Monday, December 16, 2013

T is for Tamales and Texas!

Hey friends!! I had the BEST day today. This morning I got to visit two of my favorite teachers. I started in my friend Hannah's kindergarten room. I got to teach a mini-lesson on tamales! Sounds funny right?! She is doing holidays around the world and today was Mexico. I suggested instead of doing the poinsettia that we used to do every year maybe change it up with some tamales! So I came up with the idea of reading the book Too Many Tamales, making a tamale craft and completing a graph. 

I spoke with the kids about Mexico and what being Mexican American means. We live in South Texas so they are very familiar with Mexico and Mexican traditions. We share different Mexican holiday traditions and read the book Too Many TamalesFor the craft, the kids decided how many tamales they were going to "make", colored them, cut them out and glued them to a holiday themed paper plate. (I couldn't find tamale clip art so I just made my own, I was so proud! Ha!) Then the kids filled out the sentence stem and glued them to a black piece of paper. 

 I had the kids work on a tamales practice page too.

We also did a tamale taste test and graphed if we liked tamales or not. Most of the kids liked the tamales! :) 

I love the way Hannah displayed them too. :)

 I took a bunch of pics of Miss Hannah's room! I made her a bunch of Dr. Seuss inspired classroom decor like: ABC posters, color word posters, shape posters, number posters, sight word cards and transportation cards. 

I LOVE her "Leader in Me" style truffula trees! So cute!!

These truffula trees are used for goal setting. She has a little barbaloot that tracks their progress! So cute!!

After I left kinderland, I went to my friend Liz's classroom to give a speech about The University of Texas! I met my friend Liz while we were in college at UT, we were in the same cohort. She is amazing!! She teaches 3rd grade now and she is fantastic! Her school's theme is "College Starts Today" and each classroom "adopted" a college. Luckily she got UT! She kind of insisted since her room was already decorated in Longhorn decor. Here are some pics:

I love her door!!

Liz and I posed outside her classroom. Don't judge my giant baby belly! I'm only 22 weeks, ahh! I cannot imagine 40 weeks!

On my way out I saw this cute display!

It was such a great day! I love peeking into other teacher's classrooms! If you're interested in the tamale printables, you can pick them up here. Happy Holidays Y'all!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

And the winners are...

The 12 Days of a Teacher's Christmas has come to an end! Sad...I know, but I hope y'all had a great time hopping through all the blogs and picking up some free stuff for your classroom. We have the winners and I'm so excited to announce them today! 

I've emailed all the bloggers and they have your email addresses. They will email you as soon as possible. If you see your name up here, make sure to check your inbox this weekend! I'm writing this post right after midnight on Friday morning, I'm assuming all the other bloggers are sleeping soundly in their they probably won't be getting back to y'all until Friday night or Saturday. 

THANK YOU ALL for entering our give-a-way!! We had a great time and we hope you did too. Have a great Friday and a fabulous weekend friends!!

It's the 12th Day of a Teacher's Christmas! Last Chance to Enter...

Hey friends!! I cannot believe how quickly December is flying by. Today is the last day to enter our 12 Days of a Teacher's Christmas give-a-way! We have almost 10,000 entries! That is incredible! I hope you've had fun picking up all the freebies in the last 12 days. If you haven't gone to every teacher you can visit my post from the Day 1 and do the blog hop through Days 1-12. 

(Question: I have this image from a previous post that keeps popping up in new posts and it's driving me crazy!! You can see it in the background of my post...I have no idea why it is there or how to get rid of it...any tech geniuses out there with advice?? Sorry, I know it's annoying!!)

