Tuesday 27 December 2011

11 in '11 Linky Party

I'm joining up with Kristin and Hadar for their fun 11 in '11 Linky Party!

11. Favorite movie you watched:

I am a HUGE Twilight fan. Yes, I like the books way more than the movies, but I was still waiting and waiting for this to come out!

10. Favorite TV series:

I love so many shows... How I Met Your Mother, 2 Broke Girls, Glee, Criminal Minds, The Big Bang Theory, The New Girl, and Once Upon a Time.

9. Favorite restaurant:

My all-time fave is Mongo's Grill. It is Mongolian stir-fry. You pick all your ingredients and sauces, and they cook it right in front of you on this huge round grill. So yummy!

8. Favorite new thing you tried:

Growing up, I never had dogs, but have always wanted one! In July, my boyfriend and I welcomed Bella, a pure-bred chocolate lab, into our little family. She is such a joy and I absolutely love having her! We will be getting her a new puppy friend next summer :)

This is Bella on the day we brought her home. She was 6.5 weeks old. Look at how small she was!

This is Bella now, at 7 months old.

7. Favorite gift you got:

Being from Manitoba and dating a hockey player/huge NHL fan, it's no surprise I have come to love hockey too. I think the whole province was excited to hear the NHL was coming back. We have been wanting our Jets back for 15 years!

Anywho, for my birthday I got my own Winnipeg Jets jersey and attended my very first NHL game. So exciting!

6. Favorite thing you pinned:

I just, JUST got myself a Pinterest account and I've only pinned three books to read so far. No other pins... yet!

But books to read are "Water for Elephants", "Still Alice", and "The Hunger Games".

5. Favorite blog post:

My favorite post was my Christmas Math Stations. It was my first venture into TeachersPayTeachers and I got so much love about them. This Blogger community is amazing!

4. Best accomplishment:

Getting this job as a first grade teacher was really amazing! I had my interview in April, and that same night they called and offered me the position. I love my school, my staff, and my students. Even though they are a challenging bunch, I really love all of them and love how excited they get about EVERYTHING!

3. Favorite picture:

This is our family Christmas picture. It's not the greatest (dog likes cats, cats don't like dog, dog likes treats, cat scratches Amanda...) but it's the best we could get! lol

2. Favorite memory:

Camping in the Rocky Mountains in Banff, Alberta. So beautiful!

1. Goals for 2012:

Eat healthier. Cook more.
Walk Bella everyday.
Start house renovations.
Be better at lesson planning (think long term, not just weekly/daily).
Blog and comment more!

Hope everyone is enjoying their holidays! Happy 2012 everyone! :)

Sunday 18 December 2011

Currently December!!

This is my first time linking up with Farley over at Oh Boy 4th Grade for her December Currently. Such a cute idea! I love stalking and seeing what everybody is up to. I know, it's a Saturday night and I'm home on my computer.... such is my life! The last two Saturdays have been busy with Christmas parties and dinners, so I am HAPPY to be home this Saturday! Well, here it goes:

That's me in a nut shell tonight!

Here's a few more Christmas activities we have been up to this week. We did a little four-square writing activity. Click the picture to download the rough copy page.

{Download US spelling version here.}

For a good copy, I used 11 x 11" white squares and we glue on 1" strips of red and green for ribbons and a bow to top it off!

**Blogger Tip** If you ever have that annoying problem where you can't get your photos to rotate properly, try saving them as a PNG file. That worked for me!

On Friday, I had planned a morning of Christmas ornament making. I wanted to have seven rotations set up with a volunteer at each station, but I had a lack of volunteer interest at this time of year, so I ended up having three stations.

At the first station, we made three foam crafts (kits from Michaels craft store): Gingerbread Boys/Girls, Snowflakes, and Wreaths.

At the second station we made candy cane reindeer (I found brown gingerbread-flavoured candy canes at Walmart... perfect!) and beaded candy canes.

Finally, at the third station we made popsicle stick Christmas trees and snowmen.

*Helpful Hint* Instead of trying to write their name on each ornament, I had students write their name on a piece of scrap paper/newspaper and students just placed each ornament on their paper. It worked out very nicely!

I had a collection of used/cheap Christmas baggies, so we will package up all of our ornaments in a bag with some tissue paper, and voila! A wonderful Christmas present for parents!

Speaking of Christmas presents... these are just a little something I whipped up for my EA's and teammates. Super cute! You can download the tags from Crafts reDesigned here.

I will leave you tonight with a few more pictures of Elfy! He always puts a smile on my face! :)

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Wednesday 14 December 2011

Oh, Elfy!

So our elf arrived on Monday, straight from the North Pole! I opened the package, read the story, and we did a little vote to decide on the elf's name. The list of possiblities were endless.... Elfy, Hide-y, Mario, Luigi, Sonic, King Koopa (can you tell my boys love video games??), Princess (let's not give the poor guy a complex!), Toad, Flyer, Matthew, Dakota... After some voting, we ended up calling him Elfy! (Mario was a close second.) I tell you, my kids are IN LOVE with this little guy. I don't think my kiddies bought into the elf right away, but right before lunch we watched the movie "An Elf's Story" which they totally ate up! As they went to wash their hands for lunch, ELfy moved for the first time. Right up on top of our projector! The kids were hooked after that! Everytime he moves, it is a huge deal! Here are some of the places we have found Elfy:

One of my little boys drew a little elf guy for Elfy :)
Some computer mischief!

