Black Friday shopping - ugh! Cyber Monday shopping - Hurray!

My daughter and I decided to brave the crowds late this morning and try Black Friday shopping. When we found a parking spot at the Mall, we thought maybe luck was with us and it wouldn't be so bad. Well........ when we entered the Mall, it was like merging onto a crowded highway. We had to walk the speed of the shoppers and my daughter and I are SPEED shoppers, so that was the first frustration for us. We did not realize that there was a DOOR BUSTER special until 1:00 p.m. at the store in which we were shopping, so when we went to pay for something, there were at least 20 shoppers in line! Needless to say, we put the merchandise away and left the store. After another attempt at a purchase, we looked at each other and agreed it was time to go! It's not that I do not enjoy shopping; I actually really enjoy it. But not with a hundred people. I just cannot wrap my head around buying something when I know I will be standing in line for another 20 minutes to purchase it. That is why I LOVE, LOVE shopping on line! I can shop in the peacefulness of my house and usually find what I need in half the time it takes to drive to the mall! Of course, there are pros and cons to both types of shopping; I am just saying that TODAY, mall shopping wasn't in the cards for us! So, I am really looking forward to TPT's Cyber Monday/Tuesday sale - shopping in the comfort of my own house AND I will be able to purchase those items on my TPT wish list that have been sitting there waiting for me for so long! Hurray!

My store will be on sale on Monday and Tuesday. I am offering a 20% discount on all my products and TPT is offering an additional discount which adds up to a 28% discount! You need to use this code at checkout: cmt12

I just revised my Christmas Around the World unit. If you have already purchased it, be sure to re-download. I think you will be happy with the revisions. If you are interested in checking it out, click the image to read the description and download the preview. 

New to my store this year is Christmas Writing Prompts - a great way to give little minds some new ideas to use for their daily journal activities.

Christmas Friends Draw Write Read Fun Pack has also been revised. Again, if you have purchased it, go to MY PURCHASES and click on the revision link. 

Click the image above to link up with my friends on Blog Hoppin to find more AWESOME resources! Happy Shopping!


Native American Horses

We had a REALLY busy week! Besides our regular literacy and math activities, we also did some pretty intense projects for our Native American unit and ended the week with a Thanksgiving Friendship Feast. I thought I would write about the horses  first and then share the other activities in another post.

I read "The Mud Pony" by Caron Lee Cohen. In this story, a young Native American boy wants a pony more than anything. He finally forms one from the mud he found next to the riverbank. The pony comes to life and helps the boy grow into a strong chief. At the end of the story, the pony returns to Mother Earth as the mud in which it was created.

I gave my kinders a large piece of Crayola Modeling compound and showed them how to mold a horse from it. Did they need help from me? Of course! As I helped each child, they read books in their book boxes. When their horses were molded, they stuck lollipop sticks into the compound to make legs. (I broke the sticks in half. Each child needed 2 lollipop sticks.) We let the ponies dry overnight.

The next day, the children took acrylic paint - yes, I gave them acrylic paint - and painted their horses. We had looked at pictures of horses the day before so they were pretty set on how they wanted their horses to look. They let their horses dry overnight.
The next day, they glued google eyes, a mane, and a tail on their horse using tacky glue. Voila! Horse complete!

More to come! Peace and blessings, Cindy

Native American Unit and Turkey Creations

Whew! Parent-teacher conferences and then my formal evaluation all within the last week!  Even after all the years that I have taught, I still get all worked up over conferences and I ESPECIALLY get all worked up over my formal evaluation! We did not have school on Friday, so my students came to school on Monday after a 3- day weekend and my evaluation was at 8:30 a.m.! But it is over and now I can draw a sigh of relief and get on with my regular teaching!

I was so excited to wake up on Sunday morning and find my Native American mini-unit featured in the TPT newsletter! I like to teach Native Americans at Thanksgiving BUT I really, really want to keep away from Native American stereotypes. Instead I concentrate on the lifestyles of the various tribes throughout the nation. I try to teach our students that the Native Americans of the past did not live in all the same ways; that the way they lived depended on WHERE they lived. My students do a mini book where they draw the illustrations that go with the pages using directed drawing techniques. I am so proud of how well they have been following directions! Their illustrations have been amazing!
We also made teepees from tortilla shells. The kids used Crayola markers to decorate them. They are presently drying in the hall. Tomorrow, I will hot glue them to a paper plate because they get very fragile when dry.
And finally, here are the step by step turkey creations that my kinders did last week.
You can find my Native American mini unit HERE or click the image. You can find my turkey creation resource HERE. It's free!

The colorful frames I used to frame the pictures are from The Enlightened Elephant. You can find them HERE.

More soon! Peace and blessings,

Gobble Gobble Giveaway

We are having a Gobble Gobble Giveaway on Blog Hoppin! TWO winners will receive 5 graphic bundles and 17 Thanksgiving themed packs great for grades Kindergarten through 2nd/3rd grade! You can enter now through November 13th.

Hop on over to Blog Hoppin to enter! Click the image to take you there! Good Luck!

Pumpkin Jack and Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf

Oh, I am SOOOOO glad that Halloween is over! I know it is such a fun day for kids, but YIKES, there is just something about Halloween that gets kids all hyped up - even if their parents are diligent with keeping the candy consumption low! :) It was so nice to turn the calendar over to November on Thursday!

So.... today we read one of my favorite books "Pumpkin Jack" by Will Hubbell. You might be familiar with this story..... A young boy places his pumpkin in the garden instead of the trash and finds out in the spring that his beloved pumpkin has become a sprout! It follows the growth of the sprout as it turns from sprout in the spring to pumpkin in the fall. I love this story because it goes along so well with the pumpkin life cycle mini unit that we do in science.

BEFORE we read this book, though, we did a float and sink experiment. I gathered random items around the classroom and chose children to drop them into a tub of water. We predicted whether the items would float or sink and recorded our findings on our Promethean board. When all the items had been shared, I said "Wait! We have one more item to try!" and I brought out our pumpkin. Amid the "Oohs and Ahhs", I also heard "No way that pumpkin will float!" So we took a vote and then put the pumpkin inside our tub - Wow! It floats! Pretty cool science experiment!

Then we looked at our pumpkin from the outside. We found the stem, the place where the blossom was, and counted the stripes. We predicted what the inside would look like. I took a knife, cut the pumpkin open, and we scooped out the seeds. The children put the seeds into groups of 10 and did an approximate count of them. Our pumpkin had about 200 seeds!

 Today, we took our Pumpkin Jack out to our garden and said "Goodbye" to him. But we will continue to watch him and hopefully in the spring, we will see some new sprouts!

While we were outside, we gathered leaves. Our maintenance crew is awesome, though, so it was a little difficult to find some fallen leaves! We did manage to find a few, though, and we brought them inside. I read another of my favorite books "Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf" by Lois Ehlert.

Then we put on our paint shirts, picked out a leaf and used small paintbrushes to paint the leaf red. The kids turned their leaf over and made a print onto white paper. They then took another leaf and painted the side of the leaf yellow and printed that leaf. THEN they took red AND yellow and printed an orange leaf. These turn out so pretty! When dry, I will staple the pictures to brown paper and give the kids strips of red, yellow, and orange paper. Their task will be to cut the strips into pieces and decorate the sides with a pattern. I will share them when they are finished next week.

Peace and blessings,