Thursday, December 19, 2013

Holiday goods

I have been somewhat neglectful with my blog here.  It is not exactly the way to keep my followers and I apologize.

We have been busy.  We made have made counting Christmas trees, the boys adored.  Photo coming.
We made ornaments, courtesy First Grade Blue Skies.  They came out really great and by class loved the bulletin board display.  We used scrap booking paper, fancy scissors (the ones that make different design like scallops and more), gems, and glitter.  Who doesn't like a little glitter?  Photo also coming.

We made adorable pictures with our room parents (found on Pinterest).  Great gift for the parents.

"Love Never Melts" - so cute.  Their handprints are transformed into snowmen. 

We made ornaments.  Kindergartners just have to make something with their photos.
Wish I remember where but somewhere I saw a gingerbread man... with a photo of the student for the face. I used that "Model Magic" by Crayola.  It is simple "clay" that you can mold into anything and then paint or color with markers.  It comes in individual packets or in bulk.  I had a supply of white.
So I rolled out the dough and cut out soldiers with a cookie cutter and a small tree.  I used a straw to make the hole for the ribbon hanger and foam sheets for the backing.  The face was cut out with a small cup and I glued their cute little faces into place, and the boys were eager to color.

Then we made our own wrapping paper.  It was amazing.  The used rubber stamps and markers.  I showed them how to make plaids, stripes, and other patterns.  They really got into it.
We used holiday stickers instead of tape and added green yarn as the ribbons.  The final touch were tags that said "Fragile - Handle With Care" and attached them with little pieces of pipe cleaners.
Mission Complete.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

We remember Sandy Hook!

Sandy Hook, the students, the teachers, the families, the town,  
we are all thinking of them this week and especially today.

To honor their memory, we will be encouraging random acts of kindness.  We have been counting down the days until our Christmas break.   Here are our plans for the week:

Monday *We will make holiday decorations and hang them 
(quietly tip toe.. and hang them when no one can see us.)
Tuesday *Make holiday cards and put them in mailboxes for our custodian and other teachers.  
The cards will bear only the name of the receiver - not the giver.
Wed. *We will make special decorations for the kitchen staff and hang it up before they come in.
Thursday *We will let someone go ahead of us in line.
Friday *We will ask someone to play who we do not usually play with.

So join in with teachers everywhere in committing 
random acts of kindness to show our love for Sandy Hook.

Thanks to Greg from Smedley's Smorgasboard  for putting this link together.

Feel free to use the image above and share it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and wherever you can.  Email it to all of your co-workers, friends and family.  Spread the word. 

As you share on social media, please use the hashtag #love4SH to spread the word and fuel a movement.  

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

5 Colored Ghosts

We have been working on re-telling stories.  And one of my goals for the year is to add more puppetry in the classroom.  Each year in Kindergarten, I see children struggle more and more with the classroom puppets.  I stumbled upon a wonderful story about 5 colored ghosts.

Simply, they are white because they eat only white food, such as mashed potatoes, milk, white bread, sugar cookies, vanilla ice cream and more.  My boys added "marshmallows, cheese" and more.

  After mommy leaves, they of course adventure on their own and eat broccoli, blueberries, strawberries, orange juice (This ghost thought "drinking" was safer than eating.) and chocolate chip cookies.  Not sure if you can see, but the last one had "chocolate chips... all over.

Mom comes back and says, "I know what you have been doing!  So you will all have a glass of milk and go right to bed."  In the morning, when they woke up, they were all white again!  (Don't you love the ending.)  Check out the  Time for Play blog (click on the name) for the complete story.

I am crazy about this because each student made their own set of the puppets.  They are "reversible" and so simple.  I did the first show and made a big deal about setting up the stage by covering a table with a sheet.  This led to a wonderful discussion on how they could do it at home with chairs... and more.  We are taking turns each day to tell it again.  I love that you can change whatever they eat, just so long as the color matches.  The boys totally get it and we have had great success.  I sure hope you try it.  Let me know if you do!

"5 Days of Halloween"

It has been too long since my last post.

I have been very busy with my class.  They are wonderful group of energetic boys with a thrill for learning.  We have made collage fall leaves, glyph scarecrows, learned about apples and pumpkins, and so much more.

One of my favorite holidays is Halloween.  Each year we sing a Halloween song to the melody of "The 12 Days of Halloween."  

