Secret Santa Blog Hop

MAN!!!! Let me tell you about my EE family. I absolutely love The Elementary Entourage. We've had some people leave since we've started and we've added some new friendly faces. I love each and every one of them so much - past and present.

My Secret Santa actually happens to be one of my roomies from last year in VEGAS!!!!! DIANNNNNAAAAA!!! When I say just Google Hangout-ing did not compare to how hilarious she is in person. I'm glad that she got me.

Isn't this the cutest stinkin' card you've EVER seen? I absolutely love it!

What teacher doesn't love cute paperclips?

I hope I this are the grossest thing ever. I do not need a new love for cookies. :-)

I've never seen these, but I already used it (couldn't wait) and it's AMAZING!

Thanks so much Dianna! I loved everything in here. I can't wait to get into this bag of cookies.

For the holidays, I'm putting my ENTIRE store on sale for 20% off. YUP! That's right. This sale will last until the weekend.

I actually got to send things to Amna! I literally STALKED her blog and went back a couple of years and read through all of her posts. Do you follow Amna? If not, you should! Head over to her blog to find out what I bought for her.

Easy Santa Craftivity - How to Catch Santa

Hey friends! How excited are you that it's the last week (I hope for you) before Christmas break! I am extremely stoked! We have so much going on this week. Retirement party, Ugly Christmas sweater contest, kindergarten is putting on the Christmas program (Twas the Night Before Christmas), our classroom Christmas party, ornaments and parent gifts have to be done and SO much more!

Is anyone overwhelmed yet? Well, I promised myself that I would keep the fun meaningful. I also promised myself that I would continue focusing on writing no matter what else we have going on the rest of the year.

I was walking in Target the other day and walked up on this book.
Grab it here at Amazon (affiliate link)

This is seriously one of the cutest books I've read for Christmas. I LOVE this book. I also love a book that can have writing activities to tie in. I started thinking about what I would use for these and came up with two craftivities, some writing pages, and story maps for my kids.

I always allow my kids to choose a flesh color. I just print on white and then run these through the copy machine with construction paper. I've also ran these through my laser printer with a little trim on the construction paper to make it fit. 

If the Santa Claus is too much for your kids, I've also included this easy Santa suit. I cut the buttons using my 1" inch hole punch. You can find hole punches in Joann's, Michael's, and Hobby Lobby. Don't forget to use a coupon if you do go buy a punch.

Our assessments are coming and one of the things that we have to work on is retelling. I included a BME, as well as a story map page to include characters, setting, and the problem.

Since it's the last week, I've marked this down for today and tomorrow. If you're currently planning what you'll be doing for the week, add this to your plans.


Cookies and milk, anyone? {What's up in December}

We've been chugging through this school year so far. I noticed that a few of my kids have been working REALLY hard on their CVC words, but I have few that have just not gotten it. I'm going to focus the next two weeks on a lot of writing out everything. I don't think I've done an amazing job of making them understand how important it is to sound out what you hear and to write it.

My absolute FAVORITE is this Sneaky Santa! pocket chart game (nothing to do with writing). We've been needing some SERIOUS practice with numeral identification and this is the easiest way for them. I popped the cards in a baggie and placed a pocket chart with them. They just have to unroll the pocket chart with a friend and play.

Last week, we played whole group. I just wanted them to see a few days how to unroll the pocket chart and lay it on the floor. Then, the fun begins. This helps with number order when they knock a number out accidentally. They are working on placing the numbers in the correct position.

One partner hides Santa while the other partner turns around. The person that is hiding the number then quietly says, "Ho! Ho! Ho!" to let the other person know to turn around. Seriously. I die laughing every time I hear them playing this.

They have to say the number or they can't choose that one. This eliminates the kids that want to point. It also helps my child that RARELY speaks, but she wants to play. I make her speak as well.

They've been into pocket chart games lately so I figured I should pop out something easy and quick that ties into the month of December. They've been so happy about cookies for Santa from a book we read that I just KNEW I had to make milk and cookies.

I made a few versions of this game. My kids can choose which version to work on. They can match sight words or work on CVC words. For those that aren't quite ready for full blown CVC words, I just told them to write the first sound. Three ways with the same cards.

Along with our new Cookies and Milk, I pulled out some things I made last year. I have a b/w set of December printables that will be perfect this week for times when we aren't really working whole group on anything serious, but I need them to get in a little extra practice.

