Sunday, November 25, 2012

Winners, Winners, Turkey Dinners!

And the Winners Are...
Karyn W.
Brenda B.
Linda O.
Shuna P.
Bren P.

Congratulations to our 5 Winners! 
Your November, December and January Sharing Pages were shipped off via email this morning. 
Please let us know if you have any questions.

Now that the cat is out of the bag, our January Sharing Pages have just been added to our TpT Shop in time for Monday and Tuesday's big Cyber Sale!
Everything in our Shop will be 20% Off
Enter Code CMT12 at Checkout
To Save an Additional 8% off your purchase!
Time to stock up! 

Along with gearing up for Cyber Monday, we're also gearing up in class for the holiday season! Can you tell we've dumped the Thanksgiving leftovers and hit play on the Christmas Playlist? 
Let the Yule Tunes flow!! 

We run a Class Book Exchange to celebrate the holidays in class each year.
We send this letter early to give them as much time as possible.
We typically give them about 1-2 weeks to get their books wrapped and turned back into class.

 This year, we will be sending this home a little early as we are attaching it to our last Scholastic Book Order of 2012.
Most parents actually appreciate the easy ordering and the low prices. 
Our Bonus Point Bank is happy to help! 
Of course, all orders are optional...

We also print and cut these little gift tags apart and attach one to each parent letter. 
Yes, we make extras and keep them in a basket by our classroom door...
Ya know, those darn dogs eat A LOT of homework!! 
Just in case...

For those who cannot afford to participate, we have a basket of paperback books we allow them to choose from secretly in class ~ Bonus Points do come in handy! 

If their family is unable to help them wrap, we will bring in some wrapping paper from home and spend time helping them at recess.

There are lots of possibilities for the day of the Exchange, but we opt for Musical Chairs!
No, this is not the Blue Man Group...But, you get the idea.
We start with 1 less chair than the number of kids in our class, hit the holiday tunes, 
and become Queens of the Pause Button!
Each time one friend is out, they can pick a book and then sit, unwrap, share and read!
We keep them engaged by relinquishing a little pause button control and calling kids up to help until all chairs are out!
At the very end, we do let those who might be up for a trade an opportunity to ask their friends to swap.
Some do. Some don't. 
We don't beg.

In older grades, you might opt for a traditional type gift exchange, but this one has worked for us!
 No stealing, or crying or anything.
Just fun!

If you're thinking about doing a Class Book Exchange this year, click {here} to grab our parent letter and gift tags! Send it home, then sit back and let the books roll in! 
One step closer to Winter Break. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Phew! We were not trampled!!...Now a Sale!

We've never actually been Black Friday shopping. Well, the trampling kind at least. Thank Goodness! Did you go Black Friday shopping? Get anything fabulous? Have you ever been trampled? OH! 
We hope not!!

Whether it be our fear of being trampled or our sheer desire to remain in our pajamas as much as possible this Thanksgiving weekend, we will not be heading out to any stores near us any time soon this fine holiday weekend. But, we will be shopping with TpT in our cleanest coziest pair of PJ's work clothes on Monday and Tuesday for their BIG Cyber Monday and Tuesday Sale!
Ashley Hughes is one of our new favorite TpT clip art artists! 
She made the cute button above. Thanks Ashley!
Be sure to check out her adorable stuff!!

Everything in our TpT Shop along with many other TpT Shops will be 20% off this coming Monday and Tuesday!

Plus, be sure to enter code "cmt12" at checkout and save an additional 8% off your entire purchase!

No trampling! Yay! 

Just added to our TpT Shop...

Our sequel to our Top Seller "Fall into First Grade" 
Just a wee bit of time left to enter our Sharing is Caring Giveaway {here}!  
Be sure to check back here tomorrow to see the 5 winners and for a new freebie!! 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Sharing is Caring! Giveaway

Happy Thanksgiving Friends! 

Our list of things to be thankful for grew just a bit this year...From our Facebook Page, Pinterest Boards, TpT, to this bitty Blog of ours, this sharing community of educators we have found picks us up when we're down, humbles us when we're up, and just keeps us putting one foot in front of the other each day. 

We are so thankful for each and every one of you! 

Thank you for challenging us to be better teachers after 15 years of teaching. 
Thank you for making us laugh instead of cry. 
Thank you for keeping it fun instead of boring. 
Thank you for reminding us why we've always wanted to be teachers and how even in the face of budget cuts, teacher layoffs, etc., etc., we can find a silver lining. 
We can persevere and keep providing our students with the highest level of education despite the yuck challenges. 
Thank you. Thank you. 
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

In the words of our Mothers...
 Ohhh, we just quoted our Mothers...EEEK! Well, they do say we all turn into our Mothers, eventually...Right? But, in the World of Teacher Blogging and First Grade, Mom was right...Yes, we said it...MOM WAS RIGHT! We are so thankful she was...

We have that little poster up there hanging in our classroom. It just makes us feel better...when we "forget" to share. Or care... Click {here} if you'd like to grab a copy for your own class. 
See...Sharing IS caring!

In this theme of sharing, we just wanted to share a few highlights of our own class Sharing Page Program, some tips, freebies and a quick GIVEAWAY too! Yay!! 

