Sunday, December 30, 2012

Free Sticker Charts

As school ended in December and my students were leaving for the Christmas vacation break, a number of parents commented to me about the fact that I would probably enjoy having a break from the children. Perhaps for a moment, I fleetingly thought that I might answer that comment with resounding "yes" as the students were fairly close to "hanging off the chandeliers" as they were zinging from the sugar content of the Christmas party. 

My true thought though, was a "no". In truth, I MISS those kids when I don't get to see them for 2+ weeks. Also, it seems to take all the way from August to December to really get the students to where they are functioning together as a terrific group. They were just getting into a really workable groove when school ended.

My experience has been that as the students come back from the long break, they will have spent many evenings staying up late and straying from schedules. Getting back into a routine at school will be more difficult for some than others. We are returning to school in the middle of the week, so that should prove to be even more difficult for some to adapt to.

One procedure that I will remind students about is their sticker chart. It is a laminated sheet of paper. Students receive stickers as a reward for making great choices and place them in squares on their chart. Alternatively, as the students make poor choices, they must remove one sticker and place it on a corner of my desk themselves. My students understand that their actions have a consequence and removing the sticker from their own chart serves as a personal responsibility factor for their choice. This is usually done after a verbal warning is not heeded. The charts are laminated so that stickers can be easily removed. 

Once a student is successful in filling all the spaces with stickers, I allow them to visit my prize box. They then get to take home their completed sticker chart to show to their parents. They then begin a new sticker chart.

I created a few new charts for my class and I am sharing them here with you as FREEBIES! Just click on the pictures below to receive your free copy.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Math Games & 5 Week Word Work Packet

We have only five days left before we close school for Christmas vacation. My students are anxiously anticipating that special time with their family. They are also busily preparing for their Christmas concert and finalizing their homemade class-made gifts for their parents. Needless to say, they are very excited and easily distracted.

I created a new game for them that will break the monotony of the "business-as-usual" worksheets, but still engage them academically. This game can be played using addition, subtraction, and even multiplication for older students. Basically, students play in pairs. They take two of the cards each and add them or subtract the lower number from the higher number. The student with the highest number will color in a ball on the Christmas tree. The student with the most balls colored at the end of the game is the winner. This is in my store for only $1.50 right now. If you would like to look at it, click on any of the three pictures below.

Another new item I am super excited about sharing with my class is my new Word Work packet. It includes 26 pages (one a day for just over 5 weeks!) Each page packs quite a bit into it:

This packet contains MANY of Fry's 1st 100 Instant Sight Words.
Each page includes:
* A keyword with a picture (from Scrappin Doodles) that can be colored
* A rebus sentence with sight words and key word to trace
* A sentence to read and trace with sight words and key word
* A sentence to spell the key word, trace, and read using key word and sight words.

The font is 48pt, so it is perfect for practicing fine motor skills for young writers!

K.RIT.10  Actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding. 
K.RFS.3 Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words. 
K.RFS. 4 Read emergent-reader texts with purpose and understanding. 

To protect the graphics for, I have covered them with words but the downloadable does not have the pictures covered. Click on any of the pictures below to see this packet. It is in my store for $4 right now.

If you download either of these products, I would LOVE to hear what you think of them. What do you plan to do with your students for the last week of school before your vacation?


Friday, December 7, 2012

Dollar Store Stocking Decorating Party

One of the big hits in my classroom in December happens when the Dollar Store sells their Christmas stockings! They are not very fancy, but do come with iron-on letters so you can personalize each stocking. This year, the students voted to have their names put on with glitter and glue instead. 

My students usually do this as one of the activities at their class party. However, our room mom has another fun idea that involves painting the inside of an ornament. So I was wondering how I might still have 24 kindergarteners who are armed with squeezy glitter glue bottles decorate a Christmas stocking. We were meeting with our 4th grade Buddies one more time before the holiday, so I opted to have them do this project with the kindergarteners. 

I got the students really excited by telling them that we could pretend we were elves working in Santa's workshop. The second I told them that, they were super excited and could barely contain themselves. 

I put their name on the tag on their stocking I purchased for $1 each at the Dollar Store. I had a plastic bin for each table filled with sequins, sparkly, plastic jewels, holiday foam pieces, foam stickers, rick-rack, tiny bells, sparkly pom-poms, and shiny shapes cut from holiday garland. We dumped the bin across the table so that the students could choose exactly what they wanted to include on the stocking. I also included skinny bottles of glitter glue (red, gold, silver, green, purple, and blue) in each of the boxes. A bonus left from last year were bottles of glow-in-the-dark glitter glue purchased from Oriental Trading. I showed the children how "a little dab'l do ya" with the glue. I also explained that if any glue spread out from under the item they were gluing onto the stocking, it would leave a pretty glitter line behind it.

