I am linking up with Michelle over at Fabulous in First for a Christmas Questionnaire.  It is no secret to anyone how much I love Christmas and the holidays.  Last year we spent Christmas in Disney and if you have never done that....I highly recommend it.  Although I was disappointed because the weather was not as warm as we had hoped but who cares when you are having this much fun. Right?  Here are a few off the thousands shots we took.... 

Seeing Cinderella's castle lit up like this on Christmas Day night was just purely magical.  As well as seeing all of the Christmas trees.  Oh man seeing all of these pictures makes me wish we were there this year.  :)

So this is what I like to do for Christmas when we are usually home.
 Hot Chocolate or Eggnog?
 Definitely Hot Chocolate.  With either lots of marshmallows or whip cream.  YUM!!!
Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them underneath the tree? 
When I was younger Santa did some wrapping and left some things unwrapped.  I would have to say now with my own we wrap some and we do leave some unwrapped so the tradition continues. 
Colored lights or white? 
If my hubby had it his way they would all be colored and I am not talking about the little colored bulbs it would be the old fashioned colored huge bulbs.  But since I do all of the decorating...I win so they are white and accented with color.  :) 
When do you decorate?
We have 3 December birthdays in our family so I feel like I can not decorate until we celebrate them.  So usually around the first of the month or if I get it all together then right after Thanksgiving. 
Real or Fake Tree?
Fake...Although we have had both.  I prefer fake...less mess.  :) 
Favorite Christmas Memories or Traditions?
My favorite tradition and I am sad we can't share it now with our own kiddos is a local nursery who used to set up for Christmas with all kinds of holiday displays and old time working snowmen, characters, and other holiday things.  We loved to walk through the display and see penguins playing on the ice and moving, holiday bakers baking Christmas cookies, and other fun things to look at from these animated puppets.  Some was lost to a fire and what was saved after they closed is on display now but it still isn't the same. 
Do you remember your favorite gift as a child?
My favorite gift as a child was receiving the Barbie townhouse...yes I played with Barbie dolls and loved every minute of it.  I was so excited to get that one year because I knew my parents had really splurged to get that for us and didn't really have the money to do so. 
Candy Canes. Yuck or Yum?
I like Candy Canes but I could do alright with or without one. 
Favorite Christmas Movie?
White Christmas with Bing Crosby, and Christmas Vacation
Do you shop online or at stores?
If I can avoid the stores I do...I don't like shopping in all of the crowds.  I prefer shopping online right now. 
Photo Cards, Letter or Store Bought Card? 
Photo Cards.  I love seeing everyone's family and neat ideas they come up with.  I just wish I had a creative way to display them.  I already have an idea for ours next year I can't wait to do it.  

This was fun ! 

Looking for a fun craft to do with your students right before the holiday????  Well if you are a kindergarten, first, or second grade teacher I am sure you have read the books by Helen Lester about Tacky the Penguin.  After spotting this book at the library an idea popped into my head to do something fun with the book and adapt a craft after it.  It was such a cute story about how the penguins celebrated Christmas and how they decorated Tacky.  And guess what????  You can pick it up free in my store.  Just a little holiday gift for all of my fabulous followers.  :)  I appreciate you all!  Inside this freebie you will get all the parts you need to create a cute display in your classroom and a graphing activity .  Want to create and igloo on your bulletin board I say go for it and add these adorable penguins around the igloo.  Hmmmm I might just do that myself too!  :)  
This is how we did our Tacky penguins.  Before the students arrived I made a cup of really hot water and added it to a bowl.  Then I took a good amount...use a lot if necessary of Epsom salt (available anywhere or even dollar store) and dissolved it in the hot water.  I let it cool and when the kids came in they were given paint brushes , construction paper (I chose blue), and a small amount of dissolved Epsom salt and water that was cooled.  The kids were asked to cover the whole paper with the mixture....at first they said "Nothing happened!"  You have to remind them they are not going to see anything right away and if they wait a while they might see some ice crystals.  If it doesn't turn out right they can add more after it dries.  Layering is fine.   

