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!


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