Friday, December 31, 2010

How to Make Reindeer Hats

I had so many people ask for my reindeer hats I decided to make my first ever how to blog!

How to Make Reindeer Hats
Fold 12x18 brown construction paper in half so it is 9x12. Use the template below to cut out the shape. My original was slightly bigger than my scanner so you will have to extend your lines a bit.
Download antler template HERE

It should look like this:

Prepare eyes and nose pieces ahead of time for the students to cut out.

Download  a template for the eyes and nose HERE

I had the kids glue them on before we started the folding. The folding is a little tricky so it helps to have additional adults around if possible. I had one adult and then asked my more with-it kids to go around helping the others and we were fine.

Open to full size.

Fold as shown.

 Straight edges should meet on the mid line (original fold line.)

As the students finished gluing their eyes and nose on I came around and stapled.

This makes the part that will sit on their head.

And there you have it! I hope my instructions and templates will help you enjoy these cute hats next year!


Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Words in the New Year

I am usually addicted to school work but I made a real effort to not work over the last week to give myself a break and recharge. Well... I did too good a job! I neglected my blog for a whole week (gasp) and my creative juices are clogged rather than flowing.   I did note before break that my early finishers were getting bored with the weekly word searches so I made this making words activity.

  Click Here to Download
They can cut the letters off the bottom to manipulate. I know some of my higher students will take on the challenge!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Snowmen at Night

I plan to read this book to my class after the break.

Not only is the story creative but the kids LOVE to look for the hidden pictures on each page.

Then I will ask each student to imagine they have built a snowman in their own yard. What do they think their snowman might do at night? You can download the writing response paper HERE

I will post their writing with the TLC snowman we will be making although I think I'll have them add silver stars.

If you don't have the TLC book, Mrs. Jump has something similar for sale on TPT. You can take a look at Her stuff is always really cute!

OR you can have them draw the scene they are describing.



Monday, December 20, 2010

It's a Wonderful Life

I usually blog about school ideas but I am sitting here crying and felt the urge to share something personal. My husband has been out of work for over a year and I have been very stressed about money. I try not to show it, still the cheerful, ever-patient 1st grade teacher on the outside, though on the inside I am feeling a bit like the Grinch.  In the last two days we have received two anonymous Christmas cards in the mail with gift cards included. Now I can go to Toys R Us and get my kids a few extra presents. My mind is reeling, wondering if it is from someone from school, someone who appreciates what a wonderful Cub Scout leader or baseball coach my husband is, a neighbor or friend? I am so touched that people are thinking of us in our time of need. I feel a little bit like Jimmy Stuart at the end of It's A Wonderful Life. So if you are out there Clarence, thanks! I am going to go enjoy my family now. Happy Holidays!!!!


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tricky Y the robber guy

I promised someone I would post this poster and rhyme I use with my class.
Tricky y the robber guy
steals the sounds of e and i

I did not create it, Smurfyteach shared it on proteacher.
Click to download


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Was your last day as crazy as mine?

Was your last day as crazy as mine?

First off, it was Pajama Day. Enough said.

9:00 70's Singing Reindeer Performance 1
Every year we have two holiday sing along assemblies (since our whole school doesn't fit in the caf.) The teachers always dress up as a reindeer of a different decade and make a fool of ourselves singing to the kids. I didn't think to take pictures unfortunately but picture 25 teachers with weird wigs, antlers, sequins, furs, Mrs. Roperish dresses, etc. Our music director changes up the words to fit the theme so for instance we sang,  "We wish you a groovy Christmas."

9:10-10:10 We made these adorable Rudolph hats!

10:15 70's Singing Reindeer performance 2 and Holiday Sing Along
The kids learn many holiday songs in music. My favorite are the ones they know sign language for. The older kids play some songs on the recorder and xylophone. 
Each class is assigned a part to the Twelve Days of Christmas.
It is a sweet tradition at our school that I enjoy!

11:15 We watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas and made these great Grinches from Deanna Jump! It was a good thing I picked the cartoon version and not the Jim Carrey version because one sweetie told me in a panicked voice that she and her friend were afraid of that movie!

1:00-2:15 PARTY
6 tables were set up with activities. One cute mom also did holiday face painting!
1. Beading bracelets or ornaments
2. Cupcake decorating and eating
3. Learn how to cut snowflakes
4. Xmas tree sewing & decorating with foam shapes
5. Snowman ornament with the child's face
6. Play dreidels with gelt!

2:30 I read Olive the Other Reindeer.

Then I gave them my presents which was a book, a candy cane, and a package of magic reindeer food! I told them to sprinkle it in their yard on Christmas Eve and it would attract Santa's reindeer!
Then the kids presented me with a gift basket filled with gift cards to my favorite places and a sweet book of drawings made by my class!

WHEW! Busy but fun day. I went out for drinks with some teacher friends and absolutely CRASHED out on the couch last night!

I hope all my friends in blogland have a wonderful, RELAXING holiday vacation!!!


Friday, December 17, 2010

I bit his head off!

 We read many gingerbread stories this week and compared them.

I gave each student a gingerbread cookie and asked them to take just one bite.
Then they wrote their name on a paper gingerbread boy and tore the body part off where they just bit.

We then created a pictograph together and analyzed our data. Each student also colored in a bar graph.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Rudolph needs a vacation!

I loved how adorable our reindeer applications turned out! A big thanks to First Grade Teaching  for sharing! You can go to to download  the application.

First we read Rudolph

I told the kids that Rudolph really needed a vacation so Santa was looking for a replacement. We made a bubble map brainstorming qualities that would make a good reindeer. Then we completed the reindeer application.

My favorite responses were:
-I have a map so we won't get lost.
-I have a GPS and a flashlight.
-I am speedy fast!
-I am quiet so the kids won't hear me.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Nutcrackers On Strike!

We made these cute nutcrackers (TLC winter book-although I changed a few things.)

But the kids said they looked sad (because I changed the eyes I think.) So we decided that the nutcrackers were tired of eating nuts and we wrote about why and what they would rather be eating.

This is my first attempt at attaching a google doc so I hope it works!

Click to download My Nutcracker


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Snail Olympics!

Ladies and Gentleman, welcome to the Snail Olympics!

Event 1: The Big Race
How many centimeters can your snail travel in 2 minutes? We followed the slime trail with a piece of string and then measured that against a ruler.

Whisper cheering was allowed. "Go snail go!"

Event 2: Hurdles
How many pencils can your snail make it over in 2 minutes?

Event 3: Mountain Climbing
Can your snail make it to the top in 2 minutes?

Event 4: Tunneling
How many tubes can your snail make it through in 3 minutes?

No matter how their snail did, everyone had a blast!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!

This book is a hoot I tell you!  (Do I sound like Junie B?) My kids were laughing hysterically but they also were pretty sad and nervous when they thought Junie was going to give May coal. Boy were they surprised at the ending!  I think it is pretty rare to find a book that is so funny but also teaches a terrific lesson.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Teacher Tipster (Power Towers)

I love this idea! Headed to get some small cups right now!!!


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Live Snail Lab!

Did you know that snails have 15,000 tiny teeth on their tongue? Technically it is a radula but you get the idea.

Today students explored live snails to identify the body parts we learned on Tuesday.

Then they measure the length and height of the snail and recorded their results.

I was excited to get such a good picture of the air hole while it was open.

Those are 1st grade fingernails not mine in case you were wondering!!!! :-)