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Then I printed out the penguin for the kids to color and follow the directions to the glyph .  Each of them were given a small bag of skittles or M&M's all graciously donated by parents and then a small twizzler pull and peel in the color of black or red. 
Or you could purchase two large bags and distribute...can't  find them or want to use them then draw lines in red or black crayon. Have your sweet kiddos cut it all out and glue the candy on Tacky.  Whatever left over candy was theirs to enjoy.  They loved that!   
 And here is how it turned out.  It was a lot of fun.


If you want to download this freebie.  Go check it out at my store
Even teachers get projects right?  Well we have especially been getting A LOT of projects this year with my own kiddos.  I wanted to share with you real quick fun one we just did on  Ancient Greece.  We decided to make a pot just like a Greek artisan.  I can not take credit  for this idea but here is where you can see where the idea came from.  Another teacher named Mrs. Porter did this with her whole 6th grade class.  I can not even imagine doing this with a whole group.  AHHHH!  But I could see the potential as a small group or even create one as a whole class. 

What we did first was take two Styrofoam bowls and blew up a balloon.  We attached each end of the balloon to the bowls with tape to take the shape of vase.  Sorry about the picture the lighting was terrible.  :) 
Then we made a combination of flour, water, and a tablespoon of salt and covered it from top to bottom. 
And finally after two coats of paper mache' we let it dry and then spray painted it.  Oh special note....as it was drying we had to prop it to keep it stable .  This was important. 
And here is how it turned out after drying and painting two coats of spray paint and then we placed black silhouette images on it to make it look authentic.
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Have a wonderful and restful Thanksgiving.   
When I taught 3rd grade I would try and incorporate group work activities into my lessons.  Well you know how it goes sometimes when you let 27 students get into groups....it can go two ways.  In a perfect classroom everyone is staying on task and they are getting their work done.  And then you wake up and see that some of them are talking about the latest toy or game they got or making some crazy noise to make the group laugh.  You know this right?  So I thought of a way  to help redirect and focus my groups without me constantly having to use my teacher voice to interrupt the class. 
  So here is what I did.  I took 3 solo cups available at any store in the colors of red, yellow, and green. 

Each table had this color combination set on their table.  As they worked and stayed on task the group would remain on green, once they got a little off task the cup was switched to yellow, and then if they continued to stay off task the cup was turned to red and then they were directed to work with me to finish up their work .

If you are looking for a packet with a great group work activity in it check out my 3 states of matter packet where students take on the different roles of the story and come together and discuss.  Click on the picture below to check it out. 

Have a great week. 

As it is getting close to Halloween I thought I would share a cute activity one of my teaching buddies did with her kinders.  It was absolutely adorable and the kids loved it.  They also turned out super cute.  First, she shared the book The Ghosts Dinner by Jacques Duquennoy  .  If you haven't read this book it is a cute not scary book about some Halloween ghosts who sit down to dinner and whatever they eat for dinner is what color they turn.  You can buy the book but it is very expensive used.  I was able to snag one up off of E-bay but I paid about 10.00 dollars for it so check out your garage sales, thrift stores, or any used book store.  You don't want to miss sharing this one.  You can buy it used on Amazon but it does cost a bit more.  Or check it out at the library or buy one copy and share it with your team.  ;) 
So here is what she did.  She took some white construction paper and cut it into ghost shape.  If your lucky enough to have parent volunteers have them cut out the shapes for you.  Always a big help. 
Then on computer paper she had the phrase "My ghost ate......" and cut the strips and put on the back of the ghosts.                                                                                                                                                        

