Hanukah, Christmas, New Year's, and plus FREEBIES!

27 November 2012

The December holidays are upon us!  Next week, I plan to do some Hanukkah activities with my class.  My favorite is having them try latkes (pronounced "lot-ka-z").  I usually ask for a parent volunteer to make them.  They sell frozen latkes in grocery stores here and they just need to be fried up or baked.  They are best served up hot! The students try their latkes with applesauce, sour cream, and plain.  Then they graph their favorite ways to eat the latkes.  Click the pictures below to snag this freebie packet to try with your students.  

PS - My all time favorite Hanukkah book is The Chanukah Guest by Eric A. Kimmel!

I also have a Hanukkah vs. Christmas picture Venn in my HUGE, 111 page packet, Have Yourself a Very Common Core Christmas packet.   Click on the link or the cover below to check it out.  You don't want to miss out on this one. 

Here are a few of the many activities from that packet! 

Are your students all about GETTING this Christmas?  I wanted a way to teach them compassion around the holidays.  I came up with this simple $3 unit which focuses on read alouds to convey the message of compassion.  I am doing the unit this week with my first graders and you could hear a pin drop when I read the stories!  This unit is really hitting home for my students this year because many of them know people who lost everything in the hurricane.  I am proud that my students are learning that "giving" can feel as good as "getting!"  Click below to check out the packet on TpT!

There are just not enough weeks in December!  I always have to do one of my all time favorite units: Common Core Gingerbread Man Activities.  I love all the variations of The Gingerbread Man that are out there.  It is a favorite of the students and they LOVE reading/listening to all the various versions.    They love to predict whether or not the gingerbread character will get eaten.  I was worried that one of the books was a bit graphic (the gingerbread man's face frowning as the fox gobbles him up), but they didn't even flinch! I don't have kids of my own, so I am not used to what they are exposed to on TV and video games.  
My packet comes with an extensive bibliography list.  Have you ever heard of Stop That Pickle!? Click the images below to check out this packet on TpT!  599 people have purchased it and loved it!  

While we are still on the topic of Christmas, you can find these Christmas themed FREEBIES by clicking the images below. 

Click here for a free SmartBoard: Art Follow the Directions Christmas Tree Craft.

Right after Christmas comes New Year's!  You know you need to take all that holiday stuff down and put something new up quick.  This packet has just what you need to start the New Year off on the right foot!  Click the images below to check it out on TpT.

I hope you, your family, and your students have a joyous holiday season!  

Cyber Monday & Tuesday Sale and Updates

25 November 2012
I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving.  It was my birthday and it was nice to spend it with my family.  Here is a picture of me with my brothers, my nephew Dylan, and my common-law (have no clue what else to call her) sister-in-law, Erin!
Did you do late night shopping?  I actually have been staying in and ordering online.  I knew if I went out, I will just start buying things for myself or more shoes!  

On to the sale!  Check out this adorable graphic by Ashley Hughes.  She made it for our Blog Hoppin' Sale Link Up!

You can click the button below to hop over to my store and start shopping.

Here are few of my favorite products in my store.  Click on the Covers to check them out!







I just made this brand new packet!
Happy Shopping!

Clip Art Sales

23 November 2012
Just wanted to let you know about some great clip art sales.  Click the images to go to the stores.

The Digital Bake Shop is have a buy 2 get 2 free sale.

Scrappin' Doodles is having a huge clip art sale.  Click below to check it out.  Use coupon code: Black2012.

Lettering Delights is also having a sale.  Use coupon code HoDown.  I love their Alphabets.  Click below to check it out.

KPM Doodles is having a 50% off sale!  Use coupon code THANKS.

MelonHeadz is also having a sale.  Please, go to her blog to check out the details.

Fancy Dog Studio is having a 50% off sale.  No coupon needed!

ReviDevi Clip Arts is having a buy Five get Five Free Sale.

JW Illustrations: Buy 2 Get One Free (SALE ANNOUNCEMENT! Buy 2 get 1 FREE! Applies to Clipart Bundles and Background/Paper Sets. Purchase 2 of equal or greater value and get a third FREE! **Please do not purchase the 3rd SET - Enter your free set of choice in the COMMENT BOX when checking out.**)

Happy Birthday To Me Sale and Please Vote!

22 November 2012

I also wanted to take the opportunity to say thank you to all of my followers and fellow teachers.  I love all the feedback you give and the comments you leave.  It motivates me to keep creating.  As you know, I have had a rough couple of months and your kindness and support means a lot to me.  Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families!
(The cute graphic of me and the one of the turkey is by MelonHeadz.  The frames above and the polka dot paper are from The Digital Bakeshop.  The font is by Kimberly Geswein.)

Now, here is the favor I need from you.  My town of Lindenhurst is in the lead, but I would appreciate all the votes we can get.  Darius Rucker will donate $10,000 worth of toys to a town in need.  The children of Lindenhurst would be thrilled to receive these toys.  As you know, my town was hit hard by the hurricane.  Click the image below to vote.  You need to click "Demand it" next to "Lindenhurst, NY."  Lindenhurst's zip code is 11757.  Thank you!!!

Essential Questions

19 November 2012
I got observed today.  I have been teaching ten years and I still feel nervous, put on a pretty dress, and make sure my room is spotless!    I am sure many of you feel the same way.  This year is a little different for me because in NY we now have the APPR system.  Our district has chosen the Danielson Rubric.   I really don't feel like I have a firm grasp on what is expected of me or what I need to produce at the end of the school year.  It is an unsettling feeling.   My goal is to not stress and take this one step at a time and I KNOW that I will make it through the year.   So for all you teachers dealing with APPR, know that you are not alone in your confusion and stressed-out state of mind!

For my observation today, I used math center activities from my Thanksgiving Art, Literacy, and Math Activities Packet.  I was observed with our school's math specialist.  She had a guided math group of her A.I.S. students at Turkey and Cornucopia Ways to Make Ten, I had a guided group of students of mixed ability at Turkey Feather Find the Missing Addend, my classroom aide had a guided group of students of mixed ability at Our Favorite Thanksgiving Foods: Tallying, Graphing, and Analyzing Data, and the last group was an independent center of students of mixed ability at Turkey Domino Fact Families.  I decided to add essential questions to the centers.  I thought this was a good way for my students to see and know the objectives.  It also worked as a good reminder for me to review the objectives before the start of the centers.  Essential questions are something new to me, I first heard about them from my sweet friend, Anna Brantley.  She has an awesome packet of essential questions for first grade.  My fabulous friend, Deanna Jump, has an essential questions packet for K.   The essential questions are Common Core Aligned, making everything tie nicely together.

Here are the questions I created and added to my packet (re-download if you already purchased):

I think these questions helped my students understand WHY I was making them do these math centers.  I go for my post observation on Monday.  I hope my principal thinks our observations went well.  I thought it went well, but I really hope with this new system, I am still on the right track!   I know my math centers really lend themselves to authentic and engaging learning.  

Please, note that I am able to provide my students with more challenging activities and create guided groups because of the number of adults in the room at the time of math centers. I have also included less challenging centers in my Thanksgiving Packet.  These centers work well as guided centers for K or independent centers for first. 

Here is Anna's packet.  Click below to check it out. 

Here is Deanna's packet.  Click the image to check it out:

Here is my Thanksgiving Packet:

So what do you think of Essential Questions?  Are they something you would like to see in more of my packets?   I appreciate your feedback.  I plan on updating my Have Yourself a Very Common Core Christmas Packet  this week.  

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