Monday, December 31, 2012

Snow Globes--- SUPER CUTE!!

Happy Monday to you! I am on top of the world after the last post... Thank you to all that commented and left such thoughtful words... I was able to remember why I spend the time (sometimes TOO MUCH time) sharing and writing about what I love.  As my son would say, you filled my heart with joy, so much that it is now overflowing! :)
The Winner is:

My favorite post was this one: because they were actually crafts that were easy enough (and cute enough!) for my young ones to make.
***However, if you left your email... you are a winner too!  I decided to send everyone that left a comment and email a little something to say, "thanks."  (add your email to your comment NOW if you didn't and I'll send it to you :)
If you missed out... check it out below:
It's my latest writing wheel!  It is a winter version and you can grab it by clicking
Right now there is only ONE wheel so it is priced well...however... if you grab this one now-- I will be adding MORE (valentines and presidents) and you will be able to download the added wheels for FREE!!   Don't worry, I will tell you when I've updated the file! :)
So, I mentioned that I wanted to share a SUPER FUN project that you can do when you return from your break!!
Snow globes!
Now, I cannot take any kind of credit for this adorable project.  My fab teammate made these when she taught kinders and she shared with us! (however, I'll show you how we spruced it up a bit).
Tell your kiddos that they will using their imaginations to think of what it would be like to live in a snow globe.
Then you have to start by taking pictures of your kids individually as they "act" like they are in a snow globe.  I had kids that were shivering, laying on the ground making a snow angel, throwing a snowball (wad of paper), one kid had fists in air and yelling like he wanted out (Um SO cute!!). OH and have them get in their full winter gear too (hat, gloves, scarf etc!)
Then print those and get a parent helper to cut them out completely around the shape of the child.  Print them large enough so that they will be visible in the globe. (4X6)
Next, have the child write using this paper:
 click to grab if you want a copy- sorry it's a scan so I hope the quality is ok
Then you will need a globe/base template- I am SO SO sorry that I don't have this to share at the moment- but if you trace the outside of a 7" plate and then include a bottom that you glue the above onto you are PERFECT!  (see samples below).  Pre- trace for the kids on different colors (I just did blues and purples). 
They cut out, glue their completed writing paper, and now decorate in the "globe" by adding themselves.  You can have them add snow by ripping the top of a 1/2 circle if you want.  They are C- U - T -E and would make a great display when you get back from break!
Here's how to do the rest:
 You will need "fake snow." It is on sale right now at Target!
 Put some "snow" on the center of the globe.
 Using a hot glue gun, cover the outside edge of a 7" clear plate with glue.  Then attach to the globe part.  The plates were bought at Party City.
Here are some finished ones:

 Hehe... she is catching snowflakes! :)
 I wish this wasn't so hard to see because it turned out SO cute... she is "shivering" but I love her boots and everything... it just fits so perfectly!
Yes, he is trying to get out! (in his writing he says...I don't want to get sick and I'm hungry-- ha!!)
When my co-worker taught K she made this project with just a snowman (pre-cut and kids added face etc) and they cut the snow globe out.  There was just a base- no writing.  The rest was the same.  So this project is very adaptable!
I hope this is a project that you can use in your classroom!
Remember... I love to hear that you stopped by~ Thanks!!
Have a GREAT New Years!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Thank you Giveaway!

Hi Everyone :)  I'm feeling a bit out of touch lately!  I had high hopes for this winter break and it seems as if things are not getting accomplished like I wanted them too.  I have been having too much fun with the little guy at the top there :)
Santa was good to us all this year.  I got a new camera from my hubby so now I can share more pictures!  How about you?  What did you get?
I have a zillion projects swirling around in my head and can't seem to get rolling on ANY of them... not to mention the disasters all over the house that need to be cleaned/organized/picked up! Ugh.
So instead of working on school related projects I have resorted to my son's 5th birthday invitations:
Those of you who have children or grew up playing Mario Bros may recognize this :)  My son is a HUGE Mario fan.  So, when the mushroom comes out of the question mark box the invitation is attached.  Cute right??  My son shares his party day with his cousin who is 2 weeks older than him- so we are also doing a Ninja Turtle theme for him.  I'm working on getting pizza boxes for the favors that will say "Cowabunga Pizza" on them or something like that :)  I'll share when I get them finished:)
When I get my booty in gear, I have LOTS of ideas ... one will be a "Set 2" for my word problems.. these will be more challenging and great for the second half of the year.  Also, I have some GREAT President's Day projects and winter projects (including a cute snow globe project I will share in the next post).  Finally, I want to create some more writing wheels and some more advanced sounds to go along with my long/short vowel packs.
Have you made it this far??  If you have... thank you!  I was just saying to another blogger that it is so nice when people visit and leave comments so you know that people are actually reading your blog posts :)  I am also guilty of reading/stealing ideas and not leaving a comment to say I was there.  I will be trying harder with that in the upcoming year.  So I am going to do a quick giveaway!  Just leave a COMMENT- I'd love to hear about a post you've enjoyed reading on here...or a future blog post idea.  I will chose a random commenter to win any product from my store AND $10 to either TpT or Target!!
Thanks for reading... YOU are what keep me sharing and pushing me to get better at what I do!!
Winner will be chosen Sunday night (12/30)!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Fun and Easy Holiday PROJECTS/TREATS! :) don't miss this post!

