Sunday, December 22, 2013

Polar Express Party

What a week this was! We started the week off with our Polar Express party on Monday. I wasn't too sure about doing it that early, but I figured it was the only open day we had all week. And I'm thankful I did it then, because my kiddos at home ended up being sick with a fever on/off all week. I had to take Thursday off so my husband could go back to work and I ended up coming down with an extremely nasty bug on Thursday afternoon. I pretty much felt like I was dying. Today is the first day I have felt more like myself and I can actually stay awake rather than sleeping the day away.

When the kids arrived at school Monday morning they were very excited about our Polar Express party. I printed off these golden tickets and laminated them. We punched them later when we started the movie.

I bought each of the students a little hot chocolate tumbler from the dollar store. I took out the Christmas picture and quickly printed up their names. We made hot chocolate in the classroom and they got to sip their coco while watching the movie.

Each of the students also got a silver bell necklace. This was a special day for the kids and they seemed to really enjoy the movie.  Later in the week we compared the movie and the book. During our Fairview rotations they completed the Polar Express center activities that I won from The Teacher's Club House and Queen of the First Grade Jungle. They were the perfect activities to complete right before vacation!

It's so nice to finally be on Christmas break and to be on the mend. I am ready to enjoy some quality time with my girls and my family. Enjoy your holidays! See you in the new year!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Five For Friday the 13th

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs for her Five for Friday weekly posts. Here's a look at five random things from the week:

This time of the year is so exciting for children. You can feel the buzz in the classroom, that's for sure! It's hard to get them to focus. So I'm trying to channel that excitement. 


We wrote our letters to Santa. The kids were very excited to show and tell me all about the things that they'd love Santa to bring. Since I teach 1st-6th, there is a wide variety of toys on their wishlists. From innocent little princesses to Grand Theft Auto. Awesome.

We've been reading the Polar Express and doing various activities about the book. I just loved this little activity I pinned on Pinterest. It was perfect for working on adjectives and our "I See" train turned out adorable.

I am super excited that I won my very first giveaway! It's huge! I won this amazing Polar Express Unit and Centers pack from Teacher's Clubhouse and Queen of the First Grade's Mini Polar Express Unit. There were over 2,600 entries and I was the lucky one. Crazy! It's perfect since we've been reading the Polar Express and Monday we're having our big Polar Express Day! I started to prepare the centers for next week. So many materials to choose from that I'm in Heaven! Thanks Amanda and Katie!

We started to work on our parent gifts. Thank God for Pinterest. Really, what did we do before it came along? These Dollar Store potholders (2 for $1) turned out perfect. I pinned this last year and loved the idea.

No Christmas would be complete without the school photo parent ornament. These little plaster ornaments were 70% off at Michaels.  So parent gifts cost me a whole 78 cents per kiddo this year. Perfect!
I'll be back next week to post all about our Polar Express party! It's going to be fun!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Promises, Promises

I keep promising myself that I will get to blogging today. Then it never happens. I haven't posted since October! Where in the world did time go?!?

Fall is pretty rough for me personally and professionally. Lots of stuff at home. Lots of trainings and IEPs this past month.

Sadly my Feedly has 1,000+ unread blogs. This time of year is tough for me to keep up the whole working mom gig.

Anyhow... no more excuses.

My goal is to get back into blogging and post a Five for Friday this week. See ya then!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Weekly Wrap Up

It's Sunday and I'm barely getting around to post my Five for Friday pictures. It's been a busy week.

First up, there was no Five for Friday last week because I was on an airplane flying out to Illinois for my 15 year college reunion. Wow! Where has time gone!?!  It was so good to see old friends and catch up. I got home at 1:30am on Tuesday morning... turned around and went to work on Tuesday. I was dragging all week.

While I was gone my students made these cool owls for our tree inspired by this pin. They turned out so cute!

We've been learning all about owls and using the book Owl Moon for our read aloud this week. The kids have been very motivated by our bat and owl studies.

Friday afternoon we started our owl pellets. The kids thought it was really cool. They were pretty fascinated with this project. I love when they are super engaged.

My students are really struggling with social skills this year. I spend a lot of instructional time dealing with disagreements and hurt feelings. It's been a rough year in this department and it's only October. Our psychologist has started a social skills group with my kiddos. We're working on "I feel" statements and understanding it's okay to feel differently.  For now these skills are listed on the board where they are easy to see. But I need a permanent home for the skills we're currently working on.

Last up, our Halloween costumes! We went to a Halloween party this weekend and actually won the costume contest for Best Group costume as Clan DunBroch (from the movie Brave). Sewing all of these costumes (minus Queen Elinor the Bear) has consumed a lot of my extra time these days.  My girls are VERY excited about trick or treating on Thursday!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Monday Made It- QR Codes

I finally did it! I tried a QR code in my classroom that I made! I used this site to create my QR codes. Then I used these little frames from IKEA to display the codes. Each student has a frame with their 4 sight words for the week (there are two on the back side of the frame was well). I print out the QR codes and tape them in place so I can reuse it with new sight words each week.

Anything that involves technology is exciting to the kids! First they scan their QR code with the app i-nigma. I've tried several QR code readers, but this seems to be the easiest for the kids to use and navigate. I just wish that the font was larger when the text pops up.

 Then they record their sight word on their recording page in the corresponding number.

The last step is cutting apart their sheet with their signs. We photo copy the signs and the students need to match up the words and signs. 

This is great practice for my students and they love this new center!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Five for Saturday

I recognize it's supposed to be Five for Friday... but it didn't end up that way. When I finally sat down last night it was all over. I'm getting a cold... I feel it. I'm shocked I made it all the way until October to pick up my first cold.

Any how, here are a few random things from our week. I'm linking up with Doodle Bug's Five for Friday linky party.

We're in the middle of our Stellaluna book study. We've been busy learning about bats. The kids wrote a few facts about bats then created these bat silhouettes. I really like how they turned out. 

Inspired by this pin on Pinterest, we made beginning, middle and end Stellaluna bats. It was really hard for my students to write on the bat turned upside down!

My little guys were busy counting by groups of 10 to make 100 in order to make this illustration for the class. A bat can eat up to 600 insects in 1 hour! After seeing it, they understood just how many that was! (Sorry, I can't find the resource for this.)

Now that my little guy has mastered counting 1-30 it's time to get him to 50. This week I saw this post by First Grade Blue Skies and had to go out and find some of these cute Halloween erasers at the Target dollar spot. This Hallowteen activity was perfect for my students practicing counting to 50.

Not school related, but taking up a lot of my time recently has been making this Merida costume (from Brave) for my daughter for Halloween. I'm not sure how I pulled it off, but her costume is complete and it's only the middle of October!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Five for Friday- October 4th

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs for her Five for Friday weekly posts. Here's a look at five random things from the week:
 We started our Stellaluna book study this week. The kids are very excited to learn all about bats.

We are still working on place value and counting. The kids love it when I throw in a fun learning game. These place value dice were a huge hit.

Now that our schedule seems to have evened out, I have a little block of time to work on specific writing/grammar skills with my older kids. They enjoyed this little mini-unit on contractions. Contraction surgery was a hit.

I found this fun QR Code Contractions activity for the kids to practice their new skills. Pull out the iPad and they are all over it!

I took the day off today to join my daughter's kindergarten class on their apple picking fieldtrip. Hands down, the bus ride was her favorite part of the trip!