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Snowman Countdown Craft

Happy Wait for it Wednesday friends!
This week we are talking about a fun countdown craft you can do with your students:


Ready or not....Christmas is coming!  So we are less than a month from Christmas and I'm not feeling so ready this year.  But earlier this week we made the CUTEST Snowman countdown in my classroom and the kids LOVED it.  I had lots of parents compliment how cute they were too.  I have a little guy that doesn't celebrate Christmas ~ not a problem!  The beauty of this craft is that it has options.  So, we decided we would just countdown until Winter Break.  He loved that it wasn't too Christmasy and he could participate in it.
* I added a strip of scrapbook paper to make it more personal near the brim of his hat.  **

This snowman countdown craftivity is so fun and perfect for December.  Your students will love moving the carrot nose to countdown until Christmas or any special occasion they have planned.  If you want to try this you can grab it here


The nose is added on with a brad so it's movable and ready to use.  Grab it while you can my friends!  Only a few more weeks and we have another break.  Enjoy your time with your precious students.
xo,


5 Holiday Craft Ideas to try this year







Welcome friends old and new...I'm excited to share another 


with you this week.  I have some fun craft ideas that are my must haves for December:


I love the holidays ~ Christmas lights, holiday music, cool weather in Southern California...it all makes me so happy!  I have 5 MUST HAVE craft ideas for December that you will be happy you tried.


This Snowman countdown is perfect for any age really:  If you teach preschool it would work with a small group and lots of direction.  Preschoolers on up would love this countdown...I'm doing it with my 3rd graders this year even.  It's a fairly simple craft and all they have to do is move the carrot nose to countdown the days until Santa comes...if they celebrate a different holiday - NO WORRIES.  They can countdown to anything special that they celebrate in December.


grab it ( here )


Reindeer Craftivity

This has been a big hit for the last few years in my classroom and hallway.  It's a fun craft that the kids can make unique by embellishing it.  I use scrapbook paper for the skirt and bow for the girls, the hanging legs are just fun and it makes a darling display.


grab it ( here )


My parents in my class FLIPPED over this holiday card...I only wish I would've taken a picture of the card itself but you get the idea.  I put up wrapping paper as a backdrop and strung lights around them ( that were plugged in ).  The lights lit up and so did they....this made a fun little Christmas card for the parents.  You can also place this picture on a piece of wood and mod podge over it to make a fun holiday decoration for years to come.




Having a Polar Express Party at home or school is always a favorite of kids!  Have your kids come to the party or school wearing their pajamas...show The Polar Express and serve hot chocolate or chocolate milk if you are worried it will be too hot for little hands.  Then work on this fun craft to finish off the night { boy and girl versions available }


grab it ( here )



I made these for my parent helpers one year as a thank you gift at Christmas...it was a huge hit.  I used baby booty socks for the little hat.  I purchased white glittery ornament balls and painted a snowman face on them, hot glue the baby sock hat and add ribbon.  It makes a fun, unique gift - several comments and liked that I added the year and parent helper on it.  I think it made it extra special and served as a memento of them helping out that year.


I hope these ideas are new and something that you can try out this holiday season.  If you decide to try it out let me know below or if you have any further questions ask in the comments and I'd be glad to help you.  Happy crafting! xo






election 2016

Hi teacher friends welcome to a very late edition of 

~ ~ it's been a BUSY couple of weeks.  Conferences, Halloween on a Monday { seriously }, and the elections are just around the corner.  I'm so curious how you handle the election process or elections in general in your classroom.  It's even a bit trickier to handle when the elections are surrounded by so much drama controversy.  
My team teacher has always taught about the election process - in fact she has had permission every election for the last 4 of them to bring her class into the election room ( which is done on our campus as we are a polling site ) and her students sit quietly and observe voters.  Her adult daughter will be there voting and we will watch her throughout the process.  After that the polling people for lack of a better name give all of our students I voted stickers.  But first....they need to vote.
After teaching them about the process and a little about our government including the 2 main parties - but NOT their platforms.  We keep this very UN political so we don't upset parents.  So we teach the animal that represents each party and general information about how the parties started etc.  We also teach about the process of voting: registering to vote, providing an I.D., having the vote be 'secret', etc.  Then after we have them 'register' the FRIDAY before voting they must have their I.D. that we provided with their picture to vote on the Tuesday.  We set up several voting boots with privacy partitions and even a ballot box for them to turn their ballots into.  
Later we count the votes and announce who won at our grade level.  We teach them GENERAL information about the candidates like: where they went to college, when and where they were born etc.  We make sure to not put our opinion into it and try not to get their opinions ( or really their parent's opinions ) in it either.  We definitely do NOT talk about their stances on issues as that is not appropriate and too deep for them at this age.
We keep it light and give parents a heads up that we will be doing this in a very light, informative manner.  
I will post pics on my facebook page of the kids voting next week.  If you want a little election pack to do something for next week you can grab it ( here ).  It includes a poem and close reading, etc. if you don't want to have a mock election but still want to tie the election into your lesson plans.







