Merry Christmas and a $50 TpT Certificate Giveaway!

I am going to keep this post short and sweet.

First, because  I am very, very tired.  This glorious Christmas season is about to start kicking, and all I want is a nap! :)

Merry Christmas, from my family to yours.

I hope your season is blessed.  

We celebrated Christmas at my house last night with my side of the family.  I was so proud of the chalkboard art (I looked at this lovely design on Esty) I drew (my first one) before they arrived.  I thought it summed up the purpose for the season nicely.

Sorry for the terrible lighting.  The walls are greige I, promise.

And last but not least, this is a wonderful time of year to reflect upon what we are thankful for and the blessings in our life.  My life has been so blessed by my blog, Facebook friends, and all the wonderful people at TpT.  It has truly made a huge difference in my life, and has allowed me this amazing opportunity to stay at home with my little girls.  I am so grateful.

To celebrate, I am giving away one $50 gift certificate to TpT. 

There are two ways to enter, follow my blog or my Facebook page, or both I guess! :) . One winner will be chosen on Dec 26th at midnight. 

Good luck and may all your days be Merry and Bright!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Christmas Fun and Freebies to Get You Through the End of the Week!

Hey guys!

I am going to keep this short and sweet.  My baby girl has the icks.  They were super cute and fun on Sunday and then she had a stomach bug in the middle of the night.  No fun! :(

We took pictures for our Christmas cards yesterday- we are a bit behind!  I learned that getting a 4 year old and 18 month old to smile AND look at the camera at the same time is impossible. We just rolled with it. :)

I thought I would put together a few FREEBIES (new and old) to help you get through the end of the month.

Christmas coupon book for parents.  This is FREE and is a super cheap gift for parents.  If you can make copies and have crayons, glue, and scissors, then you got this.  And it is FREE.  Even better!

This is an oldie, but goodie.

Cute little reindeer card with tracers for students to make.  Easy and cute.  And free- even better!

Another oldie.  This was from last year's Winter e-book.

Have  you ever made the cinnamon and applesauce ornaments before?  So easy and they make your room smell wonderful! This pack has the directions and recipe, as well as a cute way to wrap it using paper plates!! For real!  If you are going to make these, I suggest that your class makes them ASAP. They can sometimes take awhile to dry (if you don't bake them).  It all depends on the humidity level.  Some years it takes longer (several days) than others (overnight). 

I did just post this little January pack.  It has all kinds of fun and novel literacy activities.  They require VERRRY little prep.  Most just need crayons, a paperclip, a magnifying glass, or a die to complete.

There are 17 different activities that cover a ton of different topics including:

•Verb Tenses (Irregular Past Tense is Included)
•Plural and Singular Nouns
•Common and Proper Nouns
•Identifying Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives, and Adverbs
•Compound Words
•Asking and Answering Questions (Fiction and Nonfiction)

They would be great for partner activities or even independent centers during guided reading. They are open ended, too so they really require kids to THINK! The pack is super cheap too- only $3!

This is the first pack I have made like this, so I would be curious if this is something you would like to see more of....

And...shhh.. last night I released an exclusive sampler of it to my Facebook flowers.  If you want to check out the freebie, hop on over to my Facebook and check out this post!  Enjoy!



Tips for Making Gingerbread Houses in Class

Have you every thought this?

And then this happens?

I have made gingerbread houses with several classes and got it down pat.  For the most part, we all looked like this...

Happy and covered in candy.

Are any of you guys making gingerbread houses this year?  I LOVED doing this with my kids as a celebration.  They LOVED it!  It can be easy and lots of fun.  Here are a few ""tips" I have collected over the years.

1.) Make sure to buy CHINET plates. Yes, they are expensive but they are SO worth it. The weight of the plates holds up well to kiddo use and abuse and icing overload.  I liked the dinner plates without any of the dividers.

2.) Collect milk cartons from the cafeteria several days in advance so you can rinse them out and let them air dry before making them (ewww, stinky sour milk smell!). I always collected them and then let them air dry on the counters in my classroom.   I was VERY lucky to have a sink in my room.

3.) Use a stapler to staple the top of the houses closed. Then, hot glue the milk cartons to the Chinet plates the day before you make them.  This makes it SO much easier for students rather than trying to use icing to cement it to the place...which never works.

4.) Cover the student's work tables.  This sounds obvious.  Like common sense, right?  Yeah, well not my first year!  Whoops! You can use cheap plastic table clothes from the Dollar Store, newspaper, or butcher paper.

4.) I made the building time as low key as possible.  Students shared a tub of icing (no licking!). They went "shopping for decorations." I laid out all the candies and each student was given a Styrofoam bowl.  They told me what they wanted and I filled the bowls.  If they wanted more candy (and there was extra), students raised their hands and I refilled the bowl.  I limited student movement.  I explained to them it would be easy to accidentally knock over someone's else's bowl of candies or houses...and that would be sad. Super sad.  Like Sadsville sad.

5.) My kids were always sad to stop building.  They had more candy they wanted to eat, er add to their house!  To make everyone happy, I gave each child a baggie and they dumped all of the candy from their bowls into the baggies.  The icing went into the trash.

6.) The EASIEST way to send home the houses is to use a plastic grocery bag for each child.  Open the bag, set the plate with the house on the bottom of the bag.  Tie the handles together over the roof of the house.  Then, students can just hold the tied handles and the house doesn't fall over.  I also throw in the student's bags of candy in the sack to discourage "unauthorized snacking." Tee hee.

I hope these tips helped.  If you want to see the (editable) parent letter I send home, check this post for the freebie!!


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