December 31, 2012

Mercy Me!

Mercy me!  Has it really been a whole month since I have blogged last?!  Let me just tell y'all...that is at the top of my "New Year's Resolutions" on a consistent basis (and I'm talking weekly)!!  I must admit though that I have spent this past month focusing on one family!!

A few weeks back, my entire family spent the weekend at Great Wolfe Lodge!  Oh my...the memories we made were priceless!  Spending time with my three beautiful nieces makes my heart so dang happy!!
{Please excuse my appearance...that is the "I've spent the entire day riding super fun water slides" look! 
Be jealous...that look is hard to maintain!!

And then there is this hunk of a man!  That's right ladies...I got to see him in a private concert the week before Christmas!  He was nothing short of amazing!!
Oh Tim I love you!  Ssshhhh...don't tell the hubby! now that you see why I have been MIA--let me catch you up to speed--QUICKLY!!
Below are pics from our last week 1/2 of school...

Jingles came to visit us to remind my sweet lil' darlin's of their behavior and boy did it work wonders!!  Check out all the silly things he did in our classroom...

Jingles started the day making a big 'ol mess of our Dot Box...and then tragedy struck...

Jingles was accidentally knocked over!!  The gasps from the students was priceless!  You could have heard a pin drop in the room!  I reassured the students that he would be ok and this is how we found him after lunch...

All better now!

Check out his other shenanigans...

The week before winter break, we had our Gingerbread week and it was oh so fun!!  Take a looksie at a few of the activities we did!! {Hopefully you can store some of these ideas away for next year!}

Gingerbread Compound Words foldable!  Snag a copy here

At the end of the week, I brought in Gingerbread cookies for us to enjoy but...
a pesky little Gingerbread Man stole them and ran away!!  We used the story "The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School by Laura Murray to help us find our cookies.  If you haven't read this, you must!  It is so stinkin' adorable and fits perfectly with a Gingerbread hunt!! 

 I made these clues to accompany the story (the actual clues came from  Such a great lesson to teach predictions and story sequencing.  Each of the clues follows the story to retell it!!  You can snag a copy of the clues here

(I promise we are almost at the end...just hang tight!!)

To complete our Gingerbread Hunt lesson, we made Wanted signs to try to find our pesky little guy!!

{Click the pic to get this!}

Geez o pete!!  If you made it to the end of this never ending post then you are a doll!!  Happy New Year's sweet friends!  Check back tomorrow for a little surprise!!

One more thing...check out my tree this year!  I decided to be a bit Martha Stewart like and make my garland and tree skirt {actually my wonderful room mom made my tree skirt}!  What do ya think?!

Ok...I'm finished...promise!! 

December 1, 2012

The Men in My Life & a {Writing} Freebie!

Hi there sweet friends!! 
Check out the handsome "men" that I have gotten to spend my weekend with so far!!
Boy am I one lucky girl to wake up next to this handsome face every morning!!
How precious is he?!!  Our sweet friends welcomed him into the world a week ago tomorrow!!  What a blessing he already is!!

I have to admit...I am so excited about the next two weeks but they are going to be jam packed to say the least! Trying to fit in Gingerbread week, Grinch day and Polar Express day all in two weeks is going to be a bit of a struggle but I am confident I can pull it off....right?!  Did I mention that our brand new little school is busting at the seams and we are in the process of hiring a new first grade teacher to help with the overage...before Christmas break!!!?  We spent 5 long hours after school last Wednesday interviewing and we still have more to go!  Holy moly!!

Now...on to the freebie!  Our school has taken on the 6 traits program for writing and we have attended a bazillion webinars by Smekens.  They are absolutely fabulous!! If you are using the 6 traits program in your classroom, you have to check out this resource book.  It is absolutely amazing and gives step by step plans for implenting the 6 traits in your classroom.  It seriously has been a life saver this year!!  After lots of note-taking at the webinars, I created this writing journal to use in my classroom as I implemented each of the traits.
 Smekens suggests having students first work on creating pictures for each idea trait making sure to add oodles of details!  Once students have mastered this technique, they suggest moving on to labeling the same pictures that they had previously created.  Last, they suggest using the same pictures with the labels and adding words.  All the while, there are mini-lessons to incorporate to teach students the 6 traits of writing.  The book I tagged above also has lessons for each of the stages of drawing, labeling and writing.  I'm not sure if any of this makes sense or not so PLEASE let me know if I need to clarify more!!  I created this journal that can be used for this process of writing.  At the bottom of each page, I date when my students create their picture, label and write about the picture.  Clear as mud right?!

Click here to snag yourself a copy of this journal! 
{This is a black and white copy...I have my darlin's using their fabulous coloring skills to decorate the cover!  If you would rather have the color version, just give me a shout!!}

Mr. Husband is on his way home from his men's league {doesn't that sound so grown up?!} game with dinner...yummy!!  Spending the night with him watching Hallmark Christmas movies sounds absolutely perfect right about now!!  Have a fantastic night sweet friends!!

{I HOPE to be back soon with lots of pics from all the fun we will be having over the next week!}