Thursday, 20 December 2012


I cannot believe Christmas is in 5 days. Oh my goodness. The week has flown by! The kids have been awesome. I think the lack of REALLY cold weather this year and sans-snow has helped. It doesn't seem as "Christmasy".

Here's a look at what went on this week. Definitely going to put a few ideas away for next year, as there are just TOO MANY awesome ideas to try! Love this time of year.

This week I dug up my Mission Impossible music and my kids enjoyed our Elf Impossible Phys. Ed. Centers. ADORABLE. They had a great time and got a great sweat-on.

 We also did a little painting. I found this idea from The Artisit Woman. Just love her ideas!

This is how the kids began. I had them draw a circle in the middle of their pages and then use blue paint in circular motions.

 They filled in all of the white space....
Then they added some turquoise and other blues to the blue paint (once it was dry).
They cut out and traced a Nativity Scene and then added some purple--- to look like grass below the white center circle.
And Voila.... Beautiful!

We also made snowman ornaments (wearing their earmuffs).
This years gift was a $5.00 Scholastic Gift Card to purchase a book from the book order form in the New Year.
I wrapped their ornament and their Gift Card.... and added a bell (as we have been taking the Polar Express and visiting many different countries for Christmas Around the World).

 Weeeeww..... what a week.

Tomorrow ......

Story Tree Writing
Watching the Polar Express-- A celebration of our return trip around the world!


Monday, 17 December 2012


It is the last week of school before Christmas Holidays, and all students are stirring with excitement. I have so much planned and still so much to do. We made our stockings today and hung them by the chimney with care.  I made them out of handled craft bags, some dollar store ribbon and because we are working on character traits, the students made acrostic poems to decorate the front of them.  They turned out very rustic and beautiful.
First, we traced a stocking outline on the paper bag.  Next, we cut it out, and held it together with a paperclip.  Then, we punched holes around the outside of it with a hole puncher.  The students then decorated them with their acrostic poems. Some used stamps for the first letters of their names, other used stencils or just made fancy letters. Finally, they laced ribbon through the holes.  Voila, you have a beautiful stocking and handles to hang and carry it. 
We have also been doing lots of writing the past couple of weeks and these fish bowls have come in very handy in helping the students with word choice.  They are the ones coming up with the choices and I find they use these fish bowls more than when I put words on chart paper or the chalk board.  They love to go fishing for words their friends have come up with.
The way this interactive board works is that the words on the fish bowl are not to be used in their writing.  I have put them in a "Word Jail" . When I come across any of these "plain" words in their writing I will send them to go fishing for a better more exciting word choice. The students are thrilled to come up with new fish for these bowls. 
Tomorrow is Snowman Ornament making and naming day.
The students will then be doing some writing from our snowman writing package.
 Later this week we are doing :
  Santa will be visiting the classroom on Thursday night when the students are sleeping to fill their stocking with a literacy treat. :)
Good luck this week everyone! 
It is a week to be Thankful for what we have, and to have prayers in our hearts.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Our Thoughts Are With You All.

Words cannot express the sadness we hold inside for the Sandy Hook school community and all those who have lost a loved one.

Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you all and your families.

Your Canadian Partners in Teaching,
Kaitlin & Christine

Here's a little prayer that was shared by Kristine Our Smart Community . It is a beautiful reminder.

Just For Today by Sally Meyer

Just for this morning,
I am going to smile when I see your face...
and laugh when I feel like crying.

Just for this morning,
I will let you wake up softly in your flannel p.j.'s...
and hold you until you are ready to stir.

Just for this morning,
I will let you choose what you want to wear...
and I will say how beautiful you are.

Just for this morning,
I will step over the laundry to pick you up...
and take you to the park to play

Just for this morning,
I will leave the dishes in the sink...
and let you teach me how to put your puzzle together.

Just for this afternoon,
I will unplug the telephone and keep the computer off...
and sit with you in the garden
blowing bubbles.

Just for this afternoon,
I will not yell once, not even a tiny grumble when you
scream and whine for the ice cream truck...
and I will buy you one, if he comes by.

Just for this afternoon,
I won't worry about what you are going to be
when you grow up...
I will simply love you for the joy you bring me

Just for this afternoon,
I will let you help me make cookies...
and I wont stand over you . . . trying to 'fix things.'

Just for this afternoon,
I will take you to McDonald's and buy us both a 'Happy Meal'...
so you can have two toys.

Just for this evening,
I will hold you in my arms and tell you the story of how you
were born...
and how much we love you.

Just for this evening,
I will let you splash in the bathtub...
and I won't get angry when you pour water over your sister's

Just for this evening,
I will let you stay up late...
while we sit on the porch swing
and count all the stars.

Just for this evening,
I will bring you glasses of water...
and snuggle beside you for hours...
and miss my favorite t.v. show.

And tonight when you are sleeping safe and warm in your bed,
I will think of the mothers and fathers
who mourn for the children they have lost.

I will remember the parents who sit by hospital beds,
watching over the little ones they love.

I will weep for those parents whose children are cold,
hungry and suffering,

and .... this evening,
when I kneel down to pray,
I will simply be grateful for all that I have

and not ask for anything...

except just one more day

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

7 More Days! :)

Ohhhhhh.... ya gotta love the weeks before Christmas in elementary school. There are really no words. One must experience it to really grasp how truly insane it really is! Hahaha.

But, we make the best of the most wonderful time of the year, and try to keep as much normalcy as possible.

This week we read one of my favourite books HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS. We wrote persuasive letters to Grinch, convincing him to like Christmas again. The kids came up with FANTASTIC and ADORABLE ideas. Our good copies are in the works. I will post those soon :)

Cute, cute, cute!