For this project, I had the 4th grade buddies sit with their kindergarteners and work on decorating the stocking together. While they did this, they shared special Christmas memories from their family with each other. We played Christmas music in the background. I had nearly 50 children in the room with just 2 teachers and the room was magical. The students quietly worked together and enjoyed their time immensely. They even requested I turn out most of the lights so they could work in low-light for a tiny bit to enjoy working with the glow-in-the-dark glue. Many of the 4th graders were relishing the days back when they got to make their own stocking in kindergarten with their 4th grade buddy. Some of them mentioned that they still have them and put them out for a decoration every Christmas season.

I heard more than one student say that working in Santa's workshop was so much fun! I will hang the stockings up in the class as a decoration for our class party. I also purchased some really great academic activity pads for each student that I will put in the stocking on the day of the party. There will still be two weeks until Christmas after the party, so I will then let the students take them home to decorate at home with.

Do you do any fun Christmas projects with 4th or 5th grade Buddies? Try this idea sometime with your students. It is truly a hit every year!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Easy to Make Christmas Gifts by Students!!

At this time of year, I like to take time with my students to make things to decorate for Christmas. Thanks to Pinterest, we have done some very cute projects recently. 

Crystal at Little Bit shows you how to create these really cute reindeer ornaments for them to give to their parents for Christmas. My students really loved making these today. The paint dried so quickly, they were able to add eyes, antlers, and a nose using black and red sharpies. The sharpies made the eyes and nose have a metallic shine. The children thought that was pretty neat. Click on the first picture to go to her site to see how to make these super easy ornaments. I bought mine at Michael's at a 50% off sale last night, so the 8 ornaments only cost 50 cents a piece. I had my students sit on the carpet to decorate them because if they dropped the ornament, there was less likely a chance that the ornament would break. I am having the students decorate a bag and they will wrap them in tissue and bring them home in the decorated bag for their parents. I wrote their name and the year on the bottom of each ornament.

Recently, we also made these: We will be adding ribbon to these tomorrow and hanging them in our classroom for our Christmas party. I will send them home on the 14th so that the students can enjoy them on their own tree for a few weeks too. Click on the first picture below to go to Mrs. Morrow's Kindergarten class to see how she made these. The reindeer AND Santa ornaments look really great when put together on her class tree. She has a number of other cute projects. We may be doing the student elves that she has hanging from her ceiling. We may do them with our 4th grade buddies. They look really great!

For the Santa handprint, I used three containers of paint. I mixed red and white to make Santa's face. After each child pushed their hand onto the paper, I let them add a little more of each color over the parts of their hand that didn't come out very dark. The students thought these were fun to make!

Do you have a great link for a Christmas craft you do with your students? Please share it here!


Monday, November 26, 2012

Link up with a Christmas Traditions Linky!!!

Christmas Traditions Linky

Today, my family and I ventured out to Johnson's Farm to cut down our Christmas tree with our friends. As I watched my son chop down the tree for what might be the last time for a long time (he joined the Marines and will be leaving in June), I saw a father and tiny son a few trees over. They were both holding onto the saw together. The father was sawing and the small boy was kind of along for the ride. It really made me ponder about how time flies so fast and I found myself thinking back to times of Christmas past. That made me think of a few special Christmas traditions we have done and I would love to find out what others have done. I have created my first linky, a Christmas Traditions Linky! I'd love to hear about other traditions and perhaps in sharing here, we can start some of you with younger children on some fun and new activities!

1) The oldest tradition that happened in my home went back to my great grandmother. Each evening, as the children in the home went to sleep, she would rub a circle of red lipstick on their cheek (in an area they might not rub off in the middle of the night). Each morning, the children would rise (early!!!) and run to check the mirror to see if Rudolph came to "kiss" them when Santa dropped off presents. This tradition continued with my grandmother, my mother, me, and then my own children.

2) I grew up where it snowed, but out here in the west, we don't get snow. One year, I put baby powder in a shoe box and tamped my shoes into the powder. I then placed the shoe onto the floor to make "snow" foot prints for my students. The footprints led to an area where wrapped presents (from me) were dropped off early by Santa for them. They LOVED that! I also left a pipe cleaner with three bells on it for each of them from Rudolph. They thought that was super cool!

What was a fun Christmas tradition in your home or classroom? If you choose to link up with us, please place a clickable link back to this blog from your post. Thanks.

Come see some other linky parties!
TBA's Ultimate Linky Party

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Christmas Tree Graphics

I have been having some fun using the graphics manipulator program called Gimp. In fact, I recently purchased an older book called, Grokking the Gimp by Carey Bunks that goes into some of the advanced techniques for working with digital images. 

The book has been useful for learning how to make an image change from a 2D look to a 3D look. 

This week, I created 6 tiered Christmas tree black-lined images and 6 tiered Christmas trees that are colored green. They are beveled and have a light shining on them from the side to make them pop out. I created them in tiers of 1-6 triangles so that I can use them to add word families and math facts to.

You can now purchase them on sale for $1.25!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cyber Monday + Bonus Tuesday Sale

Next week, on Monday, the website is having a huge sale. They will be offering a coupon code for 10% off which will be in addition to the up to the 20% I am taking off of my products. The promo code will be CMT12. 

