Thursday, December 4, 2014

Gingerbread Palooza 2014: Days 1, 2 & 3

They're baaaaaaaaaack!
Monday morning, after a MUCH needed 4-day rest, it was story time & snack and I went to get out snack for those who needed one and it happened.....just like last year: I opened the cupboard and a letter and several books fell out on me.  And there stood the culprits on top of a cookie tin...the Gingerbread Friends!  Even though they scared me and riled up my students, they brought us gingerbread cookies for snack :-D

Then on Tuesday, we came into the classroom and found this MESS on the front carpet:
The GBF thought it would be fun to get out my big drawer of extra crayons and color.  Even though they don't have a binder (like each of my students) they still wanted to color a December binder cover.  AND they left us a hint....the letter G on the paper.  We concluded that one of the GBF's names starts with that letter.

Then today (Wednesday), we came into the classroom and as students put away their stuff and I put some things on my desk, the GBF were discovered.  I have a "bank" in my classroom each morning and students get paid for coming to school AND bringing their home-school binder back so we can make sure no money or notes go unread.  Well the GBF thought it would be fun to get into my cash register:

Even though they made a MESS, they did bring chocolate (coins).

They also left us a little something...
We ended up opening it and figuring it out during reading groups.

One of our GBF's names is Gina!

One of the best things about this Gingerbread FUN is that my students are doing a quick journal entry each day to describe what the GBF are up to.  This year, for some reason, I just can't squeeze in enough writing time and it's really bothering this makes me happy!

Can't WAIT for what happens tomorrow with the GBF!!

Monday, December 1, 2014

TPT Cyber Monday SALE!

Click to go to my store.

I don't know about you, but I did not get up at the crack of dawn the day after Thanksgiving to go out and deal with the CrAzInEsS of Black Friday.  Cyber Monday seems so much easier and relaxed...if only we didn't have school :-D And speaking of Cyber Monday...rush on over to TPT and take advantage of all of the HUGE savings on all of the AWESOME teaching resources that are available!  All my stuff is on sale and I'm going to go pick up all the stuff I've had my eye on ;-)

I got an idea this evening when my daughter and I went to Target.  Of course we always peruse the dollar bins and they had some cute felt advent calendars. It hit me...MathVent!  For the month of December, each (school) day there will be a new math challenge problem to solve from the MathVent calendar.  Since this is a last minute idea...and I can't NOT do it since I'm already so excited about it...I'm flying by the seat of my pants with it.

The white tickets are school days when there will be a math challenge and the red tickets are non school days.
If students correctly answer the math challenge, they get a star to add to their MathVent calendar.

And finally I just wanted to share 2 pictures from this weekend.  Our tradition is to put up the tree on Thanksgiving Day (if we're not hosting).  We have vaulted ceilings in our new house so my husband suggested getting a new, bigger tree and thought a 7ft. tree wouldn't be tall enough.  So I went to Michael's late Wednesday night and bought a 9 foot tree.....holy tall Batman!  I had to use a ladder to put it together and fluff out the branches, ha!
We put our ornaments on the next day.

We also collect Christmas ornaments.  We take a picture of each one and write up when and where we got it and any other details.  Then, as we put ornaments on the tree, we read them aloud and have a great time remembering the good old days.  My son and daughter also make their own ornament each year.  My daughter always has a ball and my son always has a flat ornament.  As we decorated the tree, we put all of hers together to remember the different styles in which she did get her thinking about what she wanted to do this year.  I LOVE family traditions!

Have a fantastic week everyone!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Gingerbread Palooza is almost here!

Four days off have been well spent wearing jammies, eating good food, setting up the Christmas tree, playing with my kids and getting outside in the snow we finally got.

December 1st is creeping up and I'm so excited because it's my second annual Gingerbread Palooza and it's going to be bigger and better this year and I hope to inspire you to get in on the fun!
These 4 friends will be up to their usual hijinks in our classroom for the whole month of December!  Each day when they walk in the door, my students will find them: playing with LEGOs, fishing for Goldfish, planting gingerbread seeds, sledding on our "Read to Self" chairs and many more outrageous things!  One of the best things about doing this is the daily journaling that goes along with the hijinks.  This year especially, I'm struggling to find enough time each day for writing and this will be part of their "Morning Work".

Here it is....I'm so stinkin' excited!

I've been looking HIGH and LOW for anything and everything gingerbread, so this unit is as fun as possible!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and enjoyed time at home with family as much as I did!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Pigeon Week

I fell in love with all of Mo Willems' "Don't Let the Pigeon..." books!  They are so funny and make me want to read about more of the pigeons' ideas.  
This one started it all:

I decided to bring the pigeon (which I named Pete) the life so he could create a bit of havoc for the first week of November.  Why the first week of November?  You'll have to read his letter to my students.

So here are some pictures of the fun we had:
I would change the text everyday to silly things.

This is what lead us to discover Pete the first day.
Camped out in his nest, with a letter and a book for us.
Helium balloon pigeons!

He's such a little troublemaker!
He replaced the binder cover of every one of my students!

Everyday we got a letter from Pete which taught us about pigeons.

Does this sound like fun for YOUR classroom?  If so, check this out

We had so much fun during this special week, the kids were so excited to come into the room each day to see if Pete did anything :-)  They didn't want him to leave. . .but the void in their hearts will soon be filled by 4 little Gingerbread men because the 2nd annual Gingerbread Palooza is coming up after this week. Stay tuned!

Monday, November 17, 2014

I'm baaaaaaack...with a FREEBIE!

Hi, my name is Jaime and 
I haven't blogged since September...

This school year has proven to be very busy and challenging and it's been getting the best of me and kicking my butt.  But, with Thanksgiving break in sight, I'm getting my mojo back and decided to carve out time to blog and offer a FREEBIE.

I've got a few readers right now who really need to focus on fluency at school AND at home.  I purchased a fantastic leveled reading passage kit from Lakeshore Learning that helps me accomplish this in 1 minute increments each day that I do my small reading groups.
I created a self assessment rubric to go along with any passage, whether at home or at school.

But since Thanksgiving is coming up, I wanted to find a way for students to work on fluency AND learn about turkeys so we can do an informative piece later this week.  So voila

I feel like the little engine that could, seeing that Thanksgiving break is only 8 days away....but who's counting?  ME!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Five for Friday

This was our first FULL week of school (K and 1 that is) and my class this year is proving to be more of a challenge and requires more time and strictness than normal.  So I'm THRILLED it's Friday and time to link up at

My week was that much better because of these five things:

I FINALLY finished a video tour of my classroom, so come follow me inside!
Click on the pic to view the video

You can find resources you saw in the video right here.
Click on the pic to see the other project I'm hoping to get funded.
I posted a project a week ago and it has already been funded!  So we're going to be gardening in our classroom during our long, snowy winter!

 I've been off and on sick this week with the flu? and 2 of these babies really helped me feel a bit better!

 Pumpkin Cauliflower Soup/Mash
Yummy!!  Thank you Taste of Home magazine!  Click on the pic for the recipe.
Cross Country Running
I'm co-leading our K-6 team this year and the awesome trails we have next to our school make this such a FUN after school event.  100 kids (one fourth of our school) is involved in this!

Have a FANTASTIC weekend!