So of course *MY* class has to be the one to challenge the idea that if you touch the elf, it loses it's magic. Somebody did the unthinkable. They touched him! Poor, poor Elfy! I didn't want to crush anyone's dreams, but I had to teach them a little lesson! Elfy disappeared. We were so sad that we couldn't see him anywhere. We knew he had gone back to the North Pole. I think everyone was feeling pretty low, so we talked about what they boy in the movie did when Chippey got sick. Then we decided to write Elfy a letter. I stuck it in an envelope and sent it off to the North Pole.

The next day, Elfy returned and wrote us a little note thanking us for the letter. My kiddies totally believe now, and no one will DARE touch Elfy again.

We have been busy filling up our room with fun Christmas-y crafts and art. We made some snowy scenes, using pastels and q-tips with white paint.

We were practicing the letter Q, so we made this Christmas quilt. Very easy to prepare and looks cute all put together. I just cut 8.5 x 8.5" white squares for the base, 1" squares for the corners, and 1 x 6.5" rectangles for the border. Glue and colour.

Here is our patterned candy canes. You can download it here for free if you wish.

These are our SUPER ADORABLE TOTALLY CUTE elf selves. Oh my! These are so cute I can't even stand it! The pattern is from Jennifer over at First Grade Blue Skies. See her elves here.

We are lucky to have a great class of fifth graders as our reading buddies, so at our last time together I had the fifth graders help out the firsties with cutting, gluing, and putting together our elves. They were such great helpers! I didn't have to do anything except supervise! My firsties also filled out an Elf Application.

I am so jealous that some of you only have two more days left!! I have 6 more days until vacation and I am counting down the HOURS DAYS! I think I can, I think I can! Happy Holidays, everyone!

Sunday 11 December 2011

Christmas Around the World and Elf on the Shelf!

I just posted my Christmas Around the World Unit on TpT for $4.50. It is a 9-day unit (but you can always combine some to make it shorter if you wish!) that I will be starting tomorrow with my class! This 49 page package contains lesson plans to visit 8 countries, Polar Express train tickets, a scrapbook, a suitcase to hold all of your souvenirs, and 6 craft ideas. Click the picture below to see it at my TpT store.

Day 1: I will read the Polar Express (one of my FAVOURITE Christmas books of all time!) and we will decorate our suitcases. There is a Canadian and American suitcase in the unit. After we visit each country, I will give students a sticker to place on their suitcase as a little memento of all the places we have visited! The stickers are also included my unit.

Day 2: We will be moving our desks into rows with an aisle down the middle to make our Polar Express Christmas train. It will be a change from our groups of four, so it will be pretty exciting for the kids! I will give students their Polar Express train tickets (and punch it with my hole punch to make it official!). We will talk about all of the Christmas/holiday traditions that we do at home with our families. In the scrapbook, students will write and draw about one of their holiday traditions. (There is a Canada and U.S.A. page in the unit.) I will read the book "A Porcupine in a Pine Tree" because it's a fun Canadian story :)


Day 3: We will board the train again to visit our first stop -- Mexico! We will look at some pictures of Mexico and Mexican Christmas traditions. I will read the story "The Legend of the Poinsettia" by Tomie dePaloa. We will listen to the song "Feliz Navidad" (there is a video on YouTube here). We complete the scrapbook page. Then we will make a poinsettia craft.

Day 4: Next stop -- Brazil! We will look at photos of Christmas in Brazil. We will watch a video of fireworks in Brazil from YouTube here. We will complete our scrapbook page. We will make some Brazilian tinsel-tail bird Christmas tree decorations.

Day 5: Next stop -- South Africa! We will look at photos of Christmas in South Africa . We will listen to "Sing Noel" an African Christmas song from YouTube here. We will complete our scrapbook page. We will make our own Christmas crackers with a little treat inside them.

Day 6: Next stop -- Germany! We will look at photos of Christmas in Germany. We will listen to German Christmas carols, such as "Still Nacht" and "O Tannenbaum". We will complete our scrapbook page. We will make a cute Christmas tree craft.

Day 7: Next stop -- China! No, we won't be talking about Chinese New Year just yet, we will be looking at how they celebrate Christmas! We will look at photos of China. We will complete our scrapbook page. We will make some decorated Chinese paper lanterns to hang in our room.

Day 8: Next stop -- Australia! We will look at photos of Christmas in Australia. We will listen to the song "Six White Boomers" from YouTube here and make Christmas kangaroo puppets to help us sing along. We will complete our scrapbook page. I will also read the book "Wombat Divine" by Mem Fox. It is a story about Australian animals preparing for their Christmas play. Super cute!

Day 9: Last stop... the North Pole! We will use our imagination to write and draw about how we think everyone at the North Pole celebrates Christmas. This is also going to be our Polar Express wrap up day, where we wear pajamas to school and watch the movie! Yay! I can't wait for a break that fun day!

Exciting news for tomorrow!! I just picked up my very own Elf on the Shelf this weekend. I am so excited. Surprisngly, my challenging class has been managing quite well for the last little bit, but hopefully our new addition to the classroom will help them get through to the end! Our school has a school-wide behaviour management tool where we give out green slips for good behaviour, amber slips for warnings, and red slips for serious offenses. I have prepared a bunch of green slips for the elf to give out while the kids are out at recess. I can't wait for them to get excited about it like I am!

I saw this cute idea somewhere to wrap up the box, address it to the school, store it in the freezer for a while (because it's coming from the North Pole!), and have it "sent" to the school. Here is my package all ready for tomorrow!

I also whipped up this little journal so my kiddies can write about our elf during our writing time this week. If you would like a copy of the journal, you can download it here. The clipart is from the adorable KPM Doodles and the border is from Isabel Mendez (Crisdam Designs).

Well, here is to our last few school days before Christmas Break. Good luck to all of you getting ready for Christmas Concerts! I don't know how our music teacher does it. 400 some students, from K-6. She is a busy lady! Cheers everyone!