On the first day of Halloween, my true love gave to me, an owl in a spooky old tree.
On the 2nd day of Halloween, my true love gave to me, 2 jack-o-lanterns, and...
On the 3rd day of Halloween, my true love gave to me, 3 bats-a-flapping...
On the 4th day of Halloween, my true love gave to me, 4 witches flying...
On the 5th day of Halloween, my true love gave to me, 5 scary ghosts...

One year my class was sad that was all there was.  So we added more!

On the 6th day of Halloween, my true love gave to me, 6 goblins gobling...
On the 7th day of Halloween, my true love gave to me, 7 mummies marching...
On the 8th day of Halloween, my true love gave to me, 8 spiders spinning...
On the 9th day of Halloween, my true love gave to me, 9 monsters marching...
On the 10th day of Halloween, my true love gave to me, 10 vampires dripping...
On the 11th day of Halloween, my true love gave to me, 11 mice a munching...
On the 12th day of Halloween, my true love gave to me, 12 trick or treaters.

Today we got together with our 9th grade buddies and illustrated our own copies of the book.  They all had a blast.  We just did "5 days of Halloween."

Here are some photos.  Try it in your own classroom!  Happy Halloween.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Author's Chair

So last year I moved classrooms.   I found a little wooden student chair left in the classroom.  It had clearly been painted several coats of white paint.  There was a big crack in the middle of the seat and paint had chipped off in several places, but it seemed sturdy enough.  It was enough just to get the room set up, much less worry about this chair.  I did use it as part of our morning meeting routine, and the helper/show and tell friend got to sit on it.  It worked out just fine.

I did however, made a goal to have my husband fix the crack and to re-paint this chair this summer.  Turns out there is not a crack!  It is actually how the chair was made.  It is clearly 2 pieces of wood for the seat.  I spray painted the whole chair white (again) - my husband was concerned sanding it was risky; could be lead paint... A trip to Joann Fabrics and I got the rainbow colors.  Pinterest inspired me and I set to work.

I know my class will love it.  After following the book study "Talking, Drawing,Writing" 

I have been very inspired to do more writing.  Special thanks to Cindy at Love Those Kinders for organizing it for the summer.  If you missed the book study, click here,  I definitley recommend the book. 

Here's to a great start for the year!  Let me know what you think.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Monthly Weather Graphs

Kindergarteners love giving the daily weather reports.  I have an amazing stuffed "wireless" microphone that my students use.  We sing the weather song while our "meteorologist" checks outside the windows and prepares to give us the weather report.  He must greet the class, give his name and then report the weather.  We save each day's weather card and at the end of the month we graph the results.  It is actually a highlight of the month.  I have been doing this for years and they never cease to cheer and yell for their winners.  "Yeah - Sunny!  I knew it!"

Here is the one I use for the first few month.  I include the graphics so each student can read it.  And of course we graph from the bottom up.  In January, we do not have the pictorial clues.
And I am proud to day, I have used this graph to make my first "Teachers Pay Teachers" freebie!

CLICK HERE  to grab your own set (Sept. - June).
I love comments - so please let me know if you download it!

Thank you!  Here's to days of Abundant Sunshine!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Back to School Blogger Exchange

I recently learned about a summer "secret blogger" exchange over at Covered in Glitter and Glue.  What fun!

I actually kind of forgot about it (the sign up was several weeks before the actual required ship date.)  The door bell rang and I see the delivery man.  I ask my husband if he was expecting a package...  What a genuine surprise to see it was for me! 
(My blogger friend was right on top of this project!)

I was so excited.  What could it be? Well, it was perfect!

Fun pens, pencils, a little stapler, googlie eyes, eraser caps, primary colored big erasers (perfect as my push pin keeper for "Pokey Pinning", lotions and more.

Check out this fun "Solar Dancing Bug!" 
My class is going to love it.

So glad I signed up to do this.

And do you want to know the best part?  I found a friend!  A fellow 
CT Blogger who lives very near me!  Yeah.

Check out her blog "Pinkadots Elementary" - great ideas.

Here's to a great start of the year to everyone!
I feel nicely pampered to begin. (Thanks, T!)

PS.  I love comments

Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Book Whisperer Book Study

I have had this book, "The Book Whisperer" on my reading list for a long time.  I am so happy that I finally did it!  Finding the book study is what made it finally happen. Go to We Read, We Blog, We Teach. 

I absolutely love this book!

