Christmas in my Classroom

It has been a fast and furious December for sure! I have been on the go all month long AND we are trying to get our house on the market in two weeks. I definitely won't be having much of a break this year!  December was a special and fun month in my classroom. Here are a few lots of pictures...

One of my favorite Christmas classroom traditions is our elf on the shelf, Ellie. We even had an elf pet reindeer this year named Oliver. Oliver was really special because we could actually touch him. We loved looking for Ellie each morning and seeing the silly things that she did! Here are a few of my favorite Ellie moments...

She arrived in a sleigh accompanied by Oliver.

She found her place in the alphabet!

She is a Texas Tech fan too!

She made friends with The Very Hungry Caterpillar and...

Pete the Cat!

She built a Christmas tree out of our math manipulatives!

We even found her in the refrigerator one day!

Ellie even inspired some writing!

"Ellie loves Santa. Ellie is kind and she loves the other elves."

Here is our interactive writing about Ellie.

I love making GIANT interactive writing. It just makes it fun for the kids and I also send it home with someone after it has been displayed a while.

We also applied to become elves...

I also sent a paper elf home with each child for them to disguise! They are so creative! 
This elf hid in the popcorn.

This elf was disguised as Elsa. Let it go, let it gooooo...

This elf dressed as a penguin.

This elf hid in a Starbucks cup!

We also made a Christmas count down chain for math. We counted how many nights until Christmas and then put that many loops on the chain. Each night they tear of one loop. The star at the top has a cute little poem that tells parents what to do.  This activity is also perfect for working on those fine motor skills and patterning!

We also worked hard on building numbers to 30. I used these Christmas Tree counting mats all month! They were great to use with manipulatives or play dough!

We also learned about reindeer and of course I had to make a large interactive writing.

We made reindeer dioramas too.

This precious reindeer craft we made to go with our writing was from A Cupcake for the Teacher and you can find it HERE.

And I can't resist a hand print ornament...

We even made my favorite peppermint play dough! This is always a hit! : )

 I just found the recipe on Pinterest and doubled it.

For our Christmas activity, each of my kids got to decorate their own Christmas tree! I have an amazing room mom who pulled everything off! The trees came from Hobby Lobby and I found the tiny light strands at Dollar Tree for a dollar of course. I pinned each child's name to Santa hat for the topper. I bought the Santa hats 90% off last year after Christmas at Target! Hoarding pays off ; ) We asked parents to send the ornaments. 

We divided the ornaments out before the activity so there would be no drama.

The kids LOVED it!!!

Everyone also made a Santa sack for all of their party goodies.

I wasn't at school the day of the Christmas party, which just about killed me! We had a party in Dallas for my husband's new company. It was so fancy and lots of fun!

But, I sure was sad to miss the school party! : ( 
My kids played Christmas BINGO and ate way too many sweets I'm sure! 

I hope everyone is enjoying this Christmas Eve! 
Merry Christmas!


TGI Cyber Monday

I hope yall are ready to shop! Tomorrow kicks off the big TPT Cyber Monday and Tuesday sale! Everything in my store is marked down 20% and TPT is giving an additional 10% off! Just use the code TPTCYBER at checkout! This is a great time to stock up and save lots of $$$! 

My life is CRAZY right now! If you follow me on Instagram you know that we are moving to DALLAS! 

(This was our best attempt at a family selfie with two crazy dogs)

We are SO excited and really looking forward to this new opportunity! BUT, we have a never ending to do list for the next few months! We are trying to find somewhere to live, sell our house, I have to find a new job and keep everything running at home and school! Not mention packing, cleaning out, have a garage sale and CHRISTMAS! 

This is how I feel...

Typically, I create most of the materials I use in my classroom. However, I am SO grateful to have TPT for great resources when I am running around with my head chopped off. Make sure and check out my store to see if there is anything that will save your sanity! I will definitely be loading up my cart with resources to help me get through the next few weeks! : )


Creating MEANINGFUL Class Books

I have always LOVED making class books! They are always a favorite in the classroom library and it is so meaningful for the kids to share their writing and illustrating with their peers. It is my goal this year to have enough classroom books that every kid has one to take home at the end of the year. AND that I will have a few of my favorite to tuck away : ) 

Here are a few tips for making classroom books effective and meaningful in your classroom! : )

I would love to hear about how you use class books in your classroom! 
Enjoy your Thanksgiving week! I only have a day and a half of work and then I will be stuffing my face! : ) Gobble, gobble. 


