Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas in July...

Merry Christmas Eve, y'all!  :o)  The pumpkin cheesecakes have been put in the oven for their hour-long warm and toasty nap.   The oreo balls for tonight are finished.  ALL our presents are wrapped.  Starbucks hot chocolate is long gone.  I have to apologize to y'all - I have been very sporadic in my postings this school year (I feel like I say this every time I post!)...but the truth is, things have been a little different for this kinder teacher this year.  I have to say, I'm very grateful for Christmas Break.  I have been exhausted this first half of the year.  Surprising as it is, my tiredness has not come from my kindergarteners.

If you read back to my very first-ever post, you will find out that ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a mommy when I grow up.  I wrote that post almost one year ago.  We weren't quite ready to make our two-some a three-some back then, but guess what??

This was our announcement picture!  We took about a million of these, and we were going to put up the calmer version, but I laughed to the point of tears every time I looked at handsome's face in this picture, so this was the winner.  :o)  This was an idea I found, where else?, Pinterest!

So as the post title says, our Christmas will be in July.  I'm due July 1st - officially out of the first trimester and finally getting my energy back!  So maybe I'll be able to crank out more posts when we start our week of nothing next week.  :o)

Please, if it's your thing, offer up some prayers for our little lovey.  Everything is going great, and I pray and hope that it continues this way.  Being "Prego" is awesome!  But, it is such a huge responsibility, and I get very nervous about doing everything just right for this sweet little baby.  Thanks for all your love! at peace, and all will be well...

An Award :o)

Thanks to Mrs. Futch's Class for awarding my blog the "Liebster Blog" award.  :o)

The goal of this award is to spotlight up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 followers. 
The rules are:
{1} Copy and paste the award on your blog.
{2} Thank the giver and link back to them.
3} Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
This is hard , tried to pick great blogs that did not already have the award! :)

Here are my top 5 Picks...


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Amazing Last Minute Printables!

Y'all, go to this girl's site.  Right now.  :o)

I think I've blogged about her before, but it's worth another look!  She is about to have her first baby TOMORROW and just put up a post with all kinds of cute and very free printables to download.  Talk about a Super Mama and Super Teacher!

Anyway, she started her blog around this time last year, so a lot of her cute ideas from last year can also be used now.  I've used a lot of her printables for my learning centers, and my students always eat them right up!

One more blog definitely worth mentioning is Mrs. Cupcake's "A Cupcake for the Teacher"

A Cupcake for the Teacher

She's having a giveaway right now that is totally worth checking her out.  Also, she has some really cute craft ideas and cute items on TpT.  Go ...right now! :o)

Sooo....what's your countdown?  Mine is t-minus 5 days left.  Last day of school is Friday with a 1/2 day.  How am I going to fit all my fun stuff in???  :o)  Wishing you all very happy thoughts on these last few days before a well deserved break for spending time with family and friends. at peace, and all will be well...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Elf Update

Snowflake (our Elf on a Shelf) has been so sneaky these last few days...  Check him out...  :o)

Tuesday we came in to find him just finishing up a bath in our sink...the water was still warm!

This morning he had made a campfire and roasted some marshmallows.  He's so sweet, he even shared them with us!  :o)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Our Sneaky Elf on a Shelf!

Last year I was BLESSED with a class mom who went over the top for us.  All the time.  Like, I'm talking weekly she would check in, make sure we had everything we needed and took some requests (I'm very slow to give requests...don't ask me why, I don't know).  Anyway, right after Thanksgiving, she came Monday morning bright and early to decorate our tree in our classroom.  She shared about this new Elf on a Shelf "thing."  I LOVED it, but couldn't afford the $30 for the doll and book set.  She asked if we wanted one, and I regretfully declined (I did NOT want to ask her to spend that much on us!!!).  Anyway, long story short: we came back into the classroom after lunch that same day to find a big cardboard box addressed to us "from the North Pole" under our Christmas tree.  Inside was the Elf on a Shelf set with a note inside the book that said "Merry Christmas, Team Johnson.  Love, Santa."

...Thanks, "Santa!"   :o)

Did I mention how much I am blessed?  Last year we named our little elf Jingle Bell, and he did his duty of watching and reporting, and then flew back to the North Pole on the last day before Winter Break.

Our class elf made his first appearance this year this past Tuesday morning.  He was hiding on the Christmas tree with his Elf on a Shelf book in the read aloud chair beside it.  We read the book together (only 2 of my students didn't know what it was), and voted on a name.   His new name this year is Snowflake.

Then on Wednesday morning, we found him on the top shelf of our Writing Center.  He even colored and elf picture for us!  He left it under the tree with a letter from Santa the next morning.

On Thursday morning, he was in the middle of reading one of our favorite books, Merry Christmas, Splat. Some of our other classroom friends were listening to the read aloud!  :o)

Friday morning, Snowflake was camped out in his stocking-sleeping bag, reading his Elf on a Shelf book.  We think he really likes to read!

This was a combined idea of mine and something I saw on Pinterest.  Snowflake has brought us some "Elf Kisses" ...can you see him eating one of them??  :o)  I'm using these as an incentive...students earn an Elf Kiss when s/he finishes the day on good behavior OR s/he demonstrates an over the top nice behavior to another student or teacher.

I'll let you know how the elf kisses go.  This is what they'll find tomorrow morning when they come in.  :o)

Do you have an elf in your classroom?  What is it's name?  Go to pinterest RIGHT NOW to get some wonderful and hysterical ideas for your elf.  Or just Google "Elf on a Shelf" and go to the images results.

Smiling's My Favorite!

...Y'all, we have entered my favorite time of year!!  My most favorite holiday of them all is Christmas.  There just isn't enough time to get in everything I want to...not enough for all of the books I want to share, not enough for all the projects and fun activities...but we pick and choose and hopefully help to deliver some cheer each year to our students.

Last weeks centers consisted of the following....

Art Center (inspired from a pin on pinterest!  A Santa's beard Advent Calendar.  My assistant made her own version of the patterns, and each student cut them out and put them together.  The circles on his beard are a guide to where to put each cotton ball.  It's ordered at random like a calendar with doors.

Each afternoon, my assistant and I put a Glue Dot on the next circle.  When they come in the next morning, after they unpack, the students stick their next cotton ball on the correct number.  We put them all under the board at the front of the room like this...

In the Math Center, just because we wanted them to put together this project (we read the book When Santa Lost his Ho, Ho, Ho, and made a Santa that looks just like him)'s a Santa puzzle - starts out with the rectangles jumbled up.  The students have to cut them out and glue them into a rectangle on the red paper to put him together.  Then they color him.

Then in our Word Study center we have a Christmas Tree Beginning Sounds activity.  They color the pictures, cut them out, and glue them onto the circle with the beginning sound.  It looks like ornaments on the tree.  They only put the glue at the very top of the circle, so a flap is created that we can check.  I actually created this last year due to a lack of Christmas-cheery educational word study activities (clearly I had yet to discover the world of teacher blogs!).

Happy Sunday, everyone!  :o)