Our Classroom Gift

Someone "special" visited our classroom during Christmas and gave us new crayons, glue, pencils, and erasers!


When we get back from Winter Break, we will be discussing snow. For Art Center next week, we will use cotton to simulate snow.

"Snow in Seconds" is a fabulous idea for any classroom in a desert. Just add water and the powder turns into fluffy, cold snow!


The Holidays

During the last few school days before Winter Break, we painted candy cane patterns, wrote in our journals about the cold and holidays, and we had a celebration on Friday. On Friday, it was Pajama Day (again) for the whole school. We sang, decorated cookies, and made/wrapped gifts for our families.

Here are the gifts... They are reindeer candy tins with an ornament (and candy) inside! I printed off 2 quick sheets of Avery 8160 labels for the gift tags.


The Perks

How stinkin' cute is this?!?!?!?! I love homemade gifts...

Bears, Bears, Bears

We discussed bears this week. We read literature about bears, wrote about bears, made bear art projects, and used ".org" websites to learn bear facts. Even I learned a lot!
Here are bear books we mades. I told them to go home and read it to their teddy bears.
We graphed the different colors of Gummi Bears.
I made each child a bag of Gummi Bears. I gave each child the same amount, so our graphs would look the same.
I listed the theme on the whiteboard.

In Art Center, we made bear puppets. They transcribed a sentence about bears and drew a picture.


It's December?!

We made these penguins today, as we welcomed December. This is my current (and favorite) bulletin board. The fabric I use pretty much year-round and the snowflakes are ornaments I bought the day after Christmas.

All Standards, All the Time

Today in reading group, I noticed my flashcards were looking pretty nasty... so I gave each kid a baby wipe and asked them to clean a stack of cards. While they scrubbed each letter, they had to make it's sound. :)



On Wednesday, we assembled these Pilgrim hats. The hat part was already traced and ready to be cut out, while the straps and buckles were pre-cut just like the Indian headbands. (Thanks again for all of the mommies who helped!) Therefore, the students just had to glue, and I stapled.
We made these yummy "Turkey Oreos".

Before school, I filled the bowls, so I just had to put them on the tables and students were able to grab as they needed. It was a great day and the students had a blast!



Today we made Indian headbands as we talk about Thanksgiving. We discussed what the Native American Indians used to eat, wear, and do. Previously, we discussed how they communicated. We read Thanksgiving poems and each child was give their own Indian name!

On a sheet of labels, I typed 30 Indian names. The brown are boys' names and the red are girls'. The kids (and parents) loved this. They thought it was funny when I would use their Indian name, instead of real name.I used the labels as name tags and stuck it to their shirts.

Fall has finally hit our playground. Now, the children can see this "leaf color change" I have been talking about!


Cubby Labels

I had to find an easy solution to label cubbies, as students have been enrolling and withdrawing frequently. The teachers in my room previously used tape to label the cubbies and it left sticky nastiness all over each cubby. Instead, I decided laminte labels and velcro them to each cubby.
I used black velcro so it wasn't an eye-sore.
When a student leaves, you can peel the label off and send it home with them.


Putting My Daubers To Good Use

For "Art" this week, I had the students cut out cards with numbers on them, glue the cards in order, and daub the correct number. The kids did pretty good! Some had some "organization" issues and had to use the back. Overall, it was a great way to get some use out of my casino daubers!


My Favorite Educational Website...

Every Monday, my PM class gets 40 minutes in the computer lab. A fourth grade class has the computer lab before us, so right before we get there, the fourth graders pull up my favorite website: It's too difficult for most of my kinders to type.

This website is amazing! Any educational website that can keep kinders engaged for 40 minutes is fabulous in my book! The website goes through each letter and rewards the students with virtual toy parts. For my readers, I can go onto the teacher website,, and advance them to the reading portion and skip the letter lessons. The students have to use their headphones, so the entire room is quiet... incredible! Occasionally, I'll hear a faint "/a/ /a/ /a/" or "the!" So cute.

On the teacher website, I can even see how many minutes each student has spent on the site at home.

(Ticket to Read working its magic.)
Below is a picture of their laminated cards that speeds up logging in (when there is only one of me and 29 of them). The cards have their pictures, usernames, and passwords. I hang them up on the wall next to the computers.

Indian "Symbols"

In November Center this week, the students draw pictures to communicate, similar to the Indians. Then, they crinkle up the paper to age it. My example is clipped to the plastic stand.


November Center

Each month, a center is dedicated to that month. The center changes each week. For example, the pumpkin counting activity in October Center became a Halloween (model) writing activity. Starting next week (it's November already!), the children will be writing in November Center. I put my example inside a plastic stand, otherwise it gets ripped!

Homemade Worksheets

Writing and sequencing the letters of the alphabet and numbers 1-10 have become a priority as the first trimester comes to an end. Therefore, I am sticking the alphabet and numbers on everything! We've done pumpkins, squirrels, (soon) turkeys, stars, ghosts, and the list goes on!

Halloween Festivities

The first thing I did Thursday morning was take away the books and journals off the tables. Icing and reading material don't mix!

Then, we made these bat magnets. The paper was pre-cut by a wonderful mommy helper and the magnets were glued to the clothespins last week by my practicum student.

I put all materials into a bowl the night before, so it would be super easy to pass out to each table. The children enjoyed making these and most were correctly assembled! :)

We also made these Halloween puzzles, simply because they could do it independently and I could prepare the icing for the cookies.

(My example.)

We frosted pumpkin-shaped cookies and the students had a blast putting as much candy as the could on top. The parents donated all of the cookies, frosting, and candy.

We finished the day off with spider hats (here is the link) and Cheetos on the playground. After the Cheetos were eaten, I told them their orange fingers were from pumpkin dust... Boy, what a day!

What did YOU do in your classroom?

Star Student of the Week

Each Friday, the Principal comes around to every classroom to help announce the Student of the Week. She hands out a gift certificate to a restaurant, a pencil, and hands them the trophy. They don't get to keep it. It just circulates around the room.

I give the stellar student a packet to write about his/her favorites and invites them to share family pictures with the class. I have dedicated a bulletin board with reusable clips to quickly display the pictures. Occasionally, they are allowed to sit in the special chair.