Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Cookies, Stockings, & Snowmen!

Wheeewwww! It has been a busy couple of weeks! I'm so happy to be on Christmas break {hopefully I can find some time to relax}!

This year, a couple of teacher friends and I took on the task of putting on the Christmas program. It was a blast! The students and families were so appreciative of all our hard work. Here are some pictures of our adventures along the way:).

Adventures with the golf cart:)!
Wall decorations! 

Isn't our entrance adorable?!

Those trees you see in the middle are made from fabric! We used white fabric for the back and patterned fabric to make the trees. One of our really awesome first grade teachers helped sew it together for us {the Christmas committee doesn't know how to sew:)}! 
We also used fabric to make all the ornaments and trees around the gym. We attached them to the paper with duct tape. Maybe next year we'll get them all on fabric backdrops:).

The program turned out fantastic! It was definitely worth all the hard work. 

We also had a Christmas character dress up day at work! Guess who I was?

Mrs. Frosty! The kiddos loved my outfit...they asked if I could wear my tutu all the time. I love first graders:).

Anyone like cookies with their frosting? Room 16 does! 

Every year, before Christmas break, my grandma used to decorate  cookies with the kiddos. I had decided I wasn't going to do it this year because I had been so busy with the Christmas program. I was exhausted. But, it was pulling at my heart strings. I ended up at the grocery store, twice, the evening before the last day of school. I knew gram would want me to decorate the cookies with the kids. They had a blast and I was reminded of all the sweet memories I had of gram in my classroom. 

My grandma also always made stockings for my students at Christmas time. This year, my mom and I made the stockings. I'll forever be reminded of the kind-hearted person that gram was. She just loved watching the kids' faces light up when she walked in with all those stockings! I think my mom enjoyed it just as much this year. This is just one of the memories of gram I'll always hold dear to my heart.

My class was also adopted by a local pediatrician's office. My aunt, who works at the pediatrician's office, set it up so that each person in her office adopted one of my students for Christmas. It was like Christmas morning in room 16 this week!

My students were truly blessed this year!

Before heading off to winter break we made these cute lil' snowmen. I had to have the walls ready for January when we got back:).

I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Holiday Parent Gifts

Can you believe I'm blogging on a Monday?  More importantly, can you believe there are only four days left until Christmas vacation?
Are you still looking for cute {inexpensive} parent gift ideas?

I'm going to very quickly share what I've come up with this year! 

As I was perusing Pinterest last week, I saw some adorable holiday cards. I was quickly inspired! I decided to turn one of the cards into a tile. The best part is the tiles only cost 16 cents at Home Depot! I got enough for my entire class for under $4.00! 

The only other supplies you will need are puffy paint, glitter glue, and a black paint pen. I already had all of these on hand...which made it even better!

The kiddos wrote Merry Christmas, their name, and the year with the paint pen. I drew the squiggly line, and the kids painted their fingers to make fingerprints as the lights. We added a tiny bit of glitter glue to the top of each light. Easy-peasy!

There you have it-a cute lil' keepsake! 

Have a great week!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Snowflake Is Here!

Hello Saturday!

It has been one crazy, busy, fun week! We had rainy day schedules, colder weather, and a visitor from The North Pole! Yes, the big guy at The North Pole decided to send one of his cute lil' helpers to room 16, to help promote positive classroom behavior during this holiday season! He might cause a little mischief and have some fun while he's at it:). Meet Snowflake, our classroom elf!

He arrived from The North Pole on Monday. I may have stuck him in the freezer and froze him over night:). If he was coming from The North Pole, the box had to be cold, right:)?!

Don't mind my messy freezer:).
The kiddos were filled with excitement when they saw this box sitting in the middle of our classroom Monday morning. They were even more excited when they found out it had come all the way from The North Pole!

Yes, by Thursday, Snowflake needed chocolate as much as the teacher did:). It looks like our elf loves taking "elfies," I mean selfies, too!

We spent some time learning about reindeer this week! No, not Santa's reindeer. I have this cute reindeer craft to share with you! I did, however, forget to take pictures of our reindeer books and reports. It was a busy week:).

Aren't these the sweetest? I used scrapbook paper to make the antlers and nose.

We also started receiving some of our gingerbread men this week from our gingerbread man exchange!

This week, our anthology story was all about masks and mask making in various parts of the world. The kiddos begged me to make masks all week! So, on Friday we made elf masks:).

Oh, look! You can see our reindeer reports in the back! See, we don't just craft all the time:-).

That's all I have for you this week! I'm off to run errands and preparations for our Christmas program!

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Season Of Change

It's that time again! Five for Friday!

The Christmas season is upon us! As much as I LOVE the holiday season, this year has been different. As most of you know, my grandma passed away a few months ago. So, I've spent some time trying to figure out what the new "normal" is, or is going to be. 

