Monday, December 23, 2013

Playing Catch Up

I'm so relieved for Christmas break!!! I had every intention of keeping up daily elf blogging, but that last week of school just about did me in. Even with all of the chaos, I witnessed some great moments in the classroom. I watched one sweetie gladly give her candy cane to a classmate who had lost hers. The entire class cheered on the last student who had to reach his AR goal. They all knew we were having a Polar Express party Friday, and tickets had to be earned by reading for AR. 
The good news is all my shopping is FINALLY done, and I found some great sales. I don't want to see another parking garage or mall until March. (Yeah right, I'll be at one of my favorite malls next week putting some gift cards to good use.) 
I was all in a panic yesterday because I knew the final week of Seusstastic's  Elf Linky would start yesterday. I haven't seen it go live yet, but I'm gonna go ahead and give a quick run down of Clara Cupcake's final week of antics. 
I was all in a panic while writing this post because I couldn't find all the pictures. It took about 10 minutes before I realized I'd already blogged about Monday's elf antics, ugh. I was having a not so bright moment.

Clara Cupcake somehow changed all the backgrounds on our classroom computers Tuesday. The minis found this highly funny. 

Wednesday she was caught trying to eat goodies from the estimation jar!
Later in the day at student wrote Clara Cupcake a note. She was concerned about the elf in her sister's class. Apparently Snowflake had been touched and lost all his magic. I had a teacher buddy place the note in her hand while we were out of the room.

The following morning this note was left with an update on Snowflake. Thanks again teacher buddy for stepping in!
The class Christmas party was the next day, and Clara Cupcake was making some mysterious preparations.

Finally Thursday arrived and we finally knew why the paper chain was on the window. Clara C. decided to give bungee jumping a try!

I must admit I felt bittersweet about Clara C. spending one final day with us on Friday. At last the day of our Polar Express class party had arrived.
This copy of The Polar Express has been read and loved by lots of students in four years.

As I mentioned before, students had to earn their Polar Express ticket by reaching their AR goal. I always love the last day before break because it's pajama day and goes along perfectly with what we were doing. 

This year I decided to set up a hot chocolate bar for us to enjoy while we watched the movie. My awesome principal let me borrow the water urn. Preparing a cup of hot chocolate for each student seemed like it took forever, but it was worth it to me. I was expecting all sorts of craziness Friday. Instead we had a fairly peaceful day filled with some great memories and yummy treats. 

We've come to the point where I get nostalgic. There'll be no more carols on the radio. The trees will be taken down and wrapping paper put away. Another Christmas is almost passed. I always get a little sad after Christmas is gone but I'm looking forward to all the possibilities of the new year. Have a wonderful and very Merry Christmas teacher friends! 

Monday, December 16, 2013

My Truth Monday..and Random Monday Happenings

I'm linking up with Denise from Sunny Days again to share some of my favorite apps. I have a list of apps that I love just for me and some I love for the classroom. 
My hands down favorite app for the classroom is Educreations. It's a free iPad app and website where you can create lessons to share. What I love about the iPad version is the ability to see students working. 
Here's an example of one mini's lesson during model drawing.

My personal favorite app is Candy Crush. I both love and hate the game.
Make sure to link up and share your own favorites!
Moving on to my oops of the day; I accidentally knocked over Clara Cupcake! She was sitting in front of our Boggle board pretty as can be until right before recess.
I opened the top drawer of the cart for a marker and when I closed it, BAM! Poor Clara Cupcake fell over face down into a basket. There was a collective gasp of shock and awe in the room. I felt so horrible! I knew I had to come up with something quickly; I didn't want our elf face down in a basket all afternoon. Quickly I left the room and thankfully my mentor teacher was subbing today in a class literally steps from mine. I explained my dilemma and went back to my room. After a minute I made a dramatic phone call to Santa's office desperately asking what should be done. Santa's solution was to allow only me to pick up Clara C. and return her. I carefully returned her to her resting place for the day. Our school day passed by without any further elf oopsies.

