Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy...Almost...New Year to All my Fabulous Followers!

I had great plans of posting all my Christmas fun on here, but time, and life, had me side-tracked!
I am still hoping to share some of Jolly Candy Cane's last days of fun, as well as projects we did with you, but wanted to get this out!

I am beyond grateful to have so many wonderful followers- on both my blog, 'likes' on Facebook and followers on TPT.  It is very flattering!  I hope each product and post you use, that was inspired by me, helps you and your students in just the littlest way!

So to say...THANKS...here is a pack of 4 black and white and color New Year puzzles!  Have students use the color versions in a center and then follow-up with their copy they can personalize by using the black and white version!  My boys will be giving them a test tonight!

Just click on the picture above and download them all!!

Tonight will be the first night my boys are attempting to stay up for the ball drop!  We are getting together with our neighbor and each 40 min or so we are having the kids open a surprise bag!  There will be either a game, activity, craft, treat, party decoration, etc in there to keep them engaged till midnight!  These puzzles are one of the surprises they will find!  I hope to post some pics of our finds soon!  I cannot take full credit for this idea- it was inspired by something I saw on Pinterest!

I made up these time labels to attach to the bag.  Feel free to download and use yourself- if you see this post in time!  Graphics are thanks to Educlips!

I'd love to hear your plans and ideas for kiddo fun!  I love reading your posts on my blog!

Until next post...
Wishing you and your family a very happy and healthy New Year!

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Final Giveaway for the 13 Days of Christmas Blog Hop!

I hope you have enjoyed all the freebies over the past 13 days! All good things must come to an end and today is no different.  Today your last oppurtunity  to enter all the giveaways from these 13 AMAZING bloggers! :)

Just click the links below to go directly to their blogs and download their freebie and enter to win their giveaways.












There is also one more giveaway  that you don't want to miss out on...it's ALL 13 prizes for one lucky winner! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We hope that you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Posts and pictures from my last few days of school will be up soon!  My family hit a bit of a speed bump this week...but we are on an upward swing and hope for great news in the New Year!


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Scout Elf Adoption, Polar Express Re-Telling, Holiday Gifts & More!

I am not sure who is going to be more excited about this...me or my students!
Today we are going to make our very own scout elves!

 Thanks to a wonderful idea I found on Heidi Songs blog and a little elf magic on my part, my students will be leaving my classroom today with their very own elf- along with an official adoption certificate!  They have the option of using Jolly Candy Cane's official elf naming dice or thinking of a name on their own!  The adoption certificate has been signed by Santa Claus (and a space for me to sign as a witness!) and sprinkled with special elf dust!

I pre-wrapped the tp holders and used a paperclip to secure it- but they will make their own head, arms, legs, mittens, boots and hat!  I cannot wait to see how these turn out..and their smiling little faces as they leave with elf in hand!

But that is not all I found on Heidi Songs blog!  Check out these tree hats we will be making!

She has it for counting by 10s, but since we are working on numbers 1-10, I modified it a bit!  They will be cutting out the ornaments and star and writing the numbers.  The trees are pre-traced using the tracer Heidi provides on her blog.

Polar Express Re-Telling

My students knocked my socks off yesterday with their ability to re-tell and sequence the story!  We used story re-telling picture cards and then they made their own re-telling trains!  They fold up to look like a little book- pull it open and you get a nice long train that sequences the events in the story!

When I saw some struggling with getting the pictures in order, I added the numbers, but for the most part, they were all able to complete the story sequence craft independently!

You can find all the retelling cards and craftivity here:

Today we also finished up our parent gifts and wrapped them up!  There are a whole herd of reindeer just waiting to surprise Mommy's and Daddy's at our Kindergarten Concert and craft party tomorrow!

The behavior management idea I blogged about a few days ago is working beautifully!  Here are our trees...by Friday one of the tables will get a special prize left by Jolly Candy Cane!

Speaking of Jolly....where will he be found today?

Hanging out with the sample elf- holding a note that explains all about the naming dice and adoption certificates!  

BUT...my class isn't the only ones who will find a special surprise today...

My boys have a special little lunch to find today!   Friday I have a fun reindeer sandwich idea in store, but just had to give them a little Christmas love at lunch today!

Don't forget to visit Mrs. Payton's Precious Kindergarteners for Day 10 of the blog hop today!  She has a fun writing prompt freebie waiting for you...and a chance to win her polar bear unit!

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Festive Center Fun....OH NO...oh Elf! And the 9th Day of the Blog Hop!

The excitement is definitely in the air!  If I could bottle just a smidgen of it I would need a colossal container!  It takes creative management to  keep it in check- but I love it at the same time!  There is nothing like a child and the excitement of Christmas to put you in the right spirit!

So this week I knew my centers had to be ULTRA engaging, hands-on and incorporate movement!  Thanks to some other wonderfully creative TPT authors, I was able to make it all come together!

