Christmas calendar - kid photos, kindness elves with a twist, an EASY Christmas tree Math activity, gingerbread houses, and a break...

Hello Friends,

A few weeks ago, I shared with you my idea for a calendar gift that did not involve hand prints. I thought I would share with you the finished product pages from one of my students. We made a few changes from my previous post. I have to say that even though there is no paint mess with these pages, it STILL takes a long time to create. I would suggest starting it MUCH earlier than I did. We did one page a day for 3 weeks and that was a bit crazy. I think next year, I will start it earlier and only do a couple months a week.

I LOVE using Kindness elves in my classroom! This year, I changed it just a little. Instead of moving the elves around each day, I took photos of the elves in various places in my classroom. 

Then I imported the photos onto notes that were left in the place where the photos were taken. The elves left a note on the first day telling the kids that they were in the classroom, but they could not see them until they started seeing KINDNESS in the classroom. Here is the first note: 

Here are a few examples of the notes they left:

On the day before they left, they showed themselves to the kids congratulating them on all the random acts of kindness that they saw occurring in the classroom. On the LAST day, they left the kids a few classroom gifts; one of them being this classroom book about paying it forward...

We made these Christmas tree math ornament trees. The kids colored the ornaments with red and yellow oil crayons and then used green water paint for the tree. They added construction paper gifts and did the math story problem. Easy peasey! You can click the photo below for the words and Christmas tree.

I have been doing gingerbread house making with my class for over 20 years and with my family for that long or longer!

But even after doing them for that long, we still have building malfunctions. This little guy's roof caved in and it needed some repair work!

So, that's it for now, my friends.... I will be taking a short break from blogging, Facebook, and all things school for awhile. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Until next time,


Let's Make a Saint!

Hello Friends,

October and November are months when we think about saints in my Catholic school. I have been making paper saints with my kiddos for years and years. Throughout those years, I have worked to refine the project into something that is easy to create, but also educational and fun. FINALLY, I think I have a resource that will work for most early education Catholic school educators.

My students have been making these saints since mid-September. I now only have to show them an example and give them the materials that they need. They are usually able to complete them independently.... now...... When I first introduced them, we had to do them together step by step. Here are a few examples of student made saints...

I like to give my students a little information about the saints. There are MANY books and websites that can be used for information! I created a small poster for each saint with just a few facts about each one.

If you lack the time to create a paper saint, I have included coloring pages for each saint.

 If you are interested in this resource, you can find it by clicking the image below. One thing to note..... Because this project has been a work in progress for many years, I have made a few revisions to the labels and symbols since taking the photos. What that means is that the symbols you see in my blog photos might not match the ones provided in the resource.

So... that's it for now, my friends....

Until next

Bats and Owls..... and.... Is it Really Fall here in Central Illiinois?

Hello Friends,

1.  We made our traditional 3D bats and owls this week. I absolutely love doing this project with my kiddos! They learn so much and it aligns nicely with our kindergarten science standards.

2.  It's so hard to believe that it is fall here in Central Illinois! My hostas are actually blooming again and the fall colors that we are used to on the trees just aren't there this year...

3.   But...... When I see my husband on his combine, I DO know that it is Fall..... This is the time of year when I hardly see him and remember how hard he works in the fall....

4.  Our priest is a HUGE Cubs fan. A few years ago, he promised the students in our school a day off if the Cubs won the World Series.... Well... friends... guess what? No school on Monday for us... yep... we have a priest who keeps his promises....  Even a Cardinal fan like me can reap the benefits of the Cubs win.... :)

5.  Finally...... When I was bungee jumping taking my fitness walk 2 weeks ago, I broke 2 bones in my ankle and am once again, I am in a boot..... sigh... I really need to stop bungee jumping.... not watching where I am going......

That's it for now, my friends... Make sure you visit Kacey at Doodle Bug Teaching!

Until next time,

Using iPads to Create a Pumpkin Activity and Pumpkin Patterning

Hello Friends,

It's been another crazy week (s). I cannot believe that the last week of the quarter is next week! How did that happen? Soon, we will be writing Thanksgiving plans. So crazy how fast time goes!

 We have been doing fall activities. Yesterday, I took my kids out to our school garden. I divided them into pairs and gave each pair an iPad. They took photos of different parts of the pumpkin plant; which by the way, is totally taking over the garden! They found huge leaves, vines, blossoms, little pumpkins, big pumpkins...all sorts of things..... I then took their photos, downloaded them onto my computer, projected them upon my Promethean board, and the kids decided which photos they wanted to keep and which ones they wanted to delete. I sent them to Walgreens to get prints. Today, they took the prints and sequenced them upon a poster. I was thinking that there are all kinds of things they could do with a project such as this... They could take photos of living and non-living things. They could do a scavenger hunt for objects that show the colors of the rainbow. They could take photos of insects that they see. All sorts of ideas are swirling through my head!

We did pumpkin investigations. I only got a few photos of the activities. It's so hard to take photos while trying to keep control and teach at the same time! This photo shows measuring the height of their pumpkin. They also measured circumference, investigated float/sink, and explored the inside of their pumpkin.

 When the investigation was over, they painted their pumpkins!

 I still do patterns in kindergarten. We don't call them AABB or ABC patterns, but we DO create patterns. Here is a fun activity for the fall to do with patterns.

So that's it for now, my friends!

Until next time ...