Sunday, December 13, 2015

Gingerbread Palooza Days 5, 6 & 7

Day 5: Snowball Fight
So the Gingerbread Friends opened the window to go out and play in the snow but it was too COLD so they shut the window and quickly came up with a plan B: marshmallows!  They invited their friends snowman and nutcracker to join in on the fun.  We got to use and eat the marshmallows later in the day when we played time BINGO and used them as tokens.

Day 6: Garden Party
Feeling bad about the mess they made the night before, the G-friends decided to do the opposite tonight: clean up something.  So they spruced up our classroom garden a bit.  This garden table is an awesome thing I received from Donors Choose!  It's nice to have some green even in the wintertime up here in Alaska.

The peas are looking pretty pathetic...
Monty the mint plant needs a haircut...
They gifted us 2 grow-in-a-jars that have a special component at the bottom to help soak up extra water so the plants are not affected.  Super cool!  Found them at Home Depot...

Day 7: It's LEGO time!
Everyone loves LEGOs, even the G-friends.

This is the last week of school before our 2 week winter break.  Then I'm off to Kona, Hawaii for a week. . . and I wouldn't be surprised if the G-friends joined me by sneaking in my suitcase ;-)

Friday, December 4, 2015

Gingerbread Palooza: days 3 & 4

Listening to a story on iPod is something the Gingerbread Friends like to do too!
They brought us some books-on-iPod and put them in the book case where they are kept.

On day 4, the Gingerbread Friends got into our 'Building' cupboard and, after doing Eeny Meeny Miney Ginger to decide what they were going to play with, they got out the puzzles!

A note from the Gingerbread Friends
Duck tape is preventing him from falling over!
I found these in July: individual, color-you-own puzzle
In addition to the puzzles, there was a gingerbread cookie shaped box with 4 letters in it.
Students needed to figure out the order of the letters to determine the name of one of the gingerbread girls.

TGIF everyone. . . it's been one of those weeks!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Gingerbread Palooza: days 1 & 2

I'm such a good actress!
I should've won an Oscar Tuesday morning around 11:00a.m. as I opened my snack cupboard and the Gingerbread Friends jumped out at me with cookies, books and a note for us all.  My students are convinced they "jumped" out at me, which is awesome!  So I played dumb and told my class I forgot it was December 1st and should've known that the Gingerbread Friends would show up and surprise me like that because this is the 3rd year in a row that they've come to my classroom.  I've heard from several parents that their child came home with exciting news ;-)
Tuesday after school I was thinking of what antics the G-friends could be up to and my inspiration came from a story I was going to have kids listen to at the Listen Center during our small Reading Groups: The Gingerbread Pirates.  I quickly went looking for a teacher that had a play ship...but no luck.  So I decided to make a ship in my garage and ended up staying up past midnight (I'm a glutton for punishment).
Let's do this...quickly!
Watching the Voice and building a ship!
Before I spray painted it and adding the final details.

The ship turned out pretty darn awesome and their reactions were priceless!

Arrrrrrrrrgh you inspired?  If you're doing this fun experience during the month of December, I would LOVE to hear about what your G-friends do!  My friend Stephanie in California's G-friend are on vacation tomorrow at the beach because behavior wasn't good today....genius!   I should do the same maybe because 2 of my students stole most of the chocolate treasure right out of the boat.  But they quickly ratted each other out when I discovered it and made a big deal of it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Gearing up for the Gingerbread Friends

It's time once again for. . .

Gingerbread Palooza!
For the past 3 years now, four delicious little friends have invaded our classroom for the month of December.  They are a playful bunch and we come into our classroom each morning eager to see what they were up to the night before.  Here are a few snapshots from last year:
They got into our bank cash register and left us chocolate money!
They played with LEGOS one night...all night long!
They tried to go fishing in our class pet's fish tank!
They found a way to go sledding indoors!

I'm always on the lookout for Gingerbread paraphernalia and was luckily at a Hobby Lobby this past July when they were having a Christmas in July sale and I stocked up!  And this past weekend I found this cake mold at Michael's:

I bought a Gingerbread cake/cookie mix and tried it out. . .and it was DEElicious!  I think on Friday morning the G-friends will be using our toaster oven when the kids come in and we'll do a writing/baking lesson with this "present" from them.
I found this gingerbread shaped journal at a CARRS store, randomly, the other night and the G-friends will use it to write us notes each day.

And we, in turn, will write about their antics in our special Gingerbread Journals.

I absolutely LOVE the month of December with the G-friends.  This is also the month of doing a lot of AIMSWeb assessing in math and reading and so any chance I get to infuse fun into my classroom (whether it goes along with curriculum or not) I DO IT!  Hey, Nike's slogan works for me: Just Do It!

If you're interested in bringing the G-friends into your classroom, check this out: