Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Holiday Flashback {I should be planning…}

Hi, Friends! How are ya?  It’s a c-c-c-c-cold, rainy day in our neck of the woods, so I THOUGHT I’d sit down to get a jump on planning for the first week back at school. Notice…I said, I THOUGHT……I’ve been staring at a blank screen for over an hour. If I look at it long enough, I’m sure plans will just jump onto the page, right? Mmmmm…wrong, so maybe a little happy flashbacking will get me in the mood to move forward. Wanna join me?


As we moved into the holiday season, all I could think of was having the time to enjoy working with my kiddos in a little more of a relaxed fashion. Music, fun, crafts and lots of memory making. This little project was one of our Thanksgiving favorites…

Anytime a craft is planned, I try to think of what I can do to help my kiddos be successful. In order to get these placemats made, I used a ruler to pre-draw the lines for them to cut through so they’d just have to concentrate on cutting and weaving the mats. Snip, snip, snip…..stop (at the line). Snip, snip, snip…..stop (at the line). Weaving the mats took quite a bit of concentration! The best part of making these mats and memories was having our AP’s come in to make one with us too. At our school, we have 2 and they’re both pretty awesome!


After reading to learn about the very first Thanksgiving, students wrote to share facts…..listened and followed directions to draw Squanto. Didn’t they do a great job?


Just as quickly as Thanksgiving, came….it went. And THEN?! Then, it was time for the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. This year, we spread lots of gingerbread love throughout the entire 3 weeks leading up to the break. These activities were included in my little Gingerbread Literacy packet.


Homophones were a hit! I don’t know what it is about learning about them….my son talked about homophones for years after he completed 1st grade! Long after this lesson was done, my kiddos were still identifying homophones in stories and activities!


Parent gifts left our whole hallway smelling yummy! We used equal parts of cinnamon and apple sauce to create quick, simple dough ornaments for our parents. It was a LOT of fun to watch kiddos create these as a culmination of our gingerbread story week. It didn’t require any big measurements, just two plastic cups filled to the same point….mix, kneed, and cut. That’s it! Oh, and let them dry for a few days…. =)


Love is in the details…..so, we added a little touch of  love by sending them home packaged in a bag decorated to look like Rudolph. When we ran out of bags, unexpectedly, we folded a sheet of brown construction paper into a cone, flattened it and stapled it together to package the remaining ornaments….love my creative kiddos! Necessity is the mother of invention, right? =)


Week 2 brought about a little positive behavior incentive…..On Monday of that week, students completed an Elf Application. Our friendly, classroom Elf on the Shelf took them to the North Pole that night. As he returned each day, he posted 3 or 4 of them on our classroom door that Santa had picked to be elves. Students were selected to be an “elf” for the day to spread Christmas cheer by helping in the classroom and delivering Christmas RAKS to friends around our school. They absolutely LOVED it and couldn’t wait to see who would be selected as the Elves of the Day each morning as they entered the classroom. It was a GREAT behavior incentive that helped to control the chaos of those last two weeks!


Gingerbread Day was just too sweet! What’s to say….they had a great time making their houses!


Thanks for taking this quick trip down Memory Lane with me…I think I’m ready to get to planning now. I’ve really enjoyed the break! I wonder what my kiddos are doing?

Interested in seeing more of what we did leading up to the break? How about our elf shenanigans? You can find more fun in pictures on Instagram. While you're there...follow! I share more pictures there that may not always make it onto the blog.

Alright, alright....I'm gone...back to planning {maybe}. =)

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