Thursday, November 26, 2015

Tips and Tricks to Survive December in the Classroom

I love the holidays.

I do.

Except that it makes us all nuts.

Certifiably nuts.

The kids are no exception. In fact, they may be the most "nutso" out of all us due to the sheer excitement the month of December brings.

I do all I can not to even mention the "Ch" word in my classroom.

And as far as I'm concerned....what big fat jolly man?  I don't breath a word of him.

Now before you start to think that I'm some scrooge or the worst teacher ever, let me just say that this merely what saves my sanity in the classroom.  If you are allowed to talk about Santa and have a Christmas tree in your classroom than you are a braver person than I.

I believe the key to keeping kiddos on track is to keep them engaged.  I have found some great stuff on Teachers Pay Teachers, Pinterest, through blogging buddies and more and I'd like to share some of them with you so we can try and survive the insanity together.

 The way I see it...this is survival mode.  Not every craft needs a writing prompt.  There. I said it.

December is the perfect time for crafts.

This simple requires 5 materials.  Yup- 5 - and that includes scissors.  This is my kind of craft.  You can find it here.


Isn't this adorable? You can find the tutorial here.

And for those of you that just absolutely have to have a writing prompt these snowmen from The First Grade Parade will fit the bill.

When your head is ready to split open...

When you heard the 4,567th tattle....

This full movie of "The Snowman" has no talking. Just classical music.  Enough said.

This realistic fireplace keeps the kiddos mesmerized.  They LOVE it!

I have found some great resources that I can't wait to use this month.

Clutter-Free Classroom has this fantastic December freebie below filled with tips and tricks, resources, and freebies. 

 Inspired Owl's Corner has a super cute and motivational incentive that can really help you get through December. No More Classroom Reindeer Games is sure to get your students working hard to earn a turn with the classroom  stuffed reindeer through a sticker rewards incentive program.

Kids also love learning about reindeer. This differentiated close read on Reindeer is perfect for students at many different reading levels.

Need more freebies?  Check out Elementary Matters who has a great linky where many sellers/bloggers have linked up some of their free holiday resources. While you are there, enter to win a Teachers Pay Teachers gift card.

My favorite thing to teach is Holidays Around the World.  Students make suitcases, receive a passport, get boarding passes, and "travel" by airplane around the world to various countries. Included in the Holidays Around the World product, are virtual airplane rides/trips to various countries such as Mexico, Africa, and England to see how others celebrate the holidays. 
I always love to hear from you!  How do you get through December?


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Top 3 Pinterest Picks

I get so many ideas each month from this fabulous linky hosted on the 3rd of each month by Inspired Owl's Corner and Pawsitively Teaching.
click on the image to go to the original pin
I love this idea of having students brainstorm things they could pack to bring with them on the Mayflower if they were a Pilgrim.  This will be a great writing activity after reading If I Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 by Ann McGovern.


Click on the image to go to the original pin.
Since we are working on story retell this month, this will be just perfect to make with my first graders.
Click on the image to go to the original pin

This site has fantastic videos has the Pilgrims and the Mayflower. I am fortunate enough to live a half hour away from Plymouth Planation. If you are ever in Massachusetts, it is an incredible thing to see.

If you would like to follow me on Pinterest, please click on the image below.
Join in on the fun and link up with your favorite Pinterest finds!