All Posts By

Erin

Oh Christmas Tree-Grateful Christmas Tree

In November, we created a giant turkey to show what we are thankful for.  In December, we have a giant Christmas tree to show what we are grateful for. We first start off with our giant Christmas tree.  This display is a little smaller than my Turkey display because I am just doing this activity with my students.

Oh, Christmas Tree has activities that help students identify what they are grateful for. Students will be able to make a fun craft either at school or at home with families to show what they are grateful for. This pack includes templates to help teachers make a giant tree to show off students gratefulness on their ornaments.

In class, each student gets the popcorn garland to decorate to hang on our tree. Then we wait for the ornaments to be returned.

All of the things that are included in the pack.

Lots of Love,

Erin

The Polar Express Book Buddy

Let me just tell you that one of my favorite memories, when I was a student, was when my teacher read The Polar Express.  I loved the illustrations and the magic of the story.  So when the movie came out, I, of course, had to see it.  I saw it actually 2 or 3 times in theaters because I loved it so much.  When I became a teacher, I wanted to make sure that I had this book in my collection to share with my students.  But I wanted the magic to last longer, and The Polar Express Book Buddy was created.

The Polar Express Book Buddy Includes:

-Comprehension Questions (whole class or independently)
-Characteristics of Characters-Little Boy(Chris), Conductor, and Santa
-Cup of Character
-2 Graphic Organizers
-Step-by-Step Directed Drawings
-Writing Page

The last week of school, during our reading group time, I will read the book to my students, and then we will listen to the CD (I know, what’s that?) a few times.  I have my students complete the comprehension questions and choose a character from the book to fill out the character web and then make their Cup of Character.  We then end with a writing prompt and our directed drawing.

All the things included in the book buddy.

I hope you share your favorite books from your childhood with your students.  I sure love sharing mine.

Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!

Lots of Love,

Erin

Easy Class Christmas Party Idea

I am a planner and I would rather be overly planned.  So in the spirit of over planning, I am already planning my students Christmas party.  Let me first start by saying, I am not one of those teachers who LOVES class parties.  In fact, I really dislike them, like really, really, really dislike them.  And before you think I am a horrible teacher, I will say that I don’t mind doing fun things with my class and tend to do fun activities weekly that go away from the curriculum, but when the students know that is it going to be a ‘Party Day’, my little ones lose their minds and this teacher needs a cocktail.

This will be my 7th year of planning parties for my class and I have gotten the party planning down to a science and I want to talk about what I do for my Christmas Party.  I am not sure where this idea came from but it really is the easiest thing EVER and we all need easy during the holiday season.

First, I will create a sign-up genius asking parents to have their child bring in items for the class party. See what I do there?  I have the students bring in the items, so I don’t have visitors in my classroom the last hour of the day when things are CRAZY, right before break!  Also, if you don’t know about sign-up genius by now, please google it!  I use it for everything.  Here is my sign-up that I will be using this year.

If you can’t tell, the theme of my Christmas Class Party is hot chocolate and sweets.  I ask parents for TruMoo chocolate milk and I will put one of the gallons into my crockpot and put it on low.  I don’t use the other gallon until later.  The chocolate milk continues to get warm all day.  Then, I set up my hot chocolate bar.

While my students are watching Polar Express, I start getting the hot chocolate ready.  I line up the cups, add a peppermint stick in the cup and pour 1 part HOT chocolate from the crockpot into the cup and then 1 part cold hot chocolate to cool off the hot chocolate.  When I do this, my students are able to start drinking their hot chocolate right away and don’t have to wait until it cools.  I am a cheeseball and when the students are watching the Polar Express and it gets to the part where they ask the kids if they want hot chocolate, I will pause the movie and ask my students the same thing.  They LOVE it and it has been something that I do every single year.

Also, for the sweets part of the party, I will put together pre-made plates and students can just grab the plate that they want.  This helps with timing, they take forever to pick out a cookie and touch every single one (hello germs) and then students get one of everything.

