Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Fun!

This week is full of Christmas fun! Yesterday, we made hot chocolate! We also did a how-to writing activity to go with it (and I failed to get pictures of either). Today, Sarah, our elf, brought us the necessities to make Magic Reindeer Food! We mixed oats, green sugar, red sugar, sprinkles, and glitter.

During my plan, I put it into bags and added this little label with instructions.

I remember before I started teaching and I thought that my plan time would actually be used to plan. Now I look back at that and laugh. How naive I was!

Here's just a little catch up on our friendly classroom elf, Sarah! Today, she read Clifford's Christmas to some of our ocean themed friends! The kids loved talking about how the sea creatures must be able to move when they aren't there too!

It's official--I have survived my first school Christmas party! Not only survived, but it went really smoothly! 

After we enjoyed our treats, we played a few fun games. We had 4 presents that were wrapped a few times. We played Christmas music, then when the music stopped, they took off one layer of paper. At the end, the 4 students that took off the last layer got to keep the present! Before we started, we made some predictions as to what the presents might be. Most guessed right (books), but there was one very optimistic student who thought I had purchased iPads for them! If only he understood money...

We also played this great game that I found here. Totally worth the money! It was a fun way for the kiddos to practice their math facts!

This little beauty was one of the presents I got today from a student! I have eyed these a few times before and was so excited to get one!

Since Friday, I have felt extremely blessed. I tried to be more patient with my kids and love on them just a little more than normal. Most of them have no knowledge of what went on (thank goodness!--they don't need that fear). I did have one student who came to talk to me about it. He came to my desk first thing in the morning and said "Ms. Cranfill, it's really sad what happened in Kentucky." I smiled inside at their little first grade brains, and just responded with "Yes it is very sad." Little moments like that make even the hardest days worth it.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Ornament

Let me just say, thank goodness it is the weekend! And only 3 days left! I can make it, I can make it...

Friday, we made ornaments to take home and give to our parents! They were so excited to be able to have a gift to put under their tree! I gave each student strips of paper and they wrote down things they wanted for Christmas. They wrapped the strips around a pencil and put them in the ornament. They turned out so cute!

Now, of course, I realized I forgot to take a picture of them until after school. All of the students had taken their ornaments home, except for one very forgetful, spacey child. So that's the one I got the picture of.

This student decided to wrap all but one backwards, so you can see the white side instead of the colored side (I told him that was his choice if he wanted it to be white instead of colorful). The other ones were much more colorful and fun!

We also had a very special visitor this week...Santa!!!

This was the only 20 minutes where my students were well-behaved all week. But at least I got 20 minutes of good behavior--better than nothing!

Sarah was quite clever this week. Thursday, she hid in our treasure chest! It was the perfect place to see everyone, but still be sneaky. 

She also left us this little M&M note reminding us to be good since she was watching us! It worked for a few students!

Friday, she hid on top of our cabinets, and joined in on our countdown! Only 3 days!!

Next week, we are looking forward to a week of fun! We will have our Christmas party, a school sing-a-long, and lots of fun activities to keep us busy and learning until break!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Countdown and Elf on the Shelf Catch Up

Last week, I posted a countdown to Christmas break in our room (which I found here from The Teacher Wife--love her blog!). My kids LOVED it, so they also made their own to take home. They love getting to come in every morning to tell me how many more days until Christmas. I am also given a little necessary push to get through the day when I see how many days are left until break--only 5 more teaching days!!

Sorry about the glare on the letters. I laminate everything.

Sarah has been quite the active elf lately. Monday, we found Sarah sitting on our flag.

Tuesday, she started the day by napping in our tissue box!

When we came back from lunch, she was sitting at my computer emailing Santa! (Ok, in this picture she is checking out TpT, but she did email Santa right after this!) She emailed him to say that we were so talkative that morning, that she wasn't able to nap, and she didn't think our class deserved the treat Santa sent for them. So their behavior did a 180 after that!

(I didn't realize how dusty my keyboard was until I took this picture. Eww. First thing on my Christmas break work list--clean my classroom!)

Today, Sarah had her best hiding spot yet! It took most of my kids the whole day to find her!

Santa sent Sarah an email back saying to go ahead and give us the treat, so Ms. Cranfill would stop eating them all we would have an incentive to earn another treat! Let's hope that will have some effect on their behavior tomorrow!

Monday, December 10, 2012

12 in '12 Linky

Now I am not one to typically make a big deal out of repeating dates (like 12-12-12, which is coming up), but I am definitely down for a linky party--and this one is so fun! It's a great way to find new blogs!

12 Favorite Things From 2012!
12. Favorite movie you watched:
Pitch Perfect. I love a cappella music, and Rebel Wilson might be the funniest person ever. If you haven't seen it, you need to!

11. Favorite TV series:
Friends. Now this one is not new in 2012 obviously, so I don't know if it counts, but it is my absolute favorite. As far as new for 2012, Grey's Anatomy.

10. Favorite restaurant:
I like food so much that I really don't have a favorite. A Jimmy John's recently got put in about a mile from my house, and I would be lying if I said the drive thru people didn't recognize me.

9. Favorite new thing you tried:
Being a real grown up! I love being graduated and in the working world!

8. Favorite gift you got:
I got a Cricut for my birthday--my classroom wouldn't be near as cute without it!

7. Favorite thing you pinned:
I couldn't pick just one. With the amount that I pin, I'm lucky I narrowed it down to two.
Bridesmaids. So funny.

I actually have a screen shot of this picture saved on my phone. It makes my bad days better!

6. Favorite blog post:
I have loved being able to document our elf's daily activities! Check them out here!

5. Best accomplishment:
Getting my first real job! And getting good evaluations from my principal! It really makes all that hard work worth it!