Happy Thanksgiving FREEBIE

Can you believe it's almost THANKSGIVING?!? This month has just FLOWN by! 

Last week was full of assessments (groan) so I don't have many fun things to share : ( BUUUTTT, I do have a Thanksgiving Freebie! This week we are starting double digit numbers, so last week I threw in lots of of review activities for numbers to 10. My little friends love any activity that gets them up and moving around the classroom. So I am always trying to make everything very interactive, especially math!

This FREEBIE includes everything you need to review ten frames! 
Just print and play! : )

Each students will need a recording page and a clip board. Tape the ten frames around the classroom and students will count each set and write the number next to the correct picture. 

Super easy and fun! Click HERE to download it for FREE in My Teachers Pay Teachers Store.

This week we also celebrated Veteran's Day! We had a lot of fun making these cute little veterans! 

The second graders made this AMAZING flag to hang in the hallway! On the inside of each loop they could write the name of a veteran. We took some really cute class pictures in front of it. It was a beautiful reminder of the importance of Veteran's Day. Thank you to everyone who has served!


Listen to Reading Book Organization and Halloween Fun

Who in their right mind starts organization projects in the middle of the school year?  Crazy old me, that's who!

My students this year have absolutely LOVED my Listen to Reading Center. Like more so than ever before. I think it's because I have finally built up a huge collection of books on CD and I change the books out weekly. I have always stored my books and CDs like this...

The book and CD together in a bag.

Then shoved in a filing cabinet by month : / 

At least everything is together in a bag, right? It was a big mess! Every time I tried to put books away and get new books. All of the bags would fall over and I couldn't find the bag I needed or the books I was looking for. Meet my new system...

I bought the hanging folders from Sam's Club. It was $10 for the box of 50, plus the tabs were included! : ) I wrote the title of each book on the tab and then put the books and CD inside the hanging folder. I placed the tabs according to month or holiday so I could easily open a drawer and pull from a section.

It has really helped me stay organized and keep track of what books I have and if they have been in the center or not. I was also lucky enough to receive a grant from my local chapter Delta Kappa Gamma that helped me buy even more books with CDs.

Here is my Listen to Reading Center (prior to the school year starting)...

Only 2 friends can go to the center at one time. The friend on the left is the captain and the friend on the right in the assistant. The captain touches the CD player. The assistant choose the books and puts them away. I have a three drawer organizer that hold the books. In each drawer there are two books and the CD. They only have those 3 book choices. I also use zip ties to keep the headphone cords from being tangled. The headphones go on the chairs when it's tine to clean up. Stickers on the CD are also helpful so they know what buttons to push! : )

Looking for more listening center ideas? Check out this post from Katie and Mrs. Decatur's Little Gators to see how she organizes her Listen to Reading Center. 

We had lots of fun celebrating Halloween last week! So much fun in fact that I didn't get to post ; ) Here are a few pictures...

It was so exciting that our pumpkin plants started to grow!

We made observations in our science journal...

We also tied in Halloween to math!

We have been working on comparing numbers, so I made these little mats so we could compare how many M&Ms the ghost had and how many the pumpkin had. 

We also read some of my favorite books! : ) My ALL-TIME FAVORITE Halloween book is The Halloweiner. It makes me laugh every time. We also read Where is My Mummy and talked about the characters in each story. Thanks Deanna Jump for the idea!

And of course no Halloween is complete without Spookley the Square Pumpkin.

This precious craft came from First Grade Blue Skies

On Halloween day we took our first field trip of the year to the farm! We went through a corn maize, rode the cow train and learned about farm animals.

Most of my little friends were out on the way home..

It was too cute!

On Halloween night, I always love inviting my kids to come trick or treat at my house. Lexi enjoyed it too! : )

My little pumpkin!


Tomorrow is FRIDAY! Hang in there! : )