Wednesday, January 7, 2015

December in a Blog Post

We've finally made it through a good part of the year and into my favorite month, December! December is a magical month in Kindergarten!  It's full of crafts and fun! The good thing is, we get to integrate the crafts into learning about the different countries around the world! I didn't get a lot of pictures of the crafts because it was such a busy time and I was struggling through my last bit of school and had so much on my mind, but I still got tons of pics of everything else!

We started off December with a visit from the North Pole! The students were super excited that our elf came in a freezing package straight from Santa! They named her Twinkles! Twinkles was a great motivator and was always up to something :)

One of the crafts I remembered to capture was the St. Lucia head wreaths and star boy hats! 

Is it just me or do you feel like your always trying to figure out the perfect parent present for Christmas? When I was getting my ornaments out this year, I realized how much I truly enjoy looking at the ones my children have made for me.  Mrs. Bradley saw a pin for a reindeer picture frame, but the frames were really pricey.  We collaborated on what materials to use and I was able to get the foam and ribbon for a very reasonable price at Michaels.  I had our awesome EC teacher tie the ribbons for me because I'm not a very good bow tier!  I hot glued those on and the ribbon on the back.  The kids glued on the eyes and nose with white glue.  They also glued their hand prints on which Mrs. Bradley had previously gotten.  We took their picture next to the tree wrapped up in lights and put it in their frames.  They were too cute!  

Have you read about how I do the 12 days of Christmas? I blogged about it over at The Primary Pack.  This was the day we opened our presents! We sit in a circle and open them...its controlled chaos and oh so much fun!

Mrs. Bradley and I got the students a coloring book and crayons.  I always like to get that for my students because it's something fun they can do over the break too! 

For our party, we made Gingerbread houses!  Thank goodness for wonderful families, they supplied all the materials needed.  We started with ice cream cones and green icing and let them use M&Ms to decorate those and then let them eat those.  This kind of gets them out of the mode of wanting to eat everything...then they can decorate the houses!  We had a great parent volunteer turn out and all of the houses looked amazing!  Such a fun party!

For Christmas Rotations, the students played Bingo, Musical Chairs, made bookmarks, fingerprint snowmen, and reindeer food.  They had a blast as always!

We ended December with the Polar Express! I missed this day due to graduation, but I couldn't miss seeing my sweet Kinders in their jammies, so I popped in to take their picture and see them in their jammies and Mrs. Bradley captured some pictures of them drinking hot chocolate and having popcorn.  I'm sad I missed it, but it looks like they had a blast!

Better late than never, I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year! I am so thankful to all the wonderful families in my classroom and all of you that take the time to follow my blog!

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We had an amazing first half of the year! I can't wait to see what 2015 holds for us!  Thanks for catching up with me!  I promise to post more regularly for the rest of the year! :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Getting Ready for December!

Before I leave for Thanksgiving break, it's a necessity that I am prepared for Christmas! I put up my Christmas tree, my bulletin board, get my plans done, and of course help my children get in the spirit as well! Here's how:

We wanted a cute and perfect bulletin board again, especially after taking down those cute owls.  I got on Pinterest and searched and found this:

Totally free from First Grade Blue Skies!  She has a pattern in the packet for an ornament, so I chose some bright colors and ran them off.  Then I headed to Michael's and purchased some scrapbook paper with different patterns and colors and some ribbon.  Thank goodness for a teacher discount and coupons! I already had punches for stars, squares, and circles, so I punched out the shapes using those.  I let the students choose their ornament colors and shapes from what I'd punched out and then we added glitter to ours.  They told me if they wanted a pattern and I added it for them.  We titled ours "We're Having a Ball in Kindergarten!"  I hot glued everything to the paper.  Our board was shaped a bit different than hers, but I still think they came out cute!

Another thing we did to get ready for Christmas is a Christmas countdown chain! I always start these on December 1st, but I suppose you could start them whenever you wanted to.  I have several options, but I like to do Santa.  I printed him out in color, so students just had to cut him out.  We added some cotton for fun.  Next students need 12 green links and 12 red links.  I used to have a method to what size these needed to be, but construction paper is crazy expensive and I started using bulletin board paper so it really doesn't matter to me now.  About an inch thick and maybe 3-4 inches long.  Students alternate colors and I teach mine to put a little glue and then pinch and count to 10.  This is SO MUCH FUN for them! I do this before Thanksgiving and send it home with a note letting the parents know to hang it somewhere safe until December 1st.

Super cute, right?

There are other options as well - bells, stars, elves, and more! 

Do you do a countdown to Christmas?

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Monday, January 5, 2015

Fall Bulletin Board

So because we are super busy, we have to find cute bulletin boards we can leave up for a little while.  I was completely stumped about what to put up for the Fall.  Mrs. Bradley adores owls, so she wanted to do an owl craft!  We found an owl template from:

Classroom Compulsion

If you love owls, head over and grab it! We felt like our owls needed bellies too, so Mrs. Bradley free handed a belly for them.  We also gave ours some feet! 

