Saturday, 29 November 2014

What!!! It is almost December!

I don’t know about you, but I seemed to have blinked and now it is almost December.   At the beginning of the year I always think it is such a long haul to get to Christmas, but after our Thanksgiving in October (I am Canadian) time seems to speed up.  Now, here we are 3 weeks from the Christmas Holidays!

Christmas is my favourite time of the year and my first graders think so too.J   Hallowe’en was barely over and the talk turned to Santa and Christmas.  Our school population almost overwhelmingly celebrates Christmas, so I am able to celebrate with my students.  Our curriculum in Grade 2 has a Traditions and Celebrations component so I don’t go into a lot of detail about other celebrations, although I do touch on them.  I leave that to their Grade 2 teacher.

Today I stayed after our Professional Activity Day to start getting the room ready.First up this Monday is the arrival of our Elf on the Shelf, who is currently sitting in our Christmas tree.  I am so excited to see what this group of students thinks.  I expect some will literally be “vibrating” with excitement.  We had a lot of fun with Snowflake last year and I expect the same this year.  Last year I had a student who constantly wanted to write to Snowflake.  I was inspired to take this idea and expand it into a writing unit.  I am in the process of creating a Christmas writing package that will allow the children to write to Snowflake and all of the others who live at the North Pole.  Each night when he “leaves” to go to the North Pole he can deliver our letters.  I think the kids will be very excited about this.  I hope to have it ready for the Cyber Monday sale, so be on the lookout for it. 

The hard part about December is keeping the kids engaged when their minds are clearly elsewhere.  I try really hard to incorporate Christmas themes into our reading, writing and math to help keep them learning and interested.  I recently created a collection of Data Management centers that are thematic.  My latest additions are Grab and Graph and Spin and Graph Winter Edition. 

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Grab-and-Graph-Data-Management-Centers-Christmas-Edition-1574931

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Grab-and-Graph-Data-Management-Centers-Christmas-Edition-1574931
 
Each product has 6 centers that are print and go and have colour and black and white options, to save ink.  With Grab and Graph you print out the sheet of mini manipulative cards, cut them out and put them in a paper bag.  Students use the accompanying worksheet to graph what they “grabbed” from the bag and to communicate and make comparisons about the data.   There is just a bit of colouring to keep the kids engaged and busy for a time and it requires very little direction so it will foster independence. 

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Spin-and-Graph-Data-Management-Math-Centers-Christmas-Edition-1574977

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Spin-and-Graph-Data-Management-Math-Centers-Christmas-Edition-1574977
 
Spin and Graph uses the same themes but instead students have either a colour copied spinner that I laminate (to use with dry erase markers) or a B&W version.  Students spin 20 times and mark their tallies.  They then complete the worksheet, graphing and communicating about their data.  I am really excited about using these with my students.  I am sure they will enjoy them. 

This brings me to my final though before I sign off.  I have some amazing news that I have only shared with a very few people.  A few weeks ago I decided to put together a page for the TPT Holiday Ebook.  I knew that I would be submitting to the Grade 1-2 book and that competition for those 50 pages would stiff.  I am happy to report that I got an email confirming that I would be one of the lucky 50 included in the book!  I am beyond thrilled and excited and might have did a little squeal right in the middle of my classroom when I found out.  J  It is available starting December 7th so be sure to download it for 50 awesome tips to use in your classroom and 50 FREEBIES.   
This is by far my most “awesome” news this week so I am linking up with Erin at Mrs. Beattie’s Classroom and her “Year of Awesome” linky.  Be sure to check back regularly during this month as I plan to blog about all of our holiday happenings. 
http://mrsebeattie.blogspot.ca/2014/11/a-year-of-awesome-week-13.html

Don’t forget to visit TPT on Monday and Tuesday and scoop up some deals.  I know my wishlist is ready and I will be spending some time leaving feedback on items that I have not had a chance to leave feedback for.  Did you know that by leaving feedback you get points that you can use towards future purchases?  It makes the 28% off sale even sweeter.  I would love it if you could return and leave feedback on any items of mine you might have purchased.  I love reading your comments. 
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Hanging-Around-In-Primary

Until next time.

3 comments:

  1. I've thought about doing Elf on the Shelf, but have always been torn because so many families do it now. I'm sure it is fun, but also a lot of extra work at this time of the year! You'll have to let me know how I can get Snowflake's help to make lunch duty a little easier the next three weeks! ;)

    Thanks for linking up!
    ~Erin
    Mrs. Beattie's Classroom

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    1. I think that having it at home and school is a good thing. Santa is always watching, you know! Snowflake will be reporting to Santa each night so the kids might need a gentle reminder about that during lunch. As for it being a lot of extra work, I keep it super simple each day. The ideas on pinterest are awesome but I just can't manage that!

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