Monday, December 31, 2012

It's my Birthday GIVEAWAY!

I am so excited actually dreading turning 30!  I would love to celebrate with all of you!  Since I can't have you all over for cake and ice cream, I decided to do the next best thing- have a giveaway of some FANTASTIC resources from really awesome bloggers!  (I like adjectives!) You can click on the pic to check out their blogs!

Thank you sooo much to my friends who donated a product to this giveaway!  You ROCK!

Make sure to complete all the entries so you have more of a chance to win!

classroom friendly supplies 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Best Sharpener of all time (No joke!)

Hello darlings!  I hope your Christmas was fantastic!  One of my most favorite little gifts this year (way before Christmas) was the Quiet Pencil Sharpener.  I had seen this sharpener around in the Blogosphere and heard that it worked really well.

Let me tell you, I have had NO luck with any pencil sharpeners in my nine years of teaching.  It seems the pencil companies are making really cruddy pencils.  And don't even get me started with the cute, foil design pencils.  Those would never sharpen.  I've talked with many teachers who all had the same problem, so at least I felt better that it wasn't just me and my kiddos.
So.. I decided to give this sharpener a try.  Holy cow, does it work!  It sharpens beautifully and the lead doesn't fall out or break off. It even sharpens the foil designed pencils.  I was so excited, I took the sharpener around to a bunch of my teacher friends to see what they thought.  (It was first thing in the morning before all the kids arrived and I know they thought I was crazy, until they sharpened the pencil, that is!)  They were super excited and asked if they could get one.

I also decided not to post about the sharpener until my KIDDOS had used it for a full month.  I wanted to see if it was kid proof.  I gave them a quick lesson and let them have at it. I was expected it to die within a day, or at least a week.   I am pleased to say, it is still alive, and the kids LOVE that their pencils actually sharpen.  The only issue we had was when a kiddo tried to sharpen a really thick colored pencil.  The lead broke off inside and the little guy actually started crying that he broke it.  He knew how much we all loved the new addition to our classroom.  But it was no big deal, as the sharpener was easy to take apart and it took me 2 minutes to fix it.

(Look at the line!)

I can't say enough good things about this sharpener.  If you have the opportunity, buy one!  Or stop by very soon as I will be having a giveaway for my thirtieth birthday and one of the giveaways will be a sharpener!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Gingerbread Man

The Gingerbread Man is a theme I do for a week. We read different versions and talk about the differences. We also talk about how we, as authors, would change the ending. Check out our fun Friday craft that we did last week! I think they turned out great!

To print off a free copy of the Gingerbread Man tracers, click below!

We only have 2 more days until Christmas break! When do you or did you get out for the Holidays? Have a great break and take some time to relax!


Monday, December 17, 2012

Let's Spread Some Happiness

     Hello darlings!  We have all spent the weekend with our minds in shock and our hearts broken over the recent events at Sandy Hook.  It could have been any of us and any of our schools.  It should have been none, but sadly, we live in a fallen world and tragedy is a part of it.  All we can do is mourn and try to comfort others.  In times like these, our country draws together, as we remember that through all of our differences, we are all the same.  We are human and we love.  We love deeply.  I pray that you and your family can find peace and strength for the coming weeks, but that you will not forget.  If I have learned anything with my own brother's tragic death, it is that the world moves on.  In a few weeks, we won't hear about Sandy Hook on the news any more, but those families will still be suffering.  Please continue to send your prayers to them.

    I know when I go back into school today, I am going to hug each and every one of my 24 children.  They are like my own kids, and I just want them to feel safe and loved.

     So, let's spread some happiness around.  I recently posted about our RACKs from last year.  Well here are some pics of what we did this year for our Random Acts of Classroom Kindness.  It is not too late to start!

We made festive pencils for a second grade class. (and we sharpened them!)

We helped some Kindergartners at recess tie their shoes.

 We cleaned the cafeteria for the custodians after all lunches were over.

I thought my kiddos would complain about it, but they LOVED it and they were even fighting over the brooms!

We gave some read aloud books to come 5th grade classes.

 We gave a Geyser Tube to a 4th grade class.

We also helped kindergartners with math and played a math game with them.