And, that's before stuffing ourselves silly with turkey, turkducken, or tofurky...Whatever your pleasure. :)

Our Sharing Page Program is a monthly writing a public speaking program for kids. In our humble opinion, speaking in front of a group is a skill that is necessary, but kinda scary. The sooner we start, the better! Starting them young has proven in our own class to get them comfortable out the gates. It also builds their writing and illustrating skills quickly. 
Our Monthly Writing Pages for Class Share time each provide 8 writing page topics to choose from, class book covers in full color and print friendly options, parent letters, sharing schedule options, and a full explanation on how to implement it in your own classroom. You can read more about it in our intro post {here} perhaps between turkey and pumpkin pie, apple cobbler, or chocolate cake? Whatever your pleasure. :)

We use our sharing pages as part of our weekly homework, assigning each student a permanent "Sharing Day" for the year. Sharing Pages go home in their Homework Folders on Monday. We share Tuesday through Friday, with 4-5 kids sharing per day. The whole thing takes about 10 minutes a day, and they remind us if we forget!

Our favorite challenge is the "shy" kid...We use quotes because by now, we are seeing them flourish-They are not so "shy" anymore {And the teachers, snap, snap, snap and wag their heads!}. Of course we support them along the way...In fact, we came up with the poster below to hang in our classroom for them to share like Pros.
 For us, it is not just about reading a paper in front of the class. Presentation and comfort ability are important too! 

Plus, we cannot exactly teach them the, "Pretend everyone is sitting there in their birthday suit" trick just yet, so these steps help them prepare their little bodies and minds for successful share time. 
We've added this Sharing Pros Poster to our TpT Store. 
 Grab one for yourself {here}

Lots of you are using our Sharing Pages in your own ways too! We love that! Thank you for sharing...cuz we are caring! 

As our students share each day throughout the week, we have them turn their papers into our "Sharing Basket". We print and mount the covers on and 18" x 12" piece of construction, laminate, and chop in half to make a front and back book cover. At the end of the week, we gather all the pages and bind them together to make a class book. 
We've just finished up January. But, before we add it to our TpT Shop, we're giving them away along with November and December to 5 Lucky Friends!
Stuff yourself with turkey, then stuff your chances to win! 

Visit the Rafflecopter below to enter! 
This is a quickie, so enter today!
 Winners will be announced here on the blog on Sunday, November 25th, so be sure to check back when the turkey Tryptophan wears off!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Story of Thanksgiving Bracelet

As we get closer to turkey time, we've been busy reading books about the first Thanksgiving, reading and writing about what we are thankful for, and discussing our plans for stuffing ourselves silly spending time with family.
We also discovered this sweet little story bracelet reading comprehension activity from Dr. Jean.
We have an abundance of pony beads that we let the kids pick through for this activity. All they need is a pipe cleaner and the called for colored beads to build their own Thanksgiving story bracelet. 

We passed out pipe cleaners and a little tub with beads for them to pick through at each table. You may think us having them pick through a giant tub of disorganized beads is teacher lazy...We call it embedded fine motor practice. 

Have your students follow along as you read the poem, adding beads as the story unfolds.
We also created a little fill in worksheet to do as a follow up with our class to go along with the poem. We did not write this, but created a Read Aloud Poster for our class. To practice our first grade reading comprehension skills, we retold the story again and had our friends touch each bead as we colored in our squares on the activity sheet.
 When it was complete, we had them mad dash around the room to find the perfect partner share the story with a friend and retell the events, using the bracelet for help. We allowed them to work with their November Fluency Building Bookmarks to keep their buddy reading on track and help them practice their stamina while reading around the room.
We even had friends who sported the bracelet for the entire week. Hey, it's jewelry. We totally understand Bling!
You can download our Thanksgiving Story Bracelet for free.
Enjoy friends and Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Calling All Crafters! Turkey Pots for Giving

Fire up your glue guns Folks, cuz we're about to get crafty! don't actually need to be that crafty for this one-
Just be able to paint and glue!
Crafty Christy has been busy whipping up these cute little turkey pots for our parent volunteers to thank them for taking time to help in class around this time each year.

Here is what you need for each pot:
(all supplies can be found at your local craft store) 

*2 1/2"-3" Terra Cotta Pot
*Brown, Orange, and Red paint
*Wooden Craft Spoon=brown body
*Long Heart 1"=red waddle
*Small Heart 1/2" or 3/4"=orange beak
*Large Heart 1 1/2"=orange feet
*Small black pom poms or beads for the eyes
*Artificial Leaves
*Seasonal Print Fabric 3" =bow

Step 1: Paint all wooden parts. We do assembly line style and paint large quantities all at once.

Step 2: With pinking shears, cut 3" strip of fabric and tie into a knot.
Step 3: With a hot glue gun, glue small orange heart on top of long red heart. Glue long heart to craft stick. 
Glue eyes above and bow below.
Step 4: Glue leaves to back of pot- 2 on the sides, one in the middle. 
Glue large orange heart on bottom.
Step 5: Glue Turkey Body to front of pot.
Fill with Fall Chocolate Kisses, Mini Fall Chocolate Bars, or any other festive goodies. 
Happy Turkey Day Y'All! 
Gobble Gobble!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Twas the Week Before Thanksgiving!

Twas the week before Thanksgiving,
And all through the class...
All the creatures were stirring,
And the teachers are slowly running out of gas!

BUT, we can make it Friends!
Only 6 more days to go for us.
How about you?
Do you get the whole week of Thanksgiving off?
Lucky Ducks!

We'll be spending this last week before the BIG feast working with our latest 
This is one of our Top Turkey Book Picks for this time of year.
Ugh! Sorry for the fuzzy pic...Click the source below to see it in all it's glory! 

Here's a sneak peek at how we'll be trotting through this story...

Syllable Sorting

Sentence Scramble!
Word Building

Sentence Sorting gives them practice with Fiction and Non Fiction sentences about turkeys!
Did you know turkeys have a poor sense of smell?
So, they cannot smell the mashed potatoes or pumpkin pie!
Poor guys!

And lot's more!

We are linking up with Gina over at Beach Sand and Lesson Plans. Bop on over and get some great ideas for Turkey Day

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...