After sharing the book with the kids the kids wrote down what their ghost ate.  On the other side the kids added eyes and colored the food that the ghost ate on their ghost .  So if they ate pizza....like this little ghost did then they would draw all of the toppings that was on the pizza on their ghost. 
Adorable right?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Have a very spooky boo filled Halloween. 
How many of you hear this countless times during the day???  Moving down from third grade to kindergarten this phrase came out more times than I could count.  Luckily, we had a bathroom right in the room.  I also noticed another little thing about my sweet little darlings.  If one would ask then all of them would need to go even if I was in the middle of a what I thought was a fun lesson or activity we were doing.  I thought how could they possibly want to miss this cool science experiment to head to the bathroom???? Wishful thinking on my part.  There must be something magical about a bathroom at this age....I have yet to understand it.  :) 
  So after hearing "Teacher....I have to go to the bathroom."  (Because in kindergarten that is what your name is until they learn it).  I decided to come up with my own signal to teach the kids at the beginning on what to do if they needed to go to the restroom. I have to tell you it was my own MAGICAL key to a bathroom phrase free classroom. 
  In my room, I taught the kids how to use the thumbs up sign to let me know they needed to go to the bathroom.  We were sitting on the carpet one day and I said I have a new way for you to let me know that you need to use the restroom.  So I showed them the thumbs up sign.  I told them they could raise their little thumbs anytime they needed to go and I would just look at them , nod my head, and they could go.  No need to disturb anyone .  So we tested it out.  I started reading a story together and I stopped and pointed to one of my darlings and asked them to pretend they needed to use the restroom...I asked the rest of the class to show me how they ask to go to the bathroom.  Of course I said do we yell out "Teacher, I need to go to the bathroom!!!"  Really loud ....cue the giggles from the kids.  :)  Or do we raise our thumb like this.  Of course you hope they choose the second answer.  They did and then I say what do I do....I say I look at you , nod my head and you go quickly and quietly.  
                                                       Clipart courtesy of www.mycutegraphics.com

Any great tips you have on how you get your students to the bathroom without disrupting your class?  Let me know.  I would love to hear from you. 


Hey everyone!!!  A real quick post about my newest packet that is hot off the presses.  I don't know about you but September flew by and so did my time.  I was glad to get this done because usually after I complete my Daily ABC packet I like to start in on CVC words with the kids.  If you are not sure what packet I am talking about you can get it in my store. 

I have decided to make little packets for the CVC words and will make a bundle after they are complete.  I hope you like what you see and go check it out .  Also I am giving away my first copy to any of my Facebook followers if you are not a Facebook follower head on over to become one leave me a comment and I will choose one winner tomorrow night. 
Happy U.S. Constitution Day!  Our school is celebrating Constitution Day by having everyone where red, white, and blue.  I wanted to share with you a quick craft I plan on doing with the kids today to go along with our theme and a book I plan on sharing. 
  As I was looking around on Pinterest....as I always do for inspiration  :)  I came across this craft that tied in perfectly with the theme.  I saw this over at Adventures in Kindergarten
And finally to wrap up our activities I will share this book with the children to tie in our theme today. 

If we have time we may watch Charlie Brown's Birth of the Constitution.  If not, we will save it for a Friday afternoon treat!  :) 
Now that school is back in session I don't know about you but I love to save some time at the end of the day. :) I thought I would share how I save time with my agenda books. Before I moved down to kindergarten I taught 3rd grade. My students were issued an agenda book to write down their homework. My responsibility was to go around the room, check , and sign to make sure their homework was copied correctly.           Well at the end of the day it is CRAZY busy. :) So an idea popped into my head instead of writing my signature over 30 times I went online and found a self inking stamper similar to this one and used my initials or my school signature as I like to call it to stamp away those agendas. The first time I used it I was amazed at how well it worked and how much time it saved me. It's the little things!     :)

I hope you are all enjoying your first, second or third beginning weeks of school.  :) 

Anyone who follows my blog knows how much I love Pinterest.  :)  Well maybe you have seen this idea on there about having your students or your own kids hold up a chalkboard stating their first day and what grade they are going into.  It usually looks like this.

Well as I was shopping at my favorite store today TjMaxx and look what I found.  I am soooo excited!!!!  They had all kinds of colors and sizes and I knew one of these was going to end up in my shopping cart.  :) 
What great finds have you found for back to school.  Link up with me and share a great find you will use in your classroom or a great product you created for the new school year. 
I would appreciate when you link up to add my logo at the top to your blog post or feel free to pin it.  I appreciate it.  :) 
I can not believe that August is already here.  I have so much to do and so little time to do it.  How about you????? 
 Anyway I thought I would share with you the latest from Farley over at her blog Oh Boy 4th Grade.  I love linking up and for the first time ever....LOL .... I remembered to do it on the first of the month.  There is hope !  : )  So many exciting things happening this month for me and one of them is celebrating this blog's one year anniversary.  I want to do something fun and exciting so if you have any ideas please send them my way.  I am always open to suggestions.  I had to share with you this funny picture that I found on Pinterest and I think it truly applies to me when I see a back to school ad that always tends to creep up on you in July. 