Our amazing intern crafted up a border and a tree for us and I painted a hole in the tree and some polka dots on the paper to give it a little something.  This was truly a collaborative effort and we loved it! We love chevron, so we gave our kids a choice of a few different colors.  I hot glued them on to the tree and the board.  

It's definitely too late for this one now, but grab the template and save it for next year, I know I'll be doing it again next year!

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Sunday, January 4, 2015

November in a Blog Post

We're moving through the school year at warp speed and honestly, that's how it felt to me with everything I had going on.  November wasn't quite as busy as October because we had a few days off, but we had a lot of fun things to do!

We had our 1st Terrific Kids Awards Assembly! Congrats to our first Terrific Kids!

We continued with our letters and made the robot alphabet hat from Simply Kinder! This is always my student's favorite!

We had Thanksgiving Rotations! Just like Pumpkin Rotations, students move to 6 classrooms and do a different activity in each room!  They made bracelets to learn about the First Thanksgiving, wrote their name using symbols, made bookmarks, put turkey numbers in order, made butter, and played Thanksgiving Vocabulary Bingo.

We made outfits and dressed up as Native Americans and Pilgrims!

We had a pie feast with Mrs. Mitchell's Class! The students tried pumpkin pie and apple pie and we graphed our favorite kind! Pumpkin won! I was super proud of everyone for taking their thank you bites :) We loved having our Native American friends over for a feast!

We used these resources in November: (You can download or wishlist for next year!)


 That's it for November! It was a super simple month, but lots of fun! Can you see how much these sweet students have grown already? December is coming soon!

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Saturday, January 3, 2015

October in a Blog Post

Now that we've gotten past September, let's still pretend it's not January and reverse it back to October.  Yep, Fall.  Holy Cow, October was BUSY y'all.

We continued learning our letters and making our Alphabet hats from Simply Kinder!

We made our first visit to the Community Garden across the street!  Seriously, crossing the street is a big deal!  In the Spring, we will go once a week and learn all about how to garden!  This is the first time we've ever gone in the Fall.  When we go in the Spring, we don't get a chance to see a lot of the crops fully grown, so Ms. Joni, the master gardener, invited us to see the garden in the Fall this year.  The kids were simply amazed! They truly enjoyed the insects of course, but they enjoyed the crops too.  Someone saw eggplant and told Mrs. Bradley they were hot dogs, we have a lot to learn!

In October, our kids raised a TON of money for our school through the Boosterthon Fun Run! The kids took donations and then ran about 2 miles (around 36 laps!)  It's such an amazingly exciting event for the students.  The people who coordinate this have more energy than I can even explain and get the kids SUPER hyped up!  The kids get prizes for their pledges and they were so excited to run.  Our team name was the PB Jelly Jammers (P for me, Payton and B for Mrs. Bradley our assistant!)  She came up with our awesome name and the kids LOVED it!

As you know, October is Fire Safety Month! We love to finger paint, so we finger painted some flames!  I displayed it with a sign that said "This Class is on Fire!" and every time I walked by I got the Alicia Keys song stuck in my head.  Did you sing it?? Is it stuck in your head now? You're welcome!  

The fire clowns came to visit us and there was a girl clown for the first time ever! They are always super silly, but they have a lot of good information for the students.  I usually try to ask my friend who is a fire fighter to come visit us with a fire truck from his station, but he had just gotten back from a deployment, so imagine my surprise when we went out to see the fire truck after seeing the fire trucks and we saw Mr. Joe the fire fighter!  The kids enjoyed seeing the fire truck!

We made spider hats! Always a favorite of mine in October.  I blogged about how to make them over at The Primary Pack.

We had Pumpkin Rotations!  They played Bingo, heard a spooky story, played guess who?, played spooky musical chairs, made a Spookly the Pumpkin cookie, and sorted Halloween rings!

We had Pumpkin centers with parents! Our awesome parents came out and helped us carve 5 pumpkins! 

We also decorated tiny pumpkins with all sorts of goodies and hot glue guns and had orange snacks!

Some of the resources I used in October were: (You can always download or wishlist for next year!)

These Freebies:

These paid resources:

So that's October in a blog post! Hopefully you made it through! :) See you tomorrow for November!

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Friday, January 2, 2015

Sweet Sounds of Kindergarten Giveaway

My sweet friend Kelly from Sweet Sounds of Kindergarten has reached 1000 followers on Teachers Pay Teachers! To celebrate, she is having a giveaway with TONS of our blogger friends!  You know you need resources and TpT gift certificates and all you have to do is head over to her blog to enter on the rafflecopter! Check out the prize packs: (I'm in prize pack #1!)

Now you've seen what you can win, click below to head to her blog and enter the rafflecopter! Good luck!! 

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