I had another student and a coworker give me cupcake ornaments today! Our class tree is getting full. At this point I've bought less than half of the cupcake ornaments on the tree. The majority are gifts I've received since teaching.

The final countdown until break begins! So much to do in so little time, and I have yet to finish Christmas shopping. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Elf Linky Fun Week 2

It's another week of elf antics and awesomeness over at Seusstastic. Before I get to the fun stuff can I vent? It makes me sad and somewhat irritated how many people are hating on the elf! I've heard everything from the elf is a waste of time, creepy, doesn't belong at school, etc. I personally have enjoyed having an elf in my classroom although I admit I'm running low on ideas for these last few days. It's fun for me to see my mini's faces light up when coming in first thing in the morning looking for Clara Cupcake. Our classroom elf has been instructional and helped us spread Christmas cheer to others. I understand not everyone is a fan, but please keep the negativity to yourself! Now moving on to the fun stuff...
I'll start with Clara Cupcake on Friday and link again to daily elf fun so I don't end up repeating myself and taking forever to write this post.
I thought her hiding place Friday morning was so clever, until it took students all of 10 seconds to find her upon arrival. 

Techie Elf- My favorite of the week!

Just four days and a half days until Christmas break! So much to do and so little time! Papers to be graded are calling my name, bleh!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

All I Want For Christmas

I saw this holly jolly holiday link from 2nd Grade Shenanigans a couple of days ago, but honestly my mind kept drawing a blank. There really isn't anything on my Christmas list this year that I must have. I already bought myself an iPad in September, and a new teacher bag in August. While there's nothing in particular that I'm drooling over, there are a few things from my favorite brands or wishlist I wouldn't mind having.

I keep looking on Amazon for a personal lamintor. A couple of teachers at my school have one and have only positives to say about it.

I love Bliss products. Bliss is more expensive than some other brands, but worth every penny. Lemon and Sage is my favorite scent.

 I'm going to NYC for the first time in April! I'm already counting down the days. A plane ticket would be a fabulous gift.

A manicure and pedicure is always on any gift wishlist of mine.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Five For Friday

It's time for another link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching. By this time next week I'll be kicking up my heels enjoying Christmas break! While I've been enjoying all the Christmas festivities  and looking forward to next week I must admit I need to slow it down and rest a bit. Here's a quick rundown of some of the awesomeness that happened in the classroom. 
Our class elf Clara Cupcake decided to play a game of hide and seek with us today. She was found this morning by students way up high peeking out from our Christmas tree box. My goal this year is to clean up the junk sitting on top of those cabinets.

I grabbed this amazing freebie on TPT last week. This was our writing station activity this week. I love that the number in parenthesis tells students how many mistakes each sentence has.

Our classroom was Elf'd! This is a fun school wide activity. It works similar to Secret Santa or getting Boo'ed at Halloween. Inside the goodie bag were mini candy canes! Seeing this put a smile on my face after running around like crazy during conference time.

One of my little sweeties gave me some new cupcake ornaments to add to our tree! If you haven't guessed by now I LOVE almost everything cupcake!

One of my buddy teachers delivered my Scentsy swag today, and I'm loving this scent. I ordered it just based on the description in the catalog. Thankfully it turned out to be amazing. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Techie Elf

It turns out Clara Cupcake is a techie elf! Here's how students found our elf this morning. I Clara had created a TodaysMeet for us.

TodaysMeet is one of our favorite resources we use in class. Creating and participating one is a quick, easy process.

The responses from the minis always make me smile. Check out the response about wanting to be a teacher; how sweet is that?

