Friday, December 19, 2014

Let it Snow! Parent Gift Idea

Have you already cleaned up the last speck of glitter and Christmas crafting clutter before enjoying your holiday break? Before you pack away all December ideas, head on over to Primary Powers to read more about this beautiful gift my kiddos made for their parents! This is a great project idea for any special occasion, not just the holidays!


I hope to see you there!
:)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Fa La La La Link-Up: Holiday FREEBIES!

'Tis the season for blog hoppin' to find all kinds of great holiday ideas and fantastic FREEBIES for the classroom! I'm linking up with my friends at Primary Powers to share some cute Christmas activities to help keep your kiddos engaged until break!


 Do you remember counting the days until Christmas by tearing off a link from a paper chain each day? 
I used to love making those in school!

This little FREEBIE is a mini chain with a different purpose!


 It's to practice ordering events. 

There are six sentence strips for each of three different stories.
There is one story about a child getting a gift from Santa, one about Rudolph and one about the Grinch. 

To make it fun and festive, I copied mine on red paper!

The Grinchy chain will be green of course!

There is even a blank template so your kiddos can write sentences to create their own story chain.

I'm not using them as a countdown chain, but just as a holiday-style reading activity.
 I think my class will really enjoy this quick and easy project.
 I hope your little ones will like it too!

You can grab the sequencing chains at my Kidsrcute store {here}!

You can also grab some cute paper for that very important letter!
 It's a sampler from my December Writing Center Kit.




 You can find the Santa letter paper {here}.

Enjoy!

Keep caroling on over to Primary Powers for more Fa-La-La-La Freebies!
 We'd love to have you link one up too! :)
:)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Holidays Around the World~ Round 2!

It's amazing to think that across the world, children put their shoes out this weekend for St.Nicholas Day! I always loved teaching about holidays around the world to my firsties. After some discussion the other day with my second graders, I realized that they have forgotten basically ALL of it! They knew something about wooden shoes and that's about it.


That's when I decided to take on holidays around the world a second time around, the second grade way and we are getting out our maps and globes once again! I made this PowerPoint to use with my kiddos over the next two weeks during our oh so short social studies block. Boy was it fun researching all of the different traditions and learning about throwing porridge on the ceiling and all sorts of good stuff!



I learned so much myself in the process of researching the various celebrations so I know my class will too! As an introduction to each country we study, I am using the PowerPoint sort of as a big book on the SMART Board. There are a few slides for each country I selected.
 It includes Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

Here is just a sample of the 70 page file:

My favorite part of all is that I finally got to use my collection of ThistleGirl graphics for the cuties around the world! I'm pretty sure my kiddos will be interested and engaged with these colorful slides.

If you are interested in something like this to add to your unit, you can see the full description{here}. It's on sale for a little while. It's a GROWING file. 
That is secret code for I'm out of time and I need to get it out there for people to use, but I can't stop myself from adding more...
:)

Have a magnificent Monday!


Monday, December 1, 2014

December Writing Prompts and the Big TPT Sale!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...especially with it being December 1st! I can't wait for all of the fun themes in the classroom! I'm excited to share some new ideas, activities and projects for the holidays with all of you throughout the month! 

The first on the list is this brand new writing center. 
This one has a fun Christmas theme!


I use this as a pick-a-prompt center after the mini-lessons during my writing block!
 This month the kiddos will pull them out from a stocking!
:)

The set has 36 different prompt cards with popular holiday themes.


Isn't this clipart by Teaching in the Tongass just the cutest?
 Oh my! What a gift she is to us!

There are also lots of writing papers included.
 Just a few of them are shown here:


 My kiddos are LOVING these so I will keep monthly centers going as long as possible! If you want to read the full description you can see it {here}.


  In case you haven't heard, it's time for the BIG SALE at Teachers pay Teachers!
 YIPPEE!


Special thanks to my sweet friend Jaime at Bright Concepts 4 Teachers for this cutie button! 

We all work hard and deserve to treat ourselves to a few special items for the classroom!
 It's so great to have a sale like this and save a few bucks! 


 As always, the items in my Kidsrcute store will be on sale too!

The sale runs for two days so don't worry if today gets crazy!
 Just remember to enter the promo code TPTCYBER at checkout! 

Have fun shopping!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

2+1=TPTCYBER: What's On Your Wishlist?

I am seriously counting down to the big TPT Cyber Sale like a kid at Christmas! To me it is a close second for sure! I love the chance to get some great items for my kiddos at a discount especially when so much moolah has been spent already on Christmas presents! Today I'm linking up with Ideas by Jivey for a fun post! It's all about WISHLISTS! I'm sharing share some of the most wishlisted items at my TPT store and tell you what item tops my shopping list for tomorrow! 


 Look! That's me in the image above, sitting at my computer!
 How did she know? Ha!
Today, I am working on getting my cart ready and going through my wish list!


The number one item people have wishisted from my shop is My Reading Comprehension Worksheet Packet. 
 If it is on your list too, now is a great time to grab it!





Number two on wishlists is this cute project idea for Mother's Day! 



You might like it if you are looking for a really unique gift for the class to make for their moms or even for your own kids to make for Grandma! 


So what's on my wishlist? What is NOT would be the better question! I've already changed my mind and revised this post! But...if the computer was acting funny and I had to hit purchase in a fat hurry...I would hope to have this:


It's a super packet for our holidays around the world unit! 
You can find it at Caffeine and Kindergarten.
 Click on the picture to take you to see it!

 Love the Kidlettes! Smiles!