Don't forget to go out and vote ~ and if you are someone of faith be praying for our country and our leaders. <3  Happy Hump Day! XO,



National Symbols



It's another edition of...

I'm so glad you joined me this week.  I wanted to share some fun ideas for when you teach on National/American Symbols.
National Symbols are so much fun to teach!  With the elections upon us I thought it would be a good idea to share some ideas and art projects I've done in the past.  This pack is one of my top sellers and it's perfect for K/1.
When I taught first we did A LOT of art but we almost always paired it with writing which made it more meaningful for the kids.  So most of the projects I've included or that I'm sharing can be hung up with a writing page.  I like to have the kids research on Kiddle and brainstorm and then write about the monument.  It looks so nice hung by the art projects. This pack is pretty comprehensive.  I have interactive poems, close reading and lots of note taking pages all on American symbol topics.






Eagle art uses their foot print and hand prints - how fun is that!?!
The Statue of Liberty is done with layering paper, kids love this one!





You could even enlarge the statue of liberty just a bit for the above art project and take pictures of your students.  Then cut out the face and put it in the Statue of Liberty face.  It makes a darling display!


This is a fun, comprehensive, engaging unit on national symbols.  It's perfect for an Open House or hanging lots of displays and showing off your student's writing skills.  If you think this is something you can use you can grab it { here }
Happy Teaching! 
xo,

How to Survive Halloween Week


First:  Get a sub all week!  Totally kidding
I am a fan of Halloween and love any excuse to get dressed up.  But Halloween on a Monday c'mon are you serious!?!?!  That just doesn't sound like the best way for a teacher to start his/her week.
So I have some fun, engaging activities and ideas that you can try out this week to hopefully make it flow much easier and make it more memorable for your students.
If you teach K or 1 maybe even 2 it's a great time to review rhyming words and word families.  I like to use my 



This includes a center too with several rhyming word cards.  It could even be used as a rotation at a Halloween Party so that you make it educational.



This freebie has lots of options that can easily be included during rotations during a classroom party or just at different times during the week, maybe seat work or math center time even. Get it here!


This is always a great visual for kids when working on adjectives.  Another idea ~ buy a pumpkin and write adjectives on it.  Have your students sit in a circle and touch it feel it etc., then you can write those adjectives on the pumpkin. Get it here!


Need behavior help this week...who doesn't?!?!  Here's a fun way to keep them focused!


Here's some ideas for math activities this week :  Free as well!  Grab it here!






Here are a few more Halloween packs that will make your week fun you can grab in my store here:



Grab the craftivity here  or the counting/color book here

Have your class make a Halloween bunting ( get it here )  to decorate the room!

Well good luck my teacher friends...at least there's not a full moon too.  I hope I've given you lots of options to make your week extra special with your sweet little monsters. xoxo,

Throw a Wild Rumpus Party this Halloween

Happy Hump Day!  Welcome to Wait for it Wednesday!



With Halloween just around the corner I thought it would be fun to share one of my all time favorite days with you to help celebrate!  For years my first grade team would throw a Wild Rumpus!  It's a core lit in our state so it was the perfect way to fit it in.  We would spend about a week and a 1/2 on the story and culminate it with a Wild Rumpus Party.  Our district only allows us to have 3 formal parties a year:  Christmas/holiday, Valentines and end of the year.  So no Halloween Party for us!  But this always allowed us to 'get around that ' by hosting a Wild Rumpus.  Was it a party?  Um, yeah!! Did it count?  No ~ aren't we clever!?!

So what did we do and how did this work?  If you are a new follower this might sound new to you.  I have posted about this before though.  Our Wild Rumpus Parties have always been a blast!

I have always run classroom parties in first grade with rotations and parents helping me 'man' them.  It just keeps everything so organized and on schedule.  So:  here's how it looks if you want to throw one:  First, be sure they wear their pajamas to school that day so they are all like Max.

  
So first I would break the kids up into groups of 5 -6 ( usually by tables ).  Then I would set up the rotation and ring a bell to signal the switching.  I would set up the popcorn hand at the reading table, the crown making in the hallway, the sequence activity at their seats and the puzzles on the rug on the floor.

The popcorn hand:




After a couple years of doing this I quickly realized how important it was to label their hands.  So I just used dot stickers and pre wrote their initials on them.  After they complete their hands they stick their initial sticker on it and it won't get lost.



This rotation gives a little more freedom, no real instructions.   After they make their crown we give them a scepter to use for the photo shoot.


We just add a backdrop with a Wild Thing guy I drew a few years ago and some stars...adorable!


The kids get a chance to review the story and then to their seats to sequence it.




The winner would receive a small toy from Party City for each round.

This day is always a big hit by both kids and parents and even admin.  One year we even had a visit from a Wild Thing:  That was memorable for sure!


If you love this idea and want to give it a try I have a Where the Wild Things Are pack in my store that will give you more than enough ideas and printables to make this happen in your classroom.  You can grab it { here }

Here's what other teachers have to say about this day/pack:


I'd love to hear all about it if you have used this pack or give it a try this year.  Take care, happy teaching xoxo,

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