Twas' the Week Before Christmas

20 December 2012
This week has been full of so many emotions.  My heart breaks for everyone in Sandy Hook.  I know I would put my life on the line for my students.  I also know that every teacher would do the same.  The students become our own children.  It just becomes an instinct -we would not have to think twice about it.  I look at my first graders and I cannot imagine what that town is going through.  Good bless you Sandy Hook!  We are sending you snowflakes (see the letter below).

This letter is being passed around facebook:

With one week left before Christmas break, I decided to make this week more about fun and less about meeting standards.  I told myself on Monday morning, that I was going to go in and hug each and everyone of my first graders and that we were going to do fun and even messy things!

Well, we did!  I tried to hug them all, but some of them gave me those side shoulder hugs.  You know the "eew, my teacher is embarrassing me hug." Then I made fun literacy themed centers and threw in some Play-Doh for spelling center.  They have really had a blast!  One of my students told me it was the best day ever!   That made me smile.

I snuck in some learning and crafts, too.  Here are some photos of our week.

 This is included in my Common Core Based Gingerbread Activities Packet. 

This is happening tomorrow, in conjunction with pajama day! Click here to download this free packet.

We used the letter in Michelle Oakes' Santa's Little Helpers Packet to introduce him two weeks ago.  Perhaps, next year he will only come this last week before Christmas :)

Other activities we did:

We wrote letters to Santa after reading Dear Santa.  This book was a hit and they all wanted it.  They really loved the little tiny letters in the pockets of the book.  I told them I would post it on my blog so they could show their parents the book. 

We made Magic Reindeer Food and Snowman Poop at our holiday party. 

As a gift to the parents, we make hand and footprint reindeer and a Santa handprint card.  Directions and printables for these can be found in my Have Yourself a Very Common Core Christmas Packet

While the students are watching the Polar Express tomorrow, I plan to type up personalized thank you notes.  This year I bought cute borders from Pink Cat Studio (click here).  I have to use the fonts the school computers provide me with, but if I had my choice, I would use a font by Kimberly Geswein.  I LOVE her fonts.   Here is a sample thank you letter. 

I hope you have a wonderful last day with your kiddos!  Or if you are already out of school enjoy the much needed time to decompress!  I will be back soon with some Holiday Cheer...we all know we could use some. 


  1. I LOVE that santa craft!!! How crafty!! I love following your blog, such cute ideas! Hope you have a relaxing break!!


  2. I just finished my teacher education program, snagged a job as a Kindergarten para but Lord knows I can't WAIT to have my own classroom so I can incorporate ALL of these fun things you do with your kiddos! As always, YOU GO GIRL! :)

  3. I love the Santa Craft..looks like I need to scoop up your packet for next year!!!

    The Teacher's Treasure Chest

  4. Such cute stuff!!!! I love it all! We read "Dear Santa" as well. I usually borrow it from my teammate, but she is no longer at my school. So, I found it on Amazon and it's *tiny*. I cannot find the large version anywhere!!!!!!! What version do you have? Love you!

    1. Love you, too! I have the normal sized version. I got it a long time ago. I also have the Dear Mermaid and Dear Tooth Fairy. The kids love those books.


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