Friday, December 30, 2011

Merry Christmas

Better late than never, my sweet students and I around our Christmas tree the day before our break.  I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

I am so thankful that I am able to have this beautiful Christmas tree in my room for my sweet students.  The tree and everything on it was donated by various businesses last year.  I wrote a few letters and they gave generously!  (Thanks as always to The New River Pottery, Walmart, Lowes of Winterville and Lowes on 10th Street - You guys are amazing :)

Christmas Party

After rotations in the morning, we decided to have our Christmas Party that afternoon.  Leading up to the party, the students had been participating in the 12 Days of Christmas.  The 12 Days of Christmas is a behavior incentive that many of the teachers at our school have the 12 days leading up to their Christmas Party.  Parents are asked to donate 22 of the same item pre-wrapped to the classroom.  Each day, if the students don't lose their apple, they get a present in their bag. (A gift bag I purchase and put their names on - I try to get them on sale!) On our party day, we sit in a big circle and everyone opens their presents.  It's pretty chaotic but super exciting for the kids!  This is a time we all hope that students who missed a certain present due to misbehavior will reflect and have an aha moment.  However, they are all so happy to be opening 12 presents that I'm not sure they noticed!  When they finished opening their presents, they went back to their seats and had a yummy snack and then we finished watching the Polar Express.  Many of them colored in their coloring books that Mrs. Edwards and I got them for Christmas.  While they were busy with all this, some of my sweet parents helped me take down my Christmas tree so we would be ready for January when we got back!  Here are some pictures of the fun!   

Snack Time!

 What a mess!

 A present from Mrs. Edwards and I!

It was an exhausting day, but seeing their excitement after waiting 12 days to open their presents is so worth it.  

Christmas Rotations

On the last day before our Christmas Break, we had another day of rotations, but with Christmas activities this time.  In my room, students made a Christmas Tree ornament.  Each child had 2 die-cut Christmas Trees that had several holes punched out of them. On the table, we had cut up squares of tissue paper.  They glued the tissue paper to one side of the Christmas tree and then put the other one on top.  I put a piece of red ribbon through a hole at the top and voila they had an ornament for their tree at home.  This activity is super easy and turns out really cute.

 In Mrs. Hardy's room, the students learned to sing Feliz Navidad!

 Candids in the hallway !

 In Mrs. Biggs' room, they read The Elves and the Shoemaker and then sorted their shoes in hula hoops.

 In Mrs. Mitchell's room they played Musical Chairs to Christmas music.

 In Mrs. Reel's room they also played Musical Chairs to Christmas music.  

 In Mrs. McGregor's room, they played bingo with the Christmas Vocabulary words.

It was a great way to review the things we learned about Christmas and not start anything new before our break! 

Pie Feast

To celebrate Thanksgiving, after we have learned about Thanksgiving and the Indians and the Pilgrims, we have a pie feast with another class.  School policy doesn't allow us to cook anything or parents to send anything they have made, so we have to use store bought items and this is what we came up with years ago.  One class dresses up as the Indians and one class dresses up as the Pilgrims.  My class was responsible for bringing Pumpkin Pies and the other class brought Apple Pies.  Thank goodness for my wonderful parents - they came in and helped out (this is the first time I have ever invited parents to help) and it was the least stressful pie feast I have ever had.  We dressed up as the Indians and invited Mrs. Mitchell's class to come feast with us.  The students tasted each kind of pie as I showed an example of them.  They gave thumbs up/down to show if they liked it or not.  After we tasted both together, the students were able to eat and chat with each other and I called them up by table to graph their favorite on the SMART Board.  I had a few students this year that didn't like either, so I had to add a column to our graph for neither.  In the end, most students liked Pumpkin Pie.  We answered a few questions about the graph and the students came up to write their answers.  Both classes were so well behaved and they really enjoyed this activity.  Here are a few pictures of our feast.



Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thanksgiving Rotations

We love our rotations!  Just like our Halloween Rotations, each class travels with the teacher assistant to 5 other teacher's classrooms to do a different activity.  In my room, we always make the edible turkey.  I don't know why I continue to do this activity every year, because it can be a pain getting materials for 120 students and it can be super messy, but I do.  The kids love it of course...who doesn't like eating sweets first thing in the morning?

This is what you need for each student:
1 Oreo
5 Candy Corn (Feathers)
1 Whopper (Body)
1 Chocolate Chip (Beak)
1 Red Hot (Wattle)
1 Popsicle stick (To spread out the icing)
1 glob of Chocolate Icing

I usually have my intern or someone sweet put all of these materials except the icing into a ziploc bag ahead of time so I don't have to run around like crazy passing this stuff out and that has made things much easier.  First have the students break apart the Oreo - this can be disastrous so have extra Oreos on hand.  Next have them take their chocolate icing and spread it on both cookies.   Then have them take their 5 candy corn  and place them on the side of the cookie that doesn't have the white Oreo icing on it pointing in.  On the cookie that has the white Oreo icing, have them put the Whopper in the middle.  Have them put a little icing on the back of the chocolate chip and stick it to the front of the Whopper.  Then have them put a little icing on the Red Hot and stick it under the chocolate chip.  Finally, stand the cookie up that has the feathers on it and voila you have a turkey.  Then they can devour it!  This picture is the closest one I could find to the one we make, I can never remember to take a picture of my own or the kids making it because my hands are usually covered in icing.  I'll try to remember next year! :)

The other rotations the students went to were:

Making a fall/harvest trail mix with Mrs. Mitchell.

 Making Thanksgiving place mats with Mrs. Reel.

 Making Bracelets with Mrs. McGregor (each bead represented some part of Thanksgiving, I found this activity on someone's blog, but I can't remember where!)

They also made butter with Mrs. Biggs and learned a song with Mrs. Hardy, but we didn't get pictures of those for some reason.  The kids loved it of course and it's nice for them to get to see other teaching styles while doing fun activities ;)

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