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A Happy New Year's Freebie

Hello Friends,
I thought I would share a Happy New Year freebie with you. It's quick, no prep, and gives our little ones a chance to think grown-up thoughts. The word RESOLUTION is a BIG word that little kids can learn. Many adults make resolutions to lose weight, exercise more, or save money. These are things that little kids really do not think about BUT they CAN think about how they can be better at sharing, cleaning up, or being kinder to others. It's a great way to get kids thinking about and reviewing classroom rules and behavior after the long winter break. Happy New Year's, my friends! Enjoy this freebie!
The image above will take you to my TPT store to download the freebie. The image below will take you to a google doc. Hope one of them will work for you!

Until next time! Happy New Year!


Gingerbread Friends Easy project and Freebie.... Merry Christmas!

Hello Friends,
I am one of the lucky ones who have the next two weeks off. I know, though, that some of you will be working this next week. I thought that I would share with you an easy and cute project that can be linked to the Common Core Standards as well as be fun for your students!

 We read 4 gingerbread stories which took a couple of days, BUT it was fun to announce that we were taking "A Gingerbread break" and then the kids stopped what they were doing and came over to listen to one of the stories! When the stories were all finished, we discussed the similarities and differences between the four stories as well as define the character in each one. We looked at the illustrations in each book and talked about the way illustrators create.

The four stories we read were: The Gingerbread Man, The Gingerbread Girl, The Gingerbread Pirates, and Gingerbread Baby.

The children chose their favorite gingerbread character, created it from paper, and then wrote about it. (I actually cut out the gingerbread shape from brown construction paper and they glued it upon their paper.) They used construction paper and oil crayons to decorate. I love how they are working so hard to construct sentences; some have taken off and others are still struggling BUT they ALL are trying hard and I LOVE that!

 If you would like to do this gingerbread project with your students, you can find it free by clicking HERE.

So.... that's it for awhile, my friends.... I will be taking a short break from my blog as I enjoy this special time with my family. I wish you all happiness and health for the coming year! I will be back soon!

Until next time!


Christmas Nativity Craft, Graham Cracker Gingerbread Houses, Reindeer in the Window, and Five For Friday!

Hello Friends,
It's Five For Friday on a Saturday and I thought I would share some of the Christmas fun that we have been doing at school. Many are repeats of what we do each year, but they continue to be exciting and fun for my kinders!

1.  This is one of my favorite kindergarten projects. I am lucky to teach in a Catholic school so that I can make these. They are simply cups turned upside down with a painted Styrofoam ball hot glued to the bottom. Add features and details with glue and fun stuff and you have an adorable Nativity.

I change them from year to year (to keep it fun for ME - wink). Here is a photo from what the kids are currently doing. This year we made Baby Jesus' manger with a cupcake wrapper and a piece of paper towel roll.

If you would like more detailed directions for how to do this Nativity, you can find them HERE.

2.  As part of our CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD unit,  we make 3D gingerbread houses. They are the traditional kindergarten graham crackers hot glued to milk cartons. We do them as an entire kindergarten which means that we drag our tables into our hallway, set them up for the kids while they are watching a Christmas movie and then bring them back out into the hall to decorate their houses. We have parent volunteers come in to help which makes set up easy! So much fun!

 3.  For the past few years, we have made these cute elves. The idea is from Deanna Jump's ELFCAPADES. In this photo, you can just see the elves, but the kids DID do writing after they made their elves; I just did not take a photo of them. :)

4.  We made these cute gingerbread pinning shapes that you can find HERE.  They look so cute in the window when the sun is shining... It isn't really shining in these photos!

5.  The reindeer in the window is such a fun project to do. The kids love it and they get really excited to write about what their reindeer is seeing. Plus they look adorable lined up in the hallway. If you would like to have the step by steps for creating it, you can find them HERE.

So, that's it for now.... Take care and enjoy this special time with your kids...

Click the image below to take you to Doodle Bugs Teaching Five For Friday!


Advent Wreath craft and I Teach Kinder linky

Hello Friends,
I am linking up with my friends from I Teach Kinder. We are sharing fun seasonal ideas that are perfect for our kinders!
I am sharing THREE options for creating an Advent wreath. All 3 are created from paper plates that have been painted green. If you can find green plates, they would work, too! Just make sure that they are strong plates. My students use Chinette plates because they are strong and can withstand paint and glue.

After the plates are dry, hot glue four 5 ounce paper cups that are turned upside down upon the plate. I try to use cups that are not overly decorated, but since the kids will be covering them, it really does not matter that much.

Using small pieces of NON-BLEEDING purple and pink tissue paper, students use a glue wash to attach the tissue to the cups. 
It IS messy when they are painting with glue. Make sure that you have wet wipes for hands available!
When the cups have been covered with tissue, students glue rolled up pieces of green tissue paper to the top of the green plate. Use a box cutter to make a cut at the top of each cup. Insert a craft stick with a paper flame attached for candles.