So spread a little love.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

We pray for Peace and Strength for Sandy Hook

Multiplication Craftivity Freebie

Hello darlings!  My heart aches today for our friends in Connecticut.  I cannot even imagine the horror and the pain of those families, classmates, and teachers!  I love my kiddos dearly (even when they try my patience) and I can't bear to think of something happening to them.  Please pray for all those broken hearts. It is we who ache, those kiddos are now safe at home with Jesus.

Make sure to hug your kiddos when you get back to school on Monday!  Here is a fun Freebie for you to use in your classroom if you are working on multiplication and division.  It contains 3 different levels of problems so you can differentiate.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Grinch

I love the Grinch! This week we read the book and talked about why the Grinch was so grumpy. We also talked about what we would do to make the Grinch grin. Check out our cute Grinch craft. . The legs and arms are made from red strips of paper, so there is no template for the legs. Another cute detail to add to the Grinch would be to make Santa hats for the Grinch. I also thought about having students trace their hands on green construction paper to add Grinch hands. If you are interested in making this craft click here to download a free copy of the templates.

This is short and sweet but I hope you will be able to use it in your classroom!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Gifts for Parents (FREE!)

Hello darlings!  Well, as my kiddos inform me everyday, we have exactly 11 more school days until Christmas!  (Our last day is the 21st)  That means we have to get going on making our parent presents!  Every year, we make ornaments and a coupon book.  I never make the same ornaments and I am always looking for new ideas, so throw them my way!  Below are just some ideas with back links to the contributors.

Danino yogurt cup Bell Ornaments         

We also color these coupons, cut them out, and tie a ribbon through the hole punched part and tie it together.  Below is just a preview of a few of the coupons!  Click on it to download it for FREE!

Do you have any good ideas for parent gifts?  I'd love to hear about them, or direct me to your blog!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Favorite Christmas Story

Hey everyone! I hope you are all staying stress free during this busy time of year. I mentioned last week that I love, love, love this time of year! It doesn't feel like it is Christmas time, though with the 70 degree weather. I am not complaining, though! I hate being cold! Anyway, I wanted to share one of my favorite stories to read that is perfect for the holidays.

Where Does Joe Go?

One of my favorite Christmas activities that I do every year goes along with the book, “Where Does Joe Go?” by Tracey Campbell Pearson. This is a great book to use for making predictions. I begin by reading part of the book, then I stop before the last page and have my students write and illustrate where they think Joe goes during the winter. Scroll down for a summary of the story!

 Click on the picture below to download a free copy!

Summary of “Where Does Joe Go?”:

Joe's Snack Bar is a favorite summer spot where happy customers from all over town come to buy ice cream cones and french fries. But every time autumn rolls around, Joe shuts down shop and disappears until the next summer. The townspeople all have their own theories about where he goes: "He's gone to the moon," cries tiny June. "He's on a safari," says Charlie McFarley. "In Okefenokee!" screams Mrs. Bodokey. They're all wrong, of course. Joe's actually in charge at the North Pole three quarters of the year, but only Joe and the reader will ever know. Food-and-fun-filled illustrations show how each person imagines what Joe could be up to.

If you downloaded the "where do you think Joe goes" activity, please comment and tell me what you thought about the book! Also, tell about one of your favorite stories or activities!

Thank you so much for stopping by during this crazy, busy time of year!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

RACKS: Random Acts of Classroom Kindness

Hello darlings!  Last year, I came across some Random Acts of Kindness ideas on Pinterest.  I know lots of teachers are now taking that idea and doing it with their classrooms.  My kiddos absolutely LOVED being sneaky and performing R.A.C.K.S around the school!  (Random Acts of CLASSROOM Kindness).  I am super excited to get started this year and make it even better!

Here are just a few of the ideas from last year....

We gave hand warmers to our recess monitors!

We gave a few packs of flashcards and a game to a classroom.

We made fun pencils with pipe cleaners and bells for a classroom.

We gave a read aloud book to a class.

We gave a teacher some treats.

We helped the school secretary sort teacher mail

I teach the importance of giving to my kiddos and stress to them that we give to others because it is the right thing to do and it makes us feel good inside.  We do not give to have someone say thank you.  In fact, we try to be anonymous as much as possible.  We don't want people to know it is us!

I made a different version this year that you can download for free.  It is done in Word so you can edit it as well.  I ONLY ask that if you download it, you COMMENT with at least one idea for a RACK!  Let's help each other!

Happy RACKing!

5-Star Blogger