Click on the link to be taken to my store to use your coupon promo code.

I am including a freebie Christmas graphic here for you!

To see what other TpT sellers are offering for their sale, click on the button here to visit their stores!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Free Turkey Craftivity

Next week, we only work for two days before everyone disperses for the Thanksgiving holiday. I know the break is coming and the students know the break is coming. It seems that when students know a break is coming, they tend to be a bit more spunky than normal. I have a great project for you to do in one day that they can take home to use to decorate for Thanksgiving that will surely keep their attention.

Click on the picture below to receive your free Turkey without Feathers Graphic Freebie. Download and size it to whatever size you would like your turkeys to be and print off enough for each student to have one. It may be useful to print one for yourself so you can make it along with them in a direct instruction fashion.

  • Give each student one copy of the turkey
  • Have students color the turkey browns and yellows.
  • Give each student a small pile of cut brown and yellow tissue squares
  • Rub a glue stick all over the turkey body (not the head)
  • Scrunch tissue squares and place onto turkey body
  • Have students dab watercolor paints onto a coffee filter and let dry
  • Once the coffee filter is dry, students rub glue stick onto back of turkey head and back
  • Place turkey against the coffee filter which becomes the turkey feathers
  • Give each student two 1 inch x 5 inch pieces of yellow paper
  • Have students accordion fold each of the yellow papers for turkey legs
  • Glue to the back of the turkey so they hang down for legs
  • Hang and display in class or send home for students to decorate at home

If you like this freebie, come on over to Manic Monday by clicking on the button below to receive many more!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Free Native American Craftivity for Thanksgiving

My class has had a lot of fun creating Thanksgiving craftivities this week. In the last two days, I posted about the boy and girl pilgrim craftivities. Today, I will teach you how to create a Native American to add to the Thanksgiving class display.

For this project, each student will need:

  • (1) tall brown rectangle ( a 9 x 12 piece of paper can be cut into 4 faces)
  • (1) 6 x 3 inch black rectangle (for hair)
  • (2) 6 x 1.5 black rectangles (for hair)
  • (1) 6 x 1 green rectangle for head band
  • (1) 3 x 4 red rectangle for a feather
  • (1) 3 x 4 yellow rectangle for a feather 
Turn the brown rectangle sideways and glue a black rectangle to each side for hair. 

Add the large black rectangle for the top of the hair. Glue the green head band on with cut feathers tucked under the edge of it. Either have students cut feathers out of the two colored rectangles or cut them for each student. Draw a design on the green head band. 

Have the students draw a face, making sure to color the eyes of the native brown. Draw an oval for each eye. Put a circle with a black dot in the middle of each eye. Color the round part brown. Color the outer edges of the eyes white. Use a brown crayon to draw an L for a nose. Draw a smile. 
The feathers and bottom of the hair can be cut for fringe.

Finally, here is what I do with the ones we create. I hang up a large Mayflower cut-out that I inherited with my classroom and a few poster board trees. I then place all the creations on the board. With 24 students, perhaps next year, I might want to have 12 make pilgrims and 12 make the natives so you can see the ship and trees. In the large blue space on the end, I am hanging a vertical banner that says, "We are thankful for our friends."

I hope you have enjoyed three days of craftivities for Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Free Pilgrim Girl Craftivity

Yesterday, I showed you how to create a pilgrim boy. If you missed that, click HERE to see that craftivity. Today, I will show you how to create a pilgrim girl.

For this project, these are the pieces you will need.

For each student:

  • (1) pink rectangle face (you can make 4 with a 9 x 12 piece of paper)
  • (1) large white triangle (cut a 6 inch square on the diagonal)
  • (2) 6 x 2 rectangles for hair (cut some blonde, brown, and black so children can choose the hair color for their pilgrim)
  • (2) 3 1/8 x 2 inch white rectangles 
First, turn the pink rectangle the tall way and slide a line of glue along both sides to glue the hair on. Make sure the hair hangs down below the face on both sides.

Next, glue the two white rectangles to the top of the edges of the hair. 

Glue the large triangle to the top of the pilgrim head. If part of the pink forehead ends up poking above the white triangle, simply trim it off.

You can use scissors to snip the edges of the hair on both sides to make it look like hair strands. Finally, add a face. I taught the students to draw an oval for both eyes with a black crayon. They draw a circle in the middle of each oval and then place a black dot in the center of the circle. They choose what color to color the circle of the eye (green, brown, or blue). They then color the outer edges of the eye white. Teach them to draw a nose by drawing an L or a small U. Have them draw a U for the mouth. They can create lips by adding a small heart to the center of the mouth.

I really enjoy the fact that while we create these pilgrims using the exact same steps as each other, no two pilgrims ever seem to look the same. 

Stay tuned for the last installment of these Thanksgiving craftivities tomorrow. I will teach you how we create our Native Americans and show you how we use these three craftivities to make a really neat class display. Here is what tomorrow's craft will look like.

What do you create with your class to decorate for Thanksgiving?


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