This wreath is not as messy, but is a bit more complicated for kids to make. It involves rolling construction paper into tubes, closing with clear tape, and making cuts along the bottom edge of each tube. Dip the tubes in glue and attach to the plate. Kids will have to hold each tube for awhile to make sure that they continue to stand. The tubes can also be hot glued to the plate, that involves an adult, of course!

 Once the candles are attached, the plate is decorated with green tissue paper. The candles are created in the same way as explained in Option 1. They are dropped inside each candle. 


 This option is the easiest, but also the most expensive. You will need 3 purple and 1 pink cup for each child. As you can see, I could not find a PLAIN pink cup, so had to settle for a decorated one! Hot glue the cups to the top of the plate.
 The kids use rolled up pieces of NON-BLEEDING tissue paper to decorate the outside edge of the plate. 
The flames of the candles are created from craft sticks and construction paper.

 Insert the flames into the cups!

I add a zippered bag to the BOTTOM of the plate in which to store the flames.

So, that's all for now, my friends... Check out these other links for more seasonal kindergarten ideas!

Until next time!


TPT Cyber Monday Sale.... Happy Shopping!

Hello Friends,
It is Cyber Monday and TPT is hosting a BIG sale! The promo code is SMILE and many of my TPT friends have been promoting it with photos of themselves as kids! It's been fun seeing all the toothless, frizzy haired pictures! Here's mine......I am  in 6th grade.  Of course, I thought I looked fantastic.... :) I remember how I got my hair to make those side curls. I attached pink tape to my face and slept that way all night. When I woke in the morning, I had red streaks on my face where the tape had been! I still cannot believe I did that to myself...... :)

You can click the image above to take you to my TPT store. All my resources are on sale and if you use the promo code SMILE, you can get up to 28% off on your entire purchase. Here are a few of my favorite resources:

Happy shopping, my Friends! Enjoy these wonderful Christmas days! Click the image below to take you to links to the stores of my Blog Hoppin' friends....


After Thanksgiving pics, Needs and Wants Freebie, NEW Story Elements resource, Five for Friday

Hello Friends,
I just love Thanksgiving! It is a holiday where families strive to spend the day together, there are no gifts to wrap, and decorating is USUALLY kept to a minimum. Don't get me wrong; I LOVE Christmas, too, but it's nice to have a holiday where all you have to do is think about the food!

I am joining with Doodle Bug Teaching for Five for Friday...

1.  I couldn't resist starting my post with this photo of my son's dog, Zooey. She was not too pleased to be dressed and photographed for a Thanksgiving picture! :)
2.  Our Thanksgiving table was beautiful this year. It was especially nice to be able to keep my eating to a reasonable amount because our food was very healthy this year... Well, ignore the gravy and mashed potatoes.... and I DID have a piece of pumpkin pie.....

3.  I revised my Christmas Around the World unit and am looking forward to starting it on Monday. We start the unit with what to pack in our suitcases. I bring in a suitcase filled with articles and we take turns sorting them into "wants" and "needs". I have purchased most of the items from Target and Walmart in their clearance aisle. I DO add a pair of kid's underwear and socks to the suitcase; they are not shown in this photo.

After we do this sorting activity together as a class, they "pack" their own suitcase in their Christmas Around the World" booklet.

If you would like the NEEDS and WANTS posters, you can get them in a Google doc form by clicking HERE. (Please note that sometimes your school/district does not allow downloads from sources outside of your network. If that happens, check with your district as to how to unlock the restrictions on your account.)

If you purchased (or want to purchase) my REVISED Christmas unit, click HERE.

4.  For the past few years, it has not been unusual for me have a couple of kids who come to kindergarten already reading. These kids do not need the constant drill of learning letters and sounds that is such a big part of our day in kindergarten. I have tried purchasing first/second grade workbooks to use in a guided reading group, but they just haven't worked for me. The skills might be appropriate for them, the content may not be. I do not believe in putting a five year into a workbook. So.... I have been working on this resource for a LONG time. I have put together activities that can be used with ANY book. I have found such success with these activities! My kiddos can read any trade book at any level and then we can use the activities in the packet to enrich what was read in the book. I have used these sheets with picture books AND chapter books. These sheets are also nice to print and have available for early finishers. After reading a book or story, kids choose a sheet to do that is both fun and educational.

This resource can be found by clicking the image below.

5.  Here's an easy 'THEN and NOW" activity to do. Staple plain paper into a colorful napkin. Kids draw pictures of things that happened (or were around) THEN and things that happened (or were around). They label their pages with words or sentences. We did this with our Thanksgiving Then and Now unit. :)

That's all for now, my friends... Make sure that you hop over to Doodle Bugs Teaching!
Until next time!