Last night during our grade level dinner and Secret Santa gift exchange, one of my buddy teachers mentioned her secret weapon for classroom management this time of year. She shared the number for Santa's direct line. 
I promise you the number works! This afternoon the class was going BONKERS so I pulled out my phone, dialed, and put it on speaker. If only I had a camera to capture the looks on their faces, ha! I'll try almost anything these last few days until break. It's all about survival mode!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Making A List

My oh my Tuesday afternoon was a challenge. I had minis bouncing off the walls and doing all sorts of out of the ordinary things. How long until Christmas break again? As a teacher I feel like I'm on auto pilot this week. Just the thought of my to do list for next week makes me head spin. I apologize in advance for any bad grammar or spelling mistakes in this post; my brain has checked out for today.
Tuesday afternoon one student used her free time to draw a picture of Clara Cupcake. She came back from the North Pole with class names on a list.

Sadly our elf had to give Santa a not so great report about some classroom behavior that night. She included this poem with a reminder about good behavior.

Note to self: I've got to be more organized with elf notes next year. Having different paper everyday is driving me a little nuts. 

I found an amazing freebie on TPT this afternoon to use next week for our Polar Express party! Thanks to Teaching in High Heels for this resource. Our class Polar Express party is always the last day of school which just happens to be pajama day. Pajama day is one of my favorite school days. 
Time to work on student gifts, catch up on Real Housewives, plot for elf surprises tomorrow, and somewhere in all that sleep!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Where's The Ink?

Is anyone else a slacker like me this year with buying Christmas gifts? I didn't get home until 8:30 tonight because I was running around trying to get it all together for tomorrow night. My team and I always do a Secret Santa between us and exchange gifts over dinner. After much searching I FINALLY found what I needed. I can't wait to relax with dinner and laughs tomorrow tonight with my team.
Have I mentioned lately how much fun this elf business has been? Clara C. took a special interest in the writing process overnight with some friends. 

Since I'm a leftie, I wrote with my right hand for Mr. Monkey. 

 Kudos to my co-worker for helping with the bear writing. 

Poor Clara ran out of ink in the North Pole! Hopefully I'll she'll get some new color ink soon! 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Manic Monday

What a difference a day makes! Today I felt like a chicken with it's head cut off running around since we were out Friday due to weather. I've got to take a quick moment to brag on the minis. I'm not sure if it was the extended weekend, our elf, or the beginning of the week but they were angels today. My fingers are crossed they repeat this behavior again tomorrow. It was so silent most of the day you could have heard a pin drop. We had  TON of work to do today; the minis were so cooperative.
This morning Clara Cupcake was caught sleeping on the job! She decided to make herself a comfy bed with a tissue box. We're having so much fun with our elf visitor each day. Today Clara C. had a special job for us.

This was the note I read to students this morning. Instead of keeping all the Christmas cheer for ourselves, we made Christmas cards for our fourth grade buddies. 

We're working on writing and reading numbers up to 999 in math. I had some place value work mats I inherited from the previous teacher in my classroom. Each student had a due they rolled three times; once for the hundreds, once for tens, and the final roll for ones. They had to draw a model for their number plus write it in standard and expanded form. I'm going to use another version of this activity in learning stations later this week. Students were working in their groups, but it was completely silent! I was so impressed with their hard work they earned a compliment towards sweet treats. 

We also completed our gingerbread glyphs in math. I love a good glyph activity because each student is able to showcase what's special about them.
When we were finished we put our gingerbread men out in the hall around our bulletin board.

Our current science unit is all about air and weather. We created this anchor chart together to help us remember how to read celsius temperature. I'm not happy with the black line I drew straight through the mercury but this turned into a teachable moment. Even teachers make mistakes. I'll probably go back tomorrow and fix this.
Dorky teacher moment: As I'm blogging my heart out Blogger spell check keeps saying celsius is spelled incorrectly. I instantly panic and have to Goggle it 3 times before I'm sure it's correct.
I'm one tired teacher tonight. I see early bedtime in my future, zzzz. I can't wait to show you what Clara C. is up to next. Stay turned and stay warm!