Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Elf on the Shelf

Last year one of my moms gave me The Elf on the Shelf for a Christmas present. I was soooo excited! I gave one to each of my grandchildren a few years ago and they adore them. I didn't get to use her last year because I got it on the last day before Christmas vacation. But I'm using her this year!!!
She arrived with her book the day after Thanksgiving break. We named her Ellie. Not really original but we like it. I told the kids that I always run into Santa each year and he always asks about each one of them. So this year he decided to send one of his elves to check them out each day.
 She's not getting into any mischief yet. I'm not sure whether I want her to go that route. I have a difficult class this year and I don't want to hype them up anymore than they already are. We'll have to see how it goes.
She is picking some fun places to show up though. One little boy swears he saw her eyes move. I love it! Our little elf still had her tags on. Several of the kids were talking about her. Some said she was fake because she had on tags. Well, tomorrow her tags are gone. Ellie went back to the North Pole tonight and told her friends what they had said. She was embarrassed so she cut her tags off.
I found a ton of activities at Teacher Pay Teacher and can't wait to use them. Most of them are learning and educational-NO FLUFF HERE! There are a million ideas on Pinterest too.
Over on The Teacher Wife, Lindsey just gave in and got one. She's got a great post about it. You'll want to head over and check it out.

So if you want to have some fun and try to keep the kiddos behavior in check this crazy month of December, you'll want to get one!

For tons of more Elf on the Shelf ideas I've joined Mel D's linky party. Check it out! 

Happy Elfing!

Sunday, November 25, 2012


I love popcorn! Seriously, is there anyone who doesn't. My favorite it the cheesy kind. We did a fun learning activity just before Thanksgiving with popcorn. We were learning the difference between facts and opinions. First thing I did was read the book- The Popcorn Book by Tomie de Paola. I LOVE this book!

It's a fiction and non-fiction book combined. The twin boys are making popcorn and want to know more about it. So one brother gets the encyclopedia and begins reading all about it. He tells lots of interesting facts.
Anyhow, back to my lesson. After reading the book we discuss what facts we learned about popcorn. Stressing that facts are things we can prove. We listed them on the graphic organizer.
Then I gave each child a bag of popcorn. In the bag were 3 different kinds of popcorn. I put some caramel, cheesy, and buttery popcorn. As they ate I explained that opinions are how we think or feel about things. Then I asked each student to tell his/her favorite kind of popcorn. We filled out and did a class graph with our opinions of our favorite popcorn.
On another day, we discussed again what facts and opinions are with this practice sheet.
Then I wanted to know if the concept was really sinking in. So the next day I had my firsties do a fact and opinion sort.
And finally, I put this writing paper in writer's workshop for those that wanted to write about Popcorn.
It was a big hit! I feel like my kiddos really know the difference between facts and opinions. If you'd like a copy of my lesson just click on the picture below.
I'd love to hear your comments if you download.

Well, it's back to school we go. The Thanksgiving break was great except I spent most of it in bed fighting a horrible cold. But I'm better and ready for the next 18 days. By far the hardest 18 days of the year!
Good luck and have a great week!

They have a great linky party going on and everything is FREE!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Huge Sales!

Teacher Notebook Sale started today and goes until Monday.
My shop is 25% off everything! Plus another 10% from TN.

Teachers Pay Teacher Sale is Monday and Tuesday. Everything in my shop is 20%. Plus another 10% from TpT. Remember to enter the code CMT12.


WOW! That's some BIG SAVINGS!

There's some great packets at my shop. 
Take a look at just a few.
Click the word for a link to my shops.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Shapin' Up

I hate it when I have a day off and I can't sleep in. My body is just to used to getting up at 5:00 AM. So here I am blogging and blog stalking when I wish I could be sleeping.
Maybe I can't sleep because I'm excited about my new packet. I think it's pretty cool. We've been working on Shapes for the past few weeks and I put together a packet of some of the things we did.
This is a great activity for analyzing and composing shapes. My kids LOVE! 
This is a fun game where the kiddos get to use the skills they discovered on the Cover the Shape mat above.

I LOVE this book and was sad to find out that it is out of print. But you can find it on some of the used book sites. 
I read the book and then my firsties used their imaginations and came up with some cute pages for our class book. 
This is a picture of our class sort with 3D shapes. I'm using this next week in Math Stations with a 4-In-A-Row game.
 The packet is 31 pages of fun with over 50 pictures of 2D and 3D shapes.
 You can find the packet at my shops. Just click on the words below for a link.
Oh and if you haven't heard, there are BIG sales this weekend on both sites.

At this Thanksgiving time I'm so thankful for the opportunity to be a teacher and work with my little ones. Some days it is VERY hard and I wonder if I'm doing any good. But then one of them gives me a big smile or a high five or a hug and then I know I might have taught them something today. I'm so grateful for this blogging community of wonderful teachers who inspire me to step it up and do a little more. I love the ideas everyone shares and the willingness to collaborate. It makes teaching much easier when I know I'm not in it alone.
Here's a little freebie to say THANKS for following me! It's from my shape packet above.
Click HERE to download these 2 pages.

Also, as a BIG THANK YOU I'm going to give away my new shape packet to 3 of you. All you have to do to qualify for the giveaway is COMMENT here on this post before MIDNIGHT TONIGHT (Utah time). I will select 3 winners at random and send you the packet so make sure you leave an email address.

Winners were Kim, Tina, and Mrs. Brinn. Thanks everyone for your great comments!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family, friends, and lots of love.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Great Books by Lorna Balian and Thanks VETS!

A long time ago, my librarian introduced me to Lorna Balian's books. I LOVE her books! Most of them are darling stories about one holiday or the other. Below you can see some of my favorites. If you click on the picture it will take to where you can read more about each one.
A great Christmas story about a big brother who doesn't believe in Santa. 
A darling Halloween story with a surprise ending!

A Thanksgiving classic!
A great Valentine's Day story.

After moving schools and many years later I forgot about her wonderful books until last month my team member, Marlyce, came bursting into my room all excited to show me a new book she had bought. It was a Lorna Balian book and my all time favorite. I can't believe I'd forgotten about it. Marlyce had a great idea to use the book for visualization with the kiddos. It's perfect for it! 

It's about a little boy named Patrick who finds an 'Aminal'. He puts it in his lunch bag and takes it home. But on the way he runs into his friend Molly and tells her he caught an Aminal. He describes it but doesn't show it to her because he needs to hurry home to feed it. That's where I stop reading and I have the kids talk about what they know so far about the 'Aminal'. Then I have them go draw a picture of what they think it looks like on the sheet below.
Click on the picture to download a PDF.
You could also use the story to teach about friendship and gossip. It is also great for predictions.
Ms. Balian published many more books than I have shown here. Her daughter Lecia Balian has redrawn many of the illustrations and many of the books are being re-published. However, some are still out of print. Hopefully, they will eventually redo them all.
Thanks Marlyce for reminding me about Lorna Balian books! 

Before I go, I want to THANK the wonderful VETERANS of this great nation for all their love of country and service they have or are giving. My awesome dad is a veteran of the Korean War and I know what a great sacrifice it is to serve in the military. 

I hope you all have a great week. I love your comments!