Happy Friday Everyone!  If you are starting your break today... happy break to you!  How long do you have off?  I have 2 glorious weeks!  I'm looking forward to getting some projects done around the house!
Speaking of projects...
I have some fun shares that might be good to bring to your family gatherings, your kids to help you make, or for your classroom next year (pin or print and file!).
First... TREATS!!
The first one is a BIG hit and super duper easy to make:
 Cover the cupcake in frosting, add marshmallows for the beard and top of had (some may need to be cut in 1/2), chocolate chips are for the eyes and a red hot candy for the nose! Then add a little bit of fine red sugar at the top for the hat!
Super cute as bunch! 
Next up, I saw this somewhere on the Internet (sorry, not sure where)- but just had to make it... again...super easy, cute, fun!!
They are actually sugar cones! (I fooled a lot of people with that ingredient!)  If I had more time, I would have filled the cones with cake, however, they are empty.  Frost with white icing, and add M&M to decorate!  I hear that they were admired and then devoured today at my son's daycare :)
Now for some CUTESY and EASY ornaments!
(to cut holiday costs- my son and I started making ornaments as gifts 2 years ago)
I love this one... its a large popsicle stick first painted all red.  Then go back and add the white stripes two at a time on an angle.  The holy is a red "pom pom" and leaves cut from green foam paper.  The north pole sign is a small popsicle stick cut in half and there is glitter on the top to look like snow.  I love to add a picture of my son making the ornament on the back as a personal touch (with the year).
These are CUTE but very time consuming!  You need to paint one black small popsicle stick.  The rest are white and black at top for the hat.  Add button eyes, orange construction paper for carrot nose and paint on a mouth.  Warning... this will happen with this project:
Finally, this is the one we made this year.  SUPER easy and little ones can help!
Paint small popscicle sticks green (I guess I have a thing for popsicle sticks!).  Then glue 3 together to make a triangle.  Add a brown rectangle for the trunk and add "ornaments" around tree.  I added his picture to the center or you can leave open too! 
Have a fun holiday!

Monday, December 17, 2012

BEACH Party!

I hope you all had a nice Monday with your little ones.  I tried to enjoy my day and fill it with laughter, instead of thinking of who or what might be lurking in the hallways. 
 I luckily didn't need to have a talk as it didn't come up, so I will leave it at that.  :)
Last Friday we celebrated my students' reading success with a BEACH PARTY!!! (how fun is it to be thinking about the beach in December- especially here in Chicago!).
I told the kids to wear their sunglasses (they were actually doing a space reading to get to the sun so it was fitting to wear their sunglasses).  They, however, had no idea that they'd be walking into a "beach room!"
As they walked in they received a lei.  On my SMART Board was a YouTube video of the beach waves and some Caribbean music.
Oh, and there were two blow up pineapple trees (one pictured here) and one outside my classroom.
I actually had a space heater on heating up the room so the room felt very warm.  I also had a scented plug in- the Hawaiian one that made the room smell really nice!
The tables were covered in Hawaiian flowers...

Yes, that is a giant pineapple.... its actually a drink cooler... but made a great display :)
I couldn't find any beach balls- but I did have a floaty!
The aide in my room brought her shell collection so that made the counter look extra beachy!
I put beach towels/blankets around the room for reading areas and hung a bunch on the wire in my room.  Oh and my son's swim trunks were a nice added touch :)
We then had a lunch party were the kids got to each their lunch in the classroom.  I put on the video "Magic School Bus Goes to Muscle Beach" and I served "Sunny D" drinks with a fun straw and an umbrella:
We are NOT allowed to have any type of food incentives anymore (as of this year)- so no more "pizza parties" :(
Finally, I made sun awards to give to each child to congratulate them on their accomplishment!
I took pictures of the kids prior to the party to attach to the award.
Throughout the day we had fun doing beach related activities that I found on TpT ... for FREE!  To see them click below:
It was SUCH a fun day- one that I hope the kids will remember for years to come :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sad, Gingerbread, and 12-12 freebie!