My last year in 2nd grade, I made it a mission to get all my students reading.  We did it.  I was so frustrated by those few students that just never could find a good book to start and finish.  I know we all have those students.  There are so many great books (way more and far more colorful and exciting than when I was their age!) and it just boggles my mind they can't find one.  It made me feel like I was failing if I could not connect them with a great book!

I had read somewhere about a way to describe books you may choose:  Too hard, just right, a "vacation" book, or way too easy.  I loved the idea of a "vacation" book.  So, I seized it!  There was a student in my class who was reading at 3 levels above grade.  His parents were desperate to have him read anything other than a book about baseball.  I agreed!  One of my read-aloud books was from the "Jigsaw Jones" series. This boy happened to really like it!  I got him hooked.  Once he started reading it, the whole class wanted to do so, as well.  I told him, "You know this book is a little easy for you, but consider it a vacation.  If you don't like it, you don't have to go there again.  But you may be surprised.  I love these books.  There is always some very funny parts and I feel like I can relate to the characters.  I'm eager to hear if you think this next one is one I can read to the whole class.  Let me know."  He went for it.  I teased my class that we had a reading fever going on.  Students were reading at home, and coming in each day eager to add to their growing lists.  The only thing they had to do to be accountable to me for what they read, was to add the title, author, date started/ended, and color happy, plain, or sad face to rate the book.  I added a section to list names of friends who might also like this book.  I started with cards that were hole punched and added to ring that was attached to their desk.  Honestly, I could not keep up with copying the cards.  I ran out way too fast.  I will say that big wads of paper on the back of chairs also got to be a hassle...  So, I moved on to the 3-ring binder.  I used number tabs (each student has a number) and it made it easy for them to get to their page(s.)  Life got so much better then. And my little friend who read only baseball was reading all sorts of great books, on-level, below and a little beyond.  I never was so happy!

So get this book, check out the blog above to see what other teachers think and are doing with the book in their own classrooms.

I cannot wait to start my own book journal.  Thanks for reading all of this!


Year End Poem

It has been way too long!  So sorry.  I plan to have an active blog over the summer.

Our daughter graduated from college in May.  So proud of her.  She immediately started an accelerated nursing program at a local university.  In 15 months she will have a second degree in nursing, and hopefully 2 months after that her license.

This was my first year in Kindergarten in this school.  (I taught 2nd for 5 yrs before.)  There was so much year end work to do... and we do narrative reports cards...  And I work summer camp which started directly after school got out.  Enough said,

Having previously taught Kindergarten, I had some favorite things I could share.  Many of you do the monthly or weekly poems.  It is such a meaningful way to address reading and make it fun, as well.

Here is the poem I always place in the end of the book.  I trace my hand first, then call a student over.  I read the poem to him/her and then we hold hands for a minute...  Lastly, I trace their hand over mine.

Love it!  Hope you do, too.  Click on the title below for a freebie.

This hand I hold I touch it now
For all eternity.
And the knowledge that I share
I give from me to you.

In hope that all you do and say
Reflects your lessons learned.
And all the awards that you receive
Are ones that you have earned.

I am your present teacher
And your true friend,
But, though the year is over
My thoughts of you will never end!

Hope you have a wonderful summer.

Monday, April 8, 2013

B is for Bumblebee Boy

We are finishing up the study of the letter B. Reading the book "The Adventures of Bumblebee Boy" by Jacky Davis was a highlight.

"Bumblebee Boy" fights dragons, defeats pirates, and more.  The highlighting of child imagination is wonderful.  Problem is that he wants to be a superhero all by himself.  His little brother Owen wants to join in the fun.  First he is told he can't be a superhero because he doesn't have a cape.  Once he has one he can't because a cape is not the only thing superhero's wear...  In the end, little Owen has a cape, a hat, and green goggles.  The best part is that Bumblebee Boy finally agrees to join forces.  So as we get to the last page, we make all kinds of guesses as to what Owen's new name will be! (Great opportunity for predictions.) Only to find he does not get one!  How is that possible?

So, I seized the opportunity and suggested we name him. We agreed to think on it over night and to name and illustrate him the next day.  The students wrote in their journals.  Some of the created names included:

Bumble Goggle Boy, Captain Pajamas, Bumble Baby, Captain Wasp, Bumble Boy, Captain Baby, Captain Owen, Jet Flier, Captain of the Stars, Captain Baby Pants, Captain Army Pants and more.