This was a favorite last year! What child doesn't like making their Christmas list?

Those printables and more are in my Printing Made Easy - December Edition.

I am praying that this week is a breeze. My kiddos have been B-A-N-A-N-A-S. One thing that I have done to encourage kindness in the classroom and help with parent communication is these small little notes of positivity for the kids. Just print on colored paper and cut. That's it. Every day I try to send home at least two or three.

I shared these over on The Elementary Entourage! You can also find them in my freebies tab at the top. Grab and pray for peace in your classroom for the next 10 days.


Secret Santa

I LOVE LOVE LOVE December. I love joining Secret Santas and because of that I joined a few... Here's my first. I got a wonderful box of goodies from Chandra over at Teaching with Crayons and Curls.

I opened the box to see this cuteness!

A cute little card and a trip to the DOLLAR SPOT!

My absolute FAVORITE candy every. Just fyi, this bag is already devoured!

This is seriously the cutest. I love canvas prints. And quotes. What's better than a canvas print with a  quote? The fact that it's PINK!!!!! Thank you Chandra!

Flair pens to the rescue!
And a cutesy cutesy piece of neckwear. YEP. That's what I call it. This is perfect because I hate cold weather and an amazing and comfy scarf is just what I needed.

I had so much fun going through this box and nibbling! Do you do any Secret Santas? Thanks to Stephanie over at Mrs. D's Corner for hosting!

Tricks and Treats Blog Hop

Hey friends! Halloween is my ABSOLUTE favorite time of the year (teaching-wise). I love everything involved in the month of October.



The scary spooky things… and most of all – I love teaching and learning while my kids are excited about Halloween/October.

I’ve got a really easy TRICK for you to help with "checking" their center work and allowing your kids to manage their papers.

My trick is using iPads to keep up with student work. I shared this earlier in my blogging days here, but I'm adding a little twist on it. Every day when my students finish their math workshops or a recording sheet from word work, they have to take a picture.

This is where we store 10 of our iPads in this Belkin Charging Station that I received thanks to some amazing DONORS on Donors Choose!

I tell them that I check it every day - which I don't, but they don't know that. It holds them accountable for trying to do their very best. We've gotten into the habit of taking our iPads with us to workshops and during Daily 5 and it's been a BREEZE.

At the start of the first Daily 5, they all quickly get their iPads or I just unplug them and call them quickly to get them. Either has worked quickly and we move on. The reason that I let them take them with them is because we use them for technology, listening, for write the room and I have a few students that use their iPads all day for their behavior charts. It stops the commotion in the charging area for iPads.

The next day when we get iPads, they have to check the last couple of pictures that they took. It will remind them what they need to get out of their folder that they didn't finish. This has been modeled for two months now on determining if something is actually finished or not.

We store some more iPads in this and another wooden one like this. I just punched a hole in the back to get the cord through. It saves me SO much energy and time from untangling cords.

Every child knows their iPad because they have their picture as the background and lock screen. I let them take their own picture as you can see. :-)

I'm not going to lie. I still have some that do not check and will not get their folder and finish unfinished work. These are the few that I make bring me their iPads while everyone is transitioning to their D5. It works really well. I only check those that are going to word work since that's the only place where we have recording sheets in the morning. During math workshops, everyone has to check their iPads.

Now, that you’ve got a TRICK. Here’s a quick treat. Do you love graphing and sorting? Well, I found these gummies in Walmart. There are 28 baggies in a box. And yes, they are yummy. I tested them out before I pulled out of the parking lot. I gave my kids two bags to make sure they had enough to actually graph. Some of the bags only came with four gummies.

Okay. Two bags were tested, but I swear I have enough for my kids.

We used these to do some really EASY sorting and graphing. I first let them sort by color since we’ve been working on that skill. They had to color in the correct color as I asked them to. We aren’t up to reading color words yet, so we worked on following directions as we did this step.

Then, after we got them all sorted, I let them transfer the data to a graph. This is only our second graph that we’ve done like this, but I think they did fairly well.

I’ve added these sheets to my store, just in time for you to grab these up. Just click the image above.

Be sure to check out the rest of the friends from EE and some other bloggers that have joined in on the fun! Grab some fun treats while you're at it!

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