Anyway here are my thoughts for this month! 
My Back to School must haves are pretty important.  :)  I don't know about your kids but mine go through the glue sticks...we never seem to have enough throughout the year.  I love to start the year organized and ready to go.  Ideas for where papers and things will be placed always starts my year off right.  Laminating.....My name is Julie and I am addicted to laminating.  :)  I love to use my laminator...my hubby gave me one as a present several years ago and I have to say it is my favorite gift....I know I need help.  ;) 
I wanted to share with you a great product that is added to my list for back to school.  It is from another Julie and I think it will be great for center work or small group work with my kindergartners. 
And if you are looking for a fun activity to start the year off check out my latest packet for a year long writing activity with your students to use in those last few minutes of the day. 
See you soon! 

Are you ever wondering what to do with those last few minutes of your school day when you are waiting for the buses to be called?  I have to say that it is the most challenging part of the day for me. There is no time to do something and to be honest sometimes your lessons just wrap up earlier than expected.   So instead of all the craziness  or down time as I like to call it I figured we would wrap up our day differently this year.  Here is my plan.  Once everyone is packed up we will and prepped to go home we will gather on the carpet and share a favorite moment that happened during our school day.  Was it a great lesson, a great assembly we had, a special visitor, or anything the kids want to remember from our day.   Near my carpet area I plan on having this on a board we can pull out if you don't have the space or simply place it on a wall near our carpet area.  I have 3 themes in this set to choose from a bee, beach ball, and owls. 

First I will pick a theme and for this purpose I chose the owls .  Each day the kids will be asked to help me fill in the blank on our wall.  It says " Our day was a hoot when..." 

Tip:  To save paper and time you can run these on cardstock and use a dry erase marker to record events week to week.  I plan on doing that as well!  :) 

This will take just a few minutes each day to record what our favorite part of the day. 

Now Friday will be a different kind of day.  Before the end of the day I plan on using our writing time to revisit the board and talk about what our Hoot of the week was for Monday -Thursday.  The students will be given slips of paper or another time saver laminate the large voting paper to record the votes for the best Hoot of the week. 
We will tally the amount of votes and decide the Hoot of the Week and head back to our desks to use our handy graphic organizer included to write about our favorite Hoot of the week.  When writing is completed students will file it away in their labeled writing folders that I will have designated for this activity.  (Immediate writing sample collected already in case you forget to collect one for the month!  ) 
Tip:  I plan on copying a class set of these ahead of time (this summer) to save time . 
At the end of the month each student will choose one of their writings from the month and decide which one will go into their end of the year booklet that we are creating...that's right at the beginning of the year...because the end of the year is always busy.  So by the end of the year the students will put their books together and have terrific memories of our school year.  And the best part is I can choose some of their writings for a class book to share with my class next year.  And if I need a writing sample right away guess what I have three other samples  month by month if I need them. 
I hope you find it useful in your room too! 

I hope you all are having a great Fourth of July!  I have an evening of dinner and fireworks ahead of me and my family.  I wanted to thank you all for following by sharing a freebie for all of my great  followers.       Here is a little project we used in my classroom this year that was a hit with the kids and a really cute display on my bulletin board.  I re-created it here at home and since I didn't have one large sheet of construction paper I just used two pieces glued together and folded it in half. 

Next I took the two papers of character traits and book review and glued them on the inside . 

Then the fun began by reading a book and then have your students fill in things about one character of the book , share their character traits, and then give a summary of the book.  Students then draw a picture of their favorite part of the book and then share a favorite character. 

Once the inside of the book review is complete students can decorate the outer cover of the book using one of the characters they wrote about inside the book review.  Go and pick up your freebie...click on the picture to get. 
If you would like to see an adorable one using the gingerbread girl or gingerbread boy check out my gingerbread unit for sale in my store. 

Have a safe and happy Fourth!  

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