they go to the poetry center) they will glue the poem into their poetry notebooks.  They have to illustrate the poem and highlight/circle our sight words.  
 Then Thursday and Friday we continue to practice our poems whole group.  I usually have the students bring their notebooks to the carpet.  I hang the chart paper with the poem on it in front of the class.  The children love to come up front and use a pointer or a echo microphone to guide the other students in reading the poem.  They also love to sing the poem, read it in 'girlie' voices, read it like a monster, etc.  We have a blast! 

You can find my poetry book HERE

I would love to hear how you do poetry in your class!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fire Safety Week

To kick off fire safety week my children walked into the classroom, only to find..... our dollhouse on fire!!!
My fire could have probably been a little better, but I had a morning conference and was a little rushed!  The kids still loved it :)  Using the dollhouse people, all the kids practiced a fire safety plan.  We discussed the best route to get out, having a meeting place with your family, then calling 911.  Luckily when we were finished, a little fire truck wheeled in and put the fire out! Phew!!
Later that morning we made a yummy fire truck snack.
Anything with icing is always a hit in my class! We will continue to do some other cute lessons throughout the week on fire safety, but this sure got them excited!!
p.s. I didn't have time this weekend to get together a little giveaway, but no worries! One is on the way soon!

Friday, October 7, 2011

So Excited!!

I am very excited to announce that I have my first item up for sale on TPT!!  I have been working hard on it...I think I am now an expert on buying clip art, having a license, using pages, etc!! This unit is for November and is full of activities for teaching Pilgrims, Indians, turkeys, and Thanksgiving.  
 There are literacy and math activities included..and lots more!! I would love for you to come by my new store and check it out (and start following me)!!

For a little 'taste' of my new unit, here is a math activity that is included:

This weekend I will figure out how to do a 'random number generator' so I can do a giveaway of my new unit!! Be on the look out :)

Graphics from Scrappin Doodles

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Listening Center

My kids have totally fell in love with the listening center this year!! It is so funny how every class is so different.  Last year, some of my students would roll their eyes when they saw that one of their morning centers was listening...this year, my students can't wait! They even want to listen to the same book over and over again! Luckily, last year I bought the books on C.D. in the monthly scholastic orders so I am all stocked up on thematic books.  Today they listened to:
We have been working on finding the title and author in reading groups, so when they were finished listening they filled out this sheet:
and they drew a picture of their favorite part.
 Later in the year, when the kids can write more independently, I will have them fill out this center sheet:
Listening Center Sheet 2

I am so glad my students are enjoying this QUIET center :) Hopefully all your kiddos are too!!
Graphics are courtesy of Scrappin Doodles