Photo: Status.. 
Heart broken : (
Miss you Taz

This post is dedicated to my companion for 12 years, Taz.  He had a good long life, however, I was not ready for him to leave our family.  All you pet owners out there understand when I say he was a big part of our family and it is hard to come home to a quiet and empty house.  So here's to you Taz... may there be a BIG bone and lots of squirrels to chase up there in the sky! ;)
So I found the CUTEST project for my class during the Cyber Monday Sale... it is from
 2nd Grade Glance
Gingerbread House For Sale- Adjectives-Descriptive Writing
Click to go to TpT!
It's a Gingerbread House for SALE!  We've been working very hard on parts of speech, especially on adjectives.  As a fun holiday project, the kids had to describe their own gingerbread house for sale using plenty of adjectives!  They turned out super cute!
Make sure  you check out this fun project!!
I also plan to post (when I remember to take a pic!!) a SUPER FUN activity that we did today from the FREE TpT pack:

2012 Winter Holidays Tips and Freebies: 1-2 Grade Edition
If you haven't looked through this amazing need to now! It has TONS of freebies and tips for teachers!
Next I have a fun 12-12-12 freebie for you (that's TOMORROW!!)
Your kids will have tons of fun looking through the dictionary for 12 letter words and learning their meanings!  I did this last year on
11-11-11 and my class had a blast! (didn't you know that the dictionary is the coolest thing??) :)
Click above to grab a copy!!
I am gearing up for our "beach party" on Friday!!  The kids have been reading for our space reading program (read about it here) and we are finally celebrating!  I usually do a pizza party HOWEVER, our school has just banned "food incentives" which includes pizza.  YIKES!  So I had to think quick and I came up with the BEACH because it is hot on the beach (the kids had to read to get to the "sun").  So here's my plan (I can't wait to post pics!!)
*they get leis and sunglasses as they enter the room
*beach towels around the room for reading areas
*space heaters to make the room HOT
*tropical music and youtube video of the waves playing on my smart board
*blow up palm trees
*grass "skirt" type thing hanging in doorway
*luau decor around the room
*"umbrellas" in their lemonade at lunchtime
*writing a postcard to their family members from the "beach" saying ..."wish you were here!"  :)
Help... can you think of anything else I'm missing???
I want the kids to be ShOcKeD as they enter the room... I hope that happens!!
Have a great Wednesday!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Reading Wreaths and Mystery

What day is it?  Is it REALLY only Tuesday?  I think the weather out here in Chicagoland is messin' with my head... the past two days have been in the upper 60's -- it's DECEMBER!  Usually by now we've had a snow day so I'm all confused! :)
I introduced our reading wreaths today! I absolutely LOVE this project.  I tie it to "Voracious Reading" in CAFE.  I find that this time of year they need a little bit of a push and some incentive to keep reading.  That is the beauty of the "reading wreath!!"
The kids cover the wreath with a leaf after they read a book.  The books they love the most get a berry on it.  I love how their noses are in books READING!!
These make our room look so festive!!

 Using our iPad- I love STORIA!!
Adding the leaves- she was dying for me to take her pic :)
Look at them go!! :)
The wreath along with many other fun December activities are in my new Holiday Time pack found {here} :)
We are also having fun with mysteries!!  We have been reading a few of these:
Nate the Great is a perfect level for my second graders at this point in the year.  Plus they think they are reading a "chapter" book~ which they are just with short chapters!  ALSO have you found the Young Cam Jansen series??  They are GREAT for second graders who want to read a chapter book but are not yet ready for the lengthy books!!
Once the kids finished reading one of these books during guided reading, we filled out a comprehension sheet that spells out the the word "MYSTERY."  They had fun cutting the word out and decorating around the word (I learned quickly that they also needed some help spelling the word too!!)

He spent a LONG time cutting that fringe ;)
If you are interested in this activity you can click on the pics below:

So, this year I found the cutest detectives from the amazing Amy Lemons' {Mystery Unit}~ make sure you check it out as she has some really fun things in this unit.  Here is the finished display in our hallway:

 Detectives are from the AMAZING Amy Lemons!!
 Hehehe... I love how this guy turned out!!
On the magnifying glass we wrote about nice things that we "detected" our classmates doing.  I love how the magnifying glass is as big as the detectives! :) :)
I don't have a sample of the magnifying writing paper, however, I'd be happy to make one for you if you want...just email me!
Have a great Wednesday!!