4. Favorite picture:
This is from my sister's wedding, which was right before the beginning of school. Isn't she beautiful?!

3. Favorite memory:
Putting together my classroom. Since my sister's wedding was right before school started, my mom, sisters, and fellow first grade teacher cousin got to be there to help me. I could not have gotten all of it done without them!

2. Goal for 2013:
Stay on top of keeping my classroom organized. And figure out what I want to get my Master's Degree in!

1. One Little Word:

Here's hoping 2013 is an even better year! It has some heavy competition!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Elf on the Shelf and Polar Express Day

Since our class did so well yesterday with Sarah's challenge, she decided to reward them! She left us a note saying to plant an elf garden and see what grew!

The elf garden was oats (the soil) and sprinkles (the seeds).

The kids got to plant their garden, and then they each wrote and made a prediction about what would grow! Some thought tiny elves would grow so they could each take an elf home, some thought cupcakes would grow (since we had planted sprinkles), and one even thought that puppies would grow! If only puppies would have sprouted from that garden. I would have been the happiest teacher in the world!

Instead, candy canes sprouted! Our garden bloomed while the kids were watching The Polar Express with the rest of the first grade (which is why in the pictures above the kiddos are wearing pajamas!) When we came back to our room, each student got to take a candy cane from our garden! They were so excited!

Our first grade classes spread out the joy of the Polar Express this week. You can check out my other post here about what we did earlier in the week! On Friday, the kids came to school in their pajamas and we got to watch The Polar Express movie! They had such a great time! At the end, they all got a silver bell, just like the one that was given as the first gift of Christmas. They had a great time asking each other if they could hear the bell!

I can't wait to see what fun things our elf will do next week!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Elf on the Shelf and Writer's Workshop

Boy has it been a crazy week! I have a million holiday activities that I wanted to do, and there is just no way that we will be able to do them all!

Here is a little look at our Writer's Workshop this week.

I'm sure many of you will think that my timing and sequence are not the most logical--and I agree. Since we are starting about halfway through the year, there are lots of things that we have already touched on, so everything is out of whack.

We talked more about editing this week, so I gave them this checklist to help them! They keep dry erase markers in their table buckets, so they can use these checklists whenever they need to--which they feel like is all the time! They love using these!

We also talked about brainstorming. Of course they wanted to write about Sarah, our classroom elf! They all loved getting to brainstorm, and it really helped them put more detail into their stories!

So we listed things we could write about like 3 weeks ago. But I am way a little behind in school and life, so our anchor chart just got put up today! (I am obviously not an artist, but it will work for first graders!) I am also currently working on about 3 other anchor charts that will hopefully make it to the wall soon!

Now on to the fun stuff--our elf friend, Sarah! When we showed up to school Wednesday, she has hanging upside down from our "chandelier," as my kids like to call it!

She also left notes on some of the kids' desks that had good behavior the day before! I actually had one student who didn't get a note write one to Sarah. She told her that she was sorry she didn't make good enough choices and would try better today! What a sweetheart!!

Today, we came into the room and saw a huge mess! 

Sarah had "spilled" our hundreds chart numbers all over the floor! And she even mixed some of the ones still in the chart up! 

She's so mischievous!

She left us a little note with a classroom challenge--put the numbers back in the hundreds chart without talking! I was a little skeptical about how this would go, but my kiddos did AWESOME! They were very into the not talking thing. The first few rows took us a little bit, but once we got in the swing, it went pretty quick! 

Maybe tomorrow, Sarah will leave us a little treat for working so hard!

Happy almost Friday!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Blogging Love

Today, I am really feeling the blogging world love!

Cindy at Granny Goes to School was one of the first followers of my blog, and the first fellow teacher blogger that I talked to. She is the sweetest!! And I absolutely adore her blog. 

She is starting a new feature called Triple Treat Day, where she shares one sweet recipe and two sweet bloggers. I am lucky enough to be featured in her first post!

The other blog she featured is Mrs. Thigpen's Kindergarten. I had not seen her blog until I read Cindy's post, and she has some great stuff--and TONS of wonderful freebies!


You should definitely stop over to check out her awesome blog and get to know my new, sweet friend! Thanks Cindy!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Polar Express

Welcome to the North Pole! (Or what is actually our library and was turned into the North Pole). Today, our class took a ride on the Polar Express to visit Santa! They were beyond excited. Check out what a great job our librarian did!

Inside that plastic bubble were chairs set up like a train, a TV to play a video of the book The Polar Express, and even a fan to make it as cold as the North Pole! After we took our trip, we got to enjoy some hot chocolate and cookies.

They loved it!

Sarah was back in our room today, working her elf magic. Today, she was peeking at us from behind our reading table easel. She was even making a "naughty list" with her tiny elf pencil and notepad. My kids were so nervous that she was going to write their name down! It seemed that more of them than normal need tissues today, just so they could walk by Sarah and take a look at her list.

Later in the afternoon, Sarah decided to change and start making a "nice list." But she decided to only put her name on it! She thought she was pretty funny--and so did my kiddos!

Is your elf working as well as mine is?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Classroom Visitor!

We have a new member of our classroom!

Meet Sarah!

I, personally, was hoping that my kids would go for Elfaba, but they obviously don't share my love of the musical Wicked. But, I'm glad they voted for Sarah over some of the other choices, like Rosalina. She definitely doesn't look like a Rosalina. I am so excited to see all of the silly things she will do in our room! And I am hoping it will have an effect on their behavior (even though it definitely didn't today).

Happy Monday! 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

December Currently

I am linking up for my first currently with Farley! I can't believe that it is already December--this year is flying by!

This week, my class will be doing lots of holiday activities. I am so excited! And I will have a little surprise for my kiddos!