While my students are enjoying their treats, I will start cleaning up the hot chocolate bar and sweets table.  I am able to have everything cleaned up and put away before the end of the day.

I have had students from previous years tell me how much they loved this party and it was the best one.  If you have any questions on how I do my class parties, leave a comment!

Lots of love,

Erin

E.B. White Novel Units-Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little

I used to teach at a charter school and we followed Core Knowledge.  I absolutely loved Core Knowledge and how we built novel studies into our day.  One of the novels that we were required to read to the students was Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White.  I students loved this story of the adorable little pig but were still struggling with truly comprehending what was being read to them.  So to help students fully understand what they were reading, I created Charlotte’s Web Novel Unit.

This novel includes:

-22 Comprehension Checks/Quizzes (1 for each chapter) with answer key
-Text to Self Connection: Venn Diagram
-Predictions Graphic Organizer
-Bubble Map
-Fact/opinion sort
-Cause and Effect blank
-Cause and Effect with Causes written
-Two Writing Prompt Page
-Making words
-Acrostic Poem Template and Craftivity
-My Mental Image Page
-Retell Cards

Text-to-Self: Choose your own talking animal and create a book cover.

I just had to include this cute little craftivity.

More pictures of student work.

After using this resource for two years when I taught 2nd grade, I realized how much of a difference it made for my students to fully understand the story.  Then I moved to a new school and a new grade level.  I was now teaching 3rd grade and no longer reading Charlotte’s Web, we were now asked to read Stuart Little.  So, of course, I felt like my students needed a novel unit to help them understand Stuart Little, so the Stuart Little Novel Unit was created.

This novel unit includes:

-15 Comprehension Checks/Quizzes (1 for each chapter) with answer key
-Text to Self Connection: Venn Diagram
-Predictions Graphic Organizer
-Bubble Map
-Fact/opinion sort
-Cause and Effect blank
-Cause and Effect with Causes written
-Writing Prompt Page
-Making words
-My Mental Image Page
-Retell Cards

Some of my favorite activities:

Both of these novels are also great to do back-to-back and I have been doing just that since I have moved back to second grade.  We start with Charlotte’s Web and then we read Stuart Little.  The students LOVE it!

If you are interested in having your students read both novels, I have bundled both of these novel units together: Bundle Up! E.B. White Novel Units.

You can find all of these resources in my TpT Store.

Happy Reading!

Erin

 

Spreading Christmas Cheer in the Classroom

So, let’s be honest.  I love Christmas!  No, No!  I LOVE CHRISTMAS!  I honestly love everything about it.  The music, the decorations, the lights, the movies, the food, and spending time with family.  Since my husband and I have been living together, I have been decorating for Christmas earlier and earlier, like almost right after Halloween, if I could have my way.  But my husband makes me wait until Veterans Day weekend to decorate.  It’s all about compromise.  So our house has been decorated for a week now and since I am on Thanksgiving Break, I am now thinking about all things Christmas and wanting to get ready for the holiday with my students.

I have talked about making craftivities before as one of my favorite things to do with my students.  I do think it is so important for students to practice using their scissors and glue.  So why not make cute little crafts to add to our memory books: Spreading-Christmas-Cheer-in-the-Classroom!

This was the first craftivity I have ever made and I made it when I was teaching 3rd grade and have had my students make them ever since.  The first craft that I have them make is Rudolph.  I used to stick to traditional Christmas colors, but last year I went for the bright AstroBright colors.

Spreading-Christmas-Cheer-in-the-Classroom

Before we make our little craft, I read the traditional Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer book.  Then I have students write about their favorite reindeer.  When students are making this craft, we all sing Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.   My students LOVE it!

Spreading-Christmas-Cheer-in-the-Classroom

I will also have my students make a Christmas tree and then spell out as many words they can with the words CHRISTMAS TREE.  They sure do love that challenge.