Math Centers

So last week I blogged that I had hid 10 sets of elf counting cards that I had gotten from free from Differentiation Station Creations!  Well- today my first group got the chance to go 'elf-hunting!'  This group was the envy of some other groups!  They are all eagerly awaiting their chance!  I highly recommend you grabbing this set- if not for this year, but as a super center for next year!


I gave them mini magnifying glasses so that they could check the details on the elf recording sheet to make sure they matched them correctly!  It was so cute to watch them tip-toe around the room and get super excited when they found the match!  It helped us review counting and number writing!  PLUS- they were moving...and ENGAGED!  

Last week we practiced a roll, say, cover activity from Christina Mauro's Holiday Hoopla pack.  This week is our 'Polar Express' week and I found this fabulous and fun free roll, say, cover Polar Express themed activity from Mary Lirette!

To make it more fun, rather than chips/counters we used wrapped peppermint candies!  I made them each take an 'oath' that they would not sneak any- and if they all follow the oath on Friday I said they could each take 2 home!  This mat was for '1 dice' but her freebie comes with 3 mats for use up to 3 dice for those working on adding!

Speaking of the Holiday Hoopla pack from Christina Mauro... we 3 of the math center activities!  I highly suggest you taking a look at this mega pack...and right now she has it on sale for $5 (it has 229 pages!!)

 Roll, say and cover activity was a hit!  I used the cards through 8 for that is as far as we have gotten so far.  I also used her count/record activity!  My students did so well with it- and it helped practice counting and writing numbers through 10!
The Santa number ordering puzzle was a hit too!  They had no idea they were practicing number ID/recall and ordering!

And our fun elf left us 'Elf War' to play this week- but with an added component- a WILD card!  For the first round we were playing for 'larger' number- so if they pulled a wild card, they had to think of a number larger than their opponents!  BUT, when we switched to smaller- they had to think of a smaller number- luckily no one had a war vs 0...yet!  My students are LOVING our 'war' games!  I wish I had more cardstock, ink and laminate on hand so that I could print each a set as part of their holiday gift!  I have Snowflake War all printed, cut, laminated and ready for when we return from break!  

Want a chance to win a set of 'War' cards of your own?  Leave me a blog post comment!  I will check back on Friday and select a winner!

Literacy Centers

We continued with read around the room- elf style- this week- which kept a group up moving- yet reading, writing and using sight words!  

I added in some stocking fun this week!  The best part of Christmas is reaching into your stocking and pulling out a surprise...so why not tap into that with a center!  I purchased 5 stockings from the local dollar store, printed sets with the words were are working on, printed the initial sound cards and put them all in the stocking!  Oh- but before that- I labeled the backs with a number 1-5, and each stocking got a number 1-5, so that I knew where a missing 'toy' came from!  The file is editable- so you can make it to work with whatever your class is working on!  My recording sheet was front/back- so no matter which card they chose- picture or word- they had the space to record!


 You can see from the picture on the right what the 2 sides of the recording sheet look like- and my 'labeled' stockings and cards!

They had no idea they were practicing sound ID and word reading/ writing!  Win- win for everyone!

Holidays Around the World

Yesterday was the start of Las Posadas!  So we made some fun poinsetta flowers to decorate our gymnasium for our upcoming Kindergarten concert!  We'll be singing an original Las Posadas song that I created just for our show!  

Our flowers were inspired by ideas I got from Mrs Payton's Christmas Around the World pack and from Smedley's Smorgasbord blog!

The BEST part was adding the glitter- of course!


They are out drying- ready to be hung tomorrow!

Other Fun...

As I said, we are working with The Polar Express this week!  Today was 'kick-off' day!  We read the story, listened to bells and built these sentences!  Today we will complete the emergent reader that goes with the sentences we built and do a story retelling activity

So yesterday we had an elf snafu- Jolly Candy Cane fell to the ground right in front of the kids!  They were HORRIFIED...and my heart was racing!  I 'picked him up' using our reading pointers (can't touch him- he'd lose his magic- and I NEED his magic this week!).  We put him on a pillow and gave him a blanket!  Magically he sat back up and appeared OK when we returned to the room after sing practice (so thankful I have a WONDERFUL assistant that plays along!)
Here in NY it is going to snow all day, so Jolly Candy Cane wanted in on the fun!  He is in a place where he can't fall or get hurt today- my heart can't take another day like yesterday!  I can't wait to see my kinders smile when they find him in his very own 'snow storm'- but most of all to find a set of bells straight from Santa's sleigh- just like in The Polar Express!

Stay tuned for more pics and fun from our week...but while you are waiting...visit Day 9 of the Blog Hop!

It is brought to you by Karen Jones of Mrs. Jones' Kindergarten!  She has a fun freebie waiting for you for al those emergent readers and a giveaway to win one of her mega phonics bundles!

And if you missed days 1-8, check out my post from yesterday that gives you all the links to the freebies and giveaways!  Enter all the giveaway by Saturday night and on Sunday someone will win everything!


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