Marie over at "It's a Jungle Out There" is posting a freebie today. Click here to check it out! If you haven't entered the give-a-way you have until midnight tonight. I will be announcing winners first thing tomorrow morning. Good luck!! 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Day of Remembrance for Our Friends at Sandy Hook

We all know about the tragedy that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary on December 14, 2012. That is a day I will never forget. I remember hearing that some of my teacher friends were crying, but I had no idea what was going on. We continued our afternoon as usual and as soon as I could, I asked a friend what had happened. She told me and I couldn't believe it. Children. Sweet, innocent children. I went back to my classroom and bawled...I mean BAWLED. 

This time last year I had a 3 month old baby waiting for me at home. I rushed home as soon as I could and held my baby boy. I cried and cried...and cried some more. I cried as a teacher and I cried as a parent. School is supposed to be a safe's supposed to be a happy place, to think that this could happen to such young, innocent children, it just broke my heart.

 I cannot fathom dropping my baby (I say "baby" because no matter how old children are, they are still "babies" in the eyes of their parents) off at school one day and never seeing them again. I do not even want to imagine the kind of pain, grief and sorrow the parents of those children have been through and continue to go through every day. I pray for them to heal, though I know nothing can replace their loss.

I also remember the day of silence we took as bloggers, in honor of the victims. I just came across a post by Greg at Smedley's Smorgasboard. He has a fabulously written post about ways we can remember Sandy Hook one year later. He is asking us to do what the families of the victims have asked for us to do, to commit acts of kindness in remembrance of their loved ones.

I'm pledging to commit acts of kindness on December 14th in honor of those we've lost. Please read Greg's post and pass this on! If we can all commit to acts of kindness on this day, imagine what we could do! This world can be a scary place but it can also be a beautiful one too. Let's honor those sweet little angels by doing good for others. I hope you will join us. Blessings to you all!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Five for Friday! {With a freebie of course!}

Hi friends! I hope you're enjoying your holiday season so far. It was in the 60's yesterday and today it's in the 30's here...go figure. I'm staying nice and warm inside with little Jack. Here's what we've been up to:

1. We made Jackson's first "handmade" Christmas gifts:

I used a Christmas tree from one of Krista Wallden's adorable clip art packs. I put one of his fingers in red paint and helped him make prints. We had fun! I'm going to cut out the tree and place it on a red background and write "Merry Christmas" to his grandparents.

2. My nephew Hank and I learned about the word "and". We used play doh mats to make the word. 

3. We learned about the letter "F". Hank found all the fs in his little F book. We used the do-a-dot marker to highlight them.

 He also found pictures that start with f and found capital and lowercase fs.

P versus Q: Hank has had trouble distinguishing between his ps and his qs. So we did a letter sort. We talked about how the "belly" on the p is on the opposite side of the q and how the q has a "monkey tail". I'm working on making several sets of the lower case practice page below and posting them on the blog for y'all. Those will be up as soon as I can get to them.

4. I'm working on a winter literacy centers pack for K/1 and 2/3. My dearest librarian friend asked me to create some so she can use them during her library lesson time. The first center I created was a beginning sounds center. I incorporated some QR codes so the kids can check their work. This center can be done with or without using the QR codes. 

Here's an example of some of the cards. The kids match the penguin to the mitten that has pictures that begin with the same sound. For example the B penguin matches mitten #1. If students have access to iTouches or iPads they can scan the QR code on the penguin card and it will tell them the correct match. It's an easy and fun way to incorporate technology into your daily routine.

You can pick this center up as a freebie on my Facebook page. You can get it in the "Fans Only" section.

I'm working on several more literacy centers targeting K/1 TEKS and CCSS. I'm hoping to get this pack done in the next week. 

5. And last but not's UGLY CHRISTMAS SWEATER TIME! We are going to my husband's work Christmas party and it's an ugly Christmas sweater theme. My mother in law gave me this one to wear...

Ha ha! She's had these for years and she couldn't believe how popular they are now. We showed her a website that is selling ugly Christmas sweaters and some of them are going for $80 a pop! She got excited...she might selling some of hers this year. Ha! :) 

Have a great weekend!! Make sure to go back to Doodlebugs and check out the other posts.