Here are some of the illustrations.  Love their creativity.

We highly recommend this book.  If you try this, do let me know.  We may be writing our next adventure.  Stay tuned.  


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Welcome Spring - Time to Wake the Bears!

Spring is one of my favorite times of the year.  At my house, we have a contest every year to see who can find the first robin!  It gets pretty exciting and usually involves screaming.  This year we found one quite early!  The "winner" must make "worms and dirt" for the entire family.  This is what gave me the idea of a fun way to awaken our "hibernating" bears.

In December, we buddied with a first grade class and we made teddy bears using construction paper.  Each boy cut one out from a form and then was instructed to make pajamas, so he would be comfortable while he was sleeping.  I made a cave, (inspired by Laura from Kinder Kraziness.)  I used an empty copy paper box that I covered with brown paper (and I crumpled a big sheet of it on top to make it more "cave" shaped.)  I also made a special entrance to the cave and added some batting, so the bears would be comfortable.

Each bear got his own blanket, a rectangular piece of flannel I cut and added fringe at the end.    The boys just loved the idea of their bear having his own blanket.

We made signs for the cave - "Do Not Disturb!"  "Bears Sleeping!"...  attached to popscicle sticks.  And one big sign "Hibernation Station."
We were on break the last 2 weeks (when spring arrived) and we had to plan something to get the bears up.  I have always celebrated the beginning of hibernation... but never done anything when it is over.  So the first grade teacher and I decided to send out postcards to the class.  They were told to color the card and bring it back to school... and we would celebrate and wake the bears.
This is the postcard they received.  I just used clip art from word and a coloring page insert.
Then we read the book Hopper Hunts for Spring.  The author is Marcus Pfister (author of the Rainbow Fish...) and he has a series of books about "Hopper."  If you are not familiar you really must get this one.  The rabbit learns that "Spring is coming" and he thinks it is a "new friend."  So he sets off to find spring.  "Spring, Are you in there?"  He never finds spring, but he does find a friend.  The bear he wakes up, but who is so helpful.

So, we then "woke" the bears.
And of course we finished with a treat - Worms in Dirt.
Pudding, oreos (they crush...), gummy worms, and spoon.

Happy Spring! 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Word Family Freebie

Today I am posting a freebie in honor of my one year anniversary blogging.

I initially set out just to share my passion for teaching and to give back to the many out there that have helped me along the way.  I have really enjoyed it.  This process has taught me so much about the web and I am proud that I taught myself all I have accomplished here.  Thanks to the many who have answered questions and continue to inspire me to be and to do better.

Word families are always fun in Kindergarten.  This year, we have been making houses.  The name of the word family it at the top... and the "windows" become illustrated members of the family.  My class loves making them.  Beyond making them, I wanted them be successful at remembering them and reading them.

So I created a book.  Click here to grab your own copy. It is intended to be copied in a 2-sided format.  Add as many extra pages as you see fit.

As learn a new word "family", we add to the book.  My class loves it.  Be sure to add the page numbers as you go.  Each student keeps it in his reading box. 

Hope you like.  Please let me know what you think.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Educents and freebie

I just learned about a new site that is opening on April 2nd.  That happens to be my daughters birthday and I know that only mean good things.  Great things for us teachers with daily discounts.

Educents is the name.  Click there and you will get to sign up and get a coupon for $15!

I love a bargain.  Hope you do, too!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Erin go Bragh!
That is Gaelic for "Ireland forever!" 

I am so happy to be back in Kindergarten.  Feeding and fueling imagination is so very fun.

On Monday of this week, I told my class that I had heard that last year, the Kindergarten classroom was trashed by a bunch of leprechauns. "That is not happening this year!"  They were encouraged to start thinking and to get planning.  "Thursday, we will make and set traps."

I teach in all boys school, so you can imagine the excitement.  They could hardly wait.  Thursday morning they got right to it.  The boys had this notion that the leprechauns would be attracted to shiny objects and jewels. 

You have to read this book to your class. Click here to find it on-line.
It's an adorable book about a brother and sister who prepare for St. Patrick's Day.  They fill their bedroom with wonderful traps before going to bed.  We had so much fun discussing which ones were clever, might really catch the leprechaun, how it would actually work, and more. 

Here are some of our traps.  I love the signs they made.