Try to stop by today to read on and/or link up with Jivey

I'm heading over there to see what other people have wishlisted in case I missed anything! 
  This could be seriously dangerous friends! 
:)



Saturday, November 29, 2014

Cyber Monday Blog Hop #21


Once again the gals from Primary Powers are here to save the day! This time, we have teamed up with GoNoodle to share some SUPER ideas for using these fun activities in the classroom!

I'm here to share my favorite way to use GoNoodle with kiddos to wake up my sleepyheads before afternoon lessons, especially when it's a really tough concept or an intro to something brand new!  
This is stop number 21 in this blog hop! 
Welcome to Creative Lesson Cafe!


You can read on and hop along or start at the beginning and make your way back here, so you don't miss a thing! We have lots of great prizes up for grabs too!

Do you GoNoodle? Oh it's SO MUCH FUN! It's more than just a fun brain break, however. I like to use GoNoodle with my class to wake up their brains to be ready for new learning!
 I don't know about you, but about a half hour after lunch, I could completely fall asleep at my desk. Because of our schedule, we have to work in silent reading time after lunch. 
 It's all quiet and cozy warm in the room...
 *yawn*
I bet we all have moments like this.
 Kids get the after lunch slump too.
Well, we have too much learning to do in the afternoon to feel sluggish. I need my class bright-eyed and alert for each lesson especially when a new concept is being taught. 

So, what do we do? We GONOODLE! 

Moving and singing wakes up my little sleepyheads and gets the blood and oxygen flowing to their brains once again. We know research supports that movement and learning go hand in hand!

Even the teacher likes to GoNoodle! :)
 When I participate too, I can be at my best to teach them!  


 You know the hit song. This is definitely our class favorite! Singing requires a different kind of breathing than when the body is at rest and this is wonderful for the sleepy brain. The little snowflake you see in the image moves along with the words for great reading practice. I have my kiddos move their bodies along with the character to mimic what she is doing.
They beg to do it again and again! You can preview it here.

We also like many others for wake-up-our-brains time!
You can head over to GoNoodle to check out all of the fun brain breaks and get started in your classroom by setting up an account. 

It's FREE to use, so why not try it out?


Kitty High Five is just so stinkin' cute! You have to check it out!

 It's really easy to get your little sleepyheads up and moving with GoNoodle!
 Be sure to stop by the GoNoodle Facebook fan page and give them a Like! :)

Go Noodle also has all sorts of cute items for sale like tumblers and headbands.
Here's a SUPER incentive from GoNoodle:

Starting on Cyber Monday, GoNoodle is also offering all Primary Powers readers 30% off of purchases from the GoNoodle Shop through December 8! Use the code POWERS30 at checkout to receive the discount PLUS a special gift from GoNoodle and Primary Powers. 
In addition to new t-shirts, tumblers, and other goodies for GoNoodling teachers, you can purchase affordable, pre-wrapped gift packs for students to bring a little GoNoodle love to your classroom this holiday. How great is that? 

You can also enter here to win a set of super cute coloring books for your class. 


What a perfect thing to have in the treasure box or to give your students to work on during inside recess time if they like!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for flying on over today! 
Your next stop is to see my friend Lizz for some great ideas for using GoNoodle during math instruction at Learning with Lizz R! 
Keep hopping on! Each blog has swag to give away and there is an awesome surprise at the end! 


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Native American Picture Writing

Hi Friends! Before Thanksgiving has come and gone, I wanted to share a fun and easy activity we did last week for you to file away or Pin to your Thanksgiving board for next year if you like! Because all of the schools in my district are named after Native American tribes, we always spend a significant amount of time learning about Native American culture and traditions in our classroom. 

It is a tradition in my room to do some Native American PICTOGRAPH writing in November. 


When I hear that word it makes me think of graphing, but a pictograph is any picture that represents a word or idea. Native Americans living in early America, before the settlers arrived, used pictographs as their writing system. A few Native Americans still use pictographs today. I pointed out to my students that we see these symbols every day on the teepee that is displayed in our entranceway and painted in our hallway wall murals.

Years ago, someone shared a hard copy of a symbols sheet. The thing is as old as the Mayflower and I have no idea where it originally came from... Anyway, I displayed it on the SMARTBoard for the students to see.


I don't have this document to share with you, unfortunately, but you can find lots of similar pages by searching the internet for Native American pictographs. Lakeshore also has a free printable here.

Next, I modeled what a picture story may look like and explained that not every word is represented, only big ideas. The students got to try their hand at creating a story using symbols too. I gave them a blank piece of paper for a rough draft.

Then, they were ready to rewrite their story on some bison hide. To make some hide, we cut open a lunch bag.You all know how I love my lunch bag projects! Yep~ here's another one!


We removed the bottom flap of the bag first and set that scrap aside. Then, the students cut out the strip where we see the seam to use the best part of the bag. I asked the class to cut the opened bag into a muddy lake shape. That's the best I can do to describe it!


The students copied the story in pencil first, then traced over the pencil lines with marker (our berry ink).


Each child shared their story with a partner or two. 
They loved that part!


 The best part was yet to come!


 Crumpling the bag for a minute or two until it becomes soft makes the bag resemble a hide. We smashed it into a ball and opened it up several times to get the right effect.

Our November festivities ended with another tradition I have kept going for many years... making Native American corn soup with the kiddos. We also churned our own butter and served it up on top of my mom's cornbread muffins! She bakes them for us every year and always loves helping out at our mini feast! 


She even made an extra batch for me to take home! Mom's the best!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and enjoy your time off!
:)


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