Last Saturday, I woke up ready to decorate my house for Christmas {yes, before Thanksgiving-I know some of you are cringing}. As I finished all of the decorations, I looked around and realized that none of it made me happy. I wondered, what could be wrong? My Christmas decorations always make me happy. I sat on it for a day or two. 

Sunday evening came around, and I told the hubby I wanted to re-decorate the entire house. You can imagine the look I got. I explained to him that my Christmas decorations were too loud and too happy. I just didn't feel happy. His response: "So, you want to decorate the house to be a sad house?" <insert my eye roll and sigh of frustration here> 

In case you are wondering what too loud and too happy looks like:
Monday morning I got to work on re-decorating the entire house. I was hoping for something a little less flashy. Something more traditional. Gram's favorite color was red, so I decided to incorporate some pops of red throughout the house. Here's what I ended up with!

Tuesday evening, the hubby came home from work and said, "Wow, this is a totally different feel this year; this is nice." I think he finally understood what I meant by too loud and too happy. He must be a visual learner, like me:).

The hubby was right about one thing: there is no decoration, or ornament, or present that is going to fill this void this year. It is a season of change. I added these angel wings to my tree to remind me I will always have a beautiful guardian angel watching over me from heaven. 

Ok. We did it. We finally gave in to the artificial tree this year. No more Christmas tree mess! I don't know about you, but I hate cleaning up all those dried pine needles. I will miss the smell of a freshly cut tree. I guess that's what scented candles are for. I'm loving how my tree came out this year! It's not bright and whimsical like years past, but it's perfect.
As I stood back looking at my tree, I could hear gram saying, "It's beautiful, I don't know where you got your creativity from, it certainly wasn't me." She would always tell me that after I finished decorating for the holidays. The truth is, all the decorating her and my mom did when I was a kid is probably where my love of decorating came from. Christmas has always been one of the happiest times of the year.

I know I've spent most of this post talking about Christmas, and you're wondering, where did Thanksgiving go? Here was our Thanksgiving feast:

You didn't think we were done with Christmas, did you:)? I created my first mesh garland this week! Not bad for my first try. 

Someone else is ready for Santa, too! Isn't he the cutest?

I apologize if you were expecting five awesome December classroom activities. This teacher has been on vacation! Well, I may have created a thing (or two) this week. Stay tuned next week for lots of December fun! We have a visitor from The North Pole who will be visiting room 16!

Friday, November 21, 2014

It's Beginning To look A Lot like Christmas!

Hello yoga pants, sleeping in, and a whole lot of yummy food! Yep, it is Thanksgiving break! It's hard to believe the school year is nearly half over.

Before I get too comfy cozy on the couch (and in total vacation mode), I'm going to share my Five For Friday!
I have some exciting news! I was connected with a company that made a VERY generous donation to each of the students' families in my class. Each family will be receiving a fully cooked Thanksgiving dinner. I work at a Title 1 school, so this donation will be greatly appreciated by the families. To say thank you to our donors, I had the kiddos create thank you cards. I didn't help them with the cards (which, you all know, was very hard-I'm kind of a perfectionist)....all first grader created:)!
I did help with the mailing, of course...and maybe the bow:)

Ok, so, I'm sure I wasn't the only teacher whose kiddos needed a little bit of extra motivation, to remember the classroom expectations this week! What is it about the week before vacation that makes everyone go crazy:)?! So, I came up with this lil' turkey. Each time the kiddos were doing what was expected, being respectful, and responsible, they earned a feather for the turkey. They had to earn a total of 15 feathers to fill the turkey this week (to earn a popcorn party).
Unfortunely, the kiddos didn't earn the party this week. Sad, I know. They were 4 feathers short of earning a popcorn party. No, I didn't give in. I'm mean, I know. Not really:-). Hopefully, it's a lesson learned for next time:).
I have a confession. I am OBSESSED with Christmas decorations. If it was up to me, my house would be a winter wonderland by November 1st! After all, I have fall decor up for 2-3 months. The Christmas season is just way too short. So, what did I do after school today? I started the holiday transformation! The holiday books came out, a long with some a lot of decorating! Here is my door:

I love it! It was fairly easy to make...just takes some time to cut all the pieces out.

Speaking of decorations...I may have had the students create some trees to decorate our wall. While other classes were making turkeys....we already moved on to December:).

I just LOVE how they came out! I think I love them as much as our pumpkins.

Guess who will be making his great debut from The North Pole, on December 1st? Yes, our classroom elf, straight from The North Pole:). Here is a pack I created to accompany any lil' visitor from The North Pole. It includes a journal, to document all the mischievious things your little visitor will do, several writing pages and prompts, graphic organizers, and a couple of math and language arts printables. Stay tuned for a month of elf mischief!

Happy Thanksgiving break!