Sadly, Friday was a snow day and now we are on winter break.  I plan to go in tomorrow to clean up... and I may just find a mess...

Happy 100th Day!

We celebrated our 100th on Tuesday.  This is the latest we have ever done so. With Hurricane Sandy, a nor'easter, and a few snow days, it got pushed so far!

Nonetheless, the boys were very excited about doing so.  We began with a breakfast.  One parent was allowed to join their son for our morning events.  We had bagels, fruit salad, donuts, and beverages.  

After all  were well fed, the work began.  Stations were set up.  

Roll to 100!
Tally to 100!
Estimate and then determine exactly how far 100 steps will take you.
Strike a pose (using our 100th day frame)!
Make a crown.
Create a trail mix of 100 goodies.

Each boy got a ticket to punch after each center was completed.

We had a terrific day.  Of course we also, did 100 exercises, counted to 100 and back, read (listened to) 100 pages, and wrote our first names, and then our initials, as many times as possible in 100 seconds.
We made it!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

"D" is for "Lots of Dots" and a freebie

We recently celebrated the letter "D."

Together we learned to write the letter, find words that begin with this letter sound, make a list of the many words know that begin with it, do a craft and more.

One of the activities included completing individual books.  You really should try this!  They were all so very excited.  "This is my best day ever!"  "Can I keep this book?"  "I love this book!"

It is a book that just covers so much.  It is math, illustration, reading, and totally engaging.

You will need a packet of the colored dots from a store like "Staples" - the ones frequently used for tag or yard sales.  You could use bingo dabbers, just be careful it does not bleed through to the back of the page...

The book is titled "My Lots of Dots Book."

You start with one dot on the first page and build to ten dots on the last page.  I have the class write the word for the number on each page and then put the page number in the corner in a circle.  That way they have a reference for the word they wrote...

One dot can make the sun.

Two dots can make the eyes of a bear. 

Three dots can make marbles in my hand.

And so on...

Here are some photos.

Here is your freebie.
If you would like to make this book with your class, click here for link to the document.
Let me know how it works. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Valentine's Day

February is here!  Can't believe it.  Sounds so crazy, but the past month went by so quickly.

February is filled with so much activity, Groundhog's Day, Valentine's Day, Presidents Day, and the 100th day.  I know this month will go by even faster.

We had great fun with the Groundhog predictions.  We watched a video about groundhogs and then we made a simple craft from Mailbox.  Paper lunch bags with the tops rolled down became the "den" and the students colored a cute groundhog which was then glued inside to seem as though it was "peaking out."  Lastly they got to attach a sun or a cloud - matching their own prediction. 

Most of the class predicted that he "would" see his shadow.  Well, yesterday, Punsutawney Phil did not see his shadow.  Will we really have an early spring?  Time will tell.

Now to Valentine's day.  I love this holiday.  Some say it is too commercialized, and maybe that is true.  But the best Valentine's are the hand-made ones, if you ask me. 

This is one of my FAVORITE Valentine books.  Click here for more on the book.
Eve Bunting and Jan Brett together in this book - You know it has to be good!
The heart of the book, (pun intended) is witnessing the bears celebrate Valentine's Day for the very first time.  Of course, they are usually hibernating, so they miss it.  Mrs. Bear sets her alarm to get up early and set out all of her preparations.  Mr. Bear is terribly difficult to wake up.  Each year I enjoy the discussions about the various tactics used to wake him.  In the end, they celebrate with great treats, fun poems written for each other, and lots of happiness.
Encourage your students to create their own rhyming valentines for their families.  Stay tuned for some of our creations. 

Here are the Valentine bags we made to hold all of our goodies from each other.

Monday, February 18, 2013

IPad Apps for the classroom

We have a set of IPads that we share between 2 classrooms.  There is enough for one-to-one use when working with just one class.  Other times, we have the students team up for work in small groups. 
I am linking up with Mrs. Wills Kindergarten to share some apps that haved worked well with our students. Be sure to click on the link above to check out what others have shared.