I have other craftivities included like the North Pole sign and a Present.

Spreading-Christmas-Cheer-in-the-Classroom

 

Happy Holidays and Happy Crafting!

Lots of love!

Erin

 

Gobble! Gobble! Thanksgiving Crafts and Writing

Gobble! Gobble! Thanksgiving Crafts and Writing Prompts! Are you super excited to celebrate all things THANKSGIVING? This is such an easy to make craftivities to celebrate Thanksgiving! There are two different crafts that you can choose from, or you can do all! Each of the crafts comes with fun writing prompts. All you have to do is print them off onto construction paper or Astrobrights and you are ready to go!

Gobble!-Gobble!-Thanksgiving-Crafts-and-Writing

Turkey: Gobble Gobble (write a story about a turkey) or Describe a TURKEY!

Gobble!-Gobble!-Thanksgiving-Crafts-and-Writing

Acorn: My favorite thing about NOVEMBER! or I am nutty about FALL!

I can’t wait to see these cute little crafts in my students memory books!

With lots of love,

Erin

Thanksgiving Ideas

Below are some of my favorite Thanksgiving books, writing prompts, and easy and FREE crafts.

Describe a turkey and then draw your turkey.

Favorite picture books.

Read the story Turkey Trouble and then create a retell turkey.

Turkey hats made with using their hands as the feathers.

Turkey math review.

Hope you found these activities fun and helpful!

With lots of love,

Erin

 

 

Thankful Turkey

Oh, my word!  One thing that I love is celebrating Thanksgiving with my students.  I love all of the turkey’s, fall colors, yummy food, and telling others what we are thankful for and let’s be honest, it is sooo much better than Halloween in my opinion!

For the last 6 years, I have done this Thankful Turkey activity with my class.  I love this activity so much that I make sure that my whole team does it with me.  I make 150 copies of feathers and information sheets each year for all of the 2nd graders at my school.  Before sending the feather home, we brainstorm ideas of what we are thankful for as a class.  Then we send home a turkey feather the day after Halloween and wait for the feathers to come back in and see what our students are thankful for.

Thankful-Turkey

Thankful-Turkey

I use either construction paper or Astrobright paper. It doesn’t matter the color or type of paper, because the feathers will be decorated and it will be mostly covered up.

Over the years, I have noticed that students are so excited that they go home and use their pencil and write what they are thankful for, but this year  I have told my students this year that I want more creativity.  I know, I know, not all of my students have access to crafting materials at home, but I know that a majority of my students have access to markers, crayons, or colored pencils, even if they have to complete their feather at school, that is perfectly fine.

After the feathers go home, it is time to hang up my giant TURKEY!

Thankful-Turkey

This year one of the kindies at my school called it a giant chicken…? I got a giggle out of that.

Now, you sit back and wait for the feathers to come in.  I will start to add them to the turkey right away and then we watch it grow.  You will need a LARGE wall space for your turkey.

Thankful-Turkey

After the first couple of feathers come in.

Thankful-Turkey

When all of the feathers are returned.  Pro tip: have students put their names on the back of the feather when they first get their feather to send home.  Have them also list your last name as well.  It will help when you are returning the feathers back to 150 students.

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Spooky Friends! Halloween Crafts and Writing Prompts

Happy October!

I am a day early and that is shocking for me and blog posts.  Halloween is one of my students favorite holiday to celebrate.  They started talking about what they want to be for Halloween at the end of August.  So I know they will LOVE all of these craftivities that celebrate all of their favorite Spooky Halloween Friends!

Spooky-Friends-Halloween-Crafts-and-Writing-Prompts

All of the crafts come with templates and a writing prompt.

Spooky-Friends-Halloween-Crafts-and-Writing-Prompts

Students can make their own Frankenstein.

Spooky-Friends-Halloween-Crafts-and-Writing-Prompts

Or they can make a little bat.

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