We also made a few stop on our CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD- Traditions and Celebrations!
We have now stopped in:

 The kids have tickets, passports and suitcases. It's HUGE deal when the customs agent/conductor comes on board to check the passports and punch the tickets!  Hehehe.
Here are a few of our souveniers and pics.
 Our poinsetta's from Mexico
 Our Koala Masks from Australia.

Our suitcases and maps, marking our visits were found {here}.

I also supplimented the unit by purchasing around the world powerpoints from Christina Brainbridge
 This week we learned about Long Vowels.... up next, digraphs.
Here are some iPad Long vowel "read and write around the room" sheets I made this week. I put it on an iPad border, and it was like I actually bought them an iPad Hahahaha.... Oh to be a kid and get excited over little things. Love it.

Oh.... and Phys. Ed. Centers on the go this week! Love how they turned out!

Happy Thursday!
7 more days! :)

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Twas the night before Friday...

DECEMBER.... oh how I love thee. December has got to be one of the best months to teach. There is so much energy & fun activities planned, you can't help but smile.
Here's what went on this week.
We began a mini-MONEY-unit. With 2 weeks left, money, addition and subtraction are on the menu.
Here is our math corner this week.

Here are some group math problems that I had the kids work on. Love this organizer. It allows 4 kids to work on one problem. When time is up, the students in the group share their best ideas, which go into the middle of the organizer.

 The kids are still talking about the Hot Chocolate Writing.  Here were the curriculum expectations we met, as well as their goal (success criteria) in order to complete this activity.

Read some great books this week to spark some more imaginative writing using VOICE

 In Social Studies, we have started our Polar Express- Christmas Around the World Tour. Haven't uploaded the pics yet, but SOOOO happy I decided to do this with the kids. They are so excited every time they see "Social Studies" on the visual schedule. So far, we have made our suitcases, filled out our passports and made our first stop in Mexico. The kids learned about unique traditions and we listened to a great mariachi band, while we made our unique Poinsetta's.
Needing some great Phys. Ed. centers this month? This activity is all set for the holidays. It runs itself and the students are so engaged you will enjoy the sound of the students out of breath from raising their heart beats and the roof with laughter and fun!

This package can be used in your school gymnasium or in the school yard.

This package includes:
*Instructions to the centres
*5 activity mission impossible statement cards
*Glossary of explanations for movements


Monday, 3 December 2012

Holiday Fun!

Want to add a little carefree fun into your classroom?
Have your students practice their preposition of place words and working with a partner or group with this Holiday Scavenger Hunt and Word Decoder Activity.
Click {here} for more info.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Ready Set - December

Ready Set, December is here.  Last week I was crazy busy trying to tie up all the loose ends in the classroom to prepare for the starting of such a fun month for the students.  It seemed like all we did was visual art projects that tied into other areas of the curriculum but I am sure that the students were unaware of all the learning they were doing. I am not sure if you are like me, but I have been marking and collecting the students work since September and it is now a bigger pile than the laundry I have each weekend. lol
At the beginning of the week I decided it was time to have the students make a portfolio to keep all their work in.  I like to have opportunities to assess as much as I can so I decided as a cumulative activity to finish up our unit on Geometry, that the students would decorate portfolios with portrait art.  I found this incredible step by step art activity that has the students create a Picasso masterpiece.  It was amazing and the students worked on describing figures, shapes, identifying congruent figures and mirror images. Here is some of their work.  Yes, it is grade three, I know it is hard to believe with how extraordinary they are turning out. I will post finished products this week.

So if you have been following our blog, Kaitlin and I talked about how much we like to go in to our school on the weekend to get ready for the week to come.  It is quiet and you aren't waiting in line by the photocopier to get things done, and everything is at your finger tips without hauling it all home for the weekend.
Our school is doing a Christmas door contest, where each class has to decorate their door with pictures/ graphics, of the student's work.  The success criteria for the contest was as follows:
1. The slogan or title should be interesting and catchy.
2. The graphics reflect the learners in the classroom.
3.The door decorations are suited to the intended audience.
4. The message invokes an emotional response in the reader.
5. All elments are well organized and eye appealing.
So I decided because we are focusing on Snowmen this winter season, (check out our snowman writing activity in the previous blog) that I would incorporate snowman into our door.  We decided to do the snowman that are looking up as the graphic visual art activity.  I fell in love with it on pinterest and thought it would be fun and easy to do. I liked that it made me wonder, what are they looking up at.  So we brainstormed together as a class things the snowmen could possibly see.  I then showed them the youtube "Brown Bear, Brown Bear what do you see?"  So as a class we decided we would model our answers after the book by Bill Martin.  I then thought it would be cool if students walking by would have to predict and or inference what the snowmen were looking at.  So we made lift flaps of the answers each student came up with.  Here is how it looked at the end of the day today.
The lift flaps are on the bulletin board just outside the classroom door.  So as students walk by they can lift and read the ideas our class had.  I showed the variation we used for one of the special needs student in my class. We had her choose from some real life pictures of what the snowmen could be looking up at.  She is a visual learner and likes non fiction pictures over fiction.
On the inside of my classroom this weekend, I decided to go with a chimney for Christmas.  I am a huge fan of the Grinch.  So decided to have the Grinch standing next to my chimney.  I am going to have the students write - true meanings of Christmas on hearts and we are going to pin them on the Grinch till it makes his small heart grow ten sizes. I am planning to hang stockings from the mantle, one for each student and will fill them with a gift on the last day. 
 Does anyone have a real cute idea for a stocking craft that I can do with my class?