For Mind Challenges - puzzles:
  • Where's My Water
  • CrossFingers - a favorite!
  • Puzzle Penguins HD for IPads
  • Trainyard EX
  • Build a Train
  • Cut the Rope
  • Flow Free
  • Symmetry Game Free
For Math -
  • MathBump HD
  • Dino Math
  • Mathmateer = They love it because you can build rockets...
  • Space math - for higher levels
  • Coin Genius
  • Zoom  - good for number sense.
  • Math Bingo
  • Counting Caterpillar
  • Happi 123
  • Hungry Guppy
  • Math Series
  • Bugs and Buttons
  • Bugs and Bubbles
  • Love to Count 123
  • Monkey Math
  • Math Fact Master - Has so many levels!!! ****
For Reading and Phonics -
  • Word Search
  • Build a Word
  • Bluster
  • Chicktionary
  • iWriteWords
  • Letter School
  • Starfall
  • Monkey Word
  • Fry Words
  • Reading Raven
  • Scribble My Story
  • Doodle Buddy
  • Tic Tac Toe Phonics
  • Pic Collage
  • Educreations
Just for fun:
  • Toca Hair Salon - all my boys love it.  You have to check it out.
  • Easy Bake Unlimited Oven - you can make cupcakes, cookies... and decorate to your hearts content.  The kids love it.  I let them do it on their birthday.

There are so many out there.  I suggest you spend some time and try some in the App store...  get the free versions and see if you like it...

Here is a great blog to check out and follow.  I Teach with IPads.  It is loaded with lots of practical info and sharing. 

Good Luck!


Friday, January 18, 2013


I feel it is important to give our class purpose for reading and infuse it with fun. Poetry and music is perfect for this.  I like to find poems that are set to simple songs they already know.  It makes the reading simple for the strugglers and tends to level the playing field.  The class knows who the readers are...

Here is a great poem that can be sung to the melody of "Grey Squirrel." My class has gone crazy for this song/poem and they sing it all (ALL) the time!  I heard them singing it today as they were signin in!  (Actually I love that.)  

I introduce the poem one day and then sing it for the class.  We follow along and read the words.  It is fun to identify the sight words they already know.  At the end of the week, we illustrate it and add it to our poetry journals.

Snowflakes, Snowflakes
Snowflakes, snowflakes, falling on the ground.
Snowflakes, snowflakes, falling on the ground.
I am bundled to my chin.
See my footprints where I've been.
Snowflakes, snowflakes, falling on the ground.

Click here for a free document.

I print this on a paper as close to the bottom of the page as possible.

We draw a picture above the poem that connects to the text.  It was amazing how little they understood what it meant to be bundled to their chins.  A few days later, a boys wore a scarf and asked me to help him wrap it around his neck.  When we were done, he proudly announced to his friends,  "Look, I am bundled to my chin!"  They all loved it.

A great book to illustrate the footprints is "Snow Lion."

Monday, January 7, 2013

Label show and tell

We were all very happy to be back to school today.  I love watching the boys enter the classroom.  Their smiles and enthusiams are palpable.

There are lots of new things that start the year.  One of them includes having the students label their show and tell items.  This year my class loves giving clues, almost in riddle format.  Each student will present 3 clues, and then field 3 guesses.  Much like baseball, 3 strikes and we are out.  They get very excited when the item is guessed before striking out!

Today one of the items was presented with "only letter clues."  Love that!

1.  It starts with the sound of the letter "c."
2.  It comes from something that starts with the letter "s."
3.  It ends with the letter "L."

All show and tell items are put on a special shelf.  There we can admire, but not touch without permission, all day.  Now all items will have a label.  Here are the other items from today.

One was the money received from the tooth fairy and the other was a photo from a very cool trip dog sledding experienced over the winter break!
These labels will add something really fun to "writing the room."
Try it!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Snowman Last Names

Well we are back to school on Monday.  It has been a wonderfully relaxing break.

That said, I have had fun creating centers.  All of it is snowman themed. Still working on how to put them all here for you to download...  So I am starting small.

I always start the "new" year with a focus on last names.  All papers will now be required to have both first and last names.  I wish I remember where I saw it, but I saw snowmen with the last names all lined up nicely from most to last.  

Here is what the document looks like.  I plan to have the class cut out the circles.  They will need one "ball" for each letter of their last name.  Next they will be linked and hung in the classroom.  Click here  to download the document.

Sorry, that is not a great picture.  I used my phone.  Can you see that one that looks like perfect rectangle?  I was surprised too!  Each student received a strip of paper to glue the "snowballs" onto.  It seems that he does not like anything hanging over the sides.  He glued the edges of the head first and came to show me.  Then he proceeded to do the same with the rest of the snowman.  This really tickled me.  We all know no two snowmen are alike...

Happy New Year!