Friday, December 16, 2011

Santa & Crew

Wowee what a week! I've had TWO projects funded at Donors Choose, and won a Heidi Songs DVD from Jamie Mayas! This week we've been learning about Santa, his Reindeer, Christmas Trees & Elves. This is a magical theme that keeps the kids so engaged! Which is important, since we still have another week of school.... aaggghhh!!!!

Monday: Reindeer
Reindeer and Who Will Guide My Sleigh Tonight?
They loved learning the difference between Santa's Reindeer and Real Reindeer and making these Reindeer Fact Books. (From Eberhearts Explorers)

We practiced labeling all the different parts of reindeer. (I made the poster and used labels from Tales of a Teacherista. I also made the worksheet)

And made these adorable Rudolphs for our bulletin board. (Inspired by pinterest, tracers from Lil' Country Kindergarten ) These are going to double as their gift sacks! I forgot to take a picture of ours so this one is from Lil' Country Kindergarten....

Tuesday: Christmas Trees
The Littlest Christmas Tree: A Tale of Growing and Becoming
 We  mapped out the things she was thankful for and the things she would like to be when she grew up. We also talked about "Evergreens" and how they are different than other trees. Then we made these adorable ordered length trees I saw over at Mrs. Lee's Kindergarten. We added a star to the top and then used a q-tip and white paint for the snow. Last, the kids wrote in their journals what they would like to be when they grow up. 

Wednesday: Elves
 Who Will Help Santa This Year?
Next we moved on to elves. We mapped out their jobs and characteristics. We made our own elves (from First Grade Blue Skies) and then filled out an elf application (From the First Grade Parade).

Thursday: Santa
Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town
At last, it was time to talk about the big guy! My kids LOVE reading books about Santa and singing "Must be Santa"
We talked about the different things Santa does, labelled Santa and made these cute stuck-in-the-chimney Santas. (Idea from the First Grade Parade) The writing prompt says "If Santa got stuck in my chimney I would....."

Friday: The Grinch
How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

We ended the week with our Grinch Day. This morning when we arrived back in the room from the MEdia Center here's what we found....

Chairs all knocked over

green glitter everywhere

green candy canes in the lunch bucket

a new book in our library

a new dvd in our dvd player

a stuffed toy on my chair

We added up all the clues....

The kids were totally convinced that this was the work of the Grinch!!! They talked about it all morning.... how did he get in here? How could he do this? Why would he lick all our candy canes??

We read the book in the morning and used a Character analysis sheet from Deanna Jump's Grinch unit to describe how the Grinch changed from the beginning of the story to the end. Then we talked about how we would make the Grinch smile and made this adorable art project. We ended our week with the Grinch movie, some Grinch Punch & Grinch-licked Candy Canes!

Our Christmas Centers This week:
Tannenbaum Tallies (Tally Marks)
Cookie Fractions  (Basic Fractions)
It's a Mystery!  (Number Order)
Catch that Gingerbread Man! (Number Order)
What's in Santa's Sack? (Counting)

Gingerbread Write the Room

The Stockings were hung (CVC words)

Santa's Word Families (-at, -op, -it)

Lollipops, Gumdrops (ending sounds)

Deck the Halls (Stamping Words)

Candy oh so sweet (middle sounds)

Gingerbread CVC Words

Christmas & Hanukkah Books (Library)

Pocket's Christmas Wish (listening center)

I see a gumdrop (pocket chart)

Gift's Galore (CVC Words)

Rhyming Reindeer (Rhyming)

Some of our Math Journals:

This week in science we've been learning about sounds and vibrations and on Thursday we did an awesome experiment! I set up these bottles and let them sit on the cubbies till science to build excitement. During science we "played" them and learned that the less water, the more vibrations which means a higher sound. The more water, the less vibrations which means a lower sound. 

Can you tell we've been hitting CVC words hard??? Can you believe we still have school next week??? We'll be spending our final week before break on the Polar Express!!! Can you guess what our special project will be next week? Here's a clue:

Gingerbread Houses!! I have some special elves flying in all the way  from Michigan to help us build our houses!!

*This weeks Centers were From Winter Literacy Centers by Julie Lee and Deanna Jump & From Mrs. Mayas 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Can you help?

In just 9 days one of my donors choose projects will expire. Right now (through Monday 12/12) Donors Choose is matching any donations made when you use the code SPARK at checkout. Would you consider donating just $5 to help out my little ones??

We would certainly appreciate your generosity. Simply click on my donors choose link on the right side bar or go to

Thank you!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

GingerBread Week 2

The gingerfun continues! I mentioned in last week's post that we've been making journals with entries about the stories we've read.... here are a few of those:

And our chart where we compare character, refrains, and endings:

We made gingerbread glyphs:

Pattern Books:

Practiced building, writing & drawing CVC words:

Letter Sorts:

Real & Nonsense word spin:

Practiced our teen numbers:

Practiced following directions:

and made these cute gingerbread houses:

Two days before break my family is coming to school and each kid is going to make their own gingerbread house with milk cartons, graham crackers, icing and candy!

Math Centers:

Addition Spin & Write

Count & Write with colors

Candy Cane Patterns

Cookie Number Words

Spin, Read & Color (numbers & color words)

Spin & Graph Candy

Books we loved this week:

Bad Boys Get Cookie!
The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales
The Runaway Tortilla
Gingerbread Baby
Gingerbread Friends
(We have a few more books and activities to finish up next week!)

These Activities are from:
Deanna Jump's Gingerbread Unit & Gingerbread Centers
Julie Lee's Gingerbread Centers
Free downloads from Mrs. Willis (pattern book), and Sunnydays (glyph)